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6. The parliamentary rules laid down in Cushing's Manual shall govern the deliberations of the convention.
CARROLL D. WRIGHT,
The report of committee was, on motion, received and taken up for action. Rules 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 were adopted as presented by committee. Rule 4, after some discussion thereon, was laid over for future action.
On motion, it was ordered that the sessions of the convention be held with open doors, and members of the Mechanics' Exchange, press reporters, and all other persons wishing to attend, were invited to seats in the hall.
Motion was made and seconded, that the convention next proceed to the election of officers for the present year. An amendment was offered that the selection of place for the holding of next regular convention be first disposed of, and the election of officers follow next in order. By request of the mover and second of the original motion, and by general consent, the wording of the motion was changed in conformity to the amendment and adopted.
Nominations of place for next Convention were called for by the President. In response to which, Trenton, New Jersey, was named by Mr. Bishop; New York City, by Mr. Peck; Baltimore, Maryland, by Mr. Weeks; Boston, Massachusetts, by Mr. Luskey.
Upon presentation of the name of the latter city, coupled with a brief statement calling attention to the advantages and benefits to be obtained by selecting the city of Boston, because of the taking of the census of Massachusetts by the State Bureau during the year 1885, the first three named cities were withdrawn, and the city of Boston was unanimously chosen.
Election of officers was declared next in order.
Mr. Wright moved that the officers of the past year be re-elected. No opposition being oftered, Mr.Wright was instructed to cast the ballot, for the convention, and in accordance there with, Mr. H. A. Newman and Henry Luskey were declared elected president and secretary, respectively, for the present year.
Mr. McCamant, chairman of the standing committee appointed for the purpose of ascertaining and suggesting the best methods for the collection of statistics, submitted the following:
At our last meeting it was resolved that a committee of three be appointed to ascertain the best methods for the collection of statistics and present the results to this convention. In compliance therewith, as chairman of the committee, I have the honor to present the follow. ing report for your respectful consideration :
Having had but one year's experience in the labor and methods of collecting statistics, I can speak from the knowledge derived from the compilation of the report only. In the preparation and compilation of that report I depended on the blank or circular system almost entirely. The chief merit of this system lies in the fact that it is the only feasible method at present possible in Pennsylvania, owing to the reluctance of the legislature to appropriate a sum of money sufficient to defray the expenses necessary in the collection and compilation of such information as the laws governing the Bureau of Labor Statistics require.
The blank or circular system is open to the objection that it compels the Bureau to propound questions to a witness with whom it has no personal relations, and of whom, in the great majority of cases, it has no personal knowledge. If the witness be a willing one, he often mistakes the meaning of some of the questions propounded, and his misapprehension leads to answers which are either totally at variance with or repugnant to the real nature of the question. If the witness, from any cause, be an unwilling one, he answers the least important questions only, thereby necessitating the sending by the Bureau to him of a duplicate blank, accompanied by a reminder of his failure to comply with the law.
In many cases the persons to whom blanks are furnished answer the questions fully, but fail to return the blanks until, as they think, sufficient time has elapsed to render them worthless. If the blank system is to be preserved, it should be made efficient by the passage of stringent laws, enlarging and unmistakably defining the coercive powers of the Bureau wben acting in behalf of the commonwealth in the collection of statistics. The important point in the gathering of statistics is that they be reliable. The most that can be said in favor of the blank system is that you cannot prove that they are not reliable. Doubtless, the best and only reliable method would be found in the taking of a State census at such times as would make it follow within five years next after the taking of the United. States census. If ihis were done, and done under the supervision of the Bureau of Statistics, there would then exist a basis upon which the Bureau could judge of the truth or falsity of returns made to it. In the matter of obtaining information regarding the social condition of the wage classes, and in questions relating to child labor, to the hours of labor, or to any of the economic questions which daily furnish food for discussion and consideration, it would be proper and wise for the legislature to authorize
and empower the Bureau of Statistics to make a special inquiry into one particular subject matter, and report back to the legislature the results of its investigations. But your committee are of the opinion that all such information should be gathered by special agents, instead of by means of blanks.
JOEL B. MOCAMANT,
The report of the committee was read, received and ordered placed on file.
The work of the Standing Committee on Organization and Equipment of State Labor Statistical Bureaus was next called for. The committee reported progress and asked further time, which was granted.
The Executive Committee, appointed for the purpose of facilitating the work of the convention, by suggesting the character of the work to be presented, submitted the following through its chairman, Mr. Bishop:
The committee appointed "to suggest the character of the work to be presented before the next convention," upon consulting together, find great difficulty in recommending a definite line of work to be pursued at the present meeting. Nevertheless, they suggest that the following topics be included in the discussions of the convention:
1st. As to the desirability of establishing a National Bureau of Statistics of Labor at Washington.
2d. The importance of the passage by Congress of the bill introduced by Mr. Cox, with reference to the State censuses to be taken in 1885.
3d. As to the advisability and practicability of preparing uniform schedules as a basis for obtaining labor and industrial statistics in the different States where Bureaus have been established.
4th. With regard to the importance of manual training in our public schools.
On motion, the subject matter referred to in the second suggestion of report of committee was taken up for action.
Mr. Wright explained the nature of the "Cox bill” referred to in a very elaborate manne:, presenting the highly important and advantageous features embodied in the measure as compared with the census law of 1879. The gentleman deemed action by the convention, encouraging the passage of the measure without delay, of the utmost importance, and suggested that a memorial to this effect be drawn up and forwarded to the Congress of the United States.
Motion was made and adopted, that a memorial, in accordance with the suggestions made, be prepared and forwarded by a committee of three, Mr. Wright to serve as one member, and remainder be appointed by the president.
Committee-Messrs. Wright, Lord and Peck.
A general discussion was next indulged in on the census laws of the different States, the manner of collecting statistics thereunder, and their imperfections.
By Mr. McGrath:
Resolved, That it is the sense of this convention that a National Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics should be created.
The resolution, after some discussion, was unanimously adopted.
The convention wass called to order at the appointed hour by the President, Mr. Newman. Professor Woodward, of the St. Louis Manual Training School, was present; and, it having been previously announced that the gentleman had very kindly agreed to entertain the members of the convention a short time, by discoursing upon educa. tional matters as connected with his school, the regular business was temporarily dispensed with. The professor was introduced by the president, after which he immediately begun speaking upon his subject, setting forth, very elaborately, the beneficial features and advantages derived by combining manual with intellectual training in schools for male youth.
Upon conclusion, a vote of thanks, upon motion of Mr. Weeks, was tendered Professor Woodward for his very ablė, entertaining and in: structive remarks.
On motion, that part of the report of Committee on Rules laid over during the afternoon session (Rule 4) was taken from the table. The following was offered as a substitute for the original by the committee, Mr. Wright:
4. The proceedings of each session of the convention shall be printed under the direction of the secretary, and published in pamphlet
form. The cost of such publication shall be borne equally by the bureaus, and each bureau shall be supplied with twenty-five copies thereof. Extra copies shall be supplied the various bureaus at cost.
The substitute was adopted.
Mr. Wright, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Equipment of Labor Statistical Bureaus, submitted the following:
The committee appointed at the last convention to consider the matter of the organization and equipment of a State Bureau of Statistics of Labor have attended to their duty, and beg leave to report that the best organization of a bureau consists of a chief officer, a serretary and a chief clerk, to be appointed by a chief officer, and such additional force as circumstances may require, but under the appointment and control of the chief officer.
The chief value of statistics is to be found in their preservation for comparison on a uniform basis, and under the continuity of the system which comes from one mind. A numerous commission, or a chief, and a deputy not under control of the chief, cannot work with that singleness of purpose essential in statistical undertakings. For this reason we recommend the simple organization indicated.
CARROLL D WRIGHT,
WHEREAS, It is the purpose of this convention to encourage every attempt upon the part of employers of labor to advance the social, educational and moral condition of the employed; and
WHEREAS, We are informed that the city of Pullman, in the State of Illinois, furnishes a noble example of practical scientific work in this direction ; therefore,
Resolved, That a committee of three be appointed by the chairman to arrange for a visit by the members of this convention, early in October next, to the said city of Pullman, with the view of making a careful examination into the character of the work which we learn has there been put in operation for the benefit of the employes of the Pullman Car Company.
The resolution was adopted.
Resolved. That it is the sense of this convention that a system of manual or industrial education should be adopte i in our higher schools.