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4. Resolved, That the report of the president be accepted as read.
6. That the association go on record as favoring holding its annual convention at a time separate from the meeting of the I. A. I. A. B. C., except in those instances where in the opinion of the executive board the welfare of this association will be furthered by meeting either at the same time or in the same city with the I. A. I. A. B. C.
7. That regardless of where the 1937 convention is held there be made arrangements for a separate meeting for 1 or 2 days of representatives of the Canadian Provinces and of the representatives of the United States, either immediately preceding or immediately following the meeting of the association, for the purpose of considering the future organization of the association and how best it can be made effective as far as the Canadian Provinces are concerned.
8. That it is the sentiment of the association that it should be represented on the electrical standards committee of the National Fire Protection Association, and that the secretary be instructed to convey that sentiment to the American Standards Association with the earnest request that the association be granted representation.
9. Resolved, That a letter of thanks be sent by the secretary, in the name of the executive board, to all persons who took part in the program.
10. That a fee of $100 be paid to Doris Patterson for recording and transcribing the minutes of the twenty-second annual convention of the association.
11. That a gratuity of $10 be sent to Margaret Finch and to Bernice Beckman for their services to the association in registering membership.
Mr. PATTON (New York). I should like to suggest that next year our representatives on outside committees give brief reports on their work.
President CRAWFORD. One other matter which was brought before the convention on which no definite action has been taken is the matter of appointment of representatives of the association in each of the States comprising the membership. The suggestion was put forward by Mr. McLogan.
Mr. McLOGAN. My thought was that the executive committee appoint some person in each State, preferably the labor commissioner, or anyone else who may be suggested, as the agent of this association, who might appear before legislative committees when bills are pending that we are interested in, to explain to the legislators the make-up of this organization; that it is composed of labor commissioners of all the States, and that they have considered the subject matter of the bills pending before the body and have recommended to the State legislatures that it be passed. The average legislator has some 800 or 900 bills to consider, and there is no human being alive in any legislative hall who in the course of 6 months can read that many bills and know all the details. He must, of necessity, rely upon those experts who have given some thought to it. My thought is that we should give them that information and urge the passage of such legislation as we are interested in. I move that the incoming executive board make such appointments.
President CRAWFORD. I have only one comment-care should be taken in the appointment of such persons to see that the closest possible cooperation is maintained with the Division of Labor Standards of the Department of Labor. I understand from Mrs. Beyer's remarks the other day that it already has correspondents in each State who are in direct communication with the Division, and if we are to appoint someone who is going to do more, as Mr. McLogan suggests--that is, appear before the legislative bodies-we should avoid overlapping. If your motion, however, implies only that we have the State labor commissioner appear before the State legislature, I see no value in it. He should do that anyway, and certainly he should speak as a representative of the association. I do believe that there is room for a person to do more than that officially to represent the association, to collect and distribute information, and to cooperate with the Division of Labor Standards and the executive board on any matters pertaining to the welfare of the association throughout the year. We assume now that we have that cooperation.
Mr. Lubin. We have authorized our president to travel to States for the purpose of presenting the views of the association to legislative bodies, but it seems to me that there are times, due to a hostile legislature or a governor who does not want to cooperate with the Federal Government, when it might be well if, in addition to our own president, a local person was our official representative. After all, our president cannot spend all his time traveling around the country; it would probably be understood that he would go only when the issue was such that his presence was needed.
Mr. SWANISH (Illinois). It seems to me that the duty of this association should be to appear before the chief executive of a State rather than to appear before the legislative bodies. It seems to me that would be much more effective.
Mr. Patton. I feel, too, that it is rather a dangerous thing to ask a representative of, say, Kansas or New York, to appear before the legislative body of his own State. I am afraid that it might not always be welcome, and might sometimes even be resented by the commissioner of such State. After all, the commissioner docs most of the appearing before the legislature, and unless he specifically requested a member of his staff to appear no member would ever go.
President CRAWFORD. But the individual would not appear as an individual at all, but would appear in the name of the association, and not as a State official.
Mr. McLogan. Perhaps I have not made myself clear. Certainly I never intended that someone other than a citizen of the State was going to appear before the legislature of that State. In other words, my suggestion is that the executive board appoint someone within the State whose business it would be to see, in the first instance, that whatever legislation we are interested in is properly introduced. If that is going to be taken care of by the Division of Labor Standards, all well and good. All of our States do not operate in the same manner. Legislation of Wisconsin, for instance, does not emanate from the chief executive-not one-half of 1 percent of it. It emanates from the members of the legislature, either on request by some citizen, or on their own intiative. What I have in mind is this: We come here every year and listen to reports, and we argue and we pass resolutions; then we go home and sit idly by until next year, when we repeat the process. I do not like to spend time this way. I like to finish what we start. I should like to see the executive board appoint someone in each State. He does not need to be a great orator.
All he needs to do is to convey the message that certain bills have been considered by this association; that the association is composed of all the State labor commissioners; and, for what it is worth, that the association has considered a specific piece of legislation and recommends its passage. That certainly could be done without duplicating any work of the Division of Labor Standards. It should cooperate.
Mr. PATTON. I hardly agree, for States operate differently. Suppose the association should go on record in favor of the reserve plan of unemployment insurance, and should delegate some member to appear before the legislature and have such a bill introduced. Suppose the head of the department in that State should advocate a pool plan for unemployment insurance. If I or anyone else were to have a bill introduced and appear before the legislature arguing for a reserve plan, I feel that I would find my connection with my own particular State department severed. I think it is a dangerous thing to appoint one of our members, who, after all, is technically a subordinate in his department, to introduce a bill in the legislature and appear before the legislature. I think such appearances should always be made by the head of the labor department. If he wants to designate some member of this body to do it, all right.
Mr. MURPHY (Oklahoma). I am wondering if there is not some slight confusion as to the work of the Division of Labor Standards. I do not believe any Federal agency would go into a State to further State legislation unless its aid had been sought. Is it the intention of this association to appoint persons to represent it independently, without having its service sought? Of course, I think Mr. McLogan's suggestion is that it be a State person, but do you think we could in some way clarify what we mean by representatives within the State. Would it be the State labor commissioner?
Mr. McLOGAN. Not necessarily. I am assuming that the executive board will use some discretion in making the appointments and that it will take into consideration all the questions Mr. Patton has raised.
President CRAWFORD. There is a confusion of thought here one idea is of an official representative of the association in each State to see that the work of the association is properly presented to that State. The other idea is of someone to promote and appear before legislative bodies and initiate or lobby for legislation. In my opinion we have already provided for the latter in providing for traveling expenses of the president or some other official to go to the States on such matters. I would suggest that our discussion follow Mr. Murphy's suggestion that the executive board consider the advisability of consulting with the heads of the State labor departments.
Mr. LUBIN. I think we ought to clarify the issue. I cannot agree with you when you say that we have already provided for legislative activity when we provided for the president to go into the States. It requires someone actively at work within the State at all times, one who is cognizant of the problems of labor legislation, and such a person would have to be a local person whose primary interest is in labor legislation.
President CRAWFORD. Would not such a person have to have the full cooperation of the head of the department?
Mr. Lubin. Nine times out of ten he would be the head of the department. He would be acting in two capacities.
Mr. Wilcox. Would it meet the issue if we think of this in terms of choosing particular persons for particular matters-one person might be the ideal representative of this association on one matter and another person on another matter. If the motion is to empower the executive board not only to use the mail, not only to send the president into the States, but also to appoint someone in the name of this association, where it was deemed advisable by the executive board to do so, and with two restrictions--one that the person would be appointed for the particular matter designated, and second, that there is no necessity for appointing a person in each and every State; he would be appointed if and as and when the situation arose that made it seem desirable it seems to me we will have reached a satisfactory arrangement. Mr. McLogan. Yes, that would meet the need.
President CRAWFORD. I think we have given it sufficient discussion. The motion, as I understand it, now is to the effect that a recommendation be made to the incoming executive board to appoint such a person where it is feasible and desirable. (Motion carried.)
Miss MURPHY (Washington, D. C.). A number of us here feel that some definite action should be taken on the wage-claim collection bill. I should like to move that the secretary and the committee on wage-collection laws be instructed to send a copy of the bill to each State labor department and to the labor committee of each State federation of labor, looking toward the adoption of its provisions by the various States.
Mr. McLOGAN. With reference to this report I would suggest that the bill and report be adopted by this organization. I think this is the one exception where we can adopt them so that there will be some force behind the sending out of the material.
Miss MURPHY. I amend my motion, then, to include such a recommendation, that this body accept and endorse the report which has been submitted by the committee on wage-collection laws and that the secretary be instructed to send copies of the bill to each State labor department and to the legislative committee of each State federation of labor.
Mr. LUBIN. Was there not some question about certain clauses in the bill?
Mr. McKINLEY. They have all been ironed out. (Motion carried (see p. 141 for language of proposed wage-collection law).) (The report of the nominating committee was presented by John S. B. Davie.)
Report of Nominating Committee
Your committee recommends the election of the following list to serve as officers for the ensuing year:
President.-A. L. Fletcher, of North Carolina.
(Mr. Magnusson moved that the secretary be instructed to cast a unanimous ballot for the election of these officers. Motion carried.)
(At this point Mr. Crawford, the retiring president, turned over the chair to the incoming president and wished him success in the coming year and an opportunity for greater and better service. President Fletcher expressed his appreciation of the honor conferred on him and asked for the cooperation and help of the members.)
(Mr. Lubin reported that the association had received official invitations to meet in various parts of the country, among them, invitations from the Mayor of Toronto; from the Commissioner of Labor of Missouri; from the Labor Commissioner of the State of New York; from the Mayor of Philadelphia; from the Governor of South Carolina; by wire, from Memphis, Tenn.; and from Commissioner Jacobs of Tennessee. Mr. Lubin made a motion that, in view of the fact that the question of the meeting next year with the Canadian Provinces had been raised, the meeting next year be held in Toronto.)