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Full text of "Interstate migration. Hearings before the Select Committee to Investigate the Interstate Migration of Destitute Citizens, House of Representatives, Seventy-sixth Congress, third session, pursuant to H. Res. 63 and H. Res. 491, resolution to inquire into the interstate migration of destitute citizens, to study, survey and investigate the social and economic needs and the movement of indigent persons across state lines"

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Given By 
tj. 5. SU?T. Of F'^C ^^TTKy- 










H. Res. 63 and H. Res. 491 



JULY 29, 30, AND 31, 1940 

Printed for the use of the Select Committee to Investigate the 
Interstate Migration of Destitute Citizens 









H. Res. 63 and H. Res. 491 



JULY 29, 30, AND 31, 1940 

I'rinted for the use of the Select Committee to Investigate the 
Interstate Migration of Destitute Citizens 

260370 WASHINGTON : 1940 





JOHN H. TOLAN, California, Chairman 



Dr. ROBEKT K. Lamb, Chief Investigator 
Elmer A. Reese, Secretary 

RiCHAHD S. Blaisdell. Editor 
Harold D. Cdllen, Associate Editor 

James S. Owens, Chief Field Investigator 

New York Hearings, July 29, 30, and 31, 1940 

Testimony of— ^ ^ . ^t ^r , ^^^° 

Adie, David C, commissioner of social welfare, btate of JNew York. 

Address: Albany, N. Y 215,220 

Agnew, J. Fletcher, in charge of confidential bureau, Salvation Army. 

Address: New York, N. Y 327 

Arana, Mrs. Antonia, migrant from Puerto Rico. Address: 1599 

Madison Avenue, New York, N. Y 130 

Astrofsky, Ralph, director, division of shelter care, department of 
welfare, New York City. Address: 376 LaFayette Street, New 
York, N. Y 201,206 

Bradley, Andrew J., unemployed miner, Pennsylvania field. Address: 

Freeland, Pa 146 

Cole, Mrs. Rebecca, Negro migrant from Memphis, Tenn. Address: 

40 West One Hundred Twenty-ninth Street, New York, N. Y 280 

Dickason, Gladys, director, research department, Amalgamated 

Clothing Workers. Address: New York, N. Y 261 

Edwards, Arthur J., chairman of subcommittee on migrant child 
labor in New Jersey, Congregational Christian Churches. Address: 
Montclair, N. J 355, 380 

Eldridge, Russell C, director, New Jersey State Employment Service. 

Address: Trenton, N. J 103 

Ewart, James C, farmer, chairman of committee of New Jersey State 
Potato Growers Association and president of State Board of Agri- 
culture. Addretss: Cranbury, N. J 239 

Goodhue, Frank W., director, division of aid and relief. State Depart- 
ment of Public Welfare, Massachusetts. Address: Boston, Mass. _ 162 

Hane, Mrs. Naomi, unemployed migrant shirt worker. Address: 

Shamokin Dam, Pa 277 

Holloman, Joe Frank, migrant ovster shucker. Address: Port 

Norris, N. J 231 

Heard, John I., migrant apple picker from Georgia. Address: Care 

of Joe Carr, Freehold, N. J 235 

Hill, James, farmer, Mercer County, N. J, Address: Route 1, 

Hightstown, N. J 189 

Irizarry, Floretino, migrant from Puerto Rico. Address: 1576 Lex- 
ington Avenue, New York, N. Y 122 

Jones, Miss, alias used by young girl migrant. Address: None given, _ 132 

Kennedy, M. S., unemployed photographer. Address: 2472 Seventh 

Avenue, New York, N. Y 172 

Kramer, Sam, variety actor. Address: New York, N. Y _ 331 

Kreuger, C. George, deputy commissioner of labor and chairman of 
New Jersev Conference of State Departments on Migratory Labor. 
Address : Trenton, N.J 69 

Lafferty, Robert, assistant director of attendance. Board of Pubhc 
Education, Philadelphia, Pa. Address: 849 South Fifty-seventh 
Street, Philadelphia, Pa 347 

LaGuardia, Fiorella H., mayor of New York City and chairman, 
United States Conference of Mayors. Address: City Hall, New 
York, N. Y 2 

Lapolla, Joseph, mi2;rant bean picker in New Jersey. Address: 1326 

South Carlisle Street, Philadelphia, Pa -- 195 

Leet, Glen, administrator of public assistance. Department of Social 

Welfare, State of Rhode Island. Address: Providence, R. I 138 

Lepper, H. J., administrative assistant, New Jersey State Employ- 
ment Bureau Employment Service. Address: Trenton, N. J 86 



Testimony of — Coutiuued. ^*^® 

Lett, Howard A., director, Urban League of New Jersey. Address: 

120 Littleton Avenue, Newark, N. J 339 

Lorimer, Dr. Frank, professor of population studies, the American 
University, Washington, D. C, and consultant to the National 
Resources Committee and to the Virginia State Planning Board. 
Address: The American University, Washington, D. C 10 

Lowrv, Edith E., executive secretary. Council of Women for Home 

Missions. Address: 297 Fourth Avenue, New York, N. Y 298 

MacDonald, William H., chief of bureau of local health administra- 
tion. State department of health. Address: Trenton, N. J 84 

Maxwell, Mrs. Jane, migrant from Georgia. Address: 27 West 

One Hundred and Twenty-seventh Street, New York, N. Y_- 293 

McCall, Miss Bertha, general director. National Travelers Aid Asso- 
ciation. Address: New York, N. Y 43 

O'Dav, Hon. Caroline, Representative at large in Congress of the 

United States, from the State of New York. Address: Rye, N. Y_. 316 

Robbins, Elliott Philip, seaman. Address: Care of National Mari- 
time Union, New York, N. Y 257 

Soulotis, James, naturahzed Greek migrant, now a fruit peddler. 
Address: 498 West One Hundred and Thirty-third Street, New 
York, N. Y 284 

Schoeffel, Maj. Charles F., deputy superintendent of New Jersey State 

police. Address: Trenton, N. J 81 

Snyder, Nathaniel A., consultant on residence, department of public 

assistance, Philadelphia. Address: Philadelphia, Pa 321 

Sprafkin, Benjamin, chairman of section on unattached and homeless, 

Welfare Council, New York City. Address: New York, N. Y 212 

Squires, Clayton S., director of State aid. State welfare department, 

Connecticut. Address: Hartford. Conn.- 193 

Taylor, Ruth, commissioner of welfare, Westchester County, N. Y. 

Address: Valhalla, N. Y 251,253 

Travis, Robert Fielding, unemployed salesman. Address: 139 Pacific 

Street, Brooklyn, N. Y 177 

Vivaldi, Jose M., chief of Puerto Rico office, Department of Labor, 
New York City. Address: 1770 Madison Avenue, New York, 
N. Y 116 

Wadsworth, James J., State assemblyman from Livingston County, 
N. Y., and member of State Joint Legislative Committee on Inter- 
state Cooperation. Address: Geneseo, N. Y 151 





Background of Internal Migration 

Frank Lorimer _ _ _ 


Sumniarv of State Settlement Laws . _ 

Bertha McCall 

Bertha McCall 

Bertha McCall.. 

C. George Krueger 

H. J. Lepper 


"After Five Years"— Ellen C. Potter 

Digest of Resolutions Adopted by Committee 

on Care of Transient and Homeless. 
Migratory Labor in New Jersey 

New" Jersey Conference of State Depart- 
ments on Migratory Labor. 
Survey of Field Workers in New .lersey 



New Jersey Conference of State Depart- 
ments on Migratory Labor. 
Public Health Prohlerrs Presented to the 

State of New Jersey by Migratory Workers. 
Movement of Puerto Risans to New York 


Relirf as State and Federal Problem 

TraiisieTicy in the State of Massachusetts 

Transient Problem in New York City 

Problem of the Destitute Migrant 

Migratory Labor Situation in New Jersey 

Potato Area. 

Migrant Problem in Westchester County 

Migration of the Shirt Industry 

Wm. H. MacDonald 

Jose M. Vivaldi 

James J. Wadsworth 

Frank W. Goodhue 

Ralph Astrofsky 




David C. Adie 

James C. Ewart. 


Ruth Taylor .. 


Gladys Dickason 

Edith Lowry 

Harold A. I ett . 


Report of New Jersey Migrant Centers 

Problems of the Negro Migrant 

Child Migratory Agricultural Workers 

"A Summer in the Country" — National Child 

Labor Committee. 
"Sick, Broke, and Footloose" 


Robert Lafferty. 


Arthur J. Edwards 

H. F. Kleinschmidt, M. D. 

Arthur W. Stuart 

Arthur W. Stuart 


Shade-Grown Tobacco . 


Acreage, Income, and Employment in Agri- 
culture in New Jersey. 



MONDAY, JULY 29, 1940 

House of RepresentatHves, 
Select Committee to Investigate the 
Interstate Migration of Destitute Citizens, 

Washington^ D. C. 

The committee met at 10 a. m., in the Federal Court Building, New 
York, N. Y., Hon. John H. Tolan (chairman), presiding: 

Present: Representatives John H. Tolan (chairman), Claude V. 
Parsons, John J. Sparkman, Carl T. Curtis, and Frank C. Osmers, Jr. 

Also present: Robert K. Lamb, chief investigator; James S. Oveens, 
chief field investigator ; Ariel E. V. Dunn, fielcl investigator ; Edward 
J. Rowell, field investigator; Henry H. Collins, Jr., field investigator; 
and Alice Tuohy, field secretary. 

The Chairman. The committee will come to order. 

We will note the presence of Congressman Sparkman, of Alabama, 
Congressman Curtis, of Nebraska, Congressman Osmers, of New Jer- 
sey, and Congressman Parsons, who is taking care of that great ship 
America^ which will be in here this afternoon, will be here at that time. 

This committee was appointed and is holding these hearings under 
the authority contained in House Resolutions 63 and 491, of the third 
session of the Seventy-sixth Congress of the United States. These 
resolutions are as follows: 

[H. Res. 63, 76th Cong., 3d sess.] 

Resolved, That the Speaker appoint a select committee of five Members of 
the House, and that such committee be instructed to inquire into the interstate 
migration of destitute citizens, to study, survey and investigate the social and 
economic needs and the movement of indigent persons across State lines, obtain- 
ing all facts possible in relation thereto which would not only be of public 
interest but which would aid the House in enacting remedial legislation. The 
committee shall report to the House, with recommendations for legislation, and 
shall have the right to report at any time. In the event the committee transmits 
its report at a time when the House is not in session, a record of such transmittal 
shall be entered in the proceedings of the Journal and Congressional Record of 
the House on the opening day of the next session of Congress and shall be 
numbered and printed as a report of such Congress. 

That said select committee, or any subcommittee thereof, is hereby authorized 
to sit and act during the present Congress at such times and places within the 
United States, whether or not the House is sitting, has recessed, or has ad- 
journed, to hold such hearings, to require the attendance of such witnesses and 
the production of such books, papers, and documents, by subpena or otherwise, 
and to take such testimony as it deems necessary. Subpenas shall be issued 
vmder the signature of the chairman and shall be served by any person desig- 
nated by him. The chairman of the committee or any member thereof may 
administer oaths to witnesses. Every person who, having been summoned as a 
witness by authority of said committee, or any subcommittee thereof, willfully 
makes default, or who, having appeared, refuses to answer any question perti- 
nent to the investigation heretofore authorized, shall be held to the penalties 
provided by section 102 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (U. S. C, 
title 2, sec. 192). 



[H. Res. 491, 76th Cong., 3d sess.] 

Resolved, That the expenses of conducting the investigation and study author- 
ized by H. Res. 63 of the present Congress, incurred by the Select Committee 
to Investigate the Interstate Migration of Destitute Citizens, acting as a whole 
or by subcommittee, not to exceed $20,000, including expenditures for the em- 
ployment of clerical, stenographic, and other assistants, shall be paid out of 
the contingent fund of the House on vouchers authorized by such committee or 
subcommittee thereof conducting such investigation and study or any part 
thereof, signed by the chairman of the committee or subcommittee and approved 
by the Committee on Accounts. 

Sec. 2. The official stenographers to committees may be used at all hearings 
held in the Disti'ict of Columbia, if not otherwise officially engaged. 

Sec. 3. The heads of the executive departments and other executive agencies 
are requested to detail personnel temporarily to assist the committee or subcom- 
mittee upon request of the chairman thereof. 



The Chairman, The first witness will be Mayor LaGuardia. I want 
to say on behalf of the committee that we think this is very fine of you, 
Mr. Mayor, to appear here, and you can take your time and give your 
message to us in any way that you desire. 

Mayor LaGuardia. May I sit down and be informal ? 

The Chairman. Yes; you are our colleague, anyway. 

Mayor LaGuardia. Mr. Chairman, I consider it fairly timely and 
helpfid that the House of Representatives should give this matter 
of transients, or migration, attention at this time. It is a problem 
which concerns the whole country, and every city in the United 
States in one way or another is affected and vitally interested. There- 
fore, Mr. Chairman, I will not make any recommendations today; I 
will reserve the opportunity, if you will permit me, to present recom- 
mendations to this committee which will be the recommendations of 
every city in the country. 

The Chairman. Just make that notation, that the mayor will be per- 
mitted to make his presentation subsequently to become a part of 
the record. 

Mayor LaGuardia. You see, we have made a survey of this ; that 
is, the United States Conference of Mayors, which includes the mayor 
of every city in the country, over 50,000, and so when you have the 
recommendations you can be assured that it will be the recommenda- 
tions of all of the cities. We have no division of opinion on it at all. 

Now, this question of migrants, and this movement of large bodies 
of men is not new in our country. It has been accentuated lately, 
and there are two reasons for that. 


One is the more convenient and rapid means of transportation. 

The other is the technological displacement of labor on the farms. 

In the early days there would be several thousand men migrating 
from one crop area to another, who would find work, and then earn 
enough to live according to their way for the balance of the year, and 
then commence all over again in the planting season, harvesting season. 


and in the shearing season, and thus they would go from one place to 

Transportation was slower, employment was greater, and it did not 
really constitute a serious problem. 

In later years, of course, through the use of machinery on the 
farms, scores are employed now where a thousand were employed 
before, and we are all familiar with that. Even in the cotton area 
they are holding back machinery at this moment, and we would have 
still a greater problem if that were not done. 

Now, cities that are iliore humane are penalized for it, because 
where provision is made, and care given, it is always an attraction, 
and therefore you will find that certain cities in the country that are 
more attractive than others for this kind of people are penalized. 


Now, gentlemen, the first approach to this problem is the health 
problem, and you will find that Congress has given attention to the 
subject in an act of February 15, 1893, chapter 114, section 3. That 
provides for the repatriation of anyone from one State to another who 
is afflicted with any contagious or communicable disease, so that you 
will find your legislative task much easier by reason of the fact that 
there is precedent for it. 

A great many people — may I say to my colleagues 1 approach this 
from your viewpoint — a great many of our colleagues in the House, 
you will find, will view this as impairing the free movement of citizens 
from one State to another. They do so because they are not familiar 
with all of the details and danger that it involves, and this precedent 
I am sure will be very helpful. 

In the act of July 2, 1902, you will find that more force was given to 
this act of 1893 by providing local powers, or powers to the local Fed- 
eral authorities. 

Now, gentlemen, the act is all right, it is sufficiently broad. You 
may have to include "possessions" in it. I am not so sure, but the 
method of its enforcement is not clear. All that the act requires are 
appropriations for the United States Public Health Service. If they 
have appropriations to carry it out you will relieve many cities of great 
hospital expense, you will stop the spreading of disease, and you will 
do a great deal in connection with the very problem you are seeking 
to solve. 

Let me repeat, the act is there. All that it requires is money for the 
United States Public Health Service to effectuate its provisions. That 
would take care of tubercular cases and venereal cases, and it would 
stop the spread, and in the long run every dollar so spent would save 
$10 in the country somewhere, either for the Federal or for the local 
governments. I want to commend that act to you. If we could have 
that act enforced it would be a great relief for us. So you see the Con- 
gress has already taken care of people afflicted with communicable 

The Chairman. You would recommend such an appropriation? 

Mayor LaGuardia. Yes; and you will find no division of opinion 
on that, among the Public Health Service and among the mayors, and 
surely there could not be even among the States. 



Now, the next group should be treated separately ; that is, the seaman 
group. They are treated separately by the W. P. A., entirely sepa- 
rately. In treating these seamen, I think if you will include them in 
the unemployment insurance system and provide for their care during 
times they are not at sea, through the proper Federal agency, you will 
be helping a great deal. They are in a class by themselves. They are 
on shore sometimes through no fault of their own, and they should not 
be treated or provided for under the same general provisions as you 
will provide for the migrants other than seamen. As I say, they are in 
a class by themselves. They are easily identified by the records that 
they have to carry with them, and there are two important considera- 
tions : First, they must be cared for at seaports at all times. If they get 
away from a seaport, I should think that they could be treated as 
losing their status as seamen. Second, they should be covered into 
the unemployment insurance system, Tliere is no reason why they 
cannot, and such a step will relieve a great many. Third, in order 
to retain their status as seamen, and there would be certain privileges 
in that status, after they have gone beyond their period of unem- 
ployment insurance, and they are still on shore, then they ought to be 
cared for by the Maritime Commission or such Federal authority as 
has charge of shipping. We need them. We need to keep them 
skilled. We don't want them to grow stale, and yet the very calling 
of their occupation is such that they are "beached" at times. If the 
ship goes into drydock, the men are "beached" because a great many 
ships have been taken out of commission. 

That disposes of another group. 


Now, of course, we have the individual cases, gentlemen, of young 
people who are attracted to the cities. Some think that they are going 
to be starred at the Metropolitan, and others expect to become radio 
stars. Some get jobs, and I do not include them at all in this general 
problem. The problem here is the chronic traveler, the chronic wan- 
derer, those who go in groups, but there is not a city in the country that 
cannot cope with those cases, which are always dramatic, and which 
are the exceptional ones. 

For instance, during the world's fair, we had very little trouble. 
Why ? Because we provided for it ahead of time. I established two 
stations, one at Manhattan, and one at Queens, so that if young people 
were picked up wandering, and destitute, who had come here hoping 
that they would hnd employment, we would not have to book them at 
the police station at all. We just had this office, this home, and we 
immediately communicated with their home town, and transportation 
was furnished by their families to take them home. If the family 
could not furnish it, we sent them home and we had no problem at all, 
although some of the experts predicted that we would have thousands 
and thousands. We just had a few hundred, and there was no problem 
at all. 

Here is another example. There is a certain amateur hour here — 
talent program. You all know Major Bowes. In the beginning he 
attracted people to New York, or they said that they came to compete, 


not knowing the rules. I took it up with Major Bowes, and I had no 
trouble at all. If anyone claims that he came to go on that hour, 
he will send them home, and we have no trouble about that. 

In the big cities, of course, we are going to have people w^ho come 
looking for fame and fortunes, but that is not one of the big problems 


Now, in New York State, the transient program did not begin to 
operate under State and municipal auspices in New York City until 
July 1, 1937. From September of 1935 to July 1, 1937, there was no 
provision for transient relief as such. They were taken care of by 
private agencies. 

From July of 1933 to September of 1935, there was a Federal tran- 
sient program under which the Federal Government paid the full 
expense of transients here. 

Now, I want to come back to that in just a minute. 


Transients are divided into two groups, in this State. We have 
those that we call the "State charge^ cases. The State of New York 
provides for them. All the city spends is the administrative costs of 
the nonsettlement bureau, and the State reimburses us for 40 percent 
of the salaries of administrative employees. The burden is on us to 
prove that it is a transient case. They call them "State charge" cases, 
but in the case of transients we have to prove that they are not residents 
of the State and City of New York, and they are therefore not entitled 
to relief under our local plan, and the State pays the entire cost. 

Then we have the reimbursable cases. They have a technical name 
for them, too. They are called "charge backs." When we have a case 
in the city of New York, that is, a resident of the State of New York 
who is not a resident of the city, then the State pays 40 percent, and 
the city or the locality or the relief district from w^hich the transients 
came pays the 60 percent. 

We are often stuck in that, because our sister cities or towns up- 
State disclaim any ownership or any proprietary interest in them, 
and during that time w^e are stuck with the difference. 

Now, with all of that, gentlemen, the cost to the city is $682,000 an- 
nually. That is just the administrative costs, and the cost of those 
cases that we have to pay wheref or nonsettlement is not proved. 

From the time the program started in 1937, $5,240,000 has been spent 
by the State and city. That is, since 1937. That is $5,240,000 by the 
State and the city. 

The cost last year was $1,950,000. 

Now, to give you an idea of how this jumps, I wish to point out that 
in September 1937 there were 597 cases, while in June 1940 there were 
4,198 cases, and these were only the "State-charge" cases, with no settle- 
ment in the State at all. We had 4,773 cases, including charge backs, in 
all, 3,494 of which were families. These 4,773 cases represented 12,119 

Now, this is what we get. Families that come here bring with them 
their relatives and friends from other sections of the country. They 
will come here with the families, and we have them. 


Now, gentlemen, in a city like New York, the problem is entirely- 
different than what it is in" a rural district. If that family is desti- 
tute, law or no law, we have them on our hands. If they can't pay 
rent, we find them on the sidewalk. In a great many cases, gentle- 
men, this does not represent the entire number of families who come 
here. The human element always enters into it, and a family will 
come here to New York and after a few days it is destitute and applies 
for relief. 

Now, it is a very difficult problem. 

You will hear from the director of the division of transient care, and 
he believes that there is some very good material in this group, young, 
energetic, and willing men and women. They are not of the old type 
that we used to think of, well, a generation ago, and he believes that 
they are by no means hopeless material. 

Now, in' addition to this, of course, you know we have a municipal 
lodginghouse, where meals are served every day. Very few ques- 
tions are asked about it, and I would like to have you gentlemen 
make a surprise call at the municipal lodginghouse. Don't tell us 
when you are going, because, you know, they are liable to primp 
up a bit, and I don't want them to do that. 1 want you to see how 
it is. 

The Chairman. Have you any figures on that? 

Mayor LaGuaedia. Yes ; I have some figures on the homeless ; 16,025 
cases a month. 

The Chairman. Can we have that for the record? Would you just 
give the high spots? 

Mayor LaGuardia. The lodginghouse has 2,800 cases a day, and we 
are filled. I personally want to invite you to attend it at your own time 
and convenience. Just look and see what it is. 

Then we have, of course. Camp LaGuardia. 

The Chairman. Does the city handle the finances of that alone? 

Mayor LaGuardia. We get reimbursed 40 percent by the State, and 
40 percent on Camp LaGuardia. At the latter, we started off with the 
idea that we would send middle-aged men and older men where they 
would have a camp for themselves and do all of the work required 
and have a chance to rehabilitate themselves. The turn-over is very 
satisfactory. They find employment in the neighborhood. We raise 
vegetables there which we send to other institutions there, and we have 
been successful at everything except in raising rabbits for culture 

Mr. OsMERS. If I may interrupt you there, what do you do when 
the total number of applicants at the municipal lodginghouse exceeds 
your accommodations for a night's lodging? What do you do with 
those men? 

Mayor LaGuardia. We take them to privately owned commercial 

Mr. OsMERS. And the city participates 60 percent in that and the 
State 40 percent? 

Mayor LaGuardia, Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Is it on the increase or decrease? 

Mayor LaGuardia. I think now it is holding its own, but slightly 

Mr. Curtis. I just want to ask a question at this point. These 
2,300 per day that are in your lodging quarters, and those people 


who come to Camp LaGuardia, what percent of those people are 
interstate transients ? 

Mayor LaGuardia. I do not know about that. Of the homeless 
themselves, only about 2 percent. 

Our transients are 2 percent interstate. That brings up another 
question. They acquire their residence here by coming here, and 
then going oft' relief for a year. It seems to me that where the 
original entry is accompanied by need for relief, some provision 
should be made to prevent a person from acquiring a right after 
entering a State under such conditions. You can readily see that they 
come here, and we care for them, and then they manage to go off, 
and they account for themselves for a period of a year, and then we 
get them right back and they are our own. 


Now, this question, gentlemen, under our form of government, is 
entirely a Federal question. There is no other way. Now, I want 
to anticipate some recommendations that will be made by some of 
the private social agencies, and that is of giving grants to the States 
and letting the States care for it. I think that would be most unsatis- 
factory. It will involve so much administrative costs, and so much 
exchange of correspondence, and such an involved administration, 
that it will be very costly. It should be a Federal administration 

One of the recommendations is that the Federal Government pro- 
vide these grants and then if the State refuses to recognize the resi- 
dence of the particular individual, some board of the Federal Gov- 
ernment should decide. 

Can you see the complicated machinery that that would involve? 
We would have to have thousands of boards sitting all over the 
country to decide upon the residence of an individual, and then cases 
could go to Washington on an appeal. 

Why, I do not think that it would justify any such expenditure. 
If the Federal Government has it, it is immaterial whether the indi- 
vidual is a resident of Alabama, Florida, or Maine. It is a Federal 
problem, and they have to adjust that case as best they can, in the 
interests of the community and the individual concerned, and that is 
why I so strongly recommend that it should be Federal adminis- 

I know that all of my colleagues, mayors of the cities, will concur 
in that opinion, but as I stated at the opening, we will present formal 
recommendations as the mayors of this country through the United 
States Conference of Mayors. 

The Chairman. Eight on that point, we are starting out with this 
idea, that we do not know much about this problem, but we have not 
only contacted the mayors and the governments of the States that we 
are going to visit but we are contacting the mayors in every State 
of the Union, on the theory that it is a national problem, and before 
we file our report you will receive, Mr. Mayor, a tentative report 
consisting of the recommendations, as you can give us your ideas too.' 

Now, is there any question? 

Mr. OsMERS. Well, I have one question in mind that seems to have 
cropped up in our investigations at New Jersey yesterday. It seems 



that in New Jersey, because of the proximity of New York and 
Philadelphia, that 'is, New York and Philadelphia, a great many 
of our destitute migrants or migrants, as soon as they become des- 
titute, either go to New York City or Pliiladelphia, as the case may 
be, because in a large city apparently they feel they have a better 
chance for employment or relief or for whatever benefits they might 
receive; and there is one point that has struck me through what 
investigations we have made so far, and that is an exact knowledge 
of the background, or the residence, or the domicile, or the settle- 
ment of the migrant. 

There is an absolute lack of information on that subject, and it 
has occurred to me that we may as a result of our work here, and 
I would like to get the mayor's opinion on this, find that we are 
going to have to adopt in this country some sort of universal regis- 
tration, or internal passports, if you want to call them that, although 
they would not be passports, so that if you find a man in New York 
here, wandering about the streets, and he says that he lives in 
Brooklyn, and he does not live in Brooklyn, that you will have some 
way of checking on that man, and I wonder what you think of 
that idea? 

Mayor LaGuardia. I think that Mhat you mean is a sort of identi- 
fication card? 

]Mr. OsMEES. Right. 

Mayor LaGuardia. More of an identification card than a formal 
document, such as a passport? 
]SIr. OsMERS. Yes. 

Mayor LaGuardia. Of course, identification is always helpfid. It is 
in large cities. "We have that problem several times a day in locating 
persons who have strayed or been lost, or are injured, and, of course, 
it is a great help. I do not see how there could be any objection to 
any system requiring a certificate of identification for everybody. 
It bas got to be for everybody, though. 

Mr. Osmers. I mean for everyone. I mean there is so much talk 
going about today as to subversive activities, just changing the sub- 
ject for just a moment, and a lack of knowledge as to the exact 
background of a lot of our citizens, that such a thing might be 

ISIayor LaGuardia. Well, of course, if you are looking into back- 
ground, then you are going beyond the scope of a certificate of 
identification. In other words, a certificate of identification gives 
the name and the address and the residence of the citizen, and I 
do not think that there would be any objection to that. It should 
not be made an inquisition. 

INIr. OsMERS. To change the subject there for a minute, in your 
opening remarks you concentrated on the subject of health, and I 
think that that is a mighty important phase of the problem. It has 
been found that a good many of these njigrant workers of the State 
of New Jersey are infected with contagious and communicable dis- 
eases. They are only in our State from 2 to 6 weeks, and it is a 
mighty difficult problem to enforce our very good State laws on 
communicable diseases because they leave before the treatment has 
had a chance to take effect. I wonder if you have any suggestions 
there, whether the Federal Goverimient should keep following them 
around ? 


Mayor LaGuardia. They have to, and you will find that this stat- 
ute, if it could only be carried out, would be a good help. Venereal 
disease would not spread. 

Now, there is another side to this, which is rather delicate, and it 
will bring forth, perhaps, a great deal of controversy and discussion 
in the House. That is the beet industry. 

If the beet industry cannot survive without bringing a large number 
of people from Mexico, as the}" used to do when I was in the House, 
then I think that the soil had better be turned to some other crop. As 
you go into some of the beet States 3'ou are going to find very strong 
resistance to any control of or any limitation on the large numbers of 
migrants, because they are dependent entirely upon the seasonal work, 
and upon very cheap labor. I do not know if it has changed since the 
time that I looked into it as a Member of the House, but they used to 
bring just hundreds of families from Mexico, and they would be paid 
by the ton. They would turn their little children loose in the field and 
everyone in the family would work. They lived in boxcars and worked 
during the season, and then were sent back home. 

That is not a wholesome condition, and the debate in the House 
was very bitter on that subject. It is a very delicate subject. 

Mr. Curtis. Mr. Mayor, would you say that the type of interstate 
migrant, such as a potato picker, a beet worker, or something of that 
kind, where they come through several States to a certain point 
before knowing definitely that they have a job, and they have an 
anchor which thev can go back to, that State is willing to accept 

Now, they create some problems of sanitation and health, and now 
and then some temporary relief, but should that group be dealt with 
separately from the group of families that have lost their farms or 
their business, or something, and they are just, you might say, wan- 
derers, and if they are dismissed from the citj^ or the State of New 
York they have no place to go, no State or locality accepts them as 
their own? 

Mayor LaGuardia. I think that that phase of the problem 

Mr. Curtis. You feel that it is two different problems ? 

Mayor LaGuardia. Yes; and your specific illustration, I think, is 
susceptible of solution. Assuming that the Federal Government takes 
cognizance of this as a Federal problem, it can easily provide that for 
seasonal work, such as potatoes, the community desiring the addi- 
tional seasonal help simply registers that there is such demand, and 
the community sending them, or the people who are actually leaving 
register that they are going for seasonal work. Then provision ought 
to be made in some way for their return home. Either the wage 
accepted should be sufficient to include their keep and return home, 
or should provide that at the end of the season they will get their 
carfare or bus fare home. That would be an orderly movement. 

Mr. Curtis. Now, have jour agencies made any analysis of these 
families that are not seeking seasonal work, but these other inter- 
state migrants, as to what territories they come from? Can you say 
that a certain percent come from a certain locality in the South, or 
some other point? 


What I am getting at is that there may be an economic problem 
in that territory that is dragging people out; that a remedy can 
be applied there so that those people are not just homeless wan- 
derers ? 

Mayor LaGuardia. I think that we do that. Our problem is mostly 
from the South, that is, southern farms. We do not have much from 
west of the Mississippi. 

The Chairman. Mr. Mayor, I think I speak the feelings of the 
committee when I say that we are very grateful to you for appear- 
ing here. You are the first witness in the first hearing to find the 
facts relating to the migration of destitute citizens, that is, interstate 

Now, the figures now available show that we have about 4,000,000 
people each year going from State to State — one-third of them chil- 
dren — and your health problem and your educational problem is 
in there. 

Now, they get into those States, and they are foodless and vote- 
less, and why this committee is so pleased to have you as our first 
witness is this : That you think it is a national problem, and it strikes 
at the morale of our people, does it not, and we have got to take care 
of them through national legislation, and we are mighty pleased to 
have you here, and we will extend this courtesy to you, that you can 
finish out your statement, and add anything you want. 

We shall be particularly interested in your recommendations. 

Mayor LaGuardia. Thank you very much. 

(Whereupon Mayor LaGuardia was excused.) 

The Chairman. The committee will come to order, please. Dr. 
Lamb, who is your next witness ? 

Dr. Lamb. Professor Lorimer is our next witness. 
The Chairman. Professor Lorimer. 


The Chairman. For the benefit of the committee and the record, 
if you please, give your full name, and something about your back- 
ground and your study of this problem. If you will do that it will 
help the record. . 

Dr. Lorimer. I am Frank Lorimer, at the present time professor 
of population studies at the American University. I was joint author 
with Frederick -Osborn of a book. Dynamics of Population, and was 
technical secretary to the Committee on Population Problems of the 
National Resources Committee that prepared the report. The Prob- 
lems of a Changing Population, and am now a consultant to the 
National Resources Committee and a consultant to a Virginia popu- 
lation study under the Virginia State Planning Board. 

The Chairman. What is your feeling? Do you want any questions 
asked during the making of your statement or would you rather 

Dr. Lorimer. T will leave that entirely to the discretion of the 


Mr. OsMERS. If it meets with your approval, I would like to have 
Dr. Lorimer make a statement of some kind outlining his testimony. 
(The statement is as follows:) 


The Background of Internal Migeaiion 

The distribution of the American people shows a constantly shifting pattern. 
In 1930, 22,000,000' native whites and 3,000,000 Negroes or 23 percent of the 
total native population of the Nation, were living outside the States where 
they were born. An analysis of population movements during the preceding 
decade, 1920 to 1930, shows a pronounced drift from the three northern New 
England States and Pennsylvania and all the 28 States south of the Potomac 
and Ohio Rivers or between the Mississippi and the Sierras with four excep- 
tions: Florida and Texas (which received more migrants than they sent forth) 
and North Carolina and Louisiana (which neither gained nor lost appreciably 
tlirough migration during this period). (See figure A.) New York, New Jersey, 
and Connecticut, the Great Lakes States east of the Mississippi, and the Far 
West were the principal areas of attraction. In the Hudson "Valley Region, 
tne number of migrants from other States was exceeded by the number of new 
Immigrants abroad, and in Massachusetts and Rhode Island the net loss 
through interstate migration was moi'e than offset by immigration from 
ether countries. These regional shifts were associated with the rapid growth 
of cities, and the still more rapid growth of metropolitan rings around large 
cities. The 96 metropolitan districts absorbed two-thirds of the total national 
increase between 1920 and 1930. The farm population actually declined by 
nearly 1% millions during the twenties, following a smaller decline (somewhat 
less than one-half million) during the preceding decade. 

The 1940 census will tell a different story. Preliminary counts indicate that 
on the average the larger cities (over 25,000 population) have been growing 
somewhat less rapidly during the thirties than the Nation as a whole. And 
the Bureau of Agricultural Economics estimates that during the decade there 
has been an Increase of somewhat over 2,000,000 people in the farm popula- 
tion, just about offsetting the decrease from 1910 to 1930. It also appears that 
in general southern and western cities have been increasing more rapidly than 
cities in the Northeast. The largest absolute increases in farm population 
have been in the Southeast and Northeast. The Pacific area shows an estimated 
20 percent increase in its farm population during the decade, but this accounts 
for only about a tenth of the total increase of farm population in the Nation. 

The direction and volume of migration is controlled by two major forces: 
(1) Shifts in opportunities for economic production, and (2) regional differ- 
ences in rates of natural increase. These factors are perhaps equally important, 
and we will deal briefly with each in turn. We will neglect the movement 
of persons of independent income, including pensioners and retired workers, 
who are guided primarily by residential preference, and of those who move 
for the sake of educational advantages, health, or adventure. ( See figure B.) 

Changes in economic opportunity are shown by a break-down of occupations 
into 3 broad industrial groups: (1) Extractive: i. e., agriculture, mining, and 
forestry; (2) mechanical and manufacturing; and (3) transportation, trade, 
and service. The trend for the Nation as a whole is similar to that shown for 
the North Central, or Middle States. The proportion of all workers engaged 
in extractive industries declined from 45 percent in 1880 to 25 percent in 1930. 
This is due to the rapid increase in productivity per worker on farms and 
mines, and to shifts in consumer purchases associated with a rising level of 
living, and to decrease in the use of farm products in the production of power 
and commodities, e. g., the substitution of gasoline for hay, increase in meat 
and dairy products per unit of feed, etc. Actually, the relative decrease in 
farm population lagged behind the relative decrease in the demand for farm 
products, so that even in 1930 one-half of the farms, producing only about 
one-tenth of all the farm products sold or traded, yielded a meager livelihood 
to operators and laborers. The increase of farm population since 1930 has 
swelled the ranks of these low-income farm families. The peak in the propor- 
tion of workers engaged in manufacturing and mechanical industries was 
reached about 1920, though the absolute number so engaged was higher in 1930. 
260370— 40— pt. 1 2 


After 1920, technological displacement of workers in large part offset increased 
demand for manufactured goods. Opportunities in trade, transportation, and 
service occupations, on the other hand, have constantly risen, to include 47 
percent of all workers in 1030. This division includes some of the most essential 
phases of economic activity in an advanced economy, and workers in this 
division cannot to the same extent be displaced by machinery. These shifts in 
the character of economic opportunity have necessitated changes in the regional 
distribution of workers. The Northeast, Middle States, and Far West — the 
areas which attracted migrants during the twenties— hold only about 40 percent 
of all workers engaged in the extractive industries, but they received about 
half of the 1,300,000 new workers from 1020 to 1930 in manufacturing and 
mechanical industries, and nearly three-fourths of the 6,200,000 new workers 
in transportation, trade, and service — counting only the number entering these 
fields beyond those needed to replace other workers who retired. 

It is also important to take into account the large differences in the ratio 
of farm population to resources in various parts of the United States. Nowhere 
in Europe are there great stretches of farms of such high value, but nowhere 
in western Europe is there such poverty across broad rural areas as in the 
United States. This contrast affects whole States. For example, in 1930, the 
average value of farm land at the disposal of each farm worker in Georgia, 
was only one-tenth that in Iowa, The contrast by counties is even more striking. 
In many counties (where high pressure of population on resources is shown by 
the darkest shading) the value of land per worker is less than $250. In many 
other counties it is well over 10 times that figure. There has been a general 
trend toward migration from farms — both from high-value areas, in order to 
maintain large-scale farming or to escape tlie hazards of drought, and from 
low-value areas — but in general the migration has been heaviest from the areas 
where population pressure on limited resources is greatest. In this connection 
it may be noted that recent migrants from Oklahoma to California have come 
in greatest numbers, not from western Oklahoma which was in the drought 
area, but from counties in eastern Oklahoma wb.ich suffer from chronic pressure 
of population on resources. The situation in California is difficult, not because 
of pressure of population on resources, but because of the peculiar economic 
structure of agriculture in that State. (See figure C.) 

Fiom 1930 to 1940, migration has been in large part a movement from areas 
of high productivity but heavy unemployment to areas of lower productivity 
but greater security, provided by poorly paid regular or part-time employment, 
or through subsistence farming, or both. In other words, it has been the substi- 
tution of underemployment for the risk of unemployment. The return to placer 
mining on abandoned claims in the Rockies is a dramatic illustration. (See 
figure D.) 

But the typical movement has been the retreat to small farms on the out- 
skirts of industrial areas, or in southern Appalachians, Ozarks, Lake States, 
cut-over lands, the upper Rio Grande Valley, unoccupied lands on the edges of 
the Willamette Valley, and elsewhere. Millions who have retreated in search 
of meager security have suffered a severe drop in level of family living, but 
they have not caused conflict or created special public problems. They have 
therefore attracted little attention. The same may be ?aid of many young 
people coming of age in areas of meager opportunity, who would normally 
have migrated to more favorable situations but have been restrained by fear 
of failure to find employment. 

There has, however, been a counter movement, which has stirred public 
attention. People have burst forth from areas suffering from the slow rot of 
economic deterioration, without awaiting the assurance of real economic op- 
portunity elsewhere — only to encounter new types of frustration. These peo- 
ple, fleeing an ever-deepening underemployment, have sought areas of greater 
opportunity and have, in many cases, found only unemployment. These are 
the "economic refugees" of our very imperfect economic order. (See figure E. ) 

In order to understand the forces which have created, and are still creating, 
the pathological situations of which economic refugees are a symptom, we 
must give attention to differences in rates of natural increase in relation to 
economic opportunity. If there were no migration from 1930 to 1960, the 
growth of farm population through excess of births over deaths would vary frojn 
less than 25 percent during this 30-yeKr period in most of the Northeast and 
some of the Middle States to well over 50 percent in all the Southern States 
except Florida, and in Utah, Idaho, North and South Dakota. 


It is not difficult to foresee that such an increase would, in many cases, be 
disastrous. Moreover, it has been estimated that at the present time the 
number of young people coming to productive age each year in the farm popu- 
lation of the Nation is about twice as large as the number who would normally 
be withdrawn by death or retirement. ( See figure F. ) 

We must bear in mind that the ratio of children to women is, in general, 
about twice as high in the rural-farm popuhition as in cities. In 1930, this 
ratio in the native white i-ural-farm population was 69 percent above that 
i-equired to replace the parent population, whereas among native whites iu 
cities it was 14 percent below the replacement level. Among Negroes the rural- 
urban differential in reproductivity is even greater. (See figure G.) 

Moreover, the highest reproduction rates are generally found in the very 
areas where there is already greatest pressure of population on resources. In 
many of the most prosperous farming areas the number of births each year is 
just about sufficient to replace the parent population. But in farming areas where 
income is lowest the number of births each year is from 50 to 100 percent above 
that which would be sufficient for population maintenance. (See figure H.) 

If counties are grouped according to plane of living, a negative relation 
between economic level and reproductive trend is found within each broad 
regional division as well as in the Nation as a whole. The index used here 
is that developed by Goodrich in the study of population redistribution. In 
those counties that ranked lowest on this plane of living index (one-sixth of 
all the counties) the ratio of children to women was on the average 77 percent 
above the replacement level. In the two highest groups it fell below the 
replacement level. 

The significance of these trends for migration is clearly shown by a special 
tabulation carried out by Dr. Conrad Taeuber of the United States Department 
of Agriculture. He investigated the situation in 220 counties where the ratio 
of children to women in the rural population was on the average 100 percent 
above the replacement level (ranging up from 880 children per thousand women) 
and which had a rank below 30 on the rural plane-of-liviiig index constructed 
by Lively, where 100 represents the national average. These 220 counties held 
a rural population of more than 4,000,000 people in 1920. Between 1920 and 
1930 there was a net migration of 630,000 people out of these counties — equal 
to 16 percent of the original population. This is a high rate of migration 
though, perhaps because of their isolation and poverty, not quite so high as 
from some less handicapped rural areas. But in spite of this exodus there 
were nearly 300,000 more people in the rural areas of these 220 counties in 
1930 than there were in 1920. The remarks of the Red Queen to Alice seem 
peculiarly appropriate. They were running very fast, but they had to run 
that fast to stay in the same place. If they wanted to get anywhere they 
would have to run twice as fast. During the depression they couldn't even 
run that fast, and relatives came back to live with them — until some of them 
couldn't stand it any longer, and broke out to camp on roadsides in southeast 
Missouri or to wander from place to jjlace in California in search of jobs that 
didn't exist. 

The situation is further complicated by institutional factors which make 
for cultural retardation in areas where the proportion of children is highest 
and where there is greatest poverty — and which thus tend to perpetuate 
excessive fertility and prevent the most effective use of the limited economic 
resources that are available. In previous American theory, the health of 
children is purely a responsibility of individual families, except insofar a? 
their ability to purchase medical services may be supplemented by charity, or 
their ability to purchase food may be supplemented by relief allowances. Also, 
in previous American theory, the provision of educational facilities is a purely 
local responsibility, or at best a responsibility of the individual States. The 
poorest families, the poorest areas, and the poorest States, where the ratio of 
children to the supporting adult population is highest, are absohitely unable 
to provide health and educational advantages equal to those available in more 
prosperous communities. As a result, the children growing up in rural areas 
are subject to the demoralization of disease, malnutrition, and inadequate edu- 
cation. It is not surprising, therefore, that they should usually make low 
scores on intelligence tests, or that they should often appear shiftless. The 
people who live in more prosperous areas, through their neglect of these matters, 
have a heavy responsibility for this situation — a situation which sends a con- 
stant stream of ill-equipped migrants into American cities, undermines our 
democracy, and weakens our capacity for national defense. (See figures I and J.) 


We are confrouted with a vicious circle : cultural retardation, excessive fer- 
tility, population pressure, and poverty. We must discover ways of breaking 
this vicious chain of forces. Such, I take it, is the high responsibility of this 

In conclusion, permit me to suggest some lines of approach which, it seem* 
to me, merit your serious consideration. The history of attempts to force redis- 
tribution of population, or resettlement, records a series of failures. It would 
be equally disastrous to attempt to freeze the present inequitable distribution 
of people in relation to resources. A sustained expansion of industrial, com- 
mercial, and service opportunities in the Nation would induce a spontaneous 
large-scale movement from depressed areas to areas of expanding and stable 
opportunity. We, as a Nation, are capable of achieving such economic progress, 
and apart from such general economic expansion there can be no permanent 
solution of the special problems of American agricultiare or of many acute 
problems presented by particular areas. 

There are, however, other lines of advance which need not wait on such 
over-all economic expansion, but are contributory and complementary to it. 
Measures which will improve the morale of rural youth and increase the ca- 
pacity of farm families to make fuller use of the resources at their disposal 
have already been developed by the Farm Security Administration and other 
agencies of the United States Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with 
State agencies and county committees. These measures need to be extended 
and supplemented. I should like to propose for your consideration the following 

"No American community should be permanently dependent on outside sub- 
sidy for the maintenance of a decent standard of living. Sound adjustment of 
population to resources is ultimately dependent on local initiative. But the 
limitation on long-time Federal action implicit in these statements should not 
be applied to measures concerned with health, education, or other activities 
essential for building community morale and for the development of individual 
capacities. The Nation has a direct and primary interest in the quality of its 
citizens and in providing equal opportunity to all for the development of their 
individual capacities." 

The stabilization of rural communities in the United States is dependent 
on the reduction of the excessive fertility now characteristic of families in 
many depressed areas, to a level at most no higher than that prevailing among 
prosperous farm families. This in turn is dependent on cultural progress and 
advance in standards of living. In view of all these considerations it has, I 
submit, become a primary responsibility of the Federal Government to further 
advances in health, education, and standards of living which will equip those 
who remain in areas that are now depressed to achieve economic and social 
advance in these communities and at the same time equip those who move 
elsewhere to participate effectively in the economic and civic life of the com- 
munities which they enter. 

The Chairman. Will you proceed to discuss this statement in your 
own way, please? 


Dr. LoRiMER. I am only going to deal with the broad outlines of 
the picture, in other words, the sort of features that show up in a 
composite photograph of tens of thousands of people. Obviously, 
the sort of broad picture needs to be supplemented by the knowledge 
that the Committee is getting through its personal contacts, and 
other sources of the more intimate personal details of this pattern. 


Migration is a conspicuous feature, and always has been, of Ameri- 
can life. In 1930, 22,000,000 native whites, and 3,000,000 Negroes, 
nearly a quarter of all of our native-born population, were found 
living in States outside the State in which they were born. This 
chart [see figure A, p. 16] presents an analysis of population move- 
ments during the last decade for which we have fidl census returns. 


The white bars show the total population growth of groups of 
States, the States being grouped so as to represent by one bar those 
that had similar population trends. Next to the white bar, which 
shows total population growth, is a shaded bar showing the natural 
increase of population during the decade by excess of births over 
deaths. The next bar shows tlie growtli througli excess of immigrants 
from other countries, and the black bar shows the net migration into 
or out of the State during the period. 

If the black bar is above the line it indicates a net migration into 
the area, and where the black bar is below the line it shows a net mi- 
gration out. 

The bars are proportional to the absolute number of persons in- 

The chart shows a pronounced drift from the three northern New 
England States, and Pennsylvania and all of the 28 States south of 
the Potomac and Ohio Rivers, and east of the sea areas, with 4 
exceptions, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, and Louisiana, which 
received as many or more migrants than they sent forth. 

Mr. Curtis. Pardon me, at this point, you are basing this on the 
1930 census? 

Dr. LoRiMEE. Yes. This is an analysis of the migration between 
1920 and 1930. 







5. 25 



J- I i 

EUCD P^^l^ 

II 10 II 12 






14 14 



2 I 2 






Figure B— Lorimer 
Distribution of gainful workers by regions by broad industrial groups, 1880-1930. 


We see two States in wliicli there was practically no net migration, 
North Carolina and Louisiana. 

New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, and the Great Lakes 
States east of the Mississippi, and the far West, were the principal 
areas of attraction. 

In the Hudson River Valley, this group, the number of migrants 
from other States was exceeded by the number of new immigrants 
from abroad during the 1920's and in Massachusetts and Rhode 
Island the net loss through interstate migration was more than off- 
set by immigration from other countries. 

Tliose are the only areas in which migration from other countries 
was a very important factor. 

These regional shifts were associated with the rapid growth of 
cities, and the still more rapid growth of the metropolitan ring 
around cities. 

The 96 metropolitan districts of the Nation during this decade 
absorbed two-thirds of the total national increase in population. The 
farm population during the 1920's declined by 11/2 millions, following 
a smaller decline of about half a million during the preceding decade. 

Now the 1940 census will show a different result. Preliminary 
counts indicate that on the average the cities of over 25,000 popula- 
tion have been growing somewhat less rapidly than the Nation as a 
whole. The Bureau of Agricultural Economics estimates that there 
has been an increase of somewhat over 2,000,000 people in the farm 
population, just about offsetting the total decrease of the preceding 
20 years. This is in spite of an estimated net migration from farms 
of 2,000,000 people, due to the larger natural increase of the farm 

It also appears from these preliminary estimates that in general 
the southern and western cities have been increasing more rapidly 
than cities in the Northeast, and the largest absolute increases in 
farm population have been in the Southeast and Northeast rather 
than in the AVest. 

The Pacific area shows an estimated 20 percent increase in its farm 
population during the decade, but this accounts for only about one- 
tenth of the total increase of the farm population in the Nation 
during the 1930's. 


The direction and volume of migration is controlled by two major 
forces: (1) Shifts in opportunities for economic production, and (2) 
regional differences in rates of natural increases. These factors are 
perhaps equally imjDortant, and we will deal briefly with each in 

We will neglect the movement of persons of independent income, 
including pensioners and retired workers, who are guided primarily 
by residential preference, and of those who move for the sake of 
-educational advantages, health, or adventure. 

Changes in economic opportunity are shown by a break-down of 
occupations into three broad industrial groups : 

(1) Extractive, i. e., agriculture, mining, and forestry; 

(2) Mechanical and manufacturing; and 

(3) Transportation, trade, and service. The trend for the Nation 
as a whole is similar to that shown for the North Central or Middle 




The proportion of all workers engaged in extractive industries 
declined from 45 percent in 1880 to 25 percent in 1930. This is due 
to the rapid increase in productivity per worker on farms and mines, 
to shifts in consumer purchases associated with a rising level of liv- 
ing, and to decrease in the use of farm products in the production of 
power and commodities, e. g., the substitution of gasoline for hay, 
increase in meat and dairy products per unit of feed, and so forth. 

Of course, one of the most important of those shifts is the fact that 
steel mules eat gasoline instead of eating haj^, and it is also affected 
by the increased productivity of bacon and milk and eggs per unit of 
feed, so that there has been a great de-crease in the demand for animal 

Actually, the relative decrease in farm population lagged behind 
the relative decrease in the demand for farm products, so that even 
in 1930 one-half of the farms, producing only about one-tenth of 
all the farm products sold or traded, yielded a meager livelihood 
to operators and laborers. The increase of farm population since 
1930 has swelled the ranks of these low-income farm families. The 
peak in the proportion of workers engaged in manufacturing and 
mechanical industries was reached about 1920, though the absolute 
number so engaged was higher in 1930. After 1920, technological 
displacement of workers in large part offset increased demand for 
manufactured goods. Opportunities in trade, transportation, and 
service occupations, on the other hand, have constantly risen, to 
include 47 percent of all workers in 1930. 

I think, parenthetically, we are thinking too much in terms of 
employment of farm and industry, to the neglect of this largest 
group of American workers, who are engaged in technical work, in 
trade, and in the various forms of service, including professional 
service, domestic service, beauty parlors, tending of garages, and all 
of that sort of thing. 

This division includes some of the most essential phases of economic 
activity in an advanced economy, and w^orkers in this division can- 
not, to similar extent, be displaced by machinery. It takes about the 
same number of nurses to give care to about the same number of sick, 
regardless of the advances in science. It does not take the same 
number of farmers or the same number of machine mechanics to 
turn out a given amount of farm or manufactured products. 

These shifts in the character of economic opportunity have neces- 
sitated changes in the regional distribution of workers. The North- 
east, Middle States, and Far West — the areas which attracted mi- 
grants during the 1920's — hold only about 40 percent of all workers 
engaged in the extractive industries, but they received about half of 
the 1,300,000 new workers from 1920 to 1930 in manufacturing and 
mechanical industries, and nearly three-fourths of the 6,200,000 new 
workers in transportation, trade, and service, counting only the 
number entering these jfields beyond those needed to replace other 
workers who retired. 

The average value of land at the disposal of each farm family 
in Georgia was about one-tenth the value of farm land available to 
each farm family in Iowa, and the contrast by counties as shown on 
this map is perhaps even more striking. In many counties where this 




Increase in Number, Apr. 1, 1930-Jan. 1, 1935 

1.356,000 OR 4.5 PERCENT 






Cbanges in farm population, 1930-35. 



high pressure of population on resources is shown by the black 
stippled shading, the value of land per worker in agriculture is less 
than $250. That is the capital with which he has to work. In many 
other counties, it is well over 10 times that figure. 


There has been a general trend toward migration from farms, 
both from the high value areas and from the low value areas. 
The movement from the high value areas has come in order to main- 
tain large-scale farming or to escape the hazards of drought, but in 
general, the migration has been heaviest from the areas of greatest 
population pressure on resources. 

For instance, it is interesting to note that recent migrants from 
Oklahoma to California have come in largest part not from western 
Oklahoma, which was within the drought area, but from eastern 
Oklahoma, where they were suffering from the chronic pressure of 
population on meager resources with which to work. 

The situation in California for farm laborers is difficult, not be- 
cause of the pressure of population on resources, but because of the 
peculiar economic structure of agriculture in that area. 


From 1930 to 1940, migration has been in large part a movement 
from areas of high productivity but heavy unemployment to areas 
of lower productivity but greater security, provided by poorly paid 
regular or part-time employment, or through subsistence farming, 
or both. 

We parenthetically introduce the reference that we also have a 
trend for people to seek their support through a division of de- 
pendence on the resources of two areas, seeking subsistence support 
from an area perhaps where they have their residence, but then going 
out to another area to get employment that will give some supple- 
mental income which will, in view of the very limited subsistence 
which they can maintain from the areas where they are directly 
resident, maintain them. 

Tliis general trend has in other words been a substitution of under- 
employment for the risk of unemployment. 

I think that that is the general characteristic of the migi-ation 
during the 1930's. The return to placer mining on abandoned claims 
in tlie Rockies is a dramatic illustration. 

This map (see figure D-1) shows the location of increases in farm 
population, between 1930 and 1935, the first half of the 1930's. You 
see the heavy increases occur around cities, and around industrial areas, 
and in the southern Appalachians, and the Ozarks, the upper Rio 
Grande Valley, and on the edges of the Willamette Valley where there 
was still unoccupied production land, and especially in the cut-over 
areas of the Lake States. 

The other map (see figure D-2) which shows the areas having de- 
creases of farm population, has a peculiar concentration in the Delta 
areas. In general, these maps show a movement to the areas of highest 
agricultural productivity and also the piling up of farm population in 
areas of subsistence farming opportunities, including the small parts 
on the outskirts of cities. 





Mr. Curtis, At this point, Professor Lorimer, might the conclu- 
sion be drawn that some of those people moving to the farms, the 
type of farm providing subsistence, are victims of depression in the 

Dr. Lorimer. Yes ; that is the implication, that they had the choice 
between staying in the cities, where, if they got a job, they would 
get large wages, but probably they would not get a job, or going out 
to a little patch, or to some other little area where they could be 
fairly sure that they would get something, but they knew it would 
not be very mu'^h. 

I will go back to this, if I may. The millions who have retreated 
in search of meager security have suffered a severe drop in their 
level of living but they have not caused conflict in the local com- 
munities, or created very special problems, and they have, there- 
fore, attracted little attention; that is, whose migration into these 
subsistence farming areas have attracted little attention, and the 
same may be said of the young people coming of age in areas of 
meager opportunity who normally would have migrated to a more 
favorable situation but have been restrained by fear of failure to 
find employment. That is, I think, a more serious side of the migra- 
tion picture — the people who do not come into trouble but who, dur- 
ing this depression period, have either been unable to make the 
normal adjustment by migration or who have moved to some area 
of low opportunity. 

On the other hand, there has been a smaller countermovement 
which has stirred public attention. Some people have burst forth 
from areas suffering from the slow rot of economic deterioration, 
without awaiting the assurance of any real opportunity anywhere 
else, only to encounter new times of frustration. These people, in 
other words, are doing the reverse stunt of moving from deepening 
luideremployment to areas in which they encounter unemployment. 
These people, I think, may be well characterized as the "economic 
refugees" of our very imperfect economic order. They flee a situation 
that has become intolerable, although they know of no opportunity 
nor do they have any assurance as to work to which they can move. 

I wish to turn to the other one of these factors which I mentioned 
at the start, and in which I am especially interested, the trends in 
natural increase as they affect migration. 


Now, in order to understand the other side of the picture, we need 
to give attention to the trend in natural increase. If everybody 
stayed in his place, and there was no migration between 1930 and 
19-80, the growth of farm population through excess of births would 
be large, but it would vary in different parts of the country. In 
some areas there would be less than 25-percent increase in the farm 
population during this 30-year period through mere natural increase, 
but in other areas there would be during this 30-year period, if there 
was no migration, an increase of more than 50 percent in the farm 
population. (See figure E.) Those are the areas that are across the 
South, Utali, and Idaho, and the Dakotas. It is not difficult to see that 
such an increase, if no migration occurred, would in many cases be dis- 
astrous. Moreover, it has been estimated that at the present time the 


number of young people coming to productive age each year in tlie 
farm population of the Nation is about twice as large as the number 
who would normally be withdrawn by death or retirement of older 
workers. Now, this is, in part, a matter of rural-urban differential in 
reproductivity. For the farm population of the Nation as a whole 
the ratio of children to women of chilu-bearing age was 69 percent 
above the number shown by this black line that would be sufficient 
to replace the number of their parents. (See figure F.) 

In the cities, on the whole, even in 1930, the number of children 
was insufficient to replace the parent population from which they 
were derived. For the cities as a whole there was a 14-percent 
deficiency. By this time it is undoubtedly much larger; that defi- 
ciency is much larger than 14 percent. This is for the native white 
population, and the rural-urban differential among Negroes is even 
greater. That is, the difference between the rural Negroes in repro- 
ductive tendencies is even greater than it is in the white population. 

Moreover, the highest reproductive tendency is found in the very 
areas where economic opportunity is low. This map shows the esti- 
mated natural increase per generation for each of the counties in 
the United States. The absolutely white counties, which do not 
show up very large on the. map, but which include a very large 
population because the big cities are in these counties, are counties 
in which the net reproductivity is below the replacement level. (Se© 
figure G.) 

The very dark areas are those in which there are more than 75 
percent more children born in each generation than would suffice to 
replace the parent stock. 

The various shadings represent intermediate degrees. 

You can see that in general there is a rather striking correspond- 
ence between this map and the map on the ratio of population to 
land values, which was showm earlier. In general, the areas of high- 
est reproductivity appear in Aroostook County in Maine, the south- 
ern Appalachian area, sections scattered through the old Cotton and 
Tobacco Belts, the Ozark area, also this eastern Oklahoma area, which 
we have already mentioned. 

The same holds for two adjacent areas, the Spanish-American and 
Indian areas, in Arizona and New Mexico, and the areas where the 
Mormon influence is strong, in Utah and Idaho ; then North Dakota, 
where there is a rural population with strong foreign elements, and 
finally the Lake- St ate cut -over area which has received a good many 
migrants during the last decade. 

The highest rates of increase are found in areas w^iere the op- 
portunity for effective productivity is already low. These two factors 
together create the pressure that forces a constant stream of migrants 
from the poorer rural area. 

If counties are grouped according to plane of living, a negative 
relation between economic level and reproductive trend is found 
within each broad regional division as well as in the Nation as a 
whole. The index used here is that developed by Goodrich in the 
Study of Population Kedistribution. You can see that in the South- 
east the most prosperous counties have the very low reproduction rate. 
The same thing is true in all of the other counties. 








2. SOC- 






IO. 000 






NEG 36260 





260370— 10— pt 1 3 




Now. for the Nation as a wliole shown in the bar at the lower right, 
when all of the counties are combined, in the one situation of the 
counties that ranged lowest on this plane of living index, the poorest 
counties in the Nation as a whole, the ratio of children to women was 
on the average 77 percent above the replacement level. For every 10 
children that they needed to have to replace their parents, they had 
practically 18 children. 

In the two highest groups of counties the reproductivity was below 
the replacement level. 


Now, the significance of these trends for migration is clearly 
shown by a special tabulation carried out by Dr. Conrad Taeuber of 
the United States Department of Agriculture. He investigated the 
situation in 220 counties where the ratio of children to women in the 
rural population was on the average 100 percent above the replace- 
ment level (ranging up from 880 children per thousand women) and 
which had a rank below 30 on the rural plane-of-living index con- 
structed by Lively, where 100 represents the national average. 

This, I should say, refers only to the rural population of these 
counties and the plane of living is the plane-of-living index of rural 
populations. It is just a comparison between rural people in dif- 
ferent parts of the country. 

Now, these 220 counties in 1920 had a rural population of over 
4,000,000 people, and the very poor counties were high in reproduc- 
tivity. Between 1920 and 1930 there was a net migration of over 
600,000 people out of those counties — equal to about 16 percent of 
the original i)opulation. This is a high rate of net migration, 
though it is not as high a rate as is sometimes found in more prosper- 
ous areas, partly because migration from such communities may be 
dampened by the very poverty handicaps of the groups living there. 
However, we did have the migration of 630.000 people, but in spite 
of this heavy exodus, there were nearly 300.000 more people living 
in the rural areas of these 220 counties than they had before they 
started this migration, and in the words of the Red Queen to Alice, in 
Alice in Wonderland, they were running very fast to get away from 
their situation, in terms of migration out but they had to run that 
fast in order to stay in the same place, in order to have the same 
population, and in fact they did not quite achieve staying in the 
same place because their population increased. If they wanted to 
get anywhere, in terms of reduced ratio of population to resources, 
they would have to run twice as fast. 

Now, during the depression, in general, they could not run at all. 
That is for many of these areas they could not or did not dare to 
migrate for fear of the risk of unemployment at the other end. 
Therefore you have gotten during the 1930's, a great piling up of 
population in these areas where the excess of natural increase is 
normally drained off by migration, until in some places, the people 
just could not stand it any longer, and they broke out from this 
situation of increasing population pressure, to camp on roadsides in 
southeastern Missouri, or wander from place to place in California 
in search of jobs that did not exist. 







Tlie situation is further complicated by institutional factors and 
conditions which make for cultural retardation in areas where the 
proportion of children is highest and where there is greatest poverty, 
and which thus tend to perpetuate excessive fertility and prevent the 
most effective use of the limited economic resources that are avaihdile. 

In previous American theory, the health of children is purely a 
responsibility of individual families — except insofar as their ability 
to purchase medical services may be supplemented by charity, or 
their ability to purchase food may be supplemented by relief allow- 

Also in previous American theory the provision of educational 
facilities is a purely local responsibility, or at best a responsbility of 
the individual States. The poorest families, the poorest areas, and 
the poorest States, where the ratio of children to the supporting adult 
population is highest, are absolutely unable to provide health and 
educational advantages equal to those available in more prosperous 
communities. As a result, the children growing up in rural areas are 
subject to the demoralization of disease, malnutrition, and inadequate 
education. It is not surprising, therefore, that tliey should usually 
make lovr scores on intelligence tests, or that they should often appear 
shiftless. The people who live in more prosperous areas, through 
their neglect of these matters, have a heavy responsibility for this 
situation — a situation which sen.ds a constant stream of ill-equipped 
migrants into American cities, undermines our democracy, and 
weakens our capacity for national defense. 

I will just show two charts relating to that. (See figure I.) This is 
the proportion of school age to the suppoi'ting adults in different parts 
of the country, varying from less than 200 children per thousand adults 
who carry their support, to over 400 children per thousand adults who 
must maintain their support. The burden for child care and education 
is thus more than doubled in some areas of the country than it is in 
other areas. 

This next chart (see figure J) represents expenditures for educa- 
tional purposes per pupilin the different States, from less than $50 
per pupil to over $125 per pupil. 

Tlie insert circles represent the natural increase trends, and in 
general in the areas of the lowest expenditure we usually find the 
highest rate of natural increase. 

You are also, I assume, familiar with the material which shows 
very strikingly that in many of these areas where there are the most 
meager educational advances the people in those areas are making 
fully as heavy a proportional contribution to education, but in view 
of l^he limite(l tax resources of those areas they are simply unable, 
even though they may make greater effort than other States. They 
are simply luiable to maintain the same level of educational oppor- 
tunity that }n'evails in the more prosperous areas. 

I believe that we are confronted thus with a vicious circle of cul- 
tural retardation, leading to excessive fertility, and excessively large 
families, leading to increasing population pressure in those local 

It is leading toward deepening poverty, which leads again toward 
cultural retardation, excessive fertility, population pressure, and 
deepening poverty. 


We must have a safety valve which does not operate with such 
force as to solve the problem but simply to relieve it in a minor 
degree, I believe that we must discover ways of breaking this vicious 
chain of forces, and such, I would take it, is a part of the high 
responsibility of this committee. It is to consider the forces whicii 
lie back of the symptoms which we frequently find so distressing. 


In conclusion, permit me to suggest some lines of approach which, 
it seems to me, merit your serious consideration. The history of 
attempts to force redistribution of population, or resettlement, re- 
cords a series of failures. Most of the ambitious resettlement 
schemes (I am referring even more to experience in other countries 
than to experience in our own country; attempts to decide where 
people should live and moving them there), have usually proved a 

The Chairman. You do not agree with Mr. Hoover and Mr. Roose- 
velt on that? 

Dr. LoRiMER. No; I do not. 

The Chairman. That is one of his solutions. 

Dr. LoRiMER. I think that there must be — I am departing a mo- 
ment — I think that there must be a basis for economic attraction 
and then I think people will spontaneously move to it. I think that 
we can do something to control the opportunities but I think the 
attempt arbitrarily to move people to particular areas where other 
people might think that they ouglit to be usually does not work. 

On the other hand, I think it would be equally disastrous to at- 
tempt to freeze the present inequitable distribution of people in rela- 
tion to resources, particularly in view of the fact that this situation 
is a dynamic one, so that the pressure tends constantly to increase 
in the very areas of least opportunity. 

A sustained expansion of industrial, commercial, and service op- 
portunities in the Nation would induce a spontaneous large-scale 
movement from depressed areas to areas of expanding and stable 
opportunity. We, as a Nation, are capable of achieving such eco- 
nomic progress, and I do not accept the defeatist thesis that we 
have come to the end of our economic progress ; and apart from such 
general economic expansion there can be no permanent solution of 
the special problems of American agriculture, or of many acute 
problems presented by particular areas. 


There are, however, other lines of advance which need not wait 
on such over-all economic expansion but are contributory and com- 
plementary to it. Measures which will improve the morale of rural 
youth and increase the capacity of farm families to make fuller 
use of the resources at their disposal have already been developed 
by the Farm Security Administration and other agencies of the 
United States Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with State 
agencies and county committees. These measures need to be extended 
and supplemented. I should like to propose for your consideration 


the following thesis about our policy regarding more handicapped 
rural areas: 

No American community should be permanently dependent on outside subsidy 
for the maintenance of a decent standard of living. Sound adjustment of popu- 
lation to resources is ultimately dependent on local initiative. But the limita- 
tion on long-time Federal action implicit in these statements should not be 
applied to measures concerned with health, education, or other activities essen- 
tial for building community morale and for the development of individual 
capacities. The Nation has a direct and primary interest in the quality of its 
citizens and in providing equal opportunity to all for the development of their 
individual capacities. 

The stabilization of rural communities in the United States is 
dependent in part on the reduction of the excessive fertility now 
characteristic of families in many depressed areas to another level 
at most no higher than that prevailing among prosperous farm fam- 

This in turn is dependent on cultural progress and advance in the 
standard of living in this area. 

In view of all of these considerations it has become a primary 
responsibility of the Federal Government to effect further advances 
in health, education, and standards of living, which will both equip 
those who are going to remain in areas that are now depressed to 
achieve economic and social advance in their own communities and 
at the same time equip those who must move elsewhere to participate 
effectively in the social and economic life of the communities into 
which they move. 

The Chairman. Now, Professor — Congressman Curtis, do you 
wish to ask some questions? 

Mr. Curtis, I would make this observation. I think that the pro- 
fessor has made a valuable contribution to our committee. It occurs 
to me that there are perhaps some new factors since 1930. There 
have been some industrial developments in some sections, the so- 
called Dust Bowl is something that did not exist in 1930, and I hope 
that he would, after the bulk of these figures are available this fall — 
that you would supplement your paper at that time with some fur- 
ther deductions. 

Now, I think that the committee expects to hold a Washington 
hearing in November or December, and sufficient census returns will 
be in at least to show major trends, and I hope that he can give us 
something at that time. 

The Chairman. Mr. Sparkman, do you have something? 

Mr. Sparkman. I was glad to hear Mr. Curtis make that sugojestion. 
I was going to make it, too, but I rather doubt the availability of 
the figures at that time. 

Dr. LoRiMER. We will have simply the changes in the total popula- 
tion, and we will not be able to have the more detailed analyses. Of 
course, the census population figures are going to supply the most 
valuable information that we have ever had on migration, through 
this question, "In what place did this person live on April 15, 1935," 
and the number and characteristics of migrants are going to be 
analyzed in reference to the places from which they come and the 
places to which they go and the Census is rendering a very valuable 
service in providing that information, but it will be probably about 
a year before that information is available. 


Mr. Sparkman. I want to say that I think your charts and your 
statement have been very valuable, and of service to illustrate that 
vicious circle that you described. 

Inasmuch as there is no longer a great amount of unused land 
in this country, we might as well become used to the fact that this 
economic pressure that grows out of excessive reproduction in certain 
areas, and the lack of economic security in those areas, that those 
factors are going to continue to keep this migration flowing, and 
that it has become acutely a national problem and one that consid- 
eration must be given to in order to arrive at some means, not neces- 
sarily of checking it, because I do not believe it can be checked, 
but of easing up the conditions as much as possible, and as these 
factors become more forceful the problem will become, probably, even 


Dr. LoRiMER. Well, we have at the present time a rather acute 
situation, in that we have had a damming up to some extent of the 
natural movement, so that the situation is more acute now. I think 
that it will exist for a long time. 

I think, on the other hand, the factors which are responsible for 
this situation are subject to slow modification, and I do not think 
it is a situation that the Nation needs permanently to face. There 
is, for instance, a tendency toward fairly rapid decrease in fertility 
in these poorest classes. The pattern of family limitation first began 
among the most prosperous groups, and then it gradually spread 
out, and it was very interesting that between 1920 and 1930 the 
greatest drops in fertility occurred among the groups previously 
characterized by the highest fertility, particularly the foreign-born 
in American cities, for which the rates dropped very rapidly between 
1920 and 1930, but also in the poor rural areas, tfiere was a drop 
which was more rapid than in the Nation as a whole. 

I think that there is a tendency toward equalization of rates of 
natural increase in the Nation ; and I think that if we set our minds 
to it we can do something to equalize health and educational op- 
portunties which will facilitate the adjourment through migration 
and also the improvement of these areas. So that I think that we 
can slowly break into this vicious circle, but it is going to take 
decades, and it cannot be done in a year or a day. 

(Booklet, compilation of maps and charts, was received in evi- 
dence and marked as an exhibit.) 


Mr. Sparkman, May I ask you one more question? What do you 
mean by saying that it is acute at the present time because of the 
fact that the natural flow had been to a certain extent dammed up ? 
In what way has it been dammed up ? 

Dr. LoRiMER. Well, for the farm population as a whole, during the 
preceding 20 years prior to 1930, you had a decrease in farm popu- 
lation, which was a natural adjustment of the relative decrease in 
economic opportunity of the farm population compared with other 


During the 1930's, we had this estimated increase, which wipes out 
all of the reduction that had occurred during the previous 20 years, 
leaving the farm population larger, and then when we analyze that 
in more detail we find that this increased farm population has been 
mostly not in areas where there were large land values to exploit but 
in subsistence areas where the incomes were already low, and there 
has been a damming up during the thirties of the trend toward a 
natural adjustment in areas like the cut-over area in the Great Lakes 
States, which were areas from which there was being rapid migra- 

Then there has been some piling back of population into those 
areas, the new areas of low opportunity, and meanwhile the increase 
has been going on and it has not been adequately relieved by migra- 
tion, so that we have a situation in which there is a great maldistribu- 
tion of population today in relation to potential opportunity, and 
greater than there was 10 years ago. 

Mr. Spaekman. Thank you. That is all. 


Mr. OsMERS. There was one point in the testimony of Dr. Lorimer 
that interested me. He cited the large migration from part of Okla- 
homa, where the per capita resources were very low, to the State of 
California, where the per capita resources are very high. 

Now, just looking at that from an offhand standpoint, one would 
say that that was a good migration, that people had moved out of a 
low-resources area into a high-resources area, but you used the words 
"the peculiar economic structure of California," and I wonder if you 
would just give us a word of explanation of that peculiarity which 
has made that migration, from an offhand standpoint, seem a proper 
one. Why it has worked out so disastrously in California? 

Dr. Lorimer. Of course, in California a large portion of the agri- 
culture is on a very highly capitalistic basis. 

Mr. OsMERS. You mean large owners? 

Dr. Lorimer. Very large owners of tracts of land, with very heavy 
investment in irrigation lands. Very heavy financial investment was 
necessary for the development of the type that has taken place. And 
then there is the situation that much of the agriculture is of a highly 
seasonal character, and that its development has been dependent upon 
a succession of laborers, first the immigrants from the Orient and 
then from Mexico, and then finally their places taken by persons 
whose standards of living has not been very much different, but who 
are from our own American native stock. 

The whole history of land holdings and economic organizations 
in California means that the opportunity for the exploitation of 
agriculture is not spread in any equitable distribution among all of 
those engaged in agriculture. 

Mr. OsMERs. Would you say a possible future solution of that 
problem in California would be the development of smaller farms, 
that is, almost subsistence farms m the State of California? 

Dr. Lorimer. I am really not prepared to answer that question. 
I am rather doubtful about that, and I am not sufficiently familiar 
with that particular situation to discuss it in terms of solution. 


Mr. OsMERS. It would seem to me that an individual farmer with 
50 or 100 acres would have a very bad time competing with a corpo- 
rate farm which was run on modern industrial methods. 

Dr. LoRiMER. I am rather inclined to agree with your implication, 
that the answer is probably to be found in terms of a better develop- 
ment of the large-scale farming operations, with some regularization 
of labor opportunities, rather than through a competing type of 
small subsistence farming development, but that is simply an impres- 

Mr. OsMERS. I have just two more questions that I would like to 
ask Professor Lorimer. 


Would you say, as a result of your very extensive studies on the 
population question, that we can look toward a generally lower nat- 
ural increase of the population, in all classes of the population all 
over the country ? 

Dr. Lorimer. I think that in some classes of the population the 
reduction in size of family which has already gone very far may have 
reached its limit, but that" limit is, for the urban population, far below 
the replacement level. I think that in the groups now characterized 
by very high fertility, there will be a trend toward lowering, and I 
think that the farm families will continue to have a higher rate of 
natural increase, but a natural increase like that now found, say, 
in central Illinois, which is about at the replacement level, rather 
than these extremely large families that are characteristic of the 
more isolated and handicapped areas. I think that there will be a 
trend toward equalization of birth rates, but that equalization is 
going to result in a general trend which will be inadequate for the 
permanent replacement of the national population, and that will 
raise some new and large and very interesting questions. 


Mr. OsMERs. There is just another interesting thing, in respect to 
my last question, that has to do with new industries that are devel- 
oped. I am looking back, well, say, now, to 1900, before they had a 
radio industry, a motion-picture industry, an automobile industry, 
an aviation industry, and innumerable others. Have you found in 
your studies that it takes the population, or the people of the country, 
from 3 to 4 years to adjust themselves to some of those industries? 

In other words, there might be a decrease in the numbei' of livery- 
stable workers as a result ©f the automobile, but a great increase in 
the number of automobile makers, and that those changes which may 
not be as rapid in the future always take several years to work 
themselves out. 

Dr. Lorimer. You have a certain amount of what the economists 
call "frictional unemployment," when people are shifting from a 
declining to an expanding operation. 

Mr. OsMERS. I have in mind the migration of the textile industry 
from New Jersey to North and South Carolina and the resultant 
upset that it has upon the economic situation in New Jersey and 
Massachusetts, for example. 


Dr. LoRiMER. But I tliiiik that that temporary disability is less 
serious as a problem than this unempkn-ment trend due to the fact 
that there has been decline in many industries without any expan- 
sion anywhere adequate to absorb the slack. That is the big prob- 
lem, and I think thati if the expansion occurs people Avill move to 
and adjust themselves to those oportunities, although there is a 
certain friction in the process and a certain loss in the process. 


Congressman Osmers, I would like, if I may, to speak of a point 
which you questioned Mayor LaGuardia about — this matter of the 
possible development of a jiopulation registration system. I have 
been interested in that for some time and that is a matter in which 
the statisticians are very nuich interested. That has been worked 
out very well in some of the smaller European countries, notably 
in Sweden and Holland. There they liave a system in which every 
person is registered in a local office. When a birth occurs a new 
card is made for the individual, and when a death occurs that ap- 
pears in the register, and then in some countries when a person 
changes his permanent residence he reports to some office, perhaps a 
police officer or register's office, in the new area to which he moves, 
and that area communicates with his home area, and his registration 
card is sent to the files of the area where he lives, and he also 
carries an identification card that ties in with his registration card. 
That is within the system. 

Of course, that is very beautiful from the standpoint of statistics ; 
it gives a yearly record of migration from area to area, a very excel- 
lent account of the whole movement of population, both natural 
increase and migration. 

So much so that some countries have dispensed with taking a 
Federal census, and have simply gotten their census result by tally- 
ing up these local registration offices, although it is usually supple- 
mented by a census procedure. 

That has been associated with the increased services, like our social 
security service and other community services to the State, Eventu- 
ally, I think, we probably will want to move in this country toward 
such a continuous register of the population. It is technically the 
most beautiful thing. It does, however, involve a good deal of ex- 
pense and a good deal of difficulty for such a far-flung country as 
the United States, but I think it is a thing worth serious considera- 
tion of the legislators, and whether the time is ripe for it at present 
I would hate to say. But the study of those European systems is a 
very interesting thing. 

Mr. Osmers. I might interrupt you there by putting a definite 
type of question. The temper of the American people might be 
found very much opposed to some sort of registration of that sort, 
and of course the social security registration, where nearly every 
wage-earning adult has been registered, has broken that feeling 
down to a certain extent, and we all have our social security cards 


Dr. LoRiMER. Frankly, I am inclined to feel that the present situ- 
ation is not the most opportune situation for introducing such a reg- 
istration system, although it might serve certain real uses in relation 


to the emergency. But I am very much afraid that it might be mis- 
interpreted in rather alarmist terms, and I think that in some more 
normal times, if such a system were developed, and it was understood 
as the basis for State services rather than as a means of keeping 
track of individuals, or their subversive activities and their availa- 
bility for military services, it perhaps might be introduced with a 
better flavor. 

The Chairman. Professor, this committee in its questions does not 
indicate any decisions on our part. We are just simply a fact-finding- 
body; you know that, do you not? 

Dr. LoRiMER. Yes. 


The Chairman. And one point that I am quite interested in is that 
resettlement — and, by the way, you made a very valuable contribu- 
tion in your entire statement here today — but that as to resettlement, 
now, ex-President Hoover and Mrs. Roosevelt publicly state that that 
is one of the solutions, that resettlement. 

One of our solutions is industrial expansion, isn't that true? 

Dr. LfORiMER. Yes. 

The Chairman. Is that correct? 

Dr. LoRiMER. Yes. 

The Chairman. Now, you take down in the South, where they 
plowed that land for hundreds of years and the topsoil has become 
powdered, and it is blowing away. 

Now, personally I cannot conceive how industrial expansion is 
going to help those people. You have in this country millions of 
acres being reclaimed and irrigated; in the State of California one- 
half of that land is owned by the Federal Government, and now, 
what I would like to get your opinion on is in this industrial expan- 
sion. If it does not take place, those people, in the Southern States 
especially, and in the Dust Bowl area, are going to move; and will it 
be better for us to have them move voluntarily, as they are doing 
now, voluntarily, and then we don't know how to take care of them? 
What is the solution to that condition, do you think, down there? 

Dr. Lorimer. Of course, I said economic expansion rather than 
industrial expansion. I think that that part of this expansion is in 
terms of expanded services to the people of the Nation, in such things 
as education and health, and I think that the most important devel- 
opment that might be called industrial expansion is perhaps housing 

And the housing development should tend to be distributed wher- 
ever the people are, or at least where there is any likelihood that they 
are going to be for some time. It need not be centralized. 

I think that much of the expansion that is needed is an expansion 
which might take place in expansion of economic opportunity, which 
might be scattered across the Nation and not merely concentrated. 
However, I think that there are some things that do need to be said 
and we do need to recognize; that there will be considerable concen- 
tration in this economic opportunity, and I think that the thing will 
happen that did happen during the 1920's, if there is somewhere 
economic opportunity, people can without great difficulty go thereto. 

The situation of these economic refugees that I have referred 


to is that they have set forth to get out of places where they were, 
and they have not had any economic opportunity anywhere to go to. 
I would like to add one further comment. 

The solution as I envisage it follows two lines. One of them 
is that national economic expansion, expansion of opportunity, 
wherever it might be economically developed. 


The other one is the improvement of living conditions, partic- 
ularly in matters of health and education, and also in the more 
effective utilization of local resources, and conservation practices 
in the poorer rural areas, and I think that we may proceed along 
those two lines, of developing capacities of people in these jxiorer 
rural areas, of giving greater attention to their personal needs, to 
enable them to make adjustments in those areas, and at the same 
time for the Nation as a whole, to introduce measures which will 
make a forward economic progress and expansion of opportunity 
for productive enterprise. 


The Chairman. Now, Professor, we have several witnesses but 
for the sake of the record I would like to ask you a few questions 
here and I know you will be as brief as you possibly can, but I 
want to get it in the record. 

In the first place, you have told us that according to the 1930 
census, we are a Nation of city dwellers, and especially of people 
residing in great metropolitan centers, but according to the pre- 
liminary figures you cite the larger cities are not any longer growing 
rapidly, and their population of child-bearing age are not reproduc- 
ing in numbers. 

Am I right in assuming that you consider this an argument in 
favor of the encouragement of migration? 

Dr. LoRiMEE. I think that the growth of the cities in the future 
will be slower than it was prior to 1920. I think we have reached 
or we have passed the peak of the proper expansion of the cities. 
Nevertheless, I think that there would normally tend to be some 
continuous growth of cities, and even some proportional growth 
of cities, but not at as rapid a rate as in the past, and I think that 
the slow growth of industrial and commercial areas during the 
1930's is in large part the index of the pathological situation and 
the dampening of the normal, national economic development. 

The Chairman. I noticed that you said that this country needs 
a sustained expansion of industrial and commercial and service 
opportunities to induce a sustained, spontaneous large-scale move- 
ment from depressed areas to areas of expanding and stable op- 
portunities, also where you say that the decreasing demand for 
labor in manufacturing and mechanical industries is a factor in 
driving the population back to a subsistence way of life. 

What sort of industrial expansion would solve the problem of 
surplus rural population, or have you answered that ? 

Dr. LoRiMER. I think that that is a pretty large question, and I 
won't attempt to give any adequate answer to it. I think that the 


expansion of economic opportunity which should be both in industry 
and in service must involve the extension of both public and private 
enterprise and opportunity and that much of it might logically be 
developed into expansion of economic opportunity in rural areas, in 
raising the level of living of the people in rural areas, that is, such 
matters as rural housing, increased health and educational services, 
and rural electrification, and then if we develop a program of more 
adequate nutrition for the Nation, that will give greater employment 
to farmers, 

I think that by any means or anywhere, expansion of economic op- 
portunity serves to meet the problem. 


The Chairman. You say that migration is heaviest where popula- 
tion pressure on limited resources is greatest. Then you add that the 
greatest numbers of Oklahoma migrants to California come from 
eastern Oklahoma. 

What is the economic situation there ? 

Dr. LoRiMER. That, as I have already said, is, of course, as I feel, 
an area of population pressure. In general, it is the small farming 
area of general farming cotton, family farming, subsistence farm- 
ing, and for a picture of the situation 'one might be referred to the 
early chapters of The Grapes of Wrath. There is one element in The 
Grapes of Wrath picture which is not accurate, namely, the operation 
of the tractors in that situation. I understand in the particular 
country in which the Joads were located by the author there were, 
according to latest returns, only two tractors in the whole county. 
It was not mechanization in that particular area which drove people 
off, and there were not many tractors running through homes, other- 
wise, I think, it presents very vividly and quite truthfully the picture 
of this increasing depression in level of living in an area of high popu- 
lation pressure. 

The Chairman. You make an interesting distinction between under- 
employment and unemployment, and suggest that those who flee 
from underemployment often find unemployment. You call these 
people economic refugees. 

I take it that you would not want Congress to put a stop to all 
such movements, even if it could. What measures can you suggest 
for taking care of these people at their point of origin? Do you 
favor such measures as are against movements of this kind ? 

Dr. Lorimer. I think that the attempt to stop migration would be 
to deal with the symptom rather than with the cause, and in fact 
would cause ever greater suffering. It would be like giving soothing 
syrup to a child that needed medical attention, and as to the meas- 
ures which should be introduced, we have already discussed that to 
some extent and I will not go into that. 


The Chairman. I have heard it said that if present reproduction 
rates, of different groups in the country continue, the population 
in the year 2030 will be almost exclusively of southern white stock. 
Does this somewhat fanciful statement reflect a true trend? 


Dr. LoRiMER. Of course, it is rather an exaggerated picture, but its 
general tendency has some validity. Of course, there will be a few 
other groups that are also increasing fairly rapidly, the Spanish 
and Indian populations in the Southwest, which are multiplying very 
rapidly, and, of course, the rural Negro population is increasing as 
rapidly as the rural white population, although, by the way, for the 
Nation as a whole at the present time the rates of increase in the 
Negro and white population are just about identical. 

If there is a continued movement of Negroes to cities, then I 
suspect their rate of natural increase may drop below that of the 
whites. If they stay largely in rural areas they are likely to increase 
more rapidly. 

But in general I think that the picture that the present popula- 
tion, white population, of the Southern States will have made more 
than their share of contribution to the future of the Nation is very 
obviously a true picture. But we have there people that have cultural 
background, congenial to that of the Nation as a whole, and we sup- 
pose people of very good stock, but at the present time suffering from 
very severe handicaps. 

The Chairman. I noticed in the newspapers recently a statement 
that the New York metropolitan area has grown, according to pre- 
liminary figures for the 1940 census, more rapidly than the average 
for American cities. Have you any information which throws light 
on these differences? 

Dr. LoRiMER. I doubt the accuracy of that impression. I think 
that New York City has grown more rapidly than other cities, and 
some of the residential suburbs have been increasing rather rapidly, 
although not much more than other areas, but the industrial suburbs 
within the new metropolitan area, the New Jersey industrial areas, 
have not been increasing as rapidly as most of the cities in the United 
States. I think the continued growth of New York City popula- 
tion during the 1930's, in spite of the decrease in shipping, must be 
largely interpreted in terms of that tendency to the increasing im- 
portance of distributive and technical and educational activities 
which form so large a part of the activities of this metropolitan 
population, in contrast to the tendency toward decrease in employ- 
ment in manufacturing and mechanical industries. 

Tlie Chairman. Have you any figures to indicate how many people 
move each year, either from country to city or city to country, and 
what ratio to urban or rural migrants ? 

Dr. LoRiMER. About the only figures that are now available, prior 
to the excellent results which we are expecting from the 1940 census, 
are the figures on the movement of farm population, where, on the 
basis of the sample used by the Department of Agriculture, there 
are estimates of movements from farms to cities, towns, and villages, 
and from cities, towns, and villages to farms. 

Now, the gross movement of population, in both directions, from 
farms to cities, and from cities to farms, ran over 3,000,000 people, 
from 1922 through 1932, shifting back and forth, one way or the 
other, and adding them up. 

Beginning in 1933, that shifting back and forth was dampened, 
and there have been less than 2,000,000 each year thereafter involved, 
according to these estimates, in shifting back and forth between 
rural and urban areas, except for 1 year, the year 1932. The balance 


was a movement from farms to other cities, but during the latter 
part of the 1930's the net movement from farms to cities has been 
on]^' about half as large as it was during the 1920's. 

the Chairman. And this last question, Professor. Would you 
think it fair to say that these people are migrants but that the popu- 
lar idea of a migrant was limited to those who get into difficulties 
while moving? 

Dr. LoRiMER. I am afraid that that is true. 

The Chairman. "Was there anything more? 

Thank you very much. Professor. You are very kind and your 
contribution is very valuable. 

(Dr. Lorimer was thereupon excused.) 


The Chairman. Miss McCall, will you give your name and ad- 
dress, and something of your present occupation and your background 
on this subject? 

Miss McCall. My name is Bertha McCall. I am the general di- 
rector of the National Travelers Aid Association. I ani here because 
our association, together with a number of other private national 
organizations, has been interested for many years in the problem 
of what we call "moving people." We are interested in this problem 
because we see the individuals, and go from the specific back to the 
general. You have just heard of the general, and we start with the 
specific and go to that general. 

I have been associated with Travelers Aid in one position or an- 
other for 20 years, and so I have seen the individuals who move 
about this country for one cause or another. I am very glad to come 
to the committee today to give such information and knowledge of 
this subject as those of us in the national agencies have gained in 
these years. You may think the knowledge is quite limited, because 
at the present time we are quite lacking in a good many facts. 


The national private agencies of the United States have used such 
terms as '^nonresident," "transient," "migrant," "migratory workers," 
"immigrants," "travelers," "strangers," "nonsettlecl," "dislodged"— 
these are all terms that we apply to people who are without roots in 
a community. This group of national agencies has been interested in 
this problem, as I said before, for many years, but in 1932, when the 
depression seemed to be almost at its height, this group formed a com- 
mittee known as the "National Committee on the Care of Transient 
and Homeless." This committee had on it a number of interested 
individuals but was made up primarily of individuals from the follow- 
ing agencies: American Public Welfare Association, American Red 
Cross, Child Welfare League of America, community chests and coun- 
cils. Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, Council of 
Women for Home Missions. Family Welfare Association of America, 
International Migration Service, National Board of the Young 
Women's Christian Association, National Council of the Young Men's 

260370— 40— pt. 1 4 


Christian Association, National Travelers Aid Association, National 
Tuberculosis Association, National Urban League, and the Salvation 

While all of these agencies had been concerned with some phase or 
other of this problem over a period of many years, two of them — the 
Family Welfare Association and the National Travelers Aid — had 
been called on repeatedly to give special attention to coordinating the 
efforts of the whole grou]3. 

The problem of transiency and migration was not a new phenome- 
non in our history. Drought, flood, war, opening of new territory — 
all resulted in making individuals in the families move to new pas- 
tures in hopes of finding better ones. 

In the 2 years from 1929 to 1931 there was special cause for migra- 
tion. For those in our country who had remained stationary for 
many years, carrying on the work of the world, came the closing of 
shops and factories and the loss of jobs that had seemed as perma- 
nent as life itself. It is not necessary to recall the problem of tran- 
siency in the days of 1930 and 1931. The Federal Government felt the 
pressure of this and called u])on such agencies as the National Y. W. 
C. A., the Family Welfare Association, the National Travelers Aid, 
to advise in planning for this special problem. Community after 
community reported that it was swamped with the numbers of people 
moving around, especially the young because one was doing one thing 
in one area and one in another. 

The problem of transiency and migration was not new in 1931. We 
had known about it off and on for many years. I recall from my own 
experience seeing the letters that came into the Federal Government 
agency, the reconstruction group of Washington, stacked very high, 
from all parts of the country, saying, "Come out and help us." 

The Federal Government in 1931 called on some of the national 
agencies to help work out a plan. We were one of those national 
agencies, and the Federal Government printed at that time the small 
report which we made to the Federal Government. It is known now 
as "A Community Plan for Service to Transients." The Government 
distributed 20,000 of these at the time. 

The Chairman. Would you like to have it inserted in the record ? 

Miss McCall. If you wish to have it, I would be very glad to leave 
this. Congressman Tolan. 

(Booklet, "A Community Plan for Service to Transients," received 
in evidence and marked as" an exhibit. Filed with the committee but 
not printed.) 

We knew then that the problem was acute because of the depression. 
We warned that many stable, representative people would leave home 
in search of better conditions, and unless something was done would 
be in the way of becoming chronic wanderers. We advised in 1931 
for national planning. 


At that time it was almost impossible to estimate the size of the 
problem. There were no facilities for collecting statistics, no uni- 
form method of recording comparable figures, even among the various 
private agencies. 


The first task that the national committee carried on was to have a 
general 3-day census. You will find the figures of the census con- 
tained in the record of the congressional hearing on the Cutting bill 
at the time that Senators Costigan and La Follette were having 
hearings on that. 

The only figures that were at all available were those from a limited 
group of agencies reporting to the Children's Bureau of the United 
States Department of Labor. Strange as it may seem, this same 
condition exists today. There was a period during the time of the 
Federal transient program when we had a reasonably accurate and 
comparable method for securing some idea of the numbers of people 
on the march. Since the disintegration of this program we have no 
regular way of determining. There are all kinds of estimates, as we 
know, as to the number of migratory families, migratory workers, 
transient men, youth on the road, nonsettled people, and so forth. 
Perhaps the 1940 census which, at the suggestion of this above com- 
mittee, has included one question on movement of people, will give us 
some light on the size of our moving population. 


We have known for a long time the nature of the people in this 
group. We have evidence to prove from private agencies, from public 
agencies, from direct association with the transients themselves, that 
a transient population differs very little from the average static popu- 
lation. Normally the moving people are ordinary citizens seeking 
opportunity, except that they cannot qualify under legal settlement 
provisions. We all know that there was a period in which the gen- 
eral public looked upon transients as bums and hoboes. Tlie Federal 
transient program records show that most of these people were enter- 
prising and energetic. A good many of them had good social back- 
ground and good educational preparation. Except for the fact that 
these people are nonresidents, they are not a distinct and separate 
group of Americans. 

Strange as it may seem, this same condition exists today. Since the 
going out of the Federal transient program in 1935, we have had no 
national way of getting real figures. Now, the National Travelers Aid 
carries on a way of getting figures in its own groups. From 92 cities 
we have certain figures, which indicate that our 92 cities took care of 
169,358 cases other than just the simple cases that go by us, that these 
cases represent about 400,000 individuals. 

It is interesting to note that in this group, the third largest number 
comes to us from automobiling and hitchhiking, and not, as you might 
think in our organization, through railway stations, although still the 
largest number does come in that way. They still move that way. 

But we are only a small part of the whole group, although tlie Na- 
tional Travelers Aid and its constituent agencies is primarily inter- 
ested in moving people. 

As I said before, since the integration of the Federal program we 
have had no way of determining figures, so one of the first things in 
a national policy is to determine a way to find what the number of 
people in this moving population is. When we realize that the popu- 
lation of the United States is a double population, a static and a mov- 


ing population, and that we have facilities for everybody in the United 
States to move, we realize how large our moving population can be. 

People who are able to take care of themselves move and people who 
are able to take care of themselves remain static, and people who are 
able to take care of themselves sometimes fall in trouble when they 
are moving, as all of us have, and people who are not very well able 
to take care of themselves fall into more difficult trouble when they 
go out. 

John Webb, in pointing out the comparison between the transient 
and the general population at the time of the Federal transient pro- 
gram, said : 

The great majority of transients were native white persons. Negroes repre- 
sented approximately one-tentli of monthly registi'ations and foreign-born whites 
approximately one-twentietli. In (he transient population during tlie time of the 
Federal transient program, the proportion of native wliite persons was higlier, the 
proportion of foreign-born whites lower, and the proportion of Negroes about the 
same as in the general population. 

TRANSIENCY— 1900-40 

In the Travelers Aid, as in other private social-work organizations, 
we are interested in the problem that the individual brings to us when 
he comes, but we are also interested to know what is the cause back of 
his flight and what he is fleeing to. Now, we have learned in our 
experience during the past that each decade brings about certain kinds 
of movements. 

From 1900 to 1910 and on we had the movement of young people 
to the city. That was one of the reasons why we became an organi- 

Then from 1915 to 1925, or along there, we had the great immigra- 
tion into the country. It was along about 1925 that we began to have 
auto transients and hitchliikers come into our terminology. 

Then when we came to 1930, we got into the depression, and we 
got this word "transient," which began to have a rather unsavory 
interpretation in many of the communities. 

Now we are going into another era, beginning with probably 1935 
or 1936, and we are going to learn some other things, I think, about 
this moving population, as Dr. Lorimer has been pointing out to us. 
We feel that one of the greatest contributing factors to the problem 
private organizations have had has been the unwillingness of com.- 
munities to accept the very fact that there is any problem. You go 
into a community of any size, and you will find from the people in 
the community, from the social agencies, both public and private, the 
statement, "We have very few problems." One of the reasons for 
that is because we are built as a Nation on the idea of taking care of 
our own in each commimity. In each community we have that slo- 
gan, "We take care of our own," and for that reason or some reason 
or other we do not think that "our own" extends beyond the urban 
limits, and that is making for a very great deal of difficulty. 

I suppose all of you have heard until you know it by heart that 
we have carried down these ideas, and these laws, from the days of 
Queen Elizabeth, and I suppose that you have all heard our very 
efficient and competent Commissioner Adie say that he wishes that 
we would remember that Queen Elizabeth had been dead a good long- 
time, so thai we might change some of these ideas. 


It has been increasingly difficult to get private funds to do any- 
thing reasonable for even the temporary current difficulty of people 
who come, because on the one hand people have come to say, "This 
is a Federal problem, and the Federal Government should take care 
of it. AVe are taking care of our own." 

But M-hen you make a casual study, as we have done, in one or two 
of our small communities, you will find that the communities are 
doing more than they have any realization of. We had a small study 
for 2 weeks in one of the southern cities, and we found that without 
anyone knowing it, here and there they had spent more than $1,200 
in less than 2 weeks for groups of people who were coming and 
going, without any thought, without any plan to know what was 
happening to those people or to the money that was being used. 


One of the greatest obstacles, I would say, also — we have been 
pointing this out since 1910, in the private social-work group — is the 
lack of uniformity among the 48 States in the matter of settlement 
laws and also in the matter of interpretation of the troublesome 
matter of residence. Constantly we have been trying to find ways 
of bringing about some method of uniformity. We do not seem to 
have succeeded very well. We conceived the idea recently in the 
National Travelers Aid Association that if we had some specific 
instances of what happens to individuals and to families because of 
these residence requirements and the restrictions in interpretation of 
them, we might be able to point out to such a committee as your- 
selves, these difficulties. We are in the process of bringing a study 
to a close, and we have studied 16 cities in which we have asked for 
all of the cases coming to the attention of social agencies, both public 
and private, of cases involving legal settlement. We hope to have 
this material ready to present to your committee at one of your hear- 
ings before you have finished because we believe, Mr. Tolan, that it 
is going to give you some very distinct information as to what has 
happened, for instance, in Illinois. 

Now, there the residence law has gone up from 1 year to 3 years, 
recently, and the interpretation is such that if you have not lived 
continuously in Illinois for 3 years before you apply for relief you 
are not eligible. 

The Chairman. When will you have those figures available ? 

Miss McCall. You can have those by August 15 or 16, 1 think. 

The Chairman. Our final meeting will be in Washington, and you 
will have it by that time, and we will grant you permission to present 
your material then, even if you do not attend the hearings. 

(Summary of State Settlement Laws was received later and ap- 
pears on pp. 48 and 49.) 



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Miss McCall. We hope very much that it will be very valuable 
to you. We believe now that the time has come for us to build 
on the knowledge that many people have, and many agencies, that 
these people that move about are just people, and that whatever 
kind of program you make for them should be comparable and 
similar to the program for the rest of us, that to set a group like 
this aside in a separate category is probably not going to solve 
the problem. 

There are so many elements, as you will find as you go about 
in your hearings, that come in to make a national program and 
setting up a policy that we feel that one of the first things to 
consider is that those who move are people and that is exceedingly 
important. I should like to submit to the committee a document 
which the National Committee on Care of Transient and Homeless 
published after its work of 5 years. Somewhere you might like 
to take some points that this report brings out, for consideration. 

(Document "After 5 Years" reads as follows:) 


UNEMPLOYED, 1932-37 

(Published by Committee on Care of Trnnsieut and Homeless, New York City. 

May 1937) 

A Resume 

Five years ago at the National Conference of Social Work, meeting in Phila- 
delphia, there crystallized in the minds of a group of social workers a deter- 
mination to unite in an exploratory expedition into an uncharted field of 
social need. 

The great economic collapse, swinging crazily down its depression spiral, was 
then well into its third year. An enormous load of unemployment had created 
unprecedented relief needs. The unemployed in vast numbers had already 
taken to the road in quest of employment and, failing to find it after months 
of endeavor, had become "men without a country," with no legal right to 
assistance in their time of desperate need. 

It was into this "no man's land" of transiency and nonresidence that the social 
explorers of 1932 proposed to venture. They hoped to clear the way to sound 
measures for the palliation of the immediate situation and, as a long-range 
program, to promote plans for the prevention of such widespread dislocation 
and hardship in the future. 

This pamphlet presents in bare outline — for the use of the interested student 
and social actionist — the history of this exploration, the findings along the way, 
the experiments undertaken, and the conclusions which seem justified. Parallel 
with the text will be found selected references to the abundant literature of 
the problem discussed here. 

It is our belief that at this point on the trail, those who are concerned with 
social justice for all should look back over the road just traveled and, in the 
light of what they see, should assist in charting a course for the years ahead. 
The need is as great now as in 1932. 

Let Us Look Back 

There has always been movement of population in America. Migration must 
be recognized as a valid phenomenon in the development of the potentialities of 
any country. In the earlier days, human drive and an adventurous spirit carried 
men, with or without their families, into the far reaches of our land as 
explorers, exploiters, laborers, industrialists, empire makers, settlers — men fol- 
lowing the crops, establishing homes, building up the wealth of the new Nation. 

"When a strong man comes to the realization that he cannot wrest happiness 
or contentment from his immediate environment, his eyes wander to the horizon. 
If in the distance he sees the promise of better health, a more satisfactory 


education, new freedom of thought and speech or a higher standard of living, he 
is likely to gather up his belongings and set forth." ^ 

In recent years, however, many of the opportunities which formerly awaited 
men on the frontier have disappeared. The v/ealth of the land— the mines, the 
forests, and the great water power — is now vested in the hands of property- 
holding individuals or corporations, and is not "there for the taking" by men 
whose only resources are initiative, courage, and an adventurous spirit. The 
tools which the migrant of an earlier day carried in his pack, with which to hew 
or dig his way successfully to a place of security in a new community, are no 
longer sufficient. The modern migrant must depend upon the labor market 
provided by the industrialist, the commercial agriculturalist, and others who 
own the tools of production, who may or may not choose to employ extra 
"hands" to operate those tools at a given time and place. 

"move on, you" 

Traditionallv the American people have regarded the stranger who asked for 
alms as a ne'er-do-well whose own fault it was that he found himself in such 
sorry straits. Let him help himself! Was there not opportunity and success 
for every man to take care of himself if he "had it in him?" 

The man who takes to the road today in quest of work carries with him, 
unaware, the ball and chain of the settlement laws of Old England. If work 
is not found and need develops, he suddenly finds himself in an alien community, 
unwelcome, with no legal claim for aid, with limited private charitable resources 
available to him, and with suspicion directed toward him as a dangerous char- 
acter. The hospitality of the police station, the "two meals and a flop" in a 
municipal lodging house or second-rate mission, the curt "Move on, you" of 
the sheriff at the county line, or actual arrest and sentence to the workhouse 
or the chain gang, have been and still are the penalties too frequently exacted 
from the victim of unguided migration. Having no responsible agency to direct 
him to opportunity for personal employment, he drifts or is shoved in this 
direction and that. 

Not all those who move from place to place are mentally or physically compe- 
tent to undertake to fend for themselves in a new field. But men are not always 
at fault for having no money saved on which to support themselves after months 
in the lumber camp, or on railroad construction, or following the crops. Often 
enough the wages for which they work are grossly inadequate to meet their 
needs. Compelled as they are to take the only jobs they can get, there are 
times when they need help from the society which tolerates these conditions. 


Since 1904 a transportation agreement among relief agencies has sought to 
establish sound social practice in relation to the movement of persons in 
need from one locality to another. This provides that no transportation be 
given until the agency has learned that the person involved will have em- 
ployment at the proposed destination, or that relatives or friends stand ready 
to support him, or that "legal residence" is a fact and that the person is 
therefore eligible to receive relief if needed. Free transportation is provided 
through to destination if the decision is favorable. The railroads make rate 
concessions on behalf of certified cases. 

By 1929, the principles of this agreement had wide acceptance among pri- 
vate social agencies. Public agencies as a rule had refused to sign, although 
in some enlightened local administrations the principles of the agreement 
were observed. Generally speaking, however, the decades of effort to secure 
improvement in the handling of relief for the "unsettled person" by persuad- 
ing the public relief agencies to use the transportation agreement have been 
without effect. 


Unemployment on a large scale was recognized by the statisticians as ex- 
isting in tlie United States for several years preceding the "peak of prosperity" 
in 1929. The fact received no general recognition save that family welfare 
agencies, Travelers' Aid societies, city missions, municipal lodging houses, 
the Salvation Army, and similar agencies noted increaisng pressure for their 

1 Restless Americans — Public Affairs Pamphlet, No. 9, 1936, page I. 


services. Railroads reported an increase in trespassing and illegal "riding 
the rods." "Thumbing a ride" became on the highway the familiar evidence 
of the movement of a population which could not afford to pay its way. 

The resources of private agencies were severely taxed as the depression 
grew deeper during 1930 and 1931. New funds were not easily found to meet 
the swelling tide of need. Public relief authorities had not yet faced realisti- 
cally the gigantic task which lay ahead. The Federal Government had not 
accepted responsibility for planning or financing in relation to general relief, 
and neither Federal, State, nor local governments had accepted any respon- 
sibility for the "unsettled" person. 

Under private auspices, in many cities, there were set up bureaus for 
registration of and service to the stranger who was in need. A few lodgings 
of the better type were made available. Boarding houses were opened in 
some cities and a few experimental camps for older and younger men were 

Beginning in 1930, special studies were made of the situation by the Family 
Welfare Association of America," the National Association of Travelers Aid 
Societies ° and the Federal Children's Bureau.^ The study of "the boy on 
the loose" in the great Southwest, made by the Federal Children's Bureau 
in 1931-32, most effectively dramatized the situation for the country. 

All over the land, along the right-of-way of the railroads, on the margin of 
towns, great and small, and on the city dumps, "jungles" sprang up where 
men and boys — and sometimes women and girls— lived a hand-to-mouth, debas- 
ing existence, following a manner of life which could not be considered 
tolerable when compared with the vaunted standards of living of the American 

The spectacle of a native-born American from the Atlantic seaboard finding 
himself in California an unwelcome applicant for relief; or of the Negro 
born and reared in the cotton States finding himself on the banks of the 
Hudson or the Monongahela, thrown out of a job as a houseman or a steel 
hand, with no legal right to help; these and other evidences of the dislocation 
of thousands of people from their home environment and normal ties brought 
to the point of germination the idea that if indeed the union of States created 
a Nation, then, by virtue of that national unity, the responsibiliy was vested 
first in the National Government and then in the States to insure that no 
citizen of this Nation should be left without assistance in his time of need. 


At the 1932 National Conference of Social Work, on call of the Family 
Welfare Association of America and the National Association of Travelers 
Aid Societies, a meeting was held for the purpose of developing a concerted 
attack upon this peculiarly difficult problem. This was no time to create a 
new national agency, no matter how worthy its objective. This was the time, 
however, to undertake to develop creative national thinking directed to the 
solution of the problems of the unsettled person, which problems previously 
had never been comprehensively attacked. 

Within 4 months of this initial meeting, the National Social Work Council 
had given status to the group concerned with this problem. It was accepted 
as a national committee, autonomous as to the special problem under con- 
sideration, and was thereafter known as the Committee on Care of Transient 
and Homeless. The funds of the committee were placed in the custody of 
the council and the secretary of the council became an active member of the 

The membership of the committee was composed of individuals drawn from 
the staff or the membership of other national agencies which touched some 
phase of the problem of transiency or homelessness. Since they were not 
selected as representatives of those agencies, thoy were free as individuals 
to enter upon this social exploration and the discussions and actions which 
were to follow. In addition, membership was recruited from the academic 
world, from the field of social research and interpretation, and from the ranks 

^ Care of the Homeless in Unemployment Emergencies, Family Welfare Association of 
America, 1930. 

2 A Community Plan for Service to Transients. TJ. S. Department of Commerce, 1931. 
Prepared by National Association of Travelers Aid Societies. 

* Memorandum on tlie Transient Bov. Printed in Twentieth Annual Report of the Chief 
of the U. S. Children's Bureau, June 30, 1932. 


of the private citizens who had a deep concern for the welfare of their 
follows" The funds which implemented the work of the committee came 
from the McGregor Fund. Mr. Tracy McGregor, who for many years had 
given generously to the assistance of the homeless man, volunteered this 
support without solicitation from the committee. 

This form of organization, for the purpose of a concerted attack upon a 
specific problem involving the social, economic, and health fields, marked a 
new departure in social planning. It is believed that results have justified 
the undertaking. . 

The committee, from the first, met regularly and frequently; it assembled 
data from the field through competent observers; it held hearings at which 
the experiences of men who had suffered the buffeting on the road, or the 
cold comfort of the lodging house, or the human companionship of the "jungles," 
were recounted. 

Cooperating with local agencies, the committee attempted a census of home- 
less and transient in January 1933, and another in March 1933. The one-day 
census in March covering 765 cities enumerated 201,596 nonresidents. Every 
State in the Union was adding its quota to the transient army, but the 
burden of caring for them fell unequally upon such areas as California, Florida, 
and the great Southwest. 

The committee digested the meager factual literature available, studied 
the settlement laws and their enforcement, read the current news, and followed 
up the weeklv and monthly journals for material on the subject under study. 
This mass of material was organized for consideration. By a process of dis- 
cussion, elimination, and synthesis, the committee arrived at a plan which 
it believed would mitigate the immediate distress and provide a body of ex- 
perience for long-range preventive planning. The processes of the committee 
were all group processes. 

Standards were formulated for the guidance of those seeking to relieve the 
unsettled person, whether singly or in large or small groups; whether in 
institutions, in camps, or through social service centers. 

The committee in 1933 presented facts at congressional hearings on relief 
in support of its contention that the special problem of the transient or un- 
settled person was a Federal responsibility and that the needs could not be 
met without financial assistance from the Federal Government. Largely as 
a result of this, the Relief Act of 1933 (sec. 4C) provided that: 

"The Administrator may certify out of the funds made available by this 
subsection additional grants to States applying therefor to aid needy persons 
who have no legal settlement in any one State or community." 


In his report to the President as of July 1, 1933, the Federal Emergency 
Relief Administration stated : 

"Since the matter of relief to transient unemployed persons, and the question 
of the value of self-help units, have been found to constitute little known 
and peculiar problems, a program of thorough investigation has been decided 
on. The investigations, and the eventual recommendations for the allocation of 
funds for the relief of the two groups mentioned, will be placed in the hands of 
specially qualified persons to be appointed to the staff of the Administrator."' 

At the same time, the Administrator called for the results of the studies 
made by the committee during many preceding months, and asked to be in- 
formed of the philosophy and plans which had been evolved. Two represen- 
tatives of the committee discussed the material with him at his request. 
As a result, the Federal Transient Program was formulated. In the Monthly 
Report of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration for July 1933 (pp. 8-9), 
it is stated : 

"A memorandum outlining a national program of relief to the homeless and 
transient destitute, to be put into effect through the efforts of the various 
States, was sent to all Governors and the State emergency relief adminis- 

"* * * every State in the Union contributes in a greater or lesser degree 
to the problem of transiency in every other State. 

s See p. 52. 

"^Monthly report of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, May 22 through Jnne 
30, 1933, pp. 5-6. 


"* * * a spirit of cooperation sliould prompt all States to undertake to 
meet, on a level of decency and constructive social vpork, the problem now 
recognized as national in its implications and for vphicli Federal funds are now 

"* * * these transients are citizens of the United States." 

The "transient" was defined for the purposes of the Administration as a person 
who had been within the State borders less than 12 months. Seamen were 
classed as transients. 

The memorandum pointed out that in each State there would be found three 
types of homeless persons or families: (1) Local homeless residents; (2) State 
homeless, who had been more than 12 months in the State; and (3) transient 
homeless, who had been less than 12 months in the State. All these groups, it 
was stated, needed to be provided for properly and humanely. 

'<* * * plans should utilize existing personnel and agencies whenever pos- 
sible and provide for adequate administration ; shelter, food, and clothing, 
adapted to the individual needs of imattached men, boys, women, and girls, and 
families ; medical and health service ; transportation either to place of legal 
residence or other destination when found desirable and necessary for families 
and unattached persons; work adapted to the physical handicaps of the clients, 
if any ; preventive programs." 


During the months of August and September 1933 the States slowly began to 
avail themselves of the opportunity to apply for funds for transient relief. They 
presented plans for approval, based upon the recommendations outlined in the 
memorandum to Governors. They appointed State directors of transient activi- 
ties with the approval of the Federal administrator and with the understanding 
that the person so appointed was to be a member of the staff of the State director 
of emergency relief, although the standards of his performance on the job were 
to be established by the Federal administrator. 

But the development of the Federal transient program was only one of the 
many relief and recovery measures undertaken in the hectic weeks of 1933. One 
program collided with another in the rapidity of development. Before the blue- 
print of the transient program could be drawn and put into operation the emer- 
gency conservation work program, providing Civilian Conservation Corps camps 
for young men from relief families from which a part of the transient stream 
had its origin, was established. 

A few months later came the Civil Works Administration, set up in November 
1863. Because direct relief through Federal funds was deemed to be unsuited to 
the manner of life and self-respect of the American people, "real work at real 
wages" was to take its place, with the workers to be recruited from families on 
relief. The emergency relief program. Federal, State, and local, though not yet 
in smooth running order, was therefore called upon to readjust itself to a new 
philosophy luider a new type of administration. This philosophy, work at a 
real wage rather than the "dole," was sound, but meant a severe wrench in relief 
planning. No State administrator of the Civil Works Administration had the 
time or vitality, after early November, to devote to the orderly development of 
the program for the unsettled homeless pierson or family. 

By force of circumstance, the State directors of transient activities found in 
late 1933 that if they were to function at all they must deal directly with the 
Federal transient director. This created the impression that the transient pro- 
gram was purely a Federal function, with the State transient directors respon- 
sible only "to Washington." The State emergency relief administrators felt no 
responsibility for coordinating transient work with their other State-wide relief 
activities, with the inevitable result that the program came to be looked vipon as 
an alien graft upon a tree from which it might be cut off with little damage. 

The men and women throughout the country who staffed the transient centers 
and camps were of a different mind. Their enthusiasm and devotion were those 
of trail blazers in an unexplored country. Where they had associated with them- 
selves advisory committees of interested citizens, and where their official activities 
were coordinated with existing agencies, the now program began to flourish. 

By the end of February 1934, 44 States and the District of Columbia had 
transient bureaus and camps in operation. The number of individuals assisted 
daily through these agencies increased during that month from approximately 
116,000 to 138,000, while the total number of individuals served during the month 


was 254,724.' By May 1934 the transient centers had increased from 249 to 295, 
and camps from 85 to 190.^ 

The peak of employment under Civil Works was reached in mid-January 19S4. 
As might have been expected, the termination of the Civil Works program in the 
spring resulted in an immediate increase in the transient load, from 126,873 in 
February to 174,138 in May 1934. Thereafter a steady rise occurred to the peak 
of 300,460 in February 1935." 

THE "integrated" PROGRAM 

With the demobilization of the Civil Works program and the revival of the 
original program of emergency relief, both Federal and State administrators 
were in a position to take stock and adjust the administrative machinery. 

The anomalous situation which had developed in the administration of the 
transient activities, because of the preoccupation of the administrators with 
Civil Works Administration, was corrected by an Executive order which channeled 
the authority and funds of the State transient directors through the State 
administrators, thus ending the direct flow of administrative direction from 
Washington. This assured an integration of the transient program with all 
other phases of relief in the given State. Much valuable time had been lost, 
however, in the interpretation of the program to the State administrators and in 
the building up of public support for the undertaking. 

The road ahead was now clear for an attempt at an orderly development of the 
program of relief and guidance of the homeless and transient person and for the 
education of the local community in the support of such a program. 


The development of standards of care and service in the transient centers and 
camps followed closely the recommendations originally made by the Committee 
on Care of Transient and Homeless. By October 1934 in the District of Columbia 
and all States except Vermont, integrated transient activities were organized. 
Each State program had its director and staff. At strategic points on the main 
lines of travel regional registration and treatment centers were located. In 
October 1934 there were 340 such centers, all in charge of trained case workers 
with the necessary staff of interviewers. At these points a process of classifica- 
tion was undertaken, designed to return the individual to his home or to result 
in his placement in a shelter, lodging, camp, or hospital. Families were cared 
for in lodgings. 

Physical examinations were required of all applicants. Medical care was made 
available in varying degree, depending on available facilities. Infirmaries were 
frequently operated in connection with the local shelters. Facilities for handling 
venereal disease and tuberculosis, however, were grossly lacking. 

In most camps and shelters educational and recreational programs were carried 
on successfully. The food served was wholesome, well prepared, and afforded a 
balanced diet. Shelter provisions were sanitary and far above the predepression 
standards which had existed in most municipal lodgings and missions. 

Valuable work projects were carried out, particularly road building, the 
development of park areas, and reforestation. Unfortunately, there was no 
stabilizing incentive in the form of a wage for work done such as was offered by 
the Civilian Conservation Corps, although a stiijeud of from $1 to $3 per week 
was paid, depending upon the work responsibilities of the various classifications 
of men cared for. The frequently registered complaint that men would not 
"stay put" was the outgrowth of this situation. 


Any undertaking which deals with the human being in an attempt to improve 
his situation needs repeated review and evaluation in order that the objectives 
may not be lost sight of in a rigid attempt to adhere to a preconceived plan. 

Having charted a course to be followed in the hope of bringing relief to thou- 
sands of homeless and unsettled persons, and having seen that course accepted 

'' Monthly report of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, March 1 through 
March 31, 1934, p. 12. 

s Monthly report of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, May 1 through May 
31, 1934, p. 12. 

» Monthly Report of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, March 1 through 
March 31, 1935, p. 19. 


by FchIovmI and State Govt'rnmoiits, the Coinniittee on Care of Transient and 
Ilonu'U'ss felt it to lu' desirable that at the end of a I'J -month period of opera- 
tion tliere shonUl l)e an evaluation of results. Sinee the nndertakini; had been 
set up on a basis of experimentation in an unknown held, it seemed obvious that 
there mii;ht be uwd of niodilii'ation in the lifiht of experienc-e. 

Such a survey was undertaken by the eonunittee under the direction of Dr. 
EUery F. Keed, ably assisted by niendters of the eonunittee, several staff nu>nibers 
of various soeial a,uenei(*s, and others. Observations were made and rtvorded in 
21) States. Sixly-two transient treatment centers, W slielters, and 20 camps were 
studied. The study represented cross-sections of the northeastern, north central, 
the southern, and western areas of the United States.^" 

The evaluation of the tindings of this survey \\'as tersely expressed by Oeorge 
Kabinoff in a paper delivered at tlie national conference of social work at Kansas 
City in 1!)34 : 

"The lesults of the transient division work have more than repaid tlie invest- 
ment. The committee's pathflndin.c:, projected into reality by the F. E. U. A., 
lias nrouJilit light into one of the darkest areas of human relationships. For the 
llrst time, money and personnel have been aiiplied tt) relii-f for transients. Now 
tlie problem can be examined on a national scale and provision maile to reach 
some of the roots on which it has thrived. 

"* * * Apparently a substantial portion of the transient load can be 
reabsorbed into normal social and industrial life, as opportunities are opened up 
aiul vocatioiKil training facilities are applied to individuals. A residual group 
will require other forms of care, some possibly on a custodial basis, for physical 
or other forms of social break-down. It is even conceivable that the program 
will allow for the Udrmal waiider-tiiirst of youth. * * * Seasonal ami migra- 
tory lalxn- will also be isolated to be provided for under the social order promised 
by the New Deal without being condemned to a pariah existence." 


Reed's An Evaluative Survey. Webb's The Transient Unemployed, and the 
several other studies inspired by the operation of the Federal transient pro- 
gram brought to light a most significant factor, often excluded in the genernl 
public's concept of "transient." These studies prove that the transient popu- 
lation dilTers very little from the average; that the transients are normal citi- 
zens seeking opportunity and. except that they cannot qualify under legal set- 
tlement provisions, are much the same as local residents. 

"These new transients are frequently not hobos but pioneers, often th*^ most 
enterprising and energetic vx'ople of their former conununities. A much larger 
proportion than formerly have good social background and good educationol 

"* * "■ The transients are now coming from all walks and conditions of 
life. Homes of college professors, farmers, elei'tricians, uuisicians, tei-hnicians, 
southern cotton pickers, nin-thern mill workers, and congested urban dwellers 
were all represented." 

"Except for the fact that they were nonresidents, there seems little reason for 
considering transients as a distinct and separate group in the total relief popu- 
lation. Although they could be distinguished from the resident unemployed, it 
was principally because they were ytuniger, and inclmhMl a great(>r proportion 
of unatlached persons. Actually the transient poi)ulation reiiresented the more 
active and restless elements among the great nund)er of uneinph\ved created by 
the depression. JNligration otTered an escape from inactivity; and, in addition, 
there was the possibility that all conununities were not equally affected by 
unemployment." '^ 

As to the comparison between the transient and the general population, Webb 
jioints out : 

"The great majcn-ity of transienta were native white persons ; Negroes repre- 
sented approximately one-tenth of the monthly registratimi, and foreign-born 
whites, approximately one-twentieth. In the transient relief pojiulation the 
proportion of native white persons was higher, the proportion of f(n-eign-born 

10 Ifeod, Ellcry F., Pli. D., An Evaluative Survey of the Federal Transient rrogram, 
Committee on Care of Transient and Homeless. 19.'?4. 

'^ Keed, Ellery F., Vl\. D., An Evaluative Survey of the Federal Transit Frogram, 
Committee on Care of Transient and Homeless, 10:>4, p. 20. 

^ Webb, John N., Tlie Transient Unemployed, Worlds Progress Administration, 19.S.5, p. 2. 


whites, lower, and the proportion of Negroes, about the same, as the general 
Ijcpulation." " 

The studies show that the most freqtieiit cause for the depression migration of 
needy persons and family groups was unemployment. Other I'casons of im- 
portance were ill-health, search for adventure, domestic trouble, and inadequate 


No accurate measure of the number of persons who actually constituted the 
transient army is available. The peak of registration for 1 month was reached 
in August 19.34, a total of 39r),:!S4 uiiattacli(>(l individuals and W>,2'V2 family 
groups being reported for that moment.'* At no time did the midmoiithly census 
exceed that of February 1985, wlien the record stood at ii()(),4(\(}.'^ The resident 
homeless are not included in the midmonthly figures. Nels Anderson has said 
of them: "There is no w^ay I know of counting the aged and derelict homeless 
of the great cities. It is my conviction they far outnumber the mobile youth 
in our transient camps." '" 

Of the dollars spent on the transient program, we do have authentic figures 
from the Federal Emergency Relief Administration for the period from the 
inception of the program through December 1935. Total obligations incurred 
amounted to $85,779,319, covering materials, supplies, and equipment purchased, 
relief extended, and administration and miscellaneous costs.'^ 

In return for these expenditures, health, and decent standards of living 
were maintained for thousands upon thousands of men, women, and children 
during the depths of the depression ; "jungles" disappeared along railroad 
rights-of-way ; constructive work, adding to the beauty and the wealth of com- 
munities, was performed ; trespass on the railroads was reduced ; and new and 
better types of service to human beings adrift were provided. 


The roots of any transplanted seedling, if the tree is to grow and 
must be embedded securely in the mother earth. Sun, rain, and skilled care 
are needed to assure its sturdy growth. 

In the two and one-third years of life of this new growth in the field of 
social assistance, the tap rcmt of Federal administrative leadership was cut 
five times. Through this unfortunate circumstance, continuity of development 
was hindered. No matter how good the quality of new leadership, there was 
bound to be, even at best, a slowing down of the process of growth. 

The effect of this process of retardation was felt in the States. Lack of 
supervisory field staff in the national oflfice sufficient to stimulate develop- 
ment, failure to promote the appointment of advisory citizens committees, and 
failure to cultivate harmonious community cooperation, resulted in the pro- 
gram's not taking root in tlie local communities. Criticism of various phases 
of the program began to be heard from some areas. It should be noted, how- 
ever, that in those regions where the State transient director had established 
his administration along sound lines of community organization, the program 
was accepted as an integral unit of service and as an essential part of the 
community program. 

Pressure for reduction in relief spending became insistent late in 1934 and 
in 1935. Accordingly, the Federal authorities determined to withdraw from 
direct relief and to swing all efforts into a "work" program (Works Progress Ad- 
ministration). The first blow in retrenchment and readjustment fell upon tran- 
sient care, the most newly developed branch of public relief. 

In September 1935, the order was issued to the States to intake at 
the transient treatment centers and camps and to liquidate the entire program 
as of November first. The transient, unsettled person was to become the "for- 
gotten man" of the New Deal, as he had been of the old. 

13 Ihid., p. 1. 

1' Ihid., p. 100. 

lii Monthly report of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, March 1 through 
March .'51, 1036, p. 34. ^ 

"Webb, John N., The Transit Unemployed.) Footnote on p. 18, Memorandum From 
Nels Anderson.) 

" Monthly report of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, December 1 through 
December 31. 1935, p. 79. *= 



In the light of the impending "liquidation" of this program, the Committee 
on Care of Transient and Homeless accepted as its responsibility the duty 
of interpreting the significance of this change of policy, not only in its effect 
upon human beings but also in its disastrous consequences in the field of public 
relief administration. Through a network of key contacts throughout the 48 
States, the committee became a clearing house for information concerning the 
progress of the demobilization. Actions taken in States or local communities 
to salvage a part of the program were reported and balanced against the ruth- 
less, reactionary handling of the problem in other areas. The acute situations 
in California, Florida, and the great Southwest were publicized and served as an 
educational force in molding public opinion. Never before had there been 
such an awareness of the problem, its significance, and the need for remedy — 
legal and economic — as was developed in the last 3 months of 1935. 

The withdrawal of Federal funds for transient relief resulted in the termina- 
tion of most organized service and of all regular statistical reporting. The 
stream of transient flow was driven underground. We had returned to the 
chaos of March 1933. But transiency had not ceased. 

The pressure exerted by the friends of the transient all over the country 
secured for him two Important concessions. The Works Progress Adminis- 
tration authorized the acceptance of employable men on the job, wherever 
they might be, provided the local authorities would enroll them. The Civilian 
Conservation Corps was authorided to accept young men who met all other quali- 
fications, provided they could designate an eligible allottee back home. 

Both these concessions were of value but their use was limited by the 
tendency of the local community to give preferential treatment to "home town" 
men and boys. 


During the 28 months of life of the transient program, State and local au- 
thorities had been completely absorbed in administering Emergency Relief 
Administration, Civil Works Administration, and various other related activi- 
ties under "emergency" legislation. No thought had been given to an adjust- 
ment of the old poor laws to meet new conditions. 

As a result, confusion reigned when the national program was discontinued. 
Without Federal funds to meet the need of the transient, public relief officials — 
facing the laws of legal settlement in their individual States — found themselves 
liable to legal penalties if they provided public relief funds for the "unsettled" 
person. This emphasized to the local official perhaps more effectively than 
anything else could have done the fact that this problem was inevitably a 
responsibility for which Federal and State Governments were primarily respon- 
sible, and he was ready to think in terms of "doing something about it." 


By March 1936 many States had become thoroughly alive to the fact that it was 
not enough to ask for Federal funds with which to meet the needs of transient 
relief, but that there must be a sharing of responsibility between National and 
State Governments and that the States must face the fact that their own laws of 
legal settlement were, by their rigidity and lack of uniformity, creating some of 
the very problems of which all States complained. 

Complete repeal of the settlement laws was suggested, but efforts toward this 
far distant goal were supplanted by the drive for the adoption of the Uniform 
Transfer of Dependents Act.^' The American Public Welfare Association and the 
Council of State Governments have been instrumental in having this proposal 
introduced in many State legislatures. 

Commissions on interstate cooperation, established within recent years, had 
been found to provide effective machinery for interstate action in relation to 
other problems of mutual interest. The activities of these commissions, now 
established in 25 States," had dealt with crime prevention, conservation, tax 
conflicts, etc. 

« Goodhue. Frank W., Report of the Committee on Uniform Settlement Laws and the 
Transfer of Dependents. Social Service Review, Septemher 1931. 
10 State Government, March 1937. 


The commissions of New York, New Jersey, aud Pennsylvania saw in the 
transient a problem of mutual concern. They invited the Committee on Care of 
Transient and Homeless to plan the agenda with them for an interstate confer- 
ence, called for March 1936 for all States east of the Mississippi. Twenty-two 
States were represented in the resulting Trenton Conference on Transients and 
Settlement Laws. Resolutions were adopted which recognized the responsibility 
of the States for participation, both financial and administrative, in the handling 
of the transient problem ; called upon the Federal Government to resume its 
moral obligation to this group of handicapped citizens ; and called upon the States 
to modify their laws of legal settlement and their poor laws to bring , about 
greater uniformity within this field.^ 

In April 1936 an interstate conference was initiated by the National Tuber- 
culosis Association, meeting in Santa Fe, for the purpose of considering the 
problem of the tuberculous transient and the resultant complications which were 
created for the communities to which he came. This conference resolved that 
"the Federal Government * * * should assume immediately the function of 
controlling the spread of tuberculosis by unsettled people" and urged "the prin- 
ciple of Federal participation in meeting the transient problem." It also recom- 
mended that Congress should "provide emergency funds for the several States 
where indigent tuberculous persons and families now find themselves * * * 
pending the development of a permanent transient program of national scope." 

A third interstate conference was called at St. Paul by Governor Benson of 
Minnesota in March 1937, to which 15 Midwestern States were invited. Again 
there were written into the record principles closely in line with those formulated 
by the Trenton Conference.'^ 

In all these conferences the Committee on Care of Transient and Homeless kept 
up a drum-fire on the objective of Federal, State, and local responsibility in this 
field, together with emphasis on the basic remedies of "surer direction and guid- 
ance" for men in search of employment. Unification of the laws of legal settle- 
ment throughout the United States was urged, as was the vesting of responsibility 
in the State governments to determine settlement. The Federal and State au- 
thorities were asked to provide the necessary funds with which to meet the relief 
needs of the unsettled person. 

Each of these conferences appointed a continuing committee charged with 
carrying out certain recommendations of the conference and with bringing the 
resolutions of the conference to the attention of the proper authorities. 

The Council of State Governments, meeting in its third general assembly in 
Washington in January 1937, with representation from 45 States, adopted a 
series of resolutions favoring "uniform and reciprocal State laws to iron out 
some of the conflicts in the field of social security." ^ It recommended a standard 
requirement of 1 year to gain settlement; a provision for retaining the old set- 
tlement until a new settlement was acquired ; relief and service during any period 
of inquiry as to settlement; authority vested in the State public welfare 
department to determine resettlement ; funds available to the State for re- 
imbursement of local communities for service rendered to transients ; and 
approval of the Uniform Transfer of Dependents Act.*' These resolutions, 
bearing as they do the stamp of approval of the official delegates from 45 States, 
constitute the crystallization in government of a sense of social responsibility 
for the nonresident. 


Florida, among all the States, knew first what it wanted to do. In September 
1935, shortly after transient intake was ordered stopped, Governor Sholtz ap- 
pointed a committee of 50, known as the Florida Transient Coordinating Com- 
mittee. This group helped to keep the problem of transiency before the country 
and Congress by an energetic campaign for national legislation. 

Certain of the States — notably California and Texas — organized State-wide 
committees under the sponsorship of their respective State conferences of social 
work. These committees have luidertaken to study the transient problems of 
their own States, and, cooperating with the national committee, have constantly 
urged State and Federal acceptance of their joint responsibility for the care of 
the nonsettled. 

20 See p. 52. 

=1 See p. 52. 

=2 State Government, March 1937, pp. 51-.o2. 

23 See p. 52. 

260370 — 40 — pt. 1 5 


The State of Michigan, through its Bureau of Unattached and Homeless Per- 
sons, has continued the transient program on a State-wide basis. Recognizing 
that the needs of nonsettled persons are not essentially different from those of 
the homeless resident, this bureau includes care for transients in its provisions 
for the homeless. 

The State Legislature of New York is considering the acceptance of financial 
responsibility for the care of all persons not having residence within the State, 
with care to'be administered by county ofhcials according to the standards of the 
locality. As this goes to press, it appears that the proposal will be adopted.^^ 

Both the administrations of New York and Michigan point out that the Federal 
Government should assume the responsibility for the care of interstate transients 
but pending such action these States propose to withdraw from the antisocial system 
of "passing on." 

Furthermore, these States are demonstrating that they are aware of the needs 
of nonsettled persons and that they are prepared to do something about it. In addi- 
tion, other States have conducted studies of their transient problems in an effort to 
work out a solution to their difficulties (California, Connecticut, Minnesota, Penn- 
sylvania). Showing the interest which schools of social work and individual stu- 
dents are taking in the "unmet need," many theses and studies have been and are 
being prepared on various phases of the problems caused by the needs of non- 

More progress has been made in 5 short years along this neglected byroad of 
relief than in the 150 years which have preceded ! Shall we permit another century 
to elapse before these principles are written into the laws of all the States? 


Although the Federal administration concedes that transients may be recruited 
by local authorities for Civilian Conservation Corps service and for Work 
Projects Administration employment, few are being provided for under these pro- 
grams. Their needs are not met under the social security legislation, which pro- 
vides assistance for the aged and for fatherless children and compensation for the 
unemployed. "Social security" is predicated upon a definite duration of residence 
within a given jurisdiction. How are the homeless to recover their status of 
eligibility after these years on the road? Where does the migratory worker get his 
"security number"? 

There is neither relief nor security as things now stnnd; nor would there be if 
the 48 States placed upon their statute books at once the legislation proposed by 
the Council of State Governments. A carefully wrought integration of Federal and 
State policy and of program, finance, and administration, is essential if security 
for all is to be attained. 

"Security is not always won by staying in the same place. In a dynamic society 
one of the' serious risks is that of being stranded in an area of declining emplo.y- 
ment, and one of the most important means to individual security is the ability to 
move in response to changing opportunities. Though the point is often overlooked, 
the protection and encouragement of mobility should play a genuine part in any full 
program of social security." '^ 

"Legislation may be introduced appropriating grants-in-aid to States in propor- 
tion to the burden on them of providing public relief for nonresidents. The addi- 
tion of such a section to the Security Act would probably mean the abolition of 
many of the restrictive State settlement laws which have brought so much con- 
fusion into the national-relief picture."^' 


The Congress of the United States is sensitive to the demands of its constituents. 
The awareness of the public as to the plight of the transient and its recognition that 
the problem had not been solved during the short life of the Federal program 
resulted in a concerted effort on the part of the States toward a reconsideration of 
the whole question in the light of the experience gained during 1934 and 1935. 

24 state of New York, Senate bill No. 7S7 (Int. 737), Senator Livingston, February 1.^. 

« Goodrieli, Carter, Security and Mobility, Labor Legislation Review, September 
19.S«. p. ins. 

" Leet, Glen, Social Security and Congress, Survey Graphic, March 1937. 


With Florida serving as the spearhead of the attack and with the National 
Committee mobilizing support, the Senate in June 1936 adopted Resolution No. 298. 
This resolution, sponsored by Senator James P. Pope of Idaho, directed the 
Secretary of Labor to : 

"Study, survey, and investigate the social and economic needs of laborers mi- 
grating across State lines, obtaining all the facts possible in relation thereto 
which would not only be of public interest but which would aid the Congress 
and the States in enacting remedial legislation." 

No appropriation was made to facilitate this study, but a union of forces within 
the several departments of the Federal Government, under the leadership of the 
Secretary of Labor, in carrying out the mandate of Congress has resulted in a 
afcmprehensive evaluation of the situation being undertaken. The national com- 
mittee has aided by urging that letters describing conditions in various parts of 
the country be sent to Washington. As this goes to press the report of the study 
has not been made public. There is reason to believe, however, that it will pro- 
vide facts upon which remedial legislation — both Federal and State — can be based. 
A further indication of congressional interest in the survey is gained from the 
introduction in the present legislative session of Joint Resolution No. 8.5. This 
resolution, also sponsored by Senator Pope, calls for an appropriation of $20,000 
to continue the survey conducted under Resolution No. 298. 


As we consider the many facets of the problem of transciency, reflecting the 
needs of young and old, men, women, and children, the sick and the well, the 
skilled, the employable and the "unemployable,"' we are forced to the conclusion 
that if security for the group is to be assured, every proper resource of the Fed- 
eral, State, and local governments must be tapped. Federal leadership must 
stimulate the States to action. 

W^e have been concerned with the "transient" as a categorical unit in this great 
problem of relief. The time has arrived when service to meet his needs should 
become an integral part of a national program of relief and security. 

The trail of the past 5 years leads on into the future toward a definite goal. 
That goal is an established policy of Government, Federal and State, which recog- 
nizes in law a continuing responsibility for the welfare of nonsettled persons. 
Their welfare must include their guidance to economic opportunity, their relief 
in time of need, their protection in health and sickness, their security on equal 
terms with their fellow citizens. Mobility is a national economic necessity; it 
must cease to be a barrier to social security. 

As this trail is followed, the committee will continue to function as a two-way 
channel ; it will solicit, organize, and present to the proper authorities suggestions 
by which the goal can be reached ; it will report to the field the steps taken and 
the difficulties faced in the progress along the trail. From its position of leader- 
ship it hurls back the challenge of the "unmet need" to all those whose support 
is necessary if the goal is to he attained. There must be concerted local action — 
acceptance by both public and private agencies of their just share of the load by 
broad adjustments in their local welfare programs, to accomplish the elimination 
of "passing-on," the correction of community attitudes, and the continuing study 
of the local problem. There must be State-wide action to effect a welfare pro- 
gram with provisions for the nonsettled. There must be organized local and 
State action to bring about Federal leader.ship and participation in a cooperative 
program through which the goal can be reached. 


In our democracy we w^ho have seen and heard of the plight of these migrants, 
we who have status in our own community, as board members of social agencies, 
as social workers, as public officials, as businessmen and others — all voting citi- 
zens — we have the responsibility for insuring the attainment of this goal. 

Respond to the challenge of the "unmet need" by constructive action looking 
toward an all-inclusive program of social security ! 

— Ellen C. Potter, M. D. 


Committee on Care of Transient and Homei-ess 

Lt. Col. John J. Allan, Salvation Army, New York City. 

Homer W. Borst, Community Chest of New Haven, Conn. 

C. C. Carstens, Chekl Welfare League of America. 

Marion Lounsbury Foster, American Red Cross, Brooklyn, N. Y. 

Abel J. Gregg, National Council, Y. M. C. A. 

George M. Hallwachs, Joint Application Bureau, New York City. ■ 

T. Arnold Hill, National Urban League. ' 

David H. Holbrook, National Social Work Council. 

Clarence King, New York School of Social Work. 

Dr. H. E., National Tuberculosis Association. 

Rev. E. Felix Kloman, New York City Welfare Council. 

Russell H. Kurtz, Russell Sage Foundation, New York City. 

Morris Lewis, Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, New York City. 

Edith E. Lowry, Council of Women for Home Missions, New York City. 

Genevieve Lowry, National Board, Y. W. C. A. 

Mrs. C. S. Maddock, Jr., Trenton, N. J. 

Bertha McCall, National Association for Travelers Aid ajid Transient Service. 

A. Wayne McMillen, School of Social Service Administration, University of 

MacEnnis Moore, National Association for Travelers Aid and Transient Service. 
Dean William H. Nes, chairman, Transient Committee of New Orleans Council 

of Social Agencies. 
Dr. Ellen C. Potter, Department of Institutions and Agencies of New Jersey. 
George W. Rabinoff, Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, New 

York City. 
Ella Weinfurther Reed, American Public Welfare Association. 
Margaret E. Rich, Family Welfare Association of America. 
Mrs. Samuel J. Rosensohn, New York City. 
Gertrude Springer, The Survey. 
George L. Warren, International Migration Service. 
Harold P. AVinchester, Albany, N. Y. ! 

Officers : Dr. Ellen C. Potter, chairman ; Philip E. Ryan, executive secretary. 

Digest of Resolutions Adopted by Three Interstate Conferences ^ 


Resolved, That it is the sense of the third general assembly that uniform settle- 
ment laws be enacted providing for — 

(o) A period of 1 year's residence as a requirement for gaining settlement. 

( 6 ) A provision for the retaining of settlement in one State until a new one is 
acquired in another State. 

(c) Relief and service to unsettled persons in accordance with the local stand- 
ards of relief wherever they may be found in need and until such time as the 
necessary investigation regarding settlement is completed. 

{cl) Vesting in the State department of public welfare the power to determine 
the final decision as to the retention of an unsettled person in the State or the 
return of such person to his place of legal residence. 

(e) Authorization of State departments of public welfare or the corresponding 
agency to reimburse the local units for the costs of relief and service given to the 
person without legal settlement. 

(f) Authorization of State departments of public welfare or the corresponding 
agency to provide relief and service for transients — interstate and intrastate — as 
an Integral part of the general relief and service department. 

Resolved, That the third general assembly recommend the adoption of the 
Uniform Transfer of Dependents Act and urges the application of the principle 
of reciprocal agreements between groups of two or more States having adequate 
laws to encourage uniformity of practice between the cooperating States. 

Be it further resolved, That the third general assembly urge the Congress of 
the United States to develop the necessary legislation and make appropriations 

^ Referred to in text. p. 59. 


to take care of the problems of the transient, the needy stranded migratory 
laborer, and other unsettled persons through grants-in-aid to the States on the 
basis of certain basic requirements. 


Whereas industrial, legal, and financial conditions created by the prolonged 
economic depression have dislodged thousands of men, women, and children from 
their normal occupations and places of legal settlement and have thrown them, 
in their extremity, into communities where they are alien and have no legal right 
to relief ; and 

Whereas the Federal Government in the last 2 years, by its program of relief 
and work for transients, has demonstrated tliat it is possible on a national scale 
to alleviate the condition ; and 

Whereas the experience of these 2 years has further demonstrated that tran- 
siency is an interstate program and that it has its roots in the national phases of 
unemployment, in seasonal and migratory labor, and other situations that are 
beyond the control of the individual States ; and 

Whereas the abandonment by the Federal Government of the relief program 
for these persons is returning these unfortunate, unsettled people to chaos and 
hopelessness, since they and the communities in which they find themselves lack 
the means to solve their problems ; and 

Whereas most States cannot legally use State funds to relieve inisettled persons 
and residual Federal funds in the hands of State agencies are now practically 

Be it resolved, That we call upon the Government of the United States, through 
an appropriate permanent branch of the public service and as a part of the public 
assistance program, to accept immediate responsibility for the relief and employ- 
ment of transients, and we urge that this relief and employment be made effective 
through permanent departments of State government and coordinate local units 
of administration and that funds be made available by the Federal Government 
on a grant-in-aid basis. * * * 

We are fully aware of the differences between the States in the manifestations 
of the Federal relief and transient problems and the impracticability of this con- 
ference attempting to formulate a detailed and specific program of State action. 

However, there are certain general principles which should be embodied in 
State legislation and which, if adopted in the several States as part of their gen- 
eral relief program, would substantially reduce the volume of transiency. We 
conceive these principles to include : 

(1) A uniform period of residence, preferably brief, for acquiring a legal 

(2) A reorganization of the relief laws to provide care ror persons not naving 
local settlement. 

(3) Adequate standards of relief for all persons in need, regardless of settle- 
ment status. 

Be it further resolved. That this conference approve and encourage all efforts 
being made and to be made to bring about uniformity of legal settlement laws 
between the several States. 

That for immediate action this conference approve the principle of reciprocal 
agreements between groups of two or more States which shall encourage uni- 
formity of practice by agreement as between the cooperating States, and further. 

That this conference bring to the attention of all State legislatures the need 
for, and the advisability of, enacting legislation to authorize and empower an 
appropriate State department to enter into these reciprocal agreements. 


A. It was agreed that the responsibility for providing care in the first instance 
should be in the local political subdivisions where the person or family resides 
at the time of need, and that assistance should be granted according to uniform 
standards irrespective of legal settlement, such standards to be established under 
the supervision of the State welfare department, or the proper State agency 
until a State welfare department is created. Having provided temporary 


assistance, inquiry Mill next be directed to determine the place of legal settle- 
ment with the attendant financial responsibility for the care of the individual 
or family. Assuming for purposes of illustration that the family or individual 
has a legal settlement in some other political subdivision within the State, the 
following principles should govern action talcen : 

1. That removal to the place of legal settlement within the State should be 
on the basis of the best interest of the client. 

2. That before returning an individual or family to the place of legal settle- 
ment, permission should be obtained and a plan made for the individual or fam- 
ily within the community to wliich the person or family is to be returned. 

3. That tlie final decision as to whether an individual or family should be 
returned from a political subdivision in whicli there is no legal settlement to 
the political subdivi.sion of legal settlement should be by the State welfare 

B. Assuming that the individual or family does not have legal settlement 
within the State, but does have settlement within another State, tlie questions 
arise whether to return that person to the place of legal settlement and who 
shall assume the financial responsibility. It was ngreed that the question of 
whether such individual or family should be returned to their legal residence 
sliould be governed by the same principles as mentioned above. 

C. * * * Evidence was introduced revealing a wide variation in State laws. 
The following conclusions were reached : 

1. That the States should work toward the development of a period of 1 year's 
residence as a requirement for gaining settlement within a State. 

2. That States should work toward a provision for the retaining of settle- 
ment in one State luitil a new one is acquired in another State. 

Regardless of whether settlement laws are uniform or not. reciprocal agree- 
ments between States must be developed to facilitate service to unsettled persons. 
* * * It is understood that reciprocal agreements are only practical between 
the States having adequate laws containing satisfactory provisions for State 
supervision and financing. 

D. It is obviously impossible to make action effective on interstate problems 
unless there is a reasonable degree of Federal supervision and an adequate 
amount of Federal financial support. Tliis conference is convinced that either 
as a part of a more general Federal relief program or as a special class of 
relief care by itself there must be created some Federal provisions for the supervis- 
ing and financing of the program for interstate transients. The conference recog- 
nizes that this is not a matter which can be passed off for the supervision and 
financial control of the Federal Government only, but it is a problem that must 
be shared in its administration ami financing as a partnership between Federal, 
State, and local governments. The conference is much interested in further 
study and analysis of this problem as called for in Senate Resolution 298 (74th 
Cong.) and Senate Joint Resolution 85 (75th Cong.). It is further interested in a 
broader approacli to the question through appointment of a Federal Commis- 
sion with funds adequate to study the whole problem of public welfare and 
relief of which transiency is an integral part. 

E. The conference realizes that the transient popidation presents a serious 
health problem because of the existence of contagious diseases, particularly 
tuberculosis and venereal diseases, among this group. This problem shows the 
importance of Federal-State .ioint action. Because of the health menace and the 
other social evils consequent upon the lack of care for our moving population, 
the conference, therefore, stressses the point that the expense of an adequate 
transient program would be much less than the social costs of continued neglect. 


AVe have also in ottr office a file of publications called "The Tran- 
sient" which has some material brought out during the days of the 
Federal transient program, and also in these recent years, which may 
be of interest and help to you. 

The national agencies wish to say that we feel that we see the 
individual problem of these specific people, .from these individual 


problems which have come to us, and we have come to believe that the 
city, State, and Nation all have some part in building a program, that 
that program needs to be coordinated; and now, one of the things 
that we are all finding these days in our democracy is, I think, thfl 
lack of ways of coordinating the various services that have already 
been going on. We are interested to know that the Federal Govern- 
ment has many departments interested in this problem and concerned 
with it. We hope that in a national policy those will be coordinated 
and worked out so that there will not be duplicated efforts. We hope 
the same thing will be true with the services of the national agencies, 
I think that that is as much of a statement as I would like to make. 


Mr. Curtis. Miss McCall, what one thing more than anything else 
makes it necessary for families to take to the road in search of a 
home or jobs or something or other ? What puts these people out ? 

Miss McCall. Well, the whole family, that is, the family as a 
whole, when it picks up and goes, does so because it does not have 
enough to live on well where it is and thinks that the next field is 
much greener than the one where it is, and it keeps on going in that 

Or it may be that the father of the family decides that he is strong 
enough and has enough experience, that within a day or two he can 
get a job, I have an interesting case of an example here of a whole 
family of seven going from the meat-packing district of Chicago over 
to Kansas City, because Kansas City is a meat-packing place and the 
father lost his job in Chicago. They did not want to go on relief, so 
he packed his family in his little car and drove to Kansas City. 

They had enough to live on in Kansas City for 10 days. He figured 
that he would be able to get a job in 10 days in Kansas City. He could 
not get a job in 10 days in Kansas City, and so this family comes to the 
attention of the relief. 

Mr. CuRTus. Now, in that connection, can you tell us what percent 
of these people are forced into this wandering through no fault of 
their own, and what force it has been — human frailties and their 
errors of judgment, or the overadvertising of opportunities elsewhere 
and something of that sort ? 

Miss McCall. I would not be able to analyze that, in any propor- 
tion. I would say from my experience in all of these years, in Trav- 
elers Aid, that you would find a large percentage of people who 
move, moving because there is something pushing them, a pressure 
pushing them out— a magnet drawing them rather than just a human 

Our younger group, of course, is the group that is the adventure 
group, as you would know. 

Mr. Curtis. Yes. However, I would hate to see Federal legisla- 
tion interfere with the right of every young American to go out and 
conquer the world. 

Miss McCall. So would I. 

Mr. Curtis. But do you feel that the problem before us is one of 
better handling and doing more for the people on the road, or an 
analysis and correction of the basic conditions that put them on the 
road ? 


JNIiss McCall. Well, it is a combination. We need to know the 
whole background, why they are on the road, and try to correct some 
of those things, and there are people who go away from home who 
would much rather stay in the place where they have been than go 
out, if there were an opportunity there for them. 

There are others for whom it would be very much better to go. 

Mr. CuKTis. From your experience do you find the conclusion true 
that greater care and concern given to these people while the}" are on 
the road increases the number on the road ? 

Miss McCall. Well, that is one of the great criticisms that was 
made of the Federal transient program. I happen to be one of tliQ 
people that does not believe that that is the real reason why they go. 
There were other good conditions why they go. I mean you would 
move from your community if you were not able to do well in that 
community and you found another community in which j'ou could 
do very much better. 

Mr. Curtis. In other words, the person dependent upon relief is 
subject to the same inducements as the individual who moves depend- 
ing upon the opportunity of his own resources? 

Miss McCall. Surely. That brings me to say this: That one of 
the reasons that this needs a national policy is if the State of New 
York sets up a reasonably good and honest program, the first thing 
you know somebody will be saying in New York that we are getting 
all of the people from the South so we are going to stop that pro- 
gram, and therefore it means that it must be a Federal and national 
program, because you cannot pick up the lag in the States. One State 
will get ahead of the other, you see, and it makes it a very difficult 
thing because people will move where good opportunities are. 

INIr. Os3iERS. Have you found in your experience over the years 
with the Travelers Aid work, that a good many people take to the 
road because of misinformation, because they were misinformed as to 
the opportunities ? 

Mayor LaGuardia this morning pointed out a certain very small 
instance of those who thought that they might have good opportunities 
on the radio, and I wondered if in your experience you found that as 
5"ou say, people in the State of West Virginia heard that there were 
goods jobs at $50 a week up in New York that they could get right 
away — do you find many of those ? 

ISiiss MoCall. Well, as far as we are concerned, as a private agency, 
they loom rather large, because our funds are small and they become 
a very great problem to us. How large they are in the general popu- 
lation, I would not be able to say, but from observation, from the cases 
that we have, we feel that general advertising has been one of the 
causes why a great many people have gone to Florida, and why a 
great many people have gone to California. For instance, in the 
winter of 1931, when we were having very great difficulty here in 
the matter of this problem of young people, one of the very coldest 
days I was walking out here and saw an American Express truck or 
an American Railway truck with a big sign on it, "Come to Florida, 
the Land of Sunshine." 


Well, I felt like going to Florida myself, and I could not help but 
think that if I were cold and shivering, I would try to go to Florida 
if it were the land of sunshine, when it was that day several degrees 
below zero. So there are all of those factors that you really have to 
take into consideration. 

Mr. OsMERS. You would not say that the people from Florida or 
California are a little optimistic about their climates, would you? 

Miss McC'all. That was one of the things that we anticipated about 
the World's Fair. We thought the advertising from the World's Fair 
would bring an unusual group of people here. For some reason or 
other, it did not. 

The Chicago World's Fair did really bring a great number of 

The Chairman. Miss McCall, do you not think that the average 
American would like to stay where his home is, if he can make it go? 

Miss McCall. Yes ; I think that that is true. 

The Chairman. But there are circumstances over which he has no 
control, arising in this country, by which he is forced to move. 

Now, indicating that he would like to stay home, I understand the 
Federal Farm Security Administration has taken care of 800,000 
families in the South. That is, they have provided people with a 
horse and cow and seed and that 85 percent of that money is being 
paid back, but we have 500,000 families still uncared for, is that right? 

Miss McCall. Yes. 

The Chairman. In the early days of this country people migrated 
and as they got to the States of destination they found jobs. 

Now, do you not think the tendency in America today is to want 
them to come in if they have got some money and they do not want 
them to come in if they have not any money? That is our problem, 
is it not ? 

Miss McCall. Yes. 

The Chairman. Well, I think that you have contributed a very val- 
uable statement here. I have met you before. Miss McCall, and we 
are very grateful, and if there is anything you may later want to insert 
in the record we will give you that opportunity. 

Thank you very much. 

We will adjourn until 2 o'clock. 

(Whereupon, at 12 noon, a recess was taken until 2 p. m. of the 
same day.) 


(The hearing was reconvened at 2 p. m.) 


The Chairman. The committee will come to order, and we would 
like to have the New Jersey representatives come forward, please. 

Mr. Kriieger, will yon give your full name, and occupation, and 
your connection Avith this interdepartmental committee? 

Mr. Krueger. C. George Krueger, deputy commissioner of labor, 
chairman of the New Jersey Conference of State Departments on 
Migratory Labor. 

The Chairman. Now, will you indicate who you have here with 
you and give their names so that the reporter will know who they 
are? (The information was given as below-:) 

C. George Krueger, deputy commissioner, New Jersey Department 
of Labor., and chairman of the New Jersey Conference of State De- 
partments on Migratory Labor; 

William H. MacDonald, chief of the bureau of local health admin- 
istration of the New Jersey State Department of Health; Maj. Charles 
F. Schoeffel. deputy superintendent of the New Jersey State Police; 
Russell J. Eldridge, director of the New Jersey State Employment 
Service; H. J. Lepper, administrative assistant of the New Jersey 
State Employment Service. 

The Chairman. Now, Mr. Krueger, how did you desire to pro- 
ceed — to present your statement? 

Mr. Krueger. We propose, and if you wish to change it, we cer- 
tainly will be very satisfied to do it in any way, but we propose to 
read a statement, and then have the various specialists representing 
our departments answer the specific questions. 

The Chairman. I think, if there is no objection, that will be all 
right, and then after you finish you will call on them. 


Mr. Krueger. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. We will proceed. 

Mr. Krueger (reading) . Mr. Chairman and members of the congres- 
sional committee, the Governor of the State of New Jersey, through the 
Conference of New Jersey Departments on Migratory Labor, desires 
to offer complete cooperation to the congressional committee whose 
duty it is by virtue of a resolution of the House of Representatives to 
study, survey, and investigate the needs and the movements of persons 



across State lines. The very existence of the New Jersey conference is 
a tacit admission that there is a problem concerning the employment of 
mioratory labor in the State. Existing facts also indicate that it_ is 
qualitative rather than quantitative at the moment, but therein lies 
a dormant seed awaiting the future growth. The application of ef- 
fective control measures is of vital importance, which statement re- 
flects the primary function of the New Jersey conference, naniely, to 
determine what measures constitute effective control of migratory 
labor, to prevent unwholesome developments that are distinctly detri- 
mental to the public interest and welfare. 

Your very sympathetic and well-informed chairman, Congressman 
Tolan, advised the gathering at Bridgeton, on Saturday, that he was 
well aware of the existence of a migratory labor problem in New 
Jersey, which statement was made in response to several other state- 
ments that undoubtedly seem to come from thoughts of lesser magni- 
tude of the problem in" New Jersey in contrast to other areas. 

Supporting statements by Commissioner Toohey, of the department 
of labor, and Major Lepper, of the employment division, immediately 
following Chairman Tolan's declaration, should leave no doubt hi 
the mind of the members of the committee that New Jersey is pre- 
paring to cope with the situation before it assumes proportions that 
will be exceedingly difficult to control. 


Several paths may be pursued in the attempt to find a suitable 
answer. In the first place, there arises a question of the necessity for 
such migratory labor. On the other hand, if it is assumed that 
migratory labor is essential to the economic and social welfare of the 
State, then it follows that the State should make certain fair contri- 
butions. . . 

Either path deviates through a maze of interrelated conditions 
involving type of work, working conditions, recruiting practices, edu- 
cation, health, living conditions, relief practices, and police problems. 
These are all functons of various State agencies. 

The complexity of this seemingly unimportant situation was imme- 
diately found to be exceedingly diverse, in consequence of which the 
Conference of New Jersey Departments on Migratory Labor w^as 
formed early this year. Kepresentation in the affairs of the confer- 
ence, and brief statements of specific interest in each case follow : 


Department of agriculture: Studies that have been made in our 
State since 1910 have always emphasized the employment of migrants 
in agriculture. The department of agriculture's computations as of 
today estimate that about 12 percent of the total harvest man-hours 
is provided by employment of migratory labor in fniits and vege- 
tables. Also the manpower for almost all other crop harvesting 
seems to be provided from sources other than migratory labor. 

The total acreage in all crops is 850,000, of which total 310,000 
acres are harvested by migrants, who number approximately 9,000 


persons, including 4,000 Negroes. The balance of 5,000 are chiefly 

About 325 potato growers employ these Negroes and 300 growers 
the Italian migrants. 

Our survey shows that the Negroes begin their trek north from 
points of origin in Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina, and 
Virginia. Crops are followed in a well-defined pattern beginning in 
Florida and ending in New Jersey and neighboring States. This 
flow alternates annually from Florida to New Jersey to Florida and 
intervening points in both directions. 

The yearly cycle is startlingly constant from the point of view of 
I'outes followed and can be traced without any difficulty. Italian 
migrants are chiefly from Philadelphia and are generally employed 
in the harvesting of fruits and vegetables. 

The characteristics of this type of migrant diflfer from the Negro 
chiefly because the entire families are hired to work for a grower. 
Different types of problems are the result. It has been suggested 
that the use of migrant labor is essential even though but 12 per- 
cent of the total man-hours is provided by such workers. Familiarity 
with harvesting procedure, willingness to work under varied condi- 
tions, availability, are several of the reasons given for the justifi- 
cation of the requirement. 

In contrast, it is felt that the committee noted conditions at the 
Seabrook farm near Bridgeton in their tour of New Jersey. This 
large agricultural enterprise employs over 2,000 persons, most of 
whom are local residents. Working and living conditions are ac- 
ceptable standard, and wage scales are maintained in very close 
conformity to governmental requirements covering other types of 


The second department representation is from the — 
Department of labor: Aside from the general concern for the 
worker in any industry, the specific interest of the department of 
labor in the employment of migratory labor up to the present 
time has been in connection with methods for contracting for the 
supply of this labor. Statutes place the regulation of private in- 
stead of public employment agencies under the jurisdiction of the 
labor department. Certain legal restrictions involving activities 
outside of the State prevent proper and necessary regulation of the 
migrant labor contract. About one-third of the 325 potato growers 
secure their labor through a contract. The many injustices, poten- 
tial and existing, that are and can be suffered by the workers at the 
hands of unscrupulous contractors dictates the removal of this system 
in favor of placement by existing State employment agencies, whose 
facilities could be readily extended to perform this desirable service. 


In New Jersey the child-labor laws now in effect exempt children 
of all ages when they are engaged in agricultural pursuits. How- 
ever, many of the practices considered to be detrimental and un- 
wholesome as far as employment of children on the farm is con- 
cerned will be automatically eliminated on September 1, 1940, when 


the recently revised New Jersey child-labor law goes into etfect. 
The new law provides for a minimum age of 12 years for children 
employed in agriculture, with a maximum of 10 hours in any one 
day. However, when schools in the farm district are in session no 
children may be employed under 16 years of age, and then only 
when possessing the proper certificate. The only exemption refers 
to children working on farms owned by their parents or guardians. 

Significantly enough, the farmers of the State endorse the pro- 
posals regarding agriculture. This law is a definite step ahead and 
was prepared and established by the National Child Labor Commit- 
tee. As before, regidation and enforcement is placed in the depart- 
ment of labor. 

In contrast to other States, the canning mdustry comes under the 
factory laws which provide for the regulation of working conditions, 
and many of the vexing welfare problems of agriculture processing 
are thereby eliminated. 


Employment ser\ace: Until a decision is reached regarding the 
need for migi'ants in the harvesting of crops, the employment serv- 
ice, has endeavored to determine for potato growers the quantity of 
workers used, the rate of wages paid, and total earnings. The data 
are also useful in determining the possibility of replacement with 
local labor and keeping the volume of migration to a necessary 
minimum, which would reflect itself as a reduction in the relief load. 

The conference representatives of the New Jersey State Employ- 
ment Service report that insofar as recruiting practices are con- 
cerned for migratory workers, steps are being taken to provide New 
Jersey farmers with suiRcient labor in cooperation with the employ- 
ment divisions in other States. Since it is evident that this is labor 
of a seasonal nature, the employment division is studying proposals 
to supply where possible local labor and supplement the same with 
migrants from other States. The local labor supply is questionable 
at tlie moment, but the employment division has hopes that a positive 
supply may be secured following additional study. 

Migrant labor has been supplied in several instances to local farmers 
who have requested such workers be supplied by the employment di- 
vision. This required the cooperation of, in one instance, the State 
of Virginia, and was found to be very successful in operation, the 
farmers having received a suitable supply of labor. 

The supply of migrant labor on a larger scale is contemplated inas- 
much as the same operation is deemed to be successful. 


Department of education : The statements heard by the connnittee 
yesterday, or rather Saturday, concerning the ability of children em- 
ployed in the cranberry bogs\o maintain a high standing in the class- 
room, despite absence from school because of the gathering of berries 
in the bogs, is the exception to the rule. The department of labor 
found it to exist in other agricultural pursuits in which children are 
engaged. Statistics of scholarship records of children in regular 
school attendance show unquestionable superiority over those children 
who are withdrawn from exposure to classroom technique because of 


the necessity to work in the fields. The new child-labor law previously 
mentioned will correct the condition. It will remain to be seen what 
the scholastic records of children will be when compulsory attendance 
at school is required. The provisions of the new law may create addi- 
tional educational problems, especially in the presence of the migrants 
if that is tolerated, and especially those who bring their children with 
them. Since the law requires attendance at school of children under 
16, the effects on the district school system are destined to become crit- 
ical because of the additional number of children to provide for, and 
since the migrant is shifting from place to place and therefore because 
of change in individual children producing greater or lesser numbers 
as the case may be, the facilities of many rural schools will not be 
capable of supporting either the increased load or sustaining the 
shock due to constantly changing characteristics of the individual 

The responsibility for the expense to provide increased facilities, 
l^ersonnel, and transportation is not clearly understood. Therein lies 
one of the most profound princijoles which attaches to migrant labor, 
especially since the education of children is so highly regarded as 
essential to the preservation of this democracy. Aid in some form 
must be granted if the migrant is regarded as a necessity, but the 
characteristics of the form have not been found. 


Department of health : Again, if the migrant is to be tolerated, to 
what extent should the department of health be required to make ex- 
aminations and keep records, and to provide treatment? While cases 
of communicable disease, such as scarlet fever, diphtheria, measles, and 
so on, have not occurred in large numbers among migrants, such cases 
do occur. Since there are no facilities for treating such cases in the 
rural areas, some means should be provided for isolation in proper 
quarters and at the same time recognizing the possible limitations in 
compensation, which the migrant can pay for treatment. 

During 1939, special activities were instituted to discover and treat 
cases of venereal diseases among the migrants. Over 3,000 migrants 
were blood-tested and of this number over 2,500 were Negroes. Al- 
most 800 persons were diagnosed as syphilitic and were given over 
4,000 injections. , 

During the next few months the State department of health is pro- 
posing to carry on special survey work, particularly along the follow- 
ing lines : 

First, to obtain blood to be examined for evidence of syphilis from 
workers attracted to the potato-growing section of Monmouth, Mid- 
dlesex, and Mercer Counties. Those found to be infected with syphilis 
will have an opportunity to receive treatment from clinics established 
for that purpose if they are unable to pay for treatments privately. 

Secondly, in this same area, to secure information by personal in- 
spection as to living quarters used by these transient workers and 
also information about basic sanitation at such quarters, including 
water supply and method of collection of human wastes. 

Thirdly, in the vegetable- and berry-growing sections it is planned 
to make a cross-sectional survey to determine in general the housing 


facilities used by transient laborers coming to this area, and also to 
obtain information about basic sanitary conditions, including water 
supply and sewage disposal at such premises. 

The State housing authority's past records liaA^e indicated that 
housing conditions range from highly satisfactory living quarters 
that are provided by the grower, to the lowest type of jungle camp 
prepared by the migrant when temporarily unattached. State hous- 
ing authority representatives are now cooperating with the Federal 
agency to prepare standards for labor camps. 


The department of State police: Records of the State police re- 
veal a correlation in increase of necessary police activity and pres- 
ence of migrants which indicates the existence of a police problem. 
As a result of conferences with potato growers, voluntary finger- 
printing of migrants has been begun and last week the first finger- 
printing was undertaken. This procedure will serve to identify cer- 
tain types of persons and furnish a record for future use. 


The municipal aid administration, which is the State relief agency, 
to conserve employment opportunities for residents of the State inso- 
far as is possible, briefly describes the migrant problem from the 
relief angle. 

It is the consensus of opinion among relief officials that migi*a- 
tory labor has reduced employment opportunities for local citizens to 
an alarming degree, having a positive effect on relief rolls, particu- 
larly in outlying areas. During harvest seasons a huge influx of out- 
of-State labor comes in, willing to work for substandard wages, and 
when the season is over, numbers of these persons remain, often suc- 
ceeding, eventually, in getting on relief rolls. 

Also in urban resort cities there is a marked influx in season of 
teachers, collegians, and the like willing to work for pin money who 
perhaps unwittingly demoralize seasonal work opportunities for local 
residents, thus also having a marked effect on relief. 

Federal legislation leading to amelioration of these conditions is 
desirable as an aid to the lessening of the State's relief problem. It is 
suggested that suitable provisions be made, making it possible for 
persons on relief rolls who have been recruited for employment in sea- 
sonal farm work to return to relief for aid after certain safeguards 
have been established. 

Other cooperating agencies in the conference : The State planning 
board, the Works Progress Administration, and the Attorney Gen- 
eral's Department. 


The New Jersey conference feels confident that effective measures 
of control will be devised as a result of its deliberations. It is also 
felt that complete cooperation from all Federal agencies interested 
in the migrant problem and who may enter in the pursuit of their 
problem various sections of the State, is both desirable and neces- 
sary. Promises of cooperation have already been received in several 


Certain conclusions can be drawn as a result of the activities of 
the New Jersey conference, which are submitted for the consideration 
of the committee : 

(1) Organization of similar conferences in States along the At- 
lantic seaboard, affected by the travel pattern of migrants, with pro- 
visions for regional and general meetings. 

(2) Working agreements between Federal agencies and State 
conferences to eliminate duplication of effort and to strive for single- 
ness of purpose. 

(3) Federal aid involving cooperation of Federal agencies in the 
work of the State conferences, regarding personnel, equipment, re- 
search and records, and other forms of aid relating to certification 
of minors, educational facilities, standards for housing and health, 
and the physical interpretation of those standards. 

(4) Preventative measures to check increase in the number of 
migrants who may be attracted to agricultural areas because of rela- 
tively improved and more agreeable and convenient conditions. 

(5) Utilization of local labor in preference to migrant labor. 

(6) Assure bona fide relief recipients their return to the relief rolls 
when seasonal work in harvesting farm products has been completed. 

The Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Krueger. At this point I would 
like to make the statement that in case there might be a misunder- 
standing, to the effect that we just are investigating New Jersey 
^lone. Let me say that New Jersey is the first State that we visited 
/and I would like to have the record show that we propose in the next 
3 days to take testimony from official representatives of the States 
of ISJew York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, and that we have 
invited the New England Conference of Governors to send a repre- 

At the Washington hearing at the end of November the committee 
hopes to take testimony from official witnesses from the States of 
Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, and possibly 
West Virginia and Pennsylvania. 

Other hearings already scheduled through December will investi- 
o-ate the situation of urban and rural migrants in most of the re- 
maining States of the country. In other words, although we cannot 
visit every State in the Union, we hope and know that the report will 
show the 'condition in every State in the Union regarding the migra- 
tory problem, and to indicate to the people of this country that it 
is a national problem. , _ , 

I am just making those remarks at this time to indicate that we are 
not iust taking New Jersey alone, and as Mayor LaGuardia said this 
morning, the conference of mayors will take care of the metropolitan 
cities of the United States as well. 

(The following statement was submitted by the witness :) 


The existence of peculiar problems attached to employment of migratory 
laborers in the State of New Jersey has been recognized by State officials for long 
periods of time Recently, and in order to coordinate activities leading to a 
m-oner 'solution of the resulting problems, there was formed in the State of New 
Jersey an unofficial conference consisting of representatives from the depart- 
ment of agriculture, department of labor, department of education, department 
260370 — 40 — pt. 1 6 


of health, employment service of the unemployment compensation commission, 
State police, State planning board, State housing authority, attorneys general, 
Works Progress Administration, and municipal administration. In general, all 
of these State agencies have a direct interest in the migratory labor problems 
and since its inauguration in the conference several months ago successful prog- 
ress has been made to outline proper courses to be pursued leading ultimately 
to suitable recommendations for legislative actions and department regulations. 
This conference meets monthly and receives reports from several committees 
who perform the detailed work of the conference. These committees are as 
follows : The policy committee, whose duty it is to formulate a comprehensive 
plan to cover the work involved ; a survey committee That is responsible for 
accumulating existing facts and propose additional fact-finding surveys and be 
responsible for their execution ; a private agency coordinating committee whose 
function it is to aline all private and social groups interested in the migratory 
labor situation in order to marshal their forces to achieve, about all, singleness 
of purpose in the efforts of the various groups to work out short- and long- 
langed programs; Federal agency coordinating committee, the responsibility of 
cooperating with the various Federal departments and agencies, as well as those 
from other States who may be concerned with the problems in New Jersey; 
health and housing committee functions for the purpose of studying the facts 
submitted by the survey committee and sets up standards to control living con- 
ditions among the migrant and the health of the workers. By thus coordinating 
the thought, work, and efforts of these various State departments, it has been 
possible to accumulate evidence from various sources which it believes gives a 
truer picture of the problems that heretofore existed. 


The State department of agriculture estimates that there is a total acreage 
in all crops in this State of about 850,000 acres. Of this acreage, approximately 
310,000 acres require the employment of migratory labor in part or entirely for 
harvest work. It is fui"ther estimated that the percentage of total harvest man- 
hours supplied by migratory workers amounts to about 12 percent. Although 
the migrants harvest but a small percentage of the total acreage it is stated 
that the services of such workers are highly important to the commercial 
growers who depend upon this type of labor. 


From various sources obtained during the past several decades it has been 
determined that the migratory agricultural labor will fall into either one of 
two main classes, namely colored workers and Italian families. Surveys as far 
back as 1910 indicate that this general pattern existed and subsequent surveys 
show that it has continued to exist, with a tendency to increase as far as num- 
bers in both groups are concerned. The tendency to increase is the cause for 
anxiety and indicates the need for corrective measures before the problem 
reaches uncontrollable proportions. 

Surveys made by a legislative committee in 1930 and 1931 indicated the extent 
to which migrants under 16 years of age are included among the workers in 
Italian families, and also gave a measure of health and living standards which 
was duly reported in the New Jersey Legislature. 

In 1937 a report was issued by the National Child Labor Committee which 
showed the results of surveys conducted by their representatives based on the 
formula for the survey designed by the National Child Labor Committee. 

The recently formed New Jersey conference undertook to make a survey in 
the potato-growing areas under the supervision of Russel Eldridge, director. 
New Jersey State Employment Service Division, William H. Allen, secretary of 
agriculture, and H. G. Weiss, chief of bureau of plant industries, in April of 
1940, which led to obtaining data of considerable value to members of the 

The study was conducted by a group of field agents consisting of two employees 
of the State department of agriculture and employees of the State employ- 
ment service, and consumed approximately 2 weeks and consisted of visits to 
individual farmers. The report indicates that approximately 4,000 laborers, 
chiefly of migratory character, are involved in this type of work which was the 
so-called commercial growers of potatoes. 



The summary indicates tliat the crop studied and the acreage involved is 
approximately 44 percent of the total potato acreage (55,000 acres) of the State, 
but it is understood that the labor situation in the remaining acreage is of quite 
a different character. It is understood that it involves less of a concentration of 
-a single crop (potatoes) in each farm and that the migrant phase is considerably 

Relative to the amount of Negro labor, it will be noted that a total of 4,119 
was utilized in 1939. This is broken down into males, females, and children 
under 16 years. It is not believed that the number of families has any sig- 
nificance, because the farmers were not at all sure of the relationships of these 
people. The total 4.119 includes some unavoidable duplication, but it is assumed 
that the total number of workers involved to be in the neighborhood of 4,000. 

Three methods of obtaining this labor are outlined in the report. The first 
one, "through contractor,'' includes two methods — the farmer may contract for 
the laborers themselves, or he may contract for the harvesting of the crop 
itself and not be particularly concerned aboiit the number of laborers, etc., so 
long as the work gets done. Under No. 2, where the farmer makes his own 
arrangement, this includes cases where the farmer writes down South or where 
he has a standing arrangement with certain groups which come back year after 
year to his farm. Under No. 3, the laborers apply for work. These may be 
floating ones, or they may make their arrangements in advance. Nos. 2 and 3 
could really have been conabined. 

Most of the laborers appear to come from Florida and "Virginia, mostly from 
Florida, with a sprinkling of laborers from North Carolina, Georgia, and South 
Carolina. Apparently very few come from Philadelphia or the larger cities in 
New Jersey. 

Apparently it was difficult to get definite information on individual production. 
The number of reports on some of these items was not high and there is con- 
s^iderable variation in the figures. About the only definite thing they show is 
that the hourly earnings range from 20 to 35 cents. 

The returns on the average amount picked per day, on crops other than 
potatoes, are also rather slim, and these figures should not be regarded as 

According to the report, almost 4,000 laborers will be needed in 1940. 


The conference representatives of the New Jersey State Employment Service 
report that insofar as recruiting practices for migrant workers are concerned, 
steps are being taken to provide New Jersey farmers with such labor in coopera- 
tion with the employment divisions in other States. Since it is evident that this 
labor is of a seasonable nature, the employment division is studying proposals 
to supply, where possible, local labor and supplement same with migrants from 
other States. The local labor supply is questionable at the moment but the em- 
ployment division has hopes that a positive supply may be secured following 
additional study. 

Migrant labor has been supplied in several instances to local farmers who 
iave requested such workers be supplied by the employment division. This 
required the cooperation in one particular instance with the State of Virginia 
and was found to be very successful in operation, the farmer having received a 
«:uitable supply of laborers. The supply of migrant laborers on a larger scale is 
contemplated inasmuch as the same operation was deemed to be successful. 

New Jersey with its varied agricultural and industrial interests and its strategic 
location between two large metropolitan centers in other States has attracted to it 
persons from other States seeking employment. 

There are at least three areas of the State to which such persons come seeking 
work and to which attention has been especially directed from time to time. 

(1) The potato-raising area, made up chiefly of parts of Monmouth, Mercer, 
and Middlesex Counties. 

(2) The oyster-growing and harvesting section, chiefly in Cumberland County. 

(3) The vegetable- and berry-growing and canning sections of Burlington, Cam- 
den, Gloiicester, Salem, and Cumberland Counties. 

The persons attracted to the potato-growing section are chiefly adult colored 
males. This group includes some females and a few children. They come from 
States south of New Jersey on the eastern seaboard. Their work in the potato 
harvest extends from sometime in July about to October. The number is in the 



neighborhood of 4.000. Employment, if available, is not continuous during this 
period due to fluctuations in the potato marliet and the weather. 

Persons attracted to New Jersey for worli in the oyster industry inchide colored 
persons from States just south of New Jersey, both" adult males" and females, as 
well as some children, although adult males predominate. The total is consider- 
ably less than the number attracted to the potato-growing section. The usual 
period of peak employment is from about September 1 to December 1. 

In the third area mentioned many of the transient workers seeking employment 
in vegetable and fruit harvest come from Pennsylvania, and particularly from the 
city of Philadelphia. This group includes more females and children than the 
group attracted to the potato area. While we do not have accurate comparative 
figures, this department feels the number of children in this group is relatively 
less than 10 years ago. A large proportion of this group is white, many l>eing of 
Italian birth or stock and include entire families in many instances. 


CommtinicaUe diseases, ffeneral.— While cases of the communicable diseases 
?:uch as scarlet fever, diphtheria, measles, etc.. to the best of our knowledge, have 
not occurred in large numbers in any of these groups, some of such cases do occur 
and present difficult problems from the standpoint of isolation in proper quarters. 
There is no State communicable-disease hospital in New Jersey nor is there any 
county hospital of this type in any of the eight counties menti"oned. The city of 
Trenton in Mercer County and the city of Camden in Camden County, each m'aiu- 
tain a contagious-disease hospital for its own people. While these institutions 
may be willing in emergencies to accept cases from outside their respective limits, 
compensation is, of course, expected. This is not always forthcoming either from' 
the affected patient nor from the municipality in which the person may be stopping 

Typhoid fever.— In past years ca,ses of typhoid fever have occurred in transient 
workers in the vegetable and fruit area. One chronic typhoid carrier was dis- 
covered by special investigation, and she was placed under supervision by the 
board of health of her home community after leaving New Jersey. 

Venereal diseases. — For a few seasons prior to the summer of 1939 the venereal- 
di.sease clinic at the city of New Brunswick. Middlesex County, was severely taxed 
by additional patients from among the migrants to the potato-picking area. 

During the potato season of 1939 special activities were instituted by the State 
health department to discover and have treated cases of syphilis among this group 
of transient workers. 

Three thousand and twenty-one persons were blood tested. Of this number, 
2.558 were nonresident Negroes. Their home State usually was located along the' 
South Atlantic seaboard, but workers were found from 18 different States, includ- 
ing the States of Nevada and Washington. Florida, Virginia. North Carolina, and 
Georgia were most frequently represented, in the order named. 

The table below indicates the number of persons, by age group, color, and the 
sex of the Negroes tested : 

Age group 

Total per- 
sons tested 

















10-14.9 - 





35-39.9 ... 


50 and over 




■ 2. 948 



' 390 of these were resident Negroes of New Jersey. 

The marital status of this group was studied and often several questions 
were required to ascertain the fact. Only 36.8 percent were married and 48.9 
percent were single. The rest were separated, widowed or divorced. It must 

^ See added statement from New Jersey Department of Health, p. 80QQ. 


be emphasized that over 63 percent considered themselves unmarried and 
acnially many who were here listed as married were on a 6- to 9-month 
migration while their marital partner either remained at their southern home 
or joined another migratory group. 

As a group, the health of the 2.948 Negroes tested was poor m so far as 
syphilis was concerned. In terms of serological laboratory reports, 1,028 
or 34.9 percent were positive. Of the 2,136 males tested, 32 percent were positive 
and of the 812 females tested 42 percent were positive. When these data are 
studied bv marital status, we find 22 percent of the single persons having 
positive blood tests and 40.8 percent for the married, 37 percent for the widowed 
and 43 percent for those persons who were separated. 

The persons who were found to have a positive or doubtful blood test were 
examined at three strategically located clinic centers. Many persons migrated 
within and outside of the potato area between the time of taking the blood 
sample and the day when the laboratory reports were available. Thus some 
of the positive serological cases were lost temporarily or permanently. 

However, a total of 786 persons were diagnosed as .syphilitic and they were 
given over 4,300 injections before they left for their homes with patient referral 
forms indicating the exact nature of their disease and the treatments given to 
date. It was found that over one-third of the syphilitics diagnosed had infec- 
tious stages of the disease. In other words, over 33 percent had acquired their 
syphilis during the 4 years immediately preceding the time of diagnosis. 

Special surveys. — During the next few months, the State health department 
is proposing to carry on some special survey work, particularly along the 
following lines : 

(1) To obtain blood to be examined for evidence of syphilis from workers 
attracted to the potato growing section of Monmouth, Middlesex, and Mercer 
counties. Those found to be affected with syphilis will have an opportunity 
to iM;'ceive treatment from clinics established for that purpose if they are unable 
to pay for treatments privately. 

(2)" In this same area, to secure information by per.sonal inspection as to the 
living quarters used by these transient workers and, also information about 
basic sanitation at svich quarters, including water supply and method of col- 
lection of human wastes. 

(3) In the vegetable and berry growing section, it is planned to make a cross- 
section survey to determine in general the housing facilities used by transient 
laborers coming to this area and, also to obtain information about basic sani- 
tary conditions including water supply and sewage collection and disposal at 
such premises. . 

(4) A similar cross-section survey in that part of this general area, limited 
to Burlington County, was anticipated although we now understand a survey 
including the information outlined above, is to be made within the next few 
montlis by an agency of the Federal Government. 

Other [/roups. — There are, of, in addition to the three main groups 
mentioned above several smaller groups of persons attracted to New Jersey 
temporarily, some of whom may continue to stay in the State. Among such 
groups may be mentioned a few clammers who are attracted to the shore of 
Barnegat Bay during the clamming season and who live in houseboats or 
summer shacks along the bay.shore. 


Housing.— In New Jersey, it is by statute the duty of each local board of 
bealth to enforce local regulations and the regulations of the State sanitary 
code in regard to private wells and sources of water supply and in regard to 
the construction, location and maintenance of privies, cesspools, etc. Most of 
the municipalities to which the laborers mentioned above are attracted are 
rural townships. Most of these township boards of health have only limited 
personnel and do not routinely make inspections of sanitai-y problems. 

In the potato-growing section, as described, there are a few houses available in 
which the transient workers can be accommodated. Generally during the sum- 
mer and early fall months, when they are employed in New Jersey, these people 
find living quarters in buildings not ordinarily used as habitations. 

In the oyster-growing area persons from out of the State are chiefly housed in 
frame buifdings maintained in the section and intended primarily for use by the 
persons so employed. In these buildings a water supply under pressure is avail- 
able ; toilet facilities of the chemical type are also available. 


In the vegetable and berry-picking section most of the persons attracted find 
living quarters in houses in the general vicinity. On some of the premises at 
which such labor is employed temporary living quarters are available in buildings 
maintained for the purpose. These buildings are not intended for year-round 


During the early part of 1935 some of the State police stations began to experi- 
ence an increase in all types of crimes in and about the counties of Monmouth, 
Middlesex, and Mercer, in the section known as the potato area, due to the influx 
of migratory labor coming into the State for the purpose of harvesting the potata 

An investigation was conducted to determine the number of these workers, 
point of origin, and other related data, and a careful check was made of the 
several camps established by some of these migratory laborers who were living 
in and about the area in makeshift camps of one type or another, and who were 
not under restraint of any tyije, and were, we believe, responsible for the greater 
part of the increase in crime as related above. These groups differed from those 
living on the several farms where they were employed, as they were under a 
certain restraint exercised by the farmers who provided them with living quarters. 

We are of the opinion that there were some three or four thousand Negro mi- 
gratory laborers employed in the area referred to during the years of 1937, 1938, 
and 1939. The greater majority came from the States of Florida, North Carolina, 
South Carolina, and Virginia. Approximately one-third of these workers had 
come up to the area of their own accord looking for work and the others had 
either been brought into the section by agents or had been employed with certain 
individual farmers over a period of years and had returned to work on a pre- 
arranged agreement. 

In an effort to help the police in their problem there was instituted a series of 
conferences with representatives of the Potato Growers' Association and requested 
their support in having all migratory labor coming to their farms produce satis- 
factory personal identification or to insist that their employees be fingerprinted ; 
to that end, fingerprinting of all migratory labor was recommended. They con- 
sented to this plan, and beginning July 30 of this year members of the State 
police will work along with the department of health, in shelters throughout the 
potato area, in taking fingerprint records of such laborers as voluntarily consent 
to have them taken. At the same time, all other available information concerning 
these individuals will be obtained. 


Previous surveys among migrant laborers have indicated the presence of the 
number of children under 16 years of age who by virtue of family connections 
were employed on farms, which has been found to be especially true of Italian 
families migrated from Philadelphia to the agricultural sections of New Jersey 
during the harvesting ijeriod. Climbing up to a distinctly lesser degree was the 
employment of child labor found to exist among Negroes. Inasmuch as employ- 
ment of children in agricultural work was not included prior to 1940 in the pro- 
visions of the New Jersey child-labor law, there was no con.sequent relation. 
The influence resulting from the employment of children of all ages was reflected 
in several i-eports we mentioned : one of the most significant advances in the 
social-welfare conditions is reflected in the pages of the revised child-labor law 
signed by Gov. A. Harry Moore on June 25, 1940, and effective September 1, 
1940, which for the first time makes provisions for the relations of children 
employed in agriculture. It is also significant to note that the farmers of New 
Jersey were in entire accord with the provisions of the new act, under which 
provisions children under 12 may not be employed in agriculture nor may they 
be employed at any time on the farms when the local schools are in session. 
This applied with equal effect to children who come into the State from adjoin- 
ing areas. It may make necessary an extension of certain recreation and welfare 
programs which will be discus.sed under the next heading. 


Social welfare has been undertaken by private agencies, some of whom are 
continuing their important work on a more advanced scale at the present time. 
Several of these organizations included in their pattern of welfare work facilities 


for religious instruction and wholesome recreation during leisure periods for 
both adults and minors. The funds that are necessary to carry on this work 
are supplied entirely from private sources. 


Through the representation of municipal aid conferences studies are being made 
to determine to what extent persons on local relief rolls may be used to supply a 
part of the demand during the peak season for agricultural labor. 

A few years ago an attempt was made to supply such labor from certain relief 
areas. No attempt was made to follow up to a definite conclusion and conse- 
quently it is not known at this time whether or not such a course would be 
feasible. There was a feeling from the study of the data at hand that some 
of the colored migrants remain in the State and ultimately find their way to 
relief stations, but it has been difficult to determine positive quantitative results 
because of the difficulty of following these people in their travels. 

State relief laws provide for 5-year settlements, but in any case, regardless of 
legal sentiment, the State is required by law to give temporary aid to needy 
persons, arranging for their transfer to legal residence in accordance with the 
provisions of the statutes. Whether or not it will be possible to translate these 
laws into some method for assisting the migrant situation will require further 

In conclusion in summarizing the attitude of the State of New Jersey with 
reference to the migrant labor situation it is felt that the States through which 
various agencies must recognize the problem anxl provide for proper control and 
regulations which become all the more necessary because of the increasing growth 
of the interstate character of the movement, a ix)tentially adverse effect on the 
economic life of the State if proper mea.sures are not taken at this time. 

The New Jersey conference is of the opinion that similar State groups should 
be formed in States along the Atlantic seaboard, so that procedures may be 
standardized and the efforts of all Federal and State agencies may be properly 
correlated to reduce duplication of effort. 

Submitted by Neiv Jersey Conference of State Departments on Migratory Labor 

(C. G. Krueger, chairman; W. H. Allen, secretary) 


Robert W. Allan Works Progress Administration. 

H. G. Weiss Department of agriculture. 

Russel Eldridge New Jersey State Employment Service. 

H. J. Lepper (alternate) New Jersey State Employment Service. 

Ernest A. Harding Department of education. 

Wm. H. MacDonald Department of health.^ 

Daniel Bergsma, M. D. (alternate) Department of health. 

Arthur Mudd Federal Agency Committee.^ 

C. H. Schoeffel State iwlice. 

John E. Sloane State planning board. 

E. E. Agger State housing authority. 

The Chairman. Now, were there any questions from the committee? 
Mr. OsMERS. How is the procedure to go on from here? Are we 
going to question the various heads of departments ? 

The Chairman. Would you like to hear these other men first ? 
Mr. OsMERS. I think that that is well. 


Mr, Krueger. I think Major Schoeffel has a message. 


Major Schoeffel. Briefly, I will state that large groups of migrant 
labor have been going into the counties of Mercer, Monmouth, and 

^ statement submitted by Mr. MacDonald appears on p. 111. 

2 Letter and statement by Mr. Mudd, submitted subsequent to the hearing, appears on 
p. 113. 


Middlesex, in New Jersey, and there has been an increased police prob- 
lem necessitating an increase of our personnel at the Hightstown sta- 
tion during the past 4 or 5 years. Both major and minor crimes have 
increased considerably in the areas referred to. We are of the opinion 
that a number of things could be done which would be of material 
assistance to the police generally, and to other State agencies affected. 

I answered the conference call on March 6, which was a conference 
called by Deputy Commissioner C. G. Krueger, of the Department 
of Labor, chairman of the New Jersey Conference on Migratory 
Labor. A meeting had been held by the State police representatives, 
and representatives of the New Jersey Potato Growers Association in 
which it was suggested that all migratory labor be fingerprinted and 
that the State police check these fingerprints to determine if known 
criminals were being employed. Then if a crime were connnitted, the 
fingerprints would be a means of identification and would assist the 
police in apprehending the culprit, as information obtained from 
colored workers with knowledge of crimes committed by other 
workers is practically nil, either through fear or other reasons. 

Again the problem of identification is difficult as few of the crim- 
inal element among the workers are known by proper names, and it 
is practically impossible to keep track of these persons as they shift 
from one farm to another. 

We believe that migratory Negro labor is needed by the potato 
growers, and we feel that ways and means might be devised for licens- 
ing and bonding of agents who bring in the labor, proper health 
checks by the board of health, and closer cooperation by the potato 
growers in having them select a more desirable worker, which would 
eventually contribute toward the solution of the problem as it affects 
the police. 

During the early part of 1935, some of the State police stations 
began to experience an increase in all types of crimes in and about 
the counties referred to. An investigation was conducted to deter- 
mine the number of these workers, points of origin, and other related 
data, and a careful check was made of the several camps established 
by some of these migratory laborers, who were living in and about 
the area in makeshift camps of one type and another, and who were 
not under restraint of any type and were, we believed, responsible 
for the greatest part of the increase in crime, as stated before. 

These groups differed from those living on the several farms where 
they were employed, as they were under a certain restraint exercised 
by the farmers who provided them with living quarters. 

We are of the opinion that there are some three or four thousand 
Negro migratory laborers employed in this area, and I base this on 
the years 1937, 1938, and 1939. The great majority came from the 
States of Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. 

In our opinion, although there is no proof of this statistically, 
about one-third of the workers came up to the area of their own 
accord, looking for work. Two-thirds were either brought into the 
section by agents, or had been employed with certain individual farm- 
ers over a period of years and had returned to work on a prearranged 



Over a period of years we have picked up on one charge or another 
perhaps 40 or 50 Negro laborers, belonging to the migratory group, 
who have had criminal records. We believe the police need a method 
whereby these workers can be readily identified, which resulted in a 
conference with the farmers and by cooperating with the board of 
health the police were to take fingerprints of the workers on the 
farms. This, however, is to be on a voluntary basis of the employees. 

A few years ago, a great many of the so-called unattached migra- 
tory laborers gathered into what we commonly called hobo jungle 
camps. However, most of these camps have been closed, and the 
occupants compelled to move out of the district. We presume that 
they moved to shelters provided by their employers, although we 
have no definite proof of this fact. I believe the State board of 
health assisted materially in promoting sanitary facilities of the sev- 
eral camps, in the shelters provided by the employers, and I do know 
that they have spent considerable time and effort in this direction, 
working with the police. 

Now, beyond that, as I mentioned, we were not prepared from a 
statistical viewpoint to give figures on arrests in any one particular 
year, nor for all of the section of the State that has migratory labor. 

It will be possible to assist the committee by preparing statistics 
of this nature from all of the police stations and we can carry the 
thing further by going to the various municipal police departments 
that handle this migratory labor and request them to prepare for us 
information for you in similar form. 

The Chairman. I think that that would be very good, if you 
would do that. 

Major SoHOEiTEL. We started this year by going to the magistrates 
and asking them to prepare a docket daily to be kept so that at the 
end of the month members of the State police station nearest to the 
magistrate's office could check the docket and determine exactly how 
many migratory laborers had been brought in and given a hearing, 
and also obtain the ultimate disposition of that case, whether he was 
acquitted or convicted, the type of crime, and sentence and punish- 
ment meted out, and that we can furnish the committee at the end of 
November for the year 1940. I believe it will be fairly complete. 

The Chairman. We will insert it in the record. 

Major ScHOEFFEL. To assist in setting forth some of the facts of 
the past 2 years I went to the State police station at Hightstown, 
N. J., yesterday. In going over the record of the period between 
July 1 and October 31, 1938, we determined that out of a total num- 
ber of 600 arrests made by the men at that station, 227 of these 
arrests were made of migratory laborers. 

Of the 600 arrests, approximately 73 percent were for motor- 
vehicle violations and not criminal or indictable offenses. That 
means about one-fifth or one-fourth of the arrests of all persons were 
for minor motor-vehicle offenses. 

Just the other way around with migratory labor. Out of a total 
of 227, only 51 were for motor-vehicle violations. The charge, and 
the amount in each case of arrests on migratory labor are as follows : 

Drunk and disorderly 68 

Simple assault ~ 33 

Major assault, such as atrocious assault and battery 3 


Carrying concealed and deadly weapons 9 

Fugitive from justice 1 

Vagrancy 7 

Petty larceny 8 

Larceny of fowl 4 

Lewdness 2 

Fraudulent check 1 

Gambling 12 

Material witnesses 18 

Motor-vehicle laws 51 

Disorderly person 5 

That makes a total of 227. 

Now, the motor-A^ehicle cases referred to were principally for the 
following offenses : Driving without proper license, driving with fic- 
titious registration, causing accident^. 

Very few of these arrests were for speeding, the charge on which 
the average person gets arrested. Does the committee care to go into 
the same thing for 1939 ? 

The Chairman. Unless the committee wants it specifically at this 
time, I think this preliminary report, together with the other one in 
November, will give us the picture. I think that that is fine. 


Major ScHOEFFEL. I would have one recommendation to make, and 
that is that the committee take under consideration that agents 
engaged in the transportation of migratory labor from one State to 
another be licensed and bonded, and that they be held liable for the 
safe conduct of the worker back to the point of origin, when the 
last crops have finally been harvested, and there is no longer a need 
for the individual in the area to which he has been transported by 
the agent. 

The Chairman. In reference to that proposition, the committee's 
attention has already been directed to that and it is more severe, 
I)robably, in the Southern States and Western States than it is here. 
These private employment agencies are sending these people over 
to other States where there are no jobs, and when they cross State 
lines they come within the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. 
This committee is going to address itself to that problem and we ex- 
pect to get some legislation that will take care of that, so that you 
are really anticipating us a little bit. 

Major ScHOEFTEL. Now, in 1939, the State police conducted for the 
Governor of New Jersey an investigation into the housing conditions, 
in and about the counties referred to in the potato district. We took 
a number of photographs of the living conditions, and we will be 
pleased to submit to the committee copies of those photographs which 
are not now available, but the negatives are, and I believe that there 
are some 30 or 40 scenes of habitation of colored folks in different 
sections of the State which we would be delighted to present to you. 

The Chairman. We will be glad to have them. 

Mr. Ejjueger. I think, Mr. Chairman, with your kind permission, 
I would like to ask Mr. MacDonald of the department of health if he 
has any additional information to offer or to submit any additional 
information or recommendations? 

Mr. MacDonald. I do not think so, Mr. Chairman. The report was 
already submitted through Mr. Roland, and if you have any questions 
that I can answer 


The Chairman. As long as we get the report in, we have got so 
many witnesses to hear, and we want to get a sort of a birds-eye view 
of this, and follow it up with the introduction in the record of the 
statement, and if we have that I think that that is all that is neces- 

Mr. MacDonald. You will have that. 


Mr. Eldridge. Congressman, I could only offer supporting detail 
to the outline that Mr. Krueger has given to you of the purposes of 
the State employment service, and its success in supplying necessary 
farm workers now for the work customarily done by migrants. 

In one case we supply 416 Negroes, half of whom are drawn from 
the relief rolls, to a vegetable farmer, a large commercial farmer, 
and in another case we have supplied the strawberry pickers some 30, 
and are now engaged in furnishing about 40 potato pickers for a 
single farmer who has a farm and in those cases the workers were 
drawn from another State, actually the State of Virginia, and in 
cooperation with the State employment service there, where the 
natives were sent in and were identified and given a card to show 
as thev cross the State line, and in any stage of that journey, and 
whom\ve watched to see that they returned to their homes at the 
conclusion of the employment. 

That is typical of the solution which we think will greatly aid in 
meeting thfs problem and limit the number brought in so that the 
relief situation will not be unduly increased, and so that the local op- 
portunities will be conserved to the greatest degree possible to the 

Mr. Sparkman. I would like to ask Mr. Eldridge a question : These 
that you brought in from Virginia who were certified to you through 
that State service, it seems to me a very orderly way of handling it 
but I am wondering if in bringing those in, you carried out some of 
these other recommendations that were made, for instance, finger- 
printing. Were those people fingerprinted anywhere along the line, 
either in Virginia or in New Jersey ? 

Mr. Eldridge. We did not go to that phase of it as yet. 

Mr. Sparkman. I was just curious to know, and now also about 
the health angle of it, were they certified as not having communicable 
diseases of any nature? 

Mr. Eldridge. There was not sufficient time granted us after the 
receipt of the order and the requirement to start on the picking to 
have Virginia do that but the New Jersey health authorities searched 
them out and applied those tests. 

Mr. Sparkman. I wondered if, carrying it further, I understand 
it is more or less experimental, and if some such plan should be 
worked out, as between your State employment service and the State 
employment service in "Virginia or Maryland or any other State, 
those additional features could be applied to it in the course of get- 
ting those workers into the State? 

Mr. Eldridge. There is no reason in the world, with proper facili- 
ties and legislative support, and if you did that you would have 
something, I really think. 

Mr. Sparkman. That is all. 

Mr. Krueger. I think that that is all, Mr. Chairman. 



Mr. Lepper. I have a report that I am going to submit to the com- 
mittee, and if there are any questions that you want to ask I will 
be glad to answer them. We are making a survey of the potato 
growers, and we also have a complete survey of the canneries, and 
any information that you want about those workers, we are in a 
position to give. 

I would not attempt to build up a statement because it would take 
hours to cover the subject. This book that I have here is a complete 
report on the potato growers, and involves 323 large major-crop 
farms. I say major crops, because 40 percent of our potato growers 
are what they commonly term commercial potato growers. The other 
60 percent of the potatoes grown in the State are just part crops, but 
these people are almost entirely potato growers, and this covers 323, 
and involves 4,119 Negro workers. They are all Negro workers, and 
the break-clown shows the State from which they came and the State 
to which they return, and also shows that there are about 19 percent 
of them who do not return. In other words, it is this 19 percent of 
those who were engaged in ^^'ork, and does not include the number 
that were attracted to the State who do not become engaged in 
work. The fact is that they are here in New Jersey with the idea that 
they might get work, and in many cases they are persuaded to make 
the trip into the State by people who charge them $4 and $5 to make 
the trip from Virginia, and never get a job after they get there. 
They are our biggest problem. 

The Chairman. You have that report now? 

Mr. Lepper. I can turn it over to the committee. It consists of too 
many pages to attempt to read. 

The Chairman. It can be left with the reporter. 


State of New Jersey, 
Department of Agriculture, 

Trenton, April 29, 19'f0. 
Mr. Russell Eldeidge, 

Director, Employrneyit Service Division, 

Unemployment Compensation Commission, Trenton, N. J. 
Dear Mr. Eldridge : With this letter I am attaching a summary of the migratory 
Negro labor survey covering Middlesex, Mercer, and Monmouth Counties com- 
bined. Major Lepper has the individual reports for these 3 counties. Relative to 
the present report, it is my impression that the coverage was fairly complete and 
represents probably 95 percent or more of the farmers employing colored migratory 
labor. The total number of schedules was 325, and the farms were predominantly 
those growing potatoes. The total potato acreage of these farms was over 24,000, 
which is about 44 percent of 55,000, the total potato acreage of the State. The 
Negro labor is used mostly in harvesting potatoes, and to a much lesser extent in 
work connected with the other crops that are represented in the report. 

Relative to the amount of Negro labor, you will note that a total of 4,119 was 
utilized in 1939. This is broken down into males, females, and children under 
16 years. I do not believe that the number of families has any significance, be- 
cause the farmers were not at all sure of the relationships of these people. The 
total 4,119 includes some unavoidable duplication, but I would assume that the total 
number of workers involved to be in the neighborhood of 4,000. 

The reasons for the use of migratory Negro labor are self-explanatory, and no 
further comment is necessary. 


Three methods of obtaining this labor are outlined in the report. The first one, 
^'through contractor," includes two methods— the farmer may contract for the 
laborers themselves, or he may contract for the harvesting of the crop itself and 
not be particularly concerned about the number of laborers, etc., so long as the 
work gets done. Under No. 2, where the farmer makes his own arrangement, this 
includes cases where the farmer writes down South or where he has a standing 
arrangement with certain groups which come back year after year to his farm. 
Under No. 3, the laborers apply for work. These may be floating ones, or they 
may make their arrangements in advance. Nos. 2 and 3 could really have been 

As you will note, most of the laborers appear to come from Florida and Virginia, 
mostly from Florida, with a sprinkling of laborers from North Carolina, Georgia, 
and South Carolina. Apparently very few come from Philadelphia or the larger 
cities in New Jersey. 

The statements under the length of time worked on the farm, and the information 
relative to when the work was started and finished are self-evident and need no 

Apparently it was difficult to get definite information on individual produc- 
tion. The number of reports on some of these items was not high and there 
is considerable variation in the figures, and I am inclined to be a little doubtful 
about the accuracy of these figures, and about the only definite thing they 
show is that the hourly earnings range from 20 to 35 cents. 

The returns on the average amount picked per day, on crops other than, 
potatoes, are also rather slim, and these figures should not be regarded as 

According to the report, almost 4,000 laborers will be needed in 1940. 

The returns under "Use of local or relief labor" are self-explanatory, and 
I do not believe that the balance of the report needs any special comment either. 

I am assuming that you will take this and perhaps combine it with the 
statements made up by the field men in order to arrive at a final committee 

Sincerely yours, 

Haeey B. Weiss. 

Total number of schedules, 325: 

Males 3, 856 

Females G''"^ 

Children under 16 86 

Families "^'^•1 

Grand total 4,119 

Apply directly at farm 160 

Farmer contacts contractor 35 

Same gang each year 37 

Farmer gets labor himself 25 

Farmer contacts boss of gang 63 

Total 320 

Most of them originate in Florida and Virginia. 
Needs in 1940—3,926 reported by 302 farmers. 


Total number of schedules reporting migratory labor, 825. 
Total acres in farms, 47,0061/2, on 319 schedules; average, 147. 



Acres hi major crops in 1939 


Potatoes -- 



Miscellaneous truck.. 
.\pples and peaclies... 

Field corn 

String beans and peas 

Lima beans.- 



Hay and alfalfa 



Sweet corn_ 




of re- 


24, 461 






























per farm 



Amount of migratory Negro labor 


ber of 


ber of 


ber of 




ber of 
















Reasons for using migratory Negro labor 

of reports 

Local help not available 86 

Only labor available to do type of work required 27 

Always available and dependable 28 

Good workers, willing to work at all hours 101 

Local help not satisfactory 19 

Local help will not work for prevailing wage scale 18 

Local labor on Work Projects Administration will not or cannot do the 

work 26 

Most satisfactory labor for potato digging 26 

Same labor for several years 16 

Work Projects Administration has spoiled local labor 6 

Temporary work makes it hard for Work Projects Administration workers 

to be reinstated 5 

Hoio do you obtain labor? 

Number of 

Number of 

Through contractor 

Farmer makes his own arrangement 
Laborers applied for work 

Total - 






States and locations frcni which labor was procured and iccnt on to completion 

of ivork 

State and locations 









North Carolina --- 



West Virginia 

South Carolina 

New York 

Another farm 


Long Island - 


Maryland and Delaware 

Stayed on farm all winter 





Atlantic City -.. 





Davis Station 

Total (includes 40 white migratory labor) 













































































' The number of reports does not agree with the original number of 325 as the labor came from and went 
to several different States on the same report. 

Length of time icorkcd on farms {availahle for work during this time — vot always 


Number of 

Number of 

Number of worker? for— 





Less than 6 weeks. . - - . - - . . 




Less than 9 weeks .. .. . . _. 


Less than 10 weeks . . - . - - - 



Less than 12 weeks 


Less than 13 weeks . . . . 


Over 13 weeks . . . 



I 4, 165 

1 327 

1 Some laborers worked a few weeks, laid ofl for a few weeks and started to work again. 


Dates when work teas started and finished 

June 1-15. _. 
June 16-30- 
July 1-15... 
July 16-31.. 
Aug. 1-15.- 
Aug. 16-31. 
Sept. 1-15-. 
Sept. 16-30. 
Oct. 1-15... 
Oct. 16-31.. 
Nov. 1-15.. 
Nov. 16-30. 

Not answered. 



Number of 


1 4 

2 4, 204 

Number of 







Number of 



2 4, 204 

Number of 



1 These were 4 migratory white laborers and were included in a schedule with some Negro labor. Time 
^?ThltS'nrSee"witS°thl'loral workers as listed above, as in some cases a group would work from 
July 1 to July 15, then lay off to start work Aug. 1-15. 

Individual production 


Picking only: 

H basket - 

50-pound basket 

60-pound basket 

100-pound bag 

Picking and grading: 100-pound bag.... - 

Picking, grading, and loading : 100-pound 


per day > 



Range ' 



of re- 


per unit 




5 -10 

per day 



of re- 



1 ThP^P fienres are estimates by the farmers and many of the schedules were indefinite. To the best of 
,.ir abifftv we have compiled the above figures. Personally we believe the figures for pickmg alone are 
r"sonably accurate, bu^ do not have much faith in "Picking and gradmg," and "Pickmg, gradmg, and 
loading" figures. 

of reports 

Average quoted earnings per day, f3.20-range, ^2.0(^-^7 134 

Average quoted earnings per hour, $0.259— range, 20-35 cents 34 


String beans. 

Lima beans. 
Field porn... 






^/i basket 

H basket 



Stacks cut per day 

Stacks husked per day 


1.4 b-irrel 


per day 




ber of 




per unit 













5-7 Vi 








per day 


ber of 


Estimated number of laborers needed in 1940, 3,926 ; number of reports, 302. 


of reportit 

No 119 

Yes 162 

No reports 2 


Unsatisfactory 39 

Not dependable 3.9 

Not enough available 35 

Workers do not apply for work 20 

Wages and bours not comparable to W. P. A 19 

Work is temporary, hard to get back on W. P. A 21 

Used the same satisfactory migratory labor for several years 4 

W. P. A. has spoiled local workers 21 

Satisfactory 13 

Not capable of doing work 8 

Prefers local help if satisfactory 7 

Total 226 

Yes 61 

No 135 

Doubtful 86 

Total 282 


Locally 4 

South 18 

Relief 3 


Able to work long hours when needed 15 

Able to stand hard work and heat 8 

Good workers 9 

Willing to work for prevailing wages and hours 16 

Experienced in work 1 

Able and willing to work 10 

Total 59 

Migratory Labor Survey 

The following are members of a committee who have made a survey of con- 
ditions of potato growing in New Jersey as associated with migratory labor : 

MERGER county 

Walter L. Bryan, Trenton administrative office. New Jersey State employ- 
ment service ; East Windsor, West Windsor, and Washington Townships. 

See report of H. T. Urian, Middlesex County, for his comments on migratory 
labor in West Windsor and Washington Townships, Mercer County. 


L. p. Hoagland, State of New Jersey, department of agriculture : Cranbury 

W. R. O'Brien, Perth Amboy office. New Jersey State employment service : 
Monroe Township. 

H. T. Urian, New Brunswick office, New Jersey State employment service: 
Plainsboro anrl South Brunswick Townships (also some parts of West Windsor 
and Washington Townships, Mercer County). 
260370 — 40— pt. 1 7 



E W. Brinkerhoff, Trenton office. New Jersey State employment service: 
Upper Freehold Township, Cream Ridge, Perrineville, and Millstone Township. 

Bennett S. Cooper, Asbury Park office. New Jersey State employment service : 
Freehold Township. 

Walter L. Davis, Red Bank office. New Jersey State employment service: 
Atlantic, Holmdel, and Marlboro Townships. 

R. B. Lott, State of New Jersey, department of agriculture: Manalapan and 
Howell Township. 


Submitted by: Walter L. Bryan, Trenton administrative office. New Jersey 
State employment service, April 13, 1940. -, „r a. 

Territory covered: Mercer County, East Windsor, West Windsor, and Wash- 
ington Townships. 

I have in every case told the growers whom I've interviewed, of the New Jersey 
State employment service, its functions, etc., and asked their suggestions as to 
how we may be able to help them. _ ^ ^x. di. 4. 

A few suggested that if through cooperation with the services of other States 
we could issue referral cards to migrant laborers, insuring and expediting their 
travel to the jobs, and develop some system of returning them to their homes at 
the end of the picking season, it would help to offset the feeling against them. 

As to question 14, many growers decline to give positive information as to the 
earning ability or average wages paid to workers. They indicate the amount 
paid the contractor for each bag picked, disclaiming any knowledge of what 
the workers get. 

If pressed too hard, they frankly refuse to give this data. 

Submitted by : W. R. O'Brien, Perth Amboy Office, New Jersey State Employ- 
ment Service, April 13, 1940. 

Territory covered : Middlesex County, Monroe Township. 

Having contacted the various potato growers in Monroe Township, it appears 
to be the opinion of the potato growers that the migrant is the only present solu- 
tion to the potato harvesting. They readily inform you that if local help was 
available, thev would not be forced to use the migrant. The various reasons 
stated as to whv they use this tyiie of labor are the same in all instances. 

The following are the main assets of the migrant laborer, from the growers' 

point of view : , , i.i. 

In most cases, they dwell on the premises of the growers who employ them, 
and this in the farmers' viewpoint, is very important. This local habitation 
makes them available at all times, as the digging of the crop depends on favorable 
weather conditions. Their race and background enable them to endure intense 
summer heat, and the farmers seem unanimous in their opinion that they are 
most adaptable for this kind of work, and that they can stand long work hours, 
and very productive. ., ^ ,,t i, j- 

Potato digging depends on two major factors. They are: (1) Weather condi- 
tions, (2) market fluctuation. . _. . ^ ^ ^, ■ • * 

It is here that the migrant plays such an important part, from the viewpoint 
of the "-rowers If digging conditions are favorable, the migrant sometimes 
works from 4 a. m. until 10 a. m. Due to "potato scald," it is not uncommon 
for them to again resume picking at 4 p. m. and work until darkness. 

If the market goes down, no digging is done during this period, and again, the 
noint is stressed that the migrant is contented to be idle until operations are 
resumed be it a day or a week. The growers feel assured, from past experience, 
that local help woiild not work under these conditions. 

The migratorv workers, in most cases, are in charge of a leader, who generally 
contracts with 'the grower as to the amount of help to be supplied. This con- 
tractor writes to the grower he formerly worked for early in the spring of each 
vear and the '^rower, in turn, informs him of the amount of help he can use. 
In' some instances the contractor or leader motors here in May and June, and 
receives his order personally as to the number of men that will be needed. The 
nractice of contracting is most prevalent among the larger growers. 

This form of contracting seems very popular among the growers, as the con- 
trnrtor is also one of the workers, and also acts as foreman of his men. The 
contractor receives a set amount for picking-grading, and he, in turn, pays 


his men. This arrangement enables the grower to devote his full time to other 
than field supervision. From my observation, it is evident that migrant labor 
Is increasing each year, due, in the main, to the fact that the amount of potato 
acreage is increasing in this section of the State. 

Regarding relief clients, it seems that the growers are again unanimous in 
their opinion that persons on relief, and Work Projects Administration workers, 
are not interested in potato picking as the work is of such an uncertain nature 
that if they were to leave their Work Projects Administration jobs, or go off 
relief, there is always the question in their minds of being reinstated. 

Having contacted and discussed the matter of employment with growers, I 
feel that it would be diflScult for the New Jersey State Employment Service 
to be of substantial help to the farmers. I base my opinion on what I learned 
of the difference between what an agricultural laborer earns on the farm and 
what he receives from any other type of employment. This is partly due to 
the fact that the farm laborer's work at potato picking is seasonal, and of an 
intermittent nature, and local people are not satisfied to work under such condi- 
tions. Migratory labor aiJDtai's to be willing to accept such conditions. 

Submitted by: H. T. Urian, New Brunswick Office; New Jersey State Em- 
ployment Service, April 9, 1940, and April 10. 1940. 

Territory covered : Middlesex County, Plainsboro and South Brunswick Town- 
ships ; Mercer County, West Windsor and Washington Townships. 

Pickhig season. — Extends from July through to November 1. 

Conditioiml factors in potato pickiny. — Digging, picking, and grading of pota- 
toes depends on crop maturity, weather, and prevailing market price and demand. 
It must be noted that potatoes are dug early in the morning (daybreak), 5 a. m. 
to 6 a. m., and late in the afternoon (sundown), 4 p. m. to 5 p. m. The morning 
picking up must take place immediately as iwtatoes are subject to scorch from 
the sun, which scorching makes the potatoes unsalable as rot sets in very quickly. 
Potatoes are sometimes dug the previous evening and picked up the following 
morning. Due to varying market price and demand, potatoes are not dug until 
sold ; hence, it follows that the potato grower may receive an order at 2 p. m. 
on a given day for delivery to buyer or broker that same evening by 8 p. m., 
which means a late afternoon digging, picking, and grading. It may be trtie also 
that no digging or picking took place in the morning of that particular day. 
From the foregoing it is evident that there is a period between approximately 
10 a. m. and 4 p. m. when no work is available for the pickers and graders. 

Yield per acre. — The yield of potatoes per acre runs from 70 to 140 bags 
of 100 pounds, or higher in some cases. On any given farm it varies from acre 
to acre according to ground and weather conditions. 

Prevailhifj ivages or rate for potato picking and grading. — There are two 
methods of payment for potato picking. The contract basis is an arrangement 
between the contractor (Negro in most cases), who has a crew of migratory 
Negro labor in number, depending on acreage of potatoes and the grower. This 
contract calls for the picking, hauling from the field, grading, and bagging (100- 
pound bags) all potatoes for the season. The prevailing figure is 8 cents a bag 
(100 pounds), ready for the market except where the grower hauls from field 
to the barn in which case the rate is 7 cents a bag. The contractor in turn 
pays his crew as follows: Pickers, 2 cents a basket (35 pounds) to 4 cents a 
bushel (50 pounds) ; graders, 25 cents per hour; day workers, 25 cents per hour. 
It should be noted that the farmer on paying off the contractor usually insists 
that contractor pay off at once to his crew. 

The other method of remuneration is the contract between the individual 
worker and the farmer. The prevailing figure is 2 cents a basket (.35 pounds) 
to 31/2 cents a bushel (50 pounds). Those workers who do grading or day 
work are paid at the rate of 25 cents an hour. Living quarters are provided by 
the growers in both types of payment in addition to above consideration. 

Those growers who have an acreage of 50 or more in potatoes have a tendency 
to favor the contract basis, while those with less acreage favor the individual 

Jndhndual production and earnings.— The opinion on individual production 
varies with the size measure used and the mimber of acres dug in a a:iven dav 
for a given sale; also the productivity of an individual. From the statement 
of the growers an average worker may pick 100 bushels (50 pounds) to 100 bags 


(100 pounds), thus earning from $2.50 to $4 a day. While the below average 
earns less, the better than average may earn $5 to $6 a day. It must again be 
noted that weather, prevailing demand, and market price are factors in over-all 
productivity levels for the individual. There are weeks when digging takes 
place 5 days a week and sometimes only 1 day. Also a week may go by two or 
three times in the season when no digging occurs. From facts stated, the average 
weekly earnings range from $8 to $14 per week, with favorable conditions present 
for potato picking. 

Source and method of securing migratory Negro lahor. — Florida is the known 
home State of the nuijority of the migratory Negro labor, with a small percentage 
from Virginia and the Camlinas. Potato growers are now receiving letters from 
individual workers and the contractors as to the growers' needs for the 1940 
season. The farmer responds as to the number and the approximate time digging 
will start. In some cases it is admitted by the grower that he sends money to 
aid this labor in getting to New Jersey. But in many cases the grower is not 
■approached till digging season, and is then solicited personally by the contractor 
or individual worker, due to the knowledge of the labor that the work is here 
for tlaem. There is some indication by the growers that there is too great an 
influx of the migratory Negro labor. 

Whij Negro migratory labor employed. — "Unavailability and nondependability 
of local labor," and "Negro migratory labor most satisfactory due to conditional 
factors in potato digging" (see par. 2) are the two most prominent reasons for 
employing the migratory Negro labor. 

"Availability and willingness to work as needed" should be included in rela- 
tion to the conditional factors. The first-mentioned reason is contingent to the 
second paragraph of this brief. Also daily transportation, earnings, and unwill- 
ingness of white labor to perform this work. 

Some growers assert that acreage has been increased as much as 50 percent 
since having Negro migratory labor available — that if they were not available, 
potato acreage would have to be decreased because of the unavailability of local 
labor for potato picking. 

Employment of local or relief labor. — "Have used in the past but have not 
been able to secure for past 5 years," is the typical answer. Some claim this 
is due to Work Projects Administration and relief, while some admit it is due 
to conditions of potato picking which is not attractive to white or Negro 
local labor. It is agreed that the individual cannot be sure of his earnings from 
day to day which must have a definite bearing on the unavailability or 
unwillingness of the local labor. The temporary nature of the work must also 
have some bearing on the unwillingness of the local labor. It is also admitted 
by the farmers that no help is available in the rural areas which leaves only 
the urban areas to draw on. It is a known fact that it is difficult to get city 
dwellers to work on a farm. 

Can the State employment service aid in supplying workers? — Most growers 
do not feel that employment service can aid in securing local labor inasmuch 
as they have pretty thoroughly covered their own areas to secure local labor 
and have not been successful. As to securing labor from the city areas, it has 
not worked out to their interests when using city people because they are not 
willing to work under the conditions necessary to potato picking, nor have they 
been satisfied with the earnings. ALso, the growers claim to have lost quanti- 
ties of potatoes due to scorch when local labor failed to show up for picking. 
Thus, they failed to see how we could aid in securing local labor. 

Comments of groicers on control of migratory labor. — It apparently is con- 
ceded by the growers that some regulation or control may be necessary, but all 
are fearful that the migratory Negro labor may be prevented from entering 
the State. Some growers feel that some trouble is caused by too great a number 
entering the State in excess of the grower's needs for potato picking. One 
grower sxiggested the control be vested in a township committee who would 
arrange to canvass the growers as to their needs and allow only that number 
in township for potato-picking season, and exercise care in the quality of the 
migratory Negro labor. 

Comment was made as to the Cranbury painting affair, and all condemned 
the action that took place. Growers were concerned over the State police action 
in tl5e taking of pictures of migratory labor in chicken houses under false 
conditions. Farmers insist that decent living quarters provided are superior 
to that which the labor has in the South. Also stated is the fact that they 
have found the migratory labor will not use sanitary facilities and do not 
appreciate up-to-date living quarters. 


The writer found the growers cooperative in discussing the problem and 
believes that they will cooperate in every way possible to bring abovTt a more 
favorable outlook on the use of the migratory Negro labor. 

Numbers of tvorkers employed in relation to potato acreage and yield per 
acre. — There is no definite relation in the number of workers employed as 
against the actual acreage in potatoes or the total yield for entire acreage. 
To illustrate : Grower A has 90 acres of potatoes, employs 8 workers from 
July 15 to Ocotber 1, has a yield of 75-185 bags per acre or an average of 
110 bags per acre. His total yield is 12,000 bags, at a cost of approximately 
$750 for labor (average daily production for all workers, 600 bags). Grower 
B has 50 acres of potatoes, employs 20 workers, from the fourth week in July 
until October 1, has a yield of 70-150 bags per acre or an average of 120 bags 
per acre. Total yield 6,000 bags, approximately at a cost of $500 for labor. 

These two cases repeat themselves in smaller or larger acreages. The reason 
such cases exist rests on the market price and demand through the broker 
versus the grower who wants to be in the position of filling an order in a given 
day for 1,000 bags by having sufficient manpower, as opposed to the grower 
who may be able to have ready only 60O bags in a given day due to lesser 

Evidently, there is no way of curbing this practice which in the final 
analysis cuts the individual earning power greatly when too great a number 
are on a given farm. 

Can the employment service aid in supply inff workers? (Supplemental state- 
ment). — The potato growers have also been informed as to the employment 
service in regards to our interstate clearance and the possibilities of assisting 
them in securing migratory labor by means of this plan. 

The answer to this statement has been one of doultf. because the labor is 
migratory. The majority originate in Florida and begin to trek northward at 
the close of the Florida potato season approximately the middle of April. They 
work their way through the seaboard southern States until the potato season 
opens in New Jersey after the first of July. 

Hence, they point out the uncertainty of contacting this labor after it once 
leaves Florida, because they do not believe this labor contacts State emijloy- 
ment services due to their plan of following whatever crop harvest which may 
be available in the various States. They further point out that due to the way 
this migratory labor lives, usually on some crop grower's land, constantly 
moving about, there is no definite address where these workers can be contacted. 

The following question was put to the writer : "Would the State employ- 
ment service, if it did secure this migratory labor from without the State, be 
resi)onsible for bringing it into the State, rather than the potato grower who 
has been accused of encouraging the influx in the past?" 

Interviewer's cominent. — I believe tlie on'y way we could successfully operate a 
plan of supplying this migratory labor would be through the cooperation of the 
Negro contractors or bosses so as to clear this labor through the southern employ- 
ment offices, so that we, in turn, could secure this same labor. 


Submitted by : Eugene W. Brinkerhoff, Trenton office, New Jersey State Employ- 
ment Service, April 13, 1940. 

Territory covered : Monmouth County, Upper Freehold Township, Cream Ridge, 
Perrineville, and Millstone Township. 

I find that the majority of farmers visited regard migratory labor as a vital 
need at this time. They claim that there is not enough local labor to supply their 
needs for harvest hands. It is claimed that this type of labor v» ill work from 
daylight until 11 o'clock at night loading trucks when required. 

The farmers who bring their workers, either familieiJ or groups, up each year 
by corresponding with them are the best suited employers. 

About 90 percent of these farmers would be glad to use local labor if this 
labor were available. They would like to use native State labor if they could get 
them qualified to do the work. 

Farmers average up to 150 sacks of potatoes per acre or up to 300 bushels 
per acre. They pay from 3 to 7Mj cents per sack. The higher pay per sack 
usually means that the farmer only counts the bags on the truck, and all 


grading, sortiug, and loading is done by the picker. The lower pay of 3 cents 
per sack is for picking only. Twenty-five cents per hour is paid for all other 
work except for picking. 

They are in most all cases favorable to the idea of having some control of 
this out-of-state labor. They realize that there is a most undesirable element 
in this group, many being diseased and undoubtedly have police records. They 
also state that they are in most cases favorable to having the New Jersey State 
Employment Service act as a medium for supplying them with labor — if qualified 
labor can be secured, either local or migratory. 

Submitted by : Bennett S. Cooper, Asbury Park office, New Jersey State Em. 
ployment Service, April 6, 1940, and April 13, 1940. 

Territory covered : Monmouth County, Freehold Township. 

Reasons for hiring migratory Negro labor : 

1. Availability in sufficient numbers at time when needed. 

2. Willingness to work the irregular hours necessitated by lay-off through heat 
of day. ^ ^ 

3. Skill and training acquired through following potato crops north from 

4. Possibility of using workers for rush orders and emergency work at odd 
times because they reside on the farm. 

Most farmers feel there is nothing the employment service can do for them. 
Quite a number expressed a willingness to be shown, but were skeptical as to the 
possibility of interesting local workers because of the hours required and the 
wages paid. Work Projects Administration was felt to have been too strong a 
competitor and to have destroyed in local workers any interest in potato work. 

Some farmers were willing to agree that stricter supervision of migratory 
workers might be a good thing. It would seem that the employment service 
might work into the picture in a regulatory or supervisory capacity if the farmers 
could be assured that no changes in wages and hours would result. 

Supplementing my summary submitted on April 6, 1940, the average earnings of 
the migratory potato workers will run from $2.50 to $4 a day. 

Men on the grader receive from 25 to 30 cents an hour and often work 10 hours 
a day. 

Men in the field, picking, are paid by the sack or bushel, and will average more 
than the men on the grader. They will average 50 to 100 bags (100 pounds) at 
5 to 6 cents a bag. However, some farmers may use larger bags and pay 7 to 
8 cents. In some cases the pay is by the bushel and will run from 21/2 to 3 cents 
a bushel. 

It is impossible to get the actual earnings because of the variety of pay systems 
and the irregular hours worked. 

April 10, 1940 : Regarding question 17 of the survey, I have not found a farmer 
who really believes the employment service can aid in supplying workers. 

These farmers do not consider there is any problem as regards labor in their 
territory. They have all the help they want in migratory labor and they are 
more than satisfied with the work this group supplies. 

The qualifications required by these farmers I have outlined in an earlier report 
submitted last week. ( See p. 1. ) 

The farmers do not particularly care where the labor comes from as long as 
it produces. All things being equal, they would choose local labor over migratory. 
However, local labor is not available in sufficient quantities, nor is it willing to 
work the hours involved nor at the rate paid. 

Submitted by : Walter L. Davis, Red Bank office, New Jersey State Employment 
Service, April 13, 1940. 

Territory covered : Monmouth County, Atlantic, Holmdel, and Marlboro Town- 

The following is a rfeum^ of the facts in regard to the employment of migratory 
Negro labor, as I found them, through interviewing potato growers in Monmouth 
County : 

A. Migratory Negro labor was employed because difficulty was experienced in 
obtaining competent farm workers. This was due, it was believed, to three 

1. The unemployed no longer came from the city in the summer seeking employ- 
ment, and factory workers who heretofore had been laid off in the tile and brick 


companies of Matawan, Keyport, and Cliffwood during the hot weather were no 
longer available, as these companies were either closed permanently or had 
installed tunnel kilns (which didn't require a summer lay-off). 

2. Work Projects Administration wages and relief made farm wages unat- 

3. People on relief and on Work Projects Administration seriously objected 
to accepting temporary employment, due to their fears of being unable to return 
when the farm work was over. 

B. The migratory labor proved very satisfactory because — 

1. The fact that they lived on the farm made them available at all times. 

2. The Negroes were quite willing to work, in fact the majority of the smaller 
farmers stated the Negroes came to their farm seeking employment. 

3. The Negroes were willing to lay off during the heat of the day when potato 
digging is impossible due to the sun scald. 

4. The wages for which the Negro was willing to work was in the range that 
the farmer was able to pay. 

5. The fact that these Negroes had been picking potatoes in Southern States 
where the season is earlier than New Jersey's potato season proved satisfactory 
to the farmer, as this labor was both used to and skilled in potato picking (no 
breaking-in period was necessary). 

6. The fact that in a number of cases (usually the larger farms) the Negro 
foreman supervised the work and distributed the pay roll, made it considerably 
easier for the farmer. 

C. There were a few farmers who admitted that the higher wages paid in 
New Jersey attracted these Negroes in increasing numbers each year and that 
very shortly, if it didn't already exist, there would be more migratory Negroes 
than there would be available work. That this overabundance of available work- 
ers would create a problem even for the farmer and that it might be advi.sable that 
some sort of reasonable control be exercised. It was also admitted that syphilitic 
Negroes should not be admitted at all. All the farmers were adamant in their 
statement that they could not possibly dispense with migratory Negro labor. 

(Note. — I should like to draw to your attention the fact that it was difficult in 
some cases to get an answer for question 4, as very few seemed to know how many 
families were involved. For example, one farmer said. "What the hell; I don't 
ask them for their marriage certificates." They also disliked being questioned 
about tlie children under 16 years age. Question 2 proved a nemesis because 
suspicion was immediately aroused that we were checking on their acreage for 
the croi) limitation program of the Agriculture Adjustment Administration. 
Answers to (piestion 14, too, were difficult because of the methods used to pay the 
labor did not make it necessary to keep records and they were generally reluctant 
to give any information that might subject them to prosecution for violation of 
the minimum wage law. Finally I was accused of prying into their personal 
business in my efforts to determine the yield per acre, as they felt that it would 
disclose the extent of their profits and that the Department would divulge this 
information to the income-tax people.) 

With these exceptions, the farmers proved to be cooperative and friendly in 
spite of the fact that I reached them at a time when they were extremely busy. 


Thirty-eight farmers were interview in the 5 days. More than 260 migratory 
Negroes were employed in 1939. with 1.920 acres planted in potatoes, with the 
1940 figures in both cases expected to be approximately the same. The yield 
varied anywhere from 160 to 290 100-pound bags of No. 1 potatoes to the acre. The 
pickers were paid on an average of 7 cents a hundredweight, graded, bagged, and 

Inasmuch as their labor problems were solved by the migi'atory Negro, it was 
universally felt that the New Jersey State Employment Service could be of little 
service in the matter. 

Few farmers were able to tell me the average number of bags (hundredweight) 
picked per day. From the laborers that- remain through the winter, I was told 
that a good average was 75 hundredweight bags of No. 1 potatoes. 


Submitted by Ralph B. Lott, State of New Jersey, Department of Agriculture, 
April 13, 1940. 
Territory covered, Monmouth County, Manalapan and Howell Townships. 

The following is a summary of my observations of the migratory labor 
situation in the townships of Manalapan and Howell. 

1. All farmers contacted are highly pleased with the southern help in all 
respects. They make the claim that there is no other way to get their crops 
harvested at the present time and under present conditions. Also the work 
is done with much more ease and dispatch, and without uncertainty met with 
when they used to hire local help together with so-called drifter help from the 

2. Many farmers say they would be willing to hire local labor (if they would 
work) at the same prices paid the migratory Negro labor — prices or wages 
per day — ranging from $2 to $4 per day, depending on the crop being harvested. 

(Note. — Over and over again it was stated local labor will not work. Cannot 
be depended upon when some few do work.) 

3. Very few farmers had hired relief workers, stating they (the relief work- 
ers) would not work because it was easier working on relief jobs, and because 
if they should work for farmers and others they could not go back on relief 
again without a great deal of trouble and loss of time and money. 

4. Most farmers doubted very much if the New Jersey State Employment 
Service could be of much aid in supplying farm workers, due to the rather 
large numbers needed at once and in a rather brief time — i. e., about 2^4 
months — and to the present conditions in general. 

New Jeeset Unemplotment Compensation Commissions 

New Jersey State Employment Service, 

Trenton, N. J., May 29, 191,0. 
C. George Krueger, 

Deputy Commissioner, Department of Labor, 

Trenton, N. J. 

Dear Mr. Krueger: Pursuant to the task assigned to your committee to 
conduct a sui*vey of the labor situation in the migrant phase of the potato 
farm growers in New Jersey, I hand you herewith copies of the field reports 
and statistical summary of the results of the study, the latter through the 
courtesy of Harry B. Weiss and his staff. 

The study was conducted by a group of field agents consisting of 2 employees 
of the State department of agriculture and 6 employees of the State employ- 
ment service, and consumed approximately 2 weeks and consisted of visits to 
individual farmers. The report is fairly complete and indicates that approxi- 
mately 4,000 laborers, chiefly of migratory character, are involved in this type 
of work, which was the so-called commercial growers of potatoes. 

The summary indicates that the crop studied and the acreage involved is 
approximately 44 percent of the local potato acreage of the State, but it is 
understood that the labor situation in the remaining acreage is of quite a 
different character. It is understood that it involves less of a concentration 
of a single crop (potatoes) in each farm and that the migrant phase is 
considerably less. 

It will be noted that difficulty was found in learning the individual produc- 
tion of workers. Farmers were, in many cases, reluctant to give this informa- 
tion. Where it was obtained, it demonstrated a great variety of practices in 
payment and in the services required. This lack of common practice, as well 
as lack of apparent general knowledge of the actual labor costs, is to me most 
significant. It may possibly mean that the use of this migrant labor with the 
involvement of the practices which include a considerable surrender of the usual 
control by the employer of work practices, would indicate that this type of 
labor cannot be viewed as the most satisfactory or efficient answer to the 
employers' problems. 

Yours very truly, • Russeix J. Eij>ridge> Director. 


New Jersey Unemployment Compensation Commission, 

New Jersey State Employment Ser\t;ce, 

Trenton, N. J., June 19, 1940. 
C. George Krueger, 

Chainnan, Migratory Labor Conference, 

Trenton, N. J. 
Dear Mr. Krtjegee: The meeting of tbe policy committee, June 12 last, consid- 
ered the question of information and possible research or surveys, and also 
concluded as a first step, to review past surveys and to attempt to project the data 
into the present with the hope that this would either provide the general data 
which might be desired or on the other hand, would indicate the additional data 
which might require further surveys. 

Mr. Harry Weiss, of the survey committee, kindly consented to perform this 
task, and I am happy to hand you herewith the results of his work, namely, 
migratory Italian families on agricultural work other than potato harvest, 
which brings the situation to date. 

Mr. Ernest A. Harding, representing educational interests, was particularly 
interested in the present volume of children so far as it might affect educational 
facilities or interests. I feel that the report meets this interest. The other 
basic question was the quantity of total workers, and I feel that the answer is 
provided by this report for ail practical purposes even though it is not an exact 
counting of heads. 

Mr. Weiss suggests items which may need further clarification, chiefly rates 
of pay and earnings. As indicated above, the approach apparently called for 
is a field survey on these points. May I refer to my letter of transmittal of 
the field survey on Negro potato-harvest labor, which reported that the items 
of rates of pay and earnings were those on which the greatest difficulty was 
experienced in obtaining facts. Apparently then, a field survey would again 
be deficient on these two points in the field herein referred to. 

May I also point out in this report, an estimate with regard to the effect of 
assembly bill 174 (committee substitute A and B). In addition to the effect 
estimated on child labor, it raises the suggestion that the effect on child labor 
may act to deter adult members of families involved from returning to this 
type of work. If this may be the result then we may look for a very large 
elimination of the effects of migratory workers in this field of agriculture. 
Very truly yours, 

Russell. J. Eldridge, 
Chairman, iiurvey Committee, Migratory Labor Conference. 


According to the 1930 survey,^ 580 migratory Italian families came to New 
Jersey for seasonal farm work. Each family consisted of an average of 6.4 
persons, making the total number of persons coming to New Jersey 3.719. Of 
this total, 428 were 5 years old or less and out of the work picture; 1,798 were 
between the ages of 6 and 15 ; and 1,493 were over 15. 

Children, both sexes, 5 years or less 

Children, both sexes, between 6 and 15. 
Persons, both sexes, over 15 


Of the 3,719 persons, 88.5 percent, or 3,291, worked, in varying degrees. In 
order to supply 3,291 workers, 3,719 migrated. 

According to A Summer in the Country,^ which is a report of the National 
Child Labor Committee, setting forth the results of a 1938 sample survey in- 
tended to bring the 1930 State survey up to date, it is estimated that 1,000 
Italian families migrate to New Jersey each year. This agency surveyed 251 
families, each having an average number of seven persons. The total number 
of persons involved Vas 1,764. A thousand families with an average of seven 
persons each would bring the total to 7,000. According to this 1938 sample 

1 Report of rommittee to Investigate Employment of Migratory Children in State of 
New Jersey. 1931. 
« National Child Labor Committee Survey, 1938. 



survey 66 percent of the 1,704 persons did farm work ; in other words, all 6 
years old and over. This percentage applied to 7,000 persons would amount to 
4,620 persons, the number of workers in a migration of 7,000 persons. 

A total of 7,000 persons at this date (1940) seems to be high. It would seem 
as if 5,000 were a better figure. The following table gives a comparison of the 
surveys and of the estimates for 1940, by the two agencies : 



1930 survey - 

1938 sample survey 

National Child Labor Committee estimate for 1940 

New Jersey Department of Agriculture estimate for 1940 







per family 







of total 



The 1938 sample survey found the methods of hiring to be as follows : 



Families finding employment through friends . - - 



Families finding employment through own efforts .. - 


Families finding employment through farmers . - - 





The 1930 survey did not cover methods of employment. 

Distribution of migratory families in 1930 









Atlantic -. . 




Salem . 





Camden... . 



With respect to living quarters, sleeping accommodations, toilet facilities, 
garbage disposal, hours worked, school days lost, it is believed that the results 
of the 1930 survey are still good — as approximately representing present-day con- 
ditions. The items on which exact information is lacking are — actual numbers 
of migratory workers involved, rates of pay, and earnings. 

A Summer in the Country adds only a little to the conditions as presented 
in the 1930 State survey. In 1938 when the survey was made, agricultural condi- 
tions in New Jersey were not good. Farm prices were low, the workers earned 
less than they expected, and conditions were bad for farmers and workers alike. 
In part, the conditions described in A Summer in the Country are couched in 
general terms and there is a tendency to present only the worst features of 
migratory labor. 


The committee substitutes A and B for assembly bill No. 174 at this writing 
(June 17, 1940) have passed both branches of the legislature. These bills are 


designed to limit aud regulate child labor in New Jersey. Insofar as migratory 
labor is concerned tbese bills provide that : 

"Xo minor under 16 years of age not a resident of this State shall be em- 
ployed, permitted or suffered to work in any occupation or service whatsoever at 
any time during which the law of the State of his residence requires his at- 
tendance at school, or at any time during the hours when the public schools in 
the district in which employment in siich occupations or services may be avail- 
able are in session." 

In addition, it is provided that no child under 12 years may be employed in 
agricultural pursuits; that children u*der 16 years of age may be permitted 
to work when schools are not in sesison if they hold special permits from the 
issuing officer of a school district : that the work of such children be limited to 
not more than 6 consecutive days in any one week, and not more than 10 hours 
per day. 

The above, when it becomes a law, will remove from consideration about 50 
percent of the migratory Italians who have been accustomed to work in New 
Jersey during the time schools are in session. As each child loses an average 
of 39 days of schooling, this means, on the basis of the 1930 survey, that 
approximately 1.800 children between 6 and 15 years of age will not be available 
for 39 days each year. It should be kept in mind, however, that the harvesting 
ability of' this age group is much less than that of the older persons. In addi- 
tion, children under 12 will not be permitted to work during the time schools are 
not in session. This removes from employment 993 children (on the basis of the 
1930 survey) between the ages of 6 to 11, inclusive, for a period of about 3 
months (June 15 to September 15). Although the numbers of children tak6n 
out of employment are substantial for the periods in (luestion, it should be 
remembered that children harvest much less than old^r persons. The fear 
advanced by farmers is that the regulations prohibiting the employment of 
children, may keep some of the Italian adults in Philadelphia so long as they 
cannot benefit by the work of all members of their families. 

June 18, 1940. 


Mr. Lepper. It covers every part of the potato growing and there 
is also included a supplementary part on other vegetable growers. 
We have no report on the canneries. In fact we did not treat the 
cannery question very seriously, but I understand that some members 
had some questions tliat they wanted to ask on some of our largest 
caimeries, and if the}^ do we can give you the answer. We have it 
right here. 

The Chairman. Does any member of the committee desire to 
ask some questions? 

Mr. OsMERS. I have some general questions on the New Jersey 
problem. In the first place, all of the men who have appeared here 
from New Jersey today have devoted themselves, more or less, to 
the discussion of the people that have come into New Jersey to 
work, and who have worked there, and who have gone from the 
State after they have completed their work. 


Now, do we have any considerable number of destitute citizens 
coming into New Jersey and remaining as destitute citizens while 
they are there? 

Mr, Lepper. The Financial Assistance Commission has not been 
able to give us anything official on that, but we do find that there is 
a definite problem along those lines. 


Now, the general answer originally was that a person had to 
be a citizen, or be a resident, rather, of New Jersey for 5 years before 
he was eligible for relief, but it also says that nobody shall be allowed 
to starve, so consequently these people become relief cases. 

Then there are cases reported to the State relief headquarters, 
and an attempt is made to establish their residence, and if they find 
a man comes from Georgia, and they then write to Georgia and 
try to get Georgia to say that they will take this man back, if 
New Jersey will pay his railroad fare, but in most cases when they 
write to Georgia, they reply he was a resident but he is no longer 
and you have got him and now you keep him. It has amounted 
to a larger problem than we anticipated. 

It is generally conceded, and I do not think it is far wrong, that 
the figures will show about 25 percent of them remain in the State. 

Mr. OsMERS. Twenty-five percent of what? 

Mr. Lepper. Of these Negro migrants. The figures show in this 
report that 19 percent of those who have jobs do not go back, 
and those that do not get jobs will certainly make up 25 percent. 
At the conference in Washington, Florida reported that when they 
start down in Hastings each year, there is a change of faces of from 
25 to 50 percent. 

In other Avords, as those people start out from Florida this year, 
and start north, anywhere from 25 to 50 percent do not come back 
next year. They stay somewhere along the line. 


Mr. OsMERS. There is another question that I would like to ask: 
This is a general question for anyone to answer who is in a position 
to do so. Do you feel that the fact that the wages paid by the farmers 
who employ migratory labor — do you feel that the wages are insuf- 
ficient to attract local labor that might be available there to do 
the work? 

Mr. Krueger. Congressman, our report regarding the potato sur- 
vey shows from the original data submitted to the investigators that 
the wage rate starts at about 20 cents an hour, and averages approx- 
imately 35 cents an hour. It would be difficult to say whether or 
not that is satisfactory to local labor. 

Mr. OsMERS. I was a little dissatisfied with respect, Mr. Chair- 
man, to that particular phase when we stopped in the course of 
our trip across New Jersey. The potato farmer said that the pay 
rate was from 25 to 40 cents an hour, depending upon the individual 
occupation in potato picking that the migrant would be employed 
on, but in speaking to one of the migrants — I believe he was a con- 
tractor — he said that they received 3 cents for a field bag of 65 
pounds, that is, a field sack, and in questioning him very closely 
he said that an A No. 1 hand could possibly picl^ up to 100 field 
sacks in a day, which would be $3 a day. But from the way he 
said it I gathered the impression that probably only 1 percent of 
all of the potato pickers in New Jersey could possibly pick them that 

Now, I don't know whether the department of labor could supply 
us with some actual figures on that; on the amount of pay received 
on these fields. 


Mr. Krueger. I have nothing on that, I think the employment 
service might tell us what they propose to do to continue the search 
into the wage question. 

Mr. Eldridge. We found when we started out with an idea of ob- 
taining the reduction in the volume of individual farm workers, 
so that we could eventually relate the needs of the crops involved 
and thus make a determination of the maximum of the people who 
ought to be attracted to that particular work, but in our survey of 
the potato situation we met with a discouraging situation. The 
farmers who were interrogated were either unable or unwilling 
to give us that factor so that we got very small returns and a con- 
siderable variety of practices, so that that factor rests upon esti- 
mate, except that we are now cooperating with another field surv'ey 
in the fruit and vegetable area, to determine that from the work- 
ers themselves. In addition to that the State board of health has 
men checking the syphilitic situation, and they are now also asking 
the actual worker what his earnings were. 

I think Mr. Krueger used the term "hourly wages" when he said 
that it was from 20 cents up. In the cannery situation, that is re- 
duced to an hourly wage proposition, much more so than it is in 
the field. In the field it really — I would suggest that you state a 
correction, Mr. Krueger, to be expressed as hourly earnings, rather 
than hourly rate of wages. 

The Chairman. Mr. Kreuger, did you say the hourly wages range 
from 20 cents to 35 cents ? 

Mr. IvRUEGER. According to the results of our survey. 

The Chairman. Novv^, 35 cents an hour, would that be just for 
ordinary pickers or graders? 

Mr. EiDRroGE. That is the difficulty, Congressman, the price ranges 
as the services vary. Every farm seems to have a different practice 
as to what they receive. I think that Mr. Lepper has more knowledge 
about that. 

INIr. Lepper. They generally pay the picker, that is one on his knees 
in the field, about 3 cents for a field sack. Now, a field sack runs 
approximately between 60 and 65 pounds, isn't that right, or nearly 
70 pounds ? And it takes nearly two field sacks to make one shipping 
bag, is that right i That is one No. 1 bag of potatoes, after they are 
graded and culls are taken out and so forth ? 

Now, most of the farmers seem to pay about 7 cents. In some cases, 
we have it at 8 cents, but that is for services other than the picking, it 
is the grading and packing in the bag, culling, and putting on the track. 
The actual person in the field, though, receives about 3 cents a ba.o- for 
between 65 and 70 pounds of potatoes. 

Mr. OsMERS. I wonder if Major Lepper would care to make an 
estimate of the average daily earnings of a potato picker in New 
Jersey, a migrant potato picker? 

Mr. Lepper. It seems to run between $2.40 and $3, as best we could 
find out, depending entirely upon the individual. In some particular 
cases we found that these people were working and would work hard. 
We had one example which probably will give us a little better illus- 
tration. It did not mean potato pickers in the case of 400 people that 
we refer to — one of the farmers nearby employed berry pickers, bean 
pickers, pea pickers, and workers on several other vegetables, and there 


were some people put over there on relief work, who were relief people, 
and they made a complaint that they could not earn $1 a day. 

It was no concern of ours and we had nothmg to do with it, and 
we felt that was a problem for the relief agencies to straighten out, 
but to fortify ourselves in the event that there was an investigation 
of it, we sent over and made an investigation, and we found that the 
Italians from Philadelphia could go in there and earn from $340 to 
$4 20 a day, and they worked, but these relief clients, particularly the 
younger ones, who were sent over there, had the privilege of drawing 
their money at any time of the day, or any day, and they would go in 
and earn 35 or 40 cents and go out and buy some ice cream and a bottle 
of pop and sit under a tree and drink it and spend a couple ot hours 
more out there and then quit for the day. 

There was one woman there 74 years of age who was earning an 
average of $3.62 a day, so you can see that it rests entirely with the 

'"^ Of 'course, the potato growers work a little bit differently as to 
hours They work from early in the morning to about 11 o clock, and 
then they quit and go back again about 4 o'clock and work until 
sundown, nearly 9 o'clock at night. They don't work m the heat of the 
day, because of the scalding of the potatoes I am not a farmer^ but 
I am just telling you what we have been told. The heat will hurt the 


Mr OsMERS. I would like to inquire into a question concerning the 
health department. In Mr. Krueger's statement he made the remark 
that those people who were found infected with syphilis m a com- 
municable stage had the opportunity for treatment. 

Now, as I understand the New Jersey State law with respect to 
syphilis, it is mandatory once the State department has noted the 
presence of communicable syphilis that they receive treatment. 1 hey 

must have treatment. ^i ^ ^u i i ^i 

Mr MacDonald. I think the statement was that they had the op- 
portunity for treatment at clinics, if they did not go to private 
physicians. In other words, they seek treatment where they will. 
However if they wish it at public clinics rather than a private phy- 
sician at their own expense, it will be furnished there, and is 

Mr. OsMERS. If the migratory worker fails to apply for treatment 
either at a clinic or private physician, what happens to his case? 

Mr. MacDonald. If he is in a stage of the disease considered com- 
municable, then the local health department may require that he be 
examined and submit to treatment or submit to quarantine. 

Now, that is rather an awkward situation, because they have to 
have a place to quarantine them. 

Mr. OsMERS. Now, I want to ask another question along that line. 
If you find that one of these migratory workers is infected with 
syphilis in a communicable stage, and you check your records and 
find no record of his receiving treatment, and your local health au- 
thorities go out to the farm where he has been employed and he is not 
there, he is removed from the State of New Jersey, and is now in 
Viro-inia, or in transit to Florida, does that end your interest in the 
case or do you forward that information on to the next State? 


Mr. MaoDonald. As soon as the individual leaves New Jersej^, to 
our knowledge, they at once notify the State health department of 
the State of destination, or the State at which he says he is residing, 
presumably he returns there, and we also have been in the practice 
of forwarding to that State, to that State health department, not only 
a statement of the results of blood tests and so on, but a statement of 
the complete series of treatments given the man in New Jersey, so 
that they can pick it up from that point. 

Mr. OsMERS. Have you found that the other States carry that on? 
Mr. MacDonai^d. Some do and some do not. We ask, of course, 
that they advise us whether or not they locate these individuals, if 
they see fit to do so, and some States have replied that they have 
found the individual and arranged for his continued treatment, and 
others have been unable to locate him, and some have said that they 
do not have the facilities in that particular section of the State to 
follow them up and therefore the individual probably is lost so far 
as his diseased condition is concerned. 

Mr. OsMERS. Would it be a fair statement to say that most of the 
people who leave the State with communicable diseases do not receive 
treatment after they leave the State ; most of them ? 
Mr. MacDoxald. I have nothing to judge that. 
Mr. OsMERS, Could you make a guess on what reports you have in 
the State? 

Mr. MacDonald. That is all, and they are not complete, as you 
can understand. I could not answer that. 

The Chairman. Mr. MacDonald, are there any figures obtainable 
to show it in terms of migrants ; that is, people afflicted with venereal 
diseases, as between Negroes and white people? 

Mr. INIacDoxald. White migrants, we have no figures, because we 
have not carried on any extensive blood-testing campaign among the 
Italian families, which constitute the chief group of our white 
transients coming into Philadelphia. We have not undertaken to 
do that, and in the potato-growing section, as you appreciate, those 
migrants are principally colored persons coming directly from the 
South. That is the group in which we worked last year; we have 
not any comparable figures for the others. 

The Chairman. I understood you to say it ran as high as 33 

Mr. Krtjeger. In the colored groups. 

Mr. OsMERS. Isn't that considerably higher than the percentage 
in the New Jersey colored population? 
Mr. MacDonald. Yes. 

The Chairman. That is what I was referring to. 
Mr. MacDonald. That is much higher than our colored groups, 
and much higher than the whites, and also considerably higher than 
the average among New Jersey colored people. 
The Chairman. Was there anything else? 

Mr. MacDonald. May I just add — inasmuch as you have ex- 
pressed 3'our interest in that particular point, Mr. Chairman — that 
the State health department is now, this last week, undertaking a 
i-esurvey of this grou]) in just the same way as we did last year, 
and we also hope to get some figures on incidence of tuberculosis, and 
would your committee be particularly interested in those figures 


The Chatrmax. We will not close our record airainst anytliino; that 
the State of Xevr Jei-sey desires to present, the true picture of Xe"vv 

Mr. ^IacDoxald. If you are interested 

The Chaikmax. We are interested. 


!Mi'. OsMERS. Mr. Chairman. I wonder if we might have jus.t a 
little more explanation of this card system which seems to have been 
reasonably successful — ^how that is operated, the issuance of those 

^1t. Lepper. First of all, we must assume, of course, or work on the 
theory that in most cases where these Xegro miffi-ants are brought 
into a specific farm at the request of the farm, somebody must be 
responsible for brinfrinsf them in. Tliere is always the road boss, 
or the foreman, as they are known, and he seems to be the man that 
brinofs them in. It does not make very nuich ditference to the farmer 
whom he gets. He leaves that entirely with the boss, so working on 
that theory, in this particular case the man said the farmer told 
us that the man who arranged for his help was a colored man named 
Rhoades, and he was then near Cape Charles. Va., working there on 
a certain fann. and that he was going to bring 28 people with him. 

The farmer wrote to Rhoades and told Rhoades that he would have 
to take those 28 people down to the office of the Virginia State Em- 
plovment Service and register them for employment, and they went 
to that office and registered, the same as anyone else does that goes 
through any public employment office. They were unmediately given 
referral cards to this fann about 12 miles outside of Trenton, and 
an identification card, which is always given to everyone who regis- 
ters in any of the State employment offices. 

The identification cards become their property, and they carry them 
in their possession at all times, and the referral cards are given to the 
farmer or to the employer at the time that they report, and then he in 
turn, when they do report, signs this card, indicating that they have 
reported. That card is turned over to our representative on this end, 
and we in turn forward it to Virginia, which completes the whole trans- 

Mr. Corns. Do you know. Mr. Lepper, these people who had these 
cards, and were registered in Virginia, and so on did they encounter 
any difficulties in getting from one State to another ? 

Mr. Lepper. Xo, on the contrary, they were very proud of the fact 
that they had what they called a "passport," and they were tickled to 
death with it and the farmer was tickled to death with it, and we were 
tickled to death with it, and we have a complete record of those people. 
If there were any police problems or anything else, the complete record 

is in the file. 

Mr. OsMERS. As a matter of practice, Major Lepper. does the potato 
farmer pay the wages directly to the worker or does he pay the padrone, 
or the foreman ? 

Mr. Lepper. The indications are that the padrone gets the money, 
and as a matter of fact, when the people that were making this survey 
ifiked the question as to what the average person earned, they said, 


"VV"' <l<» iin( KiKJW. We, (loiTl, know :iiiylliin<r iihoiil i(. AVc pay llic inun 
Mini li<^ (IIhI t'iliiifi'H it." 

Mr. Ohmkhm. I ^iiirM'd (Im irriproKsion wliilc wo were in Now Jersoy, 
Mr. ( lliiiii iiiiin, (liiil <ln'r(^ waw a jj;roa(, deal of (iifForonco botwocn tlie 
MiiKHMil of money (liiil (Im' i'nviwvy pjiid out and tlio arnonni, of jiionoy 
(lull Mrliiiilly imi, iiilo IIm' liaiids ol' Mio niigrant workor. 'J'liorc was 
<liii(<' !i III He (li'lnH'iJcy jiloiif.'; IIk^ lino Chore. 


'riioro in JmhI- oho ol lior <|iies(,ion that T wouhl also liko to ask tho wit- 
iK'HHOH j'roin Now .lorsoy, and this is not Dccossai'iiy on aj^rioidtural 
workiu's; whoMu^r liiciy fool that Uio Fodi^ral Govornnient slioidd widen 
llieir nssisdiiw'o to vocal ional training- schools for, j)a)liculaily, yoiiii^ 
nii/j;ninlH lliiil, ooino inlo (Ik; Sta(o oi' may l(!avo our Stat(!, Would (hat 
he !i help I'll I (liin^ lo ( ho Si :i((! of Now J(;rsoy ? 

Mr. l\iiiii;<iKi{. I Jnror(uii!i((!ly our n^jirosontative from (ho depart- 
mont. of odiicalion is no(, ])roscnt and I do not know whether any 
(d' (lM^ widiossoH lioro (;oiild I'oally answer that. 

Mr, OsMKim. On (Ik; oduoational (jU(!s( ion I was also goinjr to discuss 
(,ho (mIiicmI ion problom of some of those seasonal workers that come in, 
who liavo children, and are working on these y)otato farms, and they are 
shifled iill (ho (imo. Do lh(!y ever eot an education? 

Mr. Kiaii;<;i:u. Aecordinj;' to (ho provisions of tho revised child-labor 
law, souMidiing will liav(! to ho done about that, after S(!i)tombor 1, 
because those children must attend scIkk^I, and that is going to he m 
\cvy didicuh, siliial ion. 

Mr. Kmjkiok. 1 (hink that tliat (jiiostioji is well taken. The exact 
application of tlu; Federal aid has changed on (hat, and there is a defi- 
nite; fi(dd and need foi- aid to be given to the children of those families, 
whom now the locali(i(!s involved fool no great responsibility foi", and 
have no iosponsibilit.y toward, tho academic education of these people. 

Mr. OsMKKS. 'J'lioro is a shortage iji New Jersey of trained skilled 
workers, a very serious one. 

Mr. Eldridge. Yes. 

Mr. Lepper. I probably could conti'il)ute something on that thought. 
At the conference held in Washington, in April, the Pennsylvania De- 
partment of Labor reported that a survey of the sc^hools in ]*liiladelphia 
indicated that 509 children who came from 259 families missed 2 
months of the school year with the exception of 2 days, in school at 
Philadelphia, because of the fact that their families w<'ro in south 
Jersey, in agricultural work, which gives you some idea of that. 

Mr. OsMERS. So far as you know, those children did nol r(!c(;ive any 
education in the State of New Jersey 'i 

Mr. Lepper. No. 


Mr. OsMERS. Are labor relations, generally, harmonious between the 
migrant worker and the farmer, or have there been dispulos, sti-ikes, 
and occurrences of that sort, or have they been general] y jx'acol'ul ? 

Mr. Krueger. Why, I w^ould like to make one statement preparatory 
to an answer to that. 

260370 — 40 — pt.l 8 


Legally in New Jersey we have no labor relations board, so officially 
we do not know. But I imagine that the State police and possibly 
the employment service, through their travels throughout that par- 
ticular area, might have something to offer on that. 

Major ScHOEFFEL. I recall that in 1935 Seabrook Farms had a 
strike which lasted for a considerable period of time and finally re- 
ferred to the National Labor Relations Board, and ultimately settled 
to the vsatisfaction of both the worker and the farm people. 

Mr. OsMERS. They were not primarly migrant workers? 

Major ScHOEFTEL. No; and the same thing applied to either Pix 
or Pax Farms at Cranbury, N. J., where there is a strike in progress 
right now, and in the past 3 weeks, I believe, most of the workers have 
returned to their employment, but there are still a few left. 

Mr. OsMERS. Is that migrant workers? 

Major ScHOEFFEL. I guess the majority of those are workers from 
the farms of North Carolina and Nebraska, and they stay for a year 
or two and another group takes their place. 

Mr. MacDonald. I do not think that those are farm labor. 

Mr. OsMERS. It is migrant labor, though ? 

Mr. MacDonald. Yes. 

Major Shoeffel. He raises all sorts of things, and he cans them 
on his own premises. 

Mr. OsMERS. But I would say that that is a fairly good labor record 
if there are only those two disturbances. 

Major ScHOEFFEL. There are very few. We have heard this, 
although I do not know whether I can quote the authority ; that is, that 
the farmers express some fear that the C. I. O. is going to organize 
the potato pickers in the Jersey section; that is, the migrant labor, 
and the department checked with the attorney general and we were 
informed that under the provisions of the Wagner Act, I believe it is, 
the rules and regulations of the National Labor Relations Board, that 
unions cannot organize farm labor except in the processing industries, 
and therefore I think that the thing was dropped, but there may be 
a move in that direction shortly. I don't know. 

Mr. Sparkman. Mr, Chairman, I want to ask a question. I am 
particularly interested in the part that these foremen or road bosses 
or padrones or whatever you call them played, and in the comment 
that Mr. Osmers made with reference to the spread of the wages as it 
leaves the owner's pocket, and as it reaches the worker's pocket. 

I wonder if, under this plan that you are trying out. if that is ex- 
tended, some method could not be worked out whereby these padrones 
or foremen could very largely be eliminated? It seems to me that 
the employment service of the State could very well pick up the indi- 
vidual worker. If they are going to be registered, see that they are 
transported to the place where the work is, and let the dealings there 
be by the employment service with the farmers, thereby eliminating 
that part of the play or that loss in the wages? 

Mr. Lepper. There is one thing about them, the applicant knows 
exactly how much the farmer is going to pay before he leaves Virginia, 
and now the requisition put through the other day, for the ])otato 
workers specifically said 7 cents a sack was the rate of pay, and each 
one of these people — of the thirty-odd potato growers coming in here, 
know when they leave Virginia that the farmer is paying 3 cents out 
of 7 cents a sack. 


Mr. Eldridge. That desirable result of control and supervision by 
the agencies would, I feel sure, be greatly hastened if there was some 
control set up; if there was some control of the activities of these 

]Mr. Sparkman. I think that there would be a gradual elimination 
of them. 

Mr. Eldridge. It would hasten the supervision by the State 

^Ir. Sparkman. Is the State Employment Service partially financed 
by the Federal Government? 
^ Mr. Eldridge. Not partially, almost exclusively. 

Mr. Sparkman. I thought the State had to contribtue a part. 

Mr. Eldridge. About 10 percent. 

Mr. Sparkman. I just wanted to ask this one more question — and 
this is a rather general question, of Mr. Kreuger or anyone: Do I, 
or am I, correct in this conclusion; from the statements that have 
been made here, that it is a recognized fact that there is a migrant 
labor problem in the State of New Jersey, even though it may not 
have reached the stage of acuteness that it has in some of the other 
States of the Union ? I think that there is one, either real or antici- 

Mr. Krueger. I think the question itself, as phrased, answers the 
question, because, as I mentioned in the report, we feel that it is 
qualitative at the moment, and not quantitative, but we are fearful 
of consequences if there is an increase in growth. 


Mr. Osmers. There ig another question that I would like to ask 
there before it slips my mind. Major Lepper said that these people 
knew when they left Virginia or Georgia or wherever they came 
from, this particular group knew that they were going to receive 
7 cents a bag for picking potatoes, and now what are the deductions 
that are paid from that 7 cents? There is transportation, food, hous- 
ing, are all of those items deducted from that 7 cents or is that a net 
income ? 

Mr. Lepper. The padrone furnishes transportation, as a general rule. 

Mr. Osmers. Wlio reimburses the padrone for the transportation? 

Major ScHOEiTEL. I spoke to some of our troopers, and they tell 
me that the padrone collects the wages of the workers and pays them, 
and takes his percentage; they don't know just how much, and then 
charges the worker a certain amount of money for transportation 
to the place where he is working, and also back to the point of origin 
when the season is over, and the worker does actually pay the 
padrone for the transportation. 

Mr. Osmers. Now, as to the workers' food ? 

Major ScHOEFFEL. He buys that himself, although his transporta- 
tion is furnished free of charge. 

Mr. Osmers. In the case of the workers that we all expected to 
hear on Saturday last, those workers had been there for 2 weeks, 
and they had not picked a potato, and I presume that they had not 
received any money. Were they living on accumulated earnings 
from previous employment? 


Major ScHOEFFEL. Oh, no, I imagine that they were living on the 
padrone's credit. I think so; I don't know. 
Mr. OsMERS. That would be my guess, too. 


Mr. Sparkman. I wonder if any suggestions from the Health De- 
partment are used by those people in the building of those barracks 
and ([uartersi? 

Mr. MacDonald. No; most of the barracks that have been con- 
structed have been constructed by the potato farmer, without confer- 
ence, and in a good many instances, of course, they have utilized an 
existing building, a barn or wagon house, and put partitions in, and 
furnishing quarters like that has become more prevalent in the last 
year or two than it was prior to that time. As the major said, prior 
to that time we did have some more accumulations of people in camps 
or groups, but the farmer has appreciated the desirability of furnish- 
ing some quarters. Most of those quarters have been furnished by the 
individual in some way, utilizing a building or a house on the premises, 
or constructing a temporary barracks such as you saw down there. 

Mr. Sparkman. Does the health department inspect them ? 

Mr. MacDonald. The State health department has not been in a 
position prior to this time to inspect all of those places, and under our 
system of health administration in New Jersey, each municipality has 
its own health department and is supposed to be, and is, theoretically, 
responsible for basic sanitary conditions in its own municipality. Un- 
f ortunatelv, in a good many of the areas in wdiich the potato farms, for 
instance, are located, the townships do not have an extensive personnel 
and have only a very limited personnel in their health boards and have 
not been doing very much about it. 

We have made some inspections on complaints, investigations of 
these conditions, disease conditions, and so on, and this year are plan- 
ning to make further investigations of housing conditions such as you 
saw. And we are also plannnig to pick up samples of water from wells 
or sources of supply available, which are, of course, private. In a 
good many instances the same supply that the farmer uses is also 
available to the workers and sometimes they have a different supply, 
depending on where they are located on the farm. 

In the last 2 years the State department has been sponsoring a 
W. P. A. project under which there has been constructed in New 
Jersey about 20,000 of a standard type of outside toilet, or privy. 
Those are constructed on farms and on any premises by W. P. A. labor, 
the cost of all materials being borne by the person in charge of the 
premises, and in a goodly number of these potato farms and also the 
vegetable farms, and quite a number of the various bogs, they have 
taken advantage of that opportunity and we have constructed a lot 
of those units on those premises. 

The Chairman. We have the full membership of our committee here 
now, Congressman Parsons, of Illinois, having just arrived from the 
U. S. S. Amenca, and in his honor we will take a 5-minute recess. 
(Whereupon there was a recess.) 

The Chairman. The committee will come to order. 

Mr. Osmers. Mr. Chairman, I would like to suggest before Mr. 
Krueger leaves the room that he attempt to find out for us and present 
to the committee some information with respect to the effect of the 


New Jersey relief policy upon the interstate migration of destitute 

Mr. Krueger. Mr. Chairman, I will see that that is submitted. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much. 

(The following statement was later submitted and entered in the 
record :) 


New Jersey with its varied agricultural and industrial interests and its 
strategic location between two large metropolitan centers in other States has 
attracted to it persons from other States seeking employment. 

There are at least three areas of the State to which such persons come seeking 
work and to which attention has been especially directed from time to time. 

(1) The potato raising area made up chiefly of parts of Monmouth, Mercer, 
and Middlesex Counties. 

(2) The oyster-growing and harvesting section, chiefly in Cumberland County. 

(3) The vegetable and berry growing and canning sections of Burlington, 
Camden, Gloucester, Salem, and Cumberland Counties. 

The persons attracted to the potato-growing section are chiefly adult colored 
males. This group includes some females and a few children. They come from 
States south of New Jersey on the eastern seaboard. Their work in the potato 
harvest extends from sometime in July about to October. The number is in 
the neighborhood of 4,000. Employment, if available, is not continuous during 
this period due to fluctuations in the potato market and the weather. 

Persons attracted to New Jersey for work in the oyster industry include 
colored persons from States just south of New Jersey, both adult males and 
females as well as some children, although adult males predominate. The 
total is considerably less than the number attracted to the potato-growing 
section. The u.sual period of peak employment is from about September 1 to 
December 1. 

In the third area mentioned many of the transient workers seeking employ- 
ment in vegetable and fruit harvest come from Pennsylvania, and particularly 
from the city of Philadelphia. This group includes nn're females and children 
than the group attracted tt) the potato area. While we do not have accurate 
comparative figures, this department feels the number of children in this group 
is relatively less than 10 years ago. A large proportion of this group is white, 
many being of Italian birth or stock and include entire families in many 


Communicate diseases, general. — While cases of the communicable diseases 
such as scarlet fever, diphtheria, measles, etc., to the best of our knowledge, have 
not occurred in large numbers in any of these groups, some such cases do 
occur and present difficult problems from the standpoint of isolation in proper 
quarters. There is no State communicable disease hospital in New Jersey nor 
is there any county hospital of this type in any of the eight counties mentioned. 
The city of Trenton in Mercer County and the city of Camden in Camden 
County, each maintains a contagious disease hospital for its own people. While 
these institutions may be willing in emergencies to accept cases from outside 
their respective limits, compensation is of course expected. This is not always 
forthcoming either from the affected patient nor from the municipality in 
which the person may be stopping temporarily. 

Typhoid fever. — In past years cases of typhoid fever have occurred in tran- 
sient workers in the vegetable and fruit area. One chronic typhoid carrier was 
discovered by special investigation and she was placed under supervision by the 
board of health of her home community after leaving New Jersey. 

Venereal diseases. — For a few seasons prior to the summer of 1939, the 
venereal disease clinic at the city of New Brunswick, Middlesex County, was 
severely taxed by additional patients from among the migrants to the potato- 
picking area. 

During the potato season of 1939, special activities were instituted by the 
State health department to discover and have treated cases of syphilis among 
this group of transient workers. 

Three thousand and twenty-one persons were blood tested. Of this number, 
2,.558 were nonresident Negroes. Their home State usually was located along 
the South Atlantic seaboard, but workers were found from 18 different States 



including the States of Nevada and Washington. Florida, Virginia, North 
Carolina, and Georgia were most frequently reprasented in the order named. 
The table below indicates the number of persons, by age group, color, and 
the sex of the Negroes tested : 

Age group 

















































I 2, 948 



Oto 9.9 years 

10 to 14.9 years.. 
15 to 19.9 years. - 
20 to 24.9 years. - 
25 to 29.9 years . - 
30 to 34.9 years. - 
35 to 39.9 years . . 
40 to 49.9 years.. 
50 years and over 




1 390 of these were resident Negroes of New Jersey. 

The marital status of this group was studied and often several questions 
were required to ascertain the fact. Only 36.8 percent were married and 48.9 
percent were single. The rest were separated, widowed, or divorced. It must 
be emphasized that over 63 percent considered themselves unmarried and 
actually many who were here listed as married were on a 6 to 9 months migra- 
tion while their marital partner either remained at their southern home or 
joined another migratory group. 

As a group, the health of the 2,948 Negroes tested was poor in so far as 
syphilis was concerned. In terms of serological laboratory reports, 1,028 or 
34.9 percent were positive. Of the 2,136 males tested, 32 percent were positive 
and of the 812 females tested 42 percent were positive. When these data are 
studied by marital status, we find 22 percent of the single persons having i)0si- 
tive blood tests and 40.8 percent for the married, 37 percent for the widowed, 
and 43 percent for those persons who were separated. 

The i)ersons who were found to have a positive or doubtful blood test were 
examined at three strategically located clinic centers. Many persons migrated 
within and even outside of the potato area betwe'en the time of taking the 
blood sample and the day when the laboratory reports were available. Thus 
some of the positive serological cases were lost temporarily or permanently. 

However, a total of 786 persons were diagnosed as syphilitic and they were 
given over 4.300 injections before they left for their homes with patient referral 
forms indicating the exact nature of their disease and the treatments given to 
date. It was found that over one-third of the syphilitics diagnosed had infec- 
tious stages of the disease. In other words, over 33 percent had acquired their 
syphilis during the 4 years immediately preceding the time of diagnosis. 

Among persons engaged in the oyster industi*y in Cumberland County arrange- 
ments have also been carried out under a State and local cooperative plan for 
testing blood of this group of workers for evidence of syphilis and providing 
treatment at low or no cost. 

Housing. — In New Jersey, it is by statute the duty of each local board of 
health to enforce local regulations and the regulations of the State sanitary 
code in regard to private wells and sources of water supply and in regard to 
the construction, location and maintenance of privies, cesspools, etc. Most of 
the municipalities to which the laborers mentioned above are attracted are 
rural townships. Most of these township boards of health have only limited 
personnel and do not routinely make inspections of sanitary problems. 

In the potato-growing section as described, there are few houses available 
in which the transient workers can be accommodated. Generally during the 
summer and early fall months when they are employed in New Jersey, these 
people find living quarters in buildings not ordinarily used as habitations. 

In the oyster-growing area, persons from out of the State are chiefly housed 
in frame buildings maintained in the section and intended primarily for use 
by the persons so employed. In these buildings a water supply under pressure 
is available, toilet facilities of the chemical tyiie are also available. 

In the vegetable and berry picking section, most of the persons attracted find 
living quarters in houses in the general vicinity. On some of the premises at 


which such labor is employed, temporary living quarters are available in build- 
ings maintained for the purpose. These buildings are not intended for year- 
round residency. ^ ,-, , , ^ 

Spccml surveys.— During the next few months, the State Health Department 
Is proposing to carry on some special survey work, particularly along the fol- 
lowing lines: 

(1) To obtain blood to be examined for evidence of syphilis from workers 
attracted to the potato section of Monmouth, Middlesex, and Mercer Counties. 
Those found to be affected with syphilis will have an opportunity to receive 
treatment from clinics established for that purpose if they are unable to pay 
for treatments privately. 

(2) In this same area, to secure information by personal inspection as to the 
living quarters used by these transient workers and also information about 
basic sanitation at such quarters, including water supply and method of collec- 
tion of human wastes. 

(3) In the vegetable- and berry-growing section, it is planned to make a 
cross-section survey to determine in general the housing facilities used by 
transient laborers coming to this area and, also to obtain information about 
basic sanitary conditions including water supply and sewage collection and 
disposal at such premises. . 

(4) A similar cross-section survey in that part of this general area, limited 
to Burlington County, was anticipated although we now understand a survey 
including the information outlined above, is to be made within the next few 
months bv an agency of the Federal Government. 

Other groups. — There are, of course, in addition to the three mam groups 
mentioned above several smaller groups of persons attracted to New Jersey 
temporarily, some of whom may continue to stay in the State. Among such 
groups may be mentioned a few clammers who are attracted to the shore of 
Barnegat Bay during the clamming season and who live in houseboats or 
summer shacks along the bayshore. 

(Letter and statement, submitted later, by Arthur Mudd, deputy 
director, municipal aid administration. State of New Jersey :) 

State of New Jersey Municipal Aid Administration, 

Trenton, N. J., September 9, 1940. 

Hon. John H. Tolan, 

Chairman, Special Committee Investigating 
Interstate Migration of Destitute Citizens, 

146 Grand Street, New York City, N. T. 

My Dear Congressman : I regret that I was on vacation when your Federal 
committee toured New Jersey. 

One of the agreements by the members of the Conference of New Jersey 
Departments on Migratory Labor was that each man give free expression to 
his views. 

There is no doubt that the presence of migratory labor in New Jersey at 
certain seasons of the year has an effect on our relief rolls as these people 
working at substandard wages take jobs that would otherwise be available 
for relief recipients. On the other hand, one of our relief regulations in this 
State is that earnings of members of a relief family shall be applied against 
the family's budget in determining the amount of relief to be given. Also, it 
should be* borne in mind that a great many persons on relief are unaccustomed 
to "stoop labor". 

The problem is a complex one, not only from a relief standpoint but from a 
health and police standpoint. Undoubtedly, you have been informed on these 
two latter points in data and material already submitted to you. 

Frankly, it is my belief that New Jersey's relief rolls could be reduced if 
migrant labor could be eliminated or more attractive wages paid in agricultural 
occupations. We do know that persons are available for farm labor both in the 
city of Camden and in the city of Trenton. 

I attach hereto copy of a letter from Miss Helen McCormack. relief director 
in the city of Trenton, written August 22, 1940, also copy of my letter to Mr. 
Krueger of August 8. 

The problem of migrant labor in New Jersey is nothing new as I recall dis- 
cussions on the subject in 1934 and 1935 when I was treasurer of the former 
State Emergency Relief Administration. 


Sometime ago, while I was director of the State financial assistance com- 
mission, I circularized our local relief directors and from the replies I quote 
as follows : 

Ventnor City, Atlantic County : "I have no knowledge of any of our people 
having the opportunity to work on farms, we nevertheless have migratory labor. 
There is no doubt what little employment is available in summer is affected by 
an influx from outside the State. Always there are young men and women 
in Atlantic City who could get work in hotels if it were not for vacationing 
school teachers from different States." 

Middle Township, Cape May County: "The majority of the farm labor of this 
municipality has not been able to find sufficient employment with wages that 
would be sufficient to meet a standard living condition for a period of 5'ears 
(average wage for farm labor, $1..50 to $2 per day). Younger generation has 
found it necessary to turn to other types of employment. Much of employment 
available during summer, taken up by a type of migratory labor which develops 
out of schools and colleges. Either students or teachers willing to work for 
small wages and defray the expense of a summer vacation." 

Bloomfield Town, Essex County : "Does not have any effect in our particular 

Princeton Township, Mercer County : "This Township is threatened with in- 
creasing trouble on account of migratory labor in outlying districts. I feel 
that it is urgent that steps be taken immediately to curb what I believe to be 
a real menace to the State. If migratory labor were not available, or if thei'e 
were some minimum wage law, the farmers would be forced to pay decent 
wages and could then employ local help." 

Dunellen Borough, Middlesex County : "Not affected by the farm labor 

Island Beach Borough, Ocean County : "Many applicants at this time of year to 
set up fishing, crabbing, and clamming establishments. Some of these are tran- 
sients from Florida, some temporarily unemployed, and some high school 
students. They have a very disrupted effect on local industries. They must 
undersell the local and permanent fishermen, thereby ruining the market and 
depriving them from earning a livable income. In many cases, it is not the 
urge of making a living but merely for pin money." 

Penns Grove Borough, Salem County : "Migratory labor question does not worry 
us. Employment Bureau operated in connection with relief. It has been a great 
help in keeping our relief expenditures down." 

Lyndhurt, Bergen County : "We have no migratory labor or farm labor to 
reflect on our relief rolls." 

Hillside Township, Union County : "Our relief rolls are not affected In any 
way by migratory labor." 

Commercial Township, Cumberland County : "The importation of farm labor 
in Commercial Township has not affected our relief rolls." 

South Toms River, Ocean County : "This municipality is no way affected by 
farm labor conditions." 

Salem City. Salem County : "In answer to your bulletin of June 6, yes, we 
have a migratory problem. It affects our relief problem. We do know, how- 
ever, that there is an influx of laborers, mostly colored, from the Southern 
States every spring. We have learned that they do secure employment on farms 
usually at a very low wage thereby interfering with our employables but we 
are not able to learn just the exact number. 

"We also know that most of these do not return to their respective States 
in the fall but stay here and exist somehow. Some do apply for relief but we 
inform them that unless they are willing to be returned we cannot extend 
relief. Usually they do not want to be returned. 

"Yes, some of our employable relief recipients have refused to accept agri- 
cultural employment usually the reason being long hours, low pay, or account 
of transportation if married getting to and from farms. In such cases as soon 
as we learn of this we discontinue relief." 

After attending a number of meetings of the Conference of New Jersey 
Departments on Migratory Labor and State conferences in Baltimore and 
Washington, D. C, it is the writer's opinion that the States cannot singly or 
a few of them as a group solve the problem (if it can be solved). It would 
therefore seem that a Federal white-collar project for fact finding is the first 
and primary requisite to be followed by suitable congressional legislation. 
Very truly yours, 

Arthur Mxidd, Deputy Director, Municipal Aid Administration. 


August 8, 1940. 
Mr. C. George Keueger, 

Deputy Commissioner of Lahor, Trenton, N. J. 

Dear George: I had a rather interesting experience last evening. While 
walking on Clinton Avenue near the railroad station, I was approached by a 
colored man who asked me for 4 cents to help him buy some bread. He showed 
me a tag of King's Farm Co., Morrisviile, laid out in squares evidently intended 
to be punched for production. 

The Negro said that a colored row boss brought 33 colored men from 
Brooklyn to pick beans at the King farm. The peculiar part is that they sleep 
in Trenton somewhere back of the ice house near the Penn Station and are 
trucked back and forth daily to Morrisviile. The man said that bean picking 
was not very good on account of the dry weather and that he had earned 
nothing so far. 

He also told me that his family was on relief in Brooklyn ; besides wife and 
self, he had five daughters. He seemed to be pleased that they were getting 
cash relief and said that his earnings, if any, would be in addition. In other 
words, the relief department in Brooklyn does not do what the relief depart- 
ments do in New Jersey in taking into consideration the income in the family. 
He said that unless they made $12 a week, nothing was done about it. He 
also smilingly advised that they wouldn't tell about their income. 

The whole thing seems odd in view of the fact that Trenton must have per- 
sons on relief available for this kind of work. I interrupted this memorandum 
by a talk with Miss Helen McCormack, Trenton relief director, and I got some 
very interesting facts from her regarding not only the King farm but the Starkey 
farm also which she visited recently. I have a.sked Miss McCormick to write 
a memorandum covering what she told me over the phone and I will send you 
a copy just as soon as I receive it. 

After talking with her, I somewhat question the colored man's veracity. 
Miss McCormack did, however, say that the King's farm people made no men- 
tion of pickers coming down from Brooklyn. 
Very truly yours, 

Arthur Mudd, 
Deputy Director, Municipal Aid Administration. 

City of Trenton, N. J., August 22, 19^0. 
Mr. Arthur Mudd, 

Deputy Director, Mtmioipal Aid Administration,, 

Trenton, N. J. 
Dear Mr. Mudd : As per your request relative to our findings regarding the 
Starkey and King farms would state that I visited both these farms accom- 
panied by one of the supervisors in this department, spending about 2 hours 
at each point, during which time we saw the actual persons performing the 
duties such as bean picking and other seasonal work. 

On the Starkey farms the day we visited there were about 1,100 persons 
engaged in this work. At the Kings farms there were between 800 and 900. 
We were informed by foremen on each farm that many persons earned as high 
as $4.50 per day, however, explaining that this would not continue for each 
day as sometimes the crops were not as productive and the second and third 
picking would limit the earnings to some degree. However, one foreman 
stated that at the present time there was a Polish woman 74 years of age who 
was picking beans on Kings farms, and had been for several years past, and 
there was scarcely ever a day that she did not earn between $2 and $2. ,50. 

When we reached each one of the farms we seemed to be recognized by 
many persons engaged in picking beans, as we could distinctly hear the word 
being passed from one to another, "There are relief investigators." I cannot 
help but feel that many persons on the relief rolls are engaged in bean picking 
and making no report relative to their earnings, while there are many additional 
ones on relief who refuse to do this work because of lack of ambition. 
Trusting that the above information is what you desired, I am 
Sincerely yours, 

Helen R. McCormack, 
Supervisor of Welfare. 



The Chairman. Will you give your name, please, and in what 
capacity you appear here, your occupation? 

Mr. Vivaldi. I am in charge of the Puerto Kico Department of 
Labor office in New York. It is an employment service. 

The Chairman. Whom do you represent, the Puerto Kican Gov- 
ernment, or the Federal Government? 

Mr. Vivaldi. The Puerto Rican Government. 

The Chairman. Have you a statement there that you desire to 


Mr. Vivaldi. Yes, sir; the movement of Puerto Ricans to New 

Puerto Ricans have been coming to New York since 1898 after the 
Spanish- American War, but the real migratory movement began soon 
after recovery from the depression of 1921 and continued through- 
out the years up to 1930. During the worst years of the depression 
(1931-33) arrivals w^ere reduced and many Puerto Ricans went back 
to the island. 

Since 1934 the movement to the mainland has increased steadily 

The motivating force of the movement was, at the beginning, the 
reported abundance of employment and high wages prevailing in 
New York City. Lately, it has been the precarious economic condi- 
tion of a great number of people in Puerto Rico and the natural de- 
sire of those already established in New York to bring their families 
to live with them and profit by many advantages and opportunities 
of which they were deprived in Puerto Rico. 

At best, the migration of the Puerto Rican Avorker to New York 
is only a partial solution to his problem. He is a newcomer in the 
labor market, has little skill or industrial training, and suffers a 
language handicap, which prevents him from securing employment 
and benefit from the high wages he was told were prevalent in New 
York City. 

Especially those who have come throughout the depression years 
have suffered enormously, and a large number of them are on relief 
and will be on relief for a long time to come. Nevertheless, they 
are not w^illing to go back, because they know that it will be im- 
possible for them to make a living on the island. 

Conditions are such in Puerto Rico, that it is imperative for a 
large number of people to move to the mainland, regardless of the 
difficulties that they will encounter. 

Puerto Rico is an agricultural country and there you have very 
near 2,000,000 people in an area of 3,500 square miles. The best land 
is controlled by big corporations, which give work only to a com- 
paratively small number of workers for 5 or 6 months during the 

There is no direct relief in the island to take care of the unemployed, 
no unemployment insurance, and the work relief, under the present 
set-up, does not absorb one-third of those who are unemployed and in 
dire need of assistance. 



There are several ways by which this problem can be attacked 
Among those of paramount importance are the breaking up of tho 
large concentration of land holdings, the industrialization of the 
island, extension of the Social Security Act, and the establishment of 
a system of vocational guidance and practical training for those who 
wish to come to New York to make a living. 


The Chairman. Starting at the right, Congressman Curtis, have 
you any questions ? 

Mr. Curtis. How many Puerto Ricans do you estimate are living 
in and around New York now? 

Mr. Vivaldi. It is only an estimate, about 100,000. 

The Chairman. About 100,000? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Yes. That is only an estimate. 

The Chairman. Is that the State of New York ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. New York City. 

The Chairman. You have 100,000 here? 

]Mr. Vivaldi. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. City and vicinity? 

Mr. Vrv^ALDi. Yes. 

The Chairman. Were they all out in Coney Island yesterday ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Maybe so. 

Mr. Curtis. Has the population of Puerto Rico been on a steady 
increase ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Oh, yes; very high increase. 

Mr. Curtis. You say industrialization of the island. What par- 
ticular possibilities were you referring to? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Well, I mean to have new industries and to develop 
those native industries — the small industries. They are unable to 
give help to the people; they are too small. 

Mr. Curtis. I am not familiar with the island. Wliat possibilities 
are there? What industries are you referring to? 

Mr. VrvALDi. Well, the small factories of different kinds, clothing 
factories, small ones, small factories, that can be developed if they 
have an opportunity. They should have the money and the proper 
conditions to develop them. 

The Chairman. Anything else, Mr. Parsons ? 

Mr. Parsons. You say about 100,000. Is that the principal number 
of Puerto Ricans that have come to the United States since 1898 ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. Were you born in this country or did you come to this 
country ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. I came about 15 years ago. 

Mr. Parsons. What were the conditions there prior to 1898 when 
the migration started to the United States, before we took over Puerto 

Mr. Vivaldi. Well, the conditions down there were not so bad, be- 
cause the land was divided into small farms, and, of course, the popula- 
tion was much smaller. It was only about 1,200,000, something like 


Mr. Parsons. What is the birth rate in Puerto Rico ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. I don't know. I don't have that information. 


Mr. Parsons. Well, what has happened since it came under the 
jurisdiction of the United States that has made the landed corporations 
there? Wliy have not the people retained their small farms, which 
you say existed prior to that time ? 

Mr. 'Vivaldi. What happened was this: The land was divided into 
small farms, and when the great corporations went down there and 
they offered plenty of money for the land, people were willing to sell, 
because they were not making much money, and, of course, they 
thought that they were going to make a good business with that money. 

Mr. Parsons. Well, have the landed estates increased any more in 
Puerto Rico than they have in our States of the Union here? There 
has been quite a movement beginning with the World War period, 
when agricultural commodities were high, to create large ranches and 
landed estates in the several States of the Union. Is it worse in Puerto 
Rico than here on the mainland ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. I think it is because Puerto Rico is a small island, a 
very small island, and, of course, the concentration of land affects the 
people more than in a large country like this. This country has many 
different industries, and it is in a different condition. 

Mr. Parsons. Your people have come here, probably, principally 
because they thought that they could get a very high wage, and live at 
about the same standard that they lived in Puerto Rico, outside of 
maybe heat, and a few things like that, that are not necessary in Puerto 
Rico. Now, they have been rather disillusioned since they came here, 
have they not ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. They have been in the last 10 years, but not before that. 
Before that they came here and they found work right away, and they 
started their living in a better condition than down there in Puerto 
Rico, up to the depression. 


Mr. Parsons. Wliat are the average wages in Puerto Rico ; agricul- 
tural wages ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Well, the average is about 75 cents a day. 

The Chairman. How much ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Seventy-five cents a daj^. 

Mr. Parsons. What are the industrial wages? I understand that 
you have several little textile or clothing factories, mostly done by hand 
work or by piece work in the home. How is that handled ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. That is very, very low, $2 or $3 a week and up to $6 or 
$7 in the factory ; maybe $12 in highly specialized work. 

Mr. Parsons. The population has grown in the last 40 years from 
about 1,200,000, you say, to approximately 2,000,000 ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. That is right. 

Mr. Parsons. How was the increase the 40 years prior to that ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Well, it was less than that. 

Mr. Curtis. Has sanitation and increased medical facilities been re- 
sponsible for part of the increase in population ? 

Mr. VrvALDi. Yes, sir. 


Mr. CuRns. Less death of infants, and that sort of thing? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. Have there been any factories, or any factories oper- 
ated there in the last decade, that employed more people, in Puerto 

I\lr. Vivaldi. Some small factories, I would say. 

Mr. Parsons. That is all, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Have you any figures to indicate the number of 
people coming from Puerto Rico over to this country, for the entire 
country ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. There are no figures about that, because you can't get 
those figures anywhere. 

The Chairman. You say that you have 100,000 in New York. It 
probably is not as great in other parts of the country. Do they all 
come to New York? 

Mr. Vivaldi. All of them come to New York. It is easy to come 
here, and they have friends and families here, and it is very easy to 
come here instead of going somewhere else. 

Mr. Sparkman. Mr. Vivaldi, I notice in your statement you said that 
there was no direct relief in the island, no unemployment insurance. 
Wliy are those features not available ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Well, there is no direct relief, because, as I under- 
stand the problem, it is too big for the local government to attempt 
to give relief. Of course, relief is a local matter. 

Mr. Sparkman. Well, now, it is a matter of local participation, is 
it not? The Federal Government does make some funds available 
provided the local government participates? 

Mr. Vivaldi. For work relief. The Federal Government gives 
money for work relief only. 

Mr. Sparkman. What about the unemployment insurance ? Is that 
participation local, and Federal participation? 

Mr. Vivaldi. No; the Social Security Act has not been extended to 
Puerto Rico, and we do not have unemployment insurance, and that 
is one of the features of the Social Security Act that we do not have 
down there. 

Mr. Sparkman. It does not apply to Puerto Rico? 

Mr. Vivaldi. No. 


Mr. Curtis. Does the wages-and-hours law apply? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. The wages-and-hours law was modified to make 
special provision for Puerto Rico, was it not ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. That is all, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Osmers. Mr. Vivaldi, I would like to ask you whether, in your 
opinion, the application of the wages-and-hours law to the island of 
Puerto Rico has contributed to the migration of the citizens from 
Puerto Rico to the United States? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Well, I think yes ; but it has been so recent that I do 
not know exactly the extent of it. 

Mr. OsjMERS. it is my understanding, and I would like to get your 
view on it, that by increasing the basic wages in Puerto Rico, through 


the application of the wages-and-hours law, we have thrown your 
entire industry out of balance down there, and it has made it im- 
possible for many of them to continue? 

Mr. Vivaldi. That was especially in the needlework industry. They 
were paying only 4 or 5 cents an hour, and it jumped to 25 cents, and it 
was too big a jump. 

Mr. OsMERS. You made a statement before in reply to a question 
by Congressman Parsons that the industrial wages paid in the island 
were somewhere around $2 a week or $6 a week? 

Mr. Vivaldi. In the needlework industry, and all of the small 

Mr. OsMERS. Well, that cannot exist under the wages-and-hours 

Mr. Vivaldi. No; it cannot. 

Mr. OsMERS. Well, does it ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Well, they have been wiped out; most of it has been 
wiped out. They are just starting again with the provision; with the 
amendment made to the wages and hours law, they are trying to 
start again. 

Mr. Parsons. What is the average route taken by a person coming 
here from Puerto Rico? Does he go to a Southern State and work 
his way up the coast to New York or does he come directly to New 
York from Puerto Rico ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. He comes direct to New York. 

Mr. Parsons. And when he gets here, what is the nature of the 
employment that he seeks when he gets here? What does he try 
to do i How does he make his living ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. He tries to find any kind of employment. 

Mr. Parsons. "Wliat is the kind that he usually does find? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Well, they have restaurant and hotel work, and fac- 
tory work. 

Mr. Parsons. Do any considerable number from Puerto Rico go 
out in the country and enter into agricultural pursuits when they 
come here? 

Mr. Vivaldi. No. 

Mr. Parsons. They do not? 

Mr. Vivaldi. No. 

Mr. Parsons. Wliat is the financial condition of the average Puerto 
Rican who has come to this country? Are they prosperous, or are 
a great many of them on relief ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Well, we have to make a division on that. People who 
came before the depression you could call prosperous. Many of them 
made some money and went into business, and into many businesses 
here; but after 1930, those people who have been coming here have 
been in very bad condition. 

Mr. Parsons. AVould you say that the fact that there is such a 
great centralization of ownership in Puerto Rico of the land and 
resources — and of the sugar industry, to take that as one that that 
has contributed a great deal to the unfortunate economic condition 
there — that that has driven many of them to the United States ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. You would say that ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. That is all that I have. 


Mr. Curtis. I lifive one more question, if I may, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Go right ahead. 

Mr. Curtis. In reference to the wages paid there, are you familiar 
-with the cost of living in Puerto Rico? Is that relatively lower? 

Mr. Vivaldi. It is lowen.-, but the standard of living down there of 
the great masses is very bad. 

Mr. Curtis. The same amount of food purchased in Puerto Rico, 
would that be as expensive as that much food purchased in the United 
States ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. No ; it is not. 

Mr. Curtis. How about clothing? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Clothing is about the same. Of course, they do not 
need so much clothing down there and they do not need so much food 
to maintain themselves. People can live with less over there. 

Mr. Curtis. And w^hile there should be an increase of wages to a 
certain extent, it would not necessarily require the same amount as the 
United States or relieve their condition considerably ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. And since the wages-and-hours bill was passed, is there 
a disposition for the population to do this work in their homes and then 
sell to the factories their own individual product, in which the wages 
and hours would not govern? 

Mr. Vivaldi. I did not get you very well. 

Mr. Parsons. Has there been a disposition since the wages-and-hours 
bill was passed for the individual families to do the needle and piece 
work and then sell their product to the factory ? 

Mr. Vn ALDi. Not exactly sell the product, for they work at the 

Mr. Parsons. Before the wages-and-hours bill, I understand, there 
were hundreds and thousands of them that did the work in their own 
homes, but the material was f urnisliecl by the factories ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Exactly. 

Mr. Parsons. Now, is there any disposition for them to evade the 
wages and hours law by i^urchasing the material and doing the same 
work at home, and then selling it back to the factory ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Not that I know of. 

Mr. Parsons. The individual family, of course, would not come 
under the wages-and-hours law? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Well, they would 

Mr. Parsons. They would not if they bought the material and 
made the product, and then sold it back to the factory. 

Mr. Vivaldi. That is a problem. Those people who do that kind 
of work are not in a position to buy the material and sell their 

Mr. Parsons. There is no disposition on the part of the factory 
owners to give them credit to evade the wages and hours law, in that 
respect ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Well, I don't know, exactly. I don't think so. 

Mr. Parsons. You have not been down in the island lately? 

Mr. Vivaldi. No ; I have not. 

Mr. Parsons. Well, what recommendation do you make to remedy 
this situation?'; Would you stop further immigration to the main- 
land? Do you have any specific recommendations to make to this 
committee as to how the x^roblem might be remedied ? 


Mr. VrvALDi. I would not. I do not think that it could be stopped. 
It would be impossible to stop the migration to the mainland, be- 
cause of the conditions down there. The only thing is that, by better- 
ing the conditions down there in Puerto Rico, it will decline. 

Mr. Parsons. Would you recommend breaking up the landed es- 
tates there? You say that that is one of the causes of the condition. 

Mr. Vivaldi. Well, it has been approved now by the Supreme 
Court, the limitation of land. There was a law and it has not been 
enforced for a long tim.e, and now they tried to enforce that law; 
that is, a limitation of 500 acres, and I think that they are going to 
do it now, and that will be a great help. 

Mr. PAESOisrs. To what extent will that relieve the situation ? 

Mr. Vivaldi. Well, it will relieve the situation because instead of 
being owned by a small group of people, the land will be divided 
among more people. 

Mr. Parsons. Will that create any higher standard of living for the 
workers, now, who do not own land; if they have an opportunity to 
purchase land? 

Mr. Vivaldi. I believe so. 

Mr. Parsons. That is all, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much, Mr. Vivaldi. 

(\Vliereupon the witness was excused.) 


The Chairman. Will you give 3- our name to the reporter? 

Mr. Irizarry. Florentino Irizarry. 

The Chairman. Where do you live? 

Mr. Irizarry. 1576 Lexington Ave. 

The Chairman. How old are you? 

Mr. Irizarry. Thirty-seven years old. 

The Chairman. Are you married? 

Mr. Irizarry. Married. 

The Chairman. How long have you been in this country? 

Mr. Irizarry. Twenty-one years. 

The Chairman. You came straight from Puerto Rico? 

Mr. Irizarry. Straight from Puerto Rico. 


The Chairman. Well, tell us about when you came here, what did 
you do? 

Mr. Irizarry. In 1919 I was pretty near 17 years old and I had 
finished my public-school education in a small town in the center of 
the island, and I don't know how I got the notion that I wanted to fur- 
ther my education. It had come to a standstill there with the eighth 
grade, so I decided — I said that I don't know where I got the notion 
but I got it — so that I decided to work over there, save some money, 
and buy my way to New York City, which I did, and I landed here 
in May of 1919. 

Mr. Parsons. Wliat did you work at to make that money? 

Mr. Irizarry. I worked there in a general store, as a clerk. 

Mr. Parsons. Wliat were your wages there ? 

Mr. Irizarry. My wages there were $8 a month, working 11 hours 
a day. 


Mr, Parsons. Anything furnished you in the way of food ? 

Mr. Irizarry. Meals, of course. 

Mr. Parsons. No home or house rent ? 

Mr. Irizarry. No lodging of any sort. 

The Chairman. Go ahead. 


Mr. Irizarry. When I came to New York City I found myself in a 
strange environment. That is to say, I had realized that I had a 
language handicap in the first place, my education of the eighth grade 
being just enough to give me a notion about common ordinary words, 
but uot sufficient to carry on a conversation with anybody. 

Since my notion in coming here was primarily to further my 
education I began to cast around for a suitable school, but I could not 
find it, and then my notion of school disappeared for awhile and I 
got a job as a porter and general utility man in a hotel here. 

That employment I kept from 1919 to 1921. 

In 1921 we had a depression here and I was laid off my job. 

I took the op]3ortunity then to go back to the island and see my 
folks, and investigate conditions there, and I stayed there for about 7 
months and I tried to get some sort of a job. 

In the meantime, here, I had studied through a correspondence 
school, and I tliought I would be able to be a teacher in a school down 
there in a small town, but I failed. Therefore, 7 months afterward, I 
again came to New York City, and again I became a hotel porter in a 
different hotel. I worked there until 1924. 

Then, in 1926, I found my way to high school, from which I gi'adu- 
ated in 1930. 

In the meantime, finding that my hotel work conflicted with my 
education, I decided to save some money and go in a business of my 
own. Accordingly I opened up a small grocery store of my own and 
stayed there, in the meantime furthering my education. 

The Chairman. Where was that grocery store ? 

Mr. Irizarry. It was at 209 East One Hundred and Second Street, 
New York City. 

Then I stayed in business, on and off; that is to say, I established 
myself twice, and between 1924 and 1935 I worked in grocery stores 
either at my own business or as somebody else's clerk. My own store 
I lost through robbery — I had two consecutive robberies in 1 week, and 
that put me out of business. 

Mr. Parsons. Eight there, how much did you lose in each of those 
robberies ? Was it the stock of goods, or cash ? 

Mr. Irizarry. I went into that business primarily to get $500 in 
order to go through law school, and it seemed to me that if I could 
double up that money I could not only go through law school but 
have some funds left. I put up the store and everything went well, 
but then one night a policeman came to my house and told me that 
the store had been broken into and when I went there my total stock 
of $625 of Spanish oils and a species of chocolate of export trade had 
been cleared away. 

Then, well, I tried to get along just as I could and 2 days later — 
the first robbery was in front of the store — and then 2 days later they 

260370 — 40 — pt. 1 9 


broke through the back of the store and they cleaned away something 
like some additional $225 in beans, rice, and other goods of the trade. 
Mr. Parsons. Most of yomr trade came out of Puerto Kican people ? 


Mr. Irizaery. Puerto Rican people ; yes. So that put an end to my 
legal career and me out of business, too, and then, because times were 
very bad, I could not get any credit to continue so I decided to give up 
in desperation, and after that — well, after that I had to go into relief. 

I had already completed something like 90 points of college work, 
but in spite of this preparation I could not get anything else but pick 
and shovel work, and I worked 21/2 years as a laborer, that is, 1 year 
first on relief and afterward they put me as a laborer and there I 
worked for 21^ years. 

Mr. Parsons. OnW. P. A.? 

Mr. Irizarry. Yes. After 2l^ years I began to get sick and tired of 
the job and I began to cast around and use some pressure and finally I 
was put in as a teacher of English for the foreign-born, and there I 
worked for 2 years, until August of 1939, when I was let go on account 
of the 18-month law. 

The Chairman. Who did you use the pressure on ? 

Mr. Irizarry. To be exact, I was in college and I had been doing 
very well, but my professors noticed that I was not doing so well after 
working 2 years as a laborer. I was absent too many times and my 
work was bad and my marks were worse, so one day my Latin professor 
asked me, "What is the matter with you ? Look, you have a splendid 
record, and here all of a sudden you are sinking down," and so well, 
then I told him the story of how I had to go out and work and travel 
to school 21/2 hours, and I was not getting sufficient food and things like 
that so he gave me a letter, and he went to the Spanish Department to 
get another letter of reconnnendation. 

In all, I got about four letters of recommendation, so I came 
down to the W. P. A. offices, and in a week's time I found myself a 
teacher. I had the educational qualifications, however. 

Mr. Sparkman. May I interject there? It was not so much pressure 
that you used, it was simply calling to their attention the fact that you 
were qualified? 

Mr. Irizarry. I should not say "pressure"; what I mean to say is 
that when I went there and asked for a job, although they were emplo}"- 
ing people as teachers, with only high school and 2 years of under- 
graduate work at that time, then a man interviewed me who said he 
could not give me a class unless I had a degree. 

Now, I did not report that to some responsible agency because some- 
how or other I was out of contact with the workaday world. When a 
man does what I did — for 15 years I have known nothing but books, 
books, and odd jobs, in order to support myself. 

Natui'ally, when a man in my position is confronted with a practical 
problem he is a failure, and tliat is what happened to me. 

Well, when I was told that I could not get a clerk's or a teacher's 
job, I asked for a W. P. A. laboring job, so that when I said I used pres- 
sure, I meant that I had to resort to something other than my own per- 
sonal qualifications and my ability. So it is my belief that I sit here as 
a representative of the Puerto Rican who came here in the early wave 


of 1919, and probably not so miicli to get away from Puerto Rico as to 
satisfy a longing for educational opportunities. At the age of 16 — 
my father had a piece of land — and I had not worked in my life, and 
did not know what life was like, but I was more of the visionary, of 
the dreamer type. And so I came here, because first of all knowledge 
in itself was seductive to my mind and there was lurking in my mind 
the idea that, if a man was hardworking and willing and capable, 
somehow or other there must be a way for him in life, either in Puerto 
Eico or New York City. 

Well, so you see, that lurked in my mind; but primarily I came 
here to seek an education and to work, but I did not come here because 
I was bad off over there. Then I had no consciousness of what being 
well-off in life meant. And I came here to work for the first time in 
my life. 

The Chairman. What are you doing now? 

Mr. Irizarry. I am not doing anything, that is, since I left W. P. A. 
I have been trying to establish a private teaching business; that is to 
say, teaching both English to the foreign-born and Spanish to the 
Americans, but I have not been able to make anything out of it. 

The Chairman. How long have 3'ou been unemployed ? 

Mr. Irizarry. One year. 


The Chairman. Can you tell in a few brief words what causes the 
Puerto Ricans to migrate to this country ? 

Mr. Irizarry. Well, that problem will have to be subdivided in three 

The Chairman. Don't subdivide it too much. 

Mr. Irizarry. All right. Of course it would be an injustice to say 
that the Puerto Rican comes here for anything but the fundamental 
problem that has caused man to migrate throughout the ages. We 
come here because Puerto Rico does not afford the opportunities for 
working and developing a fuller life such as a man conceives he is born 

We have 29 high schools in Puerto Rico, teaching us Mhat the larger 
and fuller life means in European civilization; that is, we have a 
concept of what life should be, and then we find that it is not that. 
We want work and can't get it. We find that the small island is in 
the hands of two or three centralized corporations, whose only ideal 
in life seems to be profit, regardless of human welfare, and we are con- 
fronted with the problem that we either get away from the island or 
we starve there — or well, yes, practically starve. In the great majority 
of cases, we get out or starve. 

Now, the Puerto Rican is naturally a lover of his own native land 
and I am quite sure in my contacts here with the Puerto Rican ele- 
ment, and in my own personal experience, we know that we create 
a problem here in New York City. For example, we know that 
through language handicaps, through race, through different cultural 
traditions, we are not an assimilable element, and we know that as 
conditions are today we are distinctly a problem for the city, and for 
its welfare organizations. 

We know that in many cases we are looked down upon, we know 
that in many more cases we are not wanted, and we know, too, that 


we have a piece of land of our own that we love, you see, and we 
prefer to stay here rather than go there; and why? Because we are 
responding to the elemental urges of human nature; that is, food, 
primarily, and then of course all the other corollaries of human life. 

Take the problem, for example, of education. 

Now, in Puerto Rico education is free and it is not. It is true 
that we have 29 high schools in the island but if a student finishes 
public school and then he wants to get a high school education, well, 
in the first place, he has to pay for his books, and secondly the num- 
ber admitted is very limited because they have not the facilities, so 
that the whole problem boils down to this : That unless one belongs 
to the middle class of people, to the people who have anything, any 
standing in life, you are not going to get your high school education. 

And as for college opportunities, well they are nonexistent. That 
is to say, we have a university and a college but of course those are 
paying institutions and are only for the "toppers," but take a man like 
me — today I have a B. A., completed in 1939 in the College of the City 
of New York, and I am now working for my master's, and now that 
could not have been done in Puerto Rico, and well, you see, then, why 
I am here. 

Mr. OsMERS. May I ask you, what do you live on at the present 
time ? 

Mr. Ikizaery. At the present time, I am conducting classes, private 
classes in both Spanish and English. 

Mr. OsMERS. What income does that give you ? 

Mr. Irizaery. It is variable. When I started a year ago I was 
fortunate enough to get it up to 19 people, that is $1 a week each, 
and now it has dwindled down to about six. 

Mr. OsMERs. Can you live on $6 a week in New York ? 

Mr. Irizarry. Well, I should not say that I am living on that now. 
You see, I have been working up to a year ago, and I have been 
trying very hard to get away from the home relief and W. P. A., but 
it seems to me it will be practically impossible. 

Mr. OsMERS. Do you receive home relief today ? 

Mr. Irizarry. I do not, but I think that I shall have to apply very 

Mr. OsMERs, Do you have savings laid aside that you use to aug- 
ment your $6 a week ? 

Mr. Irizarry. Well, that was practically negligible. Those were ex- 
hausted long ago. 

Mr. OsMERS. I am still trying to find out how you can live in New 
York on $6 a week ? 

Mr. Irizarry. Well, it seems incredible but that is the actual thing. 

Mr. OsMERs. You are living on $6 a week ? 

Mr. Irizarry. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. Tell me what is the general condition among the Puerto 
Rican people in the city of New York, and what you know of them 
today, in the United States ? 


Mr. Irizarry. The condition of the Puerto Ricans in the city of 
New York today? You mean economically? 

Economically, it is absolutely desperate. That is to say, most of us 
are living off relief and W. P. A., and as long as we have that we are 


going to eat, but vrhen that is taken away from us, we don't know where 
the next meal is coming from. Now, of course I said we are living, you 
see, and when I said "desperate" it means that none of us, or rather, a 
limited number of us, have any jobs in private industry, a very limited 
number; and the rest of the people are just being taken care of by the 
city, and as far as that goes, that is all the means of a livelihood that we 
have. That is, this applies to the great majority. 

Mr. OsMERS. You said that there are very few of them that are em- 
ployed in private industry ? 

Mr, Irizarry. I said, yes; relatively speaking, that is right. 


Mr. OsMERs. Now, tell me, are the Puerto Ricans who are in New 
York City today, who are on relief trained, or prepared, or educated 
to perform any kind of labor other than that of the most menial kind? 

Mr. Irizarry. No. I should say that they are not. They are not pre- 
pared. You see one of our handicaps is precisely that, lack of voca- 
tional training. 

Mr. Osmers. That is what I wanted to point out and to get into the 

Mr, Irizarry. Very decidedly, that is our handicap. 

Mr. Osmers. Is the city of New York, or the Federal Government, or 
the State department of New York State making available to the un- 
employed Puerto Ricans in New York any opportunities for vocational 
training ? 

Mr. Irizarry. No. I should say not. As a matter of fact, I was a 
teacher in the W. P. A. 

In the past 4 or 5 years the Federal Government has been making 
a decided effort to rehabilitate precisely that type of family. But it 
was my experience that these schools were concentrated in the better 
class of neighborhoods, and to my astonishment, these schools were not 
to be found, for example, in the Harlem section where the Puerto 
Rican population is centered. As far as I understand, all they will 
worry about is the problem of language. All of their worry was 
whether the Puerto Rican spoke English or not, but apparently the 
vocational training did not make any difference. 

Mr. Osmers. Would you say that the W. P. A. school program as it 
is established here was of no use to the pupils of those schools as a 
means to assist them to make a living? 

Mr. Irizarry. Decidedly not. 

Mr. Osmers. They are of no use ? 

Mr. Irizarry. No use at all. 

Mr. Osmers. I see. It has been my impression that these schools 
concentrate mainly upon the teaching of cultural subjects. 

Mr. Irizarry. Well, I would say — I would not say that. 

Mr. Osmers. You would not say that? 

Mr. Irizarry. No; of course, the emphasis was placed there because 
it partook so much of the nature of Americanization; the emphasis 
was in English classes but tliey had a good slice of vocational training, 
too, because in the schools wliei-e I taught there M-ere definite programs 
calculated to rehabilitate people and make them useful in inclustry, 
so I would not say that it was one-sided. 



Mr. OsMERS. Now, in your opinion, would you say that a majority 
of those Puerto Ricans residing in New York City, would you say 
they were better off here or would you say that they were better off 
in Puerto Rico? 

Mr. Irizarky. Better off here, in the long run. The fact is that 
they are here precisely because they think so, and in the long run 
they will be better off here. 

Mr. OsMERS. I w^as going to ask this question : Would the Federal 
Government or the government of the city of New York be wise in 
providing transportation for these people to go back to Puerto Rico 
if they wanted to? 

Mr." Irizarry. It would not be acceptable, as conditions are over 
there, it would not be acceptable. You could not get them to go, 
not unless in very abnormal cases. Now, for example, a person finds 
himself without a job and no family to take care of him, and then he 
has not established his residence here; therefore he would not want 
to stay. 

Mr. OsMERS. I am referring to those who are residents of the State 
of New York. 

Mr. Irizarry. Normally they would not. 

Mr. Osmers. In the last 10 years, could you tell me in terms of per- 
centage how much of your time during the last 10 years has been 
spent as a recipient of public assistance of one form or another ? 

Mr. Irizarry. The last 10 yeats? Exactly 5 years. 

Mr. O'SMERS. In other words, half of the last 10 years of your life 
you have existed through public assistance of one form or another? 

Mr. Irizarry. Exactly. 

Mr. Curtis. Just one question. If general economic conditions 
w^ould so improve, and industry was opened up, would your people 
have any difficulty in getting along? 

Mr. Irizarry. Here in New York City? 

Mr. Curtis. Here in the United States. 

Mr, Irizarry. They would not have any difficulty. 

Mr. Curtis. So your lot is along with millions of other Americans ? 

Mr. Irizarry. AVe are victims of the economic crisis, that is all, you 

Mr. Osmers Would you say that because of the economic condi- 
tions that have prevailed over the last 10 years, that there is a feel- 
ing among either the Puerto Rican population or the general popu- 
lation that is on relief in this city, that our form of goverimient 
is inadequate? 

Mr. Irizarry. Your form of government here ? 

Mr. Osmers. In the United States? 

Mr. Irizarry. Oh, no. All Puerto Ricans that have any conscious- 
ness of civil responsibilities are quite agreed that your form of govern- 
ment is the best to be had in the world, all over. However, they have 
not the same reaction as to the form of government in Puerto Rico. 

Mr. Osmers. They have not? 

Mr. Irizarry. No. 

Mr. Parsons. You made mention that you had no local relief in 
Puerto Rico. Now^, if New York City, and the State, should elim- 
inate all relief here, would you be better off in New York City or in 
Puerto Rico? 


Mr. Ikizarkt. That would be New York City's problem. We 
would not be better off here, no. 

Mr, Parsons, You would be better off in the island if the relief 
contribution was the same in both places, that is, none. 

Mr. Irizarry. No; but your question implies more than what it says; 
because you say I told you before that we are living here off relief. 
Now, if that is taken off, you are starving us, and then there is no 
problem, we just die. 

Mr. Osmers. You made a statement in reply, firet, that you would 
probably be better off in the island. You inferred that? 

Mr. Irizarry. No, I made no comparison whatever between the 
status here and there but if you send us back we starve over there 
and if you take us out of relief here, we starve over here, and then 
the cases are not very different. 



Mr. OsMERs You were a teacher in W, P. A., you said? 

Mr, Irizarry, Yes. 

Mr. OsMERs. You were teaching English and Spanish? 

Mr. Irizarry. Just English to the foreign-born, although my spe- 
cialization is Spanish, 

INIr. Osmers, Do you think that you aided the classes that you 
taught ? 

Mr, Irizarry, Oh, definitely so. I did a splendid job. 

Mr. Osmers. I understood you to say that the W, P. A, schools 
you did not think had aided or assisted in any way in rehabilitating 
people here, 

Mr, Irizarry, You see, but I was not teaching my own people. I 
was teaching German refugees. The gentleman over there asked me 
what effect did the vocational program of W. P. A. have on the people 
of my kind, and I said none whatsoever, because no schools had been 
provided for them. 

Mr. Osmers. When you say no schools had been provided for them, 
none had been provided near them, that they could go to? 

Mr, Irizarry, Yes; and especially vocational schools. I told you 
that there were language schools, and there still are. 

Mr. Osmers. Because I have a considerable number of Puerto Kicans 
who come across the Hudson River every day over to my district in 
New Jersey, and receive very-well-paid employment there. 

Mr. Irizarry. Yes. As a matter of fact, I had a little problem my- 
self, because, being known in my neighborhood as a teacher in W. P. A., 
people got curious about certain facilities that they had, such as, 
for example, dressmaking, cooking classes, and various other programs 
in vocational training, and now these housewives wanted to know 
where the schools were. You see, they were interested, and when I 
had to tell them that they had to travel and pay fare, say, approxi- 
mately 3 miles to go to the school, they were discouraged right there, 
and that shows that there were no schools in the immediate neighbor- 

In one school where I taught in Brooklyn I had a personal expe- 
rience. It seemed to me that the whole question of vocational training 
in W. P. A. was being influenced by political pressure. 


For example, I met the president of the Parent-Teachers' Associa- 
tion in Brooklyn, and this lady told me, "Oh, we had to fight so hard 
to get you peo]3le to come here because all of the schools are being 
given to New York City and there is nothing for us in Brooklyn," 

Well, now, if that is not significant, you see 

Mr. OsMERS. Are you trying to imply, or do you care to make the 
statement, that because there were stronger political influences in 
other sections of the city than the section where the Puerto Ricans 
are domiciled, that that is the reason that they did not get schools 

Mr. Irizarry. I should think so. 

Mr. OsMERS. You want to make that statement ? 

Mr. Irizarry. I would make that statement because that opened 
my eyes to the necessities of my own neighborhood and gave me the 
answer to a certain question that had been lurking in my mind. 

The Chairman. You never took public speaking, did you? 

Mr. Irizarry. I took several courses in public speaking. 

The Chairman. I think with this national campaign on you can 
get some pretty good recommendations from this committee as to 
your ability. 

Mr. Irizarry. Is that all, gentlemen ? 

The Chairman. Thank you very much. 

(Whereupon the witness was excused.) 


The Chairman. Will you give your name to the reporter, please? 

Mrs. Arana. Mrs. Antonia Arana, 1599 Madison Avenue, New York. 

The Chairman. Are you married? 

Mrs. Arana. Yes. 

The Chairman. Any children? 

Mrs. Arana. Three children. 

The Chairman. And your husband is working, is he? 

Mrs. Arana. He is working now. 

The Chairman. What is he doing? 

Mrs. Arana. He is working in the country. 

The Chairman. When did you come from Puerto Rico ? 

Mrs. Arana. In October — October 1, 1939. 


The Chairman. What did your husband do when he first came to 
the United States ? ^Hiat did he do then ; what work ? 

Mrs. Arana. In Puerto Rico he was working as a fireman in the 
railroad company ; as a fireman. 

The Chairman. Has he worked at that job ever since? 

Mrs. Arana. He was working there. 

The Chairman. How much was he making? 

Mrs. Arana. $50 a month. 

The Chairman. How did you happen to come here to this country ? 

Mrs. Arana. Well, he sent me money and gave me a passage first. 

The Chairman. I did not understand. 

Mrs. Arana. My husband gave me some money and sent me over 
with the children, and then he came after, 1 month after. 

The Chairman. Who did you live with here ? 


Mrs. Arana. With my mother and sister. 

The Chairman. Did they write and tell you that this was a good 
country and you could get a job here? 

Mrs. Arana. Yes. 

The Chairman, Then what did your husband do ? He is working 
on a farm ? 


Mrs. Arana. He is working in a club in the country, as a dish- 

The Chairman. How much is he making now ? 

Mrs. Arana. $11 or $12 a week. 

The Chairman. $12 a week ? 

Mrs. Arana. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. Why did he quit the job in Puerto Kico? 

Mrs. Arana. Because I became tired of the living conditions in 
Puerto Kico, living so poorly, and so, since I got these letters from my 
family telling me about things over here, I decided to come here and 
make some headway. 

Mr. Sparkman. Your husband is making about the same money 
here that he made there. Can you live as well here as you could there? 

Mrs. Arana. But my sister works also, and the money she earns is 
spent on the family. With the additional salary of a sister working, 
making another $12 a week, that combines and makes the household 
income more. 

Mr. Sparkman. You all live together as one household ? 

Mrs. Arana. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Osmers. May I ask how much it cost to bring you and your three 
children here ? 

Mrs. Arana. Well, my passage — I had half tickets for both chil- 
dren — and that is one passage for the children and one for me ; that is 
$57 altogether. 

The Chairman. Any other questions? 

Mr. Parsons. Are you working yourself ? 

Mrs. Arana. Not now. 

Mr. Parsons. Had you been trained in any particular work in the 
island before you came here? 

Mrs. Arana. No. 

Mr, Parsons. You are listed here as a textile finisher. 

Mrs. Arena, I worked 2 or 3 days in a week, and that is all, 

Mr, Parsons, How much did you make per week ? 

Mrs, Arana. Well, I'd say I used to work 2 or 3 days a week at $1 a 

Mr. Parsons. About how many days, average days, in a year, did 
you work, receiving $1 a day ? 

Mrs, Arana. I do not understand your question. 

Mr. Parsons. How many days a month did you average working in 
the island before you came to the mainland ? 

Mrs. Arana. That answer was wrong ; I meant here. I did not work 
in the island at all. I got married immediately after graduation from 

Mr. Parsons. Where did you learn the textile finishing? 

Mrs. Arana. Here in this country. 

Mr. Parsons. Since you came here? 


Mrs. Arana. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. You had no experience in the island before you came? 

Mrs. Arana. No, sir. Finishing does not require much experience. 


Mr. Parsons. What were your living conditions in the island when 
you say your husband was making $50 per month ? 

Mrs. Arana. Well, the salary he was making was spent for food 
and we had just two rooms and no furniture of any kind and the 
condition and everything was dreary and shabby and having been 
a high-school graduate I had better notions of living. 

Mr. Parsons. Well, with the standard of living existing as low as 
it did in the island, I should think that $50 a month would be the 
equivalent of at least $100 or more per month here ; is that true ? 

Mrs. Arana. No; that is not true. Prices are almost on the same 
level, if not higher, because the man pays there $15 for a suit of 
clothes, and it is so bad that it tears away in 6 months, and if he 
came to New York and paid $22 or $22.50 it might stand 2 years, so 
practically they are paying three times the price here. 

(Whereupon the witness was excused.) 


The Chabrman. All right, Miss Jones. 

Miss Jones, "Jones" is not your correct name, is it? 

Miss Jones. No, sir. 

The Chairman. But we have your correct name in our files, haven't 

Miss Jones. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. How old ara you ? 

Miss Jones. Eighteen. 

The Chairman. And where are you from ? 

Miss Jones. From Maine. 

The Chairman. From Maine? 

Miss Jones. Yes. 

The Chairman. Are your parents there ? 

Miss Jones. No, sir. 

The Chairman. Where do they live ? 

Miss Jones. My father was living there, but my mother is dead. 

The Chairman. Will you talk a little louder; and how did you 
come to leave home ? 

Miss Jones. Well, we started to hitchhike to California. 

The Chairman. How long ago was that? 

Miss Jones. That was last fall. 

The Chairman. And then where did you go? 

Miss Jones. We went to Boston, and we found work in the hotel 
there; but it was too hard for us because we were so young, and we 
went to St. Louis, and from St. Louis to Los Angeles, and we couldn't 
find anything there so we came back. 

The Chairman. Wliat became of your girl companion? Is she 
here with you ? 

Miss Jones. No, sir ; she is married. 

The Chairman. She is what'^ 

Miss Jones. She is married. 


The Chairman. And what are you doing now? 
Miss Jones. I am not doing anything. 
The Chairman. You are not employed at all? 
Miss Jones. No, sir. 
Mr. Curtis. How old are you? 
Miss Jones. Eighteen. 

Mr. Curtis. Did you have any difficulty getting across State lines? 
Miss Jones. No, sir. 
Mr. Curtis. How did you travel? 
Miss Jones. Hitchhiking. 
Mr. Curtis. Did you get rides? 
Miss Jones. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. At any State borders, were you stopped and ques- 
tioned ? 

Miss Jones. No. 

Mr. Curtis. When did you get back to New York City ? 

Miss Jones. I stopped in Philadelphia for 3 months. 

Mr. Curtis. Did you have any work there ? 

Miss Jones. No, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. Where did you go when you arrived in Philadelphia? 

Miss Jones. Well 

Mr. Curtis. You went to relief quarters ? 

Miss Jones. We were detained. We had to stay there until they 
sent for us to go home. 

Mr. Curtis. Your transfer never came to go home ? 
Miss Jones. No, public welfare made arrangements. 
Mr. Curtis. Did anybody in Philadelphia tell you that you must 
move on? 
Miss Jones. No, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. You decided to come to New York of your own free 

Miss Jones. I went back home and then there was not anything 
up there, it was just the same as when I left. 
Mr. Curtis. And you went back to Maine? 
Miss Jones. Yes. 

Mr, Curtis. And when did you arrive in New York this last time? 
Miss Jones. It must have been a month ago. 
Mr. Curtis. What agency is taking care of you now? 
Miss Jones. Travelers Aid. 
Mr. Curtis. Travelers Aid ? 
Miss Jones. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. Is there a time limit on how long they will provide 
you with food and shelter ? 
Miss Jones. I don't know if there is any special time. 
Mr. Curtis. How old did you say you were ? 
Miss Jones. Eighteen. 

Mr. Curtis. How far in school have you gone ? 
Miss Jones. Three years in high school. 
Mr. Curtis. Three years in high school? 
Miss Jones. Yes. 

Mr. Cuktis. When did you quit school ? 
Miss Jones. When I was in my third year, in 193 T. 
Mr. Curtis. In 1937? 
Miss Jones. Yes. 



Mr. Curtis. How large a town in Maine do you come from? 

Miss Jones. A very small one, of a hundred people. 

Mr. Curtis. Is your father unemployed? 

Miss Jones. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. Would that community in Maine provide you with 
enough relief to get on if you decided to stay there ? 

Miss Jones. No, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. If you had stayed there in the first instance, would 
they have taken care of you, or would you have starved to death? 

Miss Jones. Probably have starved to death. 

Mr. Curtis. You really think so? 

Miss Jones. Well, there was not any sort of relief up there. It is 
not a town, it is a plantation. 

Mr. Curtis. It is a plantation? 

Miss Jones. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis, What do they raise there? 

Miss Jones. All sorts of vegetables. 

Mr. Curtis. How does your father get along? How does he get 

Miss Jones. He is not in that place where I was. 

Mr. Curtis. Where is he? 

Miss Jones. I am not sure now. You see, it has been a long time 
since I have seen him. 

Mr. Curtis. He is drifting around the countr}', too? 

Miss Jones. I don't think so, but I don't know where he is. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you have any brothers or sisters? 

Miss eToNES. I have two brothers and one sister. 

Mr. Curtis. Are they older or younger than you ? 

Miss Jones, They are all older, 

Mr. Curtis. Do they have homes of their own ? 

Miss Jones. No, sir — yes, they do; two of them have. The other 
one has not. 

Mr. Curtis. But there is no one in Maine that will provide for 
you or anyone else would help so that you would not have to travel 
around the country like this? 

Miss Jones, Well, I suppose that there are places. 

Mr. Curtis. You made no particular inquiry about it? 

Miss Jones. No ; we would rather work. 

Mr. Curtis. You wanted to get out and find a job? 

Miss Jones, Yes, 

Mr, Curtis, That is all. 


The Chairman, Sadie, were your father and mother American 
citizens ? 

Miss Jones, Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. And your mother's father, tell me about him? 

Miss Jones. He came over from Scotland. 

The Chairman, From Scotland? 

Miss Jones. Yes. 

The Chairman, Did he have any connection with the American 


Miss Jones. He was an American soldier in the Spanish-American 
AVar ; he was a general. 

The Chairman. A general in the Spanish-American War? 

Miss Jones. Yes. 

The Chairman. They fire a salute to his memory in Portland, 
Maine ? 

Miss Jones. They do it every year. 

The Chairman. But he was a general? 

Miss Jones. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. Is he drawing a pension ? 

Miss Jones. He is dead now. 

The Chairman. This is her mother's father. How old were you 
when your mother died? 

Miss Jones. I was about 6. 

Mr. Parsons. Did the father keep the family together until you 
were grown? 

Miss Jones. No, sir ; he put us in an orphanage. 

The Chairman. How long were you in the orphanage ? 

Miss Jones. About 3 or 4 years. 

The Chairman. How long have you been out of the orphanage? 

Miss Jones. Ten years, about. 

The Chairman. What kind of an orphanage was it? 

Miss Jones. A Catholic institution. 

The Chairman. Did you leave of your own accord ? 

Miss Jones. No; I ran away. 

Mr. CrRTis. Have you made any attempt to qualify and secure 
work as a domestic? 

Miss Jones. Yes; I have. 

Mr. CrRTis. Have you made that attempt in small towns and farm- 
ing communities? 

Miss Jones. We did on the way out when we tried for everything, 
but they did not want to pay us anything. 

Mr. Curtis. And, of course, you were not known, either? 

Miss Jones. No. 


Mr. Osmers. Miss Jones, how much money did you have when you 
left Maine, on this hitchhiking expedition that went right across the 
country ? 

Miss Jones. We had about $40, I guess. 

Mr. Osmers. $40? 

Miss Jones. Yes. 

Mr. Osmers. And how did you finance your travels when that 
money ran out ? Where did you sleep, and what did you eat ? 

Miss Jones. That only lasted as far as Boston, and we stopped off 
there for about a month, and then the rest of the way, we did not 
eat most of the time and we just caught naps in cars, we did not 

Mr. Osmers. You did not go to bed at night and get up the next 
morning, you just slept as you went along the road? 

Miss Jones. Yes. 

Mr. Osmers. And on the food question, what did you eat? 

Miss Jones. Well, we did not eat very much. Some people we 
were riding with would give us something. 


Mr. OsMEKS. Did you have any employment between Boston and 
Los Angeles? 

Miss Jones. No ; we did not. 
• Mr. OsMEKs. You did not have any at all? 

Miss Jones. No, sir. 

Mr. OsMERs. Did you have any in Los Angeles? 

Miss Jones. We had some doing housework. 

Mr. OsMEES. How much did they pay you ? 

Miss Jones. Three dollars a week. 

Mr. OsMERS. Three dollars a week? 

Miss Jones. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. And board? 

Miss Jones. Yes. 

The Chairman. Sadie, why did you leave home ? 

Miss Jones. Well, I was working in a mill, and they had a seasonal 

Mr. Parsons. How long did it take you to make the trip from 
Boston to St. Louis? 

Miss Jones. It took us exactly 1 week. 

Mr. Parsons. Biding with different people? 

Miss Jones. Yes ; we had quite a few long rides. 

Mr. Parsons. You got a few long rides? 

Miss Jones. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. How long did it take you to get back to Phila- 
delphia ? 

Miss Jones. Three weeks. 

Mr. Parsons. Did you work any while you were in transit, a few 
days at a time at any place? 

Miss Jones. No. Once we worked in Texarkana, we worked at a 

Mr. Parsons. When did you say you got back to New York City ? 

Miss Jones. I came here about a month ago. 

Mr. Parsons. Have you worked any since you came here ? 

Miss Jones. Yes; I worked for 2 weeks. 

Mr. Parsons. How much have you been receiving per week? 

Miss JoxES. I am not working now. 

Mr. Parsons. Have you worked any since you came here 30 days 

Miss Jones. Yes; I worked just 2 weeks. 

Mr. Parsons. What did you receive for those 2 weeks? 

Miss. Jones. $8. 

Mr. Parsons. $4 per week? 

Miss Jones. No; $8 per week. 

Mr. Parsons. What were you doing ? 

Miss Jones. Hotel work. 

Mr. Parsons. But you are unemployed now? 

Miss Jones. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. How do you live when you are unemployed and 
have no earning power? 

Miss Jones. I am staying at the Travelers Aid now. 

Mr. Parsons. What allowances do they make? 

Miss Jones. Wliat is that? 

Mr. Parsons. Do they make you any allowance or just furnish 
you a place to eat and sleep? 


Miss Jones. Just furnish a place to eat and sleep and help me 
find a job. 

Mr. Parsons. Have you ever tried to seek employment as domes- 
tic in any of the homes here? 

Miss Jones. Yes; I have tried. 

Mr. Parsons. And you have been unable to find any employment? 

Miss Jones. No. 

The Chairman. You went to work at a mill in Maine after you 
left home? 

Miss Jones. Not after I left home. 

The Chairman. That is, after you left the orphanage? 

Miss Jones. Yes. 

The Chairman. How much did you get there? 

Miss Jones. I got about $16.50 a week. 

The Chairman. You were under age at that time, were you not? 

Miss Jones. Yes. 

Tlie Chairman. Who signed your application for you ? 

Miss Jones. The principal of the school. 

The Chairman. And how far did you go in school, what grade ? 

Miss Jones. Three years in high school. 

The Chairman. Your father is a bookkeeper, isn't he? 

Miss Jones, Yes. 

The Chairman. Is he employed now ? 

Miss Jones. I do not believe so. 

The Chairman. Did he tell you that he was unable to support 
you ? 

Miss Jones. Well, at that time the company he was with closed 
down, and he just let everything drift, 

Mr. Parsons. Did he try to keep you at home or did you slip away 
unannounced to him? 

Miss Jones. I went whenever I wanted to. He always knew it. 

Mr. Parsons. You did not run away from home ? 

Miss Jones. Oh, no. 

Mr. Curtis. How much wages did j^our father receive before the 
shut-down came? 

Miss Jones. I don't know that, because I was young at the time. 
That was before my mother died. 

Mr. Curtis. Did you ever have any trouble with your father? 

Miss Jones. No. 

Mr. Sparkman. During your travels around, how many different 
States did you go through? 

Miss Jones. Forty-six. 

Mr, Sparkman, Of the 48 States? 

Miss Jones. Yes, 

Mr, Sparkman, Trying to get work all the way? 

Miss Jones. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. And never succeeded? 

Miss Jones. No, sir. We could not stop long enough. 

Mr. Sparkman. Do you mind telling us what two States you did 
not go through? 

Miss Jones. Washington and Oregon. 

Mr. Sparkman. Where would you spend the night on the way when 
you could not find a place? 


Miss Jones. Well, we would usually go to the police station, and 
they would put us u]) at hotels. 

Mr. Sparkman. When you p;et to a toAvn you would go to the 
police station first? 

Miss Jones. If it was comino- night, we would. 

Mr. Sparkman. That is all. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much, Sadie, for coming here. 

Mr. Parsons. You have had a very interesting career at 18 years. 

We will call Mr. Leet. 


The Chairman. Mr. Leet, I understand you have no prepared 
statement. Have you? 

Mr. Leet. That is correct. I have not. 

The Chairman. And we have had a pretty long day here and I 
know you will be as brief as you reasonably can. 

Please give your full name to the reporter. 

Mr. Leet. My name is Glen Leet. 

The Chairman. In what capacity did you appear here? 

Mr. Leet. I am the administrator of public assistance in the De- 
partment of Social Welfare of the State of Rhode Island. 

For 5 years I was a field representative with the American Public 
Welfare Association, and have drafted relief and public welfare bills 
which have been enacted into law in a number of States, including 
California, Arizona, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Oregon, Washing- 
ton, Utah, North Dakota, and Rhode Island. 

This experience has brought me quite closely in contact with the 
relief problem and I drafted a bill 2 or 3 years ago designed to meet 
to some degree the transient relief problem throughout the Nation, 
the Nation. 


It seemed to me that there were some fundamental principles which 
should be observed, gentlemen, in drafting any legislation that affects 
the transient problem throughout the country. First of all, of course, 
the best way to meet the transient relief problem is to provide that 
there will be adequate care for people in the places where they live, 
where their homes are. 

The most constructive measure, it seems to me, for contributing 
to this end, is the bill which w:is introduced by Congressman Voorhis a 
year or so ago which would have provided a system of grants-in-aid 
to various States for general public assistance, administered by the 
Social Security Board. 

The biggest obstacles to effectively meeting the problem are the 
State settlement laws which exist in so many States. Our Rhode 
Island settlement laws are nearly three centuries old, the first one being 
enacted in 1655. A committee made a study of the settlement laws in 
1739, and repcn-ted that they were unsatisfactory at that time, and 
they have continued to be unsatisfactory to this day. 



You gentlemen, by enacting Federal legislation on this problem, 
could provide an incentive which would be effective in inducing States 
to eliminate their settlement laws. For example, I feel that Rhode 
Island would abolish its settlement laws. One of the principles 

The Chairman. Right on that point, of course we can't tell the 
States just what laws they should make regarding residence, can we? 

Mr. Leet. No; but you can provide incentive. For example, you 
provided incentive for States to enact old-age-assistance legislation, 
and every State in the Union enacted such legislation within a very 
short time. 

You could provide an incentive for States to abolish their settlement 
laws and I think every State would do it within a period of 2 years. 


First of all, any aid to transients should be administered through 
the regular relief machinery of the State or locality. To set up a 
Federal program of assisting transients in the past has proved to be 
expensive. It aggravates the problem, and public opinion would 
not support it. 

In the first place, any self-respecting Federal program would be of 
a standard of assistance which would be higher in some States than 
the existing standard, and public opinion has in the past rebelled 
against providing nonresidents with a higher standard of care than 
is provided for residents. 


It seems to me that the best solution of the problem would be a 
system of grants-in-aid to the States for relief. The amount of 
money which a State would receive would be dependent upon the 
extent of the transient problem within that State, but there would 
be fixed allocations which could not be exceeded in any State. 

The payments to a State should not be on the basis of actual 
amounts spent for transients in that State, because experience in a 
great many States, when they have tried to handle this problem with 
local units of Government, indicates that with such a basis you in- 
crease the relief problem, and in no time at all nobody would have 
State residence ; they would all be transients, and the Federal burden 
would be continually increased. 

If, however, there is a proportional allotment, so that no State will 
gain anything by shipping people into the other State or encouraging 
people from the other States to come in, you will find the cost will be 
greatly decreased. The proportion of Federal aid granted need not 
be the* total amount that Oregon, for example, would spend for relief 
purposes, but the difference between the amount which Oregon spends 
for relief people from outside of Oregon, and the amount computed 
on a statistical basis, which is spent on people with Oregon settlement, 
who were assisted outside of the State. Such an arrangement greatly 
decreases the total amount of cost to which the Federal Government 
would be obligated. 

It seems to me that such a system of grants-in-aid should be ad- 
ministered by the Social Security Board as one of the public assist- 

260370 — 40— pt. 1 10 


ance titles, and I think that there is just one requirement that should 
be made in order for a State to qualify for its proportion of the 
grant. That is the requirement that a State, in order to receive this 
amount of assistance, must certify that such assistance as is granted 
within the State will be granted without discrimination because of 
nonresidence. Just that one requirement is sufficient, and to meet 
that requirement it would be necessary for States to abolish their 
settlement laws and other restrictive provisions which many of them 
have as far as residence is concerned. 

The solution seems to me not difficult, and it is not expensive on this 
basis, but the problem is much more acute than the number of people 
or the amount of money involved would indicate, because of the fact 
that it is something that no one State can solve without Federal aid, 
and any State which individually tries to solve the problem of pro- 
viding adequate assistance finds itself penalized by migration from 
other parts of the country. 

That is the substance of the statement that I had in mind, and in 
Rhode Island the problem is not a very great one. There seems to be 
a balance between the number of people who come in and the number 
of people who go out. Our greatest problem arises, not out of 
migratory workers, but because of the fact that our State has had 
involved settlement laws, so that in the past there have been people 
who are not eligible for any type of assistance. I think that we 
would welcome any type of Federal program which would give some 
encouragement and incentive to the abolition of our settlement laws. 

Mr. Parsons. Well, Mr. Chairman, if the settlement laws were all 
abolished, and the Federal aid were given in grants to the States, 
would not that be an incentive to at least a small percentage of people 
who might take a notion to travel to see America first, by migrating 
from State to State, and do it at the expense of the Federal Govern- 
ment ? 

Mr. Leet. I think to some extent people migrate to get jobs, they 
don't migrate just to get relief. 

Mr. Parsons. But if you set up that kind of a system, might not 
that serve as an incentive to a few people here and there to migrate 
from State to State just to see the country? 

Since they are going to be provided with the necessities of life, and 
they tell their friends and their neighbors, or their acquaintances, that 
they are traveling with a free meal ticket, would not that be an incen- 
tive for others likewise to start out on the road? 

Mr. Leet. It would remove the deferent of starvation which now 

Mr. OsMERS. Mr. Leet, may I interrupt for a question? I must 
share somewhat the opinion of Mr. Parsons that the mere elimination 
of settlement laws might facilitate granting relief to destitute mi- 
grants, but it would not in any way that I can see, or what you have 
pointed out, eliminate the problem or help a solution of the problem 
of destitute migrants. 

Now, contrary to the testimony that you just gave, we have had 
numerous bits of evidence in coming across the State of New Jersey, 
and also here today, that people have migrated for relief, contrary to 
the expression of opinion that you gave, that they migrate for jobs. 
We had a man here a few minutes ago and he gave us at least some 
evidence that people come here from Puerto Rico to get relief as much 


as they would jobs, and in the State of New Jersey, where I come from, 
there are people who migrate from New Jersey to Philadelphia and 
to New York to get better relief. We had considerable evidence to 
that effect last Saturday. 

So far as the system of Federal grants-in-aid to the various States 
is concerned, do you feel that that would cause an abnormal disloca- 
tion in the population, if it were made easy for people to move into 
different States and just stay right on relief after the minute that they 
got there ? 

I am thinking of housing problems, and health problems, and all of 
the things — educational problems. Supposing that a group of people 
migrated into a community that I live in — that has 1,400 people, and 
500 people migrated there, and we had grants-of-aid from the Federal 
Government to keep those people on relief. Who is going to educate 
them, and what are you going to do about it ? 


Mr. Leet. There is nothing inherently undesirable about migration. 
A great deal of it is very desirable insofar as meeting changing indus- 
trial and labor needs are concerned, and the thing that causes the 
suffering is migration to places where there are no facilities to provide 
the migrants any of the necessities of life. It is bad when a city or a 
town knows that if it gives them any of the necessities of life, it will 
be swamped with an impossible problem, and public officials are in a 
position where they have to be brutal in order to prevent the problem 
becoming more acute. The migration itself is not bad. 

Mr. Curtis. Would there be a tendency to create a special problem 
for States and localities that have favorable climatic conditions? 

Mr. Leet. I do not think so. They have already got that problem, 
and it would mean that they would have a little more resources with 
which to meet the problem which they now have. 

Now, as to California, the presence of peoj^le with some income and 
resources is not a problem. It — the problem — is having on their hands 
people with no resources and no income and no way of supporting 

Mr. OsMERS. Would not you say, Mr. Leet, as a matter of general 
policy, that if a citizen of the United States was unable to support 
himself and must appeal for some kind of public relief, he would ba 
better off to be on relief in his home locality, where his family ties 
and lifetime connections are, than to be on relief in some strange 
place, some place far away? 

Now, if you abolish the settlement laws, of course, that is just not 
going to happen. The relief client is going to stay on relief where 
he happens to be. 

Mr. Leet. The whole principle of local responsibility breaks down 
because the places where the greatest number of people in need are in 
stranded localities, where there are no tax sources to support them. 
The trends of migration are from the States of low economic oppor- 
tunities to those of greater economic opportunities, and by and large 
that trend is a desirable thing. 

Mr. OsMERs. You would say it would be advisable for citizens who 
could not support themselves in one State, and the State was not 


particularly well able to support them, that they should move to some 
other State where the State was better able to support them ? 

Mr. Leet. It is probably better for the entire Nation that they move 
to an area where the possibilities of employment are greater. 

Mr. Parsons. Well, what provoked my question in the beginning 
was this: That there is hardly a week goes by that I don't receive a 
letter from two or three people who are living on W. P. A., in a county 
in Illinois, wanting to know why they can't be transferred to another 
county, for reasons better known to themselves, either to get into a 
larger town, where they can have what they think are better surround- 
ings, or to be nearer relatives or friends. 

Now, in the State of Illinois, the requirements for relief are such 
that for certification purposes on W. P. A., they must be within the 
county 6 months before they can be certified. If a man moves to an- 
other county, he loses his certification, or loses his relief until he has 
been there a certain time. 

I get these letters wanting to transfer to this county or that county, 
or somewhere else. 

Now, that is what provoked my question. I think if you break 
down all of your State settlement laws, and you give grants-in-aid 
to the States, that you will have a large percentage of people want- 
ing to move here for a little while and on to the next State for a little 
while, just to see the country and familiarize themselves — something 
similar to the w^itness that we had just prior to you. 

Mr. Leet. That is one problem, but suppose that that county were 
a coal-mining county where the coal mines are all worked out. If a 
person stays there the rest of his life, and the children stay there all 
of the rest of their lives, they will always be a public responsibility. 

The Chairman. To me, the proposition is this : There are thousands 
and thousands of acres in Oklahoma, and eastern Texas, where the 
tractor, or — the mechanization point comes in there — they absio- 
lutely cannot live, and the State cannot take care of them. It has 
not the finances. 

And now the Farm Security Administration takes care of 800.000 
families, to give them enough to eat on and a little seed, and there 
are 500,000 left there, so that is where the Federal Government, under 
your idea, steps in, don't you see; and you don't want to send them 
into the States of destination where there are settlement laws so that 
they cannot live until they do get a job. 

Mr. Leet. I think it is very bad for the whole Nation to have set- 
tlement laws that have the effect of chaining people, like serfs in the 
Middle Ages, to the soil upon which they happen to be born. 

The Chairman. In other words, there is no complete answer to this 
migrant problem, is there, but the Federal Government can do more 
than it is doing now to keep up the morale of our people, and not 
let our people in the States of origin, not able to exist, remain there? 

Mr. Leet. I agree with you entirely. 

Mr. Sparkman. You would not intend the program that you sug- 
gested to be at all the exclusive or complete program. You would 
certainly try to alleviate the conditions back there before the migra- 
tion started? 

Mr. Leet. Yes. Primarily through a system of adequate general 


Mr. Sparkman. And such as the Farm Security Administration? 

Mr, Leet. And such programs as that, and by streno;thenin<;f of 
the Employment Service facilities, because there is health, welfare, 
and a labor problem here. This helps only the welfare problem — the 
relief problem. 


Mr. Sparkman. On this plan that you propose of grants-in-aid 
to States, to what extent would you expect the States to participate, 
and on what basis? 

Mr. Leet. To be an adequate system, it should be as a part of the 
system of grants-in-aid to a State with general public assistance, and 
with an additional allotment proportionate to the added burden 
which that State has because of the increased transient problem. 

Mr. Sparkman. I mean by that that you would not I'equire the 
State to — or you would not make the grant-in-aid dependent upon 
the amount which the State itself contributed, such as some of oui' 
laws do now? Old-age assistance, for instance? 

Mr. Leet. No; I think that that is unwise. For example, well, 
pretty near a hundred years ago some States set up systems by which 
the State would take care of people without town residence, and the 
experience was that the number of people without town residence 
increased until the State had an overwhelming burden. 

If the Federal Government were to say to the States, "We will 
take care of all of the people without residence in your State," the 
burden would increase so continually that in time the Federal 
Government would have a tremendous load. 

Mr. Sparkman. Did not the old transient camps that were for- 
merly provided by the Federal Government through its relief pro- 
gram prove rather unsatisfactory ? 

Mr. Leet. Yes; that was because they were providing a different 
type of assistance at a different standard than that which prevailed 
in the community, and to local relief officials it meant that what they 
called tramps and bums were receiving a different standard of as- 
sistance than their own residents. Then they started writing to their 
Congressmen immediately, 


Mr. Sparkman. Well, Mr. Leet, a great part of this relief pro- 
gram grows out of the fact that some sections of our country have 
a much faster increase in their population, a larger birth rate than 
other sections, and that migration must follow from those particular 
sections. That is your idea, is it not? 

Mr. Leet. Yes; and it is very much in the interest of those sec- 
tions that there be this free flow of migration; and, incidentally, 
areas that are especially favored by climate are going to find a great 
increase, presumably, as a result of the programs like this old-age 
and survivors' insurance. A great number of people w^ith small in- 
comes are going to California to spend the remainder of their days, 
and that is not undesirable from the point of view of the State. 

Mr, Sparkman, Now, going back to the other end of the age scale, 
the birth rate in these sections, in which I am particularly interested 
because that happens to be the condition that prevails in the part 


of the country from which I come. In studying the problem, do you 
not think it only fair that we recognize the fact that the resources 
of those sections are heavily taxed in order to provide the cost of 
bringing those people up to the age that they attain before they 
migrate; for instance, schooling? We have an excess of population 
that must move into other sections of the country, and our resources 
naturally are heavily taxed in order to give them the schooling 
necessary to equip them in order to go out and hold those jobs that 
they seek. 

Mr. Leet. In your State, if you raise mules and ship them out of 
the State, people in other States pay you for the expense of raising 
them; but you raise children, and have all of the expense of education 
and other facilities, and they come to other States, and the other States 
do not pay you anything for raising the children. 

Mr. Sparkman. That is all. 

The Chairman. Mr. Leet, we have had in the last 5 years 850,000 
migrants move into California. 

Let me give you this picture. Supposing that you had an earth- 
quake or a volcano or something of that kind, by which the homes 
of people here in New York, or the farms and one thing and an- 
other, were destroyed, and they had to move into Pennsylvania, 
850,000 of them ; you don't think that the Federal Government would 
hesitate a moment to take care of them, to get them on their feet? 

Mr. Leet. Not at all. It would be necessary. 

The Chairman. Well, Mr. Leet, we thank you very much, and we 
have another witness. 

Mr. Parsons. I just want to ask one more question. 


Upon what percentage basis do you think the Federal Government 
should contribute to the State ? 

Mr. Leet. I don't think it should be on a percentage basis. You 
should figure how much money you can make available for this 
purpose, whether it is $10,000,000 or $20,000,000 or $30,000,000, and 
allocate that amount to the States, in proportion to the burden which 
they bear because of migratory problems. 

As far as our objective of meeting the problem is concerned, it does 
not make much difference whether that is 50 or 60 or 75 or 90 per- 
cent of the cost to the State. 

Mr. Parsons. Do you not think, though, that each State should 
contribute at least a substantial amount? And if that is not done, 
you find certain towns and cities and so on that might be inviting 
migrants to come into their territoi-y and getting the money because 
it would be spent with their merchants. 

Do you think that that problem would enter into it after a year 
or two ? 

Mr. Leet. I think that it might. 

Mr. Parsons. So that the State, it seems to me, should contribute 
a substantial amount. The Federal Government should not by any 
means contribute the total or anything like near the total, becausel 
if the Federal Government is going to contribute practically the 
entire amount to take care of that, then the State loses its responsi- 
bility in the problem. 


Mr. Leet. Of course, the Federal Government can go a lot further 
than it is going now without running into any danger of that. 

Mr. Parsons. But if we were going to tackle this problem on the 
long-range plan, do you think the State government, and probably 
even the local or municipal government, should share in the expense 
of it? 

Mr. Leet. Yes ; I think that a part of the problem is a State prob- 
lem, but certainly the origin of it is partly a Nation-wide problem in 
scope and should be a national responsibility. 

Mr. Parsons. My opinion is that if the Federal Government, for 
instance, contributed 90 percent to one State and 10 percent to an 
adjoining State, you would have towns along the border lines of those 
States advertising for migrants to come in and receive better treat- 
ment there, and lower prices, and it would get into a commercial 

Mr. Leet. That would certainly happen if you reimbursed a State 
directly in proportion to the amount that it spent, and I do not 
think it should be a direct payment to the States, based upon actual 
expenditures per individual. It should be computed on a statistical 
basis, and to be a proportion of the total appropriation. 

Mr. Parsons. Well, either one, unless there was some very close 
supervision, would ultimately end either the way that I indicated or 
in what you indicated. 

Another problem would develop there of increasing the amount 
because it might make good business for the merchants in certain 
localities, and the political consideration it might get into it from a 
voting standpoint, especially in election years. 

The Chairman. Don't overlook the political situation. 

Mr. Sparkman. The contribution should be based on need rather 
than upon any direct percentage or proportion of it? 

Mr. Leet. Yes ; that is right. 

Mr. OsMERS. There is just one opinion that I would like to get from 
Mr. Leet, and then I will be through. We had a witness here this 
morning who made the following statement : 

Sound adjustment of population to resources is ultimately dependent on local 

You apparently disagree with that statement. 

Mr. Leet. Oh, I think it is a factor, but there are a great many other 
factors which are not within the control of any one community. 

The Chairman. Over which they have no control. 

Mr. Leet. No control. An Illinois county, where the coal mines are 
just exhausted, has no control over that situation. 

Mr. OsMERS. This statement that I heard here of local initiative 
might apply to a coal-mining situation, where the locality itself would 
have a realization of that and try to solve it on an intelligent basis, 
rather than upon a basis of how far an automobile of a citizen of that 
coal-mining area would run, or how far he could get on the amount of 
money that he had. 

Mr. Leet. Yes; I think some New England cities and towns, for 
example, have adapted themselves to the changing social and eco- 
nomic conditions and developed different types of industries and oc- 
cupations, but there is a limit to how much could be accomplished 
that way. 


The Chairman. Thank you very much. 
(Whereupon the witness was excused.) 


The Chairman. The Lnst witness is Mr. Bradley. 

Will you make it brief, please ? 

What is your name ? 

Mr. Bradley. Andrew J. Bradley. 

The Chairman. How old are you? 

Mr. Bradley. Fifty-four. 

The Chairman. Are you married? 

Mr. Bradley. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Where do you live? 

Mr. Bradley. Freeland, Pa. 

The Chairman. Are you working now ? 

Mr. Bradley. No, sir. 

The Chairman. Any children? 

Mr. Bradley. Yes, sir; three boys. 

The Chairman. How old are they? 

Mr. Bradley. 22, 18, and 12. 

The Chairman. Are they working? 

Mr. Bradley. No, sir. 

The Chairman. How are you living? 

Mr. Bradley. On relief. 

The Chairman. You are on relief? 

Mr. Bradley. Yes. 

The Chairman. What is your occupation? 

Mr. Bradley. Miner. 

The Chairman. You are a miner? 

Mr. Bradley. Yes. 

The Chairman. "Wliere did you work? 


Mr. Bradley. I worked at Lattimer, and I got put out on account of 
seniority rights, I was the last man put on and the first man put off. 

I worked at other collieries, but they shut down and I had to go 
and seek other employment ; and when I went there I was the young- 
est man, and when they started reducing the force there I had to get 

The Chairman. Where is Freeland from here? How far from 
here ? 

Mr. Bradley. About 135 miles, I judge. 

The Chairman. The two boys on relief, too; are they working? 

Mr, Bradley. Nobody is working. The last job I had was on gypsy 

The Chairman. What have you been doing? 

Mr. Bradley. I worked at the coal mines all of my life, and then 
about 1935 or about 192'5, I guess, as times started to get slack in 
1929, things shut down where I was, and then I had to seek other 
employment some place. 

I worked here and there for a couple of weeks at a time, in tunnels 
and all around, and I never had no employment at all, steady, until 
about 2 years ago, when I got a job at Lattimer, and I worked there 
for about 2 years, and then I was laid off. 



The Chairman. Well, what are the chances for your employment 
as a miner? 

Mr. Bradley. None whatever. 

The Chairman. Why? 

Mr. Bradley. Because everything is going back, nothing is going 
ahead, and I understand they are robbing in the mines, robbing the 
pillars. That means they are coming down. There is no work for 
me. Every day there is somebody else getting out. The work is 
getting scarcer, and the mining area is getting smaller. The veins of 
coal are getting worked out. 

The Chairman. Are there many in situations like yours? 

Mr. Bradley. Oh, lots of them; lots of them; right in the town I 
live in, up around that section. 

The Chairman. Are they on relief, too ? 

Mr. Bradley. Yes, sir ; lots of them work on W. P. A. 

The Chairman. What would you do if you were not able to get 

Mr. Bradley. I don't know. I w^ould have to go and steal if I could 
not get relief. That is the only thing I could see. I have to live. 

Mr. Osmers. Tell me this : Have you ever thought of getting your- 
self a little farm in the country where you could support yourself at 
least insofar as food is concerned, certainly with three sons of those 

Mr. Bradley. I don't think that I would know anything about 
farming, because I worked in the mines all of my life. 

Mr. OsMERS. Do you have a vegetable garden where you are now? 

Mr. Bradley. Where I live you could not raise anything in our yard 
even, because it is all red shale. 

Mr. OsMERS. Would you be willing — this is a kind of a trick ques- 
tion — would you be willing to move to some other part of the United 
States if you could be placed upon a small farm that had the possi- 
bilities of supporting you ? 

Mr. Bradley. Well, yes ; but I don't know anything about farming 
in the first place. I would sooner if I had some employment around 
where I was raised, where we could keep my family together. I don't 
want me and my family to part. 

Mr. OsMERS. When you say "your family" you mean your immedi- 
ate family, or your other relatives? 

Mr. Bradley. No ; only me and my wife and my three sons. 

Mr. OsMERS. I mean, keeping all of those together, if they move 
the five of you out to some fertile piece of ground, would a proposition 
of that nature interest you ? 

Mr. Bradley. I could not work the farm. I w^ouldn't know any- 
thing about it in the first place. You can't make a farmer out of a 
miner. I would have to be taught that. 

Mr. OsMERS. Supposing that some education along that line was 
provided for you ? 

You have got three sons there, 12, 18, and 22. They are certainly 
not miners in anv sense of the word. 

Mr. Bradley, They have never worked at all. One boy was in the 
C. C. C. camps for 6 months, that is all. 

Mr. OsMERs. Wliy isn't he still in the C. C. C. ? 

Mr. Bradley. He is not in there. 


Mr. OsMERS. Why didn't he continue in there? 

Mr. Bradley. He didn't like it there. 

Mr. OsMERS. What didn't he like about it ? 

Mr. Bradley. I don't know. When his 6 months were up — I don't 
think the C. C. C. camp is a o;ood place for a younoj boy. 

Mr. OsMERs. You don't ? 

Mr. Bradley. Because he learns much there that he would not learn 
if he was at home. 

Mr. Curtis. Where was the C. C. C. camp located ? 

Mr. Bradley. La Porte, Pa. 

The Chairman, Mr. Brady, your family would like to live with, 
each other and you want your boys with you, do you not ? 

Mr. Bradley. Yes, sir; if it is possible to be that way. 

The Chairman. You would rather have them home with you than 
in the C. C. C. camp, wouldn't you ? 

Mr. Bradley. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. Did they work the boy pretty hard ? 

Mr. Bradley. They worked him out on the roads. 

Mr. Parsons. Had he ever been used to any work like that before? 

Mr. Bradley. Well, no; he didn't work. He just thought that he 
would go to the C. C. C. camp, and his mother didn't want him to 
go but he coaxed and coaxed and he went and every Friday they were 
coming home, and then we had a heck of a time getting him back 
to La Porte for Monday morning. 

Mr. Parsons. Had he ever worked at anything? I assume that 
this is the 22-year-old boy. 

Mr. Bradley. No. 

Mr. Parsons. It is the 18-year-old ? 

Mr, Bradley. The 18-year-old one just graduated in June. 

Mr. Parsons. Had he ever worked at anything before? 

Mr. Bradley. No, sir; none of them ever worked. 

Mr. Parsons. Never had done any chores around home or sold 
papers, or things like that ? 

Mr. Bradley. Yes; he hauled coal. 

Mr. Parsons. Has the boy 22 years old ever done any work? 

Mr. Bradley. No, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. But he didn't like the C, C, C, camp, and did he com- 
plain about working too hard ? 

Mr, Bradley, No, sir; he did not complain. 

Mr, Parsons, He just did not like it, 

Mr, Bradley. He just came out when the enlistment was up. 

Mr. Parsons. How large a town do you live in ? 

Mr. Bradley. About 6,000. 

Mr. Parsons. Had the boy ever been in the countryside, before this 
boy went into the C. C. C. camp ? 

Mr. Bradley. No, sir ; they had always been at home. 

Mr. Parsons. He did not like the countryside ? 

Mr. Bradley. No, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. Don't you think that sometimes the American citizen 
might be better off if he made himself like a few of these things once 
in a while? Our forefathers had to like a lot of things over here 
when we first started. Don't you think it might be a little better if 
we kind of discif)lined ourselves a little bit and made ourselves and 
our children like some things better ? 


Mv. Bradley. ^Maybe you have something there, but the children 
today, they don't want to do this, and they don't do it, that is aU. 

Ml. Parsons. I started work in the new ground when I was 7. 

Mr. Bradley. And I started in the mines when I was 14. 

Mr. Parsons. And our parents used to say they didn't want their 
children to work as hard as they had to work, but I notice that our fore- 
bears got along a little better than some of us are getting along in this 
depression period. That is the reason I suggested the idea, it might be 
better if we kind of discipline them a little bit and make them like 
some of the things that they apparently don't like at first. 

Mr. Bradley. Well, you can tell them that, but what can you do? 

Mr. SrARKMAx. Mr. "Brady, is neither one of your sons doing any- 
thing, any work at all? 

Mr. Bradley, No, 

Mr. Sparkman, And you are not working now ? 

Mr. Bradley. No, sir. The last job I had was on the gypsy moth. 

Mr. Sparkman. Has either of your boys tried to get on W. P. A. ? 

Mr. Bradley. They tried W. P. A. and they tried N. Y. A. and 
nothing doing. 

j\Ir. Sparkman. Did the 22-vear-old-boy ever try to get in the 
C. C. C. camp? 

Mr. Bradley. He was. 

Mr, Sparkman. I thought you said it was the 18-year-old boy. 

Mr. Bradley. No, the 22-year-old boy. 

Mr. Sparkman. Has the 18-year-old boy ever tried to get in ? 

Mr. Bradley. He wrote to a certain banker in McAdoo ; he heard that 
the Federal Government was going to put a grant in a place in there, 
and he wrote to him and this banker told him, "No, he did not think that 
they were, because that was occupied by the P, P. & L." You see some- 
body told him that the Federal Government was going to put some 
kind of work in there, where I come from, and he wrote to this man and 
asked if he could get a job. 

Mr. Sparkman. But did he ever try to get into a C. C. C. camp ? 

Mr. Bradley, No, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. My impression is that there has been quite a heavy 
enrollment of C, C. C. boys just recently, and it seems to me that it 
would be well for them to' reconsider that proposition, and then there 
is another thought that enters my mind. Of course the Army has been 
trying to enlist young men, and probably the Navy too. I am not sure, 
but I know the Army has, and I wonder if any of your boys have ever 
given consideration to that ? 

Mr. Bradley. I^Iy oldest boy couldn't go in the Army or the Navy. 

Mr. Sparkman. Why not ? 

Mr. Bradley. On account of his eyes. 

Mr. Sparkman. He has a physical disability ? 

Mr. Bradley. Yes, his eyes. 

Mr, Sparkman, That is all. 

The Chairman. I would like to thank you very much, Mr. Bradley. 

(Wliereupon the witness was excused.) 

The Chairman. We stand adjourned until 10 o'clock tomorrow 

(Whereupon, at 5 : 30 p. m., a recess was taken until 10 a. m., to- 
morrow, Tuesday, July 30, 1940.) 


TUESDAY, JULY 30, 1940 

House of Representatives, 
Select Committee to Investigate the 
Interstate Migration of Destitute Citizens, 

Washington^ D. C. 
The committee met at 10 a. m., in the Federal Court Building, New 
York, N. Y., pursuant to adjournment, Hon. John H. Tolan (chair- 
man), presiding: 

Present: Representatives John H. Tolan (chairman), Claude V. 
Parsons, John J. Sparkman, Carl T. Curtis, and Frank C. Osmers, Jr. 
Also present : Robert K. Lamb, chief investigator ; James S. Owens, 
chief field investigator; Ariel E. V. Dunn, field investigator; Edward 
J. Rowell, field investigator; Henry H. Collins, Jr., field investigator; 
and Alice Tuohy, field secretary. 

The Chairman. The committee will come to order. 


The Chairman. Mr. Wadsworth, we will hear you first this morning. 
We are doing that out of respect for your illustrious father as well as 

Mr. Wadsworth. I appreciate your courtesy, sir. 

The Chairman. Do you desire to read a statement ? 

Mr. Wadsworth. I would like to run through this statement just 
as fast as I possibly can, and then whatever else is at your pleasure. 

(Reading) The Honorable Harold C. Ostertag, chairman of the 
joint legislative committee on interstate cooperation, has requested that 
I represent that committee before your committee here today. As fur- 
ther qualification, I may state that I have been chairman of the New 
York State Assembly Committee on Public Relief and Welfare for the 
past 5 years, and chairman for the past 3 years of a joint legislative 
committee studying the employment problems of middle-aged persons. 
The question of the care of nonsettled persons has naturally been a 
matter of very real concern to our committee. We have had several 
meetings at which the problems have been discussed as they relate to 
the State of New York and the States adjoining us. The last meeting 
at which this subject was discussed was that held July 9 and 10 of 
this 3'ear. On that occasion there were four aspects of the problem 




In the first place, we gave consideration to the operation of the New 
York- Vermont agreement under the Transfer of Dependents Acts. 
This is an agreement established to facilitate the better care of non- 
settled persons where settlement is a responsibility of either of the 
two States. This seems to be working out fairly satisfactorily. The 
attorneys general of both States are cooperative and much has been 
done to bring a semblance of orderliness into a situation which, until 
about 2 years ago, had become impossible. Through this agreement, 
local commissioners of public welfare in New York State and over- 
seers of the poor in Vermont are able to make satisfactory arrange- 
ments either for the care of nonsettled persons or for their return to 
to their place of settlement. 

The second aspect discussed was the relationship between Pennsyl- 
vania and New York. The difficulties in this area had arisen as the 
result of new legislation in Pennsylvania which stipulated that 2 
years' residence must be proved by an applicant for relief before gen- 
eral assistance was granted in Pennsylvania. Our committee has had 
two discussions of this question. As a result, we have been able to 
secure a modifying opinion from the attorney general of the State 
of Pennsylvania in which he held : 

Absence from Pennsylvania for employment purposes need not be considered 
to invalidate tbe 2 years required for general assistance in Pennsylvania. 

This modifying interpretation has eased the situation somewhat, 
although it has by no means taken away all of our problems. 

Thirdly, we discussed the everrecurring subject of uniform settle- 
ment laws. In the early stages of our committee we had a feeling 
that there might be, bv voluntary agreement, some progress made in 
the general direction of uniformity. The success above noted with 
two of our neighboring States at first strengthened our belief. We 
have now come to the conclusion, however, that this is a rather opti- 
mistic point of view. The lack of uniformity which now exists in 
relation to settlement laws is so great, and has existed for such a long 
period of time, that it seems to be impossible to hope for any reason- 
able clvmge by the individual States on a basis of voluntary action. 
Administrative and court rulings over the years have naturally led 
to even greater difficulties than the laws themselves have produced. 
At the same time, we recognize that practically three-quarters of the 
States now have a 1-year residence requirement and this may provide 
the standard to which the States might ultimately be asked to con- 
form, if the matter can be done through individual legislatures on a 
voluntary basis. 

The fourth aspect of our discussion surrounded the growing con- 
viction on the part of the members of the committee that, while it 
mif^ht be possible to solve this problem of uniform settlement laws 
by Voluntary interstate compacts, the time element could be greatly 
shortened if there were developed in the United States some method 
of o-rant-in-aid. This might be conditioned, not only on the accept- 
ance of some uniform basis, but also would allow for the development 
of administrative practices which would surround the actual care of 

the migrant. • i 4^ n ^ , i f 

This will give your committee an idea ot the general trend of con- 
sideration which our committee is now giving this subject. 



I understand that New York City is presenting- data relative to the 
condition which prevails in this cosmopolitan area. I will therefore 
confine what observations I have to conditions as they have been 
reported to me in several sections of up- State New York. 

The problem is not solely a matter of relief administration, al- 
though I would say this is' primary. There is enough evidence to 
show that many people come to the State of New York as the result 
of industrial employment opportunities, extended opportunity for 
medical and hospital care, and the desirability of securing more ade- 
quate educational opportunities for children. Binghampton and 
Elmira, which are relatively close to the Pennsylvania border, fur- 
nish plenty of instances in which people have left the rural areas of 
Pennsylvania to secure treatment in the hospitals in these respective 
New York communities. 

I am of the opinion that both temporary and long-term illness has 
created situations whereby the local communities of the State of New 
York are charged with the cost of care and, of course, the main- 
tenance of facilities which are directly traceable to sickness. If they 
are not reviewed quickly and periodically, we will face a very ex- 
tended financial cost, to be borne by the citizens of New York, which 
seems to stem directly from the fact that the very existence of those 
New York facilities have tended to retard the establishment of 
similar facilities at accessible points in other States. 

It has become a custom in some communities to send patients to 
New York State when, as a matter of fact, there ought to be devel- 
oped in those particular States facilities for clealing with their own 
problems. Health care is a major concern in every State in the 
Union, and I feel sure you gentlemen will recognize the unfairness of 
having one State become the provider of these necessary health 
facilities without having at the same time any control of, or rela- 
tion to, the financial costs. 

We have in the State of New York many out-of-State persons 
who are cared for in a variety of institutions who will never again 
be able to secure employment, and who are suffering from what 
might be classed as incurable or chronic diseases. As long as they 
live, these persons are likely to be a charge against the taxpayers 
of this State, and, because they have lost settlement, it is utterly 
impossible to relate the cost of care to any other State or community. 
1 do not have the figures that bear on this subject, but I am reliably 
informed by the commissioner of social welfare that this constitutes 
an extensive problem. 


I am informed by a senior social worker of the State department, 
who specializes in providing care for the nonsettled persons in the 
central part of the State, that there are three general classifications 
of transients in that neighborhood. The first is that group of work- 
ers usually possessing considerable initiative and ability, who leave 
an area of limited employment opportunities for one where they 
believe the opportunities to be greater. Given a sufficient period of 
time, they almost invariably obtain employment at prevailing local 
wages and become self-supporting members of the new community. 


The second group is composed of those who wander from com- 
munity to community without any j^articuhir aim or objective. Many 
of them are handicapped physically or mentally to the extent that 
they cannot compete with local people for available jobs. They do 
not have roots in any particular district, and they rarely make a 
satisfactory adjustment. 

The third group are those elderly or inadequate persons who move 
to a new community under the optimistic delusion that friends and 
relatives will provide for them. The majority of those would be 
better off if they returned to the community of their origin, and 
they are usually the most willing to be so returned. 

In dealing with the problems in this area, this worker believes 
that the number of such persons is increasing every month and that 
the number of people who might properly be returned to another 
State is becoming a smaller percentage of the total case load as time 
goes on. This is due, in his opinion, to the technicalities of settlement 
laws in other States, which permit the loss of a settlement without 
the acquisition of a new one. He also points out that this is further 
complicated by the fact that many people have lost their settlem»^nt 
through the desertion of the husband or the existence of other family 

Finally, he refers to the fact that low standards of public-assist- 
ance care, particularly in some of the Southern States, make it almost 
impossible to return people to their communities without assuming 
serious danger to the health and well-b^ing of the children of their 

In the western part of the State, where my own home is located, 
conditions are very similar to those already described. However, 
they are accentuated by the fact that it is a large fruit-growing 
territory, which necessitates the employment of migratory workers. 
Her*3 again, sickness and other questions are recognized, in addition 
to the general economic one, in the creation of our problems. 

In the districts of Westchester and Nassau County, which are 
adjacent to New York City, the situation not only reflects what we 
know in other parts of the State, but it is intensified by many other 
questions which surround an area in which there is great concentra- 
tion of business, and which, at the same time, is a metropolitan area 
having no direct relationship to State lines. 


If you will look at New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, you 
will see that there is an economic unit which op'3rates industrially 
without any regard to political subdivisions or geographic-political 
lines. People move back and forth in this area without knowing that 
the mere passage from one community to another may affect their 
legal status, and, one might say, their civic rights. In such a metro- 
politan area, all of the factors to which I have already alluded 
become more complicated and intensified. 

As a legislator, I do not have the facilities for an intimate ac- 
quaintance with th^3 details of this problem. However, I am vitally 
interested in the matter from two points of view. First, as chairman 
of the committee on public relief and welfare of the Assembly of 
New York State, I am conscious of the number of communities which 


liave to bear financial and social burdens which do not legitimately 
belong to them. Each year 1 give consideration to bills which, if 
thev were considered purely as local matters, should be enacted into 
law. Unfortunately, however, if we so considered them, it would 
only lead to further complication in relation to the control of public 
welfare in the State as a whole. The net result is to create inequal- 
ities which are unfair to these specific communities. 

In passing, I might point out that a further indication of the 
problem of special communities within the State is the existence of 
special 5-year settlement provisions in those communities which con- 
tain tuberculosis hospitals, veterans' facilities, and Kegular Army 
posts. This, of course, is part of the whole interstate question, since 
the personnel, particularly at Army posts, is made up largely of 
out-of-State persons, who, upon discharge from the Army, rarely if 
ever return to the place of their enlistment, but settle in the com- 
munity where they find themselves upon release from the Army. 


I am also conscious of the fact that this problem, insofar as it 
relates to interstate migration, is costing the State of New York ap- 
jH'oximately $3,000,000 annually for the care of nonsettled persons 
whose settlement can be determined through documentary evidence 
as belonging within another State. But this does not begin to 
enumerate the costs which we bear for the care of persons who have, 
lost their settlement over the years and who are in hospitals, institu- 
tions, and elsewhere, and the cost of whose care rests on the local 
community. How extensive this problem is, I do not know. It is 
apparently impossible to ascertain its exact nature and extent. How- 
ever, it certainly exists, and the financial costs are heavy. It would 
be inhuman to fail to take into consideration the element of decent 
care for sucli people simply because of the existence of a State 
boundary. No one that I know in the State of New York is advo- 
cating the solution of this question through a process of denying 
people decent care. 

In summing up, I would like to stress the fact that such State and 
local expenditures relate not only to the distribution of relief funds 
but have a serious bearing on health, education, police, and fire 
protection costs. In view of this, our committee believes that it is 
necessary and desirable to urge your committee to consider the estab- 
lishment of some form of State grant-in-aid. By means of this, 
States would be relieved of an undue financial burden which, in 
your opinion, rightfully belongs to the Federal Government, and 
'which, when in operation, would lead to the establishment of more 
uniform practices. I feel sure that this would tend to protect the 
rights of tlie individual in terms of his legal and social status. I do 
not presume to advise your committee with regard to all of the de- 
tails which should go into such a program. This is a national ques- 
tion, and the longer the States individually are expected to handle 
it, the more complicated and costly it will become, the more the 
rights of individuals will be jeopardized, and the more dangerous 
becomes the national situation. 

The Chairman. That is a very valuable paper, there is no ques- 
tion about that. 

260370 — 40 — pt. 1 11 



Mr. Curtis. I appreciate Mr. Wadsworth's coming here to give us 
the views of someone in the State legishxture on this subject. 

Now, tlie question I am going to ask I would like to preface with 
this statement, so that we understand each other : I think we are all 
agreed that in America the destitute people should have shelter and 
food and clothing. It is not a debatable issue, and I think that we are 
agreed that the vast majority of people are not only honest but they 
are willing to work. 

Now, if the Federal Government moves into the interstate problem 
more than it has, with reference to relief, at what point does relief 
for destitute interstate migrants become attractive to the lazy and 
indifferent, so as to increase the problem rather than solve it? 

Mr. Wadsworth. I do not believe that there is a single soul in the 
country that could answer that question. Congressman. I really do 
not. Everybody might have their personal ideas on the subject, and 
I think it would be largely up to the local administrators, who can 
spot malingerers, perhaps by pressure upon them and, through the 
industries in their communities, either find jobs or move them on 
their way. I could not tell you exactly at what point that line of 
demarcation would come. 

I agree that there would be that danger for the type of person 
who would ]-ather stay on relief than do anything else, but what 
percentage of the total unemployed of the country is made up of that 
type of person I do not believe that anybody can tell you. 

Do you believe — if I may ask you a question — do you believe that it 
would increase that percentage, or is it your fear that it might? 

Mr. Curtis. I do not know. I think this : That we might create a 
situation wherein, though someone was willing to work, he would 
take a longer chance in going away from home thinking that he 
might get a Aveek or two of work and still see the country, if there 
was no fear that they might have difficulties in getting relief if 
they found themselves in destitute circumstances. 

I am inclined to the view^ that the poor, needy people can be 
handled better for their own good in that community where they are 
known and where their families have been known for some time. 

ISIr. Wadsworth. I am in complete agreement with you on that. 

Mr. Curtis. I have no further questions. 

The Chairman. Subject to this, Mr. Wadsworth, that there are 
places in the United States where there is soil erosion; in the Dust 
Bowl, where the ground has been plowed for many years, wdiere it has 
lost all of its fertility, creating circumstances over which they have 
no control, it is pretty hard to keep those people home. There is 
nothing to keep them. 

Mr. Wadsworth. You can't keep them home. 

The Chairman. So that it is subject to that. There is no question 
but what that is correct. They would love to stay home, but this 
committee is up against this proposition; they just cannot make it 
there, that is all that there is to it. 

Mr. Curtis. I might say, to clarify the record, my question was 
referring to the individual and not dealing with that problem in those 
territories from which through force of circumstances we have had 
a forced mass exodus. 


Mr. Wadswortii. Eight along tliat line, Congressman, does not 
that very Dust Bowl situation accentuate the problem in the States 
to which they do move? 

The Chairman. Certainly. 

Mr. Wadsworth. And therefore wouldn't it be a little better for 
the Federal Government to take some part in keeping them going 
than to have that State to which they move carry the whole load? 

The Chairman. That is the very province of this committee as a 
fact-finding body — to determine the facts fii-st; and then w^e would 
like your i-ecommendations. and various witnesses' recommendations,, 
and then we will have to vote on them. 


Mr. AVadsworth. Could I inject one more thing, just on my ow^n 
initiative, and not representing the interstate cooperation committee? 

I believe that most of the administrators who have appeared, 
and will appear, before you will be more or less in favor of the Fed- 
eral grant-in-aid. HoAvever, I do not think that I need to say that 
in a completely nonpartisan way, a great many State administrators 
at the same time have a certain fear that Federal participation in 
these costs might lead to unreasonable Federal encroachment upon 
their administrative systems. We have had some examples of it 
here in New York State, and I would personally urge that if such a 
grant-in-aid principle is adopted in the future after all of your 
hearings are done and your deliberation is over, that every effort be 
made to safeguard the individual States against such encroachments. 

Mr. Parsons. Would you have the Federal Government contrib- 
ute the entire amount to the States? 

Mr. Wadsworth. Xo, sir ; I would not. 

Mr. Parsons. What percentage of the total cost would you have 
the Federal Government contribute ? 

Mr. Wadsworth. I would say 75 percent; that is my own, and not 
the committee's recommendation. That is my own idea, and I think 
that Commissioner Adie is more in favor of 90 percent on the part 
of the Federal Government, but I feel as long as there is some local 
responsibility they are not going to treat this as a blank check. 

Mr Parsons. That was my fear about the matter. We had a 
witness yesterday afternoon, while he did not state any definite per- 
centage of funds, he rather inferred that practically the entire load 
should be carried by the Federal Government. 

Mr. Wadsw^orth. I feel that that would be very dangerous. 

Mr. Parsons. And my fear was that if that was the case, we would 
have quite a roving band of migrants seeing America first, at the 
expense of Uncle Sam. 

Mr. Wadsworth. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. Do you share that same fear ? 

Mr. Wadsworth. I do not know that I would go quite that far 
but I can sympathize with that idea. 

Mr. Parsons. What provoked my fear in that regard was my 
observation of relief clients who had had teams, machinery, chickens 
cows, large gardens, and things like that, sold them all, and aban- 
doned the garden and everything else, in order to go on relief. I 
know of hundreds of cases of that by personal observation, and if 


that would happen in the case of relief, when all they had to do was 
to ffo out and go to work in the spring tmie, and raise at^ least 
enouo-h to eat for half the year— if they would abandon all of that 
for relief and W. P. A., they would certainly abandon their domi- 
ciles and start seeing the country, especially if the Federal Govern- 
ment was contributing all of the cost and expense of making the trip 

Mr. Wadsworth. There would be that temptation, and I imagine 
a great many would succumb to it. 

Mr. Sparkmax. Mr. Wadsworth, I was very much interested m 
your statement and in your answers to these questions, but let me 
ask you this : You surely would advocate that if the Federal (govern- 
ment takes hold of the problem, relief measures would start back 
at the origin of the migration and that it would do as much as possi- 
ble to alleviate the conditions that produce the migration, in those 
economically depressed areas, would you not? 

Mr Wadsworth. Oh, ves; that would be the ideal way ot doing it. 

Mr! Sparkman. Such "^ as farm security rehabilitation work, and 
building up the resources at the points of origin, so as to deter those 
factors diat economically push the people out. .... 

]Mr Wadsworth. I should think that any Federal action m this 
reoard should be based upon that, at least as one of the conditions 
whereby a State could qualify to get this grant-in-aid. 

Mr Sparkman. I was interested in your statement too, tiiat you 
thout^ht the Federal Government should contribute 75 percent and 
Hie State 25 percent. Don't you realize that such a plan as that 
would work absolutely against'relief measures in these sections from 
which our migrants are moving, inasmuch as those are the areas that 
are hardest pressed economically, and less able to contribute to such 

a program? . . ., ,, ^ 

Mr. Wadsworth. No ; I can't quite admit that. 
Mr. Sparkman. Now, were you here yesterday ? 
Mr! Wadsworth. No; I was not. ^ , , 

Mr Sparkman. We had a very interesting display of charts yes- 
terday, to show that the origin of this migration was the same as 
those areas where economic opportunities were less, and ot course i 
am sure that you will agree that that must be true. 

Mr. Wadsworth. Yes. ...,., ,, , 

Mr Sparkman. Now, if that is true, isn t it logical to suppose that 

those same areas would not be able to participate m a Federal 


^^^ Mr ^ WADSWORTH. Certainly not to the extent that the better-off 
areas' could, but I think that they would, if they got 75 percent of 

^^mT^Sp\RKM\n. Well, now, I happen to come from one of those 
areas" and I know the hardship that we have had. For example, 
the'oid-ao-e assistance program, and in other programs such as that— 
T know The difficultv which our States have met m attempting to 
match these Federal' funds, and to my own way of thinking no sys- 
tem requiring matching of funds by States, except perhaps on some 
bnsis that that State could meet, will solve the problem, because the 
result will be that your more fortunate States with larger budgets 
J.^^ be able to care for the problem adequately by matching the 
Federal funds whereas the very States in which the problem arises, 
with much smaller budgets anct high educational charges, and all of 


those tilings — in trying to maintain their own governmental func- 
tions, those sections will be less able to participate. 

]Mr. Wadsworth. Well. I will have to plead guilty, Congressman, 
to a good deal of selfishness in this matter. In other words, I would 
far rather see New York and the Eastern States have a little of this 
burden lifted right now than see a State, for instance, that you come 
from, get back on its own feet in this long-drawn-out manner. 

Mr. Sparkmax. I do not ask the question as I do for the purpose 
of even suggesting that my State be helped to get back on its feet, 
or Oklahoma, or Arkansas, or any other State from which these 
migrants come; but I am looking at it this way, that your problem 
is not going to be relieved, and California's problem is not going to 
be relieved, and the problem of any other State to which these 
migrants go is not going to be relieved, unless the relief is applied 
back home, where these people are moving from. 

Mr. Wadsworth. In other words, detour the movement rather than 
take care of the movers. 

Mr. Sparkman. That is right, stop it there, rather than wait until 
the added transportation cost is added, and take care of them some- 
where in a transient camp. 

]Mr. Wadsworth. There would be no objection to that as far as 
our State is concerned. There could be no objection, and if such a 
grant-in-aid would deter any such help in our own State, then per- 
haps we ought to wait and see what could be done. 

Mr. Sparkmax. We are just starting out on this investigation, and 
all I am doing is just speaking out loud in connection with the 
thoughts that you have advanced in your paper, but it seems to me 
that probably by extending rural rehabilitation work, by doing some- 
thing to prevent this soil erosion, and by an active program carried 
on by all of those Federal agencies, a great part of this migration can 
be stopped, and therefore the expense ultimately incurTed when 
people have become destitute migrants will be smaller. 

Mr. Wadsw'orth. I see. 

Mr. Sparkmax. That is all. 


ISIr. OsMEES. I would like to ask Mr. Wadsworth's opinion on some 
testimony that we had yesterday. The administrator of public as- 
sistance of the State of Khode Island thinks generally along the lines 
that you do, from the State standpoint, only instead of advocating 
a standardization of settlement laws as you have, say of 1-year settle- 
ment laws, he advocated, as I recall his testimony — I have not a 
transcript of it — the abolition of all settlement laws, so that the 
moment a resident of a State such as New York moved into the 
State of New Jersey there would not be any settlement law there to 
bother him at all, and the Federal Government should provide 
grants-in-aid to the State to assist in the problem. 

Now, do you believe that we should abolish all settlement laws? 
I ask that question because I can see, by the trend of our work here, 
that we are going to come more and more upon the question of settle- 
ment laws. 

Mr. Wadsworth. I would not advocate abolition of settlement 

IVIr. OsMERS. You would not? 



Mr. Wadsworth. No. 

The Chairman. You want to make it as uniform as possible, is 
that ri^ht? , „ 

Mr. Wadsworth. Yes; whether it be 1 or 2 or any set number ot 
years, that might seem the fairest to all concerned. 


Mr. OsMERS. Now, another witness who appeared here was the 
mayor of the city of New York, and as I remember his testimony, 
again without a transcript of it, he advocated that this be made a 
Federal program and not a grant-in-aid program to the States. Now, 
if I have that wrong I wish one of the members of the committee 
who was here would straighten me out on that. i • i 

Now, that is directly contrary to your own opinion that it be a 
grant-in-aid program. 

Mr Wads^vorth. I disagree with the mayor on that because it it 
is solely a Federal program the responsibility of the individual care 
will be taken away completely from the local officers. 

Mr O'smers Do you believe that we would run into difticulties 
should we establish a straight Federal program. Federal adminis- 
tered and all. by having different relief standards by the federal 
Government than we would have by local government? 

Mr. Wadsworth. It would be chaos. 

Mr OsMERS. For example, if the State of New Y ork were operat- 
ing its relief on one standard, and the Federal Government should 
come along with an entirely separate program, do you feel that there 
would be a (^reat deal of confusion, dissatisfaction, and moving about 
that we woidd have some reliefers from New York moving over to 
New Jersey to get on the Federal program? : . • v- 

Mr Wadsworth. I would say the use of the term ''contusion is 
an understatement there. It would be impossible to administer, in 
my opinion. You would have to build up a tremendous bureaucracy 
to' take care of it, whereas vou are already discussing agencies who 
know their problems locallv, and they are the only ones, in my opin- 
ion, who are fit to take care of people in their own communities. 

Mr. OsMERS. Just in passing, I say that I agree with your con- 
tention there. . c xi ox i. £ -di i 

Now, the administrator of public assistance of the State ot Khoc e 
Island told us that he thought it was a wise thing and an advisable 
thing to take a man that was on relief in a depressed area, we will 
say, in Oklahoma, and have him moved to the State of California, or 
Illinois, or New York, or to one of the so-called more prosperous 
States, even if he was a reliefer when he left Oklahoma and became a 
reliefer when he arrived at his point of destination. 

Do you think that that is an advisable thing or a good thing? 

Mr. Wadsworth. I had never even thought of such a thing, frankly. 
I don't see what particular good would come of it. 

Mr. OsMERs. Well, trying to read something into his testimony, 
his thought was that a man from Oklahoma would be better off m 
the State of New York as to his eventual future. He would be near 
more opportunity, closer to greater sources of wealth, and so on. 
That was his viewpoint, even though he was a relief client the minute 
he got here. 


Mr. Wadsworth. I think that that would really result in exactly 
what the gentleman next to you was talking about : Completely de- 
nude the State of Oklahoma, and doing nothing at all to keep people 
in the type of life to which they are accustomed. I don't see how you 
are going to take a dirt farmer from Oklahoma and put him into 
Westchester County in a suburban area, just because later on perhaps 
his opportunity or even the opportunity for his children might be 
better, because that goes into direct competition with the local people 
who want jobs there, besides putting more load on New York State. 


Mr. OsMERS. Do you feel — and this is my last line of thought — do 
you feel that the fact* that relief in some areas has been more attrac- 
tive than low-grade employment has led to a great deal of migration 
on the part of the destitute citizens ? 

Mr. Wadsworth. I think your key words there are the words "great 
deal." I do not know that there is any survey that would give you 
figures on that subject. There is no question that it happens to a 
certain degree. There is no question that it happens, for instance, 
when we have transients or migrants who have a settlement in other 
States and they say, "For God's sake don't send us back there because 
even if we did get a job we would only get $4 or $5 a week, and on 
relief we can't get anything, and we are starving anyway," so that, 
to some extent, at least, migration stems from low-grade employment, 
and perhaps New York State relief is more attractive to them. 

Mr. OsMERS. Take my own State of New Jersey, which is wedged 
between Philadelphia and New York, those large cities; we don't have 
much problem at the end of our migrant work emergency-seasonal 
period, because our relief laws are rather stiff over there, and they are 
administered very carefully by local relief administrators, and they 
(migrants) move to New York or Philadelphia because their chances 
are better there of getting along on the relief systems than they are in 
New Jersey. 

Mr. Wadsworth. That is perfectly right. That is what happens. 

Mr. OsMERs. That is all. 

The Chairman. Mr. Wadsworth, I wonder if you would agree with 
me on something along this line : That there is no complete answer to 
this gigantic problem that is confronting us, that is, the migratory 
problem. There is no complete answer, but do you not agree with me 
that in cases of mass migration to the States of destination where it 
becomes such a burden that the State cannot handle it without Federal 
aid or Federal assistance, the Federal Government should participate, 
to a certain extent anyway ? 

Mr. Wadsworth. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. In other words, the Federal Government isn't any 
stronger than the 48 States ? 

Mr. Wadsworth. That is correct. 

The Chairman. And if New York went broke, and California went 
broke, and some other States went broke, that would not help the Fed- 
eral Government in taking care of migrant citizens ? 

Mr. Wadsworth. No, sir. 

The Chairman. In other words, you feel that it is a national problem, 
don't you ? 


Mr. Wadsworth. Completely. 

The Chairman. And just how far we should go, that is for the 
committee to recommend finally ? 

Mr. Wadsworth. That is right. 

The Chairman. I want to say to you, Mr. Wadsworth, we will re- 
port to your much-loved father and our colleague that you handled 
yourself very creditably, and we are all very fond of him, and we like 
him and we will report progress on your part. 

Mr. Wadsworth. Thank you very much. 

(Whereupon the witness was excused.) 


Mr. Osmers. Mr. Goodhue, will you come forward ? 

The next witness will be Mr. Frank W. Goodhue, director of the 
division of aid and relief, State Department of Public Welfare of 

Mr. Goodhue. Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, I 
would like to say that I am representing Mr. Arthur G. Eoche, com- 
missioner of public welfare of Massachusetts, this morning, because 
Mr. Roche was unfortunately unable to come himself. 

For the purpose of identifying myself, I think that I could say that 
I have been employed by the State department of public welfare since 
February 1, 1900, and as director of the division of aid and relief since 
1912. I was chairman of the committee on interstate problems of the 
American Public Welfare Association from September 1930 until 1936. 

In Massachusetts we do not meet any serious problems in connec- 
tion with migration, and especially in relation to seasonal occupa- 
tions. I shall, therefore, address this committee more particularly 
in relation to the question of the transients who come to Massa- 
chusetts and soon require public assistance. 

I do not know whether you make distinction between transients and 

Mr. Osmers. We have not so far, Mr. Goodhua 


Mr. Goodhue (reading). The first point I should like to make is that 
I believe there is every reason why the Federal Government should 
cooperate with the States in the migrant or transient problem, because 
of its being an interstate problem. I would even go so far as to expand 
my recommendation to include the cooperation of the Federal Gov- 
ernment, through an amendment to the social-security law, to include 
Federal grants to States in connection with general relief. Such 
action, together with necessary changes in the State laws would, in 
my opinion, tend to prevent, or cause to be unnecessary, the amount 
of migration which is now evident. 

IMigration must be very harmful to manj^ families because of the 
interruption of the education of the children, and it must also involve 
many health problems. 

Migration will continue to be a large problem in many sections 
of the country unless there is a provision in every State for the 


granting of some form of public assistance, regardless of the mi- 
grants' legal settlement status or the period of time in which they 
have been a resident of the State. 

During my service as chairman of the committee on interstate 
problems of the American Public Welfare Association, the work 
of the committee in relation to the transfer of dependent persons 
between States was successfully completed. 

The following resolution was ado])ted by the National Conference 
of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws : 

Resolved, hy the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State 
Laws, at its forty-llfth annual conference held in Los Angeles, Calif., on this 
13th day of July 1935, That the act knowu as the Uniform Transfer of De- 
pendents Act be, and the same is hereby, adopted and approved as a uniform 
act, and that the act is now recommended to the legislatures of the various 
States, the Territory of Alaska, the Territory of Hawaii, the District of Colum- 
bia, and the insular possessions of the United States, for enactment, and that 
it be reported to the American Bar Association for its approval. 

Tlie act was subsequently approved by the American Bar Associa- 
tion at its annual meeting held in Los Angeles, Calif., July 16-19, 
1935, and recommended to the States for adoption. The act follows: 

Uniform Transfer of Dia'ENDENTS Act 

AN ACT Concerning reciprocal agreements for the interstate transportation and the 
support of poor and indigent persons, and to make uniform the law with reference 

Be it enacted, etc. (Use the proper enacting clause for the State.) 

Section 1. (Reciprocal agreements. ) The (department of public welfare), sub- 
ject to the approval of the attorney general, is hereby authorized to enter into 
reciprocal agreements with corresponding State agencies of other States regarding 
the interstate transportation of poor and indigent persons, and to arrange with the 
proper officials in this State for the acceptance, transfer, and support of persons 
receiving public aid in other States in accordance with the terms of such reciprocal 
agreements ; provided that this State shall not nor shall any county or other political 
subdivision of this State be committed to the support of persons who are not in the 
opinion of said (department of public welfare) entitled to public support by the 
laws of this State. 

Sec. 2. (Uniformity of interpretation.) This Act shall be so interpreted and 
construed as to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the laws of those 
States which enact it. 

Sec. 3. (Short title.) This Act may be cited as the Uniform Transfer of 
Dependents Act. 

Sec. 4. (Time of taking effect.) This Act shall take effect * * *. 

The committee believed that there should be centralization of au- 
thority in State departments of public welfare regarding the transfer 
of public dependents between States and that there should be elimina- 
tion of settlement laws as a basis of transfer of public dependents be- 
tween States and the adoption of reciprocal agreements should be 
based on a period of residence and absence. 

We did not establish any definite period of time but it was suggested 
that, notwithstanding the fact that the majority of the settlement laws 
of the various States are 1 year or less, for the purpose of transfer be- 
tween States a period of 1 year was not a sufficient period of time, and 
we therefore recommended that a period of 3 years' residence in a 
State and an absence of less than 1 year would be a good basis for a 
reciprocal agreement. 

The American Public Welfare Association has established a form of 
reciprocal agreement which is broad enough in its scope to be adaptable 
to any State. 


This Uniform Transfer of Dependents Act received much considera- 
tion at the Interstate Conference on Transients and Settlement Laws, 
held in Trenton, N. J., March 6 and 7, 1936 ; at the meeting of the 
Council of State Governments' interstate commission on social security 
held in Atlantic City on June 26 and 27, 1936, and at the Midwestern 
Conference on Transiency and Settlement Laws held in St. Paul, 
Minn., on March 11 and 12, 1937. 

I assume that the Ajnerican Public "Welfare Association will be 
represented before this committee. The association has on file 
all of the annual reports of the committee on interstate problems to 
which I have referred, as well as the reports of the other conferences. 

I might say that I have copies here if the committee would wish 

I would also refer this committee to the annual reports of the 
National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws 
from 1929 to 1935, inclusive. 


There appears to be a division of opinion as to the advisabilit}' 
of the continuance or discontinuance of legal settlement laws, which 
is an important factor in the consideration of the migrant problem. 
Some recommend a continued effort to establish unifonn settle- 
ment laws throughout the United States, while others believe that 
a very advanced step would be made if settlement laws could be 

Mr. Parsons. Mr. Chairman, right at that point, which of those 
two suggestions do you agree with? Shoulcl we eliminate them 
entirely, or codify them informally? 

Mr. Goodhue. I personally believe in the elimination of settle- 
ment laws. I hope to see the day when that can be done. 

The question of the desirability of a uniform settlement law was 
referred to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform 
State Laws in 1929, and after the matter was given a committee 
consideration it was deemed inadvisable to attempt to prepare a 
draft of an act for a uniform State law on this subject. 

In all of my contacts, however, including attendance at confer- 
ences, I think I can fairly state that, whether or not there should 
be an effort to establish uniform settlement laws throughout the 
United States, or whether settlement laws should be eliminated, it 
has been generally agreed that the shortest method of establishing 
interstate relationships for the transfer of public dependents is the 
enactment of the Uniform Transfer of Dependents Act by each State 
and the establishment of reciprocal agreements. 

Personally, I believe in the administration by local, city, town, or 
county boards of public welfare of the three principal categories 
of public assistance; namely, general relief, old-age assistance, and 
aid to dependent children, with State supervision and a. fixed per- 
centage of reimbursement by the Commonwealth to include Federal 
grants, which in Massachusetts are allocated to cities and towns 
by the State department of public welfare. 

Under such a system, every individual or family could be pro- 
vided for by the city or town in which he falls into distress, which 
would make unnecessary the continuance of legal settlement law^s. 


In a consideration of this suggestion, questions have arisen re- 
garding migration between cities and towns within the borders of 
the State. The remedy for such a situation would, in my opinion, 
be the retention of legal settlement laws for the purpose of prevent- 
ing unfair migration only within the borders of each State, and the 
elimination of the settlement laws as a factor in the financial rela- 
tionships of the cities and towns and the Commonwealth. 

Under such a system, it would seem to me that eventually cate- 
gorical relief could be elimi|nated because of thei possibility of 
greater uniformity of administration through State supervision, and 
also, I should have added, through Federal contacts. 

Existing laws in a few States create very difficult conditions for 
the migrant. For example, it is my understanding that any person 
who returns to the State of Pennsylvania will be unable to secure 
public assistance until such time as he has completed a residence 
of 2 years prior to his application for such assistance, and in Illinois 
there is a 3-year requirement. 

I was very glad to hear Mr. Wadsworth's statement that that 
had been modified in Pennsylvania a bit because it is a very serious 
situation in relation to entering into any agreement with the State 
of Pennsylvania, regarding equitable transfer between States. 

During the year December 1, 1938, to November 30, 1939, the State 
Departnient of Public Welfare of Massachusetts received requests 
to accept 1,166 cases, including individuals and families from other 
States, and requested other States to accept 187 cases. That is 
largely because we have a 5-year settlement law, and most of the 
other States have a 1-year law. I am opposed to the 5-year pro- 

During this period, acceptance of 524 cases from other States was 
approved, and we received acceptance from other States in 120 cases. 

Massachusetts has enacted an act relative to the interstate trans- 
portation of poor and indigent persons (chap. 167 of the Acts of 
1934). It has not as yet negotiated reciprocal agreements with 
other States, but expects to take such action within the very near 

Mr. OsMERS. Thank you very much, Mi\ Goodhue. That is a 
very good statement. 


There are several questions that have arisen in my mind. Did you 
state that you believe that the social-security law should be amended 
to include Federal grants to States in connection with general relief? 

Now, I presume that that is the so-called home relief that we have 

Mr. Goodhue. Home relief or direct relief. 

Mr. OsMERS. That is paid for entirely by State and local gov- 
ernments throughout the United States ; is that the form of it ? 

Mr. Goodhue. In Massachusetts, in our general relief, the burden 
is borne by the cities and towns caring wholly for their settled 
cases, and the State reimburses them in full for their unsettled cases. 

Mr. OsMERS. For their unsettled cases? 

Mr. Goodhue. Yes. 


Mr. OsMERS. But just to make that one point clear, the State of 
Massachusetts does not participate in the relief of the settled person 
in Springfield, Mass.; the city of Springfield would take care of 

Mr. Goodhue. If they have a settlement in any to^Yn or city, that 

is correct. 

Mr. OsMERS. Now, should I imply, or should the committee imply, 
from your statement, that you feel that Federal relief through 
W. P. A. projects at the present time is inadequate, or should be 
abandoned, or should that run right along with assistance under 
the social-security law? 

Mr. Goodhue. Well, of course, I am rather in favor of the system 
under the E. E. A. more than I am under the present W. P. A. I be- 
lieve it is much better to have the local projects supervised by the 
cities and towns than the present system. We thought the E. R. A. 
was better than the W. P. A. 

Mr. OsMERS. In other words, may I say this, that in your opinion 
you felt that the Federal Government's entrance into the relief problem 
should be of a purely financial nature, should not go into the super- 
vision of projects, and the approval of projects ? 

Mr. Goodhue. We have no objection, if they (the Federal Govern- 
ment) enter into the general-relief situation, to their making the same 
effort to help improve the standards which we feel have been greatly 
improved through our contacts with them in the old-age assistance 
and aid to dependent children. We believe that if. eventually, they 
would come into a general relief program, we will be able to establish 
better standards than we would be able to under our own motion, with- 
out the assistance of the Federal Government, and especially if there 
are grants-in-aid. 

Mr. OsMERS. I presume that, if the Federal Government should enter 
into the general-relief situation, it would set certain standards which 
the States would have to observe in order to become eligible to receive 
that money, but other than that there would be a purely financial en- 
trance into the situation under your recommendations of using county 
and city and local administration ? 

Mr. Goodhue. Exactly the same relationship as they now have under 
the act for providing aid to dependent children. 

Mr. Osmers. And not under the W. P. A. ? 

Mr. Goodhue. I think that we favor — I think in the department we 
favor the old E. R. A. system more than we would the W. P. A. system. 

Mr. Osmers. Do you feel that there has been dissatisfaction, created 
by the different standards of relief granted by the W. P. A., as com- 
pared to those granted by the locality ? 

Mr. Goodhue. Well, the W. P. A. standard is not quite as high as the 
State standard. 

Mr. Osmers. In your State? 

Mr. Goodhue. In our State, and as a State department. Many of 
the local boards have standards lower than the W. P. A., so that it is 
quite a varied problem. 

Mr. Osmers. I know that it is, and I believe in instances where local 
relief is less than W. P. A. there has been considerable friction? 

Mr. Goodhue. I remember that I had quite a tussle with one of the 
large cities near Boston, and asked them if they would finally agree to 


adopt even the W. P. A. standard, which was higher than theirs, but 
was not quite as high as ours, and they finally said tliat they wouldi 
agree. I felt that that was one step in advance. 


Mr. OsMERs. Mr. Goodhue, how many States in the Union have 
adopted the recommended Uniform Transfer of Dependents Act? 

Mr. GoODHTJE. I will have to refer you to the American Public 
Welfare Association, because 1 have not been on their Committee on 
Interstate Problems since 1936, and I think there has been quite a 
number come in since them. I notice, and I have with me the last 
news letter of the association in which they said that New Jersey 
and Virginia, and I think possibly Louisiana and one other State, 
liad come in recently. 

We in New England — Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, and 
Massachusetts — adopted that law, which enabled us to make recipro- 
cal agreements, and we are getting to a point where, through a session 
that was held by the American Public AVelfare Association last 
winter, I think it was, we are endeavoring now to get together to 
form those agreements if we can. 

I think that you will find that there is quite a constantly increasing 
movement in relation to those reciprocal agreements. I worked for 
5 years on one point, and I said that a big program never would 
get over, but I would try to get that reciprocal agreement of Transfer 
of Dependents Act, and I accomplished it by getting both the Na- 
tional Connnissioners on Uniform State Laws and the American Bar 
Association to approve it. and then I resigned. 

Mr. OsMERS. On page 5 of your statement, Mr. Goodhue, in the 
third paragraph, you said : 

Under svich a system it would seem to me that eventually categorical relief 
could be eliminated because of greater uniformity of administration through 
State supervision. 

Would you amplify that a little bit, particularly the "categorical 
relief" part? 

Mr. Goodhue. I woidd like to explain what I mean by that. 
Massachusetts — perliaps that i? all that I am qualified to speak 
about. I think that I have been so long in the Department that I 
had a feeling that general relief is sort of a neglected child, and 
it would have been my belief, perhaps, in the beginning, away back 
when they first enacted what we called then a mother's-aid law, which 
is now on aid-to-dependent-children law, that it would be wise to 
take our whole relief program and try to improve it as a whole. 
But after all of these years I would have to admit that I doubt very 
much if we would have improved the standards of the aid to depend- 
ent children and old age assistance laws to the present high standard 
by giving consideration to the whole relief problem, whereas we have 
raised to a very high standard both of those categories by individualiz- 
ing and creating separate bureaus of old-age assistance in each city and 
town in Massachusetts. 

Of course, the aid-to-dependent -children law is still administered by 
the local boards of public welfare, and we have improved the stand- 
ards to the extent that I think that we in Massachusetts stand second 
or third in old-age-assistance grants. And I think that we are 


ranked pretty well in aid to dependent children. I think that that is 
because we have individualized and specialized on the problem, and 
I find myself meeting myself against my original feeling that we 
should have attacked the whole problem, but I feel that we have 
left this poor general relief problem in the lurch, and that it very 
much needs the movement to strengthen the standardization basis. 

Mr. OsMERS. In other words, you would snj that you would favor 
eliminating categorical general relief and not necessarily including 
aid to dependent children ? 

Mr, Goodhue. I would not recommend it at this time. I would 
recommend that the Federal Government come into general relief, 
and then I think, probably as a result of our experience after a few 
years, that will resolve itself, perhaps, into that, if we raise the 
standards of general relief so that we are satisfied in all of the cate- 

Mr. OsMEES. I think that that is all. Are there any other questions ? 

Mr. Curtis. In the last paragraph of page 5, you point out that 
during 1 year your State was called upon to take care of 1,166 individ- 
uals, families from other States, and had requested other States to 
accept 187 cases. 

Now, that would indicate that the movement in your State had 
been outward rather than inward, would it not? 

Mr. Goodhue. Because of the tremendous difference in settlement 
laws, because we have a 5-year provision, like most of the New Eng- 
land States, and because the other States have less of a provision, 
that is the reason why there is that difference. 

Mr. Curtis. Now, would the abolition or the elimination of settle- 
ment laws in all States work to the advantage of the State where the 
movement was outward, and to the disadvantage of the State where 
the movement was inward ? 


Mr. Goodhue. Under the reciprocal-agreement basis, you make a 
basis which is uniform between the two negotiating States, so that 
there must be a period of residence and absence which you have 
agreed upon as equal for the States, regardless of settlement laws. 
We can do that now under this special provision of the legislature 
by which we can make these reciprocal agreements regardlessi of set- 
tlement laws, so that whether we eliminate settlement laws or not, 
the reci])rocal agreement can be the basis of transfer between the two 
States, if we decided that we will agree upon the period of residence 
in w^iich that person is entitled to come back, and if he has not been 
absent also for a certain period of time. It is very simple, A-B-C 
proposition. I wonder that I never thought of it before. 

Mr. Curtis. We are iroing to run into this problem. I came from 
a State, part of wdiich has been referred to as the Dust Bowl area. 
We have lost a lot of people in the last 10 years. Some of our coun- 
ties have had as high as a 20-percent loss. 

Many of those people have gone to the State of the chairman of 
this committee, Mr. Tolan, of California. There would be no object 
in a simple agreement between Nebraska and California — because 
California people have never come to Nebraska — eliminating settle- 
ment laws, and establishing the lines of reciprocal agreements. What 


I am wondering is, if that would be to the advantage of States where 
the movement is outward and to the disadvantage of States where 
the movement is inward? 

Mr. Goodhue. My answer to that is that I think that there is only 
a negligible number of States where you are facing a severe problem 
on this migration, which would be California, and Florida, and some 
of the midwestern States. And it would seem to me that in the ma- 
jority of States that problem does not arise ordinarily, I suppose 
that we legislate for the majority, and take care of the individual 
situation on a separate basis, but in general I would feel that the 
majority of the problem could be cared for by a proper reciprocal 
agreement, even though those resettlement laws may not be elim- 
inated. It would seem to me that the various States would not lose 
so many of these migrants if they have reasonable relief laws, because 
there is no reason why they should interrupt their family life and go 
to other States. 

True, it would increase the relief problem in some of those States, 
but if the Federal Government — because it is a problem which I 
think, from my own point of view, is one for the Federal Govern- 
ment — there is more reason why they should come into this problem 
than any other, and then it seems to me that they ought to share a 
considerable portion of that burden. 

I would like to file with the committee, if I may, a report of the 
division of statistics of our State department of labor and industry, 
which I think you might find interesting in relation to seasonal em- 
ployment, which affects us in Massachusetts, from the migrant point 
of view. The 1939 report of the division of statistics of the Depart- 
ment of Labor and Industries of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts 
is now in the hands of the printer and will be available later, 

(Report of the division of statistics of the Department of Labor 
and Industries of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for year end- 
ing November 30, 1938, received in evidence, was filed with the com- 
mittee and not printed.) 

Mr. Goodhue. I would like also to file a tabulation that we have 
made of general relief in Massachusetts for each of those three prin- 
cipal categories for the year 1939. 

Mr. OsMERS. The committee will be very happy to have these docu- 
ments on file, and also your 1939 labor and industries report. 

Mr. Goodhue. They may want to refer to Mr. Phelps, who is in 
charge of statistics, for our latest bulletin, which he issued, which 
will give you a lot of information about our W. P. A. 

(Two volumes of aid and relief statistics, Massachusetts Depart- 
ment of Public Welfare, were received in evidence. The documents 
were filed with the committee and not printed.) 

Mr. OsMERS. That will be included. Are there any other ques- 

Mr. Parsons. What is the amount that you give in direct relief, 
say to a family of six? 

Mr. Goodhue. Well, of course, the administration is local by cities 
and towns, and, of course, it does vary. We would, in the State, in 
making up our recommendation of what we think ought to be given 
in an unsettled case, which the local board still has a right to ignore 
or approve, base it on a budget, and figure it according to the ages 
of the children, and so forth, and, according to the Community Health 
Association budget which is established in Boston, every 6 months. 



Mr. Parsons. About what would be the average in the State of 
Massachusetts, that is, approximately? 

Mr. Goodhue. Our average in aid to dependent children cases is 
pretty nearly $60 a month. We have over 10,000 cases. 

Mr. Paesons. $10 per person per month. 

Mr. Goodhue. And the average family would be about a mother 
with three dependent children under 18 years. 

Mr. Parsons. So that is a higher standard 

Mr. Goodhue. It is a higher standard than most States. 

Mr. Parsons. Is that given as direct relief to them m cash? 

Mr. Goodhue. It has to be in cash because of the Federal program, 
and we had to legislate that because of the Federal Social Security Act. 

Mr. Parsons. Do you pay it every week or every 2 weeks? 

Mr. Goodhue. Let me say this, that one reason why it is higher 
is because, in figurins: the budget, while we do not exclude food or 
any of the things in which the whole family participates, we do not 
include the other members of the family. We include all of the 
children up to 21 years of age, and in fact over 21 so far as the food 
is concerned, and we only separate it and give them general relief 
when they are members who are beyond 18 years of age and have to 
have medical care or some personal needs in which the family does 
not participate. 

Mr. Parsons. Well, here is a family, now^— you say your average 
is $60 per month, and the family of six. Supposing that someone in 
that family has earned $30 during that month ? 

Mr. Goodhue. Sixty percent of that would be taken out and 40 
percent would be left in general for their personal needs, clothing, 
and so forth. 

Mr. Parsons. Then in that case, they would have earned $30 dur- 
ing that month and you would only take off 60 percent of that, and 
leave 40 percent, and it would supplement their budget by that much 

Mr. Goodhue. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. Do you have any difficulty with the cases — ^have you 
gone iback to examine the individual cases, to see whether or not the 
higher rate of direct relief tends to keep them froin applying for 
po*sitions, or accepting low-paid wages, or do you insist on them tak- 
ing whatever emplovment is offered to them or you eliminate the 


Mr. Goodhue. We attempt to, of course, require the local boards 
to give them every possible assistance in getting employment, and 

so forth. . T • 1 1 1 

Mr. Parsons. Well, now, supposing that an individual does not 

accept that employment? 

Mr. Goodhue. Then the man of the family, if he is m that frame 
of mind, we would recommend that he be taken into court for non- 
support. . 

Mr. Parsons. Have you had any of those cases taken into court ? 

Mr. Goodhue. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. Any appreciable number? 

Mr. Goodhue. It" has not been an appreciable number, but such 
cases have been taken in, and generally have resulted in conviction by 
the court. 


Mr. Parsons. Has your State considered a State program of pub- 
lic works or employment of any kind whereby you would put to work 
on some projects those of the family receiving direct aid who were 
able to work ? 

Mr, Goodhue. A great deal of work has been done by the cities 
and towns through programs and through cooperation with other 
town departments, because we have a provision of law in Massachu- 
setts whereby, for our general relief, a person is required to give 
service for the aid rendered, if so requested. 

Mr. Parsons. Do you not think it is better, in the cases of those 
who are on direct relief, that if there is a worker in the family, he 
should be required to work out the relief money rather than be given 
direct aid. 

Mr. Goodhue. Well, it practically amounts to that. The law says 
that he may be required to give service for the aid received, and he 
is assigned to another town department or city department to do 
certain work, and he has to report as to his service, and so forth. 

Mr. Parsons. But you don't work all of them ? 

Mr. Goodhue. It all depends on the condition. We expect them 
to work, those that are reasonably able to. In some places they have 
not the type of work which we think would be suitable for the indi- 
vidual, perhaps, but in general it is expected that we will receive a 
reasonable amount of work. 

Mr. Parsons. How long has the State of Massachusetts been giv- 
ing direct aid ? 

Mr. Goodhue. We go back. I guess, probably 2 or 3 hundred years 
on that. 

Mr. Parsons. Well, with State contribution? 

Mr. Goodhue. No; the State came into it in the Colonial times. 
Because of the burden becoming so great that the villages could not 
stand it, the provincial government had to come in and make a pro- 
vincial appropriation, and we have developed that to the point where 
now we are reimbursing the cities and towns. They were expending, 
in 1929, about $22,000,000 for general relief, and we reimbursed them, 
I would say, probably $5,000,000 of that $22,000,000. 


Now we are recommending the elimination of settlement laws, that 
is, it is a matter that is going to receive consideration, and by the 
elimination of settlement laws make a flat provision for reimburse- 
ment of 75 percent by the Commonwealth. And we hope that that 
will have some favorable consideration eventually with respect to all 
categories of relief. 

Mr. Parsons. Have you found that your direct relief operation has 
in any way weakened the morale of your people who have been on 
relief — of the younger generation growing ud? 

Mr. Goodhue. I would not say that, no, sir. I will say this, that 
as compared with 1938, in 1939 the cities and towns spent $2,000,000 
less for general relief than they did in 1938. 

Mr. Parsons, That is all. 

Mr. OsMERS. Any other questions? 

I would just like to ask you one question in connection with your 
earlier statement. 

260.370 — 40— pt. 1—- ^" 


Yoli are, of course, aware of these large numbers of people that 
have left the Dust Bowl aud gone to either Florida or California. 
If the Federal Government should decide upon a program to aid 
the States in caring for this problem, would you advise that these 
people be returned to the States of their origin or be allowed to 
remain in the States to which they have gone? 

Mr. Goodhue. Personally, I believe it is a case where the decision 
ought to be on the individual basis. I don't believe that we should 
decide that on the mass action. I think that that ought to be dealt 
with according to the individual case. 

Mr. OsMERS. Each migrant? 

Mr. Goodhue. Yes; because I believe that they may go there 
because they have a relative that they want to be near, or a woman 
may become a widow, and she may move there because she has rela- 
tives there, and there are many problems which I believe should be 
taken into consideration. 

Mr. OsMERS. Are there any further questions on the part of the 
Committee ? 

If not, we thank you very much for your contribution, Mr. 

(Whereupon the witness was excused.) 


Mr. OsMERs. Mr. Kennedy is our next witness. 

^Ir. Kennedy, where were you born? 

Mr. Kennedy. Kansas City. 

Mr. OsMERS. When? 

Mr. Kennedy. 1914. 

Mr. OsMERS. Where have you spent most of your life? 

Mr. Kennedy. Chicago. 

Mr. OsMERS. Are you married? 

Mr. Kennedy. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. Do you have any children? 

Mr. Kennedy. No; but I expect one next month some time. 

Mr. OsMERs. What education have you had? 

Mr. Kennedy. Koughly, 3 years college. 

i\Ir. OsMERS. When did you complete your school education ? Will 
you please speak a little louder? When did you complete your 
educational training? 

Mr. Kennedy. My last year in school was 1937. 

Mr. OsMERS. Now tell me what education has Mrs. Kennedy had? 

Mr. Kennedy. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, 
School of Speech and Drama. 

Mr. OsMERS. When did you come to New York? 

Mr. Kennedy. In February of 1939. 

Mr. Osmers. Under what circumstances did you and your wife 
come to New York? 

Mr. Kennedy. Well, she came with a Federal-theater project, the 
Swing Mikado, and I came prior to her about a week or so, to work 
for a magazine in New York. 

Mr. OsMERS. To work for what? 


Mr. Kennedy. To work for a magazine in New York. It is sup- 
posed to be published. 

Mr. OsMERS. What is the name? 

Mr. Kennedy. The Tattler is the name, a revival of an old maga- 
zine published in New York several years ago. 

Mr. OsMERS. But it never was published the second time? 

Mr. Kennedy. No; not by the persons who were supposed to pub- 
lish it. The man with the money seemed to have absconded with his 
own funds and so the project fell through. 

Mr. OsMERS. What happened to this Federal-theater project? 

Mr. Kennedy. Well, the facts in the case are very simple. The 
Federal-theater project, that particular project, the Swing Mikado, 
was sold to private industry — the Marland Corporation — some time 
in April of 1939, and it ran for approximately a month thereafter. 

Mr. Osmers. As a private enterprise? 

Mr. Kennedy. Yes; and then it folded up. 

Mr. Osmers. And when you say it folded up, may I ask, had Mrs. 
Kennedy gone with the cast as a member or employee of this private 
enterj)rise or had she remained a Federal employee? 

Mr. Kennedy. There was no choice in that case. It was a com- 
pulsory thing. The policy there seemed to have been that you either 
accepted private employment if you were on W. P. A., or you were 
no longer connected with the Federal project. 

Mr. Osmers. May I ask this question : If you were given the option 
of ceasing your connection with W. P. A. or becoming a member of 
this privately paid cast, and w^ere also provided with transportation 
back to Chicago if you wished it, what would you have chosen to do ? 

Mr. Kennedy. There was no choice. 

Mr. Kennedy. There were no examples like that. 

Mr. Osmers. They all went right along with the private enterprise ? 

Mr. Kennedy. There was no choice. 

Mr. Osmers. Well, at the conclusion of the private Swing Mikado, 
what did you do? 

Mr. Kennedy. What did she do? 

Mr. Osmers. What did she do, or both of you do? 

Mr. Kennedy. Well, before that I was, of course, waiting for this 
magazine to be published, and in the meantime I was doing spot 
news for various national Negro newspapers, selling a couple of 
pictures to national magazines, and doing some commercial photog- 
raphy in New^ York. 

After the Swing Mikado closed up, I continued to do that and 
wait for a break. 

She began posing as an artists' model — several of the artists were 
schoolmates of hers, and she was provided with other employment 
through those connections, and I was taking pictures of "stills," as 
we call them, of various art studies and so forth. 

Mr. Osmers. How long did that employment continue, this tempo- 
rary employment of both your wife and yourself? 

Mr. Kennedy. Well, that was a stop-gap. It is still continuing. 
There was no end to it, you see. 

Mr. Osmers. Were you ever unemployed in Chicago ? 

Mr. Kennedy. Not exactly, no; I mean nothing that was acute, 
you see. 



Mr. OsMERS. How did j'-ou support yourself in Chicago? 

Mr. Kennedy. Well, in Chicago I have a brother. My brother is 
an enoineer, and we used to work together in radio work and that 
sort of thing. I had been at school, prior to 1937, most all of my life, 
so that there was no question of unemployment there. 

Mr. OsMERs. Have you ever voted in Chicago ? 

Mr. Kennedy. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. You have ? 

Mr. Kennedy. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. Have you ever voted in New York City ? 

Mr. Kennedy. Not yet. 

Mr. OsMERS. Now, your trade is that of commercial photography. 
You would call yourself a commercial photographer ? 

Mr. Kennedy. I suppose so. 

Mr. OsMERS. Have you had special training along those lines or did 
you develop that talent yourself ? 

Mr. Kennedy. Partly both. 

Mr. OsMERS. You have had some training along those lines ? 

Mr. Kennedy. Yes. 

Mr. Osmers. Were you able to find any employment in that line 
in New^ York, that is, working for others for pay ? 

Mr. Kennedy. No. 

Mr. Osmers. You were not ? 

Mr. Kennedy. No. 

Mr. Osmers. Did you do any other type of work while you were 

Mr. Kennedy. Yes; about this time last year I got certain jobs, the 
majority of them in pressing clothes, through several agencies. 

Mr. Osmers. What experience did you have with those employment 

Mr. Kennedy. I imagine it is typical experience. I have no proof 
of course, and I am not making am^ statements that should go on 
record, but in this particular instance it seems to me there was some 
sort of collusion between the employers and the agencies. 

Mr. Osmers. What is that ? 

Mr. Kennedy. Some sort of collusion between employers and the 
agencies which were located on Sixth Avenue ; it runs like this : 

They give you a job, you see, and usually take anywhere from 6 
to 10 "percent of your first week's pay, and you go on the job, and 
it may be at Brooklyn or Queens or some place like that. 

Mr. Osmers. Do they take that after you go on the job? 

]Mr. Kennedy. They take that before you go on the job. and my 
experience at least has been corroborated by several others using these 
agencies — you go on these jobs and you find a lot of work piled up 
and you finish the work up possibly in 5 or 6 days, and then you find 
that you are no longer employed, so you go back to the agency to demand 
your money, as the law requires, and you find 

]Mr. Os^niers. How many weeks of emploj^ment are they supposed to 
guarantee ? 

Mr. Kennedy. They don't guarantee any weeks of employment at 

Mr. Osmers. They don't? You said you went to the employment 
agency to get your money as required by the law. 


31r. Kexxedt. The law demands that they must return a certain 
percentage of your money, if you are fired within a given time. 

Xow, they get around that by saying that you might get your money 
if you are discharged through no fauh of your own. Well, they get 
around that by saying that you were fired because you were too slow 
or some — in one extreme instance, I was discharged because I was 
supposed to press 100 suits a day on a steam press, and I pressed, I 
think it was, 95 or 94 or something like that. It has been about a year 
ago, and I was fired for that reason. 

Mr. OsMER. Fired for that reason ? 

Mr. Kennedy. Yes. 

Mr OsMERS. When did you have your first contact with the relief 
authorities of Xew York? 

Mr. Kennedy. That was the nonsettlement relief ; it was around the 
latter part of August, or the first part of September of last year. 

Mr. OsMERS. How nmch relief did you receive ? 

Mr. Kennedy. Koughly $20, it varied from $21 to $24 semi-monthly. 

]\Ir. OsMERS. And you augmented that with some private earnings, 
spot earnings here and there I 

Mr. Kennedy. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. Well, were you able to exist or maintain an independent 
home on those allowances I 

Mr. Kennedy. Well, to do work in my field, I must have a place of 
my own. It nuist have running water, and that sort of thing, and 
usually it is a nuisance to be in someone else's home, so we did have a 
small place of our own, yes. 

Mr. Osmers. Has it ever been suggested to you by this nonsettlement 
relief agency that you return to Chicago ? 

Mr. Kennedy. Yes ; that was the condition under which we got the 

Mr. Osmers. And what became of that? I mean, what happened 
to that? 

Mr. Kennedy, I am not quite sure of the facts in the case, but 
there seems to be some law in Illinois, or rather in Chicago, that you 
must have so many years previous residence that they can check. 
Now, apparently I was in school during some of those years, and it 
made a gap in the record, and I left, they say, with no intention of 
returning, which was true, but I do not know how they got that 
information. So that blocked the desire to have me return to Chicago. 

Mr. Osmers. From your personal standpoint, did you have any 
desire to return to Chicago ? 

Mr. Kennedy. No; there were several problems involved there. I 
mean — I had about — at that time I had about $600 worth of photo- 
graphing equipment, some of it quite bulky and heavy, and to trans- 
fer it back to Chicago would create a problem on accoimt of break- 
ing. I had pulled up stakes in Chicago, and it was a matter of just 
surviving in New York or not at all. 

Mr. Osmers. And I suppose the fact that you were receiving some 
measure of steady relief in New York had some effect upon your 
desire to stay here too ? 

Mr. Kennedy. Well, naturally. I mean it was not a matter of 
that, so much: it was mostly a^natter of getting the stuff back to 
Chicago, and then reestablishing myself there, and there was not 
that much difference in the two places as far as I was concerned. 


Mr. OsMERS. Have you been doing much photographic business 
since you have been on relief? 

Mr. Kennedy. Oh, yes; some. 

Mr. OsMERs. You have been doing some? 

]\Ir. Kennedy. Yes. 

Mr. Osmers. Do you have a shop in New York ? 

Mr. Kennedy. Yes; I do. 

Mr. Osmers. What rental do you have to pay for that shop? 

Mr. ICennedy. $40 a month, including the bill for electricity. 

Mr. Osmers. $40 a month ? 

Mr. Kennedy. Yes. 

Mr. Osmers. Do you think that you will eventually be able to 
become self-supporting, and support your family, without relief? 

Mr. Kennedy. That is also conditioned, the thing itself is going 
to terminate this month. 

Mr. Osmers. What do you mean by "terminate?" 

jVIr. Kennedy. The nonsettlement is going to terminate next month. 

Mr. Osmers. Now. if nonsettlement relief terminates, and your 
photographic business does not improve to a point where it can 
entirely support you. what do you intend to do? 

Mr. Kennedy. Probably press clothes. 

Mr. Osmers. You will go back to that business ? 

Mr. Kennedy. Yes. 

Mr. Osmers. Are there always ample opportunities for pressing- 

Mr. Kennedy. No: I was being a little facetious there. I do not 
expe<*t it to fall through. There are indications that it will survive. 

Mr. Osmp:rs. How much did you receive as a clothes presser when 
you went out from these agencies? How much ]>ay per week? 

Mr. Kennedy. Well that pay, of course, is piece work. There is no 
guaranty. They will tell you that you can probably make $15 or $18 
or $20 a week. 

Mr. Osmers., What woidd you say that that would amount to as 
an hourly wage? 

Mr. Kennedy. It is h.ard to say. If you get 8 cents a garment, 
I mean a coat, vest, and pants, which are considered separate items, 
and some shops give you K' cents per >uit. if you can press 10 suits 
an hour, it is $1. 

Mr. Osmers. $1 for an hour's work? 

]Mr. Kennedy. If the suits come in and sometimes, of course, most 
of the time you are sitting around doing nothing, waiting for those 
suits to come in. 

Mr. OsiviERS. And of course you earn nothing while you are 

Mr. Kennedy. That is right. 

Mr. Osmers. I believe that you said before that vou got out of 
college in 1935? 

Mr. Kennedy. In 1937. I quit. I got out. 

Mr. Osmers. You quit college in 1937? 

Mr. Kennedy. Yes. 

Mr. Osmers. Since 1937, how much time have you spent on public 
relief of one foim or another, would you say? 

Mr. Kennedy. About a year and a half, I imagine. 

Mr. Osmers. About a year and a half of the 3 years; about half 
of the time you spent on relief ? 


Mr. Kennedy. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERs. Are there any other questions from the connnittee? 

Mr. Parsons. You stated that in one instance where you received 
employment through this employment agency, you pressed 94 suits 
in a day ? 

Mr. OsMERs. Yes ; uniforms, more or less. 

Mr. Parsons. How many pieces — well, let us put the c^uestion this 
way : What did you receive per suit, or uniform ? 

Mr. Kennedy. In that particular instance I believe that they were 
about evenly divided between two-piece uniforms, bellhops' and that 
sort of thing, you see, and a few dresses, and a few suits, roughly about 8 
cents a complete uniform. 

Mr. Parsons. So that if you received 8 cents that was at the rate of 
about $7.50 a day ? 

Mr. Kennedy. For that day; yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. But those kind of days did not come along very often ? 

Mr. Kennedy. That was the only day that I had there. You see 
those outfits will pile up. 

Mr. Parsons. If you could not press 100 they would let you out ? 

Mr. Kennedy. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. That is all. 

Mr. OsMERS. Any other questions? If not, thank you very much, 
Mr. Kennedy, for your contribution. 

(Wliereupon the witness was excused.) 

Mr. OsMERS. Is Mr. Travis here ? 


Mr. OsMERS. Mr. Travis, what is your full name ? 

Mr. Travis. Kobert Phelan Travis. 

Mr. OsMERs. Would you care to question Mr. Travis, Mr. Parsons ? 

Mr. Parsons. Where were you born, Mr. Travis ? 

Mr. Travis. Alabama. 

Mr. Parsons. When ? 

Mr. Travis. November 30, 1895. 

Mr. Parsons. You are an American citizen? 

Mr. Travis. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. Your parents were born in this country ? 

Mr. Travis. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. "What has been your occupation ? 

Mr. Travis. Well, since 1916 it was mostly selling work up to 1930. 
Road salesman. 

Mr. Parsons. What did you do before 1916 ? 

Mr. Travis. Well, I was in school down in Birmingham. I lived 
down in Birmingham, Ala. 

Mr. Parsons. When did you come to New York City, or to Con- 
necticut ? 

Mr. Travis. In 1917. 

Mr. Parsons. That is, just the beginning of the war ? 

Mr. Travis. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. Were you in the service ? 

Mr. Travis. No ; I was with the New Haven Railroad Co. during that 

Mr. Parsons. What was the occupation of your people, your father ? 

Mr. Travis. My father was a lumberman. 


Mr. Parsons. In Alabama ? 

Mr. Travis. Yes ; but he was born in Texas, and he came to Ala- 
bama in the lumber business, and he was in business for a while for 
himself there, and he scaled logs for different concerns down there. 

Mr. Parsons. What business was his father in ? 

Mr. Travis. His father was a lumberman. 

Mr. Parsons. In Texas ? 

Mr. Travis. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. What time did they settle in Texas ? 

Mr. Travis. Well, I don't know exactly, but my father's people — 
he died when I was 9 years old — and we only met those people once 
before he died. 

Mv. Parsons. Your mother's people came from Texas, too? 

Mr. Travis. They are from Alabama. They settled in Alabama. 
That is, my great-grandfather, in 1820, 1 believe; but my grandfather 
was in the Civil War. 

Mr. Parsons. Are you a college graduate ? 

Mr. Travis. No ; high school. 

Mr. Parsons. Just a high-school graduate ? 

Mr. Travis. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. You say that you were employed with the railroad 
company in 1917. How long were you with the railroad company? 

]VIr. Travis. Well, it was from the "latter part of 1917 until after the 
armistice in 1918. 

Mr. Parsons. What were your wages while working with the rail- 
road company ? 

Mr. Travis. Well, we had quite a bit of overtime there. It amounted, 
I guess, to about $40, or $45, or $50 a week. 

Mr. Parsons. Then what did you do following that ? 

Mr. Travis. I went back with the Liggett & Myers Tobacco Co. as 
a salesman. I was with them before that, and then I went with the 
New Haven Eailroad Co. during the war, and I think it was Decem- 
ber or January of 1919 I went back with the Liggett & Myers Tobacco 

Mr. Parsons. What was your salary with them ? 

Mr. Tra%t:s. We worked on a bonus arrangement, and salary, and I 
think I was drawing about $30 or $35 a week. 

Mr. Parsons. How long did you work for the tobacco company? 

Mr. Travis. I only stayed with them about a year and a half and 
then I went with the Hershey Chocolate Co. as a road salesman for 
more money. 

Mr. Parsons. What did you make when you were working for the 
chocolate people ? 

Mr. Travis. I think about $50 a week, bonus, and my traveling ex- 

Mr. Parsons. How long did you work for the chocolate people ? 

Mr. Travis. Well, I think that I was with the Hershey people for 
about 2 years, and then I went wdth the Thomas J. Lipton. I was a 
district sales manager for those people. 

Mr. Parson :. The Lipton tea company ? 

Mr. Travis. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. And what was your salary while you were working 
with them ? 


Mr. Travis. AVell. we worked on a bonus and commission, and salary 
arrangement, and expenses, and I think I averaged about — I netted 
about $5,000 a year. 

Mr, Parsons. What kind of a bonus arrangement did you have ? 

Mr. Travis. Well, we got a commission on our sales through the 
jobber, had a bonus arrangement on all merchandise sold to the jobbers, 
and we had a commission allowance, a car allowance, and expenses. 

Mr. Parsons. How many years were you with the tea company? 

Mr. Travis. I was with Lipton. I thinkj 3 or 4 years, and then I still 
continued in the tea business for 5 vears. I was district manager up 
until 1929 for the Tao Tea Co. 

Mr. Parsons. How come you quit the Lipton company ? 

Mr. Travis, Well. I had a better proposition with the Tao Tea Co. 

Mr. Parsons. What did you make when you worked for them ? 

Mr. Travis. Well, I stayed with them 5 years. The salesman that 
stayed with them 5 years received $5,000 worth of stock. I was dis- 
trict manager, and 1 had men under me, and I don't know what my 
complete earnings were, because it was all split up. I had several 
States under my supervision, and I would get an "over-riding" on 
the men. 

Mr. Parsons. Approximately what were your entire earnings dur- 
that 5-year period ? 

Mr. Travis. Well, with everything considered. I averaged at least 
$5,000 a year, and then at the end of 5 years we had the $5,000 in 

Mr. Parsons. You still hold that stock ? 

Mr. Travis. Oh, no : I sold that. 

Mr. Parsons. What was the stock worth when vou received it ? 

Mr. Travis. Well, when I finally sold it, I thiiik we got about $3,000 
for it. I sold it when my wife got into difficulties up there. We had 
some property up in Connecticut, and we lost that, and I sold that 
when we were trying to hold the property. 

Mr. Parsons. Where were you living then ? 

Mr. Travis. Westport. Conn. 

Mr. Parsons. "Wliere was your office headquarters? 

Mr. TRAA^s. New York City. 

Mr. Parsons. Were you commuting back and forth from New York 
to Connecticut? 

Mr, Travis, Yes; when I was around New York here. We lived 
in New York part of the time and we maintained a home here for 
about 3I/2 years, back and forth. 

Mr. Parsons. What kind of property did you have in Connecticut? 

Mv. Travis. Well, we owned a house up there and then my wife's 
mother left tliree houses to my wife when she died in 1928, so we 
had four houses up there altogether, and we lost them all in 1930. 

Mr. Parsons. Were they left to your wife with mortgages on tliem 
already when you received them? 

Mr. Traais. 'No: in 1928 there was a very small mortgage on the 
three houses combined, but my wife ran the mortgage up considerably 
there. She was manipulating around the market a bit, and she 
borrowed additional money, about $30,000 on the three houses, 


Mr. Parsons. Playing the market, and the market dropped out in 


Mr. Travis. Tliat is very (rue. 

Mr. Parsons. How much savings, if any. did you ])ut away durinjy 
the period that yon were making- around $5,000 per year and 
expenses ? 

Mr. Travis. We did have some money saved up, and we had some 
stock that was boujjht outrioht, and of course w'e unloaded every- 
thinfj in 1929 and 1930 to try to salvao-e this ])roperty. We bought 
one house and we fixed it up and we spent several thousand dollars 
fixing that house that we lived in, in 1928 and 1929. 

Mr. Parsons. Did you sell before the market crash in October of 
1929, or did it crash? 

Mr. Tram:s. We sold afterward. 

Mr. Parsons. What stocks were you ])laying in the market? Or 
your wife playing in the market? 

Mr. Travis. I was not. I did own a few stocks outright, but my 
wife had a margin account with a brokerage house, and she was 
playing the market. 

Mr. Parsons. That ha])i)ened in 1929 and 1930. and what have you 
been doing since 1930? 

Mr. Travis. From 1929 to A])ril of 1930. I was sales manager for 
the Manhattan Dental Co., here in New York, and I was commuting 
back and forth to Westport. Part of the time we lived in New 
York here, and part of the time in Westport. Conn. 

Mr. Parsons. What have you been doing since 1930? 

Mr. Travis. In 1930, in September of 1930, we came to New Yoi-k, 
and my wife was in a family condition at that time. The last baby 
wasn't born as yet, and I got a job with the Ridgway Tea people 
which only lasted a couple of months, they were laying their men 
off, and in November of 1930 we were in pretty bad shape. We had 
lost everything, and our furniture was in storage up there in West- 
port, and we had the five children with us, so some friends there 
living right near us — it was kind of a welfare committee connected 
with a political club — they came to see what they could do, and 
they contacted some agency and they got me work with a conmiittee 
called the emergency w^ork committee : they got me a job as a time- 
keeper and a foreman. 

Mr. Parsons. Was that on C. W. A. ? 

Mr. Travis. That was called the Prosit committee, it was later on 
called the Gibson fund, I believe. 

Mr. Parsons. Was that a private agency? 

Mr. Travis. Well, it was supported by private subscriptions, but 
they put about thirty or forty thousand people to work here. 

Mr. Parsons. And how long were you with that committee? 

Mr. Thaws. I was with them 7—1 think it was 7 or 8 months, un- 
til June of 1931. 

Mr. Parsons. And then what did you do during 1931 and 1932 ? 

Mr. Travis. In 1931 and 1932, to' 1933, I was with the New York 
Telephone Co. as a salesman. 

Mr. Parsons. What was your salary during that period? 

Mr. Travis. That was also a commission proposition. We got $25 
a week drawing account, and some weeks we would make $40, or $50, 
or $60, and then some weeks we would not make $10, and I don't 
know what my average earnings were during that time. 

Mr. Parsons. You would say $25 or $30 a week net? 

Mr. Travis. I think it would average about $30. 


Mr. PARSitNs. AVhat have you been doing since 1933? 

Mr. Travis. Well, in 1934. why we applied for home relief so that 
I could get a job on the Work Relief Bureau, 

Mr. Parsons. How come you to quit the telephone company? 

Mr. Travis. They discontinued that line of work. They did away 
Mith that department. 

Mr. Parsons. So that you got certified for relief in 1934? 

Mr. Travis. In 1934, I was on relief for about 2 or 3 weeks, and I 
eot this job, and I think it was known then, when I went on as a 
recreational worker — it was called the Work Relief Bureau. Depart- 
ment of Welfare. About a year later they organized the W. P. A., 
and we Avere automatically mustered right into the W. P. A. 

Mr. Parsons. Certified for W. P. A. employment? 

Mr. Travis. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. What did you do on the W. P. A. ? 

Mr. Travis. I was material checker, senior investigator, head 
interviewer, and I had charge of men all of the time I was on it. 

Mr. Parsons. What was your salary with W. P. A. ; were you in a 
supervisory capacity? 

Mr. Travis. I was for a while on the administrative staif, and the 
liighest I got was $120 a month, but when 

Mr. Parsons. And did they take away your certification when you 
were receiving $120 a month or were you an elevated administrator 
or in a supervisory capacity? 

Mr. Travis. No ; I did not get that when I went on. I later worked 
into the material end of the business until the city of New York took 
over all materials, and they did away with all materials, and then I 
went on as a senior investigator, and I got $23.86 a week and from 
there to head interviewer, and also received $23.86 a week; while I 
was a material checker I got $120 a month. 

Mr. Parsons. Did you have any private employment during that 
i:)eriod or did you attempt to get private employment? 

Mr. Travis.' Why, I was working nights for 5 years in a retail 
package liquor store, and I was going to try and work out something 
in that liquor business there and at the same time I wanted to get a 
little extra money to get furniture and to get my children back with 
me. I have four of them back with me now and two are still in the 
home. We were influenced to let these children leave in 1930, and 
we were promised aid to get our home back and get some of this 
furniture out of storage up in Westport^ Conn. We had about 
$20,000 worth of furniture up there, because prior to that time we 
had furnished "the other three houses, and the one we lived in and we 
were renting them out furnished; but the thing dragged on and I 
went from bad to worse, and the promises were not lived up to, and 
I just could not handle six children, on the money that I was drawing 
from W. P. A. 

Mr. Parsons. Do you still have that furniture? 

Mr. TRA\as. No ; the storage people took it away from us. 

Mr. Parsons. For the storage ? 

Mr. Travis. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. And your wife and you and the four children now 
liv^e in New York ? 

Mr. Travis. In Brooklyn, yes. 

Mr, Parsons. Are you still working on W, P, A. ? 


Mr. Travis. No; I was let out last September, because of the 18 
months law. 

Mr. Parsons. Under the 18-months clause? 

Mr. Travis. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. Have you been recertified for employment? 

Mr. Travis. Yes; I think about 7 weeks later; so my son. who was 
18 last October, suggested that they call him down. They were going 
to give me the job back, some kind of a job, and my son and my wife 
suggested that he take the job and finish his one term of high school 
at night, you see, so he took the job on W. P. A. and he is still on it, 
so he finished his high school at night. 

Mr. Parsons. He was certified in vour place for the family budget 
on the W. P. A. ? 

Mr. Travis. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. And he is still working? 

Mr. Travis. He gets $52.80 a month ; yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. Have you sought private employment since that 
time ? 

Mr. Travis. I certainly have. I am listed with dozens of agencies. 
I am registered with the State, Salvation Army, Y. M. C. A., private 
agencies, and I have been following newspaper ads. 

It is very difficult for a man 

Mr. Parsons. Have you written to any of the companies for which 
you worked before? 

Mr. TRA"\as. Yes; but they have curtailed all of their traveling 
men; about 75 percent of the traveling men of the country are off 
the road, and conditions are entirelv different from the times prior to 
1930 and 1931. 

Mr. Parsons. None of those concerns give seniority rights to their 
former employees ? 

Mr. Travis. No; because conditions have been so bad in the past 
few years, that they have curtailed their selling force. Lipton, for 
instance, does not travel one-half of the men that they used to. 

Mr. Parsons. Are you getting direct relief in addition to the son's 
employment on W. P. A. ? 

Mr.' Travis. Well, we get a supplementary of $22 a month. 

Mr. Parsons. In addition to the $52? 

Mr. Travis. Yes; but we got that. I think, up to the first week of 
this month, and they have cut that out now. 

Mr. Parsons. How old, is this son that is working ? 

Mr. i?RAvis. He is 18; he will be 19 in October. 

Mr. Parsons. AVhat are the ages of the other children? 

Mr. Travis. I have a daughter 17. another boy 15, and I have a girl 
12, and the two children — the little ones — are in the Brooklyn Home 
for Children. 

Mr. Parsons. Are you keeping them in school, those that are with 

Mr. Travis. Yes ; they are going to school. 

Mr. Parsons. Of course, when you were making substantial salary, 
I suppose that you had great hopes for the future, and for the future 
of your family. 

Mr. Travis. I certainly did ; yes, sir. In 1930 and 1931 we did not 
expect conditions to ever become as bad as this, where I could not 
get at least something to do, because at that time Mr. Hoover was 


preaching- that prcsperity was just around the corner, and we thought 
perhaps that some day or another that we woukl get a break, you 
know. I never dreamed for one minute that conditions would get so 
bad that I woukl have to do down and work for such small money 
and lose my furniture. 

]Mr. Parsoxs. You have moved around a great deal as a traveling 
man and have no doubt covered many States. 

Mr. Travis. I covered 37 States. 

Mr. Parsons. You have been here in the heart of the financial sec- 
tic)n of the country, and what is your opinion that has been the main 
thing to cause this unemployment ? 

Mr. Travis. Well, these mergers of business, combines, consolida- 
tions, concentration of wealth in very few hands, and if you are past 
40 years of age today they don't want to look at you. I am 45, or 
Avill be shortly. That is my great difficulty right now. They don't 
want any. and in fact I think the age limit is coming down to about 
35 now. 

Mr. Parsons. Well, do you recall 

Mr. Travis. I have lied and put on applications. I have tried to 
say that I was 39 but they would laugh at me and check back the 
bonding companies that I have been bonded under. 

Mr. Parsons. Do you recall back when you were a young chap, that 
our fathers and friends that were along about the ages of your 
fathers, when they got around 45 or 50, were not eligible for employ- 
ment very much in those days ? 

Mr. Tra\ts. Well, I guess that is true, Mr. Congressman, but I 
don't think conditions were ever as bad as this. In the 150 years 
that this country has been in existence, they didn't have any W. P. A., 
and home relief, and all of that thing, in the different little towns 
that I have been in. 

Mr. Parsons Well, we hear a great deal now days 

Mr. Travis. Up there in Westport, Conn., they have any number 
of people on W. P. A., that is the first time in the existence of that 
town that they have ever had anything like that. 

Mr. Parsons. They never had any direct relief in Connecticut up 
until the depression came, that you knew of? 

Mr. Travis. Xot that I know of, because I never had any dealings 
with any of them. I have learned since then, yes. I have learned 
a great deal since 1930. 

Mr. Parsons. Do vou vote? 

:Mr. Travis. Yes. ' 

]Mr. Parsons. Wliere do vou vote? 

Mr. Tra\t[S. In New York City. 

Mr. Parsons. But you lived up until 1930 in Connecticut, was 
that your residence? 

Mr. Travis. Yes. Well, you see, prior to 1930, my wife was in 
the theatrical business, she was in New York a great deal, she was 
a member of Equity and, of course, up until — she wasn't active beyond 
1926 and 1927, I would say. 

Mr. Parsons. During the period of the war, and following the war, 
then she had considerable earning power also? 

Mr. TRA^^s. Yes; she was playing in stock companies and Broad- 
way shows. 


Mr. Parsons. What would you say approximately was the earning 
power of your family, net, from 1920 to 1926. or let us sav from 1920 
to 1929? 

Ml'. TRA^^[s. Well, there were quite a few years in which she made 
more than I did, considerably more. 

Mr. Parsons. So that if the stock market had been left alone, and 
it had been invested in good securities, you Avould have had a fairly 
good livelihood at the present time? 

Mr. Travis. Well, you see, in 1930 what little money that I per- 
sonally had saved up, along with my Tao Tea Co. stock, and I did 
have a few shares of outright-owned stock — I mean substantial 
stock — I held for a few years, I used that money to help my wife. 
She was in pretty bad circumstances up there. 

JMr. Parsons. Were you the manager of the family or was she the 
manager of the famil}^? 

Mr. Tram:s. I didn't have a great deal to say as far as her business 
was concerned. 

Mr. Parsons. That has been a few people's experience; very few, 
however, I am proud to say. 

Mr. Travis. She ran her own business and I ran mine. 
Mr. Parsons. Well, wdiat is the outlook to you at the present time? 
Mr. Travis. It looks pretty bad, pretty black. 

Mr. Parsons. You have tried every way that you know how, with 
all of these years of experience to your credit, to find private employ- 
ment, and you have been unsuccessful? 

Mr. Traais. Yes, sir. Well, I was with this liquor store for 5 
years, and I did intend to get this liquor experience and go out 
selling, but 71 percent of the liquor dealers in Greater New York 
today are on the c. o. d. blacklist. They have a law here where they 
have to pay their bills the 10th of the following month, and the 
latest statistics I believe show that 71 percent are on that c. o. d. list, 
and I found out that I could not handle the liquor business. You 
have to spend too much money. 

Mr. Parsons. Do you have any suggestions to make to this com- 
mittee about what we could do to help out in this problem in a legis- 
lative way? 

Mr. Travis. You mean this migration ? 
Mr. Parsons. Yes. 

Mr. Travis. Well, I don't know. I don't quite understand how 1 
fit into the picture here, because so many years I lived in New York, 
]:)rior to this 1930 business. 

JMr. Parsons. But you were a migrant, after all, from Alabama 
to Connecticut and from Connecticut to New York? 
Mr. Traates. I don't know. 

Mr. Parsons. For business and industrial purposes. 
Mr. Tram;s. You take a man with family obligations, or a young 
boy, or in fact any American citizen ; I believe he should be free to 
go wherever he pleases. If opportunities are better in Chicago for a 
young boy living in Paris, 111., or say, for instance, Milwaukee, and 
he crosses a State line, why should he not be able to go there? And 
if he Avorks a few months and he does get into straitened circum- 
stances, he is still in the United States of America, and I think some- 
thing should be done. This resettlement thing we have only been 
applying for the last 2 or 3 months, and I notice the checks are dif- 
ferent; they have cut those out now. 


Mr. Parsons. "Would you be Avilling — if a reluibilittitioii or resettle- 
meut program was proposed by the Federal Governuient— would you 
be Avillino- to go out upon the hind and take your family to try to 
make a living for them? 

Mr, Travis. I certainly would. I will do anything. In the past 
10 years I have scrubbed floors and cleaned windows, and that is a 
fact. I will do anything. 

Mr. Parsons. That is all, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Curtis. Mr. Travis, I assure you that any question that I or 
any oth-er member of the committee might ask is not for the purpose 
of embarrassment or any motives like that. No one can read the 
mail that comes to a Congressman's desk these days without being 
deeply concerned about all of these trends and individual cases. 

What is the condition of your health at the present time ? 

Mr. Travis. Well, right at the present time I have been out of 
employment, I am pretty nervous, and I am in a terrible mess right 
now. but up until a few months ago it was very good. 

Mr. Curtis. The exp-erience you have gone through? 

Mr. Travis. In the past year it has been very terrible. 

Mr. Curtis. It has torn your nervous system down i 

Mr. Travis. Knocked me to pieces. 

Mr. Curtis. Were all six of your children away from you at any 
one time? 

Mr. Travis. They were all taken together. 

Mr. Curtis. For how long a period? 

Mr. Travis. Well, it was only to be a temporary proposition, be- 
cause this was in 1930, and my wife was very sick at the time and 
very much worried about the conditions that had gone on in the 
past, and she made arrangements to go over to Metropolitan Hos- 
pital, I believe, to have the baby, and they took the children because 
we had nobody to take care of them. In the meantime while she 
was in the hospital — you see she had to stay there 2 months before 
the baby was born, and from then on they took the children. They 
put them in a temporary place, I think it was the Gould Foundation, 
and conditions did not' get any better for me, and the main thing 
was we had no furniture, and we owed hundreds of dollars up there 
on the warehouse bill, and we couldn't get anything that belonged to 
us, including our clothes, and the children's clothv^s, and in fact I 
think there was 29 beds alone in storage. 

Mr. Curtis. Had you known at that time that the future was not 
o-oing to open up, could you have sold and paid for the storage and 
salvaged a little out of it ? 

Mr. TRA^^s. Yes; but you see they took charge of the situation 
there, and said that thev'were going^to salvage some of that furni- 
ture, and different people advised us to go up there and have Mr. 
Nash to sell off this furniture and pay the balance because he 
incorporated in the meantime and took new partners in and he had 
to sell it. Otherwise he would have unloaded it, and we were going 
to salvao-e enough of this furniture to start a home, but things went 
from ba*cl to worse, and they did not seem to keep up with their 
promises, and they thought perhaps we were not in such a predica- 
ment right at that time that someone would have to take the children. 

Mr. Curtis. Now, you made reference that back in 1930 and 1931 
you were expecting better times around the corner — as a matter of 
fact since that time the people of the country have been generous. 



insofar as they could be, in the providing of relief and jobs and that 
sort of thing, but they haven't yet put their finger on the basic illness 
in our industrial order that is 'causing it to run incorrectly ? 

Mr. TRA\^s. I think the Roosevelt administration is trying, in fact, 
they have kept people from starving anyway. 

Mr. Curtis. But the problems that we were facing in 1930 are still 
here and becoming more intense? 

Mr. Travis. Well, I will tell you the way I feel about it. At the 
present time there are six in our family and my son gets $52.80 a 
month, and we get the balance out of this thing which they have cut 
out already, and now how in the world can a family live in decency 
in greater New York on that amount of money? There is no pro- 
vision made for clothes, and it is very difficult to get the rent. You 
pay quite a bit, you know ; that is. for 6 people, where you have a 
grown daughter there of 17 years old. and you have a grown son 18 
years old. I know that they are probably doing the best they can, 
but I am not satisfied with it. I want a private job. I am not 
interested in anything where I don't have to get out and hustle for 
it. They can have their relief business. 

Mr. Curtis. That is all. 

Mr. OsMERS. Mr. Travis, would you say that your chances for 
private employment have grown steadily worse during the past 8 
years ? 

Mr. Travis. Yes, sir. 

Mr. OsMERs. They have? 

Mr. Tracts. Yes, sir. 

Mr. OsMERS. That the chances of your receiving a private job to- 
day are worse than they were 8 years ago? 

Mr. Travis. Yes, of course. 

Mr. OsMERs. Of course, your record demonstrates that; not any- 
thing that we might say or guess about it. You had these jobs right 
down until you had that liquor-store job. and when that folded tliat 
seemed to fold up everything, is that right, so far as private employ- 
ment is concerned? 

Mr. Travis. I still stayed on "W. P. A. while I was with this liquor 

Mr. OsMERs. I mean private employment. 

Mr. Travis. Yes. 

INIr. Os:mers. That was partial private employment, a night job? 

Mr. Travis. That seemed to go by the wayside. 

Mr. Osmers. So that you would say today at 45 years of age, in 
the city of New York, with a successful selling experience behind 
you, that in the year 1940 your chances for private employment are 
absolutely nonexistent, as you have found them from going to news- 
paper ads, agencies, and everywhere else, is that correct? 

Mr. Travis. Yes; because I believe that it is commonly known that 
the agencies, personnel managers, and most all agencies here in 
greater New York, don't want a man or a woman of 45 in any type 
of work. In fact they are laying them off. 

Mr. Osmer's. You have raised an interesting question there, because 
you have in your own family an 18-year old boy, who I presume 
is an intelligent and normal, healthy boy? 

Mr. Tra\t:s. Yes, sir. 


Mr. OsMERS. He is 18 years old and has a high-school education. 
You have said that because of your age j'^ou are deprived of employ- 
ment opportunities. Does your boy of 18 years of age have any 
better opportunities for private employment than you have? 

Mr. Travis. Well, yes, I believe he has, in certain types and lines 
of business. 

Mr. OsMERS. You think he would have ? 

Mr. Travis. Yes ; but he listed at a great number of agencies when 
he got out of school last June and up until he went on the W. P. A. 
he was very unsuccessful. 

Mr. OsMERS. Well, something has occurred to my mind here. You 
were employed in a supervisory capacity in the W. P. A.? 

Mr. Travis. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. And you received, well, just call it a fair allowance 
for that work, from $100 up to $120 a month. 

Would it not be better for you to return to that employment if you 
could get it, and have your boy take advantage of his better private 
employment opportunities for the family's sake? 

Mr. Travis. Well, yes, that is what I intend to do, but he is now on 
a recreational program, and they promised him an increase up to 
$82.80, and he is now with the P. A. L. camp, up in New York State. 
He is still on W. P. A., but • 

]\Ir. OsMERs. The P. A. L. is what ? 

Mr. Travis. That is the Police Athletic League, and he is working 
on this recreational program. He went up there as a counselor, but he 
wants me to get back into a regular line of business. That is why he 
took the job, and he says, and I think he is right, and his mother is 
right; they say that I am entitled to some kind of private employ- 
ment, and I should get away from this W. P. A. business. They don't 
like it and I don't like it. 

Mr. OsMERs. You mean there is a difference of opinion between 
yourself and your family ? You have told us that you think the boy's 
chances are better for private employment, but they think that your 
chances for private employment are better? 

Mr. Travis. They thought my chances were better, but they proved 
very futile in the past year. 

Mr. OsMERS. I can appreciate what you have been up against, Mr. 

Mr. Sparkman. Mr. Travis, in other words, you are continuing 
hoping that you can get such employment as will enable the boy to 
quit the W. P. A. job altogether, and probably continue his education 
or seek better opportunities? 

Mr. Tr,v^t[S. Yes, sir; I intend to go back on the W. P. A. myself 
in September when he gets back from the country, if I don't connect 
with employment in the meantime, and then let him get out. I think 
his chances are far better than mine, although he will make very little 
money at the beginning, but he has got to get started, and I don't 
want him to continue on W. P. A. any longer than he absolutely 
has to. 

Mr. Sparkman. You may have answered this awhile ago — when 
did you leave Birmingham? 

Mr. Travis. Birmingham? I left there in 1917. 

Mr. Sparkman. Soon after you graduated? 

260370— 40— pt. 1 13 


Mr. Travis. I graduated quite a bit before that time. I worked 
as a barber in Birmino;liam while I was going to school. 

Mr. Sparkman. Where did you go to school ? 

Mr. Travis. Central High School in Birmingham. 

Mr. Sparkman. And then' you left in 1917, and went to Con- 
necticut ? 

Mr. Travis. Yes. Well, I went to work for the tobacco company, 
one of the subsidiaries of Liggett & Myers Tobacco Co., and that is 
how I happened to land up into New York; 212 Fifth Avenue was 
the address. 

Mr. Sparkman. Now, I understood that you were connected with 
the New Haven Railroad ? 

Mr. Travis. That was during the war. 

Mr. Sparkman. We were in the war from 1917 and into 1918. 

Mr. Travis. I went with this tobacco company, I think, the latter 
part of 1916. 

Mr. Sparkman. You had graduated in 1916, and you went with the 
tobacco company and then with the railroad company ? 

Mr. Travis. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. Mr. Travis, I am from Alabama myself. I have 
listened with much interest to your story, and your very trying 
experience, and this thought has been running through my mind, that 
the name Travis down there is a well-known name, and a highly re- 
spected name, a great many of our people followed a man named 
Travis out to Texas, and died with him at Alamo. 

Mr. Travis. Those are my relatives, yes, sir, directly connected 
with the Travis of the Alamo. 

Mr. Sparkman. What is his kinship ? 

Mr. Travis. He was, I think, an uncle of my father's. 

Mr. Sparkman. That is all. 

Mr. OsMERS. Mr. Travis, your experience of the last 20 years has 
been mainly with commercial and business enterprises, all the way 
through, that is particularly in the 1920's, rather than in the 1930s? 

Mr. Travis. Yes. 

Mr. Osmers. Do you feel that this Government should encourage 
private business so that it will open opportunities for men like your- 
self to return to private business ? 

Mr. Travis, Well, I really could not tell you. Of course, I have 
a lot of ideas and opinions regarding the thing. 

Mr. OsMERS. As a general thing ? 

Mr. Travis. I think the Government will eventually have to sub- 
sidize business in order to put the younger men that are coming 
out of schools, and the older people, back to work. They have got 
to do something. 

Mr. OsMERS. \Vhat I basically mean is this : That your employment, 
or your lack of employment opportunities at your age — and I am 
not making a political statement here at all — is basically due to poor 
general economic condition^; I mean it is not due to your inability 
to perform a job or anything like that, it just means that there are 
fewer jobs for everyone? 

Mr. Travis. No; because every job I get on, I do a very nice job. 
On W. P. A., I was on the highest, what they call the high-security- 
wage scale, and I stayed there; and I had the confidence of my 
supervisors, and bosses and so forth, and I got along swell. It is not 


my trouble at all, that is, my personal trouble, it is just the fact 
that you can't ^et anv jobs. 

Mr. OsMERS. The basic solution, of course, would be more jobs, more 
private jobs, so that they could spread tliem out to men that are 45 
and down to boys that are 18, rather than from some narrow group 
from 25 to 35? 

Mr. Travis. It is a very difficult job to c:et an interview, because 
they specify certain age limits, and you can get a million and one 
commission selling jobs, but they would not advance you 5 cents with 
which to get from here to Yonkers. 

Mr. OsMERS. Are there any other questions of Mr. Travis? 

If not, thank you very much, Mr. Travis, for your testimony. 

Are you a member of the 40-Plus Club ? 

Mr. Travis. No ; I am not. 

Mr. OsMERS. Have you ever heard of it ? 

Mr. Travis. I have heard of it. 

(Whereupon the witness was excused.) 

Mr. OsMERS. Will Mr. James Hill come to the stand? 


Mr. OsMERS. What is your full name, Mr. Hill ? 

Mr. Hill. James Hill. 

Mr. OsMERS. Will you question Mr. Hill, Congi-essman Sparkman ? 

Mr, Sparkman. Mr. Hill, where are you from ? 

Mr. Hill. ISIercer County, N. J., Washington Township. 

Mr. Sparkman. What is your occupation? 

Mr. Hill. Farmer. 

Mr. Sparkman. You own your own farm? 

Mr. Hill. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. You are not a migrant or transient; you are an 
employer of transients, is that right? 

Mr. Hill. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. Wliat size farm do you own? 

Mr. Hill. About 72 acres, about 60 acres in cultivation. 

Mr. Sparkman. What do you grow? 

Mr. Hill. Corn, potatoes, oats, and other grain, and just a little 
bit of truck. 

Mr. Sparkman. Do you use outside labor on your own farm? 

Mr. Hill. Well, I just have a nephew to help me dig potatoes at 
times, and I change once in a while with my neighbors. We are 
right close together, and I have potato pickers, that is about all of 
the help that I need. 

Mr. Sparkman. Do the farmers in your community generally em- 
ploy labor from the outside? 

Mr. Hill. Well, they do as much as they can,^ but it is quite a 
potato belt through there, and they could not get help. It would be 
impossible to get enough help around there to pick the potatoes and 
the tomatoes; there are a oood many potatoes. 

Mr. Sparkman. There is not available a sufficient labor supply? 

Mr. Hill. No ; there is not. There are quite a few from Trenton, 
but not enough ; they have to have some outside labor there, for it is a 

iMr. Hill states that he intended to infer that the farmers used migrant labor because 
they could not get local labor. 

igO Ijntterstate migration 

short season, you know. It is only about 6 to 8 weeks' work there, you 
know, and it is really people tliat follow that business. It makes it 
better for them, because there would not be work more than 8 or 9 
months out of the year, anyway. They would be idle so nmch of the 

Mr. Sparkman. AVhere does that outside labor come from? 

Mr. Hill. AVell, some comes from the South, and there is quite a 
bit from Trenton, comes out of Trenton — quite a bit of the help, 
colored help. 

Mr. Sparkman. Now, on this help that comes in from other States, 
how do vou get in touch with that labor? How do the farmers 
get it? 

Mr. Hill. "Well, I couldn't exactly tell, only they have them from 
one year to another, a lot of them, they tell me. I never had them, 
and "what help I have had I get close in the neighborhood, right 
close by. 

Mr. Sparkman. Well, now, not speaking necessarily of your own 
case, solely, but of the average small farmer, as contrasted to the big 
farmer who runs the more or less commercial or industrial under- 
taking, do you find that outside labor affects your farm operations, 
and your farm problems advantageously or clisadvantageously? 

Mr. Hill. If we didn't get it, you mean ? 

Mr. Sparkman. Yes. 

Mr. Hill. It would in gathering the tomatoes and potatoes, because 
this is a big acreage, and the tomatoes, they are put in under contract, 
most of them. Campbells gets most of the tomatoes. 

Mr. Sparkman. Do you find that in regard to this outside labor, 
any competition exists between the smaller farmer and the bigger 
farmers, in the raising of them ? 

Mr. Hill. Of course, wherever there is a large group the big farmer 
has steadier work, they dig potatoes steadier, and we start and stop. 
I only have 25 acres, you know, and I couldn't keep them going all the 
time. And the way the weather is now, no one can dig for a few days, 
it is too hot, and the dealers won't take them. 

Mr. Sparkman. It is highly seasonal ? 

Mr. Hill. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. And when the time comes to dig you have got to 
dig, and dig in a hurry ? 

Mr. Hill. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. And pick in a hurry ? 

Mr. Hill. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. Do you think that that need for outside labor will 
be a continuing thing in New Jersey, in the potato-growing area ? 

Mr. Hill. I think it will have to be as long as they plant as many 
potatoes as are planted ; it will be impossible to get help enough to pick 
them as they want them. 

Mr. Sparkman. Mr. Hill, are there any social, health, or police prob- 
lems connected with the presence of this outside labor, from j^our 
observation ? 

Mr. Hill. Not that I know of. 

Mr. Sparkman. To your knowledge, do the farmers who employ this 
outside labor give to it adequate housing facilities, and other 
conveniences ? 

Mr. Hill. I think the majority of them do; yes, they give them a 
house or they build houses for them, you know, and keep them. 


Mr. Sparkman. For about how long a time do these laborers stay in 
one particular area ? 

Mr. Hill. They come into Jersey along about — anywhere from the 
20th or the 25th, and they work from the South on up. They come from 
Florida, the majority of them, that is what I have heard different ones 
say. I have talked with a lot of them, and they pick in South Caro- 
lina and keep on coming up and hit Virginia, and Maryland, and then 
they hit for New Jersey. 

JVIr. Sparkman, How long do they stay in New Jersey ? 

Mr. Hill. Around the last of August or the first of September, most 
all of them from Florida stay. I did not have them, but my neighbors 
have had them right close by me. They won't stay longer than the 
5th of September. Just as soon as it gets a little cold they go back, 
and they have work there in Florida in the winter ; the people start to 
come in for the winter. 

Mr. Sparkman. According to your observation, do many of them 
stay here? 

Mr. Hill. AVliat is that? 

Mr. Sparkman. Do many of them remain in New Jersey or do 
most of them go back ? 

Mr, Hill. Most of them go back. Very few stay here, 

Mr. Sparkman. A few do stay? 

Mr. Hill. Just a few. 

I\Ir. Sparkman. Are they pretty much the same people every year 
who return to do this work? 

Mr. Hill. A lot of them have them for as high as 6 to 7 or 8 years, 
and some have and some do not. 

Mr. Sparkman. I believe that that is all. 

Mr. OsMERS. j\Ir. Hill, Washington Township is right on the out- 
skirts of the city of Trenton? 

Mr. Hill. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. How far is your farm from the city of Trenton ? 

Mr. Hill. About 13 miles. I am between Allentown and Hights- 

Mr. OsMERS. I know the neighborhood very well. There are about 
125.000 people in the city of Trenton, as I recall, and of that number 
probably 8,000 or 10,000 are living on public assistance ? 

Mr. Hill. Yes. 

Mr. Os^iERS. Of some kind or other, I should guess — the general 
home relief or W. P. A,? 

Mr. Hill. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. Now, just taking that one city in New Jersey, they 
have just about enough people on relief there to equal the number 
of migrant pickers, the total number that enter the State of New 
Jersey each year. 

In your opinion, could these people who are on relief in the city 
of Trenton be used for crop harvesting? 

Mr. Hill. Why. yes ; they could, such as picking tomatoes and for 
other work, but they would not be any good. People out of the city 
don't understand cultivating the stuff until they learn. 

Mr. OsMERS. There isn't much migrant labor used for anything 
except pickins:? 

Mr. Hill, There is a good part of them— it is mostly colored, there 
are very few white people — that come from Trenton. 


Mr. OsMERS. Do you feel that we need to have them ? 
Mr. Hill. I feel that we have got to have some of them, unless 
they cut down the acreage on potatoes. 

Mr. OsMERS. You don't think that they intend to do that? 
Mr. Hill. I don't think so. 



Mr. Os]NrERs. But do you feel that anything about the relief policy 
of the State of New Jersey has made it difficult for farmers to get 
labor in that State to do that picking ? 

Mr. Hill. I do think it has, a little. It has made some of them — 
and that is one reason why they have to call on the southern help; 
it is only the colored that will pick potatoes ; the white people don't 
want to. Young boys are looking for something a little better, and 
they don't want to do that kind of work, and that is why it would 
be impossible for the farmers to get the potatoes picked without 
southern help. 

Mr. OsMERS. Do you feel that an able-bodied young man who was 
able pliysically to pick potatoes should be given relief right next 
door to a job of picking potatoes? 

Mr. Hill. No; I don't know. 

Mr. OsMERS. And ship someone in from Florida, 1,500 miles away? 

Mr. Hill. No ; but there are some that have refused to work, and 
there are some that have not, but there are exceptions to everything, 
you know. 

Mr. OsMERs. As a taxpayer of the Stat« of New Jersey, do you 
think the taxpayers should continue to support a man who refused 
to do work for which he is fitted ? 

Mr. Hill. No, sir; I do not. 

Mr. OsMERs. You don't think that they ought to ? 

Mr. Hill. No, sir. 

Mr. OsMERS. Are there any other questions ? 

Mr. Parsons. Mr. Hill, about what is your annual revenue off of 
your farm? 

Mr. Hill. Taxes? 

Mr. Parsons. No; the money that you take in during the year? 

Mr. Hill. Well, I don't keep no particular accounts. It depends 
on the season. 

Mr. Parsons. That depends on the prices? 

Mr. Hill. It won't be very high this year, if potatoes keep where 
they are. Everything is cheap, grain is cheap. 

Mr. Parsons. What are you getting for potatoes now per bag? 

Mr. Hill. Eighty-five cents. 

Mr. Parsons. That is for 100 pounds? 

Mr. Hill. That is for 100 pounds, that is the dealer's price. 

Mr. Parsons. And you produce about how many bushels annually ? 

Mr. Hill. I will raise how many ? 

Mr. Parsons. Yes. 

Mr. Hill. I put in 25 acres, and I have about 21 acres in cobblers, 
and I take them to Trenton and I sell them. 

Mr. Parsons. About how many hundred pounds do you raise each 


Mr. Hill. Well, last year it was a light crop, in some sections it 
was better, and it is not heavy this year. There are some spots in 
the field that are good and in some spots we lost quite a few last 
spring on account of the wet weather after we planted them, and, if 
there is a light crop, I don't know. As near as I could tell, it would 
run around 125 sacks to the acre. 

Mr. Parsons. And you have around 25 acres ? 

Mr. Hill. And some run as low as 100 and some will run up to 
150, and I think it would average about 120 or 125. I heard some 
say that they are pretty good looking potatoes, and they only average 
about 110 sacks so far. 

Mr. Parsons. What is the highest price you ever received per bag ? 

Mr. Hill. Per bag of potatoes, I can't tell you. Wartime, I think 
it was. Then it was anywhere from $1.87 to $2.68. 

Mr. Parsons. As against 85 cents now ? 

Mr. Hill. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. And what is the lowest you have ever sold them for? 

Mr. Hill. I think 50 cents, and then I fed them to stock. 

Mr. Parsons. Can you make a living at 85 cents a bag? 

Mr. Hill. You cannot, for expenses. The sacks are high, 9 cents 
for a sack, and it costs you 20 cents a sack to dig them, and the seed 
and the fertilizer run $55 per acre, and if you figure it up just for 
the digging and the sack, you about pay expenses. It practically 
won't hardly cover expenses. 

Mr. OsMERS. Are there any further questions of Mr. Hill? If not, 
we thank you very much, Mr. Hill. 

(Whereupon the witness was excused.) 

Mr. OsMERS. We will call Mr. Squires. 


Mr. OsMERS. Will you give your full name, and occupation, Mr. 
Squires ? 

Mr. Squires. Clayton S. Squires, director of State aid, of the State 
welfare department of Connecticut. 

Mr. OsMERS. Would you care to make a short, informal statement, 
Mr. Squires, upon which the committee might be able to ba^e any 
questions that they care to ask ? 


Mr. Squires. I believe it was the Commissioner's wish that I inform 
the committee that we believe that there is no real transient problem 
in Connecticut. The records that we have been able to get together 
for the past few years do not show any great change in trend in the 
nmnber of ordinary so-called floaters. There are, however, at the 
present time, quite a few people coming into the State as the result of 
the advertising of the war contracts to our munitions and aircraft 
factories, which cases come to our attention sometimes, as a result of 
waiting for their first pay. 

Many of these fellows are being hired, because it seems that skilled 
workers are coming into the State. 


Mr. OsMERS. Would you say that your State, similar to my own of 
New Jersey, is having a real problem with the shortage of skilled 

Mr. Squires. That is true. 

Mr. OsMERS. Does the State of Connecticut contemplate any voca- 
tional training for the young people in the State who are unable to 
support themselves, so that they may become self-supporting under 
this industrial program? 

Mr. Squdjes. I believe our State is one that mitiated that program, 
and Governor Baldwin has been working in conjunction with the 
Manufacturers Association and with the manufacturers of the State, 
and with the State Board of Education. Now, I understand, Federal 
moneys are available to increase that program whereby there are 
three shifts of students, of all ages, learning on machinery loaned by 
manufacturers, so that they may be fitted in advance to go into these 
factories, and they will be guaranteed jobs on completion of their 
studies. ... 

Mr. OsMERS. May I ask you whether the Federal participation of 
that program is under the Youth Administration ? Do you happen 
to know that? 

Mr. Squires. I am afraid I can't answer that. I read an article, 
I believe last night, in the paper, that they are using Federal funds, 
but before that State funds were used. 

Mr. OsMERS. I will put the question this way. My understanding 
is that the Youth Administration is cooperating on this mechanic- 
training program. 

Mr. Squires. I believe that is so. 

Mr. OsMERS. But I understand that their age limits are from 18 
to 25, and now I suppose that they have to limit themselves some 
way, but do you think that that is a wise restriction, to place the 
top limit at 25 ? 

Mr. Squires. It is my understanding of our program in Connecti- 
cut that it has gone beyond that, that they are training so-called rusty 
labor, or mechanics who have been out of work for some years, and 
have not been able to keep up with new ideas of machinery or new 
machinery, and to take them back for the required number of hours 
to bring them up to the point where they can go in and take over 

Mr. OsMERS. You would say that that was certainly a very proper 
part of the Federal Government program, to assist in that vocational 
training ? 

Mr. Squires. By all means. 

Mr. Osmers. Are there any other questions of Mr. Squires? 

"Would you care to add anything to what you have already said? 

Mr. Squires. We are here at your disposal. 

Mr. Osmers. Do you have any considerable number of destitute 
citizens moving into the State of Connecticut or out of the State 
of Connecticut ? 

Mr. Squires. No considerable number. It has been normal since the 
present depression started. 

Mr. Osmers. And the migration is not large in number ? 

Mr. Squires. No, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. What did you say your official connection with the 
State was? 

Mr. Squires. Director of State aid. 



Mr. Cfrtis. Do you have settlement requirements there? 

Mr. Squires. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. And how long a period is that? 

Mr. Squires. Ours is the 4-year self-supporting residence, in one 
town, in order to gain settlement in that town. 

Mr. Curtis. Is there any arrangement whereby you meet people 
at your State borders coming in, to make any inquiry of them con- 
cerning that ? 

Mr. Squires. No, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. You have just been fortunate in not having a great 
migration of destitute persons, you have made no deliberate attempt 
to keep them away from the State? 

Mr. Squires. No, sir; we have not. 

Mr. Curtis. That is all. 

Mr. Osmers. If there is nothing further, we thank you, Mr. Squires. 

We wish that every State in the Union was in the same position 
as the State of Connecticut, with respect to the problem. 

(Whereupon the witness was excused.) 


Mr. Osmers. Will Mr. Lapolla come up ? Will you give your name, 
please ? 

Mr. Lapolla. Joseph Lapolla. 

Mr. Osmers. Congressman Curtis, w^ill you interrogate Mr. La- 

Mr. Curtis. Where do you live? Where was your last permanent 
home ? 

]\Ir. Lapolla. Philadelphia. 

Mr. Curtis. And when did you leave there? 

Mr. Lapolla. I left there the 4th of June 1940. 

Mr. Curtis. And Mdiere have you spent your time since then? 

Mr. Lapolla. On the farm now ; we are picking. 

Mr. Curtis. A farm where ? Is that in New Jersey ? 

Mr. Lapolla. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. Of E. Lore? 

Mr. Lapolla. That is the name. 

Mr. Curtis. Are you married? 

Mr. Lapolla. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. How old are you? 

Mr. Lapolla. Fifty-six. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you have any children? 

Mr. Lapolla. Eight children. 

Mr. Curtis. AYhat employment did you have in Philadelphia? 

Mr. Lapolla. I one time had a little business there, a little stand. 

Mr. Curtis. A little stand? 

Mr. Lapolla. A stand with soft drinks and sandwiches up to 

Mr. Curtis. You had a little sandwich stand from 1910 to 1935? 

Mr. Lapolla. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. And what happened to that little business? 

Mr. Lapolla. Business went — shot. 


Mr. Curtis. Wliat did voii do from 1935? 

Mr. Lapolla. From 1935 I am employed by the city of Phila- 
delphia, for 14 months. 

Mr. Curtis. You worked 14 months? 
Mr. Lapolla. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. What did you do there ? 
Mr. Lapolla. We got laid off. 
Mr. Curtis. What kind of work did you do ? 
Mr. Lapolla. Sweeping the streets and cleaning. 
Mr. Curtis. Now, were you a regular employee, or were you on 
theW. P. A.? 

Mr. Lapolla. No; I was a regular employee; not W. P. A. 
Mr. Curtis. And you held that job for 14 months? 
Mr. Lapolla. Yes ; and we got laid off in 1937 ; 1,900 were laid off. 
Mr. Curtis. And then what did you do ? 
Mr. Lapolla. Then I had no job. 

Mr. Curtis. Now, just a minute; don't go so far. You say that 
you hunted for a job and didn't get any? 
Mr. Lapolla. That is right. 

Mr. Curtis. Have you had a regular job since 1937 ? 
Mr. Lapolla. About 7 or 8 months later I worked 4 months. 
Mr. Curtis. What are the ages of your children ? 
Mr. Lapolla. The young one is 17. 
Mr. Curtis. And how old is the oldest one ? 
Mr. Lapolla. The oldest one is 31. 

Mr. Curtis. Of the eight, how many of them live with you? 
Mr. Lapolla. Five. Three got married. 
Mr. Curtis. They have homes of their own? 
Mr. Lapolla. One lives with me; one daughter lives with me. 
Mr. Curtis. So that you have five children and one son-in-law with 

Mr. Lapolla. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. Your son-in-law has work? 

Mr. Lapolla. Yes; he works. 

Mr. Curtis. Where does he work? 

Mr. Lapolla. He is a plumber. 

Mr. Curtis. In what town? 

Mr. Lapolla. Philadelphia. 

Mr. Curtis. When did you leave Philadelphia? 

Mr. Lapolla. The 4th of June. 

Mr. Curtis. Well, is he living in your home? 

Mr. Lapolla. Yes ; he is paying rent, too. He helps me out. He 
is paying $15 a month. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you own the house ? 

Mr. Lapolla. I own the house. 

Mr. Curtis. Now, are any of your other children employed? 

Mr. Lapolla. I got another one employed 2 or 3 days in a week. 
It does not last long. Two employed. 

Mr. Curtis. What do they do? 

Mr. Lapolla. Two are employed in the tailoring business. The 
other is a young kid, 20 years old, working for Brill; they make 
trolley cars. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you come to New Jersey to work on a farm every 


jNIr. Lapolla. No; I came last year and this j^ear. That was the 
fiist time. 

Mr. Curtis. Are you employed in Philadelphia during the winter? 

Mr. Lapolla. I did woik last winter for 3 months, when I came 
back from Jersey. 

iVIr. Curtis. How much money do you usually make in farm work 
during the summer i 

Mr. Lapolla. Last summer, four people for 4 months, we make 

jNIr. Curtis. Thi'ee of your children and you? 

Mr. Lapolla. My wife and two children and me, we make $200 
for 4 months. 

Mr. Curtis. Did you get $200 and your food besides? 

Mr. Lapolla. I got $100 taken, and we spent the rest. 

Mr. Curtis. Xow, when you are in New Jersej', did you have to 
pay for your food? 

Mr. Lapolla. Surely; you have got to buy bread and things. We 
eat, you know. 

Mr. Curtis. Did you buy that? 

Mr. Lapolla. Oh, yes. 

Mr. Curtis. Or did your employer buy it ? 

Mr, Lapolla. You have got to buy it yourself. I saved $100, that 
is all, for 4 months. 

*Mr. Curtis. Now, how much money do 3^our children who live 
with you turn over to you? 

Mr. Lapolla. It depends upon how much they make. If they 
make $10 they give me $7. My daughter, Mary Lapolla, pays $15 a 

Mr. Curtis. Who pays $15 a month ? 

Mr. Lapolla. My daughter in Philadelphia ; they pay. 

Mr. Curtis. Your daughter and her husband pay you $15 a month ? 

Mr, Lapolla. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. Have you been on relief any time? 

Mr. Lapolla. Seven or eight weeks; yes. 

Mr. Curtis. How much 

Mr. Lapolla. I had about 7 or 8 weeks last year before I went to 
the country. I got disgusted and went to the country, and we got 
$10 a week for 10 people in the house. 

ISIr. Curtis. Now. how do you know where you can find a job in 
New Jersey, or do vou just start out? 

Mr. Lapolla. I started out last year, a friend of mine said. -'What 
the hell, we might go over there, we are going to die in Philadelphia, 
and we might as well go over to Jersey." 

Mr. Curtis. Did you have a car? 

Mr. Lapolla. No, no. 

Mr, Curtis, You just started out on the road? 

Mr, Lapolla, No; they send a truck down to Philadelphia; a 
farmer sent a truck. 

Mr. Curtis. A farmer sent a truck down and told you that ? 

Mr, Lapolla, Yes, 

Mr, Curtis, The farmer came down himself? 

Mr, Lapolla, Yes; and take the truck down, and we put the 
clothes in and we go to Jersey. 


Mr. Curtis. Did the farmer drive the triiclv down or did he send 
another man with the truck? 

Mr. Lapolla. He sent another man. He nsed his own truck. His 
name was on the truck. 

Mr. Curtis. Did they take you back to Pliiladelphia ? 

Mr. Lapolla. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. When did you arrive in New Jersey? 

Mr. Lapolla. That was June 4. 

Mr. Curtis. How long will the work continue? 

Mr. Lapolla. I don't know. Maybe next month. 

Mr. Curtis. The last half of next month? 

Mr. Lapolla. That is all. If it doesn't rain, we might go another 

Mr. Curtis. This year how many of the family are employed ? 

Mr. Lapolla. Three. 

Mr. Curtis. There were four of you last year? 

Mr. Lapolla. Yes. My wife and my Johnny, he came down with 

Mr. Curtis. Are you the only three that are there ? 

Mr. Lapolla. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. Do the other children have some work back in Phila- 

Mr. Lapolla. They have got something. Not much, just a couple^of 
days a week. 

Mr. Curtis. Do any of your children go to school ? 

Mr. Lapolla. Not any more. They have got to go back in school, 
you know. 

Mr. Curtis. I mean in the wintertime? 

Mr. Lapolla. In the wintertime they go to school back in Phila- 
delphia. He is in high school, you see. 

Mr. Curtis. You just have one boy that is going to school? 

Mr. Lapolla. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. How much money have you made this year so far ? 

Mi'. Lapolla. I made about $40. 

Mr. Curtis. You mean you have saved $40. 

Mr. Lapolla. Yes. 

Mr, Curtis. About how many days a week were you able to work? 

Mr. Lapolla. We work every morning. We get up at 4 o'clock in 
the morning, and we are in the field until half past 5, and we work all 
day and make a couple of dollars apiece. 

Mr. Curtis. And you work again in the evening ? 

Mr. Lapolla. No; we go back the next morning. We start at 4 
o'clock in the morning. 

Mr. Curtis. You pick green beans? 

Mr. Lapolla. Yes ; lima beans ; that is all. 

Mr. Curtis. How long does it take to pick a bushel of beans ? 

Mr. "Lapolla. It depends, maybe an hour, or maybe an hour and a 
half, and it depends upon the crop. 

Mr. Curtis. "\Yliat are you paid ? ' 

Mr. Lapolla. Thirty cents a bushel. 

Mr. Curtis. If you could work all dav, how much could you earn? 

Mr. Lapolla. If you could work all day you could pick 10 bushels. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you buy your food at a local store or from the farmer ? 

Mr. Lapolla. We buv them at a store. 


Mr. Curtis. Does the farmer furnish you a house ? 
Mr. Lapolla. Yes; that is all; a house; you call it a house. It is a 
shack. I bump my head Avhen I go in. 

Mr Curtis. Does it have any windows in it? 

Mr. Lapolla. It has got two windows about that big, about 9 inches. 
Mr. CuRTif?. How many rooms ? , • • 

Mr. Lapolla. Two rooms. AYe have got to cook and everything m 
there. We are living like rats, no human beings should be in there, no 
human being. 

Mr. Curtis. Where do you get your water ? 
Mr. Lapolla. Right in back of the shack. 
Mr. Curtis. The water is all right, is it ? 

Mr. Lapolla. It is not so bad. It is pretty good. The mosquitos are 
prettyv good, too. We can't sleep. 

Mr. Curtis. What kind of toilet facilities ? 

Mr. Lapolla. AYe haven't got any. Just a couple of boards there, 
that is all. 

Mr, Curtis. No building ^ 
Mr. Lapolla. Xo building ; no. 
Mr. Curtis. No pit ? 

Mr. Lapolla. No pit, just a box, and lay them on the ground, and wg 
can't sit, we can't do anything. 

Mr. Curtis. How many people are employed on this farm besides 

Mr. Lapolla. About IT altogether. 
Mr. OsMERS. Did you all come out in the same truck ? 
Mr. Lapolla. No ; some live in New Jersey. 

Mr. Curtis. AYhat work do you know how to do besides run your 
little sandwich stand? Are you trained in any other work? 
Mr. Lapolla. Only labor. 
Mr. Curtis. Just common labor ? 
Mr. Lapolla. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you expect to come back to New Jersey next summer, 
if vou don't have a better job ? 

Mr. Lapolla. If things improve a little bit, I think that I will die in 
Philadelphia. If there is more money, it is all right. If we will make 
a little money, it is all right, but if I have got a job in Philadelphia I 
won't come down here. 

Mr. Curtis. But if you don't have a job would you rather come back 
there and have $100 to go back with ? 

Mr. Lapolla. It buys coal for the wintertime. I need 10 tons of coal 
for the house. 

Mr. Curtis. I admire your attitude, but you will be able to live only 
a short while this winter on wdiat you can take back. 

Mr. Lapolla. If I make enough to buy the coal I am satisfied. 

Mr. Curtis, But you w^ould rather 

Mr, Lapolla, I would rather w^ork in the city. 

^Mr. Curtis. But rather than go on direct relief you w^ould come here 
and work. 

Mr. Lapolla. That is right. 

Mr. Curtis. What country were you born in ? 

Mr. Lapolla. Italy. 

Mr, Curtis, How old were you when you came here? 

Mr, Lapolla. 17 years. I am 56. 


Mr. Curtis. According to my figures — well, Mr. Lapolla, we nat- 
urally do not like to see anyone have to live in conditions such as 
you describe, but we are glad we have people in this country who 
are willing to sacrifice and make what they can. 

Mr. Lapolla. We have got to take it anyhow. 

Mr. OsMERS. Mr. Lapolla, did I understand you to say that you 
would rather die in New Jersey than in Philadelphia ? 

Mr. Lapolla. I would rather die in Philadelphia than New Jersey. 

Mr. OsMERS. As a resident of New Jersey, I am glad to hear you 
say that. Has the State Health Department of New Jersey ever visited 
the farm where you are? 

Mr. Lapolla. I can't tell, because we are in the field. 

Mr. OsMERS. But not to your knowledge, they have never visited 
that — they have not inspected the water supply '? 

Mr. Lapolla. No. 

Mr. OsMERS. Or they have not inspected any of the men working 
there to see whether they were sick or not ? 

Mr. Lapolla. No. 

Mr. OsMERS. Have they inspected the toilets? 

Mr. Lapolla. No. 

Mr. OsMERS. Do you have good toilets or not? 

Mr. Lapolla. I ]ust told them, just boxes that they set on the 

Mr. Ctjrtis. I was going to ask you, how many other people are 
employed by that same farmer, how many families ? 

Mr. Lapolla. That is all. We have got two families from Phila- 
delphia, one family lives right there. 

Mr. OsMERS. That is three families? 

Mr. Lapolla. Seventeen people altogether. 

Mr. OsMERS. Are j^ou a citizen of the United vStates? 

Mr. Lapolla. Yes, sir. I became a citizen in 1922. 

Mr. OsMERS. Any further questions? 

Mr. Parsons. Mr. Chairman 

You say that you would rather die in Philadelphia than Jersey? 

Mr. Lapolla. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. Would you rather die there than go back to Italy? 

Mr. Lapolla. I am a member of the United States. I don't want 
to go back to Italy. I spend my time here. I am getting old now. 

Mr. Parsons. Did you ever send any money back to Italy? 

Mr. Lapolla. I have got nobody there. 

Mr. Parsons. You have got nobody there, and you have never sent 
money back there ? 

Mr. Lapolla. When my mother was there. My mother died in 1917. 

Mr. Parsons. Over there ? 

Mr. Lapolla. Over there, and so I sent no more. I have got nobody. 
All of my family are here. 

Mr. OsMERS. Thank you very much, Mr. Lapolla. 

(Whereupon the witness was excused.) 

Mr. OsMERS. The committee will stand adjourned until 2 o'clock. 

(AYliereupon, at 12 :55, the hearing was recessed until 2 :00 p. m. of 
the same day.) 


(The committee reconvened at 2 o'clock.) 



Mr. OsMERS. The committee will be in order. Mr. Kalph Astrofsky, 
will come to the stand, please. Will you state your occupation to the 
reporter, please ? 

Mr. Astrofsky. I am director of the division of shelter care of the 
department of welfare, New Yor City. I have here a prepared 
statement covering information that the committee might like to 
have : 


The problem of the homeless person whose settlement is generally diflScult 
to determine and whose occupation and habits are those of a transient, has 
always been one of the most perplexing. If the homeless man is now settled in 
the community, he probably migrated when he was younger. One of the first 
studies conducted by the Welfare Council of New York was on the subject of 
the homeless. During the Federal Census of 1930, social workers in New 
York City volunteering their services as enumerators counted approximately 
50,000 men in the various commercial lodging houses on the Bowery, in the 
missions and speakeasies and in the municipal lodging house. It was the prac- 
tice of the municipal lodging house then to grant only 5 days care a month to 
residents and 1 night a month to transients. Very likely, a good number 
of those enumerated, had received some public care ; others were known to 
private agencies and missions and the rest lived on a hand-to-mouth existence, 
paying their room or dormitory rent by the night in the Bowery commercial 
lodging houses. 

To control the applications of the homeless and transient and prevent duplica- 
tion of relief, a coordinating agency, the central registration bureau was estab- 
lished under the auspices of the welfare council in cooperation with the de- 
partment of public welfare in the fall of 1931. Here, all applications were re- 
ceived and referrals for shelter made to the participating public and private 
agencies. The restriction on the length of care provided to local homeless 
persons at the municipal lodging house was removed but the limitation of one 
Bight's shelter to transients remained until the central registration bureau was 
absorbed by the Federal transient program in July 1933. The central registra- 
tion bureau was administered at first by the temporary emergency relief ad- 
ministration of the State and was subsequently renamed the unattached and 
transients division and made part of the emergency relief bureau of New York 

Whereas, local homeless persons used to receive better public care than 
transients, the reverse was now true. Under the Federal transient program, 
transients received more clothing, more expensive accommodations in commer- 
cial lodging houses and charitable institutions under contract, extra allowances 
for incidental needs, camp care, special clinical treatment, surgical appliances 
and in general, greater individual attention. In 2 years the transient case load 
climbed to 7,500 unattached men of whom 2,000 were seamen, 500 unattached 
women, and 2.100 transient families who received home relief. Because of the 
material advantages to be gained on transient relief, some persons on local 
relief succeeded in proving they were really transients. The disparity between 
the relief standards quite naturally proved unpopular with the local homeless 
relief recipients and social agencies. 

However, it has been refuted by several studies that the Federal transient 
program was responsible for any considerable increase in transiency, and that 
it gave aimless wanderers a chance to see the country at Government expense. 
Its major faults were the segregation of transients as a people apart from the 
resident group and the failure to integrate the program with local administra- 
tion of public assistance. Nor was there a clear-cut policy on the important 
question of removal. If a transient refused to return to his home community 
when it was considered socially desirable, there was no provision for any 
action other than to continue his relief. 


Following the decision to change the Federal program from one of relief 
to one of work, intake was closed on September 20, 1935, and by the end of 
year the Federal transient program was dissolved. W. P. A. absorbed the major 
proportion of the transients. The city assumed, too, a responsibility for those 
transient families who had no place of settlement to which they could be re- 
moved. Many of the transients that could not be placed on W. P. A. qualified 
for home relief under the Wicks Act, which required 2 years' residence in the 
State regardless of any receipt of public assistance iluring this period. The 
T. E. R. A. of the State ruled that needy seamen who had shipped regularly 
out of the port of New York for the last 2 years, were likewise eligible for local 
relief. These measures, together with a fortunate rise in employment and 
improved shipping conditions relieved pressure which might have had serious 
effects. Private agencies rejected the applications of nonresidents, except in 
occasional instances of extreme stress. To assure adequate relief to its own 
people, the local public welfare agency had no alternative but to follow the 
same course of action. Three days' care in the municipal lodging house was 
the maximum period of assistance offered to transients except in cases of 
youngsters and in other special situations. 

On July 1, 1937, relief was liberalized in New York State by the revision 
of the public welfare law and was made available to all persons in need regard- 
less of settlement. Local public welfare districts became responsible for the sup- 
port of needy persons who had settlement in their community, subject to the 
usual 40 percent reimbursement by the State. The State reimbursed the local 
public welfare agency for the entire cost of relief and removal of a destitute 
person without settlement in the State. By a subsequent statute, where neither 
settlement nor an absolute negative of settlement in the State could be es- 
tablished, the case was treated as a local home-relief charge, subject to the 
usual 40 percent reimbursement by the State. New York City also entered 
into the intrastate charge back system by reimbursing upstate welfare districts 
for relief granted to persons whose settlement was acknowledged by New York 
City and similarly was reimbursed by upstate welfare districts for relief pro- 
vided their citizens. The nonsettlement office of the department of welfarb 
became responsible for the administration of outdoor relief to presumptive State 
charge and charge-back cases in New York City, while the division of shelter 
care of the department assumed the same responsibility for i)ersons receiving 
congregate care or indoor relief. 

First of all, the identical standards of relief were made to apply for the 
nonsettled group as for those with settlement. The program was entirely in- 
tegrated with the local administration of public assistance. Profiting from pre- 
vious experience, the nonsettlement office adopted the policy of withdravring 
assistance from relief recipients who refused to return to their acknowledged 
place of settlement where such return was socially desirable. Court action 
provided in section 71 of the public welfare law was not an effective control. 
Shortly after the inception of the program, court action was initiated for the 
removal of a widower and nine minor children. It took almost a year to re- 
turn them. In fact, only a few days stood between their loss of outside settle- 
ment, which would have prevented their removal. Court action is slow and 
cumbersome and the constitutionality of section 71 has been questioned. An- 
other control adopted was the denial of assistance to unattached adult trans- 
sients of recent arrival who at time of application for relief refuse to agree to 
return to their outside settlement if considered socially advisable. 

Both of these controls first met with resistance from social agencies, trade- 
unions, and especially from pressure groups of the unemployed. The welfare 
council in New York appointed a committee of social workers from the leading 
social agencies in the city to meet regularly with officials of the nonsettlement 
office and the State department of social welfare to review actual cases affected 
by these controls. After months of study, the committee not only approved the 
action taken in each of the sample cases discussed, but also endorsed the prin- 
ciple of these controls as a means of safeguarding the program. Private 
agencies refused to grant aid to any nonsettled person whose application was 
rejected or relief withdrawn by the nonsettlement office for refusal to return. 
The interested trade-unions also accepted the necessity of these controls and 
after many policy meetings the most active pressure groups dropped any discus- 
sion on this principle and brought up only an occasional case where the social 
advisability of removal was questioned. 


If not for these factors and the other controls adopted by the State, as the 
initiation of correspondence for verification of outside settlement within 30 days 
uf the application for relief and regular follow-up, the program might have been 
seriously endangered. New York City has the highest relief standard in the 
country. Yet in July 1938, a year after the inception of the nonsettlement 
oflSce, the presumptive State-charge case load was 3,259. In November 1939 it 
was only 3,264, and only recently did it rise to 4,172, of which 25 percent repre- 
sents unattached persons. And a good proportion of the case load includes cases 
which had been transferred in from the local home-relief district offices where 
they had been active under the old 2-year residence requirement of the Wicks 
Act. Now they were technically nonsettled because of the absence from the 
State of a husband or father, or because some member of the family had 
received public assistance during each year of residence in the State. A sample 
study of the presumptive State-charge case load showed that 43.1 percent had 
lived"^ 1 year and over in the State and 16.4 percent had lived here 5 years and 
more, including life. 

It may be safely said that after 3 years of the State program less than 60 
percent of the cases classified as presumptive State charges, or over 2,500 cases, 
are transients in the strict sense of the word. Included in this number are 
cases in which efforts are being made to return them, cases where it is felt 
socially desirable for them to remain in New York, and cases of persons who 
have no outside settlements to which they can be removed. There is such a 
wide divergence in the settlement regulations of the various States that a per- 
son may lose settlement in one place without gaining it in another. Some 
States require as much as 5 years' residence in order to gain settlement and 
only 1 year's absence to lose it. There is the instance of a woman and three 
children who had lived their entire lives in one State until their arrival in New 
York, when they applied several days later for relief and removal. However, 
their State of origin requires 5 years continuous residence in a public welfare 
district without receiving public assistance and an absence of a single year from 
the public welfare district to lose settlement, even though the person had not 
moved out of the State. The result is a large group of persons made migrant 
because no governmental unit will accept responsibility, excepting the few 
States offering transient aid. 

Of the presumptive State-charge case load receiving home relief, their tran- 
siency for the most part is only occasional. They come from communities 
offering few work possibilities and little or no relief, from the sharecrop areas 
of the South and from the island of Puerto Rico, which has no social-security 
program and where the wages are as low as $4 a week during employment 
seasons. A study of a sample State-charge case load disclosed that 2T.S percent 
M-ere Negro and 23.4 percent came from Puerto Rico. It is the writer's expe- 
rience that in recent years the occasional migrant has constituted a much larger 
number than the habitual, although studies of migration emphasize the prob- 
lems of the constantly moving group. John N. Webb in his Internal Migration 
estimates that three-quarters of the 2,000,000 workers crossing State lines in the 
average year looking for work are occasional migrants and the remainder 
habitual. Excepting in the few instances of the psychopath and feeble-minded, 
transients do not wander for its own sake but only to find a place where they 
can work and settle. EUery F. Reed in his Evaluative Survey of the Federal 
Transient Program observed that transient family heads were more successful 
than the majority of local relief family heads in finding work in a crowded 

labor market. . .. ^ ^t_ ^ ■ *. 

In the homeless group receiving shelter care, the superiority of the transient 
over the local homeless person is particularly true. Only 65 percent of the local 
homeless are employable, while 85 percent of the transients examined for Work 
Projects Administration employment in New York during the liquidation of the 
Federal transient program were found physically fit. The transient homeless 
are more enterprising, energetic, younger, and have better educational back- 
ground than the local homeless, as may be seen from the following tables. 

260370 — 40 — pt. 1- 




15 to 24 years. 

25 to 29 years 

30 to 34 years 

35 to 39 years. 

40 to 44 years. 

45 to 49 years . 

50 to 54 years. 

55 to 59 years. 

60 to 64 years. 

65 to 69 years. 

Over 70 years 



1 year 

2 years--. 

3 years.-. 

(in per- 

(in per- 

Education — Continued. 
Elementary— Continued 

4 years 

5 years 

6 years 

7 years 

8 years.- 

High school: 

1 year 

2 years 

3 years 

4 years 


1 year 

2 years 

3 years 

4 years 

(in per- 

(in per- 

The homeless have a fairly good background in a variety of skills and 
semiskills; the transient are the more capable by virtue of their more recent 
experience in their regular occupations. Camp LaGuardia, providing mainte- 
nance work relief to unattached men, has been a self-sufficient community by 
being able to draw from its population every skill necessary to operate it — 
cooks, bakers, butchers, laundrymen, workers, electricians, painters, carpen- 
ters, clerks, etc. Few of the men have had an opportunity to remain long 
enough on a job to join any trade union. They have worked, however, at 
one or more of their several skills along tlv_\r journeys and helped build 
this country by their appearance when they are needed. The industrial 
migrant secures only seasonal work of such brief duration that he does not 
accumulate sufficient credit to entitle him to benefits of social security laws 
of any single State. 

Welcome extended to outsiders in time of public expansion is restricted 
when recession sets in. They are usually ineligible for local relief and have 
lost settlement in any community to which they can return and so they move 
on to milder climates, old homes, or where they have heard of jobs through 
hearsay, newspapers, or handbills. Neither the United States Employment 
Service, nor any other reliable public agency offers any information on job 
opportunities in the various areas of the country. The result is that not 
only transients, but residents as well, abandon their homes and set out on 
false prospects to strange communities. Many are too discouraged to make 
their way back and start their career of migration, ultimately to lose any 
settlement rights. There have been instances in New York of a taxi service 
to the city from southern communities bringing up people with promises of 
employment that do not exist, or pay less than subsistence wages. The city 
performed a service to the unemployed by cautioning them against coming 
to New York in order to find work at the World's Fair. Of 247 young people 
who were stranded here as a result of the fair, IHT were returned, often within 
a week, because the instant teletype messages transmitted by the juvenile 
aid bureau of the police department to their outside settlements for authoriza- 

From 150 to 350 homeless transients apply each week to the division of 
shelter care and an average of 100,000 a year. As has been pointed out, tran- 
sient families come for the most part from the southern States and Puerto Rico, 
whereas the transient homeless generally originate in the northeastern and 
middle Atlantic States, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. The major number of home- 
less female transients, and there were 321 last year, came from the mining 
towns of Pennsylvania and the mill towns of New England. Only a very 
small number of transient homeless are accepted, namely those who can make 
an early adjustment in New York and whose nonsettlement status can be 
established to the satisfaction of the State department of social welfare for 
full reimbursement of relief. The State requires the same conclusive proof 
of nonsettlement for homeless persons as for families before it will reimburse 
100 percent. Not only is it far more difficult to obtain an absolute negative 



of settlement on the homeless group hecause of theii- longer period of migra- 
tion and lack of response from out-of-town agencies, but the actual cost of 
shelter is frequently less than the price in work entailed to obtain the neces- 
sary documentary evidence. Nor is long-time care at the municipal lodging 
house or on the Bowery conducive to the future usefulness of able-bodied tran- 
.sients. Far more constructive and no more expensive in the long run is the 
plan of a reforestation camp or an industrial faim colony. Here the transient 
may stay over and work for his keep until he can locate a job. There is no 
reason why the camp cannot be tied up with the United States Employment 
Service to direct migrants to job opportunities, or at least to maintain a direc- 
tory of seasonal work possibilities in the various areas of the country. 

The habitual or constant migrant as distinguished from the occasional 
transient stands out more in good times. He is dei)endent on seasonal work 
wherever the local labor supply is inadequate. He is underpaid, underem- 
ployed, and often becomes a public charge through hospitalization, emergency 
relief, and the protective measures taken by the local police. Included in the 
habitual migrant gronp is also the health seeker, the peddler, the borderline 
psychopathic or feebleminded person and the maladjusted youngster. A 
.'-•tudy made in New York by the unattached and transients division in 1935 
tpf transient youth showed his mental age to be 12 years and 10 months and 
an I. Q. of SO. He generally completed S years of elementary school but re- 
ceived no industrial or specific vocational training. As a I'ule, he was white, 
native-born and came froml a poor home in New England, Pennsylvania, or 
adjacent States. Dromo mania or the desire to wander, as it has been termed 
by one psychiatrist, con.stitutes, however, a minor item among present-day 
transients. It is all the more imijortant for a relief agency handling transients 
to give them individual attention so as to make some intelligent plan for the 
care of each per.son and not treat them in a mass. 

Seamen are probably the most vigorous, articulate, and self-reliant in the 
transient group. Most of the men belong to a trade union — the deepwater 
seamen as a rule to the National Maritime Union of the Congress of Industrial 
Organizations and the inland boatmen, harbormen, and Great Lakes seamen 
to the International Seafarers Union of the American Federation of Labor. 
Each seaman carries some papers of identification ; inland boatmen have let- 
ters from previous employers and the, deepwater seamen who constitute the 
majority, possess at least three papers, a certificate of identification, a 
certificate of service, and a certificate of discharge. Seamen may also have 
a certificate of rating or rank, a union book and a shipping card issued by 
the trade-union. Members of our merchant marine, easily recognizable by 
their papers, are in the writer's opinion clearly the responsibility of the Fed- 
eral Government when they are unemployed. They have established no roots 
in any community and have no intention to settle in any State but be afloat 
a vessel. In the past 2 years, a maximum of 500 seamen and a minimum at 
present of 60 seamen have applied each week for an average care of 29 days, as 
compared to 105 days for transient landsmen. The following table gives the 
number of different seamen receiving assistance from the division of shelter 
care on the first day of each month since August 1, 1937. 











Jan. 1 






July 1 






Aug. 1,.. 

Sept. 1 

Oct. 1 


Mar. 1- 

Apr. 1 - -- 

Mav 1 - - -- --. 

Nov. 1 

Dec. 1 

The gradual reduction in the seamen case load since December 1939 is due to 
the placement on a special Work Projects Administration project of seamen 
who lost their employment because of the Neutrality Act. It included seamen 
who had been employed for 6 months subsequent to September 1, 1938, on ocean- 
going vessels. Although the present number receiving shelter care is under 100 
and includes those ineligible for this special "Work Projects Administration place- 
ment, any break in shipping conditions may bring in, overnight, hundreds of 
applicants. This has been the history of the seamen problem. 



Mr, OsMERS. Now, you have submitted this statement to the com- 
mittee, Mr. Astrofsky, and I %Yonder — most of the members of the 
committee have gone over it — I wonder if yon would summarize that in 
your own hmguage for us. 

]Mr. Astrofsky. Yes. I traced first the history of the transient pro- 
gram in New York City, during Federal participation in the program, 
and subsequent thereto when the State resumed the responsibility for 
the care of transients. I also indicated some of the difficulties with the 
old Federal transient program, such as, for example, the fact that 
transients received a different standard of care from our local people 
in New York, and also the problem of the removal, which apparently 
did not concern the Federal Government as much as it concerns the 
local relief administrations at present. 


Since July 1, 1937, when relief was liberalized in New York by 
revision of the public-welfare law, it was made available to all needy 
persons, regarclless of settlement. 

Now, first of all, an identical standard of relief was made to apply 
for the nonsettlement group as well as for those with settlement, and 
the program was entirely integrated with the local admiriistration of 
public assistance. 

The problem of removal was indicated in the public-welfare law, 
allowing for forcible court action if necessary. However, that in itself 
has not proven successful to date ; it has been necessarj^, on occasions, 
to withdraw assistance from persons who refused to return home if it is 
deemed desirable for them to do so. Then there is also the question of 
refusing aid in the first instance, where a person has just come to New 
York, and where it is felt that that person should return to his home 
community and he refuses to do so. 

Now, it is interesting; to note that in 3 years' time since this State 
program was initiated in New York, the State-charge case load today 
amounts to 4,200, 30 percent of which are unattached persons receiving 
some home relief- This case load has remained fairly stable over the 
past year and a half, or so. In addition to that, of course, we have our 
homeless transients to the extent of about 10,000, who come into New 
York City every year. 

Mr. Curtis. Now, pardon me, at this point, that is 10,000 homeless 
transients, are those individuals or families ? 

Mr. Astrofsky. They are individuals. 

ISIr. OsMERS. Do these 10,000 transients stay with you permanently, 
or do they move on ? 

Mr. Astrofsky. About 2 percent stay in New York, and the rest 
stay here generally several days and move on. 

As for the make-up of our home-relief transient case load, 70 
percent of which are families, we find that 23.4 percent came from 
Puerto Rico, and that 27.8 percent are Negroes. A large proportion 
of the families came from the southern communities, and, of course, 
from Puerto Rico. 

As for the homeless group, we find that the majority of the single 
men, and single women, too, who are included in the homeless group, 
come from New England, and the adjacent States of New York, 


^ew Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. We find, too, that the 
transient single man is generally of a superior caliber to the extent 
that he is abte to find work more readily, is younger, and physicially 
more fit. 

For example, I find that among our local homeless, who are 
dents of New York. 17 percent are between the ages of 15 and 40, 
while in the transient group 35 percent are between the ages of 15 
and 40. We find also that the older men form a larger proportion 
among the local homeless than among the transients. 

As far as educational backgrouncl is concerned, 7 percent among 
the transients have had some college education, and of the local 
homeless group, only 2 percent have had some college education. 
Again, with the homeless — they have a fairly good background of 
•employment and a variety of skills and semiskills, but the transients 
are the more capable by reason of their more recent experience in 
their regular occupations. 

We have, for instance. Camp LaGuardia, which provides rehabil- 
itative care to a thousand unattached men. Among our own un- 
attached relief recipients in Camp LaGuardia are cooks, barbers, 
shoemakers, and so forth, who, in fact, do practically all of the 
maintenance work. 

Now. coming back to the homeless, I said that we have about 
10,000 coming in every year, or from 150 to 350 coming in every week. 
We receive reimbursement in those cases where we can definitely estab- 
lish nonsettlement in the State. Of course, in the homeless group, 
it is far more difficult to establish their nonsettlement status with the 
result that the tendency is to take care only of those transients where 
there is a likelihood of getting full reimbursement. 

Mr. Parsons. Does the State reimburse the city in full? 

Mr. AsTROFSKY. Yes; where we can establish that the person 
involved is a nonresident of the State of New York. 

Mr. Parsons. What kind of a form do you have to certify to get 
the State to reimburse you on that? 

Mr. AsTRorsKY. We either have to establish documentary evidence 
from another State, acknowledging the settlement of that individual, 
or else we have to tie up an absence of 1 year from the State of New 
York by clearing with one or more citieswhere the person or family 
came from. 

Of course, one of the most severe problems that we have in facmg 
the transient person, both from the point of view of reimbursement 
and from the point of view of making a plan for him, is the question 
of settlement. There is a variety of settlement laws throughout the 
country, and some States allow a person to gain settlement if he has 
lived in that State 1 year without the receipt of public assistance. 
■Other States require 5 years of residence without receipt of public 
assistance to gain settlement and 1 year's absence from the State to 
lose settlement. 


For example, we had the situation of a family composed of a 
woman and three children who had lived in one State their entire 
lives, but unfortunatelv had not lived in the last welfare district in 
that State for 1 year without receipt of public assistance. They had 
moved from one welfare district in the State to another welfare 


district in the same State. This family came down to New York, 
obviously did not belong here and would not make an adjustment 
here. The reason for the woman coming here was to try to place 
her children in some institution. 

We found we could not return this woman and her three children^ 
because the State of origin refused to give us tlie autliorizution for 
their removal. Here was a woman and her children made migrant 
by this type of settlement law, and this is not unusual at all. 


We have in our group of transients the seamen, who are probably 
the most vigorous and self-reliant. Most of the men belong to a trade 
union. The deep-water seamen, as a rule, belong to the National 
Maritime Union, and the inland boatmen, or harbor men, to the Inter- 
national Seafarers Union of the A. F. of L. 

Each seaman carries three papers of identification ; he carries a 
certificate of identification, a certificate of service, and a certificate of 
discharge. In the past 2 years a maximum of 500 seamen and, at 
present, a minimum of 60 seamen, apply each week for an average 
care of 29 days. I have here some tables which show that on Sep- 
tember 1, 1937, we had 208 seamen on relief; on September 1, 1938. 
we had 650 seamen, and at present we have 93 seamen. The gradual 
reduction in seamen case load since December of 1939 was due to the 
placement on special W. P. A. projects of seamen who had lost their 
employment because of the Neutrality Act. It included seamen em- 
ployed for 6 months subsequent to September 1, 1938, on ocean-going 

Although the present number receiving shelter care is under 100 
and includes those ineligible for this type of W. P. A. placement, any 
break in shipping conditions may bring in, overnight, hunclrecls of 

Mr. Parsons. "Wliat kind of a W. P. A. project for seamen do you 
have here? 

Mr. AsTROrsKY. W. P. A. first established a project along the 
waterfront, but of late, I understand it has been referring seamen to 
regular laboring jobs in the city. Of late, too, we have had a num- 
ber of alien seamen who could not be returned to their foreign homes, 
and we have had to take care of a small number, at the expense of 
the State. 

A short time ago we had some Danish stranded seamen, and, of 
course, we contacted the immigi-ation authorities, but, until there was 
a ship to return them, they have had to be taken care of in this port. 

Mr. OsMERS. These men stranded through no fault of their own 
but as a result of the war in Europe — are they cared for by the city 
of New York ? 

Mr. AsTKOFSKY. We administer their relief, and are reimbursed 
by the State. 

Mr. OsMERs. The State takes care of them ? 

INIr. AsTRorsKY. The State supports them entirely. 

Mr. OsMERS. While it is a very small total number, it seems to be 
more of a Federal problem than a city or a State problem. 

Mr. Parsons. How many aliens do you have in New York City? 

Mr. AsTROFSKY. I cannot give you that figure offhand ; among our 
homeless population it is quite small. About 75 percent of your 


homeless people are native-born, and the others have been here many 

Mr. Parsons. And the reason that there is such a small number of 
homeless is that relatives and friends of those — some of whom may 
be citizens and some of whom may not be — have taken care of a lot 
of cases of aliens here in New York City and furnished them a place 
to live; is that true? 

Mr. AsTROFSKY. That is possible. 

Mr. Paesons. Do you think that there are 100,000 aliens in New 
York City? 

]\lr. AsTROFSKY. You mean on relief ? 

Mr. Parsons. No; the total. 

Mr. AsTRorsKY. AAHien you say alien, you mean one who is not an 
American citizen or who has never declared his intention to become 
an American citizen — I would assume there are 100,000 in a city of 
this size, but I do not know. 


Mr. OsMERS. A question of this settlement law situation seems to 
be becoming more and more important before the committee as men 
like yourself testify as to the various problems of the States and 
municipalities. Do you believe that these settlement laws should be 
broadened, or made more uniform throughout the country, or that 
they should be abolished? 

Mr. AsTROFSKY. I can see a reason for settlement laws. These 
settlement laws, you know, came down to us from the old Eliza- 
bethan days in England, and the whole system of charity for years 
and years has been affected by our settlement provisions. 

After all, we have got to determine some responsibility for a per- 
son who requires any form of public assistance. I cannot see any 
reason, for example, why Philadelphia should take care of a person 
who has just come in from another community. So, it seems to me 
that there is a reason for settlement laws being in existence. But on 
the other hand, we have found a great deal of difficulty because of 
the variety of settlement laws throughout the country. Some re- 
quire 5 years, some 3 years, some 2 years, and some 1 year of resi- 

For example, we have here in the city of New York a number of 
persons on relief as State charges who have lived here all of their 
lives. Because the husband deserted over a year ago and lives in, 
say, Chicago or in some other city, his family loses settlement. 

Now, of course, we do not remove such a family to the husband, 
but on the other hand there is always a question of legal responsibil- 
ity for this particular family. If we did not have State respon- 
sibility for nonsettled persons, that family could not receive any 
public assistance. 

So what we do need is a revision of the settlement laws throughout 
the country and to make them uniform. We have a situation, for 
example where we may write to a State and ask for authorization to 
return a family which should be returned for good social reasons. 
That State will say, "Yes; the family has lived here a number of 
years, but we require that the family indicate to us their desire to 
return, after they have been advised that there is no relief at all 
available to them in this particular State." 


Mr. OsMERS. If the Federal Government should decide to give 
financial assistance to the States and to the municipalities to help 
with the problem of transients, would you say it should be adminis- 
tered as a Federal program or as a local program, with Federal 
assistance, and when I say local I include the State? 

Mr. AsTROFSKY. I would rather have my superior, the mayor, 
answer that. 

Mr. OsMERS. Of course, the mayor gave us the impression, if I 
understood him correctly, that he thought it should be a Federal 
program for the saving of a great amount of overhead and admin- 
istrative cost and expense, but other men, many of them in capacities 
similar to yours have felt that it should be a grant-in-aid program, 
to the State, or the States. 

Are there any other questions? 


Mr. Sparkman. I want to ask him a question or two. I want to 
ask you about these migrants from Puerto Rico. Do they create any 
unusual problems for you? 

Mr. AsTROFSKY. Well, we have almost 25 percent of our nonsettle- 
ment case load made up of Puerto Ricans. 

Now, the Puerto Ricans receive an average of about $4 or $5 a 
week in Puerto Rico when they are employed. I also understand 

Mr. Parsons. Did you say per week or per month ? 

]Mr. AsTROFSKY. Per week. I also understand that food costs are 
relatively high in comparison to the wages. They have to import a 
good deal of their food. Clothing is relatively high in relation to 
their incomes. 

When these people come here to this country they have language 
difficulty. They are very clamiish. and they are generally taken care 
of by their own friends and families for a short period of time. 

They find it very difficult to get work. The work they do here is 
generally needlework at home or some very minor laboring tasks. 

I think that they form a real health problem in a northern city. 
They are not accustomed to the climate here. Certain illnesses which 
are dormant in Puerto Rico tend to show up in New York, and they 
do constitute quite a problem. I think, to the general population here. 

Mr. Parsons. AVhat are the illnesses that are peculiar to these 
Puerto Ricans? 

Mr. AsTROFSKY. I do not know whether it is peculiar to the Puerto 
Ricans, or peculiar to a people that come from an environment which 
is so different from New York. For example, when they come here 
to a diiferent climate, their health district of residence shows a high 
incidence of tuberculosis. 

They are generally rather insecure. They are in a strange country 
here, a strange environment, and it is difficult to understand them. 
Their habits are peculiar to our customs. A person may call himself 
by his father's name or mother's name, or her maiden name, and we 
have individuals who use half a dozen names. He may, for example, 
take a wife, and she may use her husband's name, or her own maiden 
name, or her grandparents' name, or sometimes use a combination of 
all these names. 


You try to recognize tliem when you handle their cases and it is 
quite a difficult situation. In their applications for assistance we 
are faced with all of these problems. And, of course, they do not 
wish to be removed because they would have nothing to look forward 
to in Puerto Rico. 

I understand they have only a few orphanages in Puerto Rico, some 
of which can only admit a few children in the course of the year. 
Their facilities for handling mental cases are also limited. They 
have no social-security program, and in New York, of course, they 
do get the benefit of all these. 


Mr, Parsons. With reference to the settlement laws, I gather from 
what you say that so far as your own work is concerned you prob- 
ably would prefer a uniform settlement law throughout the country 
rather than an abolition of all settlement laws '^ 

Mr. AsTRorsKY, Yes; that is my personal opinion. You see, we 
have here a large number in our nonsettlement case load that we 
can never return. Assuming that the State of New York revokes 
its program for the care of nonsettled persons, we will be faced with 
the problem of individuals that have no places of settlement. They 
cannot be returned anywhere, and, of course, New York City will 
have to take care of them in one way or another. 

Now, if you had a uniform set of settlement laws throughout the 
country wliicli would, for example, provide that no person shall lose 
settlement unless he gains another settlement, it would be very helpful 
to us in removing more individuals to communities which could take 
care of them or where they can make a better adjustment. 

Mr. Parsons. I have one or two questions that I want to ask on that 
point. You would, then, recommend, more or less, a uniform law in 
the States with reference to the settlement laws ? 

Mr. AsTROFSKT. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. What period would you suggest — 1 or 2 years, or 6 
months ? 

Mr. AsTROFSKY. Offhand, I would say that 1 year seems like a fairly 
reasonable period of time for a person to be able to gain settlement. 
However, that person should not lose a settlement until he gains 

Mr. Parsons. Well, I am in agreement with that. But it was my 
thought that if they were repealed outright, probably that would 
create a greater transient problem than you have at the present time. 
If I could leave here and go to Illinois, leave tonight and get there the 
day after tomorrow, and immediately report to the welfare agencies 
and still get my relief, why I might just as well see all of the 48 States 
and all of the" coast lines and everywhere else at the expense of the 
Federal Government, if the Federal Government was contributing 
practically all of the funds. 

Mr. AsTROFSKY. Well, here we have in the State of New York a pro- 
gram of providing assistance to persons who have no settlement, 
financed and supported by the State of New York. Yet in a city of 
this size, 7,500,000 people,'we only have 4,200 so-called transient fami- 
lies, that is, over a period of 3 years, and of the 4,200 transient families, 
I believe that at least one-fourth are transient in name only, but are 


really New Yorkers. They are transients because of some teclmicality 
in the settlement provisions. Forty-three percent of our transient 
families under care here have lived in New York over a year, and 16 
percent have lived in New York over 5 years and up to life. 

So, if you have adequate controls, exercised both from the stand- 
point of intake, and from the point of view of follow-up you can 
keep down your transient problem, your habitual migrants. 

Our statistics also show that the nonsettled person, for the most part, 
is not an habitual migratoi'y person. That is in accord with the find- 
ings of many other people who have worked with the problem and have 
studied it. I should say 65 or 70 percent are what we would call occa- 
sional migrants; they have come up from another community, not to 
get relief but to look for work or to stay with friends or relatives until 
they can get jobs. There is a small segment in the whole problem that 
actually migrates for the purpose of migrating. Even in that segment 
there are the usual migratory workers and then, of course, the chronic 
tramps and loafers, the juvenile delinquent, and other emotionally 
unstable, psychopathic, and feeble-minded persons about whom so 
many authors write beautiful stories; but they form a very small 
proportion of the entire number. Your large load is made up of people 
who are looking for work, and people who have not wandered for any 
period of time or to any extent. 

Mr. Parsons. How was the relief problem handled in New York 
City and in the State of New York when the Federal Government was 
contributing from April of 1933 to July of 1936? Did each munici- 
pality handle its own problem? 

Mr. AsTROFSKT. The Federal program, I think, was in existence 
from July 1933 until September 20, 1935, and that was supervised in 
New York State by the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration. 
The job was actually done for the most part by the local public-welfare 
agencies, but the money was received directly from T. E. R. A., the 
Temporary Emergency Relief Administration. 

Mr. OsMERS. If there are no further questions, thank you very much, 
Mr. Astrof sky ; you have made a very nice contribution. 

Mr. Sprafkin is the next witness. 


Mr. OsMERS. Will you give your name and occupation, please ? 

Mr. Sprafkin. Benjamin Sprafkin, social worker, chairman of a 
group of 37 member agencies of the welfare council, which is a coor- 
dinating body of private and public agencies in New York. These 
agencies work with the homeless and unattached in New York City. 

IMr. OsMERS. As I understand it, you would like to present a series 
of recommendations on the care of transients to the committee, and 
I wish you would proceed. 

Mr. Sprafkin. I would like to emphasize that these recommenda- 
tions are based upon actual experience by the agencies engaged in 
the work with the homeless and unattached, and in addition, that 
these recommendations grew out of a study made both in 1938 and 
1939 at the request of Miss Gibbons, the First Deputy New York 
State Commissioner of Social Welfare, requesting that the group of 


agencies follow the development of the State program inaugurated 
by the amendment to the f)ublic- welfare law which went into effect 
in July of 1937. 

Mr. Curtis. May I inquire into a thing or two ? Now, this council 
is made up of 37 different private agencies 

Mr. Sprafkin. Private and public; I represent one section of the 
welfare council; namely, the unattached and homeless section. 

Mr. Curtis. And these recommendations were made by representa- 
tives, social workers in that group ? 

Mr. Sprafkin. Exactly. 

Mr. Curtis. Did this committee that formulated these recom- 
mendations have on it anyone other than people engaged in social 
work ? 

Mr. Sprafkin. As far as I know, they were all engaged in this field. 

Mr. Curtis. There was no one sitting in the conference represent- 
ing the other walks of life, the general public, or other people ? 

Mr. Sprafkin. There are certainly some lay people in this group 
who represent different private agencies, and it is with the approval 
of the whole membership that these recommendations were finally 

Mr. Curtis. But after all it comes as the recommendation of those 
people who are spending most of their time in social work ? 

Mr. Sprafkin. Yes, sir. 


(Reading:) The following recommendations have been endorsed by 
the group of 37 member agencies of the Welfare Council of New York 
City concerned with the care of the unattached and homeless. They 
are based on the actual experience of social agencies in this State and 
grew out of a study made in 1938 and 1939 in response to a request from 
Miss Mary L. Gibbons, First Deputy New York State Commissioner of 
Social Welfare, that this group of agencies follow the development 
of the State program inaugurated by the amendment to the Public 
Welfare Law (in effect July 1, 1937) and note its advantages and its 
limitations. They were reviewed this year in the light of recent de- 
velopments in this field, found to be sound, and again were endorsed 
"by the same group of agencies. 

1. The problem of the transient is interstate in character and be- 
yond the scope of any one State. Any State assuming the respon- 
sibility of caring for nonsettled persons is faced with the alternative 
of either being swamped by an influx of migrants from other States, 
or of setting up administrative controls to keep down the cost of the 
program which result in meeting only part of the needs involved in 
the transient problem. A highly complicating feature is the great 
variety of settlement laws and relief standards existing among the 

2. Even if every State in the Union set up comparable relief stand- 
ards and uniform settlement laws, participation by the Federal Gov- 
ernment would still be necessary to equalize the burden. 

3. Federal participation in the care of transients only would be un- 
satisfactory, as this would tend to encourage transiency and arouse 


resentment, unless provisions were also made for assistance to needy 
residents not cared for under existino; profjrams. 

4. Transients can best be cared for as a part of a program of Federal 
assistance available to the States through grants-in-aid for general 
assistance. Such grants-in-aid should be contingent upon the ac- 
ceptance by Federal authority of State plans which conform to fed- 
erally establish conditions aiid standards, including adequate assist- 
ance to nonsettled persons. 

5. In any such program, the following principles are essential to 
safeguard the rights of nonsettled persons : 

(a) The plan should provide for all persons in need, regardless of 
settlement or residence. 

(h) No distinction in the amount or type of assistance should be 
made because of settlement or resident status. 

{c) Because an integrated, well-rounded program would not hinge 
on a classification of persons into settlement or resident groups, the 
rate of Federal participation under this plan should not vary because 
of settlement or resident status. However, because there has been 
assumed a particular responsibility on the part of the Federal Govern- 
ment for nonsettled and nonresident persons and because municipali- 
ties feel no responsibility to care for the nonsettled and nonresident, 
it may be desirable to provide for a higher rate of Federal participa- 
tion for the nonsettled and nonresident group, 

{(l) There should be provision for a single State agency or State 
supervised local agencies to administer this plan. 

(e) The present State laws establishing local settlement and corre- 
sponding local responsibility may continue, except insofar as in- 
consistent with the principles stated herein. 

(/') Kemovals : (1) Removal of persons to places of settlement should 
be decided in accordance with the best interests of the family or indi- 
vidual and the communities concerned; (2) a person residing in a 
State may be returned to a State in which he has settlement upon 
receipt of acknowledgment of settlement and authorization for return 
by the proper public-welfare official in the receiving State; (3) re- 
gardless of settlement status, it should be possible for a person to be 
sent to another State provided he so desires and authorization is re- 
ceived from the proper public-welfare official in the receiving State. 

(g) Minimum standards of relief and care including, but not limited 
to, medical care in hospitals, clinics, and other institutions, should be 
established in the State plan. 

(h) Registration with Federal or State employment services should 
be required of every employable person under care who has reached 
the legal age for employment. 

Mr. OsMEKS. Are there any questions that the members of the com- 
mittee wish to ask Mr. Sprafkin with respect to the recommendations 
he submitted on behalf of the welfare council? 

Mr. Curtis. I have none. 

Mr. Parsons. I have none. 

Mr. OsMERS. Thank you very, very much for presenting those- 
recommendations, Mr. Sprafkin. 



Mr. OsMERS. Commissionei- Adie will please come forward. 
Commissioner Adie, I understand you have a statement i^repared, 
m\d would you submit that for the record ? 
Mr. Adie. I would be glad to, sir. 



The problem of the destitute migrant, or transient, as he is often called, may 
be discussed from many angles. I should like to consider this problem today 
brietly in its legal, social, and financial aspects as it impinges upon relief 
administration. Although I shall defer the question of removals until later in 
this statement, I wish at the outset to say emphatically that reports in the 
press to the effect that welfare officials "deport" persons from New York State 
give an entirely erroneous impression of the removal procedure. No person is 
ever removed without authorization of the responsible official in the community 
receiving him. Such persons are only removed to their respective places of 
settlement after a careful social consideration is given each case. It is not 
lirimarily a question of economy or financial consideration. 

In its legal aspect the transient problem originates in the matter of settle- 
ment. Settlement is the legally defined status of a person which determines 
what basic unit of government is financially responsible for his assistance or 
care. In New York State settlement is acquired by continuous residence in a 
city or town for 1 year without receiving public aid or being certified to Works 
Progress Administration as in need. The problem of giving public aid to the 
interstate migrant is greatly aggravated by the wide variation in the settlement 
laws of the different States. Because of this variation, a person may lose 
settlement in one State before gaining settlement in another. Those involved 
are usually unaware of their change of status. When a man in search of work 
comes to a State line, there is no barrier in his path, nor sign post by the road, 
to warn him that his next step involves a profound change in his legal rights. 

Inquiring into the social aspects of the problem, I must devote some time to 
describing who the transient is in New York State. The social characteristics of 
transients differ widely in different parts of the country. We can eliminate .so 
far as New York is concerned, the pioneer type of migrant who with his whole 
family pushes on to seek a new homestead on better farm land. This type, so 
important on the rim of the dust bowl, is not found to any extent in the old 
States of the East. In general use, the term "transient" is applied to persons 
who are almost continually on the move, going from one State to another seek- 
ing better work or living conditions. The wanderer, however, is only one type 
of transient. There are many who, although residing in the locality in which 
tliey have become destitute, have for technical reasons no settlement in any 
State or community, and also those who have settlement elsewhere outside 
New York State but who lack initiative or means to go to their place of 


The transients in this State may be classified as to degree of mobility roughly 
as follows : 

1. Those who are not consciously migrant ; those who continue to live in 
essentially the same general vicinity, but who by happenstance move across 
State lines in that vicinity. 

2. Those who move from one permanent domicile to another permanent domi- 
cile, with no intention of their moving about any further. Usually, they are 
persons who moved to take up a specific job. 

3. Those who move about in connection with their vocations and have no 
real intention of settling for any period of time beyond the duration of the 
immediate employment in the place in which the current work opportunities are 

4. Those who move from one permanent domicile to another with or without 
the guarantee of a job. 


5. Those who follow in the wake of ripening crops and often live by groups 
in camps. Such migi-auts follow this type of work with great regularity each 

6. Those who move continually because no community will shelter them for 
long, many of them having become demoralized to the point where they no longer 
possess steady work habits. 

It is an antisocial attitude to regard transients as essentially different from 
other people — as undesirables. The migrant is principally and primarily the 
product of an industrial and agricultural society which requires a certain 
mobility in its labor force ; he is not always a rolling stone by choice. That 
is to say, there are comparatively few migrants who move purely from wander- 
lust. Most of them move about because they cannot find continuous work in 
one place, and desire to better themselves and remain independent if possible. 
Some of them are itinerant laborers with a fair degree of skill in a particular 
line — such as some phase of construction work — who, when times become hard 
and their specialty is hit by depression, some sudden change in business or 
some shift in an industrial process, or when age or sickness puts them at a 
disadvantage in competition with younger workers, fall by the economic way- 
side, and must apply for aid. There are considerable numbers of agricultural 
workers who follow a particular fruit or vegetable crop, or a group of crops, 
from one section of the country to another — from Florida and the Gulf States 
in the winter, northward to New York State in the summer and back again the 
following winter. If at some point in this employment cycle the crop is a 
failure or the workman or someone in his family becomes ill, public aid for a 
greater or lesser time is needed. 

There are also migratory workers who, lacking any definite skill, shift from 
country to city with the season. They attempt to get work on truck and 
fruit farms in the summer and go into the cities in the winter to pick up 
such odd jobs as may be available. For example, Monroe County, being a fruit 
and farm belt, has a rather large transient problem. The problem is at a 
minimum during the summer but in the fall and winter these workers return 
to Rochester, which is the largest city in the county and is looked upon as a 
headquarters for any possible employment opportunities. Over 60 percent of 
the men coming to Rochester and applying for meals and lodging while they 
wait for employment claim that tliey formerly worked during the fruit season 
on farms in the vicinity. During the past year, the age range of transients 
known to the county welfare department has been as follows : 10 percent be- 
tween 21 and 40 years, 30 percent between 41 and 50 years, 55 percent between 
51 and 65 years, and 5 percent between 66 and 70 years. About 70 percent 
of all transients cared for were, in the opinion of the social investigator and 
according to their own statements, employable, while 20 percent were ill and 
received medical attention, and 10 percent had physical defects which pre- 
vented them from securing work. About 85 percent of the employable transients 
in this county are able to do labor work, 10 percent do restaurant work, and 
5 percent are skilled or "white collar" workers. Abdut 80 percent are citizen.^ 
and 20 percent are aliens or cannot prove citizenship. 

Data on occupational classification of transients are so meager as to be 
almost nonexistent. The fact, however, that industrial workers must often 
move across State lines in order to better themselves is, nevertheless, unques- 
tionable. We have instances on record where the initiative in moving into 
New York from another State was taken by the employer rather than the 
worker. Having plants in different States, an employer will sometimes encour- 
age his workers to move, only to leave them stranded when a slack period 
comes. This has been especially serious in Lackawanna and East Rochester 
in recent years. 

An illustration of the interstate movement of employable industrial workers 
is found in figiu-es released by the Social Security Board showing the number 
of initial claims for unemployment benefits received from workers living 
in a given State and forwarded to another State for collection. The reverse 
of the picture is also shown in figures for initial claims received by a State 
which is liable for payment from workers now living in other States. New 
York, for example, received approximately 5,500 initial claims for unemploy- 
ment-insurance benefits during the period October-December 1939 from persons 
living in other States whose rights to benefits had been earned through employ- 
ment in New York State factories. During the same period New York for- 
warded to other States approximately 5,400 claims of persons who had moved 
into New York after earning rights to benefits elsewhere. These figures are 
significant in two ways : First, they show that workers who have been long 


enough employed within a given State to obtain benefit rights have felt the 
necessity of moving elsewhere to obtain further employment, and in the 
second place, unless jobs are found in the locality to which these workers have 
moved, many may become public charges before they have had time to acquire 
legal settlement. 


New York City, because of its position as a great seaport as well as a great 
industrial center, has certain special phases of the transient problem to contend 
with. About one-third of the State charges in New York City, for example, are 
people who have come from Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico has no social-security 
program ; no local public program for relief ; inadequate facilities for care of 
the indigent sick ; and a large volume of unemployment among its working 
classes. Consequently, there is a large influx from Puerto Rico into New York 
City, and these people are totally unprepared to face the new conditions con- 
fronting them. A severe winter climate and little opportunity for employment 
along any line for which they are equipped await these newcomers. Although, 
in general, these people are able to subsist for from 3 to 6 months without apply- 
ing for public assistance, many are then forced to do so. 

In New York City there is a considerable group of seamen who become 
stranded between opportunities for work and who have no settlement in this 
State. This situation involves not only those whose homes, if any, are in other 
States but also those who come from foreign countries. At the present moment, 
workers on ships, docks, and other marine activities have been definitely affected 
by the sudden dislocation of the export business resulting from the war. 

Numbers of Negroes from Southern States come to New York City, most 
of them attempting to find work, and many of them knowing that relief in 
this State is more adequate than in the South in the event that work is not to be 
had. The suburban areas of Westchester and Long Island attract Negro women 
hoping to find employment as domestics in the homes of well-to-do persons. 
When permanent positions are not to be found, many of these women apply 
for relief rather than attempt to return to the South. 

Buffalo, the State's second largest city, has long had a transient problem of 
serious proportions. It was here that the first municipal lodging house in 
America was established to shelter the homeless. Important among the factors 
contributing to the transient load is Buffalo's position as a port through which 
all the diversified commerce of the Great Lakes passes. It is not only a port 
but a railroad center — a point of transfer from water to rail trafiic. There is 
also considerable seasonal agricultural labor in the adjacent counties along the 
lakes — labor which is attracted to the city in the fall and winter. Buffalo has 
also to cope with certain problems arising from its position as a border city. 

A diflicult situation has developed recently at Schenectady, where a large 
number of tanks are to be manufactured for the Army. News of the award 
of this contract has brought many unemployed men to that city who cannot be 
placed in jobs because they lack the necessary skill. Many of these men are 
entirely without funds. 


We have described several different types of persons making up the group 
known as transients, indicating in general the causes of their movement from 
one locale to another. What, then, is New York State doing to meet the needs 
of these people? I am glad to say that the same forms of public aid and care 
as are available to needy persons everywhere throughout the State are also 
available to the transient group. Public assistance, medical care, hospitaliza- 
tion, foster care for children, all are available to the needy nonsettled popula- 
tion. Since July 1, 1937, the State has borne the responsibility for the cost 
of caring for all nonsettled persons residing in this State. The actual granting 
of aid, however, is administered by the local commissioners of public welfare. 
In accepting financial responsibility for this group, the State necessarily requires 
that the fact of nonsettlement be verified by the local districts administering 
relief as a prerequisite for obtaining the 100-percent reimbursement by the State 
for the cost of assistance rendered. In cases whei-e the nonsettled status cannot 
be verified, the local districts receive only the usual 40-percent reimbursement 
which applies to general relief, or as we call it, home relief. 

While, in general, the quality of transient care has greatly improved with 
State participation and supervision, the wandering single man is still subjected 


to some hardship in that he is usually given meals and shelter for a few days 
at the most and passed on by the local district to the next community. This 
practice of passing on has carried over into the new State charges program 
of New York largely because it is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive for 
tlie local districts to obtain documentary proof of the nonsettled status of these 
single men. Rather than go to the considerable expense and trouble involved, 
the local district assumes their care for one or several days and urges them on 
their way. 

Four of the large cities in the State have municipal lodging houses for 
transients and local homeless persons. On June 30. 1&40, the number of registered 
and under care in these lodging houses was as follows : New York City, 6,346 ; 
Yonkers, 82 ; Syracuse, 201 ; Buffalo, 1,606. In most cities, the wayfaring tran- 
sients are cared for by rescue missions. Salvation Army shelters, and other 
private agencies financed mainly by private philanthropy. There are 79 such 
agencies in this State. 

In 1939 the records indicate the private agencies served 219,052 Individuals, 
providing 621,630 nights' lodging and 1,791,014 meals. The public homes, main- 
tained by counties and cities, served 29,483 individuals, providing 47,580 
nights' lodging and 113,038 meals. The figures for individuals involve consider- 
able duplication since these agencies usually serve the local homeless as well 
as the transient. It is the custom of these agencies and institutions generally 
to report each visit to the shelter as a separate case. Tliese figures are, thei'e- 
fore, valueless as a measuring rod in relation to the actual number of persons 

The cost of caring for State charges within the general public-assistance 
program is increasing each year. During the fiscal year ended June 30, 1938, 
a total of $1,700,000 was spent by the State for cases having no settlement within 
its borders. In the fiscal year ended June 30, 1939, $2,571,000 was spent. It is 
not possible to give complete figures for the fiscal year just ended because the 
accounts are not all in, but the amount is expected to run well over $3,000,000. 

Because of the difference in settlement lav.-; and the difference in relief 
standards among the States, there exists an iiuentive for indigent persons to 
migrate to a State like New York where standards of relief are higher. Con- 
sequently, the State must protect itself against the cost of maintaining such 
transients by arranging for their removal under proper safeguards to other 
places where they have settlement. 

The policy of the State department of social welfare in this matter of re- 
moval is not based merely upon the necessity of protecting State finances, 
but involves a thorough consideration of the hmnan needs and rights of the 
persons concerned. This policy is expressed in the State Charges Informational 
Bulletin No. SS-1, issued by the department on July 6, 1937, at the inception 
of the new program, reading as follows : 

"The removal of State charges by departments of public welfare should not 
be effected until settlement is definitely established and an authorization has 
been received for the return of any such person from the authorized officials 
in the locality of settlement. Each proposed removal must be considered on a 
casework basis and a return effected only when the conunissioner of public wel- 
fare is satisfied that the welfare of the person and the interest of the State 
will thereby be promoted. State charges requiring temporary relief and care 
should be given a reasonable opportunity for rehabilitation unless they desire 
to return voluntarily. 

"No removal of a State charge under medical care shall be made unless a 
certificate is secured from the physician or superintendent of the institution 
indicating that the patient is able to travel. Re.sponsible public welfare officials 
and interested persons in other States should be informed in advance when a 
removal is contemplated in order that necessary arrangements for care may 
be made on arrival * * *." 

It will be noted that no person is removed from the State unless settlement 
elsewhere is proved and unless the commissioner of the local public welfare 
district effecting the removal has definite authorization from the place of settle- 
ment to return the person to that community. Under the safeguards indicated, 
3,781 persons were removed from the State in the year ended June 30, 1939, 
at a cost of $68,451. In the past fiscal year ending June 30, 1940, there were 
2.048 persons removed at a cost of $34,273. 



Because the problem of transiency is interstate in character, it is beyond 
tlie capacity of the States left to themselves to deal with it adequately. This 
problem, viewed from any and all aspects, is national in its nature and beyond 
any question is one which primarily belongs to the Federal Government. Par- 
ticipation by the Federal Government in a major degree is an absolute necessity 
to any comprehensive program. It is not equitable to leave the financial 
burden of care for migrants upon State and local governments, because the 
volume of transiency is so unevenly distributed among the States and prac- 
tically uncontrollable by any State. The Federal Government should not be 
asked, liowever, to meet the entire cost of such care since each community 
contributes to the stream of transiency. 


It would seem that the proper course to follow would be for the Federal 
Government, througli the Social Security Board, to establish a new category of 
public assistance througli which care might be provided for the nonsettled 
person. Such a procedure would be economical and would also allow for the 
integration of relief administration within the present Federal-State-local 
structure. If the Social Security Board was to follow its usual plan of asking 
the individual States to present a specific plan which had to be related to a 
general ovei'-all pattern established by the Federal Government, it would also 
be possible and practical to allow for the variations and peculiarities which 
are implicit in the several State situations. There would also be included in 
such a proposal the valuable principal of either State or local administration 
with Federal or State supervision, as the case might be, similar to that which 
now exists in the administration of old-age assistance, aid to dependent chil- 
dren, and assistance to the blind. 

It is necessai-y to stress the importance of having such a program adminis- 
tered by either the State directly or by a State-local administration. The 
experience of the past has clearly indicated that the Federal administration 
of any program for the care of the migrant is not conducive either to good 
administration or to the well-being of the persons in receipt of care. It will 
be recalled that at one time there was such a federally administered program. 
The success which the Federal Government has obtained in the administration 
of the other categories of public assistance ought to determine the pattern for 
any future development or expansion of the public-assistance program. 

i should also like to stress the fact that in this particular category there 
should be a very real difference from the existing policy of the Federal Social 
Security Board insofar as the financial asijects are concerned. The very nature 
of the problem would call for a major financial burden being placed upon the 
Federal Treasury. If it were not for the fact that experience shows that 
when there are several units of government cooperating in a particular pro- 
gram, each should bear a share of the financial costs, I would advocate that 
the entire cost be placed upon the Federal Government. Because of the human 
element, I would advocate that the State and local units have a stake in any 
plan which is adopted. It might well be that the Federal Government would 
carry at least 90 i>ercent of the cost, leaving the remaining 10 percent to be 
distributed between the State and local governments. If it w'ere financed en- 
tirely from Federal moneys. States and localities would be sorely tempted to 
administer the program with their eyes on finances rather tlian on huiuan 
values. Many other difficulties would follow in the wake of the entire financing 
of the program by the Federal authorities. 

It would seem to me that the grants-in-aid principle .should be conditional 
upon the States adopting specific provisions which would be uniform in all the 
States. For instance, it might provide for (1) a 1-year State settlement law; 
(2) continuance of settlement in one State until acquired in another ; (3) uniform 
requirements as to other aspects of settlement, particularly as to the effect of 
marriage, desertion, and divorce upon the settlement status of the wife ; and 
(4) uniform treatment of the settlement status of minors. 

Federal participation by assuring more nearly imiform care and by removing 
the glaring diTf erences in settlement laws, should on the one hand tend to reduce 
the volume of transient cases, and on the other hand take from State and local 

26o:?70— 40— pt. 1 15 



authorities mucli of the incentive for removing persons without valid considera- 
tion of all the social and economic factors which are involved. Finally, Federal 
participation, by the influence which is vested in any supervisory process, would 
eliminate the gross inadequacies and injustices of many of the practices which 
now prevail and which border definitely on discrimination against the nonsettled 
person in matters pertaining to the granting of relief. The nonresident person 
should not be separated from other persons who need care and given a status 
which almost involves contempt solely because he lacks the legal qualification 
of settlement. Poverty and illness are no respecters of legal technicalities. 

The wisdom and fairness of establishing Federal responsibility for the support 
of interstate migrants has been acknowledged by every student of this question. 
New York, almost alone among the States, has demonstrated decent and adequate 
care of the nonsettled population, by dealing with transients as people, not out- 
casts. This experiment has proved that there is no undue shift in population 
traceable to the more adequate social program which New York has carried for- 
ward. We want to continue this kind of care and to see it extended in other 
States, but we doubt if the State of New York, unaided by the Federal authori- 
ties, can carry on such a program indefinitely in its present form. 


Mr. OsMERS. I wonder if you would outline for the committee whom 
you represent. 

Mr. Adie. That is contained in my statement. 

As far as the State of New York is concerned, we generally feel that 
"transients" is a wrong title, we rather like to think of them as non- 
settled people. "Transient" has been set apart in our American think- 
ing as an undesirable person, by and large, and we, in the State ad- 
ministration, do not view it in that way. 

We think of him as an unsettled person. Sometimes he is single and 
sometimes he is with his family. Usually he comes into the State 
unconscious of the fact that he is losing his settlement. He comes 
because he is in the general vicinity of the State, and he just happens 
to come, for instance, from New jersey or Pennsylvania. He comes 
over the State line, and there are not any particular signs, and he does 
not know he is losing his legal status in the process. 

Then, there is a group that is looking for specific jobs and they come 
to our State ; for instance, we are experiencing at the present moment 
an increase of the migrant problem wherever we find defense orders 
coming out, such as at Schenectady, where they are now making Army 
tanks. There has been quite an increase of persons both intra- and 
interstate coming in the hope that they can get jobs. 

I would like to emphasize that for every able-bodied person in our 
general relief families today there are three other unemployed persons 
m this State who are looking for work. Therefore, the unemployed 
person in the relief program has very great competition in relation to 
employment opportunities. That is the exact figure for this State, and 
I am sure it holds, generally speaking. 


Mr. Curtis. At that point may I ask a question ? Have you observed 
any discrimination of private employment against people who have 
been on relief by reason of that fact? 

Mr. Adie. Well, the person on relief gets the last break. It will be 
necessarily so in the defense program, since that has to be on a selective 
basis. I am interested in seeing the defense program provide an oppor- 
tunity for training for the men on relief, particularly the young men 


between the ages of 19 and 25 who have gone through the depression 
and never had a chance to work. It seems to me that it is essential in 
our defense program that we not only have something to defend but 
that we have the people with whom to defend it. 

It is essential that these 3'oung men, who have been without any 
oi)})ortunity for work, get a chance to develop skills which can be 
applied in different ways. They may not always be employed neces- 
sarily to use those particular skills, but the possession of one industrial 
skill leads to the exercise of another. 

My feeling is that it is a sound basis for establishing the defense 
program to take 50 percent of the trainees from the W. P. A. rolls and 
50 percent from the public employment offices. The major difficulty 
will be in trying to integrate the younger men who are on the relief 
rolls. The tendency will be to take men who are already in industry 
and can be transferred rapidly, by retraining, from one branch to 

It is generally believed in this State that the men who have been on 
relief and on W. P. A. are less desirable workers than the man who has 
been receiving unemployment insurance benefits, or who has not been 
on anything, but is just unemployed. Of course, that is a contention 
I would never admit for a moment. The fact is, last year we added 
301.000 new relief cases, and we closed 330.000 cases. Sixty-six percent 
of those who had been moved off secured private employment. 

To say that there is a fixed relief load in this or any other State is 
nonsense; the relief load is in a constant state of flux. and. public 
opinion to the contrary, the man who is out of work in America just 
wants one thing, and that is a job. 

Mr. OsMERS. How important by volume is the migrant problem in 
the relief picture of Xew York State? 

Mr. Adie. You interrupted my definition of the types of relief for 
the transient. Do you want me to go on with that question first ^ 

There is also a small group of men and women who have been 
made into rather different types of individuals becatise they are 
the product of society. But one might refer to them as a group of 
flotsam and jetsam, whose habits have been broken down and whose 
health has been broken down, but they are relatively few in comparison. 

Now, to come to your second question, the problem of the nonsettled 
in the State of New York is not a comparatively heavy one. 

Mr. OsMERS. In what proportion? 

Mr. Adie. Out of an average case load of about 250,000 a month it 
would run between 10,000 and 11.000. That would be divided, pre- 
sumably, 6,000 or 7,000 of what we call general relief, and the re- 
mainder in health institutions. 

Mr. OsMERS. What was the number that you gave there, Commis- 
sioner ? 

Mr. Adie. The comparison is with 250,000 families, that are on gen- 
eral relief in all of the categories of the whole public-assistance pro- 
gram. The number of transient people, in our minds, runs anywhere 
from 3 to 5 percent of our problem. 


Mr. OsMERS. Is the problem more serious in some sections of the 
State, and what sections are they? 


Mr. Adie. The problem generally is more serious around the urban 
area. You get a pretty heavy load in New York City, an outstanding 
location, and in Buffalo, a border city and a port, a train center and 
transportation center. Rochester gets it because of its relationship to 
the crops, and Syracuse in the same way, and Binghamton because of 
its relationship to Pennsylvania; there is a constant flow^, back and 
forth, of population. But it is the urban centers to which they 

Mr. OsMERS. You say that they have come to these various sec- 
tions. Do most of them leave, or do most of these that you have 
referred to stay in New York State — those that come into Buffalo 
because it is a port and because it is a transportation center and a 
border city? 

Mr. Adie. Most of them, of course, do not stay in any one place. 
They stay for a period and then they go. It is a fluctuation. For 
instance, in a very hard winter in Buffalo you would see the county 
lodging house filled to the roof, but if you go up there now you will 
find the lodging house is comparatively unnecessary, socially. 

Mr. OsMERS. Would you say that these transients are generally 
employable, or not? 

Mr. Adie. Oh, yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. Most of them are? 

Mr. Adie. Yes; they are. 

Mr. OsMERS. Do you find among them a great number of self- 
reliant men and women who have been somewhat hardened by being 
transients, so that they can make a go of things pretty generally ? 

Mr. Adie. Our general feeling in the State administration is that 
w^e have not broken the morale of the American peo]3le in spite of 
the depression, but it is the depression that breaks them. 

A great many of the people in the lodging houses, for instance, 
suffer from wliat they think is inadequate and poor food — and a great 
many of them eat, and have to eat by economic compulsion, in places 
where the food is not properly cooked and does create a good many 
gastric conditions. Our feeling is that anyone of us is subject to 
deterioration if we are long enough "on the pan." 

Mr. OsMERS. You mean some people's resistance is greater than 
others ? 

Mr. Adie. It depends on the "breaks" you get. 

Mr. Osmers. Most of them, most of our American citizens who 
have been affected adversely by the dei^ression, are holding up pretty 
well, I gather from your opinion? 

Mr. Adie. Where relief is adequate ; yes. 

Mr. Osmers. One of the reasons for the formation of this com- 
mittee is that a lot of them have moved out of places where relief 
is inadequate, and that has brought about quite a problem. 

Mr. Adie. Yes. 

Mr. Osmers. Now, the State cares for these transients through as- 
sisting the localities; is that correct? I think that Mr. Astrofsky 
covered that part of the question. 

Mr. Adie. The State pays 100 percent for the care of the non- 
settled, who are known to be nonsettled by documentary evideiice. 

Mr. Osmers. Do private agencies participate a great deal in the 
care of transients or not? 

Mr. Adie. They carry a very small proportion of the load. 
Mr. Osmers. A small proportion? 


Mr. Adie. The smaller the city, the more they do. New York City's 
private agencies do a good deal, too. But when you get into the smaller 
cities, organizations like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army do 
some of the work. 

Mr. OsMERS. And churches, and things like that, all participate? 

Mr. Adie. Yes, 

Mr. OsMERS. Now, New York State has been carrying on this work, 
and has there been any great change in the amount of money ex- 
pended to transients in the past 5 years or so ? 

Mr. Adie. Oh, yes; we have more than doubled our costs in the 
last 3 years. 

Mr. OsMERS. You have more than doubled it in the last 3 years? 

Mr. Adie. It started in at about a million and a half, and this year it 
will be over $3,000,000, and that is not the whole bill, either, because 
there are certain institutional cases that we are not carrying in the 
State, in certain sections, so that I would say it is conservative to say 
that we have more than doubled our cost. 

Mr. OsMERS. What is the total cost at present in dollars ? 

Mr. Adie. A little over $3,000,000 a year. 

Mr. Osmers. Proceed with the previous question. 

Mr. Adie. The third group is composed of those who move about 
in connection with their vocations but have no intention of settling 
permanently; those who come with the idea of staying for the dura- 
tion of the immediate employment. They expect to go back, but 
often they do not. 

Then, there is the group which moves along from one domicile lo 
another without any guaranty of a job. They are in the so-called 
floating class. 

There are also those in our State who follow^ the crops. As you 
gentlemen probably know, agriculture is still the number one industry 
in the State of New York. We have, then, gatherers of crops, par- 
ticularly fruit, berries, and vegetables. 

Generally speaking, that would carry the vast bulk of nonsettled 
persons in New York State. 


Well, the basic control is that we do not set aside any program 
for the so-called transient, as such; we do not differentiate him 
from anyone else. The technical term we use is "State charge." 
The procedure is something like this : If a transient comes into any 
locality in the State of New York and is in need, he would go imme- 
diately to the local public welfare official in the district in which he 
finds himself. If the local official becomes aware of the fact that he is 
a nonsettled person, or presumed to be nonsettled, he administers 
relief in exactly the same way as he would to anyone else. 

In other words, it is on a definite budget basis. He is served by a 
case worker when he is in a domicile, and sometimes he is served in 
a building such as a county lodging house. In a municipal county 
lodging house there are set up medical controls, sanitary controls, 
and a general relationship with a small amount of case work. The 
general case work emphasis relates to the persons living in the home. 

The case would then be listed in the record as a presumptive State- 
charge case, and so reported to the State of New York. The State 


would then, on the monthly rolls, pay back to the local commissioner 
40 percent of the money spent on this person as long as he is a pre- 
sumptive case. The local commissioner would then write to the indi- 
vidual's place of settlement in an effort to determine whether or not 
the case is acceptable to that State or that locality. You can readily 
understand that it is not an easy thing to do. Sometimes the workers 
must check with the corner grocer, with doctors and school teachers, 
or anyone else wdth whom the individual has had dealings, to prove 
that he had resided in that area. 

If the person is proved to be a nonsettled case, the State would 
reimburse the locality for 100 percent of the care given to him ; from 
the date on which the State had been advised that he had gone on 
the rolls as a presumptive case. 

Mv. OsMERS. That would be retroactive? 

Mr. Adie. Yes ; to the date on which the State was notified. 


Recently there was a press release to the effect that the State of New 
York was deporting people. I would like to say for the record that 
we never "deport" people in this State. At least, we do not deport 
them through the relief administration. 

I am glad to say that the State of New York has kept people in the 
State who are nonsettled, because we believe that it is to the advantage 
of the person and to the advantage of the State for that person to 

We never send people out of the State unless we honestly feel that it 
is to the advantage socially and economically of the person to be moved, 
or where we have got a person who is an institutional case, where 
it is a matter of no gain to that person and no gain to the State, and 
we are assured by the other State that the person will get adequate 
institutional care. 

So that while it is true that we do move people, and we have to 
move people under our present laws, if we did not, we would go broke 
on a pyramiding process, but I would like to make clear to the commit- 
tee and to the press that we are not in the business of deporting people 
from the State of New York. We do give consideration to that person 
and his family. And if it is advantageous that a person go back to his 
place of settlement, he should go back, and that case is an example. 

Mr. OsMERS. Under the present circumstances, you have pointed out 
that the load has increased twofold in the last 3 years ; would you say 
that it would be possible for this State to continue with its transient 
program ? 

Mr. Adie. Obviously not, obviously not ; I do not think the legisla- 
ture is going to hold the bag indefinitely. 

Illinois raised its settlement law to 3 years, Pennsylvania to 2 years, 
and that process is going to go on in America. Instead of looking 
toward uniformity we are going in the opposite direction. We can- 
not go on as we are doing. In other words, the lack of a progressive 
program in the United States inevitably will break down what we 
are trying to do in the State of New York. We do not boast about 
this program, but we are trying to do more than we are legally 
expected to do. 



Mr. OsMERS. Now, is it your opinion, Commissioner, that the Fed- 
eral Government eventually will have to step into this transient 
problem ? 

Mr. Adie. Yes ; I think the Federal Government should never have 
left this program! In mv judgment, that problem should be handled 
by the Sociaf Security Board. It ought to be administered locally, of 
course, but it ought to be set up along this line : The category should be 
set up by the Federal Government, and in my judgment the Federal 
Government should pay at least 90 percent of the cost, leaving 10 percent 
of the cost to be carried by the States and the localities on the principle 
that no government unit should administer any program that it does not 
have a share in paying for. 

It is unwise to give any administration all of the money; it will 
treat its cases in term of 'finances and will often forget the human 
element. That is inevitable, but it ought to be a locally administered 
program, with State supervision, and done within a set-up of the Social 
Security Board just the same as the other programs is being carried 
on for the aged, or the dependent children, or the blind. 

Of course, I look for the day to come when the Federal Government 
will take a share in the general relief. It should take a share in the 
general relief. Its W. P. A. program has never reached, in this State, 
more than 30 percent of the unemployed people, and despite all of 
the benefits that W. P. A. has given, it' still has lacked that ability to 
reach all of the people. 

But a broad economic stage must be found — the broadest economic 
stage must be found, for this relief problem, and I think the Federal 
Government should be in this, as a sharing partner, with grants-in-aid, 
but not as an administrative unit. 

Mr. OsMERs. Commissioner Adie, due to the fact that the W. P. A. 
costs more per case than general relief, as a general thing, I under- 
stand, do you feel that the Federal Government should abandon 
W. P. A. and devote its financial support to general relief ? 

Mr. Adie. I hope we will never, in America, have one program. I 
do not think one program will meet our situation. We should have a 
work progi-am, an adequate program of work, and an adequate gen- 
eral relief program, as well as a categorical program. 

But I hope the day will come when America will find the basis of a 
work program which will not necessitate a man being declared a de- 
pendent before he gets work. 

Mr. OsMERS. In other words, you feel that the W. P. A., as pres- 
ently constituted, has certain disadvantages compared with a P. W. A. 
type of program, which was also a work program, but did not require 
the man to be a relief case before he could work on a project? 

Mr. Adie. I do not agree with your point of view in that sense. 

Mr. OsMERS. I do not have any point of view, I am just trying to 
bring out your opinion on it. 


Mr. Adie. I do believe in a work program that is within the eco- 
nomic order so far as you can put it wnthin the existing economic 
order, but that will not meet the problem as we see it in the admin- 
istration of relief. In my judgment, two other types of general works 


programs will have to go along with this. One will be a works pro- 
gram that will be established by the communities on a basis of valid 
work, but not of the dimensions that would call for contractual labor, 
and then some special types of projects that will meet the multiplicity 
of skills that people have, because the program today, as we are now 
operating in America literally we say to a man, "You are unemployed 
because we have not a project that will fit you." 

A municipality like New York City, for instance, could develop 
great programs, cleaning the beaches, keeping the parks under control 
from the standpoint of horticulture, or whatever you call it; a 
great many different kinds of projects could be developed in such a 
city to meet the needs of men who are not highly skilled, or unskilled 
workers, such ob white-collar people. 

Mr. OsMERs. Do you feel, Commissioner, that over a j)eriod of time 
works programs, extended works programs, are too costly for the com- 
munity, the State, or the country to bear? 

Mr. Adie. Well, that is exactly part of what is in my mind. 
You could easily develop a works program in this country that 
would give us so many public properties, that we would find difficulty 
in maintaining on the local tax rolls, from a maintenance point 
of view. And on the other hand, you can turn to a great many 
different new types of project, such as housing. I am convinced that 
you cannot adequately house the people of America until you have a 
great expansion of public housing, because it is nonprofitable from a 
private point of view. 

We could go on for 10 or 15 years building houses, and even then 
we would not begin to meet the need of the American people from a 
housing point of view. That could be done with a strict P. W. A. 

Mr. OsMERS. Are there any further questions? 

Mr. Parsons. What would happen to your direct relief program if 
the W. P. A. should be suddenly stopped ? 

Mr. Adie. I would not worry so much about the program as I 
would about the communities. You could not afford to have such a 
thing happen in America. 

Mr. Parsons. Your relief needs would grow to such proportions in 
the State of New York that the State would be unable to take care 
of them. 

Mr. Adie. Certainly, the relief needs of the State of New York are 
being met today by the communities under great pressure. 

We are not as wealthy a State as our social program would indi- 
cate. Many of our communities are having a very difficult time to 
maintain a general relief program on the status that we have in the 
State of New York. I hope we will be able to maintain our standards, 
but unless the Federal Government is going to share in the general 
administration of relief across the board, I have very real doubts that 
the State of New York can maintain its relief standards very much 

Mr. Parsons. Can you tell us what might have been the conditions 
in New York State if the Federal Government had not come to the 
relief of the State and municipalities from 1933 until the present 
time, with either Federal grants in aid or the W. P. A. program? 

Mr. Adie. I don't think there are any words to describe what would 
have happened if the Government had not done that. 


Mr. P.\RSONs. You think that there would be a chaotic condition 
existing ? 

Mr. Adie. Oh, that is a mild statement. The fact is, taxation by real 
estate and sales taxes would have been about our only means of meeting 
that problem. We must realize the State of New York is expending 
today about $208,000,000 a year in its relief program. We cannot carry 
on a moderate relief program on a local relief basis any more — that 
will never come back; the sooner we get on to the broadest possible 
tax base for our welfare programs and the sooner we realize that 
welfare is a permanent instrument in Government, just as education 
is, the sooner we will begin to do some real social planning, in my 

Mr. OsMERS. You feel that the relief program is almost, at its 
present extent, a permanent institution in our civilization in America 
today ? 

Mr. Adie. I do not want to call it a relief program, Congressman ; 
40 percent of the home relief families today have not an able-bodied 
jDei'Son in the family. 

Mr. Parsons. What percentage is that ? 

Mr. Adie. Forty percent, and then add to that the aid to dependent 
children cases, the cases of the aged, and the blind, and you have got a 
great group of people who will have to be provided some kind of public 

There are also the people who are the casualties of this depression, 
because a depression causes casualties the same as anything else, and 
there is always the problem of sickness and disability, and there is 
always the problem of broken homes, and all of the factors that go 
into the breaking up of homes. 

We never have been at any time in civilization without some kind 
of a relief administration, and what has happened in x^merica, in 
my judgment, is that America has become socially conscious to the 
degree where it has made up its mind that social consciousness must 
apply to the Government, and that has caused us to feel a new relation- 
ship toward our fellow citizens who are in need. 

Mr. Parsons. How many years have you been connected with the 
State welfare department? 

Mr. Adie. I have be'en with the State welfare department for 8 
years as its commissioner, and I have been engaged in social work 
for approximately 20 years more. 


Mr. Parsons. What was the contribution by the State, munic- 
ipalities, and private charities prior to 1929 for the State of New 

Mr. Adie. The State of New York was not in the administration of 
relief prior to 1929. It took cognizance of relief in 1931 when Governor 
Roosevelt and the legislature "passed what was called the Wicks Act, 
which was the forerunner of all of the large relief administrations in 

Governor Roosevelt also in 1929 revised the public welfare law, 
which abolished the old Elizabethan concept of the poor laws and gave 
us a welfare law on the basis of care and need and not on need only. 

That was followed by the first move toward the care of the aged, to 


what was known as the Old Age Security Act, and which is very much 
the same as your present Social Security Act. In 1915 the State had a 
law that dealt with aid to dependent children, through what we call 
boards of child welfare, but even then the State made no contribution, 
it was a local government contribution, and the relief problem in this 
State was handled largely by private agencies. 

Mr. Parsons. You had an old-age assistance act before Congress 
passed the Federal Security Act? 

Mr. Adie. We had everything that is now in the Social Security 
Act, outside of insurance, before the Social Security Act was passed. 
Mr. Parsons. What were the rates of the first law that you had 
in New York? 

Mr. Adie. The same as they are today — you mean old-age as- 
sistance ? 

Mr. Parsons. Yes. 

Mr. Adie. Yes ; they were the same, it was dealt with on the basis 
of a budgetary need of the family. 

Mr. Parsons. With a maximum of how much per month? 
Mr. Adie. We have no maximum, and no minimum, in any relief 
category in the State of New York. It is based on the family or the 
individual's needs, according to a budget basis. 

Mr. Parsons. Some families or some aged people with dependents 
might be rated at $40, or $50, or $60 a month, and the others at $25 
or $30, depending upon the budget ? 

Mr. Adie. Depending upon the budget and the actual social sit- 

Mr. Parsons. Well, the Federal Government has been increasing 
its debt during the years of the depression, starting in 1930, which 
was the first large deficit year, and there has been a deficit ever since 
in the Federal budget. I assume there have been some deficits in the 
State of New York ; are they balancing their budget now ? 

Mr. Adie. Well, I do not know what you mean by a balanced 

Mr. Parsons. The State is taking in sufficient revenue to pay its 
operating expenses of every kind and nature ? 

Mr. Adie. Oh, no ; the "State of New York has a deficit, and has 
had a deficit for the last several years, but the relief deficit in this 
State this year, as of June 30, was only a paper deficit, in that the 
legislature meets every year in this State, so when I project my relief 
approximately ahead for my relief needs, the legislature does not 
necessarily give me all that I have projected, because they know that 
they will be in session again in January or February. So we never get 
the appropriation to meet our estimated needs, although our hope has 
always been that we would turn that corner. 

We have always been hoping against hope that the relief would 
go down, and now relief is going down, and we are $1,000,000 less 
on our estimated deficit as of June 30 than when we projected it. 

Mr. Parsons. But the State of New York is borrowing money to 
pay at least some of its operating expenses. 
Mr. Adie. Not for relief. 

Mr. Parsons. But the entire State expenses, as a whole— the State 
of New York is not taking in sufficient revenue to pay all of its ex- 
penses, including relief and all other matters. Now what I am 
leading up to is, what is to be the answer in the end, with increasing 


debts in the States of the Union, taking care of this problem, and the 
increasing debt of the Federal Government^ You say that you want 
a larger and broader program of both taxation and of work and 
relief needs and care. If every State and every municipality and the 
Federal Government continues to increase the debt, what is the an- 
swer in the end? 

Mr. Adie. Well, certainly you are not expecting me this afternoon 
to set forth my views on taxation ; I am perfectly willing to entertain 
you if you are, but I do not think that that is what you are driving 
at. You know that it is a very complicated problem. 

Mr. Parsons. It is very difficult, but it is not entirely far afield 
from this committee's work. 

Mr. Adie. But I am not trying to be facetious. 

Mr. Parsons. No; and it is not entirely far afield from the juris- 
diction of this committee either, because we, as Members of Congress, 
have to meet that problem every year in the making of appropria- 
tions, and each State legislature has to meet that problem, and each 
city council has to meet it. You have had experience in the State of 
New York and I would like to have your views on it, just briefly. 

Mr. Adie. Well, I would like to refer only to the matter of relief, 
because I am not capable of discussing other questions — I don't 
know what I would do about education, for instance. As a private 
citizen I have very positive views on that, but I do not know how I 
would tackle the vast, complicated, cumbersome, expensive system of 
tax services, and tax systems and the lack of orientation in the whole 
field, in which I feel sure that there is a great deal of economy to be 

I still hope and believe that the American people are not at their 
maximum from an industrial point of view, and that the national 
income as such is capable of considerable development. I see no 
reason to be pessimistic about the industrial situation. 

I think there is a very real need for broadening taxes in America — 
but now you are getting me on to a discussion of taxes. I believe 
it is enough for me to say for this record that it is inevitable that 
our social costs in America will have to be faced, and that all citi- 
zens, irrespective of whether they are well-to-do or self-sustaining, 
will have to find some way of sharing in a democratic form of govern- 
ment ; to assume that this problem can be borne by any one group in 
a community is, in my judgment, a fallacy. To assume that we must 
effect all of our economies in government at the expense of our social 
programs is not only a fallacy, in my judgment, but would be a 
disastrous thing to happen. 

I do not feel competent to discuss the field of taxation, but I do 
know that there is great need for social planning, and integration, 
and cooperation, that w'e have not had up to the present time; and 
remember, we have only experienced 10 years of a Federal, State, and 
local governmental program in this business, and we have not learned 
an awful lot in 10 years. I think that we are learning more and more 
as we go along. 

Mr. Parsons. The big problem that is facing us, as I said, and 
facing the State legislatures, is the fact that very few States are 
keeping within their revenues; and the Federal Government, of 
course, has not been keeping within its revenues for 10 years, and 
there must be an end to those expenditures. 


Mr. Adie. Of course, the time will come when, as you build up your 
insurances, these insurances will offset some of your relief. That will 
have to be some years ahead yet, but you are building up a backlog. 

I think, too as we go ahead with more medical care for people, 
we are going to find that it is an economical thing to do. to keep people 
well, and losses that are involved in medical care are very real. But 
I would not be presumptive enough to say that I can outline for you, 
a Representative in Congress, what the tax problem should be, or how 
it should be met. 

I would agree with you, of course, that no community within itself, 
local. State, or Nation, can go on permanently spending more than it 
takes in. 

Mr. Parsons. If the present Social Security Act, with all of its 
various subdivisions, had been passed in 1915, and we had been col- 
lecting the unemployment tax, and the old-age-assistance tax, and 
so forth, from that date until 1925, through the period of great em- 
ployment, and high wages, based upon what we anticipate such rates 
will be in the next 15 years, we would have had approximately a 
$25,000,000,000 fund witli which to meet the unemployment problem, 
as we expect to do in the future as this fund is built up, and we have 
like periods of unemployment to come in the future. Would that 
have taken care of the situation during the last 10 years, if such a law 
had been in force and such a fund built up from 1915 to 1929 ? 

Mr. iVoiE. You mean that you anticipate that you are going to 
make your insurance pay for the welfare program? 

Mr. Parsons. That is right. 

Mr. Adie. I would not go along with you on that. I do not think 
that you can jeopardize your insurance that way; social insurance, 
public social insurance should not be jeopardized any more than 
private insurance should be jeopardized, and the day may come when 
we will need these reserves and more, and I don't think that we should 
charge the net results of industrial break-down to a fund that is paid 
by the worker to protect himself, from an insurance point of view. 

Mr. Parsons. You probably misunderstood me to some extent, but 
what we are paying for under the unemployment tax, is to take care 
of persons during the seasonal fluctuations in employment, and what 
we are paying into the old-age-security fund, that is to take care of 
the worker at the age of 65 and beyond. If we had done that from 
1915 to 1929, it would have taken care of a great part of this relief 
program, would it not? 

Mr. Adie. Oh, yes; there is no question about that, but you will 
remember that when President Theodore Roosevelt was in office, he 
proposed not only a workmen's compensation act, but he also pro- 
posed certain other forms of industrial insurance, unemployment in- 
surance, and other kinds. We had to abandon that, because the 
American social consciousness had not yet arrived at the place in 
1913, where it was ready to adopt those laws. The proposals were 
not put through at that time. 

Mr. Parsons. That is all. 

Mr. OsMERS. That will be all. Dr. Adie, and thank you very much. 

Mr. Parsons. Thank you very much. Dr. Adie; you have made a 
very fine statement. 



Mr. OsMEKS. Will Mr. Joe Frank Holloiiian come up to the stand, 
2)lease ? 

What is your occupation? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. At this time I am shucking oysters. 

Mr. OsMERS. Where do you live noM', and how long have you lived 
there ? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Port Norris, X. J. I have been living at Port 
Norris since 1936, off and on. 

Ml-. Os^iERS. Before you came to the shell pile down at Port Norris, 
where did you live? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. At Crisfield. ;Md. 

Mr. OsMERS. Are you married? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Yes, sir. 

Mr. OsMERS. How many children do you have? 

yiv. HoLLOMAX. Nine children. 

]Mr. OsMERS. Where are your Avife and children at the present 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Here in New York. 

Mr. OsMERS. In New York City? 

]Mr. HoLLOMAN. Yes. 

]Mr. OsMERS. And you are in Port Norris, N. J.? 

Mr. HoLLOMAx. Yes. 

]Mr. OsMERS. Did you ever live at Portsmouth, Va.? 

Mr. HoixoMAx. I was born and raised there. 

]\Ir. OsMERs. And what did you do down there for a living in 
Portsmouth ? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Well, my last job there I worked for a coal com- 
pany, where they ship coal in ships; that was my last job there. I 
worked on that job for 14 years. 

Mr. OsMERS. That is at one of those coal-loading stations at Nor- 
folk, Va.? 

IVIr. HoLLOMAN. Yes. I was timekeeper there, and checker, and 
pay boss. After the World War the conditions got to be such after 
they installed an electric timer and laid off men and trade fell off, I 
could not make a living for my family and myself and I left there. 

Mr. OsMERS. How much did you make when you were working in 
that coal-loading station? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Well, I guess it was $25 a week, the biggest part 
of the time. 

Mr. OsMERS. The biggest part of the 14 years you made that? 

ISIr. HoLLOMAN. During the AVorld War. 

Mr. OsMERS. What did a'ou make at your other occupations in 
Portsmouth, Va. ? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Before that or after? 

Mr. OsMERS. Before and after. 
^ Mr. HoLLOMAN. Well, it is hard to tell what I did make; some- 
times I did not make anything, and sometimes I made good, because 
I had so many different jobs. Sometimes I was a huckster, and 
sometimes I was clerking at bar, and sometimes I was working as 
janitor, and just odd jobs that I could get. 

Mr. OsMERS. How old are you? 

Mr. HoLLOMAX. Sixty-one years old. 


Mr. OsMERS. You were born in Portsmouth, Va.? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. In Norfolk County? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Yes. 

Mr. OsMEKs. During your entire stay in Norfolk County were you 
ever on public relief, or public assistance, or charity? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Not there; no. 

Mr. OsMERS. And when did you move from there to Crisfield? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. In 1929. 

Mr. OsMERS. In 1929? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. What did you do at Crisfield? 

Mr, HoLLOMAN. Well, I shucked oysters there one season, and after 
I got through shucking oysters I worked at the lime plant there for 
a year. 

Mr. OsMERS. For what plant? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. The lime plant, where they make chick; it is 
scrap for chicken feed, to feed young chickens on. 

Mr. OsMERS. That is a part of chicken feed? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Yes. 

]Mr. OsMERS. And how much did you earn in Crisfield as an oyster 
shucker ? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Well, the run was poor, but I think one season 
there I earned $50 ; that is what I earned, 

Mr. OsMERS. You earned $50? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. What do you mean by a season? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. That is, from December until March. 

Mr. OsMERS. The total earnings were $50? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Yes ; shucking was very poor there. 

Mr. OsMERS. Did you have to get public relief or private charity 
in order to live in Crisfield, or could you live on that? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Well, I managed to live on it; I was a stranger 

Mr. OsMERS. You did pretty well for a stranger, I think, living 4 
months on $50. Where did you live when you were in Crisfield? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. A section that they called Hot Pine, a little sec- 
tion away where the oyster industry was. The packers had shanties 
there for the help. 

Mr. OsMERS. Did they charge you any rent for those? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Twenty-five cents a week. 

Mr. OsMERS, That is $1 a month rent. 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. What sort of accommodations were they ? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. The poorest kind. 

Mr. OsMERS. Yes ; I dare say they must have been. When did you 
come to Port Norris, in New Jersey? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. I came to the Port Norris section in 1936, and I 
stopped on the other side of the river, what they call Marsh River, 
and I stayed over there and I moved over in another section called 
Bivalve, and the coming season I moved up to Port Norris. 

Mr. OsMERS. How much have you been making in Port Norris? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Well, I shuck on an average of — you mean shuck- 
ing oysters ? 


Mr. OsMERS. Yes. 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. I make about $3.50 a day. 

Mr. OsMERS. And how lono- does that employment last? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. From December until March. 

Mr. OsMERS. December until March? 

Mr. HoLiX)MAN. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. "What do you do the balance of the year? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. I do odd jobs. I pick beans, strawberries, and 
whatever I can get to do. Sometimes I work at the carpenter trade, 
a little. 

Mr. OsMERS. Have you been on public relief while you were in the 
State of New Jersey ? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Three weeks. 

Mr. OsMERS. Out of the years from 1936 to the present time ? 

Mr. HoLLOMA>r. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. On what basis do they pay you for shucking oysters? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. By the pot. 

Mr. OsMERS. How much a ])ot? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Thirty-five cents, and before we got the union 
they were paying 25 cents. After we got the union they paid 35 

Mr. OsMERS. You are now a member of the union ? 

Mr. HoLLOMAx. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. How many hours a day did you have to work to make 
this $3.50? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. You might average 10 hours. You go to work at 
different hours. In the busy season around Christmas, we go to work 
on Sunday nights. We would be called out at 1 o'clock after Sunday 
and we worked possibly to 6 o'clock the next day, but when it is 
not so busy we go to work at 4 o'clock in the morning, and sometimes 
6 o'clock in the morning, and I will average 10 hours a clay. 

Mr. OsMERS. That is 10 liours a day to make $3.50? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. We are working l3y the piece, and there are other 
men that can shuck twice as many as I can. 

Mr. OsMERS. I see ; there are faster shuckers than you are. 

Mr. HoLLOMAX. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. And their earnings, of course, are double your earn- 
ings because they can shuck twice as many ? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Yes; they are young and it is more money for 

Mr. OsMERS. Have you received any unemploj^ment compensation 
during the last 2 years ? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Yes, sir. 

Mr. OsMERS. You have? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Yes, sir. 

Mr. OsMERS. Now. you say that your family is living in New York, 
does that mean your wife and your nine children? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. My wife and nine children; yes, sir. 

Mr. OsMERS. Do you support them? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. No, sir. 

Mr. OsMERS. Do your children support themselves? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. They support themselves. 

Mr. OsMERS. Are they on relief any of the time ? 


Mr. HoLLOMAN. I doirt know how they are living, I have not seen 
them since before this last past Christmas; last night I was with 
them, but there are nine children, the j^oungest one is 18 years old, 
and they are all able to support themselves. I guess that they might 
have been on relief, because other folks have been on relief, but they 
are able to work, when they can get jobs to support themselves, and 
my wife works and supports lierself. My work was not sufficient to 
take care of her. It caused dissatisfaction to the family,, and she 
broke up and came to New York. 

Mr. OsMERS. Now your nine children and jouv Avife do not all 
live in the same place? 

Mr. HoLLOMAJs. No, sir; they live in different places. 

Mr. OsMERS. They are scattered, I suppose, around New York? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Yes; there are four children that are married, and 
they have families. 

Mr. OsMERS. Are you satisfied with the conditions at Port Norris? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. i cannot do any better, but I am not satisfied. 

Mr. OsMERS. What is the great cause of your dissatisfaction, your 
small earnings, or the bad living conditions? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. The small earnings and bad living conditions. 

Mr. OsMERS. Do you feel that there could be, without upsetting 
the oyster industry in Port Norris, a great improvement in li\ang 
conditions, and possibly wages? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Well, if they had any pressure put on them they 
could do better. They can do better. They have plenty of oysters, 
and plenty of money, and plenty of material to use to fix up with. 
I live in a shanty, and it leaked on my bed so I could not sleep at 
nights, and I went to the packers and' told them about it, and they 
said, "Well, we will fix it in the spring."' I went back, and he said, 
"I told you what we would do," and so I moved. 

Mr. OsMERS. The living conditions are very poor? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Yes, sir. 

Mr. OsMERS. Would vou describe the quarters in which you live? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. AYell, the quarters where I am living now are 
tolerably fair, I am living up in back of a church, and I am taking 
care of the church for my keep. 

Mr. OsMERS. I am not referring to that, I am referring to your 
shucker's quarters, where you pay your 75 cents a week. 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. They are very poor, as I am telling you. During 
the season it was leaking on me, and I wanted them to fix it. The 
other shanties were in the same fix, but they did not fix them until 
they stopped shucking in the spring, and I moved out and some other 
folks moved out. 

Mr. OsMERS. Where do you eat when you are shucking oysters? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. We cook in the shanties where we live. 

]Mr. OsMERs. Each man cooks for himself, at his own expense, and 
buys his own food and supplies, his own utensils, and what kind of 
heat do you use ? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Some use oil and some coal or wood. 

Mr. OsMERs. Everybody according to what he has, I suppose. 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. Are there any questions from the conmiittee ? Do you 
intend to continue at Port Norris ? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. Yes; I am a minister there, and I am trynig to 
develop a church. 


Mr. OsMERS. What relio;ion is that ? 

Mr. HoLLOMAN. I am a Baptist. 

Mr. OsMERS. I believe that that will be all ; thank you very much. 


]Mr. Parsons. What is your name ? 

Mr. Heard. John I. Heard. 

Mr. Parsons. Where are you livino;; now ? 

Mr. Heard. Freehold, N. J. 

Mr. Parsons. When did you come to New Jersey ? 

Mr. Heard. July 6. 

Mr. Parsons. Is that 1940 ? 

Mr. Heard. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. Whei-e did you come from ? 

Mr. Heard, Georgia. 

Mr. Parsons. Is Georg-ia your permanent home ? 

Mr. Heard. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. Are you married? 

Mr. Heard. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. How many children do you have ? 

Mr. Heard. One. 

Mr. Parsons. How much education did you receive in Georgia 
before you came up here ? 

Mr. Heard. Junior higli school. 

Mr. Parsons. Why did you leave Georgia to come to New York? 

jSIr. Heard. I could make more money than the job I was working 
at paid. 

Mr. Parsons. Are you making more money in New" Jersey than 
you did in Georgia ? 

Mr. Heard. Well, I will ; you see, it has not started yet. 

Mr. Parsons. What did you do in Georgia before 3'ou came to 
New York ? 

Mr. Heard. I was a porter in a drug store. 

Mr. Parsons. How much did you make per week ? 

Mr. Heard. $6 a week. 

Mr. Parsons. That is $25 a month. 

Mr. Heard. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. Have you made that much in New Jersey since you 
came here ? 

Mr. Heard. No, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. What have you been doing since you came to New 
Jersey ? 

ISIr. Heard. Nothing ; I have had one day and a half of work since 
I have been here. 

Mr. Curtis. You are waiting for the potato crop? 

INIr. Heard. The apple crop. 

Mr. Parsons. You are an apple picker by profession? 

Mr. Heard. Yes, sir ; I pick apples. 

Mr. Parsons. Did anyone else come with you ; did you bring your 
wife and child? 

Mr. Heard. No, sir. 
, Mr. Parsons. They are still in Georgia ? 

]Mr. Heard. Yes, they are still in Georgia. 

260370—40 — pt. 1 10 



Mr. Parsons. Have you sent them any money since you left? 

Mr. Heard. I have not made any. 

Mr. Parsons. Did you leave them with some? 

Mr. Heard. I left them a little. 

Mr. Parsons. How much? 

Mr. Heard. About $6. 

Mr. Parsons. Did you expect, when you left down there and came 
up here, that you were ijoin^ to have steady employment? 

Mr. Heard." Yes, sir ; he wrote us to be here on the 6th of July. 

Mr. Parsons. Wlio wrote you ? 

Mr. Heard. Mr. Carr. 

Mr. Parsons. Wlio was he? 

Mr. Heard. An apple thrower. The boys have been comnio: up 
every week, and he told him to bring 20 men to be here by the 6th of 
July, and when we got here he said the season was 2 weeks late, and 
we did not have anything to do when we first got here. 

Mr. Parsons. Is he furnishing you any subsistence or place to live 
during this time ? 

Mr. Heard. He furnishes us a house. 

Mr. Parsons. How many live in that house? 

Mr. Heard. Eighteen. 

Mr. Parsons. Describe that house, the living conditions m it, and 

the furniture. • , , i 

Mr. Heard. Well, it is just two little shack houses with bunks 
with hay on them, to sleep on, and we have a cook stove out there 
with a little shelter over the top to cook on. 

Mr. Parsons. That is outside the house? 

Mr. Heard. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. Is it a shack or a frame shack ? 

Mr. Heard. A frame shack. • , <. 

Mr. Parsons. Had you applied for any relief in Georgia before 
you left there? 

Mr. Heard. I did in 1933. 

Mr. Parsons. Was that the year you graduated from junior high 
school ? 

Mr. Heard. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. Were you married at that time? 

Mr. Heard. No, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. Did you receive any relief? 

Mr. Heard. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. How much per month? 

Mr. Heard. $12. 

Mr. Parsons. $12 per month? 

Mr. Heard. $12 a week. 

Mr. Parsons. $48 per month relief down in Georgia ? 

Mr. Heard. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. Were you working at the drug store during that 
period you were receiving relief? 

Mr. Heard. No, sir; I was working on the drainage system. 

Mr. Parsons. What were you making in private employment at 
the same time that you were receiving relief ? 

Mr. Heard. I was not getting any private employment. 

Mr. Parsons. Oh, you worked on the drainage system when you 
were working? 


Mr. Heard. I was working on relief at that time. 

Mr. Parsons. When was the last job that you had on relief down 
in Georgia? 

Mr. He.\rd. The middle of February 1934. 

Mr. Parsons. Of 1934? 

Mr. Heard. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. You have not drawn any relief since that tnne? 

Mr. Heard. Not since then. 

Mr. Parsons. You had been working at the drug store from that 
time until the time that you came to New Jersey? 

Mr. Heard. I went to Florida. I worked during the potato season 
in Florida; went from there back to Georgia. That is where I 
worked during the winter season. 

Mr. Parsons. So you have been what we might term a seasonal 
migrant to Florida and back to Georgia ? 

Mr. Heard. For 2 years ; yes, and then I worked at the drug store. 

Mr. Parsons. Then you decided to try the North, and this is your 
first trip north ? 

Mr. Heard. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. How do you like it in New Jersey ? 

Mr. Heard. I like it all right, when I have something to do. 

Mr. Parsons. You were born on the farm ? 

Mr. Heard. No, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. You never have done any farm work ? 

Mr. Heard. I picked cotton. 

Mr. Parsons. You have picked cotton ? 

Mr. Heard. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. In Georgia ? 

Mr. Heard. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. And you have been a ])icker of fruit in Florida, and 
that is what you came to New Jersey to do ? 

Mr. Heard. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. How long do you expect to remain in New Jersey? 

Mr. Heard. Till October. 

Mr. Parsons. And then you are going back to Georgia? 

Mr. Heard. Yes, sir. 

Mr. OsMERS. Did you bring anyone with you that has had expe- 
rience in New Jersey before? 

Mr. Heard. Yes, sir. 

Mr. OsMERs. How much have they been in the habit of making 
during the fruit picking season ? 

Mr. Heard. $60 a month. 

Mr. Parsons. $60 a month ? 

Mr. Heard. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. Does the owner of the orchards furnish you a place 
to live and subsistence, that is, food to eat, while you are working 
for them. 

Mr. Heard. No; they just furnish a place to live, to sleep. 

Mr. Parsons. But you have to buy your own food ? 

Mr. Heard. We have to buy our own food. 

Mr. Parsons. And do your own cooking? 

Mr. Heard. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. On $60 a month ? 


Mr. Heard. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. What are the sanitary conditions ? Do you have 
water around that shack or an open well or a cistern or what ? 

Mr. Heard. We have a pump. 

Mr. Parsons. What kind of toilets do you have ? 

Mr. Heard. We do not have any. 

Mr. Parsons. Is the water good drinking water ? 

Mr. Heard. Yes, sir ; the water is good water. 

Mr. Parsons. So you expect to stay on this job if it opens up until 
October, and then you plan to return to Georgia ? 

Mr. Heard. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. Has your migration to Florida and out in the coun- 
try in picking cotton in Georgia been satisfactory to you? 

Mr. Heard. Yes, sir ; while we are working. 

Mr. Parsons. You enjoyed it? 

Mr. Heard. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. What plans do you have for the future, rather than 
just this summer's work? 

Mr. Heard. Well, if I do not get anything else to do, I will go 
back to the drug-store job. 

Mr. Parsons. Will that be open for you ? 

Mr. Heard. He told me if I could get anything better than what I 
was doing, to go and get it, and when I came back the job would 
be waiting for me. 

Mr. Parsons. Has your wife worked any in the time that you have 
been married ? 

Mr. Heard. No, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. That is all, I think. 

Mr. Curtis. You do not have any trouble getting back to Georgia, 
after you get out of work? 

Mr. Heard. No, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. And you left your State, and in crossing to other States, 
with some promise of employment, you did not just wander away? 

Mr. Heard. He wrote and told him to bring 20 men with him. 

Mr. Curtis. And the season turned out to be late? 

Mr. Heard. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. And you did not have any difficulty, or you will not 
have any difficulty in getting back, and if you are destitute this winter 
you will be considered a resident of Georgia ? 

Mr. Heard. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you have any trouble getting from one State to the 
other with a carload of workers ; are there any barriers ? 

Mr. Heard. There were three cars that came up ; one car had a little 
trouble; we did not. 

Mr. Curtis. You mean they stopped them and wanted to know 
where they were going ? 

Mr. Heard. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. Did he pay your transportation coming up ? 

Mr. Heard. No, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. And he does not pay it going back ? 

Mr. Heard. No, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. What did you have to pay this fellow who brought 
you up ? 

Mr. Heard. $10. 


Mr. Sparkman. Is that the whole charge that he makes ? 
]Mr. Heard, Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. And you get all of the pay directly from the farmer 
yourself ? 

Mr. Heard. I do. 

Mr. Sparlman. That is all. 

The Chairisian. Thank you very much. 


The Chairman. The next witness will be Mr. James C. Ewart. Will 
3^ou state your name, please? 

Mr. Eavart. I am James C. Ewart. 

The Chairman. Have you a statement that you intend to read from ? 

Mr. Ewart. I submitted a statement to the committee. 

The Chairman. AVliere do you live ? 

Mr. Ewart. In Cranbury, N. J. 

The Chairman. A^Hiat is your occupation ? 

^Ir. Ewart. A farmer. 

The Chairman. In what capacity do you appear here ? Whom do 
you represent? 

Mr. Ewart. I represent the New Jersey potato growers. I am chair- 
man of the committee appointed by the New Jersey State Potato 
Growers Association, and I am also i^resident of the State Board of 

The Chairman. Is that a permanent position ? 

Mr. Ewart. No, sir. 

The Chairman. Have you private business or occupation besides 
that ? 

Mr. Ewart. Both positions are nonpaying. 

The Chairman. What is your occupation ? 

Mr. Ewart. A farmer, potato growing principally. 

The Chairman. You run your own farm ? 

Mr. Ewart. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Now, you go ahead in your own way and make your 
statement, if you will, please ; and then we will ask you questions that 
are pertinent to what you say. 

Mr. Ewart. Just what sort of information do you want ? 

The Chairman. You have filed a written statement here, have you 

Mr. Ewart. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. I wish that you would present that to us. 

Mr. Ewart. Do you want me to read it ? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Mr. Ewart (reading). I am making this brief statement relative to 
the migratory labor situation in New Jersey as it relates to the com- 
mercial white potato area. At the present time, I hold the following 
official positions in this State : President of the State Board of Agri- 
culture ; State board member of the Agricultural Adjustment Admin- 
istration, Agricultural Conservation Service; member of the board of 
managers of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, and 
chairman of the migratory labor committee of the New Jersey Potato 
Association; and was formerly president of the Middlesex County 
board of agriculture. 


I have been owner-manager of a potato farm in Middlesex County, 
in the township of Cranbury, for more than 20 years, and during that 
time have had considerable experience in dealing with migratory 

I shall leave it to others to give the statistical figures relative to the 
Negro migratory labor situation, and shall confine my statements to 
the experience of myself and my neighbors in the handling of migratory 
labor on our farms. In no sense of the word can these potato har- 
vesters be considered destitute people. They are skilled in their work, 
and after their work in New Jersey is completed, they go back to their 
homes in the States south of us. 


During the years that I have employed these workers, I have never 
found it necessary to discharge any of them. Practically the same 
men return to my farm to harvest the crop, year after year. I always 
make arrangements before the season begins, either by letter or a per- 
sonal visit, with the same group each year. I have visited the homes 
of several of these Negroes during the years in which I have employed 
them. Similar arrangements are made by at least a third of the farm- 
ers in the potato area which lies within Monmouth, Middlesex, and 
Mercer Counties. 


It is my understanding that a small percentage of the farmers ar- 
range for their labor through contractors, while another proportion, 
also small in percentage, depend upon laborers applying for work on 
arrival in the State each year. In many cases these laborers go to the 
same farms on which they worked in previous years. 

The rates of pay for these laborers range from 20 cents to 40 cents 
an hour, and studies made indicate that they earn from $2.50 to $7 a 
day. Most of this labor originates in Virginia and Florida, with ap- 
proximately 25 percent coming from the other Southern States that 
produce potatoes. 

These Negroes are good workers, are experienced, and, living on the 
farms, are able to work during the early and later hours of tlie day. As 
stated above, excellent relationships exist between these Negroes and 
their employers, the same Negroes in many cases coming back year 
after year to the same farm. 

The money received by the Negroes for their work is higher in New 
» Jersey than the amount they receive for the same number of hours of 
work in the other potato-producing areas to the south of our State. The 
work is easier, and the Negro can earn more money than it is possible 
for him to earn in the potato areas south of us. They are provided with 
good shelter on most farms, and each year these conditions are im- 
proved. A few years of good crops and prices would correct housing 
conditions on most farms employing this type of labor. 

The fact that the same groups come back each year to the same farms 
indicates that employers have been fair and that the workers are happy 
to continue in such employment. 

The potato farmers of the area feel that it is absolutely necessary to 
have this labor for the harvesting of the potato crop. This type of 
labor must be utilized, because local labor is either not available or is 


unsatisfactory. Local labor on W. P. A. cannot, or will not, do the 
work. Arrangements to use W. P. A. labor have never worked out 
satisfactorily. The temporary nature of tlie potato harvesting work 
makes it difficult for them to be reinstated on W. P. A. once they are off. 

Mr. Parsons. How many acres do you own ? 

Mr. EwART. There are 125 acres in the home farm, and I own another 
farm with 120 acres; and I rent two more farms, one with 115 acres 
and the other with 40 acres. 

Mr. Parsons. So that you have, all told, around 360 acres. 

Mr. EwART. We grow about 180 to 200 acres of potatoes a year. 

Mr. Parsons. What else do you grow besides potatoes ? 

Mr. EwART. Wlieat and soybeans. 

Mr. Parsons. You do not grow any truck stuff, no vegetables? 

Mr. EwART. Nothing, except the garden. 

Mr. Parsons. Do these people you employ start in Florida with the 
potato crop and come north with the season? 

Mr. EwART. My particular help does not. The help from the East- 
ern Shore of Virginia works down there on the Eastern Shore until 
after the potato crop is gathered and work gets scarce there, and then 
they come up and help harvest the crop in Jersey. 

Mr. Parsons. Your crop is just coming in, is it, in Jersey ? 

Mr. Ewart. Yes. Some of them are being dug now, not very many. 

Mr. Parsons. The next month, it will be a month before you get to 
the height of the harvesting. 

Mr. Ewart. The crop is generally for 2 months. Our harvest usu- 
ally runs from the middle of July to the middle of September. 
Ninety percent of our potatoes are removed normally within that 
period of time. 

Mr. Parsons. You just grow the one crop of potatoes annually? 

Mr. Ewart. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. You don't grow both early and lates ? 

Mr. Ew^ART. No. 

Mr. Parsons. But in the South they grow two crops. 

Mr. Ewart. Some of them do; yes. The second crop is not so 

Mr. Parsons. Now, while you are on that, do you dig them with 
potato forks or do you have a machine that plows them out ? 

Mr. Ewart. They are all dug with a two-row tractor digger and 
an elevator digger, if you know what I mean. The share runs under 
the rows and elevates the potatoes on an endless chain. And then 
there are two rows that are put together in the bag, and they are 
all on top of the ground. You don't have to do any digging; it is 
just picking up the potatoes. 

Mr. Parsons. It is just to bend over and put them in the bag? 

Mr. Ewart. They get on their knees, usually. 

Mr. Parsons. I see. 

Mr. Ewart. The type of digger has a lot to do with that. If you 
know anything of the conditions — in Virginia, for example, they 
plant corn in every other potato row, and the potatoes are pulled 
out with a one-horse plow and they have to go along and scratch 
them out. The workers are provided, I think, w^ith good shelter on 
most farms. Each year these conditions are improving. 

The Chairman. How long does your potato season last ? 


Mr. EwART. Generally speakino;, about 2 months, from the middle 
of July to the middle of September, and there may be some varia- 
tion in that in different years. 

The Chairman. You pay them so much an hour or so much a sack ? 

Mr. EwART. So much a sack. We hire a certain amount of them 
to do the grading, and start again in the field for so much an hour; 
and the others work by piece work. 


The Chairman. I understand from your statement there that you 
said very frequently employers employ these migrant workers 
through contractors; is that right? 

Mr. EwART. There are a few contractors; yes. 

Tlie Chairman. Who are they ? Who are these contractors ? 

Mr. EwART. Well, in some cases they are colored men, and in other 
cases they are white men. 

The CHAm]\rAN. Do you know what they charge the migrant 
workers for their services? 

Mr. EwART. I do not know. 

The Chairman. But you do not utilize that medium, do you? 

Mr. EwART. No. I do know that one of my neighbors — there is a 
family down there of about 4 boys growing 600 acres of potatoes — 
and they have 1 man from Jacksonville, Fla., who brings them up 
about 100 workers, and they are employed around on these different 
farms, and now they work under contract. But personally I cannot 
see anytlung greatly wrong with that, because these potato pickers 
intermingle and everyone knows what the other fellow is getting for 
his work, and how much they are picking, and how much they are 
making, and so on; and if there is any great variation that con- 
tractor has absolutely no hold on those fellows and they would simply 
leave him and go to some other farm. 

Mr. Parsons. Does he pay them so much of their wages in order 
to qualify with him under this contract or does he take a commission 
out of their wages? 

Mr. EwART. It depends on how the thing is worked out. If he 
does the entire job, he probably gets a commission, but the way it is 
mostly done, he contracts with the farmer for so much, to pick and 
grade possibly, or the work out in the field, and then he hires his 
workers at so much per 100 and his laborers at so much an hour. 

Mr. Parsons. Now, does the owner pay the men who get the 
labor or does he take the commission out of what the laborers earn ? 

Mr. EwART. Well, I do not know that it is run on a commission! 
basis. This fellow just hires his labor, you see, for so much a hun- 
dred, to pick his potatoes, and he contracts for the harvest and he 
pays him so much an hour for the work he does around the graders. 

Mr. Parsons. For instance, if I am a contractor, I will contract 
with you to pick these potatoes and sfrade them at, say, 30 cents a bag. 

Mr. EwART. He would not do that. 

Mr. Parsons. Or 25 cents. 

Mr. Ewart. He might afford 7 or 8 cents, but he would not afford 
30 cents. 

Mr. Parsons. I am talking about picking them and grading them 
and getting them ready for market. 


Mr. EwART. That is what I am talking about. You might get 7 
or 8 cents. 

Mr. Parsons. You would furnish the sacks, of course. 

Mr. EwART. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. All right. Say it is 8 cents. Wlien I go down South 
and pick up my pickers, and I will say I will pay those boys 5 cents 
so that I get 3 cents a bag commission for doing it, is that the way 
that this contractor engages his labor? 

Mr. EwART. That is the idea. I do not think it would work out 
that way in practice, but that is the idea. 

The Chairman. Mr. Ewart, do you have any oversupply of mi- 
grant workers wanting to work for you ? 

Mr. Ew^\RT. No. 

The Chairman. You never do? 

Mr. Ewart. No. 

The Chairman. Who are these people? Are they families of Ne- 
groes or individuals? 

Mr. Ewart. Some of them are. The man in Florida generally 
gathers up my gang — he is a man past 60 yeai-s old, and apparently 
has a lot of nephews and nieces and cousins, and so on, and it seems 
that the greater part of them are related. 

The Chairman. What do you pay him for his services ? 

Mr. Ewart. I do not pay him at all. 

The Chairman. Does he charge them? 

Mr. Ewart. He charges them a very small fee. They know exactly 
what it is, and, in fact, I pay them and he does not have education 
enough to figure out just what each man has coming to him, and he 
tunis in their picking account to me and I pay them. 

The Chairman. Do you pay the money to him or to the pickers? 

Mr. Ewart. I pay it to the pickers. 

The Chairman. And then they pay him ? 

Mr. Ewart. No. He has a little left over for himself. 

The Chairman. Where does he get that little left over ? 

Mr. Ewart. The difference in what he pays the picker and what I 
pay him. He does not pay the picker personally. I pay the picker 
because he is not good at figuring, and he can count how many sacks, 
but he cannot figure it up. 

The Chairman. Is he a Negro ? 

Mr, Ewart. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. How much do you pay him for a season's run of a 
couple of months ? 

Mr. Ewart. Oh, he picks potatoes part of the time, and I would say 
that he would probably average $20, possibly $25 a week. 

Mr. Parsons. Depending on the price of potatoes ? 

Mr. Ewart. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. You pay better prices when potatoes are high, and 
lower prices when potatoes are low ? 

Mr. Ewart. We have to. 

The Chairman. Before the season starts, do you indicate to him 
about how many pickers you need ? 

Mr. Ewart. Yes, sir. Always. And that is done in many cases 
because we do not want a lot of help around that we do not need. The 
excess of laborers are usually people who come in there in old auto- 
mobiles without any prospect for a job, and just go hunting around for 


a job, and 90 percent of the farmers tell the people how many people 
they want. 

The Chairman. When do you balance your account with this fellow 
in Florida who supplies the pickers ; when do you do that ? Do you 
pay him money directly or do the pickers pay him ? 

Mr. EwART. I do not know just how that fellow from Florida — I 
do not know just how that arrangement is worked out, exactly. I 
know that the same pickers have been coming ; this crowd has been 
coming — this family has been coming for the last 8 or 9 years, and 
a lot of the same pickers come back, year after year. 

The Chairman. Do you pay him any money directly as a commis- 
sion, or any compensation for his services ? 

Mr. EwART. No. 

The Chairman. You just tell him how many sacks have been gath- 
ered by the pickers ? 

Mr. EwART. I take whatever account he turns over to me, and I 
give him the balance, and he has to hire some help to load potatoes 
on the truck from the field, and do other jobs, and just how much labor 
he puts into that or how much he pays them, I do not know. All I 
pay is the pickers, and pay him the balance. The way the wages are 
computed is on the basis of the amount of potatoes sold from the barn. 
That is the way I settle with him. 

The Chairman. I cannot get clear in my mind how much, or you 
do not pay anything directly to the pickers ; do you ? 

Mr. EwART. I do pay directly to the pickers for him. 

The Chairman. That is done for him ? 

Mr. Ewart. That is for the contractor, if you want to call him 

The Chairman. And how much do you pay him? How much a 

Mr. EwART. I paid him 6 cents last year. 

The Chairman. You paid him ? 

Mr. Ewart. Yes. 

The Chairman. And how much did he pay the pickers ? 

Mr. Ewart. They were paid on the basis of 5 cents. 

The Chairman. So he made a cent a sack, then ? 

Mr. Ewart. Yes ; but out of that cent a sack he had to load those 
potatoes on the truck and do some work around the barn; he had to 
hire men to do that. 

The Chairman. This 5 cents a sack — do j'ou pay that directly to the 
pickers or to the contractor ? 

Mr. Ewart. The pickers. 

The Chairman. Then you left them to settle with the contractor; 
is that the idea ? 

Mr. Ewart. The contractor turns in the pickers' accounts to me and 
I pay them, and then the difference he gets, and the men he hires by 
the day he pays ; I have nothing to do with that. 

Mr. Osmers. I would like to ask a question on that point. When 
you set the price, as you say you set the price of 6 cents as the price 
last year, you set that price with a contractor, not with the individual 
pickers ; is that correct ? 

Mr. Ewart. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. That is the head man ? 

Mr. Ewart. Yes. 


Mr. OsMERS. And he comes to you and he says the picker No. 1 
has picked 20 sacks, and he wants him to be paid 5 cents, and then you 
would pay him a dollar under such a circumstance ? 

Mr. EwART. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. And the difference between what you have paid out to 
the pickers you ^rive him ? 

Mr. EwART. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. That is, on your original contract ? 

Mr. EwART. That is right. 

Mr. OsMERS. And you say that last year, for example, he received 
1 cent as compared to their 5 cents, and had certain duties to per- 
form in connection with loading the potatoes on the trucks ? 

Mr. EwART. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. Now, I think that the point the committee has been 
trying to get at here, has been the net income of the pickers. In other 
words, do the pickers then have to give the contractor money for trans- 
portation, for food, or do they all handle that individually? 


Mr. EwART. They all pay their own transportation. 

Mr. OsMERS. To him, is it his transportation ? 

Mr. EwART. Well, it is done through me ; rather, I always pay the 
transportation when they come up, and it is subtracted when they 
make it. 

Mr. OsMERs. How do you provide their transportation ? Is that by 
truck or private car ? 

Mr. EwART. They hire a truck down there to bring them up, and it 
generally costs them about $2 apiece. 

Mr. OsMERs. From the Eastern Shore ? 

Mr. EwART. From Cape Charles; and I pay the truck driver when 
he comes here. 

Mr. OsMERS. When he arrives with 20 pickers, he gets $40 or some- 
thing like that ? 

Mr. EwART. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. And, in the course of the season, how often do you 
pay the pickers: every week? 

^Ir. EwART. Every week. 

Mr. OsMERS. And I suppose that you gradually take off the trans- 
portation cost? 

Mr. EwART. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. Do you pay their transportation back to Cape 
Charles ? 

JMr. EwART. No. 

Mr. OsMERS. You do not? 

Mr. EwART. No. 

Mr. OsMERS. Is that their own concern? 

Mr. EwART. They really pay their own transportation up and 
back, but I pay it when they come up there. 

Mr. OsMERS. You just advance it? 

Mr. EwART. I just advance it. 

Mr. OsMERS. How about the food that they eat? We visited a 
potato farm Saturday, outside of Freehold I believe it was, and 
these people had been there for over 2 weeks without digging any 


potatoes — I suppose because of the lateness of the season — and, during 
that waiting period, how did they eat? 

Mr. Eavart. Well, the farmer will always advance them some 
money to live on ; we frequently have to do that. 

Mr. OsMERS, That is, for food, and so on? 

Mr. EwART. Yes; they always have all of the potatoes they want 
to eat, and there are a lot of other vegetables — cabbages, and things 
like that — that happen to be grown on the farm. And I happen to 
know the owner of that farm that you were at, and he talked to me 
about 3 or 4 days before you came clown, and he said that they were 
coming in and he had written to them that he would not have any 
work for them for a couple of weeks, but they were through with 
their job down- in Virginia, and they are from Florida, and they 
wanted to come up there and stay until the work opened up. Tliey 
were finished at the place they were working at in Virginia and 
had no place to go. 


Mr. OsMERS. Well, there is considerable question in my own mind, 
and I presume that there is in the minds of the other members of 
the committee, as to the housing conditions; you mentioned in your 
statement that they were getting better. But are you in a position, 
as head of the potato growers in New Jersey, to give this committee 
any idea when those housing conditions will be in what might be 
called standard condition ? 

]Mr. EwART. Well, that would depend on how you define "standard 

jSIr. OsMERS. Well, I would leave that to the committee. 

Mr. EwART. I would say that I have been through their homes in 
Florida, and through their homes on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, 
and 90 percent of the living conditions on the farms of New Jersey 
are better from many standijoints than they are at their own homes. 

Mr. OsMERs. Wellj on a comparative basis, I am willing to agree 
that that is so; but, on the other hand, as a resident of New Jersey 
myself, I feel that our State — and I know that you feel that same 
way — that our State should provide adequate standard living con- 
ditions for these people, regardless of what their living conditions 
are anywhere else ; that we, at least, should have sanitary and healthy 
living conditions. 

Mr. EwART. As far as sanitary conditions are concerned, I think 
they are very good, judging from the fact that there has never been 
any serious outbreak of sickness among them. 

At the present time the welfare organization of Middlesex County 
has a colored doctor down there, and a registered nurse to look after 
their health, and last year the farmers all cooperated with the State 
board of health in giving them all a Wasserman test, and treating 
them when they reacted. And we also had a colored minister down 
there to have religious services for them. And a social worker from 
New York, who came through with the Home Mission Association 
of New York. 

Mr. OsMERS. Could you just give us briefly, from your own per- 
sonal experience, the attitude of the State department of health and 
the State department of labor in connection with the conditions of 
these growers on the farms? 


Mr. EwART. This survey, that I think you have a record of, was 

Hr. OsMERS, That is the Conference Report on Migratory Work- 

Mr. EwART. That was made with the State department of hibor, 
the State employment bureau, and the State department of agri- 
culture. We have always cooperated with those people in anything 
that they wanted to do. 

Mr. OsMERS. I was not thinking so much of cooperation in the 
making of the report as I was in the change of the conditions. 


Mr. EwART. As a result of this survey, the State employment office 
decided that there was nothing they could do to change conditions, 
that the help they had available would not fill the bill for the farmery. 

Mr. OsMERS. You mean the help that they had available in New 
Jersey ? 

Mr. EwART. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. Because the State employment service told us yester- 
day that they had arranged for a group of these workers to be 
brought in from Virginia, and it worked out very satisfactorily ; they 
were given cards when they left and were properly received. In 
other words, if a farmer, a man like yourself, applied to the State 
employment service and said he needed 25 pickers at a certain time, 
the New Jersey S'tate Employment Service contacted the Virginia 
State Employment Service, and arrangements were made that were 
very satisfactory all the way through. 

Is it your opinion that we will always need a certain number of 
migrant workers in New Jersey for the harvesting of the potato crop ? 


Mr. EwART. With conditions as they are; yes. Since relief has 
come along, people who were used to picking potatoes before 1929 
were the people who got on relief. And, as I said in the statement 
that I made, they do not want to quit W. P. A. jobs for a short 
period of time to pick potatoes. 

Mr. OsMERS. Do you feel that if the relief policy were changed so 
that it would be easy for a relief recipient to get back on the rolls, 
we could use more local labor in the harvesting of potatoes in New 
Jersey ? 

Mr. EwART. I suppose that you would like to have an honest answer 
to that. 

Mr. OsMERS. Well, that is a reasonable assumption. 

Mr. EwART. I think the average W. P. A. worker today is so 
thoroughly spoiled that he would not be much good digging potatoes, 
to say the least. 

Mr. OsMERS. You feel the work is too hard? 

Mr. EwART. He is not used to it. He does not work hard enough, 
on the average. IMany of them would not be in the physical condi- 
tion to get out in the fields and pick 100 bags of potatoes a day. 

The Chairman. How long does the potato season last ? 

Mr. EwART. Generally about 90 percent of them will be dug in 2 


The Chairman. What did you expect those people to do the other 
10 months ? 

Mr. EwART. To o;o back to Florida ; to go back to Virghiia. 

The Chairman. I am talking about relief now. 

Mr. EwART, With the W. P. A. workers, that is one of the great 

The Chairman. But you would not undertake, would you, as a 
farmer yourself, to take care of them for the other 10 months? 

Mr. EwART. No ; certainly not. The shortness of time that we need 
these people makes the difficulty. 

Mr. Parsons. The last W. P. A. bill attacked by Congress pro- 
vided that an individual who quit W. P. A. and accepts private em- 
ployment has priority status to be reinstated with W. P. A. when the 
private employment is over. So if you offered this labor to W. P. A. 
workers in your community, they could work for you 2 weeks, and 
then be automatically transferred from there back to W. P. A. with- 
out a great deal of loss of time. 

Mr. EwART. We do not employ southern labor altogether. There 
is always some local labor, and for the last several years I have had 
five or six local people who have picked potatoes for me. 

Mr. Parsons. That is white people? 

Mr. EwART. Some white and some colored. 

Mr. Parsons. Have you ever tried out the 3'oung man of high-school 
age, 18 to 20 years of age? 

Mr. EwART. We have some of them who work for us. 

Mr. Parsons. You have a lot of those kinds of youngsters in the 
small towns in the surrounding community, do you not? And even 
in the countryside. 

Mr. EwART. Not in a town like Cranbury; no, they would have to 
come from New Brunswick or Trenton or some other larger place, 
because most of the boys of high-school age are farmers' sons and 
they are employed at home. 

Mr. Parsons.* But you have never tried to get these boys of high- 
school age, around 18 or 20, out on the farms, to do this potato pick- 
ing, because they are young and inexperienced, I suppose. 

Mr. EwART. That is true. 

The Chairman. What kind of housing facilities do you have for 
those workers? 

Mr. EwART. Well, we have a building that was formerly used as a 
stable, that has concrete floor in it. It is perfectly dry, and has 
plenty of ventilation. It is screened in, and most of the men sleep 
m there, and they each have a bunk in there. And then the women 
sleep in another building. 

The Chairman. What kind of a building is it that the women 
sleep in? 

Mr. Ewart. Well, the room the women sleep in is as long as this 
room, and about half as wide, with a partition in the middle. And 
that, again, is a one-story building with a concrete floor in it. 

The Chairman. What was that used for ? 

Mr. EwART. Well, we use it to cut potatoes in in the spring of the 
year. You see, farming conditions have changed. The farm that I 
occupy used to be a dairy farm, and now that we do not have a horse, 
nor a cow, nor pigs, nor chickens on the farm it is specialized farm- 
ing, and a lot of buildings that we used to use for different purposes 


we do not have much use for today. We fix them up for housing 

Mr. Parsons. Where did you get your labor before the hard road 
systems were put in so that you could import these people from the 
South economically? 

Mr. EwART, Well, they would come from surrounding towns, 
through the 1920's most of the labor would come from New Bruns- 
wick, South Kiver, or Jamesburg, and there was some labor around 
there from Philadelphia — Italian labor, Italian families. 

Mr. Parsons. But since 1928 or 1929 you have been obtaining your 
labor from the South? 

Mr. Ew^^RT. More and more the labor has been coming from the 

Mr. Sparkman. Mr. Ewart, in your opinion, is it necessary that 
some of tliat labor come in, in order to take care of the highly sea- 
sonal jobs that you have? 

Mr. Ewart. It is absolutely necessary ; it is a natural fact that we 
employ over 4,000 of them in the 3 central Jersey counties, and I 
don't know where in the world we would get those people that would 
come out and do that type of work if we could not have these col- 
ored people. 

Mr. Sparkman. You do not have the labor supply available 
locally ? 

Mr. Ewart. We do not; no. 

Mr. Sparkman. And, as I gather from your statement, these peo- 
ple come in, and when the harvest season is over they return to their 
homes ? 

Mr. Ewart. They do. 

Mr. Sparkman. They do not become a permanent problem with 
you people in the sense that they settle there? 

Mr. Ewart. I think, generally speaking, the colored laborer that 
becomes a problem is the fellow that comes up there without a job; 
90 percent of these people, both from Virginia and Florida, come up 
there knowing just exactly what they are doing, and what they are 
going to do after they get there. 

Mr. Sparkman. And they are pretty much the same people who 
come year after year? 

Mr. Ewart. The same people. 

Mr. Sparkman. Now, Mi\ Osmers mentioned something a few min- 
utes ago to the effect that the Employment Service has been rendering 
experimental service in obtaining this labor for farmers. Have you 
thought anything about trying to work out some kind of a plan 
whereby the Employment Service might contact the Employment 
Service in some other State and through this arrangement in an 
orderly way to bring in the labor ? 

Mr. Ewart. Certainly I do not think that that would be very satis- 
factory. Now, I have had this bunch from Virginia working for 
me for 10 years, and they are perfectly satisfactory with me, and they 
are satisfied with the job, and they are good workers. They are 
honest, and I have never had a State policeman on the place and 
never had one of them arrested. Never had a bit of trouble with any 
of them; they are good workers, and I am satisfied with them, if 
they want the job. Now, why should I change? 


Mr. Sparkman. Do yoii ever have any difficulty in getting a suffi- 
cient number? 

Mr. EwART. No. 

Mr. Sparkman. Well, do you ever incur any difficulty in having 
a surplus number come in? 

Mr. EwART. No; because they will bring just exactly the number. 
This man will bring just exactly the number I tell him, and no more. 

Mr. Sparkman. In other words, you anticipate the demand and 
notify him? 

Mr. EwART. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. And now I am thinking about the fellow who 
comes without a prearranged agreement, the fellow who might just 
drift in; do you have many of those each year applying for work 
independently ? 

Mr. EwART. We always have some, not a great many. I would not 
wonder — probably 10 or 12 percent are drifters. 

Mr. Sparkman". As I understand it, the cultivation of the potatoes, 
the phmting and cultivation, is done by your permanent force. 

Mr. EwART. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. And that is done by you and your children and any 
legular workers that you use? 

Mr. EwART. We employ about five men steadily. 

Mr. Sparkman. And do those same men plow the potatoes up, that 
is, turn them, lift them up, ready for the pickers? 

Mr. EwART. We do all of that. 

Mr. Sparkman. That is what I say; that is your permanent force? 

Mr. Ewart. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. And it is this temporary force that does the pick- 
hig and sacking and hauling to the barn; and do they grade them? 

Mr. Ewart. Yes ; they load them on the trucks and they help with 
the grader, and our men drive the trucks and also help with the 
grader. And they have certain jobs at the grader that they have to 
do, and there is a certain job that my men do. 

Mr. Sparkman. That is what I am trying to find out, and now, 
just what are the jobs that these migrants do? They pick the pota- 
toes and hanl them and help grade them, and now, that is all that 
they do? 

Mr. Ewart. Sometimes they might load them on the trucks that 
take them to the city, or wherever they go; that may be part of 
the arrangement. These arrangements vary somewhat; some people 
just pay them so much for picking, and others will have them do 
practically the whole job — picking, grading, and loading on the 

Mr. Sparkman. Now, you find it more convenient to contract with 
the one individual to do" the whole job. I suppose the pickers con- 
stitute the greater portion of the ^yorkers; is that true? 

Mr. Ewart. That is true; yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. And therefore the amount of money that you actu- 
ally pay directly to the workers is a great majority of the pay, the 
great part of the pay, that is actually transmitted to the men ? 

Mr. Ewart. That is right. 

Mr. Sparkman. And you simply find it more convenient to con- 
tract the men? 


Mr. EwART. I do, because where you have that one man, he is more 
or less responsible for the conduct of that whole crowd, and he keeps 
them straight. In other words, there has never been a fight on the 
place, and never any trouble of any kind. 

Mr. Sparkman. You have never heard any dissatisfaction ex- 
pressed by any of the workers? 

Mr. EwART. No; in fact, they are all very anxious to come back 
again. When I contacted them this year, I was down to their homes, 
and I asked this man if he was going to have any trouble getting a 
lot of help and he said, "Lord no ! I can get you a hundred if you 
want them." 

Mr. Sparkman. That is all. 

Mr. OsMERS. Just one or two more questions. How steady is the 
employment once you start to pick your potatoes? Do they work 
right through? 

Mr. Ew^ART. That depends on market and weather conditions. Cer- 
tain seasons will be fairly steady. If you get a heavy storm the 
ground gets wet, and you cannot dig for a couple of days, at times. 

Mr. OsMERS. Now, when there is picking to be done and you want 
potatoes picked, how many hours do these pickers spend in the field 
per day? 

Mr. EwART. Well, again, that varies with the weather condition. 

Mr. OsMERs. Well, take the straight summer weather. 

Mr. EwART. Generally speaking, they will work anywhere from 8 
to 10 hours. 

Mr. OsMERS. That is, 8 to 10 hours a day? 

Mr. EwART. Yes; morning and night, mostly. Sometimes, on a 
day when it is cloudy, they will work all day. 

Mr. OsMERS. But they cannot work in the extremely hot sun? 

Mr. EwART. They cannot work then. In that kind of weather you 
would not dare to have potatoes out from 9 o'clock to 5; they must 
be picked up and carted away. 

Mr. Sparkman. That is the good care that makes New Jersey 
potatoes so good, isn't it? 

Mr. EwART. I hope so. 

The Chairman. Thank you very miich, Mr. Ewart. 


The Chairman. Miss Taylor, will you come around, please ? What 
is your full name, please ? 

Miss Tayixdr. Ruth Taylor, the commissioner of welfare of West- 
chester County, N. Y. 

The Chairman. And have you a statement that you want to pre- 
sent, or do you want to talk right away? 

Miss Taylor. I present a very brief statement to the committee. 
I can quote somewhat from that, if you wish. 


Since July 1, in37, when the State of New York assumed responsibility for 
the costs of all relief given to persons proved to have no settlement within the 
State, the problem of the nonresident has been primarily a State problem. 

260370— 40— pt. 1 17 



However, the administi-ation of relief for this type of case is a local responsi- 
bility aud our taxpayers tend to think of it in terms of additions to their own 
relief budgets. Even though the State reimburses the localities 100 percent for 
all cases where there is documentary proof that a family has no settlement 
within the State, the relief needed is given in the first instance by the locality 
aud later reimbursed by the State ; this creates in the minds of local taxpayers 
the impression that they are paying directly and heavily for nonresident 
dependent families. 

Under the New York State law, the county public welfare district is responsi- 
ble for all forms of relief for persons within the district not residing in their 
place of local settlement or without settlement in the district. In Westchester 
County, therefore, the county department of public welfare is the index of the 
number of and amount of relief given to proved nonresident or State cases. 
The relief given by the 22 local public welfare units — the 4 cities and the 18 
towns— is wholly relief to persons having a settlement in those cities and towns. 

It is the county department's impression that the problem of the nonresident 
in Westchester is not that of the habitual or seasonal migrant but rather that 
of the individual family unit, whether one person or several, which comes into 
the county unit by unit with some idea, either clearly defined or vague, of 
getting work or otherwise meeting some unsolved family problem. It is our 
impression that by far the larger number of our nonresident relief families have 
come with the idea that work is more plentiful in this metropolitan area, and 
that they will somehow "get along better" here. A few have come because of 
some lack in their own community which they believe can be met here, for 
instance, a sick child in the family, no hospitals available, and the belief that 
hospitals exist and are accessible in and around New York. We have little 
direct evidence that families move into our territory with a definite idea of 
getting relief here. 

Because of the fact that we have no habitual or seasonal migrants, we 
believe that no blanket generalization as to our nonresident case problem can 
be made at this time. 

The problem has, of course, been accentuated during these depression years 
and, while public welfare officers have always been aware of the problem, the 
public has turned its attention to it during this period of high relief expendi- 
tures. The extent of the problem in Westcliester, which is often grossly 
exaggerated, may be indicated by studying the number of dependents from out- 
side the Stiate on the home relief rolls as of given dates. Experience has shown 
that this is a fair indication of the percentage that may be found if all of the 
other categories of relief and care are studied. 

Home-relief cases (entire county of Westchester, all units) 
State-charge cases (settlement not in New York State) --. 

Additional State presumptive cases 

State-charge and State-presumptive cases 

State cases acknowledged by other States 

Dec. 31, 1939 

Number Percent 

10, 492 



100. 00 



June 30, 1940 

Number Percent 



100. 00 



The fear of the community of an increasing burden of nonresidents on relief 
has led to a grovx^ing resentment at them. Some of the school systems have 
become disturbed over the possibility of an influx of less well prepared children 
from other school systems. Efforts have been made to secure restrictive legis- 
lation to hinder the movement of migrants and nonresidents, and to find ways of 
prohibiting relief to them ; the lowering of standards of relief, including medi- 
cal and hospital care, over the entire area in order to discourage the migration 
of nonresidents into the area has been suggested. 

The local public welfare official is caught between his absolute duty under 
the New York State public-welfare law to prevent want and suffering in his 
area, regardless of settlement questions, while at the same time keeping the 
taxpayers of his locality from lowering relief standards for the entire group of 
relief recipients, both local charges and nonresident, in the hope of discouraging 
the latter. 

In our opinion the problem of the nonresident dependent can be handled 
justly and fairly only through Federal action. No State or locality will be 
willing or financially able for long to maintain adequate sttindards of relief, 


including medical and hospital care, for its residents if those standards may be 
availed of at will by destitute persons from other territories merely by moving 
within its boundaries. It is not reasonable to expect this of any community and 
it is certainly not a practical possibility. On the other hand, we do not want 
restrictive legislation to prevent free men and women from seeking honest 
employment in those parts of the country where it may be found or in changing 
their place of abode for good and satisfactory reasons. Until such time as we 
have worked out our national economic system in a way that would seem to 
provide adequate opportunity for earning a living in all parts of the country, 
it would seem that the Federal Government must provide leadership in the 
field of the transient and migrant wherever he is found and also assume finan- 
cial responsibility for his care. The Federal Government alone can bring to- 
gether various States in a movement for uniform settlement laws and for such 
other steps as may be possible in equalizing and adjusting fairly the financial 


The Chairman. Please proceed with your testhnoiw in any way 
yon desire. 

Miss Taylor. I think a ^ood deal of what I might say has already 
been included in Commissioner Adie's statement. It has been made 
clear to yowY committee that the program in New York State is a 
State program. The State reimburses 100 percent for the cost of 
all persons when it is proven that they are nonsettled in the State. 
It has also been explained — and I would like to reinforce that state- 
ment of Commissioner Adie's — that localities in the State which 
have the responsibility for administration give relief to the nonsettled 
person on the same terms as to the person that has a local settlement. 

In other words, the New York State law definitely requires of the 
public welfare officer that he give relief to persons within his terri- 
tory who are found to be in need, and any question of settlement is a 
matter for later consideration. 

The Chairman. In other w^ords, you cannot let them starve. 

Miss Taylor. We do not let them starve. We give medical care 
and hospital care on the same terms to all. 


Now, what has happened in the State is that a practical problem 
has developed with that provision in the law whereby all are treated 
alike. New York State is acquiring a group of nonsettled people 
who are being supported at the State's expense, but the care is being 
given through the localities, and this is creating a problem for the 
State. Commissioner Adie spoke of the increase in the expenditure. 

The Chairman. In other words, as I iniderstand it, the State of 
New York has spent in the last year about $3,000,000 in taking care 
of destitute interstate migrants. 

Miss Taylor. That is what I understand. 

The Chairman. And what you are puzzled about is how long you 
can go on that way. 

Miss Taylor. How long the taxpayers in the individual localities 
will be willing to permit their relief standards to remain high, and 
how long they will grant a high type of medical care and hospital 
care, as well as family relief, if they must share that with any per- 
son Avho moves into the State. 


Now, it is for that reason, it is because of the practical problem, 
not because we feel — I am speaking now simply for myself — that the 
problem is yet, by any means, an enormous one, in any locality. 
Nevertheless, it is because of this threat to fair and equitable and 
humane relief standards, if it is left wholly to the locality to deal 
with, that I personally believe very strongly that this is a problem 
in which the Federal Government must give us leadership. 

The Chairman. The problem is increasing; the case load is in- 
creasing in your State? 

Miss Taylor. I am speaking now for my county, I mean as the 
county commissioner. Commissioner Adie spoke for the State, and, 
I believe, if I understood him rightly, he said that there was a 
very marked increase. 

The Chairman. I am talking about your county. 

Miss Taylor. It has increased somewhat proportionately with the 
State's, until the last 6 months, and the figures that I have which I 
presented to your committee, for the last 6 months would seem to 
indicate that our State charges at the moment have decreased very 
slightly in number and not quite in proportion to our general relief 
■decline; but certainly they are not increasing, they are not going 
up at the moment. 

advocates uniform settlement laws 

But the problem seems to be this, that unless we have Federal 
leadership in working for, for instance, what I personally believe 
we must have, a uniform settlement law among the States, the tend- 
ency is going to be toward barrier after barrier, getting higher. 
New York State this year had a bill introduced for a 5 -year-residence 

Many of us in the j)ractical field, I think, very much prefer to stay 
with the 1-year settlement. I should have said the settlement law, 
with the 1-year-settlement law. But if the States begin to raise 
those settlement requirements, then it seems almost inevitable that 
in time the States will all follow, and we will have a pyramiding 
series of higher and higher settlement provisions. 

But what we would like is Federal leadership in securing or bring- 
ing the States together to secure a uniform law, uniform legislation 
of residence for settlement, uniform provisions in the law, and we 
would like Federal participation in the caring for the nonsettled 
people in order that our localities will keep up high standards of 

The Chairman. Of course, the county feels that tax burden on 
account of these people. 

Miss Taylor. Actually, of course, the county directly is not pay- 
ing the relief for the cases, but the county does pay it in the first 
instance, and it therefore does appear in the initial appropriations, 
and taxpaj^ers generally feel toward it as a local expense. At least, 
certainly a considerable part do. 

Now, they do pay, of course, the administrative costs, which, in 
my opinion, is fair and equitable; I would not necessarily feel that 
that was a charge to the State. I am speaking, of course, as an 

But there is, in my opinion, growing hostility, in many localities 
in the State, toward this nonsettled problem. 


Mr. Parsons. Does the county of Westchester levy a tax for relief 

Miss Taylor. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. Do you recall Avhat that rate is? 


Miss Taylor. Well, it was a part of the general county tax; I 
can give you the county tax rate, if I may refer to my notes a minute. 
The county tax rate for 1940 is $4.95. 

Mr. Parsoxs. That is $4.95 on the thousand ? 

Miss Taylor. That is the county ; the tax situation, on which I am 
no expert wliatever, is a very intricate problem. 

Mr. Parsons. Is that upon the full cash value of the assessment? 

Miss Taylor. I really cannot discuss that tax question with you. 
It is a very intricate situation. We have tax districts for a number 
of different things in the county. 

Mr. Parsons. That is 49.5 cents per $100; someone in the audience 
nodded his head that apparently knows that it is on the full cash 
value. And now, when we mention full cash value, I assume that 
that is probably 50 percent of the actual merchantable value of the 
property ; is not that true ? 

Miss Taylor. That I am not equipped to answer. 

Mr. Parsons. Now, that is for all county purposes. 

Miss Taylor. That is for all county purposes. 

Mr. Parsons. Now, what part of that 49.5 cents is for relief pur- 
poses ? 

Miss Taylor. In the county budget, about 34 cents on the dollar 
this year is for relief purposes. 

Mr. Parsons. That is 34 cents out of the $4.95, or 34 cents out of 
the 49.5 cents? 

Miss Taylor. That is 34 cents out of the tax dollar. 

Mr, Parsons. That would be approximately one-third. 

Miss Taylor. Of course, you have in that only the relief that 
is carried by the county departments, and not the cities and towns; 
the 18 towns and 4 cities carry their own local home relief. 

Mr. Parsons. The city contriliutes in addition to that? 

Miss Taylor. The cities pay directly for their home relief. 

Mr. Parsons. So that would be about 16% cents on the $100 cash 
value assessment for relief purposes. I want to get the comparison 
with my own State, and also get some idea of the contribution that 
the county makes to that purpose. 

Now, your State augments that, and reimburses you for what ]:»art 
of the expenditure that is made in your county ? 

Miss Ta.ylor. Well, it reimburses different amounts on the dif- 
ferent classifications of relief. Tlie figure that you have there is 
not, you see, for that part of it, the whole nonsettled question is 
merged in that. If you want to deal with the question of nonsettled 
cases, the State pays 100 percent on the relief given. 

Mr. Parsons. After you have furnistied the records to them? 

Miss Taylor. Yes; and after we have documented them, and prove 
that the person has definitely settled somewhere else. 

Mr. Parsons. But the State does not give you anything for 
your own? 

256 INTERSTATE :migratioix 

Miss Taylor. Not for the administration. That is. not for the 
administering costs of the nonsettled persons. 

Mr. Parsons. And the State does not contribute any to your own 
settled people ? 

Miss Taylor. Yes; it does; according to the New York State law, 
40 percent. 

Mr. Parsons. That is for all of them ? 

Miss Taylor. Forty percent for home relief; yes. And it does 
not participate in hospitalization, except for the so-called State 
charges. There again it pays 100 percent. 

Mr. Parsons. That is all. 

Mr. Curtis. I have just one question: 

Has the adoption of this plan in New York, the State paying 100 
percent, and the acceptance of the proposition of carrying these 
people even though they cannot establish settlement here, has that 
increased the number of people coming in? 

Miss Taylor. I do not think that I am in a position to state any- 
thing more than an opinion there. I doubt wdiether the develop- 
ment of the State plan has seriously influenced the numbers. We 
cannot compare the situation because the former definition of "State 
case" was merely the person wdio had been in the State only 60 
days, so that there is nothing comparable in the two pictures. 

Moreover, the whole relief situation has been so much dependent 
upon the economic situation that, personally, I think a great deal 
of this problem of the nonsettled person would have occurred regard- 
less of what system we had. 


Mr. Curtis. Now, one other question. I think we are all agreed 
that the settlement laws should be uniform. Would you go so far 
as some of the witnesses have and advocate the abolition of all settle- 
ment requirements ? 

Miss Taylor. Well, personally, I have never heard any scheme 
advanced in detail which seemed to me practical and workable. Now, 
that may be just my own thought. I may not have run across 

Mr. Curtis. You are inclined to the view that we should have 
some ? 

Miss Taylor. Until someone can show me how no-settlement laws 
would operate practically, I am decidedly for a settlement law; but 
I think that we need very badly, if we are to give humane care to 
people that we want to have it, and have freedom of action, we must 
work toward a uniform law and uniform treatment under the various 
laws. I think that to have one State have a 4-year residence for a 
settlement and the next State lo have a 6-year settlement, and no means 
of reciprocity at all, is not a practical working scheme. It will result 
in the people of an area, just like New- York; the area with the short 
period, necessary for settlement, will try to raise it. 

Mr. Parsons. We have had that same situation in Chicago. That 
is wdiy we have had so many people drift in there from the sur- 
rounding States. In a relief organization like yours in New York 
City and the environs, you give a very much higher rate of contri- 
bution than they do in the other States, and the surrounding coun- 


ties, and it is an incentive to drift into those areas like Chicago — just 
as it has been an incentive to drift into New York, in a great many 
cases. That is, not so many lately, but in the beginning of the de- 
pression. And then we probably had thousands of people that were 
profitably employed during the 1920's that stayed, and they came 
from other States for industrial purposes. And many of them, thou- 
sands of them, perhaps, in white-collar positions, and they stayed 
on, of course, after the crash of 1929. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much. That is a very valuable 


Mr. Sparkm AN. Mr. Kobbins, what is your name ? 

Mr. RoBBiNS. My first name is Elliott, my middle name is Philip, 
and my last name is Robbins. 

Mr. Sparkman, You were born in the United States? 

Mr. RoBBixs. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. Where? 

Mr. Robbins. The city of Mobile, State of Alabama. 

Mr. Sparkman. Well, we are from the same State, although sev- 
eral hundred miles apart. 

Mr. Robbins, Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. When were you born? 

Mr. Robbins. I was born in the year of 1906, the 14th of August. 

Mr. Sparkman. Your parents were American citizens? 

Mr. Robbins. Yes, sir; my parents were American citizens. 

Mr. Sparkman. What is your ancestral descent? 

Mr. Robbins. Well, as far as I can remember, my ancestral de- 
scent is that my grandfather migrated from the State of Michigan 
to Mississippi, and that is on my father's side. My grandfather on 
my mother's side migrated from Virginia, and fought in the Civil 

Mr. Sparkman. He fought in the Civil War? 

Mr. Robbins. Yes ; he fought in the Civil War. 

Mr. Sparkman. On which side? 

Mr. Robbins. On the Confederate side. 

Mr. Sparkman. What is your education? 

Mr. Robbins. My education is the seventh grade. 

Mr. Sparkman. Why did you leave school ? 

Mr. Robbins. I left school because my aunt and uncle, who raised 
me, could no longer keep me in school. They could not afford it. 

Mr. Sparkman. Where did you go then ? 

Mr. Robbins. I stayed home for a while. 

Mr. Sparkman. Were you working at anything? 

Mr. Robbins. I did not work. 

Mr. Sparkman. How old were you, did you say? 

Mr. Robbins. I was 16. 

Mr. Sparkman. Would you just give us something about your work 
history ? 

Mr. Robbins. My history from that time up to the present date — 
well, that is quite a little story; if you want it, I will give it to you. 

Mr. Sparkman. Just give us the high points. 


Mr. KoBBiNS. Well, about 2 or 3 months after staying at home, I 
obtained work with a man by the name of :Mr. Nichols, in an automo- 
bile paint shop, and I worked for this man about 6 months, at $6 a 
week, and he went out of business and my job was finished. 

Then I stayed at home for a while and I could not get anything to 
do and so I decided to leave home. I could not stay there without 
working, because my parents were in poverty and they did not have 
very much, and I did not want to be a burden on them. I left home 
and went West, and I ended up at Houston, Tex.; and ending up in 
Houston, Tex., I decided to take a ship, my first ship, and I went on 
a ship by the name of West /Segovia. 
Mr. Spaekman. How old were you then? 

Mr. RoBBiNs. Well, I was 17, then, Avhen I shipped on this vessel ; 
and she operated for a company by the name of Daniel Ripley out of 
Houston, Tex., and the ports we touched were Le Havre, France ; Rot- 
terclam, Holland ; and Antwerp, Belgium. I made two trips on this 
ship, and I got off her on account of sickness, because I could no longer 
perform my duties right on her. 

After this ship I went North to the city named Fond du Lac, Wis., 
by the way of Chicago, and I took a job on a farm and stayed there 
for a while, ancl then came back South again. I shipped again, and 
the next ship was the Hastings, and I operated out of Mobile to Euro- 
pean ports in France, Belgium, and Holland. 

Then I came back to Pensacola, Fla. — I think it was — on the ship 
I was on first, and they laid up, and I asked the first engineer of this 
ship whether it would be possible, if I stayed around Pensacola, to 
ship back on her and he said that he could not promise me a job, and 
I said I thought the best thing to do was to go back over to Mobile, 
and so I did. Then I shipped on another vessel. 

Mr. Spaekman. Now, Mr, Robbins, may I — instead of taking up 
each ship individually — let me ask you this question : Have you fol- 
lowed the sea, so far as you could get jobs, since that time? 

Mr. Robbins. Well, since that time, no; I have not followed the 
sea steadily. It was off and on, 

Mr. Spaekman. That was because you could not find steady em- 
ployment ? 

Mr. Robbins. It was because I could not find steady employment 
on the ships that I did not follow the sea steadily at that time. 

Mr. Spaekman. Now, have you done anything else in-between 
times ? 

Mr. Robbins. I have done other work in-between times. For 
instance, I have worked on a western wheat farm four seasons for a 
man by the name of Mr. Fearn, in Montana. 

Mr. Spaekman. You would go out there every year when the wheat 
season came in? 

Mr. Robbins. Yes ; and harvest wheat, and then I would come back 
home again. 

Mr. Spaekman. We all used to be migrants that way down our 
way, did we not? 

Mr. Robbins. That is right. 

Mr. Spaekman. Now, are you working now ? 

Mr. Robbins. Yes, sir, I am working now. 

Mr. Spaekman. What are you doing? 

Mr. Robbins. I am on the steamship America as fireman. 


Mr. Sparkman. Is that the big boat that just came in the other 

Mr. RoBBiNS. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Spaekiman. Our colleague, Mr. Parsons, was on the America^ 
and he ought to be in here to listen to you. 

Mr. Bobbins. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. You do have employment now? 

Mr. Bobbins. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Spakkman. What is your classification? 

Mr. Bobbins. My classification — you mean the job that I hold down 
below — is fireman. That is my rating. 

Mr. Sparkman. That is what I mean. You started out as what ? 

Mr. Bobbins. I started out as wiper, and I became a fireman, but 
there are some points that I would like to touch on further that are 
very important. 

Ml*. Sparkman. Do you have any ideas about how this problem 
that applies to seamen could be handled? 

Mr. Bobbins. That is what I would like to touch on. 

Mr. Sparkman. We will be glad to have your views on it. 

Mr. Bobbins. At different times that I was unemployed it was no 
fault of my own, because it was, first, the ship tying up, and, No. 2, 
sickness, and. No. 3, I wanted to get off the ship for a normal life 
ashore, because being cooped up on that ship from 2 to 3, to 5, to 6 
months, not intermingling with the public, not even visiting friends 
ashore or visiting the movies, or enjoying life like the other workers 
do ashore, that is one of the reasons why I got off the ships; those are 
the three reasons why it has been very hard for me when I get off the 
ship to "get by" ashore in the different cities, the seaport towns that 
I have been in. 

The reason for that. No. 1, is that I have to have a legal residence, 
according to the State, of 1 year or more in order to obtain relief. 
Well. I am not a seaman if those laws require that. In other words, 
a seaman is not a seaman if he is supposed to stay ashore for a year 
in order to obtain relief. And No. 2 is that in order to get by I 
borrowed from friends of mine, actually asked people for something 
to eat : that is, asking people for something to eat by visiting homes, 
or people on the street ; and it is out of the question for me to obtain 
help from the different seamen's agencies that house seamen on this 
basis, because they do not have the cash to carry on. 

Mr. Sparkman. I was under the impression that seamen had some 
kind of a mutual association that they paid a certain amount of 
their pay into, or kind of an unemployment insurance of their own. 
Do you have that? 

Mr. Bobbins. Not that I know of; no; we sure have not, and the 
only thing that seamen come under is old-age pension, and not under 
the unemployment insurance at all. On the ship there is so much 
deducted from our salary for old-age pensions. 

Mr. Sparkman. That is for old-age insurance. 

Mr. Bobbins. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. You feel, then, that some changes should be made? 

Mr. Bobbins. Yes, sir; I do. 

Mr. Sparkman. To take care of the seamen who, through no fault 
of their own, are out of work. 

Mr. Bobbins. That is right; for no fault of their own they are 
out of work. 


Mr. Sparkman. And certainly you do not have the right to pick 
the place where you will be thrown out of work, and therefore you 
may be a migrant in a State not your oAvn. 

Mr. EoBBiNS. That is the point. That is true. I am glad tliat 
you brought that up. The seamen themselves, through no fault of 
their own, are thrown out of work, because of the ship's tying up, 
sickness, and so forth. If they cannot obtain relief from the dif- 
ferent cities they are in, the seaport towns they are in, in the United 
States, on the basis I was explaining a few minutes ago ; if they had 
to stay in these cities 1 year or more, according to the laws, well, 
they are automatically thrown in the same categorj' that the workers 
are that travel from one State to another. 

In other words, what we call "landlubbers"; we are automatically 
thrown in the same category that the landlubbers are in, going from 
one State to the other, in order to get by or do the best we can 
until we get another job. 

Many times, I am stating the facts, I have had to sleep either on 
a park bench in a park, or lay out on the grass somewhere and sleep 
in order to get a night's rest. Not a night's rest, but in order to do 
the best I could, because there is no other facility provided for me, 
and I myself think that the Government should provide some kind 
of Federal relief for us, because we are wards of the Federal 

Mr. Sparkman. All right, Mr. Bobbins ; I have no more questions. 

Mr. Curtis. Mr. Robbins, I will not detain you long, but it occurred 
to me that there is a very distinct Federal problem in here. Be- 
cause of the very nature of your occupations, you are not grounded 
in any community. And what I am about to ask you, or suggest, 
is not a question for settlement here. 

But in normal times, when seamen's employment is more steady, 
do many of those seamen attempt, even though they do not get to it 
for months or years, to establish some sort of legal grounding, you 
might say, in some place where they have some contact back there; 
of a small amount of property assessed so that they pay a few dollars 
taxes and attempt to vote occasionally? Is that entirely out of the 
picture with all seamen, or is that attempted ? 

Mr. Bobbins. No; it is not entirely out of the picture, but as the 
average seaman is employed only six months in a year, it is im- 
possible for him to buy property. I might give you an example from 
my own experience, as to establishing the right to vote. In the city 
that I came from, Mobile, Ala., I tried to establish myself to vote. 
All right; what was the result? A friend of mine there went down 
to the courthouse with me and I registered, and I gave him the 
money, and he could not go down to pay my poll tax ; I forgot what 
ward this was in the city of Mobile, but he sent another person down 
there with it to pay it, and the other person came back and told him 
that he had paid it, but this friend of mine was in such a hurry to 
get away that he forgot to ask him for a receipt and so he never got it. 
So I think that the man stole the money. 

Mr. Curtis. Those things will happen. 

Mr. Sparkman. Under the laws of Alabama, Mr. Robbins is en- 
titled to establish legal residence in Mobile, I am quite sure of that, 
although that may not be true in other States. And, just as you 
stated, that you acknowledged that in paying the money for your 

i:n'terstate jiigeation 261 

poll tax, but I do realize that that problem is not true with a great 
many of your people. 

Mr. RoBBiNS. Now, I would like to stress on a little more of this. 

I came from the west coast last year to the east coast ; I came from 
Portland, Oreg., to New York City, and my transportation was in 
boxcars, in freight trains. Now, I came from San Francisco up to 
Portland, I had got oif the ship in San Francisco. The name of the 
ship was the Florence Luckenbacli^ and the reason I could not stay 
aboard the ship any longer was the second assistant engineer. He 
and I could not agree with each other and I thought the best thing I 
could do was to get off the ship, and so I did. 

I got off, and I stayed in San Francisco for about 2 weeks, to make 
sure whether I could ship there or not, but I could not ship there 
under 2 o;- 3 months. Well, there was no relief there for us, so I 
went to Portland, Oreg., and in Portland, Oreg., I found it was the 
same thing. On the way up I spent most of my money to travel, 
for food, and so forth, and I had very little money when I arrived 
in Portland. 

I found the same thing in Portland ; no relief or facilities for the 
seamen, so I decided to come across country and I came across country 
to New York City, and the only place that I received help from was 
from the welfare bureau of the National Maritime Union, insofar 
as relief is concerned. 

Mr. Sparkman. All right. Thank you, Mr. Bobbins. 

Mr. EoBBiNS.. Thank you. 

The Chairman. Is Miss Dickason here? 


The Chairman. Miss Dickason, I think that you have submitted a 
statement to the committee. 

Miss Dickason. Yes, Mr. Chairman; I have submitted some docu- 
ments to the committee, and I will not make any further statement. 

The Chairiman. Those statements will be received for the record. 

The documents above referred to were received for the record and 
read as follows: 


(Prepared by Gladys Dickason, Director, Research Department, Amalgamated 
Clothing Workers of America) 

One of the causes of the migration of workers from one State to another is 
the migration of industry itself. When factories long established in one locality 
move, the workers who have previously been employed there are left without jobs. 
What happens to people thus thrown out of work? Those who would be willing 
to move with their migrating shops often find that their employers will not 
hire them because the towns in which they plan to open their factories require 
them to employ local help. Some of the workers left behind may be reabsorbed 
into local industries, others may find it necessary to accept some form of re- 
lief or private charity, while still others begin themselves to travel around in 
search of employment. Particularly in those areas where the migrating plant 
has been the main industry in the town, workers often find it necessary to resort 
to migration themselves. 

Such has been the experience of many shirt workers in various towns and cities 
in Pennsylvania and in New York. Statistical data on the number of these 
workers who migrate are not available because, as yet, no group, private or public. 


has attempted a study of this subject. During the last few years, however, In- 
creasing number of shirt workers, left stranded when their factories moved away, 
have been wandering from State to State in search of employment. These indi- 
viduals who have all of their lifetime remained in one town and worked steadily 
at regular employment, suddenly find themselves transformed into migratory 

workers. ^ :, ■ ^■ 

Migration within the shirt industry is typical of the tendency toward migration 
in certain other branches of the apparel industry and exhibits characteristics 
similar to the migration of the cotton textile industry. The evidence indicates 
that this migration of industry is induced by two major factors, first, the search 
for lower wage rates, and second, removal to take advantage of subsidies, such 
as free rent and power, tax exemptions, etc., offered by communities. 

The migration of factories in the shirt industries during the past 5 years has 
taken place not only from the North to the South, but from larger towns to smaller 
communities within the New England and Middle Atlantic States. 

Frequently, garment factories which have been moved from one location to 
another, have been the only industry existing in the first community and after 
the removal of the garment factory, workers formerly employed there have been 
compelled either to exist on relief if it were available, or to migrate themselves 
in search of employment. 

Relation of wage rates to numhers employed in the dress-shirt industry by 
States. — The Women's Bureau made a survey of average hourly earnings in the 
dress-shirt industry in 1936. Wide variation was found to exist in the aver- 
age hourly earnings paid from State to State. The highest hourly earnings, 
43.4 cents per hour, were received by shirt workers in New York. The lowest, 
15.7 cents per hour, or only a little more than one-third as much as was paid in 
New York, were paid to shirt workers in the State of Tennessee. Employment, 
according to the United States Census of Manufactures, decreased in the dress- 
shirt industry in New York between 1935 and 1937 from 11,596 to 10,747, a de- 
crease of nearly 8 percent. During this same period employment increased in 
the State of Tennes.see by 57 percent. 

Average hourly earnings in Missouri and Maryland were 28.9 cents and 29.6 
cents per hour, respectively. These earnings amount to about two-thirds of the 
average hourly earnings received by shirt workers in New York State. While 
employment in New York was decreasing, employment in Missouri and Maryland 
increased by 25 and 39 percent, respectively. There is some disagreement on 
what the course of employment has been in Pennsylvania between the years 1935 
and 1937. While figures from the Census of Manufactures show an increase of 
51^ percent in employment, State indexes show a decline of 2.2 percent. Our 
records indicate that the State index is, in this particular case, more accurate. 
(Attached are tables showing employment and average hourly earnings by States.) 
The States of New York and Pennsylvania are examples of areas that are losing 
industry because of the concessions offered manufacturers in other sections of 
the country. As a result of this trend, many workers in both of these States find 
it necessary to travel in search of employment. They add to the already growing 
ranks of the migratory workers. 

The enforcement of the apparel order under the Fair Labor Standards Act 
providing for a minimum of 3214 cents per hour in the dress shirt industry, will 
tend to eliminte unfair competition based on wages paid to labor. The factors 
determining location of industry will be other than the search for low wages, at 
least insofar as a 321/2 cents minimum affects this search. In the New York Times 
of March 26, 1939. however, specialists in industrial locations, were quoted as 
saying that migration of certain types of industry from New York city has not 
been halted by the wages-and-hours law and that the trend is attributable to 
causes other than labor conditions. 

Stimulation of migration hy eommunity subsidy. — While the offering of in- 
ducements of cash contributions to pay for removal, free rent, alteration of 
building without cost to prospective occupant and other forms of subsidy is by 
no means unknown in the New England and middle Atlantic States, at least in the 
shirt industry, this form of Inducement to removal has been more common in the 
Southern States. That it has not been without effect is evidenced by the fact 
that the number of wage earners in the Southern States increased by 194 percent 
between 1933 and 1937, whereas, in all Northern States combined, the increase 
was only 14 percent, and in some States actual decreases were noted. The num- 
ber of establishments in the South increased by 48 percent, while the number 
in the North decreased by 14 percent. The increase in the South during the 
period from 1937 to 1939, with a corresponding decrease during the same period 


in the Northern area, has undoubtedly been more marked, although census 
figui-es for 1939 are not yet available on this point. 

Chambers of commerce, local governments, railroads, and power companies, 
working directly or through factory-locating agencies, make every effort to en- 
courage industry to migrate to their particular locality. Concessions in the form 
of free rent, gifts of factory buildings, tax exemption, and free power, light, and 
water are offered as inducements. Aiding industrial migration are professional 
factory-locating services whose business it is to sell firms the idea of moving 
their factories to other areas. Attached to this statement are copies of letters 
sent to a northern manufacturer by various local groups interested in having him 
locate in their communities. Free rent is offered as one of the attractions. 

One of the most highly developed plans for encouraging industry to migrate 
to the South is that of the Southeastern Governors Conference. 

In a descriptive circular sent out by the Southeastern Governors Conference 
upon request for information, they state their objectives to be the aid and pro- 
tection of industrial development in the Southeast. They announce that they 
plan by means of advertising to publicize the opportunity which the Southeast 
offers to industry in the form of "unlimited supplies of raw materials, ample 
l)Ower at low rates, native-born labor, efficient and reasonable." They also offer 
to any organization, without cost, any specialized engineering and survey facilities 
that may be required by any industry interested in moving to the Southeast. A 
copy of this circular is attached hereto. 

In 1936 the State of Mississipiw began what was known as the Balance Agri- 
culture with Industry program. At the suggestion of Gov. Hugh L. White, 
the State legislature passed a law which provided that any municipality, with the 
approval of the industrial commission and a two-thirds vote of its electors, could 
issue bonds to be used by the municipality for the acquisition of land and con- 
struction of buildings for new industries. The municipalities, upon authorization 
by the industrial commission, "are * * * empowered, if they so desire, by 
and through their governing board, to sell, lease, or otherwise dispose of such 
industrial enterprise or enterprises."^ (A copy of this law is attached hereto.) 

Power companies, too, have been instrumental in encouraging industry to move 
southward. In Mississippi a private power concern wanted to buy the city's 
municipal power plant and the town wanted a factory. The power company 
was sold to the private company and in order to get around legal technicalities, 
tlie chamber of commerce set up a corporation which received a sum of money 
from the power company to build a garment factory. 

In another case a power plant was reported to have contributed a large sum 
of money to help erect a factory building in Mississippi. This kind of contribu- 
tion by power companies as part of a general program to induce industry to 
settle in the South is not unusual. 

Another method frequently used to raise money for the subsidizing of new 
industries is to deduct a percentage every week from the wages of the workers in 
the plant. Illustrations of this practice are included in the Appendix. 

Neiv industries not ahcays hcneficial to toicns to ichich tliey miqrnte. — In many 
cases, however, new concerns which have migrated to the South have not proved 
to be assets to the towns in which tliey have settled. Wages paid by these com- 
panies have sometimes been as low as 10 cents an hour. It has been necessary, 
in some cases, for communities to supplement incomes earned in these plants with 
home relief or some form of private charity. Sometimes hours worked in these 
establishments have run as high as 50 or 60 a week. In North Carolina 
one shirt firm was convicted of violating the State law which prohibits women 
working more than 55 hours a week and a law which prohibits girls under 18 
working after 9 p. m. In discussing this case, Thomas Stokes, staff writer of the 
New York World-Telegram, states in the January 18, 1937. edition of that paper 
as follows : 

"The testimony of a 17-year-old girl that she had worked 69 hours a week for 
8 cents an hour; of a 15-year-old girl that she had made $4.98 for 2 weeks of piece 
work, and of a 46-year-old woman that .she made 8 cents an hour, provoked the 
prosecuting attorney to this outcry : 'This is the Good Samaritan come dowrt 
from New York to do charity to the good people of Dixie. I'll tell you why they 
come down here. Such things have been outlawed up North.' " 

The experience of IMeridian. Miss., with subsidizing industry was not entirely- 
successful either. In ]934 the citizens of this town raided .S100,OflO to build a 
factory for the Phillips-Jones Shirt Co. This was given rent-free and tax-free to 

^Accordinff to the Dailv News Record of January 29. 1940, Gov. Paul B. Johnson, wlic 
took office .January 16 of this year, stated that the "balance agriculture with industry" 
program will be amended or abolished. 


the company, with the understanding that when the company had paid out $1,000,000 
in wages it was to receive title to the building. In May 1939, after Phillips-Jones 
had dispensed $1,000,000 in wages and acquired title to the building the firm 
ceased operations completely. They then offered to sell the building to which 
they had obtained title free of charge from the town. 

Appendix I 



The following material has been drawn from newspaper clippings, reports of 
townspeople, and examination of contracts between various companies and local 
Government agencies. 

The cases that follow are typical examples of how industry is induced to migrate 
through offers of various kinds of subsidies. 

Mississippi. — Levine, Harris & Smith, a firm which manufactures shirts and 
pajamas in Pennsylvania, bought a building in Gulfport, Miss., which originally had 
been built by the town. The concern began operating February 1937, tax exempt. 
Before the opening of the Gulfport plant, the factory at Willinmsport, Pa., cm- 
ployed about 700 people, but after the opening of the Gulfport plant employment 
was reduced to two to three hundred workers, and at the present time the 
Williamsport plant is closed down entirely. 

Bernstein & Sons, another shirt firm, which for many years operated in Allen- 
town, Pa., opened a plant in Crystal Springs, Miss., in August 1936. This company 
was given free light and water and was exempt for 5 years from the payment of 

The Daily News Record of February 25, 1938, reports that the Amory Garment 
Co., located at Amory, Miss., refused the town's offer to erect a factory through 
a $50,000 bond issue. The company, however, accepted a 5-year tax exemption 
on its site, building, and equipment. 

Tejinessee.— According to our records in Tennessee, in 1937, out of a group of 
86 factories investigated, 50 were found to be receiving some form of subsidy. 

The town of Waverly, Tenn., built a factory which it turned over rent-free for 10 
years, to Snelbaker Manufacturing Co., producer of work shirts and work pants. 
This firm had maintained plants at Mechanicsburg and York Springs, Pa., for years. 
In addition to free rent, the town of Waverly agreed that after the 10-year period 
rent was not to exceed $150 per month. Free water and free lights were also 
provided. No taxes were to be paid by the company. Workers in this shop were 
required to sign a contract that they would pay a percentage of their wages to the 
town to cover the cost of the subsidy. 

Henry I. Siegel, a shirt and pajits manufacturer, opened a plant at Dickson, 
Tenn. He closed his factory in Scranton, Pa. Many of the 4.50 people thus 
thrown out of work were forced on to the relief rolls. The plant in Dickson was 
built by the citizens of the town and rented to the company for $1 a year. The 
company received 5 years of tax exemption, free power, light, and water. For 
a considerable period of time 6 percent of the wages of the employees were 
deducted to pay for the building. Eventually, after much litigation, the com- 
pany was forced to pay rent and taxes. 

On December 2, 1937, the newspaper, the Sparta Expositor, announced that nego- 
tiations had been completed with the Mylan Manufacturing Co. of New York for 
locating their shirt plant in Sparta, Tenn. The cost of moving the company's 
machinery to Sparta was partly defrayed by $5,000 donated by the townspeople. 

The Washington Manufacturing Co. was offered the following inducements 
by the town of Milan to open a plant — rent of $1 a year, free water, free 
electricity, and no taxes. Deductions were made from the workers' wages to 
pay the cost of building the factory. 

Mississippi. — H. D. Bob & Co., manufacturers of dress shirts, work shirts, and 
pajamas, operated a number of plants in Pennsylvania and one in New York. In 
1937 the firm oi>ened a new plant in Picayune, Miss., under the name of the Picayune 
Manufacturing Co. Money for the construction of the building was raised by the 
town. It was agreed that the company would pay no rent and no taxes. 

In 1938 H. D. Bob & Co. opened a dress shirt plant in Natchez, Miss., under the 
name of the Natchez Fabricating Institute. The factory building in Natchez was 
erected by the town and it is reported that a Mississippi power company pledged 
a large sum of money for this purpose. It was agreed that if within 7 years the 
pay roll of the factory amounts to $1,000,000, the deed for the land and building 



be given to the compauy. It was agreed further that the plant was to operate 
tax-exempt and rent-free. More than 1,200 workers, formerly employed by the 
H. D. Bob & Co. in New York and Pennsylvania, have been left without jobs since 
the firm opened its Mississippi plants. A few of these workers have been able to 
find employment, many of them were forced to go on relief, while others began 
to migrate in search of work. 

South Carolina.— The Daily News Record of January 13, 1939, reports that 
"Mayor L. B. Owens, of Columbia, S. C, has announced that sites suitable for erec- 
tion of industrial plants have been offered by Columbia, rent free, by property 
owners of Richland County. The mayor said an effort would be made to have 
manufacturing plants locate in Columbia or its trade area. Offers received by the 
municipality are conditioned on the erection of industrial plants and will remain 
rent free as long as the plants are in operation * * * the proposition being 
oifered manufacturers was free rent on property and free taxes for a 5-year period." 

The Daily News Record of July 3, 1940, reports the following : "Mayor S. M. 
McAdams of Iva, S. C, states that plans are under way here for establishment of a 
new shirt factory. The city council has voted to permit the shirt factory company 
to go free of taxation for 5 years and to be granted a free license." 

Georgia. — When the Royal Manufacturing Co., makers of dress shirts and under- 
wear, came to Washington, Ga., the town contributed $20,000, and the workers, by 
signing notes for future deductions, contributed $20,000. This firm also operates 
plants in Pennsylvania. The workers there have lost a substantial part of their 
employment because of the opening of the Georgia plant. Before the wage-hour 
law, it was reported that these workers in the Georgia plant were receiving from 
$3 to $5 per week. 

Appendix II 


Trend of employment and location of factories, men's dress shirts, collars, and 
sleeping tvear,^ 1933 to 1937 



Percent change 

Number of 

Number of 
wage earn- 

Number of 

Number of 
wage earn- 

Number of 

Number of 

wage earn- 


North -- 

1 567 

1 52, 270 
2, 759 


59, 437 





United States 


1 55, 029 


67, 594 



1 Collar establishments and wage earners (all in the North) added to shirts and nightwear to obtain totals 
comparable with 1937. 

Source: Calculated from data presented in the Census of Manufactures, 1933 and 1937. Method of calcu- 
lation explained in attached note. 

States included in "South" are those which were so classed, in their entirety, under the Code of Fair Com- 
petition for the Cotton Garment Industry. 

Trend of employment, dress shirts,^ 1935-^1 

Number of wage 

earners ' 




11, 596 

10, 747 


19, 509 

20, 588 

















1936 3 

New York 

New Jersey.- 





1 See note on method of calculation used. 

2 Number of Wage Earners, 1935, from tabulation of Bureau of the Census. Number of Wage Earners, 
1937, Census of Manufactures. 

3 U. S. Department of Labor, Women's Bureau Bulletin, No. 163-1, Hours and Earnings in Certain Men's 
Wear Industries, p. 26. 



103S AND 19:'.7 

The average size of establishment in each region was determined from total 
employment and total number of establishments in those States in each region 
where this data was available by States. 

The average size of factory in each region was multiplied by the number of 
factories in that region for whidi employment was not included in the State 
reports. From the results of this calculation, weights were obtained which were 
applied to the total number of undistributed wage earners reported by the 
Census to ascertain the number of such wage earners in each region. The total 
so calculated was added to the number of wage earners reported by States in 
each region to obtain the total employment by regions as presented in the 
attached table. 

The results of this method of obtaining total wage earners by regions under- 
estimates employment in the South in. 1937 when compared with results obtained 
by totaling number of wage earners in each region from records of firms and 
number of wage earners in the Research Department, Amalgamated Clothing 

Appendix III 


St. Paul, Va., February 26, 1940. 

I note you are seeking a southern location. If so we can offer you a good 

St. Paul, Va., is situated at the junction of the Norfolk & Western and Clinch- 
field Railroads, which provide quick transportation facilities in all directions. 
Fast freight makes it an ideal loc-ation for quick service. Hard-surfaced high- 
ways lead in all directions. We are located on Clinch River at the edge of an 
industrial section in which coal mining predominates. On the other side is a rich 
farm territory where cattle are fattened for export on bluegrass alone, the 
only place in the world where this can be done. We have paved streets, concrete 
sidewalks, and excellent filtration plant and water system, sewer system, fire 
protection, cheap power, modern schools and churches, national banking 

We furnish free sites for factory buildings, exemption from local taxes for 
a period of 5 years, and other concessions. 

Labor is supplied by native Anglo-Saxon woi'kmen who are not in sympathy 
with union and strikes. 

You may expect the fullest cooperation from the businessmen of the community 
in the event labor troubles should arise in the future, but we do not anticipate 
any labor troubles — they are almost unknown in this locality. 

Any information desired will be furnished promptly. 
Very truly yours, 

J. J. COXE, 

Chairman, Board of Directors. 
Letterhead of 


45-51 West 25th Street 


A complete factory consisting of 110 sewing machines, complete cutting depart- 
ment, and complete pressing department, including four pressing machines, 220 
miles from New York City, situated in Renovo, Pa. (40 miles from Williamsport). 

This plant was formerly owned by the H. D. Bob Shirt Manufacturer for 16 
years, and has been used for the last 15 months, to manufacture ladies' 

The town is willing to give free rent for the loft only, to any manufacturer 
situated there. 


There are 300 experienced operators in this town, of the tinest type, and at no 
time has there been any labor trouble. This is the only factory located within 
a radius of 40 miles. 

For further information, please telephone or write to Irving C. Finkelstein. 4o 
AVest Twenty-fifth Street, New York, N. Y. 

Telephone WAtkins 9-8160. 

Appkndix IV 
program of southeastern fioverxors conference 

Southeastern Go\'ernors' Conference 

atlanta. ga. ^washington. d. c. 

January 19, 1938. 
Miss Nangt Rothnook. 

Research Department. Amahiamated Clothinp Workers of America, 

Wew York, N. Y. 
Dear Madam : Your letter to Mr. Robert has come in during his absence. We 
are in the process of making up a brochure outlining the objectives of the south- 
eastern Governors' conference, and will be glad to send it to you later. 
In the meantime I am enclosing a reprint which may be of interest. 
Very truly yours, 

Carboul Downes. 
Lawrence Wood Robert. Jr., 
Execulirc Director, Southeastern Governors' Conference. 

The Southeast Launches Program for Protection and Development of 


Through the Southeastern Governors Conference 

The Southeast of the United States comes now to make a bid for glory, with 
what appears to be the happiest conjunction of the time and the equipment, 
of destiny and opportunity, that has ever been its experience. 

At the very hour when word comes to the effect that authoritative surveys 
point to the Southeastern States as scene of the next great industrial expansion 
in the Nation, announcement is made of a program "to aid and protect industrial 
development in the Southeast," pressed by the Southeastern Governors 

It seems to thrust straight at the heart of the opportunity, simple and direct. 
There is no effort to overpower opportunity by cumbersome, expensive methods 
and empty platitudes as marked many an occasion in the past. The new move- 
ment drives straight to the issue, the need and the job. 

No other movement seems to have been so well integrated as that which the 
Southeastern Governors Conference has undertaken in this connection. We well 
may hope, therefore, for results beyond any precedent. 

The conference is composed of the Governors of North and South Carolina, 
Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi. 
Taking directly to the people of the United States their message of the oppor- 
tunities and the assured promise which this region holds, they are announcing 
their program by means of advertisements appearing this month in publications 
with Nation-wide circulation. 

They are saying to industry that the Southeastern States offer unlimited sup- 
plies of raw materials, ample power at low rates (perhaps the lowest in the 
Nation), excellent transportation facilities to growing markets, and native-born 
labor, efficient and reasonable. 

They are driving home to manufacturers the facts that in the Southeast are 
to be found unexcelled year round moderate climate which makes possible lower 
living costs for better standards of living, lower production costs, lower construc- 
tion costs, lower capital investments. 

Recognizing that there are several definite assurances which must be given, 
along with the statement of these undeniable advantages, the Southeastern Gov- 
ernors have pledged themselves to guarantee (with confidence of success), the 
following : 

Proper freight rates, equitable taxation policies, friendly and stabilized rela- 
tions between employer and employee, cooperation with the Federal Government 
on proper major policies affecting industrial development 
260370 — 40— pt. 1 IS 


There have been other attempts to set up organizations for rousing industries' 
attention to the opportunities afforded by the Southeast as a section. The 
undertaking in each instance, however, has been abandoned because of the com- 
plications, expense, and confusion that overwhelm the major achievement and 
because the leadership of a caliber that enjoyed the confidence that permitted 
the cutting of red tape, was lacking. 

The beauty of the program which is announced here for the first time is its 
simplicity — it is the fact that the campaign is well-formed, the organization 
complete, the work under way, the consecration of effort at its height, even as it 
is revealed. 

There has been no politics or ballyhoo, no meetings nor futile talk, no squan- 
dering of time or money. The enterprise actually is started. 

This happy arrangement has been made possible because the time of oppor- 
tunity has been matched with the man of accomplishment. 

He is Lawrence Wood Robert, Jr., who is designated as industrial consultant 
of the conference. It was Mr. Robert, a man of dynamic energy, with an equip- 
ment of practical experience and innumerable personal and business contacts, 
who went straight to the meat of the matter. 

He leaped the hurdles of preliminary organization and palaver. He under- 
took, with none of the expenditures which eat away the materials of effective 
operation on the main idea, to assemble the leadership which the Governors 

He won enthusiastic support quietly but surely. He saw, as a man close to 
national affairs and their figures, that the time of opportunity had come definitely 
to the Southeast and he set out to take advantage of it. 

He saw that the Southeast is growing as a market in itself and that its con- 
tacts with other regions were being developed. He saw that we are at the 
start of an era of decentralization of industry, and that no other region may match 
the Southeast's array of advantages in development of this policy. 

He won cooperation through personal contacts and interviews, so that already 
most of the nine State governments of the region are committed to support 
of the movement, as well as municipalities, industrial leaders, railroads, utilities 
and other instrumentalities of public service. 

Money was required from these agencies — not money for organization, salaries, 
propaganda of the sort with which the Nation is all but swamped. It was re- 
quired to pay for the message which within the month will appear in national 
publications — for the invitation to look upon the Southeast as the new frontier 
of American development and to come here to seize the opportunities. 

Much of the support has been assembled, other support has been pledged, still 
other support is sought with confidence that it will be forthcoming. The cam- 
paign is on. 

An advertising agency experienced in effective national promotion has been 
retained as counsel, with result of the series of advertisements which simulta- 
neously with this announcement will be emblazoned from coast to coast, from 
end to end of the Nation. 

It is an appeal which is based honestly on the offer of advantages to those 
who are interested and who may serve the occasion and at the same time be 
served by it. It is intensely practical and without the mask of pretense and 
of eloquent mouthings that mean nothing in actual results. 

It is an appeal to business and industry which has a sound basis of facts, 
and a refreshing tone of frankness and sense. The people and the interests to 
whom the appeal is made are those who may be expected to profit by realization 
of the promise. 

We in the Southeast have known for years of the advantages which this region 
holds. The time has come in the trend of national development and rejuvenated 
activities when these advantages are at least impressed upon the consciousness 
of people elsewhere. They are soon to be revealed in the result of surveys which 
have been conducted by national agencies and publications. 

The purpose of the Southeastern Governors Conference is to assure the trend 
being intelligently directed toward the Southeast, by keeping its advantages con- 
stantly before the Nation and to supply, without cost to any organization set-up, 
any specialized engineering and survey facilities that may be required from the 
interest aroused on the part of any given industry. It is a bright purpose — 
launched with all the efficiency of private business and embodying all of the 
assets and advantages of a sectional appeal. It insures, with the beginning of 
greatest era of industrial expansion this region has ever known, that the full 


fruits of the advantages of this expansion will be brought to the Southeastern 
section, because practical men, in a very practical way, have gone to work to 
make it so. 

Appendix V 



State of Mississippi 

office of secreh'aey of state 


I, Walker Wood, secretary of state of the State of Mississippi, do hereby 
certify that the within and attached is a true and correct copy of chapter 1, 
Senate bill No. 1, first extraordinary session, Mississippi Legislature, 1936, 
enrolled bill the original of which is now a matter of record in this office. 

Given under my hand and the greatl seal of the State of Mississippi, this 
the 21st day of February 1939. 

[SEAL] Walker Wood, 

Secretary of State. 

Laws of the State of Mississippi 

Chapter 1 

Senate Bill No. 1 

AN ACT Recognizing Mississippi's necessity to protect its people by balancing agriculture 
with industry, declaring the state's public policy in that respect, creating the Mississippi 
Industrial Commission to carry out the provisions of this act, outlining its duties and 
powers, and making effectual that essential by authorizing the several counties, super- 
visors' districts, and municipalities of this state to acquire industrial enterprises to 
issue bonds or other obligations therefor, to operate such industries, to dispose of 
them, and generally to make such contracts relative to such industries as are essential ; 
authorizing port commissions to assist in such plan ; and for other purposes 


Whereas there exists an acute, economic emergency for which the requisite 
remedy is the balancing of agriculture with industry as herein done, said emer- 
gency having decreased Mississippi's industrial enterprises so that many of her 
citizens are on relief and are leaving the state ; and 

Whereas the purchasing power of her citizens has been seriously impaired 
and agricultural activities have been curtailed by reason of conditions for 
which her citizens are in no way responsible, and the markets for her principal 
export, cotfton, have been threatened and are being occupied by other nations; 

Whereas the sole remedy for saving agriculture in Mississippi is to develop 
industry so that her citizens may be afforded a livelihood and not be forced 
to seek gainful employment outside of her borders ; and 

Whereas the natural resources and raw products of the state are being 
carried beyond its boundaries for processing and for preparation for market 
to the detriment of its citizens ; and 

Whereas provision must be made for giving employment to her citizens when 
direct and indirect federal government relief is no longer existent ; and 

Whereas public necessity requires that cotton, cotton seed, clay, sand, gravel, 
wood, vegetable oil, nut oil, hides, vegetables, grain, grass, hay, potatoes, sugar 
cane, and other natural resources and products of the state should be processed 
and prepared in this state for market, thereby giving employment to the citizens 
and preventing dependency on governmental assistance through doles and relief : 

Whereas it is deemed necessary by the legislature of the state of Mississippi 
to relieve such existing, emergency conditions and present public policy demands 
a program to encourage and to promote agriculture and industry, and to balance 
agricultural development with industrial expansion for the promotion of the 
general public welfare ; now, Therefore, 


Section 1. Bo it enacted by the Lcffislatiire of the State of Mississippi, That 
it is hereby declared that the state public welfare demands and the state public 
policy requires : 

(a) That agriculture be balanced with industry. 

(b) That a commission to carry out the plans be created as proposed iu this 

(c) That the present and prospective health, safety, morals, pursuit of happi- 
ness, right to gainful employment and general welfare of its citizens demand, 
as a public purpose, the development within Mississippi of industrial and manu- 
facturing enterprises, herein called "enterprises," by the several counties, super- 
visors' districts and municipalities, herein called "municipalities." 

(d) That the means and measures herein authorized to promote said indus- 
trial enterprises are, as a matter of public policy, for the public purposes 
of the several counties, supervisors' districts and mimicipalities, and of the 
state of Mississippi. 

(e) That the present and prospective promotion of health, safety, morals, 
pursuit of happiness, right to gainful employment and the general welfare of 
the state requires the balancing of agriculture with industrial enterprises as 
herein and hereby authorized, and is the sole effective remedy through which 
such may be accomplished, and there will thereby be afforded ready and attrac- 
tive markets for farm and garden products, for the development of natural 
resources, and for conversion of raw materials of farm, mine and forest into 
finished products for the general welfare of each of said municipalities and 
of the people of this state. 

(f) That the accomplishment of those things herein authorized to be done by 
the several municipalities will give to said municipalities local benefits peculiar 
to each of said municipalities through industrial development for municipal 

Sec. 2. That there is hereby created the Mississippi industrial commission, 
herein called "commission," to be known as such, and to be composed of three 
commissioners appointed by the governor, who shall serve as such until April 
1, 1940, or until their successors are appointed and qualified. In case of 
vacancy, the governor shall appoint a successor or successors as often as 
essential. The governor shall designate one of said commissioners as chairman 
of the commission, who shall be the executive and presiding officer and shall 
devote his entire time to the welfare of the state as entrusted herein to the 
commission. The remaining two commissioners shall devote only such time to 
the work of the commission as shall be necessary to perform the powers and 
duties herein defined. The chairman of said commission shall receive a salary 
to be fixed by the governor not exceeding the sum of five hundred dollars 
($500.00) per month, and the other commissioners shall receive a per diem to 
be fixed by the governor not exceeding the sum of fifteen dollars ($15.00) per 
day. when actually engaged upon business of the commission ; and all commis- 
sioners shall receive actual traveling and subsistence expenses, while away 
from their homes, during the time that they are engaged upon the duties of the 
commission, but in no event is the compensation of the commissioners, other 
than the chairman, excluding expenses, to exceed the sum of two hundred 
twenty-five dollars ($225.00) per month. Before entering upon the discharge 
of the dut'es of their office, each of said commissioners, including the chairman, 
shall take the oath of office required of state officers, and shall enter into a good 
and sufficient surety bond in the sum of ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) paya- 
ble to the state of IMississippi, and conditioned upon the faithful performance 
of the duties of their office and for a true accounting of all money and property 
that may come into their custody, and said bonds shall be subject to the 
approval of the governor. The commission shall be provided with suitable office 
space in the city of Jackson by the state capitol commission. 

Sec. 3. For the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this act, the chair- 
man is hereby authorized to appoint such employees of said commission as 
may be necessary for carrying out the provisions of this act. but no member 
of "the legislature shall be employed by the commission, and to fix the salaries 
of such employees, subject to the approval of the governor. All of said 
employees shall be removable at the pleasure of the chairman of the com- 
mission, and none shall be related by consanguinity or affinity within the third 
degree to any commissioner or any member of the legislature. 

Sec. 4. The salaries of the chairman, of the commissioners, and all employees, 
and all other expenditures, shall he paid from appropriations for the expense 
of the commission, and an itemized account thereof shall be kept and reported 


to the legislature, and in no evenr shall the amount expended exceed the appro- 
priation made by the legislature. 

Sec. 5. The commission shall meet at its office in the city of Jackson on 
the first Tuesday of each month and at such other times and places as its 
duties may require, it being expressly authorized to adjourn from time to 
time and place to place, and to convene special meetings by written notice 
given by the chairman to the members, but at said special meetings, except 
by unanimous consent, no business other than that specified in the notice may 
be considered ; precedent notice may be dispensed with by unanimous consent. 
The notice of special meetings shall be given one full day prior to the time 
of said meeting. 

Sec. 6. The commission may sit from day to day and time to time, but not 
exceeding twenty-five (25) days in any month. The commission shall keep 
regular minutes of its proceedings in a well-bound book provided for that 
purpose, which shall be a public record, and all orders, findings, and acts of 
the commission shall be entered on its minutes. Two members of the com- 
mission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and a vice 
•chairman may be elected by the commission to preside in the absence of the 
chairman. Said commission shall have an official seal, and all orders, findings, 
and acts certified under the seal of the commission, signed by the chairman 
or any member, and the secretary of said commission shall be competent 
evidence and shall be given full faith and credit in any court or other pro- 
ceeding, and unless affirmatively shown to the contrary, it shall be presumed 
that the proceedings of the commission were in all things regular. 

Sec. 7. The commission is charged with the duty of making effective and 
declared public policy of this State to balance agriculture with industry, and 
for that purpose is hereby authorized and empowered to determine, under 
the provisions of this act. whether the public convenience and necessity reiiuire 
that any municipality shall have the right to acquire lands and thereon to 
erect industrial enterprises and to operate them and to dispose of such lands 
and industrial enterprises. Each municipality that desires to conserve the 
state's general welfare and to conform to the public policy herein declared, 
shall have the right to apply to the commission for a certificate of public 
convenience and necessity, determining that the public convenience and neces- 
sity and that the general welfare require that such municipality enter into 
such enterprise. In determining whether such certificate shall be issued, the 
commission shall hold public hearings, and at such hearings, the commission or 
any member thereof, shall have power to summon witnesses, administer oaths 
and hear testimony, and a record shall be made of all things had and done at 
such public hearing, but a failure to make such record shall not invalidate the 
certificate of convenience and necessity if the same shall be ordered issued by 
th^ commission. 

Sec. 8. Said Mississippi industrial commission shall investigate, find, and 
determine the following matters upon application of any municipality therefor, 
to wit: 

(a) Upon written request of any municipality in this state, which request 
shall be made only after the governing board thereof shall have received the 
petitions of 20% or more of the qualified electors of said municipality, the 
commission shall hold hearings and make investigations to determine whether 
said municipality has sufficient natural resources, available labor supply, ade- 
quate property values, and suitable financial conditions to permit such munici- 
pality to acquire such enterprise without undue burden upon said municipality 
and its citizens. In determining the sufficiency of natural resources, the avail- 
ability of labor supply, the adequacy of property values, and the suitability 
of the financial conditions of such municipality, the commission shall make 
a complete survey of the natural resources, of the labor conditions, of present 
and potential property values and assessments, outstanding bonded indebted- 
ness, and the amount of tax levy required for present and potential needs 
of the particular municipality. 

No certificate of public convenience and necessity shall be issued to any 
municipality to which there is not available, or that does not have, or that 
may not obtain : 

(1) Sufficient natural resources readily and economically available for the 
operation of the particular industrial enterprise for at least ten (10) years, 
but in no event less than the period of time for which any bonds may be 
issued for acquiring said industrial enterprise. 


(2) Available labor supply to furnish at least one and one-half (IVn) work- 
ei'« between the ages of 18 and 40, for each operative job in said industry 
within an area of twenty-five (25) miles from the proposed location, excluding 
labor, other than agricultural labor, already gainfully employed in said area. 

(3) Adequate property values and suitable financial conditions so that the 
total bonded indebtedness of the municipality, solely for the purposes author- 
ized by this act, shall not exceed ten percent (10%) of the total assessed 
valuation of all the property in the municipality. 

When the commission shall have determined said facts favorably, as out- 
lined hereinabove, it is authorized and empowered, having regard to the pro- 
motion of the general welfare, to issue or to refuse to issiie a certificate of 
public convenience and necessity. If such certificate is issued, it shall authorize 
the particular municipality to acquire, to own, and to operate the particular 
type of industry found suited to the needs of that municipality under the 
provisions of this act; but the said certificate shall expire in twelve (12) 
months from its date and in all events on April 1, 1940, unless, within said 
time, such enterprise shall be in operation, subject to the other provisions of 
this act as to pending litigation. Provided, however, that in no event shall 
said commission authorize any municipality to operate any enterprise unless 
said commission shall further find and determine that said enterprise is well 
conceived, has a reasonable prospect of success, will relieve unemployment, 
or will add materially to the financial and business interest of the municipality, 
will not become a burden upon the taxpayers of the municipality, and that the 
municipal ofiicers proposing to operate said enterprise are suitable, competent 
and fit persons to direct and control such operations. 

(b) When said certificate of public convenience and necessity is issued, then 
the commission shall therein fix and determine: (1) the extent to which the 
municipality may issue bonds or make expenditures for such enterprise; (2) 
what property may be acquired therefor; (3) the terms upon which such 
acquisition may be had; (4) what expenditures may be made for the con- 
struction or acquisition of buildings and of equipment with its installation, 
and for the operation of said enterprise by said municipality : and approval 
by the commission shall condition the power of the municipality to act. If 
the governing board of such municipality refuse to follow the requirements 
made by the commission, then the members of such governing board violating 
any of said requirements or voting therefor, shall be individually and personally 
liable, and liable upon their official bonds, for any loss that the municipality 
may sustain by reason of their failure or refusal to follow the requirements, 
and may be compelled in the discretion of the chancery court or chancellor 
to comply therewith by order or decree of the chancery court, or chancellor 
in vacation, of the county in which such mvmicipality is situated, upon bill or 
petition filed for the purpose by the commission, and chancery courts and chan- 
cellors of the state are hereby vested with jurisdiction for such purpose. Such 
proceedings shall be preference cases and may be advanced on the docket ahead 
of all other pending litigation. And such proceedings may be heard upon three 
days' notice served upon the governing board or the offending members thereof, 
said notice to be served in the manner as provided by law for the service of 
notice to dissolve injunctions ; and appeals may be granted as in other chancery 

(c) The commission is hereby authorized and empowered to adopt and put 
into effect all reasonable rules and regulations that it may deem necessary to 
carry out the provisions of this act, but not inconsistent herewith. Such rules 
and regulations shall be made public by publication in at least one issue of a 
newspaper of general circulation, published in the city of Jackson, Mississippi. 

Sec. 9. The governing board of any municipality desiring to enter into the 
plan herein authorized, after receiving a certificate of public convenience and 
necessity from the Mississippi industrial commission as provided by this act, 
by resolution spread upon its minutes, shall declare its intention of entering 
into such plan, and shall call an election to be held in the manner now pro- 
vided by law for holding county or municipal elections, and shall fix in such 
resolution a date upon which such an election shall be held in said municipality, 
of which not less than three (3) weeks' notice shall be given by the clerk of 
said board, by a notice in a newspaper published in said municipality once each 
week for three (3) consecutive weeks preceding the same, or if no newspaper 
is published in said municipality, then by posting a notice for three (3) weeks 
preceding said election at three (3) public places in said municipality. At 
such election all qualified electors of the municipality may vote, and the ballots 


used shall have printed thereon a brief statement of the purpose of said board 
to enter into the plan hereby authorized and to issn(> bonds therefor or to 
expend other municipal funds available together with the words "For the 
Industrial Plan" and the words "Against the Industrial Plan" and the voter 
shall vote by placing a cross (X) opposite his clioice of the proposition. Should 
the election provided for herein result in favor of the proposed industrial plan 
and bond isstie, or expenditure by at least two-thirds of those voting in favor 
of said plan, provided, however, the total number of votes cast in the election 
shall be a majority of the electors of the territory included in the proposal ; 
the governing board may proceed to exercise the authority granted under the 
provisions of^ this act within one (1) year after the date of such election or 
within one (1) year after final, favorable determination of any litigation affect- 
ing said industrial plan or bond issue, but in no event later than April 1, 1940. 
If such election results unfavorably to the proposition, then no second or other 
election shall be ordered or held until the Mississippi industrial commission 
shall determine that such election may be held. 

Where the separate supervisor's district or districts of a county indicate a 
desire to enter into the plan herein authorized, but not to affect the remainder 
of the county, such desire to be indicated to the board of supervisors by the 
filing therewith of a petition or petitions containing the names of at least 
twenty percent (20%) of the qualified electors of such district or districts af- 
fected, then the board of supervisors shall direct the holding of said election 
only in the supervisor's district or districts affected, and the board of supervisors 
is hereby authorized to carry out the provisions of this act for such separate 
supervisor's district or districts. 

In the event the proposal to be voted on at the election required by this act 
includes bonds to be isstied covering a supervisor's district or districts, but not 
the entire county, includes a town or city of a poptilation of more than five 
hundred, as well as territory outside the corporate limits of such town or city 
and the proposed industry is to be located in such town or city or within one 
mile of the corporate limits thereof, the qualified electors voting in the election 
residing outside the corporate limits of the town or city shall vote separately 
from those residing in such town or city. 

All qualified electors shall vote at their usual voting places and in event the 
usual voting place of electors residing outside the corporate limits of such town 
or city is in such town or city, such elector shall vote in a separate ballot box 
provided for the purpose, and the officers holding the election shall make 
separate returns of the results of the vote of those residing within the town or 
city and those residing outside such towns or city. 

Unless two-thirds of the qualified electors residing in such town or city 
voting in the election and two-thirds of the qtialified electors residing outside 
such towm or city voting in such election shall vote for the proposed bond isstie, 
computed and declared separately, the proposed bond issue shall be declared 
as disapproved. 

It shall be the dttty of the county election commissioners to provide neces- 
sary ballot boxes, separate voting lists containing the names of electors residing 
within and without the corporate limits of town and cities when such is re- 
quired by the proposal submitted, and records for the condtict of the election 
in accordance with the reqttirements of this section. 

And in event the proposal to be voted on at the election reqtiired by this act 
includes bonds to be issued covering the entire county and the proposed Industry 
is to be located in a town or city, or within one mile of the corporate limits 
thereof, the qualified electors voting in the election residing otitside the cor- 
porate limits of said city or town, and whose regttlar voting place is within 
the corporate limits of said city or town, shall vote separately from those resid- 
ing in such city or town, in separate ballot boxes to be provided for sttch pur- 
poses, and the votes so cast shall be cotinted separately. 

At said election unless two-thirds of the qualified electors voting in the elec- 
tion and residing within the corporate limits of the city or town in which the 
proposed industry is to be located, or the town or city within one mile of the 
proposed location of the industry, shall vote for the proposed bond isstie, and 
two-thirds of all of the other qualified electors of the county voting in said 
election, shall vote for the proposed bond issue, computed and declared separ- 
ately, the proposed bond issue shall be declared as disapproved. All qualified 
electors voting in such election shall vote at their usual voting precincts, and 
the county election commissioners shall provide necessary boxes, separate voting 
lists containing the names of electors residing within and without the corporate 

274 interstatp: migration 

limits of the town or city wherein such industry is proposed to be located, or 
such town or city within one mile of the proposed location of the industry, and 
records for the conduct of the election in accordance with the requirements of 
this section. 

Sec. 10. Before any bonds shallbe Issued under this act by any municipality, 
or any contract shall be made to dispose of any public property hereunder ac- 
quired, the same must be approved in its entirety by said commission which 
shall enter such approval on its minutes, but such approval shall not In any way 
render the state of Mississippi liable. 

Sec. 11. That the several municipalities of this state, including counties, 
supervisors' districts, cities, towns or villages, whether existing under special 
charters or otherwise, hereinabove called "municipalities," from and after the 
effective date of this act and until April 1, 1940, be and each of them is hereby 
authorized and emiwwered to make effective the provisions herein contained, 
for the general welfare of the state and of the several municipalities thereof. 
When and after such municipality shall have obtained therefor a certificate of 
public convenience and necessity, under the provisions of this act, then it may 
acquire land by purchase, gift, eminent domain or otherwise for any such enter- 
prise so thus approved, and may directly or by contract, such contract to be 
entered into and governed as now provided by law for other public contracts 
entered into by boards of supervisors, erect such buildings and structures as 
may be essential for such industry, may obtain for such industry the requisite 
appliances and equipment, and may operate such enterprise. The power thus 
to do is hereby generally conferred upon all such municipalities, and shall be 
in addition to all other powers now possessed without in any wise limiting or 
circumscribing them. 

Sec. 12. That said municipality, having been authorized by the commission 
as herein provided, may expend, for acquiring and operating such municipal enter- 
prise, under rules and regulations adopted by the commission, any funds of the 
municipality then on hand or available and not already appropriated or necessary 
for other municipal purposes. Said municipality, after the terms and conditions 
have been fixed by said commission and with its approval, is hereby authorized 
from and after the effective date of this act and until April 1. 1940, to issue 
bonds of such municipality for the purpose of effectuating the provisions of this 
act and promoting thereby the public policy of this state and bringing about the 
general welfare of its people. When, if and to the extent that said bond issue 
shall be approved by said commission, then the same may be authorized by the 
governing authority of said municipality, and to secure said bond issue, said 
municipality may mortgage or pledge said property used and useful for said indus- 
trial enterprise, and the income therefrom, and confer upon the holders of said 
bonds the rights of a first mortgage bondholder. Said bond issue shall be first 
approved by said commission, and thereafter shall be authorized by resolution or 
ordinance of the governing board of the municipality in such form and with such 
provisions, terms, and conditions as may be fixed in said resolution or ordinance 
not inconsistent with the provisions of this act. Present limitations on the amount 
of other bonds that may be issued by such municipality shall not apply to bonds 
issued hereunder other than as herein otherwise provided. All such bonds shall 
be lithographed or engraved, and printed in two or more colors to prevent counter- 
feiting, and shall be in sums not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one 
thousand dollars each, and shall be numbered in a regular series from one upward, 
be signed by the president of the hoard of supervisors and countersigned by the 
clerk of said board ; or by the mayor and countersigned by the clerk of the munici- 
pality, and either of such clerks shall impress the county or municipal seal, as 
the case may be, upon each bond as it is issued. Every such bond shall sijecify 
on its face the purpose for which it was issued, the total amount authorized to be 
issued, and each shall be made payable to bearer, and on request of any holder 
of said bonds the same may be registered as to principal by the clerk of the 
issuing board. The governing authorities .shall annually levy a tax. or shall 
otherwise provide funds sufficient, for paying interest on such bonds and the 
bonds maturing within one year and shall provide a sinking fund for the redemp- 
tion of the bonds issued. Said bonds shall be issued maturing annually with all 
maturities not longer than twenty-five (25) years with not less than one-fiftieth 
of the total issue to mature each year during the first five years of the life of 
said bonds, and not less than one twenty-fifth of said total issue to mature 
annually during the succeeding ten-year period of the life of said bonds, and 
the remainder to be divided into approximately equal payments, one payment to 
mature during each year for the remaining life of the bonds. Said bonds shall 


not bear a greater rate of interest than six percent (6%) per annum, payable 
annually or semi-annually, the denomination, form, and place of payment to be 
fixed in the authorization thereof, and for the payment thereof the good name, 
faith, and credit of the said municipality shall be pledged and a tax levied on all 
taxable property in the municipality, adequate to pay principal and interest on 
such bonds as "the same fall due. Proceeds of said bonds shall be placed In 
the municipal treasury as a special fund and shall be used for no other purpose 
than the purpose set forth in the original resolution, and any oliicer diverting or 
assisting to divert any such fund to any other purpose than the purpose originally 
set forth in said resolution of the governing authority of said municipality shall 
be guilty of a misdemeanor, shall be punished accordingly, and shall also be liable 
both personally and on his official bond for such diversion, together vrith the costs 
of collection and reasonable attorney's fees ; and the attorney general is author- 
ized to proceed by action for injunction or mandamus to require compliance with 
said original resolution by any officer or municipal board. 

Sec. 13. Any municipality having surplus sinking funds under the provisions 
of this act may, in the discretion of the governing board of said municipality, 
invest said sinking funds by purchasing bonds of any county or municipality of 
this state, bonds of the state of Mississippi, or bonds issued by authority of the 
United States government: except drainage district bonds. Provided, however, 
that the bonds so purchased shall mature prior to the time when the bonds payable 
out of the sinking fund hereunder shall fall due. 

Seo. 14. When the commission authorizes any municipality to issue bonds under 
the provisions of this act, the commission shall find and determine the total 
amount of bonds to be issued. It shall fix the maturity dates of said bonds con- 
sistent with the provisions of this act. It shall determine the amount of taxes 
necessary to be levied and collected annually to retire the bonds and pay interest 
coupons and to create a sinking fund for the payment of said bonds and interest 
so that the annual tax levy shall be uniform throughout the period for which 
the bonds are issued. It shall require the municipality to report annually to 
the commission payments made on said bonds and on interest, with the dates of 
payments, and to report the amount passed to the sinking fund, together with a 
list and amount of the bonds remaining outstanding for purposes of this act, 
and a failure so to do shall make the members of the governing board guilty of a 
misdemeanor and punishable accordingly. All of said reports shall be perma- 
nent public records of the commission. 

Sec. 15. Any municipality may use any sinking fund, reserve fund, or surplus 
fund to purchase any bond hereunder issued, and shall cancel and i-etire the 
same when, in the judgment of the governing authorities of such municipality, 
the interest of such municipality will be subserved thereby. Any surplus income 
from said enterprise arising through its oiieration or from its disposition, accru- 
ing to the municipality over and above the amount necessary to pay for repairs, 
replacements, bonds herein authorized which may be issued and interest thereon, 
may be applied by the governing board of the municipality upon any of the 
other outstanding debts or obligations of the municipality. 

Sew. 16. In the case any municipality shall have initiated any such industry, 
and thereafter said municipality lacks the requisite funds for completion by 
reason of emergency which was wholly unforeseen, then upon the approval of 
the commission, upon the same terms and conditions as herein set forth, addi- 
tional bonds miiy be authorized. 

Sec. 17. All bonds issued pursuant to this act and all interest thereon or 
income therefrom shall be exempt from all taxation except gift and inheritance 
taxes. Necessary taxes levied and collected for the payment of these bonds and 
interest thereon shall not be considered or accounted in any limitation on the 
powers of the municipality to tax except as otherwise herein provided. 

Said bonds shall be sold by the governing authority of the municipality at not 
less than par and accrued interest at public sale held after notice of such sale 
published at le;ist one time at least five days before such sale in a newspaper of 
general circulation in the municipality. 

Sec. 18. That the several municipalities, when and to the extent authorized by 
said commission pursuant hereto, are hereby authorized and empowered, if they 
so desire, by and through their governing board, to sell, lease, or otherwise dis- 
pose of Such industrial enterprise or enterprises, in whole or in part, on such 
terms and conditions and with such safeguards as will best promote and protect 
the public interest, and are authorized, acting with the approval of said com- 
mission, by and through their respective governing boards, to transfer title or 


possession to said industry or to any property utilized therein, by warranty 
deed, lease, bill of sale, contract or other customary business instrument, in the 
same manner and to the same extent, when so thus authorized by said com- 
mission, that any private corporation, association, or person may now contract, 
with reference to such property of a similar nature, provided that such disposi- 
tion shall not be made except by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of 
the members elected to the governing body of such municipality, and all votes 
shall be of record. All income from any lease or contract for the operation or 
from the disposition of said industrial enterprise shall be paid into the bond 
sinking fund provided for the bonds issued under the provisions of this act for 
the retirement of said bonds and the interest thereon, and such income or pro- 
ceeds shall not be used by the municipality for any other purpose except as to 
disposition of surplus income authorized above, and shall be subject to all of the 
provisions hereof relative to said sinking fund. 

Sec. 19. All new factories and new enterprises of public utility hereafter 
established under the provisions of this act or otherwise hereafter established 
as hereinafter enumerated shall be exempt from all ad valorem taxation on 
tangible property used in or necessary to the operation of the service or industry 
hereinafter named, but not upon the products thereof, for a period of five (5) 
years, the time of such exemption to commence from the commencement of work 
for the construction of said factory or enterprise. The new factories and enter- 
prises of public utility which are exempted from taxation under the provisions 
of this section are enumerated as and limited to : 

All factories making cotton goods ; all woolen mills ; all knitting factories ; all 
factories for making hosiery ; all rope factories ; all factories for manufacturing 
machinery and farming implements in a finished state for consumer use without 
additional process of labor : all factories for making automobiles, automobile 
tires, tubes, or automobile tire fabrics, stoves, wagons, buggies, clothing, shoes, 
or parts thereof; all factories for making furniture, fixtures, utensils, or imple- 
ments of either wood or metal or other materials for use in homes, hotels, 
schools, or offices ; all coffin factories ; all factories for making cement, building 
rile, drain tile, brick, clay products, or products in which sand and clay are 
used ; all factories for making glass or glass products ; all wood-veneering 
plants ; all creosoting plants ; all wood pulp plants making wood pulp used in the 
manufacture of paper, pasteboard, and like products ; all factories for making 
paper or paper products out of wood pulp, cotton stalks, or other material ; wood 
reduction plants engaged in the business of extracting resin, turpentine, pine 
oil, and like products from wood pulp and/or refuse; all factories for making 
soap or chemicals ; all creameries, cheese factories, milk-condensing plants ; all 
pork-packing and cold-storage factories or plants ; all factories for canning, 
packing, or preserving food other than beverages ; all pecan shelling, hulling, 
and/or packing plants or factories ; all tanneries and all factories for making 
leather products ; all factories run exclusively by water power ; factories manu- 
facturing cotton fibre from cottonseed hulls and linters, pure cellulose, or high 
alpha cellulose from cottonseed hulls and linters ; oil mills ; and factories grind- 
ing agi'icultural feeds and making mixed feeds for livestock from agricultural 
products ; garment factories, shipyards for the construction of boats, vessels, 
and other water craft ; all factories for the construction or repair of aeroplanes, 
or other aircraft; all factories for the extraction or manufacture of tung oil; 
paint factories ; all factories for making silk goods or silk products ; any manu- 
facturing plant manufacturing food products from domestic fats and oils ; man- 
ufacturing plants which prepare building material out of stone ; and syrup 

Sec. 20. Any port commission or authority created by law, operating in any 
county or municipality of this state is authorized and empowered to assist and 
cooperate with such county or municipality to effectuate the purposes of this 

Sec. 21. The provisions of this act shall not repeal or impair any law now in 
effect, but shall exist as a separate several, independent additional and cumu- 
lative method for giving to the people of Mississippi the fulfillment of the public 
policy of balancing agriculture with industry, as herein provided. Nor shall this 
act or any part thereof repeal any of the provisions of private or special munici- 
pal charters, nor affect, limit, or restrict the right of any municipality now oper- 
t'ting under special charter to amend said charter pursuant to the provisions 
of section 2625, code of 1930, which section shall apply to this act. 

Sec. 22. That if any section, paragraph, clause or sentence of this act be 
declared to be unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such 


adjudication shall not in any wise affect the other provisions of this act, but the 
same shall remain in full force and effect. 

Sec. 23. This act .shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage. 

Approved September 19, 1936. 


The Chairman. Our next witness will be Mrs. Neoma Hane. 

Mr. Curtis. You are Naomi Hane? 

Mrs. Hane. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. Are you married and have a 3-year-old son? 

Mrs. Hane. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. Where was the last permanent residence of you and 
your husband and son? 

Mrs. Hane. At Shamokin Dam, Pa. 

Mr. Curtis. And by whom are you employed there? 

Mrs. Hane. By the H. G. Bob Company. 

Mr. Curtis. And they manufacture shirts? 

Mrs. Hane. Yes, sir; dress shirts. 

Mr. Curtis. Both of you were employed ? 

Mrs. Hane. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. And you had a nursemaid to take care of the son ? 

Mrs. Hane. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. What were your husband's wages, approximately? 

Mrs. Hane. You mean at the time he lost his job? 

Mr. Curtis. When he had regular employment. 

Mrs. Hane. Well, the past 2 years he had been making $24 a 
week, but at the time the N. R. A., before the N. R. A., he was mak- 
ing $9 a week on a cutting job. 

Mr. Curtis. But the last months that he had regular employment? 

Mrs. Hane. $24. 

Mr, Curtis. And how much were you paid? 

Mrs. Hane. Well, I really cannot give you an estimate, approx- 
imately, because we did not work very steadily, but around $11. 

Mr. Curtis. You were paid by the hour? 

Mrs. Hane. No, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. Now, when did this permanent employment cease? 

Mrs. Hane. In November of 1939. 

Mr. Curtis. November of 1939? 

Mrs. Hane. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. And what was the occasion of that ? 

Mrs. Hane. They moved to the South. 

Mr. Curtis. The factory moved? 

Mrs. Hane. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you know what the reason was for the factory 

Mrs. Hane. Well, they promised them if they would come down 
there, there would not be any taxes and there would be cheaper 

Mr. Curtis. Did they use T. V. A. electricity? Was that an in- 
ducement ? 

Mrs. Hane. I am not sure as to the power. 

Mr. Curtis. Was that an inducement to go down there? 

278 interstatp: migration 

Mrs. Hane. Yes, sir. They even built the factory for them, and 
if they would stay there for 5 years, they said they would give the 
factory to them. 

Mr. Curtis. Who would do that? 

JNIrs. Hane. The South. 

Mr. Curtis. Some community in Mississippi? 

Mi-s. Hane. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you know the name of the town that they went to? 

^Irs. Hane. They went to Natchez, Miss. 

Mr. Curtis. About hoAv many people were working in that same 
factory ? 

Mrs. Hane. 750. 

Mr. Curtis. Did manv of them accompany the factory down 

Mrs. Hane. Only one forelady and two foremen. 

Mr. Curtis. But the ordinary workers? 

Mrs. Hane. None. 

Mr. Curtis. Now, at the time your employment ceased, you were 
buying a home up there ? 

Mrs. Hane. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. Have you lost it now? 

Mrs. Hane. Not yet. 

Mr. Curtis. How many States have you been in since that time, 
looking for work? 

j\Irs. Hane. New Jersey, and Baltimore, Md., and all over Penn- 

Mr. Curtis. And when did you come to New York City? 

Mrs. Hane. Yesterday morning. 

Mr. Curtis. You came up as a witness; you are not residing here 

Mrs. Hane. That is right. 

Mr. Curtis. How did you travel in visiting these different parts? 

Mis. Hane, By car. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you own a car? 

INIrs. Hane. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. What kind of a car is it? 

Mrs. Hane. A Chevrolet. 

Mr. Curtis. How old is it? 

Mrs. Hane. It is about a 1937. 

Mr. Curtis. Did you take your boy along with you? 

Mrs. Hane. Most' of the time I did. Sometimes we left him with 
his grandmother. 

Mr. Curtis. Did anyone else start out with you? 

Mrs. Hane. Yes; Ave took up another couple along so that it 
would not cost so much, the expenses. 

Mr. Curtis. Did you just start out and drive, and make inquiries 
at the factories and other places, or did you have any particular 
place to go? 

Mrs. Hane. We just started out. Wherever we saAv a smoke- 
stack we stopped, wherever we saw one. 

Mr. Curtis. How far have you driven, do you know, approxi- 
mately ? 

Mrs. Hane. Hundreds of miles, and I mean hundreds, too. 

Mr. Curtis. And you have not been successful ? 


Mrs. Hane. No. 

Mr. Curtis. Right now your husband is where? 

^Irs. Hane. You mean is he employed? 

Mr. Curtis. Yes. 

Mrs. Hane. He is unemphjyed. 

Mr. Curtis. Has he had any worlv of any kind? 

^Nlrs. Hane. He is helping his father with the harvest right now. 

Mr. Curtis. That is not on the basis of wages, is it? 

Mrs. Hane. No wages. 

Mr. Curtis. You intend to take some produce from the farm? 

Mrs. Hane. Yes. sir. 

]Mr. Curtis. Have you had any work at all since then? 

Mrs. Hane. House cleaning, a day or so a week. 

Mr. Curtis. Wliat would that pay you? 

Mrs. Hane. $1 a day. and sometimes $1.25, depending on how long 
I stayed. 

^Ir. Curtis. Now, do you know, in a general way — I reahze that 
3'ou neA'er kept any record — but of these 750 people whose employ- 
ment all stopped at the same time, how many of them scattered out 
across State lines and elsewhere, seeking work? 

Mrs. Hane. Well, there have been quite a few. There have been 
only 20 percent found work in the surrounding towns, and the rest 
are on relief and looking for work. 

Mr. Curtis. How many of them have just started out to drive? 

Mvs. Hane. Well, I could not tell vou ; quite a few that I know 

Mr. Curtis. You people have claimed this town in Pennsylvania 
as your residence? 

Mrs. Hane. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. And if your .searches do not bear fruit, you expect to 
go back there? 

Mrs. Hane. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. Where is your father-in-hiw's farm? Is it near there? 

Mrs. Hane. Yes, sir. It is located about 3 miles from the town 
of Shamokin Dam. in Snyder County. 

Mr. Curtis. And are your parents living? 

Mrs. Hane. My mother. 

Mr. Curtis. Is she in Pennsylvania? 

Mrs. Hane. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. Is she living there now? 

Mrs. Hane. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. That is all. 

The Chairman. Are there any further questions? 

Mr. Sparkman. I would like to ask her a question or two in order 
to clear up this matter. Mrs. Hane, you may have stated the name 
of the company, but if so I did not catch it. 

Mrs. Hane. H. D. Bob Co. 

Mr. Sparkman. That was a shirt-manufacturing company? 

Mrs. Hane. Yes. sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. At Sunbury, Pa. 

Mrs. Hane. Yes, sir. 

^Ir. Sparkman. Now^ Mrs. Hane, you made one statement — I 
don't care about arguing with you, but nevertheless I believe the 
record should show — you said something about the cheaper labor. 


As a matter of fact, I believe you know that the wages and hours 
law gives a minimum wage for shirt workers. 

Mrs. Hane. Yes, sir. Well, I did not have any steady work. I 
did not have steady work when I drew those low wages. 

Mr. Sparkman. I was not talking about that. You said the 
reason the factory went down there, that that was one of the reasons, 
and also cheap power, and Mr. Curtis asked you if it was using 
T. V. A. power. And now I am not certain, but I believe that 
Natchez is not within the T. V. A. territory. 

Mrs. Hane. I told liim I did not know. 

Mr. Sparkman. I know you did, but I just wanted the record to 
show that. I do not believe it is within that territory. That is all. 

Mr. OsMERs. What were you being paid when you were last em- 
ployed in the shirt factory? 

Mrs. Hane. About 35 cents an hour. 

Mr. Osmers. 35 cents an hour? 

Mrs. Hane. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. That is, I believe, 10 percent in excess, under the 
minimum in the law; is it not^ — the minimum wage under the law 
is 25 cents. 

Mr. Sparkman. No: it is 32.5 cents. Mrs. Hane, when you were 
working, were you paid by the piece? 

Mrs. Hane. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. You were doing piece work? 

Mrs. Hane. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. And your earnings approximated 35 cents an 
hour ? 

Mrs. Hane. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Well, thank you very much, Mrs. Hane. 


The Chairman. Our next witness will be Mrs. Cole. 
Mr. Osmers. What is your name? 
Mrs. Cole. Rebecca Cole. 
Mr. OsMERS. Where were you born, Mrs. Cole ? 
Mrs. Cole. Memphis, Tenn. 
Mr. OsMERS. And in what year? 
Mrs. Cole. 1902. 

Mr. OsMERS. Did 3'ou attend school in Memphis? 
Mrs. Cole. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. And how far did you get in school ? 
Mrs. Cole. The seventh grade. 
Mr. Osmers. The seventh grade? 
Mrs. Cole. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. That is in grade school ? 
Mrs. Cole. Yes. 

Mr. Osmers. How old were you when you earned your first dollar ? 
Mrs. Cole. Ten years old. 
Mr. OsMERS. What did you do? 
Mrs. Cole. I was a nurse maid. 
Mr. OsMERS. And how long did you work at that ? 
Mrs. Cole. Well, I don't know just exactly; I was going to school, 
and I would take the children out in the mornings and evenings. 


Mr. OsMERS. Let me put it this way : After you got a little older, 
what kind of work did you do? 

Mrs, Cole. Well, domestic cleaning. 

Mr. OsMER'S. Are you married? 

Mrs. Cole. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERs. How long have you been married ? 

Mrs. Cole. Twenty-one years. 

Mr. OsMERS. How old were you when you got married? 

Mrs. Cole. Seventeen. 

Mr. OsMERS. Do you have any children ? 

Mrs. Cole. Yes. 

Mr. OsMEES. How many? 

Mrs. Cole. Twelve. 

Mr. OsMERS. How many? 

The Chairman. Only 12 ! 

Mrs. Cole. That is all. 

Mr. OsMERs. She is a young woman, Mr. Chairman. 

Wliere was your husband born? 

Mrs. Cole. He was born in Covington, Tenn. 

Mr. OsMERs. Did he go to school there? 

Mrs. Cole. Yes. 

Mr. OsMER's. What was he doing when you were married ? 

Mrs. Cole. He was a janitor. 

Mr. OsMERS. How much was he being paid? 

Mrs. Cole. He was being paid $40 a month. 

Mr. OsMERs. How long did he work after you were married? 

Mrs. Cole. He worked for about 2 years. 

Mr. OsMERS. And then what did he do from then on? 

Mrs. Cole. He worked a while at the Standard Oil. 

Mr. OsMERS. How much was he paid there? 

Mrs. Cole. $18 a week. 

Mr. OsMERS. And then what did he do ? 

Mrs. Cole. Then he took over another janitor's job. 

Mr. OsMEES. How much did he make on that job ? 

Mrs. Cole. Well, he made about $50 a month. 

Mr. OsMERs. Those figures as janitor, are they in addition to an 
apartment, I presume you were given living quarters, or did you 
have to maintain your own home away from there? 

Mrs. Cole. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. You had to rent your own home ? 

Mrs. Cole. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. And then what did you do after the $50 a month job? 

Mrs. Cole. Well, it seemed we lost everything. My husband 
worked at an apartment hotel for $4 a w^eek for a while, and then 
we Avent on and on, and after a while we did not have anything. 
And then after I came up here at the time of the high water — in 
1936 or 1937 — he worked on the levee there for a while. That was 
the last job he had. He did not receive any pay for 2 weeks that 
he worked on the levee. 

Mr. OsMERS. When did vou come to New^ York ? 

Mrs. Cole. In 1936. 

Mr. OsMERS. Would you tell the committee what the circumstances 
were of your coming here? Did you separate from your family, or 
did vou come alone ? 


Mrs. Cole. Yes; my sister sent for me. We had gotten in pretty 
bad condition, and she sent for me and she told me maybe I could 
get a job up here. She was quite sure I could, and so she sent for 
me, and I came up here and I got a job the next week, and I worked 

Mr. OsMEKS. I suppose while you were here your family was broken 
up down there? 

Mrs, Cole. Yes; after the high water they had to move, and the 
children were with two friends; my husband was living in a base- 
ment with a friend who was a janitor. 

Mr. GsMEES. Now, how long was it after you got here that your 
husband followed you to New York? 

Mrs. Cole. It was 6 months. 

Mr. OsMERS. Did he bring all of the family with him? 

Mrs. Cole. Yes, they all came together. 

Mr. Osmers. And what has your husband been doing since he got 

Mrs. Cole. He has been doing janitor work since he got here. 

Mr. OsMEK'S. Did he find work immediately after he came, or were 
you forced to go on relief? 

Mrs. Cole. Well, he found work in about 2 months after he came ; 
over in Brooklyn, N. Y., and he worked off and on at that same job 
until here in March. 

jh: Osmers. That is March of this year ? 

Mrs. Cole. Yes. 

Mr. Osmers. Now, were any of your children born after you came 
to New York? 

Mrs. Cole. Yes; I have twins born in 1938. and one child born in 

Mr. Osmers. And where were they born in New York? 

Mrs. Cole. At the Harlem Hospital. 

Mr. Osmers. That is a public institution ? 

Mrs. Cole. Yes. 

Mr. Osmers. And did you receive relief after they were born? 

Mrs. Cole. Yes; after the twins were born in 1939. 

Mr. Osmers. Is that nonsettled or home relief? 

Mrs. Cole. Nonsettlement. 

Mv. Osmers. How is it that it is nonsettlement relief ? 

]Mrs. Cole. Well, the investigator said that I had used the city's 
funds before I was here a year in the city of New York. I had lived 
a year in Brooklyn before moving to New York. 

Mr. Osmer's. I see. And then you had to be here a year or you 
would not be a citizen of New York; you had to be here a year 
without receiving public assistance? 

Mrs. Cole. Yes. 

Mr. Osmers. Now, are you interested in going back to Tennessee 
with the whole family, or is anyone in your family anxious to go 
back to Tennessee ? 

Mrs. Cole. No. 

Mr, Osmers. Will you tell the connnittee why you are not inter- 
ested in that? 

Mrs. Cole. Well, we could not get employment, and when we did 
get it, it was not sufficient, and the children — it is so bad for the 
children there, too. And my older girl, she was to graduate in 1936, 


that was the year that I came up here, and she went to high school 
here and it was just ahnost like she had never been to high scliool; 
she had to take 2 years' study before she could graduate. 

Mr. OsMERS. Do you mean to say that there is a difference between 
the educational standards in Tennessee and the educational standards 
in New York City? 

Mrs. Cole. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. And you feel that they are better off in New York 
City, and that you would like to have your children have those 
advantages ? 

Mrs. Cole. Yes, I would. 

Mr. OsMERS. Aside from education, are there any other advan- 
tages that you would like to give your children that may be avail- 
able here? 

Mrs. Cole. Yes. I should like to have them get an education and be 
able to be self-supporting. It would be much better than going 
without everything. 

Mr. Osmers. You people are on relief now. 

Mrs. Cole. Yes. 

Mr. Osmers. Does your husband look for work? 

Mrs. Cole. Yes. 

Mr. Osmers. For what kind of work doas he look? Is he able- 
bodied, and liealthy, and strong? 

Mrs. Cole. Yes.' 

The Chairman. He had 12 children, did lie not ? 

Mrs. Cole. Yes. He is looking for work ; he has been out of work 
since March, but today he has gone to an interview. 

Mr. Osmers. This very day he went to an interview? 

Mrs. Cole. Yes. 

Mr. Osmers. And how long since you have found work? 

Mrs. Cole. I have not found any. I did not do any since 1939. 

Mr. Osmers. And you were working as a domestic and gave up 
that job when vou were having a child? 

Mrs. Cole, that is right. 

Mr. Osmers. And I suppose now that your main occupation is 
taking care of those 12 children? 

Mrs. Cole. Yes. 

Mr. Osmers. I think, Mr. Chairman, that that is all. 

The Chair]vian. Are they all living? 

Mrs. Cole. Yes. 

Mr. Osmers. Did your husband ever live in southern Illinois? 

Mrs. Cole. No. 

The Chairman. I just want to you a question. 

Do you find in corresponding with colored people in Tennessee 
and talking to them, that their feeling is more or less like your 
own, that they would all like to move up here to New York where 
they could get better educational facilities; do most of the people 
feel that way down there? 

Mrs. Cole. Well, I do not hear them talking like that. I never 
had any conversation with them in that manner, because I did not 
really know about it myself until I was here. I did not think 
about it. 

The Chairman. But you would not trade New York for Tennessee; 
is that the idea ? 

260370— 40— pt. 1 19 


Mrs. Cole. No, I would not. i „. ;, +i,n+ the, 

The Chairman. You have got a good mayor here: i^ that the 

reason? . . 

Mrs. Cole. I thmk that that is right. 
The Chairman. I think that that is all, Mrs. Cole. Thank you 

very much. 


The Chairman. We ^vould like to call Mr. Soulotis. 
Mr. Parsons. Wliat is your name, please j 
Mr. Soulotis. My name is James Soulotis. 

Mr.' Parsons. Wliere were you bom? i . t ^-.« -hnm 

Mr Soulotis. I was born in Greece; the place where I ^as boin 
belonged before to Turkey, and that belongs to Greece now. 
Mrf Parsons. And when did you come to this country < 
Mr. Soulotis. I came in 1909. 
Mr. Parsons. At what age? 
Mr. Soulotis. About 27 years old. 
Mr. Parsons. Are you a naturalized citizen now « 

Mr Soulotis. Yes, sir. . v ..• ? -iim.of 

Mr. Parsons. When did you finish your naturalization? What 

year did you become a citizen? 

Mr Soulotis. In 1926, it was. 

Mr.' Parsons. So you had been in this country a good many years 
before you finished your citizenship papers? 

Mr. Soulotis. Yes. ■ ■ r^ o 

Mr. Parsons. What education did you receive m Greece ? 

Mr. Soulotis. I am a harness makcT. 

Mr Parsons. That was the trade you learned from youth i 

Mr. Soulotis. From a small kid, yes, sir; up to 1( yeare old. 

Mr Parsons. I assume that they had the caste system there; that 
you followed the occupation or vocation of your parents^ 

Mr. Soulotis. I learned that trade from my parents, and then i 

""Mr'pfKfoNs: And then came from Egypt to the United States? 

Mr. Soulotis. No, I came from Greece, and I lived m Egypt about 
7 or 8 years. 

Mr. iP ARSONS. Are you married i 

Mr. Soulotis. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. Do you have any children « 

Mr. Soulotis. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. How many? 

Mr. Soulotis. One boy and two girls. 

Mr. Parsons. What are their ages ; how old are they i 

Mr. Soulotis. The boy is now 20 years old. 

Mr. Parsons. How old is the girl? 

Mr Soulotis. The girls are 19 and 16. . , ^ , ■■ 

Mr." Parsons. Where did you go to in the United States when you 
came here, and how long did you live there ? 

Mr. Soulotis. I lived in New York here. 

Mr. Parsons. I mean when you first came here. 

Mr. Soulotis. That is right, New York. 

Mr. Parsons. You came to New York? 


Mr. SouLOTis. To New York : yes, sir. 

Mr. Parsons. And you lived here about how long ? 

Mr. SouLOTis. Twenty-one years. 

Mr. Parsons. And then where did you go? 

Mr. SouLons. To South Bethlehem"^, Pa., and I worked at the steel 
works: in the Bethlehem Steel Works there. 

Mr. Parsons. Were you fitted as a skilled man in the steel workSy 
or did you learn that in Bethlehem? 

Mr. SouLOTis. I just went to work there; I liked the work and 
I came there to work, and I went to work in the open hearth. 

Mr. Parsons. Were your wages per day or month ; and how much ? 
What did you receive? 

Mv. SouLOTis. At that time I used to get $1.42 a day. 

INlr. Parsons. For open-hearth work? 

Mr. SouLOTTs. Yes ; that was open-hearth work. 

Mr. Parsons. How long did you work in the steel plant? 

Mr. SouLOTis. I w^orked there about a year and a half and then 
I went into business. 

Mr. Parsons. What kind of business did you own ? 

Mr. SouLOTis. The first time I started one of these stands in town 
over there, a little fruit stand. 

Mr. Parsons. How long did you follow that? 

Mr. SouLOTis. I stayed with the fiiiit stand for a year and a half. 

Mv. Parsons. How much did you make during that time? 

Mr. Soi'LOTis. I used to make very good; I used to make $45 a 
week clear money, and then I had two people come to me and they 
wanted to buy my business, and one of them came after me and I 
sold the business. 

Mr. Parsons. Was he of your nationality ? 

Mr. SouLOTis. Yes, the same. I sold the stand to these people 
for $700, and I went into the restaurant business. I opened a restau- 
rant business out there, close to the Bethlehem main office, and I 
called the restaurant the Star Restaurant. I kept the place from 
1912 to 1920. 

IVIr. Parsons. How much did you make annually out of that ? 

]\Ir. SouLOTis. Well, at that time, in the wartime there was a good 
deal of business, but I had a partner, too, who was envious of me. 

Mr. Parsons. How much did you make for yourself and jour 
family during the time that you were in the restaurant business? 

]Mr. SouLons. I was single at that time. Each man would make 
$500 clear money, or a total of $1,000 a month, divided half and half. 

Mr. Parsons. Was that clear money? 

Mv. SouLOTis. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. Around $450 to $500 a month ? 

Mr. SouLOTis. Yes; each man. After a while my partner wanted 
to buy me out, and I did not want to sell the place, because at the 
time when I started I put more money in the store than he did. 
After that I bought him out and I paid him about $1,500, and he 
went out, and I kept the place. 

Mr. Parsons. You bought him out for $1,5-00 when he was making 
$400 or $500 a month clear? 

Mr. SouLOTis. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. He sold it to you for $1,500 ? 


Mr. SouLOTis. Well, because I put more money in the store than 
he did. 

Mr. Parsons. You owned more than one-half of the business? 

Mr. SouLOTis. Yes; he did not want to l)e with me, and he said, 
*'How much will you give me?" And he had two brothers and he 
^Yanted to go over to New York. So I bought him out and paid him 
$1,500, and then I operated it myself. 

Mr. Parsons. How long did you operate it yourself? 

Mr. SouLOTis. Then I kept the place about 1 year, to 1916., and 
after that I changed the Ijusiness. I had the same place but I trans- 
ferred the place to a candy store. 

]\Ir. Parsons. You converted your restaurant business into a candy 
store '( 

Mr. SouLOTis. Yes ; because the business was not so good. It was 
slow and I could not get helpers over there. It was wartime, and 
they made more money in the steel mill, and I had to bring people 
from New York, such as cooks and helpers, and they would work 
1 week and then go into the factories. That's why I changed the 
business, and it was easier, and I did not need so many workers. 

Mr. Parsons. You sold this business in 1916, and now how much 
money were you making at that time; say, in 1915 and 1916 up to 
the time that you sold it? 

Mr. SouLOTis. Well, I did not make so much from it any more. 

Mr. Parsons. Were you making $300 or $400 a month clear ? 

Mr. SouLOTis. No; t did not make it because I paid it all out at 
that time. I had to pay cooks $60 a week and I had to pay for the 
dishwashing at the rate of $85 a month, and I kept the house up- 
stairs, and I had mj laundry and it was all very expensive, and it 
was for that reason that I changed the business. 

Mr. Parsons. So you turned it into a candy business ? 

]Mr. SouLOTis. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. How long did von run the candv business? 

:Mr. SouLOTis. Until 1920. 

Mr. Parsons. How much did you make annually after that? 

Mr. SouLOTis. I did not make vei-y much; of course, after 1917 
I was married, and after the war was over, the people did not work 
at Bethlehem — the town would be empty at times; all of the people 
used to leave the town, and I did not make much business. Then I 
sold the business. 

Mr. Parsons. What did you receive for it when you sold it? 

Mr. SouLOTis. I sold the business and I went to Wilmington, Del. 

Mr. Parsons. How much did you get for it when you sold it? 

Mr. SouLOTis. $3,500. 

]Mr. Parsons. How much had you saved up during that time out 
of the business that you had been running? 

]Mr. SouLOTis. My cash money — I used to have about $700 or $800, 
and also wliat I got when I sold the business. 

Mr. Parsons. What were you doing with your money when you 
w^ere making $400 or $500 a month; what were you doing with your 
money wdien you were making that much money ? 

Mr. SouLOTis. At that time I put up the candy store and I spent 
$3,500 for new fixtures, and as soon as I spent my money the business 
went down and I did not collect any, and for that reason, I sold 
the business. 


ISIr. Parsons. You did not send any money back to Greece? 

Mr. SouLOTis. No; I did not have anybody back there. I went 
to Wihnington, Del., and I started a fruit and vegetable business 
over there, but my wife's brother Mas with me; I brought him over 
from the otlier side, and the first year I did a very good business 
over there, very nice, and after that, my wife's brother became 
crazy; he lost his mind and he is still here, now, up in Beacon, N. Y. ; 
he has been there about 10 years. 

Mr. Parsons. Where is he? 

Mr. SouLOTis. He is in Beacon. 

Mr. Parsons. Is he in an institution, some State institution? 

Mr. SouLOTis. In the State institution, and I spent lots of money 
for that boy, to get him doctors, from Philadelphia, and specialists, 
and he made me broke, and I used up all of my capital, and I can- 
not make the business go. Then my wife, she wanted me to quit; 
she was discouraged ; she said that she brought her brother here and 
he lost his mind, and he would die, and she got very sick over it. 

Mr. Parsons. Did you sell out the business in Wilmington? 

Mr. SouLOTis. No; I left it. 

Mr. Parsons. You just left it? 

Mr. SouLons. Yes ; I just left it. 

Mr. Parsons. Where did you go to then? 

Mr, SouLOTis. After that I started to work for somebody over 
there in Wilmington, and after that a friend of mine came to me 
and he wanted to do some business with me. He said he had some 
money, but he did not know the business, and he trusted me, and he 
would take me in with him, and we would do business together. 

We went back to Bethlehem in 1925, and he got some empty lots 
from the State, and he built a place, and he spent about $150. We 
had a lease on it, and in a short time we had the business going all 
right, but the Bethlehem Steel Co, does not work very steadily, and 
they do not have very many jobs over there, and the people do not 
have the money, and there was no business, so I cannot get anything 
as a profit to make money. I soon found that out, and I quit because 
I could not make anything. I was going to leave, and then I found 
a job at the university college, where I did the cooking, I had about 
50 boys there. 

Mr. Parsons. How much did that pay you? 

Mr, SouLOTis. I used to make over there about $180 a month, but 
I have got to pay the men who are my helpers, I pay $60 for them, 
and that made $120 a month on the job. 

At that time my wife got sick, and she went to the hospital. That 
was in the summertime, you know, and we had a lot of trouble. 

Mr. Parsons. And then, where did you go from Bethlehem? 

Mr, SouLOTis. After that I went to Somerville, in New Jersey, but 
after that I lost that job. They gave a contract to a company that 
arranged to take in about 15 or 20 houses at a time, and they have 
breakfast and dinner and supper at $5 a week. The boys felt that 
they could not put up any more money for all of that, and so they 
got this contract, and they shoot the stuff over there. They can cook 
for 10 or 15 houses, and that is the reason that I lost out. 

Mr. Parsons. Were those people that were living in these houses, 
were they in a sort of summer home? 


Mr. SouLOTis. It was right in a college; they have 60 or 70 houses; 
all the boys used to live together; that is the houses, you know, 
where the freshmen came and the new boys who came to the college, 
all of the members built houses all of the time over there, 50 or 60 

Mr. Parsons. After you were out of that work, did you go into 
business again as a fruit vendor in New Jersey ? 

Mr. SouLOTis. After that I worked in the city over there. 

Mr. Parsons. What were your wages there; how much did you 

Mr. SouLOTis. Well, in the city I used to make $6 or $7, and some- 
times $8, and sometimes it is like piecework. 

Mr. Parsons. Then where did you go from there? 

Mr. SouLOTis. After that I quit. They changed the mayor over 
there and we lost out. 

Mr. Parsons. You had a political job and that let you out? 

Mr. SouLOTis. Yes, and the new mayor came in and he got new 
people over there. 

Mr. Parsons. Then what did you do ? 

Mr. SoTJLOTis. Then I got a job from a Dr. Ester over there, and I 
worked for him a short tune. After that I went to Somerville, N. J., 
and I got placed over there. There is a friend of mine who has a 
little store over there, and he wanted to go into the fruit business, 
and he said he would give me a place there, but at the time I did not 
have any money. But he gave me credit for my work and my pay, 
you see. 

Then I went first myself over there, you know ; for some months I 
tried it and it was good. He paid me good money, and after that I 
brought my family over there, and at the first it was all right. But 
in 1932 there was a big depression in the resort. Before that there 
was no depression over there at all, but now the town was like it 
was dead, and where I made $40 before, it went down to $4 or $.5 a 
day, and I worried too much; it was my hard luck, and I got sick, 
and I came here to New York and I spent about 10 or 11 months in 
the hospital. 

Mr. Parsons. How did you happen to come to New York? 

Mr. SouLOTis. To come here? 

Mr. Parsons. Yes. Why did you come to New York? 

Mr. SouLOTis. I came between 1933 and 1934. 

Mr. Parsons. But why did you come ? 

Mr. SouLOTis. Well, because I was broke over there at Somerville, 
and I lost all of my business, and I did not have any money. 

Mr. Parsons. Did the city propose to take care of j'ou here? Is 
that the reason you came to New York ? 

Mr. SouLOTis. I took a chance here in a big city. ^laybe I thought 
I would find work, and I took a chance because I could not go back 

Mr. Parsons. Did you have anv relatives or friends here in New 
York City? 

Mr. SouLOTis. I have plenty of friends but they are all broke; 
everybody is in the same condition. 

Mr. Parsons. What did you do when you came to New York City ? 

Mr. SouLOTis. I came here, and I was sick here. I was very weak 
and the people who took care of me were at the Federal office, at 


220 Twenty-third Street, and they took care of me for about 2 years. 

Mr. Parsons. Who paid the expenses of that? 

Mr. SouLOTis. He paid for it. 

Mr. Parsons. Wlio did that? 

Mr. SouLOTis. The Federal office; they used to pay my rent at the 
house and for myself. 

Mr. Parsons. And you had applied for relief here in New York 
and they paid your hospital expenses? 

Mr. SouLOTis. No. 

Mr. Parsons. What agency paid your hospital expenses? 

Mr. SouLOTis. My expenses — I came from Somerville over to here, 
and I came over here and went to the dispensary, and I used to go 
every week and the doctors took care of me; I was very bad and I 
had two operations. 

Mr. Parsons. Who paid for that? 

Mr. SouLOTis. I do not know. I don't know who paid that. All 
I know is I did not pay it, I do not know who paid it. 

Mr. Parsons, Was it some kind of relief agency that sent you to 
the hospital? 

Mr. SouLOTis. No ; I went by myself to the hospital. 

Mr. Parsons. You don't Imow who paid for your hospital ex- 

Mr. SouLOTis. Nobody paid, I guess nobody paid. 

Mr. Parsons. Was it a city hospital? 

Mr. SouLOTis. Roosevelt Hospital. 

Mr. Parsons. Why did you not go back to Bethlehem when they 
wanted you to go back there ? 

Mr, SouLOTis. They wanted to send me to the poor home, to sep- 
arate me from my children, and I am a strong man yet, and I did 
not want to go over there and die over there; I refused to go over 
there and then I went to New York. I came to New York and I 
took a chance here, and maybe I thought I would get work, but I 
have not been able to get anything. All of the unions have every- 

Mr. Parsons, Were you able to provide anything for your family 
after you got well, after your sickness and you got out of the 
hospital ? 

Mr, SouLOTis. Well, I went back to Somerville and the city over 
there, you know — but the law in New Jersey states that, if you do not 
live there for 5 years, they cannot take care of you, and I did not 
live 5 years over there. 

Mr. Parsons. Have your children been able to find employment 
in New York, have your children been able to work here in New 
York and make any money ? 

Mr. SouLOTis. Now? 
Mr. Parsons. Yes. 

Mr. SouLOTis. One is working in Columbia University, he is work- 
ing in the library and running the evening school there. 
Mr. Parsons. What are the others doing? 

Mr. SouLOTis, I have two daughters. One is going to school yet 
and the other is finishing high school. The larger girl, she looked 
for a job and she cannot find any job no place, and the home relief 
here, they say they are going to give me a job. All the time I am 
asking for a job, they say they give me a job here but I do not get 


one. He said that he cannot get me a job in the home relief, in the 
W. P. A., and I cannot get any other work myself. 

Mr. Parsons. Have you been on relief ever since 3'ou came to 
New York in 1934? 

Mr. SouLOTis. I came to the office, the Federal office for 2 years. 

Mr. Parsons. That is when the Federal Government was con- 
tributing to the States ? 

Mr. SouLOTis, After that the Federal office put me on home relief. 

Mr. Parsons. You never did work on W. P. A. ? 

Mr. SonLOTis. No; they did not give me a job because at that time 
I had the examination by the doctors, and they found something 
wrong, and they rejected me. 

Mr. Parsons. Are you receiving relief now ? 

Mr, SouLOTis. I now get only the rent, but the home relief I get. 
I do not get any more because my boy is working, and I peddle 
sometimes in the streets, and sell something and make 50 cents a 
day, and I do not go every day, just sometimes. 

Mr. Parsons. Do you try to find any private employment? 

Mr. SouLOTis. Well, I try to get a job, you know, but I cannot do 
any pick-and-shovel work, the kind of job I do, because I have my 
kidney stones. 

Mr. Parsons. You know the fruit-vending business, do you not? 

Mr. SouLOTis. Yes; I know that business. 

Mr. Parsons. You know that as well as anybody. 

Mr. SouLOTis. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. Have you ever thought about, or tried to get you a 
stand here in New York City to vend fruit? 

Mr. SouLOTis. I know that job, that is my trade. 

Mr. Parsons. Well, have you sought to open a stand here in New 
York as a fruit vender? 

Mr. SouLOTis. I would if I had money enough. 

Mr. Parsons. How much money would it take to start that kind 
of a business? . 

Mr. SouLOTis. $200 to start a place, just to sell a few fruits, just 
enough to make a living. 

Mr. Parsons. Well, back in the old relief days, the Federal Gov- 
ermnent, through the State corporations that they organized in sev- 
eral if not all of the States, lent money for that purpose, and it 
would seem to me that if you were acquainted with the relief agen- 
cies here and if they were familiar with your background, and 
having had the experience that you have had in the fruit-vending 
business, that they might aid and assist you in getting on your feet 

Mr. SouLOTis. Well, that is all I am good at. I do not have the 
capital to start anything, and if I start something and I make good, 
my son is gi^own and he will be glad to help me out. 

Mr. Parsons. So you are only receiving a sufficient amount of 
relief now to pay your rent ? 

Mr. SouLOTis. Yes. 

Mr. Parsons. How much is that per month? 

Mr. SouLOTis. It is $37.60 per month. 

Mr. Parsons. They pay that to you by check ? 

Mr. SouLOTis. By check, yes, sir ; every 2 weeks. 

Mr. Parsons. Every 2 weeks you get half of that? 


Mr. SouLOTis. And I pay the rent. 

Mr, Parsons, And how much is your house rent? 

Mr. SouLOTis. Thirty-three dollars a month, and I pay the elec- 
tricity, the gas, and my insurance, and all of that money, and my 
boy gives me $30 to buy groceries with, and with that I manage to 
make out with what I earn myself, sometimes 50 or 60 cents a day. 

Mr. Parsons, You do? 

Mr, SouLOTis. Not every day, but I go every week, about 3 or 4 
<jays— about that many days a week I go out and I make 50 or 60 
cents a day. 

Mr. Parsons, What do you peddle ? 

]\Ir, SouLOTis, I peddle fruits on Broadway. 

Mr, Parsons. Wliat do you peddle them out of, a basket? 

Mr. SouLOTis. I have got a push cart. I kept the cart over there 
on One Hundred and Thirty-fifth Street and I live at One Hundred 
and Thirty-third Street and Amsterdam. 

Mr. Parsons. Do you have to be licensed to have a vendor's place 
on the street? 

Mr. SouLOTis. No. 

Mr. Parsons. You do not have to pay a license to vend fruit there? 

Mr. SouLons. No ; but I get arrested every once in a while, and I 
have got to pay a $2 fine. 

Mr. Parsons. Can you not obtain a permit from the city here? 

Mr, SouLOTis. I asked for one, 

Mr, Parsons. For the purpose of conducting a fruit business? 

Mr. SorLOTis. I asked so Uiany times, and they say they do not 

Mr. Parsons. That is all. 

Tlie Chairman, Thank you very much. 

The committee will stand adjourned until tomorrow morning at 
10 o'clock. 

(The hearing then adjourned at 6 o'clock, to reconvene again the 
following morning at 10 a. m.) 


wednesday, july 31, 1940 

House of Representatres, 
Select Committee to Investigate the 
Interstate Migration of Destitute Citizens, 

Washington^ D. G. 

The committee met at 10 a. m.. in the Federal Court Building, 
New York, N. Y., pursuant to adjournment, Hon. John H. Tolan 
(chairman), presiding. : 

Present: Representatives John H. Tolan (chairman), Claude V. 
Parsons, John J. Sparkman, Carl T. Curtis, and Frank C. Osmers, Jr. 

Also present: Robert K. Lamb, chief investigator; James S. Owens, 
chief field investigator; Ariel E. V. Dunn, field investigator; Edward 
J. Rowell, field investigator ; Henry H. Collins, Jr., field investigator : 
and Alice Tuohy. field secretary. 

The Chairman. The committee will come to order. 


The Chairman. What is your name? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Mrs. Jane Maxwell. 

The Chairman. Wliere do you live? 

Mrs. Maxwell. 27 West One hundred and twenty- seventh Street. 

The Chairman. Is that in New York City ? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. And where were you born? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Savannah, Ga. 

The Chairman. When? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I was born in 1916. 

The Chairman. How long did you live there? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I lived there until I came up here. 

The Chairman. And when did you come up here? 

:Mrs. Maxwell. In 1937. 

The Chairman. Are you married? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I was. 

The Chairman. When were you married? 

Mrs. Maxwell. In 1932, in Savannah. 

The Chairman. Have you any children? 

Mrs. Maxwell. One. 

The Chairman. A boy? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Yes. 

The Chairman. How old is he now? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Seven. 

The Chairman. Where is he? 



Mrs, Maxwell. He is right here with me. 

The Chairman. What did you do? Did you do any worlc there? 

Mrs, Max-\vell. Yes. 

The Chairman. What kind of work? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Housework. 

The Chairman. What did you receive for that work? 

Mrs. Maxwell. When I first started working, I received $1.25 a 

The Chairman. Well, you had your board with that? That in- 
cluded your board? 

Mrs. Maxwell, No, I did not sleep there. 

The Chairman. Where did you sleep? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I slept home. 

The Chairman. Who was living with you? 

Mrs, Maxwell. My mother. I was not married then. 

The Chairman. How old were j^ou then? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I was around 12 or 13, I guess. 

The Chairman. After that what did you do there in Savannah? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I worked when I could get it. 

The Chairman. What kind of work? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Housework; and I did some cooking. 

The Chairman. How much money would you receive? 

Mrs. Maxwell. $1.50; some places would give me $1.50. 

The Chairman. Is that a week? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Yes. 

The Chairman. How could you live on $1.50 a week? 

Mrs. Maxwell, Well, I do not know; that was all that I could 

The Chairman, Your mother and father helped you? 

Mrs. Maxwell. My father was not living then. 

The Chairman. Your mother would help you, then? 

Mrs. Maxwell. She was able to work then. 

The Chairman. What did your husband do? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I don't know ; I separated from him. 

The Chairman. When did you separate? 

Mrs. Maxwell. We separated right after the kid was born, when 
the kid was a month old. 

The Chairman. Then you separated? 

Mrs. Maxwell, Yes, 

The Chairman. Were you married? 

JNIrs. Maxwell, Yes. 

The Chairman. And where is your husband now ? 

Mrs. MAX^VELL. I do not know. 

The Chairman. You never saw him since? 

Mrs. Maxweix, No ; he went away when the kid was a month old ; 
lie was not working at the time the kid was born, and he went away, 
and I never heard from him since. 

The Chairman. You never heard from him since? 

!Mrs. Maxwell. No ; he was not working, you see. 

The Chairman. Then you left Savannah and came to New York, 
and when was that? 

Mrs. Maxwell. In 1937, 

The Chairman. How did you happen to come to New York? 


Mrs. Maxwell, I heard people say that you could get better jobs, 
so I came. 

The Chairman. You mean, as among your friends, you heard that 

Mrs. Maxwell. I don't know; people said so who had been here 
before, you know. 

The Chairman. Did you have anyone from here to write to you to 
come to New York to get a job 'i 

Mrs. Maxwell. No. 

The Chairman. Did you come to New York alone? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Yes. ^ 

The Chairman. Did 3'ou have your baby with you? 

Mrs. Maxwell. No. 

The Chairman. At that time you left your baby with your 
mother ? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Yes. 

The Chairman. How did you come to New York? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I came up ; some man brought me up. 

The Chairman. What did he charge you? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I paid him some down before I left, and paid him 
$2.50, I think it was, I paid him the rest when I got a job. I got 
up here on Friday and I went to work on that Saturday. 

The Chairman. You paid him $2.50 down? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Yes. 

The Chairman. And then how much — what balance were you to 
pay him? 

Mrs. Maxwell. For the whole thing was $17.50, and I paid him 
the rest when I went to work; he gave me the job. 

The Chairman. That $17.50 — did he agree with you that he would 
give you a job in New York for that ? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Yes; he got me a job the next day. I came up 
here on Friday and that Saturday I went to work. 

The Chairman. And when did you pay him the other $15? 

Mrs. Maxwell. When I made the first month; you see, I slept 

The Chairman. Was he a colored man? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman, Did he make that a business — to transport people 
from the South? 

Mrs. Maxwell. No ; but a woman told me about it ; I don't know. 

The Chairman. Did anyone else come with you? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Well, girls; I did not know them. 

The Chairman. How many girls? 

Mrs. ]\Iaxwell. About eight of us, women and girls. 

The Chairman. And did each of them have the same agreement 
that you had, that is, $17.50? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Yes; I guess so. They went to work and he gave 
them all a job. 

The Chairman. And how many were in the car besides yourself? 

Mrs. Maxwell, I don't know. I think about eight; I don't think 
but eight altogether. 

The Chairman. And they were colored girls and colored women? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Yes. 


The Chairman. Then after he took you to New York, did he stay 
here in New York? 

Mrs. Maxwell. He stayed on Eleventh Street. 

The Chairman. Well, did he make the trips right along ? Did he ? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I don't know. He gave nie the job and I did not 
see him any more after he gave me a job, and he came and got his 
money. I never saw him any more. 

Tlie Chairman. He did not tell you that he made that his busi- 

Mrs. Maxwell. He did not tell us anything. A woman was up 
here, and she told me that he was coming there, and that he would 
bring me back and get me a job. 

The Chairman. What kind of job did you get when you arrived 
in New York? 

Mrs. Maxwell. A sleeping job. 

The Chairman. A sleeping job? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Yes. 

The Chairman. What kind of a job is that? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Housework. 

The Chairman. And how much money did you get? 

Mrs. Maxwell. $30. 

The Chairman. That is $30 a month? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Yes. 

The Chairman. Did you live at the place? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Yes; I lived right there. 

The Chairman. And what did you do; just general housework? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Yes ; housework and cleaning and washing for the 
kids; she had two kids. 

The Chairman. And how long did you hold on to that job? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I stayed there about a couple of months: she was 
moving to Brooklyn, this woman was. 

The Chairman. Then what did you do? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I moved to Harlem. 

The Chairman. What did you do there? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I stayed there until I got another job. A girl 
who was working I knew, and she recommended me to a friend of her 
madam, and I got a sleeping job there. 

The Chairman. How much money did you get there ? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I got $30 there. 

The Chairman. That is $30 a month? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Yes. 

The Chairman. That included your board? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Yes. 

The Chairman. When did you send for your baby ? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I sent for them; my mother was sick and I did 
not send for her right away ; she was sick before I sent for her, and 
I left this job and I took sick; and he was sick then, too; and I 
could not send for her then because I was sick, then. 

The Chairman. When did he come up ? 

Mrs. Maxwell. He came up with my mother on the bus. 

The Chairman. They did not come by the same way you did, with 
the taxi man? 

Mrs. Maxwell. No ; they came on the bus. 

The Chairman. Is your mother here with you now ? 



Mrs. Maxwtxl. Yes. 

The Chairman. Are any of the rest of the family here? 

Mrs. Maxwell. No. 

The Chairman. What does your mother do? 

Mrs. Maxwell. She does not do anything; she is sick. 

You take care of her? 


Have you done any other kind of work besides that 

The Chairman. 

Mrs. Maxa\^ll. 

The Chairman. 
sleeping work? 

Mrs. Maxwell. 
last job I had. 

The Chairman 

Mrs. Maxwell. 

The Chairman. 

Mrs. Maxwell. 

The Chairman. 

Mrs. Maxwell. 

The Chairman, 

Mrs. Maxwell. 

I did day's work for a while. I took sick at the 

Are you working now? 
No, I am not working now. 
You are on relief now ? 

Yes ; I went on relief after my madam went away. 
Is your mother on relief, too? 

And the three of you live together? 
Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. How long since you have been in private em- 
ployment ? 
Mrs. Maxwell. You mean working? 
The Chairman. Working for somebody else? 
Mrs. Maxwtill. How long since I have been working, you mean? 
The Chairman. How long have you been on relief? 
Mrs. Maxwell. I have been on relief now, I have got three checks — 
about a month and a half. 

Tlie Chairman. And during that time, have you endeavored to se- 
cure private employment or work? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I tried, but I could not get any. I did not have 
any money to pay for the job. When my madam went away, I took 
that and paid up the rent, and I went around to the agency and I could 
not get anything. 

How much money are you getting now on relief? 

I get $16.85. 

Is that per month? 

That is every 2 weeks. 

And your mother gets the same amount, does she? 

The Chairman. 

Mrs. Maxweix. 

The Chairman. 


The Chairman. 

Mrs. Maxwell. She gets 

The Chairman. That is 

every 2 weeks? 

ISIrs. Maxwell. Yes. 

The Chairman. How much rent do you pay? 

Mrs. Maxwell. We pay $5.50 a week. 

The Chairman. It costs you about $20 a month for rent ? 

Mrs. Maxwell. No, $22 a month. 

The Chairman. Well, are you able to live on that money? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I make it do until I can do better; I caimot 
anything else right now. 

The Chairman. But you are trying to get your old job back? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I am trying to get a job, a good job, you see, be- 
cause you know how it is when 3^ou are not working. 

The Chairman. So you never heard from the father of your baby 
since 1 month after the baby was born ; is that the idea ? 

Mrs. Maxwell. That is ridit. 



The Chairman. Do you like New York? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I like it all right; I get along here better because 
you can get a job. 

The Chairman. Are there people, to your knowledge, coming up 
from the South the way you did, coming to New York here ? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I don't know about the way I came up, but many 
of them are coming up. I don't know how they come up. 

The Chairman. Many of your colored people are coming up from 
the South to New York, looking for jobs? 

Mrs. Maxwell. That is right. 

The Chairman. You like your conditions, your living conditions 
here better than you did in Savannah? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Yes, because I can make a living here and I could 
not make a living there. 

The Chairman. Is that sort of general among your people, they 
all have a hard time making a living? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Most of them, but some of them get a better break 
than others. 

The Chairman. Who told you about this taxi man that brought 
you to New York and got you a job? 

Mrs. Maxwell. A woman was talking about it, and I heard it, 
and it was told me about the East Side, and I lived on the West Side. 

The Chairman. Do you know any of those taxi fellows doing that 
same sort of a job? 

Mrs. Maxwell. No. 

The Chairman. Have you written back to any of your people in 
Savannah that they could come up here? 

Mrs. Maxwell. I haven't written to any of them. 

The Chairman. Does the boy go to school? 

Mrs. Maxwell. He was going to school. 

The Chairman. Is he going to school now? 

Mrs. Maxwell. Since he came up here he has been going to school. 

The Chairman. What do you do about medical care ? 

Mrs. Maxavell. We go to the clinic. 

The Chairman. Is your mother still sick ? 

Mrs. Maxwell. She is still sick. 

The Chairman. And do any doctors come to see her? 

Mrs. Maxavell. She goes to the clinic. 

The Chairman. Well, thank you very much, Mrs. Maxwell. 

(The witness was excused.) 


The Chairman. Will you give us your name, please ? 

Miss LowRY. Edith E. Lowry, executive secretary of the Council of 
Women for Home Missions. 

The Chairman. You are living here in New York? 

Miss Lowry. No; I reside in New Jersey, but our office is in New 

The Chairman. And have you a statement that you wish to present ? 
After you have presented it, probably there will be some questions 
that we would like to ask, if you will present your paper first. 

Miss Lowry. Yes ; I will. 



(Reading:) This statement deals with the agricultural migratory 
workers — the crop followers — the group with which the Council of 
Women for Home Missions and the Plome Mission Council have had 
close touch over a period of years. In fact, the Council of Women 
for Home IVIissions, representing a number of denominations, initiated 
a program of social service in migrant labor camps in 1920. Then., 
as now, numbers of families, with great numbers of small children 
and young people, were brought in for the harvest or canning season. 
Babies and little children were either taken to the fields by the parents 
or left in the shack in care of a little sister. A shelter and daytime 
care for the little children, and wholesome recreation for the young 
people, were crying needs. To help meet these needs, our organiza- 
tion established a few experimental community centers in migrant 
labor camps in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. 
The cooperation of employers was enlisted, and they erected simple 
buildings or adapted existing buildings for the experiment. From 6 
in the morning until 10 at night these centers were humming with 
activity — havens for babies, older children, and young people. 

The Chairman. Where was that ? 

Miss LowRT. There were several in New Jersey, Delaware, Mary- 
land, and Pennsylvania. 

The Chairman. Did you personally come in contact with that situ- 
ation ? 

Miss LowTtY. I came personally in contact with it along in 1926 
and 1927. 

The experiment was a success. News of it traveled, and in 1924 
a request came from Oregon to help establish a similar service for the 
migrants there. This led to the development of the work on the Pacific 
coast. But here the situation is different. There were year-round 
migrants traveling great distances, and where there were hundreds in 
the East there were thousands in the West. Adaptations in the pro- 
gram were necessary, with a major emphasis on health work at first. 
There were no nurses in migrant camps. A public-health nurse was 
put in the field to service a number of camps in a given area in Cali- 
fornia. The details of the program were worked out in cooperation 
with the State department of health and the State department of 
education, and the cooperation of the growers was enlisted. This 
marked the beginning of public-health work in migrant labor camps — 
almost 10 years before the State sent nurses into the camps in Cali- 

The Chairman. Where did that appropriation come from ? 

Miss LowKY. From the mission boards; the mission boards of the 
now 18 denominations who are cooperating in carrying on the social- 
service work. 

The Chairman. That is private contributions? 

Miss LowRY. Yes ; and the growers helped finance it. Of course, in 
many cases, or in some cases, we have had to go in and demonstrate that 
it can be done, and then enlist the cooperation, the financial coopera- 
tion, of the employers, and now some of these growers are making quite 
liberal contributions to provide this nursing service. 

The Chairman. And how many States are you working in? 

Miss LoAVRY, We are working in 14 States. 

260370— 40— pt. 1— — 20 


The Chairman. You are going to give the names of them later on? 
Miss LowRY. Yes ; I will. 


Even today our nurses are the only nurses who stay in the crop area 
for the duration of the crop season\ Effective cooperation has been 
worked out between them and those who come in and hold clinics and 
render much-needed services. 

The next advance step in the program was to add to the staff socially 
minded ministers and their wives, to meet the acute need for religious 
services, and a pastoral ministry among the Dust Bowl and tractored- 
out refugees and the Negro migrants. Thus a prograni that is flexible, 
inclusive, and cooperative has been evolved. Basic in the effort is 
cooperation. It has involved the financial, as well as moral, support 
of employers of migrant labor and groups in the communities near the 
camps. In 1939 the financial support from employers and nearby 
communities was over 331/3 percent of our total budget for migrant 

The Chairman. Would you read that again? That is very inter- 

Miss LowRY. In 1939 the financial support from employers and 
nearby communities was over 331/3 percent of our total budget for 
migrant work. That shows an effort to get them to take over this 

For example, in one situation where about 10 years ago there was 
opposition to any program in a certain camp, today that employer has 
built a community center according to our specifications, finances two 
welfare workers for the crop season, provides the services of a regis- 
tered nurse for certain hours each day, and cooperates in various other 
ways, such as providing a truck to take the young people swimming, 
and so forth. The community agencies cooperate through a local 
committee and provide a third worker, a car, running expenses for the 
program, and program equipment for various activities. One group 
provides supervision. The general conditions about the camp are 
improved. There are many other illustrations that could be given 
showing various degi-ees of progress. In New Jersey and Connecticut 
we have State committees functioning, while in New York local com- 
mittees in each area function. We are looking toward a State com- 
mittee in New York as well. 

Quite as important as the service rendered the migrants is the 
educational process that goes on within the area through participation 
in the project. Changed attitudes toward the situation have resulted 
in many cases. 

In addition to the actual service rendered in the camps, a general 
program of education of our constituency has been carried on through 
the years, and in 1940-41 this subject of shifting populations is the 
selected study theme for the majority of the Protestant churches across 
the country. Study books on all age levels have been prepared for 
this, and the basic problems — the causes as well as the symptoms — are 
to be stressed. We anticipate this will lead to an ever greater concern 
about the problem. 



As a result of the close contact of the Home Missions Councils with 
the agiicultural migratory-labor situation, there are a few observations 
that can be made : 

1. There are three distinct groups : 

a. Year-round crop follower who has no settled home. 
h. Part-time migi'ant who follows crops part of the year and re- 
turns to a home in settled community. 

c. The destitute Dust Bowl refugees who Avish to resettle. 

2. In New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut the majority of the 
migrant farm workers are the part-time migrants who return to 
settled homes, although there are several large groups of the year- 
round migrant, principally the southern Negro. 

3. The nationalities represented in these States are Italian, Polish, 
American Indian, Negro, and Portuguese. 

4. There is need of standards for liousing and sanitation in the 
camps. Tliere is evidence of a desire to provide good living conditions 
as well as evidence of indifference. Specific and practical details as to 
what constitutes a model camp, including blueprints for housing units, 
would be helpful. 

5. Because of the varying standards of living among the migrant 
people, there is definite need of a program of education in health and 
sanitation if the desired results are to be accomplished. If this could 
be carried on by those who check up on sanitary standards in the 
camps, that would be an advantage. 

t). There is need of nursing service, provision for care of little 
children, in the camps. 

T. There is need to bridge the gulf between migrants and the com- 
munity, that they may be treated as folks and have a sense of belong- 
ing and being wanted. Usually there is a prejudice or indifference 
on the part of the community toward the migrant, and migrants are 
denied the services available to resident members of the community. 

8. The schooling problem is not as acute as in some other areas. 
Migrants in New York State and Connecticut are largely from 
within those States, and crops for the most part coincide with" school- 
vacation period. New Jersey's problem is more complicated, with so 
many out-of-State children, but the new child-labor legislation should 
help. It was gratifying to learn that the Negro school for the chil- 
dren of oyster shuckers at Shell Pile, N. J., now accepts children 
from out of the State without a fee. 

• 9. A plan of routing migrants to jobs directed by the State and 
Federal employment services could well benefit the migi-ant by know- 
ing when and where the job is, what the wages are, and so forth— 
and also benefit the farmer by assuring him of sufficient labor, which 
is a major worry when the crops are ready for harvest. 

10. The basic problem is economic. 

11. The solution of the problem of the agricultural migratory 
"worker, which is interstate, will require cooperation of the Federal 
agencies. State agencies, and private agencies, representing the varied 

I also have a chart here which I would like to present for the 

The Chairman. That chart will be received for the record. 

^ See pp. 302-305. 


^^Tlle document above referred to, a chart of the United States, wa< 
received and api^ears on p. 303.) 

Miss LowRY. On the back of the sheet is a list of the areas show- 
ing where this type of activity is going on, giving the States and the 
communities. Of course, the communities fluctuate, because the situa- 
tions change from year to year, but there are 14 or 15 States where 
we are operating, such as Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecti- 
cut, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, 
New York, Ohio, Oregon, and Washington. 

The Chairman. You concern yourself with the health and educa- 
tion of the children? 

Miss LowRY. Yes. 

The Chairman. How did this movement start? 

Miss LowRY. It started in 1920 as a result of a survey that wa'3 
made by the Inter-Church World Movement, and among various 
needs in the community that were pointed out, this situation among 
migratory workers was described, and at that time the Home Mission 
Agency said that this was an area in which we must do something. 
And so for 20 years we have been at it. 

The Chairman. Now^, that is practically 20 years, and it has ex- 
panded every j^ear. 

Miss LowRY. Yes. 

The Chairman. And it is also financed by private contributions ? 

Miss LowRY. Yes. 

The Chairman. Do you put on a campaign to get the people inter- 
ested in this or how do you get your money ? 


Miss LowRY. I would say that our money comes from three major 
sources, first, from appropriations from the 18 national home mis- 
sion boards, the Episcopalian, the Congregational, the Presbyterian, 
and so on, and they say that they can do this job better together 
than they can separately. Second, we have a World Day of Prayer 
on the first Friday of Lent, and approximately a quarter of the 
offerings taken on that day go to this work, and it amounts to nine 
or ten thousand dollars. 

The third major source of income is from the communities in these 
migrant areas and the employers of migrant labor. Of course, a big- 
job is in enlisting the cooperation of every agency that has any rela- 
tionship to this migrant labor problem in a given community. Some- 
times the contribution is financial ; sometimes it is in terms of service; 
and sometimes it is supplies ; but it is a coordinating job that we do 
in the given area. 

The Chairman. If we do not do anything else in this investiga- 
tion. Miss Lowry, we think that we attract the Nation's attention to 
the wonderful work that you are doing. 

Now, I understand that of the migrants in the United States, about 
one-third are children; that is what the committee is informed, and 
your work is directed to the help and education of children. 

Miss LowRY. Children and young people. 











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The Chairman. Have you any idea, approximately, how much you 
spend annually? 

Miss LowRY. It is difficult in one way to do that, because some of 
the money is contributed directly ; it does not go through our treas- 
ury, but I would say approximately $40,000. 

The Chairman. That is a year? 

Miss LowRT. Yes. 

The Chairman. You could use more, could you not? 

Miss LowRT. We could, considerably more, because, of course, we 
have felt that these projects themselves are educational processes, 
and they have changed the attitude toward migrant ])eople in those 
areas, just by the very contact with the work, and finding ways that 
they can help. 

The Chairman. In what State is your work the greatest ? 


Miss LowRT. I would say California. I would say the situation 
there is greater, although there are other areas ; and last year, or 2 
years ago, we started to work in Florida, in the Lake Okeechobee 
region, and with the two Government camps there we are planning 
on a cooperative program this year, with our group carrying a major 
responsi}3ility for the work with the children, both in the white camp 
and in the Negro camp. 

The Chairman. Well, now, some of your representatives — do they 
visit all of the camps in the country? 

Miss LowRT. Not all of them, but we have a worker and supervisor, 
Mrs. Shotwell. who has an office in San Francisco, and she has Ari- 
zona, California, Oregon, and Washington, with possibly Idaho ; and 
we have a midwestern supervisor, who operates from Texas and 
Louisiana up to Michigan, up and down the middle part of the 
country. I am a combination of eastern worker and national 

The Chairman. You are the national supervisor? 

Miss LowRY. Yes. 

The Chairman. And does your work as national supervisor take 
you into the West also ? 

Miss LowRY. Yes. 

The Chairman. Have you anything to indicate to us regarding the 
health of the children in the migrant camps compared to other chil- 
dren ; that is, in general ? 

Miss LowRY. As I would say, the general impression would be that 
they are very much under by comparison, largely due to malnutrition 
which is due to ignorance and economic depression. 

The Chairman. How do you find the education of these migrant 
children comparable to that of the resident children ? 

Miss LowRY. Of course, I would say that they have the same capa- 
bilities and this would be evident if they had the same oj)portunities. 

The Chairman. They have the same capabilities ? 

Miss LowRY. Yes. 



The Chairihan. Where do you find these migrants mostly come 
from ? 

Miss LowRY. Do you mean tliis area particularly ? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Miss LowRY. Most of the migrant labor is in New York, New Jersey, 
and Connecticut, and is from within those States, with the exception 
of several large groups that are largely southern Negroes that are 
brought into New Jersey. There are some brought into Connecticut, 
and we found one small group of migrants last year who, when they 
finished the peas and beans, said that they were going South to get 
another crop; you see, most of them are from within the States except 
this other Negro group — of course, they come in large numbers into 
New Jersey. 

The Chairman. Do you find migrants — are they mostly from the 
agricultural regions or the industrial regions ? 

Miss LowRY. Well, before the Dust Bowl and the tractor situation 
developed, I would say that there were more from the agricultural 
regions, but you find more farmers in the migrants today because 
whole communities have collapsed, you find carpenters and other 
tradesmen who have been in those coimnunities, and, of course, we 
have found individual cases where people who have had greater op- 
portunity, and have met with misfortune and drifted into this sort of 

Of course, the migrants in these three States very largely come from 
cities, excepting the Negro group. 

The Chairman. Now, in your talks with the different migrants, 
which I suppose you have had, did you find out that they would rather 
remain at home if they were able to, or they were compelled to leave 
by circumstances over which they had no control ? 

Miss LowRY. I would say that in the case of the native white Ameri- 
can who is coming out of the Cotton Belt, he would rather not migrate. 
He would rather resettle if he had a chance. Some of those who have 
been doing this for some years, and, of course, they were very largely 
of the immigrant Negro groups, I do not think look on the experi- 
ence with a great deal of enthusiasm, but they saw in it a way to earn 

The Chairman. How do you find these migrant camps, and tell us 
about the housing conditions ? 

Miss LowRY. All degrees. 

The Chairman. They are all degrees? 

Miss Lowry. Yes ; and I think it is a situation that you just can't 
generalize about. Also, you have all degrees of farmers right within 
the State of New York. I am thinking now of a group composed 
of Italian folk and Polish folk, who have bought little plots of 
land, and some more, and now they are bringing in gangs to harvest 
their crops. 

They have little social vision, yet at the same time you come up 
against another employer who is really concerned and would like to do 
something for the people. One of them said to me, "We don't know 
what to do, or how to do it." These folks come to us just at our 
very busiest season. 


The Chairman. Now, in your talks with the migrants, you prob- 
ably interviewed hundreds of them. Do you find them practically 
brolce when they reach their destination ? 

Miss LowRY. Yes. 

The Chairman, Now, before they get established in these camps, 
where do they live? On the side of the road, or where do they go; 
how do they support themselves? 

Miss LowRT. For the most part, they stay in one camp until they 
go to the next camp. 

The Chairman. Is there any time limit on these camps ? 

Miss LowRY. Not for the most part. I would say of the migrants 
brought in from the cities, who migrate a part of the year, that they 
come in just about the time that they are needed, and they leave when 
a crop is done. But the migrant who is on the road the year round 
will stay, perhaps, longer in the camp; that is, unless he knows 
that there is a job up further, he stays where he is; that is, if the 
grower will let him, or he will arrive — such as some we know — 2 
weeks ahead of this crop season, and before the other crop is finished. 
They will anticipate a job north, or in another section, so they go, 
and that crop has not matured, and it may be late that season, and 
there they are waiting, 


The Chairman. Now, what sort of medical care do the children 
and the adults receive in these different camps ? 

Miss LowRY. I would say one of the major difficulties is that they 
are excluded, as a general rule, from community services, and that 
holds for the health problem. Of course they cannot afford to pay 
for a doctor, and they are not eligible in many county hospitals, ex- 
cept for emergency cases. 

The Chairman. Where do they obtain their medical care ? 

Miss Lowry, They don't get it. 

The Chairman, They don't get it? 

Miss LowRY, Lots of them don't get it. 

The Chairman. Are there any examinations provided for social 
diseases, venereal diseases or anything of that kind ? 

Miss LowRY, Not to any great extent. There are places for it in 
New Jersey, where they are doing it. 

The Chairman, Clinics? 

Miss LowRY, Yes; and of course California has probably the best 
health provisions or medical provisions. The association that has 
been developed by the Farm Security Administration, which pro- 
vides doctors' care and medicine and that sort of thing for them if 
they need it, is probably the best thing that has been done for mi- 
grants from the point of view of medical care, 


The Chairman, From your investigation, Miss Lowry, migrant 
camps are not the final answer, but they are the best under the cir- 
cumstances, isn't that so? The best that we can do for the time 
being ? 

Miss LowRY, I would like, further than that, to see some sort of blue 
prints drawn up which we could consider model camps for the small 


grower or the caniiers. I have had two owners ask me if I could show 
Them any phans that they could use in constructing new and better 
shacks and sanitary units. 

The Chairman. You see, there is a school of thought in this migrant 
problem that says, ''Well, why don't they stay home?" Well, now, 
Miss Lowry, don't you find in your tours that there are circumstances 
■over whicli they liave no control, and they simply can't stay home? 
Thev have got to move ? 

Miss LowRY. Yes ; I think so. I think that that would be very true 
of the total transient problem. I think, so far as the agricultural 
worker is concerned, there is, in addition to the push, a pull. There 
is a demand for seasonal workers, you see, to harvest the crops. 

The Chairman. And we have got to treat them as people. 

Miss LowRT. Exactly. 

The Chairman. We have got to treat them as people, American 

Miss LowRT. Yes. 

The Chairman. And do you find in your investigation that you run 
up against the perennial tramps? You are not concerned with them, 
fire you? 

Miss Low'RY. No. We might be occasionally, but, by and large, the 
groups we find more of in the camps are the family groups, with the 

The Chairman. Are they generally large families. Miss Lowry ? 

Miss Lowry. Yes. 

The Chairman. Three or four children in a family ? 

Miss Lowry. Yes. 

The Chairman. Would they average that ? 

Miss Lowry. I would say that they would average that, and some 
would go higher. 

The Chairman. Have you any idea as to the number of colored 
people migrating as against whites ? 

Miss LoAVRY. I would say that as against whites there are fewer, but 
I think that there is an increase in the number of colored people that 
are migrating; that is, we are finding more Negro migrants from the 
southern areas than we used to. 

The Chairman. Where do the colored migrants — what States do 
they generally go to ? 

Miss Lowry. Well, a great number of them are working in the 
winter vegetables in Florida, and they trek north up through the 
Carolinas, up through Jersey, and there are some in the West, but 
nowhere near as many. And, of course, your Mexican comes into the 
picture in the far West. 


The Chairman. Do you find, and is it your opinion, Miss Lowry, 
that this migrant problem will probably increase rather than decrease? 

Miss LowRY. I would say so. 

The Chairman. Do you feel that it is a national problem? 

Miss LowRY. There is no question about it. 

The Chairman. And that sooner or later the Federal Government 
lias got to participate, probably greater than it is now? 

Miss Lowry. Definitely. 


The Chairman. Yon feel that? 

Miss LowRY. Yes; and I feel, too, that the State governments must 
also have a responsibility in it, in cooperation with the Federal Gov- 
ernment — that is, especially in relation to the farm migrant, the agri- 
cultural worker. 

The Chairman. Did you ever in your investigation find these pri- 
vate employment agencies working in border States, sending migrant 
workers into other States, when there were no jobs for them ? Did you 
ever run up against that proposition? 

Miss LowRY. No; I have not. That would not necessarily come 
within our capacity for investigation. 

I do feel if the 'United States Employment Service and the State 
employment services could perhaps pursue a plan by which these 
people could be riveted to their jobs, it would be a very great help. 

The Chairman. I think it is a wonderful work you are performing, 
and the committee and the report will try to give you some sort of a 
boost that you are entitled to, Miss Lowry. 

Mr. Curtis. I might ask a question. 1 think that yon have given a 
very definite contribution to our investigation, in addition to the 
various Government agencies giving some attention to this problem, 
in the way of humane and fair treatment to these people. Do you feel 
that some attention should be focused toward a solution of those prob- 
lems in a community that have made necessary a mass exodus? 

Miss LowRY. Yes ; definitely ; and I think one of the best things the 
Farm Security Achninistration has done is try to make life livable on 
the farms where they are, so that they won't have to take the road. 

]Mr. Curtis. Tliere are many sections in the Middle West, where I 
come from. Avhere the areas that have been reached by water conserva- 
tion and irrigation are holding the people. 

Miss LowRY. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. And in the other territories where that has not yet been 
done, tliey have been forced out in great numbers, for reasons entirely 
beyond their own control, and they would rather move than stay where 
they are. 

Miss LowRY. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you provide religious services for these people ? 

Miss LowRY. Yes ; we do, and I would like to say that while we are 
a Protestant organization, our services have been carried on without 
any discriminations of race or creed. And I would say that we have 
tried to strengthen every person in his respective faith, you see, and 
I think the thing has come before us most acutely with the dust- 
bowl folks, who are a patiently religious people who have been very 
active in their churches. 

Mr. Curtis. Wliat States are you referring to? 

Miss LowRY. Arizona, California, primarily. 

Mr. Curtis. That is where they have arrived at, but where do 
they come from? 

Miss LowRY. They come from Oklahoma and Arkansas and Mis- 

Mr. Curtis. My State of Nebraska has lost a number of them, 
some counties have lost up to almost 20 percent of their population. 

Miss LowRY. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. And a study of reclamation and irrigation maps as 
compared to the population decrease, shows that we have a very 


definite contribution to make there which will relieve the States 
from having- to have so many people on hand. 

That is all. 

The Chairman. You spoke about the Farm Security Adminis- 
tration. I understand that they have taken care of 800,000 families 
in the South in this way : providing them with seed, a horse or 
mule or cow, and that 85 percent of them are paying their loans back 
To the Government, but there are 500,000 still uncared for. 

Miss LowRY. And they are potential migrants. 

The Chairman. Was there anything further ? 

Mr. Sparkman. Miss Lowry, I just want to say that I think you 
have made a very valuable contribution to our hearing. 

Miss LowRY. I shall be glad to furnish details in the course of 
our project. 

(Whereupon the witness was excused.) 

Report of New Jersey Migrant Centers 
location of council centers 

Whitesbog. — Blueberries, 150 woi-kers, 80 acres ; cranberries, 350 workers, 500 

Cranhiirij. — Potatoes, 2,500 worlters. 
Port Nonis (Shell Pile) .—Oysters. 


The majority of the pickers came from Camden, Philadelphia, and Morris- 
town, a few from Delaware and Maryland where they had been working in 
canneries. Those from the cities return when the season is over. Many who 
come for the blueberry season remain for the cranberry picking. In the interval 
between crops, some are employed as grass pullers in the cranberry bogs. 

Among the workers, Italians predominate, but there are also Negroes and 
Portuguese. There is some racial feeling evident. Shingled houses with sections 
for two or four families in each are provided rent free by the company. Each 
large family has three rooms. Smaller groups have one or two rooms. Wood- 
burning ranges and huge outdoor ovens for baking bread are placed nearby in 
cook shacks or out doors. Water faucets are located in convenient intervals 
down the streets. Outside toilets, men's and women's, are located back of the 
shacks, and are the usual variety of outhouses. These are kept clean by the 
women of the camp. The garbage is burned in the stoves, or removed to the 
garbage disposal heaps away from the community. The people are not too neat 
about keeping the camps free of rubbish, papers, etc. Tlie wash tubs, wash 
basins, and cooking equipment are neatly hung on the outside of the shacks. 

In case of illness or accidents, the Center girls are asked for advice and in 
several instances, this year, provided transportation to doctors ; the nearest 
being 12 miles from Whitesbog. Both the nursery and living quarters were 
equipped with first-aid material, which was needed quite a bit, both seasons. 
There is a compensation-insurance coverage on all employees. 

The employers are friendly to the people. They expect the work done and 
have field bosses to see that it is done but they are not unkind or unreasonable 
about it. The families usually return year after year. One woman has been 
coming for 6 seasons with her three boys. Her husband stays in Philadelphia 
where he works for 3 days a week at $12 a week. She said that by coming out 
to Whitesbog the money that she and her two oldest boys (12 and 15) could 
make picking while the youngest one (9) carried out the pecks, would enable 
them to stay off relief rolls during the winter. They could buy coal, clothing, 
and help with the rent with the money made by picking. She said, "It is much 
nicer to sit down to eat food you have earned for yourself than to sit around 
and wait for someone to give it to you." This same opinion is predominant 
among the workers here. In many families the fathers stay in the city either 
working or on relief, while the mother and children pick blueberries and 



One family, composed of the mother and eight children, 3 to 18 years, have 
been coming to Whitesbog for 10 years. In talking with some of the young 
men it was found that a great many of them have no work to return to in the 
city and spend their time loafing, shooting crap, or at the movies. One young 
man spoke of his coming to Whitesbog as a vacation. He said he liked ta 
work out in the sun, and part of the money he made would buy winter clothes 
and give him some sijending money when he got back to the city. This same 
impression was gained from talking with other young people. 

The girls have left school when 16 and stay home, some do find work, but not 
many and there are a very few who do finish school. Some admitted they 
had been retarded in schoof by coining out to work, but others said it makes 
no difference and they are able to make up the work easily and keep up with 
their grades. , ^ .. .<. 

The majority of the pickers, if they did not have the opportunity of coming 
out to Whitesbog, would lack sufl5cient clothing, food, and other necessities 

during the winter. , , „ ., i, * t. a 

For the blueberry season, the nursery was open July i through August 4 
and for the cranberry season from August 28 through October 17. It had been 
announced that no babies would be taken so the smallest ones had been left in 
the city but there were some as young as 18 months. The others ranged m 
age up to 9 years. Average attendance was 18. (Most of the children m camp 
who were over 8 picked in the fields.) 

The following is the daily program which was planned. 

7 : 30 a. m. : Clean-up and free play. 

8:30 a. m. : Outdoor play; circle time. 

10 a. m. : Clean-up; milk and crackers. 

10 : 30 a. m. : Drawing, coloring, play. 

11 : 45 a. m. : Clean-up for lunch. ^ , , 

(In this center children brought their own lunches but ate together and had 
grace. Attention was focused on manners.) 

1 p. m. : Rest hour. . 

3 to 4 : 30 p. m. : Outdoor play, walks, and nature study, or inside games untu 
they got ready to go home. 

This schedule could not be adhered to strictly. Weather conditions often made 
changes necessary. A heavy morning fog w-ould mean that workers went to the 
fields later and therefore children arrived at the center later. In case of rain 
when families stayed at home, there would be fewer children at the nursery. 
Sometimes the heat was so intense, that pickers stopped work early, which 
might shorten the day at the center. 

The "morning circle" was one of the most popular events with the children. 
This consisted of songs, games, and the pledge of the flag. It was a cherished 
honor to hold the flag. Sometimes part of the children would entertain the 
others. There were also discussions on various subjects. One day the boys 
discussed W. P. A. Many of the fathers were Work Projects Administration 
workers and there was quite a debate as to whose father was doing the most 
important work, making roads, tunnels, or buildings. 

Most, if not all of the people here, are Catholics, and the children, especially, 
have a deep religious feeling. It was not at all unusual for a child to come up 
and ask for a picture of the Lord, or one of a saint. They love the religious songs, 
and their conduct during grace, or prayers was very reverent. 

Throughout the camp there is a feeling of deep respect toward the nursery. 
On several occasions when one of the boys uttered a curse word in the building, 
he was immediately silenced by the others with the remark, "Words like that 
aren't used in here." This feeling of respect has been definitely demonstrated 
several times, and helps to encourage the workers at the center. 

Acthnties for 9-14 age group. — Clubs were formed, one for boys and one for 
girls of these ages. They met on different days, after they came in from the 
fields and had cleaned up. Tlie girls enjoyed having a club. They made scrap 
books, wove mats of crepe paper, played games, went swimming, and had picnics. 
The boys didn't care much for club work but liked to go to the center on their days 
to read, play games, and talk. Children of these ages, after hours of work in the 
fields, were too tired to do very strenuous things. 

It is not possible to do a great deal for these children in the "between" age. 
They are tired when they come in from the fields, and it is difficult to hold their 

5 * 

O l^ 

— be 



On days that neither boys uor girls had the center to themselves it was open 
for library hours, and anyone could come in to read or select a book to take 
home. Many of the older boys and girls in the camp seemed to enjoy this, 
though not many took out books. 

Young people's prognim. — Baseball, volley ball, swimming, and campflre pic- 
nics were the outside activities for this group. Ping-pong, shuffleboard, 
checkers, and other games were played evenings in the "barrel house," a storage 
place for barrels at other seasons but used during picking time as a recreation 
hall. There was a uickel-in-the-slot machine which furnished music for danc- 
ing, the young people supplying the nickels themselves. Once a week there 
were movies ; these were attended by adults as well as young people and by the 
Negroes who were not reached by any of tlie other activities. A ping-pong 
tournament at the end of the season aroused much interest. 

The company which owns the blueberry fields and the cranberry bogs helps 
finance the council program, provides the building with a yard for the nursery, 
called Friendship House; also the "Barrel House" and living quarters with 
electricity, water, and coal, for use of the council staff. 

Three girls worked at Whitesbog in 1939. They felt that it would be a great 
advantage another year to have a young man on the staff to help with recrea- 
tion activities. 


Cranbury is the center of the New Jersey potato district. The recreational 
• program was carried actually to 29 farms, although groups from farms outside 
Middlesex County would join in now and then. This means that a total of 976 
migrant workers were directly influenced by the program ( including 195 women, 
93 children). These workers were Negroes from the following States: 80 per- 
lent Florida, 10 percent Georgia, 5 percent Soutli Carolina, 3 percent North Caro- 
lina and Virginia, 2 percent Northern States (Maryland, Pennsylvania, New 
York, New Jersey). 

The setting for migrant work here is this. There is an average of 250 acres 
per farm planted in potatoes. Few farmers will dig their potatoes unless the 
market price is at least $1.35 the hundred-pound bag. This causes the migrant 
workers no end of hardship, because unless the farmer is going to sell imme- 
diately he refuses to work his hands, for potatoes cannot be stored long in hot 
weather. So the poor migrant is forced to sit around and eat up his average 
$3.70 a week before he earns it. 

Potatoes are a peculiar crop. They can be planted, cultivated, dug, graded, 
and sacked by machine, but it takes human hands to pick them up from the 
rows after the digging machine exijoses them. It is this operation that largely 
determines the profits to be made on the crop. Hence we have the perfect stage 
for the influx of cheap labor. 

In 1939 that cheap labor was the migrant Negro worker from Florida. And 
cheap labor it was. Regardless of what has been said in newspapers to the 
effect that workers can earn $3 to $4 a day— I know definitely that average 
top wage per worker during the 5 weeks' period July 24-August 26 was about 
$5.60 a week while the wage for as many as 30 percent was anywhere from $1 
to 75 cents. „ , ^ 

The price for picking was IV- to 2 cents per 5/8-bushel basket, or as was 
generally practiced 3 or 4 cents for a sack that held two 5/8 bushels. The way 
this was arranged was to assign two rows to a picker and join them into teams 
of two with sacks to fill between them. Most of them received 3 cents for 
each sack thev filled, hence at the end of the week they had to split the salary 
two waysv This seems to be a perfectly plausible system, but some factor 
enters in that seems to prevent an individual from earning much after the 
two-way split. Maybe it's because there is ever the tendency to take turns 
slacking and resting so that a team of two working jointly does not accom- 
plisli as much as two individuals working independently. The work is done 
from early morning until noon, and late afternoon until dark. This avoids 
the heat of the day — for the sun easily spoils potatoes by drying them out 
rapidly. Of course, it would be almost unbearable to kneel down in a dusty 
field iinder a broiling sun hour after hour— but I doubt if the farmer is con- 
sidering other than tlie potatoes when he sets his daily schedule. 

The system of employing this migrant labor is this: A man called a con- 
tractor makes an agreement with a farmer to dig, grade, and sack his potatoes 
for so much a hundred-pound bag (usually 8 cents). But the farmer is charged 
$2 for the transportation of each worker that the contractor brings to the farm 



to pick the potatoes. So we see a farmer has three responsibilities in prepar- 
ing his crop for market, supplying the tools, housing the workers, and paying 
the transportation costs of the number of workers he employs. All the rest 
is taken care of by the contractor. The workers receive their money from the 

A worker receives 3 cents per 10/8-bushel bag which weighs from 125-145 
poundg. Workers who run the grader and sew the sacks get 25 cents an hour 
(250 sacks of potatoes per hour and tpiarter or about $1.55 for the five men who 
work the grader). 
Hence on 250 bags of potatoes : 

Field labor about .$6.50 

Grader labor about 1- 75 

Contractor gets from farmer (8 cents a sack) about 20.00 

Profit 11-25 

But this isn't all. The contractor receives the $2 for delivering each worker. 
Then he also charges each worker $3.50 (a total of $5.50 or $550 transiwrta- 
tion price to bring up 100 workers from Florida on a truck). And if he is 
to take them back after the season it's $3.50 more. Otherwise, he takes them 
to Virgina and abandons them since by law he must remove them from New 
Jersey. Now, the dire evil is that at least 100 of these people will never do 
any work, but he brought them mei-ely for transportation profit. He charges 
them for everything. INIost of the families that come up are as much as $25 
to $50 in debt' to him before they earn a dime. (A family of 5, $17.50 trans- 
portation, and about $6 a week board) so we can see the real profits are not 
made from the 8 cents a sack he gets from the farmer, but the contractor ex- 
ploits those miserable workers who earn his living for him. 

He gives them nothing. On one farm the workers sat around 5 weeks and did 
notliing, while the farmer waited for prices to go up. The workers lived on his 
farm at their own expense — although he feels justified because he gives them his 
barn free of charge to live in. The workers have to borrow from their contractor 
and since he handles the pay roll most of them will return home as they came — 
in debt to the contractor. 

This year was not the first that saw migrant labor used in Cranbury potato 
fields. But it was the first that saw serious social friction develop and crystalize 
into physical violence. This fact can be traced to the contractor system. 

Previously, farmers hired their labor •directly— came face to face with those 
who were to work for them. In other words, if a fai-mer felt that a particular 
man would be trouble to the community he would not hire him — or at least he 
could fire him. But in an agreement with a contractor only rarely does he have 
any selective power in the hiring of labor. That means that a large number of 
outside workers are coming into the community without anyone actually responsi- 
ble for them (although nominally the contractor is. of course). A good per- 
centage (close to 40 percent) of these workers are migrants the year round with 
no permanently established home. Because of this they often lack a sincere 
respect for community law and order. Social trouble in Cranbury centered 
around four factors: (1) Workers were crude, and altogether physically distaste- 
ful; (2) they worked too cheaply — killing the potato labor price ruinously; 
(3) agitation on the part of persons not using migrant labor, and therefore some- 
what oversensitive to its unfavorable aspects; (4) the helpless position that con- 
tract labor puts the farmer into, insofar as handling the workers is concerned. 
Surplus workers are often those who cause trouble because they become stranded 
and wander about the town. Most of them were arrested by local and State police. 

No. 2 above, although important, is yet but a dormant factor. The other three 
were the real factors that caused a group of white citizens to attack a group 
of workers and mistreat them, apparently with the intent of frightening them 
away or to prevent their returning next summer. In the end a man and a woman, 
workers from Georgia and man and wife, were smeared over with white paint 
and intimidated by threats and other outrages. State troopers handled the 
investigation and the grand jury is to decide indictments on September 15. An 
interesting sidelight is that both white and colored citizens of Cranbury are 
anxious for the same after effect — that the migrants won't return next year. 
Everyone heartily dislikes the migrant Negro from Florida. 


Tmubled-down sliaoks, barns, and chicken coops are used for dwelling places. 
Every place observed was a fire trap. One farm saw the complete destruction by 
fire of a barn along with all the belongings of the workers who lived in it. The 
workers slept in it on hay, oats, barley — a mere spark was enough to burn the 
whole place inside of 2 hours. In 10 minutes it was impossible to go near it. 
Had it happened at night without a doubt there would have been loss of life. 
There is no compensation for the workers but charity. 

Similarly in other barns filled with combustible grains, smoking and cooking 
go on — oil burnei'S are used. All are horrible flre hazards. On the 29 farms 
not one farmer or contractor provided a first-aid kit — or any means for first-aid 
administration. Fifty percent of the farms had no electrical lighting for 
migrant quarters, necessitating the use of oil lamps and candles where com- 
bustibles were stored. No fire-fighting apparatus could be found, nor was it 
possible to get a supply of water quickly for flre emergency. In the case of 
the barn that burned, quarter of a mile of hose was needed by firemen. 
Ventilation poor. Since most dwelling places are barns — door serves as 
entrance and window — a suffocating state arising during a rainy spell. No 
screens are provided. Flies and mosquitoes become ahuost unbearable. No 
precaution against the common drinking cup is provided. No beds or bedding 
are provided, no bathing facilities, no provisions at all for women workers. 
(No private housing, no chance for bathing, no relief from fatigue in fields^ — 
such as benches. No time provided for trips to out-houses. Ninety-five per- 
cent of the places had no sanitary tissue. The majority cook on outside 
open flre. Shoes are a rarity. In fact all clothes are. So serious are these 
factors that many workers never leave the farm because of nudity.) 

Cranbuf-y had a clinic (it was really a leaky tent and a spoiled potato 
barn). The good it did perhaps can be measured in the facts that (1) it 
revealed to Cranbury the needs of a clinic building, (2) it revealed disease 
to those ignorant of it. (3) it made farmers aware that not all Negroes have 
syphilis (percentage was 28.4 percent). 

Religious activities on the farms were provided for by Rev. Mark A. Gib- 
son, Negro, supplied by Board of National Missions of Presbyterian Church. 
These services with singing and preaching were held in barns. Farmers were 
cooperative in supplying light for the service where possible. (But after the 
service they took the bulbs out again.) 

Softball playing is the favorite recreation with the workers. All like it 
and the farmers are willing to contribute a cleai-ed field for a diamond. Box- 
ing and checkers are welcome — checker boards were made with bottle tops 
painted for checkers. The women were so scattered that it was difficult to 
arrange any deflnite program. However, in some cases they played ball, or 
entered checker tournaments. Group dancing and games fail to "raise much 
enthusiasm. Rev. Gibson assumed responsibility by own request for chil- 
dren's program. 

Needed social adjustments are: (1) Selected w^orkers. (2) fair wage (5 
cents a bag for picking), (3) a community center for workers, (4) considera- 
tion on part of farmers in not hiring men before he is ready to pick his crop, 
(5) better housing for workers, (6) a more extensive recreational program 
to include more farms, so as to provide an outlet for idle moments, (7) a 
law requiring: (a) Individual drhiking cups to be provided by farmer, (ft) 
first-aid equipment, (c) extensive fire precautions, (d) requiring farmers to 
provide for workers loss due to flre on his farm, (e) regulated influx of work- 
ers according to farmers' needs. 

Softball games w^ere held practically every day with competition between 
the two rivals becoming keener during the game. Teams visited other farms 
and farmers were willing to provide a truck for team transportation. In 
some cases after noticing the effect on the workers, farmers bought ball and 
bat for daily practicing and everyone looked forward to beating another farm. 
In one case the workers were grumbling because a farmer would not dig, 
but a game of Softball made everyone happy. After that the farmer was 
an ardent supporter of the program. Boxing always caused intense interest 
with the spectators. Checkers were a boon for the elderly as was horseshoes. 


There are five to sis hundred Negro oyster shuckers at Shellpile. About one- 
fourth of them remain there but the others are migratory, coming from Dela- 
ware and Maryland. 

200370 — 40 — pt. 1 — —21 



The workers live in two-room or three-room shacks owned by oyster men 
and others, for which they pay 50 cents per room a week. However, those 
who remain do not pay rent unless they are working. 

Schooling is provided for children of school age in a special two-room 
school house on the edge of the community. Children in seventh or eighth 
grades or high school go to the Port Norris school. 

There are only five white residents in Shellpile — four men and one woman, 
the wife of the watchman. 

Oyster shuckers receive 30 cents a gallon which is 10 pints. The "skimmer" 
who measures the oysters, scrapes off the top for even measure. If a shucker 
brings his pot without enough to measure a full gallon the other shuckers 
"razz" him. Workers usually begin at 6 a. m.— sometimes earlier if there is 
a large order. 

Ohly the shell is touched in the shucking process — the oyster itself being 
shucked and packed without being touched by hand. 

The shuckers daily wage is hard to estimate. If the oysters are pre- 
dominantly large, he can make much more than if they are small. Some 
large oysters take 50 to 70 per gallon while smaller ones will have up to 180 
oysters in a gallon. It takes a shucker just as long to open an oyster that 
is small as it does to open a large one. If they work a 10-hour day (recently 
specified by the union) a shucker can do 5 to 10 gallons a day. That means 
he earns $1.50 to $3 a day, depending on the size of the oysters. He might 
earn from $10 to $15 a week. But he doesn't often work 6 or even 5 days a 
week. That is only possible in the three or four rush seasons before Thanks- 
giving, Christmas, New Years, etc., when large orders come in for oysters. 
The shucking season is usually September to April. 

The council center at Shellpile could not be kept open all year for lack 
of funds. This was a great disappointment to the people there. In the 1938-39 
season, it was open only 2 months. When the children learned that it was 
to close early, they cried, almost with one voice, "What will we do? Where 
can we go now for a little fun? Aren't we to have any more stories?" 

For the lf!39— 10 season, the center opened in November to continue tlirough 
March. More adequate quarters were secured and two workers placed in 
charge — a man and a woman. A varied program for all ages is thus made 


The Chairman. This is Co^lgress^yoman Caroline O'Day, represent- 
ing what district, Mrs. O'Day? 

JNIrs. O'Day. Representing the State of New York at large. 

The Chairman. We think it is very nice of you to come here, Mrs. 
O'Day, and give us the benefit of your views, and to have you 
interest yourself in this big problem that we are trying to do some- 
thing about. 

You have a statement that you would like to present to us? 

Mrs. O'Day. Yes; and I will hand it over to you. 

The Chairman. Do you want to read from it ? 

Mrs. O'Day. Not unless you want me to. 

The Chairman. I think that it would be a good idea. 

Mrs. O'Day. I would like to say, that years ago, long before I was 
interested in this, I was interested in the child-labor matters, and,, 
of course, very much against child labor, and there were many prob- 
lems, and I, as a member of the Consumers League, took quite an 
active part in looking into that. Then, it was a matter of children 
in industry. 

Now I find those problems have been transferred to agriculture, 
because that due to the labor laws, especially of New York, there is 
not much trouble about the children in industry, but there is still 
trouble everywhere about children in agriculture. 


The Chairman. You heard Miss Lowry's statement? 

Mrs. O'Day. Part of it; and I hope to get a report of that, very 
excellent report, very encouraging. 

The Chairman. Your reaction to it, I take it, is that there is still 
so much to do, 

Mrs. O'Day. Yes ; but I am grateful to her for what has been done. 


Those of us who have been interested in the migrant problem have 
come to realize that it is essentially a problem of the family. The 
old daj^s of the migrant worker or "hobo" who knocked on the 
kitchen door and sawed a day's supply of wood for his dinner have 
passed. The "tramps" of today are fathers, mothers, and children. 
It is with the children that I am concerned chiefly. 

Children suffered first and most deeply from the appalling condi- 
tions we have heard described as common to migrant agricultural 
labor. They are more seriously affected by crowded and unsanitary 
Jiving conditions and lack of health protection. They are, of course,, 
the chief sufferers from the complete absence of educational facilities.. 
The exact consequences, in figures and tables, of the effect of this type 
of life on their emotional growth has, unfortunately, never been 
estimated. We do know, however, that any child needs a certain 
amount of stabilitj- to develop into a useful citizen. We do know 
that the child needs, far more than the adult, the security of know- 
ing himself to be an integral part of the conmiunity in which he 



The studies made to date of these "hobo" children do not carry 
them far enough for us to determine the ultimate consequences of the 
type of life and living conditions to w^hich they have been subjected. 
We do know, however, that tables and figures have proven the rela- 
tionship between poor housing and juvenile delinquency. Common 
sense tells us what to expect of those boys and girls we are permitting 
to grow up against the background of the migrant agricultural labor. 

We have worked for years to keep children out of the sweatshops. 
No reasonable person fails in this day and age to recognize the 
importance of sparing boys and girls of tender age grueling labor in 
factories and work shops. Agricultural labor, of the type we have 
been discussing, is sweatshop labor. It is in no way related to the 
work performed by the farm child on the home farm. There we 
have the father and mother teaching the children the homely and 
useful tasks that are part of traditional farm life. Unless carried to 
excess, such tasks have definite educational value and prepare thf' 
child for the life he expects to live if he continues on the farm. I 
won't say such "education" is not sometimes overdone, but in general 
it is wholesome and useful. 

But the work of children in industrialized agriculture has none of 
these virtues. It teaches them nothing and, in fact, prevents them 
from obtaining the training and education needed to prepare them 
for adulthood. It is the voung child who suffers most. The older 


boys and girls do not, as a rule, accompan}- the family to the farm 

The National Child Labor Committee recently made a study of 
251 families who had migrated from Philadelphia, Camden, etc., 
to southern New Jersey truck farming regions. In these families 
were 1,764 persons, of whom 81.6 percent went to the truck farms. 
Of those left behind, three-fourths were the fathers and boys and 
girls 19 years of age and older. The mothers and children too young 
for industrial employment were those who left for the farm regions. 
The younger children in this group were not permitted to work on 
an hourly basis, but were held to piece work. It was considered that 
they could not work fast enough to justify paying them by the hour. 
Perhaps it was thought that they, being after all only children, 
might stop too frequently to watch a bird or look at the sky. Their 
earning was necessarily small, but it was impossible to determine 
exactly the wages of each child in this group, since they were hired 
as a family and not as individuals. 

These families arrived in New Jersey between March and Novem- 
ber. The children lost in the spring, 1 month of schooling and again 
the same amount in the fall. Being nonresidents of the State, they 
\vere not entitled to go to school in New Jersey. The effect of the 
lost school time was distressingly obvious. Ninety percent of the 12- 
and 13-year olds had not reached the normal-school grade for their 
age. As a matter of fact, the schooling of the children of agricul- 
tural migrant workers is noticeably lower than that of their parents. 
What this means to the future of this group is not difficult to imagine. 
I quote in this connection. Miss Beatrice McConnell, of the Indus- 
trial Division of the Children's Bureau : 

If the next generation is not to pay the price of neglect by falling lower and 
lower in social and economic status, some means must be found to give these 
children the advantages of that free education and choice of occupation that 
we have boasted in this country is the right of every American child. 

I \vould like to say that in 1930 investigation revealed that more 
than twice the number of children employed in all of the industries 
combined were employed in this agricultural migrant work, so you 
see the problem has changed from the industry in factories and shops 
to the sweatshops of the farms. 

The Chairman. Mrs. O'Day, you speak of "hobo" children, do j-ou 
mean the children who roam the highways alone like some of the 
persons who appeared before us ? 

Mrs. O'Day. There are those children, of course, those young 
people, but I mean the children who go with their parents, and fol- 
low the crops from Florida and California up through the middle of 
the United States, and then come back South again for cotton pick- 

The Chaieman. I take it from your statement that you are deeply 
concerned about these children ; for instance, when they are picking 
crops they don't attend school. That is true, isn't it? 

Mrs. O'Day. Certainly it is true. They can't do both things. 

The Chairman. And that is on account of the insufficient earnings 
of the father or the parents of the children, is it not? They have 
got to work in order to support themselves ? 

Mrs. O'Day. They have got to work in order to help support the 


The Chairman. Have you got any solution about that problem? 

Mrs. O'Day. Well, it is up to the committee, I think, to find the 
solution. On the west coast, in the crop fields of Washington and 
Oregon, and in the potatoes, fruits, and truck crops ni California, 
thei? is some effort made to have education for the children. But m 
many of the counties there is no health service, even for residents, 
and of course for the migrant children there is less than nothing, if 
that is possible. 

The Chairman. Do you find that lack of schooling present m the 
eastern ssaboard States? . . 

Mrs. O'Day. Well, yes, somewhat, but it is not as bad as it is m 
some of the Western and Middle States. Indiana and Delaware— for 
instance, I have here in my notes, the children brought in from the 
south. Mississippi had much more of their schooling. Of course, 
some of those children are Negroes, and the schooling for them in 
the South is most inadequate anyhow. 

The Chairman. Well, I understand that Polish children who left 
Baltimore in great numbers for Eastern Shore cannery camps must 
go to school now in these districts? 

Mrs. O'Day. So I hear, tliat they must. That, of course, is a 
great improvement over the old days'when they were not made to go 
to school. 


The Chairman. Mrs. O'Day, I know of my own knowledge that 
you have been interested in tliis problem and made some study of it. 

As a Congresswoman representing the State of New York and 
the Congress of the United States, do you feel that it is a national 
problem ? 

Mrs. O'Day. I do, indeed ; oh, yes. 

The Chairman. That the States simply cannot take care of it? 

Mrs. O'Day. No. 

The Chairman. And the local communities ? 

Mrs. O'Day. They cannot. They cannot control it, and 1 think 
much more will have to be appropriated by the Federal Government. 
California, for instance, has instituted trailer clinics who follow the 
migrants as they go from crop to crop, but they have not a great 
many, but it is the beginning, you see, and the Federal Government, 
with grants-in-aid, should supervise that sort of thing through the 
States. The Federal Government is responsible. 

The Chairman. What do you think, Mrs. O'Day, has focused the 
attention of the Nation on this problem? It has sprung up lately. 

Mrs. O'Day. I think Steinbeck's book. 

The Chairman. The Grapes of Wrath? 

Mrs. O'Day. Yes ; but I think that a great many people think that 
that only applies to California when, as a matter of fact, it applies 
everywhere. We have no Dust Bowl between Oklahoma and the 
Eastern States, and that condition applies here in the East just as it 
does out there. 

The Chairman. That was the idea that the committee had in their 
minds, startine; out in New York, to show them that California was 
not the only State in the Union that had this migrant problem. 

Mrs. O'Day. By no means. California has been awakened to the 
danoer of it, and California is beginning to do some very good 


remedial work, but in New York you do not have so much because we 
have not the farms. The farms out on Long Island are mostly 
worked by the families, and to go driving out past them you will see 
very few children. 

The Chairman. Is there anything further? 

Mr. Sparkman. Mrs. O'Day, most of your discussion has been 
with reference to children in these agricultural migi'ant families. 
Of course, you realize that we have a great many migrants other than 
agricultural workers, destitute migrants in many instances, coming 
into States or going into other States, crossing State lines, and 
becoming or remaining destitute after they reach there. 

You also recognize that a great deal of this is the inevitable result 
of economic pressure in the areas from which they have come. 

Would you, in your recommendations, include such methods as thci 
Federal Government might be able to use through its various agencies 
to alleviate those economic conditions in the various sections where 
the pressure is outM^ard? 

Mrs. O'Day. Certainly I would. 

Mr. Sparkman. That would be vour first stand ? 

Mrs. O'Day. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. And taking care of them after they have become 
migrant, of course, would be simply caring for the situation that has 
developed from such causes, but you would strike at the root of it first? 

Mrs. O'Day. Certainly. 

Mr. Sparkman. I believe you agree with me that the work that 
the Farm Security xldministration, through its rehabilitation pro- 
gram and such other governmental agencies as that, have been doing 
has been very helpful and probably should be extended? 

Mrs. O'Day. Very helpful, and it is very encouraging, bex:ause it 
shows that most of these migrants really want work; they want a 
chance to be self-supporting, and many of these farm migrants only 
become migrants because they cannot find enough employment for 
members of the family to remain in their homes. 


Mr. Sparkman. Mrs. O'Day, I was interested in your discussion, 
'or your distinction between farm tasks done by children, as members 
of the family, in their own homesteads, and in industrialized areas. 
I was reared on the farm myself, and I know something about those 
tasks, but this thought entered my mind: Saturday, over in New 
Jersey, at a certain place, we saw some migrant workers who were 
waiting for the potato crop to come in, and I remember one Negro 
mother, rather boastingly told of the number of potatoes she could 
pick up. And small children out there — I dare say the smallest one 
was not over 8 years of age — boasted of the fact that they were good 
potato pickers, too. 

Now, I just wonder if this farmer emplovs the familv as a unit? 

Mrs. 0't)AY. Usually. 

Mr. Sparkman. I just won