Impressions of Political Movements in the Orient, March 29, 1924 (excerpts)



However, Child Labor Conditions Still Are Shocking in China, She Declares.


Senator Walsh, Oil Investigation Among Guests at Luncheon in Her Honor.

Child labor in China is shocking, according to Miss Jane Addams, who spoke yesterday at a luncheon given in her honor by the Women's City Club in the grand ballroom of the Hotel Commodore. One thousand women rose to their feet in a body as a tribute to Miss Addams, who was called "one of the greatest citizens of the world."

Although Miss Addams spoke on Oriental women, from observations made during a recent visit to the Far East, she dwelt particularly upon child welfare. She said that in Shanghai, especially, child labor was general, and although there were Europeans on the Governing Board of the City Commissioners, there virtually was nothing done in the way of factory inspection.

She paid a tribute to the missionaries in China standing up for the little girls in the face of keen opposition, by declaring that they would not teach the boys unless the same education were afforded to the girls. She also said that the Young Women's Christian Association was a very useful organization in the Orient.

Senator Thomas [J.] Walsh of Montana, Chairman of the oil investigating committee in Washington, attended the luncheon as the guest of Mrs. J. Borden Harriman. Miss Addams referred to the Senator in her opening remarks. She spoke of how little she really knew about the Orient in the presence of Professor [John] Dewey of Columbia University and S. K. Ratcliffe, the English journalist, who had spent so much time there. Then she spoke of the Senator as knowing "about the only thing that was worth being talked about," which brought a laugh.

In speaking of the emancipation of women in India, Miss Addams said that many were taking advantage of the free medical courses for women and she told of a maternity hospital at which the mother was permitted to bring her entire family during her confinement. An apartment for the family was set aside and even the mother-in-law was included in the family circle.

As to voting in India, she said that if there was a perfectly good husband at the head of the house the women of the household could not vote. She told of the numerous women's social and welfare clubs and said that they all wanted to show the rest of the world that they could carry on the Government just as successfully as the English.

In Korea and Japan, Miss Addams said, the women were not talking suffrage, for they knew it was rather remote, but they were working for higher education for women.

S. K. Ratcliffe spoke on his experiences and observations in India some years ago as a newspaper man, and said that while in England and in America people were inclined to point out the failure of human effort in India, he could not help comparing the women of that country, emerging from the holy waters of the Ganges at Benares, with something so spiritual in their faces, to the women of the slums districts of England and Scotland, staggering from the "pubs."

Mrs. Joseph R. Swan, the acting President, presided in the absence of Miss Mary Garrett Hay, President. Mrs. Mary [K.] Simkhovitch, Norman Hapgood, Dr. Stephen Duggan and Professor Dewey were others at the speakers' table.

Among those attending the luncheon were Mrs. Charles Sabin, Mrs. Abram I. Elkus, Mrs. Arthur H. Scribner, Mrs. John Blair, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Mrs. James Lees Laidlaw, Mrs. Caspar Whitney, Mrs. Arthur O. Choate, Miss Mabel Choate, Mrs. Edgerton Parsons, Mrs. Willard D. Straight and Miss Elisabeth Marbury.