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District of Columbia

HEARING

BEFORE THE

COMMITTEE ON THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNITED STATES SENATE

SEVENTY-FIRST CONGRESS

THIRD SESSION

ON

S. 2212

A BILL TO PROVIDE FOR THE CLOSING OF BARBER
SHOPS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

ON SUNDAY

36047

JANUARY 13, 1931

Printed for the use of the Committee on the District of Columbia

UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

WASHINGTON: 1931

COMMITTEE ON THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

ARTHUR CAPPER, Kansas, Chairman

WESLEY L. JONES, Washington.
ARTHUR R. GOULD, Maine.
JOHN J. BLAINE, Wisconsin.
ARTHUR H. VANDENBERG, Michigan.
HAMILTON F. KEAN, New Jersey.
ROBERT D. CAREY, Wyoming.

WILLIAM H. KING, Utah. CARTER GLASS, Virginia. ROYAL S. COPELAND, New York. MILLARD E. TYDINGS, Maryland. COLE. L. BLEASE, South Carolina.

W. H. SOUDERS, Clerk
JAMES RING, Assistant Clerk

SUNDAY CLOSING OF BARBER SHOPS IN THE DISTRICT

OF COLUMBIA

TUESDAY, JANUARY 13, 1931

UNITED STATES SENATE,

COMMITTEE ON THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,

Washington, D. C.

The committee met, pursuant to call, in the committee room,
Capitol Building, at 2.30 o'clock p. m., Senator Arthur Capper,
chairman, presiding.

Present: Senators Capper (chairman), Copeland, Carey, Kean,
and Blaine.

The committee had under consideration S. 2212, which is here
printed in full as follows:

[8. 2212, Seventy-first Congress, first session]

A BILL To provide for the closing of barb rs hops in the District of Columbia on Sunday
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of
America in Congress assembled, That from and after the passage of this act it
shall be unlawful for any person to open or allow to be opened or carry on business
in any barber shop or place where the business of shaving, hair cutting, sham-
pooing, or the like shall be conducted on Sunday in the District of Columbia.

SEC. 2. Any person or persons who shall violate the provisions of this act upon
conviction shall pay a fine of not exceeding $20 or, in default thereof, be impris
oned not exceeding sixty days, and for a second offense shall be imprisoned not
exceeding sixty days.

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. We will take
up this afternoon S. 2212, a bill to provide for the closing of barber
shops in the District of Columbia on Sunday.

Senator COPELAND. This bill, Mr. Chairman, is one which I pre-
sented a long time ago in another Congress, and then re-presented this
year, proposing to have the barber shops closed one day in the week
so that the barbers, like every other human being, could have a day
off. They do not do that on the farm, Senator, I know, but the rest of
us want a day off. I assume there are some persons here in opposition
to the bill.

The CHAIRMAN. I suppose you would like to follow the usual pro-
cedure and have those who support the measure state their case first.
Senator COPELAND. I would think in this case it is so obviously
right that if we had those in opposition state their case first, we
might then meet their argument.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you not think we ought to have some one make
a statement as to the conditions here in the city, and why they want.
this bill passed? I have a list of people who indicate they would like
to be heard in favor of the measure.

Senator COPELAND. Very well.

Senator COPELAND. You understand, Mr. Chairman, the thing I have in mind is the health and welfare of the people. It seems to me in every occupation of life there ought to be one day in the week when every individual is free from responsibility, if possible, and I present this as a health and welfare measure only.

The CHAIRMAN. I take the same view of that question, Senator. I think you are right.

STATEMENT OF CHARLES J. BOVELLO, PRESIDENT, BARBERS UNION LOCAL No. 239, WASHINGTON, D. C.

Mr. BOVELLO. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, in behalf of the master and journeymen barbers in the District of Columbia, I hereby present a petition, signed by 750 barbers in the District of Columbia, in favor of Senator Copeland's Sunday closing bill, S. 2212, which you are now considering.

Senator COPELAND. How may barbers are there here?

Mr. BOVELLO. The secretary may be able to answer that.

Mr. JOSEPH HANDLOS. Mr. Chairman and honorable committee, there are approximately 1,200. We never could get the exact number, but I have on different occasions called up the District Building where they are registered in the health department, and they give me the approximate number as between 1,000 and 1,200.

Senator COPELAND. Then, you have the signatures of 750, according to the witness.

The CHAIRMAN. These 750 are members of the local union?

Mr. BOVELLO. No, sir. They are union and non-union, and also hotel barbers.

The bill would also be aiding the bill in favor of unemployment. The condition of unemployment is so well known that it needs no comment. It is far more prevalent than in the past. No one knows the cause, but all are agreed that it is necessary to alleviate it as much as possible. The records of the business agent of the barbers' union show that at this time there are more barbers out of employment than there have ever been, and by closing one day the number of barbers that will receive employment will be increased.

The CHAIRMAN. Have you any idea of the number who are actually out of employment?

Mr. BOVELLO. I will give you that. There are some shops which employ as many as 10 barbers, and these shops work seven days a week. With the passing of the Sunday closing law these barber shops will still retain their full patronage, but they will be forced to produce the same amount of work in six days. This will entail the hiring of additional help.

This condition exists in a number of shops in the District of Columbia, and for each barber shop affected by this Sunday closing law one more of the great army of unemployed will receive a job.

I further wish to state that we as working people or as individual workers believe that we are entitled to our day of rest, and believe that it has become necessary in order to maintain the conditions that every human being is entitled to and which is guaranteed to us under the Constitution of our beloved country.

The CHAIRMAN. That is a very good statement.

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