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Few of these casualties have hope of recovery because no one was at fault, and the others have been divided among a half dozen causes few of which contained hope of recovery from the courts. The great heart of the corporation, however, arbitrarily provides sometimes for death or injury, paying as high as $200 for the loss of a leg or both eyes, and much lower amounts, which usually do not pay the doctor's bill, for other losses.

A system of almost perfect mechanical production has been installed and the man must keep pace with it. So much must be produced per man, per machine, per hour; and the man knows if he falls below the minimum of production he will lose his job; and a job is a job even in this land of opportunity. He knows the inexorable rule. The result is that to change a gear, shift a belt, adjust a feed, or any one of the thousand ways offered the man to take a chance and keep his machine going without loss of time, is undertaken at the price of safety; and he pays the price. The employer pays nothing.

The occupational diseases that must be assumed by the employee, of which there is really no record, must be considered among the casualties, although they have little hope of compensation. All of them add to the burden of general human misery arising from suspended or decreased wages.

So we say advisedly, until sane rules of employment regulate industry, until it costs more to kill a man than to protect him, until the man and the machine are brought closer to the relative endurance of each other and safety devices are installed that automatically will prevent accident, we shall have an annual casualty roll that will warrant a repetition of the statement: the mines are stained with the blood of their victims; every skyscraper is cemented with the blood and brawn of its builders; every large enterprise is baptized in the blood of its workmen. Does it not appeal to you that there is an underlying cause other than negligence that is responsible for the casualty record? That a man works for another does not mean that he is indifferent to physical and mental pain.

The general toll of industry is estimated at anywhere from one half million upward annually, but we are unable to do more than estimate, for outside of railways no reliable statistics are available. The major portion of the killed and injured are young men. America has fixed the dead line of labor many years below that established as the earning capacity years of Europe, wherein

we find our principal business competition. This means that in America the results of injury have to be reckoned with many more years per man than elsewhere.

In a general way we realize what it means to the man who is left helpless and hopeless. One can in a way imagine the physical suffering which we believe can in part be compensated, but God alone knows the depths of mental despair to which the one-time physically perfect man is plunged when disability overtakes and threatens his earning capacity, for in this day he knows when he cannot work he becomes a pauper. I have seen strong men weep like children when they were out of work temporarily and their families were forced to limited living. What must it mean then to the one who in a moment knows he is done forever? If time permitted I could tell you of the last words of men who met death with only duty on their minds; who remembered their responsibilities even with the death sweat upon their brow; who fearlessly met the grim destroyer with full consciousness of all that it meant to them, and the only expression of personal concern aside from duty done was the heart-breaking question, What will become of my wife and the kiddies?

Is it right for that wife and those children to be thrown upon the world without a dollar or a home other than the charity institution? Society through the employer has demanded its sacrifice, therefore the human wreckage, the only unrewarded factor of our national business supremacy, should be recompensed.

We have been so busy making money that we have forgotten the real man who made it, forgotten his family, neglected ordinary rules for national welfare and safety until we are overwhelmed by the enormity of our industrial offenses, and we hope shamed into an effort toward forcing restitution. I say "forcing" for it never will be made otherwise.

We ask that every human sacrifice be fully compensated, without having to wait for the delays and uncertainties of the courts; we want the injured not to have to suffer mental pain with his physical ills for fear of the future of himself and family; we demand medical, surgical, and hospital attention; we want certainty of responsibility fixed for the employer, with certainty of compensation fixed for the employee; we want the injured employee and his family to remain just as useful members of society as they were before the industrial sacrifice was made. We want the defenses of negligence and assumption of risk eliminated and the

professional risk to rest upon the profession, not upon the injured man, so that liability will not offer its present invitation to fight, and that compensation will be acceptable to both parties. This is, I believe, the only way we can enforce compensation.

It is not right to permit the employer to continue in his defense of "professional risk" and to hide behind it to the exclusion of the rights of his employees, nor for society through its various charities to assume the burden of protecting the families of those who have laid down their lives or been hopelessly maimed in his service. It is inhuman to compel the employee to accept the responsibility for accident in exchange for the opportunity to work. That responsibility belongs exclusively to the employer.

American industry has been protected in every way possible by law and court decision, but the employees, the foundation of American industry, have been thrown aside as scrap and their bruised or broken bodies added to the long roll of human wreckage to attest to the unrecompensed sacrifices made in its behalf.

I emphatically stand for a national compensation act, to care for employees who can be protected by the federal government, and for the enactment of uniform state legislation that will compensate for the loss of life and limb which thus far has been given away for the right to work. It may sound coldly calculating to set a cost on life and limb; it even may appear to be fixing the price for a continuance of human butchery; it may seem to be inviting injuries under certain conditions, but if life and limb must be sacrificed restitution must be made. Conceding, in part, these objections which have little foundation in fact, every other reason is for immediate, permanent, and commensurate relief which should not in any sense be considered an unfair cost to the employer or a charitable proposition, but recognized purely as a "part of the day's wages."




The distinguishing feature of a workmen's compensation act is that it establishes a legal obligation on the part of employers to pay or to provide for the payment of a fixed or readily determinable sum in relief of the loss of income sustained by employees or their dependents by reason of industrial accidents arising out of their employment. This principle has been enacted into law by statutes recently passed in New York, Montana, and Maryland.

The New York legislature has passed two compensation acts, One1 gives to employees injured in certain specified employments, declared by the act to be especially hazardous to employees, the right to recover a fixed compensation from their employer regardless of his negligence or freedom from it. The other,2 applying to all employments except railroading, provides a plan of compensation which, when formally consented to by employee and employer, is substituted for their respective rights and liabilities under the existing employer's liability law.

The legislature of Montana has passed an act3 creating a state fund for the insurance of mine workers against death or permanent total disability from accident arising in the course of their employment, and levying a tax on employers and employees for the support of the fund. Maryland has passed a similar act1 which creates local funds in two counties for the insurance of coal and clay miners against temporary or permanent disability and death.

These are the only workmen's compensation laws in this country. The Maryland Act of 1902 (Ch. 139) was a limited death insurance act which, since it was declared unconstitutional by a lower court, has been allowed to lapse.

The Act of Congress of 1908, giving one year's wages to government employees injured in the course of their employment,

1 Ch. 674 Laws of 1910.

Ch. 352 Laws of 1910.

Ch. 67 Laws of 1909, effective October 1, 1910.

• Ch. 153 Laws of 1910.

is an employer's voluntary compensation plan, similar to the relief provisions established by private corporations for their own employees. The Massachusetts Act of 19085 gives public sanction to compensation plans adopted by employers and their employees and approved by a public officer.

The interest in the subject and the apparent demand for compensation laws is now so widespread that it may seem surprising that so little legislation has been secured. By legislation is meant enacted statutes, not drafted bills. A summary of enacted laws does not, however, represent the progress made in this field during the past two years. The movement to secure the enactment of compensation laws in this country really began in 1909, when commissions were appointed in New York, Wisconsin, and Minnesota to investigate industrial accidents and employers' liability, and to suggest remedial legislation.

Prior to 1909 there had been much discussion of the theory and merit of the compensation plans of other countries; reports on the operation of foreign systems had been issued by federal and state labor bureaus; bills involving some form of compensation had been introduced in state legislatures; but serious legislative consideration of the subject had been confined to Massachusetts, Illinois, and Connecticut. In 1904 the Massachusetts legislature refused to pass a bill, modeled after the English Act of 1897, which had been drafted and recommended by a special legislative committee.

In 1907 an industrial insurance commission reported to the Illinois legislature recommending the enactment of a law permitting employers to escape their common law liabilities for industrial accidents by contracting with their employees to insure them in accordance with the provisions of the act. This bill also failed of passage.

In 1908 Massachusetts, on the recommendation of a committee which reported adversely to a compulsory compensation bill, enacted the law above referred to by which employers and employees were permitted to enter into contracts fixing rates of compensation for injuries.

While very little progress was being made prior to 1909 in securing legislative recognition of compensation, there was a general tendency throughout the country to enact laws increasing the possibilities of recovery by employees in actions against Ch. 489 amended by Ch. 211 Laws of 1910.

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