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Mr. FOSTER. Referring to your figures of the children in jails, I am reminded of the testimony given before this committee last year by Mrs. Willebrandt of a very startling nature, that each 12 months in the United States there are 500,000 adults discharged from penal institutions. That is out of the total population.
Mr. CLARK. There were 493 persons in jail, in penal institutions, juvenile institutions, in 1910, in three States. I prefer not to name them, but those three States have been active in this effort to force this matter on North Carolina, States which had one-sixth of the juveniles in institutions on January 1, 1910, and of those committed in 1910 one-fifth of them came from those States. Yet those States are here to-day talking about North Carolina, about her inhumanity to children, and trying to tell us what we shall do, as a sovereign State.
Mr. FOSTER. Let me say for one that I have had the least tendency in the world, or no tendency, to try to heap any injustice on North Carolina. I think the finest gentleman I ever met in my life was Claude Kitchin. What I have read had to do in the main with a reference to North Carolina; but, as one member of the committee, I have not tried to center on North Carolina; only, in reading your editorial and knowing your activity, I gravitated that way because of that. But I have no hard feeling toward any State in the South.
Mr. CLARK. I wish to state again, Mr. Foster, that my editorial refers not to any desire or any elation over having the privilege of working children; because we have gone right ahead and passed laws which show we did not want that, but wanted to get rid of Federal interference.
Mr. PERLMAN. Did you appear before the Legislature of North Carolina and urge the passage of the convict act?
Mr. CLARK. I never appeared against it.
Mr. PERLMAN. Did you ever appear before the Legislature of North Carolina urging the passage of an act regulating the employment of children?
Mr. CLARK. No, sir; and I never appeared against it.
Mr. PERLMAN. You have an interest in that State?
Mr. CLARK. Yes.
Mr. FOSTER. Do you now favor reducing the hours of work for children at least as low as for convicts?
Mr. CLARK. I have taken no position on that matter.
Mr. FOSTER. Do you mind stating whether you contemplate taking a position on it?
Mr. CLARK. Under certain conditions, but, as a matter of fact, those things you speak of are not things with which the mill man is connected.
Mr. FOSTER. It is humanitarian law; you limit to eight hours the labor for convicts in penitentiaries.
Mr. CLARK. There is a reason.
Mr. FOSTER. Is that the law or not? There is a law limiting to nine hours the labor of convicts when they are let out to contract. Mr. CLARK. I understand so; but I have never seen the law. Mr. FOSTER. Under your laws there, from 14 to 16 years of age, you can work children 11 hours, can you not?
Mr. CLARK. You can work them for 60 hours a week.
Mr. FOSTER. Yes. Now do you, because of your public interest down there, feel you ought to be one that would help the legislature reduce the child labor down to the hours prescribed for convicts?
Mr. CLARK. I do not think the provision in regard to convicts should have been passed, to lease them outside.
Mr. FOSTER. You do not care to answer my question?
Mr. CLARK. Mr. Chairman, is that matt r of the convict—just before I close, let me explain my position on that. I do not know anything about it, except this scout you got, when he came down there he happened to discover that fact, there was any such law, and I am informed this fact exists, that in North Carolina, some convicts are leased, and very largely to the quarries, and they have to work under very difficult conditions, at the bottom of the quarries, in water, and after and before work they must walk several miles to their camp. The State legislature seems to have decided that those people employed by outsides-and I am opposed to any employment of convicts by outsiders should be limited, on account of the class of the work to eight hours; that they could not stand up under working more than eight hours, at the bottom of the quarry, and then going and coming back. I do not know of any further statement to make in regard to that.
Mr. DYER. Is there any further question any member of the committee desires to ask?
Mr. CLARK. Mr. Chairman, I wish to file the following statement:
STATEMENT OF DR. JAMES A. HAYNE, EXECUTIVE OFFICER, SOUTH CAROLINA BOARD OF HEALTH, AS QUOTED IN A STUDY OF THE COTTON INDUSTRY OF NORTH AND SOUTH CAROLINA, BY ASHMUND BROWN.
The truth is that were the general health of the State as good as it is in the mill communities our statistics would make even a better showing, for it is an absolute fact that health conditions in the mill villages are materially better than in the other communities. For example, while the death rate in all the United States in 1922 was 11.9, that in Spartanburg, a mill center, was only 10. It is astonishing what amount of rot has been printed in the northern papers regarding the poor health of southern mill workers and the low standards of health, particularly among mill children.
Only the other day I attended a baby clinic at Abbeyville where 140 babies from the mill village were examined. They were the healthiest, rosiest, finest looking lot of youngsters that could be found anywhere.
The truth of the matter is that the mills have advanced civilization in this State and not retarded it. Their coming is directly responsible for a vast improvement in the living conditions of our people.
They (the mill operators) see no imposition in what you northerners speak of as long hours of work. Everything in the world is comparative. They get larger returns with less effort under conditions in the mill villages than they or their ancestors got living in the mountains. They know their condition is better.
But if they believed for an instant that they were being exploited or repressed, as some of the northern writers have declared, they would not remain. There is nothing to compel them to remain. They can pick up their belong ings and go back to their mountains and freedom, if you want to use the word, whenever they feel like it. The fact that they do not do só is a complete answer to misrepresentations that have been afloat.
Sustaining the records of the vital statistics of the State were the findings of the United States Government in connection with medical examinations made of men called for military duty under the selective service act. Figures are now available on the basis of a total of 2,510,791 men examined, of which number 49,350 men were from North Carolina. This study gives a cross section of the physical condition of the male population at an age when physical
defects that may shorten life are beginning to appear, and may be taken as a good picture of the general physical condition of the people.
These statistics show that North Carolina averaged fewer rejections than the country as a whole, and on individual points ranked well above the average. As compared with the entire country, there were in this State fewer defects per thousand, fewer defective men per thousand, fewer mechanical defects, less hernia, less underweight, fewer defects of the eyes, of the ears, of the throat, less organic heart disease, and less defective and deficient teeth.
STATEMENT OF MRS. KATE B. JOHNSON-Resumed
Mrs. JOHNSON. A question was asked in regard to the mill schools in North Carolina. I want to say even if those schools are entirely supported by the mills, they come up to the requirements set by the department of education, both in the matter of employing teachers and the cirriculum. I want to say also if Mr. Clark had been allowed to read the statement by Mr. Stuart W. Cramer you would have seen that many mill men in North Carolina are interested in this thing from a child-welfare point of view. I was a member of the committee that went before the North Carolina Legislature and asked for the passage of our child labor laws, and the man who helped us as much as anyone else and who made the most telling plea to the legislature was himself a manufacturer, Mr. Julian Carr, jr., who has since passed away. He was the head of the largest knitting mill, I think, in the world. And many of the manufactureres in North Carolina do not fight the child labor laws, when it comes to State laws, and they have helped us to get them through, and they have cooperated with us in the administration of those laws.
I want also to make our position clear on the opposition to the Child Welfare Commission to deal with the public welfare of the child. When it comes to the Children's Bureau in Washington we do not believe in the Children's Bureau administering the laws; otherwise, I want to say we have gotten a great deal of help from the Children's Bureau; that we approve and appreciate a great deal of the work they have done, and they assist us and we work with them in various ways in a very fine spirit of cooperation.
Mr. DYER. We have a witness who only wants to take a couple of minutes Mr. Gray Silver.
STATEMENT OF MR. GRAY SILVER, WASHINGTON REPRESENTATIVE OF THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION
Mr. SILVER. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, my name is Gray Silver, Washington representative of the American Farm Bureau Federation. I am asking that I may be permitted to file with you a statement as the word of the American Farm Bureau Federation on this subject.
Mr. DYER. What is the gist of the article, Mr. Silver?
Mr. SILVER. It tends to support the theory of local self-government.
Mr. DYER. Is there any objection to the witness filing that?
Mr. FOSTER. I have no objection. Is the article prepared by you? Mr. SILVER. Yes.
Mr. FOSTER. Pursuant to what?
Mr. SILVER. Your thought is as to how I arrived at this conclusion?
Mr. FOSTER. Yes.
Mr. SILVER. After this question came up in this Congress I visited the executive committee at Chicago and, under their instructions, I took the different matters of this sort before the committee and sent them to the different States, and the replies from the different States are summarized in this statement.
Mr. HERSEY. You oppose the amendment-your organization?
Mr. HERSEY. How do the other farm organizations stand on this subject, outside of yours?
Mr. SILVER. I do not know.
Mr. HERSEY. I have been given to understand the last national convention of the Grange
Mr. SILVER. I think the Grange has spoken.
Mr. HERSEY (continuing). Put themselves on record in favor of this bill.
Mr. SILVER. I do not know.
Mr. HERSEY. You do not know?
Mr. SILVER. No, sir. I was cognizant of it at that time, because I read the resolution.
Mr. MICHENER. May I ask a question? In my district there are many members of your organization.
Mr. SILVER. Yes.
Mr. MICHENER. Ninety per cent of the members in your organization are also members of the Grange.
Mr. SILVER. Yes.
Mr. MICHENER. Now, when the Grange takes an attitude, which they do on this in the State of Michigan on a piece ol legislation like this, favoring and the Farm Bureau takes an attitude of opposing it, and 90 per cent of the members of the Grange are Farm Bureau people, or 90 per cent of the Farm Bureau people are Grangers, where am I? [Laughter.] To carry that just a little further, in the final analysis, is not the decision of the executive committee controlling on the Washington representative of the organization? Is not that really what we get here, instead of what the people back home want?
Mr. SILVER. If I may answer that, while I will say, so far as this particular statement I prepared is concerned, it is not the result of a referendum, but our methods of determining you are asking generally our method of determining this is provided for in our constitution and the method pursued, so far as possible, is by referendum to the individual members. We tally the votes for and against when we take a referendum
Mr. MICHENER. If you will pardon me, just let me state, personally, my position. I had the same thing up last year on the ship subsidy bill. I addressed an audience at home of farmers, probably a thousand of them, and I was criticized by one of the speakers for voting against the ship subsidy bill. Finally I asked all the people in the audience who were Grangers to raise their hands. Then I asked all those who were Farm Bureau people to raise their hands. Practically the same people raised their hands. Then I asked them what they wanted me to be down here, a Granger or a Farm Bureau man. Mr. SILVER. It is very true that the membership in certain States is very overlapping; that is very largely true. But the Farm Bureau
organization does have a regular referendum as a means of arriving at its conclusions.
Mr. HERSEY. You are the Washington legislative representative? Mr. SILVER. The Washington legislative representative, but I have to do with the departments here in the administration of the laws. Mr. HERSEY. They pretend to represent the farmers of the country. They do not agree very well-your farm organizations do not always agree on legislation?
Mr. SILVER. Not always, no; they usually do, however.
Mr. SUMMERS. For that reason it is sometimes necessary for a Member of Congress to use his own best judgment. [Laughter.] Mr. SILVER. The proposal to amend the Constitution giving Congress power to prohibit the labor of persons under the age of 18 years and to prescribe the conditions of such labor does not find a favorable response among the farmers. In making this statement it must be distinctly understood, however, that the farmers are adverse to child labor which interferes with the proper growth, development, and schooling of children. Farmers, of course, at the same time do not countenance idleness and believe that children are better off when fully employed at either work or play.
By far the majority of States already have laws regulating the labor of minors or of children less than 14 years of age. As a matter of fact, the conduct of children is so completely hedged about by State laws in most of the States that any Federal legislation which would follow this proposed amendment to the Constitution by Senator McCormick would coincide with the State legislation or tend to confuse it. Further, it seems to me because of the diversity of employment this is one of the matters which can be regulated most efficiently by the States themselves.
I am sure the farmers would be among the first to resent the activities of the Federal bureau if it would try to take the place of the parents in telling their children what duties they should or should not perform and what kind of work they should do. In fact, I believe such a proposal is unnecessary, especially as it might apply to the families on the farms. If a Federal law is needed to regulate child labor it should be directed toward industry where undoubtedly there is still some need for regulation. The farmers do not ask for exemption for they are not in the offending class.
Some of the child-labor enthusiasts who would save all children from work until manhood and womanhood have become unduly exercised over a few statistics which they do not understand. They have forgotten the very pertinent fact that the cities recoup their virility from the farm where the boys and girls are always given something to do in the line of light tasks which cheats the devil of unemployment and builds sturdy frames and muscles..
When questioned, some of these enthusiasts say that any Federal regulation or law on this subject would exclude the boys and girls on the farm. However, others are not so sure. The chances are that if unlimited authority is given to some bureau that it will grow until it becomes a nuisance.
A lot of propaganda has been sent out which is thoroughly resented by farmers. Certain syndicates have published the greatest lot of rot about young boys starting to work at 4 a. m., continuing
24666-H. Doc. 497, 68-2-17