© 2005 Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
New York State. Legislature. Joint Legislative Committee on Industrial and Labor Conditions. Hearings, 1928.
New York (State). Legislature. Joint Legislative Committee on Industrial and Labor Conditions
0.3 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Martin P. Catherwood Library, Cornell University.
Transcript of the hearings of the New York State Legislature Joint Legislative Committee on Industrial and Labor Conditions
from July, September, and October of 1928.
Collection material in English
A joint legislative committee was established by a concurrent resolution in both houses of the New York State Legislature
to inquire into manufacturing and labor conditions was established on February 25, 1926. Senator James C Truman was named
chairman and Henry D. Sayer served as counsel and executive secretary of the committee.
The committee held hearings on the operations of the State Department of Labor, the Bureau of Workmen's Compensation, the
State Placement Service and the efforts of state and New York City officials to regulate private employment agencies.
On January 23, 1928 Governor Alfred E. Smith appointed Lindsay Rogers, Professor of Public Law and Government at Columbia
University the thirty-third Moreland Commissioner to investigate the operations of the State Department of Labor and the Bureau
of Workmen's Compensation Insurance. It was Governor Smith's opinion that the Joint Committee was being used by the Republican
Legislature in an attempt to discredit a Democratic governor.
The Moreland Act of 1907 was an attempt by the proponents of good government to prevent special interests from influencing
public policy. The act gave the Governor power to investigate the activities and administration of any department, bureau
or division of the state. Although the funds were appropriated by the Legislature, disbursement was to be at the direction
of the governor, who was given all the power possible under the Constitution to institute and carry out such inquiries as
he deemed important.
When the Legislature learned of Rogers' appointment it asserted that Governor Smith sought to "white wash" his Administration
of these departments and extended the life of its Committee to March 12, 1928 and later to March 1, 1929. A split between
Senate Assembly Republicans, however, also produced a resolution instructing the Committee to cooperate with the Moreland
Rogers presented his report on the first and fifteenth of June,1928. The Chairman of the Committee, James C. Truman asserted
in an open letter on the twenty-seventh that Rogers gave the impression that all was well in the Department of Labor, although
he had found as much mismanagement as the Legislative Committee. Rogers was invited to appear before the Committee to discuss
the activities of the Department and his suggestions for reform. Rogers submitted his final report on December 1, 1928.
In the meantime, on May 28, 1928, the Supreme Court of the United States decided in the case of Rebnik vs. McBride (277 U.
S. 350) that, while the state had the power to license and regulate the business of an employment agent, it was not affected
with a public interest so as to allow the state to fix charges for the service.
Hearings for July 10, 31; September 11, 12; October 9, 10, 23, 24, 1928.
1,000 pages (numbered 4,686 to 5,686) plus indices of witnesses, typescript, carbon.