« PředchozíPokračovat »
Mr. RANDOLPH. My information, Miss Allen, is that in this territory the mines have for several years worked about 5 days a week, and that these men could not get work in the mines for the reason that this imported labor came in and flooded the market.
Miss ALLEN. The imported labor, I understood, was mainly colored men, or it might be migratory labor, people just passing through the State of West Virginia and hearing of this work and stopping off.
Mr. GRISWOLD. There was a new item, I think in one of yesterday's papers by some member of the contracting firm or the power company in which it was stated that all necessary precautions had been taken that were usually taken in that industry to protect these workmen. Has your foundation, or yourself, made any investigation of the precautions taken in other mines of a like nature ?
Miss ALLEN. The standard method of drilling in a tunnel, as I understand it, is wet drilling to keep down the dust, and they were not following that practice.
Mr. DUNN. That statement was made in court?
Miss ALLEN. I got it from a lawyer. I could not say whether it was in the court records or not, but I think it is.
Mr. MARCANTONIO. When you stated that the undertaker's records had been destroyed, the basis of that statement was the testimony of the undertaker himself, given in court; is that not correct?
Miss ALLEN. Yes.
Mr. MARCANTONIO. Now, as a matter of fact, this company made some test drillings before they commenced this work?
Miss ALLEN. Yes; that is the usual practice.
Mr. MARCANTONIO. And what was the result of these test drillings with regard to silica ?
Miss ALLEN. Well, they knew, of course, that sinking a test bore down a number of feet to find out what sort of rock they were going to be drilling through and, of course, they discovered this rich silica deposit and charted the course of the tunnel just to get out that silica. I cannot stress the fact enough that it was a very valuable deposit.
Mr. MARCANTONIO. As a matter of fact they originally intended to dig that tunnel a certain size?
Miss ALLEN. Yes.
Mr. MARCANTONIO. And then enlarged the size of the tunnel, due to the fact that they discovered silica, and this company wanted to get this silica out?
Miss ALLEN. That is true for tunnel no. 1.
Mr. MARCANTONIO. Now, do you know what was done with this silica that was taken out of the tunnel no. 1? Was it sold?
Miss ALLEN. No; it was stored there in the yard at the ElectroMetallurgical Co.
Mr. MARCANTONIO. You do not know whether it has been sold or not, do you?
Miss ALLEN. No; I do not know any of the details of the transaction.
Mr. MARCANTONIO. Now, with reference to the records of this commission of doctors, of the three doctors; these three doctors were appointed by the court ?
Miss ALLEN. Yes.
Mr. MARCANTONIO. To examine some 350 men, or was it some 300 men?
Miss ALLEN. Three hundred. Mr. MARCANTONIO. And they then reported back to the court? Miss ALLEN. Yes. Mr. MARCANTONIÓ. And, in all likelihood, that report on the part of this commission of doctors is part of the court record!
Miss ALLEN. Yes; I should think it would be.
Mr. MARCANTONIO. Now, aside from the question of dry drilling, which is inherently dangerous, did any of these men ever tell you that they used masks?
Miss ALLEN. Yes; one colored man, when I visited the colored camp no. 1, which was set back in the hills, a workman up there said he had come at the very end of the drilling of the tunnel and the rumor was going around then that rock dust was killing the men, and he happened to notice engineers, executives, general officials, when they came to the tunnel to investigate, at times some of them were wearing masks, and he said, "I thought it must be a good thing to have, so I went out and bought one, and it cost $2.50 out of my own pocket.”
Mr. MARCANTONIO. But no masks were furnished the men who were actually doing the work?
Miss ALLEN. Not until the very end of the tunnel work. At the end of that tunnel, I understand masks were given; that is, in the last part of 1932 after suits had been instituted.
Mr. MARCANTONIO. Do you know whether they were at any time with the exception of the last period which you have just described, ever warned by the company officials that they should go out and buy masks or were masks supplied up until that point?
Miss ALLEN. Never. All of the men I talked to who instituted suit have made it very clear that they knew nothing about the dangers.
Mr. MARCANTONIO. But masks were used, however, by executives and engineers who visited that tunnel?
Miss ALLEN. That is a moot point. As I say, I do know that all of the foremen on the tunnel no. 1 job died of silicosis themselves except Charlie Gilmore. I am not sure at this time. I understand he had not died. But the higher laborers of the surveying crew testified they did not warn them. As I say, it is a moot point, but Eddie Clark told me that in this trial-his own words were, “The engineers of the New Kanawha Power Co. used masks when they were gathering samples of rock.” He pointed that out during the trial in Fayetteville during 1934.
Mr. MARCANTONIO. So that, according to him, the engineers did use masks when they went into this tunnel, but no warning as to the necessity of the use of masks was given nor were masks furnished these men except toward the very last part of the construction of this tunnel; is that correct?
Miss ALLEN. That is true.
Mr. RANDOLPH. Do you know whether many States, or do you have a group of States that have silicosis as a compensable disease
as the result of which money could be collected through the State compensation departments ?
Miss ALLEN. Yes.
Miss ALLEN. No; I am sure I do not know the correct figures, but there are more enlightened States that have such legislation. There is legislation now being pushed through.
Mr. RANDOLPH. I am glad of that, because we must be enlightened because last year in West Virginia we made silicosis a compensable disease.
Mr. MARCANTONIO. As for the West Virginia statute, which I shall present before this committee later on and which I shall attempt to analyze, while it makes silicosis a compensable disease, that statute needs plenty of amending, because it does not afford the workers adequate protection.
Mr. RANDOLPH. I do not know anything about the amendment. It was passed last year.
Mr. GRISWOLD. You spoke about Drs. Simmons and Mitchell. Will you tell us where they are located; give us their addresses?
Miss ALLEN. Dr. Mitchell lives in Mount Hope. He was fired by the contractors when they finished drilling the tunnel.
Mr. MARCANTONIO. Do you know whether they did use the word "fired”
Miss ALLEN. Yes; that was the explanation of his testifying.
Mr. MARCANTONIO. He was fired at the end of the tunneling, you say?
Miss ALLEN. Yes; when his services were no longer needed.
Mr. GRISWOLD. Please allow her to give us the addresses, Mr. Dunn, before you ask another question.
Miss ALLEN. Dr. Simmons was connected with the Electro-Metallurgical Co. in Alloy, W. Va.
Mr. GRISWOLD. His address is Alloy, W. Va.?
Mr. MARCANTONIO. Coming back to the point that Congressman Dunn raised with respect to this doctor's being fired, did you mean simply he was discharged because his services were no longer needed?
Miss ALLEN. Yes; I understood he was simply discharged because he was no longer needed.
Mr. Dunn. The reason I made that statement is because I know it is a fact that if any professional man appears to be interested in humanity and appears to be against corporations, he is usually fired.
Mr. LAMBERTSON. You did not mean any slight on the doctor?
Miss ALLEN. No, sir; the fact that he did diagnose these case as tunnelitis is criticized by the profession, however.
Mr. MARCANTONIO. This doctor, while in the employ of this company, told the 'men they were suffering from tunnelitis, is that correct?
Miss ALLEN. Yes.
Mr. MARCANTONIO. Which was an incorrect statement as to the diagnosis that had been made !
Miss ALLEN. It is absolutely foolish as far as medicine goes; there is no such disease.
Mr. LAMBERTSON. You make that statement and yet you are not a physician?
Miss ALLEN. Dr. Harless’ son was commenting on the fact to me.
Mr. MARCANTONIO. May I say, Mr. Lambertson, that we will try to get some doctors here who will prove that there is no such disease as tunnelitis and that it is a highly ficticious statement of any doctor to make.
Mr. LAMBERTSON. It must be highly technical but if we are going to have doctors, and this is technical, I do not think we ought to take the time to take the testimony of somebody that is not an expert on these medical subjects.
Mr. GRISWOLD. The lady testified, and probably that should have been stricken out, but she did testify in her statement regarding the symptoms of this disease and the disease.
Mr. LAMBERTSON. But she drew conclusions about it.
Mr. MARCANTONIO. At any rate, whatever testimony she gave as to the disease will be taken for what it is worth until we get medical testimony.
Mr. LAMBERTSON. I think we could spend our time more profitably with the physicians who have a knowledge of the disease itself.
Mr. Dunn of Pennsylvania. I wonder if it would be possible to get at least one of those doctors who was appointed by the court?
Mr. GRISWOLD. We will handle that in executive session. Are there any further questions by any members of the committee !
Mr. MARCANTONIO. I have one more witness here today if you would like to listen to him for a little while.
Mr. GRISWOLD. We had better wait because we would like to have an executive session.
(Whereupon the committee went into executive session.)