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Mr. FITZGERALD. It is not only now, but it has been the history of thextrade-union movement for the last quarter of a century, or 30 years, that the man who has been active in the trade-union movement, his penalty or his reward is being driven from town to town, from pillar to post. I agree that that has been the case. But there are no cases that I know of now.
Mr. KELLER. It is one of the things that you know but you cannot prove, is that it?
Mr. FITZGERALD. Exactly. But we have got the right in Connecticut, as Mr. Nickerson said yesterday, to organize, without coercion or intimidation.
That is another hard thing to prove. We have had only one case, in my memory in Connecticut, and that was thrown out of court for lack of evidence. People who would do that sort of thing are too clever to show their hand in the open. But I know for a fact of men who have been persecuted, who have
a been driven all over the country, in my trade in particular when I worked at it, for those reasons.
I was fortunate in that we had a company that was willing to sit down and take up those questions and give us an opportunity to sell our labor, to bargain for it.
But then the time came when it was impossible, because of States that had lower standards, for that factory to continue, and it had to fold up. It had to go where they could get that kind of help, and we were left holding the bag.
We wanted to enjoy a few of the good things that rightfully belong to the people who work. There is no question about that. They belong to the people who work, if you want good American citizens.
Is there anything wrong with legislation that is going to provide a man with a livelihood, enough of food and shelter and clothing, and to put a little away for his old age? There is nothing wrong with that.
Of course, they will say that is socialism and communism, but if that is communism and socialism, then Christ was a socialist, and He has been one for 2,000 years; because that is the gospel that He has been preaching
Mr. RAMSPECK. Mr. Fitzgerald, the statement has been made, or the charge, at least, has been made, that under the N. R. A. there were more strikes than there were in the previous 20 years. What do you think about that?
Mr. FITZGERALD. There were in Connecticut. I believe that in Connecticut, during the N. R. A., there were over a hundred strikes. I sat in on strikes. I settled strikes in Connecticut. I have acted as arbitrator in strikes.
I found that in a great many cases some of these people were not living up to the code conditions and there were charges of discrimination.
Mr. RAMSPECK. What was the chief reason for those strikes?
Mr. FITZGERALD. Well, a demand for better conditions, better hours. Stretch out was the most of it. That was the greatest complaint. Machinery had been added and speeded up.
Mr. RAMSPECK. What about section 7-A?
Mr. FITZGERALD. Of course, that was the old bugaboo, in the whole thing, in my opinion. The right of the people to organize was the hard pill to swallow.
Mr. RAMSPECK. Was the 1934 textile strike the biggest the industry ever had?
Mr. FITZGERALD. I believe it was the biggest they ever had. That was when the general strike took place.
Mr. RAMSPECK. That is all.
Mr. KELLER. Is it not a fact that strikes generally take place when things are beginning to come up, that they seldom take place when things are falling down?
Mr. FITZGERALD. Mr. Chairman, my way of describing it is that it is like a football game. You have got the football today and you are kicking it around and when business gets a little better, and I get hold of that football, I am going to kick it around. But until such time as we are able to sit down and get our feet under the table and work out these problems together, we are going to have a conflict. It all depends on who has got the football.
Mr. RAMSPECK. That is a very neat way of putting it.
Mr. KELLER. That describes it. Now, what I would like to ask is this. As long as the N. R. A. wage was accepted and N. R. A. hours were accepted, there was no difficulty wherever that was done, was there?
Mr. FITZGERALD. No. The industry in general subscribed to it. Mr. KELLER. And went along?
Mr. FITZGERALD. Yes.
Mr. KELLER. And as soon as the Supreme Court annulled that law
Mr. FITZGERALD. Then the Labor Department had to go back to work and get busy chasing.
Mr. KELLER. You say that some such regulation as we have here proposed has got to come. Do you think that it can come about through State action, through the action of individual States? Mr. FITZGERALD. No.
Mr. KELLER. How has it got to come about?
Mr. FITZGERALD. By national regulation. There are no State limitations because, as I said before, it does not make any difference to the people whether the silk is made in Kalamazoo or whether it is made in Maine. The question is, How cheap can it be sold for? And today we can cross America in about 9 hours. It shows you about how fast we are traveling. We are traveling fast, but the States that will break the system down are the States that refuse to bring their standards up to the American standard of living. If they do not do it themselves, then they should be made to do so by Federal regulation.
I do not mean to compel them to do anything out of reason. But I mean to bring them up to standards where other States have been for years, and which standards those States are on the verge of having to sacrifice; for instance, in Massachusetts, when they were forced to change their 6 o'clock law to 10 o'clock, and so on, because factories were moving out of the State.
How can Massachusetts, with a 48-hour law; how can Connecticut, with a 48-hour law; how can New York, with a 48-hour law, compete with Rhode Island with a 55-hour law, with New Jersey, with a 55hour law, with Pennsylvania, with a similar law? And then it keeps on going down toward the South, where the hours become greater. It just cannot be done.
That is my honest opinion about it. And I have studied it, not
, for a couple of years, but I have lived a whole life with it.
It is not going to make a great deal of difference to me which way it goes, because I am going over the other side of the hill pretty soon.
, But I do not want to see these operatives going back into the textile mills as they used to, these women with shawls on their heads. I do not want to see textile mills in the East and the North closed up and standing in deserted villages as monuments in a graveyard.
That is what we will have with these mills moving out and going to other locations. I believe that you men can write something into history in legislation that will provide national regulation, that will take the good parts of the N. R. A., or the President's reemployment agreement, and put it into a bill that will be constitutional.
Mr. KELLER. That is a mighty fine compliment, Senator, and we thank you. If there are no further questions by members of the committee, we thank you for your appearance here today and, will you be good enough to say to the Governor that we appreciate his sending you down here.
Mr. FITZGERALD. I shall be glad to do that, Mr. Chairman; thank you.
Mr. KELLER. We are now glad to hear the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, Mr. Hurley.
STATEMENT OF HON. JOSEPH L. HURLEY, LIEUTENANT GOV.
ERNOR OF THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS Mr. KELLER. Will you state for the record whom you represent, Governor?
Lieutenant Governor HURLEY. My name is Joseph L. Hurley. I am Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, and I am representing his Excellency, James M. Curley, the Governor of Massachusetts.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, Governor Curley and those of us associated with him in the government of Massachusetts have been living with this problem for the past year as State officials. This is not the first time that we have been down to Washington seeking some measure of aid for the textile industry.
During the past year we have been in conference with the President of the United States; we have been at hearings before the President's Cabinet committee; we have been in conference with members of the Massachusetts delegation in Congress.
The reason for our interest is not that we are taking the side of employers against employees or vice versa, but we feel that it is a public duty to do something to capture national attention for the problem that presents itself in every textile city, and Massachusetts is made up of a great many of them.
In fact, the textile industry, even today in its depression, is the greatest industry that Massachusetts has ever known.
My home town happens to be the city of Fall River. Fall River had the start of the textile industry in 1811 and I can remember, as a boy, witnessing the centennial of that industry celebrated in that city, and seeing President Taft come up from Washington to bring the greetings of the Nation to that community.
Probably in 1921 that city was considered the greatest textile city in America, if not in the world. But the experience of Fall River since 1921 has been characteristic of the experience of every other textile community, expecially in that section of the country.
In the meantime, and prior to my being elected lieutenant governor of that State, I had the privilege of being the mayor of Fall River; and prior to that time I acted for a few years as the corporation counsel, called city solicitor in most communities.
During those years of 1929 and 1930, mine was the task of defending the city against countless pleas for abatement in taxes on the part of textile manufactories that felt, with the depression, that had already visited itself upon the industry, that their plants were grossly overvaluated, which was proven as a fact in the trials.
As I recall, my job as the defender of the city's interest, was merely to try to save the city as much money as possible. It was merely a question of how much we were going to pay back to these mills that had been overassessed.
This depression in the textile industry, if I can recall the evidence that was introduced during those days of litigation by experts, by men who knew the industry in a Nation-wide sense, was not anything that began with the general collapse of business in this country in 1929. But the depression of the textile industry started many years before that.
The present depression, I suppose we can say, started in 1923 or 1924, and has been getting worse ever since, until the advent of the N. R. A.
I well recall one witness in those cases testifying that the depression in the textile industry actually had set in prior to 1914 and it was only the World War that saved the textile industry in America at that time and kept it alive during the war days from 1914 to 1918, and then during the boom period that followed; and as soon as the boom was over, things begin to slip. During that period, we saw this happen to that typical textile city; and mind you, that city, like practically every other one of these textile communities, was a oneindustry town. As soon as the textile industry went, the entire business of the community stopped.
In 1921, in Fall River, there were 46 corporations. I think they maintained about 110 factory buildings. They operated 3,805,000 spindles and they furnished employment to 33,450 men and women.
In 1934, those 46 corporations had dwindled to 23. The 3,800,000 spindles had dwindled to 1,800,000, and the number of employees had dropped from 33,500 to 18,000. Mind you, during all the history
. of that community, and every other textile community, the city was growing in size and services were being rendered to a growing population-fire department, police department, street department.
With this collapse of industry, we saw the tax valuations of that one city go from $220,000,000 to what they are today, approximately $105,000,000, actually cut in half. And the burden of taxation placed upon the small-home owner and businessman.
You will probably be interested in knowing how that burden shifted in the years of that depression. In 1920, in Fall River, 55.02 percent of the valuations of the city were textile valuations. In 1934, only 14.63 percent were textile valuations. The rest of the burden of taxation shifted as I have suggested.
That is why we are interested as public officials in this problem. These communities, as Senator Fitzgerald has just told you, unless something is done to relieve them of these distressing conditions, are going to be nothing more or less than a chain of deserted mill villages. That is so, not merely in Massachusetts but in every other industrial State that is made up of textile communities.
Prior to the N. R. A. and during the days, as I have indicated, of my experience as a lawyer for the city and as mayor for the city, living with this problem in a community in which I was born and brought up, we heard these arguments advanced as to the reason for the collapse of the industry.
They told us first that more mills existed, more spindles were in plece and running in this country than the country could stand; that there was a great over-production of cotton textiles. Many plants had moved from Massachusetts to other sections of the country for different reasons, the principal reason being that Massachusetts had been too progressive in its labor laws and in its social legislation; that those laws were a burden upon industry; that they had added to the cost of production and therefore mills had moved to other States that did not have those requirements, and because they did not have them their manufacturers were permitted to manufacture cotton cloth much cheaper than they were in places like Fall River.
I can recall, speaking of that last feature, that for 20 years almost, it has been a regular chestnut in Massachusetts political campaigns, sponsoring a national 48-hour law. I can remember Henry Cabot Lodge—and he seems to be a figure of the distant past as we think about him today-campaigning in 1920 or 1922 and saying that when be went back to the Senate he was going to advocate a constitutional amendment to permit a 48-hour law.
Massachusetts was the only State that had adopted progressive legislation. We had dropped from 60 hours to 54 hours, before any other State, and then we dropped from 54 hours to 48 hours, applying it not merely to women and children, but to men as well.
We had a law on our statute books that has been suspended since the N. R. A., but only suspended and not repealed, providing that women and children could not work in a cotton mill after 6 o'clock at night.
We have had a law which required children between 14 and 16, who worked in industry, to attend continuation schools part of each week.
We have had a very outstanding—and recognized as an outstanding-workmans' compensation law, so far advanced that the legislation this year was perfected to provide that a man who is permanently injured in industry would receive compensation for the remainder of his life.
We have had requirements such as providing first-aid facilities in every factory; requiring the inspection of factories in order that safety might be maintained in industry to the highest degree; laws which prohibited children under 16 and others under 18 working in certain hazardous industries.
All of these things represent laws that every member of this committee would feel were desirable laws in his State, no matter what section of the country he comes from; and yet they have not been enacted into law in the various States only because men and women,