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not work more than an hour or two a day. Then will come a day or two when owing to the accident of a number of boats passing she may work on and off, although not continuously, from light to light. It would of course be a great injustice to her to diminish her compensation by providing for a paid substitute to do her work, and it would be a great injustice to the State to pay such a substitute in addition to paying her, when all told the aggregate of her work rarely requires her laboring eight hours all told and never requires her laboring for eight hours continuously. With a shoveler, a mechanic or any other employee who is employed for eight hours steadily, there is no difficulty; but both the law as it at present reads and the law as it will read after the signing of this bill, is not framed so that the case of a lock tender can be met under it, save on those parts of the canal where the work of a lock tender is practically continuous. Here the eighthour law can be and shall be applied; but I shall hold under this bill, as it has been held in the past, that, in the other places where the work is not continuous, intervals of rest continually intervening between the intervals of work, the aggregate of the time spent per day actually at work is to be included in the eight hours; in other words, that we shall not take an arbitrary stretch of eight hours, six of which the man may spend in idleness, and call them eight hours work.
Another class of cases comes under the Superintendent of Public Buildings, notably in the Capitol at Albany. These employees do not average eight hours a day throughout the year, because when the Legislature is not sitting their work is light; but when the Legislature is sit
ting they are obliged on the first four days of each week, to work for much more than eight hours. Ordinarily even in these cases the average for the week will not be more than eight hours a day, Friday and Saturday being days of light labor; and it never averages eight hours a day for the year. Obviously no just purpose can be served by taking a highly paid officer such as the Chief Engineer at the Capitol, who during most of the year may not be employed more than from four to six hours a day, and prohibiting him from seeing to the safety of the delicate engines under his care during the time when the Legislature and its committees are sitting in the afternoons and evenings. The same thing applies to the elevator men. This difficulty will not arise under the present bill until the first of January next, and I shall in my message to the Legislature request them at once to amend the law so that in the case of public servants who do not in the aggregate during their terms of employment work for more than eight hours a day on the average, they shall be permitted, where any emergency arises, to work for more than eight hours a day, provided always that this amount of extra work is in no case to be carried so far as to make the average per day for the term more than eight hours. The alternative to this would be putting a needless additional burden on the State or cutting down the wages of the employees during the time they are not employed for eight hours a day. It may be that the actual working of the law during the next eight months will develop some additional defects. If so, they can be remedied by the next Legislature. Until it has actually been tried it is probably impossible to say whether or not any
defects beyond those indicated above will be found. In any event it is highly desirable that the principle which this law seeks to establish should be really established and that the nominal purpose of the eight-hour law should be in fact fulfilled.
I accordingly sign the bill.
VETO OF ITEM IN THE SUPPLY BILL – AP
PROPRIATION FOR REARRANGING LIGHT-
STATE OF New YORK
Albany, May 12, 1899 Statement of item of appropriation objected to and not ap
proved, contained in Assembly bill number 2454, entitled “An Act making appropriations for certain expenses of government and supplying deficiencies in former appropriations ” — Not approved
The following item contained in Assembly bill number 2454, entitled “An Act making appropriations for certain expenses of government and supplying deficiencies in former appropriations ”, is objected to and not approved for the reasons hereinafter stated:
“For the Superintendent of Public Buildings for rearranging the lighting of the Senate Chamber, five thousand dollars or so much thereof as may be necessary, to be expended under the direction of the Capitol Commissioner and upon the request and with the approval of the finance committee of the Senate”.
I am informed that the amount appropriated is insufficient for the purpose indicated. The Superintendent of Public Buildings reports that it would take in the neighborhood of nine thousand dollars, and it is not in accordance with sound public policy to incur a deficiency in such a matter. I think the work should not be begun unless it can be completed.
PROCLAMATION ON THE DEATH OF EX-GOV
ERNOR ROSWELL P. FLOWER
STATE OF NEW YORK
Executive Chamber On May thirteenth the people of the State of New York learned with profound sorrow of the death of
RoswELL P. FLOWER At one time Governor of this State, he was known to all the people as a conscientious and painstaking Executive whose labors were devoted to what he deemed the best interests of all our citizens. During his long and conspicuous career he was brought in contact with very many private enterprises in which his cool and discriminating judgment and insistent and careful examination of detail rendered him peculiarly fitted for the arduous services which he rendered to his associates. In his private life he was beloved by all who knew him. In his business enterprises he was esteemed for his integrity and worth. In his public capacity he was honored as a conscientious and painstaking Executive. In every station which he was called upon to fill he was esteemed for his fidelity to the trust imposed upon him.
It would seem proper therefore that the Executive of the State, in the absence of the Legislature, should express on behalf of the people the respect due to his public spirit and well-known integrity.
Now therefore I, THEODORE ROOSEVELT, Governor of the State of New York, as a fitting tribute to the respect, character and public services of the deceased, do request that the flags upon all the public buildings of the State, including the armories and arsenals, be displayed at half-mast up to and including Wednesday the seventeenth day of May, and that the citizens of the State unite in appropriate remarks of respect to his memory.
GIVEN under my hand and the Privy Seal of the
State at the Capitol in the city of Albany this [L s] fourteenth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety-nine.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT By the Governor:
Wm. J. YOUNGS
Secretary to the Governor