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speedy application, for human life is the most valuable possession of the State. The State being prosperous in direct ratio to its productive forces, it is to the interest of the State to prolong the productive period of the life of the worker to the fullest extent. Therefore, the means conducive to that end come legitimately within the sphere of legislation. To preserve human life is not only the highest prerogative, but the highest duty of the State. To serve well the State, is the highest duty of the legislator.
The necessity of legislative action in the interest of industry and public health has been recognized, to a greater or less degree, by all modern industrial nations; and in France, at least, the investigation made into industrial conditions, under which workers pursue their employments, and under which manufacturing establishments are conducted, cannot be said to be of recent date. It would be extreme to date back the regulation of noxious and deleterious occupations to the royal proclamations of 1486, which suppressed the potteries in Paris ; or to the period when, from the exigencies of public salubrity, the tanners, the rag pickers and other unhealthy occupations were driven from the interior of all the small towns in France, which occurred in 1567. Still it may be said that the subject has been under the regulation of the government for about a century only, that is, since the first French Revolution, when much was written concerning industrial conditions, and public sentiment was actively stimulated to investigation.
It was found that industrial establishments were frequently inconvenient, noxious or unhealthy to a neighborhood. This experience induced the ordinance of February 12, 1806, under which the Prefect of Police was required to prohibit the establishing in Paris, of workshops or laboratories, liable to occasion fire or deleterious to health. The requirements of this ordinance being imperfectly executed, the Minister of the Interior consulted the Academy of Sciences on the general measures necessary for the regulation of manufactures in the interest of public health. A committee of the Academy reported upon the subject, which report served as a basis of the decree of October 15, 1810, and of the ordinance of January 14, 1815. From that date forward all industries have been under governmental supervision, and those two measures fundamentally regulate the hygienics of industry in France up to the present day. By the latter ordinance, the carrying on of all dangerous, unhealthy, or noxious operations, divided into three classes, must be legally authorized under advice of the Council of Health. Factories of the first class are those which can only be established at a certain distance from private dwellings, but are not necessarily prohibited in the outskirts of a town. To the authorities belongs the duty of determining whether the isolation is sufficient and complete, and other details ; but authorization to operate is given only after the consent of the prefect of the department and the prefect of police of the prefecture has been obtained, and after due notice has been placarded in all the communes within a radius of five kilometers, or about three miles; nor until after an er quete (inquisition) has been established by the mayor of the commune, the object of which is to consult all the residents of the immediate neighborhood. These formalities having been complied with, the documents relating to the subject are transmitted by the Prefect to the Council of Health, to the Council of the Prefecture, to the Mintster of Commerce, to the Council of State, and finally to the head of the government.
Factories of the second class constitute those wliich are not rigorously required to be isolated from habitations, but which should not be erected if the operations or processes intended to be conducted, can in any way cause damage to the neighborhood. The authorization of this second class lies with the Prefect and the Council of Health.
Those which are considered factories of the third class are such as may remain without inconvenience near to dwellings, but which should be subject to the surveillance of the Police of Public Salubrity. The establishment of factories of this category may be authorized by the Sous-prefet in the Sous-prefectures, by the Prefets in the arrondissements, and by the Prefect of Police in the department.
These three categories have been subject to a careful classification under the aspects : First, as to the nature of the materials employed or elaborated during the progress of the particular industry; secondly, as to the general features of the danger, inconvenience or insalubrity of the result of each particular manufacture or process. The classification so far as it has progressed up to the present time, since 1810, with the summary of the attendant incon
veniences, shows, for the first class, 67 occupations or manufactures; for the second class, 78, and for the third class, 67. This classification is, however, not considered as being complete. The mutations and improvements to which industrial proceses are amenable may render a revision possible or necessary at any time. The following passage from the report of Dr. Walter Lewis, Medical Officer to the British Post Office, who was commissioned in 1855 to inquire șinto the workings of the laws relating to the industries in France, is perhaps worthy of quotation:
“As far as I have been able to form an opinion the system of keeping an active supervision by means of a department of the police (Hygiene Publique et Salubrite), over the noxious trades and occupations likely to interfere with the public health, appears to be very successful. While the interests of the workmen is strictly cared for, the employers themselves do not complain of any undue or harsh treatment by the authorities.”
In 1842, the Childrens' Employment Commission made its first report to the British Parliament. A year before, on March 21, 1841, a law came into operation in France, relating to the same subject and containing the following principal provisions:
“On account of danger and insalubrity, children shall not be employed under the age of sixteen years in certain industries, which are to be determined by the Government.
"No child under six years of age shall enter any factory or work. shop.
"No child between the ages of eight and twelve years, shall work more than eight hours a day.
“No youth between the ages of twelve and sixteen years, shall work more than twelve hours a day.
“ This labor shall be performed between the hours of 5 a.m. and & p m.; and the hours shall be divided by periods of rest.
"No night work or overtime shall be performed by any child.”
In an able memorandum published by Mr. Andiganne on the law of 1841 relating to children, he says, “the morality of childhood should be the object of an effective and affectionate solicitude continually augmenting, and the basis of this law should be gradually enlarged.” In another part he calls attention to the progress which education has made and its beneficial results upon the youth of the manufacturing districts of France since the passage of the law of 1841. Within the short space of fifteen years, the beneficent operation of these laws relating to industry had become so well under
weeve hours a day between the hos of rest.
stood, that in 1856 the general council of the Department du Nord moved to make a regular appropriation to pay the expenses of the inspection of child labor in factories, instead of leaving the amount to the discretion of the authorities..
If we look to England, we shall find that in that country the growth and developement of all that can be considered as coming within the scope of industrial legislation has taken place within the century. As in the case of France, it would be extreme to consider the various repressive measures enacted to control the laborers of the middle ages, or the statutes which attempted unsuccessfully to regulate their wages or the price of food to prevent the worker from leaving his employer, or those passed under Elizabeth relating to vagabondage—these and the like legislative enactments can hardly be considered as coming within the range of the modern conception of legislative interference in relation to labor, since such legislation in former times had neither the public wealth nor the public health in view.
The rapid growth of the conception of the importance of Hygiene in England is quite modern, and may be judged from the number of laws relating to public health. From the year 1844 to 1873, no less than eighty-nine statutes were enacted, either rural or urban. The mere index to the powers granted to the authorities under these sanitary acts covers sixteen closely printed pages. The index to the penalties to be inflicted for the violation of the sanitary enactments covers fourteen pages.
During the past century numerous statutes have been passed by Parliament, for the protection of women, young persons, and children employed in factories, and working at various trades, so as to prevent the health from being injured, either by excessive hours of labor, or from neglect of ventilation or cleanliness. The first of the measures became law in 1802, and is entitled “Regulations respecting Apprentices in Factories, and whitewashing of Cotton and Woolen Factories.” After this, in 1833, a more general act was passed, but before the legislation was consolidated in 1878, no fewer than fifteen statutes were in force. In the latter year (1878), “ An act to consolidate and amend the laws relating to Factories and Workshops” was enacted. (See close of this chapter.)
These various laws gradually increased in the scope of their action as they proceeded from the simple to the more complex problems involved. The glaring, brutal and immoral practices in mines and factories, and the barbaric cruelty exercised by employers foremen and overseers upon women and children, was probably the fact which first called attention to the subject, and compelled legis. lative interference, which, as it proceeded, shows the gradual and logical developments of the thoughts of legislators and the public, in relation to this industrial question. It began by the simple interference which compelled the "whitewashing of walls in cotton and woolen factories," and the “regulations respecting apprentices" in 1802, and did not stop until it finally reached the points of complete supervision of all factories and mines, the instituting of strict scrutiny into the causes of any injury or death arising from any accident whatsoever, occurring therein, and the appointment of an officer, in the person of a certifying surgeon, to fully investigate and report upon all and every disaster. It appears first to have begun by a series of investigations, leading toward the study of the health of the individual, and the enactment of such regulations as would tend to secure it, and from these leading up to the study of the means of the health of the general body of society, and the cnactment of such measures as would accomplish that desired end. The earliest regulations on general things, dealt with the question of “bodily care,” the care of the individual worker or the industrial body. Then followed regulations in regard to "sanitary works." Afterwards these regulations were extended to food, adulterations, poisons, etc., and finally to medical supervision and care—the care of the collective body.
In relation to the bodily care of the individual, we find laws relating to health in the factory children under 9 years prohibited from working in mills and mines; safety from unguarded and dangerous machinery, exposed vats, etc.; the number of hours of employment; the establishing of meal hours at stated intervals ; the regulation of night work, overtime and holidays; the regulations securing the education of children, half time schools and alternate days of schooling; medical certificates of fitness to labor -as to absence of infirmity, diseases or strength of children under 16 years of age; regulations in case of accidents; notice of acci