October, 21, 1908
My dear Miss Addams:
Miss Helen Todd of the Factory Inspection Department of Illinois came to Madison last Sunday to see Professor Commons. They wish our Association to help them in framing up a protective machinery law. This seems to me to be just our opportunity, and is better since it has come to us instead of us seeking it. Professor Commons has already put a student to work on the subject. He is beginning by making a comparative study of the foreign laws on the subject and also those operating in the United States. This seems to be necessary to secure a basis for a good law in this country; but it also needs the specific requirements which the industries of Illinois demand. I think Miss Todd will see you and Professor Henderson, and I hope that all together we can get a good law that will be placed upon the stature books.
It occurred to me that the subject of protective requirements would be a splendid one for our first public meeting. "Protective machinery" could be discussed by Mr. Davies and some one else. Occupational diseases could be discussed by Dr. [Faville] and some one whom you or Professor Henderson would select. The right of the individual to [protection] from the standpoint of the community, I think [page 2] could be best discussed by yourself. These are only suggestions. We will, of course, leave the actual working out of the program to yourself and Professor Henderson. If this bill is going to be a live issue we thought it would make a splendid program. I am so anxious for our association to really accomplish some one definite thing. It will give us a hold on the people as nothing else can do.
I am sending a copy of this letter to Professor Henderson, and will follow whatever suggestions you make.