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Newspaper Page Text
Manufacturers and the agents of manufacturers who depend for thf
making of their products on child labor, are fighting the bill, struggling"
against its passage with all the resources at their disposal, failing to recog
nize that the regulation and the abolishment of child labor will add to the
value of their productsand increase their market possibilities because of
this added value.
The Palmer Bill is drawn on the general lines of the Pure Food Law
and seeks to prohibit the employment of children under 14 years in manu
facturing occupations and to limit !
the work of children under 16 to 8
hours a day.
The penalties imposed for the
breaking of the law are fines and the
Secretary of Commerce, the Secre
tary of Labor and the Attorney Gen
eral constitute a permanent board
on rules.and regulations and the Sec
retary of Labor is authorized to in
spect and prosecute for violations.
The law also provides that state fac
tory inspectors, truant officers "or
any other person" may bring com
plaints before the United States Dis
trict Attorneys and every separate
shipment is made to constitute a sep
There is nothing new in the body
of the proposed law except that it
puts child labor under the jurisdic
tion of the federal government.
Child labor presents an economic
problem that is intertwined with the
other problems of our communities.
It is caused by sheer poverty of par
ents, by the ambition of parents and
by the ignorance of parents as well
as by the Law of Market which de
mands that a product be turned out
at the least possible cost to sell at
the highest possible price.
Then, too, the schools are some
times to blame, The children often
prefer working to spending their time
The parents among the poor, es
pecially those of foreign birth, have
worked in their childhood at seasonal
occupations, tilling the soil, planting
the crops and reaping the harvest.
They cannot understand why their
children should not work also and
they sepd them to labor in factories,
in mills, in mines and in quarries
where the close confinement and the
wracking work results in a break
down of health and spirits, in prema
In the South, whole families of
"poor whites" settle in the manufac
turing towns and live on the labor of
their children. Among this class are
the "dinner toters," fathers who
bring the mid-day meal to their chil
dren at work in the mill and then go
back to doze in the sunshjne.
The results of child labor are far-reaching-
and bad. Child labor, vag
rancy and petty vice are intertwined
in a strand of annoyances that beset
the country. It is responsible for the
"floating laborer," the unskilled
workman, who weakened by his early
labors, the resulting jack of nourish
ment and deficient physical powers,
intensifies the problem of the unem
ployed which confronts the big cities
at certain 'seasons.
It is bad for parents to live on the