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or such a board, or such a department, call it whatever name you please, and in conjunction with the legislative branch of the Government so that it, too, will have a complete and thorough knowledge of the detailed workings during the experimental stages, so that all injustice can be discarded and worked out, and we can apply the best plan that is going to produce the greatest possible benefit to the workers for the Government in humble capacities and for the benefit of the Government itself, and also for the protection of the taxpayer at home.

I think that covers every essential feature I wanted to touch upon; and I deeply appreciate the opportunity of speaking before this honorable committee. [Applause.]

The CHAIRMAN. Is there anyone else?

Mr. ALCORN. There is one other here, Senator, an elderly lady who has been in attendance here this morning waiting to be heard.

The CHAIRMAN. Very well, we will be glad to hear her

Mrs. DE HAVENS. Shall I say what I have prepared, or shall I make it more briefly!



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Mrs. De Havens. The history of the retirement movement, if it may be called a movement, reminds one of Banvard's Panorama of the Creation, which was 7 miles long. But the first 3 miles represented the earth before the Creator said, “Let there be light.” So far it was an unilluminated“ movie," just as the retirement has been.

In our case, we thought the sun had been set in motion just before the election. It proved to be only a “jack-o'-lantern."

Phillips Brooks said: “All we have to do with the past is to get a future out of it.” He may have referred to a life beyond. Certainly for the great majority of the world's workers there is nothing in the past out of which a material future can be garnered. The rewards of the past and of the present are not more than sufficient for the needs of the past and present. The future is a period to be dreaded for everyday toilers, for we must meet it empty handed.

The only logical argument I ever heard against civil-service retirement is that we do not deserve a defended old age more than any other class of workers. To this there is no answer. Wherever respectable age and actual want, “ that ill-matched pair," are found hand in hand the fact spells (lisgrace for employers, community, State, or Nation.

Probably every one who advocates a civil-service pension would advocate still more strenuously an old-age pension for every man and woman. Assuredly I would. Civil-service retirement should come first simply because the Government is the most extensive and the wealthiest employer, and I may add, because it is not a generous employer. It should set the pace, as every other government has done and as it has failed to do. It has lagged behind the smaller and poorer nations which maintain both civil-service and old-age pensions.


It has even been outstripped by city governments and by what we are wont to call ignoble and sordid business organizations. To-day the men of commerce are the men of ideals. Banks, stores, railroads, factories support retirement systems, frequently without contribution.

The United States as an employer is well toward the rear in the humanities. It has been slow to perceive that its most valuable resources, those which deserve the most thorough and sacred conservation, are the bodies and spirits of its men and women and children.

We were told last year that our places here are so desirable that the country is full of people waiting for them. Yet, if I remember aright, the Civil Service Commission has testified in print that twofifths of the candidates who are adjudged best prepared to be our successors refused to accept appointments when informed of the entrance salary, the absence of either automatic or systematic promotions, and the probation feature attached to the contract.

I may also relate an incident of very recent occurrence: Two waitresses in a local café passed an examination and received appointments in the Treasury Department. Within a month both resigned and returned to the café, declaring that not only was the labor more severe but their earnings without board, were less than in the café where they were entitled to board in addition.

It has been stated by heads of departments that under the present indeterminate system of advancement, young men of ability refuse to remain for any lengthy period in the service unrewarded; and this has been often demonstrated.

And if men have a right to be dissatisfied, it must not be forgotten that the disadvantages of women are still greater; as their entrance salary is less and their chance of promotion in most offices is represented by a cipher.

Many a cabinet officer, and even many a bureau officer, has set an arbitrary dead line which women, regardless of the grade of their employment, may not cross.

Department women are no strangers to the Hoover economics; and to many of us only one meatless and one wheatless day a week would even mean a revel of luxury.

I have known admirable efficient women to receive their first advance in salary at 80 years old. It looked to me like what my Catholic friends call “ annointing for death."

And one of these women had lost her three sons on the battlefields of this Nation. “My country, 'tis of thee, of thee I sing."

If I may be more closely personal, I will say that I have been in the service 42 years after 11 years of private employ. I have been far more fortunate than the average, yet it was after 28 years in the Treasury Department that I reached the wages I had earned under private employers, and in the last 35 years of my term of servitude I have only received one promotion, while it has been sometimes possible to advance a man twice in a single year.

The bulletin issued by the Census Office illustrates this point better than any words of mine when its tables show that of over 150,000 employees in the Federal service only 17 women were receiving a salary of $1,800 a year or more, while 6,333 were receiving less than $720 and another thousand less than $840; half of all women in the service. So while 7,000 women were paid less than $840 over 7,000

men were paid $1,600 and upward—2,234 were paid $1,600 and 5,207 $1,800 and upward-almost as many men receiving $1,800 as of women receiving less than $720.

It is easy to see that the class getting the meager salary has no chance for accumulation. And retirement based on average salary would give to women less than half as much as to men, presumably of about the same length of service and of similar employment. May God put it into your hearts to secure a more honest adjustment than this in the future.

Just now we are hearing much of an even wage for women, yet on July 1 there was a large increase in the office in which I am employed, but no woman was recommended for promotion to the highest two available grades.

Yet if you know working women as I know them, having been one from the age of 19 to the age of 72, I need not tell you that their salaries must be shared among as many as those of men. The tradition that women leave their homes to work “just for pin money is broken down in the public consciousness the world over.

I am aware that this is not a discussion of the economic rights of women, but I believed I was called here at least partly to represent women's side of the retirement question, and it seems to me apropos to make apparent the facts in order to show that the holding down of women's wages is calculated not only to forbid saving, but to render a retirement allowance based on average salary a slender pittance, even as compared to the projected allowance of men who have been engaged on similar work an equal number of years.

And if it is righteous to say that the largest salary shall not entitle a man to more than $50 a month is it not righteous to enact that the smallest salary shall entitle a woman or man to not less than $40, or at least $35 a month?

It must be admitted that a woman sometimes obtains an advantage under the mere instincts of civilization. For instance, when an old lady is sick in our office she is tenderly laid on a sheet of perfectly good brown paper on the floor and ministered to by a gentle and skillful lady physician.

For men we omit the paper since the cost has doubled and their lingerie will not be so hopelessly mussed by a bare floor, and we send them just an ordinary man doctor. That is the only occasion I recall of special consideration for women.

We need a retirement law more urgently than any language can express.

It is no flight of imagination to say we die at our desks, and few have the audacity to do that until half-past 4.

And we also need a law for automatic promotion, based on length of service, without discrimination against sex or race or previous condition of servitude. I would also add, regardless of the kind of labor performed; for the reason that no clerk chooses his work. It is assigned to him. Even if he be a round peg in a square hole, it is a human life that is being used to its utmost and worn out, and one life is as valuable to its owner as another.

Nothing would be more conducive to department welfare than for clerks to know that if their work, character, and conduct were sufficiently satisfactory for retention in the service a promotion awaited



a fixed date and a living retirement provision awaited total disability or old age. Without some such incentive it is inevitable that a mental status can accrue, in which, except to the most prickly conscience, no strenuous ambition will seem worth while, for none can expect to get a hopeful future out of his past.

When retirement was under consideration last year we were asked with much solemnity: “What will the people at home say if this favored class is retired with lifelong pay?

This is what the people at home say to me: In Ohio they ask, “Aren't you pensioned yet? All sorts of employees here are retired."

In Connecticut a friend inquired: “ Couldn't that Washington bridge have waited for its expensive lions until the Government had taken care of its faithful old servants?” We note that quite generally the public press advocates civil-service retirement. And it has the right; for our great newspapers pension their own employees. The Spirit of God has already moved upon the face of the journalistic waters.

The subject of retirement is now the most important earthly topic to me. And I still indulge the high hope of wise and fair adjustinents in the future when the ideals so devoutly preached now, by press and pulpit, by Cabinet and Congress and White House, shall be practiced, not only by the hearers but by the preachers.

The visions of nations are becoming vocal and contagious. Humanity looms large in the picture. The golden calf is reported to have been displaced in the temples. Some will insist that it is still stabled in the Munsey Building. We are dreaming of a world democracy. Perhaps it is a feverish dream

But in the imprisoned madness of to-day,

To-morrow runs the sane old world away. Let us dream on. In a world democracy the aged toilers will not be cast out to perish, nor underpaid to suffer privation. The mothers of men will not be esteemed as less valuable than the men they bore and nourished, nor will they die with the tools of labor in their faltering hands.

For still the world goes round and round,

And the genial seasons run,
And ever the truth comes uppermost,

And ever is justice done.
| Applause.]
The CHAIRMAN. So far as I am concerned, if I have anything to do
with it, if there is a retirement bill passed at all, it is going to treat
women exactly the same as men. I will place in the record a report
of Mr. Abb Landis, actuary in re civil-service pensions.

(The report referred to above is here printed in full, as follows:)



President United States Civil Service Retirement Association,

945 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D. C.
MY DEAR SIR: Pursuant to engagement, I have made an estimate of payments
proposed for the retirement of employees in the civil service as provided in
House bill 9242, introduced by Mr. Hamill in 1911.

1. The data available for the estimate were the statistics contained in Bulletin 94 (1907) of the Census Bureau. Information in greater detail and more

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suitable for the computations were prepared in the office of the Director of the
Census and furnished to others for similar computations, and in your behalf I
made personal request for copies of that data. After inuch delay in the de-
cision as to whether or not the statistics were at the disposal of the bureau, the
information was given the latter part of December that I could have access to
photographic copies, provided I came to Washington to see and use them. This
statement is made to explain why I used the published statistics in Bulletin 94.
Approximate accuracy in the estimate is obtainable froin that data, and for all
practical purposes reliance may be placed in the results properly deduced from
the statistics of that bulletin.

2. The bill could be made clearer in respect of provisions for disabled em-
ployees and in regard to compulsory retirement at age 70. I have taken the
liberty to construe the provisions of the bill where not clear or specific to accord
with general experience and to make possible positive estimates.

3. The computations were made upon the assumptions to follow :

(a) The central age of each age group was taken to represent the age for the group.

(6) That employees will continue until completion of 30 years in service or to attaining age for compulsory retirement on a service pension or previously become eligible for a disability pension.

(C) That high disability rates be employed at ages between 60 and 70 to offset the earlier payments that might be made under the provisions of the bill on account of voluntary retirements at less than 50 per cent of the salary.

(d) That all present employees at attained ages 70 and above and in the service 20 to 25 years are to be retired as disabled on 50 per cent of average salary, those of like attained ages and 15 to 20 years in the service be retired on 45 per cent, and those in service 10 to 15 years at 40 per cent, and those of 5 to 10 years in service and 70 years of age and above be retired at 30 per cent of the average salary; that those employees in the service less than 5 years and at ages 70 and above be retired at 30 per cent of average salary.

(e) Assumes that total and permanent disablement is meant by the words " has became disabled."

(f) That the * average annual salary received for the five years next preceding retirement” be the mean of the average salary for the current period and the average salary for the five years next preceding.

(9) That the computation for disability payment be based upon the salary of the current period and not upon the average salary of the past five-year period, nor the mean of the averages for the current and last five-year periods.

4. The reason for the first (a) assumption is obvious. The method would be more refined to take the central age plus one-half year, but the difference in results would not justify the time consumeil in extra computations, eren were time allowed before the hearing.

5. The second (b) assumption was necessary and advisable for sereral reasons. Necessary because there are no voluntary retirement statistics available upon which to estimate the number who would give up a full salary to accept 40 oi 45 per cent of a reduced amount in the way of pension. Advisable because common experience and observation force the conclusion that efficient and satisfactory employees render service to secure the stipulated compensation for the support of themselves and their dependents, and few would voluntarily retire to secure 40 or 45 or 50 per cent of an average salary less than that they could earn by continuing at work. We know that the ordinary and general financial condition of those in the civil service is not such as to enable them to voluntarily dispense with 50, 55, or 60 per cent of their present pay. We have reason to believe that those who can render efficient service will continue to do so to the time for compulsory retirement. In this connection it may be stated that this argument (which I hold as sound) tempted me to reduce the estimate of immediate payments, because many who have attainel ages 60 and above and in service 30 or more years will not voluntarily retire on 50 per cent of the average salary. I have ignored the possible voluntary retirements at 40 and 45 per cent, but have taken precaution to offset such resulting additional payments by the assumption of a disability rate in excess of the expected at advanced ages, as stated in the third (c) assumption.

6. The fourth (d) assumption is necessary because of the facts that will be developed in actual service under the disability provision, and because of failure in the bill to make provision for retirement allowance at age 70, after attaining which no employee is to be retained. Reference to the probabilities of be

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