July 25, 1918   Page 8

 

When Vardaman Was Not a Candidate.
   We are giving below an editorial from the Commercial-Appeal which was written in 1916, in which some extremely nice things are said of Senator Vardaman. We could not say it as well, and we could not take a stronger position. But if The Issue said such as this, our enemies would simply say that it was just "propaganda" and "slush." The Commercial-Appeal is and has always been hostile to Senator Vardaman therefore we think this editorial endorsement of his work, speaks louder than the words themselves. But read the editorial and think it over:


   Senator Vardaman of Mississippi has come into the clear. His splendid defense of the national child labor bill certainly redounds to his credit.
   On the contrary the opposition offered by Senator Lee Slater Overman of North Carolina is most discreditable.
   The reason that he opposes the bill is obvious. North Carolina is a State of cotton mills, and because of the cheapness of child labor the mill manufacturers turn themselves into child-snatchers and take little ones as soon as they are able to walk and thrust them into the mills.
   There are cotton mills in Mississippi employing child labor, but Senator Vardaman was big enough, humane enough, man enough to put his fingers on the lobby and declare himself for the children of Mississippi.
   The South today applauds the action of Mississippi's Junior Senator. Such men mean the regeneration of the South. The opposition, led by Senators Overman, Bryan, Works, base their opposition on the ground that much a measure is the usurpation of Slate rights.
   The excuse is so palpably flimsy that it is not worth serious consideration.


   States enacted laws against the sale of habit-creating drugs.  When the Federal government enacted a similar measure the question of State rights was never injected.
   The fact is that States have enacted laws for the protection of children, but the child labor laws are rarely enforced. There are adroit ways of evading the factory inspectors of the State, but when the Federal government seeks to enforce a law, it in enforced. That is all there is to it. Men who laugh at State courts respect and bow with deference to the Federal courts.
   The national child labor law is a measure which should receive the full and hearty support and co-operation of every Senator with a spark of human kindness in his breast. It is a measure advocated and urged by the child workers of the Union. The opposition comes from States in which mill operators employ children, and while the Senators opposing the bill may feel that they are acting in the interests of their constituents they must in their inner heart also recognize the fact that they are working against the best interests of society"

   If the opposition of Senator Overman "is most discreditable," so is the opposition of every man who opposed it, and Pattie Harrison is one who opposed it. And this editorial says that those who opposed it did so for obvious reasons; that the influences were the manufacturers who "turn themselves into child-snatchers and take little ones as soon as they are able to walk and thrust them into the mills."
   Vardaman voted to send them into the schools instead of into the factories and he deserves the support of all men and women who are working in the interest of society.





Original Article