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from 13 percent below normal to &/*
percent above normal, while employment
rose only from 27 percent below normal
to 21 percent below normal. Relief noils
at the end of this period had fallen of?
less than one percent. The subsequent
depressed period (July 1937-June 1938)
which brought a 27 percent decline in
business activity and a 16 percent decline
in factory employment, brought a 13J4
percent gain in the relief load.

Report Civic-minded citizens in New
York who may have had to force them-
selves to wade through departmental re-
ports will welcome with glad sighs the
annual report for 1937 for the Depart-
ment of Public Welfare issued by Com-
missioner William Hodson. Abounding
with human interest the booklet relegates
numerical tables to its back pages.
Though figures with numerous digits
crop up throughout the text, public wel-
fare beneficiaries are presented as living
persons rather than statistics, a presenta-
tion aided by illustrations that would do
credit to a photographer's exhibit. The
report is the first since the functions of
the Emergency Relief Bureau were taken
over by the city as a permanent govern-

ment responsibility under the administra-
tion of the Welfare Department. Calling
home relief " 'the residuary legatee" of
any maladjustment in our civilization,"
it begins with a challenge: "The great
objective of our society should be the
elimination of relief for the able-bodied
employable men and women of the coun-
try through a reconstruction of our so-
cial and industrial order, so that jobs
and living wages will be available for

Privileged Veteran's disability allow-
ances can no longer be considered a fam-
ily resource by Pennsylvania's county as-
sistance boards which have received notice
that an exemption of at least $20 must
be allowed in computing the relief grants
of those receiving federal pensions. The
new policy is based on the theory that it
is unjust to "take away from the injured
veteran all that the government has given
him as war disability compensation."

The Unattached Wide variation ex-
ists between proportions of single persons
on relief in the large cities throughout
the country. A recent study of sixteen
cities showed Philadelphia to have the
greatest "unattached" problem with sev-
enteen of every thousand of its popula-
tion being non-family persons on relief.
The problem looms almost as large in
Chicago where twelve per thousand are
non-family "reliefers." In Newark and
Pittsburgh more than ten per thousand
fit in this classification. Washington has
the smallest proportion of persons living
alone on relief slightly over one per
thousand. Similarity in relief rolls evi-
dently does not follow industrial similar-
ity in cities, as Chicago and St. Louis
(third lowest single person rate), both
"shipping points" for transient and casual
laborers, are listed at opposite ends.

In New Jersey In spite of continu-
ous "emergency" financing, "a good record
as compared with neighboring states" is
the finding made in New Jersey by the
Unemployment Relief Commission [see
Surrey Midmonthly August 1938, page
266] in its Report No. 1, now in print.
Not touching upon the adequacies or in-
adequacies of individual relief grants, the
report bases its conclusions on compari-
sons with expenditures in New York,
Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Such
comparisons refute charges of extrava-
gances in New Jersey, showing it to have
lower per capita relief costs than any of
the neighboring states.

Costs are the focus of this report. Who
pays them and who should? It was found
that the state has been bearing 73 per-
cent of the total burden with individual
municipalities varying in the proportion
they carried. The counties hardly come
into the picture at all. That the state re-
sponsibility in financing is not accompa-
nied by an equal administrative responsi-

bility results in varying standards of ad-
ministration and eligibility, and "a town
with limited eligibility standards may
drain state funds from other areas where
need is really greater. ..." A later com-
mission report will be concerned with in-
dividual relief allowances.

Though graphs and tabulations abound
throughout the report only one ap-
proaches relief with any other view than
as a "cost." This is a study of relief as
supplementary to inadequate wages or
private income in fifteen towns where
nearly 43 percent of the relief cases had
such income, ranging from 11 to 31 per-
cent of the family budget. This, says the
commission, indicates "the degree to
which relief is called upon to supplement
wages from private employment" and
"the extent to which relief is necessary
to those who have inadequate private in-

Concrete proposals to come out of the
study include the granting of state aid
to municipalities on a uniform basis, the
adoption of a simpler form of computa-
tion, the sharing of administrative costs
between state and municipalities, the use
of state funds for sponsors' share in work
programs, an increase in percentage of
total costs to be borne by the municipali-
ties, the merit system. All are distinct
moral victories for the New Jersey Wel-
fare Council, formerly the New Jersey
Conference of Social Work, which for
three years has been fighting for coordi-
nation of all public assistance services
under the State Board of Control; effi-
cient personnel to be selected under the
Civil Service Act ; joint financial responsi-
bility of the state and local governmental
units ; local administration through un-
paid, non-partisan municipal welfare
boards; and uniform, humane standards
supervised by the Board of Control.
Though not so explicit as these goals the
recommendations of the commission at
least have caught their spirit in recogniz-
ing the need for a more integrated relief

Most revolutionary of the commis-
sion's proposal is the first, based on a
reluctant admission that relief is a con-
tinuing problem, a point long stressed by
the social work group. Most nearly akin
to a Welfare Council goal is the recogni-
tion of the need of a merit system for
public assistance workers in a state
where the only legal requirement for
overseer of the poor is the "ability to
read the English language."

In Print Rural Households and De-
pendency, by Olaf F. Larson, Bulletin
444 of Colorado State College, Fort Col-
lins, published in cooperation with the
WPA, is a "comparative study of com-
position and behavior of relief and non-
relief households in three Colorado
counties." Though there is no blanket
difference between relief and non-relief
households, interesting relative differ-



ences occur. More heads of relief fami-
lies are farm tenants or laborers than are
family heads in the non-relief group;
since 1920 relief heads on an average had
more unemployment than non-relief heads.
Other differences in averages occur in
educational background, number of de-
pendents, size of farms, geographic mo-
bility. . . . Relief in Kansas City, Mo., a
study made by the Kansas City Chapter
of the AASW in cooperation with the
Kansas City Council of Social Agencies
(price 50 cents from the council, 1022
Baltimore St.) points to the inadequacies
of relief standards in the city, where they
directly affect one eighth of the popula-
tion. Present average public relief allow-
ance is $12.30 per month; private relief,
$19.20. Compared with relief expendi-
tures in six cities of similar size, those of
Kansas City amount to two thirds of the
lowest (Indianapolis), one fourth of the
highest (Rochester, N. Y.). The study is
a plea for Kansas Citians to "face the
problem squarely" rather than to shirk
the present cost and to pay "ten-fold for
it in the future with a crushed and brok-
en humanity."

Among the States

CMNANCIAL statistics of state agen-
' cies administering public assistance are
now being collected by the division of pub-
lic assistance research, Social Security
Board, on a six months' experimental ba-
sis. The plan at present provides for
semi-annual comparative data on classi-
fied administrative expenses, proportion
of funds from federal, state, and local
sources, and revenue sources of state and
local funds. More than one half of the
state public assistance agencies are coop-
erating. From the experience gained dur-
ing the experimental period, revisions in
the plan and procedures will be made.
The major problem at present is that of
developing simple but reasonably accurate
techniques for distributing joint expenses
incurred for two or more programs and
for administrative and non-administrative
purposes. Other problems include the defi-
nition of public assistance programs, the
definition of administrative expenses, and
the classification of such expenses.

Wisconsin During the second quarter
of 1938, 70 cents out of each dollar ex-
pended for public assistance in Wisconsin
came from federal funds. From state
funds came 6 cents out of each dollar;
from local funds 23 cents. Total expendi-
tures amounted to $25,624,602. The local
units' contribution of $5,951,588 went:
$2,609,736 to general relief, $1,090,481
to social security payments, $2,251,370 to
sponsoring WPA projects.

During the second quarter an average
of 15.4 percent of the state's population
received some form of benefit. The per-
centage ranged from 3.6 in Kewaunee
County to 59.1 in Florence County. Ele-


"If we social workers want good
public welfare administration in
our states we must get into the
fight and stick to it." Margaret
Woll, when she cogitated thus in
1936, was already in the fight in
her native Kentucky as head of the
state's old age assistance services.
She stuck, and last month was ap-
pointed by Gov. A. B. Chandler as
state commissioner of welfare to
succeed Frederick A. Wallis. Miss
Woll was five years with the
Louisville Family Service Organ-
ization; later with the FERA in
Virginia. She is a member of the
American Association of Social
Workers and was at one time on
the field staff of the Family Wel-
fare Association of America.

ven of the twelve counties with more
than one out of every four persons re-
ceiving aid were in the poor northern
cut-over section of the state.

New Jersey's Wards Ten years have
nearly doubled New Jersey's public insti-
tutional population according to a recent-
ly issued statistical bulletin, "The Wards
of the State of New Jersey," published
by the State Department of Institutions
and Agencies, via WPA project No. 421 1-
0. The department operates the state's
nineteen penal, correctional, hospital and
charitable institutions along with two
non-institutional agencies, the State Com-
mission for the Blind and the State Board
of Children's Guardians, as well as ad-
ministering old age assistance. Penal in-
stitutions and mental hospitals show the
most striking increase among the state's
custodial wards, but these gains are far
outdistanced by the increase in wards of
the non-institutional agencies which in re-
cent years have been propped up by the
social security program. Beneficiaries of
old age assistance have more than tripled
in the past five years; blind aid recipi-

ents have increased five fold in ten years.
More moderate has been the increase in
aid to dependent children which has slight-
ly more than doubled in ten years' time.

Stock Taking The New York Stat
Department of Social Welfare is making
a comprehensive evaluation and revie
of its experimental program for care of
non-settled persons, which has been func-
tioning since July 1937. Under this pro
gram the state reimburses localities 1C
percent for the cost of assistance to per-
sons having no settlement in the state,
provided assistance is granted in accord-
ance with rules and regulations of the
department. Although the study will
made on a state-wide basis, attention wil
be especially focused on present and fu-
ture problems as they affect New York
City, this because of the anticipated in-
flux of non-settled persons during the pe
riod of the World's Fair. As director of
the study, which will require about four
months, the department has borrowed
Philip E. Ryan from the Committee on
Care of Transient and Homeless and of
the Council on Interstate Migration, of
both of which he is executive secretary.

Adding Up Since Pennsylvania began
to pay benefits to its old people, Januar
1, 1935, some 142,000 persons, all told
have been aided to the total cash tune of
$59,480,000. Of this sum, $22,650,000 has
been contributed by the federal govern-
ment which began participation in July
1936. At present about 89,000 persons
are receiving old age assistance in the
state with an average monthly grant of

Dependent children and their mothers
to the number of some eighty thousand
have received $18,070,000 since Januar
1, 1935 with the Social Security Board
chipping in $4,168,000 since 1936. At the
present time 17,656 families with 43,269
children are being aided. The blind,
the number of 16,400, have received pen-
sions totaling $10,820,000. The federa
government participated for a time and
to the extent of $3,282,000, but that par-
ticipation has now been withdrawn sine
the pensions are based on degree of blind-
ness and not on need.

Youth and Education

*"pHE public schools of Dayton, Ohio,
-* which closed October 28 for lack of
funds, were re-opened three weeks later.
The first plan was to ask the 1300 teach-
ers to bridge the gap by agreeing to re-
sume classes without pay in anticipation
of a state school fund, due December 3;
to work five more weeks without remu-
neration if the proposed two-mill levy,
adopted at the November 8 election, failed
of passage. The temporary closing of the
schools affected 34,000 pupils. Dayton of-
ficials state that the new levy, providing


$500,000 annually for five years, will
solve the school finance problem for the
coming year, but point out that additional
aid will be needed for the operation of
schools in November and December. The
local school deficit as of November 1 was

Work Gamp A group of fourteen boys
and ten girls representing ten schools
participated in a summer work camp at
the Hudson Guild Farm, near Andover,
N. J. The project was under the direc-
tion of W. Ormsbee Robinson of the
Ethical Culture School, New York, whose
report on the summer brings out some
of the educational values for the group.
The young people did their own "house-
keeping," including the laundry, renovated
and repaired an old farm house, did farm
work, and ran a "nursery school group"
for the children of families who, through
the Hudson Guild settlement on New
York's crowded West Side, were spend-
ing brief vacations on the farm. In em-
phasizing the values of the work camp,
Mr. Robinson's report urges that "it
would be unwise to permit the unplanned
spread of such projects." He points out
that, "The work camp could easily lend
itself to the exploitation, financially, mor-
ally, and physically, of youth."

New Ways vs. Old Progressive ed-
ucation is superior to traditional prac-
tices in its educational results as proved
by comprehensive testing, according to
Prof. J. Wayne Wrightstone of Ohio
State University's Bureau of Educational
Research (Appraisal of Newer Element-
ary School Practices, published by Teach-
ers College, Columbia University). Pro-
fessor Wrightstone tested matched pairs
of pupils in schools of each type, chosen
for similarity of teaching conditions in-
cluding the social and economic back-
grounds of the pupils. The study showed
the progressive school pupils generally
superior in the academic skills of read-
ing, writing and arithmetic. Further, the
progressive school children were superior
in a test of information about current
events, and about social, economic and
aesthetic questions. In creative prose,
verse and graphic arts, the work of the
children from progressive schools was
found "of distinctly higher quality in
originality and facility of expression."
The freer type of education also produced
superior ability in critical thinking, abili-
ty to obtain facts, interpret them and gen-
eralize from them.

Youth Administration Preliminary
returns on a survey of youth in the labor
market indicate that lack of funds is the
principal reason why young people leave
school before completing their education.
The study is being made in seven cities
Binghamton, N. Y., Birmingham. Ala.,
Denver. Colo.. Duluth, Minn., St. Louis,
San Francisco and Seattle covering 25,-

000 graduates of the eighth grades of
public and parochial schools in the years
1929, 1931, 1933. Out of 15,700 inter-
viewed to date, 14,000 young people had
left school, almost one half of them for
lack of funds. About three out of ten
quit because at the time they felt they
had had enough education. An additional
one out of every ten left because work
experience was preferred to further edu-
cation. Of the other reasons given for
school leaving, illness (4 percent) was
most important.

NYA has been authorized to use por-
tions of the Algiers Naval Training Sta-
tion at New Orleans, and the Naval
Ordnance plant at South Charlestown,
W. Va., for establishing regional resident
work centers for out-of-school unem-
ployed youth. Both government properties
have been idle for many years. Equip-
ment and facilities will be used in en-
larging the work experience program of
NYA in mechanical and metal work.

A sixty-day campaign to obtain em-
ployment for 4000 young people with
NYA job training is being conducted in
Illinois, under the direction of William
J. Campbell, state NYA director. By No-
vember 10, permanent positions in busi-
ness and industry had been obtained by
826 Chicago youths, and by 1795 in "down
state" counties. Civic groups, newspapers,
radio stations, the Illinois State Depart-
ment of Labor and the State Employ-
ment Service, and hundreds of employers
are cooperating in the drive.

The Insurances

/"\LD age insurance claims in October
^ totaled 17,515, the Social Security
Board announces, with payments averag-
ing $61.81, and amounting in all to $1,-
082,621. The claims now being paid go
to workers who have reached the age of
sixty-five or to the heirs of those who
have died, and amount to 3^2 percent of
wages paid the worker in a covered em-
ployment since January 1, 1937. By states,
the average October payments (which re-
flect wage rates) ranged from a low of
$26.56 in Mississippi to a high of $79.92
in New Jersey. Since the launching of the
program, 234,085 such claims have been
paid (see page 371).

Payments Decrease September was
the third consecutive month in which
there was a decrease in the number of
initial claims for unemployment compen-
sation benefits and in the amount of ben-
efits paid out. Initial claims decreased by
24 percent in September, as compared
with 30 percent in August and about 20
percent in July. Exclusive of New York
State, the decline in the amount of bene-
fits paid was 4.4 percent in September. A
Security Board release states: "Special
reports from several states indicate that
exhaustion of wage credits was an influ-

ential factor in the decline of benefit pay-
ments, although reemployment of workers
was a contributing cause." In twenty-
two of the twenty-eight benefit-paying
states which reported a smaller amount
of benefits paid during September, the
decreases ranged from 4.9 percent in In-
diana to 43.3 in Virginia. Six states
California, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan,
South Carolina and Wisconsin reported
increased benefit payments.

Norway's New Law A nation-wide
compulsory unemployment insurance law
has replaced Norway's voluntary scheme,
in effect since 1906. The new plan will
cover about 550,000 workers. Farm la-
bor, domestic service, fishing and some
other occupations are excluded, as are
manual workers earning less than 600
crowns a year (1 crown = 45 cents) and
non-manual workers earning more than
6000 crowns. Both employers and em-
ployes contribute to the insurance fund,
and compensation will be paid at the rate
of one benefit week for three weeks of
contribution to a maximum of fifteen
weeks a year. Covered workers are di-
vided into five wage groups, with benefits
ranging from 1.40 to 4 crowns daily
($4.41 to $"l2.60 a week). Amounts up to
a maximum of 1.50 crowns daily ((jl l /t
cents) will be allowed on behalf of de-
pendent children under fifteen, not to ex-
ceed 80 percent of the daily wage. The
government estimates the cost of the
scheme at 24 million crowns a year, of
which 16 million crowns will be raised
by employer-employe contributions, 4 mil-
lion crowns from local governments, with
a subsidy from the national government
covering the balance needed. The new
law will go into effect in 1939. Existing
trade union funds will be used for a vol-
untary supplementary program, financed
by workers and the national government
and paying the same benefits as the com-
pulsory scheme for another fifteen weeks.

Boston Figures Since January 30,
1938, Massachusetts has distributed 265,-
854 unemployment compensation benefit
checks, totaling $2,819,729, according to
reports of the State Unemployment Com-
pensation Commission, summarized by
the research bureau of the Boston Coun-
cil of Social Agencies. The number of
individuals receiving benefits and the pay-
ments to families who would otherwise
have been on public or private relief are
not known. The average size of the
weekly check for the week ending Octo-
ber 7 was $10.61, just below the state
average of $10.63. Checks going out from
the East Boston office, in a district where
there are many low wage women factory
workers, averaged $9.94. From the Hyde
Park office, with a large proportion of
skilled and white-collar workers, the av-
erage check was for $11.38. The summary
from the research bureau points out:
"The lower wage earners are, of course,



those who without unemployment com-
pensation would have needed to turn
soonest to relief agencies. The small size
of benefits paid to individuals in this
group indicates that even with unemploy-
ment compensation, supplementary relief
must be necessary in many cases."

Publications Security or the Dole? a

Public Affairs Pamphlet, first published
in 1936, revised to take into account the
actual functioning of the social security
program and suggested revision of the
federal act. Public Affairs Committee,
Inc., 8 West 40 Street, New York. Price
10 cents.

Against Crime

ACTIVITIES of G-men, though glam-
orously publicized, fail to effect a
decrease in the volume of crime through-
out the country, according to figures for
the first nine months of 1938, compiled
by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Robbery has increased nearly 14 percent
since 1936, burglary 10 percent, larceny
16 percent. More rape was committed in
1938 than in any year in this decade with
the exception of 1937. Ninety-five percent
of the crimes committed this year were
motivated by the desire to obtain prop-
erty; the other 5 percent were felonious
assaults, including rape and homicide.

A larger percentage of this year's crime
has been committed by persons under
twenty-one than was the crime of 1937,
if the ages of those arrested is an indica-
tion. More persons twenty-one years old
were arrested than of any other age.

Out of the Frying Pan Discipline
cells will take the place of lashings in
Tennessee prisons, according to recent
announcement. Though the rooms of sol-
id concrete will have windows they will
let in little or no natural light. Ventila-
tion will come through steel doors. An-
other step in the state's "modernized"
prison program is the substitution of blue
cotton pants and shirts for the tradition-
al prison stripes.

Citizen's Study Bargaining with the
people is the modern criminal's method
of escaping the full consequences of his
crime. This is at least true in New York
City where a recent survey by the Citi-
zen's Committee on the Control of Crime
[see Survey Midmonthly, June 1937, page
192] showed that only one out of every
five defendants on criminal charges act-
ually comes to trial. That the rest plead
guilty, however, does not necessarily
mean that defendants realize the impos-
sibility of combating the cases against
them. The great number of guilty pleas
are made, with the prosecution's permis-
sion, to lesser charges than those in the
indictments. In the four largest counties
within New York City, less than 29 per-

Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesSurvey midmonthly : journal of social work (Volume 74) → online text (page 105 of 109)