National Geographic : 1914 Sep
BRITTANY: ALL HANDS MUST WORK NOW The simple life in all its simplicity is lived in Brittany. When there is nothing else to do, the distaff and the spinning-wheel offer opportunity of useful occupation. The people live as our people lived a hundred years ago. existed in 1905, and, though improve ments had taken place, only half of the States had made any provision to remedy the evil. OLD AGE PENSIONS France passed an old-age pension as early as 1886. Most important to the workman is the question of being com pensated for injuries or death through labor. France enacted a compensation law in 1898, and it was not until 1908 that the United States enacted provisions which inadequately cover only one-quarter of its employees. Though deaths and disabilities ran yearly into the tens of thousands, no State protected its work men until 1911, and despite unceasing agitation for justice by the workmen, only 22 States have such compensation laws o1passed within the past 12 months. Relief from overwork is afforded by the Sunday law, thought by some to be the most potent reform for years. The Revolutionists of 1792 abolished Sunday and unsuccessfully tried one day of rest in ten. The law of 1906, better advised, "accords to every French laborer the in alienable right to one day's rest each week, and that to be on Sunday when not impracticable." Persistent efforts have been made to avoid labor disputes, so frequent and bit ter in late years. A most beneficial insti tution is the Conseils de Prud'hommes (Conciliation Courts), which adjust trade disputes between workmen and masters.