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Mr. PERKINS. Just one more question Mr Chairman.
Inasmuch as the Government was operating the mines at the time these 518 mines were closed down that you mentioned, they had the authority to close the mines down
Mr. MAIZE. Because they were their own mines.
Mr. PERKINS. That is right, because they were operating their own mines.
Mr. MAIZE. That is right.
Mr. PERKINS. Now, do you not think that the greatest improvement in mine safety all over the Nation followed when those 518 mines were closed down?
Mr. MAIZE. No; I do not think so, because some of those mines started up without doing a single thing in them to bring about the improvement of the situations that they claimed in some of them. Federal inspectors came to the mine and said, “You can start it up.” But our inspectors would not open the mine until they inspected them. The Federal inspectors said, “All right. You can go ahead and start."
Some of the miners said, “We will not go in there until the State mine inspectors inspect that mine."
That is one of the things that we found.
(The following letter, received subsequent to the close of the hear-ings, by order of the chairman, is inserted at this point in the record :)
UNITED MINE WORKERS OF AMERICA,
Washington 5, D. C., June 20, 1949. Hon. AUGUSTINE B. KELLEY, Chairman, Subcommittee on Miners' Welfare,
House Education and Labor Committee, Washington, D. C. DEAR CONGRESSMAN KELLEY: On June 17, 1949, Mr. Richard Maize, Secretary of Mines of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, testified before your subcommittee. Among other things, Mr. Maize stated that I had issued a statement saying that the Old Ben mine explosion was an "act of God." This statement is: untrue. Mr. Maize made it for one of two reasons :
(a) Because he was ignorant; or (6) Because of personal and political animus. Mr. Maize in his previous testimony before the Senate committee proved himself to be irresponsible. He is gratuitously wrong in charging me with making such a statement with respect to the Old Ben disaster. I was on the ground after that explosion, and I am personally familiar with all the circumstances. appertaining thereto. Mr. Maize was not. The statement which he ascribes: to me was made by another individual, not a member of the United Mine Workers of America, and not associated in any manner with the undersigned.
I deplore such a falsehood on the part of Mr. Maize, and I am writing this. letter in the hope that you will introduce it into the record to correct the grievous and maliciously false statement which Mr. Maize uttered. Sincerely yours,
John L. LEWIS, President. Mr. KELLEY. Mr. Scholz, you may proceed, if you are ready.
TESTIMONY OF CARL SCHOLZ, MINING CONSULTING ENGINEER
Mr. SCHOLZ. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, my name is Carl Scholz, of Charleston, W. Va. I am 77 years old. I am a consultant mining engineer and for 52 years I have been a member of the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers. I am a former president of the American Mining Congress. My coal-mining experience began in West Virginia in 1891; covers the States of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Indian Territory before its absorption in the State of Oklahoma; and I expect it will end in West Virginia where I began. I have had engineering experience in Arizona in the copper districts and in Texas, where I reported favorably on the oil discoveries made later in the vicinity of Corpus Christi.
I was the first consulting mining engineer at the Bureau of Mines. I was appointed by Dr. Holmes as the first consulting engineer at the Bureau of Mines and was sent to Europe to investigate mining conditions over there.
I was born in Germany, and came to America as a youth for the reason that I disliked the German military-caste system, and, secondly, because I was convinced that the American system of free enterprise offered the greatest opportunity for a youth to succeed if he were kindly disposed to work and desired to get ahead. I had learned in Germany that in America the individual was free and unfettered; that it was the voice of the individual that controlled the state and not the state that controlled the individual. I regret to say that the influence of the individual in America is diminishing and there is some sentiment in our country today for the restoration of the state above the individual, a condition from which I fled to come to America in 1889.
I had no college education, but I went to the school of hard knocks from 1886 to this date, and I hope to continue in that school as long as I live, as long as there is lifeblood left in this carcass, and it is going to work for that. And I will say this, gentlemen : That I have devoted a large part of my business experience in the problem of saving lives in coal mines, because I felt that, since the Scriptures tell us to love your brother as yourself, every coal miner is my brother, and I have lived up to that without hesitation.
I have been requested to appear before your honorable committee by the West Virginia Coal Association, a group of coal producers representing an annual production of approximately 90,000,000 tons of bituminous coal, embracing several district coal associations, such as the Kanawha Coal Operators Association, the Logan Coal
Operators Association, the New River Coal Operators Association, Pocahontas Operators Association, the Williamson Operators Association, the Winding Gulf Operators Association, and others. In its membership are included many operators from the Greenbrier and northern West Virginia districts, and numerous individual coal producers not affiliated with any of the district associations.
The request for the West Virginia Coal Association to appear before your committee came to me because I was known by its officers to be familiar with the creation of the United States Bureau of Mines, having appeared before the Congress in advocacy of the legislation. I was a close personal friend of Dr. Joseph A. Holmes, the first Director of the Bureau, and my friendship with this learned, kindly man, continued until his death. I think I am as much responsible for the legislation that created the Bureau as any other man. I well recall Senators Bailey and Teller, who objected to this legislation.
Senator Joe Bailey was a man of great ability. He had a perception of the future and told me that it was only a few years until this Federal Bureau would undertake to supplant the States, and Senator Teller, telling me that, while he would support the bill, he predicted that I would
live to rue the day I had asked him to vote for the bill. Originally the Federal Bureau of Mines was created for educational purposes. I have never wavered in my belief that it could serve a very useful function. It has been exceedingly beneficial to the mining industry in the exploration of the causes and prevention of mining disasters, but I regret that I have been forced to admit that Senators Bailey and Teller were right when they predicted that the Bureau would ultimately be manned by persons who would seek to destroy the sovereign power of the States and demand those police powers that were never sought when this educational bureau was established by law.
I am opposed to the extension of police enforcement powers to the United States Bureau of Mines. Even when clothed with only inspection authority, we have seen the Bureau plunged deeply into the political arena, and it took a strike called by the head of the United Mine Workers to secure the confirmation of the present Director of the Bureau, an appointee of the President of the United States, who was opposed by the union and who caused his confirmation to be suspended for many months.
Now, I might say for your information that Dr. Sayers, the previous Director of the Bureau, was a doctor, and having done business in so many States and had been everywhere, including the continent, I said to Dr. Sayers, “Doctor, why haven't I run across you before ?"
“Well," he said, “I am a doctor. I don't know a thing about mining
Yet, he was acceptable to the mine workers. He admitted to me that he did not know a thing about mining, but he had an able staff, and he depended on them, just as Dr. Boyd is evidently doing. I just mention this because it shows that there is an ulterior power that we do not quite always see governing these appointments.
And today we see spokesmen of the Bureau forgetting their educational duties to lobby in the halls of Congress for more power over the coal-mining industry.
I am opposed to H. R. 3023 because it is one of several measures of like nature, attacking the sovereignty of the States, and proposing to vest increased power in the Federal or Central Government. The Members of Congress are elected by the several States, or divisions thereof; and many of them, when they come to Washington, join in efforts to divest the States of their authority and grant greater powers to the Federal Government. If I may express my personal opinion, I would not want to be elected to the Congress as a representative of a sovereign State and then use my office to destroy the powers of the State which honored me with election.
Section 2 of article 1 of the West Virginia Constitution reads as follows:
The Government of the United States is a Government of enumerated powers, and all powers not delegated to it, nor inhibited to the States, are reserved to the States and the people thereof. Among the powers so reserved by the States is the regulation of their own internal government and police *
H. R. 3023 violates that provision of our State constitution, and if I were a Member of the Federal Congress I would faithfully protect those rights reserved to the State which sent me to Congress. While your committee has under consideration only
H. R. 3023, as I have suggested, this bill is only a part of the conspiracy to strip the States of their sovereign powers. There are other measures pending
in the Congress that would remove the State employment offices and lodge them under the direction of the United States Secretary of Labor, and another bill that would establish a Federal Bureau of Accident Prevention under the Department of Labor, its ultimate objective being Federal supervision and direction of workmen's compensation insurance through rules and regulations imposed by the United States Secretary of Labor.
I mention these because it is impossible for me to conceive that representatives of the States should come to Washington and be so thoroughly impregnated with the fallacies of Central Government that they would favor the surrender of State sovereignty.
In a consultant capacity my experience has ranged from Pennsylvania to the State of Washington, and from Ohio to the Gulf of Mexico, and my managerial experience has extended over several States. I am convinced by that experience that coal-mine accidents are largely the result of the human failure, and I am in full accord with Dan Harrington, retired Director of the Health and Safety Division of the Bureau of Mines, when he recently said in a radio address that from 75 to 80 percent of all mine accidents were the result of human failure and carelessness on the part of the individual. This committee, and this entire Congress, cannot enact legislation to make a careless coal miner protect himself.
The very able John L. Lewis has spoken in dramatic fashion before the Senate subcommittee concerning a companion measure to this bill. He said that millions of men have been maimed, mangled, and killed. He did not tell the committee that 90 percent of these accidents were of a minor nature; that, while tonnage of coal has increased 30 percent in a period of 40 years, fatalities had decreased 60 percent, and that, on the basis of man-hours worked in the mines, mining is more than twice as safe as in the former years.
Mr. Burke, a Member of Congress from Ohio, and a member of this subcommittee, inserted in the Congressional Record of June 6, 1949, an interesting tabulation showing the number of disabling injuries sustained by groups of industries Agriculture, construction, manufacturing, trade, and transportation sustained 11 times more disabling accidents than mining, yet coal mining is the only industry which is without congressional immunity.
I want to make reference to my personal experience with carelessness in accidents. I sank a mine in Illinois in 1917 which held the world's record for coal production for several years at a cost of $38 for compensable injuries. In 1920 I sank a mine at Glen Rogers, in Wyoming, W. Va. The shafts were about the same depth. Physical conditions were different here, and I ordered all men out of the shaft when lifts were ascending or descending. When I was away temporarily the men ignored my orders and six men were killed in the Glen Rogers shaft, a heavy penalty to pay for carelessness,
Gentlemen, there are a great many things that perhaps you are not as familiar with as I am, such as the inspection that we give mines every day before every shift. While I am not from Pennsylvania, we have a very good law in West Virginia. I revamped it about 15 or 20 years ago, and it has been revamped and added to since.
We have made an increased effort to add to the safety of our men, if not from a humanitarian standpoint alone, from a financial stand.
point, because compensation is costly. Long before compensation became compulsory I established such a system of my own in the mines of the Indian territory, and it worked out very well, with this difference: That if a man was responsible for an accident, we paid him less. If we were responsible, we probably paid him more than the present compensation requires.
I have been a leader in building wash houses. When I came to the Indian territory I found that the coal was very greasy, and a man came out coal black. I commenced to build wash houses, and even our association of operators objected, because if you build a wash house, they say they have to build one, and you are putting them to a lot of expense.
Well, I said, I have a bathroom in my house, and these men are entitled to one. They need it, and they are going to have it, whether
I carried that policy out not only in the Indian territory but in Indiana and West Virginia. I expect I am one of the few men that built wash houses. It was one of the first two buildings in a mining camp that I put up. I put a wash house up so that the men could go home clean. There was a point of safety involved, namely, that a man had to change his clothes, and could not smuggle cigarettes, cigars, or matches into the mines easily. So it was a two-edged sword that worked very well.
I really claim that I have done my very level best to protect the lives of our men and to reduce injuries.
Mr. KELLEY. You have a very honorable and high reputation in the industry.
Mr. SCHOLZ. Thank you, Congressman. I did not know that I had that.
Mr. KELLEY. Yes; you have.
Mr. SCHOLZ. But I felt that there were things that we should be leaders in. We were often opposed. For instance, I introduced in Illinois, in a mine, safety lamps. And don't you know that the mine workers fought me to a standstill and sent a letter to Mr. Garfield, who was then field distributor, opposing it. And I had a heck of a time to have the lamps tick, because I knew if we did not use closed lights we would have an accident.
I installed the first undercutting machines in the State of West Virginia, and I had a lot of trouble. The miners said, “You can't cut coal with a kerf 4 inches high. You must have a V-shaped cut by a pick."
Well, after about a 3 months' try, my machines worked. If we would take mining machines out of there we would not produce onetenth of the coal we are producing today, because it could not be mined by hand.
So we have met a lot of opposition. A lot of these accidents have been dramatized by the mine workers and their high officials, that the coal operators are not interested in their men. They are. I do not claim that only for myself, but I claim that for the industry as a whole. There have been unfortunate accidents, like Centralia, but there is a story back of that that I am not going to reiterate here. But I will say this to you, that where I am now operating we are protecting the men, because by so doing we also protect the safety