Short Time Committees

Short Time Committees

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In 1831 John Hobhouse, the Radical M.P. for Westminster, decided to introduce a bill restricting child labour. Hobhouse proposed that: (a) no child should work in a factory before the age of 9; (b) no one between the ages of 9 and 18 should work for more than twelve hours; (c) no one aged between the ages of 9 and 18 should work for more than 66 hours a week; (d) no one under 18 should be allowed to do night work.

After details of Hobhouse's Bill was published, workers spontaneously started forming what became known as Short Time Committees in an effort to help promote its passage through Parliament. The first Short Time Committees were formed by textile workers in Huddersfield and Leeds. Within a few months Short Time Committees were established in most of the major textile towns.

Spinners and weavers made up the bulk of the membership, but anyone who supported their campaign were welcome to join. For example, in Huddersfield several shopkeepers and the manager of the local co-operative store were members of the committee. The Short Time Committees held public meeting and attempted to persuade people to sign petitions in support of Hobhouse's Bill. Leeds Short Time Committee collected 10,000 signatures in a week and the Bradford branch sent a petition to Parliament bearing the names of 4,000 people.

Parliament was dissolved in April, 1831 and so Hobhouse's Bill had to be reintroduced after the General Election. Hobhouse's proposals for factory legislation were discussed in Parliament in September 1831. The Short Time Committees were furious when Hobhouse agreed to make changes to his proposals. Although Hobhouse's Bill was passed, it only applied to cotton factories and failed to provide any machinery for its enforcement.

Unhappy with what Hobhouse had achieved, the Short Time Committees continued to work for factory legislation. A magnificent orator, Richard Oastler soon became the main speaker at Short Time Committee public meetings. They also published pamphlets written by Oastler such as Humanity Against Tyranny and The Factory Question.

The Short Time Committees attempted to gain support for new factory legislation by sending information of their campaign to trade unions, sick-benefit clubs and friendly societies. Posters were displayed on the walls of reading rooms and taverns and placed in the windows of shopkeepers who supported the cause. This propaganda campaign was expensive.Richard Oastler gave all his savings and a percentage of his income to help fund the movement.John Wood, a factory owner from Bradford, was another large contributor. Some committees, such as the one in Leeds, employed full-time agents to tour the country to raise money for the campaign.

In the House of Commons, Michael Sadler, the M.P. for Newark, became the main spokesman for the policies of the Short Time Committees. On 16th March 1832 Sadler introduced a Bill in Parliament that proposed limiting hours in all mills to 10 hours for persons under the age of 18. In an attempt to demonstrate to Parliament the strength of public opinion in favour of factory legislation, Sadler and Oastler organised a mass meeting in Huddersfield. Over 16,000 people attended the meeting and another one in Manchesterattracted over 100,000 people.

After much debate it was clear that Parliament was unwilling to pass Sadler's bill. However, in April 1832 it was agreed that there should be another parliamentary enquiry into child labour. Sadler was made chairman and for the next three months the parliamentary committee interviewed 48 people who had worked in textile factories as children.

Michael Sadler lost his seat in the General Election that took place in December 1832. When Sadler's report was published in January 1833, the information in the report shocked the British public and Parliament came under increasing pressure to protect children working in factories. Richard Oastler and Rev. George Bull organised a general conference in Bradford of Short Time Committees. There were now twenty-six Short Time Committees, twelve in Yorkshire, eleven were in Lancashire, two in Scotland and one in Nottingham. At the meeting it was decided to ask Lord Ashley, the M.P. for Dorsetshire, to become their new leader in the House of Commons. Lord Ashley agreed but his initial attempts to persuade Parliament of the need for a ten hour day ended in failure. The Short Time Committees continued to campaign for legislation and remained in existence until the passing of the 1847 Factory Act.

Is it not a shame and disgrace that, in a land called "the land of the Bibles", children of a tender age should be torn from their beds by six in the morning, and confined, in pestiferous factories, till eight in the evening? Ten hours a day, with eight on Saturdays, is our motto - may it be yours. Gentlemen, let us rouse ourselves from lethargy and carelessness, and rally round the principles of humanity, with an irresistible voice, demand the immediate curtailment of the hours of factory labour.

The ten hour day would equalise labour by calling into employment many male adults, who are a burden on the public, who, though willing and ready to work, are obliged to spend their time in idleness, whilst children are compelled to labour from twelve to sixteen hours per day.

Is not ten hours long enough for any man to work, to say nothing about children? And would not your work people be able to learn their duty to you, as well as to God, much better if they finished work at six every night, and worked only ten hours. What nonsense it is to cry out, "If you have only ten hours' work you must be content with ten hours' wages". The fact is they don't get their share of their own production, and they will never get it, till they shorten time.

United States congressional committee

A congressional committee is a legislative sub-organization in the United States Congress that handles a specific duty (rather than the general duties of Congress). Committee membership enables members to develop specialized knowledge of the matters under their jurisdiction. As "little legislatures", the committees monitor ongoing governmental operations, identify issues suitable for legislative review, gather and evaluate information, and recommend courses of action to their parent body. Woodrow Wilson once wrote, "it is not far from the truth to say that Congress in session is Congress on public exhibition, whilst Congress in its committee rooms is Congress at work." [1] It is not expected that a member of Congress be an expert on all matters and subject areas that come before Congress. [2] Congressional committees provide valuable informational services to Congress by investigating and reporting about specialized subjects.

Congress divides its legislative, oversight, and internal administrative tasks among approximately 200 committees and subcommittees. Within assigned areas, these functional subunits gather information compare and evaluate legislative alternatives identify policy problems and propose solutions select, determine, and report measures for full chamber consideration monitor executive branch performance (oversight) and investigate allegations of wrongdoing. [3] The investigatory functions have always been a key role. In the tabling and wording of new law, procedures such as the House discharge petition process (the process of bringing a bill onto the floor without a committee report or mandatory consent from its leadership) are so laborious and technical that committees, today, dominate the draftsmanship and honing of the detail of many bills laid before Congress. Of the 73 discharge petitions submitted to the full House from 1995 through 2007, only one was successful in securing a definitive yea-or-nay vote for a bill. [4]

The growth in autonomy and overlap of committees has fragmented power of the Senate and of the House. This dispersion of power may, at times, weaken the legislative branch relative to the other two branches of the federal government, the executive and the judiciary. In his often cited article History of the House of Representatives, written in 1961, American scholar George B. Galloway (1898–1967) wrote: "In practice, Congress functions not as a unified institution, but as a collection of semi-autonomous committees that seldom act in unison." Galloway went on to cite committee autonomy as a factor interfering with the adoption of a coherent legislative program. [5] Such autonomy remains a characteristic feature of the committee system in Congress today.


The unbanning of the liberation movements and opposition political parties in 1990 by Pres. F.W. de Klerk, the release from prison of Nelson Mandela, and the lifting of the state of emergency in South Africa paved the way for a negotiated peace settlement between the apartheid regime and those who fought against it and brought an end to the struggle against colonialism and apartheid that had lasted in South Africa for more than 300 years. The negotiations resulted in the establishment of a date for the country’s first democratic elections and for an interim constitution to be enacted. A major obstacle to finalizing the interim constitution was the question of accountability for those guilty of gross human rights violations during the years of apartheid. It became clear during the negotiations that the political right and many in the security forces were not loyal to President de Klerk and posed a major threat to stability in the country. They demanded that President de Klerk issue them a blanket amnesty for past actions. The dominant view among the liberation movements at the time, however, was that there should be accountability for past crimes, along the lines of the Nürnberg trials.

Those negotiating for the apartheid regime insisted that a guarantee of general amnesty be written into the interim constitution. Without it, it is unlikely that the apartheid government would have given up power. The strength of the amnesty deal was that it was part of a package of initiatives contained in the interim constitution that set the country on the road to becoming a democratic, constitutional state. This included a strong and justiciable bill of rights. The terms of the amnesty were to be decided on by the country’s first democratically elected government once elected in 1994.

Committee Jurisdiction

As specified in Rule XXV, 1(c)(1) of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee on Armed Services' has the following jurisdiction:

1. Aeronautical and space activities peculiar to or primarily associated with the development of weapons systems or military operations.

3. Department of Defense, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the Department of the Air Force, generally.

4. Maintenance and operation of the Panama Canal, including administration, sanitation, and government of the Canal Zone.

5. Military research and development.

6. National security aspects of nuclear energy.

7. Naval petroleum reserves, except those in Alaska.

8. Pay, promotion, retirement, and other benefits and privileges of members of the Armed Forces, including overseas education of civilian and military dependents.

9. Selective service system.

10. Strategic and critical materials necessary for the common defense.

The Senate has also given the committee the authority to study and review, on a comprehensive basis, matters relating to the common defense policy of the United States, and report thereon from time to time.

What Is a Super PAC? A Short History

A look at how "Super PACs" were born and how they work as Election Day nears.

Aug. 9, 2012 -- To start, what a Super PAC is not: "A popular video game for smartphones."

No shame though if that was your initial thought. A statistically significant number of people, when asked a question like the one in the headline and given four potential answers, chose the option quoted above.

Nor is "Super PAC" the nickname for a "Congressional committee on the budget deficit" (9 percent of respondents). Many would argue that Super PACs are far more efficient than any body formed in the halls of the House or Senate.

Only 40 percent of Americans, according to last week's Washington Post/Pew Research poll, correctly identified Super PAC as groups "able to accept unlimited political donations."

For the other half (and then some), here's a brief primer:

Before Super PACs became "super," they were just PACs, or Political Action Committees. The groups could support a candidate or a cause, but were heavily regulated under the terms of campaign finance law. Individuals were allowed to give $2,500 -- no more -- and corporations and unions were strictly forbidden from making donations.

In 2010, that all changed. Two court cases decided in the space of two months re-wrote the book on campaign spending and ushered in the era of the Super PAC. First, there was the Supreme Court ruling now referred to simply as "Citizens United."

The story begins six years earlier, when Conservative nonprofit group Citizens United filed a complaint with the Federal Election Committee (FEC), the body charged with refereeing campaign finance disputes, saying television ads for Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" were effectively -- and illegally, because Election Day was so close -- advocating against President George W. Bush's re-election. The FEC rejected the claim, so Citizens United decided to start a production company of its own. Three years later, its "Hillary: The Movie," an unsympathetic documentary about then-candidate Clinton, was completed and ready to air on DirecTV. But the FEC, backed by a lower court ruling, blocked the group from running ads promoting the film.

By the spring of 2009, the case had made its way to the Supreme Court. After some legal gymnastics, the question before the justices was broadened and on January 21, 2010, the decision came in. The Court struck down all caps on the amount of money a person could give to a PAC.

More controversially, the ruling also declared that corporations and unions could also make unlimited donations.

The groundwork had been put in place and two months later, another court ruling -- v. FEC -- cleared the way for the creation of "independent expenditure-only" groups, or Super PACs.

Super PACs are barred from coordinating activities with any candidate or campaign, but the dividing line is murky. The two most closely dedicated to supporting the Obama and Romney campaigns, respectively, are run by former aides to the president and his Republican challenger.

When comedian Stephen Colbert founded his satirical "Americans For A Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow" Super PAC last year, then decided to "run for President of South Carolina," he was forced by law to pass off control -- which he did, to his Comedy Central colleague Jon Stewart. Stewart re-named it "The Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert Super PAC" and issued a statement assuring the public, "Stephen and I have in no way have worked out a series of morse-code blinks to convey information with each other on our respective shows."

As of this hour, there are 593 registered Super PACs, advocating everything from fat old men to hungry young zombies. More notably, there is Priorities USA, which supports President Obama and has spent nearly $18 million (as of June 30) to further his cause since being co-founded by former White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton.

On Mitt Romney's side is Restore Our Future, by far the biggest Super PAC, according to the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation. Restore Future has taken in more than $82 million and spent a reported $61,985,504.82. The organization is run by a board including former Romney political director, Carl Forti (who, it should be noted, also helps run Crossroads USA, Karl Rove's big-spending Super PAC).

In all, Super PACs during this maiden campaign cycle have collected more than $316 million, issuing expenditures of $181,217,664.69. With a little less than three months until Election Day, expect those numbers to keep on rising.

The History Behind the Donald Trump 'Small Hands' Insult

"He is taller than me, he's like 6' 2", which is why I don't understand why his hands are the size of someone who is 5' 2"," Rubio joked. "Have you seen his hands? And you know what they say about men with small hands -- "

" -- You can't trust them," Rubio said.

Rubio’s comment may come across tasteless for a presidential hopeful, but that was not the first time someone has questioned the size of Trump’s hands.

Nearly 30 years ago, Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair magazine, described Trump in Spy magazine as a “short-fingered vulgarian.”

In an editor’s letter in "Vanity Fair" last November, Carter said that he wrote the Sky magazine comment in 1988 "just to drive him a little bit crazy."

And according to Carter, it still does.

"Like so many bullies, Trump has skin of gossamer," Carter wrote in November.

"To this day, I receive the occasional envelope from Trump. There is always a photo of him—generally a tear sheet from a magazine. On all of them he has circled his hand in gold Sharpie in a valiant effort to highlight the length of his fingers," Carter wrote. "I almost feel sorry for the poor fellow because, to me, the fingers still look abnormally stubby."

"The most recent offering arrived earlier this year, before his decision to go after the Republican presidential nomination," Carter continued. "Like the other packages, this one included a circled hand and the words, also written in gold Sharpie: 'See, not so short!' I sent the picture back by return mail with a note attached, saying, 'Actually, quite short.'"

And Carter's theory that Trump is ultra-sensitive to this particular insult appears to be right.

If you thought Rubio's joke on the campaign trail last week would go un-answered by Trump -- you were wrong.

Trump has brought up his hands up at least twice in the past 24 hours.

At a rally outside Detroit this morning, Trump said he would not sit back and be “presidential…when ‘little Marco’" talked about "the size of my hands."

Trump held his hands up and said, "Those hands can hit a golf ball 285 yards."

And at the Republican debate in Detroit last night, Trump said, "And I have to say this, I have to say this. [Rubio] hit my hands."

"Nobody has ever hit my hands. I have never heard of this," Trump continued, neglecting to reveal his repeated mailings to Carter.

"Look at those hands," Trump said on the debate stage, holding up his hands to the audience. "Are they small hands? And he referred to my hands -- if they are small, something else must be small."

"I guarantee you there is no problem," Trump affirmed. "I guarantee you."

Pierre de Coubertin Proposes New Olympic Games

Approximately 1500 years later, a young Frenchmen named Pierre de Coubertin began their revival. Coubertin is now known as le Rénovateur. Coubertin was a French aristocrat born on January 1, 1863. He was only seven years old when France was overrun by the Germans during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870. Some believe that Coubertin attributed the defeat of France not to its military skills but rather to the French soldiers' lack of vigor.* After examining the education of the German, British, and American children, Coubertin decided that it was exercise, more specifically sports, that made a well-rounded and vigorous person.

Coubertin's attempt to get France interested in sports was not met with enthusiasm. Still, Coubertin persisted. In 1890, he organized and founded a sports organization, Union des Sociétés Francaises de Sports Athlétiques (USFSA). Two years later, Coubertin first pitched his idea to revive the Olympic Games. At a meeting of the Union des Sports Athlétiques in Paris on November 25, 1892, Coubertin stated,

His speech did not inspire action.

The Catalyst for Modern Corporate Social Responsibility

Although responsible companies had already existed for more than a century before, the term Corporate Social Responsibility was officially coined in 1953 by American economist Howard Bowen in his publication Social Responsibilities of the Businessman. As such, Bowen is often referred to as the father of CSR.

However, it wasn&rsquot until the 1970s that CSR truly began to take flight in the United States. In 1971, the concept of the &lsquosocial contract&rsquo between businesses and society was introduced by the Committee for Economic Development. This contract brought forward the idea that companies function and exist because of public consent and, therefore, there is an obligation to contribute to the needs of society.

By the 1980s, early CSR continued to evolve as more organizations began incorporating social interests in their business practices while becoming more responsive to stakeholders.

Where the Action Happens

The congressional committee system is where the "action" really takes place in the U.S. law-making process.

Each chamber of Congress has committees set up to perform specific functions, enabling the legislative bodies to accomplish their often complex work more quickly with smaller groups.

There are approximately 250 congressional committees and subcommittees, each charged with different functions and all made up of members of Congress. Each chamber has its own committees, although there are joint committees comprising members of both chambers. Each committee, going by chamber guidelines, adopts its own set of rules, giving each panel its own special character.

History of Microsoft Products

Microsoft Operating Systems

An operating system is a fundamental software that allows a computer to operate. As a newly formed company, Microsoft's first operating system product to be publicly released was a version of Unix called Xenix, released in 1980. Xenix was later used as the basis for Microsoft's first word processor Multi-Tool Word, a predecessor to Microsoft Word.

Microsoft's first wildly successful operating system was MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System), which was written for IBM in 1981 and based on computer programmer Tim Paterson's QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System). In the deal of the century, Gates licensed MS-DOS to IBM but retained the rights to the software. As a result, Gates made a fortune for Microsoft, which had become a major soft vendor.

Microsoft Mouse

Microsoft's mouse was released on May 2, 1983.


Also in 1983, Microsoft's crowning achievement was released. The Microsoft Windows operating system had a novel graphical user interface and a multitasking environment for IBM computers. In 1986, the company went public. The success meant that Gates became a billionaire at age 31.

Microsoft Office

1989 marked the release of Microsoft Office, a software package that, as the name describes, is a collection of programs for use in an office. Still used today, it includes a word processor, spreadsheet, mail program, business presentation software, and more.

Internet Explorer

In August 1995, Microsoft released Windows 95. This included technologies for connecting to the internet, such as built-in support for dial-up networking, TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), and the web browser Internet Explorer 1.0.

In 2001, Microsoft introduced its first gaming unit, the Xbox system. Xbox faced stiff competition from Sony's PlayStation, and eventually, Microsoft discontinued the original Xbox in favor of later versions. In 2005, Microsoft released the Xbox 360 gaming console, which was a success.

Microsoft Surface

In 2012, Microsoft made its first foray into the computing hardware market with the announcement of Surface tablets that ran Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro.