of Governor Herbert R. O'Conor 53
is a reform which has long been mentioned as desirable, and yet one which
no Legislature heretofore has enacted.
It is my deliberate judgement that the above Court reforms constitute
improvement in the greatest degree and fulfill the pledges made to elevate the
standards of the Judicial functions in the lower courts.
Because of its close relationship with the Judicial branch of the Govern-
ment, the law which will effect much better results in the administration of
parole and probation might be mentioned. This Administration measure will
give Maryland for the first time a real parole system, under which its bene-
ficial effects upon society as well as upon the individual offender can be
thoroughly realized. Individual studies of prisoners and coordination of work
among the Parole Department, the penal institutions and law-enforcing
agencies are provided for and our State will now emerge from the class in
which it has been placed as "backward" in the field of parole and probation.
There should be cause for genuine satisfaction over the passage of labor
legislation at this session affecting relations between employers and employees.
With the full support and cooperation of my administration a bill was
passed improving the set-up in the office of the Commissioner of Labor and
Statistics and requiring this official to give full time to the performance of the
important duties of this office. The object of this legislation is to insure to
employers and employees alike—impartial administration of laws relating to
labor and conditions of employment and to provide the most helpful assist-
ance possible in the adjustment of disputes that arise from time to time be-
tween workers and their employers. The enactment of this bill represents
the fulfillment of a campaign pledge to build up the Labor Department and
increase its usefulness to the people of the State.
Another bill passed provided for re-organization of the State Industrial
Accident Commission to reduce the number of Commissioners; to authorize
the chairman to act as the administrative and executive head of the Commis-
sion and to have the final authority in all matters relating to the administrative
work of the commission and its employees. The three associate members of
the Commission are each authorized to hear and determine cases arising under
the Workmen's Compensation Law, which will permit the prompt and ex-
peditious disposition of every case. It will also make it possible to conduct more
frequent hearings in various sections of the State and injured employees
throughout the State will under this new law be able to obtain the compensa-
tion benefits to which they are entitled without the necessity of waiting until
a majority of the Commission can find time to hold hearings in the sections
of the State in which such injured employees reside.
The Workmen's Compensation Law has also been amended so as to pro-
vide benefits for those who contract occupational diseases by reason of their
employment. This will greatly increase the number of persons who will re-
ceive the benefits of the Compensation Law. The enactment of this law is
also in keeping with a pledge during the course of the last campaign and will
operate for the benefit of a great number of employees who have heretofore
received no protection under the Compensation Act. In the interest of minors,
as well as for the general public, laws were passed providing for greater safety