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Jane Addams, patron saint of the world's youth

Graham Taylor, a great commoner, confidant of two gen-
erations of great publishers

Florence Kelley, fit heroine for Henley

Hastings Hart, haloed with a half century of service

But the glorious traditions embodied in the elder states-
men mingled with the job-joy in the youths, the latter per-
sonified by Howard Knight, executive extraordinary, of
whom it was said, "It takes two men to see him, one to say
'Here he comes' and another 'There he goes' " and who
nevertheless united with that executiveness such finesse that
Des Moines liked him and all his crew much.

And finally the outstandingness of John Lapp, both
youth and veteran, dignified and courageous, gripping the
gavel with precision, clarity and mastery, Crusader of Now,
without fear and without reproach.

The range of program subjects, their timeliness and hu-
man interest, the ability, sincerity and prominence of the

speakers, the personnel and personality of
could not do other than give Des Moines
for social workers and for social work.

the delegates,
a new respect

JA Case-work Approach to Unemployment

Awarded First Prize in the Fourth Harmon Quarterly Contest

UNEMPLOYMENT may be likened to a
vicious triangle. On the one side is the em-
ployee turned out of a job because the season
is slack and his services are no longer necessary ;
on the other side the employer, forced to "close
down" because the market does not require his product at
certain seasons of the year ; and on the third side, the family
case working agency, whose case load grows, and whose
opportunities for finding employment diminish, as those
drastic seasons of unemployment appear almost regularly
year after year.

In order to approach with any degree of accuracy the
plan to coordinate the supply and demand of labor in terms
of both the employer and the employee, it seemed to us in
the South District of the St. Louis Provident Association
that we needed a complete picture of the industrial district
in which the office was located. We also needed a complete
analysts of the men and women
who appealed to us for assistance
because of unemployment. There-
fore two simultaneous studies
extending over a period of one
year were planned, the first re-
lating to the employed and the
second to the employer.

Each visitor in the district was
made responsible for the study of
the employee. A work schedule
was obtained on every wage
earner who came to the organiza-
tion because of unemployment.
This schedule included informa-
tion regarding his education,
vocational training, occupation,
employment experience beginning
with his first job and covering
the last five year period of his
employment. His social history
was obtained and his financial
status, including his debts and
minimum budget. Verification of

last work record and of the new job obtained was included.
The study covered a period of nine months, beginning in
April 1926 and continuing through December of the same
year. In a total of 361 applications, 132 wage earners were
out of work; and of this number 61 per cent were appli-
cants who had never before been known to the Association.
It is significant that of the 132 applicants who obviously
needed employment, only 42 made that their request, while
89, apparently seeing no hope of obtaining work, asked
for relief.

What manner of people were these 132, all workers and
all without work ? What was their educational background ?
Fifty or 37.9 per cent, the largest number, had had between
seventh and eighth grade education, 5 per cent had gone
past the eighth grade in school, while 12 per cent were with-

"A conference of the veterans," T. J.
Edmonds calls the Des Moines meet-
ing of the National Conference of
Social Work on another page. But the
veterans applauded roundly when two
young recruits of the profession step-
ped forward to receive the first and
second awards in the Harmon Quar-
terly contest for the best accounts of
new aspects of social work from John
A. Lapp, president of the Conference
and chairman of the jury of award.
Miss Alsberg's paper, which won the
first prize of $250, appears herewith;
the second and third prize-winners,
by Frances M. Potter of Rochester,
N. Y., and Edward A. Fitzpatrick of
Milwaukee, Wis., will come later.

out any schooling. Fourteen per cent of the total number
had received some trade or apprentice training. Thirty per
cent had left school in order to help support large families ;
14 per cent had been cut short in their school career because
of other social needs in the home, such as sickness and
desertion; while the remaining 56 per cent either did not
desire further education or were cut off because of lack
of facilities in rural communities, physical handicaps or
indifferent parents.

What of their employment history? Only 50 per cent of
the group were unskilled; 15 per cent were semi-skilled,
while 33.3 per cent were skilled. Twenty-seven had first
worked on farms, and 29 had begun their employment
experience in factories.

The study covered the jobs held during the last five years,
which showed employment trends. Thirteen per cent had
held not more than two positions during this period. Thirty-
six per cent, the largest group,
had between 3 and 5 jobs, 35 per
cent had held between 5 and 10
different jobs and 15 per cent
had held 10 or more. While the
largest number had 3 or more
types of jobs during that period,
73 per cent were following their
occupation. Ninety-five per cent
obtained jobs through their own
efforts or those of their friends,
while only 5 per cent ever used
agencies or unions in their en-
deavor to get work. For the most
part these individuals had been
out of work only a short time,
68 per cent for one month, 21
per cent for one week and 1 1
per cent for more than three
months. Only 13 of the group
had been discharged, but 60 had
been laid off because of the re-
duction of forces. Eighteen had
had their last employment on a

temporary basis, and 41 had quit because of dissatisfaction.
The last employment record of 51 per cent of this group
was entirely satisfactory, while 48 per cent were rated un-
desirable for a variety of causes all the way from dishonesty
to language difficulties.

What of the compensation that had come as a result of
their efforts as measured by minimum economic require-
ments? Forty-two had been earning less than they could
live on even on a minimum budget. Sixty had a sufficient
wage to meet the budgetary needs of the family, while 3C
were able to meet their budgetary expenses and have
balance at the end of the month. This then somew
represented the group of men applying to a case woi
agency under the stress of unemployment.

This whole fact-finding job was a part of the imm<



June 15. 1921

program of individual service. The information obtained
was used at once in an effort to provide the needed em-
ployment. When the work record was good, the man was
recommended for an available job. By this means in one
group of 93 selected for study, 42 were placed within one
week, and 40 more within one month. When the work
record was poor, the man was told frankly why he could
not be recommended. But as we had been keeping in close
touch with demands for employment, we were in a position
to suggest possible openings where he might apply and ob-
tain a position through his own efforts. A surprising num-
ber of these men obtained jobs in this way, undoubtedly
gaining thereby more than the job itself.

AS a result of this attention to the employment problem
/X in the case work program, requests for jobs increased
to the point at which the district was in danger of becoming
an employment bureau. This was overcome by carefully
considering every application and accepting only such as
presented true case work problems. Case workers in the
district have thus been able to see the essential value of
resources and are using what we know to be available em-
ployment, saving their own energies and that of their client
as well. Emphasis is placed on the securing of work rather
than the giving of relief, as was shown by the fact that only
$1,250.61 was expended on 132 families or an average of
$9.47 per family.

Turning now to the industries as such, these questions
suggest themselves: What of the history of the district it-
self? Just what sort of employment does it afford? How
diversified a field does it offer to workers seeking jobs?

The district, which is in the southern part of St. Louis,
is very old and has developed from a sparsely settled home
community to an overpopulated industrial center. Although
it is the hub of industry in this section of the city, unem-
ployment flourishes. The records of the Provident Asso-
ciation give evidence of peaks of unemployment in July and
August and again from October through March. For three
years this situation has been met by running far over the
allowance for relief to supply the immediate needs of
families who seemed to be cut off from any possible income
during the dull season.

Seventy-six industries were listed in the district. With
this as a directory the study was planned by the district
staff together with the district committee, composed of men
and women who had local social and business interests.
Each member of the committee served as a sponsor for in-
teresting the industries with whose personnel he was ac-
quainted. The employers' study, which included filling out
a schedule on each of the 76 industries, was the responsi-
bility of the senior visitor and district superintendent. By
careful planning, three factories a week were visited. An
attempt was made to classify the industries, to get in touch
with the key person of the industry and through him obtain
facts regarding the kind of labor employed, the scale of
wages, the hours of employment, the attitude toward re-
employment, and the methods which they preferred the
Provident Association to use in referring applicants for jobs.

Of these industries, 32 were found to produce iron, steel
and metal products ; 1 1 dealt in lumber and lumber supplies ;
and the remainder represented a not too diversified manu-
facture of chemicals, textiles, leather products, vehicles and
the like. This information covered the type of labor re-
quired and the character of work to be done. Second, it

was most enlightening to find that the Negro population
of the district is small because only 2O of the factories
employed Negro men and only 2 Negro women. Of 12,681
workers on this area, only 962 were Negroes. Third, the
fact that the largest factory in this section is one of the
very few in St. Louis which employs Mexican labor explains
why we have one of the largest Mexican settlements in this
city near at hand. Fourth, in general, physical conditions
in the industries were good. Fifty per cent had modern
equipment ; all but five were well ventilated ; only one was
noisy and all but nine were well lighted and ventilated.

Important as is this data, there is another factor of even
greater value: the change in the attitude of the employers
toward the case work effort and their participation in it.
The feeling gradually changed from one of indifference to
that of respect and confidence. The approach was made
possible by our mutual interest in the employee. It \vas
made evident from the beginning that no favors would be
asked and that our dealings would be on a strictly business
basis. We were interested at first in learning definite facts
about the industries in the section and their need for men.
The Association's workers were met invariably with the
same statement that because of their past experience in
receiving square pegs for round holes from various charity
organizations, it would be impossible to accept bur plan.
However, the proposition of verifying the last work record
of every man before referring him to a position appealed
to these business men as a worth-while scheme. They were
willing to enter into a "gentlemen's agreement" and
promised to consider the applicants. Besides giving in-
formation which often required thought and reference, they
offered valuable suggestions and some few volunteered their
services when we should be ready to gather statistics.

Two kinds of employers were represented in the district:
one type interested in production alone, the other in pro-
duction plus the human element. While the very bad con-
ditions are in the minority, those which do exist are de-
plorable. It is hard to believe that in an American city of
this size there exists in one particular factory a condition
which borders on peonage. This factory, employing foreign
labor, is in the heart of a foreign settlement, in which some
of the more prosperous countrymen maintain large boarding
houses. When a boarder is out of employment, he goes to
his landlord, who in turn takes him to the superintendent
of the factory. Before he is placed he signs an agreement
whereby his wages are given directly to the landlord, who
takes out what he considers his share before he gives the
remainder to the worker.

SOME few employers were most emphatic in their belief
that none but the unemployable applied to the Provi-
dent Association; otherwise why need they apply? One of
them challenged us with "If you ever have a good man, I
should like to know about him. I'd give him a job just to
prove my point." The very next day a man with whom the
Provident Association had had previous contact, and who
was known to be reliable, came to the office for a job. He
was sent to this factory. That was ten months ago and he
is still there. It is not the employer but the Provident
Association which has proved its point. This employer con-
tributed to the Community Fund this year for the first time.
The personnel director of another factory was skeptical
but agreed to give the organization an opportunity to prove
its theories. In the beginning (Continued on page 346)

Participating in Government

The Experiment of the League of Women Voters after Seven Years


INEVITABLE as its coming was, woman suffrage in
1920 arrived with something of the glamour of the
new and strange. Those most responsible for making
it come, after the fashion of humans participating in
an historic achievement, celebrated the victory and
started a new organization. It was to be an organization
not to perpetuate the joys of victory or to glorify its founders
and their descendants but one forearmed against the perils
of complacency and success by the size of its own job.

As the event of suffrage retreats, the individuality of the
National League of Women Voters which was its offspring
is beginning to emerge. Presumably the mainspring of its
existence has been the fact that the members of one sex
lad a relation to the vote which was new. The League has
recently held in Washington, in place of its usual delegate
convention, a meeting of its General Council composed of
ts board of directors and two officers of each of its forty-
:our state Leagues. Such a meeting is revealing, and this
one disclosed a continuing and increasing vigor which, seven
pears after suffrage, calls for explanation.

I believe the explanation lies in the fact that the League,
n the struggle of addressing itself to an almost impossible
task, has hit upon and developed methods which are them-
selves energizing and vitalizing. Not because it is com-
posed of new voters who are women, but because of the
ways it has found to relate the interest of citizens to govern-
ment, the League is significant today.

I would not for a moment minimize the importance of
the original elements of the experiment. Novelty of interest
s a great force. To all women enfranchised by the Nine-
teenth Amendment voting is a privilege comparatively new,
with many it is one as yet unrealized and unused. The
League is constantly dealing with the first-time voter both
among adult women and those just reaching twenty-one.
Women moreover have an aptitude for educational effort
and for organization. Long years of woman suffrage in
many western states, however, failed to produce any dis-
tinctive contribution to political organization.

What is the procedure by which a large organization can
act simultaneously as an educational agency and as a sup-
porter of a program of action? The two are apparently
ncompatible, yet in proper juxtaposition electric with
energy generated and released.

The immediate relation of study to use and action is
:haracteristic of adult education, even that which is not
strictly vocational. The immigrant studies English and the
Constitution in order to become a citizen. The bride-elect
takes cooking lessons in order to feed her husband without
fiasco. It is political education for and through participation
n government which the League of Women Voters is
attempting vocational education by the laboratory and the
"case" method. The method has proved itself stimulating
to educational invention in a most neglected field.

"The League," said Miss Sherwin in her president's

address at its recent General Council meeting, "is an ex-
periment in political education to promote the participation
of women in government."

It is to sharpen the challenge of the vote, to vivify the
educational process of study and discussion, quite as much
as to achieve the success of particular measures, that the
League supports a legislative program. It follows that the
League must constantly readdress itself to shifting needs and
conditions. Such action is easy enough for a small group of
like-minded people which can leave its affairs to a small
governing body. .The League, however, is large and the
common denominator among its members, aside from sex,
is no more than a general desire to use tKe vote intelligently.
How can such an organization act on current controversial
issues without disruption?

The answer is in a scrupulous regard for representative
procedure within its own ranks. The recent Council meet-
ing received the reports of two committees which had been
going over this procedure with a fine tooth comb. The
recommendations for change were slight but all in the
direction of increasing advance consideration of the pro-
gram 1 on the part of the local Leagues and individual mem-
bers, and the understanding use of the program after
adoption. Long ago the practice was established of sending
out, three months in advance of the convention at which
action is to be taken, printed copies of the proposed program
of work with all proposed new matter indicated in red ink.
This preliminary period is one of study, consultation and
discussion not of referendum. The deliberative freedom
of the convention itself is carefully preserved. Two other
points should be mentioned items are customarily placed
upon the study program for a year or more before going on
the active list, and the number of items added in a year is
small, the rate being about equal to that by which other
items are written off through accomplishment.

THE three additions this year illustrate with particular
clearness the League's habit of dealing with "situations
not subjects." The General Council which takes the place
of the convention in alternate years, is limited in action on
program to proposals due to "altered conditions." To the
program of the Efficiency in Government Department,
therefore, was added the study of corrupt practices legis-
lation. The Child Welfare program was modified so as to
permit support of measures state or federal to continue
programs of maternity and infancy hygiene in the states
after the expiration of the Sheppard-Towner Act in 1929.
In the Department of International Cooperation to Prevent
War, arbitration has been for several years an item for
study. There has now been substituted active "support of
the settlement of international difficulties by arbitration or
other peaceful means and support of treaties having the
same end in view."

A proposal to add the Eighteenth Amendment and the



June 15, 192',

Volstead Act to the study program was not adopted be-
cause of the lack of information, adequate and available as
a basis of study, and because the League itself lacks the
means and personnel to conduct investigations in so large
a field. On the other hand the League will encourage study
of the results of the Eighteenth Amendment by a qualified
research foundation.

Thus the League has worked out for itself a procedure
which spells vitality and health. It is, in brief, to seek first
the facts, then a plan of action to meet the facts. The
method is slow and often criticised by eager spirits who
would press forward even though the rank and file trail
helplessly and perhaps resentfully behind. Yet the League
has found that the caution and care with which it makes
commitments are in direct ratio to the constancy and valor
with which they can thereafter be supported.

Occasionally criticism jumps into the other camp. Why
should the League take action on "controversial" matters?
Why not stick to conventional educational work? Women
of exceptional experience and training who may command
expert knowledge of some aspects of public affairs are some-
times the last to realize that they are now a part of that
ultimately responsible multitude, the electorate. If a citizen
organization like the League, fact-facing and fact-finding
as it is, with only disinterested motives in dealing with

public questions, cannot take a position on controversial
issues after study, discussion and convention debate, ther
what kind of body is to do so?

The answer is of course organizations motivated bj
bias or self-interest or attachment to special creed. It i:
legitimate, as it is inevitable, that such organizations shoulc
continually press upon government, as they do, their claims
for favor and exemption. The question is whether anj
organization can be maintained without some animating
special interest. "Good citizenship" is too vague even foi
the League. Its departments of Efficiency in Government
Public Welfare in Government, and International Coopera
tion to Prevent War, so named, betray the beginnings of i
creed, while the fourth on the Legal Status of Womer
shows at least a touch of direct group interest.

Do the methods worked out by the League offer a patten
for other organizations which would serve as a medium foi
the expression of citizen opinion ? I do not know. Thi
factor that is too likely to be overlooked is the difficulty o
organization itself. Unless the aim is fundamentally tha
of the education of many individuals, it is really very mucl
simpler to band together the chosen and congenial few
appoint a small executive committee, and proceed. Onl;
the educational needs of the voter commend the mon
patient experiment.

Mussolini Butts into "Opium"


SLOWLY but surely, inexorably, the problem of
"Opium," meaning generally that of the warfare
against the illicit traffic in narcotic drugs, ap-
proaches the stage of brass tacks. The smoke-
screen behind which the nations profiting in one way
and another from the production of this stuff have been
carrying it on, emerging from time to time to utter pious
platitudes, is lifting. Nay, it is pretty well gone. It is
doubtful whether it can be laid again. Hereafter the thing
will have to be done in the daylight, and daylight is the one
thing that this business cannot stand, for it is an affair
of secrecy, of dark ways and vain tricks and subterfuges.

A new factor has come into the international situation ;
just such a factor as was needed. Italy has butted in.
"Butted in"- .the phrase is peculiarly apt. From the point
of view of the self-perpetuating close communion of pro-
ducing interests which hitherto has had entire not to say
quite undisturbed charge of the subject, it is nothing short
of impertinence. For Italy neither cultivates the poppy or
the cocoa-leaf at home or in any colony, nor manufactures
any of the drugs. Nevertheless she has elbowed her way
to the very front of the conflict, and is not only talking
out loud in places where whispering has hitherto been de
rigueur, but showing a disposition to indulge in "rough
stuff." For those who like to have things done decently and
in order, in accordance with the precedents, it is worse
than disconcerting; for those who want to see the lid taken
off and something real done, it is all to the good. The
gum-shoe period is over.

In the Fifth Commission of the Assembly of the League

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