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Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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the South innumerable times for other reasons and had made speeches in the South, but not as a public official.

What I really had in mind was this - to get the cooperation of southern states in a program of state labor legislation. I came to Washington with the idea of promoting in the states and encouraging the states to pass suitable, modern labor legislation in their own state for intra-state activities. When I came into Washington originally, we had no concept that it would be possible to regulate hours on an inter-state basis for all the country. The NRA was the first break in that. I had this idea of bringing the states into line by persuasive methods. I hoped within the year to have a conference which would establish at least first steps toward a minimum program of state labor legislation.

I knew, by inquiry, that the South was the most difficult, because they had the least labor law. They had no labor law to speak of in their states. Most of the southern states had no labor department, or if they had a labor department, it had been some Governor's idea of a kind of a sop to the organized workers who said that they wanted something. They had thus set up a labor department without any powers, not even the power to enter a factory and make an inspection, not even the duty to make an investigation,

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