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Notable New     Yorkers
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Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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Part:         Session:         Page of 915


We had entered into the first few years of the New Deal under the definite conception that there was no loophole in the court decisions, beginning with Hammer v. Dagenhart, which spelled out the whole court theory as to the uses of interstate commerce for regulation; that there was no loophole by which we can anticipate any situation where we could have the regulation of hours, or the regulation of wages, in the form of a minimum wage act on the federal level.

At the same time I was very anxious to find a way to do this. I had told the President-elect on the night he asked me to be Secretary of Labor that my recommendation was that we should make an effort to establish some kind of law which would regulate hours and establish minimum wages, and that at the moment I did not see clearly how it could be done constitutionally under the existing decisions, except insofar as it related to public contracts. That would be only for a limited number of firms, those who bid on particular government

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