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Mr. Harlan. I take this ground, that the Congress of the United States, composed of the House of Representatives and Senate, have a perfect right, under the Constitution as it exists, to prohibit the sale of anything that tends to injure the people.
The CHAIRMAN. There is no such power under the Constitution.
The CHAIRMAN. You should come prepared with your authorities when you mako such a statement as that, and I would have you to retire until you come with the authorities; and I think it is unfair; I have been complaining of that to-day to persons less intelligent than you.
Mr. HARLAN. I am confident that is the fact; I did not think it would be referred to. The CHAIRMAX. Unless you can show the power, it is idle to suggest a remedy.
Mr. HARLAx. I admit if the Congress of the United States has not the power, then it would be idle for me to suggest a remedy, but I virtually believe, and I beliere I shall be borne out by the Constitution of the United States, that Congress has the power.
The CHAIRMAX. If Congress has the power, then the States have not. Now, the States have exercised that power, therefore Congress can't have it.
Mr. HARLAx. Every State law must be in harmony with the Coustitution of the United States.
The CHAIRMAX. Certainly.
Mr. HARLAN. Then if that law was passed by them, it must be Constitutional or it could never be enforced by the State of Maine.
The CHAIRMAN. No; it must not contradict the Constitution. The power is divided between the general government and the States. If the State has got it the general government has not, and if the general government has got it the State has not. We have taken down the point. We will meet two weeks hence, and if you will bring the authority we will be glad to hear it.
Mr. Harlax. Well, two weeks from to-day I will bring the authorities on that subject.
CHARLES SOTHERAN was the next to appear before the committee.
Mr. SOTHERAN. Before saying anything to the committee, I should say that I have here a letter which I have been requested to embody in any statement I may inake.
By Mr. HEWITT:
Q. Are you engaged as a journalist now?-A. Yes, sir; I was formerly an editor and have been a regular contributor to the New York World, and at present I am a regular contributor to the New York Sun. The first point I desire to call your attention to is that of the letter of Captain O'Grady, who has seen the working of the community system in India. He would make the suggestion that Congres should consider the system of establishing assisted communities, which might be joined by all who wished, He refers especially to what is called the Nerik, or fixed-rate system, with goods valued according to the average time required to produce them. He also shows that the Russians colonized their frontiers with Cossacks, whom they supplied with tools and implements as well as land. That question of colonization has been brought before you, and I think you would be aided in your investigations by looking at Nordhoffos work on Socialistic Communities.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Nordhoft's book is very well known.
Mr. SOTHERAN, Captain O'Grady states that the English also in 1856 colonized the froatiers of Cape Colony with Germans in the same way. The letter is as follows:
“NEW YORK, August 6, 1878. “ To the Honorable Committee of the House of Representatires
for the Inquiry into the Eristing Distress : “GENTLEMEX: I have the honor to state, briefly, certain facts, and on them to base one suggestion.
“ The Nerik, or fixed-rate system, with goods valued according to the average time required to produce them, exists to-day in many parts of Asia. It was practiced in Egypt by Joseph. Moses regulated it minutely. Ĝenius, or skilled labor, always have commanded a compensation measured only by the demand for their products. The Russians in no distant times colonized their frontiers with Cossacks, whom they supplied with tools and implements as well as land. The English in 1856 colonized the frontiers of Cape Colony with Germans in the same way. Both in Asia and in Russia the Nerik and commune system of land tenure largely prevail. In these communities there is equality of means as well as of rank. Where there is perfect equality the people have no human cause to complain.
"The suggestion I respectfully submit is, that Congress should earnestly consider and, if possible, pass the bills now before it for the establishment of these assisted communities, which might be joined by all who wish. Those who do not wish to join need not. * Very respectfully,
1. WM. D. O'GRADY, ** Captain late Eighty-eighth You York Volunteers, Journalist.” Mr. SOTHERAN. The great point I wish to make is the fact that the canse of depression is in a great measure owing to the fact that the people have not got a thorough appreciation of the laws that should govern them. Nothing but the densest ignorance prevails, and it will not be counteracted until we have in this country, as in others, a minister of education, a secretary of education, if you wish. In France the minister of education is the minister of religion also, but here there is no necessity for that, unless we think with most of our advanced thinkers, that religion, all that is necessary in regard to the noble and the good, is education. This minister of education should work in conjunction with the Bureau of Statistics, which should be as early as possible established, and should have boards of education throughout the entire country. Undoubtedly the municipalities in many portions of the country do look out for education, but not as it should be done; it is simply sporadic.
Q. You think the United States should take charge of the national education ?-A. Yes; and, in order to meet that question and dispose of this dense ignorance, it will be necessary that members of Congress should do all in their power to authorize the centralization of the government, and the sovereign rights of the States should be abrogated as much as possible. That there are many evils that canuot be met, unless they are, cannot be denied, as the great evils which exist in the marriage and divorce law. For instance, if the legislature of New York should pass a law making eight hours a day's work, Massachusetts may refuse and so may other States, and unless it will be general it will not be efficacious or of any future benetit.
Q. Are you aware that that subject was discussed almost exhaustively in the Federalist and other papers ?--A. Yes, sir.
Q. The difficulty is that you want to introduce a new system in our government ?A. A new system as far as possible, and that is what has been introduced in other places, empirically ; such as one man, Mazzini, who endeavored to assist his own country and every country by introducing a better system of government. A system which has millions of starving and dying over the whole country must be a failure, and it must be disposed of if we desire to be a happy people.
Q. Is that owing to the federal system ?--A. Not altogether. It is owing in a measure to the federal system of monopolies that exist.
The CHAIRMAN. That we can't abolish under the federal system; it can't be abolished except by some system that this committee can't deal with.
Mr. SOTHERAN. O, we can, certainly. In order to have this centralized system as far as possible, I would have the government take charge of the railroads. I think you will find that the people of England have a system of gas where it is for the whole community. In France they have satisfactorily settled the question of tobacco. England and France have both settled the question of telegraphy and savings-banks. That shows that it is possible to have a system that is for the benefit of the whole and not for a part of the people; therefore, this centralized system of railroads in the hands of the government would be for the benefit of the people. It has been proved by Russia; her military railroads now belong. I think, to the government, and it shows that in this country the railroads can be taken from those to whom they improperly belong; I say improperly because they have been used improperly; men complain becauso there is land ont West and they can't go to it; if the government owned the railroads they could go.
Q. Would not the government have to pay for running the railroads ?-A. Certainly.
Q. Couldn't they pay for those people they wanted to send out just as easily under the present system ?-A. As a transitional measure they could, and it would be a very good thing to do it.
Q. It is not necessary to own the railroads to be transferred out West?-A. No, sir; but it will be in the future.
The CHAIRMAN. We don't all propose, or want, to be sent out West. Mr. SOTHERAX. If you go into Baxter street and others in the city, they would say that hell would be preferable to their present state.
Q. Is it not so in all great cities ?-A. Yes, sir; I have seen it in Paris and in England.
Q. There is centralized government in Europe, and they have not cured this evil there -A. No, sir.
Q. Has not France a centralized government ?--A. Yes, sir.
Q. Has it done so there?-A. It has ameliorated many things; it made the hours of labor less. In England they have an eight-hour law; the question of holidays was satisfactorily solved there; the sanitary inspection by the government was satisfac. torily solved there.
Q. Is there an eight-hour law in England ?-A. There is a short honr-nine-hour law, I believe; but the hours of labor are abridged; men are not permitted to work there eighteen or seventeen hours a day, as these poor unfortunate cigar-makers are.
Q. In private houses in England is there any limit to the number of hours they shall work?-A. There is a factory act.
Q. Is there in private houses anything to limit the hours operatives shall work ?-A. No, sir; the act simply applies to the factories; but there would be no possibility of the evasion of the law. I think it would apply to this disgraceful working of the tenement system in the making of cigars. There the factories are bound to be kalsomined once a year, and the water-closets inspectel, and there it was not considered a subject for laughter.
The CHAIRMAN. That was the point of many of the questions I put to the witnesses this morning. Mr. Lisseau's book covers the largest list of remedial legislation any country has gone through, and a great deal of it onght to be imitated, but it is for the State, and not our general government.
Mr. SOTHERAX. I say this for the benefit of the committee, for several organizations of the people simply regard all of these as transitional measures, to arrive at a future definitive result. I think there should be a secretary of industry to represent the burean of statistics, to meet the different difficulties that may arise in consequence of the various environments that labor is placed under. And, furthermore, as this question of centralized government must come up, and as servants of the people should consider their positions places of great public trust, it is necessary-as China thousands of years ago, and as England within these last fifty years, has accomplished it—that competitive examinations shall be had for the work of the government; no shyster politicians and hangerons of the politicians who may be sent to Albany or elsewhere should have such positions. Further, I would also say in the matter of education, the people of this country have not had that careful consideration in the matter of culture they onght to have had. Undoubteilly institutions such as the Cooper Union, and Astor Library, and the Lenox Library, are doing a great work toward educating the people to a higher culture, to which they never will advance until they apprehend the nature of their condition; therefore, I contend that the government, instead of appropriating money for the destructive arts of war, which are entirely antagonistic to society, should assist the education of the people by making grants for museums, for libraries, and also for the higher education, which could be done in union with the minister of edncation. That is to say, that the education of the people, by the aid of works of art, should be under the supervision of the minister of education. Further. more, I should suggest that all the materials and books used in the public schools should be furnished free of charge, and even in the higher branches of education such as music and painting: I believe the Conservatory of Music and the South Kensington Museumn in England furnish them.
Q. Furnish what?-A. Materials for the use of the students free of charge. The CHAIRMAN. You are in error. They charge a small fee for admission. The English system is peculiar in that they do not believe in free education; but in our public schools it is so.
Mr. SOTHERAN. Not in the higher branches of education.
Mr. SOTHERAX. As to the prohibition of children under fourteen years of age from working, the minister of labor should look after the punishment of the violators of those laws-the parent if he is to blame and the employer if he is guilty.
The CHAIRMAN. These are all details with which we can't even begin to deal, because we have not power to do it. You have got to amend the Constitution first.
Mr. SOTHERAX. Then the Constitution will have to be amended, and if it is not, the people will take it into their own hands.
The CHAIRMAN. That is a foreign idea. The Constitution can be amended if the people want it. Now, violence upon the part of the minority against the majority is not an American idea. The power of the Constitution is full and ample whenever a majority want a change.
Mr. SOTHERAX. Then there is another thing. In France they have what they call the juge de paix, who immediately, and without the long delays of the law here, settles questions between capital and labor.
Q. Does the juge de pais settle questions between capital and labor?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. What does the conseil des prud'hommes do in France ?-A. I believe that is where appeals are taken.
The CHAIRMAN. That is the question, as to whether the jurisdiction is with the juge de pair or the conseil des prud'hommes. You are giving this committee information, and I would like you to be exact.
Mr. SOTHERAN. Litigation here can only be obtained at great expense and by the employment of the legal class. Let the laws be simplified and classified into a system similar to the Code Napoleon--a code of the centralized government; and if the government has not that power, amend the Constitution, so that workmen can go and argne their own cases.
Q. Do you know that the constitution of the State of New York authorizes courts of arbitration now --A. Yes, sir; but what does that mean now? I have a suit pending for $500 in court, and that case was entered in the court of common pleas some two years ago.
Q. I ask you whether you know that the constitution of the State of New York provides for the establishment of courts of arbitration and conciliation. Now, if what you want is a place where men can go and argue their own cases, why don't these men send persons to the legislature who will establish courts of conciliation? That is a remedy existing now in the State of New York without any legislation.-A. Well, sir, the workingmen don't know that.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, I tell them, and it would be a fair thing if you gentlemen who come here would enlighten the workingmen through the press on such matters.
Mr. SOTHERAN. At the present moment there is about one-half the population deprived from voting.
Q. Where ?—A. In this country; that is, women. It is absolutely necessary that the voting power should be given to women. They are not existing now as they did. They are in the factory, working day by day; in the cigar tenement-houses, working day by day. I contend' it is the duty of legislation to relieve these persons from the system under which they are suffering in not being represented in Washington.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will adjourn to this day two weeks. I have called the entire list; finished every name. Thus far the testimony has been voluntary, but it will be different when we meet again. I have stated that the committee wanted to hear everybody who had a statement to make, but it must be apparent it would be impossible to go on with this system, because we would not have time to report. Hereafter any person who wants to give testimony can communicate with the committee and indicate what he wants to state. If it is new, the committee will be glad to hear it; if it is not, the committee will be compelled to decline.
Adjourned to Wednesday, August 21, 1878, at 11 a. m.
NEW YORK, August 21, 1878. The CHAIRMAX. At the close of the last session of the committee it was announced that when its meetings were resumed witnesses would be called who had been requested by the committee to appear. It is proper to state that every volunteer witness who had put his name on the list has been called. Most of them answered to their names and have given their testimony. Some few were absent. It may be assumed, therefore, that the volunteer testimony is now exhausted. Hereafter the committee will, as far as possible, call only gentlemen who have special knowledge with reference to the subject about which they propose to testify. This morning the committee will call those gentlemen who have come here from a distance at the request of the committee, and in order that they may go home. The first on the list is Mr. William G. Moody, of Boston, who has entitled himself to be called before this committee from the fact that before the Social Science Association at Cincinnati he read a paper which has been regarded by every one who has since read it as a valuable contribution to the subject of which he has made a special study; namely, the bearing and effects of machinery on the social condition of the working and employing classes. Mr. Moody is now present, and we will begin with his testimony.
VIEWS OF MR. GOODWIN MOODY.
By the CHAIRMAX: Question. Please state your residence ?-Answer. Boston, Mass. Q. What is your business ?-A. I learned the art preservative of all arts, printing. Q. Are you a printer at present ?-A. I am not.
Q. State your present business.-I am one of the unfortunates who have been compelled to Micawberize—to wait for something to turn up.
Q. In what business were you last engaged ?-A. Some two years since I was engaged in the printing business. I have beeen engaged in other businesses during my life-in quite a variety of businesses; mining and agriculture quite extensively.
Q. Have you given special attention to the relations of capital and labor, either in general or in a particular direction ?-A. I have.
Q. In what direction especially !--A. In the direction of their intimate connection or their indissoluble connection. The question, as you put it, Mr. Chairman, is somewhat general, and I should perhaps answer it more specifically. I have examined the question of the relations of capital to labor in the sense of showing that capital is the fruit of labor; is one of the great products, indeed the ultimate product of labor.
Q. Have you found in your investigation that there is an inherent warfare between capital and labor, or what conclusions have you come to on that subject ?-A. I do not find that there is any inherent conflict between capital and labor, nor can I discover that there is necessarily any conflict between them, any more than I can believe that there could be a conflict between the fruit which grows upon a tree and the tree itself.
Q. Do you find that, in fact, there is any conflict or hostility between the two!-A. There is an artificial difficulty, growing entirely out of misconception, or perhaps out of ignorance, on the part of both classes to a greater or less extent.
The CHAIRMAN. You say " artificial.” Be good enough to state the causes that bring about this artificial conflict.
Mr. Moody. The causes are to be found entirely in the misconception of the relations of capital to labor.
The CHAIRMAN. Misconception by whom?
The CHAIRMAN. Misconception is a very general phrase. There are some causes, undoubtedly, which produce the artificial condition which you have described-direct causes—and those are the ones which the committee are seeking to arrive at.
Mr. Moody. The direct causes may be these: That the laboring classes, or the masses, discover that whereas they are undergoing a condition, at the present time, of extreme privation, or of personal distress, there is another class, generally known as capitalists, who are not suffering these personal privations. This creates in the minds of the masses an antagonism. They cannot understand why one class should be in comparative comfort while they are in absolute distress, and hence an antagonism, or perhaps an enmity.
The CHAIRMAN. Is the enmity on one side or on both sides.
The CHAIRMAX. Do you think that those not suffering from distress (capitalists, I shall call them) have an enmity toward the working classes ?
Mr. Moopy, Not as a class by any means. I do not believe that, neither do I believe that there is any enmity toward the capitalist on the part of the masses of the operatives or laborers. There is an enmity among the few. We find it cropping out here and there; we see and hear too much of it; but it is confined to a very small fraction.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think that the grievance which you have described on the part of the workingmen, when they see some people who are not suffering from the want of food, or from the want of the necessaries of life, is a well-founded grievance ?
Mr. Moody. I think that the answer which I have already given would cover that ground nearly. I think that the grievance is not well founded.
The CHAIRMAN. How does it happen that some portions of the community are esempt from the sufferings of the other portions? Is it due to accident, or is it due to the fact that the former have been provident and saving, and have put by, as we say, something against a rainy day?
Mr. MOODY. believe it is more owing to the accidents of traile, or to the accidents of life, than it is to that thing which we call providence.
The CHAIRMAN. I said provident, not providence. I meant those who are saving and economical.
Mr. MOODY. I am using the term in that sense. This providence--that is, saving, husbanding, taking care of—is quite as observable (indeed, more so, perhaps) among those who are in the poorest circumstances as it is among the better classes, except that you find an extreme providence—that is, a saving and husbanding-in another class known as capitalists, but who are sometimes called misers. The miser can exhibit no greater amount of providence than we often find exhibited (indeed, necessarily so) by the poor. The poor husbands are provident, are careful, from necessity; the miser from pure cupidity. The capitalist, from his abundance, lives liberally, many people say lavishly, which means simply another form for the term iniprovidently.
The CHAIRMAX. To get a little more into the marrow of the subject. This hostility of which you speak, arising out of the fact that some suffer while others do not suffer, must be produced by some causes in the organization of society, and it is to those causes, so far as they can be remedied by legislation, that the committee wishes to direct its attention. Be good enough, therefore, to specify any causes which, in your judgment, bring about improperly this difference between the classes, resulting in hostility or enmity-any causes with which legislation can deal.
Mr. Moody. I am given a very wide margin, and a large field for discussion, as you have stated the proposition. Let me state that I have no sympathy, uot the least, in