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MOTHER SENATE IN LABOR

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

"Eject that man", directed Senator James Mackay above the roar of hisses as he ended the Child Labor Amendment hearing at the State House yesterday. Kenneth Taylor of the Federation of Labor beat three constables to the door and to the picket line on the Common, ringing down the curtain on one of the best shows of the winter. Since the rule for these occasions is that one Harvard Professor is worth four press-agents, the presence of President-emeritus Lowell and John Raymond Walsh practically guaranteed a page one story. What could not be seen at the start was a difference of opinion so bitter that the latter witness said sincerely "I am ashamed to my feet" at the sincere arguments of his former president. Blame for turning the hearing into a debauch of sneers and counter-charges lies on no individual, for once outside the awful walls of the Senate Chamber the impulse to reply to opposition with epithets is strong.

That Massachusetts will not join the twenty-seven ratifiers of the child labor amendment seems sure now that the church leaders and other prominent persons have sharpened their objections. Just as anxious as anybody to keep youth out of the sweatshops, they are afraid that Congress given the power to "regulate, limit, and control the labor of children under eighteen" will regiment them on fascist lines. Yet time has failed to flush any dark lots lurking behind the measure. Knocked about state legislatures for thirteen years, it has no continuous and cohesive political backing, nor can the the welfare agencies that push it along be chargeo with ambition for dictatorship. Justly enough the opponents point out the possible evil uses of the broad power. What they forget are the other guarantees of the Constitution, the tradition of the courts, and the stubbornly democratic attitude of the people shown now in the fight against Supreme Court changes. The narrow margin with which the amendment would squeeze into the Constitution itself tells Congress to step gingerly into new legislation. Even the stoutest attackers of the bill admit that the conditions in a few states need federal correction, and the issue is the passage of a law strong and explicit enough to put the United States on a par with other countries. The comic episodes in the shadow of the sacred cod mask a tragedy of high minded people fighting themselves instead of the enemy.

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