Jane Addams to Florence Jaffray Harriman, April 14, 1914


April 14, 1914.

My dear Mrs. Harriman,

I thank you very much for the opportunity of reading the enclosed material and I am sorry to have so delayed my reply. The plans seem rather complicated but I realize, of course, the difficulty of establishing a central, standardizing authority. Certainly it is no more difficult than that undertaking in the Department of Agriculture, which makes rules about the treatment of animals for the purpose of preventing the spread of contagious disease, which rules the various state legislatures may adopt and authorize the governor to enter into negotiations to have the federal authorities enforce those rules within the state's boundaries. That has always seemed to me a kind of power that could be used very much more [page 2] widely than it has ever been used. The suggestion that greater flexibility should be sought in the administration of the state laws, seems to me extremely dangerous. All the experience is away from allowing discretion on the part of the factory inspectors, and I should certainly suggest caution there. The matter of indirect liability, too, seems to me extremely difficult to work out, but the Commission of course has considered that. I am grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to see the suggestions.

Very sincerely yours,

Jane Addams [signed]

Mrs. J. Borden Harriman,
Washington, D.C.