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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

100 years ago in Spokane: Former mayor says ‘idlers’ should be sent to France

Former Spokane mayor W.J. Hindley went after “idlers” in a fiery speech. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Former Spokane Mayor W.J. Hindley went after “idlers” in a fiery speech, but these were not the usual idlers.

For instance, he wanted to put every retired farmer in the Palouse and the Big Bend country to work. He favored a “labor card” system, in which “wealthy idlers” and seasonal laborers would be called upon to show why they had been idle. If they were out of a job longer than they should have been, “I would send them to France.”

He also said “the parasitical woman,” should be put to work, too, in “some bank, store, or in the Red Cross.”

“In every community one group of women is doing all the work and another group is doing absolutely nothing,” he said.

From the education beat: Spokane school Superintendent Orville C. Pratt recommended a large wage increase for every Spokane teacher.

He said it would help prevent teachers from departing for Portland and Seattle. Mainly, however, it would keep the level of proficiency high.

“We could secure teachers for $700 a year, but they would not be the kind of teachers Spokane people would want to send their children to for instruction.”

He recommended a $100 raise, which would mean a salary of $1,200 a year for elementary teachers and $1,500 a year for high school teachers.

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(From the Associated Press)

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