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that did not miss a day at school that that was really the only way in which we could secure a full or fair average for the attendance of those who were enrolled.
We have established there a savings bank which is a corporation separate from the mill company, and only part of the stockholders are stockholders in the mill company, and we have over 800 depositors now and about $120,000 from the mill employees' on deposit. That bank lends the money out to the farmers in the surrounding country and to the merchants in the village. It is not the practice in South Carolina to any extent to run mill stores or commissaries, and in none of the mills with which I am connected are there commissary or mill stores. We have 12 stores that are rented out to merchants, and they conduct their business independently entirely of the corporation. We supply the town with water brought in from a mile and piped all over the town. We also supply the inhabitants with electric light—16-candlepower lights—for which we charge 10 cents a light a month. They can burn them all night, as the current is on all night, if they wish. There are five churches in the village. We have a large building that we call the Lyceum, where lectures are delivered every month, and there we have a circu. lating library of over 7,000 volumes, where any inhabitant of the village can go and take them without cost. We also have rooms for games and amusements, and in the reading room we take 25 newspapers and magazines for them to read. There is a military company there of 80 members that has been to New York once, at the Dewey parade, and to Savannah, and has been here to Washington at the presidential inaugurations. We also have two troops of Boy Scouts and any quantity of baseball clubs-from 8 to 10—and we pay a great deal of attention to cooking schools and schools to teach girls how to sew and how to make garments and to cut cloth.
For over 30 years I have kept very carefully the health rate of the village, and the death rate has never exceeded in any one year 2 per cent; the average has been between 14 and 13 per cent during the past 30 years. The birth rate has run from 16 per cent to 22 per cent during that period. During the 30 years we have had only nine deaths from tuberculosis and not one case of typhoid fever, owing to the pure water with which the village is supplied-at least that is our belief about it. Now, the statement has doubtless been made to you that Pelzer is one of the show mills of South Carolina, and that they are held up as to what they have done for their employees, and other mills that did not do the same are shielded by the good reports that are made of that mill.
I am also directly in charge of the mills at Belton, S. C., 10 miles from Pelzer, and the conditions there are practically similar in all respects to what they are at Pelzer. My son is president of two mills; one is at Laurens, S. C.—the Watts mills and also the Duncan mill at Greenville; and my son-in-law is president of two mills, one at Greenwood, S. C., and one at Ninety-six, S. C.; and I know from my personal intimate acquaintance with the running of those plants and the condition of those villages that the conditions are just the same, practically, as they are at Pelzer, and I could name dozens of mills in South Carolina, like Clifton, Pacolet, Glendale, Woodside, Piedmont, Williamstown, Newberry, and dozens of others, and from
my intimate acquaintance with the management I can testify that the conditions there, both as regards the sanitary and health rate and the welfare work, are practically the same and as good as they are at Pelzer.
Ever since the organization of the Cotton Manufacturers' Association of South Carolina, 12 years, I have been its president, and have been brought into contact with all the manufacturers of the State: that is, at least 95 per cent of the manufacturers are members of that association. We never discuss at those meetings anything relating to wage scales. Everything else is open to debate and discussion, but there is no agreement in South Carolina among the mills as to the wage scale, and never has been. Wages are regulated in each mill, and, of course, competition for help at times is acute, and in some of the finer mills—for instance, in my son's mill at Duncan, which is the last mill we built, about four and a half years agothey have very fine goods and Jacquard looms and goods that are very fine. Their wage scale is higher than it is at Pelzer. They have more skilled labor. They require greater skilled labor and it requires a greater degree of intelligence.
İ attended last summer a meeting of the Southern Textile Association, which is composed of superintendents and overseers of all the Southern States, some 1,100 men. They met at Asheville, N. C. I was surprised to find there 53 men-boys who had been raised at Pelzer; the only schooling that they had had was had at Pelzer School. These boys were now superintendents at good salaries, from $2,000 to $5,000 per annum. It was a very gratifying experience.
One year before a law was enacted by the State legislature reducing the hours to 10. The association voluntarily went on a 10-hour basis and observed that law among all the mills in that association, and ever since 1909 we have petitioned the South Carolina Legislature to enact three laws. This resolution was unanimously adopted on January 22, 1909 :
No. 1. That the association renews its recommendation to the legislature that there be passed a general compulsory education law requiring the compulsory education of children under 14 years of age.
No. 2. That, provided there passed such compulsory edu tion law, this association feels that there is no objection to advancing under proper limitations and restrictions the age limit of children working in textile mills anni other industries to an age to comply with the general compulsory education law as passed.
No. 3. That this association also renews its strong and urgent recommendation to the legislature that a law be passed in this State requiring registration of births and marriage licenses.
We also claimed that it was impossible to properly enforce the child-labor law unless there was a birth-registration law, as in the absence among the poor classes of people of family Bibles and records it would be practically impossible to determine the age of a child. We only succeeded in getting the birth-registration law passed last year, and there was passed last year what was called an optional compulsory school law, making the unit to elect and enforce the school district, but making no provision for any punishment for nonobedience to the law, and no provision for truant officers, or placing the responsibility on anybody to see that the law was enforced: consequently, the law is a dead letter. We are urging the legislature which is now in session this year again to pass a compulsory school law, but if not, we have urged them—and our committee is in Columbia to-day-urging the legislature to pass a 14-year law, but urging and asking that they pass also the compulsory school law.
Senator UNDERWOOD. You say a 14-year law. Please explain what you mean by that.
Mr. SMYTH. That is a law that prohibits the employment of children under 14 years of age for any purpose.
Senator UNDERWOOD. A law of that kind would not be injurious to your milling interests, would it?
Mr. SMYTH. It would not be so injurious to the milling interests as it would be to some of the poor women who are dependent upon their children for support. But we have also asked the legislature to make some provision for the support of these women.
Senator UNDERWOOD. The reason I asked you that question is that this bill, so far as the milling industry is concerned, fixes the age limit at 14 years, as is indicated by your statement.
Mr. SMYTH. No, sir; this bill practically fixes the age at 16, because it says they can not work under 16 except eight hours, and that would force the mills to go on the eight-hour basis, which we are not prepared to do, or else it would be limited, it would limit our employment age down to 16. That would be the practical effect of the bill. It would be a 16-year bill.
Senator UNDERWOOD. Your objection to the bill, then, is not the provision that prohibits the working of children under 14 years, but is the provision of the bill which refers to the hours of labor between 16 and 14?
Mr. Saytı. Our objection is twofold. First, the point you raise as between 14 and 16, and then for Federal inspection and control of our internal affairs by the General Government.
Senator UNDERWOOD. The other is il constitutional question, is it not?
Mr. Suytu. We are subjected now in South Carolina to a very rigid inspection by the superintendent of the department of labor in South Carolina. We are constantly being investigated by inspectors, and are constantly brought up to taw, and no child now in South Carolina under 14 can work in a cotton mill without permit of the department of labor.
Senator POMERENE. Is it your judgment that children between 1+ and 16 ought to be permitted to work more than eight hour's a day?
Mr. SNITII. Most decidedly, yes.
Mr. Smyth. Well, they work 60 hours a week; not over that. But, as I have stated
Senator LA FOLLETTE. How is that time divided ?
Mr. SMYTH. They work 11 hours a day on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. On Fridays they work 10 hours and on Saturdays 6. The mills are shut down at 12 o'clock on Saturdays. The CHAIRMAN. Captain, are you through with your preliminary statement?
Mr. SMYTH. Not quite; there is one other point that I wanted to allude to. I was very much interested two years ago in reading an article published in the American Magazine. I saw a review of it in a newspaper and I cut that out because it was more convenient to keep than the article itself. It was written by a man named Alfred Jay Nock, and he gave the results obtained by Prof. Carl Pearson, the head of the Galton Laboratory of National Eugenics at the University of London. The article was based on the theory that restrictive legislation reduced the birth rate, and Prof. Pearson's summary was this:
The older civilized countries of the world are much concerned as to their birth rate. In England, France, and Germany the figures show an alarming decrease. If the population shows more deaths than births, then one or two things will happen to that country : It must either induce people who are born somewhere else to migrate to that country continually or the nation will die. This question was taken under consideration by the laboratory of eugenics and careful investigation undertaken in three typical sections of England :
1. Bradford, Manchester, Bolton, and Leeds, the industrial heart of England.
You know the cotton manufacturing industry in England is concentrated within 6 miles around Manchester, where the condition of the climate and the standard of living are the same.
2. Cornwall, an agricultural, mining, and fishing district.
3. York, a county town, chiefly a trading center, with manufacturing purely incidental.
That is in the Manchester group.
These investigations showed a decline in birth rate of about 30 per cent in the first group, beginning in 1877, a short drop in the second group in 1867 and in 1887, and the same loss to a slightly less degree in 1887 in the third division.
Furthermore, this rate is still decreasing and has not come back. The reason of the great fall at fixed periods in all these groups suggested a common cause and after serious investigation the cause is stated to be restrictive legislation by the English Parliament affecting child labor and showing that in each case or group the enforcement of these restrictive laws was immediately followed by the drop in birth rate heretofore stated.
That is a very interesting fact from the standpoint of eugenics.
I have in my hand The Economic World, a magazine that is published in New York City. This is dated February 12, 1916, last Saturday. The editor is Prof. A. R. Marsh, who was formerly professor of statistics and economics at Harvard University, and he writes an article here signed by his name, entitled “ The Public and Controversies over the Conditions of Labor.” There is one paragraph that I would like to read to you:
What is the essential matter raised by the proposed national child-labor law, according to the terms of whichi children under the age of 16 will be prevented from all industrial production? The advocates of the measure would say that it is to give to all American children unburdened, free, and liappy years of childhood, devoted to education and to useful recreation. This is an aim appealing to the minds of all of generous nature. But what of the economic possibility that the average head of an American family should rear to the age of 16, without contribution on their part, the three children that the French economist Paul Leroy-Beaulieu has shown to be the minimum number per family required to prevent the extinction of a race? All the available economic information about this country tends irresistibly to the conclusion that at least threequarters of all American fathers could accomplish no such task. Hence, what is really involved in the child-labor bill, as it stands, is no less than the perpetuity or the gradual extinction of the American stock as it is. We may be
sure that the governing minds of Germany would have taken cognizance of this stern fact; but it has found no place at all in the expressions of American public opinion on the subject.
The only thing that I would like to add to what I have said is with respect to the enforcement of this law. Raising the age practically to 16 years would drive from the mills a number of children, and in many industries the main support of widowed mothers, and the suffering caused thereby would be very considerable and very decided. It is mainly on that account, and our objection to the Federal supervision of our internal affairs, that the manufacturers of the South are opposed to this bill. We do not object to the 14-year law at all. We do object to a 16-year law, and we do object to Federal supervision of our affairs.
Senator POMERENE. Mr. Smyth, I wish you would explain why the reduction from 10 hours to 8 hours per day for children between 14 and 16 years would result in keeping them out of the mills or from properly aiding in the support of their mothers.
Mr. Smyth. The different departments of milling are interdependent. The weaving room depends entirely on the amount of spinning it gets from the spinning room. If the spinning room is only run for 8 hours the looms in the weaving room could not be run for 10 hours.
Senator POMERENE. Let us take the specific case in the mill that you have spoken about. How many employees have you?
Mr. SMYTH. We have on our pay roll about 2,000. We actually employ about 1,500.
Senator POMERENE. How many of these are children between the ages of 14 and 16?
Mr. SMYTH. I can give you that exactly. We have between 14 and 16 years 81 boys and 58 girls, and at Belton we have boys, 21, and girls, 16, between 14 and 16 years.
Senator POMERENE. Where is that mill?
Senator POMERNE. Just let us take this one mill. That is 139 children between 14 and 16 years. Mr. SMYTH. One hundred and thirty-nine; yes, sir.
Senator POMEREXE. Now, your mill operates 10 hours per day, does it?
Mr. SMYTH. Sixty hours per week: yes, sir.
Mr. Smyth. We have 2,000 on the pay roll." We actually employ 1,500. A good many are half-timers.
Senator POMERENE. Why could it not be arranged that 139 children could be permitted to work there and have their time so arranged that none of them would be working over eight hours per
VIr. SMYTH. I think that would be a practical impossibility.
Mr. SMYTH. I do not think it could be so arranged because where would you get the help for the other two hours?
Senator POMERENE. Of course, I am not familiar with the conditions down there at all, and I am simply asking the question.
Mr. SMYTH. It would be a practical impossibility. If the bill becomes a law as it is now written, it is going to drive out of the mills