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[The Henry and Wright Manufacturing Company, drill presses.)
HARTFORD, Conn., February 29, 1908. Hon. JOHN J. GARDNER,
Committee on Labor, House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: We wish to add our protest to a great many others which we have no doubt you will receive to your bill (H. R. 15651) regarding eight-hour legislation.
In times like the present, when manufacturers are making strenuous efforts to keep as many of their men employed as possible, regardless of any profit which they may make, it would seem that such a bill would prove extremely disastrous, but the trouble it would cause in ordinary times, when it is considered that we have to compete with foreign countries whose laborers are employed twelve and even fourteen hours per day at a much less wage scale than the ruling one in America, a bill like the one which you have introduced would, in our opinion, very materially interfere with the volume of business which manufacturers could do in the lines in which there is any possible foreign competition and in consequence would be the means ultimately of cutting down the number of employees.
We presume that you have given this matter careful study and consideration, but in any event we should be very much pleased to receive your opinion regarding the bil} and its effects, so that we may study impartially both sides of the question. Thanking you in advance for your interest in the matter, we remain, Respectfully, yours,
THE HENRY & WRIGHT MFG. Co.,
Secretary and Treasurer.
[Harlow Shoe Finishing Machinery Company.)
Boston, Mass., March 23, 1908. Hon. John J. GARDNER,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR Sır: We believe that the Gardner eight-hour bill now before your committee if passed will severely handicap a very large number of manufacturing industries throughout the country, and we urge you to vote against it. Very truly, yours,
Charles H. Fuller, Secretary.
[The Geo. Q. Hill Company, metal goods.)
Boston, Mass., March 24, 1908. Hon. John J. GARDNER,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. Dear Sir: We believe that the Gardner eight-hour bill now before your committee if passed will severely handicap a very large number of manufacturing industries throughout the country, and we urge you to vote against it. Very truly, yours,
The Geo. Q. HILL Co.
PITTSBURG, PA., March 7, 1908. Hon. John J. GARDNER, Chairman Committee on Labor, House of Representatives,
Washington, D. C. The eight-hour contract labor bill now in hands of Committee on Labor if passed will be a detriment to the Government as well as its contracting people. The Government places thousands of small contracts yearly, and it would be utterly impossible to trace materials used in said contracts back to the manufacturer of eight hours per day. Quite a number of Pittsburg contractors have stated they would not bid on Government work if the eight-hour bill became law.
HEYL & PATTERSON (Inc.).
[Hammermill Paper Company.]
ERIE, PA., February 19, 1908. Hon. ARTHUR L. BATES,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. ('.
HAMMERMILL PAPER COMPANY,
(The Holsman Automobile Company.)
CHICAGO, ILL., February 27, 1908. Hon. John J. GARDNER,
Committee on Labor, House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: My attention has been called to the effort to get Congress to enact eighthour legislation. Our company employs in the neighborhood of 300 men, and I am very much opposed to legislation of this kind, believing that the law of supply and demand is the natural solution for this problem. It is something like the currency question. When business is especially pressing there is a need for longer hours, and the men are glad to work these extra hours, as they are well paid for it. I can not see where the workman will be particularly benefited with an eight-hour day, as it will not bring him any higher wages. There is a certain amount of work to be done, and if the day is shortened to eight hours it simply means that more workmen are necessary, but the individual workman will still get less wages than he would working nine hours a day. It might be argued that the increased number of workmen would raise the price of labor, but I do not believe that the price of labor would be materially affected, for the reason that there is nearly always a surplus of labor in the market. In other words, the time when there is not a surplus of sabor is very small as compared with the time when there is a surplus of labor. I can not but feel, therefore, that the laborer would very likely defeat his own ends and lower his standard of living by decreasing the number of his earning hours.
I understand that the proposed legislation affects the Government work only, but Government work should be run on a business basis, and anything that is objectionable to private business is also objectionable to public business.
Shorter hours would require larger factories, more equipment, and greater overhead expense. This extra cost of production would eventually fall on the public, and in the end the workman would not gain anything:
It is not my purpose to go into the argument of this matter at great length, but I do wish to register myself as strongly opposed to legislation on this subject. Yours, truly,
PHILADELPHIA, Pa., February 18, 1908. Hon. John J. GARDNER,
Chairman House Committee on Labor, Washington, D. C. We enter strong protests against the practicability, therefore the passage, of eighthour bill.
HOMER BRASS WORKS (INC.),
[The Hodge Boiler Works.)
Boston, March 24, 1908. Hon. John J. GARDNER,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: We take the liberty of writing you in regard to the Gardner eight-hour bill now before your committee for consideration. We believe that if this bill is passed
it will severely handicap a great many of the manufacturing industries throughout the
THE HODGE BOILER WORKS,
[Illinois State Association of Master House Painters and Decorators.]
CHICAGO, ILL., February 21, 1908. Hon. John J. GARDNER,
Chairman House Committee on Labor, Washington, D. C.
Dear Sir: On behalf of our organization I desire to protest against the enactment of what is known as the Gardner eight-hour bill. We believe it to be a dangerous measure, subversive of liberty and tending toward socialism. The labor lobby should not be encouraged in their efforts to procure class legislation. Yours, respectfully,
John M. STILES, Secretary-Treasurer.
(Manufacturers' Bureau of Indiana.)
INDIANAPOLIS, IND., February 24, 1908. Hon. John J. GARDNER,
Chairman of the Labor Committee of the House, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: The Manufacturers' Bureau of Indiana, which is a state manufacturers' association, held its annual convention and banquet at the Columbia Club in this city on February 21, with 225 members present. The so-called eight-hour bill was one of the measures discussed, and the accompanying resolutions were unanimously adopted. This organization contains in its membership over 700 of the leading manufacturing establishments of the State of Indiana, it is organized by Congressional districts, and reflects practically the unanimous sentiment of the manufacturers and employers of this state. There is not the least room for doubt that the employing and manufacturing interests are as a unit in opposition to the eight-hour bill and other class measures pending in Congress, and this opposition is based on the firm conviction that this eight-hour bill and other bills of a class nature are entirely wrong in principle and would, if enacted into law, be very injurious to private industry, tending to produce greater distrust of the Government in the minds of investors, to discourage and hamper production, and to check the demand for employment. The manufacturers believe that hours and wages can not be legitimately regulated by Government and that it is a sound economic doctrine that hours can be shortened and wages advanced only by increasing the demand for employment and enlarging the products of labor per capita. We believe that with the factories of the country working only from one-third to one-half their usual number of employees, it is a very inopportune time to press such measures as this eight-hour bill.
I am instructed, as secretary of the bureau, to write this letter and send you these resolutions, hoping that you will give the same your prayerful consideration. Yours, very truly,
E. H. Davis, Secretary.
Resolutions adopted by the Manufacturers' Bureau of Indiana in annual convention at
the Columbia Club, Indianapolis, February 21, 1908. Whereas the American Federation of Labor now is, and for many years past has been, demanding on the Congress of the United States that it shall enact legislation of a class nature for the benefit of that organization and its members, so far as the same can be controlled by the Congress of the United States; and
Whereas the industrial conditions of the country are at this time very greatly disturbed and unsettled, and imminent danger would accrue to the public welfare in the event that any further burden should be placed upon them by legislation at this time, and by reason thereof the manufacturing interests of the country look with
solicitude and alarm upon the numerous measures introduced and urged upon Congress which would work a hardship upon all of them, and in many instances would result in a suspension of business that of itself would be very greatly detrimental not only to the employed and the employer but to all those who come in contact with and rely upon either: Therefore be it
Resolved by the Manufacturers' Bureau of Indiana in conference assembled, To consider the best interests of the manufacturers and, in so doing, of the men that they employ, that we look upon the bill introduced by Representative Gardner, of New Jersey, being House Bill No. 15651, as far-reaching in its results, harmful and vicious in its operation.
Resolved, That in our judgment if this bill becomes a law it would drive from the field of Government bidding hundreds of concerns now relying upon that in part, and limit such bidding to a small number of concerns so well equipped and fully capitalized that they could submit to the strain, while it would be impossible for others to compete.
Resolved, that the enactment of such a law by Congress and its enforcement would tend to induce or compel the extension of legislation beyond the field of Congressional enactment into the domain of purely State legislation, and introduce an element that under existing circumstances would be greatly detrimental not only to the interests of this association but to the men whom it employs and other people who deal with this association and its employees.
Resolved, That in the opinion of this bureau all legislation in the nature of class legislation is unwise and detrimental to the interests of the whole, and we therefore earnestly request the House Committee on Labor to grant full time and full hearing upon the proposed enactment before it shall be reported to the House.
Resolved, That copies of this resolution shall be forth with sent to each Member of Congress from this State and each member of the Committee of Labor of the House of Representatives, including its chairman.
[Ilsley-Doubleday & Co., manufactureres of railroad oils and lubricants.]
NEW YORK, March 13, 1908. Hon. JOHN J. GARDNER,
House Labor Committee, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: I desire to enter my protest against the enactment of bill H, R. 15651, introduced by you, as I consider said bill would be detrimental to both the interests of my employees and myself. Yours, very respectfully,
ILSLEY-DOUBLEDAY & COMPANY,
(The Ireland & Matthews Manufacturing Company, stove trimmings, sheet metal goods. ]
DETROIT, Mich., February 19, 1908. Hon. JOHN J. GARDNER,
Member of Congress, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: We desire to enter our protest against House bill No. 15651, limiting the hours of daily service of laborers and mechanics for the United States, or for any Territory, or for the District of Columbia.
We protest on the grounds that an enforcement of such an act would be decided invasion on the rights of the citizens of the United States, and also detrimental to the business of this country.
We protest on the grounds that an enforcement of such an act would be tract. It is also class legislation, and undoubtedly would lead to more radical legislation of the same character. Hoping that our protests may be carefully considered, we remain, Yours, very truly,
THE IRELAND & MATTHEWS MFG. Co.,
[Illinois Malleable Iron Company.]
CHICAGO, ILL., February 19, 1908. Hon. JOHN J. GARDNER,
T'ashington, D. C.
ILLINOIS MALLEABLE IBON Co.,
[The Imperial Brass Manufacturing Company.)
Chicago, ILL., February 20, 1908. Hon. JOHN J. GARDNER,
Chairman House Committee on Labor, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: We desire to express our disapproval of the proposed so-called “ eight-hour bill,” feeling that it would seriously interfere with the prosperity of our business, which of course means the prosperity of our employees, as well as our stockholders.
We believe if the proposed bill is passed, that it would operate disastrously to the very parties whom it is intended to benefit and consider it unwise, uncalled for, and dangerous. Yours, very truly,
THE IMPERIAL BRASS MFG. Co.,
St. Louis, Mo., February 28, 1908. Hon. J.J. GARDNER,
Washington, D.C. DEAR SIR: If you can consistently do so, we would respectfully ask you to use your influence against Gardner bill H. R. 15651, which will be highly detrimental to ours, as well as the business interests of the country if it becomes law. Very respectfully,
C. W. BRIGHT & BROS.
[S. C. Irving.)
SAN FRANCISCO, CAL., March 3, 1908. Hon. John J. GARDNER,
Chairman House Labor Committee, Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: I note that there is an attempt being made in Congress of differentiating between the manufacturing trusts and the labor trusts.
As an employer of labor, and also as one who has been an employee, I strongly protest against any such distinction being made, especially in view of the fact that while the manufacturing trusts are being operated by genuine citizens, the labor trusts are owned and controlled by foreigners who have become citizens through no love of this country, but in order to give scope to their socialistic and anarchistic ideas that have been bred under the tyrannical governments of Europe. I am, sincerely yours,
S. C. IRVING.
[Ice and Cold Machine Company.] Hon JOHN J. GARDNER, Chairman House Labor Committee, Washington, D. C.
ST. LOUIS, March 13, 1908. DEAR SIR: Our attention has been called to the Gardner bill, H. R. 15651, which proposes to put a yoke around the neck of the manufacturer, in the West more especially, where the country needs building up, improving, and the days are not long enough to do the work required.