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IMMIGRATION.

Mr. BENNET of New York. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent to print in the Record a letter from Mr. Charles W. Eliot relative to the immigration question.

The SPEAKER. The gentleman asks unanimous consent to print in the Record the letter described. Is there objection? [After a pause.] The Chair hears none. The letter is as follows:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., January 10, 1911. MY DEAR Sın: Observing that the advocates of restricting immigration are again active before Congress, I beg leave to state to you as president of the National Liberal Immigration League some of the reasons which convince many disinterested and patriotic Americans that no further restrictions on immigration are desirable.

1. The common, almost universal, fact in our country is a scarcity of labor. The same complaint is heard from farms, factories, and shops all over the country. Immense areas in the United States are not settled at all, or are very sparsely inhabited. From New England to California the crops are not thoroughly gathered and marketed, because there are not hands enough to do the work. In all the great industries the desirable development is hindered not by lack of capital, but by lack of workmen. Not only is an adequate supply of skilled labor lacking, but unskilled labor is also scarce.

In some spots or at some moments a temporary oversupply of labor may occasionally exist in large cities, but this temporary difficulty is soon cured by a redistribution of the laboring population. There is always a considerable number of unemployed people, but they are chiefly persons who are disabled, incompetent, or unwilling, or they belong to trades which, because of climatic conditions or seasonal fashion, do not afford continuous employment during the entire year. One may see in the large cities many poor people, but they constitute only a small fraction of the population, and, for the most part, it is not low wages that have made them poor, but drink, drugs, disease, or the premature death of the breadwinner of the family. The two main facts about the American industries are, first, that labor is scarce, and, secondly, that wages have been high relatively to those prevailing in other countries; that they have risen very much within the last 50 years and are still rising.

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2. There is almost universal assent to the proposition that every healthy, honest laborer who comes hither from other lands contributes appreciably to the productiveness and wealth of the country. Lately, however, there is a disposition to make a distinction between the skilled and the unskilled immigrant, and between the immigrant who comes to stay and the immigrant who comes for a few years to lay up money enough to enable him to live comfortably in his fatherland, but even an unskilled laborer who works faithfully makes an addition to the wealth of the country, although not so large an addition as the skilled laborer, and every immigrant who, after a few years, returns to his native land with his savings must have done good work for the country during his entire stay here, else he would not have saved money enough to go home with contentedly. The unskilled laborer who only lives a few years in the United States is no exception to the general rule that every healthy and faithful laborer is profitable to the country and that more labor is needed in every branch of American industry.

3. An educational test to restrict immigration is both misdirected and untimely. It is misdirected, because ability to read is no proof of either health or character. Many entirely illiterate persons are vigorous, honest, and of sound judgment in affairs and in the conduct of life. It is untimely, because the right moment to apply an educational test is on admission to the suffrage, not on admission to the country. In all races the most dangerous criminals come from classes that can read and write, and not from the illiterate. A test founded on ability to read will not keep out the worst criminals, and will furnish no safe guide in action to the officers charged with the execution of the existing restrictive laws.

4. All attempts to exclude healthy and honest immigrants are inconsistent with the rightful generosity of freemen toward people who wish to be free, and of working people whose conditions of labor are favorable toward people in other lands whose conditions of labor are less favorable and who are ambitious to improve their environment by going to free America. The present people of the United States have themselves been immigrants into the fresh continent within generations still recent; and they ought to shrink, and do shrink, from imposing hard conditions of admission to the country on the newer immigrants who are ambitious to follow their example. It is the mission of the United States to spread freedom and democracy throughout the world by teaching as many men and women as possible in freedom's largest home how to use freedom rightly through practice in liberty under law.

5. Some American publicists have been disquieted about immigration, because the new immigration is to some extent different from

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