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of books, games, music and all the varied elements which enter into the making of the best atmosphere of the home. In no field may conservation work greater benefit than in the intricate relations which compose family life. The Industrial and Child Labor Committee endeavors to carry into the world of poor homes and the world of poor children the benefit and comforts which are desirable in every home. To secure a more equitable distribution of opportunity, a proper adjustment of work, play and education in the lives of all children, has been the broad work this committee has undertaken. The General Federation Committee on Child Labor and Industrial Conditions has taken as its basic principle conservation in the broadest sense, realizing that the rapidly changing conditions of modern industrial life make women and children important factors in the world's work. Woman's supreme function as mother of the race gives her special claim to protection not so much individually, as for the unborn generations. The child as the future citizen unable to care for himself and helpless under the provisions made for him, is equally in need of protection, lest his future fall short of the legitimate development. Recognizing these fundamental facts, the General Federation in this field of service is keeping steadily in view the safeguarding of both, that the future of the race may not be imperilled through the mental and physical waste which modern labor conditions invite. To this end the General Federation, in cooperation with other great national bodies, is seeking to shorten hours of labor for women, to prohibit child labor under sixteen years wherever possible; to provide and enforce effective factory inspection laws; to do away altogether with sweatshop methods; to prohibit night work for children; to secure compulsory education laws, a rigid system of birth certification, regulation of street trades for children, and the closing to child labor of dangerous occupations. While few of these specific things have been accomplished in full anywhere, the encouragement to continue is great and there is renewed determination among the intelligent women of the country not to relax their efforts until women and children shall be adequately protected by wise laws from the hazards and overstrain of improper employment and too long hours of service. Probably the most important general measure on which the Federation has entered its efforts the past year is the Federal Children's Bureau at Washington, designed to collect and distribute reliable data on all things pertaining to the interests of children and child life. That bill will be vigorously urged during the coming session by representatives of the National Child Labor Committee and the General Federation. Through the various agencies at work, due largely to the persistent efforts of American Club women, public sentiment is being educated to insist on right labor conditions for women and children. The problem especially of child labor is one of many complications; it varies in different parts of the country and is so hedged about by local conditions and specific reasons that its abolition has not only been impossible but its growth has actually increased even under the continued effort made to abolish it. Too little was known of this question. Persistent work on the part of the General Federation and other organizations has changed this, and at present investigation of actual conditions is greater than at any previous time. People are becoming intelligent on the subject and have gradually come to understand what the history of every civilized nation has shown, that the premature employment
From this viewpoint it has been seen that the problem is not one of pity. It is infinitely greater—whether or not the sacrifice of the child does not involve the sacrifice of human stock. It is this point of view which actuates the General Federation. Impelled at first by considerations of the deepest pity for the two million unfortunate little ones making up the army of child laborers, the conviction has become irrefutable that the child and the woman entering the fields of industry have not raised but have lowered the standard, and that to work for the elimination of the one and improved conditions for the other means simply the broadest patriotism, having in mind the welfare and stability of the country, which depends primarily upon the education, the vigor, and the virtue of all its people. Our century presents problems for which there is no parallel in history, because conditions of society are so wholly unlike, in their highly organized interdependence, anything in the past. With the rapid development of the commercial relations, applied mechanics, and the new forces of electricity have also come the new conditions which democracy of peoples and universal education have brought about. To the solution of these problems, bewildering in their intricacy and variety, the thought of the world is turned. Help no longer means charity in the form of munificent gifts or as Lady Bountiful dispensed it in the past: it now means the solution of the conditions which cause the misfortune or injustice. The great organization of the General Federation of Women's Clubs, with its eight hundred thousand members, is a new factor in the social and economic world, and its influence cannot yet be measured. With a spirit of loving kindness, deep thoughtfulness, and a genuine desire of helpfulness, this organization has sought to meet some of the needs and responsibilities which confront us. The movements inaugurated in the twenty years which the Federation has existed have not disclosed any definite solution of the difficulties which our civilization has encountered. But the application of the conservation idea to all the material and ethical questions has induced an investigation which has thrown some practical light on the nature of the social problems of our times and which must inevitably aid in the ultimate solution. The Federation's clear message is helpfulness; its method —conservation. (Applause.)
WASTE IN EDUCATION.
EDWARD O. SISSON, PROFESSOR OF EDUCATION, THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON.
This brief paper can touch only a few of the high points in the subject of waste in education; even these must be treated very hastily and not a few important weaknesses of the system must be omitted entirely.
The average length of the school year in Washington is 7 2-5 months, leaving 4 3-4 months during which the boys and girls must be otherwise occupied. The little children may profitably play away these months; but the older boys and girls cannot afford to do so. If they all worked at suitable tasks on the farm or in other healthy forms of labor, all might be well, for they would get valuable training and culture from such employment, but exceedingly few of them find any useful or profitable employment. They loaf, idle, and lose what they have acquired in the school months just passed.
But this is not the worst of it; more than one-fourth of the pupils miss as much as one day out of every four, so that they get not 72-5 months, but 5 I-2; many pupils miss even more, some one day out of three, some half of the time and some even more; the pupil who is present every day is a rarity indeed. Nor does the mere statement of these absences begin to express the loss caused by them, for the pupil who is absent one-fourth of the time is likely to lose half the benefit of the term and seriously damage the whole work of his class. In length of school term and regularity of attendance the United States lags far behind England, Prussia, France, and other leading civilized lands.