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ISADOR LUB1N, Commissioner










For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C.


Price 10 cents


Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor of the United States, Presiding

Address of the Secretary of Labor____________________________________
Safety and health protection in industry— discussion__________________
Robert J. Watt, of Massachusetts.
Elmer Andrews, of New York.
Frances Perkins, of Washington, D.C.
Workmen ’ & compensation— discussion________________________________
Frances Perkins, of Washington, D.C.
Thomas J. Donnelly, of Ohio.
Wendell Heaton, of Florida.
H. R. McLogan, of Wisconsin.
Child labor— discussion______________________________________________
Grace Abbott, of Washington, D.C.
Courtenay Dinwiddie. of New York.
Joseph M. Tone, of Connecticut.
Claude S. Carney, of Michigan.
Edwin S. Smith, of Massachusetts.
John L. Barry, of New Hampshire.
John A. Phillips, of Pennsylvania.



Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor of the United States, Presiding

Appointment of committees__________________________________________
Limitation of hours of work— discussion_______________________________
Edwin S. Smith, of Massachusetts.
Rev. Francis J. Haas, of Washington, D.C.
F. E. Hatchell, of South Carolina.
Frances Perkins, of Washington, D.C.
Thomas J. Donnelly, of Ohio.
E. I. McKinley, of Arkansas.
James A. Taylor, of Washington.
Minimum-wage legislation— discussion________________________________
Mary W. Dewson, of New York.
Dr. John A. Ryan, of Washington, D.C.
Sidney Hillman, of Washington, D.C.
Regulation of home work— discussion_________________________________
Frieda S. Miller, of New York.
Conference procedure and interstate compacts— discussion_____________
Frances Perkins, of Washington, D.C.
Edwin S. Smith, of Massachusetts.
Summary of sessions, by Paul Kellogg, of New York----------------------------




Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor of the United States, Presiding

Remarks by the Secretary of Labor___________________________________
Unemployment reserves— discussion___________________________________
Frances Perkins, of Washington, D.C.
Congressman David J. Lewis, of Maryland.
Claude S. Carney, of Michigan.
Thomas J. Donnelly, of Ohio.
Thomas H. Eliot, of Washington, D.C.





John B. Andrews, of New York.
Edwin S. Smith, of Massachusetts.
Paul H. Douglas, of Illinois.
Ethel M. Johnson, of New Hampshire.
John Fitch, of New York.
A. J. Altmeyer, of Washington, D.C.
Mrs. August Belmont, of New York.
John Edelman, of Pennsylvania.
Abraham Epstein, of New York.
Emanuel Koveleski, of New York.
Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor of the United States, Presiding:

Old-age pensions— discussion___________________________________________
John A. Phillips, of Pennsylvania.
Employment exchanges— discussion____________________________________
Mary LaDame, of Washington, D.C.
Low-cost housing— discussion__________________________________________
Robert D. Kohn, of Washington, D.C.
The N.R.A. and State labor legislation— discussion_____________________
Edward F. McGrady, of Washington, D.C.
James A. Taylor, of Washington.
Cecil E. Matthews, of Nebraska.
Ethel M. Johnson, of New Hampshire.
Stephen Raushenbush, of Pennsylvania.
John Edelman, of Pennsylvania.
L. W. Phillips, of Arizona.
John L. Lewis, of Washington, D.C.
Reports and resolutions of committees:
Report of committee on industrial health and safety (as adopted)_______ 65
Discussion____________________________________________________ ____ 66
Frances Perkins, of Washington, D.C.
Report of committee on limitation of hours of work (as adopted)___ ____ 66
Discussion____________________________________________________ ____ 68
James A. Taylor, of Washington.
Frances Perkins, of Washington, D.C.
John L. Barry, of New Hampshire.
Frank T. Starkey, of Minnesota.
Thomas J. Donnelly, of Ohio.
Ethel M. Johnson, of New Hampshire.
Isador Lubin, of Washington, D.C.
James Berry, of Ohio.
Report of committee on child labor standards (as adopted)_________
Frank T. Starkey, of Minnesota.
Ethel M. Johnson, of New Hampshire.
Grace Abbott, of Washington, D.C.
Report of committee on unemployment reserves (as adopted)_______
Report and resolutions of the committee on minimum wage (as
Report of committee on industrial home work (as adopted)_________
Report of committee on provision for old age (as adopted)--------------73
Report of committee on employment exchanges (as adopted)_______
Report of committee on cooperation between Federal Government
and State labor departments (as adopted)________________________
Report of committee on workmen’s compensation (as adopted)_____
Report of committee on resolutions (as adopted)___________________
Report of committee on housing___________________________________
Resolution on provision for facilities in Department of Labor for draft­
ing labor legislation and for research and advice to be available to
the States_______________________________________________________
A p p e n d ix . — List of official delegates who attended the National Confer­
ence for Labor Legislation, Washington, D.C., February 14-15, 1934-_

Letter of Transmittal


n it e d

S tates D e p a r t m e n t
B ureau






abor ,

S t a t is t ic s ,

Washington,, May


M adam S ecretary: I have the honor to transmit herewith the

printed Proceedings of the National Conference for Labor Legis­
lation, which was called by you and assembled in Washington,
February 14 and 15, 1934. The conference was arranged and the
proceedings prepared by Boris Stern of the Bureau of Labor Statis­
tics, with the cooperation of Jean Flexner of the Children’s Bureau.
I sador L u b i n , Commissioner.


F ran ces P e r k in s ,

Secretary of Labor.


We have a duty to perform. * * * We have a joint responsibility to the
40,000,000 wage earners of the United States for the development of a program
of labor legislation and a policy which will be broad enough and flexible enough
to meet the needs of these wage earners wherever they live. * * *
It is important for us to recognize that we are dealing with a nation as broad
as the continent, and that Maine is a long way from California, as is Florida from
Oregon or Washington. We have a vast expanse; we have different climates and
differences in the degree of population density. Some States are predominantly
rural, others are highly industrialized. Quite naturally there will be differences
in emphasis in the labor laws of these States. But as we go forward into a life
which all of us see today is becoming more and more industrialized, as the services
which have not been thought of as industrialized are rapidly undergoing the change,
it is highly important that we shall find ourselves in possession of a large pattern
of industrial legislation. It is time for all the States to review their labor
legislative programs to see if they are as useful to their people as they might be,
and to examine them in view of the experience of other States with similar
problems. * * *
1 recognize the very great importance of the cooperation of the sovereign States
in any program of labor legislation. * * * I also recognize that the funda­
mental power to make regulations with regard to the welfare and safety of the
people of the States, and to carry them out, lies with the sovereign States. * * *
So 1 have asked you to meet in what 1 hope will develop into a series of con­
ferences to consider what steps ought to be taken in the very near future in order
to evolve an American labor legislation policy—a policy which will be recognized
through the country as a sound policy and a sound program of Nation-wide legis­
lation, other than Federal legislation. * ® *.—Secretary Perkins.
1 need not point out to you the need for thought and action, as the fact that
you have responded so readily to the invitation of die Secretary of Labor to come
and talk over the problems of labor and industry and the methods of improving
cooperation is the best indication of your interest, not only in your own State, but
in all the others. * * *.—President Roosevelt, in letter of greeting to dele­
gates of the conference.




no. 583



Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor of the United States, Presiding:

The Secretary o f L abor. I want to say that I am very grateful
to you who have come to the conference. I am grateful personally,
and I want to express the appreciation of the United States Depart­
ment of Labor, for your participation in what I think is one of the
most important conferences that has ever been held in this country.

In recent years and months I have been thinking about the pat­
tern of our democracy as it has been built up, and it occurs to me
that from the beginning of American life there have been confer­
ences : First the conferences between the Colonies, and then between
the States, and from those conferences came agreement on certain pro­
grams which were held momentarily desirable. I f you go back to
the early, pre-Kevolutionary days you will find that long before any
movement toward separation began there were conferences between
adjacent Colonies, so that when the time for action came, there was
this understanding between the people which made it possible for
them to act in an orderly, harmonious, and constructive way. And
so I think it has been throughout American life. When we have
been faced with national problems and have been sensible, we have
taken the technique of the conference as the method of finding out
what our common problems are, and discovering common approaches
to their solution.
Today we find ourselves in this Nation faced with a newly
realized problem of industrial adjustment—of adjustment between
labor and employers, between the community and industry. There­
fore, we are finding all over this country not only an interest in the
recovery program, but also a new understanding and a new con­
ception of the community’s relationship to industry, and the rela­
tionship of various industries to each other. Then there is the
realization of the extraordinary importance to the community not
only that the wage earners of the United States of Ajmerica should
remain permanently in the purchasing class, but that they should
also be thoroughly integrated into the body politic and the life of
the community.



All these problems, therefore, which we have commonly thought
of as in the class of labor legislation (in some States called “ labor
welfare legislation” ), have now become national as well as State
problems of vast importance. I think the people of the United
States of America have never been so well educated on these subjects
as they are today, due to newspapers, the radio, and the stimulation
which the N.R.A. has given to the consideration of problems of
shorter hours, better wages, and higher purchasing power. But
those of you who are commissioners of labor or industry in the
various States, and those of you who represent, under the Governor’s
appointment, the wage earners of the various States, have long been
aware that these are not all of the problems involved in the program
for a better life for the wage earner. So I have asked you to
meet in what I hope will develop into a series of conferences to
consider what steps ought to be taken in the near future in order
to evolve an American labor legislation policy—a policy which will
be recognized throughout the country as a sound program of
Nation-wide legislation, other than Federal legislation.
I know there is just now an overwhelming interest all over the
country in two problems—unemployment insurance and old-age
pensions. The depression through which we have just passed has
led most of the States, as well as the Federal Government, to recog­
nize that they must make provision for taking care of people during
these recurrent periods of unemployment. Nevertheless, because I
have known this interest to be so great and because I was afraid it
would overwhelm the entire discussion, I have listed among the
subjects which we ought to consider first certain other definite
aspects of a sound program of labor legislation. I have included
these subjects in the agenda so that we might classify them and come
to agreements as to what constitutes a good program in fields which
are frequently not controversial at all. We might then accomplish
in a few years what otherwise might take a much longer time.
Delegates from 36 States are here now; others will come in in the
course of the morning. We understand that 46 States will be repre­
sented, which makes it a very significant conference. The Governor
of each State has been asked to appoint one delegate to represent
the government of that State, and another delegate to represent the
wage earners. The selections are the selections of the Governors.
In addition, I have asked a few individuals who are known to be
particularly concerned or particularly expert in the field of labor
legislation, and we shall turn to them from time to time for experi­
ence, for information, and for clarification, in order that they may
help us toward what may be regarded as a desirable program,
I recognize, and I think it ought to be made clear that the
Federal Administration recognizes, the very great importance of the
cooperation of the sovereign States in any program of labor legisla­
tion. I also recognize that the fundamental power to make
regulations with regard to the welfare and safety of the people of
the States, and to carry them out, lies with the sovereign States.
While the Federal Government, through the United States Depart­
ment of Labor, is glad to use its machinery to bring you together in
conference, and while we are glad to place at your disposal the re­
sources of the Department of Labor for research, investigation, or



reporting, in no sense of the word is the Department of Labor at­
tempting to dictate what the States should be doing. We recognize
as essential in the scheme of American Government that there should
be a Federal Government plus the governments of the 48 States, and
we cannot make real national progress in Government regulation or
supervision of our industry and labor life unless we have intelligent
understanding and the full cooperation of both groups.
There have been, as you know, a number of regional conferences
between the States—very interesting conferences. The first regional
conference, participated in by 7 States, was held in Albany about 3
years ago, when President Roosevelt was governor of the State of
New York. Later, a conference was called at Harrisburg, Pa.,
bringing in a somewhat larger group of States, competitive in many
respects. A more recent conference in Boston came to some very
definite conclusions in regard to a minimum wage for women, child
labor, etc. All participating States have developed a very definite
program along the lines agreed upon at that conference. A few
months ago, a conference was held in Atlanta, Ga., composed of
5 southeastern States (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina,
and Tennessee), at which a program of labor legislation was agreed
upon as desirable, and that I think was a most striking accomplish­
ment for an area only recently industrialized. So this conference
pattern between the States is, I think, fairly well established.
It is important for us to recognize that we are dealing with a Na­
tion as broad as the continent, and that Maine is a long way from
California, as is Florida from Oregon or Washington. We have a
vast expanse; we have different climates and differences in the de­
gree of population density. Some States are predominantly rural,
others are highly industralized. Quite naturally, there will be
differences in emphasis in the labor laws of these States. But as we
go forward into a life which all of us see today is becoming more
and more industrialized, as the services which have not been thought
of as industrialized are rapidly undergoing the change, it is highly
important that we shall find ourselves in possession of a large pat­
tern of industrial legislation. It is time for all the States to review
their labor legislative programs to see if they are as useful to their
people as they might be, and to examine them in view of the experi­
ence of other States with similar problems. It is a well-known fact
that in recent years States with low standard labor laws, or States
without labor laws, have on occasions been able to compete advan­
tageously with States having high labor-law standards. I shall go
back to my own experience in the State of New York. New York
has a pretty good workmen’s compensation law, and because of that
alone I saw a Pennsylvania firm walk off with the contract for a
manufactured article, the difference in the amount of the bids being
precisely equal to the difference between the cost of workmen’s com­
pensation in the two States. This is most unfair. No really hon­
orable business man ought to want to have this type of preference
and no legislature ought to encourage that particular kind of com­
petitive advantage, based on the fact that the loss of an arm or a
leg is compensated for by a smaller amount in Pennsylvania than
just across the border in New York.



We are all proud of our own States. We are jealous of the good
name of our own States. We believe in the moral purpose of the
people of our own State. But among ourselves in these discussions
we can and must be quite free. No one here will take offense, because
we know that our State laws have flaws. In some respects the
Pennsylvania law is better than the New York law. The problem
for us today is to be quite frank about the things we regard as a
desirable end, so that we may move forward with some kind of
harmony. I think the pattern of harmonious labor legislation is
At the Atlanta conference there was the feeling that it is desirable
for whole areas to move forward at about the same time toward a
uniform program of labor legislation. About a month ago the officers
of the American Federation of Labor met to discuss labor legis­
lation programs, and they, too, agreed that certain programs of legis­
lation ought to go forward throughout the whole country as uni­
formly as possible. I want to remind you of these things in order
that we may know the extent to which the people of the country
can be rallied to the support of labor legislation.
The activities of the N.R.A. have, I think, stimulated many of
us to consider the possibilities and the desirability of good labor
legislation. The N.R.A. has, of course, touched only two major
aspects—hours and minimum wages. The whole field of labor legis­
lation, which, as you and I know, is of great importance, has not
yet been even scratched.
In considering the topics for discussion we tried to work into the
agenda many problems which are often neglected, though of great
importance. The first is Safety and Health Protection. I was
astonished to learn that some States have no laws requiring a plenti­
ful supply of clean and pure drinking water in work places. If you
have investigated a factory and become tired and thirsty, you know
what this has meant. It seems such a fundamental sort of thing;
but it may be neglected unless required by law and properly enforced.
Physical conditions of work places matter a great deal. There is
fire protection. Some of our great fires have occurred in New York,
and I am especially alert to that particular hazard. These terrible
fires sometimes shock us into some action for protection. Then
there is the question of guarding dangerous machinery. The pro­
vision to prevent workers from getting their arms and legs cut off.
etc., is extremely important. Some States have no sanitary pro­
visions for factories and other work places. All matters of pre­
vention of industrial disease rest on such regulations. They ought
to be fundamental and clear in every labor law. I cannot imagine
any honorable or creditable opposition to laws requiring proper
conditions in work places.
Then of course our workmen’s compensation laws ought to be
brought up to a desirable standard.
Are there many people, or is there anyone, who thinks that child
labor ought to be tolerated or justified?"
Minimum-wage legislation is now regarded as necessary by most
people. We saw in 1930-32 the fall of wages of those weakest in
bargaining power determine the wage conditions for all groups of
labor. There must be some way to put a bottom to the fall of wages,



not only to keep up the health and welfare of people working for
wages, out also to keep up the purchasing power of the Nation.
Regulation of home work is a matter which has long been under
discussion. I think we can reveal many practices in home work
which should be ended. Some women are trying to eke out a living
in bead work, and are now doing it at a wage so low that it is
impossible to conceive of anyone being able to live on it. The work
goes out from the bigger cities, like New York City and Phila­
delphia, into all of the eastern industrial States. The wage these
women receive is a sweated wage for work done in the workers’
own homes, and we must have interstate regulations to cope with
the situation.
The regulations in regard to hours of labor ought not to present
any complications, particularly since we have been committed to
the idea of a shorter workday and a shorter work week as an absolute
necessity in the machine economy.
Tomorrow morning we shall discuss the problems of workers’
security—that is, unemployment insurance, old-age pensions, and
employment exchanges. This newer type of legislation is intended
to give to wage earners a certain security in their jobs both for the
present and for old age.
We have prepared for tomorrow afternoon a session on housing,
in which I think you will be interested, and also—a topic which I
think is most important—a discussion of the methods of coopera­
tion between the United States Department of Labor and the State
departments of labor in planning for suitable and proper administra­
tion of the laws which may be put upon the statute books. We
should receive many important suggestions on this vital matter.
I hope you will allow me to appoint a number of committees
to study the problems at hand. I shall ask them to study for us,
after the discussion today, the question of desirable standards in
each of these fields, so that when they bring in their reports tomor­
row we may have before us a rather concrete recommendation from
them as to what ought to be the desirable standards of the States,
I recognize that you have not been authorized to bind your States
to anything, and we shall remember that, in your agreement to any
programs recommended, you are giving your personal and moral
agreement only, and that the program must be agreed upon by the
properly constituted bodies in your States before it will have validity
or binding force on those States.
I have decided to ask ohe 6t two persons familiar with the special
subjects to discuss them briefly and to give us their views as to what
they consider a sound policy. I shall ask Mr. Watt, of Massachu­
setts, to discuss what he thinks are sound items to be included in a
modern program for providing for good physical conditions of
Safety and Health Protection in Industry
Mr. W att. Just as briefly as possible, I should like to point out
that in our State, and in other States I take it—after talking to Miss
Carr, the Labor Commissioner of Pennsylvania, and many represent­
atives of other States—the question of occupational diseases is becom­



ing more important every day. I can see no success in any effort we
may make in the way ox a safety and rehabilitation program until
such time as our States are willing to operate the compensation act
themselves and eliminate private profit-making companies from the
field. That is a bad start to give a conference of this kind. How­
ever, it must be quite apparent, because, after all, we have reached the
point where mechanization ox industry has scattered us into 7,000
different occupations, in 5,600 of which we are exposed to occupa­
tional diseases.
Miss Perkins mentioned the fact that the variations in the compen­
sation acts are a competitive factor between the States. Just to
point out how competitive it is in the New England States: We have
one of the oldest industries in Massachusetts—the granite industry.
JSTewHampshire and Vermont also have it. The insurance premiums
for this industry range from approximately $2 per $100 of pay roll
in Vermont to $12 per $100 of pay roll in Massachusetts. In 1931
the insurance companies absolutely refused to insure granite workers
in Massachusetts unless the employer paid a premium of $300 per
man. The result is that we have no insurance at all, with a very few
exceptions, in Massachusetts.
One other point I want to make is that unless we can get the
Federal Government, or I should say, the Department of Labor, to
set up a pattern in regard to administration of labor laws, it seems
to me we are going to waste a great deal of time and effort. Unless
the Department of Labor is in a position to guide us in administering
our safety laws, we cannot and will not go very far.
As far as rehabilitation of injured workers is concerned, we have
not begun to scratch the surface. The latest report of the Massa­
chusetts Department of Education, which is, under the law, tied up
with the department of industrial accidents, shows 100,000 accidents
per year in Massachusetts. The report also shows that in a period
of 146 months, or more than 12 years, there have been exactly 511
attempts by the industrial accident board to rehabilitate injured
workers. To repeat: There are an average of 100,000 accidents every
year in Massachusetts; in 146 months only 511 persons have received
any rehabilitation treatment at all. In other words, when a lump­
sum settlement takes place nothing further is done about the acci­
dent. That is going away considerably from safety and health
protection. I am voicing the opinion of the men and women in
Massachusetts, whom I represent, that until such time as, first of
all, we can have a State fund for workmen’s compensation, with
the administration of our labor laws supervising that State fund,
no progress will be made toward safety and health protection of the
We have in Massachusetts some 40 inspectors; we have a fine
statistical division; we have a department of industry and a depart­
ment of health which are divorced entirely from the department
of industrial accidents; we must tie those groups together, so
there will be some coordinated effort. I am of the opinion, apart
from humanitarian motives, that this would be the most profitable
kind of investment. Our employers in many instances, because our
act is not mandatory, have removed themselves from under the com­



pensation law and are not required to carry compensation. Just a
couple of hours before I left Massachusetts, two young men, both
under 21 years of age, came to me from a factory where they worked
with lead. Their mouths were swollen and black and blue. I
checked up and found the employer had no insurance at all, and it
is my opinion that those two men will have a difficult time even
collecting the medical expenses which, unfortunately, they are going
to have to pay because of the lead poisoning.
I am keenly interested in the subject of workmen’s compensation
as a whole and I shall be glad to participate in the discussion. I
think workmen’s compensation involves rehabilitation. In my opin­
ion, we have paid little or no attention to the most important phase
of industry—the rehabilitation of the injured worker.
The Secretary of L abor. I shall ask Mr. Elmer Andrews, of the
State Department of Labor of New York to discuss the same subject,
particularly with reference to items that ought to be included in a
sound program of labor legislation.
Mr. A ndrews. In referring to what Mr. Watt said about com­
pensation cases, you may be interested to know that no employer can
get out of carrying compensation in New York State.
We have 23 codes covering the guarding of dangerous machinery.
If I might make a suggestion, it would be to have model codes de­
veloped for consideration. My suggestion would be that the Fed­
eral Department of Labor assume responsibility for developing 15
or 20 codes—as many as may be necessary—covering various in­
dustries. We could then use those as a basis for proper legislation
in the various States.
Our codes, of course, have the force and effect of law. A violation
of a code is a violation of the labor law itself. I f our orders are not
complied with, the attorney general prosecutes.
The Secretary of L abor. I think your suggestion is interesting,
and so far as the Department of Labor is concerned, it will be very
glad to point out basic things that ought to be in the codes. But I
think one of the most educating and enlightening experiences that
can come to a State department of labqr, as well as to the people
taking part, is to participate in building up a code. I saw the
education of the employers in the laundry industry in New York
take place automatically when they put their minds to such things
as safety and health practices and when they took p$rt in long
debates as to what constituted a dangerous machine. They studied
about how to prevent arms from being cut off, how to drain
wet floors, etc. All this was educative, not only to the government
officials, but to the employers themselves, through bringing them
into contact with the best practices in their own trade. I should
hate to have any State adopt a code put out by even an all-wise
Department of Labor, and I am afraid we are not that. I think
the experience you, the working people, and the employers could
acquire by getting together and adopting a code would be most
Mr. Andrews only touched upon the fact that the best procedure
is through administrative regulations. The laws of some States



permit the industrial board or commission to make rules and regu­
lations for carrying into effect general provisions of the law. They
read something like this:
It is the purpose and intent of this law that all places where people are
employed, are so managed as to maintain the health and welfare of the people.

They usually designate the board authorized to make the rules and
regulations under this general provision. This method is excellent
because it saves the law from being too detailed. It is much better
to leave the details to an administrative board, if certain fundamental
principles can be written into the law itself.
Most items which should be included in a safety code are given
in the Summary on Safety and Health. It is perfectly obvious that
the person who drew this up had not had my experience in regard
to fire hazards as there is no such provision in it, but there should be
one. Other provisions should cover temperature and light, ventila­
tion, methods of removing gases and fumes, protection from danger­
ous machines, adequate guards for aisle space and exits for fire
safeguards, medical services, provision for proper seating facilities
(not on all State statutes), very careful regulations and proper sani­
tary provisions, lunch rooms, rest rooms, drinking water, and above
all, investigation and inspection.
Workmen’s Compensation
The S ecretary of L abor. The next subject for discussion is
“ Workmen’s Compensation.” I had asked Mr. Ethelbert Stewart,
who is so well known in this field and who as former Secretary of
the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and
Commissioners has been familiar with the constantly improving
provisions of the various States, to come here today, but he is ill,
and I have been requested to present his subject.
I am merely going to run over the topics that seem to me ought
to be discussed, and then leave them for your consideration and
that of the committee. In the first place, I think the question of
coverage in workmen’s compensation laws is very important. We
must move toward compulsory workmen’s compensation. The elec­
tive system may be permitted where the constitution does not pro­
vide for a compulsory law, but in that case there should be no way
for the employer to elect to leave himself out of the provision.
Otherwise, <we shall have some of the weakest people—I mean weak­
est in the economic sense, those that perhaps could not afford to sue,
and so on—being left outside of the law.
In the matter of administration, it seems to me that most of the
experience of the United States has shown the desirability of admin­
istration by a commission rather than by the courts. That is still a
debated point in some States. I think the vast experience in the
United States has shown the ease, facility, and speed with which
workmen get their compensation money under the commission, which
makes it preferable to the courts. In workmen’s compensation pay­
ments, speed is the whole thing. When a man is injured he ceases to
get wages and needs his compensation sorely. The quicker forms
are not only better, but in the long run come nearer to doing justice.

w o r k m e n ’s c o m p e n s a t io n


There are several methods of payment. An exclusive fund in
States is thought by some to be absolutely essential. The three usual
methods are: State insurance, private insurance, and self-insurance
under very strict rules. Many States which permit self-insurance
have had to learn a tragic lesson. Mr. Donnelly has had to face the
problem of self-insurance. There has been a terrible situation in
California because of bankruptcy of employers. I f self-insurance
is permitted, it ought to be permitted only under very cautious and
severe rules which will provide for hard times as well as good times
and anticipate that any employer may go bankrupt. There should
always be something which the State can get hold of independent of
any other claims against the employer.
All industries and employees should be covered. Of course, it
has been the habit to exempt agriculture and domestic service, and
although there is no reason for it, I presume we shall keep on exempt­
ing them for a number of years to come, until the States decide that
they had better include these workers too.
The waiting period is an important factor. There has been steady
progress in decreasing the waiting period. Some States started out
with a waiting period of 30 days. Now 14 days is usual and in some
States it is 7 or 3 days. Certainly a rather brief waiting period
is essential. The purpose is to put purchasing power into the hands
of the injured worker and his family as soon as possible.
Unlimited medical and hospital service seem to me essential.
Some of the worst tragedies are those in which the State permits only
30 or 40 days of medical care and then leaves the man without medi­
cal treatment for the rest of his life. It does not pay, because un­
limited medical treatment often reduces the amount of other ex­
penses connected with the injury.

The benefits paid should be studied. I think it is unfortunate
that the State benefits are so different; they ought to be fairly
There is the question of death cases. What should be paid to the
widow or the children? This is another field where we ought to
have similar standards throughout the States. I see no reason for
putting a limitation on permanent total disability. As you know*
some States give payment in permanent total disability cases for
only a limited number of weeks. There is nothing difficult, from
the insurance point of view, in working out a schedule of permanent
total disability payments for as long as the worker lives. And the
same holds with death cases; there is no reason why the insurance
should not cover the maintenance of a widow as long as she is a
widow. New York has adopted a system of dowry upon remarriage.
It frequently happens that the dowry is sufficient to promote remar­
riage. There should be really ample provision for dependents of a
man killed in the course of employment. I, of course, feel that it
is very unfortunate to put too cheap a price on the loss of an arm,
a leg, an eye, and so forth, and in some States it is altogether too
Extraterritorial jurisdiction can be settled by interstate confer­
ences only.# In some States the law covers injuries to persons hired
in the State and working in another, while others, as you know, wil
65753— 34-------2



not give coverage to a worker who goes into another State. You
find very tragic situations where a man badly injured in course of
employment finds himself without rights under any State law.
These are stupid situations which can be ironed out. There is no
pattern of extraterritorial jurisdiction. It is important that the
injured worker belonging to any one of our States get compensa­
tion from somewhere, and there should be some sort of agreement
about it. Of course it must also be provided that the man comes
under the compensation law in the State which has the power to
compel the employer to pay. Things of this sort should be thought
out clearly.
I should like some expression of viewpoint along these lines from
those who are familiar with matters of administration in the various
States. I shall call upon Mr. Donnelly of Ohio.
Mr. D onnelly. I have listened very attentively to what has been
said, and I feel I am somewhat alone in the realization that we
started out with workmen’s compensation to relieve distress and
to relieve society to some extent of taking care of workers and their
families who become dependent because of industrial accidents or
deaths. Of course w*e were pioneering. It was a new field and
we were on a new road. We met with opposition, as usual, and
the labor forces joined with some altruistic organizations and pro­
moted labor legislation. We went out of liability into compensation
and left liability companies high and dry. They decided to experi­
ment in the compensation field. In other States this was not per­
mitted and funds were established; in still others matters were left
largely in the hands of the courts. I think we are agreed, in general,
that the best system, not only for the workers and society generally,
but also for the employers, is to have a State fund and a law which
is compulsory.
We have gone into the matter of rates and percentages, and I am
going to jump over this matter rapidly, as the time is short. Per­
haps in doing so I shall throw out some point which you will want
to discuss. One of the great problems in some of the States in rela­
tion to workmen’s compensation laws (for the last 3 or 4 years more
notably than previously) is to secure sufficient appropriations to
administer adequately the compensation law. Most of the States are
in distress financially. In those States in which the cost of admin­
istration of the workmen’s compensation law is met by appropria­
tion by the legislature and from general funds of the States, we find
a great deal of economy is attempted and that this great social serv­
ice of the States is not being performed as it should be. Com­
pensation laws in several of the States are not functioning because
of a lack of funds to provide the number and the kind of employees
needed to handle incoming claims. Another matter which I think
should receive serious attention is that of making compensation laws
apply to all employers. Of course it is highly desirable that all em­
ployees should be covered by the law, but we must remember that
when we have State funds problems multiply tremendously and the,
administrative work is increased.
There exists the greatest discrepancy between States in regard to
the percentages of wages paid in compensation. I believe there
should be some uniformity.

w o r k m e n ’s

c o m p e n s a t io n


On© of the most dangerous things, I think, that could happen
would be to turn over workmen’s compensation to the courts. It
means delay and it means legalism. We should have, in my judg­
ment, the administration of workmen’s compensation laws and of
all State labor laws by a commission appointed for a reasonably long
term, as free as possible from political influence.
Everything that we have talked about this morning—safety,
health, protection, and so forth—and everything that comes within
the scope of labor laws, either child labor, or safety and health pro­
tection, shows up sooner or later in some workmen’s compensation
claim. Some person has suffered an occupational disease that should
not have been contracted—that is reflected in claims filed for work­
men’s compensation. If States and employers and workers are go­
ing to cut down cost of production, they must get together on this
question of safety and health protection and physical condition of
workplaces. They are going to come, sooner or later, to some system
of State funds, because cost of compensation in many cases looms
very large in the question of production costs. We should try to
do what many of you have been trying to do—the things that will
)laee us on a more even basis, so that there will be certain stable
evels when industry enters into competition. These are fundamental
costs that must enter into production, and you men who represent
labor know that every time you go before a State legislature for
some important labor law you are met with the statement that it
will put employers at a disadvantage with the employers of other
We have to improve the administration of workmen’s compensa­
tion. I think we should try to facilitate and expedite the handling
of workmen’s compensation claims. There must be some general
understanding as to the method to be applied in arriving at the wage
of the injured worker. Some States have one way and other States
have another, and much injustice is caused by these differences.
We have talked about compensation beginning in 3 days, in 1 week,
in 2 weeks, and so on. Some would like to have compensation
begin the first day. In my judgment labor could make a contribution
by seeing that the wage benefit is not set for a certain period follow­
ing the accident. We ought to keep in mind that compensation was
enacted to relieve distress caused by industrial accidents and disease,
and that the minor injuries—the loss of a week’s work because of a
minor injury—are not nearly so important as the serious injuries
which incapacitate men and women from earning a livelihood.
The serious injuries which result in death are the injuries to which
we pay particular attention. We do not pay enough for the loss
of an arm, a leg, or an eye in any State. In the Ohio Legis­
lature 2 years ago, we decided that we would stop fussing about
increased death awards, but try to do something for the living—to
pay attention to the specific injuries mentioned in the law and
attempt to increase the number of accident awards. We were some­
what successful. We increased accident awards for some injuries
15 percent.
The injured worker is a human being who has lost the opportunity
to be self-supporting, and we must come to the conclusion that the
loss of an arm or a leg which incapacitates and prevents him from




earning his living must be compensated for to a large extent. In*
our State we pay compensation for permanent total disability for
life. We have a limit of $200 for meaical and hospital care, but the
commission has authority to vote additional sums in some cases and
in some instances we have paid out as much as $14,000.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . I shall ask Mr. Heaton, of Florida, to
speak. He was an active participant at the recent conference held in
Atlanta, Ga.—a conference which was inspiring and one of the most
important ever held. Because he represents a State and an area
which has only recently come into the workmen’s compensation field,.
I think what he has to say is really important.
Mr. H e a t o n . It is particularly embarrassing to be asked to discuss
workmen’s compensation when the State which I represent has no
compensation law. The responsibility, however, has fallen upon me
during the past several years to work for the enactment of the
proposed workmen’s compensation law for Florida. I was compelled
to study very carefully the compensation laws in effect in the various
States and the theories behind them, and in some instances those of
foreign countries, in order to inform myself fully on the subject.
(It has been necessary to answer rather pointed questions during
committee hearings and during our efforts to pass the law through
the Legislature of Florida.)
I fully agree with the previous speakers on many points brought
out about workmen’s compensation. They are not, however, accepted
in the Southeastern States because of the predominance of very cheap
colored labor. We have endeavored to make the limit very low in
order to take care of the poorly paid colored laborer of the South.
That, we realize, is possibly not right, but it has been done to over­
come very determined opposition on that point. The opposition in
Florida, and that prevailing in the three other States which have
no compensation laws, comes principally from those employers who
use the cheaper labor—naval stores, sawmill operators, and so forth.
These employers have taken a determined stand against the passage
of a workmen’s compensation law in their States. We have en­
deavored to educate them to the advantage of a good workmen’s
compensation law. We are not able to do that job in the manner it
should be done because of various reasons—nearly all financial. We
are not able to put into their hands the printed matter we believe is
needed for the education of those employers who have opposed the
Our first effort in Florida was made in 1913. Since then we
have presented for passage a workmen’s compensation bill to every
legislature meeting in Florida. The last compensation law pro­
posed was the result of various conferences. We have tried as
far as possible, without ruining the bill, to accede to the demands
of various groups of employers. We have peculiar conditions in
Florida. Our people, as you know, represent the entire country
They come from highly industrialized centers and from the agri­
cultural areas. Every part of the country is represented. The
great need is to educate these people along the lines of labor
You know that I must be extremely interested in a conference of
this kind to come from Florida to Washington with its winter



weather. I do hope that I shall be able to take back to our State
some very definite recommendations from this conference and from
the Labor Department, and I hope you will interest yourselves
sufficiently to give us some assistance in the educational program
which we feel isl absolutely necessary in order to pass a workmen’s
compensation law in Florida. I am glad to do anything I can to
assist a conference of this kind because I realize its value.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . D o you feel that there is anything a
conference of this kind can give you in your local effort to secure
a compensation law?
Mr. H e a t o n . I do not know what the conference could do directly
unless the delegates might prevail upon the Labor Department to see
that a sufficient amount of literature is put into the hands of the
people who are opposing the law.
The S e cr etar y of L abor . There are, of course, certain great
organizations, national in scope, which could be brought into play
because they have local chapters in your area that might be helpful
to you locally. We would] be glad to put you in touch with them.
Some of the larger employers’ organizations would not be opposed
to the workmen’s compensation law in your State, because they
have accepted it in most places.
At this point I want to announce that we have a letter from
President Roosevelt to the delegates of this conference, which I
would like to read.
T h e W h i t e H o u s e , Washington.
To the governors, the delegates of the governors, and those attending the
Conference on Labor Legislation called by the Secretary of Labor:
I wish to send my greeting to all of you who have come from all parts of
the country to participate in this conference. I need not point out to you the
need for thought and action, as the fact that you have responded so readily
to the invitation of the Secretary of Labor to come and talk over the problems
of labor and industry and the methods for improving cooperation is the best
indication of your interest, not only in your own State but in all of the others.
I regret that I cannot be with you, but I am sure that working with the
Secretary of Labor we may all look for constructive results from your
F r a n k l i n D. R o o sev elt .
.F e b r u a r y 14, 1934.

I am going to present this letter to the person coming the farthest
distance to the conference.
I should like either Dr. Altmeyer or Mr. McLogan of Wisconsin
to speak just a moment on workmen’s compensation in Wisconsin.
Mr. M cL o g a n . It seems to me that workmen’s compensation is just
one of the many things that must be put into law in the different
States if we are to stabilize industry and employment. Workmen’s
compensation, widows’ pensions, unemployment insurance, old-age
pensions—all of these things have for their purpose supplementing
the loss of wages due to unemployment, to injury in employment, to
occupational disease, to loss of income by reason of having the bread­
winner taken from the family; all of these laws have for their pur­
pose the putting back into the hands of the family a part* of the wage
loss caused by forces entirely beyond the control of the workers.
I was interested in Mr. Donnelly’s remarks with reference to the
administration of workmen’s compensation laws by commissions or
boards rather than by the courts. It is our thought in Wisconsin



that all the labor laws that I have just spoken of should be admin­
istered by one commission, because they are so dovetailed that they
can best be administered bv one commission. These laws have been
put into statutes of the State of Wisconsin and are administered
by the industrial commission, of which I have the honor of being
one of the three members, and Dr. Altmeyer the secretary.
Child Labor
The S ecr etar y of L abor . Next on the program is the subject of
child labor. I shall ask Miss Abbott to speak first, and if Mr. Dinwiddie is in the room I should also like to hear from him.
Miss A bbott . Madam Chairman, I think you and a number o f
those here will remember that a year ago last December we called
a conference of representatives of State agencies and State depart­
ments of labor interested in child labor in order to review, in the
light of the depression, what ought to be done in this field. We
recommended at that conference a 16-year minimum for employment
of children; that hours of work of children from 16 and 18 be lower
than those of adults; that there be a minimum wage for minors;
and that in the light of the recommendations of our technical com­
mittee on the employment of children in hazardous occupations, the
rulings of State boards having the proper authority should be
revised in order to exclude more young persons from hazardous
occupations. We also recommended double compensation for minors
illegally employed, and improvements in administration.
You will see that a great many of these things have been accom­
plished. We were mistaken, however, in thinking that we could get
the State legislatures to act when we said to them that now, in view
of the widespread unemployment, children should be taken out of
industry. This met with response only in Utah and Wisconsin.
Those two States last year passed laws containing the 16-year mini­
mum. We found, however, in the State legislatures a very great
tendency to move ahead, not by the State method, but by the Federal
method. Fourteen States ratified the child labor amendment,,
when only two were willing to raise State standards.
The codes have made the 16-year minimum an actual minimum for
child employment. We feel very strongly that State legislatures
should make permanent the gains made by the codes. Also the
minimum-wage provisions of the codes have been of great impor­
tance in removing children from industry, as have the minimumwage laws in the various States.
The recommendations of the December conference can, on the
whole, stand at the present time. We are especially anxious to see
ratification of the child labor amendment so that we can have a
Federal as well as a State approach to getting rid of child labor.
The codes have also done a great deal to eliminate young persons
from hazardous occupations; some 150 codes prohibit the employ­
ment of young persons under 18 in hazardous occupations, and we
have been very busy supplying information about what these
hazardous occupations are.
The administration of child-labor laws turns to a great extent on
the issuance of work permits, and it is therefore of great importance



that this particular machinery should function adequately and con­
tinuously. We have been asking your cooperation in making the
codes effective by using your permit4ssuing machinery for the
16-18-year-old group, although the State laws do not include them.
In our State legislation we are far behind the psychology of the
times, which is demanding a 16-year minimum, while most State
laws have 14. It seems to me we should go along together in rais­
ing State standards as well as in the acceptance of Federal standards.
Mr. D in w id d ie (New York). Miss Abbott has adequately covered
the subject. There is little I might say. We do need to consider
the building up of our State foundations under the standards set by
the codes. Very distinctly those codes are not permanent and should
be strengthened by State laws.
I should like to suggest also to the areas not covered by codes in
which States have not generally set standards. I have in mind par­
ticularly domestic service, where exploitation during the time of the
depression has been very serious. I will not take the time to go into
details. You are probably as familiar with them as I am. There
has been a great deal of abuse of girls in domestic employment, and
we should strengthen our laws for handling that particular problem.
We should also begin to look into advanced laws, such as that of
Wisconsin, dealing with industrialized forms of agriculture, where
the child is taken away from the home and hired out under condi­
tions approximating the exploitation of children in factories. The
Wisconsin law is an excellent example of a beginning in that field.
I would also like to make a plea to strengthen the laws in various
States on street trades.
A word in addition as to workmen’s compensation laws in regard
to children. I do not know if you have the report of the National
Child Labor Committee on accidents to children, but it is a revealing
report and shows the importance of the double compensation clauses.
It shows the inadequacy of the means of finding out if a child is
illegally employed and the difficulties of getting money for him after
injury. All too often there is a tragic waste of the money going to
children, in that it does not go for rehabilitation. That is one of
the most serious indictments of our care of children after they have
been injured. The report also suggests ways in which our laws
for prevention can be strengthened.
Mr. T o n e (Connecticut). Time is certainly the essence of all
change. In 1925 when I was a member of the Connecticut State
Senate, the general assembly did not even permit a hearing in regard
to the child-labor amendment, and on a roll call, lo and behold I
found myself the only one voting for the amendment. Now I see
that 20 States have ratified it.
There are numerous abuses of child labor, not only in Connecticut
but throughout the whole country. There are cases of minors from
14 to 16 years of age being employed 57 hours a week without any
certification whatsoever—in the tobacco fields, in home work. In a
recent survey of home work we found children from 5 to 15 years
of age employed.
I am sure when the various delegates to this conference go back
to their respective States, they will do everything within their power



to abolish child labor. I know that at our meeting we raised the
age in the New England compacts from 14 to 16 and from 16 to 18.
It is our hope to pass legislation keeping children from being em­
ployed in hazardous occupations before they reach the age of 18.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . I am anxious to have some free discus­
sion. and have therefore reserved some time for that. This afternoon
we will discuss regulation of hours, minimum wages, and the regu­
lation or control of home work. By home work we mean the con­
ditions of work done in homes for a factory—the work put out into
the homes by a factory. Tomorrow morning we will take up the
topics relating to workers’ security.
Mr. C a r n e y (Michigan). Probably the only excuse for my being
connected with the department of labor is because of my interest
in the compensation law of Michigan. I was interested in Mr.
Watt’s statement on uniting various State departments. I had the
pleasure in 1916 of serving on the old industrial accident board.
Today all those boards are gathered together under one department
of labor and industry—the enforcement of child-labor laws, mini­
mum hours for women, safety devices, compensation laws, employ­
ment agencies, etc.
In Michigan we have proposed seven bills of a specific character.
They have not passed the legislature yet. We have a lobby that
sometimes stops all legislation. The order goes out and all legisla­
tion, no matter what it is, is stopped. I think it will be different
this time.
We have certain omissions in our statutes which are probably
found in other States. We find a great abuse of petitions to stop
payment. We have suggested an amendment to give the department
power to increase compensation costs in certain cases. We have
no power to order artificial limbs, and we are asking for an amend­
ment to give the board power to do that. We are also trying to get
an amendment to extend time for medical service to 90 days at the
discretion of the board. We have asked for power to allow com­
pensation for partial loss of vision. The law now covers only total
loss of vision of either eye. We have asked for power to simplify
the method of taking judgment. Upon the question of control I am
in accord with keeping workmen’s compensation out of the courts.
You will find that even the high courts that administer the common
law do not always get hold of this problem. If you leave it in the
hands of courts, you get no uniformity of any kind. I am in favor
of leaving it with the commission.
In Michigan we have this problem. The supreme court alone has
jurisdiction over our compensation division and it has power only
to review questions of law. The decision of the board or commis­
sion is absolutely final on questions of fact. There are two questions
in which I am tremendously interested. Some of your statutes cover
these problems. I am tremendously interested in the hernia prob­
lem and in the right to compromise. Our commission has no power
to approve a compromise agreement. It can only approve agree­
ments in accordance with the act. We had a very close question as to
whether or not the accident a man received caused his death. His
widow was offered $35,000; she was entitled to $43,000. The ques­
tion was whether death resulted from accident. The commission had



no power to approve that contract even though the decision would
have been a very doubtful one and the parties agreed to it. This is
one case where it would have been a good thing to compromise.
The other question is that of hernia. In order to collect for hernia
or any injury in our State it must have been received as a result of
an accident. A man may wear a truss for years and keep on work­
ing, and the decision prevents him from getting any aid. But if a
man with hernia presents himself for employment in our industries,
he does not get the job. This is our suggestion. We have been
thinking whether it would not be better to classify hernia as a spe­
cific injury and provide that hernia cases be presumed accidental,
and give the worker a reasonable medical and hospital treatment.
That would not cost much. These two questions—compromise and
hernia—are bothering us today. They are up a dozen times a week.
I should like to know if you have the same problems and what your
experiences are.
The S e cr etar y or L abor . I think we should remind ourselves that
not every State combines the administration of the workmen’s com­
pensation law and the administration of other labor laws, so there
are many people here familiar with labor laws who are not familiar
with the administration of workmen’s compensation. I think what
Mr. Carney has said indicates that he should go on the committee on
workmen’s compensation.
Mr. S m i t h (Massachusetts). I should like to second the excellent
suggestion in regard to safety codes on rules and regulations. I am
in sympathy as to the great educational value in discussing safely
codes within the State, but I am very much aware of the fact that
the making of rules and regulations for administrative procedure is
a time-consuming process. In the State of Massachusetts we have
nine codes on rules and regulations pertaining to industries. Mr.
Andrews has mentioned that there are 23 in New York. This differ­
ence, I think, is due to the fact that the appropriation of the Labor
Department of New York is 10 times that of the Massachusetts De­
partment of Labor. I think the ground could be cleared and a great
amount of time and money could be saved if the Department of
Labor could prepare model codes subject to modification by the
States. I also think the Department of Labor could be of help in
issuing printed material on safety. New York has issued a pam­
phlet, of which I shall try to get a number of copies for our inspec­
tors. Illustrated technical material on safety devices would be help­
On the subject of workmen’s compensation there is pending in
Massachusetts a proposal for combining the department oi industrial
accidents with the department of labor. Under this legislation w©
hope to preserve the industrial accident board as an entity, but as
far as the administration end of the work, the inspection, and the
statistics, is concerned, we think great economy can be accomplished.
The S ecretary of L abor . I am glad to hear that Massachusetts is
doing that, as I have long felt that the functions of being respon­
sible for awarding benefits and for prevention of the accidents would
be mutually stimulating.
Mr. B a r r y (New Hampshire). We have been vitally interested in
this conference. I do not believe we have proper enforcement pro­



visions for the safety and health and protection of employees in
industry. I think some help could be given our State along the lines
suggested by Mr. Andrews of New York and Commissioner Smith
of Massachusetts.
We are deeply interested in workmen’s compensation, because we
stand, I think, in the unique position of having the double elective
system. After close study of our law, we did believe we had a very
valuable weapon because of this double-headed feature. In 1926
we had a convention and spent a day and a half considering laws,
and in 1927 we presented to the legislature a workmen’s compensa­
tion act embodying some of the features that have been outlined
here, particularly the feature in relation to the extraterritorial
rights of an injured employee. We provided that a person em­
ployed by an employer of our State who went to work in another
State would come under the compensation law of New Hampshire,
and if the rates were higher in the State in which he was injured
he would receive those rates. Prior to the introduction of the bill
we called a conference of the employers in the State of New Hamp­
shire and met with them and went over the problem. We recognized
the problem of compensation was as vital to them as it was to us,
as it was a matter of competition and justice. Out of that confer­
ence we presented the bill. We have been trying for three sessions
of the legislature to have it enacted, and it will go back again next
Our State, I am glad to say, passed the child-labor amendment
during the last session. In our legislative work we are constantly
met with the objections raised by our employers on competitive labor
costs. I am glad to have been selected to come here, as your prob­
lems are our problems, and from your problems I may see a way to
solve ours.
Mr. P h il l ip s (Pennsylvania). The problem has arisen with re­
spect to determining the basis for compensation payments as a result
of reduced employment opportunities. In Pennsylvania it has been
the custom of the referee of the board to determine what might be
regarded as a moral wage as a basis of compensation. The insurance
carrier in a certain case had the complainant appeal from the deci­
sion of the referee, with the result that the court handed down a
decision that the basis would have to be a percentage of the salary
received from working over a 6 months’ period, and in that case
the injured person would be entitled to 15 cents a week compensation.
This happened to a member of the United Mine Workers, and the
department of labor took the case to the Supreme Court of Penn­
sylvania. There is a very definite problem here that should receive
[Meeting adjourned.]

Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor of the United States, Presiding:

The Secretary of Labor announced the following committee as­
signments, and requested other delegates not mentioned on the com­
mittees to attend any committee in which they were interested.
Industrial health and safety.— Chairman, Charlotte Carr; Edwin S. Smith,
T. B. Eames, J. Hopkins Hall, Charles F. Sharkey, Swen Kjaer, and Ethel
Child labor standards.— Chairman, Grace Abbott; James A. Taylor, Joseph M.
Tone, R. E. Gordon, Courtenay Dinwiddie, and May W . Wootton.
Workmen's compensation.— Chairman, Arthur J. Altmeyer; Claude S. Carney,
Wendell Heaton, Thomas J. Donnelly, J. A. Brownlow, and S. W . Wilcox.
Limitation of hours of work.— Chairman, Elmer Andrews; John J. Scannell,
Harry W . Fox, Mary Anderson, W . E. Jacobs, W . E. Jones, and Edith Rockwood.
Provision for old age.— Chairman, John A. Phillips; George W . Lawson, John
L. Barry, Howard Keener, and John Fitch.
Employment exchanges.— Chairman, Mary LaDame; Joseph P. McCurdy,
Dan Tracy, Claude S. Carney, Gladys Palmer, and Frank E. Wenig.
Minimum wage.— Chairman, Frieda Miller; Ethel M. Johnson, F. E. Hatchell,
Mrs. Catherine Randolph, Mrs. Clara M. Beyer, Agnes Nestor, and Louise Stitt.
Industrial home work.— Chairman, Clara M. Beyer; Charlotte Carr, J. Knox
Insley, John J. Toohey, and Frieda Miller.
Unemployment reserves.— Chairman, Thomas H. Eliot; Arthur J. Altmeyer,
Isador Lubin, Theodore Reise, Robert Watt, John Coefield, Mrs. August
Belmont, and Elizabeth Magee.
Homing.— Chairman, Helen H all; Robert D. Kohn, Herbert Renshaw, James
Brownlow, John Edelman, and Marshall Whaling.
Cooperation between Federal Government and State labor departments.—
Chairman, Isador Lubin; Edwin S. Smith, Thomas J. Donnelly, Frank Starkey,
Wendell Heaton, and M. Toll.
Resolutions.— Chairman, Edwin S. Smith; Robert Watt, C. E. Wyzanski,
W. E. Jacobs, Cecil Matthews, and Thomas H. Eliot.

The S ecr etar y of L abor . This afternoon we have for discussion
the subjects of desirable hours legislation; the 1 day of rest in 7,
which is a law in some States but not in all; also the daily and
weekly limitation of hours for women and minors; and the whole
question of hours legislation as it affects the total population. Mr.
Smith of Massachusetts will lead the discussion.
Limitation of Hours of W ork
Mr. S m i t h . The most significant thing in regard to the whole
question of limitation of hours of labor is the very definite shifting
of emphasis that has taken place within the last year or so, notably
exemplified in the N.R.A. codes. Prior to last year, thought ana
action in regard to hours of labor in this country have centered
very largely around such limitation of hours as was desirable for the
protection of the health of women and minors.




The coming of the depression has forced us into definite recogni­
tion of the importance of limitation of hours of labor as a strictly
economic measure designed to provide employment for the large
portion of the working population which has been forced out o f
work due to the depression and before that to technological changes..
Undoubtedly, the principle of shorter hours of labor which is em­
bodied in the codes is necessary ir we are to have not more than a
minimum of our population deprived of the means of livelihood.
Suggestions that have been made contemplate very definitely a mate­
rial lowering of the normal hours of labor as an accompaniment of'
our advance in civilization. Whether the precise figure to be finally
arrived at will be 40 hours or something lower, it is probably too
early to determine, but certainly it seems apparent that 40 hours is
the maximum normal figure which will probably be advocated and
which will probably obtain for both men and women in the future.
Let us leave worries about possible conflict with the Constitution *
to constitutional lawyers. If we, ourselves, are convinced that such
changes are desirable, I believe the constitutional obstacles can be
successfully hurdled.
It will be of some interest to this group to know that at the Inter­
national Labor Conference in Geneva last year there was introduced
a resolution providing for a 40-hour normal work week for men as
well as women. Under the procedure of the International Labor Con­
ference any proposal that is first presented for formal discussion one1
year will not be acted upon until the next year. It cannot be defi­
nitely said whether the 40-hour week will be adopted by the confer­
ence next year, but certainly the sentiment in favor of it this year
was indicative of a very strong trend in that direction. Such a step
would, of course, be of great significance to the nations of Europe
and other nations and also of great significance to us. If we are
going to build our own economic structure on the basis of the
shorter-hour week, it is certainly important that Europe should be
functioning in a similar fashion.
The importance of 1 day’s rest in 7 seems to be unnecessary
to emphasize. Of course, it is essentially desirable and, as Miss
Perkins has pointed out, there are still many States where 1 dajr’s
rest in 7 does not prevail. It exists only in incomplete form in
Massachusetts, I regret to say, but we shall strive to perfect our own
laws in this regard.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . I should like very much now to have
Father Haas discuss this whole problem of hours and its conniection
with the N.R.A.
Rev. F rancis J. H aas. May I ask you at the outset to keep in mind
two basic considerations: First, under the coding process regulation
of industry is both Nation-wide and industry-wide. Each code con­
tains a set of rules covering the whole country but applying only
to those spots in the country in which there are industries coming
under the code. Second, there is some debate as to whether the
permanent codes regulate intrastate as well as interstate competi­
tion. Whichever is the correct legal position, this is a question to
keep before us in considering State laws regulating private industry.
In view of these two facts and looking into the future 2, 5, or 10
years from now, we may ask the question: “ Is the coding system



going to continue as a permanent thing?
Either it is or it is
not. If it is, then we have one set of problems to think out. If it is
not, then we have another.
Suppose that in 1935 the N.R.A. is continued. The preponderance
of opinion, at present, is that this will be the case. Unfortunately,
many people are taking the very naive view that because industries
are coded now and will continue to be coded, there is no need and
will be no need for State legislation. The fact of the matter is that
as the N.R.A. continues and is strengthened, there will be more and
more need of State and regional legislation. Enforcement will make
such legislation necessary.
The alternative is that in 1935, we will return to the laissez-faire
policies abandoned on June 16, 1933. In that event, unquestionably
we will have to have State laws to fix hours, enforce minimum
wages, 1 day’s rest in 7, and unemployment insurance—all made
uniform by the Federal Government.
Whether or not there are codes after 1935, proper standards of
hours, wages, unemployment insurance, workmen’s compensation,
and child labor will have to be enforced. Ideally, of course, these
standards should be in the codes. At present, none provides for
unemployment or accident compensation. But the N.R.A. is doing
-emergency work, and if it continues to be, as it should be, improved
and broadened by experience, doubtless it will write into all codes
all the necessary measures now known as “ social legislation.”
The problem of enforcement will always remain. Here we come
to a fundamental consideration. Where the source of authority is,
that is the people, there the seat of enforcement must be. Conse­
quently, the movement for State legislation, local, or regional, must
go on.
Mr. H a t c h e l l (South Carolina). The only law regulating the
hours of work we have in South Carolina is one which prohibits
women from working after 10 o’clock at night in industry. We
have endeavored to stretch that out. In retail establishments we
have a law that prohibits them from working after 10 o’clock. We
have trouble in South Carolina with such places as chain stores,
which work women until 10 o’clock Saturday night and then press
them back into Service on Sunday morning. A bill is now pending
prohibiting women from working in retail establishments on Sun­
day. We are quite sure that that law will pass this legislature.
We have something like 100,000 textile employees in the State of
South Carolina. The people have not been educated up to labor
laws heretofore, but they are coming to it now. We are putting all
our time on the child-labor amendment and the compensation act.
The compensation aet was introduced in the house and passed, went
to the senate and returned back to the house, where it is now in
committee room. Hearings will begin next week. The child-labor
amendment has also been introduced and has a fighting chance of
passing. We have tried for the last 4 or 5 years to get a compensa­
tion act passed in South Carolina. Our State federation of labor
has been very small. We have more cotton mills than anything
else and they have not gone along with us. The cotton-mill em­
ployees have been receiving such small wages—the average in South
♦Carolina up :fc© the past year has been as low as $7.50 a week.



The mills are now complying with the minimum. About 500 and 1,000
textile workers sent in by employers would comfe into hearings and
kill our chance of passing labor laws. Our trouble has also been
in getting labor laws enforced. I am much interested in the com­
pensation act and the child labor law. We have had several bills
up and could not agree on any of them, but I think we have now
a fairly good bill in the house and have some chance of passing it.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . In recent months we have seen such a
change of attitude with regard to the whole question of hours of
labor. Mr. Smith speaks as casually of 40 hours a week as we spoke
of 48 hours a short time ago. The whole matter of 1 day’s rest in
7 does not seem radical to those talking about the 5-day week. Has
anyone anything to say about the question of regulation of hours of
labor in connection with State laws?
Mr. D o n n e l l y (Ohio). I think that perhaps there is a question
here we have not considered. We have 1 day’s rest in 7, and regula­
tion of hours for women and minors. I presume many representa­
tives from the different States will be able to tell us that they have
very good laws on these subjects. But there comes the question of
administration and enforcement. We who have been in the labor
movement have seen that unless you have enforcement not much
attention is paid to the law. We now have the N.R.A. I have been
thinking of the codes coming out of Washington which are reducing
the hours of labor beyond the statutory limitations. In some places
where there are no statutory limitations, a code is handed down in
which employers agree that they will work their employees 40 hours
a week or 44 to 46 hours. We understand that complaints of violation
of those codes can be brought here to the United States Labor De­
partment or to the N.R.A. I am wondering whether, with that new
set-up, we could not get some cooperation or coordination between
the Federal Government and the several States of the Union, in
which the State labor departments would make themselves conversant
with the terms of the N.R.A. codes and cooperate in the enforcement
of the hour provisions set by the codes.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . We could very easily set up some kind
of information and cooperative service of that nature.
Mr. M cK inley . In Arkansas we have splendid cooperation from
the N.R.A. officials. I do not know whether in the N.R.A. set-up
there is anyone to correct a mistake in payment of wages. For in­
stance, a certain wage fixed by the N.R.A. may be higher than that
paid by employers. Under the Arkansas law you can collect up to
$200. We have assumed that the difference between the wage paid
by the employer and that fixed in the code was unpaid wage and
have taken it to court. In the matter of hours, we have 9 hours a
day, 6 days a week. Since the N.R.A. has been in effect, there have
been brought to the attention of the labor department more viola­
tions of State laws than before and we have had more prosecutions.
I think if we get cooperation we will have wonderful results.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . Since this question has been brought
up, I will tell you what, in general, is the plan we have followed.



General Johnson asked me months ago to suggest a person
who could be helpful in working out with the N.R.A. organization
a method of securing compliance with the labor provisions in the
codes of the N.R.A. I know exactly what the problems of the labor
commissioners are, and I know what very good work they can do
if they want to. I thought of securing as an adviser on that com­
mittee a man who had had long experience, so I suggested Mr.
Arthur J. Altmeyer, for 10 or 15 years secretary of the Industrial
Commission of the State of Wisconsin, and as such responsible for
the development of the method of procedure of getting compliance
with their law. Wisconsin has always had good law and has had
good administration of it through conferences with employers and
workers of the State. Mr. Altmeyer has been serving since Novem­
ber, assisting the N.R.A. in developing the compliance methods
insofar as they will affect labor provisions of codes in the various
States. He will be able and willing to tell any of you in detail what
plans they have for carrying out this cooperative enterprise in the
States you represent. Discuss your particular problem with him
Question. I f I did not misunderstand you, Mr. McKinley, you said
your department had brought court action to recover the differ­
ence between actual wages and the code wage ?
Mr. M cK inley . In one case, yes; we had a municipal court de­

Question. What I was interested in was to find out how the de­
partment of labor became a party to that action.
Mr. M cK inley. In 1923 a State law gave the labor department
authority to collect claims for unpaid wages.

The S ecr etar y of L abor . They have just ruled that the difference
between the code wage and the actual wage was unpaid wage.
[The Secretary of Labor announced that the autographed letter
of the President had been awarded to Mr. James A. Taylor, presi­
dent of the Washington Federation of Labor, who had traveled the
longest distance to the conference. The distance from Olympia, the
capital of Washington, to Washington, D.C., is 4,332 miles.]
Mr. T a y l o r . I wish to say that I was appointed by the Governor
to represent both the State of Washington and the labor movement
there. I have the belief that there can be legislative cooperation in
the States, backed by the Federal Government, that will bring
Minimum-Wage Legislation
The S ecr etar y of L abor . I want to discuss the advisability and
desirability of minimum-wage legislation in the various States.
Miss Dewson, president of the National Consumers’ League, has
given a great deal of attention to minimum-wage legislation for a
good many years, having been a member of the Massachusetts Min­
imum Wage Legislation Commission, and having since in her other
capacity a great deal to do with the promotion of such legislation.
Miss D e w s o n . I think the great need on this whole question is
compliance and enforcement. For years I have followed labor leg­



islation closely and have seen how easily the law is gotten around
by employers, due partly to lack of public opinion and partly to
lack of stamina in the labor departments. I agree that you must
have education and a determination to see that laws are enforced.
Minimum-wage legislation can be totally destroyed by your treat­
ment. I think the codes are in for failure or a change as far as
wages are concerned. If you do not get enforcement compliance, I
think it is just as well not to have any wage legislation at all.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . I think that sometimes we fool ourselves
with regard to the extent with which we are all agreed on basic
principles. Minimum-wage legislation in various States has been
discussed for a long time, yet as a matter of fact only 16 States have
minimum-wage legislation, and there is a great gap, therefore, not
covered. The industrial codes of the N.R.A. have given rise to a
change in thought with regard to the desirability of minimum-wage
legislation; but the codes are in no sense a substitute for the basic
principles which the States themselves can write into the laws of
their own communities. In regard to some of the basic reasons
why minimum-wage legislation is necessary, Dr. Ryan will speak
briefly and tell us why, at this date, we still have need to give con­
sideration to the basic principles underlying this effort.
Dr. R y a n . I cannot think of any particular new reason for mini­
mum-wage legislation except that which may be urged on behalf of
other kinds of legislation. We know that some of the opponents of
the child-labor amendment are saying 44Why bother about child
labor, since it has been abolished by the codes? ” One obvious an­
swer is that the codes, so far as we know, are temporary, so that we
have need for child-labor legislation after the N.R.A. goes out of
business. The same general need holds in regard to minimum-wage
legislation. The codes specify minimum wages for men as well as
women. If the N.R.A. ceases to operate after a little while, then
there will be the same need as there ever was for minimum-wage
Suppose the codes are continued and the N.R.A. is given a further
lease of life. It seems to me that legislation providing for minimum
wages will still be exceedingly useful. In the first place there will
be some question as to whether the N.R.A. will be held constitutional
in regard to purely intrastate activities. There has been some such
question in regard to the oil code within the last few days. The
whole field of intrastate activities would still require legislation*
Even if there were no difficulty of this kind, we should still have the
very great advantage of the educational effect of a law stressing this
particular type of legislation.
The problem of minimum wages opens up a great many questions,
but I do want to say emphatically that the necessity for minimumwage legislation has not been eliminated by anything that has hap­
pened in the establishment of minimum wages under the N.R.A.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . I think the lessons of the last few years
as to what can happen in the fall of wages have led people to consider
minimum wages important. Mr. Hillman, member of the advisory
committee of the N.R.A., has had experience in many States as to



what the situation might be without minimum-wage legislation, I
think it will be helpful to all of us if he will speak briefly.
Mr. H i l l m a n . The vital need for a minimum wage is being real­
ized more today than ever before. The records show that even be­
fore the depression very low wages prevailed in some parts of the
country. One delegate from the South has told us that in the textile
industry in his State wages were as low as $7.50 per week. At cer­
tain of the code hearings it was established that in a few instances
in some of the Northern States wages as low as 2 cents per hour had
actually been paid. Taken as a whole, it is almost inconceivable how
low wages had fallen during the depression.
We all realize now that a way must be found of greatly increasing
and of sustaining purchasing power, if industry in this country is
to be kept running. The hopeful thing about legislation for mini­
mum wages is that the country is not only looking upon it as humane
legislation—which it is—but as an essential economic factor in up­
building and maintaining purchasing power.
In the codified industries we have been establishing minimum
wages. Some of these minimums have not proved very satisfactory.
Nevertheless, this method gives us an opportunity to correct mis­
takes and affords the best way of handling minimum wages, owing
to the fact that compensation paid in an industry is made up in
large part of labor costs and it is important that there should be
fair competition in regard to such labor costs. The codes provide
the instrumentality for dealing with a whole industry, and through
this method minimum compensation can be set for different groups
of workers in the entire industry.
Naturally we do not know what will happen when the law ex­
pires. Some of us are very fearful that when the emergency is over
the people will forget the necessity of stabilizing purchasing power.
Purchasing power would be again undermined and another depres­
sion would descend upon us. It is for this reason that I deem it of
the utmost importance that State laws regulating minimum wages
be established at the earliest possible date. It is also of the utmost
importance to secure the support of the different States and com­
munities for the proper enforcement of the provisions of the various
codes. The existence of State laws will make this task much easier.
But even before these laws are enacted it would help greatly if we
could arouse public opinion in the different States to the point where
it would support the view that violations of the minimum-wage
provisions of the codes are even more harmful than violations of
ordinary law, because of the immediate harmful social effects of
such violations.
As for myself I have always been a believer in the establishment
of a minimum wage. As I view it right now, the most important
thing is to see that it is enforced. It is my opinion that the more
support we can get in the different States for its enforcement, the
more constructive and helpful will be the legislation that we are
seeking to forward.
I want to urge you to act right now when the public is ready to
back such legislation. I want to repeat again that it is no longer
65753— 34-------3



only a question of what is the humane thing to do. Purchasing
power must be stabilized and sustained if our economic organiza­
tion is to be able to function. This purchasing power is decided by
and rests solely on the wage scale.
Regulation of Home W ork
The S ecretary of L abor . I also want to establish before it gets too
late the importance and the significance of the regulation of home
work, which is the next topic on our agenda. By home work we
mean work to be done in the homes of the workers for factories.
Miss Miller, of New York, who has had much experience in the en­
forcement of the home-work law, will speak on this subject.
Miss M il l er . I am more and more impressed, as we study our
home-work records in New York, with the conviction that this is a
problem that none of us can solve within our State lines. I will
illustrate briefly by saying that on the home-work registers which
employers must submit to our department there appear sometimes
the names of 1,000 to 2,000 or more workers who are more or less
regularly supplied with work by a particular firm. When you con­
sider that only the minority of those listed are people living in New
York State and the others are scattered over the entire East, from
the Canadian border and Maine through Maryland and Kentucky
down into the Southeast and Southwest, it seems to me it must be
clear to all of us that we could completely eliminate home work in
New York State and yet be very far from solving the problem of
home work. So long as the mails are open to these low-paid types
of work, nothing short of facing the situation on a basis as wide as
the practice of home work will be effective if you are really to
overcome the evils inherent in it.
Early regulation of home work was an attempt primarily to pro­
tect the consumer, to see that he did not purchase goods made under
unsanitary conditions. There frequently appears a provision in
State laws that none but members of the family shall work on
materials in the home. There is also the provision that homes
shall be sanitary and free from contagious diseases. There are a
certain number of provisions for inspection. But very little pro­
vision has been made regarding the fundamental problem of home
work—the tremendous undercutting of wages permitted by this
There is evidence that a woman making dolls’ dresses may work
for 4 hours on a dozen and earn 20 cents; a dozen baby caps may
bring 50 cents for 5 hours of work. If we are going to do anything
about home work, we must, first of all, see that this practice is not
used to undercut the standards which we are setting for factory work.
We must remember that much home work is unskilled and seasonal
work—work for which the employer is not going to set up an elabo­
rate factory organization because it will be unused for a large part
of the year.
There are certain workers’ interests involved also. Men and
women who are home-bound, crippled by disease or accident so that
they cannot leave their, holies' t& :W0rk, o r ,who have grown old
at this type of work, and ejatftiot readjust themselves to changed con­



ditions, remain a problem that will have to be dealt with under
code procedure. Their plight suggests the possibility that they
might be dealt with by the issuance of special permits just as sub­
standard workers are provided for in most codes.
Provisions have been written into a number of the codes for the
complete elimination of home work, in some cases immediately and
in some over a period of time. That is one possible method of han­
dling this problem that all of us in the States must consider. There
is also the possibility of setting up such regulations as will take away
from industry the advantages which it has heretofore secured by
the practice of home work—make the minimum wage apply strictly
and completely to all home work, so that such work is not cheaper
than factory production; require the employer to label all goods
he sends out, so that we may charge him with the violations that
we find occurring in his work.
Some of us have been striving to enforce laws that prohibit certain
kinds of home work entirely. Such laws must obviously be uni­
versal if they are to be effective. Work prohibited in one place is
merely driven to some other place where it is permitted or not
effectively supervised. Finally, it is essential that we provide for
inspection—inspection of pay rolls to see that proper wages are
paid, inspection of homes to see that child labor is prevented.
If, by agreement among us, we all strive toward some such stand­
ard, the worst evil of home work, low wages, would be brought under
control. What I most earnestly urge us all to keep in mind is that
we will not abolish this practice by fiat; that however we propose
to treat it legally, i.e., whether by abolition or regulation, we must
provide for continuous inspection. Without a careful, recurrent
check> all other regulations remain a pious wish that will make no
improvement in the conditions of which I have complained.
Conference Procedure and Interstate Compacts
The S ecretary of L abor . I am now going to ask you to consider
two things: Do you think that we should have in this country a kind
of community between the States with regard to their labor laws ?
I do not believe many of us would advocate that we should have
uniform laws, but similar standards, similar principles, and similar
benefits might prevail throughout the States even though the States
build up their own laws for their communities. Is it desirable to
have a community in standards and principles? I f we should have
it, do you think that this method which we are devising here today,
this method of conferences and agreement between the States, is a
suitable and an effective method, or that something else will be
necessary in' addition? All of us who are here today and who are
Government representatives appointed to represent the wage earn­
ers of the United States have a very solemn responsibility. We have
a joint responsibility to the 40,000,000 wage earners of the United
States for the development of a program of labor legislation and a
policy which will be broad enough and flexible enough to meet the
needs of these wage earners wherever they live.
Another matter for discussion pertains to practical methods of
securing legislation in the States. I think that sometimes those who


n a tio n a l c o n fe r e n c e fo r la b o r le g is la tio n

have the best intention fall down on practical methods of achieving
legislation. I am going to ask Mr. Smith of Massachusetts to
describe the meeting in Boston yesterday which brings out a new
idea of the use of the compact method between the States, to describe
it as a possible device for the future if not for the immediate present.
Mr. S m i t h . The interstate conference on labor legislation at Har­
risburg and the one last year in Boston had as an objective the
encouragement of the establishment of uniform labor laws in the
States represented in those conferences. Directly out of the Boston
conference grew a legislative measure, passed last year, providing for
the establishment in Massachusetts of a commission to promote the
idea of interstate agreement on labor laws and to meet with* similar
commissions from other States having the same objective. The
Massachusetts commission consists of four members of the legis­
lature and three appointees of the governor—one employer, one
representative of organized labor, and the commissioner of labor.
This commission began at once to urge the creation of similar com­
missions in other States. Such commissions have now been established
in New Hampshire, Maine, and Rhode Island. At the interstate
meetings which have so far been held, three other States—Connecti­
cut, New York, and most recently Pennsylvania—have been repre­
sented by officials of the labor departments in those States. The
conferences of these various commissions and individuals have
named special committees to consider such topics as those under
discussion here this morning—hours of labor, minimum wages,
child labor, and home work. Yesterday at the meeting in Boston,
with six or seven States represented, we drew up a program propos­
ing interstate standards on those four subjects. When the repre­
sentatives from the southern and northern States meet tomorrow, I
think it will be very fruitful to call attention to the recommendations
we have made. Our proposals for interstate action have centered
about the interstate compact. The Constitution of the United States
permits States to make compacts among themselves on various sub­
jects, provided those compacts are ratified by Congress. The device
has never been used for labor legislation, but we see no constitu­
tional or practical objection to this being done. A bill has been
introduced in this session of the Federal Congress to give author­
ity to States to enter into such compacts. Fundamentally, this
movement might be regarded as a form of insurance against the
eventual disappearance of the codes. Even if the codes are con­
tinued, the appeal of interstate action on labor legislation is very
strong. Through codes the Federal Government may continue to
play an important role in such matters as hours of labor, child labor,
and minimum wages, but there are the important fields of unem­
ployment compensation, public employment exchanges, and regula­
tion of private employment offices, as well as numerous other sub­
jects, in which there exist great possibilities for useful interstate
One great good that should flow from interstate action is the re­
duction of unfair competitive practices which result from dif­
ferentials in labor laws among the States. A second helpful result
is the opportunity which such interstate contact would give for

su m m a ry o f se ss io n s


exchange of information and experience on methods of adminis­
tration. Those of us participating in this work in New England are
hopeful that the compact idea can be extended to include other
competitive areas.
The Secretary of L abor. I have asked Paul Kellogg, of New York
City, who has been watching labor legislation for more than 20
years, and who is aware of the needs of the things we have been
doing, to sum up this conference, giving us an outsider’s view of what
we have been undertaking and what we ought to be undertaking.
Summary of Sessions
Mr. K ellogg. A s I am neither a State or a labor representative,
nor an expert, I gather it is as an unofficial observer that I am called
on to canvass the day’s proceedings. Let me take full advantage
of my free-lance status to say things for which I am solely respon­
sible and which will give an outsider’s angle for what it is worth.
It seems to me we have been participating in one of the most
unusual and prophetic gatherings held in Washington in this period
of change. Here the States of the American Union are represented
by men and women appointed by the governors from the State labor
departments and the State federations of labor. To gage the signifi­
cance of this, we must turn for precedent to the conferences held
under the International Labor Office, set up alongside the League of
Nations. They mark the recognition that the world had gone in­
dustrial—that apart from any collaboration between governments
on the political front, it is necessary to promote conference and con­
current action among the economic groups which enter into the going
life and labor of the nations. So in the Labor Office itself, and in
these international gatherings, the employer groups, the labor groups,
and the labor departments of each national government have partici­
pated in a three-ply scheme. That analogy has not been followed
here too closely; the representation today is of two groups, not
three—those which by vocational or official commitment are con­
cerned primarily with the stake of wage earners in the American*
scene. What this gathering, by comparison with those at Geneva*
lacks in breadth, it gains in coherence.
Now, when vast numbers of workers are out of employment, when
an emergent branch of the Federal Government—the N.R.A.—is
up to its elbows in experiments in the field of economic planning,
when our State labor departments have suffered drastic cuts as part
of the budgetary contraction due to the depression, we might ques­
tion whether this was the time for such a forward move in the
fields in which they operate. The contrary is the case. The hard
times have made the public conscious as never before of the im­
portance of our industrial situation, of the stupendous stakes in
the day’s work, and of the part which government may play in
setting standards and implementing controls that will make for
better health and order in the scheme of production and distribution.
In our labor departments and in our labor organizations we have le­
verages, ready to hand, to bring human values out of our industrial
planning. What the Federal Labor Department or any one State



department can do by itself must be small and piecemeal compared
with what you can do in concert.
The thing reaches deeper. Lloyd George recently said that states­
men today have their minds too exclusively fixed upon the dangers
of revolution; what they do not understand is that reaction is the
surest way around to revolution. Turn to Jane Addams, of Hull
House, whose sentience and foresight have so often outranged the
statesmen of her time. Agreeing with the former British Premier
in his point she adds that, also, “ the radicals fix their minds too
exclusively on the hopes of revolution, ignoring the immediate
situation and, above all, an adequate training for the makers of a
new day.55 Let me quote the following passages from the manuscript
Miss Addams has contributed to a forthcoming number of the
Survey Graphic.
W e have this advantage at the present moment for a fresh start on the
broadest possible basis. Because the world-wide depression reveals that the
situation predicated by Napoleon is imminent, one nation after another has
been driven to a searching examination of the utility of its business methods,
-Jiot from the point of view of profits but of supplying human needs. Gigantic
experiments are already being made under Communism and Fascism, and the
very existence of these governmental undertakings constantly affects saner
efforts. * * *
Apparently free from the fear of capture either by Fascism or Communism,
no body of men on the face of the earth is doing more in the direction of
sane readjustment at the present moment than the President of the United
States and the group about him. Conscious, as thinking men are everywhere,
that the power of the human mind to make rapid reorganization is tremend­
ously strained, they still insist that it should be possible to combine the long
effort made through the centuries for a well-ordered world with the new
overwhelming demands. They are ready to test governmental methods by
those of the past, in the same sense in which literature is the significant link
between the mind which experiences and the mind which remembers. Their
determination to meet the requirements for food and shelter of the unemployed
within the Nation, as England has already done, may change the very concep­
tion of nationalism, so long concerned with tariffs and trade. Under this
interpretation of governmental obligation human needs may in time lay the
foundations for a sounder internationalism than that afforded by world

So what we say and do here today and tomorrow, in a world still
staggering from the war and torn by revolutions, is part of the
search for a new basis for peace among the peoples of the world,
part of the struggle of democracy to find a way to reconcile liberty
and industrialization, without going over to dictatorship.
There is another and closer-in significance, as I see it. Unleashed
nationalism in Germany, for example, has wiped out what corre­
sponds to our States. Can a federated system, like ours, stand up
to the stress of corporate production that knows no State boundaries ?
Can we be sure that conditions will not sag so deeply in some parts
of the country that the whole level of our industrial life will not be
upset and dragged down? It is difficult enough for the scheme of
legislative and administrative self-government developed in the
Western World to keep to its stride under the new conditions which
confront the Nation, without being hamstrung at every turn by
cross-purposes at every State capital. In the emergency of the de­
pression, we have in the N.R.A. laid down structures of control
across the old political map regardless of State boundaries. Under
the short cut of the codes we have seen child labor swept out on a



scale which our States as a whole never approached. We have seen
a halt called to competition from long-hour, low-wage enterprises
that sweat workers and undercut earning capacity and purchasing
power. The emergency over, local self-government is bound to be
scrapped as inadequate to the task unless we can find out how, in
Franklin’s phrase, to “ hang together ” and to reconcile a piecemeal
political sovereignty with the common economic tasks of these new
It is exactly here that we get the special significance of this gather­
ing, for it is an overture in constitutionalism, if you will—an effort
to spread understanding, lay a framework for cooperation, and en­
courage concurrent but voluntary action in close to half a hundred
commonwealths. Before we discard our old set-up, it poses the ques­
tion whether it is possible to work out comparable standards below
which American industrial conditions shall not go; whether with
self-determination and freedom to experiment the country over, we
can still have concert along lines that will make for general economic
health and order.
If such a development is to succeed, it must proceed along organic
lines; and this national conference was preceded by regional con­
ferences in the South and elsewhere, called by the Secretary of
Labor, which have taken up the common problems in groups of
States. In New England they have gone farther in the movement
for interstate compacts, and as a by-product of this gathering the
Southern and New England groups are getting together. We are
thus reaching beyond State boundaries and joining in regional
action. North, South, East and West, we are exchanging experi­
ence and matching plans in our discussions here. We have had
demands from the floor today for the United States Department
of Labor to frame model codes suggestive for State enactment. We
have had delegates from two States calling for national minimum
standards. The general espousal here of the Federal child labor
amendment shows the shift in men’s thinking in the last 10 years,
the determination one way or another to break through to decisive
It would be over-optimistic to assume that in dovetailing Federal
and local laws and administration there will not be sharp differences
of view—resistances to overcome, interests to reconcile. We have
had them today. The very purpose of the gathering is, I take it,
to bring local outlooks to Washington, no less than to give a national
lead; and we have had clear indications that in the process of break­
ing down isolation, values will flow both ways. I was especially
struck with the plea of the Florida delegate, to the States from
which Florida has drawn its new population, for support in initiat­
ing compensation legislation that would match theirs. The most re­
vealing characteristics of the day’s discussions has been the conspicu­
ous lack of shouting for States’ rights; rather we have begun with
people, with granite workers and machine tenders, with safety and
security, as basic to the workaday life of the men and women of the
United States.
Consider, from this angle, the subjects we have before us in the
agenda for these 2 days o f conference and on which our committees
are to report their recommendations as to objectives. They can be



considered negatively as so many attempts to eliminate from indus­
try the forces that undermine and bruise life. We see this evil on a
tremendous scale in the mass unemployment that has thrown millions
out of work. But the undermining is there when we let accidents
go unprevented, occupational diseases go uncontrolled. In our
safety and compensation laws we would throw protection at those
points over the reemployed workers and their places of work. We
would free our working forces from the exploitations and excesses
that cramp and thwart them—the child labor that we have let per­
sist through the first quarter of the twentieth century; the overwork
of prolonged hours and the 7-day week; the night work of women
and minors; the home work that escapes regulation; the underpaid
work of the sweated trades. These anachronisms stand out stark in
years when adult men and women have not been able to find employ­
ment at wages that sustain livelihood. Through legislating and
enforcing minimums for age, earnings, and conditions of work, and
maximums for hours, we would cut off these excrescences and set a
new caliber for productive labor in the years ahead. Through com­
pensation laws we would see to it that when unprevented hazards
dislodge workers from such labor, some measure of income remains
to them as a right. Just as we are concerned with eliminating child
labor, at the entrance of the working years, so through old-age pen­
sions we would throw protection over the last years, eliminating the
half-employable, assuring them some income. And this concern for
stabilizing earning and purchasing power comes to a head in the
movements for unemployment reserves and insurance, as an alterna­
tive to our makeshift methods of public and private relief, as a
safeguard against the most desperate hazards of all.
Low-cost housing is brought in, not only because building con­
struction is the most effective form of public works in promoting
business recovery and renewed employment, but because the dwellings
in which American workers live are by and large a generation behind
the mills and factories in which they work. Fitness is jeopardized
and earnings gouged by our inadequate provision of shelter.
So we see the positive side of the seemingly negative items listed
on our agenda; the constructive purpose of the brakes we have been
talking about at a time when the national imagination is caught
by the starters of economic revival. The stewardship of our labor
departments lies close to our greatest nascent asset—the human re­
sources we bring to bear. The regulatory measures within the
province of these departments envision a future for production when
adult people, working reasonable hours, safeguarded against pre­
ventable hazards and secure against the unpreventable, not only
can earn the wherewithal of the good life, but can, through their
fitness, their work, and their leisure, make the most of what America
holds out for Americans in an epoch of applied science.
Let me bring this conception down to a specific application. Our
market for employment is country-wide, but our mechanisms for
serving it are scattered and are out of date—not to be compared
with our Postal Service or our telephone system. This year has seen
the institution of the United States Employment Service, as an arm
of the United States Department of Labor. The fight that saw the
enabling legislation through last year was of 12 years’ duration;



and the system now being instituted combines national initiative,
standards, and backing, with decentralized administration. It is the
Federal-State-local system, the framework of which has been laid
down in the last 6 months. It should be rounded out by the legisla­
tures that meet in 1934 and 1935, if the present Congress passes the
appropriation bill at this session which will afford $700,000 for the
national stem and $3,000,000 for the State branches on a matching
system. Here we have exhibit A of one range of coordinated Nation­
wide action in the field of labor administration, under our constitu­
tional system. The emergent Reemployment Service has broken
ground for it, and the months ahead afford an unexampled oppor­
tunity for demonstrating the practicability of our American way.
Other countries have set such systems up as a purely national activ­
ity. We are trying to put it through, State by State, with Federal
initiative and Federal reinforcement. It is a fair test.
The S ec r et ar y of L abor . I want to thank Mr. Kellogg, whose
broad social view of some of our obligations has been very helpful.
[Meeting adjourned.]

Frances Perking, Secretary of Labor of the United States, Presiding

The S ecr etar y of L abor . If the ranks are depleted this morning,
I want you to know that many delegates worked late last night and
will straggle in in the next half hour. A good many had a touch
of the New Deal last evening. To many people the New Deal
consists of working until 12 or 1 in the morning, and I want to
thank you and to assure you that I regard it as a patriotic service
which you have done in these 2 days, coming here and devoting
every waking hour to a consideration of these problems of the
Federal Government and of the State governments which are more
and more coming to loom in our minds, not as political, but as moral
When we think of the administration of the labor laws of the
States we are dealing not in material and political problems; we
are dealing in the very flesh and blood of human beings, of people
like ourselves. It is the conception, I believe, that patriotic service
and the administration of any Government trust consist in recogniz­
ing in every exercise of authority, in every decision made for Gov­
ernment purposes, not how it will affect some strange abstraction
known as labor, but how it will affect the man who sits next to you
in the street car, the man across the way, the man you know. It is
a very real, personal, and moral problem. The labor departments
are charged with a moral responsibility in finding the answers to
some of the great social problems confronting all of the people of the
Nation. So I think the work you did last night can be classified
as it was by a man we had in the Department; when we found him
working about 1 o’clock in the morning and reproached him, he
said, “ We are the sacrificial lambs. We have to work 90 hours a
week in order that others may work 30.”
I want to remind you of the fact that the United States Depart­
ment of Labor is very soon to be housed in a magnificent new build­
ing on Constitution Avenue, which I hope you will look at before
you leave Washington in order that you may not only visualize us
working in that building, but visualize yourselves coming frequently
to it and utilizing its facilities. I have an ambition to provide
ample space for conferences where people can have lockers and
desk room for their papers when they come to Washington to work
on problems confronting the State and the Federal Labor Depart­
ments, where they will have the facilities of an organized institu­
tion behind them. I am very hopeful that you will cooperate with
me and the Department of Labor in bringing into that new building
the picture of the industrial life of the States. I want to have
something in that building, either in the way of painting or illus­
trative or exhibit material, which pictures the important industrial
aspects of the life of each State. One type of thing is important



in the industrial life of Florida, another thing is important and
dominant in the industrial life of Oregon, or Michigan, or the other
States. We want to get into that building a picture of the signifi­
cant industrial life of every State in the United States, and the
total experience of the industrial life of America. While realizing
that the States are parts of the whole, they are entities in them­
selves. They must be healthy and wholesome; they must be sound
in their political and economic and industrial life, by themselves.
The significance of the United States of America is the union of
these parts into a whole, in which those who live in Florida or
California or Ohio assume and feel a responsibility for the
people in every State as well as for the people in their own
particular State. Yet in the administration o f these things we
must always be working in the smaller units. I f we had not
inherited States as a part of our historical and traditional organi­
zation, we should have invented something of the sort in order to
bring the administration of law and order and social service close
to the people who are affected by it.
There are a great many aspects which we ought to discuss in any
problem of labor legislation, but as those of you who worked last
night know, we could talk forever on some of these points, and most
of us haven’t the time to do that. We discussed yesterday matters
having to do with minimum, wages, child labor, safety and health,
and physical conditions of workplaces; and this morning we have
set aside for the discussion of the problem of how to procure that
degree of security for wage earners which has come to be the domi­
nant quest of the American people. When I say quest I mean it very
truthfully. It is a quest, and the answer is not in the back of the
book. It is not like the old-time problems put to you in your school
book where the teacher knew the answer. You really have to hunt
to find the answer. There probably is no other problem of such
importance to the whole American people today as the means of
security. It is the one thing that everybody longs for, no matter
what his status in life may be. These considerations of security for
wage earners are of very great importance at this time,
Unemployment Reserves
The S ecr etar y or L abor . Among the many plans for security, we
have, of course, given attention to methods of providing for old
age, methods of securing an interchange of workers and jobs so
that there can be a steady flow of workers to jobs when there are
jobs, and in rather recent years we have come to discussing the tech­
niques of unemployment insurance or unemployment reserves as a
kind of security for the working people so that they will have some­
thing to live on during periods such as this depression, when it does
not seem possible to prevent a certain degree of unemployment. In
order to make the protection operative on as wide a basis as possible,
some way must be found by which the Federal Government can
encourage this type of provision against the suffering and trials
of unemployment. We may not have found the perfect answer.
We have not found, perhaps, the 100 percent answer, but after a
few months of conferences and discussions we have developed a
technique which many of us believe to be the best yet discovered and



devised for Federal encouragement to the States in putting upon
their books some form of unemployment insurance. A bill has been
introduced into the Senate by Senator Wagner and into the House
by Congressman Lewis. Congressman Lewis has been kind enough
to come here today to describe just what the bill is and what he
hopes it will accomplish. May 1 have the honor of introducing to
you Congressman David J. Lewis, of Maryland.
Mr. L e w is . I do not deny a very great satisfaction indeed in the
opportunity to meet and discuss with people as earnest as myself
in the matter of finding some treatment to relieve our conscience
on this great subject of unemployment. An inspiring circumstance
of the morning is to find the Secretary of Labor giving us her lead­
“ See yonder poor old laboring white, abject man, who beers his
bread of the earth, to give him life to toil. See his lordly fellow
worm, the poor petition spurned, unmindful of weeping wife and
helpless child.55 That indictment of our social system was uttered
15® years ago. At that time it was the rare human being whose
lights were being denied.
Thanks to the civilization we have built up in the last six genera­
tions, there are ten millions of them today in the United States. In
Great Britain, in Germany, and in other countries the prime minister
does the worrying about these unemployed. And why shouldn’t he ?
Who more than the prime minister is responsible for the terrific
unemployment which obtains—responsible in the sense that he was
the author of the state policy under which most of it has resulted.
Has not the state and its prime minister encouraged the sciences
by giving exclusive patents on products to the inventor? Has he
not supported the efficiency engineer? Has he not organized large
quasi-private, quasi-state organizations for the purposes of mass
production? And all for what? In order to economize in the
amount of labor required in the production of the needs of human­
ity. And his policy has succeeded. Eight men now do the work
of 10 men a few years ago. Why should not he do the worrying?
We thank the scientist for the achievements he has given the
world. Doubtless in the long run it is desirable that the work of
the human family be accomplished with a minimum of effort. But
it is only desirable provided certain fundamental human rights are
not violated, and one of the most fundamental human rights is the
right of the human being to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow.
The world does not owe a man a living, but it certainly owes him a
chance to make a living. This is a right that no one, I am sure,
would ever be willing to dispute. And yet this right to work, undis­
puted, as old as civilization, today will not secure a single laborer a
loaf of bread or protect his family from eviction. Something has
happened here that I think lies at the very foundation of all of our
present difficulties. There is such a thing as unconscious class dis­
crimination, and the workman has been the victim of it. He has had
to pay this terrific price for the progress of the industrial arts, and,
without intention of course, he has been denied equality before the
I give you but one illustration, and only one will suffice. A city
finds it necessary, to promote the public welfare, for the convenience



of all, to cut a new street through from one avenue to another. The
owner objects to the removal of his property, on grounds of senti­
ment or what not, but the city fathers answer unequivocally: “ The
general convenience of this city must prevail over your private inter­
ests or feeling.” And they evict him from the premises, but not
until just compensation has been made to him for the rights taken
away. Certainly, as a matter of moral obligation, consideration of
the right of the worker to compensation for the employment society
has taken away from him in the last two generations is equally
commanding and imperative. We naturally ask the question, How
does it happen that over your cat or your dog or the neighbor’s
fence you have your day in court if your rights are invaded in any
fashion? No property rights are so insignificant that a day in court
is not allowed it. But this right of the worker has no day in court.
Perhaps an illustration drawn from my own experience would
not be amiss. When I was a little lad about 12 years of age, working
in the coal mines of Pennsylvania, I witnessed an accident that made
an indelible impression on my mind. It was the first trip in the
morning, about 7 o’clock. The driver was starting in with his mule
and a pair of empty cars. Suddenly the mule had a crazy spelll
Or was it a crazy spell? Perhaps the poor creature had a lucid
interval and realized that the only way it could get out of its misery
was through suicide. At any rate it ran away headlong into the
mine, beyond all control of the driver. At length it came to a switch*
where there was a prop sustaining a lot of rock. I can see it adl
even now after the passage of 50 years. When the cars struck the
switch they jumped the track and down came the overhanging rock,
smashing the cars, killing the mule, and ending the earthly life
of the driver.
When the case came up in the company’s offices, the directors rea­
soned that they could not operate coal mines without killing mules
and smashing cars, and so these costs, like oil and powder, were
charged up to the price of the coal as a part of the necessary op­
erating costs of a coal mine. How about the value of the driver’s
life ? He was an American citizen. I f his face had been blackened
by an African sun instead of the dust of the coal mines, if he ha<J
been a slave in a southern State before the Civil War, at least a
thousand dollars would have been charged up to expenses of opera­
tion. Nothing was done, except that a little collection was taken
up in the mining village to fill the widow’s cupboard for a few
weeks. The case was lost in the history of common miseries of the
May I add here a perhaps too personal sequel to that accident.
The first workmen’s accident compensation law passed on this side
of the Atlantic Ocean was passed in 1902 by the General Assembly
of the State of Maryland, and that act was prepared by the hands
of the man who as a boy witnessed the accident in the coal mines of
The lawmaker, in my opinion, has too long neglected this sub­
ject. Not because the right has not been pressing and the obligation
imperative, but because of that unconscious class discrimination, from
which it is difficult, perhaps, for any class to escape.



What I have said indicates my philosophy; and I am mentally
hearing you ask, What are you going to do about it? It has been
said, “ There is a science of politics, it is the science of feasibilities.”
What can the Congressional lawmaker immediately do? I emphasize
the word “ immediately ”, because it is noteworthy that a large num­
ber of State legislatures are ready to act. Under these circumstances
the Secretary of Labor, Miss Perkins, the American Federation of
Labor, and numerous industrial leaders have urged the passage of
State laws establishing unemployment insurance reserves. Some 2
years ago, in preparing national legislation to cartelize the coal in­
dustry, a study of the Constitution convinced me that the taxing
power of Congress could be employed to effect the purpose. This is
the principle made use of in the similar bills introduced by Senator
Wagner and myself, to bring about unemployment insurance by
action within each of the respective States. The plan of the bill
is as follows:
I. F e d e r a l T a x


O ff se t s U nder St a t e L a w s

A. A new Federal tax will be imposed on all employers (except very small
employers, and a few special classes— farmers, hospitals, etc.). The tax will
be based on each employer’s pay roll after July 1,1935. It will reach practically
all employers in interstate commerce, and put them on equal footing.
B. An employer need not pay this tax if he has contributed an equal sum of
money to unemployment reserves under a State law. He may offset against
the tax whatever he contributed. An additional offset would later be allowed,
whenever an employer’s contributions are scaled down because of steady em­
ployment and adequate reserve funds.
C. The employer will thus have to pay the tax to the Federal Government,
unless he can keep it at home under a State law for the benefit of the local
unemployed. Almost certainly he will prefer to keep it at home, and will there­
fore favor the passage of an unemployment insurance law in his State.
D. The old “ interstate competition” argument could not be used to defeat
such State laws, because the Federal tax would apply to employers in any
State which failed to enact legislation.
II. F r eed o m L e f t

to t h e


The bin does not dictate to the States the kind of laws they shall pass.
Each State may decide for itself:
(1) Whether to have State-wide funds, industrial pooled funds, or individual
(2) Whether to have joint contributions or only by employers;
(3) What employers shall contribute;
(4) What employments are to be covered;
(5) Who is eligible to benefits;
(6) What the waiting period shall be;
(7) What (above an absolute minimum) the benefits rates shall be and how
long benefits shall be paid.
I I I . Stan d ard s W h ic h St a t e L a w s M u s t M eet

An employer can offset against his Federal tax only those contributions paid
under a genuine unemployment compensation law, which the Secretary of Labor
has certified as meeting certain minimum standards. No State law will be
certified by the Secretary of Labor unless it provides for—

(1) Regular contributions by employers;
(2) Systematic benefits over a substantial period of time;
(3) No insuring through private insurance companies;
(4) State administration or supervision, with joint advisory committees
(5) Impartial hearings on disputed compensation claims;
(6) Specific safeguards for labor standards and union membership.



IV. S u m m a r y
These are the outstanding provisions of this bill. The Democratic plat­
form in 1932 called for State unemployment insurance legislation. Enactment
of this bill will make that platform plank a reality.

I think I am guilty of no rhetoric whatever when I say that the
conscience of the country now calls for such legislation as it has
seldom called for anything, unless it be for a Red Cross or similar
May I say that better assistance than my own can be given you
in the discussions here by members of the staff of the Secretary of
Labor. Mr. Eliot in particular, one of the attorneys of the Depart­
ment, has labored diligently on the bill, and will be here to answer
any question which you may care to ask.
The S ecr etar y of L abor. We are all grateful to Congressman
Lewis for the very clear description of his measure and his very
inspiring talk. Is there anyone from the floor who has a question
to ask about that particular bill? We shall discuss other aspects of
unemployment insurance legislation a little later, but I want to be
sure that every opportunity is given to satisfy your curiosity and
your doubts while the Congressman is here.
Mr. C a r n e y (Michigan). I would like to ask whether the Con­
gressman proposes to set up Federal machinery in those States that
do not take advantage gf the suggestions in the bill?
Mr. L e w is . No; that is not contemplated. I do not, of course,
know what the ultimate end might be. I think there are four States
now in the Union with no workmen’s compensation laws.
Mr. C a r n e y . What is to become of the Federal tax where the
State has no law ?
Mr. L e w is . It goes into the Treasury.
The Secretary of L abor. If the tax were set aside for the use of
the States there would be no encouragement for the States to pass
unemployment insurance legislation. It goes into the general fund.
There is logic in that, to the effect that the Federal Government
has now undertaken to appropriate Federal moneys for the relief
and assistance of the States and for meeting the local relief needs.
So the tax will be merged in the general fund and utilized for all
social purposes. The purpose of the bill is not alone to collect the
tax, but to make it possible for those to escape the tax who wish
to set up provisions for the benefit of the unemployed in their States.
Mr. C a r n e y . It amounts to a penalty?
Mr. L e w is . It is a penalty on the individual. It is quite inconceiv­
able to me that in any State there may not be a number of individuals
who would wish to introduce this system. Now, unless there were
some method of penalizing the delinquent and recalcitrant, they
could not safely do it because they would be paying the tax when
a competitor was not. I f a recalcitrant preferred to pay the tax
into the Treasury of the United States instead of to the suffering
humanity in his care, his competitors at least would have the argu­
ment that he had been required to meet them on terms of equality.
Mr. D o n n e l l y (Ohio). I noted that the Congressman used the
words that the employer who had paid into the “ unemployment



reserves55 of the State would have a refund or would not be liable
for his excise tax. If the bill says “ unemployment reserves ” when
it is passed, would it not raise a question whether this fund should
be paid to insurance systems that did not set up what is commonly
called “ unemployment reserves” ?
The S ecr etar y of L abor . This is a different kind of reserves from
those which the particular State may require, set up, or permit.
Mr. D o n n e l l y . I think the question remains. I recognize that
Congressman Lewis stated that the State would be permitted to
set up its own system, that there would be no influence exerted by
the Federal Government to induce the States to have one or another
system. But the question remains that in this kind of proposition
one term means one thing and another term means another thing,
and we have to be very careful that we understand what you mean
when you use a term.
Mr. E l io t . The Congressman wus reading a very brief sum­
mary of the bill. The bill itself defines the term as including a
reserve in the ordinary sense of any other fund to be used for the
payment of compensation to unemployed workers. This is in the
actual printed copy of the bill.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . Any other questions on this bill?
Mr. L e w is . Of course, this subject will have to be examined in
the utmost detail. We hope that you will be able to offer helpful
Mr. D o n n e l l y . I understood that the tentative plan is to levy
5 percent. Suppose a State sets up an unemployment reserve
through employers’ funds, unemployment reserves through an in­
surance fund, and the contribution of an employer to such funds in
that State would be 3 percent—what would become of the remaining
2 percent?
Mr. E l io t . The employer would offset only what he actually
paid into the unemployment fund. He would offset the amount of
3 percent and pay the rest to the Federal Government. As in the
case proposed and the one law enacted, after a period of time various
rates are to be set for different employers. Employers with little
unemployment would be able to offset not only what they paid into
the fund but also the amount reduced under good record. This in no
way impairs the unemployment fund.
Mr. D o n n e l l y . N o w in a given State that enacts unemployment
insurance legislation, we have the 5-percent excise tax levied by
Congress. There may be a cooperative insurance plan enacted by the
legislature of that State, in which the employer contributes 3 percent
and the employee would perhaps contribute 1 percent, or V/2 per­
cent. Then there would be a reduction of 3 percent to the employer.
Would there also be a reduction for the employee?
Mr. L e w is . That would be voluntary. I think it is going to take
both members of the family to build up reserves that will offer any
substantial insurance for these terrible crises. My hope is that the
employers and employees will come together and develop an institu­
tion that will take in old-age pensions and the whole line of social



Mr. J ohn B. A ndrews. May I inquire of the Congressman on what
estimates he predicates that 5 percent will approximately meet the
requirements? Can we have something definite?
Mr. L e w is . I have only some general figures. The wages paid
in a normal year by the manufacturing industries of the country are,
the census shows, about $12,000,000,000. Five percent would be
$600,000,000. Five percent of the railroads’ wages of about
$2,500,000,000 gives an additional $125,000,000. Even a 5-percent
levy would produce a fund of mighty little consequence indeed in the
face of a depression such as this through which we are passing. That
is the reason I welcomed the suggestion of the gentleman from Ohio,
for the employees to contribute to the fund. I do not know that
data has been accumulated yet to give you a definite answer to your
The S ecr etar y of L abor . Data on this subject are almost impos­
sible to procure in any complete and accurate way. We shall never
know what the cost of providing for unemployment insurance is
until we try it. The whole insurance science is built on experience,
and you have to get experience before you know what your for­
mula for cost is. The only safe thing to do, therefore, is to take
what appears to be the best you can assemble, and make an ample
but not confiscatory assessment in order to build up your fund. If
your reserves are built up in a period of rising business and rising
employment, you will soon get a fairly large fund. If, however,
they are put into effect in a period of falling employment, the fund
will be depleted almost as quickly as it becomes effective.
If the economists know anything, and if the guessing is at all
sound in any quarter, we are nearer a point of rise in the business
cycle rather than a further depression. Therefore, it makes it
possible for us to begin to collect a percentage of pay rolls when
the pay rolls are beginning to be larger, so that a substantial collec­
tion can be made over a period of years before any payments are
made. There is no other reason for taking 5 percent, except that it
seems the most likely figure to be a just and suitable figure at which
to begin. Five years of experience will teach us.
Mr. S m i t h (Massachusetts). To what committee has this bill been
assigned ?
Mr. L e w is . The bill has gone to the Committee on Ways and
Means in the House, and the Committee on Finance in the Senate.
The Committee on Ways and Means, of which I am a member, is
now engaged on a revenue bill which will consume this week and
probably half of next week. Immediately afterward I shall ask
for attention to this bill.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . I have a feeling that most of us would
like to help the Congressman’s bill through the preliminary hearings.
I am now going to turn for a few minutes to the consideration
of the more general aspects of unemployment insurance. No con­
ference in Washington these days would be complete without a pro­
fessor. I have imposed only one professor on you throughout the
2 days of this conference. This is, let us say, a tame professor, who
has been a great deal of help to me always in organizing my ma65753— 34------ 4



terial. I therefore ask Dr. Paul H. Douglas to discuss this question
in a sort of factual and summarized way.
D r . D o uglas . The experience of this depression should have
taught us all the necessity for a more adequate, a more certain,
and a more self-respecting way of taking care of those good men
and women who, though wanting to work, have been deprived of
their jobs through no fault of their own. When men were thrown
out of their jobs, they had to use up savings, stint their families, and
in many cases borrow from their friends and relations before relief
could come. And when this relief was given, it was in general
strikingly inadequate, since the average amount paid out a year
ago was $21 a month per family. This amounted to about $4.50 a
month, or 15 cents a day, per person. The relief, moreover, has been
until recently highly uncertain and with frequent interruptions, as
the private charities fell back upon local public funds, the localities
upon the States, and the States upon the Federal Government. It
has been, until recently, humiliating because it has been associated
in peoples’ minds with charity, which no self-respecting person
wishes to receive. We in America have therefore had the worst kind
of a dole, and it is high time that we set about changing it.
The best way of doing this is to institute a system of self-respect­
ing insurance against involuntary unemployment which will serve
as the front-line trench in the war against destitution. The essential
features of such a system are simple and may be described under
four sets of principles:
1. An area of eligibility is staked out, consisting of all employed
manual workers except those in certain exempted occupations such
as agriculture, public service, etc., and of all salaried workers under
a given limit, such as $200 a month. Within these areas, workers
who are customarily a part of the working force and who have been
employed for, say, 36 weeks in the 2 preceding years or 20 weeks in
the preceding year are eligible.
2. Workers who lose their jobs because of a decline in business and
through no fault of their own register at a public employment office,
and after a waiting period, which I believe should be approximately
3 weeks, are eligible to receive benefits for a limited period of time
as long as they give evidence to the employment offices that they are
3. Every effort is made to prevent the unemployed from remain­
ing idle to draw the benefits. Thus, if a worker refuses employment
at his trade at approximately the going wage, he cannot receive
benefits. The benefits, moreover, should always be appreciably less
than his customary wage and never, in my opinion, should exceed
two-thirds and generally only half of the wage. Finally, the unem­
ployed worker may be required to show that he is himself genuinely
seeking employment in addition to following up the opportunities
which come to him from the public employment offices.
4. The benefits are limited to a stated number of weeks per year,
which I believe should be from 16 to 20, and the liability of the fund
should cease at this point. Those who are still in need at this time
should, in my opinion, then be taken care of by a system of public
relief graduated according to needs, to which the Federal Govern­
ment may well make a contribution, and in return for which the



recipient may well be required to give work on public projects which
would be somewhat similar in character to those now under the
Such a system not only would provide for more adequate and
self-respecting relief than that which has been given, but should
lessen the amount of unemployment itself. For if the system is
properly administered, a large part of the premiums collected dur­
ing the years of prosperity will not be spent then, but will instead
be accumulated and paid out during the years of depression. Pur­
chasing power will thus be built up at the time when it is most
needed, with a resultant greater stabilization of employment in
industry. In addition, a large part of the burden of unemployment
will be taken from the relatives of the unemployed, the merchants,
doctors, landlords, and local real-estate taxpayers.
Now the greatest difficulty in the way of the States adopting
such a sensible system is, of course, the fear that the premiums
required will put their industries at a competitive disadvantage with
those of States which have not passed such laws. It is this vital
defect in our governmental system which has brought stalemate to
so much vitally needed social legislation and has in the past reduced
nearly all true lovers of our country to what has bordered upon
despair. A way out of this dilemma has, however, been offered by
the bill introduced last week in the Senate by Senator Wagner
o f New York, and in the House by Congressman Lewis of Mary­
land, and drafted, I believe, with the aid of the United States De­
partment of Labor (S. 2616 and H.K. 7659). This bill levies an
excise tax of 5 percent upon the pay rolls of concerns employing
10 or more workers; but with the vital provision that there will be
rebated back to thesfe concerns any amount which they may pay
in for unemployment benefits or contributions under State laws
which come up to minimum standards. This, to my mind, is a
truly brilliant method. I f this measure is passed, there will be
little or no reason why any of the States should not pass some kind
of unemployment insurance law, for the State law would not heap
any added burdens upon the employers in these States, since any
contribution which they would make to the State systems would
mean that they would merely pay that much less to the Federal
Government. Secondly, the States which did not pass such laws
would have no competitive advantage, since they would have to
pay as large a total amount, all of which would go into the Federal
Treasury. Finally the Federal money could be at least partially
earmarked for relief, and thus form the second line of defense
against destitution due to unemployment. And yet it should be
noted that the Wagner-Lewis bill leaves the States free to adopt
the kind of unemployment insurance system which seems to them
best and permits them to carry on the experimentation which is
so valuable.
This is federalism at its best, and I cannot too highly commend
the statesmanship of the drafters and sponsors of this measure. I
should indeed like to permit myself two hopes; namely, that this
conference will heartily endorse the Wagner-Lewis bill and that
we as individuals should work for its speedy adoption, and sec­
ondly, that the National Administration should officially sponsor



it and ask for its passage. I f it passes during this session, it will
clear the way for the widespread adoption of State plans when the
great group of State legislatures meet next year.
So far I think we can all agree. I would be less frank, however, if
I did not briefly mention two points upon which many sincere friends
of unemployment insurance may disagree. I refer to the type of
unemployment insurance fund which should be used and the source
of the contributions. These points need not and should not divide us
here, but they should be borne in mind, perhaps, to guide us when
we turn to the question of the precise type of State laws which we
should set up.
As most of you know, there are two main types of funds which
may be set up; namely, (1) the plant fund or (2) the State-wide
fund, with an intermediate variant in the form of the industrial
fund. The plant fund is that adopted in the Wisconsin act and em­
bodied in bills in Massachusetts, New York, and other States. The
State-wide fund was advocated in the very able report of the Ohio
commission, and has been followed in bills in Ohio, Maryland, Illi­
nois, and other States. Under the plant funds, the unemployed of a
given concern can be paid only from contributions made by their
specific employer. When the reserves of that particular firm rise to
a given maximum (in Wisconsin $100 per worker), the contributions
of the employer cease, and when they fall below a given minimum
(in Wisconsin $50 per worker), the benefits are reduced proportion­
ately, so that by the time the reserve is down to one-tenth of its
minimum amount, the benefits are only one-tenth of their normal
figure. Under the State-wide fund, the contributions are pooled and
paid out to the workers irrespective of who their employer was.
The system of plant reserves is advocated chiefly as a preventative
of unemployment in the belief that individual concerns will be stim­
ulated to stabilize their operations in order to reduce their contribu­
tions. While I have great respect for the originators of this pro­
posal, it seems to me to be inferior to the State-wide funds, for the
following reasons :
1. In the first place, its value as a stabilizing device seems to me
to be greatly exaggerated. An assessment of 2 or 3 percent upon
the pay roll is in general an addition of only one-third or one-half
of 1 percent upon the total value of manufactures and is not a strong
inducement to stabilize. It could have little or no influence in les­
sening business depressions which are beyond the control of indi­
vidual enterprises, and, because of style fluctuations, etc., it would
have far less influence in reducing seasonal unemployment than
is commonly claimed. Moreover, virtually the same stimulus can
be obtained under a State-wide fund by either varying the con­
tributions by employers according to their volume of unemploy­
ment or by rebating some of the contributions back to firms which
were successful in inducing stabilizing measures.
2. A State-wide fund will give a greater uniformity of benefits
than the plant fund. Unemployment in a business depression does
not strike all industries with equal force. It is particularly heavy
in the so-called capital or durable-goods industries, such as iron and
steel, machinery, automobiles, and construction, and it is compara­
tively light in consumers’ goods industries, such as food and cloth­
ing. Under the system of separate plant reserves, the funds of the*



capital goods industries would be rather quickly depleted, with the
result that the benefits of the unemployed in these industries would
be greatly reduced, while those in the consumers’ goods industries
would be relatively unimpaired. Under a State-wide fund, however,
the benefits would be maintained uniformly.
It is a commonplace of insurance that the greater the pooling of
risks and the sweeping together of contributions, the greater the
benefits which can be paid. The idle surpluses of some plants and
industries are assembled together to maintain benefits as a whole.
This advantage in part accounts for the fact that the Ohio pooled
fund, with only 50 percent greater total contributions than the
Wisconsin act (i.e., 3 percent instead of 2 percent), was able to
promise 140 percent more in maximum benefits; i.e., $15 a week for
16 weeks instead of $10 a week for 10 weeks.
A second source of difference lies in the source of contributions.
Everyone agrees that the employers should make some contributions.
The question is whether they should be the exclusive contributors.
I personally believe the workers should also contribute, approxi­
mately only half as much as the employers, for the following reasons:
Contributions by workers may be necessary to secure adequate
benefits, which cannot be financed for less than 3 to 3% percent of
the pay roll. Secondly, contributions by workers will make them
more anxious to prevent malingering and other abuses, and they will
in addition aid the workers in obtaining joint control over the
administration of the system—a condition which to my mind is
highly desirable. Finally, while it may be an indication ox the hope­
less conservatism of my nature, I believe that the whole system
will be put upon a much more self-respecting basis if the workers
feel that they are paying a part of the cost.
In States which have income and inheritance taxes, it may well
be both desirable and practicable for the State also to make a con­
tribution to the benefits, although this is hardly practicable in
States which depend primarily upon the general property tax for
their revenues and which are now in a very strained financial posi­
tion. Even then, however, it may be possible for some of the States
to meet at least part of the administration costs.
I should like, however, to emphasize that while the two issues
which I have mentioned may divide some of us, they are far less
important than those upon which we can all unite. We can all agree,
I hope,.that some form of unemployment insurance is desirable, that
the Wagner-Lewis bill is one o f the first steps in the campaign, and
that it should be passed at this session of Congress. Next year
when most of the legislatures meet, some form of insurance, whether
upon the Ohio or Wisconsin model, can be adopted by most of the
States, and we can then move forward into a new era of greater
security for the workers of this country.
The Secretary of L abor. I want to ask Dr. Douglas one question.
Can you give us in a few words a picture of the European experience
with regard to the care of the unemployed under unemployment
insurance and the cost which it has involved ?
Dr. D ouglas. The European systems are of unequal duration.
The German and British systems provide that the first 26 weeks be
borne by the insurance fund and the maintenance of unemployed in



need after 26 weeks be borne by the government. The cost o f the
26 weeks of insurance approaches approximately 4^£ percent of the
total current pay rolls in Germany and somewhere around 3y2 to
4 percent in England. It is somewhat difficult to compute the Eng­
lish system because of the flat-rate benefit method used. It is
around 4 percent.
The S ec r et ar y of L abor . Are there any other questions to ask
Dr. Douglas while he is here?
Miss J o h n s o n (New Hampshire). Dr. Douglas mentioned a plan
and suggested excluding several groups of workers—agricultural and
certain others. Would he mention more in detail what groups he
would exclude ? Second, with regard to the percentage of the con­
tribution of the pay roll, is there any State system proposed with a
5-percent contribution ?
Dr. D ouglas . I may not be politic, but I think it is quite obvious
that we would have to exempt agriculture if for no other reason
than that if we included agriculture you could never pass a State
bill. I think it is also probable that you would have to exclude
domestic service and normal business not engaged for profit, such
as the home. You would have to exclude governmental employees^
and, in case of State laws, employees in interstate commerce. You
probably should exclude teachers in private institutions, although
not janitors in private institutions, and there may be certain other
groups which can be picked out from State to State. The casual
laborers would be covered by the requirement of a previous period
of employment. We should not include college boys who work for
13 weeks during the summer. I f you take those who worked for 20
weeks in the preceding year or 30 weeks in the 2 preceding years you
will cover all of those customarily a part of the working force.
Miss Johnson inquired whether any State requires as much as 5
percent. I know of no bill with a contribution as high as 5 percent.
Mr. F it c h (New York). I would like to say before Dr. Douglas
goes that I am more impressed by his appeal for harmony and
by his argument in behalf of those things upon which we can all
agree, than by his personal views with regard to some things with
which I am in controversy. I wonder if he would be willing to delete
from his paper his personal views or make arrangements for the
inclusion of other views.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . I should not think of asking Dr.* Doug­
las to delete his personal views or to include among his personal
views a few which he does not hold. If either you or Mr. Andrews
will make a statement for the general argument for the type of
bill which rests upon industry reserves, you will be given the
We have now revealed the fact that there is a difference of opinion
as to how we should effectuate unemployment insurance. The dis­
agreement exists even among those who are highly desirous that we
should have unemployment insurance. But I suppose this has been
the history of America. As I remember my history, when the
Colonies came together at the original Continental Congress they
had very grave differences of opinion as to how they should effect
the kind of government which all of us have become so accustomed



to today that we have stopped thinking about this inconsistency. I
suppose it is a part of the blessing of freedom that we have
inconsistency, within which our ideas and social experiments conflict.
The main purpose is to make impossible the situation which Mr.
Lewis described so vividly, where the laying off of a mule or a
piece of machinery is charged up to the cost of the industry, whereas
the destruction of the human being’s opportunity to earn his living is
charged up to nothing, and he is left to carry the whole burden, with
no organized system to help him retain his human dignity during
the period when he is laid off. The way will be found by the
people of the various States in the best interests of the people of
those States. We must rely upon the genius and intelligence of the
people of the States to find the way out. In this experimental period
there is room for more than one system. We shall probably learn
by experience what is the most practical system.
Question. It occurred to me to ask if there is any provision in
the law as proposed that will prohibit the State, after the accu­
mulation of a fund over a period of ascending employment, from
diverting that fund to such other purposes as it wishes, as has often
been done by many legislatures, and some not wisely at all.
The S ec r et ar y op L abor . The bill which Congressman Lewis has
introduced would provide for the security of that fund.
It is possible that the fund might be very much larger than we
now think. I f we had 10 years of prosperity a fund in a given
State might become very large, in which case we should have to
make provision by the passage of an amendment to the Federal
legislation and in the States for the cutting down of the contribution
or for the distribution of rebates.
I am very anxious to secure simplicity in the operation of these
funds. Those who have studied the operation of the English unem­
ployment insurance system have been impressed with its complexity.
We want to work toward a greater simplification in the adminis­
tration in order to get good, sound, and practical administration
without too many complications.
Mr. A l t m e y e r . A s you know, Wisconsin did not jump into the un­
employment insurance swim overnight. We have been discussing the
subject since 1921, when the first bill was introduced into our legis­
lature, and in every succeeding session of the legislature there has
been a bill on unemployment insurance introduced. The original
was an unemployment insurance bill as urged by Dr. Douglas, but in
the course of time public opinion changed and turned toward the un­
employment reserve type of bill, and that is the type of bill that has
become law in Wisconsin. We have prepared a handbook on the un­
employment compensation act in our State, and we have litera­
ture which will give you some of the arguments in favor of unem­
ployment reserves as contrasted with unemployment insurance. I do
not want to discuss their relative merits at this time.
I want to clear up some confusion as to when our act will become
effective. It will become effective on July 1 of this year. That is
to say, employers will begin making their contributions to their re­
spective plant funds on, July 1 of this year, and 1 year thereafter
benefits will commence for unemployment occurring after July 1,
1935. We have an additional feature in our law which has led to



confusion as to when the law would become effective. The law pro­
vides that it shall not become effective until employment and pay
rolls have reached a certain figure. The law provides for a finding of
fact by the industrial commission that they have reached that figure.
The reason why the commission has not made that finding of fact
is that another clause provides that if the employers of 139,000 em­
ployees—which is approximately half of the total number covered
under the State-wide compulsory bill—adopt voluntary unemploy­
ment insurance, then the State-wide unemployment insurance law
does not go into effect.
The industrial commission has deferred its finding of fact in order
to give the employers every opportunity to adopt these voluntary
plans and prevent the compulsory State-wide act from becoming
effective. However, the number of voluntary plans submitted to
date indicates that they will not reach the required number of
139,000 employees covered thereby. So there is no question but that
our law will become effective on July 1,1934.
We feel that we have an ideal situation for carrying out the re­
serve experiment. We have a small enough State so that we feel that
the administrative problem is manageable. We have a State diversi­
fied industrially. We have had a long time to think about it, so that
public opinion is prepared for it, and we will have a year now, before
benefits actually become payable, in which to build up our system of
employment offices. We have 10 now and will probably have to
treble that number. Likewise, employers will have a year in which
to consolidate their employment premiums and be prepared for the
payment of benefits after July 1, 1935. So we feel, you might say,
like a guinea pig, that the act is going to be favorable.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . Wisconsin has been a guinea pig before,
so that doesn’t matter.
Mrs. B e l m o n t . May I ask a question of Dr. Douglas? He men­
tioned the contribution of the employer and the employee, but
nothing in regard to State contribution. Would he describe what
the State’s share might be ?
Dr. D ouglas. Mrs. Belmont, with a rather unerring finger, has
put her hand on a very moot question. My answer to that would
be approximately that if the States were in a good financial condi­
tion, if they had income and inheritance taxes, I personally would
favor a moderate State contribution to the system in those States.
But in States which do not have an income and inheritance tax I
think it would be inexpedient to ask for a State contribution, and
inadvisable. Those States, I think, form a majority of the country,
so it would seem that for the present the issue of State contributions
should arise only in those States with good income taxes, such as
New York, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin.
The S e cr etar y of L abor . Mr. John Andrews is the director of an
organization known as the American Association for Labor Legis­
lation, and many of* you have long had help from that organiza­
tion. It has proved to be a fruitful and reliable source of informa­
tion and assistance in many of the major lines of labor legislation,
particularly on the techniques of how things can best be done. I am



going to ask Mr. Andrews to speak now upon this general subject of
unemployment insurance.
Mr. A n d r e w s . I have had no advance intimation that there would
be an opportunity for me to participate in this important conference,
and I merely wish to express to all of you the very deep apprecia­
tion I have of the opportunity that we have had to discuss together
informally many 01 the questions that have interested us for a
long time.
Looking back, as I can with many of you, over a period of 25 years
of intensive effort to secure better and more uniform labor laws in
this country, I can appreciate the very great body of protective
labor laws we have built up, despite the many obstacles under our
form of government. Looking forward now, I think we all appreci­
ate that we have an extraordinary opportunity. We are offered an
exceptional leadership. We have presented to us, in the definite
form of a bill, a plan which challenges our admiration as an in­
genious device. Under the terms of this Wagner-Lewis bill I believe
that there is no reason why we should not in the next 15 months
go forward with this needed campaign of legislation on a Nation­
wide basis to establish the protection that is so sorely needed.
Now with this purpose and with this prospect, surely we can afford
in a broad-minded, statesmanlike fashion to overlook some of our
honest personal differences with reference to details in local laws.
There are no legislatures in session except two or three that have
opportunity for action during this winter. In the meantime official
State commissions are carefully considering these problems; some,
13 official commissions have already reported largely in favor of one
type of legislation. But in broad-minded fashion let us see if we
cannot cooperate under this wonderful opportunity before us, and
under this splendid national leadership that is given to us, in order
that Senator Wagner and Congressman Lewis may succeed in the
plan which should lead to this great accomplishment during the
next 15 months.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . Who is prepared to speak on the plant
reserves system ? I do not want to go away from here without having
the plant-reserve type stated carefully and completely so that it may
be in the record and be available for discussion here today. I appre­
ciate Mr. Andrews’ desire to encourage the general principle, but
I think we might as well have the other type of plan carefully de­
scribed. Mr. Fitch, are you prepared to describe it?
Mr. F it c h . I do not know anyone better prepared to discuss it
than Mr. Altmeyer.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . He would rather not. He is working
for the N.R.A.
Mr. F i t c h . I would prefer not to speak for it at this time, but I
would like to say that I did not mean to imply in the slightest way
that Professor Douglas ought not to discuss his personal views. He
so described it in his paper. I felt that in making an argument for a
specific type of unemployment insurance, it would be desirable that
other views might also be expressed before this group. But I do
believe, unless there is considerable time for discussion, that the



most important thing is to have some legislation to provide benefits
for people who are unemployed through no fault of their own.
Personally, I would rather stress that than any particular type of
unemployment insurance.
I think that we are going to have experiments in the different States.
In Ohio they want a State fund with contributions from employersi
and employees. Were I in Ohio I would work faithfully tor the
enactment of that bill. In other States the opinion seems to be in
favor of other types. I believe the type of legislation to be adopted
in any particular State is the type believed in by the majority of
people who have given consideration to it in that State. I will repeat
at this time that I am for any type of legislation which will provide
benefits to people who are unemployed through no fault of their
The S ecr etar y of L abor . Who will describe and express a per­
sonal opinion for the plant-reserve system?
Mr. E d e l m a n (Pennsylvania). I wrote the minority report for the
Pennsylvania commission. On the other hand, my faction is sup­
porting in New Jersey a plan which is noncontributory.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . The particular problem at the present
moment is someone to describe and present a personal opinion in
favor of a system of unemployment provision of individual plant
reserves rather than a general pool.
Mr. E d e l m a n . I think that in each State the groups interested
in unemployment insurance or reserves will have to put up a fight
for the kind of bill it is possible to obtain in that particular State.
Mr. S m i t h . Like Mr. Fitch, I wish that Wisconsin, the definite
trail blazer in this field, might have addressed the audience through
its spokesman. But Massachusetts has followed very definitely the
lead of Wisconsin and was one of the first to do it. Perhaps Massa­
chusetts should be heard from.
To describe in detail the proposals of the Massachusetts bill is
not, I think, warranted at this time. Suffice it to say that the essen­
tial feature in the Massachusetts bill and the Wisconsin bill which
distinguishes them from bills of the type presented in Ohio is that
we propose that the contributions to the unemployment compensa­
tion fund should be segregated by the individual plants making
those contributions, and that the funds so amassed—individual plant
funds—should be used exclusively for the payment of benefits to
workers who have lost their employment in those particular plants.
We have been quite cognizant of the number of arguments in
favor of the other type of legislation, but after careful consideration
and 2 years of study of this proposal the Massachusetts commission
is again this year bringing in a bill for unemployment reserves funds,
established on the basis of contributions by individual plants and
payment therefrom to the employees of those plants. As far as I
am personally concerned, the one thing more than any other that
makes me lean to that type of legislation is that it fastens so clearly
upon the individual employer the responsibility for his own unem­
ployment. In considering unemployment on a large scale, such
as during a depression, the responsibility of the individual em­
ployer becomes merged in the responsibility of the industrial group.



.Nevertheless, we of the Massachusetts commission feel that funda­
mentally the cure for unemployment lies in the thought which hun­
dreds ox thousands of employers scattered over the country give to
this problem as it manifests itself in their individual establishments.
We have very keenly the feeling that a great deal more can be done
•by the individual employer to reduce the amount of his own un­
employment than has been done in the past. We feel that a fund
which imposes on him the cost of maintaining benefits for his own
employees, and which is not used for maintaining benefits for em­
ployees of other employers in the State, is a very definite incen­
tive to him to devise methods of preventing unemployment. We
propose to make the incentive stronger by providing that in the
case of the employer with little unemployment the rate of contribu­
tion which he must make to his plant fund is automatically reduced.
It may sound somewhat theoretical to base too much optimism,
too much hope, upon the efforts which the individual employer can
make to control unemployment, but we in Massachusetts do not
happen to feel that way. We feel that if in every month in the
year and in every successive year the individual employer has con­
stantly brought before him the state of his own unemployment
reserve fund—the money he is paying out among his workers or is
saved from paying out—this will result in a widespread intelligent
attack among employers on the whole problem of unemployment.
Much of that attack must lead beyond the scope of the individual
efforts they can make, but collective efforts only arise by individuals
deciding that they must get together to assist themselves out of their
own individual difficulties. We see growing out of the unemploy­
ment-reserve idea this sort of effective individual-collective action
T>ased upon the necessity, in the first instance, of the individual
employer seeing his own responsibility for unemployment. This
is the fundamental principle which we are supporting.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . There are two questions I would like to
ask: First, how do you provide for the care and operation of the
actual moneys set aside by these reserves? Second, who decides
when an employee is eligible to receive benefits ?
Mr. S m i t h . The funds are deposited with the State and invested
by the State. An individual account must be kept with each em­
ployer who is a participant in this scheme.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . What happens to a fund of the ABC
company which has been deposited, when there comes a sudden
improvement in that industry, an introduction of a new machine,
that results in an almost wholesale lay-off over a very short period
of time, and the fund is not adequate ? The first people laid off will
be paid their full compensation. The fund is limited, and as the
pay roll declines the amount collected also will be less. Is there
any provision made for equalizing the benefits among the employees
of that particular firm?
Mr. S m i t h . That would be a matter regulated by the administra­
tive authority. Some system will have to be worked out for that.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . There would be a spreading of the avail­
able resources?
Mr. S m i t h . Yes.



The S ecr etar y of L abor . Is there any revolving fund to which
all employers will contribute to pay any claims which their funds
are inadequate to pay?
Mr. S m i t h . The Massachusetts bill this year will provide that
groups of employers may get together, pooling their reserves, pro­
vided that the arrangement is satisfactory to the administrative
The S ecr etar y of L abor . Before we break up there is one other
person here who represents an organization which has been very
active in promoting labor legislation. I am very anxious for this
one person to express his views. Mr. Epstein is the executive secre­
tary of the American Association for Social Security, and I would
be very glad for him to speak at this time.
Mr. E p s t e in . I was quite surprised to find such timidity among the
friends of the company-reserve plan and such reluctance to describe
it. I was almost ready to volunteer to describe it myself, but I am
certain my friends would not want me to do so.
Although we believe we have worked out the best unemployment
insurance bill, we are heartily in favor of the Wagner-Lewis excise
tax bill and will support it with all our strength. But while we
shall do everything we can to help the passage of the Wagner-Lewis
bill, it is not our intention to give up our fight for an adequate plan
of unemployment insurance in the different States. In the individual
States we must continue to battle for the only plan of unemploy­
ment insurance which we believe can provide adequate protection
and benefits to the unemployed, namely, the plan of insurance based
on a single pooled fund for the entire State.
Professor Douglas has already summarized the case for a single
State unemployment insurance fund as well as I could possibly do.
I shall therefore merely add a few points to what Professor Douglas
has already so excellently stated.
We strenuously object to the individual company reserve plan
modeled after the Wisconsin act—and we believe organized labor,
as soon as it studies the proposition, will find the same objections—
because we are convinced that its tendency is antilabor and will ulti­
mately thwart unionization. Indeed, company reserves for unem­
ployment insurance are little better than other company welfare
schemes. They tie workers to their companies, and the possibility
of benefits is made dependent upon the welfare of each particular
corporation. By leaving the benefits in an unemployment insurance
fund, to be determined by the conditions in each particular com­
pany, you are tying workers to the welfare of the concern for which
they work just as other welfare plans have done. If their company
is more or less stabilized, it is to their advantage to stay with that
particular concern and the problem of unionization is made more
An individual company reserve plan can hardly ever meet the
needs of the unemployed. While prosperous companies, like the
public utilities, with little unemployment would be able to accumu­
late large reserves, less stable concerns, such as the building trades
which are constantly confronted with unemployment, would be
unable to accumulate any funds at all. Thus the intent of the act
would be frustrated.



An individual company reserve plan for unemployment insurance
is nothing more than a savings plan and has nothing to do with
insurance. Any insurance plan must be based upon the principle
of distributing the risk as widely as possible. A State pooled fund
makes such insurance possible. If the fund is segregated by
individual companies, there is, of course, no pooling of resources
The main reason why the company reserve plan is urged is because
its advocates believe that by penalizing the employer to a certain
percent of his pay roll, he will be compelled to stabilize his employ­
ment. We cannot believe there is any possibility of forcing employ­
ers to stabilize through such a penalty. No amount of moral suasion
or penalization can compel a building contractor to lay bricks when
he has no contract. We cannot hold employers responsible for unem­
ployment such as we have today, and we believe that they are just
as much victims of social and economic forces beyond their control
as are their workers. Moreover, even if stabilization could be
achieved, it could be done only by reducing working forces to a
minimum, thus throwing a further multitude of men out of employ­
ment and adding to our present difficulties.
We believe that the chief aim of an unemployment insurance plan
should be to provide for the unemployed. Contributions should be
made not only by the employers and employees but also by the
Government, in order to provide a distribution of the burden of the
costs, without which there cannot be real social insurance. The
company reserve plan embodies neither the principle of distribution
of the risk nor the distribution of the burden.
That upon studying the problem organized labor becomes aware
of these defects is evidenced by the fact that although last year the
.New York State Federation of Labor supported a bill in the New
York Legislature along the line of the Wisconsin model, it has just
reversed its position by the introduction of a bill requiring a single
State-pooled fund. In order to maintain harmony and a united
front, our New York groups, at a meeting last night, decided to back
the federation bill in the State legislature despite the fact that the
bill, as presented, still fails to meet many of the provisions in our
model bill.
Because we believe that the Wagner-Lewis bill offers an oppor­
tunity for a real advance in unemployment legislation in this coun­
try, and because we are convinced that it overcomes the chief
obstacles to present legislation, we shall work as hard as we possibly
can for the passage of this bill, which we believe will give great
stimulus to State legislation. In the individual States, however,
we must fight for that kind of a plan—for the only kind of a plan—
that offers an opportunity of actually paying benefits to the unem­
ployed, namely, an insurance plan based on a single State-pooled
fund with adequate contributions to make possible adequate benefits.
Mr. K oveleski (New York). Mr. Epstein does not speak for the
New York State Federation of Labor. We appreciate his coopera­
tion, but he does not represent us or speak for us.
The Secretary op L abor. Do you disagree with him?
Mr. K oveleski. We do not disagree with him; he agrees with us.
[Meeting adjourned.]

Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor of the United States, Presiding

Old-Age Pensions
The S ecr etar y of L abor. I want to cover two or three important
points, just raise them, for the purpose of lodging them in your
minds for future discussions in your States, for future correspond­
ence, and for help in mutual cooperation between State departments
of labor and the Federal Department.
I want to raise the question of the necessity of provision for old
age in addition to unemployment insurance, which we discussed this
morning. I have asked Mr. Phillips, president of the Pennsylvania
State Federation of Labor, to discuss this point briefly.
Mr. P h il l ip s . When we began seriously to consider old-age pen­
sions some 20 years ago, I think a great many of us had the idea*
perhaps, that in addition to taking care of the problem of the aged
who would ordinarily go to the poorhouse, out of that legislation
would be developed some means for providing for a class of older
workers who would be displaced in industry. We anticipated an
unemployment problem, not in any sense the kind of unemployment
problem with which we are confronted at this time, but rather one
that was arising out of the changing processes in industry and a
demand for more intensive service on the part of the individual
It seems to me that our experience in endeavoring to translate
those ideas into legislation indicates that we have reached the point
where we must definitely throw a line of demarcation between what
is called old-age pensions and the scheme which is intended to take
care of the displaced worker in industry. As we went along en­
deavoring to obtain legislation in the various States, we eventually
had it driven home to us that after all the full extent of what we
were accomplishing was merely an extension of outdoor poor relief.
In practically all of the legislation that has been enacted we have
the age limitation of 65 or 70 years and the requirement of indigence.
I believe that so long as legislation has taken that form it is very
important that the popular mind be educated away from the idea
that so-called “ old-age pensions ” will ever accomplish anything more
than simply give to the person who would ordinarily go to the poorhouse the option of being maintained at home. It is, of course, a
very fine, humanitarian thing to provide in all of the States that
people shall not have to go to the poorhouse, but I think it is
equally important that we understand clearly the limitation of that
type of legislation.
Before I close I would like to call your attention to a bill
now before Congress, the Dill-Connery bill, which proposes that the
Federal Government contribute one-third of the cost of old-age



assistance to the various States. This would be a very helpful way
of assisting the movement in the States where no such legislation
has yet been enacted. I would like to say, however, that from what
we have been able to learn from the present Federal legislative situ­
ation, there is a very definite attempt being made to sidetrack
both the Dill-Connery and the Wagner-Lewis bills, on the oldfashioned plea that we still need time to study those problems. I
would like to urge all of you to do everything you can to see that
both measures are passed during the present session.

Employment Exchanges
The S ecr etar y of L abor . The necessity for an adequate system of
free employment exchanges has come to the fore in the discussion
on several occasions. Because of that I thought it opportune to
have a brief descriptive statement from Miss LaDame, who is in
charge of the development of the field service of the free employment
exchanges in the Department of Labor.
Miss LaDame. I think it is unnecessary, in view of the comments
made this morning, to elaborate 011 the need for employment ex­
changes. They are absolutely indispensable to our permanent
economic structure. More than that, we feel that there is no agency
that has the opportunity to render a more valuable service to the
individual human being than the local employment exchange.
The United States Employment Service is the only bureau which
has authority to render assistance to the States in organizing local
employment offices. Since this authority has been granted by the
Wagner-Peyser Act, some 16 States have taken advantage of the
provisions of the act and have become officially affiliated with the
United States Employment Service. These include the major indus­
trial States and represent about 70 percent of the wage earners of the
country. The amount of money paid out to these States under the
provisions of the act represents about 53 percent of the total amount
available for distribution to all States.
In order that the States may avail themselves of the benefit of
the act, it is absolutely necessary that the State legislatures accept
the provisions of the Wagner-Peyser Act before July 1,1935. There
are representatives here of 23 States which have not yet accepted the
provisions of the act. We wish to urge upon them to take every
possible action to induce their respective States to take advantage
of the provisions of the act.
The law imposes upon the United States Employment Service the
development of standards with which the States must comply in
order to receive financial aid for their employment offices. I would
like to say for Miss Perkins and my other colleagues in the United
States Employment Service that the standards presently used are
necessarily experimental. They will be modified. We are very
anxious that the States employ the most qualified personnel possible
to manage their employment offices. A personnel not qualified for
the job may cause great injustice to applicants and employers who
are going to make use of this service.



Low-Cost Housing
The S ecr etar y of L abor . I also want to introduce today some of
the newer conceptions in regard to housing. The opportunity is now
with us to secure some really good low-cost housing, which can be
rented to wage earners at a price within their incomes and which
will greatly improve their living facilities. This can be developed
on a Nation-wide scale. No State or community should be left out
merely because of lack of knowledge of this opportunity. Mr. Rob­
ert D. Kohn, Director of Housing, Public Works Administration,
and vice president of the Public Works Emergency Housing Corpo­
ration, will discuss this problem.
Mr. K o h n . At the time of the passage of the Recovery Act there
was just one State—New York—that had a housing commission.
Now 15 States have housing commissions and five States have en­
acted housing authority laws giving the State, county, or munici­
pality the authority to proceed with construction of low-cost
Real progress has been made, therefore, in fixing the responsi­
bility for housing conditions and the power to act to procure lowcost housing. The main problem in our promotional work was to
secure the creation of State agencies empowered to undertake hous­
ing to meet the needs of the lower income groups. Such housing
had never been produced as a private business venture, because the
return from the original investment is too small and uncertain.
In the last 6 months, 5 States have given authority to municipali­
ties to proceed with low-cost housing and 15 have enacted laws creat­
ing housing study local situations. In general, housing
boards have supervision over standards, while housing authorities
have the power to construct and to borrow money for that purpose,
giving their own security for the necessary loans.
Those of you coming from States not having housing legislation
and who may be interested in securing such legislation can find out
details of procedure by getting a copy of a recent pamphlet issued
by the National Association of Housing Officials, University of
Chicago, which gives the basis of housing board and housing
authority legislation.
Briefly, what has actually been done by the housing division is
to start half a dozen housing projects, mainly for lower salaried
white-collar people. Of more than 400 projects filed by limited
dividend corporations, very few could be approved; and of those
to which funds were allocated, few came to the contract stage be­
cause the necessary equity could not be supplied by their proponents.
For the present we are interested mainly in Federal, municipal*
and housing authority projects, mostly involving clearance of slum
areas. We are actually at work in one or two places buying the
necessary land for such projects. The need for secrecy here is ob­
vious. The difficulty is to accumulate a large number of small prop­
erties to start a project; the interference of private interests makes
it necessary to keep very much to ourselves where we are buying
the land and how much.



Some of our houses have been completed in the remote Virgin
Islands. The houses there cost only $525 each. They are built of
cement blocks, have a garden space, and rent for $3 a month. We
can hardly do that elsewhere.
City after city is taking up the study of its housing conditions.
We have had city planning for years, but it has been devoted mainly
to the study of traffic problems, to highways, and so forth. The eco­
nomic use of city land as a basis for improving living conditions has
rarely been studied in this country. Gret your city to do what 30
cities are doing now. Make a study of the living conditions in your
city, not merely as a problem in arithmetic, but which will lead up to
the planning of a better city, a working and living place which will
help to raise the standard of family lire. You must produce dwell­
ings in your community within the means of the worker—at a rent,
therefore, of between $17 and $24 per month per habitation—decent
accommodations, well planned, well built, with adequate playgrounds
and placed in relation to the growth of the city in such a way as to
fit in with a long-range regional plan.

The N.R.A. and State Labor Legislation
The S ecretary of L abor . I know that many of you are very much
interested and concerned about the labor codes under the N.R.A.
and the relationship between those codes and your own State laws.
The whole question of the N.R.A. and State relationship is one of
profound concern. I knew that if I introduced this subject on the
first day we would spend all of our time discussing this most absorb­
ing topic and would not give ourselves the opportunity for airing
views on other subjects. Mr. McGrady, the Assistant Secretary of
Labor, is now serving as General Johnson’s aid on labor matters in
the N,R.A. He will first speak briefly on the relations of the labor
provisions of the N.R.A. codes to State laws, and then expose himself
to such questions as any of you may see fit to ask.
Mr. M cGrady. I quite agree with the view that no piece of legis­
lation that we have passed in this generation has so profoundly
affected the lives of the people of this country as the N.I.R.A., and
I further believe that the N.R.A. will still more profoundly affect the
life of the Nation in the days to come. Because we were breaking
new ground we never expected this act to be perfect. We also
expected to make mistakes in the administration of the act. Many
mistakes have been made. We have freely admitted them when they
have been brought to our attention. We have always invited con­
structive criticism, and we hope that you in the States will continue
to criticize if you believe that our administration of the act ought
to be criticized. We will correct our mistakes as soon as possible.
I am not going to expand upon the need of this legislation. I am
going to make some brief comments, because I presume all of you
want to say something and I would rather listen to you. You have
come fresh from the States, you know your problems, while we
here, at our desks, know these problems only from a distance. I
65753— 34------ 5



know that out of the questions and criticisms this afternoon I shall
be able to bring back to our administration something worth wThile.
Up to the present time, we have approved 280 codes. These codes
cover approximately 90 percent of all industry. There are many
codes yet to be heard, many codes to be adopted, but they are the
codes that affect largely the smaller employers of labor.
I have been rather critical of the administration of the act, but I
want you to know that this act has been a success. It has done al­
most as much as we expected it to do, but it is going to do more. I
make this prediction: You will have the busiest months in April and
May that you have had in this country in several years. Every­
thing indicates it. Men and women are going back to work in
increasing numbers. In many cases industry is paying more than
the minimum rates set by the codes.
A short time ago the Secretary of Labor issued a statement on the
employment situation. As I recall those figures, they show that 110,000 workers had been returned to the railroads; 300,000 were in the
Civilian Conservation Corps; 300,000 had been put to work on roads
and public buildings under the P.W.A., and 4,500,000 in C.W.A.
projects. In addition the N.R.A. has estimated, I believe conserva­
tively, that not less than 2,800,000 workers have been reabsorbed in
The purchasing power of our workers has been increased several
billion dollars. I did have a lot of figures on States and cities, but
1 want to speak briefly and shall pick out two particular cities, New
York City and Lawrence, Mass. In New York, the purchasing
power of workers due to reemployment has been estimated as having
increased from 55 million to 70 million dollars a month. There
are approximately 800,000 more people receiving pay checks in
the State of New York than a year ago. In Pennsylvania, 750,000
workers are drawing salaries who had no income a year ago.
In Lawrence, Mass., there were 11,848 workers employed in woolen
and worsted industries in 1932, with a total wage of $8,381,000,
In 1933, the average number of persons employed in woolen and
worsted industries was 23,000, with their total wages more than
doubled—to approximately $20,000,000.
There has been increased employment in every industrial center
from which we have been able to get records. I said the codes are
not perfect, and they are not. I believe the minimum rates set are
too low. I believe in many cases the hours provided for—40, gen­
erally—are too high. These two items have received the most criti­
cism from labor. Yet I want you to remember that there are more
than 2,950,000 business enterprises of all kinds in this country. There
are 195,000 manufacturers, 60,000 wholesalers and jobbers, 1,900,000
retailers, and 110,000 other concerns such as commercial merchants,
hotels, theaters, and similar organizations. You can see the task
we undertook was a colossal one. We cut the hours in many
lines of employment as much as 30 hours a week, with an average
reduction of better than 8 hours per week. We have been told that
to reabsorb all the unemployed we would have to go down to 26
hours a week. Whether this is true or not, I do not know. But,
obviously, we could not at one bite reduce the hours of labor in
industry to where they ought to be, because we were not sure



ourselves and did not want to penalize industry. So we set a figure
that might be too high, but it was an experimental figure. These
hours can be changed.
The minimum rates of wages set have received a lot of criticism.
Fourteen cents an hour was allowed for laundry workers in the
South. Yet with that low wage, one city in the South notified us
that the laundry industry could not go on and pay 14 cents an hour
because it had always been paying $2.50 to $4.50 per week for that
class of labor. In the lumber industry, minimum rates set were
low in my opinion, and yet they represented an increase of 300
percent over what many of these workers received formerly. It was
never intended that the minimum rates or the maximum hours set
would continue for any great length of time. In many cases it was
a 90 days’ or a 6 months’ experiment. Now we are going to review
the whole situation, and we are going to review it, not behind closed
doors with executives, with employers, with a few labor men, but in
open public hearings in Washington. They will begin on the 27th
of February.
We are inviting the public to come and to criticize anything that
we have done in any code and to offer constructive suggestions for
improvement. The hearings will be carried on in five separate meet­
ings, grouped as follows:
1. Possibilities of increasing employment, the question of wagesr
of hours, etc.
2. Trade practices, costs and prices, protection against excessive'
prices, monopolistic tendencies, etc.
3. Control of production, restriction of unethical practices^ nnv
lawful competition, etc.
4. Code authority organization, code administration including:
compliance and enforcement, overlapping of codes, financing; of code
administration, the use of the code Eagle, etc.
5. Problems of small enterprises and minorities, operation of codies
in small enterprises, etc.
All persons who desire to be heard are expected to file their re­
quests before noon of February 26.
After all of the evidence is presented, all of the criticisms siftedy
and a report prepared, another series of conferences will be held
with the code authorities. The President of the United States will
open the first meeting of this conference. We will discuss with
the code authorities all of the things that have happened under the
codes. We are going to ask them to explain the why and wherefore
of everything, the need of changes. The code authorities will have
to defend their codes and the things that they believe ought to* be
retained in them. This conference will also be broken down into
five different groups.
I deem it very important for all of you, when you go back
home, to review what has happened in your States or localities, and
if you have any contribution to offer I trust you will either wire or
write us, or come personally to those public hearings.
I know that a great many here are interested in labor. We have
already set up under the National Labor Board regional labor
boards in Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, and other cities. Other regional
boards will be set up shortly. I am sure that Mr. Altmeyer will be



able to tell you what compliance boards are doing in dealing with
violations of the codes.
I f I can answer any questions I shall be very glad to do so.
Mr. T aylor. The lumber code authority is composed of employers
only. Labor is not represented, and yet the code authority insists
that it settle all labor questions in the industry. I understand a
decision has been handed down by the National Labor Board which
will possibly change the situation. Do you know whether that has
been finally adjusted or not?
Mr. M cGrady. I do not know, but it was the original intention
that the code authority should consist of employers only. Labor
raised objections and demanded that labor also be represented on
tlie code authority. Up to the present time we have been unable
to get labor represented on very many code authorities. It has been
claimed that the code authorities deal mainly with our trade prac­
tices and that labor is not very vitally affected. I disagree with this
view. Each industry should have set up within it an industrial
‘iboard with labor represented in equal numbers with employers,
whose duty it is to try and adjudicate all labor disputes before they
are sent to the regional labor boards. Whether that was done in
the lumber industry or not, I do not know.
The Secretary calls my attention to the fact that there are labor
representatives on some code authorities. Most labor men want labor
represented on the code authorities, because everything pertaining
to the industry necessarily affects the life of the workers. But
there are other labor men who raise this point: “ We do not want
to interfere in the conduct of industry; all we want is to discuss
wages, hours, and working conditions. Give us a separate board.”
Mr. M atthews (Nebraska). A delegation composed of employees
o f the Federal Government called upon me before I left home, won­
dering if they are to be protected by a code. I would like to ask this
Mr. M cGrady. The N.I.R.A. does not apply to city, county, State,
or Federal employees. It deals with industry and trade only.
Mr. M atthews. Will no attempt be made to rectify the condition
o f Federal employees who are subsisting on wages insufficient, to
maintain a decent standard of living?
Mr. M cGrady. I agree with you, but the place to go with that
•complaint is the Congress of the United States.
Miss J ohnson (New Hampshire). Is it the intention, in the case
o f codes as reopened, that there should be provision for the protec­
tion of learners ? For instance, in the cotton-textile industry, learn­
ers in the first 6 weeks are not required to be paid any specified
amount and may be paid nothing at all.
Mr. M cG rady. This question will be reviewed in the light of ex­

Question. What is the present status of the restaurant code?
Mr. M cGrady. The restaurant code, I believe, was signed by Gen­

eral J ohnson today and will go to the President late this afternoon.



For your information, if you are interested in restaurants, it will
include a 48-hour work week for women and a 54-hour week for
men, which was entirely unsatisfactory to the workers.
The S e c r e t a r y O f L a b o r . But it represents a very great reduc­
tion in present hours.
Mr. M c G r a d y . Yes. By the way, this code also is only for 3
months’ duration.
Mr. R a u s h e n b u s h (Pennsylvania). What is the arrangement at
these meetings? Will the representatives of the public be able to
address themselves directly to the code authority responsible for the
various practices that they may find unsatisfactory ?
M r . M c G r a d y . The consumers, of course, are going to have a hear­
ing and anyone who has any complaint or suggestion to make will
be heard either in writing or personally. There is not a phase in.
the whole N.R.A. that is not going to be laid open to the public*
Mr. K a t j s h e n b u s h . Will they be able to speak face to face with
those responsible code authorities against whose practices they pro­
test? I would like to know whether the public is going to have an
opportunity to speak directly to the code authorities at the meetings
you describe.
Mr. M c G r a d y . The public will be invited to the hearings, starting
February 27 and lasting 5 days. We will then sift all the evidence
and make recommendations to the code authorities when they meet
in convention, commencing March 5. As to whether the public can
address the code authorities, I am not prepared to say. I would
suggest that you talk with Mary Rumsey on that.
Question. The N.R.A. codes do not deal with the problem of do­
mestic service. Will there be any effort made toward its regulation?
M r . M c G r a d y . The only way you can change that is by legisla­
tion. Remember, we are not quite sure of our ground. We have
to work under the law and we cannot stretch the law very much.
Certainly we cannot go beyond the law when it does not give
us the right to deal with that class of labor. The act refers to foreign
and interstate commerce, and these service industries are all intrastate. I do not know how far we can go in enforcing codes on purely
intrastate industries.
Mr. E d e l m a n (Pennsylvania). I think the phase of the N.R.Awhich interests most people is the question of enforcement and com­
Mr. M c G r a d y . I quite agree with you. Mr. Altmeyer, who is the
labor representative on the Compliance Board, is here. He knowsmore about it than I do.
Mr. P h il l ip s (Arizona). The N.R.A. has classed Arizona in the
southern zone in most of the codes. We have protested against that,
and we have never been able to get any reply. I should like to ask
if there is any way for Arizona to be removed from the southern
zone. California prices prevail in Arizona all the way through*
and we do think that our State has been done a great injustice by
being classified in the southern zone.



M r, M cG rady . Go to the conference and prove your case.
zoning problem is very complicated.


Mr. P h il l ip s . In the northern part of Arizona we have quite ex­
tensive pine forests and lumbering, and in zoning the N.R.A. has
made the division between the North and South pass through our
State so the low price took in the lumber workers in Arizona. We
cannot understand that.
The S ecretary of L abor . I should advise you to prepare a mem­
orandum on that problem, and we will se that it is properly presented
to the lumber code authority at the time of this meeting and that
copies of it reach the Industrial Advisory Board and the Labor
Advisory Board, so that it can be properly discussed.
Mr. P h il l ip s . It has caused quite a disturbance among our lum­
bering towns. Those towns demand that the employees in the
lumber camps affiliate with organized labor in order to get fair
The S ecr etar y of L abor . Mr. Lewis, a member of the Labor Ad­
visory Board, a member of the Bituminous Coal Code Authority,
and well known for his position in labor, who has shown over and
over again a keen interest in State labor laws and State labor legis­
lation, is with us today. I should like to have him speak briefly on
his own reflections on the operation of the N.R.A.
Mr. L e w is . T o my mind the National Recovery Administration is
one of the greatest developments in modern economic and social
history. With all its imperfections, it has been the instrumentality
that has saved our Nation from economic, social, and political
chaos. As one who has some knowledge of conditions in industry in
our Nation these last few years, I hesitate even to think what might
have been the condition in this year of 1934 had our Federal
Congress not empowered the President of our Republic with the
.authority to set up this national instrumentality.
Assuredly it has its imperfections. Obviously it has its weak­
nesses like any other institution created and managed by man. How­
ever, I think that the beneficent features of the N.R.A. were most
eloquently expressed in a brief remark by one of the delegates to
the United Mine Workers conference, which the distinguished Secre­
tary of Labor did us the honor to attend. He said: “ I am for the
N.R.A. Prior to October 2, 1933, I worked in a coal mine 12 hours
a day and my average wage was $2.25 a day on the days that I
worked. Since the 2d of October, under the bituminous coal code,
I work 8 hours a day in the same mine at the same task and my
wages are $4.20 a day. I am for the N.R.A. My grocer is for it,
because I am able to buy his merchandise. The doctors and profes­
sional men in my community are for it, because it has aided them in
their income and improved their living standards and because we
are able to patronize them. I do not care about any criticism of
the N.R.A. With all its shortcomings the National Recovery Admin­
istration has aided me in the manner I have described.” There is
a sermon in that brief statement.
I feel the same way. None of us need expect the millennium in
our social relations, in our economic policies, or in our political
affairs. The instruments which we set up represent very largely the
crystallized judgment and viewpoint of all of us. If we are unable



properly to crystallize our viewpoints and to find the proper instru­
mentalities of government, then the weakness lies with ourselves,
and so it is with this whole problem. Our modern processes, the
functions of industry, the interrelations of business and economics,
broke down in this country. They broke down because, as a nation,
we had failed rationally to organize these various factors and rela­
tionships. We had made tremendous advance in the realm of sci­
ence, the development of labor-saving machinery, mass-production
enterprises, and the ability to transport, and we had created a situa­
tion where our capacity to produce commodities was greater than
our ability to consume. We had built a machine that, in turn, made
the workmen idle and rendered it impossible for them to patronize
the machine, to keep it running.
So our great task is to organize our economic processes so that
we can distribute among our population the advantages of our
enterprise and our genius. Whoever were responsible for the man­
agement of industry failed in their task. They failed to provide
for the future. They took from business and industry whatever
they were able to take, and they set up no insurance of any kind
for tomorrow and the day of adversity. Consequently, we were
rapidly approaching disintegration and the N.R.A. is the plan
offered by our Government to meet a situation created through
inefficiency of industrial, business, and economic management jn
America. Be it said that those representatives of our Government,
those representatives of the N.R.A. since its organization last June,
have rendered a great contribution to the country and its citizens.
As one who, in a small way, has participated in its operation, I can
testify that it has labored with diligence and with extreme devotion
to assist in bringing our country out of a terrible emergency.
It is quite true, as the Assistant Secretary of Labor says, many
things have occurred in the administration of the Recovery Act from
which many of us dissent. We have withheld our approval of many
things which have been done, yet we must be liberal enough to recog­
nize that within the N.R.A., as elsewhere, the policies that are enacted
represent the crystallized viewpoint of those who are charged with
managing the Recovery Administration as best they can. amid all
the difficulties that beset them. I am proud that I have been a part
of this great enterprise, which I know has made a great contribution
to the well-being of America and Americans. In the coal industry
it has created the opportunity for which many of the workers have
fought for several decades—to organize, to bargain with their em­
ployers on the matter of wages and working conditions. Prior to
last June it was legally impossible in vast mining areas of the
bituminous region for men to join a union and particularly the
United Mine Workers. They were restrained in large groups and
over large areas by Federal injunctions based upon so-called “ indi­
vidual service contracts ”, issued in perpetuity, which denied the
employees the right to join the union as long as they were employees
of those coal companies. It was a crime for any representative or
agent of the union to ask) miners to join the union, or to tell them
that through joining the union they might improve their conditions,
because that act tended to create a condition that might violate the
service contracts which they had with their employers.



The Recovery Act has changed that situation and within 6 weeks
after the signing of the act by ^he President more than 60,000 miners
joined the united Mines Workers in areas where they had not had
that privilege before. After some months of negotiation and collec­
tive bargaining, contracts involving some 315,000 men were signed
with the operators in those fields. Those contracts carried recog­
nition of the 8-hour day as against 9, 12, or even 16 hours worked
in Harlan County, Ky. One company, in particular, in Harlan
County worked on an average 16 hours a day and its men re­
ceived $2.25 a day. The men in the mines now receive $4.20 for
an 8-hour day. They are for the N.E.A. because it has aided them,
has given them renewed hope for the future, and has taught them
that it is possible to get away from the old order. They are grate­
ful to those leaders in public life, including the President, who has
had courage to strike out and to liberate them from intolerable
conditions which have prevailed for many years.
We cannot accomplish the millennium in a day, and there are
those in the country who felt that it would be too great a risk to
attempt to impose on all of the backward industries in the sub­
merged sections of the country at one stroke of the pen the ideal­
istic conditions which we hope to establish in industry as an even­
tuality. So, with all of the criticisms of the administration of the
act, with all of the sectional protests, there is accomplishment, there
is progress.
Ma,y I just say a word in testimony as to the manner in which
every division, every department, of our Government has worked
here in Washington during the past year. I have been in the offices
of the distinguished Secretary of Labor late at night and have seen
her enormous desk fairly covered with documents and papers that
demanded her attention, and have wondered if she would ever have
the time to work through that mass of papers. The same is true
in practically all the divisions of our Government. It is true in the
N.R.A. Day after day, night after night, everyone in the Washing­
ton Government service has been making a contribution to this
emergency and drawing upon their strength and ability to the fullest
possible degree.
We can afford to be proud of the accomplishment, that has already
been made, the work that has been done. We can afford to be toler­
ant and patient in the attempt to secure the additional reforms and
advantages that we would like to see. I am one who has at all times
asked for labor representation on all code authorities. It is possible
that there are some localized industries where the administration of
the code does not, of necessity, intrude upon the realm where the
workers have an interest, but those are indeed rare, in my opinion.
In the coal industry, I doubt if there is any action that does not
indubitably affect the workers in that industry, and I think the
workers are entitled to adequate representation on all code authori­
ties. I have had the honor to be appointed, on recommendation of
the Secretary of Labor, on the Bituminous Coal Code Authority, and
I am looking forward with the greatest of interest to making a con­
tribution to the stabilization of that benighted industry. Assuredly,
if there ever was an industry that needed to have its practices ration­
alized, it was the bituminous coal industry, and I think that this
great experience in government has been instrumental in teaching



our business and industrial leaders that there is an imperative neces­
sity for them to develop sufficient leadership to insure more or less
self-regulation of industry.
Reports and Resolutions of Committees
The Secretary of L abor. We are now ready to receive the reports
of committees. Our action on the reports of those committees and
on other resolutions that may be presented on the floor will serve
for the guidance of people here in relation to the labor laws of the
States and the Federal Government. May I repeat that in accepting
the reports of committees and adopting resolutions we recognize, of
course, that no individual here today has any power to bind his
State. When you vote to accept these recommendations or resolu­
tions, you bind yourself only to a moral responsibility to perform
your patriotic duty in doing all that you can to persuade the people
of your own State to accept similar standards.
Report of Committee on Industrial Health and Safety (As Adopted)

The following report submitted by the committee on industrial
health and safety was adopted:
1. The State departments administering the labor laws should have authority
to formulate industrial codes, preferably through the agency of code com­
mittees including representatives of employers, employees, and impartial experts,
for the protection of the health and safety of employees and for the proper
lighting, ventilation, and sanitation of industrial establishments. Such codes
should conform substantially to nationally approved standards.
2. Ventilation, temperature, humidity, air space, and lighting.— Adequate
standards for ventilation, temperature, humidity, air space, and lighting should
be established.
IB. Dusts, gases, and fumes.— All harmful dusts, gases, and fumes should be
removed at the source wherever possible.
Personal protective devices such as goggles, and head protectors, should be
furnished to workers unavoidably exposed to harmful dusts, gases, and fumes.
4. Dangerous materials, substances, and tools.— Protective clothing such as
gloves, aprons, or leggings should be furnished where health or safety hazards
exist from processes such as welding or contact with dangerous materials,
substances, or the handling of tools.
5. Machine guarding.— Adequate guards should be required for dangerous
machinery, especially at point of operation, such guards should preferably be
attached by the manufacturer.
Cleaning and physical upkeep of places of employment.— Workrooms should
be maintained in a safe and sanitary condition with due consideration for the
health and safety of the employee. Equipment should be placed so as to per­
mit freedom of action on the part of the worker. Aisle space should be adequate
and unobstructed. Material should be piled in an orderly manner. Waste
material should be properly stored and accesses to exits should be adequate
and unobstructed.
Fire protection.— Proper fire safeguards, fire escapes, and exits should be
First aid.— There should be provision for competent personnel, including
medical and surgical services where necessary, and adequate equipment for
administering first-aid treatment.



6. Seating facilities.— A sufficient number of suitable seats with backs should
be required in all industrial establishments.
7. Sanitary facilities.— Proper rest rooms, wash and dressing room con­
veniences, and adequate toilet facilities should be provided. Hot water should
be provided in industrial establishments.
8. Lunch rooms.— Eating in workrooms should be prohibited.
places for eating, separate from the workroom, should be furnished unless*
outside facilities are easily accessible.
9. Drinking water.— Cool drinking water, not inferior to the community
water supply, should be furnished to every employee. Such water should be
provided through adequately protected drinking fountains, or through indi­
vidual drinking cups. Reasonable access to drinking water should be permitted
employees at all times.
10. Factory inspection.— There shall be periodic inspection of all work­
places by properly qualified inspectors whose training and experience should
meet with approved standards. This presupposes high standards for the
officials administering the labor laws. Such standards are fundamental for
effective inspection work.
11. Reporting industrial injuries and diseases.— Reports should be required
of all industrial accidents and occupational diseases for analysis of causes and
prevention of repetition.
12. Compensating industrial accidents.— All industrial injuries, whether
accidents or diseases, arising from employment, should be compensated.
C h a r lo tt e ] C a r r , Chairman.
E d w in S. S m i t h .
T. B . E am es.
J. H o p k in s H a l l .
Ch arles F . Sh a r k e y .
Sw e n K ja e r .
E th el J ohnson.

Question. How do you figure on providing the enabling act
wherein the department of labor will be empowered to provide
codes? It is our experience that legislators are very jealous about
granting their legislative power to any other agency than the
The Secretary of L abor. There are a few States that have legis­
lation that gives some commission a limited legislative authority
in this particular field. The standards that could be passed by the
legislature with regard to industrial safety and health would be the
same if the legislature chose to adopt those standards rather than
delegate the power to a subordinate body created by the legislature.
Report of Committee on Limitation of Hours of Work (As Adopted)

The following report by the committee on limitation of hours
of work was adopted:
In order to make permanent the social and economic advantages of the
limitation of hours under which industry is operating under the N.R.A., the
committee believes it desirable that State laws be made to conform as
nearly as possible to the general standards adopted in the codes. Not only
as a protection to the workers, but in fairness to industry, we believe that



r e s o l u t io n s


c o m m it t e e s


all States should have uniform regulations pertaining to the hours which
employees may work, so that industries in particular States may not have
unfair advantage over competitors in others. The following are the recom­
mendations of the committee for general standards for hours of labor ta
be incorporated in State laws:
1. Hours of labor.— (a) No employer engaged in manufacturing, minfng;quarrying, canning, or construction, and no employer participating in any
enterprise in which more than five persons work shall employ any person*
except in a supervisory capacity or as outside salesman in excess of 40 hoursin any 1 week; or in excess of 8 hours in any 1 day, or during a period
of more than 10 hours during any 24 hours; provided that this section shall
not apply to persons engaged in professional or agricultural employment, nor
shall this section apply to unforeseeable emergencies. Those employed in
maintenance, upkeep, shipping, watching, heating, or power plants may be
employed daily 10 percent in excess of the foregoing hours.
(5) When a working shift exceeds 6 hours’ continuous labor, a lunch period?
of at least one-half hour shall be allowed to each employee.
(c) In case men are excluded from these provisions by reason of uncon­
stitutionality, they shall continue in force for all employed women and- minors,.
2. Night work.— (a) No person shall be employed between the1 hours of
12 midnight and 6 a.m. except in continuous process industries, except ttiose?
employed as watchmen or in heating plants, in public utilities, in professional
work, or in the production and publication of newspapers.
(6) No women shall be employed between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
in manufacturing, mercantile, and mechanical establishments, in hotels, in
restaurants, as elevator operators, in manicuring and hairdressing establish^
ments or in any other nonprofessional service, except in a managerial capacity*
(c) In manufacturing industries which are operating two shifts,, each o f
not more than 8 hours per day and of not more than 40 hours per week an<S
during a period of not more than 10 hours in any 24, and in which the first
shift begins to operate not earlier than 7 a.m., the department of labor m ay
permit women over 21 years of age to work after 10 o’clock at night pro*
vided that the plant petitioning for such an exception shall submit evidence
satisfactory to the labor department showing that the full capacity of the
petitioner is already being operated for full legal hours and that the granting
of such variations (permission to work women after 10 o’clock) shall not
result in the undercutting of competitive standards. In no event shall any
women be employed after 12 midnight under the terms of this section.
It is recommended that in any State where laundries are not by law
defined as factories these be separately listed as types of establishment to be
covered by the foregoing regulations.
It is also recommended that the States, particularly the industrial States,
consider the advisability of including in the labor laws a provision that two
10-minute rest periods daily be made mandatory under the law.
The question of hours of labor for minors has been respectfully referred
to the child labor committee.
E l m e r F . A n d r e w s , Chairman*

J o h n J . S o an n eill .
H arry W . F ox.
M a r y A n d e r so n .
W . B . J acobs.
W . E . J oneis .
E d it h R o ckw o o d .



Mr. T a y l o r . I think we are going a little out of our way in ad­
vancing 40 hours, when we are trying to secure a 30-hour work week
at the present time. Hours must be reduced to a shorter work week
than 40 if we are going to put our people to work. I do not feel like
going on record for a 40-hour week when we understand that Mr.
Johnson and others feel that a 30-hour week is necessary.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . What is the legal standard at the present
Mr. T a y l o r . We have no labor laws so far as men are concerned;
48 hours for women—8 hours a day, 6 days a week.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . Do you suppose your legislature would
adopt within the next year a 30-hour law, or would it take it step
by step and slice off, say, 8 hours the first year?
Mr. T ay lo r . If the Congress of the United States passes a recom­
mendation for a 30-hour week, I imagine the State would go along
with it. It would appear to me we are injuring our chances in
Congress at the present time.
Mr. B a r r y (New Hampshire). I think we must not lose sight of
the fact that in presenting a program here, we are presenting a pro­
gram for the future when we will be without the aid of the N.R.A.
in reducing hours. I, too, am a labor man; I, too, believe 40 hours
is too long, but this is a set-up that is being proposed as an objective
to work for in carrying out the purposes of the N.R.A. should the
Government withdraw its support.
There is nothing in this proposition that would prevent any State
which is able to from securing more progressive legislation; there
is nothing to stop it from getting 20 hours a week if it can get it.
This is a move to bring to the attention of each State that it should
not have more than 40 hours as a maximum. If we develop industry
in the next 15 years as we have in the last 15, it does not mean that
we are going to be satisfied with that, and I can conscientiously vote
for it as a labor man.
Mr. S t a r k e y (Minnesota). I feel that this is the most important
question facing us today and I feel we ought to have a little time
on it.
Mr. D o n n e l l y (Ohio). I believe there exists in the minds of a
number of representatives here a doubt as to the wisdom of adopting
that report. While in sympathy with the principles laid down in
relation to limitation of hours, there still exists in my mind a doubt
as to the advisability of accepting the report. It has occurred to
me that perhaps we could achieve our objective by not going so
minutely into detail as to hours. I have been wondering if the
purpose of this conference could not .be clearly stated if we simply
adopted the preamble.
The S ecr etar y of L abor . One of the things that troubles us with
regard to the operation of the codes is that the hours of labor are
different for different industries. It is necessary in certain indus­
tries to make their hours shorter than the basic hours. The com­
mittee believes that 40 hours should be the maximum. Industries
which wish to make further regulations are at liberty to do so. The



r e s o l u t io n s


c o m m it t e e s


preamble is merely a pious expression of benefits obtained under the
codes of the N.R.A. and does not provide for any basic State labor
law. The question is raised as to whether or not we should leave it
in that form.
Miss J ohnson. We must remember that the object of the codes is
to distribute work; the object of the State labor laws is to safeguard
health. We have to consider also the practical necessities of the
situation. A very great change in hours regulation would be ef­
fected by the adoption of even a 40-hour maximum, when we con­
sider that some of the States have no regulation in hours for women,
that the hours fixed by others vary from 48 to 70 hours, and that
practically no regulation of hours exists for men. Even in States
having 48 hours, there are some occupations not covered by regula­
tion. The codes permit variation in liours. The codes also do not
cover all occupations and there are exemptions in regard to smaller
localities. The standard here under consideration would apply to*
all the localities in a State. The standard of the committee would
mean a great improvement in existing conditions in most of the
States. I hope the recommendation may be adopted.
M r . M c G r a d y . It is really necessary for the States to take some
action in order to control the hours in the industries which are
wholly within the States.
Mr. L ubin. May I suggest that the difficulty which seems to be
facing some of us might be overcome by changing the wording to
read “ and in no case shall the hours of employment be in excess of
40 hours within a week.” In that case we are not going on record
for 40 hours, but they cannot be over that.
[The chairman of the committee assented to this change andythere
being no objection, thi£ changed wording was adopted.]
Mr. B erry (Ohio). I f we were considering the question of reduc­
ing the number of hours for taking up the present slack in employ­
ment, then we would stultify ourselves by accepting a recommenda­
tion of this kind. We are, however, considering what is a reasonable
protection for the health and welfare of women and children in
industry. All of us who believe we must reduce the hours believe
that 40 hours a week is not particularly menacing to the health of
a woman in industry or a child old enough to be employed in indus­
try. I feel, considering the subject we are treating today, we can
consistently approve the recommendation of this committee.
Report of Committee on Child Labor Standards (As Adopted)

The following report submitted by the committee on child-labor
standards was adopted:
The committee was unanimously in favor of recommending the ratification*
of the child-labor amendment, but as the resolutions committee is submitting,
a resolution on this subject the child-labor committee has brought in no recom­
mendation to this effect.
The committee recommends the following standards for State child-labor
1. Minimum age for leaving school for work, 16 years.
2. Regulation of employment of young persons 16 to
years- of age as



(а) Hours of work, both daily and weekly, to be less than the legal hours
of work for adults. Night work to be prohibited between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m.
(б) Prohibition of employment of persons under 18 in hazardous occupa­
tions; the State department of labor or industrial board to have authority
to classify occupations as hazardous for this age group.
(c) Work permits to be required for the legal employment of those between
16 and 18 years of age.
At least double compensation for injured minors illegally employed; the
law to provide for approval by a competent State authority of the expendi­
ture of the compensation granted to assure the most desirable rehabilitation and
education of the injured minor.
The committee desires, also, to call attention to the fact that school laws
will need to be amended to conform with the State child-labor laws and that
the standards here recommended will make of even greater importance the
provision by the schools of new and varied types of training to meet the needs
o f all young people under present industrial conditions.
G r a c e A b b o t t , Chairman.
J a m e s A. T a y l o r .
J o se ph M . T one.
R . E . G ordon .
C o u r t e n a y D in w i d d i e .
M a y M . W o o tt o n .

£The report of the committee on child labor was read by Miss
Abbott, who explained that the committee had refrained from pre­
senting resolutions dealing with minimum wages and home work,
although related to child-labor problems, because separate commit­
tees were dealing with these matters.]
Mr. S t a r k e y . I am wondering if the committee would not be will­
ing and anxious to include in the report that minors receiving com­
pensation, when partially or permanently disabled, should not have
their compensation based on their present earnings.
The S ecretary of L abor . I think that a recommendation of that
sort has been made by the committee on workmen’s compensation.
Miss J o h n s o n . I should like to ask a question about extra compen­
sation for minors injured while illegally employed. Should there
not be a provision that the extra compensation shall be a direct lia­
bility on the employer?
Miss A bbott . We decided to keep the recommendations very gen­
eral. We have stated that we are in favor of the double compensa­
tion system, without giving details.
Report of Committee on Unemployment Reserves (As Adopted)

The committee on unemployment reserves submitted the following
resolutions which were adopted:
Resolution No. 1
Whereas, it is imperative that in the future the workers of this country
should not be left without security against the effects of industrial depression
find wholly reliant upon private charity and public relief, and



Whereas, genuine systems of unemployment insurance or reserves have
elsewhere proven their value in providing security and in alleviating the effects
of unemployment,
Be it resolved, That this conference favors the speedy enactment in every
“State of legislation creating genuine systems of unemployment insurance or
reserves, and providing that the unemployment compensation funds created
under such laws shall be sufficient to meet claims of unemployed industrial
workers for benefits well above the level of mere subsistence, and extending
over substantial periods of time.
Resolution No. 2
Whereas, in spite of the need for unemployment insurance legislation, only
one State has at this time an unemployment reserve law upon its statute
foooks, and
Whereas, there has been recently introduced into the Congress a bill known
as the Wagner-Lewis bill, designed effectively to promote such legislation in
nil the States within the next year,
Be it resolved, That this conference heartily endorses the Wagner-Lewis bill
.and urges its enactment by the Congress at the present session.
T h o m a s H . E l i o t , Chairman.
A r th u r J. A ltm eyer.
I sad or L u b i n .
T h eo d or e R e i s e .
R o bert W a t t .
J o h n C o e f ie l d .
M rs. A u gust B e lm o n t.
E l iza b e t h M agee.

Picport and Resolutions of Committee on Minimum Wage (As Adopted)

The following report and resolutions submitted by the committee
on minimum wage were adopted:
1. Legislation
The committee on standards for minimum-wage legislation desires to recom­
mend to the conference that every State here represented make the enactment
of a mandatory minimum-wage law for women and minors an immediate ob­
jective on its legislative program. It believes that the wage experience of the
last few years has demonstrated, in a fashion which should not be repeated,
the need of governmental action to assure basic wage standards below which
industry should not be permitted to depress the earnings of women and minor
The committee recommends that the standard bill drafted by counsel for the
National Consumers League and recently enacted into law (with minor modi­
fications) in six States should be the basis for such legislation.
The committee further urges that individual States in giving consideration
to such legislation take cognizance of a changing attitude toward the setting
of legal minimum wages for men as well as women, and that as the time seems
ripe for the enactment of State laws applicable to all workers they undertake
the passage of such legislation.
2. Administration
Your committee regards it as essential that the administration of minimumwage laws should head up in one responsible executive within the labor de­



partment of the State and that there should be provided an adequate clerical
force and the necessary field and inspection force for which adequate standards
of training and experience must be required. Appropriations sufficient to pro­
vide such personnel and the necessary expenses are obviously essential.
During the past year the six States in which minimum-wage laws were
enacted, recognizing the complex problems of administration which are in­
volved in making the laws effective and the importance of assuring high stand­
ards for their administration, decided from the outset to secure some uniformity
of action by adopting a procedure similar to the conference method by which this
body is proceeding on a larger scale. Representatives of these States believe
that appreciable gains have already been secured in pooling experiences and
standardizing methods in this way, and that all the States involved have been
strengthened in the establishment of sound administrative standards by the
adoption of at least fairly similar practices. Your committee recommends that
as minimum-wage laws of this type are adopted in other States this conference
method should be continued and enlarged to include all those administering
such legislation. It believes that this is one of the practicable ways of develop­
ing the conference method in a field where the administrative practice needs
to be especially flexible and technically sound.
Your committee also believes that proper administrative regulations are
necessary to safeguard rates set by minimum-wage boards and that these should
provide at least the following:
No differentials from the basic rate for learners and minors.
A higher hourly rate for part-time workers.
Overtime at the rate of time and a half.
The guaranty of the minimum hourly rate to all pieceworkers.
No differentials for locality or size of community.
Resolution No. 1
Whereas experience with the administration of minimum-wage laws has
demonstrated conclusively that to permit the payment of pieceworkers at rates
yielding less than the hourly minimum rate to anyone so employed becomes a
serious threat to the standard set in the wage rate itself: Be it therefore
jResolved, That this conference urges that the codes provide that piecework
rates should in every case yield to the worker at least the hourly minimum rate.
Resolution No. 2
Whereas experience with the administration of minimum-wage laws has
demonstrated conclusively that to permit a lower rate for learners than that
established for the least skilled workers is merely to open up an easy means
of undermining tjie standard: Be it therefore
Resolved, That this conference urges the safeguarding of wage minimums
set in codes by means of elimination from all codes of lower rates for learners.
Resolution No. 8
Whereas the minimum rates set in codes are for the least skilled workers in
the various occupational groups, and
Whereas in many codes this minimum is undercut by the setting of still
lower rates for women, and,
Whereas such differentials result in an undesirable reduction in the purchas­
ing power of these workers and in unfair competition between men and women
for the jobs in question: Be it therefore



Resolved, That this conference urges that all differentials on the basis of sex
be eliminated from codes.
F r ie d a M il l e r , Chairman.
E theil J o h n s o n .

F. E. H a t c h e l l .
Mrs. C a t h e r i n e R a n d o l p h .
Mrs. C l a r a M. B e y e r .
A gnes N estor.
L o u is e S t i t t .

Report of Committee on Industrial Home Work (As Adopted)

The following report submitted by the committee on industrial
home work was adopted:
The committee on industrial home work has concluded that the abolition of
home work is the only way to control its growing evils. Probably at the
present time this can best be accomplished by regulations which will assure
to the home worker the same standards of wage and working conditions as
are established for the worker in the factory. W e recommend that wherever
possible State home-work legislation be enacted to embody the following
1. Any place in which home work is done must be licensed and inspected to
insure suitability as a work place and freedom from communicable disease.
2. Every home worker should be certified.
3. Employers giving out home work must be licensed at least annually and
must keep complete registers of all home workers.
4. Employers should be held responsible for violations of the home-work law
and other labor laws such as compensation, child labor, hours, and minimumwage laws.
5. Employers of home workers should defray all the costs of adequate home­
work regulations, either through license fees, or a tax on articles manufactured
at home, or both.
Since one of the aspects of the problem of home work which is difficult
of State control is the sending of goods for home-work manufacture across
State lines, we further recommend that the Federal Department of Labor be
asked to investigate the extent and nature of the passage of home-work goods
in interstate commerce and explore the possibilities of Federal legislation to
control this practice.
Mrs. C l a r a M. B e y e r , Chairman.
C h arlotte C a rr.
J. K nox I n sl e y.
Jo h n J. T oohey.
F r ie d a M i l l e r .

Report of Committee on Provision for Old Age (As Adopted)

The following report submitted by the committee on provision for
old age was adopted:
(1) The enactment of State-wide compulsory laws for old-age pensions.
Where provisions in State constitutions stand in the way, steps should be taken
at once to secure the necessary amendments.
(2) A sufficient sum should be provided by the State to meet the cost of
maintaining such an old-age pension system as is here recommended. The
65753— 34------ 6



method of financing will necessarily vary with conditions prevailing in each
(3) Age recommendations: Sixty to sixty-five recommended.
(4) Property limitations: None recommended. Certainly no less than $3,500;
but when such property is in the form of real estate not yielding an income
it shall have no bearing on eligibility.
(5) Income limitations: Where an applicant, otherwise eligible, has an
income from other sources of less than $360 a year the pension should be fixed
at such a point as to make total annual income not less than $360.
(6) Residence limitations: It is recommended that the term of residence
within the State that is to be required before the applicant shall become eligi­
ble for a pension shall be no more than 10 years; that allowance be made for
temporary absences from the State; and that arrangements be made for
interstate reciprocity.
(7) Maximum pensions: No definite maximum recommended. Amount to
be flexible at the discretion of the State administrative agency.
(8) Administration: The committee stresses the need for the appointment
of thoroughly qualified persons having special knowledge and understanding
of the problems involved.
(9) The committee recommends to the United States Department of Labor
that it make a study of retirement systems on a contributory basis, applicable
to all workers above a certain age.
J o h n A. P h i l l i p s , Chairman.
G eorge W . L a w s o n .
J oh n L. B arry.
H o w a f d K eener .
J o h n F it c h .

[Mr. Watt of Massachusetts added amendment to strike out sec­
tion concerning eligibility. The amendment was accepted and the
report was adopted as printed above.]
Report of Committee on Employment Exchanges (As Adopted)

The following report submitted by the committee on employment
exchanges was adopted:
The committee on employment exchanges recommends:
1. That the members of the conference present from 23 of the States whose
legislatures have not accepted the provisions of the Wagner-Peyser Act, i.e.,
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Ken­
tucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska,
New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas,
Vermont, and Washington, promote the introduction in their respective legis­
latures of resolutions accepting these provisions and the enactment of such
resolutions before July 1, 1935.
2. That the placement services now conducted by local offices of the National
Reemployment Service in States where there are regular State employment
services affiliated with the United States Employment Service, insofar as these
local reemployment offices fit into the permanent long-time program of the State
services, be merged with the latter as rapidly as practicable, with due regard
to the financial problems involved and to the maintenance of the necessary
placement services in the regions naturally tributary to the offices so merged.



3. That in the operation of the State employment services affiliated with
the United States Employment Service more emphasis be given to their long-time
4. That the members of the conference promote the introduction and the enact­
ment of legislation for the State regulation of private employment agencies.
M a r y L a D a m e , Chairman.
J o s e p h P . M cC u r d y .
D an T racy.
Claude S. C a r n e y .
G ladys P a lm er.
F r a n k E . W e n ig .

Mr. Wenig submitted the following supplementary report of the
committee, which was adopted :
The committee on employment exchanges recommends that the members of
the conference make every possible effort to induce the present Congress to
vote the appropriation of $3,700,000 for the United States Employment Service
for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1935, as recommended by the Director of the
Budget and the Secretary of Labor.

Report of Committee on Cooperation Between Federal Government and
State Labor Departments (As Adopted)

The following report submitted by the committee on cooperation
between the Federal Government and the State labor departments
was adopted:
1. It is the opinion of your committee that conferences of representatives
of the State labor departments, representatives of organized labor, and the
United States Department of Labor, for the consideration of labor legislation
are an effective stimulant to the raising of labor standards. It is our opinion
that annual conferences such as the present one are essential to the forwarding
of labor legislation. W e recommend that the Department of Labor arrange for
holding an annual conference and make such arrangements with the governors
of the several States as to enable all States to be represented at such
2. It is the opinion of your committee that regional conferences of State
■departments of labor, representatives of State federations of labor, and repre­
sentatives of social agencies, of States having common economic interests, may
be of material assistance in promoting labor legislation and standards. If
and when such regional conferences are held, your committee recommends that
the United States Department of Labor furnish such services and materials as
will aid in encouraging the improvement of the conditions of labor in the
several States composing such conferences.
3. Your committee recommends that the Federal Department of Labor shall
at all times have accessible and make available to those interested complete,
accurate, and current information, as well as sources of information, on labor
I sad or L u b i n , Chairman.

E d w in

S. S m i t h .

T h o m a s J. D o n n e l l y .
F r a n k St a r k e y .
W en dell H eato n .

M. T o l l .



Report of Committee on Workmen’s Compensation (As Adopted)

The following report submitted by the committee on workmen’s
compensation was adopted, with certain reservations as noted:
The committee made the following recommendations:
1. Compensation.— Compulsory.
2. Administration.— Commission, not court.1
3. Insurance.— Two methods possible (first method recommended) :
(a) State insurance fund, exclusive or competitive.
(&) Private insurance carriers.
Severe penalties on employers not complying with insurance requirements
4. Coverage.— All industries and all employees, including State and municipal,
but exempting possibly agriculture and domestic service. No exemptions of
small employers or “ nonhazardous ” industries. The right of the employee to
waive compensation prohibited. Extraterritorial workers to be included. In
this connection reciprocity and cooperation between States is very desirable.
5. Injuries.— Define injuries to include occupational diseases. “ Blanket ’*
coverage of occupational diseases rather than “ schedule ” coverage.
6. Waiting period.— Not more than 7 days nor less than 3.
7. Medical service.— Unlimited medical and hospital service without cost to
injured employee.
Choice of physician by employee from panel.
Impartiality of testimony re extent of disability.
8. Percentage.— For nonfatal cases, not less than 66% percent of the injured
employee’s wage. In case of death, 35 percent for widow, without children,
plus additional amount for each child, the total not to exceed the percentage
for permanent total disability.1
9. Weekly maximum and minimum compensation.— Maximum should recog-,
nize the rights of the higher-paid workers to a standard of living above the
subsistence level and minimum should be not less than the subsistence level.
10. Compensation period.— Fatal cases: Benefits until death of widow orremarriage, in which case 2 years’ compensation at time of remarriage; chil­
dren, to 18 years or thereafter if physically or mentally incapacitated.
Permanent total disability: During life.
Temporary total disability: During disability.
Permanent partial: Compensation for permanent partial disability shall be
calculated on the basis of a percentage of permanent total disability and shall
be payable in addition to compensation for healing period (i.e., temporary
For administrative simplicity, there should be a schedule of permanent partial
disability benefits based upon the foregoing principle.
11. Second injuries (e.g., loss of second eye).— Employer charged as though
for first injury and balance to be paid out of special-injury fund, both amounts
not to exceed permanent total disability.
12. Second-injury fund— Rehabilitation fund.— Fund secured from death bene­
fit where there are no dependents, and from payments in first major injury
13. Minors.— Double compensation for minors illegally employed.
14. Accident prevention.— Adequate provision. Reporting of all accidents .
1 Wyo.ming nonconcurs.



r e s o l u t io n s


c o m m it t e e s


Procedure.— Informal, “ administrative ” , with adequate provision in law
for the commission to have the power to check “ ambulance chasing ” , regulate
attorney’s and doctor’s fees, etc. Appeals to be permitted to appellate courts
only on questions of law.
A . J. A l t m e y e r , Chavrman.
C l a u d e S. C a r n e y .
W en dell H e a t o n .
T h o m a s J. D o n n e l l y .2

J. A. B r o w n l o w .
S. W . W il c o x .

Report of Committee on Resolutions (As Adopted)

The following resolutions submitted by the committee on resolu­
tions were adopted:
Resolution No. 1
Whereas, labor legislation, Nation-wide in scope, such as has been achieved
under the codes of the National Industrial Recovery Act has been productive
of great good to the working people of the country and has brought? about the
reduction of unsound competition between the States,
Be it resolved, That this conference approves the continuance of the codes
beyond the present term o f the National Industrial Recovery Act as a per­
manent part of our national economic structure.
Resolution No. 2
Whereas more than 50 countries of Europe and other continents meet an­
nually in an International Labor Conference which is participated in by
representatives of the governments, the employees, and the employers of these
countries for the purpose of achieving greater uniformity in labor laws among
the member nations, and
Whereas the raising of the standards of labor legislation throughout the
world is of economic and social concern to all countries of the world including
the United States, and
Whereas the United States was last year represented at the International
Labor Conference by four official observers who have reported most favorably
on the methods of procedure and the results of this conference,
Be it resolved, That this conference meeting in Washington urge upon the
President of the United States the full and permanent participation of the
United States in the work of the International Labor Conference and the
International Labor Office.
Resolution No. 3
Whereas the achievement of the objectives of the codes which have been
adopted under the National Industrial Recovery Act depends to a large extent
upon the effective enforcement of the labor provisions of the codes,
Be it resolved, That judicious but strict enforcement of those provisions of
the codes relating to wages, hours, and working conditions is necessary and
that in the procedure for enforcement full use should be made of the inspection
facilities of the State labor departments.
Resolution No. 4
Whereas the industrial competition between the States makes desirable sub­
stantial uniformity of labor laws among competitive States,
aMr. Donnelly was unable to participate in the meetings of the committee and
wished to be recorded as not voting on the report.



Be it resolved: 1. That there be regular contact between labor department
officials, representatives of employers, representatives of workers and of the
public of competing States for the purpose of discussing and proposing labor
laws which will tend to raise and unify standards for the States participating
in such conferences.
2. That such conferences include representatives of the Federal Department
of Labor.
3. That such conferences be held semiannually on a regional basis.
4. That such conferences consider the adoption of interstate compacts provid­
ing for uniform labor legislation or any other practical devices to achieve this
5. That the Secretary of Labor appoint both a permanent secretary and a
standing committee to work with her in the preparation of a definite plan for
the establishment of such regional conferences and coordination of effort among
Resolution No. 5
Whereas provision for the health and safety of workers should be a major
concern of State labor departments, and
Whereas rules and regulations for making workplaces safe and sanitary
require a variety of technical knowledge and are best formulated by a process
of exchange of opinion and information between employers and employees in
the industries affected, in collaboration with the staffs of State labor depart­
ments, and
Whereas the Federal Government, through its facilities, can be of great assist­
ance to the States in the devising of sound safety and health rules for industry,
Be it resolved, That the conference approves the following propositions:
1. That State labor departments be given authority by their legislatures to
draw up with the cooperation of representatives of employers, employees, and
technical experts, rules and regulations to promote safety and health in the
State’s industries, such rules and regulations to have the force of law.
2. That the United States Department of Labor prepare from time to time
for submittal to the States suggested safety and health codes for the purpose
of assisting State authorities in drawing up their own regulations.
3. That the United States Department of Labor issue, from time to time,
bulletins describing and illustrating good safety practice.
Resolution No. 6
Resolved, That this conference urge the prompt ratification of the child labor
amendment to the Federal Constitution by all the States which have not yet
done so.
Resolution No. 7
Whereas the members of this conference believe that its sessions have been
of great assistance and stimulation to them in their work,
Be it resolved, That the conference most cordially thanks the Secretary o f
Labor for having created it.
E d w in S. S m i t h , Chairman.

R obert W a t t .
C. E . W y z a n s k i .
W . E . J acobs.
C e c il M a t t h e w s .
T . H . E l io t ,



[Mr. Smith, of Massachusetts, then proposed a further resolution,
thanking the Secretary of Labor for having called this conference
and expressing the gratitude of the delegates for the benefits derived
from the conference. The resolution was carried by a rising vote.]
The Secretary of L abor. I am very grateful if this conference
has been of any use whatever to those of you who are here today,
for I have felt that through it there has come to us all a new con­
ception of national service and a new conception of what true
patriotism in the best sense of the word means. I have been more
impressed than I can tell you by the value of our deliberations here
today—a conference working on standards which we will revise as
experience dictates.
I want to assure you that the experience and services of the De­
partment of Labor are available to you for what you have to do in
your great and sovereign States to carry out these standards which
we have set for ourselves. It has been a very great occasion for me
and for the Department of Labor, and I thank you for coming.
Because I have felt the moral purpose running through our de­
liberations, it has occurred to me that we should think about the
whole country, the whole United States of America, and the people
who live therein, and I have asked the Chaplain of the House, Dr.
James Shera Montgomery, to lead us in prayer for the safety of
[Prayer was offered by Dr. Montgomery.]
[Meeting adjourned.]
N ote.—It developed that because of shortage of time the report
of the committee on housing and the special resolution submitted
by Mr. Smith, of Massachusetts, and Mr. Andrews, of New York,
were not submitted to the conference. They are therefore presented
here as official committee reports but without approval or disapproval
of the conference.
Report of Committee on Housing

The following report was submitted by the committee on housing,
but owing to lack of time was not considered by the conference:
More than a century ago certain States decided that a measure of educa­
tion must be provided for all of the people irrespective of their ability to pay
for it. The time has come when we must see to it that decent living conditions
are provided for all of the American people. W e are not saying that it shall be
free. We insist that housing in which a family can be brought up as Ameri­
cans should be, shall be provided at least within the ability to pay of the lowerincome groups.
We know that private capital will not go into really low-cost housing as a
profit-making venture. It never has done so. I f the States and cities face
their duty and provide such housing, they will not be competing with any
private interest. They will compete, and they should compete, with the sub­
standard, unsanitary, disgraceful slum buildings which owners are still per­
mitted to rent, sometimes at a big return on the investment. As a constructive
program, this conference urges steps as follows:
We recommend that State housing boards be created in every State such as
already exist in 15 of the States. Such housing boards should plan a con­



tinuous study of living conditions, the coordination of the work of planning
boards, the shifts of population and of industry, the economic conditions which
favor or injure the earning capacity of the dwellers in any particular area,
and a constant watchfulness over the action of any city or region so as to
maintain a high standard of housing construction.
W e recommend that each State adopt legislation providing for either State
or municipal housing authorities somewhat along the line of legislation already
adopted in five States. Such a housing authority is a constructing agency
through which a community or a State can actually provide needed housing.
In our opinion such housing authorities should not be restricted to build in
slum areas but be allowed to build on large plots within a city or close to the
fringe of a city or town when low-cost land cannot be secured in the blighted
areas or where such blighted areas are not now suitable for housing purposes.
W e recommend as an essential part of any housing program, in any city large
or small, that there be a rigorous enforcement of the sanitary and safety laws
so that thousands of miserable dwelling places will be condemned, vacated, and
if possible, destroyed. There is no more reason why a city should continue to
permit such buildings to be rented than why it should allow a dealer to sell
rotting food. The closing up of bad houses will do more to start the construc­
tion of decent housing than any other step that can be taken. This is some­
thing that can be done in every city, town, and village of the country. Slums
are not to be found solely in metropolitan areas. They exist everywhere.
There are plenty of vacancies just now to take up the slack until new housing
is built.
W e recommend that housing boards, housing authorities, and civic bodies
study local living conditions at once so as to develop a plan of action with
regard to home construction which is based on a long-range view of the future
living and working conditions of their region.
W e recommend a radical reform of the procedure under which governmental
bodies may now exercise the right of eminent domain for the clearing of
blighted areas or the acquisition of land for housing purposes. W e ask that
consideration be given to securing rights over dangerous housing similar to
those of foreign countries where, on the condemnation of an entire area as
a slum, nothing is paid for the buildings in that area; solely the land fvalue
is compensated for.
W e recommend that cities, States, and the Federal Government provide
money for housing purposes at low interest rates and for long amortization
periods. Three-percent money instead of four would be the equivalent of a con­
siderable grant and in many ways preferable. W e urge the low interest rate
as more likely to start a continuous policy of rebuilding carried on through
the years.
W e insist, above all, that low-cost housing must be produced. The improve­
ment in what is provided for white-collar workers can probably be left in
better times to limited dividend corporations. W e must undertake housing
which cannot be produced by private profit-making ventures; namely, commun­
ity housing on low-cost land that will provide a family with decent living
quarters and contiguous recreation spaces in the $16 per month to $24 per
month range, or $4.50 to $6.50 per room per month.
A particularly important field for workers’ housing in America today could
well be the reclamation of the so-called company town or mill village. The
N.R.A. code for the bituminous-coal industry includes a clause forbidding
employers to oblige employees to live in company-owned houses as a condition
of employment. The social disadvantages of this type of housing, it is as­



sumed, are generally recognized. Recently several employers in the bituminous
and in the cotton-textile industries have expressed themselves as wishing to
abandon company housing as unprofitable and unwise. With the cooperation
of labor and civic groups and local governing bodies, surveys might be under­
taken at once to determine the practical possibilities of reestablishing hous­
ing adjacent to an industry as publicly owned and largely self-governing units.
Most important of all is our recommendation that in every community a
group be organized to see to it that the management and use of the housing
shall be in the interests of that economic group for which it is constructed.
Every step in the management must be controlled by persons who are primarily
trained to consider this low-cost housing as a means to the rehabilitation of the
family. Every contact between the management and the tenant should be
socially helpful. The study of right methods in this management must start
at once. It will open the way in this country for a new profession.
H e l e n H a l l , Chairman.
R obert D. K o h n .
H erber t R e n s h a w .
J am es B row nlow .
J ohn E delm an.
M a r s h a l l W h a l in g .

Special Resolution Submitted by Mr. Smith of Massachusetts, and
Mr. Andrews of New York

The following resolution was submitted by Mr. Smith and Mr.
Resolved, That this conference go on record as favoring the establishment
by the United States Department of Labor of facilities for the drafting of
labor legislation, which shall be available to the legislators, administrative
officials, and labor and social organizations of the individual States.
Be it further resolved, That the United States Department of Labor be
requested to organize faculties for research and advice to be available to the
States on all matters pertaining to labor legislation, safety codes, and other
problems which have as their end the improvement of labor conditions.

Appendix.—List of Official Delegates Who Attended the Na­
tional Conference for Labor Legislation, Washington, D.G.,
February 14-15, 1934
Ella Ketchin, chief child labor inspector, Montgomery.
W. O. Hare, secretary Alabama State Federation of Labor, Birmingham.
Howard Keener, industrial commission, Phoenix.
L. W . Phillips, Arizona State Federation of Labor, Phoenix.
E. I. McKinley, commissioner of labor, Little Rock.
John Coefield, general president United Association of Journeymen Plumbers
& Steam Fitters of the United States and Canada, Washington, D.C.
J. A. Brownlow, Colorado State Federation of Labor, Industrial Commission
of Colorado, Denver.
Joseph M. Tone, State commissioner of labor, New Haven.
John J. Egan, secretary Connecticut Federation of Labor, Bridgeport.
Charles H. Grantland, secretary of state, Dover.
Herbert Renshaw, president Delaware State Federation of Labor, Wilmington.
Wendell Heaton, president State Federation of Labor, West Palm Beach.
Martin P. Durkin, director State department of labor, Springfield.
Agnes Nestor, Women’s Trade Union League, Chicago.
Judge Ira M. Snouffer, industrial board, Indianapolis.
Alex E. Gordon, Indiana Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen, Indiana Joint
Legislative Committee Railroad Brotherhoods, Indianapolis.
Frank E. Wenig, labor commissioner, Des Moines.
W . A. Colvin, Boiler Makers and Metal Trades Department, American Feder­
ation of Labor, Washington, D.C.
John M. Moore, Pikeville.



E. L. Engerran, State labor commissioner, New Orleans.
Hon. Louis J. Brann, Governor of Maine, Augusta.
Charles O. Beals, commissioner of labor, Augusta.
Dr. J. Knox Insley, commissioner of labor and statistics, Baltimore.
Joseph P. McCurdy, Maryland State and District of Columbia Federation of
Labor, Baltimore.
Edwin S. Smith, commissioner department of labor and industries, Boston.
Hobert J. Watt, State Federation of Labor, Boston.
•Claude S. Carney, chairman department of labor and industry, Lansing.
John J. Scannell, secretary-treasurer Michigan Federation of Labor, Detroit.
ITrank T. Starkey, State industrial commission, St. Paul.
-George W. Lawson, Minnesota State Federation of Labor, St. Paul.
Felix J. Underwood, M.D., Jackson.
Mrs. Mary Edna Cruzen, State labor commissioner, Federal director United
States Employment Service, Jefferson City.
Cecil E. Matthews, commissioner of labor and compensation, Lincoln.
Boy M. Brewer, organized labor in Nebraska, Grand Island.
New Hampshire
Ethel M. Johnson, minimum wage administration, Concord.
John L. Barry, New Hampshire Federation of Labor, Manchester.
New Jersey
John J. Toohey, Jr., commissioner of labor, Trenton.
Thomas B. Eames, New Jersey Federation of Labor, Millville.
New York
Elmer F. Andrews, State industrial commissioner, New York City.
Emanuel Koveleski, president New York State Federation of Labor, Rochester.
North Carolina
Congressman J. Walter Lambeth, representing Governor of North Carolina,
Washington, D.C.
Congressman William B. Umstead, State of North Carolina, at request of
Governor, Washington, D.C.
Congressman Frank W . Hancock, State of North Carolina, at request of
Governor, Washington, D.C.



James Berry, department of industrial relations, Columbus.
Thomas J. Donnelly, Ohio State Federation of Labor, Columbus.
Charlotte E. Carr, secretary department of labor and industry, Harrisburg.
John A. Phillips, industrial board, department of labor and industry, Harris­
Rhode Island
Thomas P. McHugh, chairman house committee on labor legislation, Providence.
John H. Powers, United Textile Workers of America, Pawtucket.
South Carolina
F. E. Hatchell, South Carolina Federation of Labor, Columbia.
South Dakota
John M. Cogley, State of South Dakota, Sioux Falls.
Theodore Reise, South Dakota State Federation of Labor, Mitchell.

W . E. Jacobs, commissioner of labor, Nashville.
R. M. Cooke, State of Tennessee, Chattanooga.

Mrs. Catherine L. Randolph, Texas labor department, Austin.
D. W. Tracy, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Washington,
Clarence R. White, commissioner of industries, Montpelier.
John Hopkins Hall, department of labor and industry, Richmond.

E. Pat Kelly, department of labor and industries, Olympia.
James A. Taylor, State Federation of Labor, and State of Washington, Seattle.
West Virginia
Clarence L. Jarrett, commissioner of labor, Charleston.
H. R. McLogan, industrial commission, Madison.
Marshall Whaling, International Union of Steam and Operating Engineers,
W . E. Jones, commissioner department of labor and statistics, Cheyenne.
Harry W . Fox, representative State of Wyoming, Cheyenne (former president
of State Federation of Labor), Washington, D.C.