July 17, 1913
Mr. Thomas I. Parkinson, Mr. Joseph P. Chamberlain, Mr. Middleton Beaman, Mr. Clarence King and I have agreed to assume, collectively, the responsibility for carrying out the work we have discussed for the Department of Social and Industrial Justice. This work was begun June 1st and is to be completed by October 1st, and the Progressive Service, it is understood, will place at our disposal the sum of $2500 to cover all expenses.
My understanding is that, in accordance with your general plan, Dean Lewis, the Chairman of the Legislative Reference Committee, after a conference with the Progressive congressmen, sent you a resolution adopted by his Committee asking the Department of Social and Industrial Justice especially to report upon the standards which should be embodied in model Federal or State bills on the following subjects:
1 Organization of state labor departments
2 Prevention of accidents
3 Prevention of occupational diseases
4 Overcoming of unemployment
5 Prevention of overwork
(a) Hours of women's labor
(b) Continuous industries
6 Protection of children
7 Prevention of exploitation of convicts
8 Compensation in industrial accidents and trade diseases
9 Sickness insurance
10 Service pensions, unemployment and old age insurance
At a conference on Friday, May 16th, you and Dr. Lewis agreed that your Department would attempt to formulate policies on these subjects as its chief summer work, and we expressed our willingness to cooperate with you and to do whatever was possible within the appropriation available to assist you in the formulation of policies on the subjects selected. We pointed out that the sum of $2500, which was all that was then appropriated, would be inadequate to cover thoroughly all ten of the topics proposed. We thought, however, that a small advisory committee of persons already well informed on these topics could be formed and that several of the chairmen of various committees already in the Progressive Service, together with the officers of the Educational and Legislative Committees, could be assembled at frequent intervals during the summer, together with such persons outside of the Progressive Service as we might deem expedient to invite and thus form an Advisory Board, whose judgement upon questions of policy and materials available for the elucidation and defense of policies decided upon would be valuable and would facilitate the progress of this work. Our chief purpose, it was agreed, would be to collect and interpret the materials available on as many of the subjects in the list above referred to as possible, and under the guidance of the Advisory Board to formulate the policies and recommend them with the arguments for their support and references to accessible material for propaganda [page 2] purposes to the Legislative Committee, which in turn would then be in a position to adopt or modify the policies and instruct the draftmen to whom these materials would be turned over for the purpose of drafting model skeleton bills, either for Congress of for the state legislatures.
It is not our understanding that the actual drafting of the bills is part of the work we are doing for your department, but it was agreed between us all and Dr. Lewis that it was essential to economy and efficiency in the work of the Progressive Service that, in so far as possible, the work of drafting should be done by the same persons who are collecting the materials and reporting upon policies; and at the conference in May, Dr. Lewis expressed very definitely his intention of asking our Legislative Drafting Association, with which the men I have mentioned are connected, to do the actual work of drafting the bills agreed upon after your committee and the Legislative Reference Committee have acted on our report. It was also stated that possibly additional money could be secured which would enable us to cover a larger number of topics thoroughly or to cover all of them more thoroughly than we can do under the limitations of the appropriation of $2500. With this amount, we think we shall be able to give you
1 An accurate interpretation of the existing materials on the subject of workmen's compensation and formulate the policies to be incorporated in model workmen's compensation acts both for
(a) interstate and foreign commerce
(b) state regulation of interstate employers
2 An accurate statement of the present methods of organizing and administering state labor departments, with an interpretation of the relative advantages and disadvantages of the most important legislative and administrative methods of dealing with the prevention of industrial accidents and industrial diseases; also the formulation of the standards for the efficient enforcement of laws providing for the health and safety of employees
3 A survey of the present status and possibilities in this country of social insurance dealing with the subjects of sickness, old age and unemployment.
This would take fairly well of topics 1-3 inclusive and 8-10 inclusive, with the exception of service pensions under topic 10. We understand that Miss Kellor will arrange to have Dr. E. Stagg Whitin take care of topic 7, on the prevention of the exploitation of convicts and in some other way to provide for topic 4, on the prevention of unemployment, as well as for the subject of industrial education, which is not included in this list. This leaves topics 5 and 6 to be partially covered by us, provided we have the active assistance of Miss Madeline Doty, of the Child Life Committee of the National Progressive Service, and Miss McDowell, of the Committee on Women's Work, upon whom we would have to rely for some continuous work in order to do more than merely bring together the materials collected on these subjects. It is true, however, that on these two subjects the materials are already much better worked out and that there will not be the need on the part of your draftman, in all probability, for so detailed and searching analysis and interpretation of these materials as in the case of the other subjects. To [page 3] recapitulate, we understand that the result expected is a report stating the policies which the Progressive Service should incorporate in bills for submission to Federal or state legislatures, with a reasonably comprehensive statement of the state of the law in this country and the reasons for the policies approved, in the form of a supporting brief.
From the work that has already been done, with which you are in a measure familiar, you will agree with me, I am sure, that the sum of $2500 will not more than cover the necessary incidental expenses in the collection of materials, the stenographic and clerical assistance, the traveling expenses in the collection of materials, but a small sum to reimburse the Drafting Association for the time which the man mentioned will have to take away from the distinct work of that Association. If we had double this amount, or say, $5,000, or better still, with the sum of $10,000, we could employ capable assistants and do a much more thorough and comprehensive piece of work. If you see your way clear to securing any additional appropriation, please let me know at the earliest possible moment, in order that we may make immediate plans to use it most effectively.
I enclose herewith a memorandum showing the three general conferences we have held with the experts whose interest and cooperation we have been able to enlist; also an outline of the subjects of workmen;s compensation and the organization of labor departments, which have been considered at these three conferences. Please regard these outlines as confidential and tentative for the present. They are merely intended for your and Miss Kellor's information, to indicate somewhat the scope and character of the studies we are making as a basis for the reports we hope to submit to you.
Will you kindly transmit this letter, if you think best, to Miss Kellor, indicating your approval of it in case it embodies, as I think it does, the substance of our agreement, and also kindly ask her to have a voucher drawn for $500 on account, made payable to my order, to meet the expenses of this investigation. Thus far, the few items of expense incurred I have met personally and will reimburse myself when the first payment on account is used up and take receipts wherever possible and render account to Miss Kellor in such form as she may request. This seems to me to be the simplest way to handle financial matters, unless Miss Kellor prefers to have us draw individual vouchers or orders upon her treasury for each item of expense as it occurs.
(Signed) Samuel McCune Lindsay