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the report, "Eternal Vigilance," as well as some of its con-
tents, permit little complacency. Its list of cities and areas
where "repression is so continuous as to stand out over
others" includes Jersey City, dominated by the politic
machine of Mayor Frank Hague; Harlan County, Ken-
tucky ; Memphis, Tenn. ; and San Antonio, Tex. The con-
tinued imprisonment of Tom Mooney, the Memorial Day-
clash between police and Republic Steel workers in South
Chicago, the Senate filibuster against the anti-lynching bill,
the acquittal of five Florida policemen of the murder of
Joseph Shoemaker, and the forced labor by cotton planters
in Georgia are among the outstanding causes celebres which
the report deplores. In marked contrast to previous experi-
ence of the American Civil Liberties Union, "more issues
affecting the rights of German-American Nazis to carry
on their propaganda arose during the past year than those
affecting communists. . . . Only a few cases of interfer-
ence with their [communist] civil liberties arose." The
union lists among pending issues the legislative recommen-
dations of the Senate committee on civil liberties, and the
investigation of the Federal Communications Commission
of radio practices restricting freedom of the air.

The Medical Battle Front

ON the basis of a preliminary investigation by the De-
partment of Justice, Assistant Attorney General Thur-
man Arnold threatened last month to lay before a grand
jury evidence that the American Medical Association and
its affiliate, the District of Columbia Medical Society,
have violated the anti-trust laws by trying to prevent the
Group Health Association, Inc., from functioning. The
Health Association, a medical cooperative, was organized in
the District of Columbia about a year ago by some 2500
government employes, most of them in the lower salary






286



SURVEY MIDMONTHLY



brackets, to provide low cost medical care on a prepaid
basis, similar to the plan of sixty associations now in opera-
tion in this country and of 264 such organizations in Great
Britain. The District Medical Society has vigorously op-
posed the scheme. Mr. Arnold stated that in its fight against
the cooperative the society has resorted to threatened ex-
pulsion from the medical society of doctors who accept em-
ployment by the Group, or who take part in medical
consultations with Group doctors ; and expulsion from
Washington hospitals of staff doctors of the Group Health
.-Wociation. Mr. Arnold declared that the object of the
Department of Justice in suggesting a grand jury inquiry
with possible prosecution under the anti-trust laws is "with
the idea of keeping the situation free from restraint," so
that voluntary groups can experiment in the field.

Almost simultaneously with the Department of Justice
move, three members of the Medical Society filed in the
I S. District Court in Washington a suit to restrain the
Group Health Association from carrying forward its pro-
gram. In a statement issued in connection with the suit,
the Medical Society declared that its opposition to the
Group Health Association is not based on "selfish reasons,"
but on the conviction that "the best interests of the public
are not being served" by the medical cooperative. The s.tate-
ment adds that the Medical Society itself is "working on
a plan to provide medical care to the low income group
on a monthly payment basis," and that the plan will be
considered at a meeting of the society early in October.

Whether or not a criminal action under the anti-trust
laws will lie in this case may be doubtful, but there seems
little doubt that the government is in earnest about putting
medical care within the reach of millions now deprived of
it. The Department of Justice has announced that it will
ask Congress for more effective legislation if the American
Medical Association and the District Medical Society can-
not be prosecuted under the present anti-trust laws, or if
they refuse to accept a consent decree.

Wages and Hours



" AND may the Lord have mercy on your soul," said
./""Y. Chief Clerk Samuel J. Gompers of the U.S. De-
partment of Labor, son of the great AF of L leader, as
Elmer F. Andrews of New York was sworn in as admin-
istrator of the new federal wages and hours law. It is Mr.
Andrews' job to set up and keep in smooth running order
the machinery which will administer the vast experimental
legislation that attempts to set a ceiling for hours of work,
a floor for wages in industries engaged in or affecting the
flow of interstate commerce. That the law is disappointing
to labor and resented by many employing groups does not
simplify the task the administrator faces. He brings to his
new post an engineer's practical grasp of facts and forces
(he took his C.E. at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and
practiced his profession in this country and abroad) and
also the administrative skill demonstrated during his ten
years in the New York State Labor Department, first as
Frances Perkins' deputy and later as industrial commis-
sioner. As head of the New York Labor Department, he
has been responsible for the administration of the state labor
law, as well as the unemployment insurance law, minimum
^r law for women and minors, and other complex
measures.

In mid-August, Mr. Andrews set up the first of the
boards which will recommend standards of wages and
hours for each industry. Donald M. Nelson, vice-president



of Sears, Roebuck and Company, will head the textile in-
dustry committee, the other members of which have not
been announced at this writing. Other boards will prob-
ably be organized and begin their studies at once, although
the act does not become operative until late October.

Frieda Miller, head of the Division of Women in In-
dustry and Minimum Wage, has been appointed by Gov-
ernor Lehman to fill the unexpired term of Mr. Andrews
as New York's industrial commissioner. Miss Miller has
named Kate Papert, a member of her staff for eleven years,
as acting director of the minimum wage division.

Meeting at Antigonish



OOPERATION, education, economics were the
V_> themes that ran through the discussion from the plat-
form and the floor of the Rural and Industrial Conference
at St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia,
last month. The background of the gathering, which
brought together more than a thousand participants, includ-
ing several hundred from the United States, was the co-
operative movement which is re-making the lives of fishing,
mining and farming communities of the Maritime Prov-
inces. [See Survey Graphic, June 1938, page 340.] Essen-
tial to the success of the producers' and consumers' coop-
eratives, the conference speakers brought out, is the adult
education movement developed under the leadership of the
university extension division in Nova Scotia, New Bruns-
wick and Prince Edward Island. In New Brunswick, in
the winter of 1936-7, there were 450 study clubs of about
ten members each. Last winter, this number had increased
to 615. Said the Rev. Dr. J. J. Tompkins ("Father Jim-
my") : "Adult education is not for illiterates only. It should
be designed for the best brains we have to wrestle with
the worst problems we have want and frustrated lives lit-
erally crushed under a heritage of plenty which people can-
not get their hands on."

One day's session of the conference explored the possi-
bility of "security against sickness" through various forms
of cooperative medicine, including the Cape Breton plan
of "group payment with individual practice."

Among the conference resolutions was one urging a "ju-
dicious land settlement plan" for native sons of Nova Sco-
tia and selected British immigrant families; and one favor-
ing the inclusion of a study of cooperative principles in the
school curricula.

And So On . . .

THE Social Workers Committee to Aid Spanish Democ-
racy (381 Fourth Avenue, New York) is cooperating
in the American Relief Ship Campaign which hopes to
send a relief ship in late September with a cargo of 5000
tons of food, milk, medical supplies and clothing for the
refugee population of Spain. At the National Conference in
Seattle, Linton Swift, reporting on the work of the com-
mittee, stated that $17,000 had been raised to help pro-
vide food, clothing and shelter for destitute Spanish chil-
dren. Allied Youth, Inc. calls the attention of Ameri-
can consumers to their 1936 bill for legally consumed liq-
uor. Figured at a minimum of $3500 million, it amounts,
roughly, to 50 percent of the current annual total of fed-
eral government expenditures. Ten savings banks have
announced their intention of applying for licenses to write
low cost life insurance under New York State's recently
enacted legislation, which goes into effect January 1, 1939.



SEPTEMBER 1938



287



The Social Front



Schools and Education

' I *HE will to learn is no monopoly of
youth if a WPA class in English on
New York's lower East Side is any
indication. Eighty octogenarians, nono-
genarians, and centenarians swamped the
schoolroom on the opening day, so that
a special class for those over eighty had
to be organized. Coming from two
homes for the aged, most of the pupils
speak only Yiddish and had expressed
the desire to "learn a little English be-
fore I die."

Study of Go-ops The study of co-
operatives should be made an "integral
part" of the curricula of highschools,
colleges and universities, according to
the 32-page report of a special commit-
tee of the National Education Associa-
tion. The report, which was accepted
by the annual convention of the N.E.A.,
pointed out that there are approximately
11,000 consumer and marketing coopera-
tives in the United States, with a mem-
bership of more than three million and
an annual business of $1,500,000,000;
and added, "We need a continuous re-
vision of the curriculum beginning al-
ways with the current scene." Instead of
adding another subject, the report sug-
gested that the study of cooperatives
be integrated with courses in citizen-
ship, economics, home economics, agri-
culture, sociology, history, and so on.

Youth Administration More than
350,000 needy students who would
otherwise be unable to enter or continue
highschool and college will have part
time jobs through the 1938-39 program
of the National Youth Administration.
Allocations totalling $21,750,000 to
finance the program have been ap-
proved, of which nearly $10 million has
been allotted to highschool student aid,
over $11 million to college and graduate
aid. About 1600 colleges and universi-
ties and some 24,000 secondary schools
are participating in the program. The
college and graduate aid quota for each
state represents 9.3 percent of the total
college enrollment of students between
sixteen and twenty-four years of age.
inclusive, of that state for October 1,
1936. Selection of the students, and de-
vising and supervising the employment
projects rest with the school authori-
ties. The sole NYA stipulations are
that the recipients shall be chosen on the
basis of need, that they shall carry at
least three quarters of a normal course
of study, that the work provided shall



be genuinely useful and shall not dis-
place any of the institution's regular
employes. . . . The first complete statis-
tical analysis of the social and economic
background of New York City students
aided by NYA was made public last
month by Helen M. Harris, regional
director. Of 11,800 highschool pupils
who earned WPA allowances, 4774
reported their parents jobless, 1646 were
from WPA families. A total of 1449
came from families of eight or more
members. There were 8692 students
from families having an annual income
of $1000 or less, 1627 where the income
was between $99 and $499. Of the par-
ents having jobs, the largest group were
in semi-skilled occupations, the next
largest were domestic and personal ser-
vice workers. The records of the 5789
college and graduate students receiving
aid indicated less impoverished families.
The largest single group came from fam-
ilies with annual incomes of $1000 to
$1249, but in 58 cases the family incomes
were between $4000 and $5000, and in
23, they were $5000 or more. The par-
ents of 1010 college students were em-
ployed.

WPA Education For the fifth con-
secutive year of the work relief pro-
gram in education, enrollment showed
an increase, according to the recently
issued report for the year 1937-38.
Total enrollment for the year was 1,-
586,211, as compared with 1,569,529 in
1936-37. Participation in WPA classes
is free and voluntary. All teachers are
from WPA rolls. L. R. Alderman,
WPA educational director, reports that
a five-year goal of teaching one million
illiterate adults to read and write has
been passed, thus reducing illiteracy in
this country by about 25 percent. Other
outstanding features of the WPA edu-
cation program covered in Mr. Alder-
man's report are: naturalization classes,
classes in homemaking and child wel-
fare, nursery schools for children of
two to four years, correspondence
courses for persons living in remote
farm and mountain regions, vocational
education, general adult education,
workers' education.

Unhappy Homes Difficult home
situations have been found a frequent
cause of school failure by the child
guidance bureau of the New York City
Board of Education, the five-year report
of which has recently been made public
by Dr. Frank J. O'Brien, director. Be-
tween 1932 and 1937, the bureau han-
dled 7511 cases representing 624 schools,



65 percent of them boys, 35 percent
girls. Of the cases given "full bureau
service," 80.5 percent showed improved
or satisfactory adjustment. Friction be-
tween other members of the family or
parental harshness was in many cases
found to lie behind truancy, asocial
classroom behavior and poor academic
work. Nearly 80 percent of the 1417
"problem children" given complete physi-
cal examinations were found to have
health handicaps, a large proportion of
them remediable. A high correlation was
found between malnutrition and mental
defects. The report urges better under-
standing of individual differences in
children, smaller classes, special classes
with vocational training, a closer tie-up
between the school and homes, churches,
and social, health and recreational agen-
cies of the community.

World's Fair A portrayal of edu-
cation as "the one great force standing
between civilization and catastrophe"
is announced as one of the major ex-
hibit groups at the New York World's
Fair in 1939. Dr. Harry Woodburn
Chase, chancellor of New York Uni-
versity, is chairman of a Committee on
Education, in charge of plans for the ex-
hibit. Donald Slesinger, former dean
of social sciences at the University of
Chicago, has been named director of
the education department of the fair.
The exhibit, it is stated, will be of in-
terest to the layman as well as to the
educator. One feature now under con-
sideration is a "demonstration school"
in which visitors would be able to watch
pre-school and elementary classes
through polarized glass screens.

Record and Report Play: a Yard-
stick of Growth, by Clara Lambert.
A 40-page pamphlet which, while em-
phasizing the cultural roots and psycho-
logical importance of play, contains
many practical suggestions. Price 25
cents from the summer play schools
committee of the Child Study Associa-
tion, 221 West 57 Street, New York.
. . . Two Georgians Explore Scandi-
navia: A Comparison of Education for
Democracy in Northern Europe and
Georgia, by Ralph McGill and Thomas
C. David. A fresh and stimulating ap-
proach to some of the problems of a
rural state, and possible ways of deal-
ing with them. State Department of I
Education, Atlanta, Georgia. . . . The
Structure and Administration of Edu-
cation in American Democracy. One of !
a series of significant studies through i



288



SURVEY MIDMONTHLY



i the educational policies commis-
sion of the National Education Associa-
tion seeks to "define policies which will
help the schools to meet contemporary
needs." Price 50 cents from the commis-

1201 16 Street N.W., Washington.

Public Assistance

A GRANDMOTHER during the
I* Civil War, Sarah Stephens, aged
\ ro, still rocks on the porch of her
cabin in the cotton at Bowdon, Ga. At
125 of her claimed 131 years are
vouched for by documents and the verbal
'<iny of a descendant of her former
-:\." Feeble and decrepit from "rheu-
matiz" she spends her days looking for-
ward to the monthly arrival of her $9
old age allowance. It was the investiga-
tion for this allowance with its necessity
for proving age that brought to light her
amazing longevity.

If Aunt Sarah's memory is dim it is
it least agreeable, and she nods amiably
to reporters' questions as to how many
historical persons she can remember.
Lincoln? "Yassuh." Andrew Jackson?
uh." Adam? "Yassuh." His wife,
Eve? "Lawd, yes, a good lady."

Aunt Sarah still weeps for a grand-
child that was sold to another plantation
during slavery days.

Just Case Work New Jersey is
priding itself these days because it stands
fourth from the bottom of the list of
Kates in the proportion of its old people
less than 12 percent of those over sixty-
five years of age who are receiving old
issistance. Its pride is less in its
position than in the fact that that posi-
tion was not gained at the expense of the
reedy aged. It is due, says William J.
Ellis, commissioner of the state depart-
ment of institutions and agencies, to
meticulous initial investigations, and to
systematic follow-up which resulted last
year in closing about a fifth of the active
cases because recipients had become self-
supporting or because relatives had come
to their aid.

Trouble With pre-election activity at
boiling point, charges that old age as-
sistance is being made a tool for local
politicians have arrived from many quar-
>n the doorstep of the Social Se-
curity Board. Chairman Arthur J. Alt-
meyer has delivered firm warnings to
Ohio that federal grants may be with-
drawn as a result of charges of political
finagling brought against Governor Mar-
tin I.. Davey. In a letter to H. J. Ber-
rodin. chief of the Ohio division of aid
for the aged, Mr. Altmeyer referred to
letter which were enclosed with recent
old a^e assistance checks as making it
"self-evident that the division of aid for
thr .i^jed has attempted to influence re-
cipients of old age assistance for political



ends," and that "other information in
the possession of the board indicates seri-
ous deficiencies in the administration of
old age assistance in Ohio." ... In
Maine, charges of political activity have
been brought against the old age as-
sistance program by a Democratic na-
tional committeeman. As the charges first
presented to the Social Security Board
were not specific, the board deferred ac-
tion until definite complaints were en-
tered. . . . Oklahoma is still fighting for
resumption of full federal grants, cut oft
since March 2 and only recently resumed
for cases proved eligible. . . . Candidates
for gubernatorial nomination have vied
with each other during recent primary
elections in trying to blow the largest
bubbles of old age pension promises be-
fore voters' eyes; while in disenchanted
Colorado a group of petitioners has suc-
ceeded in getting on next November's
ballot a constitutional amendment to
wipe out the $45-a-month plan and re-
turn the problem to the legislature.

Here and There Under a new
Massachusetts law persons otherwise
eligible may receive old age allowances
without regard to insurance policies up
to $3000, provided the policies have been
held for at least fifteen years. Policies up
to $1000, written at least five years be-
fore the date of application for assistance
also are exempted.

Californians will vote this fall on the
"$30-every-Thursday" scheme which
would call for the state to pay that
amount weekly to all persons over
fifty years of age. Proponents of the
scheme filed with the secretary of state
several times the number of signatures
necessary to get the proposal on the
ballot.

The 35 percent cut, now effective, in
the congressional appropriation for the
Department of Public Welfare of the
District of Columbia promises to enlarge




Carmack in The Christian Science Monitor
He Uied to Kiss Babies to Get Elected



the population of the Home for the Aged
and Infirm. Two groups of dependents
are finding themselves obliged to "accept
the opportunity" to enter the home: those
over sixty-five, not eligible for old age
assistance; those under sixty-five who
are bedridden and who hitherto have
been on home relief.

"Inequalities in the distribution of
wealth are no more glaring than dis-
crimination in giving relief to the un-
fortunate and indigent of the state," re-
marks the Denver Post pointing out that
in July persons on old age assistance re-
ceived an average of $28.72, while those
on direct relief received an average of
$3.88.

What It Cost The Washington State
Department of Social Security, often said
to have one of the best balanced state
programs for public assistance, reports a
total cost of $25,616,631 for state and
county activities during its first year of
operation. The total breaks down as fol-
lows: administration, $2,962,992; old age
assistance, $9,147,903; aid to dependent
children, $2,251,641; aid to the needy
blind, $362,592; crippled children, $92,-
287; foster care for children, $85,108;
general assistance, $7,462,970; hospitali-
zation and burials, $454,364; institutions,
$1,585,399.

Relief

C*EAR of a "large poorhouse" prompted
Benjamin Glassberg to fight the Mil-
waukee common council's suggestion for
the creation of city-owned low rental
houses for relief clients, proposed to re-
duce relief expenditures, but negotiations
are now underway by a private non-
profit corporation for the lease of city
property to carry out the plan. Detroit
already has ten city-owned, no-rent re-
lief houses, forerunners of a 175-house
project. Set on a 35' x 100' lot, each
house has a hot-air heating system, a
full basement, gas refrigeration and sta-
tionary laundry tubs, and is to be occu-
pied by only one family of not more than
four members. Los Angeles is consider-
ing a plan for 100 houses to be built on
recently acquired tax-delinquent prop-
erties.

Perennial Problem New Jersey
seems to have a stiff problem ahead in
finding relief funds. Arthur Mudd, di-
rector of the state financial assistance
commission, in early August estimated
that a minimum of $9 million and perhaps
as much as $1 1 million is needed for the
remaining months of this year, not to
mention next year's needs. Governor
Moore has talked of a special session of
the legislature but there is considerable
opposition to that, as well as to bond
issues or new taxes. Meantime, delay of
the state's share of relief funds has re-



SF.PTEMBER 1938



289



suited in closed periods for some local
relief offices. Proposals for an extensive
construction program, designed to bring
new federal money into New Jersey,
now are under discussion.

The special session of the Pennsyl-
vania legislature, called in late July, was
asked for $25 million to carry the state's
unemployment relief and other assistance
programs until the next regular session,
January 1, 1939. An additional $300,000
tor the employment board was requested,
due to the failure of the Goodrich com-
mittee to include that expense in its
budget estimate. The State Department
of Public Assistance has requested the
introduction of an administration meas-
ure to clarify the question of responsi-
bility for medical care for the indigent
not in institutions, and is studying the
probable cost of a state-administered
medical program. Although medical care
for this group now is supervised by the
State Department of Welfare, recently
it was handed over to county commis-
sioners. Legal opinions indicate, however,
that the counties are not responsible.

"Single Person Gases" Relief al-
lowances for persons living alone average
$16.86 in the twelve large cities for
which the Social Security Board has fig-
ures. New York tops the list with an
average of $25.40; at the bottom is St.
Louis with $8.62. In all but four cities
the allowance was above $16.

Limited staff and funds have obliged
the St. Louis Bureau for Men, a pri-
vately supported agency, to abandon its
practice of accepting transients referred
for treatment by the various case work
agencies, and to limit its service to resi-



Online LibrarySurvey AssociatesSurvey midmonthly : journal of social work (Volume 74) → online text (page 77 of 109)