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of women employed in mercantile establishments, and the sanitary condition of stores and buildings used for similar purposes in large cities, is left to the board of health. If the city government fails to furnish the proper appropriation and appoint the necessary officers to carry out the law, as is at present the case in New York city, it is practically a dead letter.
Another important statute of this character relates to providing secure scaffolding in the erection of new buildings. The law on this subject is all that could be desired, but its enforcement is left to the city police, and, as a matter of fact, practically no provision is made for carrying it into effect. In New York city, where this law is most needed, police officers are unacquainted with the character and requirements of the law. Most of them, indeed, are not aware that the enforcement of this law is any part of their duty.
The law regulating the hours of labor on surface railroads is also an excellent provision against the tendency to work the men an almost unlimited number of hours. The enforcement of this law is left to the Railroad Commissioners. As they have no active force to use for such a purpose the law fails by default, except when individual citizens undertake the prosecutions. The employee himself will rarely or never complain for fear of being discharged.
In order that the desire of the people, definitely expressed in this wholesome legislation, shall be made effective, I recommend that the enforcement of the entire body of legislation relating to labor be placed under the Board of Factory Inspectors. This would simplify the whole question of labor legislation and place the respon
sibility for its enforcement where it properly belongs, and would also give the maximum efficiency of service with the minimum cost to the State. With a slight increase in the general force of factory inspectors, this work can be done for the whole State, and the object of the legislation be satisfactorily secured to the people. I recommend that the Legislature provide for additional factory inspectors, so as to bring the total number up to fifty, and also that the Governor be empowered to appoint unsalaried deputies.
Another very important phase of this subject is the sweat shop system, which is practically the conversion of the poorest class of living apartments into unwholesome, pest-creating and crime-breeding workshops. Laws have been enacted by the Legislature to suppress this vile phase of industrial life in our large cities, by prohibiting the use of dwellings for the purposes of manufacture. Although the law is quite explicit, and the intention of the Legislature obvious, great difficulty has been experienced in its effective enforcement. It is everywhere agreed that this tenement house, or “sweat shop" system is degrading to the unfortunate individuals engaged in it, and to the social and moral life of the community in which it exists. How to enforce the law on this subject has perplexed the statesmen of other countries and States as well as our own.
The most effective and uninquisitive means yet devised for accomplishing this end is that recently adopted by Massachusetts, viz.: providing that buildings used for manufacturing purposes must have a permit or license, such license or permit to be granted only on condition that the appointments of the building fulfill the requirements of the law for manufacturing purposes. These per
mits or licenses ought to be granted by the Board of Factory Inspectors, who should be held responsible for the proper inspection of the buildings and the enforcement of the law.
There are several reasons why this simple method would be effective. It would at once classify buildings used for manufacturing purposes, as a building so used without a permit would be violating the law. It would prevent much friction, because all requirements of the law would have to be fulfilled before the building was used. This would be a great advantage in the erection of new buildings, as proper conveniences, including accessible fire escapes, guarded elevators and other appointments would be required and easily furnished when new buildings were being erected or when old ones were being changed for manufacturing purposes. Nor does this involve any radical innovation. It is simply applying the recognized principle upon which boards of health now everywhere act in requiring that the plans for erecting new buildings or alterations of old ones must be submitted to the building and health department and a certificate of approval granted, before the building can be erected, alterations made or the premises occupied. Legitimate manufacturers will not object to this, because they are desirous of furnishing safe and wholesome appointments for their employees. Only those who desire to evade the law and disregard the common demands of sanitation, domestic decency and wholesome industrial methods will object, and it is these the law desires to reach.
I submit this to the serious consideration of the Legislature, and suggest that an amendment to the law embodying this idea be adopted, to the end that the uneconomic, unwholesome and un-American sweat shop system shall disappear from our industrial life.
The law requiring an eight-hour day and a prevailing rate of wages for State employees is not entrusted to any authority for enforcement. If this law is to remain on the statute books, it should be enforced, and, therefore, the Legislature should make it the particular business of somebody to enforce it.
A recent decision of the Court of Appeals has decided unconstitutional the law which provides that there shall be a mark on prison made goods, indicating that they are such. This matter should receive the attention of the Legislature in order that some means may be devised whereby the free mechanic shall not be brought into competition with prison labor.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Board of Mediation and Arbitration and the Factory Inspector's Department must be brought to the highest standard of efficiency and usefulness. The work of these departments, to report the actual conditions of labor, to seek to establish harmonious relations between labor and capital, and to enforce such labor-legislation as has met with the approval of the people of the State, is of supreme importance. The efficiency of their service concerns not only those iinmediately affected, but also the entire public, and they should receive our prompt and cordial co-operation in every attempt to fulfill their respective duties.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics in collecting the material for its reports has received valuable aid from manufacturers and officers of labor organizations. The reports of the department must be practical, strictly accurate in all statements of fact, and based on investigations conducted in accordance with modern scientific methods.
In various trades the relations between labor and capital have frequently been adjusted to the advantage of both by conferences between intelligent employers and reasonable workingmen. Such mutual understanding is in the highest degree desirable; it promotes industrial peace and general prosperity. Where disturbance exists, and before it has gone too far, the Board of Mediation and Arbitration should seek to secure a fair settlement of the difficulties and a re-establishment of harmonious relations. It should also constantly endeavor to promote the extension of intelligent methods of settlement of labor disputes so that, through the recognition by each party of the just rights of the other, strikes and lockouts may yield to wiser and more peaceful measures.
THE NATIONAL GUARD The National Guard of this State requires especial attention. During the past year the Guard was suddenly called upon to supply deficiencies in our scheme of National defense, due to the very small size of our regular army, which was, and is, totally inadequate to the necessities of the nation, admirable though the army itself is in quality. The emergency was so sudden as to necessitate the calling out of the men of the National Guard regiments, the time to raise and discipline ordinary volunteer regiments being lacking. It is much to be hoped that some well thought out plan may be adopted by the National Government for the use of the Guard in any future war. It would probably prove wisest to order out the Guard for use in the United States, thus freeing the regular army for any expedition, at the same time calling for volunteer regiments, into which those Guardsmen who