to get one tomorrow," and produces his employment certificate as proof of his emancipation from school.
If sixteen were made the age limit, and only those children of fourteen and fifteen who had completed the seventh or eighth grade were allowed to stop school to go to work, the illiteracy problem would be materially helped, and our industries would cease to attract these undesirable citizens. The uneducated public would soon adjust itself to these new requirements as it does to those of the original law, and as it will have to do, to a large extent, if the Keating-Owen Law is pronounced constitutional and goes into effect next September.
This law will prevent the shipment in interstate or foreign commerce of any "article or commodity the product of any mill, cannery, workshop, factory, or manufacturing establishment, situated in the United States, in which thirty days prior to the removal of such product therefrom, children under the age of fourteen have been employed or permitted to work, or children between the ages of fourteen and sixteen have been employed or prmitted to work more than eight hours in any day, or more than six days in any week, or after the hour of seven o'clock post-meridian or before the hour of six o'clock ante-meridian."
The underlined clause is the only one which will affect our state law, which allows these children to work ten hours a day and six days a week. Rumors have already reached this office that many of the large manufacturers are planning to avoid any difficulties in regard to this provision of the federal law, by doing away with the labor of all children under the age of sixteen.
With the amendment to our law suggested above, employment in stores and offices would still be open to those children of fourteen and fifteen who came up to the educational standard, and these are just the places where children are most likely to seek employment if they have been studious and regular in their attendance at school. Quite in line with this is the rule recently put into effect by D. H. Holmes & Co., who now admit to their employment only those girls 'who have completed the eighth grade or having completed the sixth or seventh, promise to attend night school until they have completed the eighth. Experience has taught them that it is almost impossible to make -good saleswomen of girls who have less than an elementary education.
Some plan of co-operation with the night schools is very greatly to be desired. These schools were certainly designed to care for those children who are compelled to be at work during regular school hours. By admitting children who are under the legal age to be at work, as is done in some of the night schools, violations of the child labor law, as well as of the school attendance law, are made easier. Many parents believe they are within the law in putting their children to work as soon as they are admitted to night school, and only too man-,, employers, through ignorance or carelessness, accept these children without the necessary age certificate. If a card from this office were required, stating that the child had received an employment certificate, and was entitled to the privileges of night school, it would lead to a better understanding of the law.
ELIZABETH H. WOODS,
Assistant Factories Inspector.