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does not bear the name of the remitting house whose money order has been sold, nor is this house advised of the name of the purchaser. The remitting house does not assume any responsibility for its correspondents and is fully protected in case of loss or fraud through them. But for the purchaser there is no such security. It is very difficult for him or any one to fix the responsibility in case of loss or fraud. During the period which must elapse before the purchaser can hear from the payee, often as long as six weeks or two months, a dishonest banker has ample time to accumulate, and abscond with, a large sum of money.
ATTEMPTS AT REGULATION
Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio have attempted special legislation regulating immigrant banks, the first three effectually. In all four States the entrance into or carrying on of the business described is made contingent upon the filing of a bond. In each State the bond is conditioned upon the faithful holding, transmission, or repayment of the money received. In Ohio it is also conditioned upon the selling of genuine and valid steamship or railroad tickets. A most admirable feature of the Massachusetts law is the authority given the bank commissioner to fix the amount of the bond according to the amount of business carried on by each individual concern. The greatest difficulty surrounding the enactment of legislation looking to the control of immigrant banks is in framing a law which will reach these concerns without injuriously affecting American private banking interests and which will, at the same time, stand the constitutional test of non-discrimination.
The matter of private banking in general does not
enter into the question. The legislation that is necessary for the proper regulation of immigrant banks is hardly applicable to American private banks, many of which have existed for years, and have usually been operated by men of integrity. To bring American private banks of this character under the same jurisdiction with immigrant banks is not at all necessary for the protection of the alien.
The law recently enacted by the legislature of New York is the most effective and might well serve as a model for other States. This law prohibits the receipt for deposit of sums less than $500, or the receipt of money for transmission in amounts less than $500, except by banks or trust companies incorporated under the existing banking law; provided, however, that incorporation should not be necessary where a bond in the penal sum of $100,000 had been filed, or securities for a like amount, in lieu thereof, been deposited, with the banking department. It provided further (a) that the banker should have assets amounting to at least $25,000 in excess of liabilities; (b) the issuance of a license dependent upon capital, character, and reputations; (c) the deposit by the banker with the State banking department of cash or securities to the amount of $25,000, or of a bond in the penal sum of $25,000; (d) the filing of quarterly and special reports; (e) periodical examination by the banking department of bankers who file a bond in lieu of making a deposit of cash or securities; (f) regulation by the banking department of the character of investments; (g) provision that all money received for transmission should be forwarded within five days from its receipt; (h) the shifting of the burden of proof of transmission upon the banker; (i)
regulation of the use of the word "bank" and equivalent term.*
Another interesting institution often met with in immigrant communities is the immigrant coffee-house, which is modeled after similar institutions in Europe. It is intended to meet the tastes and habits of the Greeks, Macedonian, Bulgarian and Turkish races who do not patronize the American saloon or drink intoxicants after the manner of the Germans, Croa tians, Slovaks, Poles, Magyars, and the members of other races. The coffee-houses are usually large, welllighted rooms, furnished with small tables and plain chairs. Tobacco in all its forms, including even the Turkish pipe, is to be had, as well as tea, coffee, cider, soft drinks, and ice cream.
Immigrant Newspapers, Churches and Schools
In many communities immigrant newspapers, usually issued weekly, are published in a foreign language and appeal for support to a certain race or races. These papers are often owned and controlled by immigrant mercantile or banking houses.
The immigrant saloon also has certain features different from those of the ordinary American institution. Often an immigrant bank, steamship agency, labor agency, or boarding or rooming house is operated in connection with it.
A large number of fraternal and beneficial organizations also flourish in immigrant communities. More
For an exhaustive treatment of this subject see the special report of the Immigration Commission entitled "Immigrant Banks," Vol. 37.
over, in each foreign colony, of any importance, churches have been erected by the different races. They are usually Roman or Greek Catholic, and are often costly and imposing edifices. Usually parochial schools are conducted in connection with these churches, and offer religious and secular instruction. A foreign language is, as a rule, used in the schools, but in the greater number of instances instruction in English is given.
LIVING CONDITIONS AND CONGESTION
CONGESTION OF POPULATION A SERIOUS EVIL
For a number of years it has been the opinion of many of the workers for social betterment in our great cities, that the congestion of the population, in the poorer quarters, is among the greatest of evils, and that this overcrowding is to a great extent brought about by the incoming of new immigrants in large numbers. These people, unused to American conditions, and a large proportion of them wage-earners of the low-paid classes, could not look so well after their interests as those born here, or as the immigrants who have resided for years in this country. The facts, however, regarding general conditions have not heretofore been well known. Previous investigations have been mostly the work of individuals sent out by the "social settlements" or by charitable societies with the purpose of making local studies. The work has not been done on a scale sufficiently large to enable one to judge of average conditions. Moreover, under the circumstances, it has been natural that the investigators should see primarily the worst cases; furthermore, that they should note especially the great number of people living in a block, and should judge of the conditions very largely from the number of people, rather than from the circumstances under which they live. Moreover, no accurate comparison between the different cities was possible.