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port of his family than does the workman
of Great Britain. Of this 48J/2 per cent.
about 6 per cent, was expended by the



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



American workman for articles which
could be bought 6 per cent, cheaper in
Great Britain; nearly 12 per cent, was
paid extra to secure more and larger
rooms and more air space than the work-
man in Great Britain enjoyed; while the
remaining 30^^ per cent, was expended by
the Massachusetts workman to secure
better home surroundings and to maintain
a higher standard of living. Reduced to
percentages the standard of living among
these working people is as practically one
and one-half to one in favor of Massachu-
setts. Suppose the British workman to
earn %\ per day and to expend it all; the
Massachusetts workman earns $1.75 and
expends $1.42. In a table of selected
budgets (nineteen in Massachusetts and
sixteen in Great Britain) it is shown that
the Massachusetts famihes expended 93.89
per cent, of their total incomes, and the
British 98.24; one lot had a surplus of
6. 1 1 per cent, and the other of 1.76 per
cent.

Last year a friend of mine who had
lived for twenty years in Kansas visited
his laiother, living in Biddeford, England,
and at my request sent me a statement
regarding prices and wages. He said that
farm laborers were paid from ^2.48 to
$3.36 per week, they boarding and lodging
themselves ; a good all-round farm hand
getting ^5.76 per month and board. An
Ai blacksmith earned $7.20 per week;
machinists $8.40; carpenters $6 \ masons
;g4.8o, and masons' helpers 60 cents per
day. A men's cuff and collar factory,
employing several hundred men, women
and children, paid from $1.20 to $6 per
week — some of the operatives working
twelve and fourteen hours per day. Butter
cost 38 cents per pound, eggs 36 cents per
dozen, bacon 10 to 12 cents, cheese 16 to
20 cents, American flour 4 cents per
pound, and English 3 cents,( this is the only
American article out-quoting the English).
Raisins, sugar and tea were cheaper, (this
was before our era of cheap sugar).
Clothing, such as a business man in Amer-
ica would wear, was much cheaper, but



boots and shoes were 20 per cent, dearer;
while calicos ranged from 6 to 10 cents
per yard. A house with four 9x9 rooms,
with scullery attached, but with no yard,
garden or ground, rented for $40 per year,
but the tenant paid 54 cents on the pound
poor-rate tax, or ^4.32, which with water
rates, etc. brought his rent up to between
$50 and ^60. The use of a four-wheel
spring vehicle pays $5 tax, but if a man is
content to ride on two wheels he pays only
$3.60. These four 9x9 rooms are what
the Massachusetts bureau refers to when it
states that the Massachusetts workman
has 12 per cent, better housing.

After his return, my friend, who is a
first-class blacksmith, owning a shop in
Cawker City, told me that as time hung
heavily on his hands, he applied to a local
blacksmith for work, and actually worked
a week for 60 cents a day. He was
offered a raise to $1.25 if he would stay
on, but he told the boss that he was only
engaged in a little "personal experience"
work, and he guessed he would quit. It is
needless to say that my friend is now
blowing his bellows at Cawker City. But
it is about time that I returned to my
subject.

I think that the tendency of the bureaus
is toward more thorough investigation of
the subjects undertaken, and to a reduction
in the number simultaneously attempted ;
especially is this the case where there have
been few, if any, changes in the manage-
ment and where the commissioner has had
time to familiarize himself with his work,
for it must be remembered that as each
succeeding state wheels into line, and
enacts a law creating a labor bureau, the
commissioner appointed soon finds that
he has no ready-furnished house to move
into, but will have to clear the site and
build his own domicile from the ground
up. It may not be a very attractive
structure, at first, but if he takes an inter-
est in his work he is constantly striving to
improve it, and I am inclined to think
that as a rule he is succeeding.

The average commissioner is coming to



SEMINARY NOTES.



T29



see more and more clearly that his way
lies in a purely statistical direction, that
his work is to investigate as thoroughly as
the means at his command will permit,
primarily by personal visitation and exam-
ination, if possible, and secondly through
the mails ; to collect all the information
obtainable and then to compile and to
present a thorough analyzation of his
subjects with very little comment. His
report should be a text book, and it should
contain facts as clear cut as he is able to
present them. It is for others to use the
information thus collected, and it is used
in many directions, most efficiently prob-
ably, so far as direct influence upon public
opinion is concerned, by the press, either
directly from the reports themselves, or
indirectly through criticisms of books
published by "labor reformers" pure and
simple, or by more conservative writers
upon economic subjects, who are using
reports more and more extensively each
year as standard authorities. In an ad-
dress before our last convention Mr. J. A.
Price, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, vice-
president of the National Board of Trade,
made this statement : "They have strained
affairs abroad the' same as we have here,
and they are looking to the facts that you
are collecting as being one of the greatest
stepping stones to safety in this country.
The Financial Reform association of
Liverpool sent to me some time ago for
the reports of the various bureaus of this
country. I suppose some of you gentle-
men will remember that I interviewed you
. by letter in order to get your results to
send to that association for use in their work
on the other side. Men like Lord Derby, Sir
John Lubbock and others are keeping their
eyes upon the work that you are doing."
Caroll D. Wright at the same session
said; " It is a matter of constant congrat-
ulation to my mind that these gentlemen
abroad are seeking the work of the Ameri-
can bureaus, not only for standards for
their own work, but as guides, indications
and suggestions as to what they should do
themselves."



During the present week I have received
through the State Department at Wash-
ington, from the newly appointed French
Commissioner of Labor requests for, and
have forwarded to Paris, copies of all my
Reports remaining, together with such other
information as I have been able to impart.

The Labor Bureau is distinctly of Amer-
ican inception, and as I have already
stated, Massachusetts leads the world.
Col. Wright said at Philadelphia, "There
is no bureau in the old world that can
accomplish what the most poorly-equipped
bureau in our convention can accomplish.
England created a few years ago a Cor-
respondent of Labor, connected with the
Board of Trade, one of the cabinet offices
of the British government. Mr. Burnett,
the incumbent of that position, is doing
the best he can with poor equipment.
There is not an office represented here
to-day so poorly equipped as is that which
stands for the Bureau of Labor of Great
Britaih. Belgium has established a Bureau
of Labor which is doing most excellent
work, but it also lacks equipment."

The Belgium reports are the best foreign
reports received by the Kansas Bureau of
Labor, and are of great service to us.
Col. Wright speaks of the probability of
the French government creating a Bu-
reau, and predicts that it "will accomplish
more than either of the other creations
of Europe." A prediction I am inclined
to endorse, as in addition to the commu-
nications which I have, directly from the
new French Bureau, I, a day or two ago,
received a letter from M. Brewaert, the
French Consul at Chicago, who had pre-
viously corresponded quite extensively
with me, upon the subject, advising me
that the French government had sent M.
Paul Deschanel, a former member of the
Chamber of Deputies, who is now in New
York, charged with the duty of thoroughly
investigating the methods of our American
Labor Bureaus. M. Deschanel submitted
through M. Brewaert, a series of interrog-
atories which we answered to the best of
our ability.



I30



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Following the plan adopted by the
Massachusetts Bureau, in submitting its
'' Index to Reports," I might say that the
whole number of pages in the sixth annual
report published by the Kansas Bureau,
is 2,126, or an average to each of 359,
against 428 pages for Massachusetts. Of
these pages, wages, cost of living, earn-
irigs and expenses, occupy 490, or in-
cluding organized labor, treated in the
last report, (135 pages) it makes a total
of 625. Working women, 46 pages; child
labor, 52; miners and mines, 139; views
of working men, 123; labor and educa-
tion, 9; "Exodusters," etc., 13; strikes,
boycotts, and blacklists, 94; chattel mort-
gages, 10; profit sharing, 10; pauperism,
40, state charitable institutions, 6; con-
vict labor, 7; conciliation and arbitration,
17; industrial education, 31; building and
loan associations, 18; newspaper statistics,
66; labor bureaus and conventions, 92;
labor laws, 28; and proceedings of the
convention of the State Federation of
Labor, 18.

Manufacturing statistics occupy a total
of 250 pages, flouring mills, which are
treated separately, 97; and railroads, in-
cluding street railways, cover 142 pages.

It required the collection of a large
amount of material from which to com-
pile the tables and to obtain the results
found in these six reports. Although we
were forced to depend upon the mails
for a large portion of this material, we
have always obtained the most satisfactory
results from personal interviews, and to
the extent of our ability we have followed
that method.

In the chief cities of the state we for
three years collected monthly statements
from upwards of a hundred workmen,
representing all of the principal occupa-
tions, visiting them at their homes and in
the workshops for this purpose.

At the request of the Topeka Trades
and Labor Assembly I, last year, under-
took the collection of information regard-
ing the condition of organized labor in the
state, with very satisfactory results, as will



be seen by an examination of our sixth
report. This 'information was obtained
chiefly through blanks furnished to railway
organizations, trades unions and local
assemblies of the Knights of Labor.

Anxious, however, to examine the ad-
vantages, if any, derived by the workman
by reason of his "union," I determined,
for the purpose of comparison, to investi-
gate the condition of the non-union work-
man. This I could only do through
personal interviews, and the agents of the
bureau succeeded in securing reports from
504 workmen who belong to no trade
organization, and who represented some
forty different employments. These re-
ports — union and non-union — were pub-
lished in double column tables, as will be
seen by examining the report.

Another investigation made last year,
was in regard to child labor. This was
accomplished by personal interviews with
children, and by blanks sent to employers.
No law regulating the labor of children
has yet been passed by our legislature,
except in the case of boys working in
mines. The evil of child labor has not
yet become very extensive in Kansas, but
it is on the increase, 'and children are
being permanently employed in some of
our large establishments who are not over
12 or 13 years of age.

While the law creating the bureau au-
thorizes the Commissioner to submit in-
terrogatories to employers, and to require
that they be answered and returned under
oath, I have sought to obtain only volun-
tary information, and I desire to say, that,,
with very few exceptions, I have met with
nothing but courtesy, and a professed will-
ingness to comply with my requests. It
must be remembered that the information
sought by our bureaus is something that
employers of labor have never before been
asked to give. To many it seems an
impertinent prying into private affairs on
the part of the state; and that to answer
the questions would be to completely
" give away " their business. The result
is that the information from employers,



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131



thus far collected, is not as complete as
it should be; still in essentials, such as
aggregate capital, value of products, num-
ber of employes and amount of wages
paid, the tables are substantially correct.
I have in many cases, by personal inter-
views, succeeded in removing this feeling
of distrust in a measure, and each year
finds it easier for the bureau to obtain the
information sought. This favorable ten-
dency seems to be the experience of most
of the other bureaus, growing more pro-
nounced as the years pass. The Massa-
chusetts Commissioner, Mr. Wadlin,
stated at our last convention that he had
recently completed an investigation em-
bracing about 6,000 returns, and repre-
senting more than 70 per cent, of the
entire manufacturing product of the state,
and that in not more than a dozen cases
had he met with any objection on the part
of the manufacturers to supply the required
information. This readiness to comply
with the bureau's request is in marked
contrast to its earlier efforts, when a very
small proportion of the manufacturers'
blanks were properly returned. The ex-
perience of the Massachusetts Bureau has
been that practically of most of the others,
and the manufacturing statistics which
these reports contain are yearly growing
more complete.

My report for 1S90 contained no manu-
facturing statistics, for the reason that the
United States was engaged extensively in
that line, it being the census year, and this
gave me more time to devote to special
investigations which I desired to under-
take. The 1 89 1 report, upon which we
are now at work, will contain special
statistics regarding the lead and zinc in-
dustry of the state: and during the present



year some other leading industry will be
investigated. We have during the past
year also collected from the railroad engi-
neers and conductors a large amount of
information regarding their hours of labor,
time on duty for which they receive no
pay, etc. Some 5,000 trips are represented
by the reports sent into our office. These
reports we are now thoroughly analyzing
and they will form a prominent feature in
our report for the year 1891. This work
was undertaken at the request of the leg-
islative session of 1891. In procuring
this information I had 200 books prepared,
each containing schedules sufficient to
cover the records of a month, and num-
bered consecutively from I to 200. These
numbers were registered, together with
the name and address of the engineer or
conductor to whom the schedule was sent.
We kept in constant correspondence with
the persons having the books, and in ad-
dition personally visited a number of them.
Many filled them more or less completely,
and a large number, at our suggestion,
sent us the stubs of their trip books, which
contained the information we sought, and
which we carefully copied. We are in
receipt, also, of many valuable suggestions
which will be embodied in our report.
We are striving, too, to learn through the
county and city clerks to what extent the
eight-hour law, passed by the late legisla-
ture, is being observed.

But I feel that I have talked long enough,
and regret that I have not been able to
more profitably entertain you. I assure
you that the crudities in this paper can
not be attributed to want of inclination,
however much they may be to lack of
ability.

F. H. Betton.



132



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



THE STUDY OF HISTORY IN HIGH SCHOOLS.



■^rPHERE are two distinct classes of
^§ students in every high school, and
the line of demarcation between them is
so plain and decided that a course of
study satisfying the demands of each can
not be arranged without much difficulty.
To the first class belongs the general high
school pupil who does not intend to enter
college. To the second class belong all
preparatory students. Although in many
respects, as in the case of history and
mathematics, the ground covered by each
class of students is practically the same
yet they differ widely upon the subjects of
language and science. It will also be
observed that the requirements in history
and science for admission to the Univer-
sity are limited, compared with those in
language and literature, and while it would
undoubtedly be profitable for the general
student to know something of the languages,
as a rule they are influenced in other
directions. On the other hand the prepa-
ratory student cannot afford to spend his
valuable time in taking an elementary
course in science when it would be of no
particular value to him in entering college.

It is well to note these conditions before
•attempting to map out a line of work in
any department of a preparatory course
of study. Down to the present time it
has been' impossible to unite these two
elements into one class. They exist in
every high school and will continue to
exist because their needs are essentially
different. We can only bring them as
near together as possible, making abund-
ant provision always for the greater num-
ber. The object of this article is to
suggest, very briefly, a course in history
,for the average high school.

It seems to me that this department has
always been set aside until the others were
fully developed. Not often has it received
deserved attention in the high school



curriculum. It has always been gauged
by the requirements for admission to col-
lege, which are in most cases low, while
the needs of the much larger number who
never enter college have been left entirely
out of the question. - We must, therefore,
endeavor to prepare this latter class for a
more intelligent citizenship by bringing
within its reach more thorough instruction.

A certain amount of preparation is
usually accomplished in the grades below
the high school. This may be made to
include "United States History" in outline;
noting in general the events and domi-
nant principles of the different epochs;
emphasizing the relation of Geography to
History: and finally sketching the charac-
ters of the great men who have occupied
prominent places in the history of our
country. Another subject which has not
yet found a permanent place in the pro-
gramme seems, from its very nature, to
belong to the grades also, namely: local
government. Although it is very often
assigned to the opening or closing chap-
ters of civil government, its proper place
is among the earliest lessons in history.
With this preparation the high school
work properly begins.

For convenience it may be well to
divide the subject into three parts —
junior, middle and senior years.

The first years work is not a change of
subject but rather a change in methods of
study. In former lessons particular stress
has been laid upon events alone, with
minute descriptions as to movements and
location, while in the more advanced
grade the relation of one event to another
and the remote or immediate cause or
effect of an event, are emphasized.

The student begins to search and re-
search for himself and while he is pre-
paring to pass the entrance examinations,
he is at the same time acquiring the



SEMINAR Y NO TES.



^33



University methods of study. Such a
book as Johnston's "History of Politics" is
an excellent text for this special purpose.

Following this, with some light supple-
mentary reading, would come the regular
course in civil government, and with the
"History of Politics" occupy the first
term of the junior year.

With such a knowledge of the political
history of our country and the practical
workirjg of our government, the student at
the beginning of the middle year ought to
be well qualified to take up the history of
other countries and other governments.
In fact this is the most important part of
his preparatory course, for at this time he
will acquire a taste for historical research
which will determine his fitness for this
line of work.

English history is the field for the scond
year. At least one term can be devoted
to the study of such texts as Montgomery's
or Gardener's "History of England" with
Green's "History of the English People"
for a reference book.

To the third or senior year belongs t^he
subject of General history, which can be
divided into two parts — the first covering
the period of Oriental, the second that of
Greek and Roman history.

The character of the work done in this
part will depend altogether upon the time
allotted to it. If the study can be pur-
sued through the year the "Story of
Nations" series will be found indispens-
able as supplementary reading for the first
part of the work, while for the second part
there are many books that will answer the
same purpose. A more limited time



would of course exclude everything beyond
the mere outline of the two periods.

Without giving the details of the work
in a three years' course of history in high
schools I have endeavored to bring into
prominence a few thoughts, which may be
of some value. The first is the necessity
of more thorough preparation in the his-
tory and government of our country.

In the second place some history should
be taught in each year of the high school
course. Although in many cases time
will not admit of this in the ordinary
manner of daily recitations, yet perhaps it
might be possible to devote one or two
days in the week to the discussion of
topics assigned. x\gain, each year should
be devoted to a special line of work — first
year. United States, second English and
the third Ancient history; — and each period
should have a suitable course of reading
which may be pursued during the year
under the direction of the teacher. This
course of reading is a very important
feature. Probably as much of the work
can be accomplished by it alone as by the
ordinary recitation. Two hours per week
will do much if properly used. It has not
been my intention to appropriate any
time which belongs to any of the other
departments, but on the other hand, to
find the time, place and amount of history
in the high school course of study. It has
certainly been crowded out for some
reason, while it is worthy of more attention
today than at any previous time.

Prin. W. H Tohnson,

Lcewrence High School.



134



SEMINARY NOTES.



SEMINARY REPORTS.



The Labor Bureaus.



Q^



AnpHE Seminary met on February 5th
^ to hear a paper by Hon. F. H.



Betton, State Labor Commissioner of
Kansas, on "The Work of the Bureaus of
Labor Statistics."

Massachusetts, the speaker said, has
led the world in this work. Her bureau
was established in 1869 and Kansas, which
was the fifteenth to wheel into line, has
already produced six annual reports. So
vast has this work become that the Presi-
dent of the National Association is pre-
paring an analytical index of the one
hundred and fifty vloumes thus far issued,
and this index is to consist of four hund-
red pages of carefully classified matter.
By its use the student may find where,
how and to what extent any economical
subject has been treated.

The Kansas bureau was established "to
collect, assort, systematize and present in
annual reports to the governor, to be by
him biennially transmitted to the legisla-
ture, statistical details relating to all
departments of labor and industrial pur-
suits in the State, especially in their rela-
tion to the commercial, industrial, social,
educational, and sanitary condition of the
laboring classes." Nearly all the bureaus
in the United States are modelled after
the Massachusetts board though Kansas has
"industrial pursuits" added and also lays
upon her Commissioner the duty of super-
vising mines and factory inspection. Mr.
Betton has found the condition of Kansas
factories " fairly good. "

The Massachusetts department has is-
sued twenty volumes, consisting of 8,339
pages, of which wages, prices, and cost of
living, occupy more than one fifth. An
agent was sent to Great Britain in 1883,
and after a very careful and full examin-
ation in shops and homes found that in
Massachusetts the general weekly wage
was 77 per cent, higher, rent w]/. per



cent, higher and cost of living exclusive of
rent 5^ per cent, higher than in England.
This gives the American 71 per cent in his
favor, most of which was spent for the
better support of the families. A friend
of the speaker who visited England found



Online LibraryKansas. UniversitySeminary notes published by the Seminary of historical and political science → online text (page 22 of 62)