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the cover of the publication gotten out by the organizations favoring the better regulation of child labor answers the questions that have been asked, the black representing the States whose child labor laws are not up to the standard of those of the two Federal laws which were declared unconstitutional.
Now, as Americans, can we afford to let this go on and to wait? The conditions in certain States are very serious, and I think it is a great injustice to the employers in the States where there are good child labor laws to make them compete, in manufacturing, for instance, with other employers in States that have not good child labor laws. I think that the only question which parallels this is slavery. That is the only thing which makes me feel justified in asking for a constitutional amendment. Child labor is a greater menace than slavery, because in child labor the children who are to be our future citizens are practically slaves under certain conditions. We can not hesitate to set a Federal minimum. I think, Mr. Chairman, that once a Federal minimum is established, there will be ample for the States to do in the enforcement of their own child labor laws and in the enactment of better laws on the part of the States themselves.
The weakness in most of the States which have good child labor laws is that they are not enforced. I went into a certain city not long since between 2 and 3 o'clock in the morning and saw two little shivering boys, one 10 and the other 11 years old, without overcoats and with their little bare arms exposed to the elements. They were delivering the morning papers of one of our great cities. That was in a State where there are child labor laws but no laws applying to the street trades. There is progress to be made in the States where there are good child labor laws, and the matter is one of sufficient interest to justify the enactment of Federal laws. To-day we have many laws that are not enforced. When we have a minimum standard established by the Government which will say that it applies to the United States of America, child labor will be blotted out. Then we can depend on the States to make their laws what they should be.
STATEMENT OF MR. E. 0. WATSON, SECRETARY OF THE FEDERAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES OF CHRIST IN AMERICA, WASHINGTON, D. C.
Mr. WATSON. From the standpoint of the churches there is no social issue before the public to-day that demands more general support throughout the churches of all denominations than the efforts to secure the abolition of child labor; and the evidence of that is to be found not only in the individual actions of denominations but also in the united actions that have been taken by the Federal Council of Churches, composed as it is of officially appointed representatives of 29 of the leading protestant denominations of the United States.
As far back as 1908 the Federal Council of Churches, in that united capacity, expressing the voice of the united churches of this country, adopted its official platform known as "social ideals of the churches,' and embodying 16 proposals for advance in social welfare. Two of these 16 had to do with child labor and the full development of the opportunities of childhood. The "social ideals of the churches" declared that the churches stand" for the fullest possible development
of every child, especially by the provision of education and recreation," and "the abolition of child labor." That platform has been repeatedly indorsed by one denomination after another, notably among the larger denominations-the Methodist Episcopal, Congregational, Northern Baptist Convention, Presbyterian, Disciples, and the Reformed Church of the United States.
The various denominations have also, time and time again, adopted special resolutions insisting that the teachings of the church require the abolition of child labor. As recently as last November the bishops of the Methodist Church, meeting in Brooklyn, declared in favor of such, and still more recently the women's division of the Social Service Commission of the Congregational Churches.
Still more significant is the action of the executive committee of the Federal Council of Churches held in Columbus, Ohio, in December last. This meeting, which was attended by the official representatives of the 29 Protestant denominations that comprise the Federal Council of Churches, voted without a dissenting voice in favor of an amendment to the Constitution which would permit Congress to legislaté against child labor.
I might call your attention to the fact that we have been carefully studying the religious press on this matter and find it insistent and practically unanimous.
Now, I would call your attention to the fact that the churches are concerned primarily, of course, with the great moral and spiritual principles which are at stake in child labor and not with the particular method by which the evils are to be removed. We ordinarily do not presume to suggest by what particular form of legislation the desired ends may be reached. We feel that the legislators themselves, whom we have elected, are the ones who should answer the question as to what is the most effective method of carrying out in practice the moral and humane principles of the churches. But, we all thought, we find ourselves insisting unequivocally that this thing has not gone on as it should with reference to child labor, and the churches are showing that they are restive and tired of piecemeal attacks upon the evil of child labor, which may in the lapse of many years result in the cessation of child labor throughout the country. This is too big a question to wait for that. We are therefore insisting that the way must be found by which the evil as a whole should be speedily abolished throughout the land. After having waited for many years for the evil to be abolished through other methods, the churches are now beginning to insist that the problem must be dealt with in a more through-going fashion. It certainly is significant that all the church actions taken during the last three months, namely that of the Congregationalists, the Methodist bishops and the Federal Council of Churches referred to above have gone on record specifically in favor of a constitutional amendment which will give Congress the power to act.
I have here a resolution passed at a meeting of the women's division of the Social Service Commission of the Congregational Churches, which I shall be glad to file.
(The resolution referred to is printed below :)
RESOLUTION PASSED AT MEETING OF WOMEN'S DIVISION OF SOCIAL SERVICE COMMISSION, CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES
Resolved, That we, the members of the women's division of the Social Service Commission of the Congregational Churches of the United States, urge upon our Senators and Representatives in Congress assembled the immediate adoption of the McCormick resolution designed to prohibit child labor in the United States by an amendment to the Constitution of the United States as follows:
SECTION 1. The Congress shall have power to prohibit the labor of persons under the age of 18 years and to prescribe the conditions of such labor.
SEC. 2. The reserve power of the several States to legislate concerning the labor of persons under the age of 18 years shall not be impaired or diminished except to the extent necessary to give effect to legislation enacted by the Congress.
STATEMENT OF MR. OWEN R. LOVEJOY, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, NATIONAL CHILD LABOR COMMITTEE, NEW YORK, N. Y.
Mr. LOVEJOY. Mr. Chairman, the most of what I want to say can be said in one sentence; that is, a hearty approval and indorsement of the testimony given yesterday by Miss Abbott, representing the Children's Bureau. She has set forth the results, or what corresponds to the results, of our own observation and experience.
There are two or three questions that have been repeatedly asked by members of the committee that, if you will permit, I should like to discuss for just a moment.
The first question that has been asked a number of times is whether the enactment of this amendment would tend to retard or stimulate better laws and better conditions in the various States. That seems to me a fair and necessary question to be discussed, and I should like to say frankly for the committee I represent that if we believed that it would hinder or retard or discourage State action we should be opposed to any such movement. The committee has been at work attempting to improve State laws, or helping to improve State laws and State administration for 20 years, and we should be opposed to any step that might endanger the results of that work. There seem to me three reasons for believing that this would not be the case. In the first place, in the experience that we have had under the operation of the two Federal child labor laws the interstate commerce law and the tax law-the results were exactly in the other direction. That is a matter of history, and the testimony of the officials in charge of these laws in the various States, so far as I know, has all been in favor of the advantage which accrued to the States from the cooperation of the Federal Government.
The first aspect in which this seems to us to work in this direction is that it sets a minimum standard which is definite and to which State legislators can refer or be referred as a basis for action. One of the difficulties we have found most frequently is the feeling on the part of State legislators that there is not any definite standard. It is all indefinite. One State has treated it in one way, and another in another, and there is a sense of insecurity, of indefiniteness, which is removed by the placing of a minimum standard.
Mr. HERSEY. Some States do not have any standard?
Mr. LOVEJOY. Every State has some kind of law, although some are very antique.
Now, in the second place, the policy that was adopted by the Children's Bureau under the first law and by the tax department under the second was that of cooperation with rather than subsitution for State agencies, and our observation, as well as the testimony of State officials, has been that it stimulated and aided a better enforcement of the law, not only in cases where actual enforcement had to be applied, for it reached very much farther than that. We need to remember that most employers are very glad to comply with the law, if they know what it is. The officials in charge of these State laws have testified time after time that the work of enforcing the law was very greatly simplified and facilitated by the fact that the existance of this Federal law gave employers knowledge that a certain law existed, that certain requirements were there, and they were willing to comply. It released a great deal of energy that it had previously been necessary to expend in educating people to the existence and requirements of the law.
Now, it has another effect, in relation to the employers themselves. There is the fear frequently expressed of unfair competition on the part of competitors in other States. With that fear removed, there is a greater willingness to comply with standards that are reasonable. That was exemplified recently in a large meeting of cotton manufacturers in Alabama where one leading manufacturer went on record and so far as I could learn there was no dissenting opinion in the association-that they wanted a constitutional amendment that would make it possible for Congress to pass a law requiring a minimum basis, because cotton manufacturers in Alabama were tired of having to compete with the lower standards in Georgia. We can understand how reasonable it would be to have that feeling. Now, if they know there is a level below which their competitors in another State can not fall, it gives them a sense of not being handi capped in the establishment of decent standards. Of course, the question may be asked at this point whether (if this minimum standard is prescribed and the friends of children continue agitating for better standards, if this disparity will not be produced again by some States going way beyond the Federal standard, and whether there will not be that same fear of unfair competition again. I think the answer to that is that we believe the fear expressed on the part of the Alabama cotton manufacturer is a fear that has no real basis. We believe that as communities become advanced in the knowledge of industrial laws the more clearly they become convinced that child labor is the most expensive labor and that they would go beyond these standards on their own volition, because they would find after they have reached a certain stage of progress that they are working in their own interest by still further improving their standards.
The second question that was asked has been asked by several members of the committee and is a question as to expense. The fear was expressed by one gentleman that, instead of requiring the amount that was expended by the Children's Bureau, the department intrusted with the administration of the law passed by Congress under this grant of power would require an expenditure of $2,000,000 a year.
Mr. Bores. He did not express that because he objected to the expense. His idea was that it would naturally increase.
Mr. LOVEJOY. It is a fair question that I believe the friends of this measure should face. Again referring to the experience of the past, there was no considerable increase in the expenditure under the operation of the law by the Children's Bureau. There is no reason to believe that there would be any great increase under any new department or bureau intrusted with the enforcement of the Federal law. No friends of working children are going to tolerate the expenditure of vast sums of money that are not necessary to accomplish the job. All that will be required is to do the work that it is necessary to do. Part of it is being done by State agencies. If this amendment passes and the law is enacted, part of the job will be done by the Federal agencies. They will not be duplicating. What agency does the other will not do. Therefore there will be no cause for an increase and, so far as I know, I think the taxpayers of this country are not very particular whether they pay the tax that is to accomplish the purpose into the State or the Federal Treasury.
Mr. SUMNERS. Do you think the law that was passed by Congress and held unconstitutional would have been all that was required at the hands of the Federal Government; that that sufficiently supplemented the power and disposition of the States in taking care of the question of child labor?
Mr. LOVEJOY. I believe it would have for the present at least. It is difficult, as Miss Abbott suggested yesterday, to forecast the future, but I believe that for many years the law that was passed, the interstate commerce law, would have accomplished all that the Federal Government needed to do to supplement the activities of the States. Mr. SUMNERS. I recognize the force of the right of the State to its protection, to be protected against what it believes to be unfair competition on the part of another State. There ought to be some power to stand at the border line of the State and defend the State. I am just wondering if it were possible for the National Government to acquire constitutional power to do what was done under the old law; it could leave the internal administration safely to the States. I hesitate to put this power of the Federal Government into every family and every home.
Mr. LOVEJOY. I think no one contemplates that as a result.
Mr. SUMNERS. This resolution puts that power on every farm and in every home.
Mr. LOVEJOY. It is only proposed to put the same kind of power there that already exists on the part of the public through the States. That is all-and not as much as that, because this would only empower the Government to interfere up to 18 years, while the State may interfere up to 75 if it cared to. It is only extending that power part way, and the same kind of power, to be exercised in the same way that it is now exercised.
The third question that has been asked several times relates to agriculture. I think that all the advocates of this measure are agreed that the kind of law that was enacted before, fixing those standards, would be satisfactory, at least for many years to come. There is no thought on the part of the advocates of this amendment to have the Federal Government interfere with the conditions of