Interstate Compacts

June 26, 1935

Report Outline
Interstate Compacts and N. R. A. Code Benefits
Origin and General Uses of the Compact Device
Compacts in Law Enforcement and Labor Fields
Interstate Compacts and the Federal System

Interstate Compacts and N. R. A. Code Benefits

In The Search for means of preserving gains, particularly in the field of labor standards, which it has been feared may be largely lost as a result of the Supreme Court's decision in the Schechter case, attention has been directed to the interstate compact as a device through which it may be possible gradually to accomplish, at least on a regional basis, much of what the N. R. A. attempted to achieve at one stroke on a national basis. The interstate compact, until recent years rarely used except for settlement of boundary questions, was resorted to in a matter of labor relations for the first time a year ago, when seven northeastern states signed a minimum-wage agreement. That compact, ratified to date by Massachusetts and New Hampshire, will become effective in those states as goon as Congress grants its consent.

The northeastern minimum-wage agreement was the first product of a growing movement to promote uniformity of labor laws through cooperative state action, which developed out of recommendations made by a conference of the governors of seven states meeting at Albany, New York, in January, 1931, at the call of Franklin D. Roosevelt, to consider measures for dealing with unemployment. Since that year the movement has expanded both numerically and geographically. During the first week of June, 1935, delegates from no less than 14 New England, Middle Atlantic, South Atlantic, and Middle Western states attended a meeting at Washington of the Interstate Conference on Labor Compacts, formed last year by the states participating in the minimum-wage agreement.

Proposals of Interstate Labor Compacts Conference

At its Washington session the Interstate Conference unanimously adopted a resolution requesting the President (1) to urge Congress to complete enactment of a joint resolution, already adopted by the House, to encourage negotiation of interstate labor compacts, (2) to recommend the immediate study and early enactment of federal legislation to aid states ratifying labor compacts in the safeguarding of standards thereby established, and (3) to “urge the governors to call on their respective legislatures to give immediate consideration to the necessity of early ratification of compacts on these subjects, and, where necessary and desirable, to call special sessions of their legislatures for this purpose, thereby preserving such gains as were made under the N. R. A. codes in so far as minimum wages, maximum hours, and the elimination of child labor are concerned.” In a letter acknowledging receipt of the resolution, President Roosevelt said he was directing that a study be made of the proposals there advanced.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Interstate Commerce
Mar. 17, 1939  Barriers Against Interstate Commerce
Jun. 26, 1935  Interstate Compacts
Apr. 19, 1933  Federal Incorporation of Interstate Business
Feb. 24, 1930  The States and Interstate Utility Problems
State, Local, and Intergovernmental Relations