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social work in any given community is the lengthened
shadow of some social worker, good, bad or indifferent,
dead or alive? If that makes sense it accounts for a lot of
things, for while there are plenty of good social workers
around there are dumb ones too, and both kinds of us are
interpreting with every breath we draw, whether we know
it or not, whether we like it or not."

The hotel room was quite dark now. Somewhere outside
a clock chimed the hour. Miss Bailey pulled herself to-
gether and snapped on the light.

"Well, well, Amelia, you've had a swell time haven't
you, settling everybody's business, with no one to talk
back to you. But are you so sure, my dear, that all your
bright little ideas would keep their dewy freshness out
in the dust and heat of, well, say a campaign, chest or po-
litical ? But doggone it, how can we ever interpret what we
are a part of until we ourselves understand that part, until
we do a little hard analysis of ourselves in relation to the
public. And surely, while we talk so glibly about the neces-
sity for interpretation, we need to do some good cold
thinking about what we are interpreting and why and to
whom. Just now we seem to be riding a lot of horses of
different gaits going in several directions at once, and it
isn't surprising that we're taking some falls and adding
to our accumulation of more or less honorable scars.

"And now, my good woman, suppose you get on with
your own job."

This is one in a sequence of occasional articles, "Miss
Bailey Says . . .," in which that veteran of the relief organ-
ization sums up her observations of social services over the
country and her discussions with workers close in to the job.



46



SURVEY MIDMONTHLY



The Common Welfare



The AMA Has a Plan

SURPRISE of the month in the general field of health
is a plan for positive action by the American Medical
Association, announced in its official Journal just ahead of
the release of the findings of the Health Inventory of the
U.S. Public Health Service (see page 54). Josephine
Roche, in her challenging address to the American Public
Health Association last fall, is given credit for starting
the committee machinery from which the board of trus-
tees of the AMA finally acted. The board has resolved,
in essence: that the association shall "stimulate" state and
county medical societies to assume local leadership, secur-
ing cooperation of existing health and social agencies in
determining for each county the prevailing need for medi-
cal and preventive medical service. ("A varying number
of people may at times be insufficiently supplied with needed
medical service," the resolutions allow.) Stress is put upon
the county as a unit and upon determination of method by
each locality, acting always through its medical society.
An AMA headquarters committee has been set up, work
on the plan actually is under way, and the AMA proposes
to act as a "clearing house in the initiation, development
and functioning of what may well evolve into a compre-
hensive system of medical care for all the people, according
to the American plan of medical practice."

Vivid omen of change is emphasis in the AMA Journal
upon that phrase so long relegated to the uses of social
work : "Medical care for all the people."

Women's Wages

WAGE rates substantially increasing the pay of store
clerks in the District of Columbia and in Utah and
of laundry workers in New York soon will be established
under the new minimum wage laws enacted when the
U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Washington State law.

In the District of Columbia, a minimum wage of $17
for experienced women employed by retail stores goes into
effect this month, as does the Utah rate of $16. According
to a Women's Bureau statement, these minimum wages
will mean a "raise" for every salesgirl covered in a 1937
survey of the Washington five-and-ten cent stores, in which
not one woman was found to receive as much as $16.50 a
week, 98 percent had earnings under $15 a week, and half
received weekly wages below $12.50.

The first wage board to report under the present New
York law established a new principle in minimum wage
procedure a guaranteed weekly wage for all women and
minors in the laundry industry. The board recommended a
minimum of $14 for cities and large towns, $12.80 for
smaller places, the differential to be eliminated by Decem-
ber 31, 1939. Any worker employed any number of hours
up to forty during the week worked would receive the
minimum wage. In rural areas, the board recommended a
flat rate of thirty cents an hour.

The board found it "impossible ... to fix a minimum
wage sufficient to provide adequate maintenance for the
employes according to the standards submitted to the board
by the Industrial Commissioner [see Survty Midmonthly.



January 1938, page 3]. The board feels that it has taken
a long stride in the protection of the lowest paid employes
and that to do more at present might seriously affect the
industry, and so indirectly the mass of employes." Public
hearings will be held to permit discussion of the laundry
wage board report before a wage order based on it is issued.

Aid for China

THE American Red Cross, at the request of President
Roosevelt, has appealed for "a goodwill offering of as
much as perhaps one million dollars ... to aid in meeting
the extreme distress of millions of civilian people in China."
The funds, said Admiral Gary T. Grayson, national chair-
man, in transmitting the President's request to the 3700
Red Cross chapters, will be apportioned to existing agen-
cies in China by the American Advisory Committee, a
group of American residents appointed by U.S. Ambassa-
dor Nelson T. Johnson. The ARC will send no personnel
to China and no purchases will be made in this country.

Not Only Ohio

WHETHER or not Governor Davey of Ohio signs
the bills now before him for a "permanent" relief
plan for the state, one fact cannot be discounted. These
bills described by Fred W. Ramsey, Cleveland welfare di-
rector, as "cruel, harsh, extravagant, ridiculous and un-
American," were passed by both houses of the legislature,
passed by the duly elected representatives of the people of
a great state where humane and progressive principles of
social welfare services long have been pioneered and
practiced.

The significance of the bills is in their abrogation of
humane principles. They bar from relief not only aliens
who lack first papers but also all persons who have lived
less than six months in a county, two years in the state.
Even harsher are the requirements that applicants must
file "poverty affidavits" to be renewed every ninety days,
and that not only are relief rolls open to public inspection
but that they must be published once a month in "a news-
paper of general circulation." Food orders cash relief
is out are specified and must be called for "in person."

Competent observers of the troubled Ohio scene say
that these bills were deliberately designed to "slap down"
social workers and all their works. Behind this, say these
observers, is the none-too-fine-hand of the political machine
which social workers have consistently opposed. In addition
there is the old war of country against town "Social
workers are city slickers" and a substantial body of opinion
that can't see why there has to be "so much fuss about a
grocery order for Old Man So-and-So and his worthless
family." Whatever lies back of it all, social workers, out-
raged by the bills and their implications for the clients
and for the public welfare program of Ohio, were advised
strongly by their friends at the state capital to "Keep away!
Whatever you say at this time only makes matters worse."

Unfortunately this state of things is not exclusive to
Ohio. Illinois social workers got the same advice from
Springfield more than a year ago. Back of Pennsylvania's



FEBRUARY 1938



47



recent troubles (see page 51) which cost it the services of
Karl de Schweinitz one of the country's highly qualified
and experienced social workers, was spleen against the
whole tribe, no less than a drive for political control of
relief operations.

Obviously, something is out of joint in the relationship
between social workers and the public, something which is
a charge on the profession's own powers for analysis and
influence. Part of this has been inevitable because of the
forces that social workers have had to spur or oppose in
these difficult times. But part of it has to do with their
insecure grasp, as a whole, of the forces that mold public
opinion; their short-comings, as a group, in making them-
selves and their work understood. These are the handicaps
when, in a critical situation, they attempt to carry the
public with them in standing out for decency and justice
in dealing with human distress.

What Is a Nurse?

PROTECTING the public from the ministrations of
polyglot thousands who have no claim in education or
experience to the title of "nurse," and at the same time
defending qualified practitioners R.N.'s and practical
nurses alike from that intrusion into their profession,
are joint aims of the current Nurse Practice bill, before
the New York state legislature. Introduced last year with
the sponsorship of the New York State Nurses Association
and lost in committee [see Survey Midmonthly, April
1937, page 111] the bill this year has recruited wider sup-
port and, at last reports, was involved in committee con-
ference with a similar bill introduced by an interested
branch of the CIO.

If the bill as sponsored by the nurses' association suc-
ceeds, it will establish: definition of the practice of nursing,
undefined in the present state nurse practice law; licensing
of two classes of nurses, registered professional and nurs-
ing aide, with nursing by an unregistered person classed as
a misdemeanor; provision for revoking a license for just
cause; provisions whereby duly qualified nurses from other
states, many of whom now are ineligible for technical
reasons, may attain New York licenses.

Boosting Private Housing

THE bill amending the National Housing Act now
only awaits action by the Senate after having been
approved by the House. The President's sanction is a fore-
gone conclusion. Senate and House conferees early in the
year ironed out differences in the versions of the bill as pre-
viously passed. Between Senate and House differences the
most liberal provisions were adopted, excepting that the
proposed "prevailing wage" feature was discarded.

The new set-up raises the insurable limit from 80 per-
cent to 90 percent of the value of properties not exceed-
ing $6000 appraised value, built for and occupied by owners
(with 90 percent of the first $6000 on homes appraised
up to $10,000). It provides for a reduction of maxi-
mum interest charges on FHA insured loans to 5 percent
not including servicing and insurance ; authorizes the FHA
administrator to fix the mortgage insurance premium on
the diminishing balance instead of on the original face
value of the loan. The revised bill further provides for a
government guarantee of 80 percent on housing loans to
limited dividend companies up to a value of $5 million for



a single operation, and for the establishment of a mutual
insurance fund which may insure up to $2 billion of mort-
gages on Congressional authorization with an increase of
50 percent if authorized by the President. Provision also
is made in the measure for insurance of repair and moderni-
zation loans.

The increased building of large scale rental properties
by private interests likely to result from this anticipated
congressional action, should give a much needed boost to
heavy industry, and at the same time should provide desir-
able homes on a rental basis for a large group in the mod-
erate income brackets. However, the long range effect of
the wholesale encouragement of the building of single
homes for individual ownership deserves closer scrutiny.
By making the required down payment only 10 percent
$600 or less may there not be an unhealthy stimulation
of home ownership among a group for which it always has
been considered a mixed blessing? With a continued rise
in construction costs and rentals, and in the housing short-
age, everything may continue to go along well. But when,
as, and if these conditions are reversed, and the mortgages
are protected by their FHA loan insurance, is it not con-
ceivable that the "little man" will find himself out in the
cold, and Uncle Sam will be left holding the bag?

Progress Report

A RECORD of notable accomplishment and the possi-
ble extensions of its program are reviewed in the sec-
ond annual report of the Social Security Board. The re-
port covers the fiscal year closing June 30, 1937, when
"not quite twenty-three months had elapsed since the enact-
ment of the law, and some seventeen months since means
were provided to implement it." The progress reported in-
cludes: the beginning of payment of old-age benefits and
unemployment compensation ; receipt of more than thirty
million applications for account numbers from workers
covered by the old-age insurance titles of the act; enact-
ment of unemployment compensation laws in all forty-eight
states, the District of Columbia, Alaska and Hawaii, cov-
ering some twenty-one million workers ; provision of regu-
lar monthly financial aid to more than two million homes
of needy aged persons, blind persons or dependent children ;
reinforcement of maternal and child-health services, ser-
vices for crippled children, and child-welfare services
through federal grants to the states.

In looking ahead to the extension of its work, the board
holds "that as rapidly as experience warrants, protection
against risks of unemployment and old-age dependency
should be extended to groups of the population who, for
administrative reasons, are not included at the present time.
It also is the belief of the board that study should be con-
tinued of the feasibility of protection against additional
types of risks to economic security."

These recommendations are in line with the findings of
the American Institute of Public Opinion in a recent na-
tion-wide poll of current attitudes toward the old-age
pension plan. This survey showed that seventy-three
persons out of a hundred approve the payroll tax for old-
age pensions; seventy-four out of a hundred think the
program should be broadened to cover "household help,
farm hands, employes in small shops." Out of every hun-
dred who were asked: "Do you think the social security
law should be changed to make the employer pay the whole
amount of the security tax?" eighty-five answered "No."



48



SURVEY MIDMONTHLY



The Social Front



Housing



OY mid-January almost half of the
$300 million to be made available
during the next two years by the United
States Housing Authority for public
housing, had been earmarked by Admin-
istrator Straus for projects in forty cities
in nineteen states. Of the $146,645,000
allocated Michigan will receive $10 mil-
lion, Illinois $19 million, Ohio $26,900,-
000, Pennsylvania $24,250,000, and New
York $29 million.

By that same time eight of the low
cost housing projects built by the now de-
funct Housing Division, PWA, had been
leased by USHA to local housing au-
thorities, three of them in Chicago, two
in Louisville, two in Lexington, and one
in Cambridge, Mass. This in line with
the provision of the act providing that "as
soon as practicable, the Authority shall
sell the (existing) federal projects, or
divest itself of their management through
leases."

WPA Cooperates Demolition of
unfit housing remains on the list of
approved WPA projects despite curtail-
ment of WPA activity in other direc-
tions. Cities are thus enabled to use
relief labor on a large scale to reduce the
cost of clearing slums. During the three
year period from November 7, 1933 to
December 31, 1936 such labor was em-
ployed in thirteen states to wreck over
seven thousand buildings comprising
nearly 21,000 dwelling units.

In New York In his message to the
legislature early in the year, Governor
Herbert H. Lehman of New York de-
voted much space to the subject of hous-
ing and slum clearance, recommending
constitutional changes that would permit
of state and municipal loans and sub-
sidies to public housing authorities.

In preparation for the constitutional
convention to be held in April agencies
and individuals interested in promoting
low cost housing have been considering
this same matter. Several specific amend-
ments under discussion would make pos-
sible state loans to municipal housing
agencies; state grants-in-aid to local pub-
lic housing agencies conditioned upon
contributions from the localities ; state
loans to cooperatives, limited dividend
corporations and other instrumentalities
of the state ; aid by cities, counties, towns
and villages to public housing agencies
through money, property or credit with
exemption of indebtedness so incurred
from the usual constitutional debt limi-
tation. Other suggested amendments are
concerned with reducing land costs



through the broader use of the power of
excess condemnation and the acquisition
of reserve lands by cities and other juris-
dictions in advance of the time they
shall be used for housing and other pub-
lic purposes.

Housing Management Over 1500
people are enrolled in the course on
housing management, consisting of twen-
ty lectures and various field trips, now
being conducted at New York University
in cooperation with the New York Civil
Service Commission and the New York
City Housing Authority. Several hun-
dred more applicants for the course
were turned away because of lack of fa-
cilities. Pertinent to the subject of man-
agement is Abraham Goldfeld's interest-
ing Diary of a Housing Manager, just
published, in which he indicates the va-
ried qualifications requisite to successful
practice. Price $1 from National Asso-
ciation of Housing Officials, 850 East
58 Street, Chicago.

Recommendations as to approved prac-
tices in this field are offered by a com-
mittee of housing experts in a pamphlet
Housing Management for Projects for
Families of Low Income, issued by the
Welfare Council of New York, 44 East
23 Street. Price 10 cents.

Buckingham Community The first
section of Buckingham Community at
Arlington, Va., has been opened. The de-
velopment was conceived and executed by
the late Allie S. Freed, the mortgage
money supplied by the Prudential Life
Insurance Company under an FHA in-
sured loan. Three fourths of the 622
tenant families, paying from $35 to $80
rent a month, have incomes ranging from
$1500 to $3000 a year. The completed
project will ultimately house 2000 fam-
ilies. One objective of this first develop-
ment sponsored by the Committee for
Economic and Social Progress, Inc., of
which Mr. Freed was chairman, is to
show the possibility of housing built
for middle income families as an invest-
ment field for private capital and the fur-
ther possibility that modern industrial
methods applied to construction econo-
mies ultimately may enable private en-
terprise to supply new housing to fam-
ilies with much lower incomes.

Rent Control As housing shortages
increase over the country consideration
of legislative control of rent increases,
especially in dwellings occupied by the
lower income groups, is coming to the
fore. It is the conclusion of the represen-
tative of the organized tenants in New
York, perhaps the most highly organized
group of its kind in the country, that



"first it is necessary to have rent con-
trol laws introduced and passed; sec-
ond, to enforce these laws, strong tenant
organizations are necessary; and third,
to assist in making the laws workable,
arbitration or mediation boards may well
be necessary." These conclusions are em-
bodied in bills prepared by the City Wide
Tenants Union of New York, now be-
fore the legislature. Meantime various
housing organizations, aware of past ex-
perience with rent control laws, are ex-
ploring the possibilities of arbitration as
perhaps offering a more effective and
economical method of ameliorating the
situation.

News Notes A housing library in
memory of the late Henry Wright has
been established by a group of his former
associates. Located at the Federation
Technical School, 116 East 16 Street,
New York, it is open to the public. . . .
The entire December issue of Pennsyl-
vania Planning, official organ of the
Pennsylvania State Planning Board, 928
North Third Street, Harrisburg, is de-
voted to a discussion of various aspects
of housing. ... At last housing in its
own right has "made" the theatre. In
New York City the Federal Theatre,
WPA, is presenting One Third of a Na-
tion, a "living newspaper" about hous-
ing, well conceived and well acted. The
play is full of implications for any city
or town, particularly complacent ones
that say, "We have no slums."

Among the States



some thirty-odd state ad-
ministrators of public welfare were
exchanging experiences at the December
conference of the APWA they agreed
that in the matter of federal-state rela-
tionships the business of auditing was
consistently a thorny point. Accordingly
they asked the association to present to
the Social Security Board three sugges-
tions designed to clarify procedures.
They were in substance:

That after a state plan has been ap-
proved and state policies established, any
subsequent change in federal policies
shall not be retroactive on the states
through auditing procedures. States
should not be penalized by charges for
expenditures made in good faith on the
basis of the current plan.

That the board attempt to find some
practical way in which social judgment
expressed by an agency staff will be sup-
ported by the auditors of the board, and
that so far as possible such auditors re-
frain from an expression of social judg-
ment in these cases. The audit should be



FEBRUARY 1938



49



based on an approved plan for certifica-
tion of eligibility.

That the board consider some means
of cooperation between the state and fed-
eral auditing forces to reduce wherever
possible the required work to one audit
instead of two separable audits.

To these suggestions the office of the
executive director of the Social Security
Board replied in substance:

"That the board has established few
policies of a restrictive nature and those
have been submitted to the states prior
to the date on which they were expected
to be in effect." It agrees to the princi-
ple and will act upon it.

That the board "believes that an audit
of accounts in any field must be based on
an understanding of acceptable stand-
ards of operations in that field and, if
properly conducted, should provide one
basis for establishing and improving the
use of those standards. The determina-
tion and evaluation of such standards are
functions of the state agency staff in
which our Bureau of Public Assistance
has always been willing to cooperate; the
function of the auditor is to audit the
accounts and supporting data on the basis
of such standards rather than to deter-
mine or evaluate the standards. Any ex-
ceptions resulting from inadvertent over-
stepping of the audit function in the past
will be considered in Washington on the
basis of properly determined standards
and will not lead to disallowances if the
state's practices are in conformity with
such standards."

That the board "will be glad to con-
sider proposals from the public assist-
ance authority in the states with respect
to cooperative effort between state and
federal auditing forces. The board staff
has already made some exploratory stud-
ies of the possibility of cooperating with
state agencies in this respect."

Worried As one means of treating
the headache which seems to attend Ok-
lahoma's administration of old age assist-
ance, a newly appointed member of the
State Public Welfare Commission has
recommended that county directors
should come from counties other than
those in which they work.

Oklahoma finds itself considerably
worried by statistics from Washington
which show that 59 percent of its citi-
zens of sixty-five or more years of age
are on the old age assistance rolls, while
the percentage for the rest of the country
is 19.2. The state is not at all clear how-
ever, local charges and counter-charges
being what they are, whether it is radi-
cally wrong in its "open-handed policy,"
or is doing its duty more generously than
the other states. In October the average
monthly allowance to 68,483 recipients



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