Charles P. Neill to Jane Addams, January 29, 1906

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Department of Commerce and Labor
BUREAU OF LABOR
Washington

January 29, 1906.

Miss Jane Addams,
Hull House, Chicago, Illinois.

Dear Miss Addams:

I have delayed writing you about plans for an investigation of the condition of women workers, hoping each day I would have something definite in the matter. I have taken it up with the Secretary and have written him, asking that he urge an appropriation to undertake this investigation, and I think within a day or two he will forward such request.

As I wrote Miss Breckinridge today, it is probable that the matter will be before the House Committee on Appropriations within the next ten days, and it would be well for you to write to Mr. Tawney, saying that when the appropriation for the Department of Commerce and Labor is being considered, you would like to have a hearing before the Committee in regard to an item to enable the Bureau of Labor to make an investigation into the condition of women workers as urged by the President in his recent Message.

In the meantime, you had best continue at work on the other lines you have started in order to secure as much favor for the item as you can. Since you were here the President has expressed to me his earnest desire to help in the matter, and I am sure that he will do anything he can to [page 2] assist in securing the appropriation.

I wish you would let me know any developments that occur, and also let me know as soon as you hear from Mr. Tawney as to the probable date that you could appear before the Committee. I think it important that you appear before the Committee and urge an appropriation. I will do all I can here to help in the matter, and if I can get any more definite information, I will write you at once.

I do not think it worth while to discuss any definite plans until after we know that there is some certainty of securing the appropriation. We know, of course, that what we want in general is a careful investigation into the wages, the hours of labor, and the actual conditions of various kinds under which women work -- such an investigation involves comprehensive and detailed studies in the places and occupations in which women are employed.

I wish also to ask for a hearing at the time the item comes up for consideration, and we can have something more definite then if it seems necessary.

Yours sincerely,

Chas P. Neill [signed]
Comissioner.