Skip to main content

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"

See other formats


Given By 

^3rU \\- ovi*'<^^^^^iAiL 









H.Res. 63, 491,and629 







NOVEMBER 29, DECEMBER 2, 3, 1940 

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









H. Res. 113 



MARCH 24, 25, 26, 1941 

Printed for the use of the Select Committee Investigating 
National Defense Migration 




JJ. S. SUPER1NTFNDEM 1 ^^^ iwuufetiVu 


JOHN H. TOLAN, California, Chairman 


JOHN J. SPARKMAN, Alabama FRANK C. OSMERS, Jr., New Jersey 

Robert K. Lamb, Staff Director 

Mary Dublin, Coordinator of Hearings 

John W. Abbott, Chief Field Investigator 

Harold D. Cullen, Asuociate Editor 
Josef Berger, Associate Editor 


This index has been prepared for the use of Members of the Con- 
gress, other Government officials, and others who have occasion to 
refer to the hearings of this committee. It may be inserted in the 
back of part 11 for ready reference. 

A comprehensive topical index covering parts 1 to 10, inclusive 
(dealing especially the subject of interstat'e migration) will be found 
in part 10. In part 12 and all succeeding parts, a topical index is 
found in each individual volume. 


Agriculture: Page 

Defense housing to be rebuilt on farms after emergency, _ 4410 
Training courses for rural youth under National Youth 

Administration 4324 

Aircraft industry. (See also under Employment, Defense and 
Industry, Aircraft.) 

Alabama: Migrant problems summarized 4619-4623 

Albany, N. Y.: Commimity problems surveyed 4256 

Bath, Maine: 

Migrant problems surveyed 4598 

Report, effect of defense program on child welfare in area. _ 4499 
Budgets: Requirements for public-health activities by Army 

corps areas (tabulations) 4377 

Burbank, Calif. : Community problems surveyed 4258 

Bureau of Employment Security (see also Office of Education) : 

Forecasting employment needs 4324 

Labor surveys in San Diego, Calif 4315 

Need for accessible employment offices 4296 

Personnel listings in job areas 4273 

Radio as employment medium 4296, 4308 

Bureau of Labor Statistics: 

Analyses of employment trends and defense labor require- 
ments 444 1-4447 

Estimated labor requirements, aii'craft industry (with 

tables and charts) 4450-4464 

Estimated labor requirements, shipbuilding industry 

(with tables and charts) 4464-4482 

Burlington, Iowa: Survey of health and medical-care needs in 

defense area 4353 

California: Migrant problems of State summarized 4703 

Camp at Anniston, Ala. (see also Fort McClellan, Ala.): 

Attitude of townspeople toward 4292 

Camp Biandmg, Fla.: 

Commuting problems at 4322 

Construction on 4266,4268,4297,4304 

Recruiting of labor for construction 4482 

Survey of health and medical care needs in defense 

area 4348-4349 

Camp Croft, Spartanburg, S. C: Relocation problems under 

defense program 4752-4754 

Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Little Rock, Ark.: Survey of health 

and medical care needs in defense area 4354-4356 

Camp Livingston, La.: Construction work on 4267 

Camp Murray. (See under Fort Lewis, Tacoma, Wash.) 
Camp Shelby, Miss.: Survey of health and medical care 

needs in defense area 4350-4351 




Camp Stewart, Hinesville, Ga.: Relocation problems under 

defense program 4742-4749 

Casper, Wyo. : Community problems surveyed 4258 

Cliarlestown, Ind.: 

General problems occasioned by defense prograrti 4284 

Survey of health and medical care needs in defense 

area 4351-4352 

Child Welfare: Reports by Childrens Bureau on effect of defense 

program in named areas 4498-4505 

Childersburg, Ala.: 

Community problems surveyed 4256 

Relocationproblems under defense program _ _ _ _ 4622, 4754-4755 
Civilian Conservation Corps: Traming courses, importance of _ 4324 

Colorado: Migrant problems in State summarized 4686-4688 

Columbus, Ohio : Community problems surveyed 4257 

Community facilities in defense areas: 

Community centers, need for provision of 4328, 4329 

Inadeciuacies in face of defense influx 4325, 4526 

Mobile school and laundry units 44 1 5 

Need for coordinated planning for 4265 

Payments in lieu of taxes for 4419 

Recreation. (S'^e w^rfer Recreation.) 

Recreational activities, need for provision of 4328, 

4329, 4582-4585, 5669 
Sanitary conditions compared with air raid shelters in 

England 4326 

Schools (see also under Schools): 

Expansion requirements in District of Columbia 4513- 

4525, 4547 
Legal limitations on increase for capital outlay and 

current expenses 4327-4328 

Need for assumption of responsibility by Federal 

Government 4378-4382 

Surveys of general needs in designated localities 4256-4258 

Connecticut: Child welfare surveys 4498-4499 

Corpus Christi, Tex.: Survey of health and medical care needs 

in defense area 4357-4358 

Davenport, Iowa: Survey of health and medical care needs in 

defense area 4353 

Defense program {see also Community facilities in defense 
areas) : 

Amounts involved in expansion of plant capacity, by 

regions (table) 4449 

Concentration of defense industrial demands 4449, 4450 

Digest of developments in named localities 4360-4371 

Labor requirements forecast 4443 

Need for coordinated planning 4302-4305, 4496 

Need for relief of transients increased by- 4329 

Percent distribution of direct defense contracts by States 

(map) 4766 

Population increases in Charlestown, Ind., as example 4330 

Recommendations and report of school needs in defense 

areas 4378-4409 

Strain on community and school facilities by 4326-4327 


Defeiise program — Continued. Faga 

Survey of community problems under 4256-4258 

Value of civilian morale in 433 1 

Demountable housing. (See under Housing; see also under 

Division of Defense Housing Coordination.) 
District of Columbia (see also under Schools; see also under 
Housing) : 

Anticipated labor needs 4489-4490 

Child-welfare interviews 4504-4505 

Health problems and public health facilities 4571, 4572 

Housing requirements under defense program. _ 4552-4554, 4563 

Migrant problems summarized 4729-4732 

Substandard housing in 4565, 4570-457 1 

Division of Defense Housing Coordination: 

Cooperates with Bureau of Employment Security 4315 

Discourages nondefense migration by exclusion from 

program 4319 

Distributes housing allocations between Government and 

private industry 4413 

General duties outlined 4313 

Homes registration offices 4319, 4417 

List of requested labor surveys, by localities 4320, 4321 

Policy, to keep construction at a mmimum during emer- 
gency 4420 

Selects construction agency for defense housing 4410 

Sphere of activity 43 12 

Types of housing provided by 43 14 

Types of restrictions upon sphere of operations 4311-4312, 

Education. (See under Schools; see also under Vocational 


Advertising by radio recommended 4295, 4296 

Defense see also under Industry): 
Aircraft Industry: 

Employee and pay-roll increases (chart) 4448 

Employee totals, by regions (tables) __ 4452,4453,4460 

Estimated anticipated new workers 4455 

Estimated totals by months 4455 

Index of employment 4456 

Labor turn-over as factor in migration 4490. 

Labor requirements estimated (with tables and 

charts) 4450-4464 

New air-frame assembly workers required, by 

occupation, region, and total (table) 4463 

New engme and propeller assembly workers re- 
quired, by occupation, region, and total 

(table) 4464 

New workers required, by location (map) 446 1 

New workers required, site of final assembly, by 

occupation (chart) 4462 

New workers required to complete program 

(chart) 4458 

Potential labor requirements analyzed 4459 


Employment — Continued. 
Defense — Continued. 

Aii'craft industry — Continued. Pag« 

Total employees, plants of final assembly (table). 4460 

Total employment, annual averages (chart) 4457 

Wases and hours, averages and quit rates (with 

tables) - 4490-4492 

Analysis of employment trends and labor require- 
ments .\ 4441-4447 

Anticipated labor needs in San Diego, Calif 44S8 

Anticipated labor needs, Seattle-Tacoma area 4503 

Anticipated labor needs, Washington (D. C.) area 

(with table) --_- 4489-4490 

Anticipated labor needs, Wichita. Kans. (with 

table) - ----- 4485-4486 

Anticipated labor requu^ements, by occupation. _ 4460-4464 
Du'ect defense contracts and Work Projects Adminis- 
tration employment, by States (chart) 4764 

Distribution of, by sections 4323 

Distribution of primary- defense contracts in relation 

to labor, by regions 4768-4770 

Effect of defense program on coal-mining industry. 4732— i733 

Expansion totals, nonagricuhural 4440, 

4441^442, 4447 
Manufacturers' estimates of labor needs bv indus- 
tries -_ r_-- 4443-4447 

Month-to-month variations. Work Projects Admin- 
istration report (with tables and charts) 4759-4770 

Need for migration guidance by Employment 

Service 4485 

New employees in District of Coliunbia area 4552— i553, 

4559, 5663 

Recruitment, as increasing migrant problem 4323 

Relation of dkect contracts to employment, by 

States (charts) 4763-4765 

Shipbuildmg mdustiy: 

Additional slolled workers needed, by occupations 

(chart) 1 4481 

Additional workers needed, by area (map) 4478 

Additional workers needed, by occupation 

(table) - 4479,4480 

Annual averages and estimates (chart) 4473 

Anticipated future labor requirements, bv cities 

(table) -^ 4484 

Effect of labor turn-over on new workers re- 
quired 4474 

Employment totals analyzed (with table).-- 4470-4471- 

Labor turn-over rates per 100 on pay roll (chart) _ 4476 
Monthly labor turn-over rates, private ship- 

^ yards 4474 

New worker requirements, by months (table and 

chart) 4474. 4475 

Total employment estimates, by area (with 

table) ' - 4477 



Employment — Continued. 

Defense — Continued. Page 
Total employment on United States vessel con- 
struction (chart) 4472 

Unemployment among skilled labor in 4482 

Wages and hours 4494^495 

Discrimination against local workers 4281 


Alcoholic beverages industries, by States (table) -1423 

Building materials industries (table) 4421 

Changes in manufacturing industries, by States and 

industry (table) 4424-4433 

Commuting areas, New England 4281, 4497 

Declines in number of wage earners, by industrv 4434 

Dilution of skilled workers in I _'_ 4270.4272 

Employees, nonagricultiu-al, by States (table) 4434-4440 

Employers' attitude toward migrants 4290 

Geographical trends 4430 

Increases, by industry 4433 

Labor supply. New England 42S1 

Manufacturing industries (table) 442 1-4422 

Motor vehicle industries (table) 4423 

Rubber-tire and umer tube industries (table) 4423 

Southern labor pool 4301 

Spreading of work areas, suggested ^ 4300 

Teclmological unemployment 4299-4300 

Interrelation of agricultural and industrial labor proDiei^is. 4264 

Surveys by Bureau of Employment Security 4315 

Unemployment: Percent distribution, by States (map)-__ 4767 
Wages and hours: 

Spread, in New England 4277 

Unemployment compensation pavment increases sug- 
gested! 1 4334.4335 

Employment Service. {See tinder Bureau of Employment 

Fama Security Administration: 

Defense housing project at Radford, Va 4410 

Defense land purchases, displacement and relocation prob- 
lems... __ 4264,4735-4755 

Federal Housing Administration: Construction surveys 4319 

Federal Security Agency: Surveys of health and medical-care 

needs in defense areas summarized 4340-4373 

Federal Works Agency: Authority to select housing construc- 
tion agency 4410 

Florida: Migrant problems in State sumimarized 4619 

Fonda Mesa. {See under San Diego, Calif.) 

Fore River Shipyard: Private housing program in 4412-4413 

Fort Belvoir, Alexandria. Va.: Survey of health and medical- 
care needs in defense area 4341-4342 

Fort Benning, Columbus. Ga.: Survey of health and medical- 
care needs in defense area . 4347-4348 

60396—41 2 


Fort Bragg, Fayettesville, N. C: Page 

Commuting of workers at 4322 

Construction on 4260, 4263 

Digest of defense developments on 4364-4365 

Survey of health and medical-care needs in defense area., 4349 

Fort Eustis, Va. {See under Newport News (Va.) area.) 

Fort Jackson, Columbus, S. C: 

Digest of defense developments on 4368-4370 

Displacement problems 4749-4751 

Fort Lewis area, Wash.: 

Digest of defense developments on 4370-4371 

Survey of health and medical-care needs in defense 

area 4358-4359 

Fort McClellan, Anniston, Ala.: 

Attitude of townspeople toward 4292 

Digest of defense developments on 4367-4368 

Fort Myer, Arlington, Va.: Survey of health and medical-care 

needs in defense area 4342 

Fort Story and naval area, Va.: Survey of health and medical 

care needs in defense area 4344-4345 

Fortress Monroe, Va.: Survey of health and medical care needs 

in defense area - 4346 

Fourth category of relief. (See under Social Security Board; 
see also under Travelers Aid Societies.) 

Grants in aid. {See under Social Security Board.) 

Hampton Roads area, Virginia: 

Digest of defense developments on 4360-4364 

Housing program, projects approved in (table) 4362 

Health {see also under Housmg) : 

Communicable diseases, nonenforcement of laws regu- 
lating 4269 

Conditions in camps, general 4269 

Digest of defense developments in named localities relating 

to .--.-.---. 4362,4365,4367,4368-4370 

Federal responsibility in defense areas 4279 

Garbage and trash collection and disposal, estimated costs 

by Army Corps Area 4378 

Hazards for construction workers in Army camp areas 4279 

Hazards in overcrowding 4259,4261, 4284 

Mosquito control, estimated costs by Army Corps Area__ 4378 

Problems created by migratory movements 4325, 4326 

Public water supply, requirements by Army Corps Area_ _ 4377 

Rodent control, estimated costs by Army Corps Area 4378 

Sanitary privies, requirements by Army Corps Area 4378 

Sewage disposal, requirements by Army Corps Area 4378 

Surveys of health and medical care needs in defense 

areas 4340-4360 

Venereal disease in South 4280 

Wells, requirements by Army Corps Areas 4378 



Housing {see also under Division of Defense Housing Coordina- 
tion ; see also under Surveys — Health and medical care needs 
in defense areas) : 

Allocations in Muscle Shoals area 44 13 

Allocations of dwelling units, totals 4313 

Concentrations of dwelling units 4314 

Construction contracts, totals 4313 

Contractors' responsibility for workers 4317-4318 

Determination of construction agency in _ _ 4410 

Digest of defense developments in named localities 4361 , 

4364, 4367, 4369, 4370, 4372 

Dwelling units completed, totals 4313 

East Hartford (Conn.) trailer camps 4274 

Estimated total requirements 4416 

Expansion of school facilities required by (table) 4380 

Hampton Roads area housing program (table) 4362 

New construction in District of Columbia area_ _ 4566, 4567 

Problem of utilities for demountable houses 4275 

Requirements anticipated through labor surveys 4316 

Requirements by Armv Corps Area (tabulations) 4377- 


Requirements in Pennsylvania defense areas 4608-4610 

Temporary shelter, provision of 4314 

Families of enlisted personnel, no provision for in program _ 4318 

Federal Housing Administration construction surveys 43 19 

Home and room registration 4319 

Market analyses by Federal agencies 44 14 

Overcrowding in Charlesto"\vn, Ind i 4284-4286 

Overcrowding in District of Columbia 4554-4564, 4572 

Private building in San Diego 4315 

Program in Europe, 1918-34 4412 

Program in Holland, 1911-34 4411,4417,4418 

Rehousing problem occasioned by Government land 

purchases 4267 

Rent control, to be applied only as last resort 4417 

Rent rises, Alexandria, La 4269 

Rent rises in District of Columbia 4555, 4558, 4564 

Rent rises, general T 4261 

Slum clearance legislation 4418 

Slums in District of Columbia 441 1 

Social aspects of rehousing 4411, 4412 

Washington Housing Association, composition of board. _ 4561 

Idaho : Migrant problems in State summarized 470 1 

Illinois: Migrant problems in Will County summarized 4647 

Indiana: Migrant problems in State summarized 4644-4645, 4648 

Indianapolis, Ind. : Commimity problems surveyed 4257 

Indus tiy: 


Floor space requirements, principal factories (table). 4454 

Labor turn-over as factor in migration 4490, 4492, 4493 

Manufacturers' estimates of future labor require- 
ments 4443-4446, 4455 


Industry — Contmued. 

Aircraft — Contmued. ^age 

Principal firms producing military engines, with 

amounts of orders (table) --_ 4453 

Principal firms producing military planes, with 

amounts of orders (table) 4452 

United States Government advances for expansion 

(table) 4451 

Coal mining: Lack of labor variations in 4732-4733 

Defense centers: "Boom towns" pictured 4259 

Defense contracts: 

Concentration of activities by 4324 

Labor distribution under . 4223 

Defense plant expansion, distribution of amounts involved 

in (table) 4449 


Capital advancement for, by United States Govern- 
ment (with table) 4470 

Construction contracts, totals 4464-4465 

Construction on United States Government vessels, 

by type and value of contract (table) 4467-4469 

Migration of skilled labor in (with table) 4483-4484 

Types of vessels included in construction program 

(with table) 4465-4466 

Sugar-beet industry: 

Mexican migrant workers, interstate transportation 

for 4698-4699, 4773-4822 

Specimens of agreement between grower and field 

worker 4784-4786,4797-4799 

Specimen of settlement account between grower and 

worker 4801 

Specimens of agreement between grower and employ- 
ment agency____ 4806-4812 

Kansas: Migrant problems in State summarized 4691-4694 

Kentucky: Migrant problems in State summarized 4627-4631 

Labor. {See under Employment.) 

Labor, Department of. {See under Child Welfare.) 

Labor Surveys by location 4320-4321 

Langley Field, Va. {See under Newport News area.) 
Lanham Act. {See under Federal Works Agency ; see also under 


H. R. 3570, construction of physical facilities in defense 

areas 4330 

Lanham bill. Public 849, housing restrictions 4410 

Public 781, housing restrictions for Army and Navy 4410 

S. R. 324, authorizing study of school facilities in defense 

areas, cited — 4379 

Slum clearance under George-Healcy Act and United 

States Housing Authority Act of 1917____ 4418 

Louisiana: Transient problems in State summarized 4662-4672 

Louisville, Ky . : Community problems surveyed 4256 

Louisville and Hnrden County, Ky.: Child welfare interviews, 4500 
Maryland: Migrant problems in State summarized 4611-4612 



Massachusetts: Benefits to State from defense program.. 4599-4600 
M'Chord Field. {See Fort Lewis, Tacoma, Wash.) 

Mechanization: Labor displacement caused by ■ 4310 

Mexican labor. {See under Sugar-beet industry.) 

Michigan: Migrant problems in State summarized 4649-4669 

Migration {See also Recreation): 

Extension of employment radius thi'ough automobile. 4274 

Geographical location of plants 4291 

Inadequate vocational training 4333 

Mobihty of populations 4263, 4274 

Summarization of 4258 

Tendency to seek new frontiers 4289, 4292 

Unscientific recruitment 4323, 4497 

Distribution of migratory load at Jefferson City, Tenn_ 4260, 4268 

Effects on established community " 4275, 4276 

Efforts to meet problem at Portsmouth, N. H 4275 

Estimated totals, migrant defense workers 4415 

Guidance by United States Employment Service recom- 
mended 4485, 4495, 4496 

Health problems in new concentrations 4325 

Increased by reliance on prime contractors 4482 


Points of destination ^ 4255 

Sources in Wichita, Kans . 4486 

Tennessee Valley Authority policies at Jefferson 

City, Tenn 4260, 4268, 4269 

Labor turn-over in aircraft mdustry as factor in 4490, 

4492, 4493, 4495 

Local attitudes toward 4291,4297, 4604 

Public Health Service estimates of movement, totals 4330 

Relation to Army construction projects 4260, 4263, 4267 

School children. {See under Schools.) 

Skilled labor in shipbuilding industry (with table) 4483, 4484 

Skilled labor, need for directed movements of 4324 

Social problems arising out of 4325 

Sources of defense migration 4267, 4604 

Surveys in designated localities 4256, 5258 

To national defense centers — 38 reports. {See under area or 

State designation) 4597-4733 

Transient relief by Travelers Aid Societies 4585-4595 

Types of movement analyzed, construction workers 4322 

Types of movement: 

Industrial to large centers 4322 

Industrial to small centers 4322 

Military 4322 

Tourist as Federal problem 4294, 4295, 4297 

Useless 4323 

Useless, as contributing factor in housing problem 4416 

Migratory life: 

Savings programs of and for persons in 4277 , 

4278, 4286, 4287, 4288 
Social consequences of 4274 



Minnesota: Migrant problems in State summarized 4659-4660 

Missom'i: Migrant problems in State summarized. _ 4647, 4660-4662 

Migratory farm-labor problems summarized 4698-4699 

Out-migrant problem summarized 4700 

Montgomery, Ala.: Community problems surveyed 4256 

Muscle Shoals, Ala . : D ef ense housing allocations 44 13 

Nashville, Tenn. : Community problems surveyed 4257 

National Resources Planning Board: Cooperation with Social 

Security Board 4331 

National Youth Administration: Establishment of 1,000 rural 

workshops 4324 

Nebraska: Migrant problems in State summarized 4694-4697 

Nevada: Migrant problems summarized 4702 

New Hampshire: No migrant problems in State 4599 

New Jersey: Migrant problems in State summarized 4610-4611 

New Mexico: Migrant transients passing through State 

(table) ' 4688-4690 

Newport News area, Virginia: 

Digest of defense developments 4360 

Survey of health and medical care needs in defense area. _ 4346 
New York State: Migrant problems in State summarized- 4603-4606 
North Carolina: 

Labor placements by Employment Service 4613-4616 

Migrant problems in State summarized 4616-4619 

North Dakota: Migrant problems in State summarized 4648 

Occupational concentration of defense program - 4324 

Office of Coordinator of Health, Welfare, and Related Defense 
Activities: Digest of defense developments in named areas 

by 4360-4371 

Office of Education (see also under Bureau of Employment 
Security) : Recommendations and report on school needs in 

defense areas . 4378-4409 

Office of Production Management: Suggestion for assistance in 

post-emergency planning 4336 

Ohio: Migrant problems in State summarized 4631-4644, 4649 

Oregon: Migrant problems in State summarized 4709-4724 


Migrant workers in defense centers 4568-F-4568-P 

Housmg conditions in District of Columbia area 


Pennsylvania: Migrant problems in State summarized 4606-4610 

Population : 

Increases under defense program at Charlestown, Ind 4330 

Mobility of, m United States 4294, 4295, 4306 

Present and expected increase in defense areas (tables) 4373-4376 
Portland, Maine: Migrant problems in State summarized, 4597-4598 

Portland , Oreg. : Community problems surveyed 4256 

Post-emergency planning: 

Muscle Shoals, Ala _. _ 4273 

Radford, Va 4273 

Federal aid required for 4276 


Post-emergency planning — Continued. Page 

Housing replanning 44 12 

Industrial problems, general 4270, 4271 

Need for coordination of Federal activities in 4335-4337 

Need for increase of opportunities for employment 4307 

Relief for nonsettled persons 4330 

Resettlement problems in 4309 

Public-works program suggested 4282 

Urgency of need for 4283 

Providence, R. I.: Community problems surveyed 4258 

Public Health. (See under Health; see also under Community 

services in defense areas.) 
Public Health Service: 

Defense migration totals as estimated by 4330 

Methodology in surveys and reports by 4371-4373 

Population and expected increase in defense areas, tabula- 
tions by - 4373-4376 

Surveys of health and medical-care needs in defense 

areas __. _ _ 4340-4360 

Public services (see also under Community facilitiesin defense areas): 

Federal responsibility in defense areas 4299 

Pulaski County, Mo.: Communitv problems surveyed 4256 

Radford, Va.: 

Defense housing project at 4410, 4414 

Relocation problems 4739-4740 

Recreation (see also under Community facilities in defense 
areas) : 

Digest of defense developments in named localities 4363, 

Problems arising from defense migration into District of 

Columbia area 4581-4585 


Fourth category of. (See under Social Security Board; 
see also under Travelers Aid Societies.) 

Magnet for migration 4339, 4340 

Report and recommendations on school needs in defense areas 

by United States Office of Education 4378-4409 

Rhode Island: Defense-program requirements in State 4600-4603 

Riclunond, Va. : Community problems surveyed 4258 

Rock Island Arsenal, 111.: Survey of health and medical care 

needs in defense area 4352-4353 

Sacramento, Calif.: Community problems surveyed 4257 

San Antonio, Tex.: 

Community problems surveyed 4257 

Survey of health and medical care needs in defense area__ 4356- 

San Diego, Calif.: 

Child welfare interviews 450 1-4503 

Defense labor needs 4488 

Dwelling units constructed, totals 4315 

Fonda Mesa project 4316 

Housmg problems 44 15 

Labor surveys 4315 

Survev of health and medical care needs in defense area__ 4359- 




San Francisco, Calif.: Labor requirements in area 4494 

Schools (see also under Vocational training) : 
In defense areas: 

Congressional appropriation for 4304 

Estimated additional families, pupils, and teachers by- 
State and area (tables) 4383-4387,4388-4389 

Estimated capital outlay and current expense require- 
ments per child of school age (table) 4381 

Estimated capital outlay and current expense require- 
ments, totals 4381 

Estimates of funds needed for plants, transportation, 
and salaries: 

Off Federal reservations (tables). 4396-4402,4406-4409 
On Federal reservations (tables). 4390-4395, 4403-4405 
Financial problems: 

Legal restrictions on capital outlays 4327 

Legal restrictions on increases for current expenses. 4327, 


Inability of communities to provide facilities 4382 

Obligation of Federal Government to assume re- 
sponsibility for 4382 

Overcrowding 4262, 4285 

Report and recommendations on needs by Office of 

Education 4378-4409 

Study of facilities at or near navy yards 4327 

Summaries of anticipated school populations (table) _ 4380 

Intrasemester turn-overs in District of Columbia area 4525 

Migration of school children into District of Columbia, 

report of Superintendent of Schools 4507-4543 

Seattle-Tacoma area, Washington: 

Child-welfare interviews 4503 

Community problems surveyed 4258 

Defense laljor needs summarized 4503 

Settlement laws: 

Lack of uniformity in 4309 

Recommendations for abolishment of 4592 

Social Security Board (see also Bureau of Employment Secur- 

Recommendations of: 

Fourth category of relief, establishment of 4330-4332 

Variable grants for general rehef 4332-4333, 4337-4338 

Surveys (see Work Projects Administration): 

Community problems in designated localities 4256-4258 

Employment in San Diego, Calif., area 4315 

Federal Housing Administration construction surveys 4319 

Health and medical care needs in defense areas 4340-4371 

Housing market surveys 44 14 

Labor, by locahties : _ _ . 4320-4321 

Vacancies in District of Columbia by Work Projects Ad- 
ministration 4552, 4553, 4560 

Taxes: Gross income tax for relief purposes recommended 4333 

Tennessee: Migrant problems in State summarized 4623-4627 


Tennessee Valley Authority: Page 

Assumption of responsibility for public health on projects 

of- - - - 4280 

Housing in Muscle Shoals area 44 13 

Migration poUcies of 4260, 4268-4269 

Texas: Migrant problems in State summarized 4673-4686 

Topeka, Kans. : Community problems surveyed 4257 

Travelers Aid Societies: Transient relief for defense migrants 

supplied by 4585-4595 

Tuberculosis: Percentages and mortality rates in District of 

Columbia 4576-4577 

Unemployment compensation: Value of increased pay- 
ments 4308,4309 

Utah: Migrant problems in State summarized 470 1-4702 

United States Government: 

Bankhead-Jones tenant-purchase program, effect of land 

purchases 4264 

Bureau of Employment Security. _ _ 4273, 4296, 4308, 4315, 4324 

Bureau of Labor Statistics 444 1-4447, 4450-4482 

Children's Bureau 4498-4505 

Civilian Conservation Corps 4324 

Department of Labor 4498-4505 

Dislocation of landowners under defense-land purchases. _ 4266 

Division of Defense Housing Coordination 4311- 


Farm Security Administration 4264-4410, 4735-4755 

Federal Housing Administration 4319 

Federal Security Agency 4340-4373 

Federal Works Agency ^ 4410 

Office of Coordinator of Health, Welfare, and Related 

Defense Activities 4360-4371 

Office of Education 4378-4409 

Office of Production Management 4336 

Public Health Service 4330, 4340-4360, 4371-4376 

Rehef , provision by, discussed 4337, 4338, 4339 

Responsibility in defense expansion '_ ' 4299 

Social Security Board 4330-4333, 4337-4338 

Tennessee^ Valley Authority 4260, 4268-4269, 4280, 44 1 3 

Work Projects Administration; 4757-4770 

Virginia: Migrant problems in State summarized ~_4612-4613 

Venereal disease: District of Columbia ratios 4576 

Vocational training: 

Advertising by training schools, examples 4679-4684 

Advocated as part of public education system 4333-4334 

Integration of courses 4324, 4604 

Hartford (Conn.) night schools ' 4272 

Helena (Mont.) high school airplane courses _. 4290 

Needed to supply defense labor requirements 4447 

San Diego (Calif.) training program 4488 

Seattle-Tacoma program 4487 

Training school "rackets" 4272 

Wichita (Kans.) refresher courses 4485-4486 



Wages and hours. {See under Employment; see also under 
Industry, Aircraft.) 

Washington wState: Migrant problems summarized 4724-4729 

Welfare^ public: Federal responsibility for, under defense 

program 4280 

Wichita, Kans.: 

Anticipated defense labor needs summarized 4485-4486, 4496 

Survey of health and medical care needs in defense area-- 4353- 

Work Projects Administration: 

Report on depressed areas in defense program 4757-4759 

Report on employment variations 4759-4770 

Wyoming: Migrant problems summarized 4700-4701 










H.Res. 63, 491,and629 







NOVEMBER 29, DECEMBER 2, 3, 1940 

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








JUN 10 ib^, 

/H*. ^-/o 


JOHN H. TOLAN, California, Chairman 



Dr. Robert K. Lamb, Chief Investigator 
ViKGiNiA Elliott, Acting Seeretary 

Richard S. Blaisdbll, Editor 
Harold D. Cur,LBN, Associate Editor 

^ lif^ 


Washington Hearings, November 29, December 2, 3, 1940 


Alter, Ben K., operator and repairman on mine macliinery ; address, 520 

Bear Valley Avenue, Shamokin, Pa 3437 

Bondv, Robert E , Director, Public Welfare Board, District of Columbia ; 

address, Washington, D. C 3109,3117 

Casaday, L. W., labor economist, Maritime Labor Board ; address, Wash- 
ington, D. C 3400 

Dodd, Maj. Charles H., divisional commander, the Salvation Army ; ad- 
dress, Washington, D. C 3154 

Evans, Rudolph M., Administrator, Agricultural Adjustment Administra- 
tion, Department of Agriculture ; address, Washington, D. C 3229, 3235 

Fleming, Col. Philip B., Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, Depart- 
ment of Labor; address, Washington, D. C 3368,3370 

Haller, Mabel, assistant clerlv of Conmiittee on the District of Columbia, 

House of Representatives ; address, Washington, D. C 3089 

Hetzel, Ralph, Jr., director of the unemployment division. Congress of 

Industrial Organizations; address, Wasliinnton, D. C 3409,3414,3427 

Houston, Charles H., associate counsel, Narioual Association for the Ad- 
vancement of Colored People ; address, 615 F Street NW., Washington, 
D. C - 3154 

Jones, Alice Elizabeth, executive secretary, Washington Travelers' Aid 

Society; address, Washington, D. C 3154 

Lapp, Mrs. Roy, wife of migrant electrician from IVIaryland ; address, 
Rhode.sdale, Md 3221 

Lewis, Macon, 18-year-old former farm worker ; address, Sullivan Annex, 

Wilson, N. C 3432 

Linden, David G., assistant director for nonresident service. Public Assist- 
ance Department, District of Columbia ; address, Washington, D. C_ 3109, 3130 

Linzel, Mrs. Frank A., chairman, family welfare division, Council of 

Social Agencies; address, Washington, D. C 3154 

Lynch, Hurcles Ronnell, former farmer from Tennessee; address, Cheri- 

ton, Va 3187 

McKenney, Clarence, lather from Virginia ; address, 518 Thirteenth Street 

NE., Washington, D. C 3150 

O'Connor, Mrs. John J., chairman, transient committee, Council of Social 

Agencies ; address, Shoreham Hotel, Washington, D. C 3154 

Packard, Walter E., private consultant ;. address, Berkeley, Calif 3267,3303 

Perkins, Hon. Frances, Secretarv of Labor; address, Washington, D. C 3329, 

3338, 3359 

Randolph, Hon. Jennings, Member of Congress from West Virginia, 
chairman, Committee on the District of Columbia, House of Representa- 
tives; address, Washington, D. C 3089 

Richard, Dwight, former salesman and laborer, from Texas ; address, 

Washington, D. C 3101 

Robinson, Edward, tailor, resident in Washington, formerly from Swan- 
sea, S. C. ; address, 222 K Street NW., Washington, D. C 3146 

Ruhland, Dr. George C, Health Officer, District of Columbia ; address, 

Washington. D. C 3109, 3120, 3125 

Ryan, Philip E., director, inquiry and information service, American Red 

Cross; address, Washington, D. C 3092 

StaufEer, William H., commissioner, Virginia Department of Public Wel- 
fare, representing Hon. James H. Price, Governor of Virginia ; address, 
Richmond, Va 3132, 3135 




Taylor, Dr. Paul S., professor of economics, University of California ; ad- 
dress, Berkeley, Calif 3245. 3253, 3257 

Thomas, Mike B., and wife Ruby, migrant construction laborer, from Vir- 
ginia ; address, Washington, D. C 3444 

ToUey, H. R., Chief, Bureau of Agricultural Economics, Department of 

Agriculture ; address, Washington, D. C 3194, 32 J3, 3213 

Tomlinson, Percy Buxton, former textile worker; address, care Veterans' 

Home, Ninth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue SE., Washington D. C 3442 

Watson, Edgar, former fisherman and truck farmer; address, Salisbury, 

Md 3226 

Watson, Elmer, former fisherman and truck farmer ; address, Salisbury, 

Md 3226 

Wyatt, John (with wife and children), former truck driver and meat 

cutter; address, Baltimore, Md 3105 

Young, J. Russell, Commissioner, District of Columbia 3085, 30S6 




Statement for the District of Columbia gov- 

Statement on public welfare in the District of 

Proposed amendment to the Social Security 

Health prollem among migrants in the Dis- 
trict of Columbia. 

Migrants in Virginia 

Migration in Maryland 

The problem of migration in Pennsylvania by 
Raymond T. Bowman. 

Letter and statement from West Virginia 
Department of Public Assistance. 

Transiency as it affects Negroes in the Dis- 
trict of Columbia. 

Statement of Council of Social Agencies of 
the District of Columbia and Vicinity. 

Statement of the transient committee of the 
Council of Social Agencies of the District 
of Columbia. 

Statement of Washington Travelers' Aid 

Statement of the Salvation Army 

Potential migration as a problem of Ameri- 
can agriculture. 

Costs of developing new agricultural lands in 
the Mississippi Delta and Pacific North- 

Agricultural Adjustment Administration pro- 
gram and migration. 

Letter and table from Agricultural Adjust- 
ment Administration. 

Forces that jeopardize the security of farm 

Letter and clipping from Farm Management, 

Can migrants be placed to advantage on 
lands to be served by the Central Valley 

Can the low-income and destitute farm popu- 
lation improve their status through coop- 

Letter and enclosures from Dr. Walter E. 

Letter and clippings from J. Lacey Reynolds 

Letter from John Lipscomb 

Letter from Hugh B. Helm 


New Jersey child-labor laws 

The Fair Labor Standards Act in relation to 
interstate migration. 

Proposed Federal legislation in relation to 
interstate migration. 

J. Russell Young 

Robert E. Bondy 

Robert E. Bondy 

Dr. George C. Ruhland. . 

William H. Stauffer. 
J. Milton Patterson. 

Charles H. Houston 

Mrs. Frank Linzel 

Mrs. John Jay O'Connor. 

Alice Elizabeth Jones 

Charles H. Dodd. 
H. R. ToUey 

H. R. Tolley 

Rudolph M. Evans. 

Paul S. Taylor. 

Walter E. Packard. 
Walter E. Packard 

Hon. Frances Perkins 

Hon. Frances Perkins 

Philip B. Fleming 

Philip B. Fleming. 






















Labor in the fisheries 

Statement of Philip Murray, president of 
the Congress of Industrial Organizations. 

Excerpts from report of former president of 
the Congress of Industrial Organizations, 
John L. Lewis. 

Economic effects of minimum wages in agri- 

Recommendations of the Interstate Confer- 
ence on Migratory Labor, Baltimore, Md. 

Report of committee on migratory labor of 
Seventh National Conference on Labor 

Recommendations of Interstate Conference 
on Migratory Labor, Atlanta, Ga. 

L. W. Casaday-. 
Ralph Hetzel 

Ralph Hetzel 

Robert K. Lamb 







House of Representatr^s, 
Select Committee to Investigate 
The Interstate Migration of Destitute Citizens, 

Washington^ D. O. 
The committee met at 10 a. m., in the caucus room, Old House 
Office Building, Hon. John H. Tolan (chairman) presiding. 

Present: Representatives John H. Tolan (chairman), John J. 
Sparkman, and Carl T. Curtis. 

Also present : Robert K. Lamb, chief investigator ; Henry H. Col- 
lins, Jr., coordinator of hearings; Creekmore Fath and John W. 
Abbott, field investigators; Ariel V. E. Dunn, and Alice M. Tuohy, 
assistant field investigators; Irene M. Hageman, hearings secretary; 
Richard S. Blaisdell, editor; Harold D. Cullen, associate editor. 
The Chairman. The committee will please come to order. 
Commissioner Young, we will be glad to hear you as the first wit- 
ness this morning. 

For the purpose of the record, will you please give me your name, 
your official position, and state in what capacity you appear before 
the committee today. 


Mr. Young. Mr. Chairman, I appear before you this morning as 
a member of the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia. 
I have filed a statement with you, of which I will give you a brief 

(The matter referred to is as follows:) 


Washington, D. C, is unique among the cities of the Nation because it is the 
Nation's Capital. Being the seat of the Federal Government, many of the citi- 
zens of the Nation from the several States not only come as visitors but also 
come in search of employment, to secure benefits due them under Federal 
legislation, and to utilize the various facilities that it offers. The life of 
Washington has a national character. Much of its ground area and public 
services is devoted to the Federal Government. Its biggest industry is em- 
ployment in the Federal service. 

The public welfare and health facilities of the Government of the District 
of Columbia, therefore, are inevitably drawn upon to a considerable extent for 



service to nonresidents coming to Washington because it is tlie Nation's Capital. 
The statements filed with this committee by the Director of Public Welfare and 
the Health Officer of the District of Columbia give more detailed, supporting 
information on this point. 

In the early thirties, particularly during 1932 to 1935, the heavy influx of 
nonresident persons into the District of Columbia brought problems of public 
care and service in which the Federal Government recognized a large respon- 
sibility. The Transient Bureau was financed from Federal funds. Other serv- 
ices calling for return of nonresident persons to their home States were cared 
for from Federal sources. Following 1935 Federal assistance for the nonresi- 
dent problem was discontinued. The extent of the problem did diminish follow- 
ing 1935 but it continues to represent a heavy drain upon the community's 

The Government of the District of Columbia can readily give service and 
organize the necessary public welfare and health care of nonresidents while 
they :'re in the District of Columbia, but the cost of rendering that service 
and giving that care, in view of much of it being due to the existence of Wash- 
ington as the Nation's Capital, can very properly be viewed as a joint respon- 
sibility of the Federal Government with the Government of the District of 

It would seem entirely sound, therefore, that some form of Federal aid for the 
public welfare and health service to nonresident persons should be extended 
to the District of Columbia. Such Federal aid could vei'y properly follow the 
precedent of matching of Federal with State and local funds as in the highway 
and social-security program. Under such an arrangement the Government of 
the District of Columbia would administer the necessary .services for care of 
nonresidents with the financing jointly shared by the District of Columbia 
and the Federal Government. 


I think you will find in investigating or studying this problem 
of migration in Washington that there is a peculiar situation here, 
entirely different from that in any other section of the country, due 
largely to its geographical location and the fact that Washington 
is unique because of its position as the National Capital. As the 
result of that fact, a great many people come here thinking there 
are a lot of jobs available. Most of them are misguided into believ- 
ing that there are a lot of jobs waiting for them here. Many of 
them come here thinking they will get a chance to make some money 
on their way north or south, where they get employment due to the 
seasonal changes in occupations. 

We, of course, are doing everything we can to help them. We 
have an organization here. We can take care of a certain number, 
but, as you know, it is a question of money. 

Take the situation, for instance, in the fall of 1933, when there 
was a great influx of people. We established what was called a 
transient bnreau. I think that was entirely financed by Federal 
money. That took care of the problem for several years, to a great 
extent, until about 1935 when the situation was eased, but it was 
not entirely eliminated. 

We have had a problem ever since. 

I think you will find out from Mr. Bondy, our welfare director, 
and from Dr. Ruhland, the District health officer, who will appear 
before you later and give you the details, that to a great extent, 
this problem is due to the peculiar relationship between the District 
and Federal Governments. 


We have the facilities for giving aid and for health service, but inas- 
much as this problem, to such a large extent, is attributable to this being 
the capital city, I think you will find, in your conclusions, that the Fed- 
eral Government has a large responsibility in connection with this mat- 
ter; and I think if it were put on the basis of a 50-50 proposition so far 
as financial help is concerned, it will go far toward the solution of the 
problem with which we are faced. 

It seems to me the Federal Government has such a responsibility. 
For instance, they might go along the line of matching our money, as 
they do in the case of highways, and also in connection with social secu- 
rity. Mr. Bondy, the Director of the Public Welfare Board of the Dis- 
trict, and Dr. Ruhland, have all the details in connection with that, and 
they will be glad to go into those matters. I can just touch upon them. 

I can tell you, however, on the basis of some figures from the police, 
just what sort of police records the transients have had. 

I think during the last 6 months or 12 months about 70 percent of the 
vagrants arrested here are what the police refer to as transients. 

A great many of the transients arrested had criminal records. I think 
that, out of the total number, 37 were wanted in other cities for murder.t 
Of course, that is a small percentage compared with the total number of 

I think also the police records show that a large percentage of them 
hang around missions and charity places, trying to get help at night, 
and a good many of them do nothing but loaf around the city. 

That about summarizes the statement I have given to you, Mr. 
Chairman, and the details will be furnished by Mr. Bondy and Dr. 

The Chairman. Commissioner Young, this committee started with 
its hearings in New York City, and continued them in Alabama, in 
Chicago, in Oklahoma, and in California. So far, the record discloses 
that no part of the country is entirely free of the migration problem. 

But the record also discloses, as to those people, particularly as to 
those who leave farms and go to other places, that there comes a time 
when they cannot make a living because of the wom-out soil and other 
things. American citizens will not starve standing still, so they move— 
4,000,000 of them moved last year. 

We went into the police end of the matter, to which you have referred, 
and we would like to have you put into the record any figures you have 
in connection with that. 

Mr. Young. Those figures I have do not necessarily cover that, be- 
cause that takes in a lot of people whom you might not call transients. 
They might not be classed in that group that you are working on now. 
There is, of course, the transient who needs help. 

The Chairman. What this committee is deeply interested in is figures 
mdicatmg the approximate number of migrants or transients here, so 
we can get the facts. You have proposed one solution that we have in 
the record many times. 

One of the great problems in connection with this whole matter is 
that of the settlement laws of the United States, with the time neces- 
sary to qualify for settlement running from 6 months up to 5 years. 


You might be interested to know that the census report is being held 
up because hundreds of thousands of such citizens have lost their 
settlement in one State, and have not been able to establish a new set- 
tlement, so they do not know to what States to allocate them. 

Mr. Young. That would apply to this police record also. Tliey may 
have been here for years, but do not claim Washington as their place 
of residence. 

The Chaii MAN, One of your solutions is — of course, the committee 
has made no recommendations yet — that the principle of grants-in- 
aid to States be applied to the District of Columbia. 

Mr. Young. I say if you study the situation here, it seems to me it 
is very obvious that the Federal Government has a large responsibility, 
because there is no question in my mind, and I think there will not 
be in yours, that a large percentage of these people are drawn here 
merely because this is the Capital of the United States, and they are 
looking to the Federal Government for some benefits. There may be 
a veteran, for instance, coming to the Veterans' Administration, and 
then some of them hear of civil-service positions that are open. That 
draws people here. Some of them think that a lot of shipbuilding is 
being done here, and they come here and become stranded. 

Mr. Curtis. Mr. Young, do you have any figures or any tabulation 
by which you could tell us from where most of your nonresident relief 
families come? 

Mr. Young. Mr. Bondy has that information in his detailed figures. 
He can give you the statistics on that. 

Mr. Sparkman. Mr. Young, I would like to ask you one question. 
I was interested in your suggestion in reference to grants-in-aid, such 
as those given to various States, to take care of this problem. 
But I believe you said it might be done in the same manner as is done 
with reference to social security. Would you base that upon an exact 
matching by the States, or would you base it upon need ? 

Mr. Young. I would say it should be based upon the need. That is 
a detail that probably Mr. Bondy's figures will bring out. I would not 
want to go on record as saying definitely just how that should be based, 
but I would be tempted to say it should be based on need, as the aid 
for highways is based on need. 

Mr. Sparkman. Of course, the Social Security Board has recently 
recommended that the allotment be according to need, rather than 
offhand matching. 

Mr. Young. Offhand, I would say it should be based on need. 

The Chairman. We thank you very much for your statement, Mr. 

Mr. Young. I thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. At this point the Chair takes pleasure in intro- 
ducing the chairman of the Committee on the District of Columbia 
of the House of Representatives, Hon. Jennings Randolph. We will 
be very glad to have a statement from you at this time, Mr. Randolph, 
in reference to the matter which this committee has under consid- 



Mr. Randolph. Mr. Qiairman, I deeply appreciate the opportunity 
of cominor before your committee this morning. 

When I received your invitation in a letter under date of Novem- 
ber 18, I realized that my schedule called for me to be out of the city 
today. But I did return from West Virginia to Washington this 
morning so that I might show by my presence here that we appreciate 
the problems which confront the District of Columbia and nearby 
States in relation to the migration of destitute citizens and others 
who come here to the National Capital, asking for help. 

If I might, I should like to say that I really was surprised at the 
scope of your investigation. 

This problem is so far-reaching and so important that I feel this 
committee should be complimented upon the thoroughness with which 
you have gone into the problem which confronts you. 

I hope that in the next few days when you will make a recom- 
mendation, and of course a report to the House, that recommendation 
will be accepted and adopted. 

This niorning I wanted to say that, as you know, the Committee 
on the District of Columbia of the House is a legislative committee, 
and, due to our peculiar set-up in the District of Columbia, not a 
small number, but a large number of men and women do come to 
the offices of the Committee on the District of Columbia of the House. 

Not desiring, of course, to ask the indulgence of the committee for 
too long a time, I have requested Miss Mabel Haller, the assistant 
clerk to the Committee on the District of Columbia, to come into the 
room this morning so she can verify statements which I want to make, 
and have the record show the correctness of them. 

Miss Haller and other members of my staff are faced with this 
problem to a greater extent than I have realized. I am told that 
there is a daily average of from three to five persons who come to the 
offices of the Committee on the I)istrict of Columbia, seeking help, 
from the standpoint of food or shelter, or any type of work they 
can get to tide them over. 

I think that in some instances those individuals come to us because 
they have been told that we have a Committee on the District of 
Columbia functioning. 

Miss Haller, have those individuals been to other agencies in the 
District before they come to us? 

Miss Haller. As a usual thing, they are people who have come 
into the District and have probably been here for 1 or 2 days, but 
have been unable to obtain any assistance. 

Mr. Randolph. Where have they gone for that assistance ? 
Miss Haller. They go to various private agencies which are unable 
to take care of them, and therf they come to us. 


Mr. Eandolph. These are people usually equipped and able to do 
work only on certain jobs? 

Miss Haller. They are unskilled and untrained for any technical 
work. As a usual thing they are unskilled laborers, or people who 
have lived in small towns, who have finished high school, but have 
had no positions. 

Mr. Randolph. From what States do they come, usually ? 

Miss Haller. From all over the country, because they are brought 
here by the information they have received that the Government has 
positions for both skilled and unskilled laborers, and who think that 
if they can get positions with the Government it will bring them 
higher salaries. 

Mr. Randolph. ISIr. Chairman and members of the committee, if 
there are any questions you desire to ask in reference to this particular 
matter, we will try to answer them. 

I want to express my very deep interest in this subject, and I do 
hope that your hearings will be productive of good, practical results 
which will be translated into any needed legislation which Congress 
might desire. 

The Chairman. I want to say that as this problem has begun to 
unfold, we who are particularly concerned with it have been startled 
at the implications involved. 

Mayor LaGuardia, of New York, was the first witness before our 
committee, and he said 5,000 people were deported from New York 
State last year, and that State expended $3,000,000 a year for the 
care of nonresident citizens. 

There are statutes in some States making it a misdemeanor for a 
citizen to cross State lines. South Dakota makes it a felony to trans- 
port an indigent citizen into the State. 

I make this suggestion to you, that in considering this matter wo 
will have our record before us, and it will be open for at least the 
next 10 days. When you revise your remarks, I will be glad if you 
will extend your discussion of the matter to include the situation in 
West Virginia. We will be glad to give you that permission. 

Mr. Randolph. I thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I will be glad to 
show you the situation as we see it. 

Mr. Curtis. In reference to those people who come to the offices 
of your committee, about whom you have told us, are they families 
or for the most part individuals? 

Miss Haller. For the most part they are individuals. 

Mr. Curtis. Mr. Randolph, knowing that the problem exists, do 
you feel that it is a problem, the answer to which lies at the points 
from which those people come, or is the remedy to be applied by 
Congress as to the manner of caring for them and getting them to 
their destination ? 

Mr. Randolph. I feel that there is a real responsibility on the 
authorities back home. I have felt that for quite some time. 

I realize, of course, that it is not easy always for the local com- 
munity or any political subdivision at the place of origin to take 
care of that situation. So many of them are just roving about 
that it is hard to keep your hands on them. 


Mr. Curtis. Of course, in the District of Columbia it does pre- 
sent a problem different from that of the States and it is entirely 
possible that some remedy may be applied here, while it is not nec- 
essary that the same procedure shall be applied throughout the 
various States. Is not that true? 

Mr. Randolph. I am sure that tjiat is largely correct. 

The Chairman. I want to call attention to this fact, that the 
causes of this migration of destitute citizens include the drying opt 
of the soil, unemployment, and other causes. So there probably will 
not be any single answer to the question. 

One possible solution, as the record will disclose, is to keep them 
at home. But there comes a time when they cannot stay at home. 
They may have a farm which has dried out. They will not starve 
standing still, and they are going to move. 

We had a hearing in Lincoln, Nebr., in the State in which the 
district of the gentleman from Nebraska, Mr. Curtis, is located. 
The record discloses that one-half of the people in his district had 
to leave. 

Do you know that in the Great Plains States they lost 1,000,000 
people last year? You had in the Great Plains States, where the 
soil was productive, at one time 5,000,000 acres, but 25 percent of 
the topsoil was gone. 

The Farm Security Administration has taken care of about 500,000 
people in the stricken States, but there are about 1,000,000 more to 
be taken care of. So, finally, they proposed a solution to keep 
them at home. 

Mr. Randolph. May I proceed for another moment, following 
that observation? In West Virginia we have had in the last few 
years a tremendous mechanization of coal mines. In my congres- 
sional district, composed of 15 counties, the eastern county within 
55 miles of the District of Columbia, 9 of those counties have been 
bituminous coal-producing counties. They have mechanized all 
those mines. Within the last 2 weeks I have talked with a mine 
operator who had attempted to keep from mechanizing his mine, 
so as not to bring about a condition of unemployment. But he had 
to comj^ete with other mines in that locality. 

Today, with the coal-loading and cutting machines, there are ap- 
proximately 150 miners producing as much coal as 300 were produc- 
ing before mechanization began. That means 150 men thrown out of 
employment, and the problem is acute in that locality. 

Those miners who have been going down into the darkness of the 
mines and digging the coal cannot adjust themselves to other con- 
ditions. They have worked so long at that type of employment that 
it is most difficult for them to get themselves in line with other work, 
and they wait, wait, and wait, looking for work. 

Also, we find that in our steel mills in West Virginia, with the 
improved methods of production, other men are being laid off. And 
I know of an instance of one installation of one mechanized piece of 
equipment in a glass factory which displaced 11 workers. 

I am sure that what has taken place in West Virginia in the coal, 
glass, and steel industries is taking place all over the country. 


It has become a very vexing problem, and I hope and believe this 
committee will make recoimnendations which will help to improve the 

The Chairman, We thank you very much for your statement, Mr. 

Mr. Randolph. I am very (^rateful to you, Mr. Chairman, for 
givin<T me this opportunity to express my views on this important 

The Chairman. I now take pleasure in introducing as the next 
witness Mr. Philip E. Ryan, director, inquiry and information serv- 
ice, American Red Cross, and former executive secretary. Council on 
Interstate Migration. 


Mr. Ryan. I am employed as director of the inquiry and informa- 
tion service of the American Red Cross. I speak this morning, not 
so much as a Red Cross representative, but as one who for a number 
of years has worked with the problems with which you are concerned. 

Mr. Sparkman. I have read your prepared statement with much 
interest, and I wonder if you would like to discuss that further. 

Mr. Ryan. I would like to give you a digest of it. 

I have followed with a great deal of interest the work of this 
committee from its original organization, because for a number of 
years my work has been closely associated with the problems of inter- 
state migration. I think this committee has a real opportunity to 
point the way toward the solution of these problems. 

Now, in reference to the sources from whicli I draw this testimony 
I am giving you, I would like briefly to outline my experiences in this 

My first contact with the problem came in the winter of 1932-33 
as assistant director of the first experimental camp for homeless men 
in New York State. In the following year the Federal transient 
program was organized, and I served in various positions there, both 
in the field and in the central oflice of the transient division of New 
York State. Following the liquidation of the Federal transient camp 
program, I became executive secretary of the National Committee of 
Transient and Homeless, and also of its successor, the National Coun- 
cil on Interstate Migration. 

This experience gave me a national point of view, because the 
Federal organizations throughout the country had representatives in 
the various organizations concerned with interstate migration. 

In the fall of 1938 I was engaged with the New York State Depart- 
ment of Social Welfare in a special study of the New York State 
program for nonsettled persons in that State. 

In September 1939, the Council on Interstate Migration had to 
close its doors, and its work has been carried on by the National 
Travelers' Aid Association. Since that time I have been employed 
by the American Red Cross, but have been allowed to maintain 
my interest and contacts in connection with interstate migration. 


That completes the presentation of my background material. 
But you are concerned this morning with the problems of interstate 
migration as they affect the District of Columbia. You will prob- 
ably hear again of the lack of lacilities for their care and the lack 
of funds for the care of nonresidents, and the problem which they 
present before District officials here. 

I also hope that in your consideration of the problems in the Dis- 
trict of Columbia you do not lose sight of the fact that no State, no 
city, nor the District of Columbia, can solve or meet the problems 
which are presented, alone. The real transient, or migrant, comes 
from one place, sojourns briefly in many places, and eventually lands 
in some place else where he tries to settle down. There are also to be 
considered the technical migrants who, because of settlement or resi- 
dence laws, may not have a local settlement, even though they may 
have been away from their home towns only a short time, or may not 
even have left it at all. These people, too, must be considered 

Just as in the fields of interstate commerce and interstate trans- 
portation, no State can handle the problem alone. It is true that in 
connection with the business of migration you must have the assist- 
ance of a higher governmental agency. 

In order to control the problems of the movement of people and 
the redistribution of population, no locality alone can solve those 
problems, unless it has the cooperation of other cities and States and 
the National Government in a well-rounded, far-reaching program. 
This is really a national problem requiring national attention. 
If the solution is to be found, it requires a coordinated program, in 
which the cities and States have administrative responsibility, as well 
as responsibility for financing. 

So, in the District of Columbia, as everywhere else, you will find 
that the migrants present many different kinds of problems. We are 
just now beginning to realize that the migration of people has an 
effect on nearly every phase of community life. It creates problems 
related to education, health, employment, family life, civil liberties, 
housing, and, of course, relief. 

This should not be a startling discovery. After all, these are the 
things with which people have difficulties, and transients are people. 
In the case of transients, however, the difficulties are multiplied be- 
cause they lack residence status in the community. That is not 
strange; it is not a strange thiiig to realize. These problems of 
education and so forth arise because people are people. You and 
I and every man in this room have problems of education and health, 
and employment, and so forth, and we have them because we are 
people, and not because of any particular geographical location in 
which we may live. And it is about time we begin to treat these 
people who are transients as people, and not just as statistics or some 
other thing to be studied without considering their individual 

My remarks this morning, Mr. Tolan, are directed toward two 
aspects of the problem with which you are concerned. And I want 
to make two recommendations in the light of those aspects. In the 


first place I want to talk briefly about the problems of providing 
relief for transients, and, in the second, to point to the need for some 
continuing responsibility in the Federal Government to direct efforts 
toward the solution of these problems. 

The provision of relief alone, of course, will not solve the problem. 
As you have said here, there is not one technical method that is going 
to solve the problem of relief alone, but such provision will help a 
great deal toward solving the acute problems in the temporary 

Prior to 1933, the responsibility for providing aid to the needy 
rested almost entirely upon the localities. Of course, there was some 
help from the Federal Government, but the depression increased the 
load so tremendously that the Federal Government established the 
Federal Emergency Relief Administration, by which assistance was 
given to the State 'in caring for needy people, and a Federal agency 
was established for transients, the Federal Government assuming the 
entire responsibility. 

After the fall of 1935, that program was continued through an- 
other agency ; since the W. P. A. was established in the hope that 
the Federal' Government would assume responsibility for providing 
jobs to the employable unemployed. 

The Social Security Act provided some relief to the States in 
caring for the resident load of unemployed groups, and caring for 
the aged and blind and dependent children, but the residue that are 
not provided for through the medium of the Social Security Act, and 
for whom there is nothing available, fall entirely on the States with- 
out any Federal aid. This is the group that requires relief, gen- 
eral relief. The States, with their limited funds, are incapable of 
caring adequately for that group of people. 

The Chairman. Could I interrupt you right there? 

Mr. Ryan. Certainly. 

The Chairman. As I understand, what you indicate is that there 
are two approaches to the possible solution of this problem : First 
is what you might call the short term, which means food and clothing 
and shelter ; and, second, the long term, possibly including the reset- 
tlement of these groups. There are really two approaches. 

Mr. Ryan. That is right, Mr. Chairman. I am aiming my re- 
marks at this time toward the short-term solution, and that is 
urgently necessary; and the second recommendation, which I am 
about to describe, works toward the long-time solution of the problem. 

Our States, without enough money to care for their own resident 
groups who need real aid, liave been unable to provide care for the 
nonresidents, that particular group for which the Federal Govern- 
ment had at one time assumed total responsibility, in a program 
that seemed to lead the States to the acceptance of them as needy 

people. . . 1 xi • V. 

Now we are faced with the new situation with regard to this prob- 
lem because people used to say that, just as soon as the factory 
whistles began to blow, the transient problem was going to be solved 
and we would not have transients looking for work any longer. But, 
factory whistles are blowing with the added impetus given through 


the national-defense program, and we still have the transient prob- 
lem, possibly aggravated. 

More people are getting jobs; that is true, but more people are 
on the move in the hope of getting jobs; they leave one place, just 
as you gentlemen have found out, iii the hope of getting a job at 
some other place. 

And, Mr. Chairman, we cannot just talk about 4,000,000 migrants; 
we have got to talk about another group, this group that has been 
sitting, has not been moving, but now in the hope of jobs, is going 
to start moving from place to place, facing such situations as that 
at Jacksonville, where Camp Blanding is being built. The possi- 
bility of finding jobs has resulted in a tremendous number of people 
moving into that small area. 

There is no shelter for them ; there are no sanitary facilities. These 
men go there with their families, and stand in line night and day 
in the hope of getting a job. 

Many of them have been employed, others are there in the hope 
of getting employment, and more are moving about in the hope of 
getting work either there or at some other place in this program. 

It is taxing the resources of the health officials and their facilities, 
public and private, everywhere to meet the problem and furnish aid 
in caring for the hundreds of thousands of people who are mov- 
ing in the hope of getting work. 

That situation is reproduced throughout the country, I believe, 
particularly because of the plan, as I understand it, to build for 
the defense program in small localities where people are located, with 
the result, however, that many of these transients are moving into 
the small communities in the hope of securing employment. Many of 
them were considered just tramps and bums, but now they are re- 
garded as employable labor because they are needed. It is just a 
difference in point of view. Some of them, as I say, are tramps 
and bums. Others are migrants seeking work and are on the move 
under the impetus of this defense program solely in the hope of 
getting jobs. 

This movement of people from one section to another particu- 
larly affects the small communities which are not capable of doing- 
more than taking care of their own residents. Yet many of these 
people are moving into these communities in the hope of getting 
employment — in the hope that they might get on the pay roll— are 
in need of relief. And there is ho question but that the small com- 
munities are unable to furnish this assistance. 

In order to preserve our resources, both natural and human, 
which are so vitally a part of our whole country, it is necessary to 
provide relief for these people who are in need. It is my belief, 
Mr. Chairman, that the best way to provide that relief is by the 
establishment of a division under the Social Security Act of what 
you might call a fourth category. 

Now, that fourth category, for general relief, would establish the 
rules under which these people should be helped, with such assistance 
as they must have. In other words, to provide for the people who 
have been described here, those who are not now cared for under 

260370— 41— pt. 



the three categories of the Social Security Act and for whom \york 
on public projects is not available or suitable. It is the residue 
p'oup that needs help, and it is through the establishment of this 
fourth category to which I have referred that such help can be 
given. I believe that offers the best opportunity to solve the prob- 
lem that arises from the settlement and residence laws, because we 
can make these jjrants to the States, navino- jreneral relief, contin- 
gent upon the States' willingness to care for all needy persons re- 
quiring help in those States, regardless of settlement or residence 

Those are the points I wanted to bring to your attention. Congress- 
man Tolan, in connection with the long-time problem. There are 
many Federal agencies, departments, and commissions which, of 
course, have been interested in this problem and the various aspects 
connected with it. I think, in fact, there are some 25 Federal agen- 
cies that have something to do with it. There have been stud'es 
made by different departments and agencies, and there should be 
some central agency to coordinate these efforts. 

This Tolan committee has again shown the interest of the Fed- 
eral Government in the problem of interstate migration. There 
needs to be within the Federal Government some central agency to 
continue to direct attention to the problem with which you are here 
dealing. There needs to be some central agency to which the States 
and their localities can come in dealing with the multiple problems 
involved in interstate migration. And there needs to be established 
a national policy in dealing with interstate migration. 

For that reason I think that this committee should include in its 
recommendations a proposal that there be established in the Federal 
Government a national commission on interstate migration which 
would have the responsibility of dealing with the things which I 
have just enumerated. 

Let me conclude by giving a brief summary of the two recom- 
mendations : One, that there should be added to the Social Sjcurity 
Act a fourth category for general relief which possibly could be 
best described as one to aid the other three categories, to take care 
of those for whom work is not available or suitable and to provide 
aid to those unable to obtain relief because of the settlement and 
residence requirements of the States. 

And my second recommendation is the establishment of a Govern- 
ment or national commission on interstate migration. 

The Chairman. Mr. Sparkman wants to ask you some questions. 

Mr. Ryan Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. I want to ask you one or two things regarding 
your recommendations. 

Mr. Ryan. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. I was interested in both recommendations that 
you made and a great many points throughout your narration. 

First, let me ask you a question with reference to grants-in-aid to 
States for general relief. As I understand your recommendation 
you would set up a fourth category within the social security law? 

Mr. Ryan. That is right. 


Mr. Sparkman. And would provide for grants-in-aid from the 
Federal Government to the States in order to carry on this general 
relief jDrogram ? 

JNIr. Ryan. That is right 

Mr. Sparkman. Do you think that it is better to set up a separate 
category under the Social Security Act or simply provide for 
transient relief? 

]\Ir. Ryan. I think it is preferable to set up a separate category. 
We have had experience with the entire problem, particularly 
with regard to transient aid, and I believe could handle the work very 
well. The other aspect is this, that if you have to distinguish be- 
tween transients and residents there would be a temptation on the 
part of the States to classify as transient as many people as possible — 
to turn the people into this other category because of the possible 
responsibility of the Federal Government. 

Mr. Sparkman. As a matter of fact, that is what is happening 
now in the reverse, the States have taken care of their residents, to 
the neglect of the transients. 

Mv. Ryan. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. Because they do get Federal aid. 

Mr. Ryan. They do get it. ' 

INIr. Sparkman. I mean they are now taking care of their own 
resident cases? 

Mr. Ryan. Yes. 

Mv. Sparkman. Through the various categories of the Social 
Security Act to the neglect of the transients. 

Mr. Ryan. In the various States the general relief is set up to 
take care of the aged and to take care of the blind, and many of 
them take care of dependent children, and the general relief poor are 
ill cared for because of lack of funds. 

Mr. Sparkjnian. And because a dollar goes twice as far with the 
resident as witli the transient. 

Mr. Ryan. That is particularly true with the aged. 

Mr. Sparkman Yes. How would you provide the aid to the 
States; strictly on the basis of need? 

Mv. Ryan. I am not sure. I can see problems on both sides, and 
I believe that a considerable amount of study has to be given to the 
whole problem in considering the question of whether it ought to be 
on a straight 50-50 basis. I am .afraid I am not in position to give 
yon a flofinite reconnnendation at this time as to the better method. 

Mr. Sparkman. Certainly when the States are required to match 
dolhir tor dudar a great number that need relief most get the relief. 

Mv. Ryan. That may be true. I am afraid I am not in a position 
to make a satisfactory recommendation at this time. 

Mr. Sparkman. I was also very much interested in what you said 
about various defense jobs being created, particularly in small com- 
munities. Now, where are these small communities going to find 
tli(>mselves when the emergency blows over? 

Mr. Ryan. Where are they going to find themselves ? 

Mr. Sparkman. Yes; what is going to be their relief problem 
then ? They will be in hot water, will they not ? 


Mr. Ryan. They find themselves in hot water even before the 
emeroency has blown over. Tliousands of people are comin<; into 
the coninmnities that are without adequate educational facilities, 
without sanitation facilities, and without sufficient food supplies; 
communities with limited facilities with which to meet the require- 
ments of the thousands of people who are thrown upon them. Of 
course their problem will be that much oreater when the emergency 
dies down and these ])eople become jobless. Those who have been 
working on the defense program will find themselves out of em- 

Mr. Sparkinian. With the result there is going to be a greatly in- 
creased migratory ]:)roblem. 
Mr. Ryan. Definitely. 

Mi-. SrAKKMAN. I was also interested in what you said about the 
elimination of settlement and resident laws. One of the solutions 
to that problem, of course, is the removal of the great variation in 
these laws. 

]\[r. Ryan. I see an opportunity to overcome the difficulties in the 
settlement and residence laws by broadening and extending the ad- 
ministration of ]nd)lic welfare. This is the metliod of overcoming 
that particular difficulty. There may be some advantage to the resi- 
dence and settlement laws in some instances, but the suggestion that 
lias been made here this morning does not necessarily limit itself to 
the residence and settlement laws; the real question is: how are you 
going to take care of the relief program, the general relief of every- 
body within the State. 

Mr. Sparkman. Do you think there is a greatly reduced need in 
the relief program as a result of defense activities? 

Mr. Ryan. It is certainly true that more people will get jobs; 
whether those peo]>le will come from W. P. A. or general relief, or 
from peo]ile who have been employed in other industry that is slow- 
ing up, it is hard to tell. There probably would be a decrease in the 
amount of need felt by local residents in the particular place, because 
many of the residents will be given a job first, but there will be a 
great increase in the need among the nonresidents, because that group 
that has started to move is the grou]) that is on the road, and does 
not come within the settlement requirements for getting relief. 

Mr. Spark^sfan. In other words, while you are building up one end 
the other is coming down. 

]Mr. Ryan. While you build u]) one you cut down your general 
relief; you build u}> the transients. 

INIr. Sparkiman. How would this national conunission on interstate 
migrati(m which you reconnnend be appointed? 
Mr. Ryan. Probably by Presidential ai)])ointment. 
Mr. Sparktsfan. In other words, you would set up another Govern- 
ment connnissicm or agency for handling that one problem? 

I^Ir. Ryan. For continuing to direct the attention of the country — 
to serve somethiiiii- like the Tolan committee is doing — to coordinate 
the work of tlie Federal Government and work out remedies for the 
various as])ects of interstate migration as you have seen the whole 
problem of interstate migration presented. There are many Federal 


agencies dealing with tlie problem in its various aspects, but there 
needs to be this continuing central organization which can carry on 
the work. 

Mr. Sparkman. That is all I wish to ask you. 

Mr. Curtis. I want to inquire into one of the suggestions which 
you made. As I understood it, you said the Federal Government 
should, among other things, control the movement of people through 
the States. You mean that there should be restriction or prohibi- 
tion against the movement of people because they are destitute or 
because they are penniless, and that they would have to get permis- 
sion to go from one end of the country to the other? 

Mr. Kyan. Absolutely not; there have been already too many re- 
strictions on the rights of people under the Government to move from 
one State to another. You have heard testimony in regard to depor- 
tation cases, and so on, which I believe can be attacked as being 
entirely unconstitutional. My reference to control is directed almost 
entirely to the kind of thing contemplated by the unemployment 
service, to the furnishing of information to people going from one 
place to another looking for jobs, to overcome the waste in the mis- 
directed movement of people in the hope of finding employment some- 
where. For instance, 5,000 people may be wanted and 50,000 people 
may apply. That cannot be restricted by rigid Government control, 
but direction can be given to people in the form of suggestions and 

Mr. Curtis. The next thing 1 was going to ask you about is this : 
You have had a wide experience and have made a valuable statement 
to the committee. Have you found, in your experience, that there 
is a lack of accurate information available for these people who start 
out to find work at some place? 

Mr. Ryan. I think that practically every study that has been made 
on the subject of labor shows a lack of available information about 
what possible opportunities there are in the place for which mi- 
grants are headed. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you think private employment agencies that oper- 
ate on an interstate basis are a good thing? 

Mr. Eyan. I have not had close experience with private employ- 
ment agencies operating on an interstate basis. I have read and 
talked with representatives, and talked with people who are some- 
what familiar with the system of tlie so-called row boss and the 
padrone, who nnport labor for agriculture work— primarily across 
State Imes— and the experience of those with whom I talked is such 
that they condemn the padrone or row-boss system. 

Mr. Curtis. I wish that, for the record, you would be a little bit 
more explicit as to what this new commission would do, because this 
committee could not say, merely, that a new commission should be 
set up and that would solve the problem. 

Mr. Ryan. I hope you will not just say that. 

Mr. Curtis. That is where many others have failed. 

Mr. Ryan. I believe that I could present to you at a later time a 
prepared statement containing the special duties and responsibilities 


of such a commission if the committee would like to have it. I will 
be glad to do that. 

Mr. Curtis. As I understand its major function would be a sort 
of clearing bourse of information on the problem, 

Mr. Ryan. That is correct. 

Mr. Curtis. That will be changing from time to time? 

Mr. Ryan. Yes; I am sure that is true, and it has been changing. 

Mr. Curtis. And this problem will be in the reverse when the 
defense work is over. 

Now, you understand there are standing committees in both the 
House and the Senate on Interstate Commerce, with adequate per- 
sonnel, without enlarging the Federal Government, that deal with the 
problem, make special studies and deliver their information to the 
entire Congress. In that connection a clearing house of information 
focusing attention on this subject, such as standing committees on 
migration in the two Houses of Congress would probably meet the 

Mr. Ryan, Members of such committees would be subject to change 
at 2-year intervals. 

Mr. Curtis. Possibly. 

Mr, Ryan, Possibly change, I have not considered the possibility 
of a standing committee in Congress as a possible agency, but I be- 
lieve there are other duties and responsibilities that this commission 
would have that possibly should not be assumed by a congressional 
committee, or at least standing congressional committees, I have not 
given enough thought to the setup of a congressional committee to 
say just what they are. 

Mr. Curtis. This commission, if it were appointed, would deal 
with the short-time remedy as well as the long-time problem. 

Mr. Ryan. It would depend upon the aid to be given, if short -time 
aid, but certainly it would have to direct attention to that ; but the 
result is the same, to work toward a solution of the whole problem 
through some central agency, 

Mr, Curtis. I am very much interested in your recommendation; 
we have had a lot of suggestions but this is the first time we have had 
a recommendation for the creation of a new commission. 

Mr. Ryan. There may be peo})le who say there are too many com- 
missions, but if there is a job that needs to be done and it can be 
done by a commission, that is no reason for not appointing another 

Mr. Curtis. That is all. 

The Chairman. Really there has not been any problem as im- 
portant as the migratory problem that has been so badly neglected. 
Do you feel that way, Mr. Ryan? 

Mr. Ryan. Well, I am not sufficiently experienced with other prob- 
lems to know how badly they have been neglected. 

The Chairman. Our records disclose, Mr. Ryan, that there have 
been instances of private employment where people would come up 
to a State line after they had met with unemployment problems in 
other States. 

Mr. Ryan. Yes. 


The Chairman. Of course, we have had jurisdiction where they 
cross State lines, but one of the bad situations we have had presented 
to us is the way they were treated; the hxck of information, too much 
misinformation. They start out to some phice from some point where 
they do not have employment, and they start out with their families. 
Perhaps they have farmed all their lives, and they get information 
which leads them to believe they can find employment elsewhere, and 
they are now found living in poverty, without any means of support. 

The point I am trying to make is this : That it does not help the 
national morale, it does not help our national security to have such 
a condition. To my mind it presents a serious Federal question to 
have this migratory group of people constantly increasing in these 
overnight camps, let they were given the best information then 
available to them. I am of the opinion that something of this kind 
might be helpful. 

Mr. Ryax. I think that some extension of the Farm Security Ad- 
ministration would help a great deal. Certainly it does not con- 
tribute to the general morale of the jDeople to permit them to continue 
to live under conditions such as you have seen in these migratory 
camps, and especially since men of military age would certainly be 
brought into the National Army in the event of an emergency. 

The Chairman. Mr. Ryan, within the next few days if you will 
present for the record, especially in answer to Congressman Curtis' 
question with reference to special duties of this commission, we will 
be glad to have you do so. And I want to say that I think you have 
made one of the most intelligent and helpfid statements that have 
been presented to us. 

Mr. Ryan, Thank you very much. 


The Chairman. State your full name for the record. 

Mr. Richards. Dwight Richards. 

Mr. Curtis. How old are you ? 

Mr. Richards. Fifty-six. 

Mr. Curtis. Are you married? 

Mr. Richards. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. Is you wife living ? 

Mr. Richards. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. She is living with you here in Washington? 

Mr. Richards. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you have any children ? 

Mr. Richards. No. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you have any employment at this time? 

Mr. Richards, Yes. 

Mr Curtis. What kind of work ? 

Mr. Richards. Work Projects Administration. 

Mr. Curtis. In the District of Columbia ? 

Mr. Richards. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis, How long have you been on W. P, A. work here? 


Mr. Richards. Well, this last time I think I have been on rio-ht 
about 3 weeks; I am not just sure the first day. I have not been paid 


Mr. Curtis. When did you first receive W. P. A. work in Wash- 
ington ? 

Mr. Richards. In 1935. 

Mr. Curtis. What particular type of w^ork have they assigned to 

Mr. Richards. Labor. 

Mr. Curtis. Ordinary labor. You are in good health? 

Mr. Richards. Yes ; I guess I am. 

Mr. Curtis. Reasonably so ? 

Mr. Richards. Yes ; according to my age. 

Mr. Curtis. How long have you lived in Washington ? 

Mr. Richards. I have been here 5 years; since 1935. 

Mr. Curtis. Where were vou living prior to 1935 ? 

Mr. Richards. I was in Texas. 

Mr. Curtis. In what place in Texas? 

Mr. Richards. In Houston and Galveston. 

Mr. Curtis. How long did you live in Texas? 

Mr. Richards. I was there about 4 or 5 years. 

Mr. Curtis. What work, if any, did you have in Texas? 

Mr. Richards. Well, I was working as a bar-candy salesman; sell- 
ing candy and stuff like that, and when I went to Galveston I helped 
on a banana boat. 

Mr. Curtis. Doing what ? 

Mr. Richards. Unloading banana boats, and stuff like that. 

Mr. Curtis. Mr. Richards, are you a native of Texas? 

Mr. Richards. No; a native of Ohio. 

Mr. Curtis. You went directly from Ohio to Texas ? 

Mr. Richards. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. You left Ohio, then, about in 1931; did you? 

Mr. Richards. Yes; I left around that time in the summer. 

Mr. Curtis. Up until your going to Texas, had you spent most 
of your time in Ohio? 

Mr. Richards. Yes ; most of my time. 

Mr. Curtis. You were bom there? 

Mr. Richards. In Columbus, Ohio. 

Mr. Curtis. How much of an education have you had? 

Mr. Richards. I went through common school. 

Mr. Curtis. Since 1935 have you stayed right here in Washington ? 

Mr. Richards. No; I left last May and went back home. 

Mr. Curtis. You went back to Ohio? 

Mr. Richards. Yes. 

Mr Curtis. What was your reason for going back ? 

Mr. Richards. That is my home and I thought I would find some 
employment there. I went to make my home there. 

Mr.* Curtis. Was there any particular industry that you had in 
mind that you thought might open up when you w^ent back? 

Mr. Richards. I thought that an air])lane factory was going to 
open up there and that I would get a job. 


Mr. Curtis. Did the factory open up ? 

Mr. Richards. It had not when I left. They were talkinc; about 
buildino- one. 

Mr. Curtis. Were you able to find any other work ? 

Mr. Richards No; I did not find very much of anythini? to do. 

Mr. Curtis. Wliat month of the year did you go back to Ohio? 

Mr. Richards. May. 

Mr. Curtis. How iong did you stay there? 

Mr. Richards, I was there 5 months. 

Mr. Curtis. Durino- that time did you get as much work as a 
a total of a week or — about how much work did you ^et ? 

Mr. Richards. I was sellinjr house utilities from house to house. 

Mr. Curtis. Was that very successful? 

Mr. Richards. No; not very. 

Mr. Curtis. Did it become necessary for you to apply for relief 
while you were in Columbus ? 

Mr. Richards. I did toward the last ; yes. 

Mr. Curtis. Did they provide you with any? 

Mr. Richards. They did until they established my residence. 

Mr. Curtis. What did they tell you about your residence? 

Mr. Richards. They sent back here and they found that I had 
been here all of that time, and they said my residence was in the 
District. They wired here and I was authorized to be sent back, 
so they sent me back here. 

Mr. Curtis. Who paid your transportation expenses back ? 

Mr. Richards. I do not know whether it was the relief or the 
Travelers' Aid, but I got my tickets through the Travelers' Aid. 

Mr. Curtis. Did that money come from the Travelers' Aid of Ohio 
or here in Washington ? 

Mr. Richards. I could not say where it came from — I do not know. 
I got my tickets in the Travelers' Aid office, in the Columbus depot. 
I do not know where the money came from. 

Mr. Curtis. The real point was that they told you you were no 
longer a resident of the State of Ohio ; that was the reason they gave 

Mr. Richards. They did not say that. They claimed that my 
working residence was in Washington, D. C. ; my voting residence 
was in Columbus. 

Mr. Curtis. They conceded that you still had a voting residence 
in Columbus? 

Mr. Richards. I registered while I was there, yes. 

Mr. Curtis. You said that you were in Texas 4 years. Had you 
gone to Texas with the intention of making your home there, and did 
you consider it your home during those 4 years ? 

Mr. Richards. No; I did not figure that way. I just went down 

Mr. Curtis. Did you vote at any time in Texas ? 

Mr. Richards. No ; I did not vote this time, either. 

Mr. Curtis. But you were able to register. 

Mr. Richards. I do not know whether I was allowed to vote or 
not. I did not go into it very deep, because I had to come back here. 


Mr. Curtis. You have always considered, and you spoke of your 
home, as Cohimbus, Ohio ? 

Mr. Richards. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. Were you able to find work when you came back here 
to Washington? 

Mr. Richards. As soon as they could place me on the W. P. A.; 
yes, sir. 

Mr. CuiiTis. How much were you able to earn on that ? 

Mr. Richards. My wages were $52.80, I think. 

Mr. Curtis. A month ? 

Mr. Richards. A month. 

Mr. Curtis. Did you come directly from Texas to Washington? 

Mr. Richards. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. Did you stop at any place along the way and attempt 
to find work ? 

Mr. Richards. No; I did not, only just maybe a w^eek at a time. 

Mr. Curtis. When you left Texas, was Washington your destina- 
tion ? 

Mr. Richards. Well, I did not know just where. 

Mr. Curtis. You just started out to try to find some work. 

Mr. Richards. Yes; and I was cominix this way. 

Mr. Curtis. You were in West Virginia a while, were you not? 

Mr. Richards. No; I was not; only just come through there and 
stopped 1 night. 

Mr. Curtis. Where was it suggested, or where did they tell you 
that you might find work in the city of Washington ? 

Mr. Richards. I was talking to some fellows when I came through 

Mr, Curtis. Wliat kind of work did they say might be available? 

Mr. Richards. They did not say much of any kind, just to come 

Mr. Curtis. They thought it was a pretty fair place to get a job, 
was that the idea? 

Mr. Richards. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. How did you and Mrs. Richards travel from Texas to 

Mr. Richards. Hitchhiked. 

Mr. Curtis. How did you travel when you went back to Ohio last 

Mr. Richards. Went back on the bus. 

Mr. Curtis. You paid your own way? 

Mr. Richards. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. Is Mrs Richards in good health ? 

Mr. Richards. No, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. You would still like to get a job in private industry, 
would you not ? 

Mr. Richards. I would rather have a job in private industry; yes. 

Mr. Curtis. You would rather have that in your home in Colum- 
bus, Ohio, tlian any place else, would you not? 

Mr. Richards. I would, at the age I am right now ; yes. 


Mr. Curtis. But under the present circumstances, you could not 
go back there and wait it out, and try to find a job, could you? 

Mr. Richards. Well, not with the questions they ask you. They 
would not let me go to work. They claim I am not a resident there 
any more. 

Mr. Curtis. Did they bar you from employment as well as from 

Mr. Richards. I guess so. 

Mr. Curtis. What I mean is, were you turned down for any job 
because they said you did not belong there ? 

Mr. Richards. How is that? 

Mr. Curtis. Were you turned down when you applied for any job 
because you were not a resident of Ohio ? 

Mr. Richards. No ; I was not turned down exactly on that. I was 
turned down on account of my age a couple of times. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you feel that the fear that men have, if they go 
away from home and try to find work, causes them to stay on 
W. P. A. and on relief, once they are on it? 

Mr. Richards. Yes. When you once get off, it takes a little time 
and trouble to get on again. 

Mr. Curtis. Most of the people would rather have jobs, would 
they not ? 

Mr. Richards. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. But it is true that the fear that if they let go, they 
will not get back on prevents them from getting out? 

Mr. Richards. It might take them quite a while to get back on. 

Mr. Curtis. How long a wait did you have before you got back 
on after you returned from Ohio this year? 

Mr. Richards. About 2 weeks. But in my case, though, I guess 
they kind of pushed it. 

Mr. Curtis. Mr. Richards, your story illustrates certain aspects of 
the problem we are studying, and we thank you for your testimony. 

That is all I have, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Thank vou very much, Mr. Richards. 

We will call Mr. John Wyatt. 


Mr. Sparkman. Mr. Wyatt, have you given your name and address 
to the reporter? 

Mr. Wyatt. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. You are now living in Baltimore ? 

Mr. Wyatt. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. How old are you, Mr. Wyatt? 

Mr. Wyatt. Forty-one. 

Mr. Sparkman. Where were you born? 

Mr. Wyatt. Chester, Pa. 

Mr. Sparkman. Mrs. Wyatt, where were you born? 

Mrs. Wyatt. Bridgeville, Del. 

Mr. Sparkman. How many children do you have ? 


Mrs. Wyatt. Six. 

Mr. Sparkman. How old is the oldest? 

Mr. Wyatt. l\Yelve ; he will be thirteen next month. 

Mr. Sparkman. How old is the youngest? 

Mr. Wyatt. Four months old. 

Mr. Sparkman. You are living in Baltimore now, you say? 

Mr. Wyatt. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. What are you doing over there ? 

Mr. Wyatt. We have a house there, and I get a couple of days' 
work a week, and manage to keep things going, until I get a steady 

Mr. Sparkman. How long have you been there? 

Mr. Wyatt. Two months. 

Mr. Sparkman. Where did you come from? 

Mr. Wyatt. From Chester, Pa. 

Mr. Sparkman. You came from Chester to Baltimore? 

Mv. Wyatt. No. We went from Chester and worked the fairs 
through New York State, selling jewelry and engraving the names 
and initials on the jewelry. 

Mr. Sparkman. You have done that work at county fairs, and such 
as that? 

Mr. Wyatt. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. How did you happen to come to Baltimore ? 

Mr. Wyatt. Well, it was a large city and there are quite a few 
markets down there, and I thought if I came down there I would be 
able to work those markets in the winter months and keep going 
until a steady job turned up. I did work for a few weeks, and then 
I have been getting week ends with Wagner Bros. Markets, cutting 

Mr. Sparkman. Have you been able to make a living since being 
there ? 

Mr. Wyatt. No; we have not been able to make a living, but we 
have been able to keep something to eat on the table, 

Mr. Sparkman. How long have you been following this type of 
work, following fairs and engaging in the type of work you have 
been describing? 

Mr. Wyatt. We have been going out during the summer months, 
once in a while; not that we really had to, but this last summer we 
really had to, because we had nothing else to do and no place to go. 
They levied on our furniture and we had to get out. 

Mr. What tvpe of work did vou do back in Chester? 

Mr. Wyatt. Truck driving and meat cutting. 

Mr. Sparkman. Truck driving? 

Mr. Wyatt. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. How did you happen to lose that work? 

Mr. Wyatt. The company went out of business. 

Mr. Sparkman. Wliat kind of a company was it? 

Mr. Wyatt. Gasoline transport. 

Mr. Sparkman. What did you do before that? 


Mr. Wtatt. Well, worked aroiiiKl, meat cutting, with other com- 
panies up there ; other truck companies up there. I worked for them. 
They got mostly colored help up there, prefer them to the white. 
Mr. Sparkman. You are not a skilled mechanic of any type? 
Mr. Wyatt. Only as far as meat cutting and truck driving are 
concerned. That is what I follow mostly. 

Mr. Sparkman. Chester is quite a manufacturing center, is it not? 
Mr. Wyatt. Yes. They manufacture about everything that there 
is; mostly gasoline refineries, oil refineries. 

JNIr. Sparkman. Why were you not able to find work with some 
other company there? 

Mr. Wyatt. I have put applications in with about every company 
up there, and they tell me there is nothing right now, and if some- 
thing turns up they will send for me. I do know that they have 
hired people from Delaware and Maryland and New Jersey in 
preference to people around Chester. 

Mr. Sparkman. You mean the manufacturing plants there prefer 
out-of-Siate labor to local labor? 
:Mr. Wyatt. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. Have you ever registered with the employment 

:Mr. Wyatt. I registered the other day with the employment office 
in Baltimore. I was also registered with them up in Pennsylvania. 
Mr. Sparkman. In Chester? 
Mr. Wyatt. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. Have they not been able to find anything for you? 
Mr. Wyatt. They sent me one application, to apply to a store for 
a meat-cutting job, and when I got there he said, 'T sent down there 
2 weeks ago for a man." 

Mr. Sparkman. That was in Baltimore? 

Mr. Wyatt. That was in Chester. But it was only the other day 
that I registered up in Baltimore. I do not know — they have not 
had time to get things through for them to send for me. 
Mr. Sparkman. You have not heard anything yet? 
Mr. Wyatt. No, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. You plan to stay on in Baltimore? 

Mr. Wyatt. Providing I can get a position where I can take care 

of my family and make my home in Baltimore. Wherever I can 

get a job and support my family,-, that is where I will make my home. 

Mr. Sparkman. If you do not find any work there, do you i^lan to 

go back to Chester? 

Mr. Wyatt. I do not know if I will go back, but I will go some- 
where until I do find something. I can always manage to make a 
few dollars to give us something to eat until I do find something. 

Mr. Sparkman. In other words, you are going to stay on and look 
out for something to do, and go wherever it may take you. 

Mr. Wyatt. Wherever I can find a job to support my family, that 
is where I intend to make my home. 

Mr. Sparkman. Have you ever applied for public or private 
relief ? 


Mr. Wyatt. I did have to up in Chester, but not here, because I 
think I hardly need it. In Chester we did have reHef a couple of 
times, but we have not applied for it here [Baltimore] because we 
have not had need for it yet. 

Mr. Sparkman. Are your children in school ? 

Mr. Wyatt. Yes, sir. One reason why we settled down for the 
winter was to send the children to school. 

Mr. Sparkman. You have never had any trouble about their 
schooling, because you have simply gone out during the summer 
months ? 

Mr. Wyatt. Mostly, though maybe once in a while, about a month 
or so, when we would be late getting them in. But at the end of the 
term they were always up in their marks and passed. 

Mr. Sparkman. How much have you been on the road? In how 
many different States have you been or how many different places? 

Mr. Wyatt. Truck driving, I guess I drove in every State east of 
the Mississippi Kiver. 

Mr. Sparkman. I do not mean in connection with your truck 
driving, but I mean looking for jobs. 

]\Ir. Wyatt. Looking for work, I guess I have traveled in about 
8 or 10 different States on the eastern seaboard. 

Mr. Sparkman. Mrs. Wyatt, do you like to travel around? 

Mrs. Wyatt. No; if he had steady work I would be perfectly 

Mr. Sparkman. You would much prefer for him to have steady 

Mrs. Wyatt. Yes, sir. 

Mr, Sparkman. I believe that is all, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Mr. Wyatt, it is simply a question of eating that 
impels you to move around, is that right? You move around to get 
something to do so that you can eat? 

Mr. Wyatt. And keep our bills paid up. In other words, our rent 
and our electricity, and one thing and another. In other words, we 
were not making enough to support the family the way we should 
do, and we drifted back with our rent, and they cut our electricity 
off. We stored our stuff in a garage and started to travel. I had a 
truck. I had a little owing on that, and since coming back to Balti- 
more I have lost it. 

The Chairman. You traveled in a truck, did you? 

Mr. Wyatt. I had a little Chevrolet truck, three-fourths ton. 

The Chairman. Have you still got that? 

Mr. Wyatt. No, sir ; I had to give it up. 

The Chairman. Are you on relief now ? 

Mr. Wyatt. No, sir. 

The Chairman. How much money have you at this time? 

Mr. Wyatt. At the present time I do not have any. Tomorrow 
night I will have. 

The Chairman. How is that ? 

Mr. Wyatt. I do not have any right now, but tomorrow I will 

The Chairman. Where will you get it tomorrow ? 


Mr. Wyatt. I will go and get a job cutting meat in some butcher 
shop for Saturday. 

Ihe Chairman. Will you have your children come up to the table, 
and state their names and ages for the record ? 

(The children came forward.) 

Mr. Wyatt. Their names are: James, 13; Myrtle, 12; Thelma, 9; 
Junior, 7 ; Howard, 5 ; Norman, 4 months. 

The Chairman, How old dicl you say the baby is? 

Mrs. Wyatt. Four months; slie has been in three States. 

The Chairman, How about going to school in the summer months? 

Mr. Wyatt. We generally travel during the vacation months, and 
they go to school in the wintertime. 

The Chaiisman. In your travels, where did you live? 

Mr. Wyatt. We have a big tent. 

The Chairman, How big is the tent? 

Mr, A\ YATT. Twelve feet square. 

The Chairman. And where did you put the tent up, near cities? 

Mr. Wyatt. Generally on the fair grounds. They generally have 
one section of the fair grounds for trailers and tents of the different 
ones working the fairs. 

The Chairman, And the eight of you would live in the tent ? 

]Mr, W^yatt, Yes, 

The Chairman, Thank you very much, Mr, Wyatt, I hope you 
get that job tomorrow. 

Mr. Wyatt. I hope so. 


Mr. Sparkman. Mr. Bondy, do you have any general statement to 
make first, or would you rather that we just ask some questions? 

Mr. BoNDY. Whatever you wish, sir. I have, as you know, sub- 
mitted a statement to the committee, and if you like I can make a 
very brief resume of that statement. 

(The matter referred to follow^:) 


Public Welfare in the District of Columbia 


Prior to the depression period of the 1030's responsibility for service in the 
District of Columbia to nonresidents, homeless persons, and transients was 
shared by the District of Colmnbia government and certain private social 
agencies. The District of Columbia government, under an act of Congress, 
approved in 18D9, conducted a nonresident service which, upon authorization 
of the home state of the nonresident, provided transportation for the return of 
the nonresident to his home jurisdiction. A municipal lodging house was con- 


ducted by the District of Columbia government, and it carried on a service of 
deporration of insane persons to rlieir liome Spates upon autliorization. 

Througli private funds the Salvation Army, the Volunteers of America, the 
Travelers Aid Society, the American Legion and, to some extent, the family 
societies of the community, namely, the Family Welfare Association, the Jevpish 
Welfare Society, and the Catholic Charities, together with the Gospel Mission 
and the Central Union Mission carried on programs in behalf of the non- 
resident. The Salvation Army served single unattached men with lodging and 
other facilities; the Travelers Aid Society, unattached women and families; 
the American Legion and the American Red Cross the needs of veterans and 
their families; and the missions gave lodging facilities. 

During IS 30, 1931. and 1932, funds were made available from the community 
chest for certain of these activities, but the relief burdens of the early depres- 
sion years due to unemployment became so heavy that the District of Columbia 
government and the Federal Government assumed responsibility in 1932 for 
unemployment relief and for care of nonresidents and transients. 

The years 1932, 19' 3, 1934, and 1935 became peak years in the volume of 
persons coming to Washington from other States and requiring care in the 
community. The first Bonus Army in the fall of 1932 brought the first wave. 
The Bonus Army was predominently made up of single men, although there 
were over lOU families with children. Emergency care was given jointly by 
private agencies and Governnent agencies, but predominantly by private agen- 
cies; shanty towns were erected on the Mall with 300 shacks, and at Fort 
Dupont. As much as $90,000 was expended in 2 weeks for transportation to 
the home Srates of the members of the army. Most of the members of the 
army returned home, but some continued in the District of Columbia, thereby 
setting up the first residue for local care. 

A community chest fund of $100,000 administered by the Citizens' Commit- 
tee on Unemployment then came into being and was the start of the local 
relief agency with a local work program. The Federal Emergency Relief Ad- 
ministration early in 1^33 took over this local relief and work program, and 
in November 1933. the Transient Bureau, directed and financed by the Federal 
Government, was organized in the District of Columbia. This Bureau con- 
tinued until September 1935. and during its existence was responsible for the 
housing, and feeding, and other care of nonresidents in 13 different imits, and 
there were camps at Beltsville and Fairfax. Port Eustis was later opened as 
a camp to which 4.500 men were sent. Hospital facilities were available at 
that point. Contract care was arranged for families and individuals in rental 
quarters covering about 30 percent of the total of nonresident persons. 

The liquidation of this Transient Bureau program brought the transfer of 
1.300 nonresidents to the Works Progress Administration project at Greenbelt, 
an additional 400 families with work'ng persons in the families to the same 
project : 200 were absorbed by the Public Assistance Division of the Board 
of Public Welfare, which had become the public relief agency in the District 
of Columbia: and 4 500 veterans were provided transportation under a Fnleral 
Emergency Relief Administration grant of $100,000. the Transient Bureau 
being responsible for certifying veterans and sending them to points of legal 
residerce, including points for hospital care. 

It was upon the liquidation of this Transient Bureau program that the non- 
resident service of the Public Assistance Division of the Board of Public 
Welfare was created under its present form, jilthough there had been a service 
for return of persons to their home States under a law enacted in 1899 as 
previously indicated. 

The largo numbers of people who came to Washington and became responsi- 
bilities of Government during these years, 1932 to 1935, came for a variety of 

There was inadequnte relief and public care provision in many of the States 
and looal communities; Members of Congress and others in the Nation's Capital 
promised positions to per.sons back home ; the Bonus Army and other groups 
came to exert pressure upon Congress and the executive branch of the Gov- 
ernment ; veterans to the extent of probabl.v one-third to one-half of those 
coming to Washington nnd requiring service came to exert pressure in legisla- 
tive and executive matters and to lobby; many veterans came for presentation 
of claims and hospitalization benefits ; others came to seek employment and 


because they felt that at their Nation's Capital some aid in securing employ- 
ment could be obtained. 

With the creation of the nonresident service in the Board of Public Welfare 
with a small annual appropriation of $20,000, the residue of the Federal Emer- 
gency Relief Administration funds established to transport persons to their 
home communities was utilized by the nonresident service for a period of 2 
years in the amount of .$55,000 to return veterans to their home States and to 
Government hospitals. But with the exhaustion of this fund Federal aid was 
discontinued, although a considerable residue of persons and families from the 
1932 to 1935 years remained for care in the District of Columbia and in dimin- 
ished volume the influx of nonresidents continued because of the attraction of 
the Nation's Capital. 


The nonresident problem in the District of Columbia seems to arise prin- 
cipally from the following causes: 

1. The central office of the United States Veterans' Administration is located 
in Washington as is Mount Alto Hospital, one of the important diagnostic centers 
of the Veterans' Administration. Many veterans come on official business to 
secure settlement of claims and to arrange for hospitalization and diagnostic 
care. Veterans' preference on the defense-program employment brings veterans 
to Washington who think that employment is available here. 

2. The present defense program seems to be responsible for some of the non- 
resident influx. The applications for care at the nonresident service of the 
Board of Public Welfare during the summer months of 1940 remained high in 
contrast to the usual drop during the summer, about 60 percent being un- 
classified laborers and 40 percent white-collar and skilled workers. Skilled 
mechanics have come from as far away as the State of Washington thinking 
that announcements made from a Washington date line by the United States 
Civil Service Connnission of the need of skilled mechanics in the defense 
program meant that the employment was available in Washington, D. C. 
Similarly, announcements by the War and Navy Departments and the Advisory 
Commission to the Council of National Defense have brought people to Wash- 
ington although employment existed in industrial and military camp communi- 
ties elsewhere. Many others have become stranded in Washington en route to 
employment prospects in national defense communities. The Government 
building program has attracted others. 

3. Seasonal migrants moving to the South in the fall and winter and to the 
North in the spring become stranded, including persons going to work in the 
fruit industry of Florida and the South, those seeking winter hotel and 
restaurant employment, those following race tracks. Washington's bottleneck 
junction point between North and South results in many of these seasonal 
workers and others moving across country for other employment becoming 
stranded here. Included in this latter group are seamen moving from Gulf 
coast ports to New York and other northeastern coast points in search of 
anticipated employment. 

4. Related to the prt'ccdin.u i»ara;irai)h is the usual movement of persons 
about the country seeking cniplKynicnt, health facilities, and for other reasons 
who become stranded in WashiH,i;t<in because of its junction-point facilities 
between the North and South. 

5. Christmas industries and employment, such" as at the post office and at 
the railroad terminal, bring out-of-town i^eople who arrive broke and at the end 
of their employment are often stranded and need help In returning to their 
own home community. 

6. Others are attracted to Washington, as is true of Baltimore, to secure 
civilian hospitalization. Emergency cases arise, and in instances when hospital 
care has been completed but convalescent care is necessary these persons in 
need of convalescent care become public-welfare charges in the absence of 
adequate convalescent facilities in the District of Columbia. 

7. Many persons are attracted to the Nation's Capital who are mentally and 
emotionally unbalanced. Some come to the White House in search of confer- 
ence with the President. (As many as 50 to 75 cases a year are referred by 
Secret Service officers at the White House for mental institutional care and 

260370— 41— pt. 8- 


ultimately become the responsibility of the Board of Public Welfare for return 
to their home States after authorization has been secured. Meanwhile, the cost 
of care in the local municipal hospital and the St. Elizabeths Hospital is, of 
necessity, borne by the District of Columbia government.) Others call upon 
other branches of the Federal Government with panaceas, and particularly 
that is true during the presence of great unemployment periods and of 
national emergencies. During the 1940 fiscal year, the Board of Public Welfare, 
through its service for deportation of nonresident insane, returned 204 insane 
persons to their home States after authorization. 

The nature of the nonresident problem, therefore, is largely determined by 
these causative factors. The causative factors that are unique for the District 
of Columbia because it is the Nation's Capital, counterbalance causative factors 
creating nonresident problems in other cities of the country. The observation 
of those acquainted with nonresident service in the District of Columbia and 
familiar with similar service in other cities is that there is, relatively, about the 
same volume in proportion to popnlation, but the cause is different, although 
some causes are common to Wasliinnton and other cities. 

The actual extent of the ndui-esidcnt problem in the District of Columbia 
is not known statistically. It is known that 4,1.57 unattached individuals and 
106 families, a total of 4,263 cases, were received for service by the nonresident 
service of the Board of Public Welfare for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1940. 
A statistical summary of the work of the nonresident service for the year 
is attached to this statement. 

The municipal lodging house of the Board of Public Welfare has capacity 
for about 45 men and is generally filled except in the mild sunmier months. 

The nonresident insane service handled the deportation of 204 nonresident 
insane to their home States after authorization during the fiscal year ending 
June 30, 1940, 149 of the number being deported at District of Columbia 
expense. Nine hundred and four patients were admitted to St. Elizabeths 
Hospital from the District of Columbia during the year 1940, a total of 4,454 
District of Columbia patients being under care in the hospital at the close of 
the fiscal year. 

It is estimated by those acquainted with the problem that during the cold 
months of the winter, from 2C0 to 500 homeless, unattached men are without 
suitable lodging facilities and find what comfort they can standing through 
the night over grates in front of buildings, occupying quarters at police precinct 
stations, and otherwise caring for themselves within or without the law. 


The program of the District of Columbia government has been indicated 
in a measure in the previous section on problem, its causes, nature, and extent. 
In the public-welfare field, a program is carried on through the nonresident 
service, the nonresident insane service and the municipal lodging house. All 
of these are agencies of the Board of Public Welfare. 

The nonresident service called in the appropriation act for the District of 
Columbia of 1940 "Transportation of Nonresident and Indigent Persons" is stated 
in that act as providing "for transportation of indigent nonresident persons .to 
their legal residence or to the home of a relative or relatives, including mainte- 
nance pending transportation, and transportation of other indigent persons, 
including indigent veterans of the World War and their families, $20,000, of 
which amount not to exceed $7,100 shall be available for personal services." 

There is no fund available to this service for care of nonresidents, except imat- 
tached men at the Municipal Lodging House, during any extended period of inves- 
tigation for nuthorization for return to their home State, or for care of individ- 
uals or families in the event that no ivsidence is established. The nonresident 
service of the Board of Public Welfare must depond upon the services of certain 
private agencies, including the Travelers Aid Society, the Salvation Army, the 
American Legion, and others for certain care during the period of investigation 
and otherwise. Suffering ensues because of the lack of funds for such care. 
Such suffering cannot be measured statistically. The number of families and 
individuals ntfected cannot be definitely determined, and further, there is no 
known yardstick for human suffering. It may be said safely that hundreds of 
families and individuals are in this category of unmet need. 


The iioiiresideut service has a close scheme of cooperation with the private 
ageucies named, and upon reference by them, considers cases for transportation to 
home States where authorization is given. The principal division of responsibility 
is homeless men by the nonresident service, families and children by the Travelers 
Aid Society, and veterans by the American Legion, with the Salvation Army, 
Volunteers of America, and the missions giving lodging care, and the nonresident 
service, itself, handling the actual transportation on returns. 

The nonresident insane service under the wording of the appropriation was 
established "For deportation of nonresident insane persons, in accordance with the 
act of Congress entitled 'An act to provide for Insanity proceedings in the District 
of Columbia,' approved June 8, 1938, including persons held in the psychopathic 
ward of the Gallinger Municipal Hospital, .$12.(100." 

This service is responsible for deportation of nonresident insane, 204 being: 
deported during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1940. The service is also respon- 
sible for securing the largest possible measure of support by relatives and the 
friends of insane patients in St. Elizabeths Hospital and for giving general over- 
sight to the interests of the District of Columbia under contract arrangement for 
care of District of Columbia patients in St. Elizabeths Hospital. 

The Municipal Lodging House occupies two residence buildings in a blocli owned 
by the District of Columbia and ultimately to be used for the ni'w Public Library. 
The buildings have a capacity of about 4.") men. It operates as an adjunct to the 
nonresident service in the temporary lodging of men who are under consideration 
for return to their home States. 

The fields of the private agencies nave been referred to at various points in this 
statement and will be covered in special memoranda by the agencies themselves. 

The community program, both governmental and private, for tlie care of non- 
resident persons may be said to have the following defects and lacks : 

1. Lack of uniformity in residence laws of the States makes for problems of care 
of persons who have lost residence or who, for other reasons, cannot receive 
suitable care. 

2. There is no provision in the District of Columbia for care of persons either 
by governmental or private ageucies, where there has been loss of residence or 
residence cannot be proved. 

3. While the colored population is proportionately low in the number receiving 
nonresident care by Govei-nment agencies — the number being about one in four — 
there is, at the same time, almost a total lack of suitable lodging or temporary 
family living facilities for colored persons. 

4. Public and private lodging facilities for nonresident unattached men is 
inadequate and fall short during the winter months of providing care for from 
200 to 500 men. 

5. The lack of District of Columbia facilities for care of convalescents and 
chronics leaves no facilities available for these persons when they are non- 
resident here. 

6. There is no fund available in the Government agency for care of nonresi- 
dents during the period of investigation of possible return to the home State 
except the Municipal Lodging House, and no fund for care of those who are 
found to lack residence. 

7. General relief funds in the District of Columbia, because of lack of ade- 
quate appropriation, are not sufficient to care for persons who are employable. 
Further, the limitations in Congressional appropriation on the amount that 
may be given in grant to individuals and to families receiving any category 
of assistance makes relief given inadequate. A basic need in the entire relief 
program, therefore, including the nonresident relief program, is more adequate 
lelief appropriation for general relief and removal of the limitations or ceilings 
in the appropriation. 


The following proposals are made : 

1. Uniform settlement laws for the various States and the District of 

2. Adequate general relief to be accomplished under the Federal Social Se- 
curity Act by making provision for the District of Columbia that the Social 
Security Board match local expenditures with general public assistance in the 



same way that it matches local expenditures for old-age assistance, aid to the 
needy blind, and aid to dependent children. 

(Note. — Appended to this statement is a proposal for general public assistance 
in the District of Columbia providing for the matching of local funds by Federal 
Social Security funds with a suggested draft of amendment to the Federal 
Social Security Act.) 

3. As part of a Federal program, suitable provision of funds for care of 
nonresident persons and families during the period of investigation of residence 
for return to the home State and, in the event that residence is not found to 
exist, a period of care until a plan is developed in each instance. 

4. A Municipal Lodging House with suitable services that would meet a rea- 
sonable part of the need for lodging facilities for homeless men, both white and 

Received subsistence and/or transportation. 
Average amount per recipient 

Nonresident service, fiscal year, July 1, 1939, 

to June SO, 1940 



Number of 















Received service onlv - - -- 






Analysis of action taken 

Number Percent 

Service completed (temporary care pending adjustment) 

Minor aid 

Sent home 

Sent to veterans' facilities 

Authorization refused 

Referred to other agency (including hospital) 

Refused plan 

Money sent by relatives -- 


Service refused. 

Failed to cooperate 

Requested employment or clothing. Civilian Conservation Corps enlistment, etc 

Legal residence within 50 miles of District of Columbia 

Not indigent 

Service not completed .- 

J, 776 



Proposal for Genjir-^l Pubijc Assistance, Dist|rict of Columbia 

Under the Federal Social Security Act, the District of Columbia and the States 
are reimbursed by the Social Security Board for certain expenditures made in 
behalf of the aged, the blind, and dependent children under the provisions of 
the Social Security Act for old-age assistance, aid to the blind, and aid to 
dependent children. 

In addition, the District of Columbia and the States provide in their public- 
assistance program a plan of general public assistance to those needy families 
without sufficient resources to meet their needs who are not covered by these 
three .social-security titles or by work relief under the Work Projects Adminis- 


tratioii or otherwise. In most States the municipalities receive aid from State 
fuuds for this purpose. Such funds are not available in the District of Columbia. 
In the District of Columbia funds for general public assistance are part of the 
District of Columbia annual appropriation by Congress and these funds approxi- 
mate $750,000 of the $900,000 voted in the first of the public-assistance appropria- 
tions for the District of Columbia. This appropriation is not sufficient to meet 
the needs of all those who have insufficient resources to meet their own food, rent, 
clothing, and other expenses. The District of Columbia position may be shown 
by the following points : 

1. According to a study in 1938 by the United States Children's Bureau, the 
District of Columbia expended $1.38 for general public assistance from public 
funds per capita compared to $5.59 for 29 of the larger urban areas of the Nation. 

2. Of the 19 largest cities of the Nation covered in reports of the Social Security 
Board the District of Columbia is the only city, with one exception, that does not 
have sufficient funds to give general relief to employable persons. 

It is proposed in this situation that Congress enact legislation authorizing the 
Federal Social Security Board to reimburse the District of Columbia on an equal 
matching basis for local expenditures for general public assistance, on the same 
basis as is done for old-age assistance, aid to the blind, and aid to dependent 
children. This procedure is justified because — 

1. It is logical that in the Nation's Capital Congress assume this matching 
responsibility for general public assistance as is done with the other social- 
security titles. 

2. In the Nation's Capital no State funds are available to supplement local 
funds for general relief. 

3. The Nation's Capital should not be outstanding among the great cities of the 
ctjuntry where human need is not met. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representaiives of the United States 
of America in Congress assemUed, That this Act may be cited as the " " 

Title I — Amendment to the Social Security Act by the Addition of Title XII 

Title XII — Grants to the Disrict of Columbia for General Public Assistance 

Sec. 1201. For the purpose of enabling the District of Columbia (hereinafter 
referred to as the District) to furnish financial assistance, as far as practicable 
under the conditions in the District, to needy families, as well as to needy indi- 
viduals (who have not been found eligible for assistance under titles I, IV, and X 
of this Act), there is hereby authorized to be appropriated for the fiscal year 

ending June 30, 1941, the sum of $ , and there is hereby authorized to 

be appropriated for each fiscal year thereafter a sum sufficient to carry out the 
purposes of this title. The District is hereby authorized to submit a plan for 
general public assistance to the Social Security Board for its approval in accord- 
ance with the provisions of this title and upon such approval the sums made 
available under this section shall be used for making payments to the District 
as hereinafter provided. 

district plan for general public assistance 

Sec. 1202. (a) The District plan for general public assistance must (1) provide 
for the establishment or designation of a single District agency to administer the 
plan; (2) provide for the granting to any individual, whose claim for general 
public assistance is denied, an opportunity for a fair hearing before the District 
agency; (3) provide such methods of administration (including methods re- 
lating to the establishment and maintenance of personnel standards on a merit 
basis, except that the Board shall exercise no authority with respect to the 
selection, tenure of office, and compensation of any individual employed in ac- 
cordance with such methods) as are found by the Board to be necessary for the 
proper and efficient operation of the plan; (4) provide that the District agency 
will make such reports, in such form and containing such information, as the 
Board may from time to time require, and comply with such provisions as the 
Board may from time to time find necessary to assure the correctness and veri- 


fication of such reports; (5) provide that the District agency shall, iu determin- 
ing need, take into consideration any other income and resources of the family 
or individual claiming general public assistance; and (6) provide safeguards 
which restrict the use or disclosure of information concerning applicants and 
recipients to purposes directly connected with the administration of general 
public assistance. 

(b) The Board shall approve any plan which fulfills the conditions specified in 
subsection (a), except that it shall not approve any plan which imposes, as a 
condition of eligibility for general public assistance under the plan — 

(1) Any residence requirement which excludes any resident of the District 
who has resided therein continuously for one year immediately preceding 
the application ; or 

(2) Any citizenship requirement which excludes any citizen of the United 


Sec. 1203. (a) From the sums appropriated therefor, the Secretary of the Treas- 
ury shall pay to the District, upon approval by the Board of the District plan for 
general public assistance, for each quarter, beginning with the quarter commenc- 
ing July 1, 1940, (1) an amount, which shall be used exclusively as general public 
assistance, equal to one-half of the total of the sums expended during such quarter 
as general public assistance under the DistiMct plan with respect to each needy 
family, as well as with respect to each needy individual who at the time of such 
expenditure is not an inmate of a public institution, except to the extent that such 
need may be provided by employment on Public Works projects, wholly or par- 
tially financed l)y the T'ederal Government, and not counting so much of such 
expenditure for any month as exceed;? $40 with respect to any individual or head 
of a family, and $12 with respect to each additional member of any such needy 
family,'^ and (2) an amount equal to one-half of the total of the sums expended 
during such quarter as found necessary by the Board for the proper and efficient 
administration of the District plan, which amount shall be used for paying the 
costs of administering the District plan or for general public assistance, or both, 
and for no other purpose. 

(b) The method of computing and paying such amounts shall be as follows: 

(1) The Board shall, prior to the beginning of each (luarter, estimate the 
amount to be paid to the District for such quarter under the provisions of 
subsection (a), such estimate to be based on (A) a report filed by the District 
containing its estimate of the total sum to be expended in such quarter in 
accordance with the provisions of such subsection, and stating the amount 
appropriated or made available by the District for such exiienditures in such 
quarter, and if such amount is less than one-half of the total sum of such esti- 
mated expenditures, the source or sources from which the diffei-ence is ex- 
pected to be derived, (B) records showing the number of families and indi- 
viduals in need of general public assistance, (C) such other investigation as 
the Board may find necessary. 

(2) The Board shall then certify to the Secretary of the Treasury the 
iimount so estimated by the Board, (A) reduced or increased, as the case may 
be, by any sum by which it finds that its estimate for any prior quarter was 
greater or less than the amount which should have been paid to the District 
under subsection (a) for such quarter, and (B) reduced by a sum equivalent 
to the pro rata share to which the United States is equitably entitled, as deter- 
mined by the Board, of the net amount recovered during a prior quarter by 
the District with respect to general public assistance furnished under District 
plan ; except that such increases or deductions shall not be made to the extent 
that such sums have been applied to make the :>mount certified for any prior 
quarter greater or less than the amount estimated by the Board for such 
prior quarter: Provided, That any part of the amount recovered from the 
estate of a deceased recipient which is not in excess of the amount expended 
by the District for the funeral expenses of the deceased shall not be considered 
as a basis for reduction under clause (B) of this paragraph. 

^Alternative: $40 in the case of any individual over 18 years of age, and $12 addi- 
tional with respect to any child under 18 years of age. 


(3) The Secretary of the Treasury shall thereupon, through the Division 
of Disbursement of the Treasury Department, and prior to audit or 
settlement by the General Accounting Office, pay to the District, at the 
time or times fixed by the Board, the amount so certified. 


Sec. 1204. In the case of a District plan for general public assistance which 
has been approved by the Board, if the Board, after reasonable notice and 
opportunity for hearing to the District agency administering such plan, finds — 

(1) That the plan has been so changed as to impose any residence or 
citizenship requirement prohibited by section 1202, subdivision (b), or 
that in the administration of the plan any such prohibited requirement 
is imposed, with the knowledge of the District agency, in a substantial 
number of cases ; or 

(2) That in the administration of the plan there is a failure to comply 
substantially with any provision required by section 1202 (a) to be included 
in tlie plan ; 

the Board shall notify the District agency that further payments will not be 
made to tlie District until the Board is satisfied that such prohibited require- 
ment is no longer imposed, and that there is no longer any such failure to 
comply. Until it is so satisfied it shall make no further certification to the 
Secretary of the Treasury with respect to the District. 


Sec. 1205. There is hereby authorized to be appropriated for the fiscal year 

ending June 30, 1941, the sum of $ for all necessary expenses of the 

Board in administering the provisions of this title. 


Sec. 1206. When used in this title the term "general public assistance" means 
money payments to needy families or needy individuals. 

Title II — Amendment to Title XI ^ 

Title II— Amendment to Title XI 

Sec. 1101. (a) When used in this act — 

(1) The term "State" (except when used in section 531 and in titles 
I, IV, and X) includes the District of Columbia, and (except when used 
in section 531) includes Alaska and Hawaii, and when used in title V 
and VI of such Act (including section 531) includes Puerto Rico. 

(2) (No change in remainder of title XI.) 


Mr. Spakkman. I ^yill ask you a few questions, if I may. We have 
your statement. That has been filed, of course, and becomes part of 
the record. These questions I sliall ask are based u])on the statement 
that you have filed with us. 

Are there nonresidents comin<r to Washin<>ton now in as large 
numbers as they did in the early 1930"s ? 

Mr. BoNDY. No, they are not. The years 1932-35 were peak years, 
beginning with the nationally known bonus-army march on Washing- 

- To be inserted only if there is an elimination of the reference to titles I, IV, and X 
in proposed title XII. 


ton, followed, by the coming of a great many people because of de- 
pression situations throughout the country. 

During that period, the Federal Government, through its Transient 
Bureau and otherwise, assumed a rather considerable responsibility for 
financing — the large responsibility of caring of nonresidents in Wash- 
ington during the years 1932-35. 

Today, compared with that time, there is not as heavy an influx, as 
my statement points out, but the last 2 or 3 months have shown some 
significant increase in the number of nonresidents coming to Wash- 
ington compared to last spring or a year ago. 

Mr. Spakkman. Mr. Bondy, when you refer to nonresidents coming 
to Washington, do you mean all nonresidents, not necessarily simply 
those that are destitute ? 

Mr. BoNDY. I am referring to all nonresidents. 


Mr. Sparkman. Are there any causes for their migration to the 
District of Columbia differing from the causes affecting their migration 
to other large cities? 

Mr. BoNDY. Mr. Sparkman, Commissioner Young stated this morn- 
ing that there are some causes that are unique in bringing nonresidents 
to the District, because this is the Nation's Capital. That clearly is 
true. Washington has the central office of the United States Veterans' 
Administration. It has one of the important diagnostic centers of the 
United States Veterans' Administration. Therefore, there are many 
veterans who come to Washington to prosecute claims, to secure benefits 
to which they are entitled, and for hospital care and treatment here. 

Secondly, the national-defense program itself seems to occasion some 
increase in the nonresident population, and is one of the causes for 
nonresident problems here in the National Capital. For instance, the 
Civil Service Commission will issue a public announcement through 
the newspapers that there is great need for skilled mechanics in the 
national-defense industries of the countries. That goe« out through 
the papers of the country over a Washington date line. The jobs are 
not in Washington. There might be a few^ at the navy yard. But the 
jobs may be in Alabama or Nebraska or California. 

Mr. Curtis. Thei-e are no defense jobs in Nebraska. 

Mr. Bondy. Maybe they are in California, then, Mr. Congressman. 

The Chairman. I find them coming away from California to get 
jobs here. 

Mr. BoNDY. We had the instance of one man who read that civil- 
service announcement over a Washington date line, who was a skilled 
mechanic, and who came from the State of Washington to the Nation's 
Capital to secure that job that had been announced. Of course, the 
job was not here. 

Similarly, the War Department, the Navy Department, and the 
National Defense Advisory Commission in their announcements of 
the need for employment give out news releases from the city of 
Washington, and that again creates a mistaken idea that there is 
employment here. That is one of the reasons for the bringing of 
nonresidents to Washington. And the reason growing out of the 
fact that Washington is the National Capital. 


Another reason relating to the unique causes of migration due 
to this city being tlie Nation's Capital, is that a great many people 
over the country have the idea that they have panaceas for the cure of 
some of the ills of the world and of the Nation. They think that 
if they can have an opportunity for an audience with a Member of 
Congress or the President, as soon as they can have their panacea 
presented, the matter will be cared for. Some of those who come here 
with that in mind are emotionally and mentally upset. 

One illustration of that is that on the White House receiving line, 
the Secret Service men will, during the period of a year, find any- 
where from 50 to 75 mentally deranged persons who come seeking to 
present their cures for the ills of the country to the President of 
the United States. Those people inevitably will go through the ma- 
chinery of local District of Columbia care, at the municipal hospital, 
and then on through St. Elizabeths Hospital, and then through our 
service for the deportation of the insane, which must take them back 
to their home States again. 

Meanwhile, all of this process and expense of local care has gone on. 
That is one of the causes growing out of this being Nation's Capital. 

Another thing that brings nonresidents to Washington is true 
of other cities. This is the north-and-south gateway, the point of 
railway transportation and highway transportation, through which 
people and merchandise must go north and south. Well, with the 
movement of seasonal labor in the fruit industry, vegetables, race 
tracks, hotel and restaurant business, people move out of the North 
into the South in the winter months and back in the spring months, 
from the South to the North, coming through Washington as the 
gateway, and inevitably there are a good many stranded here who 
require*^ care and aid in getting to their home communities. 

Then Washington, like other communities, has a certain seasonal 
employment. The holiday time brings a heavy load on the post- 
office terminal stations, and people come from nearby States, who 
get here without funds, and even those on relief and out of employ- 
ment, and require assistance to return home. Many people come 
because of the existence of civilian and public hospital facilities and 
medical care. No doubt Dr. Ruhland will speak more about that 
phase of the question. 

Those are the principal causes why people come, as nonresidents, to 
the Nation's Capital, and I want to emphasize that not only are 
there the usual causes here that Baltimore, or New York, or San 
Francisco would have, but there are several very important causes 
that are unique because Washington is the Nation's Capital. 

We here are on the receiving end, in other words. You talk about 
short- and long-term programs. There is no way in which Wash- 
ington can develop a long-term program. We are on the receiving 
end. If the Nation as a whole does not develop its long-term pro- 
gram, there is nothing we can do here, insofar as these people who 
come to us are concerned; because the number of Washington resi- 
dents in other States who are suggested for proper return to the 
District of Columbia, as residents here, is very small in comparison 
with those who come to Washington from other States and may pos- 
sibly have a better chance for employment back in their home 


Mr. Sparkman. Mr. Linden, you are director of the nonresident 
service ? 

Mr. Linden. That is right. 


Mr. Sparkman. What service do you render nonresidents ? 

Mr. Linden. Of the persons who come to our office our primary 
purpose is to find out what they want to do. Of course the desire is, 
mostly, for employment; I mean that is their primary purpose in 
being here. After we have discussed our plan — what we could offer 
them — why, we do offer them the opportunity of going back home. 
If they are agreeable to that, we make every effort to reastablish 
their resources in their home community. That represents about a 
third or a fourth of our intake of individuals. 

Mr. Sparkman. How do you happen to get in touch with them ; or, 
rather, how do they happen to come to you? How do they come to 
you ? 

Mr. Linden. They are directed to us by ^-arious organizations in 
the District of Columbia — the Police Department and all of the 
municipal organizations. Oftentimes tlieir answers are that they 
have been told by someone else on the street that Ave have this service. 


Mr. Sparkman. Dr. Ruhland, would you please give a copy of 
your prepared statement to the reporter ? 
Dr. Ruhland. I will be glad to. 
(The statement is as follows:) 


Health Problkm Among Migrants 

In 1930 tho population of the District of Columbia was recorded as 486,869 
in the Fifteenth Census, and the preliminary lisiures for tlie 1940 census in- 
dicate an increase to approximately (i(i:i.nil(i pcrsdus. This increase of about 
176,000 was for the most part the result of migration into the District because 
the natural increase (excess of births over deaths) accounted for only 25,000 
of the 176,000 during this period. 

In the 1930 census it was found that 60 percent of the native white and 
colored populations of the District were born in other States. Approximately 
15 percent of the native population (white and colored) in 1930 were born 
in Virginia, 10 percent in Maryland, 4 percent in Pennsylvania, 3 percent in 
North Carolina, 3 percent in New York, and 2S> percent in South ('arolina. 
It is evident from the Census Bureau data that more than half of the popula- 
tion in the District of Columbia is made up of persons who were born in other 
States and have migrated into the District. The rcniaiiulcr of the 60 percent 
were born in various other States. In 1938 the Washington Housing Asso- 
ciation estimated from available statistics that there were 608,494 rooms avail- 
able for occupancy in all types of dwellings in the District. At the same 
time it was estimated that the population was about 627,000, or an increase 
of 141,000 from 1930, which indicated an increase of approximately 47,000 
families. During this period from 1930 to 1937, inclusive, 22,564 dwelling 
units were constructed. On the basis of tlie above figures about 18,(X)0 persons 
lacked adequate rooming facilities and only about one-half of the 47,000 
families had no separate dwelling units in which to live. This naturally 
resulted in increasing the number of persons per room or number of families 
per dwelling unit. This becomes even more evident when the higher-income 
groups and better-housing units are eliminated. 


On one of the attached maps (fig. 1, p. 3122) the density of population in the 
District of Columhia by census tracts is shown. In many of these census 
tracts with high densities of population are to be found some of the worst 
housing conditions in the city. In such areas where many of the families 
on relief are living are to be found dwellings containing whole families in 
one or two rooms. Many such dwellings are rented by single individuals 
to people in the very low income groups and those on relief. Other units 
are parts of estates and some are owned and rented by Government employees. 
It is not uncommon now for many of these dwelling units originally designed 
to house one family to contain three or four families consisting of three or 
more members. That such conditions do exist may be seen in the attached 
memorandum from the Bureau of Nursing on several home investigations of 
certain maternal-welfare eases. This memorandum also shows the presence 
of certain migrant families in the low-income group in the areas of crowding 
and poor housing. 

Various statistical studies carried on by the health department show that 
the mortality rates from tuberculosis, pneumonia, syphilis, and other com- 
numicable diseases are generally higher in the areas where the concentration 
of population is greatest and housing conditions are the poorest. Infant 
and maternal mortality rates show a similar distribution. Admission to the 
social hygiene clinic for the treatment of syphilis and gonorrhea are also 
most numerous in the same areas. Hospital admissions made through the 
hospital permit bureau for the medically indigent are most numerous in the 
.same sections of the city. The attached maps ^ clearly indicate this association 
between crowding and mortality from various causes of death in the District 
of Columbia, a fact which has been proved in numerous studies in other communi- 
ties of this and other countries. 

Definite data are not available to the health department regarding numbers of 
persons or families now residing in the District of Columbia who have migrated 
from other States in recent years, nor is it possible to state why any given number 
has migrated. Many in the low-income group undoubtedly have migrated, in the 
hope of obtaining employment, and still others in the hope of obtaining medical 
care or relief after establishing residence. 

To be eligible for certain types (if medical care, particularly hospitalization, 
supported by tax funds, the applicants for such care must have been residents of 
the District for at least 1 year and be unable to pay. During October 1940 there 
were 1,6( 9 applications for hospitalization at the Hospital Permit Bureau, operated 
by the Health Department. Of these, 122 were rejected because of their financial 
condition, and 77 were admitted as part-pay patients. Seventy applicants who 
had not been residents for 1 year also presented themselves. An analysis of 50 
of these 70 applications was studied and the following information was obtained : 

1. Eiiiploinucnt. — Seventeen had been employed for periods of 1 day to 8 months 
immediately prior to application, 20 were not employed, 7 were classified as house- 
wives, and 5 as children, and for 1 there was no statement. 

2. Former residence. — Ten were formerly residents in Maryland, 9 in Virginia, 
6 in New York, .3 in South Carolina, 4 each in Georgia and North Carolina, 3 in 
Pennsylvania, 2 in Florida, 1 each in Massachusetts, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, and 
Texas, and in 2 instances there was no statement. 

3. Location of re>iidruce in the Di>^trief of Columbia. — All but 4 of the 50 appli- 
cants were living in the heavily congested areas previously mentioned in this 

4. Size of f am ill/. — Including the applicants, the 50 families totaled 176 indi- 
viduals, or an average of 3.5 persons per family. 

i>. Reason for application. — In 8 instances an accident (3 fractures) was given 
as the reason for requesting hospitalization ; in 5 pregnancy or related conditions ; 
in 5 pneumonia ; in 4 tuberculosis or suspected tuberculosis ; in 4 an acute abdomi- 
nal condition; in 4 alcoholism; and 4 were mental cases. The remainder were 
miscellaneous conditions. 

(). Di.<ipositiO)i of the cases. — In 9 cases no form of hospitalization was provided 
by the Permit Bureau, but in some instances the applicant was referred to the 
Health Security Administration. lu the remaining 41 cases the condition of the 
patient was regarded as sufficiently serious to require some form of hospital care. 
Of these, 24 were admitted to Gallinger Municipal Hospital, 7 to Casualty, 4 each 
to Emergency and Children's, and 2 to Freedmen's. 

Other maps are held in committee files ; not printed. 




These data indicate that in spite of ineligibility because of nonresidence it was 
necessary to provide hospitalization for a large proportion of this low-income group 
at the expense of the District of Columbia budget. 

The above group of persons represents one type of migrant for which the Health 
Department has been called upon to provide care. Another srouB is the transient 
type, who usually remain the city for short periods of time. The Health Depart- 
ment has less contact with this group, but on certain occasions when certain com- 
municable diseases appear among transients promptly instituted procedures are 
necessary. In 1929 a small outbreak of smallpox occurred, in which the initial 
cases were traced to transients. In 1935 an epidemic of cerebrospinal meningitis- 
started in a group of these migrants occupying certain rooming houses for such 

In addition to the acute communicable diseases noted in the paragraph 
above, tuberculosis is not infrequent in the transient and other low-income 
groups of migrants. The report on persons applying for hospitalization included 
four with tuberculosis indicating the presence of the disease in this group. A 
study of moi'tality statistics for certain sections of the city has indicated, how- 
ever, that only a small percent of those dying of tuberculosis have lived in the 
District of Colmnbia less than 5 years. It appears more of these migrant 
groups die of tuberculosis because they are crowded into areas where housing 
conditions are poor and contact with the disease is frequent. 

Still another group of migrant is now entering the District of Columbia. The 
development of the defense program has made it necessary to employ largte 
numbers of workers, approximately 15,(X)0 to date, in some departments or 
bureaus. Many of these persons are compelled to seek living quarters in a 
city already crowded. Some seek quarters in rooming houses of which there are 
an inadequate number of the better class. This is a repetition of conditions, 
as yet on a smaller scale, which existed during the World War. Should there 
be an epidemic of influenza or an unusual prevalence of other respiratory dis- 
eases, the danger of spread will be multiplied adequate housing facilities 
for this group of persons are provided. 


1. Data from Census Bureau records indicate that a large proportion of 
persons residing in the District of Columbia have migrated from other States. 
Available data on housing appears to indicate that housing conditions in the 
District are inadequate. Statistical studies made by the Health Department 
indicate that there is a concentration of population in certain sections of the 
city, and in these same areas mortality rates from various causes are higher 
than in other less densely populated sections. 

2. Destitute migrants of interstate origin have a tendency to gravitate toward 
areas inhabited by low-income and indigent groups. These, as we have seen, 
are the most congested areas, the residents of which have the poorest health 
record and the greatest need for medical and public health services in the 
city. These services, which have been shown to be inadequate for the persons 
of established residence, are even more deficient or inaccessible to the newly 
arrived destitute migrant. Attached to this statement are nine maps illustrative 
of health conditions in the District of Columbia, which I should like to file as 
exhibits A to I, inclusive. Attached also is a set of case history records which 
we regard as typical of conditions we find among destitute migrants. Only 
the identifying names and addresses have been changed ; otherwise the condi- 
tions described are those the Health Department nurse reported. 

Abbott Nttbsing Office], 
Wunhington, D. C, November 26, 19>f0. 
To : Mrs. Prescott. 
From : Miss Ferguson. 
Subject : Cases of interstate migrants requested by Dr. Dauer. 

Martin-Roberts-Dell family (Negro) : David and Mary Roberts moved to the 
District of Columbia about 10 months ago from Lynchburg, Va. The family at 
that time consisted of father, mother, and four children. On July 8, 1940, an- 
other baby was born at Freedmen's Hospital, .thus making seven in the family. 
The father does odd jobs — average income, $10 per week. 

Family lives with sister of man and her husband in a basement apartment — 
two bedrooms and a kitchen. 

About 4 months ago Frances Deli, who is a sister of Mary Roberts, and her hus- 
band, Benjamin Dell, also moved in. Soon after coming to Washington FroneesB 
Dell was delivered at Freedmen's Hospital, making three in this family. 


On tlie uurse's last visit to tlie home, the mother of David Roberts and Faimy 
Martin was visiting tlie family. She, also, is from Lynchburg, Va. 

Georgianua Taylor (Negro) : Georgianna Taylor, age 18, came to Washington 
from North Carolina in March 1940. She secured employment as a domestic 
servant in a private home and was so employed until August. 

Since her arrival in Washington Georgianna has shared a two-room basement 
apartment with three friends. Tliere is no privacy since all members of the 
household sleep in the same room, w^hich serves also as a sitting room. 

In August Georgianna ceased work because of pregnancy and has been de- 
pendent on her friends for her support. She has tried unsuccessfully to obtain 
aid from the father of her baby. She plans to appeal to the juvenile court after 
the birth of the baby. 

Georgianna has been attending the Maternal and Child Welfare Center at 
Weightman School. 

Cartwright family (Negro) : The Cartwrights started from South Carolina 7 
years ago: Father, mother, and seven children. Although they insisted they 
vpanted to stay in the District of Columbia, they were sent home by Traveler's Aid 
as they were unable to be self-supporting. Soon they were back again in Wash- 
ington where they have been ever since — most of the time being partially or 
wholly on relief. 

'A, year ago the house where they lived burned up and they lost all their furni- 
ture and clothing. Since that time they have lived in several places, usually in 
one room. 

The family has grown to 12 children, 4 of whom have homes of their own. How- 
ever, 2 of the girls also have infants of less than a year, so now in 1 room live : 
Tlie father, mother, B'anche (age 17) and her newborn infant. Elfrida (15) and 
her 9-month-old boy, 2 boys, ages 13 and 15, 3 girls, ages 5, 7, and 11, and a boy, 3 — 
12 persons in 1 fairly large room with 2 double beds and a davenjiort. Several 
of the younger children sleep on folded coats on top of trunks. 

Evergood family (white) : The Evergood family never stays long in one place, 
but this time they had lived nearly 3 years in New Jersey before coming to the 
District of Columbia. When Mr. Evergood could not find work the Public Assist- 
ance Division would give some help for the family which already consisted of 
Mrs. Evergood (who expected a new baby the next month) and five children rang- 
ing in age from 11 months to 10 years. She had been attending the prenatal 
clinic at the general hospital and had been accepted for hospital delivery, so was 
opposed to starting out at this time. However, Mr. Evergood was manager of 
this household, so all they owned — clothing, a few cooking utensils, and five chil- 
dren — was loaded on the half-broken-down Ford truck (assessed value $10) and 
they started for the District of Columbia. Two weeks later they arrived. No 
food — no money — no place to sleep. Two weeks till delivery of Mrs. Evergood 
and she did not feel very well. 

The Salvation Army Emergency Home gave shelter and food to Mrs. Evergood. 
the two little girls, and baby boy, but house rules kept them from taking the 8 
and 10-year old boys or Mr. Evergood. They slept in the truck at the tourist camp. 
The Public Assistance Division was unable to help as the family were nonresi- 
dents; however, they did give a surplus-food order which was the only food the 
boys and Mr. Evergood had for nearly a week. 

It was impossible to get a permit'for delivery for Mrs. Evergood. but due to 
the emergency she was sent to Gallinger and delivery by order of Dr. Jacobs. 
As the family had no address it is assumed that they loaded up the truck and 
went on after Mrs. Evergood was discharged from the hospital on her eighth day 
post partum. They have never asked for any further help from any agency and 
were never seen after they left Gallinger. 


Dunbar family (Negro) : Katheriue and John Dunbar had been living in 
Stamford, Conn. Katherine was born there and when, late in 1939, John 
secured work there he met and married her. Soon afterward he decided to 
move to Washington. About the time they learned that Katherine would have 
a baby in November 1940, John deserted her. 

She was unable to work due to illness, so a cousin took her in to a two- 
room apartment where she "does the housework" for her room and board. 
These rooms are already overcrowded — they are both small and dark. The 
one bedroom is used by the cousin and her husband. The living-dining room 
contains a studio couch and a davenport. Two '"roomers" sleep on the studio 
couch and Katherine, the expectant mother, sleeps on the stiff, short daven- 
port. She is unable to extend her full length. 

She has attempted to locate her husband with the help of the Woman's 
Bureau, but, outside of rumors of friends who think they have seen him back 
in Connecticut, she has been unable to locate him. 


Mr. Sparkman. Dr. Riihland, I suppose this heavy increase has 
developed some rather serious problems for your Department, too, 
lias it not ? 

Dr. RuHLAND. Inevitably, Mr. Congressman, the influx of masses 
of people here is reflected in the health history of the community. 

Mr. Sparkman. I notice the Census of 1940 gave the city of Wasli- 
ington, the heaviest increase in population, I believe, of any of the 
large cities in the United States. I do not remember what it was, 
but probably around 60 percent increase, was it not ? 

Dr. RuHLAND. Well, there has been a 60 percent increase since the 
last census, since 1930 — between 1930 and 1940. 

Mr. Sparkman. That is what I mean. 

Dr. RuHLAND. There has been an increase of approximately 60 

Mr. Sparkman. Was not that the heaviest of any city in the United 

Dr. RuHLAND. No. As I recall, offhand, those statistics, Washing- 
ton was in third place among cities that experienced a very marked 
expansion in population. 


Mr. Sparkman. It has produced quite a housing problem, among 
other things? 

Dr. Ruhland. Yes. According" to the information that we have 
on the available dwellings, there is a definite shortage to house the 
people that have come here. And that, of course, in turn, means 
that there is a doubling-up in such housing as is available. And 
that means close contact, including the well-known attending evils 
of the spread of communicable diseases. 

Mr. Sparkman. Can you give us any idea as to the extent of over- 
crowding in the area wliere it is worst? 

Dr. Ruhland. Well, from the data we have been able to get on that 
subject, from the Washington Housing Association, they have esti- 
inated that, for the year 1938, there were some 608,000 rooms available 
for occupancy, of all types of dwellings in the District. At the same 
time, it was estimated that the popuUttion was about 627,000, or an 
increase of 141,000 over 1930. which indicated an increase of approxi- 
mately 47.000 families. So. on the basis of those figures, there are 


about 18,000 persons who lacked adequate rooming facilities, and 
about one-half of the 47,000 families had no separate dwelling units in 
which to live. Obviously, this made for overcrowding and the attend- 
ing ill effects. 

Mr. Sparkman, What relationship is there between such overcrowd- 
ing and improper housing, and the health condition ? 

Dr. RuHLAND. Well, we feel it is rather significant that from the 
areas in the District where we have the greatest density of population 
and overcrowding come the largest number of cases of communicable 
diseases and hospital admissions. That, I think, tells the story. 

Mr. Sparkman. I believe that is all, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. Mr. Bondy, what kinds of people make up the non- 
resident population of Washington? 

Mr. Bondy. Mr. Chairman, I think the character of the nonresident 
population is somewhat reflected by the causes that I gave a moment 

The Chairman. Yes; that is right. 

Mr. Bondy. There are a great many unskilled laborers who come. 
In our own nonresident service, probably 60 percent of those who 
come to us for attention are unskilled laborers ; the other 40 percent 
are professional workers and skilled people — so-called white-collar 
persons. Of course, thinking of the nonresident population as includ- 
ing those who are not seeking assistance in the way of relief at the 
moment, there are many here in Washington who come from the whole 
country, interested in Government employment — clerks and semipro- 
fessional people. But the problem, as we get it from the relief and 
transportation standpoint, is concerned more largely with unskilled 
persons and a considerable number of the skilled group, for the reasons 
I have given. 

The Chairman. In other words, there are more white-collar tran- 
sients who come into Washington than would go to any other State? 

Mr. BoNDY. I think that probably would be true. 

The Chairman. Have there been any figures made up, or is any 
survey being made, Mr. Bondy, that would throw any light on the 
transient load for a given year in the District of Columbia? 

Mr. Bondy. I know of no survey that has drawn a circle aroimd it. 
We can get a glimpse at it by some of the figures in the services that 
are rendered. For instance, in our nonresident service, there are 
approximately 4,200 individuals and family cases that come to our 
attention in the course of a year. 

The Chairman. How many ? I did not get that. 

Mr. Bondy. Forty-two hundred. We know that our small nnmicipal 
lodging houses only 45 and is always full ; that lodging facilities are 
short during the winter months from 200 to 500 beds ; that is, 200 to 500 
homeless men are estimated as having no place of lodging. You can 
test some of that by looking at the grates in front of buildings where 
men stand through the night for warmth. 

This nonresident insane problem that I mentioned is not nearly so 
large in extent, of course, as the other, and I would not wish to place 
it out of proportion in the minds of the committee. 



The Chairman. What does the District of Cohimbiu itself do for 
the care of those nonresident transients ? 

Mr, BoNDY. The District of Columbia, as a government, has three 
services — one is the Nonresident Service which Mr. Linden is respon- 
sible for and on which he can give any information the committee 
wishes. It deals primarily with the return to their home States of 
persons who are properly authorized for return by the home State. 
It deals also with a person who is transient here and may be helped 
through the period of nonresident stay. 

Then there is the small, municipal lodging house to which I referred, 
caring for 45 men, and third, this service for the return transportation 
of nonresident insane. 

The Chairman. Do you know of any deficiencies in the general relief 
set-up of the District of Columbia ? 

Mr. BoNDY. Mr. Chairman, there are a number of deficiencies in our 
District of Columbia situation that relate to this nonresident problem. 
I should like to name very quickly four or five of them. 

We, like all other communities, feel the effects of the lack of uni- 
formity of settlement and residence laws. We here, and in our Non- 
resident Bureau, hear of the unequal way in which the States of the 
country deal with that question, some States being more generous and 
liberal in their authorization for the return of people, and others being 
very tight on it. That is a clear deficiency. There is no provision 
in the District of Columbia, in our own public funds, for the care of 
persons during the period of investigation of their residence, other 
than for homeless men through the lodging house. Private organiza- 
tions, from whom you will hear this afternoon, do give certain care to 
families and other persons; but the public agency, the District Gov- 
ernment, has neither facility nor funds for that. And in the instances 
in which residence is lost, there is no available relief fund to provide 
for care until some plan can be developed. 

Third. There is a striking deficiency in the facilities for lodging and 
the care of colored people in the District of Columbia. 

In the fourth place— I mentioned the deficiency in lodging facili- 

The Chairman (interposing). Right there: Where do these colored 
people go; if they do not find shelter, what do they do? 

Mr. BoNDY, I suppose that their care is apparently worked out in a 
way that comes less to our notice; because the coloi-ed community 
itself seems to take on some measure of responsibility. Many of them 
go into cheap lodging houses ; some are taken in by people, "and there 
are some church missions, but no organized system of care. Of course, 
colored homeless men may be cared for at the municipal lodging- 

The Chairman. Of the incoming migrants that come to the District 
of Columbia, what proportion are whites and what proportion colored 
people ? 

Mr. BoNDY. Well, the proportion that comes to us, in our nonresident 
sei-vice, for attention is about 65 or 75 percent white. That is, 
among tlie unattached individuals. Among the families, it is nearer 
a 50-50 division. 

2603T0— 41— pt. S 4 


I would like to mention one or two other significant lacks here, 
Mr. Chairman. Dr. Ruhland can speak on the lack of adequate 
facilities for the care of convalescents and those who are chronically 
ill in the District of Columbia. When nonresidents are here and in 
need of convalescent care, they sutler from the same lack that the 
District itself does. One of the principal lacks I want to stress is the 
inadequacy of the oeneral relief funds in the Board of Public Welfare. 
No program for the care of nonresident persons can be adequately 
handled unless there is an adequate program of general care — general 
relief. Here, because of the limitations in the appropriations, we are 
able to extend relief only to unemployable pei-sons, so that an employ- 
able person who cannot find private employment or W. P. A. employ- 
ment falls betw^een the cracks. That, therefore, leaves us no basically 
sound foundation of general relief adequacy for a nonresident program. 

I think those are the principal deficiencies in the situation, Mr. 

The Chairman. Mr. Linden, do you have any funds for the care of 
nonresidents while an investigation of residence is being made, or until 
the plans are completed ? 

Mr. Linden. Well, we have $20,000 a year of funds. 

The Chairman. For that purpose ? 

Mr. Linden. Yes. That includes funds for transportation. 

The Chairman. Now, are the facilities for the care of homeless men 
adequate; if not, to wdiat extent are they inadequate? 

Mr. Linden. Well, they are not adequate, as Mr. Boncly has told 
you. The only facilitv we have is the muncipal lodging house, wiHi 
50 beds. 


Tlie Chairman. Dr. Ruhland, what qualifications must migrants 
meet to receive medical care and hospitalization from the Health 
Department ? 

Dr. Ruhland. The qualifications are the same that Mr. Bondy has 
already stated. There should be at least a history of residence for 
1 year and then, of course, it must be proved that the person is 
economically unable to take care of himself. Obviously, lioweA^er, ill- 
ness or accident cannot wait, at times, for the determination of these 
points, and our service must be rendered under emergency conditions. 

Tlie Chairman. Now. during October of 1940, for example, were 
there any applications for liospitalization of migrants? 

Dr. Ruhland. Yes. 

The Chairman. Any from people who could not satisfy residence 

Dr. Ruhland. Yes. During that month, we had over 1,600 such 
applications for hosjjitalization through our hospital-permit service. 

The Chairman. What became of them ? 

Dr. Ruhland. Well, after being interviewed by the Hospital Per- 
mit Bureau, it was found tliat 122 had to be rejected because of their 
financial condition. That means it must be presumed they had some 
resources that could first be used. 

Seventy-seven were admitted as part-i)ay ])atients. Seventy ap- 
plicants had not been residents for 1 year. And we also, in thi< 
group, do not and of course we cannot, deal with them. 


The Chairman. Is there any int'onnution concei'niii<j; those appli- 
cants — their employment, former residence, length of residence in the 
District, size of family, reasons for application, and things of that 

Dr. RuHLAND. So far as this particular group of applicants is con- 
cerned, 17 of them showed a history of employment varying from 
1 day to 8 months immediately prior to application; 20 were not at 
all employed; Twere classified as housewives and 5 as children, and for 
1 there was no statement at all. 

The Chairman, Has the migrant intensified tlie problem of deal- 
ing with tuberculosis in the District of Columbia { 

Dr. RuHLAND. Undoubtedly. So far as tuberculosis is concerned, 
I think the evidence is rather strong that the influx of persons who 
come here in the hope of getting a job, without knowing they will 
get a job, forces them into economically undesirable conditions — bad 
conditions of housing, i^nd so, sooner or later, they will break down 
with tuberculosis or contract infections. And that, I think, defi- 
nitely contributes to the somewhat still imdesirable high mortality 
rate in certain categories of communicable diseases in this connmmity. 


Mr. Curtis. ^Ir. Bondy, I believe you testified that the residence 
requirement for relief in the District of Columbia is 1 year? 

Mr. Bondy. For general relief: yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. To what extent must they be residents — just merely 
being here? Do you discriminate against them if they have ob- 
tained a voting residence in one of the States? 

Mr. Bondy. That is not a consideration of eligibility for relief — • 
the maintenance of a voting residence in another State. I mean the 
existence of a voting residence in another State does not mitigate 
against eligibility of a person for relief. 

Mr. Curtis. From what States or areas come most of tlie nonresi- 
dent relief families that you have? 

Mr. Bondy. You mean to limit tluit to families, or unattached 
individuals and families? 

Mr. Curtis. Primarily to families at this stage. 

Mr. Bondy. Primarily the neighboring States; the Cai'olinas, Vir- 
ginia, Maryland, and New York State; although there is a scattering 
from greater distances. But that is the predominant source. 

Mr. Curtis. From how far west do family migrants come into 

Mr. Bondy. As far as California, Mr. Linden says. 

Mr. Curtis. That is quite a way. Could a local problem of non- 
resident care in the District of Columbia be effectively conducted, 
independently of a national or Federal ])rogram? 

Mr. Bondy. Mr. Congressman, my judgment is that it could not; 
that any local program that would be adequate w^ould find itself 
overpowered, overburdened, unable to deal with the needs, if it were 
not also a part of an equally adequate program dealing with the 
})roblem elsewhere. That could be illustrated by the lodginghouse 
facilities, for instance. If the 200 to 500 men were provided for, 
who are not now given lodging in the winter here, it would not take 
more than 24 hours for the eastern seaboard to know that that ])ro- 


vision existed, and there would then be another 200 to 500 that could 
not be cared for. Similarly, in matters of working with individual 
families and their actual relief outside of lodginghouse facilities,, 
there should be, to be adequate and effective, a balanced national 
program of which the local program is a coordinated part. 

Mr. Curtis. Mr. Bondy, do you think of anything else that you 
would like to mention, or amplify, in the way of any proposal for 
the care of nonresident destitute persons in the District ? 


Mr. BoNDY. I should like to reiterate the four points that I placed 
in my statement, for the committee's information, some of which the 
committee undoubtedly has had from other sources. 

First of all, our situation here would be greatly helped with uni- 
form State residence and settlement laws. I think I need not am- 
plify that. The committee is acquainted with the point of view back 
of that proposal. 

Second, the District of Columbia, because it is the Nation's Capital 
and because so much of its nonresident and general relief problem ulti- 
mately is created because it is the Nation's Capital, can very properly 
look to the Federal Government for aid beyond what is now given, 
in the financing of that general relief and that nonresident work. 

My proposal is that there be added to the Federal Social Security 
Act a section which would recognize the uniqueness of this District 
of Columbia situation and which would provide for the matching 
of District of Columbia funds for general relief on a 50-50 basis 
with Federal Social Security funds, in the same fashion that there 
is a matching of local funds with Federal funds for old-age assistance, 
aid to dependent children, and aid to the blind. I have submitted 
to the committee in my statement a draft of an amendment to the 
Federal Social Security Act to accomplish that. 

My third proposal is that, as a part of a Federal program, in the 
way I spoke of a moment ago in answer to a question, suitable pro- 
vision of funds should be made for the care of nonresidents during 
the period of investigation of residence, and for the care of non- 
residents whose residence is lost, here in the District of Columbia. 

And my final proposal is that there be a reasonable — I do not 
name any figure at the moment — addition to the municipal lodging- 
house facilities beyond the 50 beds that are now provided. 


Mr. Curtis. Mr. Linden, what happens to persons for Avhom you 
are unable to care ? 

Mr. Linden. Well, a great portion of the men who come to our 
Bureau are on their way through, north or south, and perhaps stay 
for one or two nights. We take as much care of that group — of 
as large a group — as we can, and the other groups are referred to 
the facilities that have been mentioned — lodging-houses in the District 
of Columbia. 

Mr. Curtis. And private charitable agencies? 

Mr. Linden. That is right. 


Mr. Curtis. Does the lack of uniform residence and settlement laws 
show up in your work ? 


Mr. Linden. Yes ; it does, for the simple reason of loss of residence 
in another State, the nonresident leaving one Stat«, and going into 
:another State and losing his residence in his home State. 

Mr. Curtis. Well, do you have more cases from States that have 
rigid settlement laws than from those that have liberal settlement 

Mr. Linden. Well, as I say, our intake is generally from the eastern 
seaboard, and the laws in the eastern seaboard States vary from 1 year 
to 5 years on residence. Massachusetts and New Jersey have a longer 
term" for establishing residence. I do not have the number of States 
that have uniform 1-year residence laws. California has a 3-year 
residence law. 

The Chairman. It is 5 now ; they are raising it a little bit all the time. 

mounting health PROBLEM 

Mr. Curtis. Dr. Ruhland, you have stated that the employment of 
more workers on the defense program here in the District has had its 
effect upon the general health situation. What might be done by the 
Health Department to meet the needs of these destitute persons that is 
not now being done? 

Dr. RuHLAND. Obviously, if we cannot stop the influx of those who 
have not a definite job in prospect that will enable them to maintain 
themselves, then, for humanitarian as well as health-protection rea- 
sons, there must be an enlargement of the existing facilities and ma- 
chinery of the Health Service to give those persons such aid as they 
may require. 

Mr. Curtis. Dr. Ruhland, what facilities do you require at the pres- 
ent time? 

Dr. Ruhland. Personally, I am strongly convinced that it would be 
good economy if there were in Washington a greater development of 
the so-called Health Center. By that I mean development, regionally, 
in the districts that house economically disadvantaged people, or dis- 
ti-icts from which experience shows that we draw the largest number 
of clients who ultimately go to hospitals. There we should set up such 
iDuildings as are required, where facilities would be offered for the 
-diagnosis of cases and for emergenc}' or temporary treatment. It 
would be by such a development that we would be able to prevent the 
complete break-down of health, involving a much more costly hos- 

Mr. Curtis. Do you liave many pauper burials in the District of 
Columbia ? 

Dr. RuHLAXD. That does not fall under the Department of Health, 
and my answer to that would not be adequate or competent. But, un- 
doubtedly, there is quite an item required to meet those contingencies. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you know what percentage of the deaths are prema- 
ture, or the percentage of deaths at a premature age? 

Dr. Ruhland. That, again, is a large question that I do not believe 
I can answer competently in full. Our history shows among the eco- 


nomicalJy disiiclvantaged group quite a number of premature deatlis. 
in the literal sense of children bom prematurely. Then, it is obvious 
that all those deaths that happen from ])reventable diseases are defi- 
nitely premature, because they have not lived their nonnal life expec- 
tancy. Into that category would fall, for example, tuberculosis. While 
tubercidosis moi'tality is lower in the District than it has been heretor 
fore, it is still high for cities in the Washington population group, 
and there is considerable room for improvement. 

Mr. Curtis. What suggestion do you wish to make with reference to 
providing improved housing accommodations ( 

Dr. RuHLAND. The Department should be enlarged by the addition 
of competent sanitary engineei-s who can deal with housing problems^ 
There should be close coo])erati()n with the existing private agencies. 
For example, the Washington Housing Authority has done very admir- 
able work in this field. The construction work is being subsidized by 
the Federal Government. However, it is realized that the housing 
program cannot keep pace with the influx of people. Apparently, 
also, the more it becomes known that Washington is stirring itself in 
providing this housing, the more it will act as a stimulus to bring 
migrants here hoping to land jobs. That idea of obtaining jobs seems 
to mark the somewhat tragic and undesirable cycle of the migrant. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you have any further recommendation to offer in 
reference to this migrant problem^ 

Dr. RuHLAXD. No, sir. I think that it has been stated in large part 
by the witnesses you have heard. I have only touched on the high spots 
of the problem from the public-health viewpoint, as well as suggesting 
some remedies that might be apjilied to it. 

Mr. Curtis. I want to say to you gentlemen that we appreciate very 
much your ai)pearance. Your presentation has been very valuable in 
giving us a picture of the situation in the District of Columbia. 

The Chairman. Your prepared statement Avill a])pear in the record. 

The committee will stand in recess until 2 o'clock. 

(Thereupon, the committee took a recess until 2 p. m.) 


Upon the expiration of the recess, the conmiittee resumed its hearing 
at 2 p. m., Hon. John H. Tolan (chairman) presiding. 

The Chairman. The committee will please come to order. The first 
witness this afternoon is Mr. Staufler. 


The Chairman. Please give your full name, address, and the official 
position you hold, if any. 

Mr. Staufter. My name is William H. Stauflfer. and I am the 
Commissioner of Public Welfare of the State of Virginia. 

The Chairman. Mr. Stauffer. would you give the conmiittee your 
o-eneral observations as to the extent of the problem of migration in 


Virginia, especially as to the causes and the number of persons 

Mv. Stauffer. Mr. Chairman. I have submitted a statement in wi-it- 
ing- to the committee which I would be glad to read. I assumed tliat it 
M'ould be made available to the committee. 

The Chairman, Yes; and it will be made a part of the record. 

(The statement referred to is as follows:) 


Migrants in Virginia 

la presenting certain observations regarding tlie migratory Msiject.s of labor 
in Virginia, it seems appropriate first to offer several general comments involv- 
ing matters of which your committee is no doubt already aware. 

1. I'eople do not move from place to place either for the sake of inconvenienc- 
ing themselves or in order that they may fare worse by their movements. 

2. The motivating factor in interstate migration of able-bodied workers must 
be found to arise out of economic self-interest. This instinctive urge may be 
misguided, or it may be the result of ill-planned sojourning. Whatever its 
results, its causes are definable. 

3. The basic cause is a .system of agi'icultural economy which does not 
provide a year-around labor market for all the individuals whose services are 
required in the growing and harvesting of crops. If the agricultural economy 
of a particular community were in respect of its labor aspects self-sufficient, 
the problem of migratory movements of large numbers of persons to meet 
seasonal harvesting needs would not exist. 

4. Assuming that the powers of the soil cannot, under the prevailing system 
of agricultural economy in a particular community, sustain on a year-round basis 
its maximum labor needs, it might nevertheless be possible to plan for. the 
community a program of total economy (agricultijral and nonagricultural) 
which under coordinate functioning would provide a year-around living for 
permanent residents in a number suflScient to meet the peak needs of agriculture. 


When j)ublic interest and attention has been focused on a particular social 
problem, little difficulty is experienced in "lime lighting" in a sensational manner 
incidents which are no different from the day-to-day occurrences in the general 
social structure and organization of a community. 

The migratory movement of harvesting labor in and out of the Eastern 
Shore counties of Virginia has been an accepted practice for many years. The 
permanent residents of this area are no doubt aware of the fact that the social 
well-being of migrants leaves much to be desired. It is equally true, however, 
that the social life of some of the periiianent residents of the area is little 
different from that of the migrants. 

Economic ill f<n-tune is a potential hazard confronting every citizen. The 
average community daily experience shifts in the economic well-being of its 
individual members. The significance of these changes is not impressive 
because of their scattered nature. It is only when the concentration of 
instances occurs that the attention of the public is drawn to the unsavory 

Housing. — Conditions on the Eastern Shore for the accommodation of the 
migrant population insofar as housing is concerned are admittedly bad. They 
are not, however, by comparison a great deal different from conditions sur- 
rounding a good segment of the permanent i>opulation. 

Health. — The movement of so large a group of migrants into any area con- 
stitutes a serious health hazard. On the Eastern Shore Virginia has two 
counties — Accomac and Northampton. The former has no organized health 
unit, the latter has such a unit. The local welfare department in Accomac 
had no funds with which to provide medical care for the migrants who, during 
The past summer, were taken sick on their movement through the county. 
Fifteen cases were referred to the local welfare department with the request 


that they accept responsibility for medical care. All of these had to be 
rejected. The nature of the maladies affecting the migrants was not known 
to the welfare department of Accomac. In Northampton county, where the 
health unit was in operation, record was kept of diseases affecting the migrant 
population. This record indicates that there were cases of typhoid, dysentery, 
tuberculosis, syphilitic and venereal diseases. There was one case of polio- 
myelitis, which entered the county from Charleston, S. C. Northampton 
County expended out of welfare funds the sum of $240 for hospitalization 
and burials for the transient group, while Accomac paid out only $20 for 
such services. The Northampton governing board has adopted a local ordinance 
regulating the matter of sanitation with sewerage disposal in hcimes and 
camps housing transient labor. Such an ordinance does not exist in Accomac. 

Educational facilities. — No especial problem is found in the Eastern Shore 
counties in the matter of children of school age, for the reason that the dates 
as of which this movement occurs in Virginia are within those months when 
the average child has completed the school year. 

Aftei'math of the migratory movement. — The group generally moves on en 
masse after the harvesting is completed. Those who remain behind are there 
because of illness and other incapacity. The welfare department endeavors to 
dispose of these cases as rapidly as possible. Some problems have resulted 
in effecting a return to the place of settlement of some of these cases. Those 
who employ labor are, in some instances, most reluctant to assume responsibility 
for returning incapacitated transients who are employed by them back to their 
place of settlement. Occasionally, surplus commodities are made available to 
these cases. It is very difficult in some instances to establish the place of 

Moral conditions. — Various and sundry rumors periodically get abroad re- 
garding the conditions of morality among the transient group. Such informa- 
tion as is available to the Commissioner leads him to the conclusion that, 
while the levels of morality are not ideal, they are far from being as abject 
as they tend to be portrayed in the popular mind. Practically all of the 
migrants are colored. Illegitimate children have sometimes been left behind, 
but it is questionable whether tlie rate of illegitimacy among the group of 
transients is greater than that for the population at large. 

Conditions elsewhere in the State. — Outside of the Eastern Shore area the 
problem of the migratory agricultural labor group may be regarded as con- 
stituting no serious problem. In some of the southwest mining counties, where 
operations have substantially slowed down in recent years, there is, however, 
a problem of what might be termed "stranded populations." The relief loads 
in some of these areas are disproportionately high when compared to the aver- 
age of the State as a whole. There being little other alternative by way of 
(X!cupational opportunity to these stranded families, it would be in the interest 
of social welfare if such groups were enabled to migrate to places where work 
opportunities could be found. In tidewater Virginia there are 15 or 20 counties 
which today have populations less than were found there in the census of 
1790. A decadent agriculture has made it impossible for the population to 
be maintained as in earlier times, in consequence of which there has been, 
over a period of several generations, a movement out of the areas. It can 
hardly be argued that governmental programs should have been instituted to 
subsidize the agricultural comnuinities within such areas. Such areas are in 
no favorable position to compete with other areas more naturally productive or 
better suited to the maintenance of an agricultural project. A goodly bit of the 
agricultural population which left tidewater Virginia in recent years has un- 
doubtedly been absorbed in the cities and towns. The growth of Richmond as 
a tobacco-processing center has undoubtedly operated as a device to absorb 
some displaced agricultural labor. Development of industrial activities else- 
where throughout the State has no doubt operated in a similar manner. Fur- 
ther expansion of industry in the South will undoubtedly operate to alleviate 
some of the problems arising from the insecurity of land tenure, just as it 
has in the past. 

Virginia is concerned with the well-being of Its people. It recognizes that 
there are many problems which have already been met in part. It is not. 
however, particularly alarmed over the problem of migratory agricultural labor. 
It will welcome and lend support to any sound and constructive devices which may 
look toward a better balance in its internal economy. 



The Chairman. Independent of that statement, have yon any fur- 
ther observations to make abont this problem!' 

Mr. Stauftee. Mr. Chairman, I feel very inadeqnate to get up lieie 
and discnss a problem which we must admit is a big one. 

The Chairman. Yes; it is certainly a big one. 

Mr. Stauffer. Yes, sir; and the problem does exist in Virginia. We 
recognize it as a problem about which we would like to do something. 
The problem is confined primarily to the Eastern Shore counties of the 
State, the counties of Accomac and Northampton. The problem arises 
out of the employment of a labor group which is engaged in following- 
crop maturities fi'om Florida, through Virginia, and on up to New 
Jersey, I believe. It is a most serious problem. The greatest concen- 
tration of this group comes through Virginia during the strawberry- 
picking season, which occurs about the second week in May, when 
anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000 persons come through the State. They 
go over to the Eastern Shore and are there employed to help in har- 
vesting that product. 

The Chairman. Where do they come from mainly? 

Mr. Stauffer. On the basis of the information I have, it seems tiiat 
a count of heads would show that the largest number come from Flor- 
ida. Whether they are residents of Florida. I cannot say. 

The Chairman. We found that to be true in Ncav Jersey also. 

Mr. Stauffer. Checking the automobile license plates was one index 
we had of the fact that most of them started from Florida. Whether 
they happened to pick up at that point, or whether they were residents 
of Florida, it is difficult to say. It is difficult to establish the residence, 
of people, because under the local settlement laws it is difficult to prove 
where they have residence, or Avhether they have residence anywhere. 


The Chairman. What is your residence law in Virginia ( 

Mr. Stauffer. If we speak about the eligibility of a person for relief, 
our statute provides that a transient cannot become a public charge 
until he shall have attained a residence of at least 1 year. That ]3rob- 
lem, of course, raises a question upon which I would like to make brief 
comment, because under the settleinent law we are prohibited from 
affording relief to such of those persons who come there, and who, 
either through lack of employment during the season or because of 
becoming disabled or sick, are unable to care for themselves. The local 
communities in which they reside are under no obligation to afford 
them anj" relief, but the communities or local subdivisions there may 
give them relief on their own initiative — that is, it would not be violat- 
ing the Virginia statute if they did it. However, public sentiment, of 
course, would support the argument that you should grant aid first to 
those who are legal residents of the community. 

The Chairman. In other words, to take care of their own families 

Mr. Stauffer. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. I understand you thoroughly on that, and I think 
our records will bear me out when I say that every State in the Union 
has as much as it can do to take care of its own residents. 


Mr. Stauffer. I can certainly say that is true as to Virginia. Our 
general relief program is quite definitely limited, and I can honestly 
say that there is a good deal of distress and need for public assistance 
among our own people. I do not know what the solution for the 
problem is. 

The Chairman. Something that Mr. Kyan said this morning keeps 
recurring to my mind : We have an Interstate Commerce Commission, 
and we have spent millions of dollars through Congress and the 
highest courts of the land to establish and maintain the status of 
coal, iron, steel, and other commodities flowing freely through the 
States, but the human creators of those commodities have never hacl 
any commission of any kind for their benefit. That makes a j^eculiar 
situation. Now, imagine such restrictions among the States in the 
cari-ying of commodities by transportation agencies. For instance, 
the State of South Dakota would never dream of raising a barrier 
against the shipment of wheat from North Dakota, although South 
Dakota has all the wheat it could ever use or sell. Yet, we make this 
other movement of destitute human beings a crime. Tliat is why this 
committee has been functioning. 

Now, what means of transportation do these migrants who come 
to Virginia use ? 


Mr. Stauffer. I must ask pardon for not being able to give firet- 
hand information. I cannot give it from first-hand knowledge, and 
that is true of many of the statements I make. I have not made as 
detailed an investigation of the subject as I wish I might have done. 
I wish it might have been possible for the State department of public 
welfare to do that. I hope to be able to give the necessary time for 
such a study. So far as I can learn, most of them come in by 

The Chairman. We have testimony that these migrant workers 
who are being transported out of Florida across State lines are 
charged $17.50, $5 down and then the remainder is collected after 
they get jobs. We also found that to be true in Texas and Oklahoma. 
There is no rest for them, because when the transporters start them 
out, they shoot them right through, not like cattle, because cattle are 
given a rest every 24 hours. 

Mr. Stauffer. I have heard stories like that. I do not know, but I 
undei-stand that some of them are so transported into the State of 

The Chairman. Has the migrant problem become rather acute in 

Mr. Stauiter. I consulted the local welfare superintendent of 
Accomac County just before coming up here. His problem this year 
was apparently no more acute than it has been in previous years. 
Some sickness developed in that particular county. There being no 
local public health unit in the county, there was no requirement for 
the observation of adequate sanitation by those people. It was stated 
that there was a constant threat there of an epidemic breaking out. 

The Chairman. Where do they live while waiting for work? 

Mr. Stauffer. I am told that they live in shacks. Sometimes they 
may be proA'ided Avith houses. 


The Chairman. Have you seen those shacks yourself? 

Mr. Stauffer. No, sir.' I have seen the pictures on the wall here 
(exhibit in the hearino- room), indicatino- what sort of houses they 
fire. I did not see anythino- from Viro-inia on that side (indicatmg), 
but there may be some here. 

The Chairman. It presents a problem of health as well as of 

Mr. Stauffer. It is much more a problem of health than of ecUica- 
tion, because at the time these people come throuoh the State, the 
diildren, for the most part, would not be going to school if they wei-e 
living in rural areas anyhow. They come through there about the 
middle of May. /-,!,! 

The Chairman. Speaking about sanitation, at Los Angeles, Calif., 
there was a familv of whom 8 were children. They had made the 
trip from Oklahonia. The committee also traveled from Oklahoma to 
California. It was testified that the family lived 12 or 14 in a tent. 
I asked the head of the familv this question : "I suppose that in the 
tent you had the latest sanitary facilities.'" He added, "What?" 
I said, "I suppose you had the latest sanitary facilities," and he said, 
^'No, we had the earliest." 

What kind of work do these migrants do ? 

seasonal crops 

Mr. Stauffer. We have several crops that these laborers work on. 
Beginning with berry picking, they continue on through the potato 
-eason. I have never seen them at work. 

The Chairman. How long does the season last? 

Mr. Stauffer. The strawberry season lasts, I believe, from 4 to 6 

The Chairman. Do you know what pay they receive? 

Mr. Stauffer. I saw some figures on that, and I was particularly 
impressed with the low total net earnings that some individuals and 
family groups received over a given period. Frankly, I cannot 
understand how they can very well exist on the basis of the figures 
I saw. 

The Chairman. Do they get so much per basket for picking straw- 
berries ? 

Mr. Stauffer. Yes; I believe it is based on the quantity of produc- 
tion. The more efficient ones enjoy larger earnings. 

The Chairman. Has the migrant problem been on the increase in 
3'our State recently, or on the decrease? 

Mv. Stauffer. t cannot say whether it is on the increase or not. 
There is one very interesting thing to observe, and that is that with 
the introduction of labor-saving machinery in the cultivation of the 
soil it is true that a good bit of agricultural labor automatically has 
been displaced, but in the application of mechanical methods to 
harvesting in our agricuUural system the work is still largely con- 
fined to the work of tlie individual, and. therefore, we find ourselves 
in the rather strange position of diminishing the need for labor in 
the cultivation of the soil and increasing the need for labor in the 
harvesting of the crops. 

The Chairman. Now, I have read your statement here, and it is a 
very good one. Have you covered what you wanted to say in this 
statement ? 


Mr. Stauffer. Yes; I believe so, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. If there is anything additional that you want to 
call to the attention of the committee we will be glad to hear it. 

Mr. Stauffer. If you will permit some further observations, this- 
may not be particularly pertinent to the matter that you are dis- 
cussing, but it does bear upon the question or problem of labor. We 
have, in some of the southwestern counties of our State, a situation 
in which I would like to see some migratory influences at work. In 
some of the southwestern counties there have been coal-mining opera- 
tions in the past. Those mining operations have sustained the groups 
residing there. Now, when that production has gone down so far 
that it is no longer profitable to operate the mines, there is a 
stranded population in some of those areas. It has become a problem 
for the welfare workers, and the W. P. A. has helped out in a 
large measure. In other cases, however, where the W. P. A. has 
not been able to function, we have aiforded some general relief under 
our direct relief program. That is not a problem of migratory labor,, 
but of static stranded labor. The situation with respect to the 
migrants is an agricultural one. That labor must be in the State» 
and I do not believe the situation is particularly acute. That is true 
throughout the northern part of the State during the apple-picking- 
season. That is really a higher type of labor than we find on the 
Eastern Shore. The labor there has to be recruited locally for the 
harvesting operations. 

I appreciate very much the opportunity to come up here and 
talk to you. I came not so much because of w^hat I might contribute 
to the discussion, but for wdiat I might learn from you. 

The Chairman. Do you know anything about the apple-picking- 
operations around Winchester? 

Mr. Stauffer. Not much. I discussed that with the labor com- 
missioner last week, and asked him if there was any acute problem 
there, and he said virtually what I have stated, that while there was 
some movement in there, the social and economic conditions surround- 
ing the people in there was entirely different from those that at- 
tended the people on the Eastern Shore. 

The Chairman. From the study you have made of this problem,, 
and the more you think about it, I think you will come more definitely 
to the conclusion that it is really a national problem. Certainly thi& 
migration of destitute citizens from State to State constitutes a 
national problem. 

Mr. Stauffer. In my judgment, it is a problem that can best be 
dealt with through a national authority, rather than leave it to the 
responsibility of the States. 

The Chairman. That is the way the Federal Government handles 
the free flow of commodities through the States. That is something 
we watch pretty closely. Now, you are a resident of the State of 
Virginia, but you are also a citizen of the 47 other States. But if 
you start out traveling, and are broke, you will find many obstacles. 

Mr. Stauffer. You will find many fences erected against you. 

The Chairman. We thank you very much for your appearance. 
The statement you have filed will appear in the record. 


The next witness is Mr. J. Milton Patterson, director of the Mary- 
land Department of Public Welfare, representing Governor O'Conor. 

Mr. Collins. I would like to file for the record the statement of 
Mr. J. Milton Patterson, director of the Maryland Department of 
Public Welfare, representing- Gov. Herbert R. O'Conor. Mr. 
Patterson was unavoidably detained, and cannot be present. 

(The statement referred to is as follows:) 


Migration in Maryland 

It goes without saying tliat tliere is considerable migration wJiich. except iu a 
general way, does not come to the attention of this department by reason of the 
fact that these persons manage to get along without relief. The migration of 
labor and the housing and health conditions resulting from this type of migratory 
living we assume are being reported upon by other governmental departments 
closer to the problem. 

Within the experience of the State departmnt of public welfare and the local 
departments of public welfare of Maryland, we find a tendency for the problem 
to divide itself into three classes of persons. These are : 

1. Honielesjs persons who are actually "on the road" and who constitute that 
group of persons who apply to overnight shelters such as are conducted by the 
Salvation Army or to agencies like the Traveler's Aid Society for care and 
assistance. Very often these are unattached persons, although many of them 
are also in family groups. 

2. Persons or families who have moved from one community to another State, 
who have established a home but wiio become destitute before they have lived iu the 
new community as long as a year, and who are therefore not eligible for public aid. 
These persons are not migratory any longer. Usually it is illness, accident, o'" 
failure to find work which precipitates their need to apply for help. 

3. Persons or families who have lived for many years in the community,, who 
become destitute and when they apply for assistance find that due to some technical 
reason they are not eligible for assistance on the score of residence. 

In the State of Maryland the public depai-tments do not maintain shelter care 
for transients. The city of B;iltinior(\ liowcvor. pays most of the operating expense 
of a shelter for men maintained by the Salvation Army. 

The problem of the person on the road has not been so acute iu the counties of 
this State as to bring it to the attention of the State department. In any 
county a traveling person who becomes stranded may be able to have some over- 
night arrangements made for him at local expense entirely. There are no State 
funds participating in expenditures for assistance to persons who are not regarded 
as residents of the State. In a few communities, the Salvation Army maintains 
shelters ; in others the county homes or jails offer overnight care. 

We find the most serious problem for this department and its local units arises 
;Tround the second and third groups listed, above. This State has a year's residence 
requirement estalilis^hed by rule and regulation of the State department as a condi- 
tion of receiving general assistance. Other States have similar residence limita- 
tions, frequently requiring longer periods to establish residence-. We liave become 
increasingly aware of the liai'dship that is being caused by tliosc residence restric- 
tions to families who have moved from one State to another to establisli a home, 
and who find themselves in need of assistance before they have been residents 
for a year. 

We cite below a few of the situations which have come to our attention 
recently and which we believe reflect the undesirable social results of efforts on 
the part of the States to keep down their relief burden by invoking a residence 

1. A county in this State has recently received a request from another State 
to "authorize return" of a woman who has become dependent upon the public 
hospital care in another State. The woman ha.s never lived in county X, to 
which the letter was sent. Her husband, from whom she had been separated 
for 1.5 years, died in county X 2 years ago. Due to the fact that the State 


in which she has become ill and destitute interprets its residence law to mean 
that the residence of a widow continues to be that of the State in which her 
husband dies, the aforesaid State wishes to have county X "acknowledge legal 
residence and authorize return" of this woman. There can be no question of 
the undesirable results for one individual to be moved to a new and strange 
community where she has no ties of any description. 

2. A woman who has been separated from her husband for a number of 
years and who has been working in another State, loses her job and finds it 
necessary to apply for assistance. By reason of the fact that a divorce has 
never taken place (and poor persons frequently cannot afford to pay for the 
cost of the divorce) this woman's residence is interpreted to be that of her 
husband, even though it means moving to a community where she lived for 
less than a year a number of years ago. The State where she now has become 
dependent wishes to have county Y "authorize her return." Both this and 
the previous case reflect the hardship caused by the inability of a woman to 
establish an independent residence under certain conditions. 

3. A man deserts his wife and three children and leaves them in county Z. 
where the wife and children have lived all their lives. The man wanders from 
place to place and after many years' absence is known to be living in another 
community, with seasonal employment. 

The mother and children now become destitute and apply for assistance. 
Fortunately the Federal Social Security Act will not permit a State to par 
ticipate in benefits from the Federal Government if it denies assistance on 
the basis of residence to a child who has lived for a year within the State. 
However, the shortage of funds for aid to dependent children in many locali- 
ties means that assistance is not available and efforts may be made to move 
this family from the State in which it has always lived to the new place 
where the father and husband, who has never assumed any responsibility for 
their care, now has established a "legal" residence. 

Many cases of this description come to our attention. "We receive such 
requests from other States, and we also send them. In the city of Baltimore, 
when there is reason to believe that a family has residence elsewhere, only 
temporary assistance is given and when arrangements have been completed to 
return them, assistance is discontinued. This type of activity is precipitated 
by the shortage of general relief funds which causes every local and State 
department of public welfare to seek to keep its expenditures down. 

We believe there are two major changes which would create a more humane 
situation and that would, in the long run, be more economical than the present 
system. These two changes would be : 

1. Federal participation in general relief expenditures with a provision for 
100 percent reimbursement by the Federal Government for payments to non- 
resident persons. 

2. Standardization of State residence requirements. This will undoubtedlv 
take a long time, and in order to bring it about there will be required some- 
national leadership lodged in a permanent organization which would develop 
uniform terminology, design recommended legislation, and facilitate the de- 
velopment of reciprocal arrangements between the States. 

The aspects of the problem pertaining to migratory labor will be dealt with 
in a later memo to be submitted to the committee. 

Statk Departmknt of Public Wexfare, 

Bait i more, Md.. December 12, lO-'fO. 
Hon. John H. Tolan, 

Chairman, Committee to Inrestir/ate the 

Interstate Migration of Destitute Citizens, 

House of Represmtatives, Washington. D. C. 
Dear Mr. Tolan : We are enclosing a report prepared by the Marvland Com- 
missioner of Labor and Statistics relating to migratory labor. 
Sincerely yours, 

J. Milton Patterson. Direetor. 


Office of Commissioner of Labor and Statistics, 

Baltimore, Md., Deccmher 11, lithO. 
Mr. J. Milton Patterson, 

Director, State Department of Piihlic Welfurc, 

Baltimore, Md. 
Dear Mb. Patterson : In compliance with your request of December 5, 1940, I 
am submitting herewith answers to the questions pertaining to migratory labor 
as .set forth in your letter. 
Very truly yours, 

John M. I' Conntii.ssioner. 

Question 1. What are the seasons for the various crops which bring migra- 
tory workers? 

Answer 1. (a) May to July, inclusive; chiefly intrastate labor, by which we 
mean residents of the State following State crops. 

(6) May to November, inclusive; intrastate as set forth in paragraph A, sup- 
plemented by interstate help or nonresidents of the State. From July 1 to 
November 15 the orchards of western Maryland secure approximately 500 
migrants from the States of Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. 

Question 2. What are the methods of getting the workers into the community? 

Answer 2. The method by which workers are secured is primarily through row 
bosses or the padrone system. 

Question 3. How are the workers recruited? 

Answer 3. Row boss makes contract with employer, whereby he supplies 
labor and pays labor. Row boss usually works on bonus system. Some farm- 
ers do not contract with row bosses but secure own help, paying on hourly or 
piece-work basis. In the case of the orchard workers, the foreman of the or- 
chard usually goes into the mentioned States and brings them to the orchards. 

Question 4. What kind of contract is made with the employer? 

Answer 4. No information available. 

Question 5. Approximately how many workers come into the State for the 
various seasons? 

Answer 5. Since so many conflicting estimates have been given by various 
agencies, it is believed that even an approximate estimate would prove mis- 

Question 6. What are the housing conditions and sanitary facilities? 

Answer 6. This question should be referred to the State health department. 
We are enclosing herewith a copy of regulations adopted by the State board 
of health, effective as of June 12, 1930, and refer you to pages 3 and 4, captions, 
"Toilets," and "Living Quarters," paragraphs 15 to 33, inclusive. 

Question 7. What happens to the workers after the season is over? 

Answer 7. No information available. 

We regret that it is not possible to supply the committee with information 
relative to the subject of the hosiery and garment industries which are moving 
into the State, especially to small towns and rural sections, as we have no prior 
indication of such intention, our flrst contact being from the filing of registra- 
tion cards as required by law, after the establishment is in operation. 

(The following statements were later submitted to the committee 
pnd accepted for the record:) 


The Probiem of Migration in Pennsylvania 

The following statement regarding the problem of migration of nonresidents 
in Pennsylvania is based on information collected by the Pennsylvania State 
Departments of Public Assistance, Labor and Industry, Welfare and Public 
Instruction. On July 24, 1940, the writer was designated by the Honorable 
Arthur H. James, Governor of Pennsylvania, to prepare a statement for presen- 
tation at a hearing before the Special Congressional Committee Investigating 


the Interstate Migration of Destitute Citizens. This statement is submitted 
in writing at this time for the committee's records in accordance with the sug- 
gestion of the Honorable John H. Tolan, chairman. 


The problem of migration of nonresidents who become destitute while in 
Pennsylvania concerns primarily the following classes of persons : 

1. Workers and other persons who come to the State with the intention of 
establishing residence. Such persons usually come because of the hope or prom- 
ise of a job in Pennsylvania. The journey may be motivated also simply by 
lack of employment opportunity in the home State, sometimes coupled with 
lack of provision for general public assistance. 

2. Workers and other persons passing through the State as transients with 
no intention of stopping for any appreciable period. 

3. Workers who come to the State to obtain seasonal or other limited em- 
ployment with intention of leaving again (the true migratory workers). 

From a public-assistance standpoint, persons in the first group constitute a 
more serious problem than those in the second and third. In fact, available 
evidence indicates that the number of true migratory workers coming into 
Pennsylvania at the present time is relatively small, due to reasons which will 
be mentioned further on, and that transients passing through the State who 
become public charges are coniparalively few. 

Such problems as exist with lespoct to the three groups combined, however, 
are definitely accentuated by the nature of the State's imblie-assistance program. 

Pennsylvania is virtually unique amoiiK Stales in tlie extent to which the State 
government has assumed financial resiKmsihility for general aasistance. This 
portion of the program of the State department of public assistance (which also 
administers old-age assistance, aid to dependent children, blind pensions) is 100 
Ijercent State financed. Moreover, general assistance is provided to residents on 
a uniform State-wide basis. Tliere are no county or other local settlement 
restrictions. In terms of average grants the program has an outstanding record 
with respect to the relative adequacy of the aid given. 

Under circumstances such as these, it is readily understandable that the State 
public-assistance law should include definite restrictions as to the assistance 
which may be given nonresidents. To do away with State residence and settle- 
ment requirements, while wide disparities continue to exist between public- 
assistance provision in Peinisylvania and other States, would inevitably place a 
heavy and mounting new burden on th(> State's taxpayers. An economically 
unjustified influx of unemployed and unemiiloyaliles would be encouraged. The 
entire assistance program for needy residents would be threatened. 

At the present time the public-assistance law requires that an applicant, to be 
eligible for general assistance, must have: 

(1) Legal settlement in the State (acquired by 1 year of continuous residence 
without becoming a public charge) ; and also 

(2) Two years' continuous residence in the State immediately prior to appli- 
cation (unless a person previously Jiaving the required 2 years' residence has lost 
it solely by leaving the State for employment purposes and has not acquired 
settlement elsewhere). 

The only provision by which a destitute person who does not meet these 
requirements can be aided is through temporary emergency assistance, if the 
family or individual is lodged in a fixed domicile. Such assistance continues only 
until arrangements can be made for removal to place of legal settlement. Trans- 
portation costs for removal may also be provided if the person is willing to 
return to place of settlement. If he is unwilling or if settlement elsewhere has 
been lost, further assistance may not be granted. 

No provision is available for public assistance to the person who is strictly 
a transient or wanderer, although the State deijartment of welfare reports that 
in most counties such individuals may receive overnight shelter at county homes. 
In a few larger cities there is also some municipal subsidization of private shelters 
which accommodate transients. 

Although the nature of the problem is such that no conclusive statistics are 
available on the actual numbers of destitute persons who, because of lack of 
lesidence or settlement, cannot receive needed assistance, it is clear that those 


hardest hit by the existing State and Nation-wide situation include: (1) Persons 
who have valid reasons for having cume to the State and whose own welfare 
and chances of return to self-support would perhaps be advanced by remaining; 
(2) persons who cannot meet Pennsylvania residence requirements but who 
have no settlement elsewhere; (3) persons who have settlement elsewhere but 
who, if returned, face serious privation due to lack of any adequate general assist- 
ance provision in their home State or community; and (4) transients who have 
no desire to remain in Peuusylvaia but who ueed public assistance and possibly 
other services to enable them to travel to a destination other than place of 
settlement in the expectation of employment or other means of support. 

From a health standpoint, the Pennsylvania State Department of Health 
reports : 

"While Pennsylvania has been more fortunate than some States with respect 
to the problem of interstate movement of transients who become or who are 
likely to become public charges, it has some very definite problems that must 
be considered. 

"1. The transient population that moves into the oil fields of western Pennsyl- 
vania from time to time from the western States has always been a cause of 
worry to the department because of the possibility of carrying smallpox into the 
area from these States. There have been definite scares from this source in the 
past and there is a possibility of recurrence of this danger in the future. 

"2. The transient population traveling with fairs, circuses, and camp shows 
is always a danger to the general public from the standpoint of communicable 
disease. These people are likely to become public charges if they take ill during 
their sojourn within the State. This type of wandering population is a definite 
menace from the standpoint of venereal disease, and occasionally as active 
cases of tuberculosis or carriers of organisms of the gastrointestinal gioup. 

"3. In the southern tier of counties we have a problem of transient labor 
moving into the State, especially Negroes from Baltimore, for the fruit-picking 
season. Sanitary conditions under which these laborers live are often extremely 
dangerous, plus the fact that if these people become ill while in this State they 
usually become public charges. 

"4. With the increase in employment throughout this State, due to the marked 
increase in industry because of defense contracts, every care must be taken 
to prevent the importation of large groups of chronically ill laborers who may 
accept employment and then 'break down' under the stress of work and become 
public charges." 

From an industrial standpoint, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and 
Industry reports as follows : 

"Migrator-y labor has not presented a major problem to the department of labor 
and industry. The strict application of the school code requiring compulsory 
attendance and the requirement that employment certificates be issued by the 
school authorities to childreir in conformity with the State child-labor law h:ive 
made it very difiic-ult to use children in industries employing migratory labor. 

"In the southern part of the State there is a slight flow of labor over S^ate 
lines in the fruit, berry picking, and canning seasons. However, the inspection 
bureau and the bureau of women and children of the department have strictly 
enforced the State's labor laws as they relate to women and children. 

"The department of labor and industry has opposed the encouragement of 
migrant labor in the defense industries in Pennsylvania. Its position has been 
that it is first necessary to reemploy th^ State's own unemployed befoi-e giving 
jobs to residents of other States. The State employment service, which oper- 
ates within the depaitment of labor and industry, maintains the closest coopera- 
tion with the Federal authorities and is in close contact with employment 
services in other States. An effective control of labor contractors has been 
established both as to inter- and intra-state placements. 

"The secretary of the department is of the opinion that the strict application 
of the labor laws and the school attendance laws has decreased and almost 
eliminated the migratory labor problem in Pennsylvania." 

From an education standpoint, the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department 
of Public Instruction reports as follows : 

"The problem of school attendance in connection with interstate migrant working 
families in Pennsylvania has not beerr so acvrte as might have been anticipated. 
This was found to be true, especially in connection with the electrification program 

260370 — 41— pt. 8- 


of the Pennsylvania Railroad Co. and the consti'uction of the Pennsylvania 
Turnpike. It appears that school districts rather willingly accepted the children 
in their schools, without serious objection with respect to the question of residence 
as related to tuition, presumably on account of the increased purchasing power 
coming to their immediate vicinities. The parents of these children likewise seemed 
to send them to school willingly, without enforcement of the penalties for non- 
attendance. We know that in certain counties these submarginal families received 
clothing through the cooperation of the local school district and the county 
superintendent's office. 

"The question of employment of children of migrant families appears to have 
diminished throughout the years. This fact has been corroborated by the bureau 
of women and children of the State department of labor and industry, which 
assures us that the child labor law has been widely accepted. This has been 
augmented, of course, by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act which has had a 
salutary effect in eliminating problems in connection with interstate commerce. 

"The problems in Pennsylvania have existed largely in connection with the 
cranberry harvest in New Jersey and the canning industry along the Maryland 
border. These problems were quite acute, but during the past few years very 
few have been brouglit to the attention of the department. One of these along 
the Maryland border reported a year ago was cleared up through a visit by the 
county superintendent of schools." 


Since the problem of interstate migration is of Nation-wide scope and since it is 
Impossible for any State to deal effectively witli tbe problem by itself, an approach 
to the solution of the problem must involve greater participation by the Federal 
Government in helping the States to initiate a program of care for nonresidents 
where no such program now exists, and to expand and improve such programs as 
are now in effect. Even if the great variety of settlement and residence laws 
pertaining to eligibility for public assistance were reduced to uniformity, participa- 
tion by the Federal Government would still be necessary to equalize the burden. 

The department of public assistance therefore recommends the enactment of a 
Federal program of grants-in-aid to tlie States for general assistance to all indigent 
persons, including nonsettled persons. Federal participation solely in the care of 
transients, as such, would be unsalisfac (dry and unworkable since this would tend 
to encourage migration by placing i he transient in a more favored position in many 
States than the residents of these States themselves. 

In any program of Federal grants-in-aid the following principles are es.sential : 

1. Federal participation should be contingent upon tlie acceptance by the Federal 
authority of State plans which conform to minimum standards established by the 
Federal Government. 

2. To be acceptable, a State plan for general assistance should not provide a 
residence requirement which exceeds 1 year's residence in the State prior to the 
application for assistance, regardless of the length of residence in any particular 
locality within the State. The degree of Federal participation for persons meeting 
the State residence requirement should be somewhat less than for those not meet- 
ing this requirement. A higher degree of Federal partieiiiation for the nonresident 
group would help to mitigate the reluctance of many local authorities to care for 

3. There should be provision for a single State agency to administer the plan 
or establish regulations and standards for local administrative units, such units 
to be supervised by the central agency. 

4. Removals : 

(a) Removal of persons to their place of settlement should be decided pri- 
marily in accordance with the best interests of the family or individual and 
the communities concerned. Where two State agencies are unable to agree on 
whether a family should be permitted to stay where it is, or to be removed to 
the place of settlement, provision should be made for appeal by the State agency 
to a Federal referee, whose decision would be binding on both States. 

(&) A person residing in a State .should 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. 


(c) Regardless of settlement status, it should be possible for a person to be 
sent to another State, provided he so desires, and authorization is received from 
the proper welfare official in the receiving State. 

5. Minimum standards of relief and health care, including but not limited to 
medical aid in hospitals, clinics, and other institutions, should be established in 
the State plan, with Federal participation provided accordingly. 

6. Registration with Federal or State employment services should be required 
of every employable person under care who has reached the legal age for 

7. A division of an appropriate Federal agency should be set up to study- 
specific labor needs in various sections of the country and to disseminate infor- 
mation guiding would-be migrant workers. The publicity of such an agency 
should be both positive and negative, encouraging migration to areas of increased 
employment opportunities, as well as discouraging futile migration to parts of 
the country where it is known that employment opportunities are not available. 

State Depaiitjxent of Public Assistancse, 

Charleston, W. Va., November 9, 1940. 
Hon. John J. Tolan, 

Chairman, Special Committee Investigating the 
Interstate Migration of Destitute Citizens, 
House of Representatives, 

Washington, D. C. 
My Dear Mr. Tolan : I am enclosing a brief report on problems of migration 
in our State. This report was prepared by our department at the request of 
Governor Holt, who referred your request for such information to our depart- 
ment and that of unemployment compensation. As you will see, the latter felt 
that they had experienced no particular problem in this respect. 

West Virginia has no serious race problem now, and our industries are fairly 
stable. Our county departments tell us that the number of destitute migrants 
has decreased considerably even during the 4 years since the creation of this 

If I or any of my department can be of any further help to you in this study, 
we shall be very glad to do so. I am sorry that w^e have been somewhat late in 
sending this report. 

Very truly yours, 

A. W. Gaunett, Director. 


West Virginia has no widespread problem as to destitute migrants. Estimates 
based on this department's experience indicate that there is no concerted migra- 
tory movement either in or out of the State and that fluctuations in our relief 
case load result almost entirely from changes in business conditions and seasonal 
employment opportunities within the State and variations in eligibility require- 
ments for the various kinds of relief. 

Last month (July 1940) somewhat less- than i percent of the general: relief 
cases of the State were closed because the recipients had moved outside the 
State. Approximately this same proportion of the general relief case load for 
July represented families which had moved into West Virginia within the past 
3 years. (Eligibility requirements for relief in West Virginia include 1 year's 
residence in the State.) For the classified assistance cases, the proportion for 
both was slightly under one-half of 1 percent. 

Since our department, by the very nature of its residence requirements for 
eligibility, is not in touch with the families which have come into our State 
most recently, family welfare societies and various private and municipal welfare 
agencies w^ere asked as to their experience. 

Their reports seem to justify the following general conclusions : 

A great many families are now moving into certain sections of West Virginia, 
notably the Kanawha Valley section (where are located the industrial plants 
of Carbide and Carbon and Du Pont and the United States Naval Ordnance 


Plant) and the northern part of the State, where much industrial expansion ia 
now in prospect (a new Du Pont plant is to be built in Moriiaiitown, Morionsalia 
County, near the Pennsylvania line). Very few of these i'ninilit's, h(iwev<'r, are 
destitute and local charitable organizations estimate that only about one flfth 
could be called borderline cases. 

The largest number of destitute migrants come to the attention of the relief 
agencies in the southern counties. Many of these migrants are from Kentucky 
and welfare workers attribute tiie movement to the fact that Kentucky's assist- 
ance awards are smaller than those of West Virginia. A large percent of these 
people, however, return to Kentucky after realizing the necessity of waiting 
1 yeiir to establish residence in West Virginia before securing assistance in 
this State. 

Although almost 50 percent of our Negro population has migrated from other 
States (iirincipally Virginia, Alabama, and North Carolina), the rate of niigra- 
tJon during the past decade is somewhat lower than during 1020-30 and there 
is no serious problem indicated. 

It is the opinion of many welfare workers that almost half of the destitute 
families coming into West Virginia are those who had lived here prior to 
1920-30 (during which West Virginia lost 100,041 of her native white popula- 
tion). During this period the good wages of industries in Ohio, Pennsylvania, 
and other neighboring States attracted all classes of persons and many of them 
have returned to West Virginia during the past several years. An example of 
this is furnished in the case of persons, notably from our northern counties, 
who found employment for several years in the tire factories of Ohio and who 
were cut off and returned to the rural sections of West Virginia during the 



Chaiicston, October 10, 19J,0. 

It is not felt that the employment service can oiTer any factual data signifi- 
cant to the problem of interstate migration of destitute persons. The service 
does not take registrations nor make referrals to jobs on the basis of need, hence 
it keeps no records which would provide information pertinent to the problem. 
Thei'cfore, it is deemed more practical to let the report of the dejiartment of 
public assistance constitute the Slate's reply to Representative Tolan's request. 

It might bt? added that while we have recently observed a fairly considerable 
migration of highly skilled workers from the State to manufacturing centers 
further east, there has been no noticeable movement of destitute persons to or 
from the State. 

The Chairman. We will now hear the testimony of an unemployed 
Negro tailor from South Carolina. 


Mr. Sparkman. State your name and address. 

Mr. Robinson. E'lward Kobinson, 222 K Street N. W., apartment 3. 

Mr. SPAiiKMAN. How old are you? 

Mr. KoniNsoN. Fifty-four years of age. 

Mr. Sparkman. Are you married? 

Mr. RoniNsoN. I am. 

Mr. Si'AKKiMAN. Do you have any children? 

Mr. KoHiNsoN. Nine. 

Mr. Sparkman. How old is the oldest child? 

Mr. Robinson. Seventeen years old. 

Mr. Sparkman. And the youngest? 

Mr. RoBiN.soN. Two months. 

Mr. Sparkman. How long have you been here in Washington ? 


Mr. Robinson. Since July 2, 1939. 

Mr. Sparkman. When did your family come? 

Mr. EoBiNSON. They came here on Armistice Day, in November 

Mr. Sparkman. Where did you come from ? 

Mr. Robinson. From Swansea, S. C. 

Mr. Sparkman. Do you have any ])rofession? 

Mr. Robinson. I am a tailor by trade. 

Mr. Sparkman. You did tailoring work in South Carolina? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. Did you own your own shop there ? 

Mr. Robinson. At one time I did. 

Mr. Sparkman. Have you done any tailoring here ? 

Mr. Robinson. I have been doing little jobs. I have not been able 
to obtain regular work. 

Mr. Sparkman. You have been picking up jobs wherever and 
whenever you could find them? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes; I am age-handicapped. 

Mr. Sparkman. Have you ever applied for public or private relief 

Mr. Robinson. Indeed, I have. 

Mr. Sparkman. Have j'ou ever gotten it? 

Mr. Robinson. A few emergency orders. 

Mr. Sparkman. Now, if you went back to South Carolina, you 
would be eligible for W. P. A. relief there, would you not? 

Mr. Robinson. I do not know. I cannot say whether I would be, 
or not. 

Mr. Sparkman. Is there any reason why you could not be employed 
on a W. P. A. project? 

Mr. Robinson. Of course, you see, I have been on this sort of job 
since 1911. I have been running a shop. 

Mr. Sparkman. Operating since 1911? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir. They have no place for such as me in 
the work they have. As you know, a man who has been working 
at a trade as long as I have, has nothing offered that he can do 
except stump digging or road building. As you see, I would not be 
eligible for those jobs. 

Mr. Sparkman. Had you been in Washington before? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. When? 

Mr. Robinson. In 1929 and 1930. 

Mr. Sparkman. How did you happen to come up here then? 

Mr. Robinson. I came up here _ 

Mr. Sparkman (interposing). Looking for work? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. Did you find it? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. How did you come to go back to South Carolina? 

Mr. Robinson. The family was there. 

Mr. Sparkman. You decided to come up here for work, and then 
decided to go back there? 


Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. Did you try to find work anywhere else in South 
•Carolina ? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. Where? 

Mr. Robinson. I tried in other places. I stayed over at Columbia 
for 2 days before I came here. 

Mr. Sparkman. And you were not able to find anythino- to do 

Mr. Robinson. No, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. Do you think there is a better chance for you to 
get permanently settled in Washington than there is in Swan- 
sea, S. C? 

Mr. Robinson. It seems to me there would be. 

Mr. Sparkman. You are hopeful of making some connection here? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir; I came here to establish residence. 

Mr. Sparkman. You came here for the purpose of establishing 
residence ? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir ; that is my purpose. 

Mr. Sparkman. You are still hopeful of finding something to do? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. You say your oldest child is 17 years of age? 

Mr. Robinson. Eighteen last December. 

Mr. Sparkman. Is the oldest a boy or girl ? 

Mr. Robinson. A boy. 

Mr. Sparkman. Is he doing any work ? 

Mr. Robinson. He is doing a little work, such as he can do. 

Mr. Sparkman. What does he do ? 

Mr. Robinson. He has been working in shoe-shine parlors some- 
times, and he is working this week in a grocery store. 

Mr. Sparkman. Does he go to school ? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir. He goes at night? 

Mr. Sparkman. Are the other children in school ? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir ; except one. 

Mi". Sparkman. Are all of the members of the family in good 

Mr. Robinson. They are fairly well. My wife has been sick 
about 6 months since she has been here. She was unable to do 

Mr. Sparkman. What kind of place do you live in here? 

Mr. Robinson. We first lived in a basement. I lived in a base- 
ment, but it did not seem to be healthy, and I rented a top-floor 

Mr. Sparkman. You went from the bottom to the top ? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir. I lived there awhile. There were no 
conveniences while I lived there. Now I am in an apartment where 
there is heat and hot water. 

Mr. Sparkman. What is the size of the apartment ? 

Mr. Robinson. Three rooms. 

Mr. Sparkman. Does all of your family live there together ? 

Mr. Robinson. That is their home. 


Mr. Sparkman. The children are still at home? 

Mr. EoBiNsoN. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. You have definitely made up your mind to remain 
in Washington ? 

Mr. EoBiNSON. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. Have you thought of going anywhere else ? 

Mr. KoBiNsoN. No, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. In other words, you have been a migrant, but do 
not want to be a migrant any longer ? 

Mr. Robinson. That is right. 

The Chairman. What sort of basement did your family live in? 

Mr. Robinson. It was not very much. 

The Chairman. How large was it? 

Mr. Robinson. Three rooms. 

The Chairman. How were you able to put all of your people in 
those accommodations ? 

Mr. Robinson. We did the best we could. Of course, we had three 
rooms and a bath. It was cold, and we did not have much heat. 

The Chairman. Did you have plenty to eat all the time? 

Mr. Robinson. Part of the time it is pretty fair, but sometimes 
we are a little short. It is so now. 

Tlie Chairman. Do you have your own furniture ? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. How^ many beds do you have ? 

Mr. Robinson. We have three and a cot. 

The Chairman. How much rent do you have to pay for your 
apartment ? 

Mr. Robinson. Twenty-five dollars and fifty cents. 

The Chairman. What did you pay for the basement ? 

Mr. Robinson. Sixteen dollars. 

The Chairman. Are you fairly comfortable now ? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir; w^e are finding it pretty comfortable, but 
we would like to have larger quarters. However, we have to do the 
best we can uutil we get something better. I am a little distressed 
in a way, I might say. We are short of funds, and I owe rent now. 

The Chairman. You are sticking it out, and will stay there? 

Mr. Robinson. We will try to stay if possible. 

The Chairman. Did you receive any help from the Salvation Army 
or the Travelers Aid? 

Mr. Robinson. No, sir. 

The Chairman. Did you ever apply to them for aid ? 

Mr. Robinson. Once I applied to the Community Chest, and they 
shot me to public assistance. That was the first of this year. In 
March they pushed me over to the place at Sixth and A Street, to the 
Travelers Aid. I asked the Travelers Aid for help, and they helped 
me four times. I was helped four times, and they turned me loose. In 
fact, I tried to get my social security, but was turned down there. I 
had worked for a man at Swansea for 5 or 6 months, and he collected 
social securit}^; so thinking I had social security to fall back on, I 
asked for it. I wrote to the Columbia people at Fifth and K, or the 


labor place, to forward the letter to them. Of course, they never could 
get anythino^. They only said I was not eligible. 

The Chairman. Why was that ? 

Mr. Robinson. I have never learned why. 

The Chairman. Did they explain why you were not eligible, or was 
it on account of residence ? 

Mr. Robinson, They collected social security at that time. 

The Chairman. In other words, you paid in, but did not take 
anything out? 

Mr. Robinson. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Did you get anything out of it ? 

Mr. Robinson. They said there was nothing for me. 

The Chairman. How much did you pay ? 

Mr. Robinson. Well, I paid in 2 cents on the dollar. 

The Chairman. For what period of time? 

Mr. Robinson. It run between 5 and 6 months, I know, because I 
know when I went there and when I came away, on the 1st of May. 

The Chairman. They simply told you that you were not eligible ? 

Mr. Robinson. That I was not eligible. They said that a man that 
wasn't under that limit didn't get under the law ; he didn't hire enough 
help to cover the law. But I would like to know as to why he didn't, 
and collect the money. I never have been able to find out. 

Mr. Sparkman. Edward, you realize that under the Social Security 
Act there are several different parts and several different types. The 
chances are that what you paid in went toward the old-age payment 
fund and not toward unemployment. What you were trying to collect 
was unemployment, and your amount was not covered by the unem- 
ployment, probably, and what you were paying in was for the old-age 
fund rather than for the unemployment. 

Mr. Robinson. Well, I didn't understand it that way. 

Mr. Sparkman. My guess is that that is what happened. 

The Chxirman. Thank you very much, Mr. Robinson. 

Mr. McKenney. 


The Chairman. Mr. McKenney, will you please state your full 
name and address? 

Mr. McKenney. Clarence McKenney, 518 Thirteenth Street NE. 

The Chairman. Where were you born, Mr. McKenney ? 

Mr. McKenney. Westmoreland, Va. 

The Chairman. And how old are you? 

Mr. McKenney. Thirty-eight, 

The Chairman, How much education have you had? 

Mr. McI^NNEY. Seventh grade. 

The Chairman. Are you married? 

Mr. McKenney. No, sir. 

The Chairman. Is tliis the first time you have ever been in Washing- 

Mr. McKenney. No, I have been here several different times. 

The Chairman. Since what year ? 


Mr. McKenney. Well, off and on since 1921. 

The Chairman. Do you have any relatives here? 

Mr. McKenney. All my people are here. 

The Chairman. \Vliat do they consist of, a father and mother? 

Mr. McKenney. Father and mother, sisters, and brothers. 

The Chairman. Wliat does your father do ? 

Mr. McKenney. Nothing. 

The Chairman. Is he on relief ? 

Mr. McKenney. No, sir; he is too old to work. He just stays at 
home and my sisters take care of him. 

The Chairman. When did you come to Washington the last time? 

Mr. McKenney. In March. 

The Chairman. Last March ? 

Mr. McKenney. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. What do you consider your legal residence; the 
District of Columbia or the State of Virginia? 

Mr. McKj=:nney. The State of Virginia. 

The Chairman. Have you ever applied for public assistance? 

Mr. McKenney. I applied for a W. P. A. job. 

The Chairman. How did you come out? 

Mr. McKenney. No residence. I didn't get it— I mean, not a resi- 
dent of this town. 

The Chairman. Since coming here have you had any employment? 

Mr. McKenney. I get 2 or 3 days some weeks, and some weeks 1 day. 

The Chairman. You are a lather now, are you not ? 

Mr. McKenney. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Congressman Sparkman would like to have you 
explain what a lather is. 

Mr. McI^NNEY. You just nail laths on the walls for the plaster, 
that is about all I can tell you. 

The Chairman. From your record it would seem that you came from 
Virginia, and got some work for a time, and then became discouraged 
and went back south ; is that correct? 

Mr. McKJENNEY. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. How did your father make a living? 

Mr. McKenney. He used to work on: the road, just like I did — 
fishing, crabbing, and oystering, which is all we do in that section 
where I came from. 

The Chairman. You have always followed that line of work? 

Mr. McKenney. Yes, sir. That is all I know. 

The Chairman. Why didn't you continue that line of work? 

Mr. McKenney. It just got so rotten we couldn't make a living. 

The Chairman. How is that? Don't they do as much of that 
work now as they used to ? 

Mr. McKenney. They are doing just as much work, but it got 
so tough to make a living, and for the last 2 or 3 years the fishers 
couldn't hire anybody. 

The Chairman. Is that on account of shortage of fish? 

Mr. McKenney. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. They were not biting ? 

Mr, McKenney. No, sir; we catch them in nets, you know. 


The Chairman, Is Westmoreland County, Va., mainly an agri- 
cultural district ? 

Mr. McKenney. It is about 50-50, I guess, sea food and agri- 

The Chairman. There are canneries there, are there not? 

Mr. McKenney. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Did you ever try to find work at any of them? 

Mr. McKenney. Yes, sir. I have worked for lots of them, but 
that only lasts about a month and a half, or something like that, 
and then it is all off. 

The Chairman. What wages did you receive? 

Mr. McKenney. The last I worked in, I received $3 a day for 
10 hours' work. 

The Chairman. You could not find anything permanent there, 
could you ? 

Mr. McKenney. No, sir. 

The Chairman. How far are you from Richmond? 

Mr. McKenney. About 60 miles. 

The Chairman. Did you ever try to find work there ? 

Mr. McKenney. No, sir. 

The Chairman. You were 17 when you left Virginia the first time, 
were you not — 17 years old ? 

Mr. McKenney. I guess I must have been something about like 
that. I know it has been a long time. 

The Chairman. Did you ever get any work there, at Richmond? 

Mr. McKenney. No, sir; I never went over into Richmond for 
work in my life. 

The Chairman. Did you go back to Virginia and go to work on 
the water ? 

Mr. McKenney. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Where? 

Mr. McKenney. Down the lower Potomac and Chesapeake Bay. 

The Chairman. What year was that ? 

Mr. McKenney. Oh, it has been off and on practically all mv 
life. . 

The Chairman. You were in business there with your father, were 

Mr. McKenney. Yes, sir ; that is, when I started. 

The Chairman. How old is your father? 

Mr. McKenney. He is 67. 

The Chairman. Did he make any money there? 

]\Ir, McKenney. He would make a living; that is all he ever 
made — not so much. 

The Chairman. At one time you owned two boats together, did 
you not? 

Mr. McKenney. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. What did you do after that? 

Mr. McKenney. Well — what year was that? 

The Chairman. This was when you and your father owned the 
two boats. 

Mr. McKenney. I am 38 years old, and I left home when I was 17. 

The Chairman. Did you ever work in Philadelphia? 


Mr. McKenney. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. What did you do tiiere ? 

Mr. INIcKenney. I was in an automobile factory. 

The Chairman. How long did you work in the automobile factory ? 

Mr. McKenney. From 1926 until some time in 1928 or 1929; I 
am not sure. 

The Chairman. How much did you get? 

Mr. McKenney. Six, seven, and eight dollars a day; piece-work, 
you know. 

The Chairman. Why did you quit? 

Mr. McKenney. I didn't quit. They laid us all off. 

The Chairman. Besides being a lather, you are also a sailor, are 
you not ? 

Mr. ]\IcKenney. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Where did you sail? 

Mr. McKenney. From here to Newport News, to Norfolk, and 
from home to Baltimore. 

The Chairman. Why didn't you stay at that? 

Mr. McKenney. It didn't pay any money. 

The Chairman. Can you think of anything in your home vicinity 
that would give you a living? 

Mr. ]\IcKenney. No, sir. 

The Chairman. Will you go back there this winter? 

Mr. McKenney. I don't think so ; at least we haven't any home to 
go to any more. 

The Chairman. Do you find many people from your home district 
coming to Washington ? 

Mr.^McKENNEY. Everyone, pretty near, sir, that is 16 years of 
age ; practically all of them, girls and boys. 

The Chairman. Girls and boys, from 16 years of age, practically 
all of them, are coming to Washington? 

Mv. McKenney. From around my section; yes, sir. 

The Chairman. What starts it? 

Mr. McKenney. Well, there is nothing there for them. There 
are no amusements; you have to clrive 25 miles to see a movie; and 
the young people, as soon as they get through school, they are gone. 

The Chairman. Are they living on farms? 

Mr. McKenney. Most of them; yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Can they make a good living on the farms there? 

Mr, McKenney. Not hardly; not on the farms they have dow.n 
there. You see, they haven't §-ot any great big farms ; they are small 
farms, and they just make a living ; that is about all you can say. Two- 
thirds of them haven't even got a car. 

The Chairman. But as soon as they are old enough, and out of 
school, they strike for Washington ? 

Mr. McKenney. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Are you doing anything here now — working? 

Mr. McI^NNEY. I haven't this week. I got 3 days last week. 

The Chairman. What did you do ? 

Mr. McKenney. Lathing. 

The Chairman. Where are you living? 

Mr. McKenney. I am living with my brother-in-law. 



The Chairman. Have you applied to any agencies here for relief? 

Mr. McKJENNET. No, sir. 

The Chairman. You have never been on relief, have you? 

Mr. McKenney. No, sir. 

The Chairman. Do you find in your home vicinity there in Vir- 
ginia that machinery has displaced a lot of people from work? 

Mr. McKenney. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. What kind of machinery ? 

Mr. McKenney. Well, it used to take about 16 men to pull a haul 
seine, in fishing ; now they have an engine to do it. Then in threshing 
one man will do what it used to take 10 or 12 men to do. 

Tlie Chairman. You find that one of the chief causes of unemploy^ 
ment in your home district ? 

Mr. McKenney. Plenty of it ; yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Are you registered here in the District Employ- 
ment Service ? 

Mr. McKenney. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. So I take it from your testimony that you intend 
to stay here in Washington? 

Mr. McI^nney. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. You figure that you have got just as good chance 
here as you would have at your home or any other place ? 

Mr. McKenney. Yes, sir. I think I have got a better chance, be- 
cause there may be something come up some day down here and there 
certainly ain't anything coming up down there. 

Mr. Spaekman. Mr. McKenney, have you made any inquiry of the 
Civil Service Commission as to whether or not you might fit into some 
of the building-trades jobs in the defense program? 

Mr. McKenney. No, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. I do not know about your particular line of work, 
but I do know that they have been trying very hard to get people 
who did have experience in the building trades, as well as other skilled 
trades. I would suggest that you make inquiry there. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much, Mr. McKenney. 


The Chairman. Mrs. O'Connor, Mrs. Linzel, Miss Jones, Major 
Dodd, Mr. Houston. 

(The witnesses referred to appeared before the committee.) 
Mr. Curtis. I want to say to this group that I have read the state- 
ment that each of you has submitted. Incidentally, I want to say 


that I think a great deal of the groups that you represent. We held 
hearings throughout many parts of the United States, and mention of 
the work of these social agencies that you represent appears often in 
our testimony. We know that you are doing very many worth-while 
things, and we know, too, that you are able to furnish very valuable 

For the purpose of the record I am going to have each of your 
identify himself. 

Mrs. O'Connor, will you give your full name and your address and 
what organization it is that you represent here ? 

Mrs. O'Connor. I am Mrs. John J. O'Connor. I represent the 
Council of Social Agencies, as chairman of the transient committee. I 
live at the Shoreham in Washington. 

Mrs. LiNZEL. I am Mrs. Frank A. Linzel, chairman of the family 
welfare division of the Council of Social Agencies. I also am a resi- 
dent of Washington, D. C. 

Mr. Curtis. And Miss Jones? 

Miss Jones. I am Miss Alice Elizabeth Jones, executive secretary, 
Washington Travelers Aid Society. 

Mr. Curtis. And your residence is Washington ? 

Miss Jones. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. And Major Dodd? 

Major DoDD. Maj. Charles Dodd, divisional commander of the Sal- 
vation Army, Washington, D, C. 

Mr. Curtis. Is Mr. Houston here yet? 

Mr. Houston. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. Mr. Houston, we have just started a discussion with 
this group, and I have liad every one of them give their full names 
and addresses and what organization they represent. We would ap- 
preciate it if you would do the same thing. 

Mr. Houston. My name is Charles H. Houston. My address is 
615 F Street NW., Washington, D. C, and I am on the national 
legal committee of the National Association for the Advancement of 
Colored People. 

Mr. Curtis. Now, as I have told you, I have read the prepared state- 
ments that have been handed to us by each one of you, and I have a few 
questions in mind that I am going" to direct to you individually con- 
cerning your statements. But I have three or four things that I want 
to ask you about before we go into that individual questioning, and I 
want all of you to feel free to speak^up and give your opinions. 


First, I am confining our discussion to the family migrant. I would 
like to have you people tell this committee what you think is the basic 
cause or causes of families becoming migrants and just getting out and 

Mrs. O'Connor. May I suggest that Miss Jones, who deals with the 
migrant family and is in charge of that work in the Travelers Aid 
Society, answer that question ? 

Mr. Curtis. We will be glad to have her answer it. 

Miss JoisEs. I think it is very difficult to say what is the fundamental 
cause. It seems to me there are a great many causes and, considering 
the cases on an individual basis, as we do in our agency, I think we are 
apt to find almost as many causes as we do people coming to us. 


Of course, obviously, there are certain general factors which are ex- 
tremely important. I think one of them is the desire to better them- 
selves by finding better opportunities, possibly, than are available in 
their local area. And it has always been, I think, more or less charac- 
teristic of the people of this country to move from one place to another 
in an effort to improve their conditions. 

Likewise, I think, a factor is the inadequate resources for the resi- 
dents of many communities and the care for residents, which forces 
people many times to go elsewhere. It is not so much that they want to 
leave the security of their home community, but they are forced to do 
so by inadequate care of all sorts. 

Mr. Curtis. For example, you will find at a given time, perhaps, a 
Baltimore family stranded in Philadelphia, and on that same day a 
Philadelphia family stranded in Baltimore. Both have gone for the 
identical purpose. You will also find, in a given area, certain hard- 
ships coming to a group — the closing of a mine or something like that — 
and three families remain and one starts to move. What do you think 
about that, Miss Jones? 

Miss Jones. Well, I think that may go back to many personal factors 
in those individual situations. There are many people that have some 
unsatisfactory famil}' relationships, and there are other factors which 
I think of in terms of personal, individual factors, which may be a 
cause for their moving. 

Mr. CuKTis. Major Dodd, what do you have to say about this general 
proposition that I have discussed with Miss Jones ? 

Major DoDD. Due to the fact that in the District of Columbia we 
have no responsibility — of course you understand that in Washington 
the social services of the community, through the Council of Social 
Agencies, are planned, and those agencies that are best fitted to handle 
the particular problems of the related fields handle them. In this in- 
stance it has been the Travelers Aid, and consequently the Salvation 
Army has no budgetary provision or any assignment of responsibility 
in the community, and we do not enter into that field. My personal 
viewpoint on it 

Mr. Curtis. That is what I want. 

Major DoDD. Is very much as Miss Jones has described to us. We 
have varying levels of relief, and some communities are, to some de- 
gree, adequately taking care of that. I think our own situation here 
might very properly add something to the whole transient problem. 
The relief payment ceiling of $48, high rents, the high cost of living 
in Washington, that regardless of the size of the family there must 
be a celling of $48 — immediately, if the family has an opportunity, 
or hears of a chance to improve their status, that family may move. 
I think that very largely the country has been developed because 
moving and transiency has been a part of our history. It is the 
desire of the people to improve their status that impels them to be 
continually on the move. 

Mr. Curtis. Mrs. O'Connor, what do you think about this general 

Mrs. O'Connor. I think, as has been expressed, that the individual- 
ity itself is the prime reason. I believe that there are two groups 


that can be considered in the family migrant problem: First, per- 
haps, there are those people who are more or less chronic wanderers, 
who go from place to place, unable to get what they want, and still 
going on, feeling that over the hill, perhaps, is the very pleasantest 
place. On the other hand, I do think it is truly an expression of 
what we might call the American people's right to find work, to lind 
a place, to find security, to find wages, to find education in some place, 
and particularly the family that has children. 

We find, of course, people coming in here from other cities; and 
I remember that at the time of the survey made by the transient 
committee we had about 2,000 or more in Washington on that special 
day, and there were 1,700 and some Washingtonians elsewhere. In 
other words, I think the American spirit is to get on the way and 
find an opportunity, and some of them never get settled. 

I think the point has been well made today by one of the council 
workers that the time is coming, because of the seasonal work and 
because of defense operations, when we will have to deal in larger 
degree with families that have no definite settlement, or who have 
no legal settlement. 

Mr. Curtis. Now, Mrs. O'Connor, with regard to these families 
who start out to better themselves, do you think that for the most 
part they do so, or do their difficulties increase when they get away 
from home? 

Mrs. O'Connor. Oh, I think that by and large, Mr. Congressman, 
the thousands of people who go out on the road to seek better em- 
jDloyment, better education, better health, find it. I think we get a 
very small percentage 

Mr. Curtis (interposing). My question applies to the destitute 

Mrs. O'Connor. The destitute; yes. 

Mr. Curtis. People who have just reached their last ounce of re- 
sources of their own, and they start out. Now, in your opinion, do 
those people, as a class, better themselves, or are they worse off ^ 

Mrs. O'Connor. No ; I think — I am not sure that one could make a 
general statement, and I would like to hear Miss Jones speak on 
this — but from the little observation I have had in studying the case 
records I should think that a large part of them start out — we call 
them destitute when they get here, but they start out with a per- 
fectly good plan in mind, and on the way, perhaps, that plan has 
failed, and they are destitute when they get here. But I honestly 
feel that there are many self-reliant people who leave the bread 
lines at home because they believe that they can get off the bread 
lines here, or get a fairly secure job elsewhere, and they get lost, 
perhaps, here in Washington. I think that is equally true of other 
cities. I shall be interested to read the committee's findings on this 
matter. But, although many of these people are chronic wanderers, 
I have great confidence in the ability of the average fine American 
family to start out, even though they have not quite the wherewithal 
to make their goal, but who feel that somehow they may make it. 


Mr. Curtis. Mrs. Linzel, what do you think about it? Do you 
think that destitute families better themselves by starting out and 
getting on the move? 

Mrs. Linzel, Well, by and large, I think, with Mrs. O'Connor, 
that it is very difficult to answer that question yes or no. It would 
seem, from most of the information that we have, that the general 
reply to that would be "No," because of the difficulty with the various 
settlement laws, because they lose their citizenship and their right 
to relief by going from one place to another. They hear these 
rumors of a national-defense program, and they feel that because 
this is their Nation's Capital, and here is their Congressman, they 
can come here for relief. They cannot understand, when they get 
here, that we do not have the facilities for looking after them — 
which, of course, comes right back to our community. So, on the 
whole, it would, of course, seem as though they do not better them- 
selves under existing conditions. 

Mr. Curtis. Mr. Houston, you did not file a written statement, 
but I want to ask you this question : Among your colored people, 
when they are destitute and start out to leave, do they better them- 
selves, or are their troubles increased? 

Mr. Houston. I will have to answer that in several ways. To 
answer the first question, about the migration of family units, I 
think, on the whole, the migration of Negroes has been more on 
an individual basis. Where families have moved, it is because some- 
one has preceded them and gotten a stake in a northern community, 
because most of that migration is from the South to the North. 
Where you have family units, I think they fall in the class of migra- 
tory workers or families that have had some particular crisis which 
caused them to pull up stakes and move, regardless of consequences. 

I think that, as to migratory workers, the further north you go 
the better off the Negro is from the standpoint of living. So, I think, 
generally, the Negro betters himself. 

But that, of course, is a general statement, subject to all the 
qualifications that a general statement carries. 

Mrs. O'Connor. At the time you asked the question I did not get 
the emphasis on destitute. I do not think any social agency, when 
it is considering this problem, would ever advise people starting 
with no funds, no plan, or no security, even though it may seem 
that they have nothing at home. I think they must have some funds 
and some plan. I think just going out into the open is not very 
successful, although I do not blame them, frequently. Often they 
do it because it is their last resort, and their self-respect and self- 
reliance is challenged, and they meet that challenge in that way. 

Mr. Curtis. Major Dodd, assuming that a family has been located 
in a given community over a period of years, that they have certain 
community ties, church ties, and family reputation, does the breaking 
up of all of those ties ancl becoming a wandering family have an 
inevitable effect on these people? 

Major DoDD. Again, Mr. Congressman. I must make this Durelv per- 
sonal observation, because we have had no particular experience in 


dealing with tliat group in Washington. But it seems to me to be 
obvious, in the case of a family which leaves a community where they 
have friends, where some of their children may have gone to school, 
where they have a work record and church affiliations, that especially if 
there is a subsequent passing on of that familj^ to another community, 
with each move their circumstances become increasingly bad. I do 
not know how it is possible for such a family to go through such an 
experience as that without suffering very seriously, physically, men- 
tally, and in every other way. 


Mr. Curtis. In that connection, in regard to settlement laws, a great 
deal has been said about eliminating some of their provisions and mak- 
ing them uniform. But it seems to me we must all be agreed as to 
this : That if a family stays in a given community for many, many 
years, and they have their attachments there, and have carried their 
responsibilities there, it does seem rather unfortunate that in a few 
short months, througli errors of judgment in thinking they could bet- 
ter themselves some place else, they should lose that legal residence and 
not attain one elsewhere. 

Do you agree with that, Major Docld? 

Major DoDD. I do, very much, and I think still further that the 
policy of some jurisdictions in declaring a person not a resident of that 
community because they may have declared an intention of going to 
another community and then found they could not carry through 
their plan is unfortunate. They intended to move elsewhere, but were 
unable to carry through such a plan, so they return to their own State 
or community and find that because of a declaration of intention they 
have lost their status in that community. It seems to me when we talk 
about democratic processes, we are doing a great deal to tear them 
down in an instance of that kind, by such treatment. That is true 
where they may, with the best intention, be leaving a community to 
better themselves, and then have to return and find that everything 
they consider dear has gone in the meantime. I think that is a bad 

Mr. CuETis. Mrs. Linzel, I believe you have worked with the Wash- 
ington Council of Social Agencies on this migrant problem. Do you 
have any comment to make on the question I asked Major Dodd about 
the breaking of all these home ties, community ties, and church ties 
where a destitute family starts out? In your observation, are many 
of those people subjected to those same forces that cause people to 
take to the road ? 

Mrs. Linzel. We find it very difficult to contact them, because they 
are loathe to identify themselves again. We take our program to them, 
but it is very difficult to assimilate them into the church group. They 
seem to have lost touch and lost their spirit. It is difficult to tie them 
up again. 

Our women this year are making a very definite study of migration 
problems in the local mission work, but in that connection it is rather 
difficult to make progress. There is an organization of women under 
Miss Lowry, who, I think, was a witness who appeared before you 
in New York, and we participate in that type of work. But it is 
very difficult to assimilate those people again. 

260370 — il— pt. 8 6 


Mr. Curtis. What I am trying to get is an answer to this question — 
if yon will permit me to say so, I am very deeply interested in this 
matter of the migration of destitute people, thousands and millions of 
people, who have no homes, but are out hunting jobs, with the number 
increasing every year — as to whether or not that is a good thing, and 
are those i^eojjle bettering themselves? The moment they become 
transients, are they losing something, and is the country at large los- 
ing something? 

Mrs. LiNZEL. Yes; I should say. It seems to me they are losing 
something, and at the same time something is being lost in oiu' whole 
democratic process. They go from place to place and they have lost 
their security completely. In that case, a family is not bettering 
itself. That would be my observation. 

Mr. Curtis. In that connection, Mrs. Linzel, what forces, or what 
influences stabilize such a population? What wall prevent a Balti- 
more family, for instance, going to Philadelphia, getting into as 
much difficulty as a Philadelphia family going to Baltimore? 

Mrs. Linzel. Perhaps employment is the first thing the man seeks, 
and if he could get that employment in his own community he would 
not move. 

Mr. Curtis. AVill the moving better his chances of employment? 

Mrs. Linzel. Offhand, I should say no, if you are speaking of the 
destitute person, unless, as Mr. Houston said, someone has gone before 
him to make him feel more secure. We have found that sometimes 
people coming from the South may get security and work, or they may 
get some temporary employmeiit. 

Mr. Houston. I want to call attention to the last question you asked 
and say, yes, that is true. Where you have a dislocation of the 
family, after the family has had its home in a community for a large 
number of years, you liave the attending problems of crime, and so 
forth, which would increase much more than where you have only 
temporarily lost community control. 

But there are two factors to be considered. One of them is this : 
We talk about the family which moves as a unit, and there are many 
instances where they have no choice. We do not have as nuich of 
that in the East as there is in the INIississippi Valley, but you do have 
it in the South. That is one thing you must take into consideration. 

The second thing is this. The Negro church has a large influence, 
which is perhaps more striking than in the Avhite church. The Negro 
church is the only organization the Negroes had ])rior to the Civil 
War. After the Civil War, wdien you had such a tremendous dislo- 
cation, the Negro church was the one factor to which Negroes gravi- 
tated. It was there that they had physical relief, companionship, 
and social aid, and they were in many senses employment centers. 
Many of our people are so destitute that "they go to the churches, which 
serve not only to give them religious consolation, but they have put 
social work into each of these communities, and in many cases have 
actually given shelter and food to these people. 

So you have these two factors operating at the same time. I can- 
not give you a final answer, but I do want to call attention to those 


Mr. Curtis. Do tlie rest of you folks have any comment to make? 

Miss Jones. Employment has been mentioned, and I think em- 
ployment is extremely important; but it seems to me that not only 
is employment one factor, but other adequate resources must be 
developed in the community. 

We have had any number of cases come to our attention where 
a person has felt forced to leave his home community because of the 
lack of medical care, perhaps of a specialized type. 

Mr. Curtis. From what areas do those people come ? 

Miss Jones. Principally from the small southern communities. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you mean there is no local doctor there? 

Miss Jones. Yes'; and they may be requiring hospital treatment of 
a prolonged nature, or seme special type of surgery, which probably 
is not available in that county area. Very frequently there is no 
adequate State project for that sort of thing. 

I know of two situations recently among the colored group where 
they have come to Washington because Freedmen's Hospital is prac- 
tically the only resource in this section of the United States that can 
offer the type of medical care indicated. 

So I think employment is extremely important, but I also think 
it must be a complete program, as far as concerns housing, recrea- 
tion, medical care, psychiatric care, and all the things necessary to 
meet the needs of individuals to prevent their destitution. 

Mr. Curtis. You deal primarily with these people. Miss Jones, 
after they have left their homes ? 

Miss JoNES. Yes; nonresidents coming to Washington. 

Mr. Curtis. Suppose a family wanted to get in consultation with 
you, and they wanted to know what to do, but had no friends and no 
funds, with skilled laborers in the family, but with no work and 
none in sight. But they can get together and get a few gallons of 
gasoline for their old car, and they want to know whether to start 
out in order to better themselves. What do you tell them in a case 
of that kind? 

Miss Jones. As I said in the beginning, I think that goes back 
to the individual situation. I think it is rather dangerous to gen- 
eralize with a remark of that kind. By and large I think it would 
he inadvisable for them to leave 

Mr, Curtis. Assuming that there are some small children, or per- 
haps some babies. 

Miss Jones. I think it would depend on how well we had our plan 
worked out, if it were possible for them to get em])loyment, whether 
they had any definite, or even probable job in view, whether they 
had any relatives or resources in the community to which they were 
going, and what resources they had in the place they were leaving. 

Mr. Curtis. Assuming that they had no destination and no 

Miss Jones. Well, I think it would be probably rather poor 
planning to start out WTth nothing at all. There are no work 
projects, and they are feeling sufficiently desperate so that they feel 
forced to leave. 


But if some information about available job opportunities in the 
country could be made available to that group, possibly through 
the United States Employment Service, so that when they are start- 
ing out it would not be a matter of aimless wandering, but they 
might have some more definite plan in mind, and that would be a 
different proposition. 

Mr. Curtis. As I said when this group took their places, I have 
great respect for the work they are doing. That work is fine, and 
growing, for the victims of this problem. 

Mr. Houston. May I ask a question in reference to the matter you 
were talking to Miss Jones about? 

Mr. Curtis. Yes. 

Mr. Houston. I think the Congressman has left out a factor there- 
He asked Miss Jones about the situations they would be facing; he 
did not ask about conditions they would meet if they should stay in 
the same community. I think that question would be better put to 
give a better basis on which to advise a family. In other words, what 
is the situation of a unit which has lost its stake, because I take it 
that is the question you refer to. In other words, conditions may be 
so bad in that community that almost any change is a change for the 
better. I call that to your attention, because I think it is very im- 
portant as to whether to advise them to take to the road. 

Mv. Curtis. Do you have anything further to say about that. Miss 
Jones ? 

Miss Jones. No; I think that point is extremely well taken. It 
depends on the resources, where they are going, and what may be the 
greater hazard, to remain where they are, or to go on elsewhere, with 
the probability of no assistance. 

Mr. Curtis. These factors have been there, that cause people to 
take to the road, and they affect the rest of the people back home who 
do not take to the road, do they not? 

Mr. Houston. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. As I started to say a moment ago, I think you are 
doing splendid work in caring for the victims of this problem. But 
I hope that an increasing number of people and organizations will 
give some attention to the positive factors in their communities that 
stabilize population, because when we make, a Government expendi- 
ture and create a program to take care of that fraction of the people 
who have left a community we still have not reached his neighbors 
back home, suffering from the same thing. 

Mr. Houston. May I say this? I think today, when we talk about 
stabilizing conditions, that, above all, the question of education can- 
not be neglected, because people stay in their localities, provided they 
have the means to live. People move because they are desperate. I 
think, as we face this problem of national defense, when it looks like, 
for the first time in 10 years, there will be more jobs than there are 
men to fill them, it seems to me one of the greatest things to stabilize 
a community is not to cut down the appropriations for schools, but 
to increase such appropriations so that people who stay there will be 
able to get those jobs at home. 


I think one of the most important things in the matter of stabiliz- 
ing popuhition is education, so that the adults will stay in the com- 
munity, because, no matter how hard it is for them, they will feel that 
the children have a chance. 

Mr. CuETis. Is there anything else you wish to say ? 

Mrs. O'Connor. I would like to make just one statement relative 
to the point of view as to the resources in the community which go 
to build family life. I do not believe anyone in the group of these 
agencies treating and dealing with the transient problem has any 
other thought in mind in any way, except as an expediency, than to 
put these people in a community where they would have the advan- 
tages of community life. In other words, I do not believe that any- 
one of these various agencies feel that any family can develop unless 
it lives in a community with all the community resources. That is 
the objective of what we call the case and welfare workers who deal 
with transients. They realize and face the fact that there is always 
going to be a wandering back and forth, but we feel that, by Miss 
Jones' and Major Dodd's case workers' methods, we sometimes reluc- 
tantly take them away from communities in which arise such hazards 
as those about which Mr. Houston has been talking. 

The question of moral character is involved ; there also is the ques- 
tion of where the community can supply hospitalization; it is a case 
in which we reluctantly take them, with the hope that in the new 
<3ommunity they may "find" themselves and build up family life. 

Mr. Curtis. Now, is the improvement in the treatment of the victim 
going to make more victims? 

Mrs. O'Connor. I should like to hear the others on that, but I 
should think that the expenditure is an investment that is being put 
into the transient program for the purpose of getting jobs, an invest- 
ment in the community where they can secure an education, get 
Iiospitalization, and get to a place that should come to every American 
family, because it is not the fact that $50 spent would cause them to 
stay here, but that we should find some constructive national plan of 
community living for these people who have not had an opportunity. 
Under such a plan they can go back again and plan their family 
development with the assistance of experts, and develop the ability 
to secure those things that are necessary in order to rebuild. It is my 
firm opinion that this would furnish them a new opportunity and the 
case workers' job, it seems to me, is to make that new opportunity a 
real good start on a definite and settled living plan. 

The Chairman. I would just like to say before we leave that ques- 
tion which has been asked you : I have lived with this subject about 
a year now and I know less about it than when I started. 

Mrs. O'Connor. We all feel happy that you have lived with it. 

The Chairman. I think the questions that have been asked by 
Congressman Curtis are very important and go right to the merits 
of this whole thing. But I am interested in all of these migrant 
people, particularly those who have no alternative, those who have to 
move on account of circumstances over which they have no control. 
They find themselves without means of support, and the law of self- 
preservation, over which they have no control, compels them to move. 


The last appropriation for the W. P. A. was reduced, I thiiik, by 
a billion and a half dollars. Approximately 800,000 men went out. 
A lot of them had families. They cannot get any relief ; they are not 
going to just sit still and starve. Now, what are they going to do? 
Those are the people that I am most interested in. 

Now, of course, the people, many of them, have friends who are val- 
uable to them. Many of these people came from the farm, were not on 
W. P. A. work. We have many people who have lived on the farm all 
of their lives. In the last 10 years I have talked to many of these peo- 
ple, and I have yet to find a one who would not like to go back on the 
farm. But in Nebraska, for instance, they had 8 straight years of 
drought, and they simply could not stay there and starve, so they 

Now, what are these people going to do? Many of them came to 
California. We went through much of that State, and I asked many of 
them, and other members of the committee asked them, if they would 
like to go back home. The usual answer was, "Yes ; we would like to go 
back home if farming was what it used to be. We do not want to go 
back if we cannot make a living." Now, that is the kind of people in 
whom I am particularly interested. 

The trouble with the situation is, we do not have 48 States; we have 
48 nations, raising barriers against each other, so, if the destitute try 
to get through, they find it rather difficult. 

I think you will agree with this committee that it is a national prob- 
lem; that no single State can solve it. 

In the early days of this country, why, we encouraged migration. 
Lincoln and others moved into the Middle West. Many groups moved 
into Montana, others went to California to take advantage of the re- 
sources. But those early days are gone. At that time they had almost 
unlimited resources. Now we do not have frontiers, and States have 
had to erect barriers, not arbitrarily, but because they have a terrible 
time trying to provide for their own people. 

Let me say that the record shows that 895,000 people moved into Cali^ 
fornia in the course of 5 years, and 495,000 were destitute. Now, sup- 
pose they had an earthquake over here in Pennsylvania and something 
like 495,000 moved into Ohio. Congress would convene in special ses- 
sion to take care of that situation. 

I am very glad that Congressman Curtis pursued that line of ques- 
tioning. We are faced with a problem, a great human problem, and I 
am very pleased that you have covered these broad points. 


Mr. Curtis. One other question, Mrs. O'Connor: Will you, briefly,, 
tell us what the transient committee of the Council of Social Welfare 
Agencies is? 

Mrs. O'C^ONNOR. Yes. The transient committee of the Council of 
Social Welfare Agencies is a federation of 94 agencies in Washington, 
public and private, who plan and cooperatively execute the welfare 
program. It is made up of both lay and professional representatives ; 
so we have the point of view of the public who support it and the ad- 
ministrative point of view of the professional group. The transient 
committee was a subcommittee of a special committee appointed about 
1929 for the District of Columbia, because we felt that this problem was 


one that was going to be of increasing concern to Washington. I think 
the testimony this morning will show why Washington was a center. 

We nndertook, by getting together the 21 agencies who deal in some 
small part with the transient problem, to work out a plan that would 
be more effective, more centralized, and more adequate for the needs 
of the transients as they come here. After a year of study we under- 
took a very careful research survey, and from that survey we think we 
have developed a reasonably satisfactory program. 

Mr. Curtis. That survey had two major recommendations. 


Mrs. O^CoNNOR. It had several recommendations, Congressman 
Curtis, but the interesting point that will be made to you at this time.^ 
and as the chairman has pointed out, is that this was a national prob- 
lem. Migration was deep-rooted in industry and agriculture, and 
should have a Federal i)rogram, if possible, in order to help. We had 
ji definite recommendation for the District of Columbia, and we still 
make it, and the interesting point, as I said, is that after 12 years — this 
committee has been in operation for 12 years — we are still taking the 
point of view that it is a national picture entirely. The job especially 
relates itself to uniform settlement laws, uniform relief, and removal 
of State barriers. We found that at that time, and we are very happy 
indeed to find you are doing what you are along this line, and you have 
our hearty support, 

Mr, Curtis. Do you care to say anything about those recommenda- 
tions in those years? 

Mrs. O'Connor. Yes ; for the District of Columbia. They were very 
definite. The first was that it was a Federal program and required 
Federal action ; the second was that, as far as the District of Columbia 
was concerned, and as far as the 21 agencies interested and working on 
it, it was very necessary to have a cooperative scheme whereby the 
paramount function of one special unit would be to aid transients. A 
transient bureau was set up with the cooperation of all 21 agencies, 
being identified with the Travelers Aid and the Salvation Army, par- 
ticularly, with a program for transients in the District of Columbia. 

After a year the transient bureaus were set up. At that time the 
private agency did a piece of work that was considered very valuable ; 
and the Travelers Aid and the Salvation Army, under the Travelers Aid 
program, helped several people. But the problem was very great. 

After 18 months the transient bureaus were disbanded and that work 
was thrown back again on local facilities. Private agencies undertake 
to do the work to the vei^y limit of their budget, but there is no adequate 

At that time, and now, we feel that in this assistance program grants- 
in-aid should be provided to be administered under a cooperative plan 
between the Federal Government and the District of Columbia. 

We feel, certainly, that there should be more shelter space, more 
room in the lodging house, which is very inadequate. Major Dodd 
will tell you a story of hundreds of men lying on grates trying to 
keep warm. 

I think that Mr. Bondy raised, this morning, an extremely important 
question, when he said that we are on the receiving end and should be 
in position to furnish accurate information about employment, espe- 


cially to men who pass through here looking for work. And we want 
grants-in-aid which can be utilized for certain definitely related items 
in a large transient program, particularly in relation to unemployed 

I think, too, that there should be sufficient funds to take care of 
cases of families with no legal residence whatsoever. We are quite 
well equipped, I think, to set it up ; we are still following the coopera- 
tive plan between private and public agencies in dealing with groups 
of people, men seeking employment, who have no legal residence. 

Mr. Curtis. I will say, Mrs. O'Connor, that your prepared paper 
as submitted will be made a part of the record. 

Mrs. O'Connor. Thank you. I would like to add that we want a 
municipal lodging house, with more facilities for both white and 
colored. The colored facilities have been extremely bad. We would 
also like to have more shelter places for boys. 

Mr. Curtis. Mrs. Linzel, your prepared statement will also be in- 
corporated in the record. 

Mrs. Linzel. Yes. 

FAMILY welfare 

Mr. Curtis. At this time will you tell us briefly something about 
the scope of work of the family-welfare division of the Council of 
Social Agencies of the District of Columbia and Vicinity ? 

Mrs. Linzel. The family-welfare division brings together the social 
agencies, civic organizations, and individuals who are particularly 
concerned with the preservation and strengthening of family life, of 
course, in the District of Columbia. 

The division now has a membership of 45 organizations, and is made 
up of 23 social agencies which are supported by the community chest ; 
13 public agencies and 9 other private agencies and organizations. 
And it is from these various organizations that our information is 
obtained and through them that our work is done. 

I should like, also, to mention particularly our intake committee 
from which we secure the definite detailed information, which is in- 
cluded in the statement that you will have in the record. There is a 
list of 22 agencies which are represented on that committee. 

Does that give you an answer to your questions? 

Mr. Curtis. Yes. You deal with the family primarily ? 

Mrs. Linzel. Yes; and family welfare in the District of Columbia. 

Mr. Curtis. What aid do you give them ? 

Mrs. Linzel. We ourselves do not give the aid ; we are a federation 
of the agencies that do the work. 

Mr. Curtis. What does your committee do; does it handle the in- 
dividual family cases? 

Mrs. Linzel. We do not handle individual family cases. We are 
a federation of agencies that brings together in a cooperative way 
these various groups that go down to the individual cases. 

The Chairman. You are a sort of clearinghouse? 

Mrs. Linzel. That is correct. 

Mr. Curtis. In order to prevent duplication ? 

Mrs. Linzel. To prevent duplication wherever possible. 

Mr. Curtis. Do these various agencies that exist here in the Dis- 
trict of Columbia, reach in some manner every destitute family that 
-comes along? 


Mrs. LiNzEL, I think it does not, Congressman, because our own ap- 
propriation cannot cover all of the destitute families that come here. 
That is the reason for the recommendation that Federal gi'ants-in- 
aid are so very necessary in Washington and in coordinating the local 
assistance vrork. 

travelers' aid society 

Mr. Curtis. Miss Jones, I wish you would give the committee some 
idea of the scope of the work of the Travelers Aid Society. 

Miss Jones. The Travelers Aid Society, with respect to the com- 
munity and its assistance to nonresident groups that have been talked 
about here, deals with two major aspects: The single, or unattached, 
homeless men of 18 years and over, and second, the World War vet- 
erans and their families. 

The first group that I mentioned are referred to the nonresident 
division of the public agencies here; and the second group referred to 
the welfare division of the American Legion. However, that leaves 
all of the women, and girls and boys 17 and under, and families as 
the responsibility of the Travelers Aid Society, for service and plan- 
ning, as well as for financial assistance where necessary. 

But I would like to emphasize this point, that our interpretation, 
as we have been forced to make it — and we quite agree to it — is that 
a transient is a person who has been in Washington for less than 12 
consecutive months. Now, that is not the present interpretation, as 
I understand, of the residence policy of the board of public welfare, 
their interpretation being 12 consecutive months self-supporting. So, 
it is quite obvious that at that point there is a gap in the service in 
the District of Columbia. A person may have been here 18 months 
but have received help from friends and relatives, or something of 
that sort, making him or his family ineligible for public-agency care 
and yet who would not come within the scope of in-take policy. And, 
I might point out to you that the private residence agencies have 
been forced to follow pretty much the same interpretation in regard 
to intake throughout the country. 

Mr. Curtis. How long, on the average, do these cases remain ? 

Miss Jones. That is difficult to say. I should say something less 
than 3 months ; a comparatively few remain longer than 6 months. 

Mr. Curtis. From where do most of them come ? 

Miss Jones. Well, we made a sample study of intakes in January 
and February of this year, 1910, and we found that people came from 
32 States and Alaska. Of the total group 15 percent came from Vir- 
ginia; 11 percent from each North Carolina and New York; 9 percent 
from both Maryland and Pennsylvania. Of course, many persons go 
back and forth. They came from as far away as California and 
Colorado. Of course, I would say that a majority came from the States 
along the eastern seaboard. 

Mr. Curtis. You would say the average time is about 3 months ? 

Miss Jones. Possibly less. 

Mr. Curtis. What happens to them when you no longer continue to 
care for them ; what becomes of them ? 

Miss Jones. Of course, there is nothing arbitrary ; there is no arbi- 
trary limitation of time that we would just stop caring for them at any 
given period. We handle all of them on an individual-case basis, and 


we would either assist them to get employment in this community, or aid 
them until they can get help, find work in some place or in some 
community, or develop some resources, secure some type of assistance, 
or be assured that resources of some kind are available. 

Mr. Curtis. I notice the figures in your statement that since 1935 
there has been a marked increase each year. 

Miss Jones. There has been a marked increase every year since 1935. 
I might add that the most pronounced increase has come, I think, since 
June of 1940. Since June of this year we have had an increase of ap- 
proximately 200 cases per month until August, a month in which we 
had 400 cases more than we had in August of last year. 

Mr. Curtis. What is the total budget for the District of Columbia ? 

Miss Jones. It is approximately $40,000. 

Mr. Curtis. It is a national and international organization ? 

Miss Jones. Well we do have representatives all over the world. 
We are members of the National Travelers Aid Association, vv^hich I 
believe, is the only private national organization which devotes its full 
time to studying the problems of moving people, and we have for many 
years, of course, done work that is extremely valuable to all local em- 
ployment agencies in meeting the problems that come to us. 

Mr. Curtis. I notice in your paper that you mention that the railroad 
cx)mpanies and transportation companies have been of assistance. In 
what way do they help ; in reduced railroad fares? 

Miss Jones. In situations where that is warranted we have the priv- 
ilege of asking them to furnish rates which make transportation at 
i-educed fare available. 

But I would like to point out that, through the cooperation of the 
bnard of public welfare, the transportation funds are appropriated 
for the District of Columbia by Congress, as I understand it. We do 
secure transportation for practically all of our cases. 

Mr. Curtis. I notice this statement in your recommendation : 

I feel that in the District of Columbia the nonresident problem is not such as to 
warrant "mass treatment" of the nature of a broad Federal transient program. 

Will you tell us just what you had in mind in that regard ? 

Miss Jones. I was speaking exclusively from the point of view of 
the problem as seen by our agencies in the District of Columbia. I 
am not prepared to discuss it from the national angle. 

But it seems to me that the problem is such as to require emphasis 
on stabilization as a means of preventing a transiency and that sort 
of thing, and possibly the setting up of a transiency program that 
might take care of that problem without increasing it. I realize the 
need at this time of meeting the problem, but it seems to me that it is 
not meeting the fundamental cause of transiency, that we are more or 
less putting the cart before the horse. We ought to have some provi- 
sion, either through the extension of the social-security program or in 
some other way to make adeciuate provision for the residents, so that 
the families that you are talking about would not feel desperate, would 
not feel forced to leave the communities in which they live. If a 
proper Federal program could be set up, it would help solve the prob- 
lem of this group of people with no legal residence. It is that group 


that we are concerned about, which is increasing every year, and in the 
future is likely to continue to increase. 

Mr. Curtis. Miss Jones, we all know that in this group of transients 
there will be found the few chronic wanderers for whom such a pro- 
gram would be of little benefit. We all know they exist. There is 
no use to try to give everyone a job. It cannot be accomplished 100 
percent. 15ut would you be kind enough to venture an estimate as to 
what percentage of the unfortunate people that your agency comes in 
contact with who are just chronic wanderers, who get some help here 
for a few months, probably, and then go to some other place and get 
some help and then move on to some other place ? 

Miss Jones. I think a very small percentage. 

Mr. Curtis. Would you care to estimate it at all ? 

Miss Jones. No ; I believe not. 

Mr. Curtis. Would you think it would be as much as 5 percent ? 

Miss Jones. I ^YOuid hesitate to give any definite percentage. I 
think the number is certainly comparatively small. 

Mr. Curtis. Now, you also say the group you cannot help is that 
inifortunate group of people who liave no legal residence anywhere? 

Miss Jones. Yes ; and also that group for whom the community has 
no resources to offer, who need to be taken care of on a sort of tem- 
porary basis in order to try to lielp them develop either some resources 
of their own or some community resources, whether locally or out of 

Provision should be made for residence agencies, which would per- 
haps make special arrangements for that group of people, because they 
are not eligible for assistance at the public agencies and, having no 
residence elsewhere, it would probably be a very long time before they 
were cared for. We feel thej^ should be a definite public-agency 

Mr. Curtis. And that is the group that has a very definite claim 
on the Nation to which they belong. 

Miss Jones. Yes. Because of the State residence laws in some 
cases use the word "intent," a term that is comparatively ambiguous 
and susceptible of so many interpretations it works very grave injus- 
tice on many people. 

For example, we have a case of a woman from the State of Illinois 
who, after 3 years' residence, because of the State law, lost her resi- 
dence on the basis of intent. The woman had lived in Chicago for 
5 consecutive years. She went to a small community in the southern 
part of the State, and therefore Chicago interpreted that as meaning 
an intent to move elsewhere. After 3 weeks she left the small com- 
munity and came to Washington. We could not get an authorization 
or verification of her residence from either Chicago or the small com- 
munity in Illinois. We did not feel that it was her intent to leave 
the State of Illinois, but the fact that Chicago said it showed an 
intent to move to Bloomington, and Bloomington said she had only 
been there 3 weeks. The fact that she had been in Chicago for 5 years 
showed she had a Chicago residence. 


Mr. Ctjrtis. May I say that we are glad to have that statement of 
fact, because parallel cases like that could be found throughout the 

Miss Jones. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis, Your statement will be included in the record. 

Miss Jones. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. I believe that is all I care to ask. 

Miss Jones. Thank you. 


Mr. Curtis. Major Dodd, what particular phase of the trans- 
ciency problem does the Salvation Army have to meet? 

Mr. Dodd. Congressman Curtis, may I develop something that was 
suggested in your discussion with Mrs. Linzel? 

Mr. Curtis. Yes. 

Mr. Dodd. You asked whether there were families who came here 
in considerable numbers who were not cared for, and I think you 
had particular reference to migratory families. 

Mr. Curtis. Yes. 

Mr. Dodd. And Mrs. Linzel said that was quite possible, but that it 
is a situation that is unavoidable. 

The Chairman said that 800,000 were cut off from the Federal 
rolls, and if that happens to a migratory family; as may have hap- 
pened time and time again to people who were not migrants ; and who 
were certified to the W. P. A.; there is no help for these migrant 
families. The private agencies in the field just simply do not hav& 
the budgetary provisions sufficient even to meet their local situa- 
tions. And that must be the situation in thousands of communities 
throughout the country. 

Necessarily, because of what is happening to local families, there is 
a similar problem for the migratory family ; that has been the situa- 
tion in Washington, D. C. 

Now to come to the question you asked about the part played by the 
Salvation Army. In the field of the homeless, the Salvation Army 
has responsibility for care of women and children, and for home- 
less men ; the women and children being cared for in the Women and 
Children's Emergency Home. The Travelers Aid does that char- 
acter of work in that connection, and for the homeless men we have 
the sheltered workshop, the Men's Social Service Center, as we term 
it; and our institution will serve approximately 93 men. 

I had occasion to go over the population in the institution on Novem- 
ber 25, and my inspection revealed that there were 27 States and 4 
countries represented among them, so that it is a migratory group, 
very largely. However, it is not just a question of staying for today 
and on their way tomorrow. The average stay of these men would be 
around 3 months, and as they leave the institution, I would say it is 
generally with the hope or belief that they will find employment in 
some other community. We have no budgetary provision for the 
large transient program such as we participated in prior to the Federal 
program. Our budget in those years went up to $-60,000 in carrying 
on our program, but, with the coming into existence of the Federal 
progi-am, we liquidated. Since then the local needs have been such 
that it is not possible for us to secure finances to enable us to fulfill 


-the program with transient men as we might really do in order to meet 
the situation. 

Mr. Curtis. Does the increase of Federal funds make it more diflB,- 
cult to raise funds for private purposes ? 

Mr. DoDD. I do not know. Our community chest has been for the 
past several years endeavoring to raise $2,000,000 as its goal, and last 
year and the year before that, and the year before it, was not able to 
achieve the goal. Usually not more than about 95 percent of the total 
has been raised, and because of the inability to raise sufficient funds 
to take care of the local needs consequently, no provision is made for 
the care of the migrants. 

Mr. Curtis. Of course, your paper will be made a part of the record. 

Mr. DoDD. Yes ; thank you. 


Mr. Curtis. Do you have any recommendations that you want to 
'emphasize to the committee at this time? 

Mr. DoDD. I have three, and the fourth has been suggested. 

First. Because of vicious practices in many jurisdictions, particu- 
larly as they relate to settlement laws, it is hoped that this committee 
will use its influence in promoting uniform settlement laws throughout 
the Nation. 

Second. Due to (a) the presence in every community of the citizens 
•of some other community for whom care must be provided; (b) the 
fact that States are unable to maintain adequate standards of relief 
(materially adding to transciency) without the assistance of the Fed- 
eral Government, it is recommended that provision be made for a pro- 
_gram of grants-in-aid by the Federal Government to States, rather 
tiian have the entire responsibility shouldered by the Federal Govern- 

Third. That locally, because of inadequate provision which forces 
men to sleep out, panhandle, and so forth, with all the dangers and 
menace to the community, a municipal lodging house with case work 
and medical services included, sufficiently large to meet the need, ig 

And in connection with the fourth suggestion, I would like to add 
to the recommendation of Mrs. O'Connor — I think Miss Jones also 
touched upon it — that some provision should be made in connection 
with the employment service. Then, if there is employment oppor- 
tunity in a given area, the agency where these men stay could be fur- 
nished information that can be made available to them by the employ- 
ment service. Thus, when they, as transients, come to us asking for 
-employment we will know what to tell them. And I might say that 
out of the same 93 men that I mentioned, who came to Washington, 57 
of them came here seeking employment. 

We have not been able to help them because of lack of capacity, 
lack of facilities; and we should be in position to call upon some 
agency that could tell us whether the employment opportunity — 
for instance, in Florida, under the defense program — is still avail- 
able; or to tell them of some other place where they might have an 
■opportunity to secure employment. 

As it is, if they hear that something is developing in Florida, they 
anay move in that direction. We ought to be in a position to look 


into the situation. We may find that so many people have ah^eady 
gone to Jacksonville, as I understand is the case, that they are faced 
with an almost insurmountable relief problem, because of the num- 
ber of unemployed people. If we now had information of that kind 
regarding other places, we could advise them it would be useless to 
go there. AVe would be in position to give a little guidance, where- 
as, at the moment, we just do not have sufficient factual information 
to help us to do that kind of thing. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you think we should also recognize the human 
trait in everyone to feel perhaps the pasture is greener in some other 
community ? 

Mr. DoDD. Yes; absolutely. 

Mr. Curtis. And to guard against that error ? 

Mr, DoDD. It is typical, it is inherent, you might say. You will find 
it all over the country. 


Mr. Curtis. Mr. Houston, how old is your organization? 

Mr. Houston. Our organization is now 31 years old. 

Mr. Curtis. What is the primary purpose of the organization? 

Mr. Houston. Civil rights. 

Mr. Curtis. How does your organization come into the field of 
the destitute and migrant situation? 

Mr. Houston. It comes into the field, I might say, due to the fact 
that our population is affected more than any other group. I mean, 
to use this statement, they are the last to be hired, and the first to 
be fired. The organization is not simply for the purpose of meet- 
ing the migratory problem ; we back into it. 

]\Ir. CuRiTS. Mr. Houston, today's hearings were set aside for the 
District of Columbia. It is a very far-reaching matter we are investi- 
gating, and it is easy to go far afield in the discussion, but, with 
particular reference to the District of Columbia, what are a few 
of the problems that face the destitute Negro man who comes to 
Washington ? 

Mr. Houston. Congressman Curtis, I think Mrs. Linzel has spoken 
about the inadequate provision for relief, the relief needs for both 
white and Negro, 

There is also the problem of employment from the standpoint 
of wages, which is one of the things that affects the District of 
Columbia, so far as Negro women are concerned, particularly. Most 
of the Negro women are domestics, and the employment of migra- 
tory Negro women has brought down the standard of wages, not only 
for that group, but also for the local domestics, so that they are 
faced with a sort of depression from that source for the domestics. 
That is one of the very difficult problems. 

Now, as to other problems, I think there is a serious lack of authen- 
tic information, and we have tried to make studies. This morning 
I went to the budget committee to try to get some information as 
to whether the migrant presented a much more serious i^roblem than 
the delinquent and there were no figures on it ; there is no break- 

I went to the probation office and tried to get the same informa- 
tion so far as adult crime was concerned, and again there was no 


break-clown. I went to the clerk of the United States District Attor- 
ney, and ahhough he had certain notions, he had no figures. I went 
to the police headquarters to try to get information and could not 
get it, and then I went to the Criminal Justice Association to see 
what information I could get, and the only thing they had was a 
study made about 2 years ago, of persons in the jail, as to places of 
birth, and even then there was no check-up as to such places of 

So I shall have to say to you that I cannot give you any definite 
answer, but it seems to me that one of the things we ouglit to do, 
in order to bring this on a scientific basis, is to get more real, factual 

Mr. Curtis. Mr. Houston, our records will be open for several 
days, although w^e must report to Congress at the beginning of the 
next session in January. Inasmuch as you have not submitted a 
written statement, if you decide that you can make some contribu- 
tion, we will be happy to have it and incorporate it in our hearings. 

Mr. Houston. I shall be very glad to, Congressman. I should 
simply call your attention to my limitations. I am simply a lawyer 
in private practice, and I am not an expert in this field. But I shall 
continue to try to reach some of the agencies that are working, and 
if I do get information, I shall be only too happy to send it in. 

Mr. Curtis. I think the chairman of this committee will agree — 
and I think we all will^ — that all lawyers are experts. 

The Chairman. In what? 

Mr. Curtis. Well, just generally. Being a law3'er does not mean 
that you are not an expert. We all are. 

The Chairman. In any event, Mr. Houston, you have the privi- 
lege of filing such a statement if you should see fit to do so. 

(The following statement was later submitted to the committee and 
accepted for the record :) 


Some Aspects of Transikncy as it Affects Negroes in the District of Columbia 

The amount of all transiency for the District of Columbia is difficult if not im- 
possible to determine. It is equally or more difficult to ascertain with an appreci- 
able degree of accuracy the percentage of, existing transiency which is supplied by 
movement of the Negro population. District welfare agencies concerned primarily 
with the needs of nonresident individuals and families are unable to furnisli 
specific data as to the numbers of Negroes in the distressed groups. A rough esti- 
mate seems to indicate that nearly one-third of the needy migrants applying for 
assistance in the District are colored. This figure seems surprisingly low in 
view of the evidence submitted in the Work Projects Administration study Migrant 
Families, that the District of Columbia is in the area furnishing proof of con- 
siderable movement of Negro population north along the Atlantic coast.' Also it 
is so far below the percentage of Negroes in the relief population in Washington 
that inquiry into some of the reasons seems indicated. 

First there is the strong probability that needy Negro migrants find other ways 
of managing than appeal to welfare agencies. Foremost among these is recourse 

xv/m" ^"i^^^'^ ^°*^^ Malcolm Brown, Migrant Families (W. P. A. Research Monograph 



to the unorganized welfare services such as the "store front" church and to other 
members of the race residing in the District. The appeals for relief by resiuents 
of fairly recent establishment of settlement strengthen this belief, although the 
number of such applicants is not great. 

Secondly, inadequate facilities for care might act as a deterrent to application. 
There are 10 beds for Negroes in the boarding department of the municipal lodging 
house. The Salvation Army has a small shelter for Negro men, but since a small 
fee is'charged for accommodation there it is reasonable to assume that some arfe 
unable to pay it. The various local missions affording shelter for transients, in 
general exclude Negroes. The Travelers Aid Society includes Negro families in 
its services to family groups, but limitation of funds make it necessary for that 
agency to restrict its intake to those whose needs can be met out of funds 

Another factor tending to lessen Negro applications for nonresident aid is 
probablv the habit often observed among Negroes, of the husband and father com- 
ing on ahead to find work and establish a home before sending for his family. This 
means that most of the Negro migrants would be classified as "unattached indi- 
viduals," many of whom manage to subsist for a year with income derived from 
odd jobs, panhandling, or help of friends. The low standard of living previously 
maintained means also the possibility of maintenance at a very low level during 
this period. 

The fourth factor is based on personal opinion and might be open to question 
from those holding contrary opinion. That is the lack of Negro personnel in the 
administration of services to the migrant group. Neither of the private agencies 
offering some services to Negroes employ any Negro case workers. Likewise 
there are no Negro case workers in the nonresident service of the Board of Public 
Welfare although colored case workers are employed in other divisions of the 
Board. There is a tendency for Negroes in need to seek service or aid more freely 
where they see members of their own group. This tendency may arise out of a 
fear of rebuff or a suspicious attitude toward white people. This would be par- 
ticularly true of the ignorant southern migrant who has been conditioned by 
earlier adverse experience. 

In considering the reasons for migration of Negroes, some attention must be 
given to factors other than economic, though that one is paramount with colored 
as with white. Negro migration has been largely from the South to the North, in 
contrast to the prevailing trend of general migration westward. That social and 
political factors enter into Negro migration to a considerable extent is shown by 
the frequent reports in Negro newspapers regarding members of the race forced 
to flee from southern homes. Also the lack of adequate health and educational 
facilities, especially in the rural south, influence some Negroes to leave to secure 
these advantages in the North. 

Any effective remedy must apply throughout the country and not to a particular 
section. Some provision for Federal aid for general public assistance, including 
nonresident families, should be made. However, for such a remedy to have a 
real effect on Negro migration, it would have to stipulate minimum essentials ade- 
quate to insure health and decency, below which no community must fall. 

It should be noted that Federal legislation to relieve the problem will have to be 
so drawn as to require explicitly that, both in the number of clients aided and in 
the standards by which the extent of aid for a given client is determined, there 
shall be no discrimination on the basis of race. AVithout such legislative stipula- 
tions the social and political conditions which obtain in certain areas of the Nation 
would operate largely to exclude needy Negro migrants from the federally sub- 
sidized program, or to administer aid to them on the basis of differential standards, 
or both. Legislation to meet this general problem can, in our opinion, best be 
incorporated as an addition to the Social Security Act. 


Mr. Curtis. Mr. Chairman, I have greatly appreciated the discus- 
sion we have had with this group. I feel very much like our chairman 
who says that he has studied this for months and knows less about it 
now than when he started. 

I am inclined to think, however, that the interstate migration of des- 
titute citizens is not the sole problem, but it is evidence of a lot of other 


problems in a great many places in the United States. It is what they 
rim to because they meet those problems somewhere else. 
I ha\"e nothing further, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chaieman. I think you have covered the field very well, Mr. 
Curtis. I certainly do not want to duplicate what is already in the 

Mrs. O'Connor, you depicted very well your explanations, so I shall 
not ask you about that. 

Mrs. O'Connor. May I add one more to those, Mr. Chairman? 
The Chairman. Yes. 

Mrs. O'Connor. I heard this morning Mr. Ryan's recommendation 
for a committee or a commission of some sort to be appointed to go on 
witli the study of this problem. 

I think this is such a changing problem and the needs are so chang- 
ing, that it is very necessary to keep up with the demands of the times. 
I agree, too, that I think more information all along the line is very 
necessary. So I think, without getting anv action from the transient 
committee, that we might put ourselves down on record as strongly 
favoring a commission or a committee such as you might suggest. 

The Chairman. Mrs. Linzel, did you have anything further to say 
along the line of recommendation? 

Mrs. Linzel. Nothing, except to pass on to Chairman Tolan the rec- 
ommendations from our intake committee, which are embodied in our 
prepared statements. Mrs. O'Connor is president of the National 
Travelers Aid Association, which is the Nation-wide body of which 
Miss Jones is the local representative. 

The Chairman. Miss Jones, could you give me the percentage of 
people coming to your agency who are employable ? 

Miss Jones. I do not know it. I do not think I could give you a defi- 
nite percentage. I notice in our statistics for 1939 that approximately 
1 in 10 had either some physical disability or some temporary illness. 
That would not mean, necessarily, that they were unemployable. It 
might be some physical disability which could be corrected rather 
quickly, and might make them unemployable for only a certain time, 
or for certain types of labor. They may have a particular craft. So 
I think that is a difficult question for me to answer. 

The Chairman. Major Dodd, have you anything further to say con- 
cerning recommendations to this committee as to any possible solution 
of this problem other than has already been said ? 

Major Dodd. I think, Mr. Chairman, that you touched on it yourself 
when you mentioned this release of such a large gi'oup of men locally. 
It seems to me, as has been indicated all through the afternoon, that 
the reason, outside of the natural tendency perhaps of the American 
to be on the move and to improve his status — tlie basic cause for all of 
that is unemployment. That is one thing. And second, that where 
there is unemployment, the inadequacy so often of the local committee, 
which makes it almost mandatory for a person, as you suggested, to 
move on ; that and more jobs, plus better local care, I think would cut 
down very materially the problem of the migrant. 

But for that group who are on the move and in search of work, it 
seems to me that, while they are not residents of the District of Colum- 

)60370— 41— pt. 8- 


bia or of California, they are residents of the Nation, and the Nation 
has a responsibility. 

The Chairman. That is the way I feel about it. The idea is simply 
this: As near as we can get the records, there were about 4,000,000 
destitute people crossing State lines last year. All through your testi- 
mony here today, and all through our record, we have instances — the 
record is replete with them — of lack of information and a plethora of 
misinformation. In other words, we are dealing now with American 
citizens, and it does not help the morale of this country to kick them 
around. After all, this country has got to be worth living for and 
dying for. 

We had the head of the Labor Department in California on the 
stand, and he told us all about labor conditions there. I finally asked 
him this question. I said : 

Do you think it is possible to have in some of these States where the greatest 
migration exists, either a State or a Federal employee, such as a Forest Reserve 
man, stationed where there were overnight camps, and if a family were to pull up, 
to ask them courteously where they were going ; and if they said they were looking 
for work, this man could suggest to them that they get out of their car. inform them 
that the Government was maintaining overnight camps where they might have 
supper and wash up, and that afterward he would come over with maps and give 
all the information possible as to where there might be employment, or advise 
them as to whether they should go back? 

He said : 

Yes ; of course that is possible. We are doing it now for pests, to control 
diseases of fruits. 

"But," I said, "you are not doing anything for the diseases of 
human life." 

There is the old question of the dollar in there again. It is a peculiar 
thing, ladies and gentlemen, that all through our existence we have 
concentrated on that dollar and that free flow of commodities — and I 
cannot get that out of my mind, I have repeated it so often ; that it is 
pathetic, but somehow, some way, we think that these millions of 
transients are going to get along without anything to do. I think they 
deserve attention and I think they are going to have to get it. 

In years gone by there were masses of reports from various depart- 
ments that were filed, concerning these problems, and nothing has been 
done about it at all. We hope to make recommendations to the Con- 
gress. We do not know what we can do. We may want to contact you 
again and talk over some of these reconunendations. 

Speaking as chairman of this committee, and as an individual, I feel 
very grateful to you for coming here and helping us out. We thank 
you very much. 

Mrs. O'Connor. Thank you for your attention. 

The Chairman. I will ask the reporter to have incorporated in the 
record at this point the prepared statements of Mrs. O'Connor, Mrs. 
Linzel, Miss Jones, and Major Dodd. 

(The statements referred to are as follows :) 



The family welfare division, of which I am chairman, hrings together those 
social agencies, civic organizations and individuals vitally concerned with the 
preservation and strengthening of family life in Washington'. Now repre- 
sented on the division membership are 45 organizations, including 23 social 
agencies supported by the Community Chest, 13 public agencies, and 9 other 
private agencies and organizations. 

Our close contact with human need as it comes to the attention of the many 
different agencies in Washington has made us thoroughly familiar with the 
problems of the migrant or nonresident families who come to the Nation's 
Capital for many reasons. We believe that the most fundamental causes forc- 
ing these people to our community are : 

1. Nation-wide economic conditions. 

2. Divei'se settlement laws. 

3. Lack of adequate provision for public assistance to needy persons regard- 
less of their residence status. 

The inadequate public assistance program in Washington is well known, as 
is that of many of the communities to the south of Washington where many 
migrant families originate. 

Since the liquidation of the Federal transient program, as referred to by 
Mrs. O'Connor, our agencies have tried to help where their funds would permit 
but without a basic program to assist the nonsettled person the agencies have 
been able to meet but a very small proportion of the total need. 

I have asked the members of the intake committee of the family welfare 
division to give me their experiences to bring to you today. Inasmuch as the 
members of this committee are the intake workers of the various agencies who 
meet the problems of the migrant families day after day and are concerned that 
are able to give very little real help. This committee includes the following 
agencies : American Red Cross, Protective Services Unit of the Board of Public 
Welfare, Catholic Charities, the Woman's Bureau, Juvenile Court, Public Assist- 
ance Division, Travelers Aid Society, Family Service Association, Federation 
of Churches, Children's Protective Association, American Legion, Salvation 
Army, Jewish Social Service Agency, Instructive Visiting Nurse Society, Prince 
George's County Social Service League, Prince George's Board of Public Wel- 
fare, Prince George's Catholic Charities, Montgomery County Social Service 
League, Montgomery Welfare Board, Alexandria Social Service League, Wash- 
ington Self-Help Exchange, Community Chest Application Bureau. 

To give you an accurate picture of this problem we shall mention certain 
groups who come most often to our attention : 

I. Families who have wandered here to better tliemselves socially or eco- 
nomically and have lost their legal settlement anywhere. 

II. Migrant families who are unable to gain residence here because of the 
various legal and administrative restrictions established by the Work Projects 
Administration and the public-assistance division, or other authorities in their 
standards of "eligibility." 

III. Persons who come to Washington because it is the Nation's Capital. 
They are sure there are better opportunities here than in their home com- 
munities and believe that they have "a right to come to tlieir Government in 
Washington." Many persons are brought here on the promise of patronage 
jobs that do not, for one reason or another, materialize. Within each of these 
groups are many cases, but these few will serve to illustrate : 

We know of a family who moved to Washington from Maryland because 
they had had a hard time getting along in the other State and felt they 
could get some work here. The Travelers' Aid Society gave these parents 
and their five children assistance while they investigated the possibility of 
their return to their home community. The family would not return because 
of lack of economic opportunities back home. They struggled along against 
heavy odds until the husband became ill. The resident family agencies could 
not assist, nor could the Travelers' Aid. They had lost their legal settlement 
and were not eligible to assistance through our public agency. 


In another family known to ns, the man had an admirable background as 
a painter and glazer. During the depression he could find no private employ- 
ment and went to work on Work Projects Administration. Standards of living 
being such as they are, he found his Work Projects Administration wage inade- 
quate for his family, composed of a wife and eight children. When he learned 
of a house and garden into which he could move free for doing painting for 
the landlord, he was delighted with this prospect. He moved into an adjoining 
Maryland county, continuing his District Work Projects Administration em- 
ployment. A tragic accident followed. Wliile the man was preparing to paint 
at night for his landlord, a gasoline lamp exploded, seriously injuring him. 
Months of hospitalization were to follow. The family moved back into the 
District and appealed to the public assistance division for financial aid and 
were rejected because they had lived 2 years in Maryland. The Maryland 
Public Welfare was unable to help as the man had not gained residence there 
because of his District Work Projects Administration work. It seemed a 
clear-cut case for public relief but our diverse settlement laws could not adjust 
to the human factors involved. Here the private agency and a church stepped 
in to tide the family over at least for a little while. 

There is a definite conflict between relief restrictions and cases Involving 
prisoners who are paroled to the District of Columbia Parole Board. Such 
men must remain here for parole because they were incarcerated from the 
District of Columbia ; witness the following : A man whose home is in Virginia 
has been paroled to remain under the supervision of the District of Columbia 
Parole Board until February 24, 1942. His wife has come here to be with 
him during his readjustment to civil liberty. Unfortunately the man's back- 
groimd is that of farming; his work opportunities here are practically nil, 
Should he re<iuire financial assistance he will find him.self ineligible by lack 
■of residence. Social workers feel that we have in this man potential material 
tor further crime, the treatment of which may be more costly than aid during 
the period of rehabilitation. 

News from Washington is of concern to the whole Nation. Those individuals 
involved in financial difficulties in the home commiuiities oftentimes hear 
through their local newspapers of the need for workers in connection with the 
national-defense program. We know of one man and his wife who read a notice 
of the many positions available, took their last money and came quickly to 
Washington to be among the first to be employed. They could not understand 
the lack of resources since they were "citizens of our country and this is the 
Nation's Capital." They were manifestly unable to understand why agencies 
could not help imtil the job materialized. They refused the offer of return 
to their home community because they wished to see their Congressman in 
connection with the job and an appointment was scheduled a week ahead 
because of the Congressman's absence from the city. 


Upon the day-to-day experience of intake workers in meeting these people 
who are in need, these recommendations are based: (1) imiform settlement 
laws and (2) a program of Federal grants-in-aid to the States for case-work 
treatment of migrant problems. We cannot conclude without indicating, how- 
ever, that such a program must be prepared hand in hand with a Federal 
program of grants-in-aid to the States for general public assistance following 
careful study as to the interrelationship of transient and migrant problems 
to the adequacy of local assistance. 

May we point out that the groups mentioned, lacking faith in the democratic 
way of working things out, become potential material for crime and the high 
promises of those who do not believe in democracy. 


Frankly, we do not feel that we have accurate information as to the extent 
or volume of the migrant problem in Washington at the present time. There 
are several reasons for this: Each agency handles some one small segment of 
the total group as its funds and program will permit. We do not have central 
reporting of services to transients from the various missions and shelters Avho 


for the most part do not have facilities for keeping accurate records. Though 
the Travelers' Aid Society, Salvation Army, and nonresident service of the 
public assistance division do send us their regular reports, this is only the 
count of those individuals actually receiving their help and does not include the 
numbers who may aijply to them but for one reason or another are not eligible. 

The true picture can scarcely be determined without a centralized service 
where all migrants or nonresident persons and families could be registered. 

Similarly, we cannot answer the question "what happens to these families 
who cannot get help?" We know they are among us in this community and can 
only guess at the human waste in future ill health, delinquency, crime, and 
broken minds that will result from our neglect today. 


We in Washington are acutely aware that the problem of transiency is inter- 
state and national in character. In the absence of a comprehensive public- 
financed program, national in scope, each State and each community within the 
States must continue to erect legal or administrative barriers in self-protection. 
For this reason the States are enacting increasingly rigid settlement laws. Like- 
wise within each community the social agencies, public, private, establish the 
various eligibility restrictions as illustrated earlier in this statement to conserve 
their limited funds for those that "belong" and therefore have first claim. The 
obvious result is a pathetic picture of the migrant or unsettled family, caught 
in a hopeless maze of State and local barriers that will rise higher and higher 
unless we are willing to face this problem realistically here and now. 


The transient committee of the Council of Social Agencies has been in existence 
12 years. Its function is to coordinate the work of all agencies dealing with 
transients and through the conference method to make plans for more effective 
administration of the work. After trying for a year to solve the problem in 
Washington, the committee decided that a survey of the whole situation should 
be made and funds were made available for the conduct of this survey. After 
months of study which was participated in by 21 social agencies of the city 
and with the leadership of a research worker, certain definite recommendations 
were made for future procedure. The study urged first, "The incorporation of 
employment into any plan made for service to transients," and legislation gov- 
erning commercial employment service was urged; second, "The establishment 
of a bureau for transients under the supervision of one agency in order that all 
work with transients should be concentrated in one place." This bureau would 
have social-case workers who would make the welfare of the individual its 
paramount concern and to concern itself with all phases of the work such as 
employment, health, transportation, lodging, etc. 

The transient committee at once began to carry out the recommendations of 
the study and a bureau for transient men was established in the office of the 
Travelers' Aid Society. This bureau cooperated actively with all social agencies 
and particularly with the Salvation Army shelter which was enlarged and 
offered shelter to the men with whom the bureau was working. This arrange- 
ment continued with reasonable success until the Federal Government came 
into the picture with the establishment of the Federal Transient Service which 
included lodging houses. When the Government took this step the bureau for 
transient men discontinued its service, the Salvation Army shelter was closed 
and its work with transient men stopped as there seemed to be no valid reason 
for private agencies to duplicate the work of the governmental agencies. It is 
now a matter of history that after assuming responsibility for this work, the 
Government after about 18 months decided to liquidate its program and threw 
back upon the community the responsibility of transient care. 

In the meantime, however, the plans of the private agencies had become 
dislocated and financial stringency made it impossible for them to revive 
their work along previous lines. The only possible arrangement which could 
be made was interagency agreement on the handling of specific types of 


service. For instance, the Travelers' Aid Society agreed to liaudle all children 
under 17, nonresident families, and unattached women. This the agency has 
continued to do up to the' present time. Fortunately the nonresident service 
of the Board of Public Welfare was kept alive and this gives assistance to 
men with residence elsewhere, and the Salvation Army gives shelter care to a 
limited number of women. 

Realizing that this seemed to be the extent to which private funds could 
be used, the committee made definite recommendations for a permanent pro- 
gram for transients in Washington which included the establishment of a 
bureau under the Board of Public Welfare responsible to the director of public 
welfare and managed by a trained supervisor, the services of the bureau to 
include the management of the Municipal Lodging House, the transportation 
of indigents, and provision for a younger group of men and boys. The com- 
mittee felt that "No permanent plan should be considered unless it be a 
part of a grant-in-aid program of the Federal Government, which would en- 
courage each State to establish its own program for the care of indigent 
nonresidents within its borders." The committee believes that uniform 
settlement laws are a prime necessity in planning for transients. It has 
constantly urged an adequate municipal lodging house where both men and 
women could be lodged while plans are being made for them. The committee 
will continue to follow along these lines, and is deeply interested that a 
committee in Congress is working toward the solution of the problems of 
the migrant. 


The Travelers' Aid Society, an agency supported by the community chest 
of this city, is primarily concerned with the nonresidents or transients in 
the District of Columbia. Aside from our travel service for children or any 
other inexperienced travelers who wish it, and our information, direction, 
and referal services to travelers at the terminals, the main program of our 
agency is a casework-service program for the migrants or nonresidents of 
the District. The Washington Travelers' Aid Society is a member of the 
National Travelers' Aid Association, which maintains an intercity chain of 
service with member agencies all over the country. It is, I believe, the only 
private national organization which devotes its full time to the study of 
moving peoples. Our program in Washington includes individualized service 
to these moving people as well as financial assistance wherever necessary. It is 
extended to all nonresidents in the District of Columbia, with the following 
two exceptions: First, single or unattached homeless men 18 and over, 
who are referred to the nonresident service of the public assistance division, 
and, second. World War veterans with an honorable discharge and their 
families, who are referred to the American Legion welfare department. The 
definition of "transient" as interpreted by the Travelers' Aid Society is that 
person who has resided in the District of Columbia for less than 12 consecutive 
months and who requires some type of assistance from an agency. The 
Travelers' Aid Society has, ever since the close of the Federal transient program, 
assumed responsibility in the District of Columbia for assisting all girls and 
women, boys 17 and under, couples and families (with the previously noted 
two exceptions), who are nonresidents in the District. Our field of service 
has been worked out in conjunction with the other agencies in the District, 
both public and private, to cover as nearly adequately as possible all the 
welfare needs of the community. However, certain gaps in the service still 
exist for which there is no resource in the community. Well known in this 
group are those people who have no legal residence anywhere. The Travelers' 
Aid Society may accept individuals or family groups in this category for a 
temporary ^ exploratory period to try to develop resources either locally or 
out of town, or to establish residence for them somewhere in the United 
States. If these efforts fail the agency does not have sufficient resources 
to continue to care for the indefinitely, and, too, it is our feeling that this 
should be a public-agency responsibility. However, none of the public or 
private agencies in the District are willing to accept this group for care, 
with certain rare exceptions, which may be made by the private resident- 


family agencies. Also, as mentioned above, tlie Travelers' Aid Society interprets 
the establisliment of settlement in the District of Columbia as 12 consecutive 
months of residence here although the present inteiT3retation of the residence 
policy by the Board of Public Welfare requires that an individual be "self^ 
supporting" in the District of Columbia for 12 consecutive months. The 
delinition of this rather ambiguous term has caused much confusion and hard- 
ship for many people. 

Since 1935 the case load and the service of the Travelers Aid Society has con- 
tinually increased. During 1935 we had 3,640 cases under care ; in 1936, 4,497 ; 
in 1937, 4.606 ; in 1938, 4,866 ; in 1939, 4,956 ; and for the first 10 mouths of 1940, 
4,850. However, I would lilve to emphasize at this point that these are the total 
number of cases under care by the agency and include many incidental and travel 
service problems and other difficulties not primarily connected with migration, 
and only about half of the number are either exclusively or primarily "transients" 
in the general sense of the term. Of the entire case load, approximately three- 
fourths have been white people, the rest Negroes or other nationalities. Our 
statistics show that they use all means of transportation in coming to the District, 
although most of them hitchhike. That they come from every part of the United 
States is clearly indicated by a sample study which was made in the agency on 
our intake for the months of January and February 1940. We found that during 
that 2-month period our new applicants came from 31 different States and 
Ala.ska. From the various States, about 15 percent came from Virginia, with 
slightly more than 11 percent from both North Carolina and New York, and 
slightly over 9 percent from both Maryland and Pennsylvania. Other States rep- 
resented were : Connecticut. Georgia, Massachusetts, Oregon, Nebraska, Missouri, 
Tennessee, California, Illinois, Arkansas, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, New Hamp- 
shire, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, Indiana, Minnesota, South Caro- 
lina, Texas, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Colorado. The majority 
of the nonresidents under our care remained in the District for less than 3 months 
with comparatively few staying longer than 6 months. 

In every instance the Travelers Aid Society considers each case on an individual 
basis and'offers both the service and financial assistance best adapted to meet the 
need of the individual or family concerned. In working out plans, we are always 
appreciative of the help and cooperation of tlie Board of Public Welfare for their 
assistance with transportation funds, of the Salvation Army in allowing us to 
use their emergency home for the board and lodging of some of our white wohien, 
and of the Young Women's Christian Association for their reduced rate given 
us for our clents staying there ; and of all the other agencies and iu'j'.ividuals who 
are of assistance to us. Each situation is studied very carefully before any 
attempt is made to plan with the client either to remain here or to return to his 
liome community, whichever place seems to offer him greater opportunity to make 
a satisfactory and permanent adjustment. The Travelers Aid Society has always 
taken the position that the moving people are a very important part of our 
population, and likewise we know that this group does get into difficulty and very 
often needs assistance. As we all know, the policy of "shipping people from one 
place to another" without some satisfactory constructive plan having been made 
for them upon their arrival only increases the problem of transiency. However, 
moving people are necessary to our national growth. The need of a mobile popu- 
lation for the development of our industries at the present time is self-evident. 
Traditionally, this country always has believed that people must be free to better 
themselves. Much of our existing settlement legislation has destroyed this right 
and thus has tended to place a premium on the courage and self-reliance of these 
people. Unfortunately, of course, there are instances when our limited financial 
resources make it necessary for a person to return to his home community, even 
though the plan worked out for him there is not as complete and encouraging as 
we might like. Then too, there are certain cases which we feel it necessary to 
reject entirely. This group includes those few chronic wanderers to whom we 
feel our service would be of no benefit, and that unfortunate group of persons 
who have no legal residence anywhere. With the increasing restrictions and 
residence barriers which are being set up by the various States, it seems to me 
that the group with no legal residence must be steadily increasing in number. 
Extremely harmful are those laws which include such terms as "self-support" 
and "intent" which may unfortunately be so misinterpreted that they work a 
grave injustice and hardship upon many people. For instance, one State refuses 


to accept or authorize the return of persons who may have lived there all of their 
life but who left "intending to stay away" because they felt they might be able 
to get work in some other community. 

An excellent example of this is the Gray family. They were from a State 
nearby, and they came to the District where Mr. Gray had secured work. They 
sold what little furniture they had to pay their traveling expenses and living 
costs until the first pay day. Unfortunately, after they had been here less than 
a year, a business reorganization eliminated Mr. Gray. He was unsuccessful in 
finding other work, and so the family came to us. When we communicated with 
the State from which they came we were told that because the Grays had sold 
their furniture and stayed away 6 months, indicating they had not planned to 
return, they were no longer legal residents of that State. Thus their "intent" to 
remain away from their home State forced them into that group with no legal 
residence anywhere. 

The Smith family was referred to the Travelers Aid Society because they were 
nonresidents and thus ineligible for service from any other agency in the District 
of Columbia, either public or private. Mr. Smith was 29, his wife 28, and they 
had three children of the ages 5, 4, and 2yo. Mr. Smith had lost his position which 
had been a field-service job for some years. Thus they had been unable to stay 
in one place long enough to acquire legal residence. They had been away from 
the community in which they had originally lived too long to maintain their 
residence there. Consequently, the legal residence barriers raised against them 
by this city, in which they had been born and had lived until Mr. Smith was forced 
to leave to take the only available job, cost Washington and the Travelers Aid 
Society many dollars in food and lodging, medical and psychiatric care. There- 
fore, i would strongly recommend the enactment of uniform settlement laws in 
the United States which would do much, it seems to me, to alleviate the suffering 
and injustices of many present State laws, and such legislation would prevent 
the increasing in the future of that group of people with no legal residence 

However, I wonder if it would be "putting the cart before the horse" to some 
extent to think primarily in terms of a broad Federal program for "transients." 
Such a program might meet an existing need, but certainly it would not seem to 
offer a solution to the basic and fundamental problems which are the cause of 
transiency. It has certainly been the experience of the case workers in our 
agency that these moving people are not anxious to give up the security of their 
homes and established groups of relatives and friends in the community in which 
they have always lived. They are forced to do so in many instances by lack of 
adequate resources there. Consequently, adequate resources for the residents, 
not only for the District of Columbia, but for all o'f the communities in the 
United States, is an important part of the problem. If adequate resources for 
residents were available, many people who now migrate from one place to another 
would no longer do so. Failure and delay by many agencies all over the country 
in acknowledging responsibility for their residents who are here in Washington 
has created a serious problem. If these out-of-town agencies had sufficient funds 
and adequate programs to meet the needs of their residents, that group of people 
would not be a nonresident problem for the District of Columbia, and the same 
situation is true in other parts of the country. 

I would also like to suggest that more complete and accurate information 
about employment opportunities of all sorts in every part of the country, and 
a better method of exchanging this material be made available. Thus many of 
the people who now feel forced to leave their home communities, to look hope- 
fully yet aimlessly for employment elsewhere, would have some definite idea of 
how this might be obtained and thus some adequate plan worked out before 
they left home. I feel that in the District of Columbia the nonresident problem 
is not such as to warrant "mass treatment" of the nature of a broad Federal 
transient program. If more specific information were available to the workers 
about the supply and demand for various types of labor all over the country, 
and if adequate care could be made available for residents in all communities, 
the transient problem here, with the exceptions of the single or unattached 
men and those people with no legal residence anywhere, could be better handled 
in my opinion by the individualized services of a private agency such as the 
Travelers Aid Society which could be much more flexible than those of a 
public agency program. While complete information on the extent of the 


problem in the District of Columbia does not seem to be available, it is my 
feeling that most of that "unknown area" is made up of unattached men, such 
as those staying in the missions and various other shelters. As far as the 
girls, women, boys 17 and under, couples and families are concerned, I think 
the Travelers Aid Society has been fairly well able to meet that need. How- 
ever, it does seem that a more adequate municipal lodging house for men, 
especially one with some facilities for the care and segregation of boys would 
be very helpful. It has always been the function of the Travelers Aid Society 
to offer service and material assistance to this group of nonresidents and our 
case workers have developed a unique skill for dealing with moving people. 
The problems of migrant families are almost always emergencies and thus are 
often more acute than those of resident families. Consequently, it seems almost 
obvious that the "mass treatment" and necessary inflexibility of a public agency 
program with legal restrictions is less adaptable and thus less well able to work 
out individual satisfactory adjustments which would be permanent. Of course, 
to ultimately decrease the transient problem rather than increase it, such stabi- 
lization and permanent adjustments are essential. Nevertheless, there seems to 
be a need for some type of program, probably with Federal aid, to assist all 
of the homeless unattached men, those people with no legal residence anywhere, 
and that group of habitual transients or "chronic wanderers." I believe it is 
the responsibility of the public agency to provide for these groups, with the 
other nonresidents being cared for by private case work agencies such as ours. 

Note. — We regret that we failed to mention above the Inestimable value of the help 
which we have always received from the railroads and other transportation companies. 

TON, D. C. 


The Salvation Army came into being in tbe year 1865 in London, England. 
Its founder was William Booth. 

It has grown in three-quarters of a century from a small mission in London's 
East End into an international body of some 5,000,000 members operating in 
97 countries and colonies. 


Of particular interest are those aspects that enlarged its purpose from the 
original design of religious reclamation to a full and many faceted program 
of social service. 

The National Information Bureau of New York in a study entitled, "Social 
Salvage," described the Salvation Army as a "religious body which has an 
important social program, a program, however, which is fundamentally spiritual 
in its aim." 

Included in the varying phases of program are these: Spiritual, recreation, 
and character building, family welfare service, fresh-air camps, homes and 
hospitals (for unmarried mothers) working men's hotels, men's social service 
centers (sheltered workshops) and care of transient (men and women). 


The financial support for these activities is provided in various ways : Dues, 
fees for service, donations, community chest and home service funds (campaigns 
for budget needs) in the communities served by the organization. 


The Salvation Army has been in Washington approximately 55 years and 
the local program includes the administrative center from which are operated 
a family service bureau, women's and children's emergency home, and a fresh- 
air camp. 


In addition to the above there are five corps or neighborhood centers from 
which are carried on a religious, recreational, and character-building service, 
also a low-priced hotel for colored working men and a men's social service center 
(sheltered workshop). 


In the city of Washington each of the agencies who are members of the com- 
munity chest and the Council of Social Agencies accept responsibility for service 
in their particular field. 

In the field of the homeless, the Salvation Army has responsibility for care 
of women and children and for homeless men (in sheltered work shop) up to 
the capacities of the institutions serving these groups, 15 and 98, respectively. 

The Traveler's Aid, the nonresident section, municipal lodging house (both 
under Board of Public Welfare), the Central Union and Gospel Missions, and 
the Volunteers of America also render service in this field. 

Prior to the Federal Transient Service, 1933-35, the Salvation Army rendered 
a large and effective service for transient men, financed by the community chest. 
However, with the coming into existence of the Federal service, the Salvation 
Army program was liquidated. Later the Government ceased operations in 
this field. 

Due to the fact that local needs were not being met adequately the commu- 
nity chest decided that it could not provide funds for the Salvation Army to 
carry on a transient service, as it had done prior to 19S3. Consequently since 
1935 there has been very inadequate provision for care of migrants (men). 

During the past winter despite the best efforts of the Salvation Army, non- 
resident service, municipal lodging house, Central Union Mission, Gospel Mission, 
and Volunteers of America there is reason to believe that large numbers of 
homeless men were forced into police stations, floors of missions, hallways, 
grates over furnace rooms of buildings (in the shadow of the Capitol) because 
there was no adequate care facility in Washington. 


Many of these men, from interview and check of record, are not bums and 
tramps, not even hobos as we used to know them, but are "men on the move" 
looking for employment, who, given the opportunity, would settle down and, it is 
believed, make useful citizens. 

In every community you will find them and as each community has within 
its gates men of another community so is it the responsibility of* that com- 
munity to care for them. 


If a man makes application to an agency in Washington, if it can be estab- 
lished that he has legal residence in some city and he is willing to return to 
that place, he is referred to the nonresident section of the Board of Public 
Welfare; if, however, he has no legal residence or for some reason does not 
desire to return to it, then he is not eligible for service in this division. 

He may be referred to the Salvation Army social service center and if the 
institution has an opening he can be placed otherwise he must go to the Volun- 
teers of America or the missions and if, as on many occasions these agencies 
are full, then such a person is faced with the necessity of sleeping out, pan- 
handling the price of a bed or being picked up by the police as a vagrant. 

Actually at night there is no place to which a man can be referred and one 
know he will be cared for. 


1. Because of the vicious practices in many jurisdictions, particularly as they 
relate to settlement laws — it is hoped that this committee will use its influence 
in promoting uniform settlement laws throughout the Nation. 

2. Due to (a) the presence in every community of the citizens of some other 
community for whom care must be provided (h) the fact that States are 
unable to maintain adequate standards of relief (materially adding to transci- 
ency) without the assistance of the Federal Government. 


That provision be made for a grant-in-aid program by tlie Federal Govern- 
ment to States rather than the entire responsibility being shoulderetl by the 
Federal Government. 

3. That locally, because of inadequate provision which forces men to sleep 
out, panhandle, etc., all dangerous and a menace to the community, a municipal 
lodging house with case work and medical services included, sufficiently large 
to meet the need, is recommended. 

The Chairman. The committee will stand adjourned until 10 
o'clock Monday morning. 

(Whereupon, the committee adjourned to meet on Monday, De- 
cember 2, 1940, at 10 a. m.) 



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

Washington, D. G. 
The committee met at 10 a. m. in the caucus room, House Office 
Building, Washington, D. C, Hon. John H. Tolan (chairman) pre- 

Present : Representatives John H. Tolan (chairman) , John J. Spark- 
man, Carl T. Curtis, and Frank C. Osmers, Jr. 

Also present : Robert K. Lamb, chief investigator ; Henry H. Collins, 
Jr., coordinator of hearings: Creekmore Fath and John W. Abbott, 
field investigators; Ariel V. E. Dunn and Alice M. Tuohy, assistant 
field investigators: Irene Hageman, hearings secretary; Richard S. 
Blaisdell, editor; Harold D. Cullen, associate editor. 
The Chairman. The committee will please be in order. 


The Chairman. I do not suppose that you are accustomed to talking 
in the loud speaker, Mr. Lynch. 

Mr. Lynch. No. 

The Chairman. Well, I am sure you will get along all right. Will 
you give the reporter your full name and address? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. Hurcles Ronnell Lynch. 

The Chairman. Where do you live? 

Mr. Lynch. Cheriton, Va. 

The Chairman. And where were you born ? 

Mr. Lynch. In Hickman County, Tenn., in 1913. 

The Chairman. What did your father do? 

Mr. Lynch. He was a farmer and worked in timber, both. 

The Chairman. And did you farm with him ? 

Mr. Lynch. No; I was not big enough then. He has been dead 
quite a time. 

The Chairman. How much schooling did you have? 

Mr. Lynch. The eighth grade. 

The Chairman. Are you married? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 

The Chairman. How many children do you have? 

Mr. Lynch. Four. 

The Chairman. Four children. How old are they? 



Mr. Lynch. One is 8 years old now ; the next one is 5. One is 3 and 
the other about 7 months old. 

The Chairman. And where do you live now ? 

Mr. Lynch. Cheriton, ya. 

The Chairman. What is your occupation ; what do you do for a 

Mr. Lynch. Farm work. 

Tlie Chairman. What kind of farm work? 

Mr. Lynch. Raising vegetables. 

The Chairman. What kind of vegetables? 

Mr. Lynch. Well, broccoli, spinach, and lettuce. 

The Chairman. Are you farming for yourself ? 

Mr. Lynch. No. 

The Chairman. For whom are you working? 

Mr. Lynch. G. L. Webster. 

The Chairman. How much money do you make ? 

Mr. Lynch. It is about $8 a week, I guess. 

The Chairman. Did you ever pick any peanuts? 

Mr. Lynch. In Tennessee I have ; yes. 

The Chairman. Where in Tennessee? 

Mr. Lynch. Hickman County. 

The Chairman, Did you pick them by hand? 

Mr. Lynch. No; they had threshers when I got big enough to work; 
we threshed them. 

The Chairman. How much did you earn a day? 

Mr. Lynch. About a dollar a day. 

The Chairman. And how long clid you work picking peanuts? 

Mr. Lynch. Three or four years, I guess. 

The Chairman. What did you do after you were grown up? 

Mr. Lynch. I did a little bit of everything ; I cut logs ; some work 
on the farm; most of the time worked on the farm. And I worked on 
th& W. P. A. a little. 

The Chairman. You were born in Virginia and went to Tennessee, 
did you? 

Mr. Lynch. No ; I was born in Tennessee. 

The Chairman. You were born in Tennessee and went to Vir- 

Mr. Lynch. Yes ; and I have been there about a year. 

The Chairman. Have you ever been in any other States besides 
Virginia and Tennessee? 

Mr. Lynch. No. 

The Chairman. How old were you at the time you were married? 

Mr. Lynch. I was 18 in July. 

The Chairman. How old was your wife? 

Mr. Lynch. She was 16, 1 believe, in July. 

The Chairman. Is your wife's father a farmer? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 

The Chairman. He was a tenant farmer? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 

The Chairman. Did you ever pick any cotton ? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 


The Chairman. Where? 

Mr. Lynch. Obion County, Tenn. 

The Chairman. How much did you make a day? 

Mr. Lynch. According to how much I picked. 

The Chairman. Did your wife ever pick cotton with you ? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 

The Chairman, What did the two of you average a day, you and 
your wife? 

Mr. Lynch. Well, in good cotton we could make a dollar and a 
half a day, I guess. 

The Chairman. Where were you living at that time? 

Mr, Lynch. We were living on Beelfoot Lake, Obion County. 

The Chairman. What kind of a house? 

Mr. Lynch. Oh, just a medium house. 

The Chairman. How many rooms? 

Mr. Lynch. Two. 

The Chairman. Any children at that time? 

Mr. Lynch. When we picked cotton none of them stayed at the 
house ; they would go into the field wdth us. 

The Chairman. Where did you live after you were married, after 
you finished the cotton-picking work; did you move to some other 
place ? 

Mr. Lynch. When my house burned down I did; I moved to 
Obion; that was in the same county. 

The Chairman. Did you own the house? 

Mr. Lynch. No; it was rented. 

The Chairman. How much rent did you pay? 

Mr. Lynch. Four dollars. 

The Chairman. Four dollars a month? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes; one room. 

The Chairman. One-room house? 

Mr. Lynch, Yes, 

The Chairman, Did it have any bath? 

Mr, Lynch, No, 

The Chairman. How many children did you have then? 

Mr. Lynch. We had two. The others were born after I left Lake 

The Chairman. You lived in one room? 

Mr, Lynch, Yes, 

The Chairman. How many beds did you have? 

Mr. Lynch. We had two. 

The Chairman. Did you own your own furniture? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 

The Chairman. What did it consist of ; what kind of furniture did 
you have? 

Mr. Lynch. We just had two beds, a stove, and a table and chairs. 

The Chairman. Did you have a farm of your own in Tennessee? 

Mr. Lynch. No. 

The Chairman. You never had a farm of your own ? 

Mr, Lynch, No, 

The Chaikman, Did you ever work as a sharecropper? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 


The Chairman. Where? 

Mr. Lynch. Obion County ; the same county. 

The Chairman. How much did you make at that time? 

Mr. Lynch. Oh, just a bare living, I guess. 

The Chairman. When you moved from Tennessee to Virginia, 
how did you go; did you have a truck or automobile? 

Mr. Lynch. No ; I came by bus. 

The Chairman. What did you pay for your transportation? 

Mr. Lynch. About $11, 1 think. 

The Chairman. Have you ever been on relief ? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes; I was on about 2 months, I guess, or maybe a 
little less. 

The Chairman. Li what State? 

Mr. Lynch. Tennessee. 

The Chairman. How much did you receive ? 

Mr. Lynch. I really couldn't say ; I have not kept account of it. 

The Chairman. Do you rememtjer? 

Mr. Lynch. No ; I don't remember. 

The Chairman. Now as a sharecropper what did you earn; about 
a dollar a day ? 

Mr. Lynch. About a dollar a day, I guess. 

The Chairman. Were you able to save anything on that? 

Mr. Lynch. No. 

The Chairman. What did you do the rest of the time you were not 
working as a sharecropper ? 

Mr. Lynch. Not much of anything. 

The Chairman. How did you live? 

Mr. Lynch. Well, I cannot tell you; just managed, when I was 
working, to prepare for when I was not working. 

The Chairman. Well, take the last 5 years for example, how much 
time did you have employment or work? 

Mr. Lynch. I guess 3 months a year. 

The Chairman. About a year? 

Mr. Lynch. You mean altogether? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Mr. Lynch. A year and a half, I guess. 

The Chairman. A year and a half, all told ? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 

The Chairman. How did you support yourself and your family 
during the rest of the time ? 

Mr. Lynch. I could not tell you; just managed during the time I 
was working to put a little back, get a few groceries ahead; raised 
some of it. 

The Chairman. During all of that time when you were not em- 
ployed were you looking for work ? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes; if I could find anything, I wanted to work at it. 

The Chairman. Did your relatives help you ? 

Mr. Lynch. No. 

The Chairman. They were not supporting you? 

Mr. Lynch. No. 

The Chairman. Much of the time you did not have work? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 


The Chairman. That is what I would like to develop : How did 
you live if you were not living with your relatives; how did 
you support yourself, babies and wife? 

Mr. Lynch. Well, when we were picking cotton, for instance, we 
tried to lay back a little flour and lard and fuel, and stuff like 
that, to live on in the winter until work picked up in the spring. 

The Chairman. Since you were married how many times have 
you moved? 

Mr. Lynch. About four times. 

The Chairman. AVhat are jou doing now? 

Mr. Lynch. Working on a farm. 

The Chairman. ^A^iere? 

Mr. Lynch. Cheriton, Va, 

The Chairman. How much are you earning there? 

Mr. Lynch. Average about $8 a week. 

The Chairman. How long have you been employed there at $8 
a week? 

Mr. Lynch. I have been there since last November, this November 
a year ago. 

The Chairman. "Wliere you live do you own the house? What 
kind of a house? 

Mr. Lynch. No; it is a pretty fair house; rented house. 

The Chairman. Can you support yourself and wife and three 
or four children on $8 a week? 

Mr. Lynch. Well, we have been getting by with it. 

The Chairman. You have just been getting by? 

]\Ir. Lynch. Yes. 

The Chairman. Do you pay any rent? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 

The Chairman. How much rent do you pay? 

ISIr. Lynch. There is another man living with us; we pay $5 
each ; there two of us living in the house. 

The Chairman. Has he a family? 

Mr. Lynch. He is related to my wife. 

The Chairman. He pays $5 a month? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 

The Chairman. And you pay $5 a month, making $10? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 

The Chairman. That leaves you about $27; you say you make 
$32 a month? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 

The Chairman. After you pay the rent you have $27? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 

The Chairman. With which to clothe you and wife and children 
and feed them ; on $27 a month ; is that right ? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 

The Chairman. You live on Eastern Shore of Virginia ? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes ; I live there now. 

Tlie Chairman. \Aniat do you do there; what are you doing on 
Eastern Shore of Virginia; what kind of work? 

Mr. Lynch. I drive a truck. 

260.370— 41— pt. 8 8 



The Chairman. What? 

Mr. Lynch. Drive a truck on the farm, a tractor. 

The Chairman. Drive a tractor ? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 

The Chairman. Are there many people there employed in the can- 
neries ? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes; right many. 

The Chairman. Where do these people come from ? 

Mr. Lynch. Different sections of the country, just like myself. 

The Chairman. They were mostly neighbors of yourself ? 

Mr. Lynch. Several of them were ; there were 12 or 15 families, I 

Tlie Chairman. How much do they make in the canneries ? 

Mr. Lynch. Oh, just about the same; all about the same. 

The Chairman. How much ? 

Mr. Lynch. It is about the same work as on the farm. 

The Chairman. About how much would that be? 

Mr. Lynch. Oh, about $8 a week, I guess. 

The Chairman. Do many people come there to do that? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes ; several people. 

The Chairman. What kind of canneries are they ? 

Mr. Lynch. They can broccoli, spinach, and peas. 

The Chairman. JHo w long does that season last ? 

Mr. Lynch. Well, it lasts about 2 or 3 or 4 w^eeks; perhaps 4 weeks. 

The Chairman. And when the w^ork is finished there do those peo- 
ple go elsewhere ? 

Mr. Lynch. Some of them do; some of them just keep working on 
the farm and others go elsewhere, but they can work there if they 
want to. 

The Chairman. Where do they live ; in houses ? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 

The Chairman. AVliere do they get the houses ? 

Mr. Lynch. Some of them rent houses in Cheriton ; some of them 
live on the land where the fellow who raises the crop, Mr. Webster, 

The Chairmajs. What kind of houses are they? 

Mr. Lstnch. Oh, just common tenant houses. 

The CiiAiRDiAN. Just common tenant houses? 

Mr. Lyn( h. Yes. 

Tlie Chairman. One or two rooms, and so forth ? 

Mr. Lynch. Some of them have four or five rooms, and even six 

The Chairman, Are your parents living? 

Mr. Lynch. No. 

Ihe Chairman. Are your wife's parents living? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 

The Chairman. Where do they live ? 

Mr. Lynch. They are living in Missouri now. 

The Chairman. On a farm ? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 

The Chairman. Are there a good many families in that section 
from other places? 


Mr. Lynch. You mean in Virginia ? 

The Chairman. Yes. 

Mr. Lynch. Yes; there are about 12 or 15 families from Tennessee, 
1 guess. 

The Chairman. What did they use for transportation to get there 
from Tennessee ? 

Mr. Lynch. Well, some of them in cars, some of them by busses, 
and some of them by train. 

The Chairman. IDo most of these people have families? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes ; most of them. 

The Chairman. Large families ? 

Mr. Lynch. About like my family. 

The Chairman. Average about four children ? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes ; about three or four children. 

The Chairman. Do you feel that it was a good thing for you to 
move from Tennessee to the Eastern Shore of Virginia? 

Mr. Lynch. Well, I believe I bettered myself some. 

The Chairman. Why did you move ? 

Mr. Lynch. Well, I just felt like I could get a little more to do, a 
little more work, and maybe average a little more in the year. 

The Chairman. In other words, Mr. Lynch, you are just like thou- 
sands of others ; there comes a time when they cannot make a go of it 
Avhere they are living. 

Mr. Lynch. It looks that way. 

The Chairman. And rather than starve, you would move? 

Mr. Lynch. Hunting for something to do; yes. 

The Chairman. Would you rather have remained right where you 
weieon the farm if you could make a go of it ? 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 

The Chairman. In other words, you would rather not move, would 

Mr. Lynch. No. 

The Chairman. Some people seem to think that other people just 
pick up and move because they like to do it. 

Mr. Lynch. Yes. 

The Chairman. But I have not found a man on the farm who 
would not rather own his own farm, or remain on a farm if he could 
make a living. 

Mr. Lynch. I would rather be back there if I could make a go of it. 

The Chairman. If you could make a living. 

Mr. Lynch. Yes ; if I could make a go of it, I would rather be back 
on the farm. 

The Chairman. Well, what do you intend to do now; do you in- 
tend to try to improve on that $8 a week ; do you intend to stay where 
you are? 

Mr. Lynch. I expect so this year. 

The Chairman. I suppose it is your hope that you and your family 
have a little farm of your own some day ? 

Mr. Lynch. I hope so. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much for coming here. 


D. C. 

Mr. OsMERS. Will you please state your name and official position 
for the record ? 

Mr. ToLLEY. Howard R. Tolley, Chief, Bureau of Agricultural 

The Chairman, I understand that you have prepared a statement 
which I am going to ask, with the permission of the committee, to 
be placed in the record and request you to give us a summary of it. 

Mr. ToLLEY. I will be glad to do that. 


Potential Migration as a Problem of Ameeioan Agriculture 

Wandering the highways of the Nation today are hundreds of thousands of 
farm families, hornless migrants who are attempting to make their living as 
seasonal laborers in agriculture. These are the Joad families, dramatized in 
The Grapes of Wrath ; destitute farm people who in recent years have been up- 
rooted from the land by droughts, depression, changing economic conditions, 
and the rapid advances of agricultural mechanization and technology. 

In a very real sense, these people are the economic and social casualties of 
changes which have come to our whole society ; changes with which the individ- 
ual acting alone is powerless to deal. Displaced in agriculture, and lacking both 
the means and the opportunity of starting anew in different locations, the migrants 
have found in late years that agriculture had no place of security for them. At 
the same time, the depression had reduced the opportunities for employment in 
the cities. 

The great increase in the number of migratory agricultural workers within the 
last decade or so is a reflection of the fact that opportunities in other lines of 
activity seemed lacking. Today these people are wandering from one job to the 
next, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles to get a few days' work. Their 
wages are low. Employment is sporadic and uncertain. Deplorable conditions 
of housing and sanitation are the usual characteristics of migrant life, and poor 
health and poor educational advantages go hand in hand with it. Tliese condi- 
tions are not alone the problems of the migratory workers themselves, but also 
are of great concern to the local communities and States affected, as well as to 
the Nation as a whole. 

potential migr-\tion from rural areas 

Your committee has already obtained much data on the conditions of these 
migrants, and so it is my purpose to speak of another aspect of the problem — 
that of potential migration in agriculture. The displacement of farm people in 
agriculture and the lack of opportunities for them on farms and in cities are the 
causes underlying the increase in the number of migratory agricultural workers 
in the last decade. The same or similar conditions, as they occur in the future, 
can reasonably be expected to produce additional migration, and thus contribute 
to a continuation of the conditions being considered. For this reason, the 
problem of potential migration is very properly a part of the problem of present 
migration. Measures and policies designed to deal with the conditions of pres- 
ent migration, therefore, should aim also at those of potential migration. 

The importance of this consideration is demonstrated by the fact that the num- 
bers of migratory workers in agriculture appear to be growing, rather than declin- 
ing, and there are indications that there may be a continuous growth in the 
number of persons seeking employment of this type because of the lack of alterna- 
tives. This is simply saying, of course, that an adequate consideration of the 
problem of agricultural migration must take into account the sources of migration 
and its causes, and that steps toward dealing with the problem should attack 


uot only the result, which are the conditions affecting present migratory workers, 
but also must get at the causes of distress migration. 

The population and income figures for farm families point to the seriousness 
of the potential migration in agriculture, for it is by these that we can see most 
clearly the extent of the lack of opportunities o-ft'ered for farmers of the future. 


At present, there are about 32,000,000 people living on American farms. Accord- 
ing to a recent estimate, the farm land of America could meet the commercial 
demands for all our food and fiber, both for domestic consumption and export, 
with less than half the present farm population. As long ago as 1929, half the 
farmers of the Nation produced 90 percent of all marketed crops, and today, with 
the introduction of a few available technological improvements, half the farm 
population could produce much more than the market now absorbs at prices the 
farmers are willing to accept as reasonable. As the techniques of production 
develop further, and as the market for our agricultural exports is more and more 
restricted by the increasing international emphasis upon self-sufficient national- 
ism the proportion of our present farm population required to produce for com- 
mercial markets is likely to decrease rather than to increase. Under present con- 
ditions, the so-called normal requirements in farm production, both for domestic 
and foreign outlets, can be met with at least 1,600,000 fewer workers on farms 
than we had in 1929. In speaking of normal requirements, we refer to the 
amounts now being consumed, rather than the amounts which might be consumed. 

Of course, we cannot afford to lose from the farms anything like half of the 
people now located there, even if for no other reason than the absence of a 
better place for them to go. Continuous migration from farms to the cities is 
apparently an established characteristic of industrial-agricultural nations, but it 
would be diflScult to set a figure at which this migration should be maintained, 
especially in periods like the 1930's. The figures given do show, however, that 
our present system of commercial agriculture cannot provide satisfactory incomes 
and living conditions to a full half of our farm people. This immediately raises 
a whole host of questions regarding the ultimate future of our agricultural 
system. Those questions must go unanswered at this time. 

The lower-income half of the Nation's farm population — more than 3,000,000 
families — now have abnormally low incomes and levels of living. Many of 
them are trying to eke out existences on gross cash incomes averaging $200 to 
$300 per family annually, or less. More than a million of these families were 
on relief in 1935. More than 1,500,000 men on farms were totally or partially 
unemployed in thte fall of 1937. It is evident that the number of those in the 
lower-income group is increasing, with each year many more men and boys 
likely to be looking for opportunities on the land. Accruing to this group also 
may be an additional 350,000 to 500,000 workers displaced during the next 10 
years because of mechanization in agriculture. 


Moreover, there is a continual addition to the number of people of working 
age on farms. If we consider only those youths between 15 and 25 years of 
age, there are probably about 7,000,000 living on farms today. It is significant 
that there are about 1,167,000 of them who would not be in the farm population 
at all if industrial and commercial opportunities had been relatively as inviting 
in the last decade as th'ey were in the twenties. 

Two other important facts are : First, there are just about twice as many 
youths in the farm population as are needed for replacement in agriculture ; and, 
second, they are in greater surplus in areas of low agricultural opportunity 
than they are in areas of relatively favorable agricultural opportunity. Even if 
industrial employment should increase because of the defense program to the 
extent that is now predicted, it cannot be assumed that our unemployment prob- 
lem, either on the farms or in towns or cities, will be completely eliminated 
within the immediate future. 

If, in addition to the farm operators who will die in the next 20 years, every 
farmer who reaches G5 years of age would retire, the farms they would \acate 
would make room for about 2,700,000 beginning farmers. During the same 20 
years, 6,000,000 boys now living on American farms will have reached 20 years 


of age. If they all try to enter farming, there will be 225 young men competing 
for every 100 farms available. We, of course, know that not all of them will 
want to or try to enter farming and that some persons now in agriculture will 
leave for other occupations and professions. But we also know that all farmers 
won't retire at the age of 65, and we know that there are persons leaving towns 
and cities every year seeking to enter agriculture. 


In the areas of low economic opportunity the picture is still darker. If we 
apply these same calculations to the Southern or Cotton Belt States, we will 
see that there will be 300 applicants or competitors for every 100 farms. If 
we apply them to the southern Appalachian Mountain area, there will be about 
350 for every 100 farms. Even if we apply them to Iowa, we estimate there 
will be 180 competitors for every 100 farms. 

The regions with the greatest rate of natural increase in population include 
the Appalachian highlands, large sections of the Cotton Belt, the Lake States' 
cut-over areas, the Great Plains, and the Southwest. These are the poorest 
agricultural areas of the Nation ; the areas of most limited land resources, 
fewest opportunities for nonagricultural employment, and, except in the Ap- 
palachians and the Great Lakes cut-over, the areas most severely affected by 
the increase in mechanization, the loss of foreign markets, and the reduction of 
manpower requirements on farms. 

On account of their high birth rates and limited resources, in these regions 
alternative opportunities must be found or a steady flow of population must be 
kept moving from them if the overcrowding of the land is to be avoided. The 
lack of employment opportunities in the cities in the last decade has served to 
back up the population on the land in rural areas and has created what is now 
a giant reservoir of potential migrants. Droughts, depression, mechanization, 
and the other forces acting to displace farmers, have in reality forced a large 
amount of distress migration from many parts of the country, although the 
total migration from faiTns has been much less during the last decade than 
was the case in the decades immediately preceding. It is from the areas with the 
greatest rate of natural increase that most of the present migrants in agri- 
culture and industry are coming. It is from these that the principal volume of 
migration can be expected in the future. 


The problems being encountered by the migrant worker in agriculture, as well 
as by rural people who leave the farms to seek employment in the cities, are 
no evidence at all of any fundamental evil in migration itself. For rural areas 
of dense population, limited resources, and high birth rates, outward migra- 
tion is a positive and continuous necessity. It is not migration itself that is to 
be deplored in connection with the present living conditions of migratory agri- 
cultural workers, but the unguided, aimless type of migration that has oc- 

Millions of farm people have found genuine opportunities for self-advance- 
ment and for service to the Nation in their migrations from farms to cities 
during the period when a growing industry required a large volume of addi- 
tional labor. The shutting down of foreign immigration during the World 
War meant that American industries had to draw people from the farms, and 
especially from the South, where half of the farm population lives. The surge 
of farm migration to the cities was repeated during the 1920's when legislation 
shut o'ff the influx of foreign immigrants. During the 1920's something like 
6,000,000 people were the net contribution of the farms to the cities. The ex- 
perience of these migrants indicates, on the whole, that their migration was 
highly desirable, both from the individual and the social view. The principal 
difference between the migration of the 1920's and the migration of the people 
who are now migratory agricultural workers seems to lie partly in the difference 
between the opportunities available then and now and partly in a lack of a 
fortunate choice as to occupation and location. 

It is possible that those now in the ranks of migratory farm workers might 
have found much better opportunities elsewhere, either in cities or in other 


farming areas, if proper information and guidance as to opportunities had been 
available to them. Even if we grant that a part of them could not make a 
better choice of occupation and location, however, it is true that the present 
aimless wandering of migrant farm workers could be reduced materially through 
some system of providing them information and guidance as to the needs for 
their services. As matters now stand, these workers are covering long dis- 
tances in search of work, traveling mainly on the basis of rumor and hearsay, 
and frequently finding that no work is available when their destinations are 

reached. „ , . ^ i i 

Unquestionably there is a need in agriculture for the services performed by 
migrant farm workers, but it is probable that many of those workers would 
not be needed to harvest the present crops if some plan were developed for 
keeping the workers more closely in touch with the farm operators who need 
their services. Such an information and guidance service for those workers 
would unquestionably bring them greater net incomes and steadier employment. 


It is an economic fact that goods in commerce usually congregate at the 
points of greatest demand, but this applies less strongly to human beings, for 
people sometimes do not respond fully to the law of supply and demand. This 
is a problem partly caused by lack of information and guidance as to the loca- 
tion of opportunities. Today more than ever before it is important that we 
encourage the easy flow of our migrant population to the areas of better oppor- 
tunities, whether in agriculture or in industry. 


For the migrant who lacks financial resources sufficient to enable a fresh 
start on advantageous terms on a farm in an area new to him, the advantages 
of nonfarm employment, if obtainable, are beyond question. This is particularly 
true for the young people of rural areas who find it necessary to migrate. 
Too often, under the conditions of uninformed and unguided migration in the 
past, there appears to have been a tendency to choose occupations and loca- 
tions upon a basis of inadequate or misleading information. For instance, 
many young people have decided to become migrant farm workers in Cali- 
fornia, rather than go to a nearby city in search of work, simply because they 
had been told of friends, or the relatives of friends, who had been unable to 
find work in the city. An adequate system of providing information on the 
employment opportunities in various cities, especially if coupled with some 
type of placement service, would be of great value in eliminating difficulties 
of this kind. 

The belief that full industrial employment would provide a major remedy for 
the problems of excess population in agricultural areas has frequently been 
expressed. I quote from the remarks of former Secretary of Agriculture Henry 
A. Wallace before the Fifth National Conference of Labor Legislation in 

"Restoration of full employment," he said, "would provide work and liveli- 
hood for these farm sons and daughters as well as increased demands for 
the food and clothing produced by their parents. Expansion of industrial 
employment and absorption in industry is the only real and lasting solution 
for the over-populated rural slums, for the tens of thousands of excess tran- 
sient farm laborers of the Pacific coast, and for the thousands more of farm 
hands and tenants being squeezed out monthly by the steady increase of 
general-purpose tractors in the Midwest and Southwest. All our programs 
of action should work toward the basic objective of full employment and of full- 
balanced production, agricultural and industrial." 

The increase in farm population underway during the past few years may 
be checked, and there may be a slight decline in the next 2 years. Con- 
scription will not make a very heavy draft upon the farm population, but 
it will withdraw some labor and population from farms. Increased industrial 
activity will stimulate the flow from the farm to the city. Tliis movement 
may prove to be a little greater than the annual natural increase in farm 



Conscription may possibly draw 150,000 persons from farms in 1941, and the 
net migrations from farm to city may increase by as much as 350,000 between 
3939 and 1942. If this were realized, the result probably would be a slight 
decline in number of persons on farms. 

This does not promise much improvement in living conditions on the farm. 
It promises some increase in income, but also an increase in probable living 
expenses. It promises the withdrawal of some surplus labor, and this will, 
of course, tend to increase the income of farm families from sources other 
than agriculture. Some net gain seems likely to be realized through this 
channel. It should also be observed, of course, that there are likely to be 
significant differences in different parts of the country. These conditions 
promise great improvement in States or areas such as West Virginia, Penn- 
sylvania, and New England, where a considerable part of the income to families 
living on farms is derived from outside the farms. Farmers in livestock and 
dairy-producing areas will also realize not only a considerable improvement 
in income but also some improvement in purchasing power. The farm families 
engaged primarily in producing cotton, tobacco, and a few other special prod- 
ucts that must be exported may have their real incomes reduced. Living 
conditions in these areas may be ameliorated to some extent by the drawing 
off of surplus population and by the return of some income from the outside 
to those remaining in the areas. 

Basically, however, the defense crisis deepens our concern over the malad- 
justment between population and opportunity in agriculture. Contrary to 
some impressions, expressed and implied, the defense programs do not promise 
to relieve all of the pressure upon opportunity in rural areas by drawing farm 
people into nonagricultural pursuits. 

There may be some employment for the rural unemployed. The defense 
program is concerned with the vast reserves of manpower lying unused in 
rural areas, and the location of certain defense industries may be determined 
by the existence of these reserves. But it is expected that the defense program 
may pass its peak of employment within a few years. Therefore, unless steps 
are taken to encourage farm people who obtain defense employment to spend 
some part of their defense earnings in farm improvements during their employ- 
ment, the aftermath of the employment speed-up may be deepened distress for 
all who have been unable to make a permanent transition to nonfarm status. 

Looking beyond the defense crisis, there appears little likelihood that the 
basic malad.iustment of population to land resources will be significantly altered 
by the defense program. The same forces will be still at work, and the prob- 
lems will require continuous adjustments of many kinds before we can work 
out a settled and well-adjusted agricultural economy. 


One of the most promising adjustments toward this end, it should be pointed 
out, might be a public effort to guide and assist farm migrants in settling upon 
potentially good, but undeveloped, farm land now available in certain areas such 
as the Mississippi Delta and the Pacific Northwest. It is conservatively esti- 
mated that the Mississippi Delta contains at least 5,000,000 acres of fertile, but 
poorly drained, undeveloped cut-over land, which is potentially good land for 
agricultural use and settlement. If properly developed, this land would provide 
settlement opportunities for 62,500 families on 80-acre farms, or for 125,000 
families on 40-acre farms. It is probable, in fact, that these opportunities in 
the Delta are somewhat better than the above figures indicate. 

In the Columbia River basin in the Northwest, it is estimated that the Grand 
Coulee Reservoir will supply irrigation water sufiicient for 1,200,000 acres of 
agricultural land. The Pacific Northwest Planning Commission estimates that, 
in the four Pacific Northwest States of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Mon- 
tana, there may be opportunity for development of as many as 150,000 new 

These and other areas of possible future agricultural development offer real 
opportunities for easing the pressure of population upon the land in over- 
crowded farming areas, and for taking care of future migrants. It should be 
emphasized, however, that settlement of these lands must be made upon a 


basis of family sized, owner-operated farms, if tlieir maximum benefits are to 
be realized in terms of maximum population opportunities. It has been sug- 
gested, in fact, that in order to realize the full opportunities, all future settle- 
ment upon new-ground farms and reclamation project areas should be confined 
to units of this type, and that provision should be made for perpetuating this 
pattern of ownership and use. 


It is easy to say that industrial jobs are the answer as to how we can obtain 
the adjustment of farm population to rural resources, but under present condi- 
tions of education in rural areas,- there is a very practical doubt as to the 
number of rural people that can be absorbed in modern industry. This is par- 
ticularly true in many of the industries, where high degrees of skill and educa- 
tion are necessary. 

As a rule, the types of training available to students in rural schools do not 
materially aid the student in fitting himself for industrial work, or even help 
him in understanding the problems and conditions of urban industrial life. 
Farm youth, therefore, enters the cities under a severe educational handicap. 

Rural educational facilities in general are not on par with those provided in 
the cities. It is doubtful if they can ever be, in fact, unless some way of equaliz- 
ing the costs of education between urban and rural areas can be worked out. 
The farm population, as a whole, although farm income is only 9 percent of the 
national income, is expected under present conditions to rear and educate 31 per- 
cent of the Nation's youth. The cost burden of education falls disproportionately 
hard upon the shoulders of rural people and contributes substantially to the 
existence of poor educational standards in agricultural areas. The greatest 
numbers of children per adult population are in the States that have the lowest 
tax base with which to support schools. The President's Advisory Committee on 
Education has made it very clear that the lack of educational opportunity for 
children in the poorer States is not due to an unwillingness on the part of the 
citizens of these States to tax themselves for the support of schools. They showed 
that there were 9 States which with "normal tax effort" would have had less 
than $30 available per child, whereas with the same effort 4 other States would 
have had $125 per child. Moreover. 22 States were already taxing themselves 
more heavily than this "normal tax effort" but were nonetheless unable to provide 
adequate schools. 

A primary deficiency in present rural educational work is the lack of adequate 
vocational training. Training of this type now being provided for rural youth is 
virtually confined to the work of the National Youth Administration and the 
cooperative Federal-State vocational work in the high schools. There is almost 
a total absence of schools in rural areas designed to train rural youth for indus- 
trial work in the cities. This presents a tremendously important problem not 
only for the people in rural areas but for those in the cities as well, for the cities 
are dependent upon rural areas for a substantial part of their future supply of 

Despite the defense crisis and the defense employments, the necessity remains 
for facing the basic maladjustment between opportunity and population in agri- 
culture. The necessity remains for facing the fact that the farm population is at 
least 100 percent in excess of that needed for commercial production, the fact that 
more than half of our farm people live largely beyond the pale of the going 
economy, the fact that ten or fifteen million farm people are living at levels 
destructive to health and morale, and the fact that forces are at work tending to 
accentuate and confirm a stratification of farm people into classes with a decreas- 
ing chance to move from one class to another. 

The necessity remains for eventually readjusting the relation between popula- 
tion and opportunity in agriculture, either by increasing opportunity for farm 
I)eople or by decreasing the number of ijeople seeking a living on the farm. 


The lack of proper education and vocational training for industrial work and 
urban living is a drawback to the easy flow of excess farm youth to the cities. 
What can be done about it is open to conjecture at present. It is suflicient here 



to point out that tlie present types of rural education frequently are not fitting 
the surplus of rural youth to go to the cities and obtain useful and profitable 

A inajor effort upon the problem of potential migration can be made to find 
ways by which opportunity within agriculture could be improved. The farm- 
ers' share in the national income could be increased. The marliets could be 
extended The income from opportunities beyond the pale of commerce- 
production for home use— could be very significantly increased. Supplemental 
incomes from decentralized industry miglTt be obtained. Some of the processes 
which were limiting opportunity and contributing to the basic maladjustment — 
erosion, excessive credit costs, unsound tenure, tillage of submarginal land — 
might be slowed or halted. 

All of these things have been pushed. The Agricultural Adjustment Adminis- 
tration has sought to safeguard the marketing of farm products so as to extend 
as far as possible the commercial income of agriculture. The Agricultural 
Adjustment Administration, the Soil Conservation Service, the Forest Service, 
have sought to stem erosion and the tillage of submarginal lands, the Surplus 
Marketing Administration has sought to extend and protect the market for farm 
products through its food stamp plan and commodity distributions. The Farm 
Credit Administration and the Farm Security Administration have sought to 
rationalize credit costs, the Farm Security Administration and the research and 
extension agencies of the Department have helped farm people extend their 
opportunities through increased production for home use. 

A very significant and fruitful effort is that of improving production for home 
consumption. Farming as a way of life and as a way of security is more nearly 
possible on family-sized and family-owned farms than on farms with any other 
arrangement or organization. So-called live-at-home or security farming is a sys- 
tem of agriculture in which the farm family attempts to eliminate as many of the 
uncertainties as is possible in its day-by-day and year-by-year operations. It does 
this by producing the maximum amount of home-consumed products and service. 
This does not mean that we should destine great segments of the farm population 
to mere subsistence farming. It means that hundreds of thousands of farm fam- 
ilies could raise their level of living by producing more of the products which they 
need for consumption, that they would thereby be able to use their income from 
commercial farming or nonfarm employment to purchase other elements in their 
level of living, and that the market for farm products could be divided among a 
greater number of farms. To the extent that such a development would work in 
this direction, it would contribute to the raising of the farm family level of living 
and at the same time create opportunities for a greater number of families on the 

Statements such as those just made should in no way be interpreted as advocat- 
ing a back-to-the-land movement. If agriculture is to support the maximum 
amount of farm population and at the same time be a successful economic enter- 
prise, it must not be asked to absorb a great mass of people fleeing from discourag- 
ing and distressing situations in the city. Under such circumstances iDeople 
return to the land merely as an asylum from distress and not to farming as a way 
of life. 

Farming must be a way of life ; it should be a good way of life ; it must and can 
be a relatively secure way of life. It will probably be the most secure and the 
most zestful way of life only if those who practice it can take pride in ownership 
as well as operation. Pride in ownership and the conservation and nurture of 
natural resources are a part of the culture of agriculture every place in the world 
where home-farm operatorship is in existence, even though it be the home-farm 
operatorship of i)easant farming. Fanning is not an occupation or profession of 
pride, prestige, or profit where the type of farm organization condemns large seg- 
ments of those who till the soil to the status of the proletariat, or to mere hired 
laborers or sharecroppers. 

Such a broad approach is, of course, a reflection of the ultimate efficiency of the 
democratic process. And this process the Department is currently trying to ex- 
tend and implement, through setting up county land-use planning committees to 
enlist the suggestions and help of the Nation's millions of farmers to help us in the 
process of education, planning, and coordination which are the basis of democracy. 

And we have not yet approached the limits of possibility in extending and pro- 
tecting the opportunity within agriculture. 



It is necessary, however, iu molding farm iwlicy for the future, to recognize that 
such limits do exist, and to form some estimate of them. Some of these limits must 
be set up and defined by the democratic process, the land-use planning committees, 
the Congress, and the instruments for expression of public opinion. Some of the 
limits are physical and may be determined by research and analysis. 

There are certain limits, for instance, upon the income which may be pro- 
duced from the land, either for market or for home consumption by economic 
methods, which are determined by the supply of land available. 

Of the noncommercial farmers, approximately 600,000 at present occupy land 
not suited to cultivation. And a much larger number of noncommercial farmers 
occupy farms too small to sustain an adequate standard of living. It has been 
the observation of Farm Security Administration in making loans to low-income 
farmers that most of them occupy farms too small to support a family. It has 
proven necessary for Farm Security Administration to help its borrowers obtain 
access to an additional average of 20 acres of land in order to set them up on an 
economic basis — that is, a basis which, by offeiing them a chance to repay, makes 
a loan feasible. The Farm Security Administration has been unable to assist all 
of those capable and willing to operate farms, in fact, because of the difficulty in 
finding suflicient suitable land. It is well known that refugee settlement during 
the depression found little good lands to go to. Both refugee settlement and high 
rates of natural increase in population are largely concentrated in areas where 
land is either too poor to be fit for commercial farming or where the land is 
already crowded. 

In short, whether or not we have plenty of land as a theoretical proposition, 
evidence at hand indicates that the lower half of the farm population iu any effort 
to expand their production to an economic level, will encounter a serious shortage 
of available land. 

The number which it is possible to reestablish upon the land, can be determined 
only after our democratic processes have defined for us, exactly what minimums 
of income are acceptable for Americans in a permanent agriculture. 

The nature of the problem is illustrated by some recent estimates by the 
Bureau of Agricultural Economics. According to these estimates, the present 
land base of the United States will support about 5,000,000 farms operating upon 
the scale which prevails in the Corn Belt. AVe have at present 6,800,000 farms. 
The average standard of living in the Corn Belt is slightly lower than the average 
standard prevailing in the urban areas of the country. If, however, the scale of 
operations and the standard of living prevailing iu the Cotton Belt is adequate, 
the country's land base will support 9,600,000 farms, and more people than we 
support at present. 

And we must recognize that if this maximum is to be approached, there must 
be a breaking up of many large farms using industrial labor and machinery in 
order to reestablish farms designed for efficiency in supporting populations rather 
than in producing crops. As to how far we will go along this line, again, our 
democratic processes must determine. 

Present agricultural policy does not seek to break up the normal course of 
development of commercial farming. 

At the same time we have sought to provide for the noncommercial segment 
of the farm population upon the land by the devices for increasing opportunity 
from within which I have mentioned. And this also has been done with a 
studious effort to give as small a jar to the going economy as possible. 

We have taken each group within the noncommercial half of the farm popirla- 
tion where we found it, and attempted to improve its opportunities, but we have 
not sought to reorganize the entire social environment of the lower half, either 
separately from or in conjunction with the commercial farming segment of the 
farm economy. 


Our present policy has aimed roughly at cushioning the effects of the 
major changes occurring in agriculture, rather than attempting to alter the 
framework of agriculture as it is now operating. Our policies are aimed at 
encouraging the adoption of family-size farms as a desirable norm for the bulk 


of the farm population who live midway between commercial concentration 
and noncommercial or subsistence farming. Present policy recognizes the need 
for promoting supplementary incomes from off-the-farm sources, including re- 
lief payments for alleviation of distress among the extreme lower groups of 
residents of submarginal land and in agricultural labor. We are trying to 
preserve their value as employable citizens, easily within reach of any develop- 
ing employment opportunities. 

In this connection, there is a need for greater study of the decentraliza- 
tion of industry which is now occurring, and as to the possibilities of locating 
certain industries within or adjacent to the overcrowded farming regions. This 
is especially important in view of the industrial expansion to be brought 
about by the national defense program, and the possible need to locate many 
of the new plants in areas of low industrial concentration, better protected 
from attack. 

The need of farm families for supplemental income in many areas is most 
urgent. Also, there is a great need for expanded conservation measures on the 
soil, water, and forest resources of the Nation. 

It would be a real step toward conserving both human and natural re- 
sources, if some program could be devised which would make iwssible the 
utilization of the unoccupied time of rural people in dire economic circum- 
stances in such a way as to contribute to their immediate income, and, at the 
same time result in the conservation of the soil and other physical resources 
upon which they must depend for a liveliehood in the future. 

Probably the most practical way of meeting these two needs would be a rural 
conservation works program which would provide for the employment of low- 
income farm families in conserving natural resources and help to bring 
these two needs together in the interest of the general welfare. Such a program 
would result not only in the usual benefits to people to be derived from con- 
servation efforts, but also in the additional benefit of immediate increases in 
the incomes of needy farm families from the supplemental employment op- 
portunities created. While either of these objectives alone, i. e., immediate 
aid to. needy families and conservation of natural resources, might be ample 
justification for expanded conservation elforts, it would seem that these pro- 
grams are natural partners. Under certain conditions, such a program would 
be to a considerable extent self-liquidating. 

There were in 1937, according to the unemployment census, 1,547,000 males 
living on farms who were either totally or partially unemployed or had only 
emergency employment. Of this number 576,000 were partially unemployed and 
266,000 were employed in emergency public work — Works Progress Adminis- 
tion, Civilian Conservation Corps, National Youth Administration, etc. The 
remaining 705,000 were totally unemployed. Of the aggregate of totally un- 
employed and emergency workers living on farms, about 60 percent of the 
national total were registered in the South (south of the Mason and Dixon 
line and the Ohio River and including Texas and Oklahoma), about 32 percent 
were in the North (Maine and New Jersey to Kansas and North Dakota) 
and 8 percent were in the 11 far-western States. Of the partially unemployed, 
about 60 percent of the national total were likewise registered in tlie South, 
33 percent in the North, and 7 percent in the far WeSt. 


Unemployment on farms is not due entirely to the economic depression but 
in part to a combination of long-time trends. The proportion of the total gain- 
fully employed in the Nation who were employed in farming declined at an 
almost constant rate from 1870 to 1930, but during this period the increase in 
nonfarm employment created employment opportunities for those not needed in 
agriculture. The result was a net migration from farms to cities which reached 
a maximum of 500,000 to 1,100,000 each year from 1922 to 1926. After 1926 this 
tide of net migration to the city declined annually and dropped precipitately 
from 1930 to 1932. It has been continued at the rate of from 200.000 to 400,000 
per year since that time. 

This unemployment situation among farm families will not correct itself 
through natural migration. Should the rate of net migration away from farms 
during the next two decades be half as great as during the predepression decade 


of the twenties, when the rate was unusually high — and half is considerably 
above the rate during the decade of the thirties — the increase in farm popula- 
tion of productive age would be 23 percent between 1940 and 1960. Since nearly 
400,000 farm males are reaching maturity each year, and only about 110,000 
farmers are dying each year, with possibly as many more retiring or leaving 
for other occupations, it appears that unless there is a very unusual increase 
in the rate of migration from farms there will be an increase of 200,000 males 
of productive age (18 to 65 years) each year for a number of years, over and 
above the present number on farms. 

Present activities in the Department of Agriculture have not been of enough 
assistance to the approximately one and one-half million farm people described 
above. Agricultural Adjustment Administration payments have gone quite 
generally to farmers in commercial farming areas in which relatively few of 
these people are living. The Farm Security Administration has been able to 
take care of only a small portion of these people through the rehabilitation 
program, often because of inability to work out a balanced farm plan due to 
limited soil resources. 

It appears that if assistance is to be given to more of those needy farm 
families, the possibilities in new approaches will have to be explored. An 
extensive rural conservation works program, involving both public employment 
and private employment supported by credit, could furnish additional oppor- 
tunities to large numbers of farm families not now reached. 

In concluding this statement, I would like to point out that migration is a 
thoroughly normal and desirable feature of American life. It has always been 
a part of the American way of doing things, and we continue to take for granted 
that people will move, and where they wish, in search of better opportunities. 
We would not stop migration even if we could; what could be accomplished, 
however, is the elimination of some of the tragedies and waste involved in 
certain aspects of present migration. The guidance and assistance which have 
been suggested as a means of helping migrants to make wise choices of work 
and locations would be a step toward this goal. Any program guiding and 
assisting migration, however, should be accompanied by efforts aimed at pro- 
moting the security of the people who remain on farms", so that the volume of 
distress migration will be cut to a minimum. 

Current recommendations, which you have heard and will Jiear from the 
Department, also look (1) toward extension of efforts along democratic lines to 
increase opportunity within agriculture, (2) toward establishing on the land the 
maximum population which the land will support at decent standards, and (3) 
toward maintaining the vigor and skill of groups for whom opportunity in non- 
agricultural pursuits must be the eventual solution. 

Toward that first objective, iwssibly the most fruitful line of action would 
be through extension of the type of loans and education developed in the Farm 
Security Administration rehabilitation program. Toward the second, a very 
major increase in the Bankhead- Jones tenant purchase activity, and perhaps a 
modification of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration payment basis to 
encourage the family size farm might be the most fruitful measures. Toward 
the third, an extension of the Farm Security Administration noncommercml 
farming program, its migrant camp program, a general extension of educational 
and health programs to increase the readiness of rural populations to accept 
nonagricultural employments, and a rural works program to devote surplus 
farm manpower to useful public works and provide supplemental incomes to the 
rural unemployed and underemployed during the vears intervening between 
now and the appearance of nonagricultural opportunity, might be the best course. 


Mr. ToLLEY. I try to point out in that statement tliat there has 
always been quite a lot of migration from the farms of the country 
to other farms and to the cities of the country ; that in recent years 
there has been a piling up of population on the farms on account of 
the lack of opportunities elsewhere. Many people who are now on 
farms of the country, if opportunities had been available, would have 


migrated to cities and to jobs in industry, or would have migrated 
to other parts of the country and stayed on farms if land had been 

I have in the statement here some figures, which I will not try to 
give now, showing that the number of people working on farms in 
recent years has been running ahead in the past decade; in other 
words, there has been a real backing up of both men and women of 
working age on the farms largely because they have no place to go. 

Commercial agriculture, as you know, for the past several years, 
since the end of World War No. 1, has not offered opportunities for 
additional production, and hence no opportunites for many additional 

Then, I say that migration in itself is not an evil ; it is a situation 
that we have always had in this country ; but what seems to be needed 
is some way for the channels of migration to be kept open — some way 
needed to be developed whereby the people who are not able to support 
themselves temporarily where they now are may find jobs in industry, 
or, if possible, find other land in the country that is not yet developed 
where they may settle. 

The present defense program offers some opportunities for poten- 
tial migrants in the short run at least. There are two problems here : 
One is that the rural people are to a greater extent, I think, than the 
city people, without the skill that is needed in defense industry. The 
other point is that the defense work, insofar as new defense industries 
are concerned, is located in industrial centers and the workers who are 
already there will probably have the first choice of the jobs. 

And, finally, presumably, at least, our defense effort is only a 
temporary thing and one of these days — we do not know when — it 
will be over and these people will have to find employment. In 
other words, defense does not offer a permanent solution to the 


There are some places in the United States where there is good 
undeveloped land that offers an op])ortunity for the right kind of farm- 
ing, and for people like the previous witness here, whom we heard 
say he would like to have a place of his own where he could settle and 

I think two of the most promising places in the country are in the 
Pacific NorthAvest and in the Mississippi Kiver Delta area. In the 
Pacific Northwest one place especially, in the Columbia River Basin, 
around Grand Coulee Dam, is now being developed which will offer 
opportunity for many thousands of new farms. 

_ Also, in the cut-over area of the farther West there are opportuni- 
ties if the land can be cleared and if the people who want to settle 
and come in there from other places can get enough resources in 
order to get a stake in the land. 

A portion of the Mississippi River Delta area offers just as great, 
or maybe a greater, opportunity for further development and for 
further settlement than the Pacific Northwest. A part of it can 
be developed at low cost for clearing and drainage and it is in that area, 
I think, that the biggest potential migration exists in the country at the 
present time. 


Mr. OsMERS, Just to clear that point up a little further, Mr. Tolley, 
about the Mississippi Delta you say it is in the area of greatest 
potential migration ? 

Mr. ToLLEY. Yes ; possibly I should say the area where the move- 
ment, or the number of people — rural people — in relation to the land 
resources is the gi^eatest. That is really that point I had in mind. 

Mr. OsMERS. Yes. 

Mr. ToLLEY. In other words, the rural population throughout the 
South is greater than at these other places. That is just another way 
of saying that the opportunity is really less than in other parts in 
proportion to the land resources. 

Mr. OsMERS. But you think the Mississippi Delta offers opportuni- 
ties for further development on agricultural land ? 

Mr. ToLLEY. I am quite sure of it. There is a lot of good land down 
there that has never been cleared and developed. 

The flood-control and drainage operations of the United States 
Government up and down the Mississippi River have reduced the 
flood hazards and made a lot of land available that at one time was not 
useful and could not be made available for farming. Development 
costs would possibly be less than developing the irrigated lands of 
the West. 

I might sum all of this up by saying that, so far as the Department 
of Agriculture is concerned, or as far as the Bureau of Agricultural 
Economics is concerned, I should say, any slowing down of the 
migration of farm people which has always existed in this country 
causes a backing up of the farm population on the land. 

The defense program gives promise temporarily of relieving the 
situation to some extent, and our thought is that effort should be 
continued to increase opportunities within agriculture itself for these 
people, to do what can be done to establish the maximum number of 
people in security on the land, and to make it possible for these rural 
people to obtain training and skill that will enable them to get jobs in 
industry, which they do not have now. 

All of the efforts of the Department in the past several years has 
been directed somewhat along these lines, but, as you know, the 
problem is not yet solved. 

Mr. OsMERS. Mr. Tolley, your branch of the Department of Agri- 
culture is the one that primarily interested in planning; is that correct? 

]Mr. ToLLEY. That is right ; yes. 


Mr. OsMERS. And would you say that, as a long-range proposition, 
the farming population in this country is going to increase in relation 
to the general population or decrease? 

Mr. ToLLEY. In the past the trend has been for the industrial popu- 
lation to increase more rapidly than the agricultural population, but 
the situation now is, unless opportunity for moving from farms to 
cities can be opened up in a way that has not been true in the past 
decade, our farm population is going to increase more rapidly than the 
industrial population. The birth rate on the farm is higher— much 
higher on the farms of the Nation than in the cities— and with the 
opportunities for employment cut off in the cities the migration from 


the farm to the city will be reduced and the farming population is 
going to increase. 

Mr. OsMEKS. You mentioned before, without giving any explanation 
particularly, because you were summarizing briefly, the fact that people 
have gone back to the land, so to speak, during the depression. It has 
been my impression that the low cost of living in rural areas has been 
a great factor in connection with that movement. Is that your 
opinion ? 

Mr. ToLLEY. Well, I put it a little bit diiferently. I think it adds 
up to the same thing. But when a man, or a family, is out of a job, he 
finds, if he has lived in the country before, if he knows how to take 
care of himself in the country, he will go back to the country as a haven 
and a refuge during the period when he has no source of cash income. 
I suppose, perhaps, that is another way of saying that the cost of living 
is lower in the country than elsewhere. 

Mr. OsMERs. Would you say that, again looking to the future, some 
day the world may be presumed to return to peace 

Mr. ToLLEY. We hope so. 

Mr. OsMERS. It may be 1, 2, 5 years from now. Of course, some day 
our defense preparations will be largely completed, whether peace 
returns or not. The high industrial phase of the defense program 
that we are going through now will disappear. Now, in your opinion, 
as a result of what studies you have made, when that terrific industrial 
depression comes that is going to come at the completion of the defense 
program, or with the arrival of peace, do you anticipate that there will 
be a great rush back to the land again ? 

Mr. ToLLEY. I anticipate the same thing will happen then that hap- 
pened in the 1920"s and the 1930's, that there will be a lot of people who 
will be out of employment in defense industries, and so forth, who 
will be trying to find a place out in the country where they can live and 


Mr. OsMERS. Would your Department care to give any opinion as to 
whether the Federal Government, as such, should anticipate that 
return ? 

Mr. ToLLEY. Oh, I think most certainly it is part of the duty of all 
branches of the Federal Government. 

Mr. OsMERs. Do you think that if the Congress should make some 
more f mids available to the Farm Security Administration, there would 
be provision for a lot of farmers that have no farms at present ? 

Mr. ToLLEY, I think the Farm Security Administration is finding 
that there is a very considerable number of people who are worthy of 
rehabilitation of their homes, or worthy of help in the tenant-purchase 
program, in the acquisition of farms, who cannot find farms either to 
rent or to buy under present conditions. 

The demaiid for farms is now greater than the supply of farms. 
If the Farm Security Administration had more farms for rehabili- 
tation loans, they could reach some people who now have a foothold 
on the land that they are not able to reach now. They could enable 
more deserving tenants who have a foothold to acquire ownership of 
their farms. But under present conditions, there would still be a con- 


siderable number of deserving farm people who would not be able to 
find farms either to rent or to buy. And it is that that leads us to 
the conclusion, you see, that further development of agricultural land 
in the country, in the places such as I have mentioned, would be a 
desirable thing. If the Farm Security Administration or some other 
agencies of the Government could do more along that line than is 
now being done, it would certainly help. 

Mr. OsMERS. You mentioned in your statement that two areas 
occurred to you, without giving us a detailed study,' as having 
possibilities for profitable farming. They were the Pacific Northwest 
and the Mississippi Delta. Just taking those two sections, if they 
have such possibilities, why is it that there is not a flow of private 
capital toward those areas for the purpose of establishing farms? 

Mr. ToixEY. The Pacific Northwest — the Grand Coulee Dam is 
there, and the operations of the Reclamation Service under the dam 
are both very costly operations. It will be a long time before the 
whole thing is repaid. 

There is a considerable amount of private development in the 
Mississippi River Delta and in the cut-over areas of the Pacific North- 
west, where costs are not so high, but it is a very helter-skelter devel- 

Mr. OsMERs. More on the idea of a real-estate subdivision? 

Mr. ToLLEY. Exactly, and with all of the things that go with that. 
I did not want to use that term. 

Mr. OsMERS. I think, when we were out on the Pacific coast, we 
found evidences of — shall we say the poorer side of private real-estate 
development. Of course, we found some that were not that kind. 
But I realize that the farm mortgage at the moment is somewhat in 
bad odor in the United States, but it ^ised to be and probably will 
again be one of the best forms of investment for private capital in 
the country. 

Mr. ToLLEY. That is right. Of course, there is another point; 
that a great many of the people that I called potential migrants a 
while ago, who would like to get a foothold on the land are practi- 
cally without capital, and private enterprise has not up to the present 
time done very much about staking a man 100 percent with what he 
needs. Where that has been done, or what has been done — it has been 
done nominally, I will say — has not been an honest-to-God effort, 
and the tenant or potential purchaser who has been trying to get a 
foothold there has put in a lot of sweat in developing a farm and 
putting some buildings on it and getting it under cultivation, and 
then lost it because he has not been able to make the pajanents that 
are set up for him by these real-estate agencies. 

Mr. OsMERS. Do you think it is possible that private capital has 
failed to make the financial terms realistic enough to cover the situa- 
tion; that is, they have tried to make the terms too short and the 
payments too heavy? 

Mr. ToLLEY. The payments too high; yes. You see, developing a 
farm out of the woods or out of the sagebrush is a long-time 

The detiiiled study was submitted later and appears on p. 3211. 



Mr. OsMERS. Definitely. 

Mr. ToLLEY. And it is just too much to expect that even the best 
man in the world can go into a place like that and with his own sweat 
and his own ax develop a farm and pay for it in 10 years. It just 
cannot be done. 


Mr. OsMERS. Would the application of the Social Security Act, 
the wages-and-hours law, and the National Labor Eelations Act im- 
prove the welfare of farm laborers in your opinion ? 

Mr. ToLLEY. I think it would, if they could be adapted to agri- 
cultural conditions. I am not in a position to go into a long dis- 
course on that, but conditions of employment on farms are so different 
from conditions of employment in industries that I have an idea that 
the law would have to be somewhat different to make it apply to 
agriculture, and that the administration of it would have to be some- 
what different. But I think all of those things might well be worked 
out for agricultural labor. 

Mr. OsMERS. Would you care, Mr. Tolley, to make a distinction 
between the application of any of the three that I have mentioned? 
That is, would you care to say that the application of the social 
security law would be more practical than the application of the wages- 
and-hours law? 

Mr. ToLLEY. Well, so far as old-age assistance in social security is 
concerned, I do not see any marked difference between the two. As 
far as employment insurance is concerned, the migratory agricultural 
worker is in a situation entirely different from that of the laborer 
who works in a factory. Then you take the part-time laborer, the 
man who lives on a little place and works off the farm for part of 
his cash ; he is in an entirely different situation. So much for that. 

As to wages and hours, of course, we know that the wages of the 
agricultural laborer are distressingly low in this country. It is one of 
the characteristics of agriculture. I am not sure that agriculture 
could stand, under present conditions, wages as high as industry could 
stand. Somewhat the same thing can be said about hours. When it 
is time to pick peaches they have to be picked. When it is time to 
pick cotton, it has to be picked. It cannot be spread over the season, 
like automobiles. 

Mr. OsMERS. That brings up some other questions here, to my mind 
at least. The application of these rigid forms, shall we say, of em- 
ployment and pay and operations, such as would be demanded by the 
wages-and-hours law and the National Labor Relations Act, even if 
they were in different form of agriculture, would have, at least it 
would seem to me, the effect of increasing the cost of production of 
agricultural products. And if they increase the cost of the products, 
industrial experience seems to indicate that it would cause an in- 
creased mechanization of farm work throughout the United States 
and it would lead to the large industrial farm; because the small 
farmer that employed, we will say, just a few laborers here and there 
throughout the year would not be able to operate. 

Mr. ToLLEY. I do not believe that that would accentuate the trend 
toward larger capitalistic farms in the country very much. 


Take cotton; we know that there has been, and there is now, a 
trend toward mechanization and away from owner-operated and 
tenant-operated cotton farms, to cotton farms operated largely by 
wage hands. I do not believe that the application of the Wages and 
Hours or the Wagner Act, always modified to fit, would accentuate 
that trend very much, if at all. 

Mr. OsMERs. The experience of industry seems to be that whenever 
Government or some other agency, or some other cause, increases the 
cost of production, there is a competition pressure developed, which 
brings about the development of new machinery ; the development of 
new methods of production and new efforts to cut the cost of 

Mr. ToLLEY. That is right. 

Mr. OsMERS. I would say — perhaps I am wrong — ^but I would just 
guess that that same pressure would develop in agriculture, I am not 
here expressing an opinion that it would be a good thing or a bad 

Mr. ToixEY. You are right. That pressure is there in agriculture, 
and it has been there. Technological improvements in agriculture in 
the past 25 years have been just about as great as technological im- 
provements in industry. And it is that, more than anything else, 
that leads me to say that some help to farm laborers along these lines 
would not speed up that development very much. It has taken place. 
The pressure is there. 

Prices of farm commodities, so many of them, have been so low 
anyway that managers and owners have been making real efforts 
to reduce their costs and increase their incomes. 

Mr. OsMERS. I know there has been a certain amount of pressure 
and we have seen the evidence of it in our tours through the country. 
We have since the evidence of that same effort that we have in indus- 
try, of hammering down the cost of production. I do not mean neces- 
sarily hammering down labor, but just hitting everybody along the 
line; we will say, taking a fence out so you can run a tractor a little 
further, and so forth. I was wondering whether the application of 
these rigid forms would increase that. I can see immense admin- 
istrative difficulties, and so can you 

Mr. ToLLEY. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERs, In applying them. But I just wondered if it would 
have the effect of changing agriculture. I have noticed in industry — 
I do not have any figures in mind, but it seems to me that small indus- 
try is not on the increase in the United States, that the larger units 
seem to be getting a little bit larger, as we go along. And I do not 
think the defense progi^am has changed that trend at all. I think it 
has just accelerated it. 

Mr. ToLMY. That is right. 

Mr. OsMEKs. They are just getting larger and larger. 

Mr. ToLUEY. Let me make one statement there before we leave this. 
There is a tendency for family sized farms to become larger. It is 
the same as the corporation farm. There is a tendency for that to 
become larger, and that tendency has been here for a long, long time. 
It is continuing, and technology is one of the things that is bringing 


it about. And that is another one of the things that has brought about 
the situation where there are not enough farms to go around for all 
these farm people. 

Mr. OsMERS. In the Great Plains area, there is quite a little of that 
going on, where the number of farmers is not increasing; in fact, it is 
decreasing, but the farms are getting larger and larger. 

Mr. ToLLEY. That is right. 

Mr. OsMERS. The farm production has been carried on with 
improved mechanization, mechanical methods have improved, and so 
the farms are getting larger and larger. They are not making any 
more money, particularly, but using a little bit more land to get the 
annual income; is that correct? 

Mr. ToLLEY. That is right. 

Mr. OsMERS. Would you say that that is a desirable situation, tak- 
ing the Great Plains area? 

Mr. ToLLEY. If all of the people who are trying to find places to 
farm can find them somewhere else — part of the Great Plains area 
was settled by my ancestors who came from farther east and carried 
with them the eastern method of farming on farms laid out, in gen; 
eral, too small for that semiarid western country. In recent years 
the weather has been such that yields have been very low, and it is 
a hazardous region anyway. Therefore, as far as concerns the peo- 
ple who are to continue to live in the Great Plains, it would be better 
if in general the farms could be larger, if they could depend more on 
livestock production, production from the native grasses out there 
that are not so subject to hazards of the weather, than the productioji 
of wheat, which they all turned to immediately when they went out 
there. And that goes pretty much for the Great Plains all the way 
from the South to the North, I think. 

I think there has been more migration of farm people, relatively, 
out of the Great Plains than out of any other region in the country in 
the past several years. 

Mr. OsMERS. Would you favor Government aid in the establishment 
of cooperative farms? 

Mr. ToLLEY. Very much. You see, we were talking about technology 
and about these little farms and making use of that small piece of land. 
A man who has 10 acres, or 20 acres, or 30 acres is not in a position to 
take advantage of all the technological improvements that come along. 
He cannot own a tractor. It costs too much. He cannot have electric 
lights in his house. They cost too much. He cannot buy certain types 
of seeds because they cost too much. He cannot have pure-bred cows or 
pure-bred hogs. He cannot take advantage of all of the learning and 
knowledge that is his for the asking from the colleges of agriculture or 
the Department of Agriculture here. 

But if a number of them, if a goodly number of these people could 
get together, they could have a large enough tract to enable them to 
afford all of these things and to enable them to have access to all of the 
knowledge and information that is theirs for the asking. 

Mr. OsMFj?s. Again, it would lower the cost of production. 

Mr. ToLLEY. That is right ; and it would enable those people to live 
cooperatively much better than they can live piecemeal on small places. 


Mr. OsMERS. You mentioned before these two areas, one in the 
Pacific Northwest and one in the Mississippi Deha. Could you tell the 
committee about what it would cost to set a farmer up on, say, an 80- 
acre tract in the Pacific Northwest— the Columbia Basin area ? 

Mr. ToLLEY. I am sorry that I am unable to give those figures at 

Mr. OsMERS. Would you have any figures in mind on the Mississippi 
Delta proposition ? 

Mr. ToLLEY. Of course, the land itself — and these costs do not all 
come to cash costs — ^the land itself in the Mississippi River Delta — that 
is, cut-over land, we will say— would cost perhaps $2.50 to $10 an acre. 
That would get the land itself. Now, there have to be flood-control 
Avorks and drainage works. The flood control is practically entirely 
cared for by the Federal Government. Drainage would be cared for 
by drainage districts. I do not have in mind what tlie cost per acre per 
farm there would be. 

Mr. OsMERS. That is probably an unfair question to ask you. I 
wonder if you would mind preparing some figures along those lines 
for us. 

Mr. ToLLEY. I shall be glad to. 

Mr. OsMERS If they are not already prepared. 

(The folloAAing statement was submitted later at the request of the 
chairman and is printed here to complete the testimony:) 

Costs of Dejveloping New Agricxiltxtral Lands in the Mississippi Dexta and 
Pacific Northwest 

The portions of the Mississippi Delta offeiiug the best opportunities for addi- 
tional settlement on new farms lie mainly in the cutover areas of the lower Mis- 
sissippi "Valley. The land is now covered with stumps and second growth tim- 
ber, and drainage is a principal problem in its development. This land formerly 
was subject to severe flooding, but the better parts of it are now protected from 
floods, this protection having been provided by the new dams and other flood 
control works erected by the Federal Government in the last few years. 

Much of the Delta cutover land is owned in large tracts by lumber companies 
and others, who are endeavoring to dispose of it, now that the timber is gone. 
New settlement is already under way in these areas, for about 20,(K)0 families 
have moved in to begin new ground farming within the last several years. Pres- 
ent settlers, however, are encountering difiiculties so serious that it is doubtful 
if most of them will be able to pay for their farms. These difiiculties include high 
purchase prices in relation to the economic value of the land, short periods for 
payment of purchase indebtedness, lack of adequate credit facilities, lack of pre- 
liminary information and guidance in the selection of land, and lack of super- 
visory guidance and assistance in the initial years of operation. 

Almost all of the present settlers are farmers from small worn-out hill plots 
adjoining the Delta, or are sharecroppers and tenants who have been displaced 
on the Delta plantations by mechanization or other forces. As a rule, recent set- 
tlers are farmers without adequate financial resources, workstock, or tools, and 
frequently have been unfamiliar with the conditions of lowland agriculture. 
Most of them have settled upon tracts of about 40 acres each, and are attempting 
to pay for their land from the produce of the farms. Under present conditions, 
the great majority of these attempts are facing almost certain failure. Unless 
adequate assistance can be given to the settlers, therefore, it seems certain that 
this land, when sufl^ciently developed by the settlers, will inevitably be absorbed 
Into the established plantations of the region. 

Undeveloped land in the Delta is being sold at prices ranging from $10 to $75 
per acre, although the majority being turned over to the present settlers is going 
at prices of from .$2.'i to .$40 per acre. It is common practice for the settler to 


sign a lease-purchase contract, which allows him 2 years of occupancy on the land 
before purchase payments begin, and then a 10-year period in which to pay off 
the full purchase price. In practice, this means that settlers frequently devote 
time, labor, and money to clearing the land and erecting buildings, only to lose 
everything when their purchase payments become delinquent. 

The real value of a sample area of the cutover woodland in northeastern Louisi- 
ana, determined on the basis of actual appraisals of about 600 tracts of land, has 
been estimated at less than $8 per acre. Thousands of acres were evaluated at $4 
per acre. From information available about this sample tract, it appears that 
large acreages, if purchased in blocks for cash, could be obtained at prices ranging 
from $4 to $10 per acre. The advantages of block purchase and cash payment 
are not available to present settlers, of course, nor will they be available to future 
settlers under a continuation of present public and private policies in the region. 

Present settlers estimate that $17 is the average total cost per acre for clearing 
this land. Of this amount, tliere is a $1 per acre cost for tree poison, $2 in other 
cash costs, the remaining $14 being the estimated labor cost. The labor cost is not 
a cash outlay, however. 

On much of this land the provision of adequate drainage is a prerequisite to 
successful farming. The probable costs of drainage vary widely, of course, de- 
pending upon the availability of drainage outlets, and other factors. The possi- 
bilities of economical drainage are a principal factor determining the suitability 
of such land for agricultural development. 

A recent drainage survey in three parishes of northeastern Louisiana gives 
some indication, however, of the drainage costs to be encountered in developing 
some of the better land. The drainage report shows that the total cost of con- 
structing, administering, and financing of primary and secondary drainage, ex- 
clusive of farm drainage, would amount to $6.95 per acre in East Carroll Parish, 
$6.78 in Madison Parish, and $7.69 in Tensas Parish. The estimated costs of farm 
drainage would represent an additional $1 or $2 per acre. The cost data given 
here were calculated on the assumption that drainage enterprises would be or- 
ganized for entire areas, rather than for parts of areas. 

The costs of housing, farm buildings, fences, and other construction work in- 
volved in developing the Delta cut-over land for agricultural settlement would 
vary according to the size and type of farm, and to the standards set for housing. 

Interviews with 100 recent settlers in northeast Louisiana show that 83 of them 
built dwellings at an average cash cost of $138 per house ; that 69 constructed 
barns costing $21 each, and wells costing $18 each. These figures do not represent 
the costs of providing the proper types of dwellings and other buildings, however, 
for most of the recent settlers in the Delta lack anything approaching adequate 
housing and buildings. 


New agricultural settlement in the Columbia River Basin will not be a large 
scale actuality for several years, until water is made available for irrigating the 
land. The cost of developing new farms in this area will be in the neighborhood 
of $100 to $150 per acre, exclusive of the labor performed by the settlers. Costs 
will vary from tract to tract, however, depending upon topography and other con- 
ditions. A share of the $800,000,000 cost of building the Grand Coulee Dam is also 
to be assessed to this land, and the size of the assessment will have great influence 
upon land costs. 


Many refugees from the drought areas have gone into the Pacific Northwest 
in the last 10 years, settling upon small tracts of cut-over timberland. Studies 
made by the Department of Agriculture show that the original cost of land 
of this "type may range from $1 to $15 per acre, depending upon its suitability 
for agricultural development. The land most suitable to development for 
cultivation, however, is often covered with stumps, some of them 8 or 10 feet 
in diameter. 

It is estimated that the settlers, without using machinery to help them, can 
clear only 1 or IVj acres per year. Two-thirds of the land suitable for agricul- 
tural development probably can be developed at costs of from $30 to $75 per acre, 
exclusive of the cost of the farmers' labor. The expense of developing the remain- 
ing one-third would be higher. The cost in clearing the land for use as pasture is 
from about 50 cents to $12 per acre. On the better land, which is potentially suit- 
able for cultivation, the total cost of development for agriculture generally is 
about $100 per acre, not including the cost of the labor of the farmer. 



Mr. ToLLET. I think I can give you something for, let us say, the 
area below the Grand Coulee Dam and for some selected areas in the 
Mississippi Kiver Delta. 

Mr. OsMERS. You mentioned about 1,000,000 acres in the Mississippi 

Mr. ToLLEY. There are at least 1,000,000 acres available in the Mis- 
sissippi Delta. 

Mr. OsMERS. Using 1,000,000 acres as a figure, if that land were put 
into cotton production, what effect would that have on the cotton 

Mr. ToLLEY. That is a very good question and brings out a point that 
I did not make, that in these new areas of production what we need is 
a different kind of farming from the traditional type of farming, both 
there and in the Pacific Northwest. 

Mr. OsMERS. In other words, you would not say that they just ought 
to open up a million acres and plant a million acres of cotton. 

Mr. ToLLEY. Most assuredly not. Diversified, living-at-home farm- 
ing ; livestock ; good food for the family, all of those things come first. 
And then some cotton to get some cash, because farmers, just as the rest 
of us, do need some cash. Of course, there is this, too, in the Missis- 
sippi River Delta : Looking far ahead, if something could be done to 
enable potential migrants who live up on poor hillsides in much of the 
South, to get themselves established in the good land of the Delta, those 
poor hillsides could be retired to something other than farming, and 
we would have a much better situation. 

Mr. OsMERs. Do 3^ou feel that reclamation and irrigation projects 
in general provide worth-while, new opportimities? 

Mr. ToLLEY. Yes. I talked a lot about the Columbia Basin. But 
there are a lot of places not of the size of the Columbia Basin, through- 
out the western part of the Great Plains, throughout the intermountain 
region, where there is some unappropriated water that can be brought 
to good land, and anything that can be done there would be that much 


Mr. OsMERS. Would you care to express an opinion on the apparent 
desire to spread industry, particularly new inclustries, that are being 
established as a result of the defense program? Do you consider that 
a proper move ? 

Mr. ToLLEY. A very worth-while move. My theory is that not 
enough of it will be done because, just as you said a minute ago, there 
is a tendency to have big plants concentrated where plants already 
exist. I know that the Agi'iculture Division especially of the Defense 
Commission is giving a great deal of attention to this very point of 
getting new defense plants established in rural areas. They want to 
do everything they can to help the rural people get jobs in these plants, 
realizing, of course, that they are only temporary, and one of these 
days they will be over. But if the people could continue to live back 
home on their little farms, and use such money as they can get out of 
the plant to fix up their farms, fertilize them, and build fences and 


improve houses, that they will have just that much better base under 
them to continue after the defense program is over. 

Mr. OsMERS. It seemed to me — I have not analyzed it very care- 
fully — ^but it seemed to me that this desire to spread industry through- 
out the country has not been very successful. Most of the plants that 
have been located in rural areas have been located there because of 
strategic considerations rather than being deliberately placed in that 
])articular area because that industrial pay roll would be extremely 

Mr. ToLLEY. Yes. Of course, there are many things that enter into 
the location of any industrial plant. That is especially true with re- 
spect to powder plants, airplane plants, and so on ; but it seems there 
is a region here — oh, sort of a half moon — starting in the southern 
Appalachians and going down into Tennessee and across the Missis- 
sippi River — of course, I cannot speak for the Army on this, but it 
seems to satisfy the needs of the industrial location of defense plants, 
and at the same time in that area there is a large agricultural popula- 
tion, where the agricultural resources are limited and the agricultural 
income is low. And there are, I know, several plants of pretty good 
size that have already been located in that general region. 


Mr. OsaiERS. Yes; I have noticed that some of them are going down 
there. Would you care to express any opinion on the education of our 
rural populations ? 

Mr. ToiXEY. Well, in general, the educational facilities of rural 
people are lower than the educational facilities of urban people. That 
is true, on the average, throughout the country. And when we get to 
the areas of heavy population, high birth rates, low income, wdiich are 
the areas of potential migration of the future, we are likely to find 
that the educational facilities are quite low as compared with the 
average of the country, or compared with what any of us would say 
they ought to be. 

This is due primarily to the fact that the people cannot afford 
schools of the kind that city people afford, and some of the States, 
even where they have State aids — take a State like Mississippi, which 
is primarily a rural State — the State has not been able to afford to 
raise taxes enough to give them what we call standard school facilities. 

There is another point there. When we think about what these 
young people on farms in those areas are going to do when they grow 
up, I think a lot of them 

Mr. OsMERS. That is the point I want you to discuss. 

Mr. ToLLEY. I think a lot of them want to go to town and get urban 
employment and thus we are finding farm ])eople in the defense in- 
dustry. They can get only jobs as unskilled labor. Well, if our coun- 
try schools could have vocational education for industrial employment 
in them, as well as vocational education for future farming in them, 
I think it would be a very fine thing. 

Mr. OsMERS. Would you say there should be some agricultural 
education before a student reaches college — some instruction in the 
general practice of agriculture for those children that are not going 
to college when they finish with high school ? I am presuming in 
their high-school curricula tliey will find no agricultural subjects. 


Mr, ToiXEY. It is true that only a small portion of the farm boys 
and girls who grow up on the farm and become farmers or farmers' 
wives later in life go to college. Most certainly I think there should be 
vocational education in agriculture and agricultural homemaking, 
both, in the high schools. By the same token, for those who are not 
going to be able to find places on the farm and will have places in in- 
dustry, there should be vocational education in industry for them, 
in the high schools and rural schools, as well as vocational agricul- 
ture for those who are going to stay. 

Mr. Curtis. In connection with this educational feature of agri- 
cultural people, the 4-H Clubs, the Future Farmers of America, and 
all those things, are definitely stabilizing rural population, are they 

Mr. ToLLEY. Yes ; I should say so. 

Mr. Curtis. You spoke of your ancestors coming to the Great Plains. 
I might say that in the Great Plains the drought has been so persistent 
we have had seven crop failures. In many of the counties the only 
nucleus of fine livestock left is that of the 4-H Club boys and girls. 
They are keeping something there that, when a better day arrives and 
Nature treats us a little more generously, they will have something 
to start on. And it seems to me that secondary education in voca- 
tional agriculture is making a tremendous contribution to this 

Mr. ToLLEY. Oh, I agree with you, and I hope you did not under- 
stand me to say anything derogatory to that. What I am trying to 
say is that that, in itself, is not enough. You need, to go along with 
that, vocational training in industry of those boys and girls who are 
not going to be able to find places on the farm when they grow up. 
I did not intend to say anything against vocational education in agri- 
culture in the high schools and rural schools. 

Mr. Curtis. I discussed with the instructor in agriculture in one 
of my largest towns where agriculture is the basic industry, the ques- 
tion as to why they have such a large enrollment in the high school 
and such a comparatively few boys taking agriculture. His view was 
that the mothers were opposing it; that the mothers of farm boys 
were discouraging them taking training in agriculture. 

Mr. ToLLEY. The mothers are hoping they will go some place else ? 

Mr. Curtis. Yes. He said that they were urging them to take a 
commercial course to compete, as stenographers, with all of the girls 
of the country. I did not say that ; this instructor said it. Would you 
have anything to venture on that proposition? Is there a tendency 
in agricultural education definitely to move in the wrong direction by 
misguidance at home? 

Mr. ToLLEY. By "move in the wrong direction," you mean to direct 
boys and girls away from the farm ? 

Mr. Curtis. Yes. 

Mr. ToLLEY. Of course, I do not know that that would be in the 
wrong direction, in the first place. There are many more children 
and young people on the farms of the country today than I think are 
going to be able to live by fanning, and to live well by farming, when 
they grow up. So why should not our educational svstem be geared 


to fit part of the boys and girls for opportunities of employment else- 

I was especially interested in your remark about these boys' mothers. 
After all, I think it is the farm women of the country who have been 
hit and hurt, the hardest by hard times, by the droughts on the plains, 
and so on. They are not able to have the things for themselves, they 
are not able to have the things for the children that they want their 
children to have, and the farm women of the country will, I think, 
mull the question over and say, "Why don't you find something else 
to do, rather than farming, before you grow up?" 

Mr. Curtis. Then, in that connection, I noticed what you had to 
say about wages and hours of farm labor. Would you favor a floor 
under wages and a ceiling over hours for the farmers themselves? 

Mr. ToLLEY. Yes. I have been doing all I could, in the Department 
of Agriculture, for several years to get that. 

Mr. Curtis. Briefly, will you tell this committee how that could be 
done ? 

Mr. ToLLEY. That is too much of a question for me, Mr. Congress- 
man, to tell it briefly, or even to tell it at all. 

Mr. Curtis. Could you, if we arranged for ample time? 

Mr. ToLLEY. Of course the programs of the Department of Agri- 
culture over the past 7 or 8 years have been an effort to do that very 
thing. You know as well as I how successful they have been and how 
nearly the goals set up in the various legislative acts have been reached. 

Mr. Curtis. Coming back to the Great Plains situation ; the price 
of eggs to the farmer has been as low as 5 cents per dozen within the 
last 2 years. Of course, that is just one product. With the present 
basis of rating the price for farm products, the farmers could not 
support these various labor benefits which you believe in, and which 
we would like them to have, could they ? 

Mr. ToiiLEY. Not with the present level of farm income and farm 
prices, and the legislative level of wages and hours for industry. I 
tried to make that point earlier. But I say that that does not mean 
that there should not be something adopted for agriculture in the Wiiy 
of wages and hours, social security, and so forth. 


Mr. Curtis. Now, as Chief of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, 
do you feel that our farm policy in this country should follow the plan 
of determining the number of people that should farm, or that it 
should be based on the theory that farms are homes, or should it be 
based upon the definite commercial needs of so many bushels or so 
many pounds of beef, and so on ? 

Mr, ToLLEY. I do not know whether I can be brief on that question. 

Mr. Curtis. You do not have to be. 

Mr. ToLLEY. You see, I think that is all going to work itself out in 
this country through what I call the democratic process, rather than 
by legislation of Congress or administrative acts of the executive 
branch of the Government. I think this large number of people we 
have been talking about here today and that your committee is in- 
terested in, who are trying to find places for themselves on farms in 
the country, are going to continue to try to find places for themselves, 
and many of them are going to succeed. And I think it is the duty 


of the Federal Government to help them in every way it can wlien they 
do find places for themselves. I think many of them are going to be 
good subsistence and part-time farmers, livmg on a little piece of lantl, 
and o-etting their cash from something outside of agriculture, rather 
than^doing commercial farming as we think of it m the Great l^lams 
and Corn Belt. We can do some figuring, yon know. You can add 
up and subtract figures, and so on, and arrive at the conclusion that it 
all of the farms of the country were of the same relative size as those 
of the Cotton Belt, the country could support 25 percent more farmers. 
You can turn that around and arrive at the conclusion that if all of the 
farms were of the relative size of the Great Plains and Com Belt farms, 
we would require 25 percent feAver farmers. But those are just figures, 
vou see ; I do not think it is going to be that way. , , , . i 
' Mr. Curtis. But, generally speaking, we cannot and should not lose 
sight of the fact that, even though the farmer has no other supple- 
mental income, farming is still homemaking; is that right? 

Mr. ToLLEY. Homemaking is the way of life ; yes. 

Mr. CuETis. Yes; and we should adhere to that, rather than con- 
sciously, at least, to move away from it? 

Mr. ToLLEY. Absolutely. And I think in our Government program 
we should be thinking about the people and the income of the people 
who are trying to get a living from agriculture, rather than comforting 
ourselves by saying, "Well, there are a lot more people in agricuhure 
than ought to be there, and, if they could just get away some place, 
agriculture would be all right." 

Mr. Curtis. Do you see any apparent conflict between the Agricul- 
tural Adjustment Administration in restricting production and pos- 
sibly restricting producers, and the Farm Security Administration that 
moves forward on the theory of making homes, but which does enlarge 
the output of crops? 

Mr. ToLLEY. You said the "Agricultural Adjustment Administra- 
tion in restricting production." 

Mr. Curtis. I should have said the agricultural program. 

Mr. ToLLEY. You see, I should modify that by saying the Agricul- 
tural Adjustment Administration program is one of shifting land from 
intensive use to more extensive use and building up agricultural con- 
servation, rather than restricting production. Basically, there is no 
conflict between the two at all, but we have to be careful lest conflicts 
in administrative procedure appear to arise. But the Agricultural 
Adjustment Administration — well, the small-farm subsistence farmer 
has an opportunity to benefit by the program of the Agricultural Ad- 
justment Administration. Now, we wish, and I personally may say 
I wish, there was more opportunity for the small farmer to benefit 
from the program of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration 
than there seems to be at the present time. 


Mr. Curtis. Do you think corporate farming is a wholesome thing? 

Mr. ToLLEY. If I had to answer that in one word, I would say "No" ; 
but I would like to make a little speech on it, if I might. One of the 
big elements, as I see it, is that the agricultural policy of this Nation, 
since its beginning, has been to help and foster the family home on 


operating farms, and I think, from the standpoint of welfare and the 
development of the Nation, that is one of the very fine things about 
the United States of America, and I hope farming in this country 
will continue, primarily, on that kind of basis. 

Now we have, on the upper end, corporation farming ; on the lower 
end, we have an increasing trend toward tenant farming. And there 
is much more of a tendency, I think, toward an increase in tenant 
farming than there is an increase toward corporation farming. 

Mr. Curtis. Well, do you think corporation farming, if left alone, 
is going to increase or decrease ? 

Mr. ToLLET. I do not think it is going to change much one way or 
the other. Of course, my own thought is that this cooperative kind 
of farming we were thinking about awhile ago is the best direction in 
which to go where really large-scale operations are called for. 

Mr. OsMERS. Mr. Curtis, if I might interrupt, could you define 
"corporate farming"? Do you mean, for instance, a corporate-owned 
farm, or a farm operated by stockholders, or what? 

Mr. Curtis. I realize the term is general and rather loose, but I mean 
by corporate farm a farm much larger than the family-size farm, and 
which is owned by a corporation rather than by one person, or perhaps 
a few persons. 

Well, as a consequence, do you approve any legislative curbs upon 
corporation farming; if so, who should place those curbs — the Federal 
Government, or the States? 

Mr. ToLLEY. In general, I would say, in that respect, corporation 
farming is comparable to corporation manufacturing of industrial 
corporations, and the same sort of thing is needed for farm corpora- 
tions as is needed for industrial corporations. 

Mr. Curtis. You w^ould favor some curb, perhaps? 

Mr. ToLLEY. Regulation. 

Mr. Curtis. You would not feel it would be sound economy to enact 
legislation that would eliminate corporation farming ? 

Mr. ToLLEY. I do not think it would. I cannot see any particular 
good that would do, and I cannot see that corporation farming is- on 
the increase to such an extent that anything like that is needed. 

Mr. Curtis. Well now, in reference "to clearing land and flood control 
in some of the regions such as the Mississippi Delta, and in reference 
to the program of irrigation in the West, it is generally true, is it not, 
that anything that increases the long-time productivity of land stabi- 
lizes the population on that land ? 

Mr. ToLLEY. Yes, in general. Of course, there is always the question 
of price and income to be considered. 

Mr. Curtis. We had an illustration brought to us by Commissioner 
John Page of the Bureau of Reclamation, in our Nebraska hearings, 
where he pointed out that, in the general trend of population, in 
Nebraska they had lost 5 percent in the last 10 years. 

Mr. ToLLEY. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. But that one of their counties that was a pioneer in 
irrigation, going back, I believe, to 1906, during that same period 
had gained 13 percent in population and they were taking care of the 
people; they were buying more automobiles, typewriters, rugs, and 


furniture and all those things that the rest of the world has to sell 
to the farmer. 

Mr. ToLLEY. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. In reference to the defense industries being of some 
assistance to the rural areas, do you know whether it is true, or not, 
that these defense industries are located on the seaboard for the 
reason that their products are for export? 

Mr. ToLLEY. I have not heard that. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you know of any new industries being established 
away from the seaboard, in what might be termed as the geographical 
heart of the United States? 

Mr. ToLLEY. Well, I know and there has come to my attention, for 
instance, a big powder plant at Radford, Virginia, which is a con- 
siderable distance from the seaboard, and another one 

Mr. Curtis. Well, I would not say immediately along the seaboard ; 
but, for instance, in the upper Mississippi Valley — they are not being 
placed up there, are they ? 

Mr. ToLi^Y. Yes. l' know of one that is being established at 
Charleston, Ind., which is just across the river from Louisville; an- 
other one that is being established at Burlington, Iowa. And I 
believe there is an announcement of a nitrate plant in western Ten- 
nessee. I know they are being established out there. That is a mat- 
ter of record from the Defense Commission — those that have been 
announced so far^ — and I would be glad to furnish that to you, if you 
care for it. 

The Chairman. The thought occurred to me that this problem of 
migration of destitute citizens is so big, as it unfolds, that to me it 
looks like a forest and, as we start to look at the trees, we are liable 
to forget the forest. 

Now, this migration we are talking about has many causes. There 
will be no single solution. 

Mr. ToLLEY. No. 

The Chairman. Some of the causes being worn-out soil, mechaniza- 
tion, unemployment, and different things. But what I want to get 
from you, if I can, is this: We started out in New York and we 
showed it w^as not a California, problem alone. The record, as dis- 
closed by Mayor LaGuardia, shows that they spent $3,000,000 last year 
on nonsettlect persons in that one State, and they had 5,000 that were 
deported from New York, who went into other States. Now, Mayor 
LaGuardia thought it was a national problem, and nearly every other 
witness has agi^eed. Do you think it is, too? 

Mr. ToLLEY. Yes. 

The Chairman. In other words, Mr. Tolley, it has got so big — and 
it probably will grow — that no individual State can take care of it. 
That is right, is it not ? 

Mr. ToLLEY. That is right. 

The Chairman. Now. we found there are about 4,000.000 people 
going from State to State. Speaking for myself, I am not a bit con- 
cerned with the perennial hopeful, or with people who have a little 
money and go for their health; but we are deeply concerned with 
American citizens who have to leave their homes on account of circum- 


stances over which they had no controL We are interested in them, 
are we not? 

Mr. ToLLEY. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. All right. Now yon have lost a million people from 
the Great Plains States in the last 10 years. They did not want to 
leave their homes, did they ? 

Mr. ToLLEY. No. 

The Chairman. You have in the Great Plains States 5,000,000 acres 
of formerlj^ productive soil, but 25 percent of the top soil is gone now. 
What bothers me is simply this : When they start to move they are not 
only citizens of their own States but, under the Constitution of the 
United States, they are citizens of the other 47 States. That is true, 
is it not ? 

Mr. ToLLEY. That is right. 

The Chairman. All right; what do they run into? When they 
cross State borders they run into private employment agencies, who 
give them misinformation and take their last dollar. They do not 
know where to go. It is all more or less misinformation, and something 
should be done about that ; is not that true ? 

Mr. ToLLEY. I agree with you fully. 

The Chairman. What else do they run into ? They run into settle- 
ment laws of from 6 months up to 5 years. They lose their residence 
in the States of their origin and are homeless as to any State, and the 
census returns are being held up now because you have hundreds of 
thousands of American citizens that they do not know how to allocate. 

Now, there must be, of course, Mr. Tolley, a short-term approach to 
it. The short-term approach will be to determine what we are going 
to do with them when they start out. Are we just going to treat them 
as nobodies, or are we going to treat them as people, and cannot we 
give them information at the border, cannot we have uniform settle- 
ment laws ? 

Now, some of the witnesses before us have brought out reasons 
why they could not stay home on the farms and also as to what the 
Farm Security Administration had done. Dr. Alexander told me 
the Farm Security Administration had taken care of 500,000 families 
in the way of loans for seed, horses, mule or cow, and that 85 per- 
cent of the money is being paid back, but a million or more are 
yet uncared for. 

Mr. ToLLEY. That is right. 

The Chairman. You are in favor of the extension of more appro- 
priations for farm security? 

Mr. ToLLEY. Most certainly ; provided we do not assume that would 
take care of the problem. 

The Chairman. Do you not see, Mr. Tolley, that millions of Ameri- 
can people are kicked around the country? That does not help the 
morale of this country, and what does not help the morale of this 
country does not help the defense of this country. 

Mr. ToLLEY. That is true. A great many of them feel that they have 
no stake whatever in our democracy. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much for your statement, Mr. 



Mr. Spakkman. This is Mrs. Roy Lapp, of Rlioclesdale, Md. ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. Is this your daughter with you ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. What is her name ? 

Mrs. Lapp. June. 

Mr. Sparkman. Mr. Lapp was to have come with you? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir ; but he could not be here today. 

Mr. Sparkman. What happened to him? 

Mrs. Lapp. He went to look for a job, and found a job, and he 
started to work. 

Mr. Sparkman. This morning? 

Mrs. Lapp. No, sir ; last Wednesday morning. 

Mr. Sparkman. That is fine. Wliere were you born ^ 

Mrs. Lapp. At St. Michaels, Md. 

Mr. Sparkman. How many children do you have? 

Mrs. Lapp. Seven. 

Mr. Sparkman. How old is the oldest? 

Mrs. Lapp. Sixteen years old, and w^ill be 17 soon. 

Mr. Sparkman. How old is the youngest child? 

Mrs. Lapp. Seven years old last October. 

Mr. Sparkman. Are the children of school age in school ? 

Mrs. Lapp. All but one. The biggest boy is at work. 

Mr. Sparkman. The 17-year-old? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. Wliat is he doing? 

Mrs. Lapp. He helps in loading slabs down at the mill. 

Mr. Sparkman. At Rhodesdale? 

Mrs. Lapp. No, sir; he has to go 14 miles. 

Mr. Sparkman. How far in school did the 17-year-old boy go ? 

Mrs. Lapp. To the fifth grade. 

Mr. Sparkman. Did you grow up in Maryland? 

Mrs. Lapp. No, sir; I was about 5 years old when we moved up in 

Mr. Sparkman. You grew up in Pennsylvania? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. How much schooling did you have? 

Mrs. Lapp. I came up to the eigjith grade. 

Mr. Sparkman. What did you do as a girl ? 

Mrs. Lapp. I worked on the farm. 

Mr. Sparkman. On your father's farm ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. Did your husband grow up as a farm boy ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir ; but he learned the trade of electrician. 

Mr. Sparkman. Did he learn that trade after he grew up, or in 
school, or did he learn it as he was working on his father's farm? 

Mrs. Lapp. No, sir; he was working on his mother's farm, and 
learned the trade that way. 

Mr. Sparkman. He picked it up? 


Mrs. Lapp. No, sir ; he worked for an electrical contractor. 

Mr. Sparkman. Where were you married ? 

Mrs. Lapp. At Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1923. 

Mr. Sparkman. I believe you said your husband was a native 
of Pennsylvania? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. Wliat has your husband done since you were mar- 
ried to him ? 

Mrs. Lapp. We were farming and he was workmg. 

Mr. Sparkman. Did he own a farm ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Not in Pennsylvania. He only had half of the farm. 

Mr. Sparkman. A half interest in the farm? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. After the mother died, the two boys farmed, 
and after the youngest one was 21 years old, the place was to be 

Mr. Sparkman. Did he run the farm after his mother died ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. My husband stayed on the farm. We were 
married when he was on the farm, and when the youngest boy was 
21 years old, the farm was sold. 

Mr. Sparkman. And then where did you go ? 

Mrs. Lapp. The young man bought the farm, and stayed on the 
farm. He bought our share. Then we bought a farm down here. 

Mr. Sparkman. How big a farm was it? 

Mrs. Lapp. Three hundred and sixty-five acres of land, wood- 
lands and all. 

Mr. Sparkman. AVere you able to pay for it? 

Mrs. Lapp. Half of it. 

Mr. Sparkman. Do you still own it? 

Mrs. Lapp. No, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. What did you do with it? 

Mrs. Lapp. Every time a rain came along, it swamped the crops. 

Mr. Sparkman. What kind of crops did you raise? 

Mrs. Lapp. Tomatoes, cabbages, butter beans, corn, and things like 

Mr. Sparkman. You raised vegetables ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. For canning? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. Did you operate your own cannery? 

Mrs. Lapp. No, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. You just raised the vegetables? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. Did you have several successive failures? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir; all the time. 

Mr. Sparkman. Because of excessive rains ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Whenever the rains came, the fields Avere swamped — 
that is all. 

Mr. Sparkman. The fields were low ground ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir ; they were lowlands. 

Mr. Sparkman. Did you have any stock on the ground ? 

Mr. Lapp. Yes, sir : we brought 14 truckloads from Pennsylvania. 


Mr. Sparkman. That is, when you moved down here? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr Sparkman. You moved 14 truckloads of j-our personal belong- 
ings down here with you ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. What livestock did you have? 

Mrs. Lapp. We had cows up there. We had eight cows, and they 
were sold in Pennsylvania. Then we bought eight cows down here 
in Maryland. 

Mr. Sparkman. And you brought your horses along? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. How many? 

Mrs. Lapp. Two horses. 

Mr. Sparkman. Do you still have livestock? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir, hogs, chickens, and so forth. 

Mr. Sparkman. You lost the farm ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. Due to crop failures over which you had no con- 

Mrs. Lapp. That is true. 

Mr. Sparkman. Due to excessive rains ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Rains^ insects, and things like that. 

Mr. Sparkman. Wet seasons? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. What have you been doing since them ? 

Mrs. Lapp. After we went off the big farm, we went on a small 
farm, and that was ''no-good" land. 

Mr. Sparkman. Did you buy it? 

Mrs. Lapp. No, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. Did you rent it? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. How long were you there? 

Mrs. Lapp. Two years. 

Mr. Sparkman. What did you do, or what is your work? 

Mrs. Lapp. We still have some farm implements. We did general 
farming on some small bits of ground, trying to make a living by 
getting work. 

Mr. Sparkman. You took that farm and tried to make a living? 

Mrs. Lapp. We would work at anything we could find. 

Mr. Sparkman. By the day ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. How long did you do that ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Over 2 years. 

Mr. Sparkman. You are still doing that ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman, That is the place where j'ou are living now? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. What kind of work do you do ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Husking corn, picking tomatoes, and so forth. 

Mr. Sparkman. Do the children work? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir; all the children work. 

260370— 41 — pt. S 10 



Mr. Sparkman. What do you get for this work? 

Mrs. Lapp. We get 2 cents a basket for picking tomatoes. It depends 
on how many we can pick. 

Mr. Spaekman. You are not doing that work now? 

Mrs. Lapp. No, sir; we are husking corn now, or were until last 
week. The man we were husking for has finished. 

Mr. Sparkman. What do you make from husking corn ? 

Mrs. Lapp. I, the girl, and the other boy have been huskmg, and 
we made about $1.65 or $1.66 per day. 

Mr. Sparkman. That was what was earned by all three ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. How long does it take to earn it? 

Mrs. Lapp. We started around 8 o'clock in the morning and we were 
husking until 4 : 30 or 5 o'clock. 

Mr. Sparkman. What were your children domg; were they going 
to school while you were doing this work? 

Mrs. Lapp. They were in school. The others went to school. There 
were two helping me. 

Mr. Sparkman. You held two of them out? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. We started with four of them, and two of 
them were held out. 

Mr. Sparkman. Wliat do you get for husking corn ? 

Mrs. Lapp. We get 32 cents a barrel. Of course, if one pile does not 
husk out a barrel, we may have to husk one or two more piles. 

Mr. Sparkman. Do you go to lunch? 

Mrs. Lapp. No, sir ; we take our lunch along. 

Mr. Sparkman. How long do you take for lunch ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Sometimes not quite an hour— three-quarters of an 
hour, or half an hour, depending on how hot or how cool it is. 

Mr. Sparkman. What kind of work is your husband doing? 

Mrs. Lapp. He was on the farm doing farm work and some electrical 

Mr. Sparkman. What kind of job did he get ? 

Mrs. Lapp. He is with an electricians' gang. 

Mr. Sparkman. Some kind of construction Avork ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. How old is your husband ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Forty-two years old. 

Mr. Sparkman. Is he a World War veteran ? 

Mrs. Lapp. No, sir. He was in a class away down. He was drafted, 
but was in a class away down because he was working his mother's 
farm at the time he was drawn. 

Mr. Sparkman. You say he is an electrician by trade ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. Has he made any effort to get a job in connection 
with the defense program? 

Mrs. Lapp. He tried at several places, but could not get any work. 

Mr. Sparkman. I wonder if he has made any effort to qualify under 
the civil service for one of the skilled jobs. 

Mrs. Lapp. He put in an application with the Unemployment Serv- 
ice at Cambridge. 


Mr. Sparkman. Wliat size house are you livin^? in ? 

Mrs. Lapp. In a six-room house. 

Mr. Spakkman. Is that inside of a city or on the farm ? 

Mrs. Lapp. It is on a small farm. 

Mr. Sparkman. You have runnin<r water ? 

Mrs. Lapp. No, sir ; we have to pump all our water. 

Mr. Sparkman. Is your work pretty steady, or are you able to get 
different jobs along pretty well? 

Mrs. Lapp. I do not think it is just now, because everything is 
about up now. The work is about up for winter, except for little jobs 
here or there. 

Mr. Sparkman. There is a let-up now ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. When will you be able to start in again ? 

Mrs. Lapp. As soon as spring comes. 

Mr. Sparkman. What will you do then ? 

Mrs. Lapp. We will set out tomato plants and things like that. 

Mr. Sparkman. That comes about April? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir ; April and May. 

Mr. Sparkman. Do you have any idea what your income for the 
year is, or the income for the family ? 

Mrs. Lapp. No, sir ; I have not. 

Mr. Sparkman. Does the son who is working live with you ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. He is still a member of the family ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir ; he is there when he is not working. 

Mr. Sparkman. Did your husband work on the farm ? 

Mrs. Lapp. He could not work at all last summer. 

Mr. Sparkman. He was out of work during the summer ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir ; he could not do a thing. 

Mr. Sparkman. Did you do the work during the summer ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir ; I managed to keep everything going. 

Mr. Sparkman. You were doing the farm work ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. Did your husband make any effort to do some kind 
of work ? 

Mrs. Lapp, No, sir; he was in the hospital, and would not dare to 

Mr. Sparkman. He was sick at the time ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes ; he had an operation. 

Mr. Sparkman. I asked you a moment ago if you had any idea 
what the total income of your family is by the year. 

Mrs. Lapp. No, sir ; I have not. 

Mr. Sparkman. Neither you nor your husband have applied for 

Mrs. Lapp. We did get relief when the smallest baby died. 

Mr. Sparkman. When was that? 

Mrs. Lapp. Last winter, a year ago. 

Mr. Sparkman. How old was the baby ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Seven months. 

Mr. Sparkman. What was the matter with the baby ? 


Mrs. Lapp. Pneumonia. 

Mr. Sparkman. You did receive some relief at that time, but that was 
the only time ? 

Mrs. Lapp. Yes, sir; they gave some relief at the hospital. They 
gave same relief when we sent the children to school. 

Mr. Sparkman. Have you been able to provide yourself and the 
members of your family with the necessities, or with clothing and 

Mrs. Lapp, We get by if we have it, and if we do not have it, of 
course, we have to do without it. 

ISlr. Sparkman. Do you look forward to the time when you may 
again be able to own your own farm ? 

Mrs. Lapp. I do not know — not just now, anyhow. 

The Chairman. You have no idea wdiat your family income is, or 
how much you take in per month? 

Mrs. Lapp. No, sir; because we have to pay rent, and when we buy 
groceries, it is all gone. 

The Chairman. You are never able to save up anything ? 

Mrs. Lapp. No, sir ; we cannot. 

Mr. Sparkman. What does your husband make when he is on a job? 

Mrs. Lapp, I cannot say. I do not know, because he told me he 
did not know what he would get per hour. 

Mr. Sparkman. Does he stay at home and do his work or go out? 

Mrs, Lapp. He went to Bethlehem, Pa. 

Mr, Curtis. Where were you doing the corn husking? 

Mrs. Lapp. Down at Rhodesdale, when w^e were living on the farm. 

Mr. Curtis. What did you get for a bushel ? 

Mrs, Lapp. It is 10 baskets to the barrel, at 32 cents per barrel. 

The Chairman. Thank you very much for your statement, 


Mr. OsMERS. Where were you born ? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. We were born in Accomac County, Va. 

Mr. OsMEES. How old are you ? 

Mr, Edgar Watson. Thirty -one. 

Mr. OsMERS. And how old is Elmer ? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. Thirty-five. 

Mr. Osmers. Were you born at the same place? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. Yes, sir, 

Mr. Osmers. What did you and your father do for a living ? 

Mr. ' ■ ' - - - 


Mr. Osmers. What kind of farming did he do ? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. Growing potatoes, onions, cabbages, and that 
kind of thing. 

]Mr. Osmers. Garden truck ? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Osmers. How many are in the family? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. There are six in all. 


Mr. OsMERS. How many were there at the time when your father 

Mr. Elmer Watson. Father is not dead. Mother is dead. Our 
father is living now. 

Mr. OsMERS. I mean at the time your mother died : How many were 
living at home then ? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. There were three at the time. 

Mr. OsMERS. You two brothers and your father? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. OsMERS. Has your father married again? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. OsMERS. How long did you continue on the farm in Virginia ? 

Ml*. Elmer Watson. Six years after our mother died. 

Mr. OsMERs. How long had you been on the farm ? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. All my life. 

Mr. OsMERS. Did the farm pay well? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. No, sir; that is why we had to break up. 

Mr. OsMERS. What do you think was the difficulty on that farm ? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. We put in so many hours for what we were 
getting. We started in the morning around 6 o'clock and worked 
until 8 o'clock at night. 

Mr. OsiMERS. A^^iat were you raising on that farm ? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. We were working by the day at that time. 
We went to work for Mr. West and were paid $1 per day. 

Mr. Osmers. When did you move from there, anct were did you 
move ? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. To Parksley, Va. We went to Locustville from 

Mr. Osmers. What did you do there? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. We went to farming for a man. He was 
to keep us suj)iDlied until the crop vins in, but everything went down 
to nothing, and he told us to get out. 

Mr. Osmers. Did you get any relief in Virginia ? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Os:mers. You did get relief in Virginia? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. Yes, sir; father did. 

Mr. Osmers. In what form was that relief? Was it W. P. A. 
work ? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Osmers. When did you come to Maryland? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. A year ago this March. 

Mr. Osmers. Wliat brought you there? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. We thought we could better ourselves. We 
heard Mr. Townsend was working men and paying them 15 cents. 

Mr. Osmers. How much an hour? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. Fifteen cents per hour for farm work. 

Mr. Osmers. Then you came to Maryland? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Osmers. Wliat were you promised when you came there? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. We were promised year-around work. 

Mr. Osmers. And how much pay? 


Mr. Elmer Watson. Fifteen cents per hour. 

Mr. OsMERS. Anything else with it? 

Mr. Elmer Watson, No, sir, 

]Mr. OsMERS. How does that compare with what you could make 
in Virginia? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. It was a little better. 

Mr. OsMERS. Wliat were ,you making in Virginia? 

Mr. Elmer Watson, We worked for 8 cents per hour, 

Mr. Osmers. Did the Townsend Co. send for you ? 

Mr. Elmer Watson, Yes, sir, 

Mr, Osmers. How old is your father? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. Seventy years old, 

Mr, Osmers. Who else made the trip from Virginia to Maryland? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. Seven of us. 

Mr. Osmers. Did they provide you with the work that they said they 
would ? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. No, sir ; they did not give us any work. The 
winter cut us off. 

Mr. Osmers. Did you get any relief ? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. Yes, sir, 

Mr. Osmers. How much relief did you get? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. We received $12.05, or $24.05 every 2 weeks. 

Mr. Osmers. Then you received $48 per month ? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Osmers. How long did the W, P, A, work last ? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. Four months. 

Mr, Osmers. Then you went back to work on the farm ? 

Mr. Elmer Watson, Yes, sir, 

Mr. Osmers. Have you been employed since then ? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. Yes, sir; since March. 

Mr, Osmers, Are you still working ? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. Yes, sir, 

Mr. Osmers. Are you glad you moved from Virginia to Maryland ? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. I do not see that we damaged ourselves by it. 

Mr. Osmers. How about your school facilities? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. The third grade was as far as I got. 

Mr. Osmers. I was thinking of the facilities in Maryland as com- 
pared with those in Virginia for children, 

Mr, Elivier Watson. I believe they are better in Maryland. 

Mr. Osmers. Did both of you go to the third grade? 

Mr. Edgar Watson. No, sir; when I got big enough to go to school, 
I had to go to work. 

Mr. Osmers. Have either of you worked in any other business except 

Mr. Elmer Watson. Yes, sir ; most every kind of work. 

Mr. Edgar Watson, I have done pipe-fitting work. 

Mr, Osmers. Did you try to get a job in any of the defense industries ? 

Mr. Edgar Watson. Yes, sir ; I have been to Philadelphia, Chester, 
Marcus Hook, and Wilmington, looking for work. 

Mr, Osmers. Did you get any work? 

Mr, Edgar Watson. No, sir. 


Mr. OsMERS. Why not? 

Mr. Edgar Watson. I do not knoAv. They would not hire anybody 
unless he was a first-class mechanic or electric welder. 

Mr. OsMERS. They had to be skilled workers? 

Mr. Edgar Watson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. OsMER. Did you try at the shipyards ? 

Mr. Edgar Watson. Yes, sir; at Salisbury. They said that they 
would open up in a few days, and would take on some people. 

Mr. OsMERS. You have an application in ? 

Mr. Edgar Watson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Osmers. You boys are of draft age, are you not ? 

Mr. Edgar Watson. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Osmers. How do you feel about it? 

Mr. Edgar Watson. Very nice. 

Mr. Osmers. Did you draw lucky numbers? 

Mr. Elmer Watson. No, sir ; I got one of the low ones. 

Mr. Edgar Watson. I think it is a good thing. 

Mr. Osmers. Have you given any consideration to enlisting in the 
Army at all? 

Mr. Edgar Watson. I have had it in mind. 

Mr. Elmer Watson. One thing bothers me, and that is my father is 
70 years old, and we have to take care of the family. 

Mr. Osmers. Those are all the questions I have, Mr. Chairman. 

The Chairman. We thank you very much for your statements. 

The committee will stand in recess until 2 o'clock. 

(Thereupon the committee took a recess until 2 p. m.) 

afternoon session 

The Chairman. The committee will please come to order. 
Mr. Evans, we will hear you as the first witness this afternoon. 


Mr. Sparkman. Will you please state your name, your official posi- 
tion, and address for the benefit of the record ? 

Mr. Evans. My name is Rudolph M. Evans, Administrator, Agri- 
cultural Adjustment Administration, Washington, D. C. 

Mr. Sparkman. You have furnished us with copies of your pre- 
pared statement, and that will be made a part of the record in its 
entirety. However, I wonder if you might not summarize your state- 
ment at this time for the benefit of the committee. 

Mr. Evans. Yes, sir ; I will be glad to do that. 


In my remarks this afternoon I am going to confine myself largely to a discus- 
sion of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration farm program in relation 
to the subject being studied by this committee. First of all, I am going to outline 



briefly what the Agricultural Adjustment Administration is doing to help remedy 
those great economic maladjustments that are at the root of the problem of 
migrancy, as well as the more general problems of unemployment and poverty. 

There is no question but that the main single cause of migrancy is lack of 
income. If a farmer is making enough money, he will not lose his farm and go 
down the ladder to tenancy and sharecropping and migrancy. If a farm laborer 
is making enough wages, he will not be forced on the road in search of stray jobs. 
It is self-evident that the one thing people need, whether they live on the farm 
or in the city, is enough income for security and a decent standard of living. 


The triple A program during the last 8 years has made great strides in strength- 
ening income and purchasing power on farms. Parity payments and conserva- 
tion payments have put more cash in the farmer's pocket. Commodity loans have 
bolstered farm prices and increased the farmer's return from his marketings. The 
ever-normal granary has assured the farmer a steadier and more secure income 
through fat and lean years. Acreage adjustments and marketing quotas, by 
checking the tendency toward unmanageable surpluses, have brought farm prices 
up from the ruinous levels of 1932. 

Under the farm program, fai-m cash income has nearly doubled in the last S 
vears. In 1932 it was $4,682,000,000. In 19?.9 it was $8,540,000,000. Indications 
are that farm income will be close to .$!),(!( in,(i< KM lOO this year. Measured in terms 
of buying power— that is, taking into consideration prices paid by farmers as well 
as farm income— the farmer was able to buy in 1939 as much of the things he 
needed as in the so-called boom year of 1929. Last year he was able to buy 72 
percent more than he was in 1932. The farmer's position, in relation to the 
national economy, has been improved tremendously. Farm income has been 
raised from about one-third of parity up to more than three-fourths of parity with 
nonfarm income. 

Let me emphasize that the triple A is not relaxing its efforts to improve the 
income and buying power of farmers as long as agriculture is still at a disadvan- 
tage in comparison with the rest of the population. The more help the farmer 
gets through the Agricultural Adjustment Administration the less likelihood is 
there that the farmer will be driveu into the numbers of those families who are 
on the road in search of lost opportunities. Increasing income for all of agricul- 
ture, from top to bottom, has kept a great many farmers from going down the 
ladder from independent ownership to tenancy or sharecropping and finally to 


One of the great causes of low income on farms, and consequently one of the 
major causes of farm migrancy, is the exhaustion of the soil in America. In the 
cause of time 100,000,000 acres of precious topsoil have been ruined or nearly 
ruined for cultivation. Another 100,000,000 acres have been seriously damaged. 
And on another 100,000,000 acres erosion has already begun in a noticeable degree. 
The most dramatic evidence of the exhaustion of land is found in the floods and 
droughts and dust storms that we have had in recent years. Studies have shown 
that a large proportion of migrants come from these devastated areas. 

The Agricultural Adjustment Administration is doing its part to check these 
ravages of nature. About 6,000,000 of the Nation's 7,000,000 farmers are cooperat- 
ing with the Agricultural Adjustment Administration to carry out the agricultural 
conservation program on more than four-fifths of the Nation's cropland. We 
have made great headway by taking acreage out of soil-depleting crops and plant- 
ing it to soil-building and soil-conserving crops. We are giving more and more 
help to farmers in carrying out conservation practices that build up the fertility 
of the soil. This effort is a long, uphill task that is far from finished. In fact, 
indications are that even now soil fertility is being depleted faster than we are 
able to restore it. If we are going to keep farmers on the land, and if we are 
going to put the land into proper condition so that farmers can make a living on 
it, the agricultural conservation program will have to go forward at an increased 

Perhaps the best guaranty against agricultural migrancy is the encouragement 
of family-sized farms with good soil and sufficient income. The Agricultural 
Adjustment Administration is taking four important steps to encourage the 
maintenance of such family sized farms : 

1. A proportionately larger amount of Agricultural Adjustment Administration 
payments goes to small and middle-sized farmers. In 1938, the last year for which 


a complete bieak-dowu is available, nearly four-fifths of the agricultural conserva- 
tion payments were $100 or less, and almost nine-tenths of them were $150 or less. 
'> Certain conservation practices are especially designed to help farm families 
<upplv a larger portion of food from their own farms. The planting of orchard 
trees enables more farmers to raise their own fruit. Pasture and grazing practices 
encourage farmers to produce enough dairy products to fill out deficiencies in their 
diets In areas where garden plots need to be encouraged, a .special Agricultural 
Adjustment Administration payment has been made available for the cultivation 
of garden plots so that farmers can raise more vegetables on their own land. 

3 Under the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 a schedule was set up to in- 
crease Agricultural Adjustment Administration payments of less than $200. 
This schedule is as follows : 

Payment earned : Amouiit of increase 

^ .$20 or less 40 percent. 

.$21 to $40 $8 plus 20 percent of amount over $2U. 

$41 to $60 — - $12 plus 10 percent of amount over $40. 

.$61 to $185 $14. ^ ^^^^ 

$186 to $200 Enough to increase payment to $200. 

4 Under the agricultural conservation program any farmer is able to earn at 
least $20 by complying with special acreage allotments and by carrying out certain 
soil-building practices. If a farmer would ordinarily earn less than $20 by plant- 
ing within his allotments, he has been enabled to carry out soil-building practices 
so that he can earn a total payment of at least $20. 

In telling you what the Agricultural Adjustment Administration is doing to help 
the small and the family sized farm, I am not saying that we have been able to do 
everything that needs to be done along this line. If Congress provides suflicient 
funds and gives us the necessary authorization, we are more than willing to go a 
great deal farther in this direction. » ^ , • , 

I want to call to you attention some special provisions in the Sugar Act which 
tend to prevent farm migrancy. In order to be eligible for sugar payments, each 
farmer is required to pay fair minimum wages to the workers he employs. More- 
over, the use of child labor is prohibited. Through these standards of eligibility 
for sugar payments, there has been an improvement in some of the conditions that 
have in the past forced farm labor on to the road. 

So far I have been telling you some of the things the triple A has done and is 
doing to strike at the root of farm migrancy. Now, I want to consider for a moment 
some of the main criticisms that have been levelled against the Agricultural 
Adjustment Administration in connection with the migrancy problem. 

Some of this criticism has been sincere, and, to the extent that the triple A 
has been imperfect, we are ready to take steps to make any improvements that 
may seem necessary. However, certain criticisms of the triple A seem to be a 
deliberate attempt to divert attention from the real economic causes of migrancy. 
There are critics— too many of them— who are attempting to use triple A as a 
scapegoat so that folks will not think so much about the underlying causes of 
migrancy and the type of measures that may be necessary to combat those causes. 
That kiiid of criticism is not only insincere ; it is dangerous for the welfare of the 
Nation itself, particularly in a time of international crisis such as today. Wo 
cannot afford to blind ourselves to deep-seated economic maladjustments that 
must be straightened out before the Nation is strong enough to defend itself against 
all comers. 

Bv and large, migrancy, unemployment, poverty, and inadequate income arise 
f rorn the economic circumstances that have characterized this century, particularly 
since the end of the first World War. In our lifetime, we have seen the closing 
of the western frontier which formerly created unlimited opportunity for millions 
of Americans. We have seen the exhaustion of our topsoil, which at one time pro- 
duced riches for nearly everybody who lived on the land. We have witnessed the 
loss of a great share of our foreign trade because of nationalism, world-trade 
barriers, and, finally, war in Europe and Asia. We have discovered that business 
and industry and agriculture have lost customers at home because immigration 
has almost ceased and because our iwpulation has slowed down in its rate of 
growth. All these economic trends spell out the characteristic feature of our age, 
an age in which economic expansion simply will not take place automatically as 
it did in years gone by. We have been forced to make adjastments to a new age, 
an age in which people, through their government, have had to rely on deliberate 



and positive planning to open up opportunities in America for the unemployed, for 
young folks just starting out in the world, and for millions of families whose income 
has been too small for an adequate standard of living. k , c-^r.w 

We will not get anvwhere if we dismiss the problem of migrancy by simply 
saving that it comes from mechanization of agriculture and industry, or from 
seasonal employment in agriculture and industry, or from similar causes that we 
could not stop if we wanted to. We have a bigger task on hand than merely trac- 
ing out the immediate causes of such great problems as migrancy. Our task is 
to work out practical measures that will help the Nation make a transition from 
an era of external expansion to an era of internal growth. We can no longer 
get rich by moving westward, by capturing world markets, or by exploiting the 
resources of our own land in this coimtry. 

The greatest fields for pioneering today are in taking care of the aged, m giving 
youth a start in life, in finding productive work for the unemployed, in taking 
care of our land, in strengthening the buying power of low-income families, and 
in raising the standard of living of people generally. . 

When we come to the point of suggesting remedies for the evils of migrancy, 
we will have to propose measures big enough to wipe out unemployment and 
poverty, big enough to create a secure and abundant life for all American citizens 
living on farms or in towns and cities. Later on I am going to make a few recom- 
mendations about the role of triple A in raising living standards on the farm. 


For the moment I want to discuss a line of argument that has been made in 
the hearings before this committee and elsewhere. It has been said that Agri- 
cultural Adjustment Administration payments have made big landlords so pros- 
perous that they buy up more acreage and more tractors, thus driving owners, 
tenants, and workers off the farm. 

It should hardly be necessary to point out that the trend toward mechanized, 
large-scale farming, especially in certain areas and for certain crops where 
it has proved more eflBcient, has been going on for a long time — long before 
triple A. If the farm program were to be eliminated, this trend would 
undoubtedly continue just the same. Nothing is to be gained by complaining 
about machines or attempting to stop their use. Our assignment is rather 
to use machines for the creation of more income and more wealth for all 
of the people. Similarly, the trend toward large-scale farming operations 
would unquestionably continue if we had no farm program. The main dif- 
ference would be that big landowners would acquire more farms by fore- 
closure and bankruptcy rather than by purchase. If the farm program were 
to be abandoned or weakened we could expect a tremendous increase in absentee 
ownership by corporations, because more and more small-farm owners would 
go broke. Banks, insurance companies ,and other big landowners would take 
over their farms by the process of'mortgage foreclosure. 

The fact is that most farmers lose their farms because they are loaded 
with the burden of debt which they cannot pay off because their income is 
too small. During the last 8 years the farm program has gone a long way 
toward reducing the farm-debt burden and increasing the farmer's income. 
The result has been less farm debt, lower interest rates, and fewer farm 
foreclosures. Since 1932 farm mortgage debt has been reduced by about 
two and one-fourth billion dollars. In the year ending March 15, 1933, there 
were more than 51 foreclosures and other forced sales of farms for every 
1,000 farms in the country. In 1939 less than 17 out of every 1,000 farmers 
lost their farms by these causes. I do not maintain that the farm program 
can claim all of the credit for this reduction in farm debt and for the decline 
of almost 70 percent in foreclosures and other forced sales, but I am sure that 
the doubling of farm income in the past 8 years has prevented hundreds of 
thousands of farm families from being driven off their farms. 

It has been said that triple A payments are not divided up properly between 
big and little farmers— that large operators get too much and that small 
farmers get too little. I have already pointed out that nine-tenths of the 
payments are in small denominations. I have mentioned that the rates of 
payment have been revised so that small payments are increased. In addition, 
there is a maximum limitation of $10,000 on the conservation payment that 
can be made to any one farmer. I might point out also that all payments 
are made uniformly according to formulas specified by Congress. Parity 
payments, for instance, depend mainly on the average price of the basic 


commodity in relation to its parity price. Conservation payments are based 
upon a set of rates established for specified practices. In other words, the 
Agricultural Adjustment Administration has no authority to make an arbitrary 
decision to decrease the payment for one farmer and increase the payment for 

It would be possible, of course, to amend the Agricultural Adjustment Act 
so as to place a further limitation on large payments and also to step up 
the rates of increase for small payments. If Congress contemplates such 
amendments, it would be necessary to consider the effect of these changes 
upon compliance with the program. This year about 82 percent of the Nation's 
crop land was included in the agricultural conservation program. A high degree 
of participation is essential if the Nation is to benefit from acreage adjust- 
ment and conservation efforts on a large scale. We would be defeating our 
own purposes if we changed the basis of Agricultural Adjustment Adminis- 
tration payments so drastically that there would no longer be sufficient induce- 
ment for large operators to cooperate in the program. If agriculture is to 
achieve the goals of its acreage-adjustment and conservation efforts, we must 
be sure that we have the greatest part of the Nation's crop land covered by 
the program. 


One of the most frequent criticisms of the triple A is that acreage adjust- 
ment has deprived people of a chance to earn a living on the farm. When people 
voice their objections to crop control, presumably they are advocating un- 
limited production on unlimited acreage. I have often wondered if such people 
are really willing to face the consequences of that kind of policy. I can tell 
you from experience just about what would happen if every farmer produced 
the maximum amount of crops from all the acreage he could cultivate. First 
of all, it would mean reckless devastation of the soil followed by flood and 
drought and dust storms and, incidentally, by an increase in migrancy from 
the farm. It would mean farm prices at least a low as those we had in 
1932 — and perhaps lower because of the loss of our foreign markets for farm 
products in recent years. It would mean that our basic crops would be so 
cheap that it wouldn't pay the farmer to raise them. In short, it would 
bankrupt all agriculture. 

The experience of other countries that produce agricultural surpluses shows 
what can happen when there is no acreage adjustment program. The Argentine 
Minister of Agriculture, for example, has authorized the use of corn as fuel 
for railroads and other utilities. Surpluses have driven the price of corn 
down so low that it is cheaper to burn than coal, wood, or other fuels. In Can- 
ada, the wheat supply this year was twice as great as available storage facilities, 
and at harvest time nothing could be done with millions of bushels of excess 
wheat except to pile it up on the ground. On penalty of fine and imprison- 
ment, Canadian farmers are not allowed to market more than a quota of 
8 to 15 bushels of wheat per acre. It is no wonder that Canadian officials are 
turning their attention to our wheat program. If we had been without triple A 
in this period of crippled foreign markets, our export crops would be in about 
the same circumstances today as Argentine corn and Canadian wheat. 

Perhaps the most thought-provoking criticism of the triple-A program in 
connection with migrancy is the statement that landlords sometimes attempt 
to increase the size of their payments- by getting rid of some of their tenants 
or sharecroppers. Fi-ankly, I do not maintain that this has never happened in 
any case, but I want to call your attention to the fact that the triple A has 
a very specific provision against this sort of practice. The Agricultural Adjust- 
ment Act provides that no landlord shall increase his payment by cutting down 
the number of tenants or by discriminating against them. The landlord is not 
allowed to reduce the number of tenants below the average of the preceding 
3 years, and he is not allowed to make any change in his relationship with 
tenants or sharecroppers in such a way that his payments would be increased 
thereby. The only way in which the landlord is able to make any such 
changes is by obtaining the approval of the local triple A committee, and the 
committee will not approve any such change unless it has determined, after an 
investigation, that the step is both necessary and justifiable. Early this year 
Congress enacted an amendment to the Agricultural Adjustment Act which 
places the burden of proof in such cases squarely upon the landlord himself. 

As I have said, I do not guarantee that this preventive measure has been 


100-percent successful in each and every case, but I am emphasizing tliat tlie 
determination of any case is in the hands of the local committee which is 
elected by the farmers of the community each year. Every farmer who partic- 
ipates in the Agricultural Adjustment Administration program has the right 
to vote for the committeemen who operate the farm program in his locality 
If the farmers are not satisfied with their committeemen, they are free to elect 
new ones. If the farmers are not satisfied with either Agricultural Adjustment 
Administration legislation or Agricultural Adjustment Administration admin- 
istration, it is their responsibility to see that appropriate changes are made. 
All in all, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration farm program has done 
a great deal to prevent migrancy by aiding agriculture in many ways. It 
has almost doubled farm income. It has helped to reduce farm debt and 
farm foreclosures. It has stored up fertility in the soil so that farmers are 
better able to make a living on their land. (Because the triple A has been 
built up and operated along strictly democratic lines, it has proved flexible 
enough to make any changes that conditions demanded. The farm program 
has improved steadily during the past 8 years and it is in process of improve- 
ment today. In particular, we are now extending our efforts to bring more help 
to the family-size farm and the low-income farm family. 


So far as the Agricultural Adjustment Administration program is concerned, 
I have two major recommendations to make that I believe will help stem the 
tide of migrancy from the farm. 

1. The first is obviously to strengthen and extend existing triple A meas- 
ures all along the line. We need to go forward toward our goals — fair prices, 
adequate income, stable production, and supplies, improved soil, and higher 
living standards on the farm. 

2. In addition, we must bring more and more farmers within reach of these 
triple A goals by raising participation closer to the 100 percent level. 

The Agricultural Adjustment Administration will do everything it possibly 
can, directly and indirectly, to remedy the conditions that lead to migrancy. 
Triple A conservation and acreage adjustment will continue to build up the 
resources of the land, reduce the farmer's costs, and increase the efficiency 
of production. All phases of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration pro- 
gram will continue to strengthen farm prices and give the farmer a larger 
income. The function of triple A is to improve the Nation's agriculture gen- 
erally, so that more and more farmers can make a better and better living on the 

Wo have no illusions, however, that all of the problems of agriculture have 
been solved or that they can be completely solved under present conditions. 
There are several million farm families who simply find it impossible to make 
a decent living by tilling the soil. Many of them do not have enough acreage. 
Many of them are located on poor soil and are in debt up to their ears. Too 
many of them have become poverty-stricken tenants or sharecroppers or mi- 
grants in search of employment that isn't there. The Farm Security Adminis- 
tration has put hundreds of thousands of these low-income families back on 
their feet, and the triple A has improved their circumstances by putting agri- 
culture on a better paying basis. However, even if farm income and prices 
were raised all the way up to parity, even if all of our cropland were put in 
the best possible condition, there would still be several million of these rural 
families who could not liope to make a living by farming operations alone. 

More employment is needed — more jobs for rural as well as urban people. 
Plans for the defense program call for the location of plants in rural areas. 
It is my hope that employment in these decentralized industries will alleviate 
some of the problems of agricultural unemployment. It is also my hope that 
more public works projects will be carried on in rural areas to provide jobs 
for those who cannot make a living on the farm. 

I am thinking of a family of five— and there are so many of them — living 
on a small farm which never produced enough to cover operating expenses, food 
and clothing, home and buildings, medical care, education for the children, and 
everything else that is involved in an American standard of living. Suppose 
one of the farmer's boys got a job in a nearby factory which had just begun 
to produce defense materials. Or suppose the boy began work on a public con- 
servation project, for example. The extra income which that boy could bring 


iuto the family might be just about the difference between getting along and 
not getting along satisfactorily. 

There are several million farm families like that. The only real hope they have 
for living a full life is outside of agriculture. In behalf of such stranded rural 
families — barely living on half rations extracted from a small parcel of poor 
land — I hope the committee will recommend broad measures for econo^nic re- 
habilitation that measure up to the size of the problem. 


Mr. Evans. First, I ^Yant to say that we feel gratified at having 
an opportunity to appear before yoitr committee and testify upon 
this rather important subject, because very frequently the triple A 
has been brought into the testimony before your committee, and 
many times I think some of the criticism that has been leveled at the 
act has been because of lack of full and complete information as to 
just what the act is. 

We realize quite fully that one of the main causes of migrancy, of 
course, is the low income ; another one is the depletion of the soil. 

One of the main objectives of the Agricultural Adjustment Act is 
to conserve the soil by planting greater acreage with soil-conserving 
crops, and less acreage with soil-depleting crops, thereby making 
for better efficiency, with a greater opportunity for the farmer to 

The other part of the triple A is to increase prices of agricultural 
commodities, which has been done to a remarkable degree, consider- 
ing the handicaps under which they have had to operate. The agri- 
cultural income in 1940 will be close to twice what that income was 
in 1933, when this act came into being. And, insofar as the increase 
of income is concerned, that has been a help to the people who are 
having difficulty in staying on the farms. 

Increasing the fertility of the soil is going on everywhere through- 
out the United States. Koughly speaking, our program now covers 
about 82 percent of the cropland of the United States and is partici- 
pated in bj over 6,000,000 farmers. So our progress along that line 
has been very good and very gratifying. 


Some questions liave been raised about the division of payments, 
and we had that checked up before I came up here. We find that in 
1938, the last year for which a complete break-down is available, 
nearly four-fifths of the agricultural conservation payments amounted 
to $100 or less, and almost nine-tenths of them amounted to $150 or 

When Congress passed the new act in 1938 they had made a spe- 
cial provision for small farmers by increasing their payments, accord- 
ing to the act, with which you are all familiar. 

I think we should recognize the fact that we cannot continue to 
produce all of some of these major basic crops we have been produc- 
ing in the past, because our program has curtailed the production of 
some of these crops. But, with the assistance of the loan program 
they have been able to get prices more nearly up to what they should 
have, although they are not yet at parity, which is the goal of the 
act. But we are trying to get there as fast as we can, and are mak- 
ing real progress. 



I have just come back from a trip to Canada, where I was mvited 
to talk to the Canadian wheat farmers, who do not have a program 
comparable to ours. Their situation is almost pathetic. They have 
produced so much wheat that they do not have storage space for it, 
and the Government has enacted a law to the effect that a farmer can 
only market from 8 to 15 bushels per acre, regardless of what he may 
have produced, and he cannot sell the rest, even if he may have found 
a buyer. In that way they are trying to hold the farmers down and 
to build up their program for the future. They feel that our pro- 
gram has done a great deal, and they are giving a great deal of atten- 
tion to it. 

In the Argentine, where they likewise do not have a program cover- 
ing their major crop, corn, the Government has finally decreed that 
the corn could be used for fuel, in substitution for coal or wood, as 
we were using corn in the Corn Belt in 1932. 

Those two illustrations, I think, relatively close at hand, indicate 
M^hat is happening in major agricultural areas when they do not have 
a good farm program. 

We would like to make a couple of major recommendations for the 
consideration of the committee. 

The first is obviously to strengthen and extend existing triple-A 
measures all along the line. We need to go forward toward our 
goals, fair prices, adequate income, stable production and supplies, 
improved soil, and higher living standards upon the farm. 

I am sure the committee will be interested to know that the more 
farmers operate under this program the more they believe we can 
have tighter control of production than even under the present pro- 
gram. In other words, as long as they have their own committees to 
administer the program they are not afraid of tighter controls than 
they have been having in the past. 

In addition, we must bring more and more farmers within reach 
of these triple-A goals by raising participation closer to the 100- 
percent level. 

I said 82 percent now participate in the program, and we would 
like to include a much greater percentage than that. 

* * * * * * * 1 

I should have said something earlier in my statement that I forgot 
to say, and that is that the triple-A program has nothing to do with 
the increased mechanization of agriculture. 

I think, as the committee has traveled over the United States, they 
have observed the increased use of Diesel-powered tractors in the 
Wheat Belt. I think probably without the triple A, with a lower 
farm income and more foreclosures, with the land going into the 
hands of larger operators, that you increase that much more rapidly 
for some of them, and those farmers probably can get along pretty 

Mr. Sparkman. I was impressed with one statement in your treat- 
ment of this subject, in which you said, "We will not get anywhere 
if we dismiss the problem of migrancy by simply saying that it comes 

1 Testimony here was identical with latter part of prepared statement, pp. 3229-3235. 


from mechanization of agriculture and industry, or from seasonal 
employment in agriculture and industry, or from similar causes that 
we could not stop if we wanted to. We have a bigger task on hand 
than merely tracing out the immediate causes of such great problems 
as migrancy. Our task is to work out practical measures that will 
help the Nation make a transition from an era of external expansion 
to an era of internal growth." I rather think that you have touched 
on something there that probably some of the other witnesses have 
overlooked. As I understand your A. A. A. program, that is the very 
thing you are trying to do. 

Mr. Evans. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. Not to cite the changes you recognize as more or 
less natural. 

Mr. Evans. That is right. 

Hr. Sparkman. But simply to help make the adjustments neces- 

Mr. Evans. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. I noted also your treatment of the criticism that a 
great part of the payments go to large landowners. I believe you said 
that four-fifths of the payments are $100 or less? 

Mr. Evans. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. And that nine-tenths of the payments are under 

Mr. Evans. Those are the conservation payments out of the $500,- 
000,000 appropriation. That does not hold true of the parity appro- 

Mr. Sparkman. That does not hold true in the case of parity ? 

Mr. Evans. That is correct. 

Mr. Sparkman. There is a limitation on parity payments, is there 

Mr. Evans. I do not think so. 

Mr. SpARiiMAN. No limitation of the amounts? At any rate, the 
formula under which you work is laid down by Congress, and you do 
make payments in accordance with that formula? 

Mr. Evans. Absolutely. In triple A there is nothing we can do 
about it. That is set out very clearly in tlie legislation. 

Mr. Sparkman. Is there any possibility that the commodity-loan 
program may gain greater emphasis next year in the way of increasing 
the farmer's income? 

Mr. Evans. I think some farm leaders I have talked with have that 
in mind as one of the tools of the act which can be used to get increased 
income. Tliere is less disposition on the part of farmers to worry 
about the so-called regimentation of agriculture, so long as they elect 
members on their various committees, which I think is a very wise 
provision. They have such control that it does not bother them. We 
liear very little of it any more. We used to hear a great deal of it 4 
or 5 years ago, but we do not hear it now. 


Mr. Sparkman. You made reference to farm income in 1940, and 
said, as I recall, that it is about twice as much as in 1932. What are 
the figures? 


Mr Evans. I got it for 1932 and 1939 and 1940, and I think that 
must be the case, because the figures showed over $9,000,000,000, which 
would be about twice as much as in 1932. 

Mr. Sparkman. In round numbers it would be $9,000,000,000? 

Mr. Evans. That is right ; close to twice what it was in 1932. 


Mr. Sparkman. We have heard some criticism of the A. A. A. 
program and its effect upon this problem, running tenants off of farms, 
and encouraging, in some instances, commercial farms and indus- 
trialized farms. Do you have any statistics showing what effect it 
has had upon the tenancy problem, or upon the number of individual 
farms operated ? In other words, how many people have you run off 
of farms ? 

Mr. Evans. We made a study of that at one time in regard to 
cotton farmers. The act is very specific and withdra^ys the benefits 
from anyone who attempts to improve his own position by taking 
something away from tenants; through overcropping, especially where 
they have sharecroppers. We find that we are making about as many 
checks for people in those areas today as we were under the old 
Bankhead Act. Of course, a man could stay out of the program for 
3 years, and he could reduce his tenancy, and that would give him 
the number of tenants that would be satisfactory in the future for 
compliance with the act. 

But I want to say for the people who are in the program in the 
cotton areas that I think they have been very conscientious, on the 
whole, although I think, without doubt, there are some cases where 
people are not cooperating. But by and large, the great majority 
of the people have lived up to the letter and spirit of that part of the 
act, and I think they are entitled to a lot of credit, because sometimes 
it has been a little bit hard. 

Mr. Sparkman. Do you know what the census has shown as to the 
number of farms? 

Mr. Evans. No ; I have not seen those figures. The definition of a 
farm is something that you have to keep clearly in mind in judging 
the census figures. I do not know about this census, how it is made 
up, but some of the older censuses took in people in the small towns 
who were not farmers, according to any definition in regard to the 
triple A. 

Mr. Sparkman. I know that is true, but in counties that are pri- 
marily agricultural, I should think whether there would be increases 
or decreases would be a very fair indication. Of course, I realize that 
is not true in all cases. I remember, for instance, that so far as the 
District of Columbia is concerned, I found out that there were a 
great many farms in the District of Columbia. 

Mr, Evans. We have this further practice, that if anybody sends 
us a letter and says that a man that has cut off one tenant or several 
tenants, we have a man in that locality investigate that case, and 
we may hold up that man's payments. 

Mr. Sparkman, As a matter of fact, your program really rests 
upon the committeemen in each locality. 

Mr. Evans. Very much so, and Congress very wisely dealt with 
this matter, with very wide administrative powers for these com- 


mittees, and I think they have dealt with this matter in a very fine 
way, as to whether the farmer has unjustly treated some of his ten- 
ants. I think they are really a pretty high type of people. 

Mr. Sparkman. Those committeemen are elected, are they not? 

Mr. Evans. Yes, by the farmers in the county who are participat- 
ing in the program. 

Mr. Sparkman. You have committeemen in each locality, and then 
you have county-wide committeemen. 

Mr. Evans. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. Who are in turn elected by the local committees? 

Mr. Evans. That is right, one member of the local committee in 
the township or parish, and those people get together and elect county 

Mr. Sparkman. Then, in turn, there is a State committee elected. 

Mr. Evans. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. So practically the whole control is vested in the 
people who have put themselves in this program. 

Mr. Evans. The State committee is appointed by the Secretary, but 
to get the State committee you pick out the outstanding members of 
the county committees. 

Mr. Sparkman. I think you said about 82 percent of the cropland 
is now covered ? 

Mr. Evans. Yes ; more than that. 

Mr. Sparkman. I wonder what perce^itage of farms is included. 

Mr. Evans. I think that in that connection one's definition of a farm 
must come into the picture. I think the 82 percent is cropland. There 
are something around 7,000,000 farms, as I understand it, but the 
cropland is the land that is farmed. 

Mr. Sparkman. I think we hear more criticism about the big farm- 
ers getting an unjust share of the money than any other one thing. As 
a matter, do you not go in primarily to encourage the small farmer, 
to encourage every farmer to comply with the program ? 

Mr. Evans. Yes, sir ; if you do not get the participation of the farm- 
ers, you do not keep production in line with the demand, and you 
would thus keep prices low. 

In line with several suggestions by congressional connnittees, we 
have advised a minimum payment of $20, which any farmer can earn. 
We have felt that was a material help to some people who farm an 
unusually small acreage. 

I know that in Texas they have made quite an effort to get home 
gardens, and we make small payments in those cases, and the women 
there have found that an advantage, and have come into the program, 
and they have had a large number of home-farm gardens established. 
Probably that can be carried out further. But if you are going to 
increase prices, you have to get control. 

Mr. Sparkman. You keep in mind all the time in your program two 
objectives, to build up the soil and increase the income of the farmer? 

Mr. Evans. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. I have been very much interested in the program 
you have announced in my State, called the Alabama plan. I wonder 
if you can tell us something about that. 

260370— 41— pt. 8- 



Mr. Evans. The Alabama plan, while still experimental, seems to 
me a very constructive forward step. We were engaged in such a 
program in the triple A when we had the old commodity programs, 
which were put out by a Supreme Court decision. We just got started 
on the other one in 1939, and it looks to be a continuing program. Some 
of the people in Alabama have thought it would be a fine idea to go 
out to a farm and lay that farm out the way it ought to be farmed to 
get the best returns out of the soil, and still follow good, sound farming 
practice. Enough is known about the use of land now so that they can 
pretty well do that. 

Well, it may require some shifts and changes in farming operations, 
changing this field here, and putting it on a more level place here, and 
so forth, and they set that up on the basis of a 5-year plan. They 
make it a condition of the triple A payment that the farmer make 
about a fifth of that progress each year, and they have a score sheet 
worked out by which they check to see whether he has made that 
amount of progress. 

Mr. Sparkman. In other words, if he has followed the program on 
the 5-year plan, he inust have completed the whole thing? 

Mr. Evans. He will; and as far as the technicians can say today, 
he will then be farming his farm the way he ought to farm it in order 
to get the most conservation into his farming operations. And he 
will retire lands which are, for example, on too great a slope for 
cotton and wheat, and put them into timber, and so forth. 

One of the big things that seem to me contribute to the hardships of 
some farm families is that they do not have enough acreage of good 
land to make a living unless some means is worked out to give them 
supplemental employment in factories during their off season. I mean 
that is something that we might just as well face, because if you 
attempted to give each one the number of acres he ought to have, you 
would have to remove some of those people from the land, because 
there is not enough good farming land. 

Mr. Sparkman. We have heard some complaint from witnesses who 
have testified before us about the failure of landlords to divide up the> 
benefit payments with the tenants as required under the program. Do 
many of those complaints come to you ? 

Mr. Evans. We get a number of complaints of that kind, and we 
always make it a policy to investigate each and every one of them. 
If there is any truth in the statements, we hold up the payments to the 
landlord until it is satisfactorily adjusted. I mean that is our obliga- 
tion, and we meet it the best we can. I will say that, while I do not 
have any figure in mind, the total number of cases of that kind, from 
a percentage standpoint, is hardly anything at all. 

Mr. Sparkman. I believe you said a while ago that as a whole you 
had found them sincerely trying to carry out the spirit of the program. 

Mr. Evans. Yes, sir. The act provides that the payments shall be 
divided in accordance with the way the major crops are divided. It 
is a matter of record, and it is a custom in the communities, that the 
members of the local committee are local farmers, and tliey pretty 
well know, and I think they discharge their responsibility very well, 


Mr Sparkman. Has there been any tendency toward changing the 
method of contracting between the hmdlord and the tenant because 
of these payments ? • -4; 

Mr Evans. Sometimes I think there has been ; but, once agam it 
they have changed the lease or the arrangement in such a way that 
they would benefit, we will hold up their payments. But, of course, 
the men can stay outside the program and we would not have any 

control over them. , 1 . 1 1 • ^ • 

Mr Sparkman. As I understand, the only thing you look into is 
whether or not the contract made is a fair contract. If it appeared to 
you to be unconscionable, then you could hold up the payments? 

Mr. Evans. Oh, we would hold them up. 

Mr. Sparkman. And, as a matter of fact, again, the local committee 
is the one to pass upon that ? ^ . a 

Mr. Evans. The local committee is the one to pass upon tliat, and 

1 thiiik rightly so, because they are familiar with the affairs in that 
community. . , 

Mr. Sparkman. They usually control themselves m accordance witli 
local customs ? 

Mr. Evans, Oh, yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. Mr. Evans, I happen to be a farmer myself down m 
Alabama on one of those little poor farms that you describe, and I 
want to say that your program is doing a great deal of good, and I 
do not know where we would have been without it. 

Mr. Evans. Thank you, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. That is all, Mr. Chairman. 


Mr. OsMERS. This subject has been touched on, Mr. Evans, but I 
would like now to get a little more information, if I can, about what 
seems to be the abnormal proportion of your money going into the 
hands of a very few people. I believe that in the State of California 

2 percent of tlie farmers get 60 percent of the dollars. 

Mr. Evans. Are you taking into account the sugar payments there ? 
You must be. 

Mr. OsMERS. Well, I presume they are taken into account. 

Mr. Evans. The sugar payments are not subject to the same regula- 
tions with regard to the small farmers as the triple-A payments are. 

Mr. OsMERs. Well, that would not, to my mind, alter the general 

Mr. Evans. It would alter' the figures, because the sugar payments in 
California would be very, very large, and they might go to a relatively 
small number of farmers. 

Mr. OsMERS. But does not that same ratio hold true in other sec- 
tions of the country, even though it might not be 60 percent? I mean, 
for instance, in the cotton South about a third of the money goes to 
about 5 percent of the recipients, does it not ? 

Mr. Evans. I would not want to answer that question directly, be- 
cause I do not have the figures with me, but I think your figures are 
high. I can look it up and furnish it for the record, if you want me to. 

Mr. OsMERS. I was looking into your statement here 

Mr. Evans (interposing). Nine-tenths of the payments, I believe I 
stated in my statement here, are $150 or less. 



Mr. OsMERS. On page 3 of your statement you mention that nearly 
four-fifths of the payments were $100 or less, and that almost nine- 
tenths of them were $150 or less. 

Mr. Evans. That is correct. 

Mr. OsMERS. Now, that, of course, makes a very impressive figure; 
but when you compare that with the number of dollars, merely the 
number of payments w^ould not necessarily have any bearing. 

Mr. Evans. That is true. Of course, the payments are limited to 
$10,000 for any one individual. 

Mr. OsMERS. Yes ; I know they are, and that is a pretty substantial 
payment. I just wondered whether, in your opinion. Congress should, 
in writing the next agricultural bill, do something about changing that 
situation ; maybe reducing it from $10,000 to $5,000, or even less than 
that. It has been stated here that we are trying to encourage the farm 
family, the family unit. 

Mr. Evans. That is right. 

Mr. OsMERS. Now, it has been suggested that there might be some 
kind of limitation as to farm ownership ; that we might exclude certain 
types of farm operations entirely fi'om the benefit payments of the 
triple A. 

Mr. Evans. Well, the thing that you would have to keep clearly in 
mind in considering a proposal of that nature would be this : That if 
you do not get participation in your program high enough to control 
production effectively, you will have a lower price for all the com- 
modities that are raised. In other w^ords, if the program is to be 
fully effective, you must have a high percentage of the land in the 
program, so that you do get control of the production. Without the 
control of the production in this country, in my judgment — and I 
only base it upon what we see in Canada, the Argentine, and 

Mr. OsMERS (interposing). I can see the validity of that point. 

Mr. Evans. You would get right down to 25-cent corn, 50-cent 
wheat, and 5-cent cotton. I am sure of that. Now, we must have 
that participation, and you must keep that clearly in mind in weigh- 
ing a proposal of that kind. 

Mr. OsMERS. Then would it come down to this : That there are some 
farmers in this country that will stay in the program for $10,000 but 
not at $5,000? 

Mr. Evans. I think that is true; I mean, we might as well face that 
fact, under a voluntary program. 

Mr. OsMERS. It might not be worth while for them to come in at 
less than that, because with a limited production they might be 

Mr. Evans. We have illustrations of that kind right today. I 
mean that the program has raised prices up where some fellows can 
stay outside the program and put in an increased acreage, and because 
of the volume they do better, but they only do better because this 
great bulk is protected. And we do not want to squeeze that down. 
As I say, in Canada the Government says, "You are just in, and that 
is all there is to it." 

Mr. OsMERS. I think that is all. 

Mr. Curtis. Mr. Evans, you referred to a study having been made 
in the Department of Agriculture on the question of the farm pro- 


gram displacing farm tenants and sliarecroppeis. When was that 
study made? 

Mr. Evans. It was made several years ago, and it was just a check 
on the basis of the number of checks that were issued to farmers. 
That is about the best way we could make a check of that kind. I 
mean, if you got more or less farmers, you would have more or less 
checks. And on the whole we did not find, in the cotton country, 
where this complaint was made, that the statement was quite true. 
And always, in considering that, I think you want to keep also in 
mind that we have control only over those farmers who participate 
in the program. 

Mr. CuETis. My question was: When was this study made? 

Mr. Evans. I think about 2 or 3 years ago. 

Mr. Curtis. You do not recall which year it was ? 

Mr. Evans. No; I do not. 

Mr. Curtis. Was there not a study made by the Department of 
Agriculture other than just the tabulation of the number of checks 
made ? 

Mr. Evans. There may have been. I do not recall it. I was just 
thinking of the one that we made. 

Mr. Curtis. Now, as to the number of checks issued, don't they 
issue a check on different fann units, even though they go to the same 
person ? 

Mr. Evans. No ; everybody gets his check, if he participates in the 

Mr. Curtis. Yes, I understand. But if one man has owned several 
farm units, he does not get his payment in one check, does he ? 

Mr. Evans. He may be a landlord. He may own four or five farms 
and have different tenants, and he gets a check on each farm, I think ; 
unless he has put it into one farm unit, and then he would get one 
check; but it would be considered one farm in that case. 

Mr. Curtis. When did you become Administrator? 

Mr. Evans. In October of 1938, I guess it was; about 2 years ago. 

:Mr. Curtis. I think this study that I was referring to was made 
some time before that. 

Mr. Evans. I see. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you know anything about that report? 

Mr. Evans. No, sir; I do not. 

Mr. Curtis. I think that is all. 

Mr. OsMERS. I do not have any further questions to ask, Mr. 
Evans, but I wonder if it would be possible for you to submit to 
the committee a table that would show us what proportion of the 
triple A payments goes to the largest 5 percent of the recipients? 

Mr. Evans. Certainly ; I will give it to you. 

Mr. OsMERS. When t say the largest 5 percent, I mean the largest 

Mr. Evans. I know what you mean. You mean in money. 

Mr. OsMERS. In dollar value; yes. 

Mr. Evans. I will be glad to give it to you, or anything else that 
you wish. 

The Chairman. Regarding that, you can send it here at any time, 
and we can have it inserted in the record. 



United States Department of Agriculture, 

Agricultural Adjustment Administration, 

Washington, D. C, January 29, JOJfl. 
Hon. Richard S. Blaisdell, 

Editor, Special Committee on Interstate Migration, 

House of Representatives. 
Dear Mr. Blaisdeli- : On December 20 there were submitted to Mr. Tolau three 
tables relating to the distribution of payments by size-of -payment groups under 
the 1938 conservation programs. These tables were submitted in accordance with 
Mr. Tolan's letter of December 3. 

Since it appears from your letter of January 21 that you merely desire in- 
formation as to the proportion of payments going to payees receiving the largest 
payments, there is enclosed herewith a table relating to the 1939 program from 
which such information may be derived. For example, 5 percent of the payees 
receiving the largest payments received about 32 percent of the total payments. 
You will note that this group begins in the $200 to $300 size group. 

The distribution of payments under the 1939 program is somewhat different 
from that under the 1938 program, especially in the higher payment group be- 
cause of the fact that the provision of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938, 
as amended, which limits the payments to $10,000 was effective for the first time 
under the 1939 program. 
Very truly yours, 

H. B. Boyd, Acting Administrator. 

Estimated percentage distribution of number of payees and amount of net 
payments 6y size-of -payment groups, 1939 conservation programs 

Size of payment 

Number of 

payees as 

percent of 


Amount of 
net pay- 
ment as 

percent of 

$0to$20 . 


















$20.01 to $40 


$40.01 to$60 - 


$60. 01 to $100 


$100. 01 to $150 


$150.01 to $200 - - 


$200.01 to $300 


$300. 01 to $400 . . 


$400.01 to $500 


$500.01 to $1,000 


$1,000.01 to $2,000 


$2,000.01 to $3,000 


$3,000.01 to $4,000 


$4,000.01 to $5,000 . .. . 


$5,000.01 to $10,000 




100. 00 

Source: Office of the Administrator, Agricultural Adjustment Administration, Jan. 28, 1941. 

Mr. OsMEES. Mr. Evans, you made the statement that the Secre- 
tary of Agriculture selected the State committees? 

Mr. Evans. Yes, sir; all except the Extension Director, who ac- 
cording to the act is a member of the committee. 

Mr. OsMERS. Is that by regulation set-up. or does the act pro- 
vide it? 

Mr. Evans. The act provides for the establishment, for the size of 
the committee, and the method of selection. We have made a prac- 
tice of selecting members of the Stater committee from county com- 
mitteemen who have done an unually good job, and we try to get a 
geographical selection. But they are farmers who live on farms 
and who have operated the program successfully in their own 

Mr. OsMERs. I think that is all. 


Tlie Chaikmax. Thank you. Mr. Evans, for your very valuable 

Mr. EvAxs. Thank you, sir. 
The Chairman. Dr. Taylor. 


The Chairman. Doctor, will you please oive your full name and 
address and your present position ? 

Dr. Taylor. Paul S. Taylor, professor of economics^ University 
of California, Berkeley, Calif. 

The Chairman. Now, Doctor, before you get into the analysis of 
your very well-prepared, valuable and intelligent statement, and 
without going deeply into the problem whatever from a personal 
standpoint, I would like to have you relate to the committee what 
attracted you personally to this problem, because I look upon you 
really as the creator of the resolution under which this committee 
was appointed. You first convinced my son and secretary, and then 
he convinced me. So, as we go throughout various parts of the 
country, people ask us who first started this, and I think you were 
the one who first started it ; and I wish you would be kind enough to 
tell us what attracted you to this problem, and what you saw. 

Dr. Taylor. Yes, Congressman. I will put it in very personal 

I was asked in early 1935 by the Division of Rural Rehabilitation 
of the California Emergency Relief Administration to take a look 
at the rural relief problem in our State, to see what its component 
elements were, and what might be done about it. So I got in a car 
and started down the highway. I went to the pea harvest, where the 
migrants were at work in the fields. 

I drove from the San Louis Obispo country down to Pomona and 
the pea fields at Calipatrio and the Imperial Valley, and I had not 
gone far before I realized that something fundamental was happen- 
ing in our rural sections. I had seen, years before, a great number 
of Mexican agricultural laborers. I was astounded to find that 
within the course of 4 or 5 years the complexion of the labor supply 
was enormously changed. Here I saw pea pickers from Vermont, 
Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas, and on the cars gathered around 
the fields licenses from other States. 

The Mexicans were still there, but proportionately fewer than I had 
been accustomed to a very short time before. As I went down the 
highways, I saw more and more dilapidated cars, obviously filled 
with families with all their household possessions. They had trail- 
ers, bedding, stoves, and so forth; and where they were pulled up 
by the roadside to fix a tire, or tinker with the engine, or to get gas 
and oil, I stopped my car, too. I talked with them; asked where they 
came from; asked why they came. The first answers were: "Blowed 
out," "burned out," "dried out" ; and it was not, as a matter of fact, 
for about a year and a half or 2 years that I found out that other 
forces also were expelling them from other States and sending them 
to our own. The way I found out what was at work in other States 
besides the forces of nature was by following back the trail of the 
people who came to our State. I went to the State border at Fort 


Yuma; I stood at the inspection station of the State Department of 
Agriculture; watched these cars go through, and asked by which 
routes they had come, from what counties of what States, and then 
I worked eastward, always with the flow coming west as I drove east. 

One afternoon in Texas, in the Panhandle, driving along in the 
latter part of the day, I noticed as I approached a small village a 
large number of houses with the windows boarded up, apparently 
unoccupied. There were small business buildings, a blacksmith shop, 
and one or two buildings of that sort, evidently no longer in opera- 
tion. It struck me at once to wonder why this village was no longer 
occupied ? , So I drew up at the gasoline station, had five gallons 
put in the tank, and while I was being served, asked the attendant 
how it happened that his village seemed to be depopulated; and the 
answer came immediately : "Wliy, it is the tractors." 

In the course of a short time, the next morning, the service-station 
attendant, who is also the Federal postmaster, driving about the 
countryside in our car, pointed out house after house where exactly 
the same situation prevailed as in the village — the fields cultivated 
right up to the house, the windows boarded, all occupants gone; and 
when I asked where, it was either to the East, to the sandhill coun- 
try, and poorer farms, west into Arizona, or into one of the neigh- 
boring towns for relief. 

So, in brief, the way I found out about the problem was by follow- 
ing the trail of the migrants themselves, and they successively told 
me what it was about. 

The Chairman. And you came to the conclusion that it was really 
a national problem, did you? 

Dr. Taylor. I came to that conclusion from the evidence which 
they presented themselves. 

The Chairman. For what period of time did these personal in- 
vestigations of these complaints continue ? 

Dr. Taylor. These investigations which I have made have con- 
tinued ever since 1935. I have not been continuously in the field, but 
every year, at some time, I have been in the field. 

The Chairman. When you made these trips. Doctor, were you 
alone ? 

Dr. Taylor. My wife, Dorothea Lange, and I have done a good deal 
of the field work together, and I think the evidence of her photographs 
is familiar to this committee. 

The Chairman. Yes. Doctor, that is very interesting. Now, I 
am going to direct your attention to your statement which, as I 
say, is very valuable. 

FoECEs That Jeopardize the Secxirity of Farm People 

In American agricnlture today are forces which jeopardize the security of 
a substantial proportion of our people who make their living from the land. 
These forces — notably in the Cotton and Wheat Belts — already contribute to 
the streams of destitute people who cross State lines, and who constitute the 
subject of your inquiry. Many persons have assumed, however, that the 
stability of our Corn Belt was so assured that nothing could seriously threaten 
the structure of farming and the position of farmers in the great granary of 
the upper Mississippi Valley. Perhaps for this reason the chief investigator 
of your committee has requested me to present to you the results of some 
observations which I made recently in the Corn Belt. 


The processes of mechanization, which for some years have been moving 
rapidly in wheat and cotton, now show clear signs of acceleration in the Corn 
Belt. A complex of forces, among which machinery is outstanding, already 
is beginning to produce profound social changes. The wide adoption of corn 
pickers, tractors, pick-up hay balers, and the spread of good roads and rubber 
tires are eliminating farm families or reducing them in status and making of 
farming more and more a commercialized enterprise. This is on land where 
once the Homestead Act was the ideal, and where its pattern of independent, 
working farmers was roughly achieved in fact. 

Machinery is advertised to save labor, and purchased because it does. A 
well-known mechanical corn picker is sold with the following appeal: 

"Little or no outside help is required when you use a * * * picker to 
harvest your crop. It takes only one man to operate both tractor and a picker. 
Thus the problem of finding and boarding a large crew of outside help at 
corn-picking time is eliminated and the women folks, too, are relieved of 
worry and extra kitchen work." 

To be sure machines lighten the burden of toil, save labor of the family, and 
reduce the farmer's dependence on outside help. But they also deprive wage 
earners of the farm employment upon which they are dependent. Only last 
August Professors Case and Wilcox of the University of Illinois called sharp 
attention to this fact: 

"One of the unfortunate aspects of all these changes— more mechanization 
and less labor entering into crop production — has been that the farm affords 
less opportunity for employment. On the cash-grain farms in the study, the 
number of laborers hired declined almost in proportion to the reduced labor 
requirements for crop production." 

Reports of the Illinois Emergency Relief Commission as early as 1938 show 
how quickly the public welfare agencies must begin to share the cost of this 
lowered demand for farm labor. 

A second effect of mechanization is the displacement of farm operators, 
especially tenant farmers. Basically, the impulse to displace farmers rests 
on this simple economic fact : A most effective way to reduce per acre and per 
bushel costs of power is by increasing the size of farm in order to lengthen 
the hours which power machinery works. Professors Case and Wilcox in their 
bulletin, Organizing the Corn Belt farm for profitable production, state plainly 
this principle of the economy of using farm power to its capacity: 

"The cost of power is one of the largest items of expense in operating farms, 
frequently amounting to 25 percent of all operating costs. * * * Interest on 
the money invested in a tractor and depreciation — two items which remain 
the same regardless of the number of hours a tractor is used — make up the 
biggest part of the cost of operation. The hour cost is therefore markedly 
influenced by the number of hours the tractor is used." 

Studies of actual farm records by the Purdue Agricultural Experiment Station 
and the college of agriculture of the University of Wisconsin show conclusively 
that per acre investment costs of power and machinery are materially lower on 
larger farms than on smaller. A Purdue bulletin entitled "The Cost of Using 
Farm Machinery in Indiana" sums it up in the statement that "Noticeable econ- 
omy is effected in per acre cost, investment, and repair cost of machinery as size 
of farm increases." Professor Case points the clear application : 

"The introduction of mechanical power and larger-sized equipment makes it 
possible for the same number of farm workers to operate a larger acreage. Fur- 
thermore, the desire to have a full line of mechanized equipment means a heavy 
overhead expense unless the area operated is somewhat larger than it is on many 
farms. The advantage is obvious, more economical production can be secured if 
operators do a good grade of farming." 

As one travels through the Corn Belt it is plain to be seen that enterprising 
operators are recognizing this fact and are enlarging their farms to take advan- 
tage of it. Authorities within the Corn Belt already are noting this with some 
regret. As recently as last August the two Illinois agricultural economists quoted 
earlier wrote in their bulletin Twenty-five years of Illinois crop costs : 

"Many other farmers, in order to reduce the overhead cost of operation and to 
make use of labor released by mechanical power and large-sized equipment, have 
taken on additional land, either by rental or by purchase, and have thus increased 
the size of the farming unit. * * * The results of this tendency have not 
been entirely satisfactory, because, for one reason, the increasing of the size of 
farming units has resulted in fewer farms and consequently in forcing some 
tenants off farms at a time when other employment has been difficult to obtain" 
(Wilcox and Case, bulletin 467, p. 403). 


To be sure, farms have beeu slowly enlarging since original settlement of the 
Corn Belt, but now they are enlarging much more rapidly and becoming more 
commercialized, and there is neither a new West as there was 50 years ago, nor an 
expanding industry to offer haven to the displaced. As Prof. H. C. M. Case stated 
in September: 

"The settling of new areas, especially in the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Canada, 
made it possible for many tenants with small savings to become farm owners 
through the purchase of low-priced land or the homesteading of new land. Farm- 
ers leaving the old established farm areas like the Corn Belt gave many young 
men in these areas an opportunity to become farm tenants and to take over farms 
which were vacated by tenants moving into new areas. At the present time, 
however, the agricultural area of the United States has ceased to expand. Now 
the competition is for farms which are already established." 

The keenness of this competition is reflected in the impressive statistics which 
earlier witnesses presented to your committee of 25,000 farmers unable to find 
farms to rent in the Corn Belt. The distress of those farmers already dislodged 
and the deep-seated fears of more thousands of tenant farmers fetill on the land 
but insecure, are registered in the editorial, special feature, and farmers' corre- 
spondence columns of Wallace's Farmer and Iowa Homestead, the Des Moines 
Register, the Bloomington Pantagraph, and other papers of the Middle West, and 
in the sober looks and speech of farmers when the subject is raised. 

Mechanization moves progressively into every phase of farm production. Rub- 
ber tires on tractors are followed by rubber tires on combines, plows, and other 
machinery. The increased mobility which this provides makes it possible to en- 
large farms by renting fields 1, 2, 5, and even more miles distant. Headlights make 
possible night work by shifts. Pick-up hay balers, mechanical feed hoists, and 
assembly-line lay-outs bring industrial methods to the handling of forage crops 
and the feeding of livestock. Mobility of labor and machinery mtikes it possible 
with but little manpower to deliver great work power within a very few days and 
over a wide radius. Farms grow in size more easily since fields no longer need be 
contiguous. At point after point the bottlenecks which have held Corn Belt farm- 
ing to a moderately small family operation are being broken. 

A striking example of the possibilities of farm consolidation on good land 
was described to me by an enterprising operator in Iowa who is enlarging his 
farm. About 3 years ago he began to add to his home farm of 200 acres by 
leasing successively 40 acres 3 miles away, 440 acres 6 miles away, and 
320 acres 75 miles away. He oiierates the entire 1,000 acres of the best 
cash-grain lands of Iowa with two laborers hired by the month, and a little 
help in summer from his young boys, and he now runs a large business in 
town besides. Sensitive to public opinion he says: "Every farmer in the State 
who is not secure in his ownership is scared that he may lose his land by 
consolidation. The tenant who loses his place has no chance, absolutely no 
chance, to find a farm here in the good land." 

The effects of farm consolidation often are seen in a chain of successive 
displacements, reports this operator. A western Iowa tenant moved off the 
best land by consolidation moves with his equipment into southern Iowa 
where land is poorer, and where he can outbid tenants already there because 
of his superior equipment and ability. The tenant so displaced then moves 
to the poorer lands of the Ozarks in Missouri, or Arkansas, displacing a family 
there, either by leasing or purchasing their land. These are areas, as your 
committee already has been told, from which streams of families migrate 
to the far West. Thus consolidation of farms in the Corn Belt transmits a 
series of shocks, the last of which may be visible as the flight of an Arkansas 
or Missouri family across the country to Arizona or California. Or. as a 
middle western farmer put it, "They go over like a row of dominoes." 

A third effect of mechanization is to reduce farm laborers from their tra- 
ditional status as "hired men," living in something like social equality with 
their employer and with opportunity ahead, to a status approximating that 
of the lower grades of industrial workers. For those who are unable to 
remain on the farms as operators of machines, or to find a place in industry 
for which they are not trained, this is the prospect. It is described by a 
report from the Illinois Emergency Relief Commission in 1938 : 

"* * * farm operators have in large measure discontinued giving food- 
stuffs and shelter in addition to wages, regarding their workers more as 
employees in other industries. This circumstance may contribute to another 
phase of the problem since it tends to result in the use of casual and transient 
labor, especially in seasons of greatest need. This results, as pointed out by 
the representatives of the Farm Bureau, in absence of needed skills. The 


Harm Bureau particularly emphasizetl the fact that a man doing only occa- 
sional farm labor, even if this has been his principal occupation, may now be 
helpless under present day fann mechanization." 

Sons of farmers are among the victims of mechanization and consolidation 
along with other laborers. A recent bulletin by Case and Wilcox of the Illinois 
Agricultural Experiment Station states: 

"The sons of farmers are finding, as they approach maturity, less oppor- 
tunity of becoming established as farmers themselves. There are not so many 
farms for rent; and the opportunity to get a start by working as a hired 
laborer has been reduced." 

A fourth effect, attributable in part to mechanization, is the decline m 
status of tenants. Not only are many individual tenants themselves reduced 
to labor status, but those who remain tenants find themselves in a position 
in which, as one put it, "The landlord has the whip hand." The Bureau of 
Agricultural Economics has described this lowering of tenant status in its 
August 1940 report on "Technology on the Faim" : 

"The result (of mechanization in the Corn Belt) is greater competition for 
land and a consequent increase in the rents. The common practice of charging 
cash rent for use of buildings, pasture, and land not in cash crops on share- 
rented farms permits an increased rent for the farm without changing the 
sharing of cash crops. When adjustments in rent of this type are made,^ the 
benefits of new developments are shifted from the tenant to the landlord." 

During my researches last summer in the Corn Belt I noted four current 
phases in the reorganization of agricultural work that seemed particularly 
significant : 

1 Enlargement of farms under a single operator. 

2. Growth of professional farm management services for absentee owners. 

3. Custom work as potential displacer of farm operators. 

4. Cooperative ownership of mechanical equipment. 

1. Enlargement of farms under a single operator- This process, as I have 
described it, may represent either expansion of the lands operated by a working 
farmer or a working farmer and his sons to, say, 400, 500, or 800 acres, or it 
may represent large farms operated by a manager using hired laborers. Of 
the latter type, by all odds the largest wage-labor operation which I saw was a 
9,000-acre corporate grain and livestock farm in Ohio. 

2. Growth of professional farm management services for absentee owners. 
One of these services, in a pamphlet entitled "Agricultural service for absentee 
owners," states that it "was organized and is conducted by master farmers 
to give the nonresident landowner competent and permanent management of 
his farm lands, such as he would provide himself, were he living near the farm 
and qualified to do so." Services of this type are numerous enough in the 
Corn Belt to have formed a professional society. The economic basis of 
managerial service is superior skill of professional managers over other farm 
operators, and the possibilities of collective buying and marketing, and of 
unified operations. These services offer genuine benefits to the landlord and 
to the land itself, and doubtless to some tenants. But it is equally plain that 
they promote (1) absenteeism, by making it profitable; (2) united control of 
large acreages; (3) large-scale operations, by developing and utilizing its 
economics. These results, of course, are no part of the pattern contemplated 
by the Homestead Act. 

How far absenteeism, represented by- ownership of farms by city and town 
businessmen and by industrial cooperation, has advanced in the Corn Belt is 
not clear. There are indications that its growth is significant. One of the 
management services referred to earlier has among the 190 properties which it 
operates for "the nonfarming farm-owner" a 2,000-acre farm owned by a rail- 
road. On my train enroute to Washington the sales manager of a nationa.' 
manufacturing corporation with Ohio headquarters told me that among bus! 
nessmen in his part of the country "it's now the rage" to buy farms, partly 
for diversion instead of golf, partly as a safe place to put funds; indeed in 
some cities these businessmen have formed "farmers' luncheon clubs." The 
extent to which industrial corporations are using their position to buy ma- 
chinery for their farms at cost from the manufacturer instead of through 
retail dealers evidently is becoming of concern to some dealers. In last month's 
issue of Farm Implement News the secretary of the Michigan and Ohio Farm 
Equipment Association wrote : 

"A dealer reported to me that a farm located next to his had been pur- 
chased by a large soap company some months ago and that he had been sup- 
plying most of the equipment for that farm in recent years. The soap com- 



pany had a contract and is located 50 miles away. They sent two tractors 
with cultivators and other tools to this farm and it so happens the dealer 
sells the same make of machinery and is a very good, substantial dealer. The 
only business this or any other dealer in this commimity will get from that 
farm is an occasional sale of an emergency part. 

"This thing is growing so rapidly that many good dealers in that section 
are beginning to wonder how much longer they will be able to last. Their 
attitude is this: 'Why should large companies buy this land to avoid income 
taxes and then be able to buy their equipment at cost while the farmer next 
door, bending every effort to get along, must pay the long price. It just doesn t 

Several lines of further investigation touching the stability of our farm 
population, including taxation and the role of industrial corporations on the 
land, seem to be suggested by this quotation. If the entry of manufacturing 
corporations into farming is becoming so important as to cause concern to 
farm implement dealers, certainly it is important enough to farmers to receive 
the closest public scrutiny. 

3 Custom work as potential displacer of farm operators. Custom work 
means performance of a particular farm operation, such as plowing or thresh- 
ing by a contractor. It is an old practice in American agriculture, and in 
1925 at perhaps its zenith, it is estimated that there were about 140,000 custom 
threshing outfits in the United States. In earlier times, when the single, 
extreme peak power requirement on the farm could be met only by expensive 
steam engines and threshers, custom work was a boon to the small farmer. 
He was obliged to thresh either on contract, or as member of a cooperative 
threshing ring, since he could not afford heavy investment in a great power 
plant to be used only a few days. 

Custom work can be either a boon to working small farmers or, depending 
upon circumstances, a detriment to them, even to the extent of jeopardizing 
their economic existence. It is like the two-edged sword which can cut both 
ways. To understand this it is necessary to remember that a large proportion 
of "income to the working small farmer is really a wage for his labor. There- 
fore, when custom work represents, as it sometimes does today, the service of 
man and machine without opportunity for such auxiliary employment of the 
farmer as was customary around the old-time threshing rig, the farmer is 
losing opportunity for his own employment. It is true that successful custom 
operators can often afford to offer very attractive prices when they use their 
machines to capacity, but working small farmers who become fully dependent 
on custom work have thereby lost their own wages, and are at the mercy year 
after year of a differential between prices and contract costs sufiicient to 
enable them to survive. The indefinite continuance of such a favorable differ- 
ential, of course, is highly problematical. 

In the Corn Belt last summer I encountered personally only two instances 
of farms virtually without farmers because every one of its operations were 
I)erformed on contract. But the potentialities for displacement of farmers 
in this manner were plain to be seen. In Ohio I met a very successful custom 
operator who has a small fleet of tractors, tillage machines, combines, etc., 
and a force of from 8 to perhaps 15 or 18 wage workers. He operates a large 
farm of his own and keeps his machines working to capacity by performing 
custom work within a radius of about 15 miles. He was fully conscious of 
this threat to the working small farmer which is latent in this method of 
oi>eration. In the February 1939 number of Agricultural Engineering he wrote : 

"We are prepared to undertake almost any farming operations that we may 
be called on to do, except two, corn planting and corn cultivating. As you can 
see, the presence of a large amount of machinery doing custom work in a 
community which is 55 percent tenant farmed might give some people the 
impression that we are out to take over the whole neighborhood. This is not 
true, as we consider our services as purely auxiliary for those farms w'here 
the machinery investment for one reason or another is being kept low. By 
leaving corn "planting and cultivating tools out of our custom equipment, we 
are able to sidestep requests to take over a complete operation, and can pursue 
a policy of not working on land that does not have an owner or a tenant 
living on it." 

In conversation he stated even more strongly that his reasons for self- 
restraint in declining to plant and cultivate corn were twofold. He said, in 
substance : 

"I won't plant and cultivate corn because I want them to use their team 
and their own labor. If I did, feeling in the community would be so strong 


against me because of the displaced farmers that I couldn't get contracts for 
custom work any more. Besides, sociology is against it; I don't believe in 
displacing farmers." 

May I say at this point that my analysis is in no sense an attack on ma- 
chinery, machine manufacturers, or machine users? I urge that we do not 
allow ourselves to be diverted, as frequently happens, by the spurious issue 
whether machinery per se is, or is not, beneficial, away from the true issue, 
How can we distribute the benefits of machinery and keep them from promot- 
ing Insecurity? 

4. Cooperative ownership of mechanical equipment. The practice of coop- 
erative ownership of machinery probably is as old among American farmers 
as the practice of custom threshing. Indeed, the cooperative threshing ring 
was the small farmers' alternative to custom work. It was another way of 
keeping their overhead costs low. To an extent, cooperation is practiced in 
the Corn Belt today. Professor Case states : 

"Many tenants are successfully cooperating with other tenants by owning 
some of the more expensive pieces of equipment in common, or by exchanging 
labor with some of their neighbors and thus avoiding a large outlay of money 
for the purchase of every piece of equipment used on the farm ; * * * farm- 
ers can afford to own jointly or exchange the use of many of the more ex- 
pensive pieces of equipment." 

Last August a breeder of hybrid corn described to me experiments on his 
Illinois farm which give promise at an early date of eliminating the necessity 
of row-cultivation of corn, and of making possible the harvest of corn by com- 
bined threshers which deliver the kernels in sacks in the field. He stated : 

"This, together with combines for soybeans and grain, will make it impos- 
sible for the small 80- to 160-acre farmer to compete. When these develop- 
ments take place 640 acres will be the minimum-size farm that can operate 
economically in the Corn Belt. It will require not over 2 men to operate. The 
only possibilities are (1) custom work; (2) large units; (3) cooperative own- 
ership of machinery in groups of 10 to 12 farms." 

The practice of economic cooperation, however, has not yet attained an ex- 
tent where it is adequate to resist the threatened wholesale displacement of 
farmers in the Corn Belt. It should be stimulated to the point where it will be. 

What the spread of a pattern of industrialized agriculture can mean is 
easily seen in some of our newer cotton areas. Last month in Arizona I visited 
a large cotton development where economic forces have had full play. In the 
vicinity of Eloy are about 35,000 acres of cotton, largely on public land brought 
under irrigation since about 1934. Only the pumps,. gins, and some of the farm 
machinery are subject to county taxation, although the county has been pre- 
sented with new emergency burdens by the development. Farms of several 
sections in size are common. The operators are virtually all absentees, fre- 
quently residents of another State. I did not personally see a first-rate rural 
home in the area, but only an occasional cheap house for an Irrigator or fore- 
man. Hundreds of tents and shacks dot the area for the thousands of tran- 
sient cotton pickers who also originated largely in other States, and who carry 
smallpox and typhoid with them into other States when they leave. Thus the 
operators, the capital, the laborers, the problems of health and of relief— all 
are largely Interstate. 

On Saturday during the harvest the town of Eloy is crowded with thousands 
of pickers who throng the food stores, and patronize rummage sales on the 
streets. But the fact that there are only perhaps 350 people in the entire area 
stable enough to register to vote reveals the role of these 35,000' acres as nour- 
ishment for an American farm population. 

Industrialization of corn and cotton is producing a serious maladjustment 
between land resources and population. Prof. Charles L. Stewart, of the Uni- 
versity of Illinois, has recently described this growing unbalance in statistical 
language : 

"The thinning-out effects of modernized operations on land of suitable topog- 
raphy throws the ratio of plowland acres per fann occupied into high figures, 
while in other areas, not so settled, population is piling up while the proportion 
of acres suited to plowland use declines." 

In July of this year the Bureau of Agricultural Economics summed it up in 
terms of ill-guided human migration : 

"In general, it may be said that in the areas best adapted to commercial 
farming there was enough migration away from farms to bring about a reduc- 
tion in farm population, but in the areas less well-adapted to commercial farm- 
ing there were increases." 


This way of using our land, which in varied forms and in differing degrees 
is spreading in our best agricultural regions, is our new farm problem. 

In the decades before the War between the States men were deeply concerned 
with how our land should be used. Our great agricultural problem then was, 
how shall the public lands be settled? Speaking in 1862, Congressman Holman, 
of Indiana, answered : 

"Instead of baronial possessions, let us facilitate the increase of independent 
homesteads. Let us keep the plow in the hands of the owner. Every new 
home that is established, the independent possessor of which cultivates his own 
freehold, is establishing a new republic within the old. and adding a new and 
a strong pillar to the edifice of the State." 

A decade earlier Representative Julian of the same State was laying a basis 
in Congress for the reform which culminated in the Homestead Act : 

"The friends of land reform claim no right to interfere with the laws of prop- 
erty of the several States, or the vested rights of their citizens. They advocate 
no leveling policy, designed to strip the rich of their possessions by any sudden 
act of legislation. They simply demand that in laying the foundations of 
empire in the yet unpeopled regions of the great West, Congress shall give its 
sanction to the natural right of the landless citizen of the counti-y to a home 
upon its soil. The earth was designed by its maker for the noui'ishment and 
support of man." 

Congressman Julian was chairman of the Committee on Public Lands when 
the homestead bill became law in 1862. 

Our ancestors of three generations ago found the solution for their goal of 
independent working farmers, secure on the land, in the land reform clauses of 
the Homestead Act, which gave away land in quarter .sections, in fee simple, 
for $1.25 an acre. Today the march of mechanization and other economic 
forces have produced dependence and insecurity on the land for our generation. 
Stern necessity compels us to find our way to maintain independence and 
(security among those who work the soil. 


The Chairman. Would you care to higlili|rlit for us your observa- 
tions on your recent trip through the Corn Belt? 

Dr. Taylor. I will be very glad to state briefly the observations 
which seem of a particular significance to the problem with which 
3^our committee is concerned. 


Insecurity in agriculture is a cause of migration. It is an im- 
portant cause. Consequently I devoted a good deal of my attention 
last summer to growing mechanization in the Corn Belt, which 
stretches west from central Ohio into Nebraska. The effects whicli 
seemed to me worthy of particular note I can sum up in four points. 

The first is a displacement of farm laborers, some of whom find 
outlet in odd jobs, or occasionally in industry, but many of whom find 
only relief to cushion the shock of displacement. 

A second fonn of displacement affects the farm operator himself. 
This occurs because farm operators in the Corn Belt are increasingly 
enlarging the size of their farm operations, and since the land of the 
Corn Belt is no longer subject to material extension, the enlargement 
of one farm necessarily is at the expense of some other farm. Of 
course it is true, as has been pointed out to your committee, that en- 
largement of the fann is part of a historical process that has been 
going on ever since the Corn Belt was settled, but there are some 
important differences whicli make its effects much more serious at 
the present time than they have been, we will say. since the year 1900. 

In the first place, in the last very few years the enlargement of 
iarms has been progressing much more rapidly than in previous 


periods. The character of agriculture has been increasingly commer- 
cialized as the expansion has been going on in the past few years. 
Besides, except for our recent defense activities, there has been no 
expanding industry to absorb the people formerly on the land, as was 
true in the past ; and finally, there is no "New West" as there was 40 
or 50 years ago, when the Corn Belt farmers found an outlet in the 
Dakotas and Nebraska. So, more and more one finds the cry in the 
Corn Belt, "Tenants can't get a farm." 

A third point which I observe is that many farm laborers who 
remain on the Corn Belt farms are suffering a reduction in status. 
May I explain that briefly? Some who remain, particularly those 
wdio remain as machine operators, improve their positions; some of 
them have steadier emi)loyment at better wages than before ; but for 
many, mechanization represents a fall in status, a decline to the posi- 
tion of seasonal workers, and with an increasingly commercialized 
'relation to their employer, so that the old status of something like 
social equality with the employer — a certain beneficent paternalism 
which prevaifed in the days of the "hired man" — is becoming of dimin- 
ishing im]Jortance in the Middle West. 

It is important to note, I think, that not only are the laborers feel- 
ing this decline in status, but the sons of farmers also feel it. Tra- 
ditionally, sons of farmers have had a way to ow^nership through the 
labor process. Today they find not only a growing competition for 
farms, but they find the same competitive difficulties as they seek 
employment ashired workers in order to buy equipment and proceed 
to tenancy and ownership. 

A fourth point is that, because of the shortage of farms and grow- 
ing competition under the enlargement of farms, the tenants increas- 
ingl.y are in competition with each other, which means a bidding up 
of the rent, and while the shares remain the same, there are now 
required cash bonuses for pasture, or for crops, or some other pretext, 
which may seem reasonable enough in the premises, but which in 
reality represents a decline in the standard of living of the tenant 
on the Corn Belt farm. 

These four, then, are the main effects which I observed. 

iSIay I suggest, in closing my comments on what I observed in the 
Corn Belt, certain significant "phases of the reorganization of agri- 
cultural work in that area, w^hich are significant now, or which I 
think you will find of growing significance in the years which lie 
immediately ahead. 

The first is the enlargement oi farms under a single operator. 
That has been repeatedly brought to your attention. That is a factor 
in the present great insecurity. The expansion takes place in various 
forms; sometimes without hired labor, simply with the family labor 
of the farm operator's son as well as his own. Sometimes it takes 
place with hired labor. A man hires one or two or three, or even 
more laborers, and enlarges the scope of his operations. Sometimes 
it takes place on a pure manager-labor basis, in which the industrial- 
ized form is fully achieved. 

That, as I say, is the greatest present form of insecurity which is 
developing, and the most significant form of reorganization today. 


There are two factors of potential insecurity which I think we 
should not overlook, for they are likely, under favoring conditions, 
to become rapidly of very great significance with reference to dis- 
placement and potential migration, which concerns your committee. 

The first is the growth of professional farm-management services. 
Farm-management services are designed to operate farms in the Com 
Belt for absentee owners. They advertise that that is what they are 
equipped to do. It simply means that more competent managerial 
service is now available than ever before, so that city folk, busniess- 
men, industrial corporations, now have available a more efficient man- 
agement service for farms, if they see fit to invest their money in the 
land, than they ever had before. So potentially, if this develops and 
certain other favoring conditions should evolve, we might see a greatly 
facilitated movement of urban capital onto the land, in wliich farms 
of absentee operation, with manager and hired labor, might spread 
very rapidly. 

(The following letter and clipping were received later by the com- 
mittee and were accepted for the record :) 

Farm Management, Ino., 
Irwin, Ohio, December Ui, 1940. 
To the chairman and, memhers of the House Committee 
Investigating Interstate Migration: 
I have had the privilege of reading some of the testimony presented to your 
committee by Dr. Paul Taylor of California. Dr. Taylor spent some time in 
this section and with our farm-management organization last summer. We 
are the organization to which he refers definitely in his testimony. 

While Dr. Taylor states we are doing a good work, we are definitely of the 
opinion that he has failed to grasp the correct idea relative to the economic 
effects of such a service and we regret very much that his testimony is to 
become a matter of record in the report of your committee without a proper 

We can state to you that on the 200 farms operated by our company for 
absentee owners, there are more resident employees than before we assumed 
management. Also, that these families are getting more income, and feel more 
secure than previously. We have in no case increased absentee ownership nor 
do we expect the future to bring such a result. New ownership and management 
has been set up on properties already owned by nonresident landlords, and prop- 
erties which were run down and liabilities in every way are now developed, or 
being developed into well equipped, well cared-for farm properties which add 
in every way to the economic improvement of the rural community. 

It is unfortunate that you have not called before your committee such men 
as : Dr. Howard Doane of the Doane Agricultural Service, St. Louis, Mo., and 
C. J. Claassen, president of the Farmers National Co., Omaha, Nebr. These men 
have spent many years in farm-management work, and are in a position to 
give you valuable information based on realities and experience. 

It is high time that some practical people with a lifetime of experience in 
the observation of agricultural trends, get up on their feet and give our agri- 
cultural authorities the benefit of their observations and conclusions. 
Very truly yours, 

G. G. McIlroy, President, Farm Management, Inc.; Master Farmer; 
Memier, Committee to Select Master Farmers in Ohio, 1939 and 19JfO; 
President, American Soybean Association, 1938-39 and 1940; Chair- 
m,an. Soybean Section, National Farm Chcmurgic Council; Member, 
Ohio Chcmurgic Commission. 


[The Ohio State Journal, Columbus, Friday, December 13, 1940] 
Population Trends 

Obviously due to the depression, affecting industrial centers more than rural 
communities, the trend of population in the past 10 years has been away from the 
cities and back to the country the first time in 100 years. 

"The trend long established in the United States of migration from rural to 
urban areas has been slackened," says W. L. Austin head of the Census Bureau. 
"For the first decade since 1830 the proportion of the population residing in urban 
areas has failed to increase markedly." 

The changes are a matter of proportion and percentage, not of actual numbers. 
All the large cities and all the States, except the Dust Bowl States, showed net 
population increases. The westward movement has continued in a general way, 
though the gains were in the far West, at the expense of the Middle West. 

Ten States are to lose a Congressman, each as a result of the population fluctu- 
ations, namely, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Ne- 
braska, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. 

It is interesting to note the gainers. Most notable is California whose tourist 
advertising, costing tens of millions annually, also attracted the bulk of the 
migrating "Okies" and "Arkies." No doubt the "ham and egg" publicity had 
something to do with it also. California is to gain 3 new Congressmen, making a 
total of 23, putting her at a parity with Ohio in this respect. 

It might be noted that California came within 225 residents of pushing Ohio out 
of fourth place in the population table. 

Seven States will gain one Congressman each, namely, the tourist-advertising 
States of Arizona, Florida, New Mexico, and Oregon ; the industrially developing 
States of North Carolina and Tennessee ; and, finally, Michigan, which is both a 
tourist-advertising and industrially developing State. Some of the tourists must 
be of the kind that stays permanently. 

Except for the exceptional California gain, a condition which obviously has its 
limitations, none of the changes noted are highly significant. The United States 
may be said to have attained a fairly stable population, and all sections from 
now on will have steady growths of their own native or resident populations. 
The exoduses and influxes, from one State to another, will not again take 
place on the scale known in former years. 


Mr. Taylor. Another phase of reorganization is custom work. By 
custom work I mean the performance of a particular farm-labor op- 
eration on contract. Now, custom work is a very old form of opera- 
tion on farms. The best known form is the old steam threshing rig 
of decades ago. Farm custom operation actually protected the small 
working farmer, and had it not been available, the tendency would 
have been for farms to expand to a size which could support the 
high overhead cost of a threshing rig. However, it is entirely pos- 
sible, again under favoring conditions, that custom work might have 
an exactly opposite effect. In other words, it might operate directly 
to displace tenants. The reason that it might so operate is that the 
working farmer, the kind of man on the land that we say w^e want to 
keep there, derives his income not so much as a businessman operating 
his properties as he does through the labor return which he receives 
for his own work. 

Custom work is more and more the supplying of man and machinery, 
which means that the farm operator loses the opportunity to employ 
himself at the same time. So the smaller the operator, the more de- 
pendent he is upon employment on his own place for his income, the 
more likely custom work is to result in his eventual displacement. He 

260370— 41— pt. S 12 


may make a very favorable contract for planting, cultivating, ploying, 
and all other operations, but he very quickly comes to depend upon the 
favorable contract lie can make with the operator, and unless he can 
continue making a living on a small farm as a business manager, man- 
aging the contracts successfully — the chances are against it over a 
series of years — he is likely to find himself very quickly off his farm. 
In fact, I saw a couple of cases where that had occurred, and talked 
to a very successful custom operator who was so fearful himself of the 
displacing effects of his work that he refused, upon request, to perform 
certain operations. He insisted that the man remain on his farm and 
use his own labor. 

These last two factors, then — the growtli of potential farm-manage- 
ment service and custom work — are to be regarded as important poten- 
tial sources of insecurity rather than actual sources operating at the 
present moment. 

The fourth phase of farm reorganization which I observed operates 
in the opposite direction. It is the cooperative ownership of mechanical 

Cooperative ownership of mechanical equipment is as old a practice 
as custom threshing in the Corn Belt, but it is a force against displace- 
ment of farm families instead of a force which works for their dis- 
placement. It seeks to use the very princii:)le which induces private 
operators to expand in favor of operators who by cooperation can cut 
their overhead in the same manner as the private enterpriser. 

This last phase of farm reorganization is not effective to anything like 
the degree that I think it should be in protecting Corn Belt farmers 
against displacement, and I think that one of the most important 
things that could be carried out in our agricultural program would be 
a stimulation of c()<)i)erative endeavor among Corn Belt farmers with 
tlie i)urpose of diminishing the hazard of displacement of more and 
more farm families. 

The Chairman. Of course, Doctor, I think it follows as a natural 
conclusion that this displacement of the farmers that you indicate 
increases this migration that we are concerned with. 

Dr. Taylor. Perhaps I could illustrate that. In western Iowa I 
talked with a farm operator who has within the past 3 years or so ex- 
panded his operations from the home farm of about 200 acres to 1,000 
acres, ])art of it lying as far as 75 miles distant from the hiome farm. 
When I asked him what happened to the farm operators of the land 
which he was absorbing, he said : 

When they leave the s'ood hiiid where I am expanding, and others like me, they 
go south in our State, to the poorer land. There, with their superior equipment 
and their superior farm experience, they are in a position to displace other tenants 
on that poorer land. These tenants, in turn, move into the Ozarks of Missouri or 

Those areas in the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas, Mr. Chairman, 
are areas which our spot maps show contribute heavily to the migration 
to Arizona and California. As one mnn in the Corn Belt put it, "they 
go over like a row of dominoes." So the shock which appears on the 
good land of Iowa may liaA'e its last visible effect in the appearance of 
an Arkansas family in the cotton fields of Arizona or California. 



The Chairman. Doctor, would the extension of social security, wage- 
hour, and labor-relations legislation to farm laborers have any effect 
on the displacement of farmers? 

Dr. Taylor. I think. Congressman, that it would have a beneficial 
effect, certainly for the present. In earlier questioning one of the 
members of your committee called attention to the fact that the natural 
effect of certain social legislation in manufacturing industry was 
greater efficiency and greater displacement. 

In some farm operations it might operate in the same manner. How- 
ever, I would point out this rather significant difference: That farm 
operations resist change to a much larger extent, I believe, than manu- 
facturing or industrial enterprises, that is, the farm operator remains 
as an enterprise engaged in by one man who himself works and em- 
l^loys possibly additional family labor for which he pays only in board 
and room. 

Consec|uently, I think it is plain that the exemptions to agriculture 
which we have granted on the theory that we are benefiting the w^orking 
farmers are actually a])plicable largely to the hired men of a larger 
farm operation who are in competition with small work operators, and 
many whom we wanted to help, are not receiving the benefits, and 
other operators are placed in position to replace labor. Consequently, 
I think the answer is, to me at least, that there would be a certain re- 
tardation or displacement by what in effect seems like to be a subsidy 
to the operator of farms with large pay rolls. 


The Chairman. Dr. Taylor, I think you have outlined very intelli- 
gently the problem in the Corn Belt, the displacement of farmers. 
What this committee is extremely interested in is having any recom- 
mendations which you care to submit to us. 

Dr. Taylor. I should like to make some observations with respect to 
the long-range solution for agriculture if that is pertinent to your in- 
quiry. And. in that respect I think I can be more helpful than perhaps 
I can in seeking to make detailed recommendations with respect to a 
particular phase. 

I think we must distinguish between emergency, or short-run con- 
siderations, which must be met, and long-run objectives, and methods 
to attain them. 

The measures necessary and justifiable in short run may not be in 
long run and should not be expected to do what they cannot do. With 
these differences in mind, let us examine the present situation of our 
agricultural population. 

First, we have an accumulation of ineffectively employed people in 

Under stress of defense, we recognize this immediately. 

In a recent statement Chester Davis, of the National Defense Advis- 
ory Commission, had this to say : 

There are i>erhaps 5,000,000 people now living on farms or in small towns whose 
labor is ineffectively employed — men not novs^ listed as unemployed who could be 
released from the production of cotton, tobacco, and wheat, or from sheer sub- 
sistence farming, without any loss whatsoever so far as the agricultural industry 
is concerned. 



If we recognize this ineffective employment of our people in time of 
defense, we cannot close our eyes to its existence in normal times. Nor 
can we justify its continuance simply as a reserve available for periodic 
defense efforts. Its use as such a reserve would be far better served, 
if kept in tone by continuous effective activity, than when allowed to 
sink to subsistence levels awaiting call. Ineffectively employed, it fails 
to raise its own standard of living, or any other. 

Second, we must face the fact that present trends, if allowed to pro- 
ceed unchecked, threaten to aggravate the condition just described. 

On the other hand we have this situation : On the better farm lands, 
agriculture is being organized increasingly on a commercial basis, by 
fewer operators, in forms efficient for themselves, and with many 
laborers who are now denied both the legal protection for the self-help 
which comes through organization and protection by Government 
through wages and hours and other social legislation. 

On the other hand, on the poorer lands, more fanners are being 
crowded into noncommercial, or semisubsistence farming, on lands of 
declining productivity. 

Last July the Bureau of Agricultural Economics issued a statement 
in which they put this very distinctly : 

In general, it may be said that in the areas best adapted to commercial farming 
there was enough migration away from farms to bring about a reduction in farm 
population, but in the areas less well-adapted to commercial farming there were 

Plainly this trend represents a growing unbalance between people 
and land resources. It means working ineffectively with poorer re- 
sources, in a combination of long hours and underemployment, with 
low returns and with low-community advantages, for more and more 
people. It means a steady diminution on the better lands of the sturdy 
yeoman-farmer class that forms one of the main supports of our 
democracy, and it carries class lines and class problems onto these 

Perhaps one of the clearest illustrations of that, certamly one ot the 
plainest that I have seen, is in an area of cotton production of about 
35,000 acres at Eloy, Ariz., which I visited about 2 weeks ago. In 
that area, which has developed almost entirely since 1934, the cotton 
development is perfomied by operators from other States. The 
pickers come only seasonally, " and mainly from other States. They 
carry their diseases, smallpox and typhoid, to the other States. Two 
or three years ago they brought a large-sized epidemic to the State of 
California after contracting the disease near Eloy. So, many of the 
phases of this area are producing an economic problem interstate in 

On these 35,000 acres, or as much of it as I was able to see in the 
number of days I was there, there were not, to my personal knowledge, 
a first-rate house. There were occasional shacks, the usual huts for 
the irrigators, and possibly for the foreman who remained on the 
place the better part of the year, or the year round. 

Many of the operations were several sections in size. The relation 
of that 35,000 acres in cultivation to the American farm population, 
is best summarized in the figures showing voter registrants. In the 


35,000 acres there are something like 350 people stable enough to be 
able to register to vote. 

The Chairman. What is the approximate population? 

Dr. Taylor. What population? 

The Chairman. On the 35,000 acres? 

Dr. Taylor. It all depends. Congressman Tolan, on whether you 
take the census during cotton-picking time when the population 
would be many thousands, or whether you take it after the cotton is 
picked, when it would drop, possibly, to hundreds. 

It illustrates the extreme to which industrial agriculture can go 
in successful commercial operation in the production of cotton — the 
extreme or failure, it seems to me, from every social point of view. 
I should like to stress my belief that we must face the fact that a policy 
of price support for agricultural products is not a tool for the recon- 
stitution of a sound agriculture. It has rendered important service 
to farmers, and has been a factor in nearly doubling farm income in 
8 years. The methods by which price has been supported, in my 
opinion, unquestionably have helped to displace farmers, as your 
committee has been told repeatedly. At the same time, it must be 
recognized that in some important areas the displacement probably 
would have come even faster had there been no price support. But 
the important point to remember with respect to long-run objectives 
is that price support is primarily a distress measure designed to pre- 
vent a worse situation, rather tlian a tool to make the agricultural 
structure better. 

The fourth point which I should like to make is that we should 
recognize that for the long run, agriculture is not a proper refuge at 
subsistence levels, for those who do not find place elsewhere. It is 
overcrowded now. About 22 percent of our gainfully employed 
population, which is in agriculture, receives only about 9 percent of 
our national income. A substantial proportion of those now in agri- 
culture are not needed for production of food and fiber. Oris V. 
Wells, of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, estimates in the Sep- 
tember 1940 Land Policy Eeview that : 

* * * even with our present technical equipment we could easily maintain 
agricultural output at what seems to be a reasonably desirable level by giving 
full employment to 80 percent of the farm people now on the land. 

Historically, our surplus agricultural population has been drawn 
into industry, with clear economic advantage to the Nation. There is 
opportunity for more productive employment on the land, as the For- 
est Service has shown. But it is in the direction of opening up produc- 
tive industrial employment by public and private measure that we can 
tap the greatest absorptive capacity. To this end we should direct 
our best thought and energies. 

Fifth. "Farm security" is a very old American concept. It was an 
objective of the Homestead Act. It remains vital today. There is dan- 
ger, however, that under the pressure of distress it may come to mean a 
rural refuge at subsistence levels, under uneconomic conditions. This 
danger may be illustrated specifically. 


Two county agricultural agents in Wisconsin reported as follows : 

M county has a large number of small farms — some 40 acres, some 20, and 
some 30. Originally the operator on these farms held another job. Maybe he did 
a little carpenter work, or worked on the roads or in a sawmill. Since this is no 
longer possible, it became necessary for these farming units to become self-sustain- 
ing, making many of them unprofitable. Just as soon as the buildings need re- 
placement, these farms are abandoned and usually acquired by a neighboring 
farmer who has a larger set-up, possibly an 80- or 100-acre farm. 

The other county agent said : 

There has been a limited amount of farm consolidation in this county. These 
are mostly where neighboring farms are united and being placed under one man- 
agement. This is done to reduce overhead. Such consolidation can be readily car- 
ried out if more power machinery is used. Farm consolidation and the increased 
use of more power machinery is slowly coming, in my estimation, to the farms of 
southeastern Wisconsin, the reason for it being that it results in more economical 
production. This means that it will be accepted by progressive rural people. 

An opposite point of view appears to be held naturally by those who 
confront the relief situation caused by farm consolidation. In an Iowa, 
county this ]Droblem appears to be : What to do with farmers displaced 
by farm consolidation ; and the solution proposed is to place them on 
small acreages where they can raise subsistence. A United Press dis- 
patch describes the plan : 

It calls for the return to the land of farmers dispossessed by mechanized farm- 
ing and mortgage foreclosures and forced to move to the towns. A survey .several 
months ago found that nearly three-fourths of the county relief load consisted of 
farmers who had lost their land and moved to town. They knew no trade and 
could obtain work only as laborers, a field overcrowded already. They were 
forced to live in hovels, and their children went barefoot and were poorly fed. 

"I decided the only solution to the problem was to get these people back on 
farms where they belonged and where they would be happy. Each would consist 
of a few acres. Each farm would be supplied with a cow, two brood sows, and 
some farming equipment for the use of tenants, who then would raise a good share 
of their own food requirements. During the winter months, when work slackens 
it will be no more difficult to call for the tenants in trucks to work at Work 
Projects Administration projects than it was when they lived in cities," he said. 
"Most of the dispossessed farmers have been Work Projects Administration 
laborers in the last years." 

This illustration is not cited to condemn measures of relief which 
displacement has made necessary. Rather it is presented to point the 
futility, as a long-run policy, of standing by while farmers are dis- 
placed, then being forced to try to set them up again under circum- 
stances less favorable than before, and under which they may even be 
exposed to a second displacement. This is hardly the true meaning of 
"farm security." Particularly is it futile when we allow displacement 
on good land and attempt rehabilitation of the same people on poorer 
land. We should seek, by stimulating measures of economic coopera- 
tion which will keep farm overhead low, to maintain our farm people 
on good land, to enable them to work effectively and for reasonable 
hours. This, for the long run, is true farm security. 

The Chairman. Do you think a return to the Homestead Act would 
improve agriculture ? 

Dr. Taylor. The Homestead Act aimed at the establishment of peo- 
ple on our best lands and, of course, a farmer independent and secure. 
I think the principles are as valid today and as important as they were 
during the years of agitation for the Homestead Act in 1862. 


The methods by which the Homestead Act sought to secure inde- 
pendence on farm hinds was by giving away the hind at $1.25 an acre 
in quarter sections. Manifestly the same technique cannot be em- 
ployed, but it seems to me that w^e face, on good lands, the same problem 
which was faced by the planners of the Homestead Act. 

The Chairman. Any questions, Mr. Sparkman. 

Mr. Sparkman. Dr.' Taylor, going back to an earlier question of 
Chairman Tolan, I believe, which he asked you with reference to the 
application of the wage-and-hour law, the National Labor Relations 
Act, and the social-security benefits to the farmers : Do you make any 
distinction between the farm that is operated as a family unit and the 
one that employs a great deal of hired labor ? 

Dr. Taylor. Yes. I would be disposed, with respect to a number of 
social measures, to follow the recommendation of the Social Security 
Board, which is to distinguish in exactly the manner that your ques- 
tion has suggested. 

Mr. Sparkman. As a matter of fact, from the practical standpoint, 
that distinction w^ould have to be made, would it not ? 

Dr. Taylor. With respect to a number of measures, I think you are 
correct. There are some, I think, where it might not be necessary. But 
it is a reasonable distinction to make. 


Mr. Sparkman. Do you feel that there is any great tendency away 
from the practice of farming by family units ? 

Dr. Taylor. Yes ; I think it is plain to see that on the best land the 
form of enterprise is undergoing a rather serious change. There are 
developing in a number of agricultural areas of the country, in cotton, 
corn, and wdieat, very large-scale operations, under managers and 
hired labor; sometimes the manager is the farm owner and sometimes 
he is not. 

I think in the Corn Belt at the present time the tendency is for 
the man who has been a family farm operator in the traditional 
sense, to expand his operations to such an extent that it becomes 
questionable whether he can any longer be called a family farmer. 

Mr. Sparkman. I believe that is all. 

The Chairman. Mr. Osmers. 

Mr. Osmers. I had a question that I wanted to ask you because 
I want to have the answer in the record. 

You have discussed in general ihe large-scale ■ farm. I wonder 
if you would break that down and give us some idea concerning 
the financial return on a large-scale farm, taking a certain number 
of acres and what they make over the year. 

Dr. Taylor. The Census Bureau has defined a large-scale farm as 
one with a gross income of $30,000 or more. 

Mr. Osmers. Does that definition meet w^ith your idea? 

Dr. Taylor. Well, I think it does. 

Mr. Osmers. Someone has to set the standard. 

Dr. Taylor. You have to use some basis, and I do not know of 
any other studies or suggestions aside from that demarcation, but 
statistics are available on that basis. I do not have before me the 
statistics showing the proportion of the Nation's production which 
comes from the farms, but a very small percentage produces a very 
large share of our national agricultural production. 



Mr. OsMERS. And I gathered from the previous witness that it 
absorbs a large share of agricultural payments, too. But, I would 
like to get some idea as to the rate of return on the invested capital 
in large-scale operations, in general, if there is some norm that 
could be applied over different years. 

Dr. Taylor. I am sorry I am not able to answer that question. 
There are some data which one of the Senate committees assembled 
but I do not have them at hand. 

Mr. OsMERS. I was just wondering, inasmuch as you mentioned 
a man who had increased his operations from 200 to 1,000 acres in 
3 years, and I was trying to find out what effect that type of opera- 
tion would have on his annual income. 

Dr. Taylor. I wish I could answer your question, but I cannot. 
The expansion of the operation, however, seems satisfactory to him 
and he wished, as he put it, that he could get hold of more land. 

Mr. OsMERs. Just to keep enlarging his operations. 

Dr. Taylor. That was the wish he expressed to me, and it is the 
practice of a large number of operators in the Corn Belt. 

Mr. OsMERS. Do you think that anything or anybody or any law 
or regulation will be able to stop the drive in America, anywhere, to 
lower unit cost of operation or production, whether it be a pound 
of cotton, a radio set, or anything else? 

Dr. Taylor. I think in the long run it is extremely doubtful whether 
any single measure or series of measures would stop that drive. 
I would doubt the wisdom of endeavoring to stop that drive for 
economic production in the long run. I rather would urge on the 
committee that it lend its influence toward measures which would 
turn the benefits of that toward the farmers of the land as much 
as possible. 

Mr. OsMERS. I am glad to hear you make that observation because 
I regard as inevitable this drive for greater efficiency and lower 
cost of production, and that we should accept it and proceed from 
that point rather than try to break it up artificially. 

Dr. Taylor. I agree with you. 

Mr. OsMERS. Of course, we have had the very same thing that is 
now happening to agriculture happen to industry. It started many 
years earlier in industry and stayed there. Of course, the southern 
plantation idea was the first large-scale operation in America, and 
that largely broke down following the Civil War, when the labor 
situation was changed. 

organization of farm labor 

You made the point — you did not make a large point of it — but 
I wonder if you would care to go just a little further into the 
matter of organization of farm labor. I am not sure it was in 
your own remarks, or something which you may have read from 
Chester Davis. 

Dr. Taylor. The statement of Mr. Davis was that we have in- 
efficiently organized our agricultural people for production. 

Mr. OsMERS. He was not referring to unionization? 

Dr. Taylor. No. 

Mr. OsMERS. To the organization of labor by unions. That is 
what I wanted to refer to. Would you care to make any comment 


about the unionization of agricultural workers as it has been ob- 
served in California, for instance? 

Dr. Taylor. The unionization with respect to what phase of the 
problem ? 

;Mr. OsMERS. Well, you will recall during our tour through the 
San Joaquin Valley we ran across what seemed to have been some 
labor difficulties, labor unions, I believe. 

Dr. Taylor. Yes. 

Mr. OsMERS. And there seemed to be considerable dispute as to 
the manner in which it was done. 

Dr. Taylor. There is always considerable dispute in such cases, 
and the dispute has been so keen in California and some other 
States that the United States Senate sent out a committee to make 
investigation, perhaps with respect to farm labor, which is the point 
this committee is interested in. 

Mr. OsMERS. I was interested particularly in the migrant farm 
labor in California, to get back to the organization question. 

Dr. Taylor. The migrant farm laborers do organize from time 
to time. They do not maintain an efficient continuous organization, 
but they are able to operate sporadically, and where they are able 
to do it they exert an upward influence on wages and an influence 
for the improvement of their own individual -conditions. 

Mr. OsMERS. Now, the large-scale farm provides some different 
kinds of employment as compared to the small-scale farm. In other 
words, I imagine you would have machinists and mechanics and 
employees of that nature, and I wonder whether it is more of a year- 
round employment on the large-scale farm than the small-scale farm, 
taking a similar number of acres as an example. 

Dr. Taylor. I think one of the witnesses who is to follow me can 
answer that question better than I can, and I believe the answer 
will be in the affirmative. 

The small operator, I think it should be remembered, may keep 
himself busy the year around but too often it is on the basis of cheap 

The year-around employment that might be provided on the large- 
scale farm should perhaps be at better wages than on the small 
farm, and it should be employed more productively. 

Mr. OsMERS. I was thinking of California, particularly where 
the seasonal phase of labor is so marked, where one or two farmers 
can operate a farm that would require 50 or 100 additional laborers 
during 2 weeks or a month of the year. I was wondering if the 
large-scale operation was cutting that down at all. 

Dr. Taylor. It is possible to cut down the terrific seasonality of em- 
ployment over that of the private operator who does not feel an eco- 
nomic responsibility for seasonal employment. One of the advantages 
of economic cooperation in such a large-scale enterprise would be 
that, working cooperatively, they would have the same incentive that 
all farm workers have today in keeping themselves employed the year 
round, and they therefore would have the disposition to include in 
their farm enterprise enough diversity of operation to employ them- 
selves efficiently more of the time. 


So if the question comes to this : Does the large-scale operation make 
possible the support of more people on a given acreage, with better 
standards of living, my answer is that I believe it is possible. It is 
more likely to occur under the cooperative enterprise than under 
private enterprise. 

The Chairman. Mr. Curtis. 

Mr. Curtis. Dr. Taylor, I think you have made a very fine contri- 
Mtion. Unfortunately, I had to be away from the committee at the 
time you were referring to certain areas as you went along. 


I recall in the first part of your statement that you said you in- 
quired of migrants in California what caused them to leave, and you 
Avere told they were dried out or blown out, or that their lands were 
foreclosed on them? 

Dr. Taylor. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. Is it not true that the extreme drought has been a 
major factor in forcing many of them to leave their farms? 

Dr. Taylor. Unquestionably. 

Mr. Curtis. You could not require that particular group of unor- 
ganized hired men to pay a social-security tax? 

Dr. Taylor. Other measures are necessary. 

Mr. Curtis. What do you believe as to the value of reclamation 
and irrigation in the areas where it is economically feasible and 
sound, from an engineering standpoint, as to stabilizing people on 

Dr. Taylor. I am in favor of those measures. Congressman Curtis. 
I think that at the same time those measures are undertaken, there 
should be protection to insure that the farmers who go on those lands 
are secured against the liazards of the type of displacement that we 
have been talking about for the last few months. 

Mr. Curtis. Yes; I believe the Farm Security and the Bureau of 
Reclamation undertakes to do that. 

Dr. Taylor. I believe they are interested in doing so ; yes. 

Mr. Curtis. Now, as you are perhaps aware, the area that has ex- 
perienced a tremendous outward migration of destitute people — and 
they are very destitute — has been the Great Plains, the drought area. 
Would you care to insert in your statement, or do you approve of the 
phase that would make for a long-time solution of the problem, the 
development of our water resources in those territories where they 
are suffering from drought? 

Dr. Taylor. I would. 

Mr. Curtis. I do not mean to be facetious ; I merely want to know 
what you think. Why did all the people seek California ? 

Dr. Taylor. They did not. 

Mr. Curtis. Why did they go westward; were they still following 
the admonition of Horace Greeley — Go west, young man ? 

westavard migration 

Dr. Taylor. No ; I think most of them had not heard the admonition 
of Horace Greeley. They went westward to California, Arizona, 
Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. They also went eastward into Iowa 
^nd other States — the Corn Belt. The reason that they went westward 


in such large numbers is largely because our agricultural labor market 
is so disorganized that although it is overcrowded, any nidividuai 
has a chance of getting some employment every tmie there is a re- 
shuffling of labor opportmiities, and those reshuffling of opportunities 
take place every time a new harvest comes on. 

Mr. CxTRTis. Do you think the historic trend of people w^estward 
when they are displaced in their own operations or jobs throughout 
the entire history of the country is a factor ? 

Dr. Taylor, there is nothing magical about the direction west, 
although I have personally a great fondness for the word and for the 
region which we have on the west coast. If economic opportunity 
were available in the East, the displaced people would go there. As 
a matter of fact, during the 1920's, and in the decades earlier, Con- 
gi-essman, they did go to the factories of Illinois, Michigan, Pennsyl- 
vania, and Indiana. 

Mr. Curtis. I was interested in your very fine and exhaustive dis- 
cussion of present and potential trends in the Corn Belt. It is per- 
haps true that those same trends came earlier and were more accen- 
tuated in the Wheat Belt, is it not ? 

Dr. Taylor. Mechanization swept the Wheat Belt first; then it 
struck cotton, and very quickly reached corn. 

Mr. Curtis. Are you able to state, confining this question now to 
California, what percentage of the migrants, these destitute migrants, 
were people that were forced directly off the land, and what percent 
were jobless people from industry? 

Dr. Taylor. I cannot give you exact figures. There are studies, 
though, which would suggest them to you. 

Mr. Curtis. Do you have an estimate as to the relative percentage ? 

Dr. Taylor. Offhand I would saj^ that a very high proportion of the 
destitute who migrated to California are people w4io were on the land 
in one way or another, either as operators of farms or as farm laborers, 
some living in towns and some on fanns. At the same time, when the 
farms were stricken by drought and these other forces, many small- 
town folk who depended upon agricultural jobs also found themselves 
unable to remain. 

Mr. Curtis. That was true primarily of merchants and business and 
professional men and tradesmen in small towns that were wholly 
supported by surrounding agricultural areas. 

Dr. Taylor. That is right. The data of the Bureau of Agricultural 
Economics show very plainly that a substantial migration also took 
place from the small towns, of people who themselves may not directly 
have worked in agriculture, but were dependent upon it. 

Mr. Curtis. Where would you place that percentage, probably 75 
percent from the land ? 

Dr. Taylor. Or working upon the land. 

Mr. Curtis. Those wlio were on the land or quite closely connected 
with it? 

Dr. Taylor. 60-40 or 75-25. I could get figures that would be 
better than that if it is desirable, but I caiuiot give them offhand. 

Mr. Curtis. I would be very pleased if you would submit that to 
the committee before the hearings are closed. 

Dr. Taylor. I shall be very glad to. 


Mr. Curtis. You made the statement — you did not enlarge upon 
it — that the price of farm products doubled in the last 8 years. Do 
you mean that the price doubled over the average for the time 8 
3"ears ago and prior to that? 

Dr. Taylor. I simply took the statement of the Agricultural Ad- 
justment Administration or the Bureau of Agricultural Economics 
that farm income was at a level double that of 8 years ago. 

Mr. Curtis. For the purpose of the record, is it not true that they 
are comparing it just with 1 year, 1932, and not the 8 years after 
1932 compared with the 8 years before 1932? 

Dr. Tatlor. 1 would rather answer that question after carefully 
perusing their statement. I would rather not be on record as stating 
what their statement says, when you can be furnished with the state- 
ment itself. What you say may be true, but I am not certain. 

Mr. Curtis. Now, you stated, at least so far as your area is con- 
cerned, the problem that these incoming migrants have created is 
that possibly a good portion of them come from the land or were 
almost directlv connected with it. 

Dr. Taylor'. They do. 

Mr. Curtis. You feel that perhaps the remedies to be applied to 
the interstate migration of destitute persons should follow about the 
same percentage; in other words, are we going to find the answer 
dealing with agriculture and with the land, to a large extent? 

Dr. Taylor. To a large extent, but I am not certain that it would 
be in the same proportion. 

Mr. Curtis. Wliy? 

Dr. Taylor. Because of the fact that the land is already overloaded. 
Of the gainfully employed, 22 percent receive about 9 percent of the 
income. There is a process of stripping people off good land and 
putting them on poor land. I think that the land measure to be 
employed would have to be scrutinized with some care. I would 
refer to my emphasis upon the fact that in the long run we must 
recognize that we do not need a very much larger agricultural popu- 
lation to produce food and fiber in desirable quantities. 

Mr. Curtis. Is that the basis we should accept for our future 

Dr. Taylor. I think so. 

Mr. Curtis. You think so? 

Dr. Taylor. There are others who disagree, but I think so. 

Mr. Curtis. Then the most efficient type of farming is the one we 
should encourage? 

Dr. Taylor. I think we should not discourage efficiency, per se, but 
we should insure that the benefits go to the people who work the 
soil. There is a difference. 

Mr. Curtis. Through absentee management and through custom 
farming you make for efficiency, do you ? 

Dr. Taylor. Yes. 

Mr. Curtis. They produce more with fewer people. 

Dr. Taylor. Yes. That is why I made the qualification in my 


Mr. Curtis. Understand, I just want to get your idea on it; I am not 
arguing ^yith you. And you think we should accept that trend and 
plun accordingly? 

Dr. Taylor. Oh, I did not say we should promote absentee OAvner- 

Mr. Curtis. I know you did no. I asked, Do you think we should 
do that in the interest of efficiency ? 

Dr. Taylor. No; I do not. I think we should enable those who 
work the soil to operate efficiently, 

Mr. Curtis. I feel this, that agriculture is in a different sphere from 
all other activity. A man may work in a shop, but he goes elsewhere 
to live. He may be in a factory or in an office, as his place of business, 
but he goes elsewhere to live. Agriculture is not just a matter of pro- 
duction, it is a matter of homes. 

Dr. Taylor. I agree ; yes. 

Mr. Curtis. The thing that appears perhaps the most efficient is not 
necessarily the most wholesome in the long-range development of our 
agriculture because, as you were pointing out a bit ago, certain of this 
absentee management might be efficient merely from the bookkeeping 

Dr. Taylor. Quite so. There is a social set of books which may 
balance very differently than a private set of books. 

Mr. Curtis. That is all. 

The Chairman. Thank you, Doctor, for your very valuable contri- 
bution. We appreciate it deeply, and I know it is going to help us. 



Mr. Curtis. Mr. Packard, for the purpose of the record, will you 
state your official position ? 

Mr. Packard. I am a private consultant. I work for the Govern- 
ment a portion of the time, and also for private concerns. 

Mr. Curtis. For whom have you been employed in the past year ? 

Mr. Packard. I have been employed by the Farm Security Admin- 
istration and by the Haynes Foundation. I think those are the 
only two during the past year. 

Mr. Curtis. You are an economist? 

Mr. Packard. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Curtis. ^Yimt was your experience before you went into this 
work as a consultant? 

Mr. Packard. I first graduated from the Iowa State College in 
agriculture, took a 4-year course there. I later took a degree at 
the University of California in irrigation engineering and in soils. 
I later took economics and graduate work at Harvard University. I 
was with the University of California for 10 years. I was then with 
Elwood Mead, in State land-settlement work, for 4 years. 

I was then consultant for a number of agencies. I was in charge 
of the development in Mexico, for the Mexican Government, for a 
period of 4 years. I made various analyses for various departments 
of government during that time, including an economic survey of 



the Columbia Basin project for the War Department and an eco- 
nomic analysis of the Central Valley project in California for the 
State engineer's office. 

I then went with the triple A in charge of the program on the 
coast; then with the Resettlement Administration, when that started. 

I was first director in the region on the coast and then was 
Director of Resettlement in Washington covering the rest of the 
United States. 

Since then I have been a consultant for various agencies. 

Mr. CiRTis. Dr. Packard, you have prepared two statements which 
will be made part of the record. 

(The statements referred to follow:) 


Can Migrants Be Plackd to Advantage on Lands To Be Served by the Centeai, 
Valley Project 

Popiilation increase.— There was an increase of 37.7 percent iu the population 
of the five counties in the upper San Joaquin Valley during the past decade. The 
national figures show a 7 percent increase. In Kern County the increase came to 
61.7 percent. Most of this increase resulted from migration from the southern 
Great Plains area, many coming from the cotton sections of Texas, Oklahoma, and 
Arkansas. The increase in Los Angeles County was 25.8 percent. California 
ranked third among the States, with 21.1 percent increase. The percentage in 
crease in the District of Columbia was greater than that of any State. 

Increase in irriqated area.— During this same period the irrigated area increased 
by over 300,000 acres. Much of this increase occurred in areas of restricted water 
supply, where continued pumping will eventually cause the abaiuloiunent of irri- 
gation if an outside water supply is not provided. An increased run-ott from local 
streams has raised the water level in areas where a dropping water table sup- 
ported a fear that the ground water supply would never be replaced without 
importation from the outside. In other areas the decline in ground-water level 
has been continuous. In all of the areas the pumping costs are high. On this 
account and because of the uncertainty of the supply, it is difficult for farmers 
to secure long-term credit. 

Ahandoninent of land. — This fact, together with the effects of surplus pro- 
duction and decline in prices, has forced many heavily mortgaged owners and 
the owners of inferior lands to lose their properties. These farms have been 
taken over by banks, insurance companies, private lenders, and by county and 
irrigation district authorities. The Terra Bella Irrigation District, covering 
an area of heavy pumping lift and made up largely of third-class land, has 
purchased 6,718 acres or more than half of the district area, at tax sales. The 
Lindsay-Strathmore District, also an area of high-cost water and with a 
considerable acreage of third-class land now owns 4,718 acres, taken over in 
tax sales. The Corcoran District owns 3,564 acres, acquired in the same 
way. These lands are generally inferior. 

This, then, is the record. A dropping water table ; a constant increase 
in the draft on a limited ground-water supply; growing costs and increasing 
credit risks. And with no attempt as yet, by public or px-ivate agencies to 
curb the activities of individual land owners seeking to secure their share 
of an inadequate ground-water supply. 

the central valley project 

The Central Valley project is designed to correct the deficiency in water 
supply. But the dams, canals, power plant, and pumping stations which form 
the Central Valley projects are not, the final accomplishments. They are but 
the instruments of service to be used in securing an ultimate objective. 
That objective, in broad terms, is the pronation of the general welfare. Sound 
planning and effective execution by engineers are primary prerequisites. They 


form a soimd physical base upon which to build a well-balanced and effective 
economic and social structure, but they are not that structure. That struc- 
ture consists of tenure patterns, size of holdings, plans of settlement, patterns 
of farm operation, labor relationships, credit arrangements, and markets in the 
agricultural field ; upon sound labor relationships ; the passing of low-cost 
electrical power directly to the consumers of power and upon an equitable 
allocation of costs against all increments in value resulting from the 

These are the factors w'hich govern the degree of ultimate success or failure. 
They require very special consideration now, because general economic recovery 
depends upon wise action in numerous fields. Each element in the total 
economy must contribute its share toward increasing business activity and 
toward a balanced distribution of the income which results from such activity. 
The Central Valley project is a major national undertaking. It is an im- 
portant element in the State's economy. It is exceedingly important therefore 
that planning and execution do not stop with engineering accomplishments. 
If they do, little general good will result. And there is the possibility of 
much harm. 

The public character of the project was emphasized and its relationship to 
the whole economy clarified when, through the Central Valley Project Act 
of 1933, the people of the State of California "declared that the public interest, 
welfare, convenience, and necessity require the construction * * * of a 
system of works for the conservation, development, storage, distribution, and 
utilization of water, with incidental generation, transmission, and distribution 
of electrical energy, which system of works is hereby designated as the Central 
Valley project and is licrchy speciticnlly approved and authorized."' In section 
3 of the act it is further declared that "Tlie construction, operation and mainte- 
nance of said Central Valley project, as herein provided for, is hereby de- 
clared to be in all respects for the welfare and benefit of the iieople of the 
State, for the improvement of their prosperity and their living conditions, and 
this act shall therefore be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes and 
objectives thereof. The Authority (Water Project Authority) and the depart- 
ment (State department of public works) shall be performing a governmental 
function in carrying out the provisions of this act." 

Great weight was added to considerations affecting the general welfare 
when the Federal Government agreed, at the request of the State, to finance 
the project, to direct its construction and to administer it when completed. 
The Government receives its authority to participate in such an enterprise 
from two articles in the Constitution of the United States. The first of these, 
article 4, section 3, declares tliat "the Congress Shall have power to dispose of 
and make all needful rules respecting the territory or other property belonging 
to the United States." It is upon th,e authority of this article that the Bureau 
of Reclamaion uses public funds in the development of the public domain by 
the construction of irrigation projects. In the AsJncwmJer case, the Supreme 
Court, in an 8 to 1 decision, tipheld the right of the Tennessee Valley Authority 
to generate and distribute hydroelectric power under the authority of this 

But article 4 provides the authority only. It does not necessarily justify 
public participation in such enteiijrises as the Central Valley project nor does 
it necessarily authorize the development of a water supply for lands wholly 
in private ownership, a point which lias never been finally passed upon by the 
courts. The Central Valley project contains no public domain and does not 
benefit Indian lands, which might be construed as being a part of the public 
domain. The nearest reservation is 20 miles above the proposed canal location. 
Under article 1, section 8, of the Constitution, however, the Congress has the 
"power to provide for the general welfare of the United States." Under the 
broad provisions of this article, ample authority is granted for Govenimeiit 
participation in an enterprise which serves the general welfare. This fact 
places grave responsibilities upon the administrators of the project, as it is 
upon them that the public must depend for the protection of its interests. 
The adiministrators- — the Water Project Authority, the State department of 
public works, and the Bureau of Reclamation — are, as the California act clearly 

Ashu-ander ct a1. v. Tennetisee Valley Authority et al. 


states, "performing a governmental function in carrying out the provisions of 
the Act." 

Under the circumstances, the interpretation of the phrase "general vpelfare," 
becomes an Important issue. The declaration of policy by the Congress in 
section 1 of the National Industrial Recovery Act, under which the first funds 
were made available for the Central Valley project, provides a broad definition 
of the term. This declaration of policy reads as follows : 

"Section 1. A national emergency productive of widespread unemployment 
and disorganization of industry, which burdens interstate and foreign com- 
merce, aflfects the public welfare, nnd undermines the standards of living of 
the American people, is hereby declared to be the policy of Congress to remove 
obstructions to the free flow of ii ' jrstate and foreign commerce which tend 
to diminish the amount thereof; ^nd to provide for the general welfare by 
promoting the organization of ind v. try for the purpose of cooperative action 
among trade groups, to induce and maintain united action of labor and manage- 
ment under adequate governmental upervision, to eliminate unfair competitive 
practices, to promote the fullest i ;sible utilization of the present productive 
capacity of industries,^ to avoid un. le restriction of production (except as may 
be temporarily required), to inert se the con.sumption of industrial and agri- 
cultural products by increasing p rchasing power, to reduce and relieve em- 
ployment, to improve standards of abor, and otherwise to rehabilitate industry 
and to conserve natural resources.' 

Importance of repayment of cosi ■. — In addition to promoting the general wel- 
fare through a spending program ;S a means of initiating business activity, it 
is important that all increments ir land and franchise values created as a result 
of the activity be assessed in orde- to meet the bill. The Water Project Author- 
ity is directed by the Central Vail -y Project Act to construct the project, "When 
in the judgment of said authoril f, appropriations, contributions, and revenues 
from all sources of every kind ai 1 character which are available upon, during, 
after or before construction of Central Valley project, including contracts, 
for the sale or disposal of water, water flow, the use of water, water storage, 
electric energy or other sources in such amounts and at such times as will 
afford funds sufficient to pay and discharge all cost and expense, of whatsoever 
kind or character incurred, of construction, operation, and maintenance of said 
Central Valley project." 

Ramification of benefits. — In a study ^ of the economic aspects of the Central 
Valley project made in 1930, the fact was pointed out that a wide ramification 
of land and franchise values were created as a direct result of irrigation de- 
velopment. The increase in farm-land values was shown to be but a part of 
these increments in values. In a more detailed study of the direct benefits 
resulting from irrigation development in the Columbia Basin project, it was 
shown that the increase in farm-land values was less than one-fifth of all in- 
crements in value.^ It was shown in both these reports that repayment of costs 
would depend upon the assessments of all values created. Farm-land values, 
against which costs have been assessed in the past, will not carry the load of 
debt on large projects. Other values, created in exactly the same manner that 
farm-land values are created, will have to carry an appreciable share of the 
total debt if the money advanced is to be paid back. 

Agriculture. — Allocation of costs is but one issue which goes beyond the con- 
struction problems involved in getting an outside water supply into the upper 
San Joaquin Valley. A rough survey of the major land areas to be served 
shows a pattern of land use quite out of line with the traditionally accepted 
family owned and operated farm ideal. Tenancy, nonresident ownership, un- 
economic holdings too small to support an acceptable standard of living, and 
large-scale industrialized operations with a relatively low living standard for 
the hired laborers who do the work are prominent characteristics of the areas 
studied. In addition, there are thousands of acres of excellent irrigable lands, 
yet undeveloped, held in large holdings and subject to subdivision and sale, when 
a dependable water supply is made available at a reasonable cost. 

2 "The determiuation of the value in money of the profits that flow to each particular 
county from the standpoint of irrigation if the State water plan is put into operation." 
Prepared for the State engineer's office in 1930 by Walter Packard. 

3 Report on Columbia River and minor tributaries. Report of the district engineer, 
Seattle, Wash., on Columbia River above the mouth of the Snake, 1934. 



The survey covered all of the district in Kern, Tulare, and ISIadera Counties 
that have been formed for the purpose of utilizing water from the Central 
Valley project. These districts, vphen fully developed, will absorb approxi- 
mately three-fourths of the water available from Friant storage. They are, 
therefore, representative of the general area to be served by the project. 

Areas to be served by the Central Valley i)ro)ect.—The areas dependent upon 
the Central Valley project for a major pr tion of their water supply are listed 
in table I. Two hundred and twenty-t\ 3 thousand acres out of a total of 
seven hundred and forty thousand acres are located in areas of excellent soils. The 
soils in these areas are equal to the best in the States and are adapted to a 
wide range of crop adaptability. Two huncTved and ninety-seven thousand acres 
are located in good soil areas where production is slightly above average. The 
poor and very poor soil areas account for Mj-proximately IS percent of the total. 

Table I.— Soil-classification districts in ^prn, Tulare, and Madera Counties, 
organised to utilize water from.Jlie Central Valley project 










150, 000 
58, 810 

43, 360 
32, 400 

45, 000 
26, 890 


A, res 


1 110 
! 1^0 

10, ^70 

17, 730 


57, 800 




130, 000 

19, 500 








23, 400 
18, 600 
43, 000 



South San Joaquin municipal utility 

Wasco-Shafter irrigation district 

Delano-Earlimart irrigation district ..- 

Tule River-Deer Creek: 
Area A 


18. 300 
16, 300 
12, 400 

13, 500 



Area D 


gadera district 


743, 070 

222, 680 

297, 590 

86, 570 

102, 096 

34, 300 

The character of the soils and the present status of development of land under 
irrigation are closely correlated. This fact is clearly shown in table I, where 
the irrigated land and the soil classification in the Tule River-Deer Creek area 
are shown together. As would be expected, the rnost highly developed farms 
are on the better soil areas. Range pasture and grain farming are on the 
alkali and hardpan lauds. 

Lands taken over by the State, through tax sales. — The lands which have 
been taken over on tax sales by the State are, in very large part, either of 
poor or very poor quality or are in holdings too small for economic operation. 
Out of a total of 42 properties taken over by the State in the Tule River-Deer 
Creek area, for example, 24 included land classed as poor, very poor, and non- 
agricultural, while the soils on the farms was classed as grade 3, which is 
distinctly inferior. Of the S farms on class 1 or 2 lands, 6 averaged 12.7 acres, 
which is entirely too small for successful operation. In other test area, the 
Madera District, the same thing held true. The State-owned farms were in 
large part on inferior lands and were visually in small holdings. This corre- 
lation is a natural one. It corresponds with the correlation between developed 
lands and the type of soil, shown in table I. 

The importance of good soil as a factor affecting repayment possibilities. — 
The close correlation, noticeable elsewhere, between the quality of the soil 
and the character of the development, emphasizes the need for a careful selec- 
tion of the lands to be irrigated. The productive quality of the soil, affects 
directly the amount of money that can be paid for water. It is out of the 
water charges that repayment of construction costs allocated to the land, must 
be paid. Good soil is, of course, reflected in high yields. And high yields are, 
in turn, reflected in high incomes as compared to income from poor soil. The 
effect of good land upon returns and the ability of a farmer to meet water 
costs, is shown in the following analysis of cotton production. 

260370 — 41— pt. 


Studies made by the farm-management division of the University of Cali- 
fornia show a total cost of $10.95 per hundredweight of cotton grown on an 
average family-size farm of ICO' acres. This cost was secured under better 
than average conditions, since the 5-year average yield was but 582 pounds 
per acre. The cost was based on a land value of $160 per acre, a $40-per-acre 
iirigation system, and an $8-per-acre charge for power pumping. Interest was 
figured at 5 percent, labor at 30 cents per hour, horse work at 10 cents and 
tractor at 70 cents per hour. Where cotton yields but a bale to the acre (500 
pounds) the total cost, including depreciation, comes to 13.16 cents per pound. 
Where cotton yields 1,300 pounds per acre, on the other hand, a grower on a 
100-acre farm can produce cotton for a total cost of 8.11 cents per pound, in- 
cluding depreciation. The 5-year average price of cotton in the San Joaquin 
Valley is 10 cents per pound. With cotton the principal crop in the area, these 
figures are significant. 

The better growers on the best land, frequently secure two or more bales of 
cotton per acre. A grower securing 1,200 pounds of lint per acre can, accord- 
ing to the university studies, pay $8 per acre for pumping costs and have a 
reserve or profit of $22.68 with cotton at 10 cents per pound. This reserve 
could be considered, theoretically at least, available to meet water costs if 
it is not absorbed in increased land values or allocated to profits of manage- 
ment. Since the high yields result both from good management and good soil, 
all of the profit cannot rightly be credited to water. 

On the other hand, tho.^e who secure less than a bale and a half per acre 
cannot pay as much as $8 per acre for water, including pumping costs, with 
cotton at 10 cents per jwund, unless the cost of land is reduced. If his land 
value is reduced from $160 to $80 per acre, for example, the cotton farmer 
would have an additional $4 per acre available for water payments, which 
"would pay a capital cost for water of $160 per acre over a 40-year period with- 
out interest. This additional income from a reduction in land values would 
enable the average farmer, as represented by the university studies, to meet 
production costs, if he secured a bale and a half i^er acre — a yield which is 50 
percent above the State average. If raising the water table appreciably re- 
duced the cost of pumping, a farmer securing the average yield of cotton in 
the State, would still lose money with cotton at 10 cents and land at $80 per 
acre, if he meets full depreciation costs. Only by neglecting depreciation could 
he make a profit. Benefit payments enable the average cotton farmer to re- 
main in business now. These facts illustrate the importance of good soil as a 
factor affecting repayment possibilities. 

Special crops as a source of Incmne. — Emperor grapes, an important crt)p in 
a portion of the area to be serA'ed by the Central Valley project, yielded a 
capital and management income per acre of $73.49 in 1939 in the case of 18 
vineynrdists in Tulare County, whose records have been carefully checked by 
the Fniversity of California. These vineyards showed an average investment 
of $377.00 i>er acre, with land and buildings alone costing $184.67 iier acre, and 
the irrigation system costing $54.74 per acre. Power came to $10.56 per acre 
on the avefage. But these good returns have resulted in an increased planting 
of over 3.000 acres, an increase in shipments from 2.5(X) carloads in 1936, to 
3,283 carloads in 1939 and a drop in price. "Before long," says the report, 
"these increased plantings will be refiected in increa.sed production which may 
be cause for considerable concern among growers." Obviou.sly, Emperor grapes 
cannot be planted on any appreciable proix)rtion of the area to be made avail- 
able for irrigation development under the Central Valley project. 

Cost studies of raisin production show a net return of $4.75 i)er acre above 
costs where a yield of 2 tons per acre is secured, where the raisins are sold 
for $55.83 per ton ; where land and buildings are valued at $2G0 per acre, the 
irrigation system at $30 i^r acre, and where power for pumping costs $7.50 per 
acre. The average yield of raisins in California, however, is but 1.33 tons 
per acre. With a yield of 1.5 tons, the net returns show a loss of $16.56 per 
acre. Only the better lands produce a net return above normal costs under 
present conditions. And again, demand at present costs and prices docs not 
justify an increase in raisin acreage. Even if the cost of land were (Eliminated, 
the 1.5 ton vineyardist would not meet all costs of production. The higher yield- 
ing vineyards, however, could carry heavier irrigation charges. 


The 5-year average yield of oranges in California is 169 packed boxes per 
acre and the average price is $1.17 per packed box. The prodnct of these two 
factors is less than the cost of producing oranges, under present water costs 
and land values. To increase water costs would mean a reduction in land 
values, or a lowering of wage incomes. 

Potatoes form a truck crop which appears to be especially adapted to con- 
ditions in the upper San Joaquin. With a yield of 200 sacks per acre, and with 
land costing $200 i>er acre, the irrigation system costing $30 per acre and with 
pumping costs at $10 per acre, potatoes can be grown at 79 cents per hundred- 
weight, making a profit of $86 per acre. Some growers get 300 or more sacks 
per acre. The acreage in Kern County has grown from 1,400 in 1929 to 28,822 
acres in 1939. At present prices and yields, potato growers in the upper San 
Joaquin A'alley can pay a high; price for water. But continued increase in 
acreage may soon reduce the favorable price level and bring potatoes within 
the range of competing crops. Certainly no permanent repayment plan could 
be safely based on the assumption that the present income level will be 

Dairij'niff iciU not carri) heavy irrigation charges. — From the standpoint of 
markets, dairying offers the greatest chance for expansion. The relatively high 
increase in local population and the increase in population in southern Cali- 
fornia means an increase in potential consumption. Milk is the one product 
that cannot be transported long distances or stored indefinitely. But dairying 
will not support high costs. With land costing $200 per acre, the irrigation 
system costing $20 per acre and with a pumping charge of $9 per acre, alfalfa 
yielding 6 tons per acre, costs $10.40 per ton unbaled. The average yield of 
alfalfa in California is 4.3 tons and the going price is from $9 to $10 per ton 
in the stack. Increased water costs will have to come out of laud values, out of 
labor, or out of subsidies contributed by the public. 

Methods of controUing increments in farm land value as a repai/ment asset. — 
The Bureau of Reclamation and other development agencies, from the beginning 
of irrigation development, have had to face the fact that bona fide settlers would 
not be able to meet both speculative prices for land and irrigation construction 
costs out of the returns from agriculture. Various plans have been tried but 
none have proved to be sufficiently effectiva Various proposals have been made 
for new approaches to the problem and .some of these are now being tried out 
in the hope that speculation can be curbed, so that the values created may be 
used as a source of funds for repayment of construction costs. Traditionally, 
the land speculator has reai>ed the cream of the harvest. And there is every 
indication that speculators are planning again to absorb all increments in value, 
and through the device of mortgage debt and contract sales, channel all net 
income into their hands. 

Submarginal land purchase as a^means of protecting repagment possibilities. — 
There are certain basic steps which can be taken immediately to safeguard 
repayment possibilities. The purchase of submarginal land within and bor- 
dering the areas to be served by the project is one of these. It would remove 
one danger of unsound speculative development and would prevent a wasteful 
use of valuable water. The relative importance of this problem is shown in 
table II, where a record is given covering the percentage of good land in 
the districts organized to take water from the Central Valley project. 

Much of this submarginal area cannot now be expanded from the benefits 
of the Central Valley project, because -a general rise in water table occurs 
under poor as well as under good soil sections. At present there is no way 
of preventing an owner of poor land from pumping water as he wants it from 
the underground reservoir. Excluding such land from organized districts does 
not prevent the owners from pumping water supplied to the ground water 
reservoir by the Central Valley project. 

Because of the importance of this submarginal land problem, a submarginal 
land-purchase program was started in 1937 under the auspices of the Land 
Utilization Division of the Farm Security Administration. The program was 
later transferred to the Soil Conservation Service, under whose direction 8,296 
acres of submarginal land were purchased in Tulare County. The average 
price paid for land and improvements was $10.60 per acre. The land is now 
utilized as range for sheep and cattle. 


A somewhat similar movement was undertaken by irrigation districts in 
the upper San Joaquin Valley. The Terra Bella district, for example, pur- 
chased 6,718 acres at tax sales. This amouuts to 54.6 percent of all land 
within the district boundaries. The Lindsay-Strathmore district purchased 
4,718 acres of tax-delinquent land, or 31 percent of the total district area. 
The Corcoran district purchased 3,564 acres of tax-delinquent land. These 
lands represent the poorer and less developed areas within the districts. The 
lands, once acquired, are rented for grazing or dry farming. 

The most effective way of meeting this problem of submarginal lands in the. 
future is by an expansion of this purchase program by State, Federal, or dis- 
trict agencies. If the program which has been started could be extended 
immediately to cover all of the inferior soil areas adjacent to lands to be 
served by the Central Valley project, the submarginal land problem as it di- 
rectly affects the Central Valley project, could be solved. It would prevent 
the waste of Central Valley water on poor land and would lessen the creation 
of rural slum areas, which add to existing surpluses and represent nothing of 
value to society. Those who are now forced by circumstances to accept the 
poverty of the submarginal farm can be provided for in sounder ways by 
effective social planning. Agriculture need not be a dumping ground for the 
casualties of social change. The acceptance by those who favor subsistence 
farming as a permanent method of adjustment in a society based on machine 
production is but an acceptance of defeat. The logic of technology is a higher 
standard of living for all. The immediate problems which the use of labor- 
saving devices create can be solved by positive planning and action. This 
phase of the problem cannot be analyzed in a preliminary report of this char- 
acter, although the problem is definitely a part of any broad program of read- 

Provisions of the reclamation law covering land speculation. — Land and 
water charges must come out of the same source of income. It is important, 
therefore, that the farm operator get the land at its dry-land value plus the 
value of improvements, for if he has to pay speculative prices for land the 
income available for the repayment of water costs will be cut down. In 
order to provide land to bona fide settlers without speculative charges, the 
Congress provided in the reclamation law that "no right to the use of water 
for the land in private ownership shall be sold for a tract exceeding 160 acres 
to any one landholder." The Secretary of the Interior may limit holdings to 
less than 160-acre units by requiring the owners of all private lands under 
reclamation projects "to agree to dispose of all lands in excess of the area 
which he (the Secretary) shall deem sufficient for the support of a family 
upon the land in question.* 

It was further provided that the land sold under the provisions of the act 
shall not carry "the right to receive water unless and until the purchase price 
involved in such sale is approved by the Secretary of the Interior." The owners 
of excess land are required by law to dispose of excess lands "upon such terms 
and not to exceed such a price as the Secretary of the Interior may designate." 
In order to put teeth into the act, the law provides that "if any land owner shall 
refuse to agree to the requirements fixed by the Secretary of the Interior, his land 
shall no be included within the project, if adopted for construction." And "upon 
proof of fraudulent representation as to the true consideration involved in such 
values, the Secretary of the Interior is authorized to cancel the water rights 
attaching to the land involved in such fraudulent sales." 

Exceptions are made for those who acquire excess land at any time, in good 
faith "by descent, by will or by foreclosure of any lien." Such excess holdings 
may be held "for 2 years and no longer, after its acquisition ; and every excess 
holding prohibited as aforesaid, shall be forfeited to the United States by pro- 
ceedings instituted by the Attorney General, for that purpose in any court of 
competent jurisdiction." 

Precedent estuJtlishcd hy the Columbia Basin project. — A recent interpretation 
of the excess-land law is provided by the Antispeculation Acts passed by Congress 
and the State of Washington dealing with excess holdings under the Columbia 
Basin project in eastern Washington. The acts, identical in purpose, limit the 
area one man can hold, to 40 acres. A man and wife may own 80 acres. Anyone 

* Sec. 431, N. S. C, title 43, ch. 12. 


now owning land in excess of these acreages must sell the land at its "nonirri- 
gated" current value, as appraised by a disinterested board appointed by the 
Secretary of the Interior. The leverage used in forcing compliance is a provision 
in the act which stipulates that a landowner wishing to obtain water from the 
Columbia Basin reclamation project with which to irrigate his land, must agree 
with the Government to comply with the provisions of the Antispeculation Act. 
"If a landowner sells excess land at a price above its appraised value, two serious 
consequences result. The vendor will not be able to obtain water for the land 
which he is entitled to retain for his own use, and the purchaser will not be able 
to procure water for the land bought." ° 

A still more recent interpretation of the excess-land provision is contained in a 
1937 amendment to an act authorizing the construction of the Arch Hurley project 
in New Mexico. The amendment reads in part, as follows : "* * * That con- 
struction work shall not be initiatetl on said irrigation project until * * * 
(b) a contract shall have been executed with an irrigation or conservation district 
embracing the land to be irrigated under said project, which contract shall oblige 
the contracting district to repay the cost of construction of said project met by 
expenditure of moneys from the reclamation fund in forty equal installments, 
without interest; (c) contracts shall have been made with each owner of more 
than one hundred and sixty irrigable acres under said project, by which he, 
his successors, and assigns shall be obligated to sell all his land in excess of one 
hundred and sixty irrigable acres at or below prices fixed by the Secretary of the 
Interior and within the time to be fixed by said Secretary, no water to be fur- 
nished to the land of any such large landowner refusing or failing to execute such 
contract; and (d) contracts shall have been made with all owners of lands to be 
irrigated under the project by which they agree that if their land is sold at prices 
above the appraised value thereof, approved by said Secretary, one-half of such 
excess shall be paid to the United States to be applied in the inverse order of the 
due dates upon the construction charge installments coming due thereafter from 
the owners of said land." 

These plans for control of land speculation in these two projects are not appli- 
cable to the Central Valley project unless they are supported by an air-tight zoning 
law or by definite mortgage liens on individual holdings because the ordinary 
penalty for noncompliance that of withholding water would have no force. In 
the case of the Columbia Basin and the Arch Hurley projects, laud with surface 
rights to water has little value. In the upper San Joaquin Valley, however, most 
of the irrigators secure a ix)rtion or all of their water from underground. The 
underground reservoir can be tapped by any owner. Excluding such land from 
a district or denying the owner a surface supply, only relieves it from carrying 
any of the construction costs. It does not prevent the owner from pumping 
water from wells tapping an underground reservoir supplied with water by the 
Central Valley project. A zoning law might be devised to meet such a situation 
but the constitutionality of such legislation might be in question. 

Removing restrictions upon size of holdings.— Another approach to the problem 
is being tried in Colorado. Mr. S. C. Harper, chief engineer of the Bureau of 
Reclamation, writes : "In view of the fact that this pi'oject was constructed pri- 
marily to furnish a supplemental water supply to lands already receiving an 
insufficient supply of water from other sources, the Congress by act approved June 
16, 1938 (52 Stat. 764), provided as follows: 'That the excess-land provision of 
the Federal reclamation laws shall not be applicable to lands which now have an 
irrigation water supply from other than a -Federal reclamation project and which 
will receive a supplemental supply from the Colorado-Big Thompson project'." * 

In this case, full responsibility for repayment rests upon the local water-users 
association, which agrees to meet all costs. The land is already developed and all 
increments in value resulting from irrigation have been absorbed in the market 
price of developed land. The opportunity for securing the increment in value 
before it had been consolidated by sale and I'esale of developed land, is not there, 
as it is in areas where large bodies of undeveloped land remain to be irrigated. 

Similar provisions are contained in a bill just recently passed by unanimous 
consent by the Congress affecting lands under the Washoe County Water Con- 

^ Special memorandum on Lands in the Columbia River project, Bureau of Reclamation, 
April 1. 1940. 

* Letter from Mr. Harper, August 12, 1940. 



servancy District of tlie Triickee storage project and the Pershing County Water 
Conservancy District in the Humbolt area of Nevada. These will serve to destroy 
the influence which the Bureau of Reclamation has attempted to exercise in con- 
trolling the social and economic character of settlement without providing for 
any other controls, such as wages-and-hours legislation, standard housing provi- 
sions, old-age pensions, or collective bargaining. It opens the door for a further 
trend toward the establishment of a socially unsound percent pattern on modern 

Government purchase of land, as an antispeculation measure.— The land problem 
as it affects the Central Valley project must be divided into two parts. The first 
part concerns the development of some 270,000 acres of good but as yet undeveloped 
land in the area to be served by the Central Valley project. The general location 
of these areas is shown in table II. If no outside water is made available, a large 
proportion of this acreage will have no more ultimate value than dry-farm land. 
Some of the land has a short-time value in excess of its dry-land worth, so long as 
pumping is possible. But as pumping continues to reduce the ground-water level, 
costs will increase and will finally become prohibitive. A large proiiortion of the 
pcissiblo future value of these lands, therefore, rests upon the imiiortatiou of a 
water supply, the cost of which should have a prior claim upon income, at least 
until it is met. 

Table II 
















Acreage of good irrigable land 
not vet irrigated 

88, 000 

36, 435 




95, 805 

38, 349 

279, 633 

Percent of total area of good 
land in the district 


Some owners of large tracts of undeveloped land without water rights, in the 
areas to be served by the Central Valley project, are selling farms at prices as 
high as $175 per acre. Such prices make it utterly impossible fo-r the buyers to 
meet normal operating costs plus any reasonable charge for water from the 
Central Valley project. In these cases the present owners of undeveloped! land 
are selling their land at its dry-land value plus the cost of getting water to it. The 
buyer in such cases either pays the construction charges twice or defaults in his 
payments to the Government. 

Because of the seriousness of this utterly unjustified speculation, it would be 
well to postpone the construction of the Friant-Kern canal until some plan can 
be worked out to curb land speculation. 

If the Government should purchase all undeveloped land at its dry-land value, 
the increment in land value would remain in public hands and the income nor- 
mally passing into the hands of private speculators would go to the Government 
and would be available to meet construction costs. Such a program would add 3 
to 4 percent to the total cost of the project. But it would add appreciably to the 
repayment possibilities. 

As in the case of power revenues, those who protest most loudly against sound 
provisions for making development projects self-liquidating, are apt to be those 
who make the most noise about public debt. In the Central Valley project the 
issue is clear. If increments in land and franchise values are taken by private 
Interests, the public will have to assume the debt. 

Demand for land. — Another point which deserves consideration in this connec- 
tion is the fact that public ownei'ship of undeveloped land within the project area 
would enable the Government to retard development until demand for the pro-d- 
ucts that can be grown justifies an expansion in the irrigated area. Without such 
purchase every landowner will strive to put his land into crop at the earliest 
possible opportunity in order tO' enable him to get an income with which to meet 
the water costs. On the other hand, the demand for land on the part of those 
seeking opportunities to locate in California can be met in better ways than by 
expanding acreage until basic adjustments Have been made in the plans for set- 



If everyone in the United States could have the liberal diet recommended by 
the United States Department of Agriculture, and if all could be satisfactorily 
clothed, there would be an immediate demand for more land. Until effective de- 
mand does cause a pressure upon existing acreage, there is no immediate need 
for rushing land into use. To bring new land into productioii without also doing 
those things which are necessary to insure success would be unwise. Success de- 
pends, first, upon an increase in the general purchasing power, which may develop 
temporarily as a result of the war. The second factor concerns local project issues, 
such as the price of water, the pattern of tenure, and the adequacy of credit. 

The problem of new land is not confined to reclamation-projects activities by 
any means. The Production Credit CoriKjration, a part of the Farm Credit Ad- 
ministration, has assisted in a very large expansion of irrigation by financing the 
boring of wells and the installation of deep- well pumps in areas where there is no 
gravity supply available. These new developments, furthermore, are financed, in 
part, by benefit payments made to growers by the Agricultural Adjustment Admin- 
istration. When tiie ground-water supply in these areas gives out, the landowners 
will call upon the Bureau of Reclamation to salvage their values. The loss to 
county revenues as a result of Federal ownership of land could be met by payments 
to the counties in lieu of taxes. This is done by the Forest Service and by the Farm 
Security Administration. The future county tax income, moreover, will be 
enhanced as an increase in productive wealth results from irrigation development. 

Large-scale a)id corporate operations. — The second part of the land problem 
concerns the land already developed. There is a definite division in size of hold- 
ings which, is significant. Much of the total acreage in the areas to be served by 
the Central Valley project is in holdings that are larger than the traditional 
family owned and operated pattern. On the other hand, by far. the greatest 
number of farms are small. The small farms, moreover, contain less land than 
is considered to be necessary to support an acceptable standard of living. As the 
various factors affecting both the large and small farms are important from the 
standpoint of debt repayment and general social and economic stability, they are 
discussed to some detail. 

Large-scale farming. — The record of holdings in excess of the 160-acre unit set 
for maximum acreage by reclamation law is presented in table III. In the case 
of the North Kern water-storage district, one-fifth of the landholders own 95.3 
percent of the area. These lands are largely undeveloped. In the case of the 
delta area, a highly developed region, nearly all of the holdings are above 160 
acres in extent. Over 68 percent of the area in holdings in excess of 160 acres in 
the delta contain more than 1,000 acres each. In the Wasco-S'hafter district, 
known generally as an area of small farms, 4.8 percent of the landholders own 
38.5 percent of the land in the district. In the Delano Earlimart district 6.5 i)er- 
cent of the landholders own 44.7 percent of the district area. Less than 8 per- 
cent of the landholders in the Madera district own 45.8 percent of the district 
lands. Moreover, all of the highly developed and intensively cultivated large- 
scale farms in the areas to be served by the Central Valley project, are located in 
the best soil areas. 

Table III. — Size of holdings in irrigable areas to he served hij the 
Central Valley project 



Area in 
of more 
than 160 

of area in 
district in 
of more 
than 160 

of total 
of land- 

than 160 


of area in 
of 300 
acres or 


of area in 


of more 




58, 810 
43, 360 

173! 000 
324, 748 

56, 049 
18, 393 
14, 480 
68, 247 

324, 748 



fi. 5 



South San Joaquin municipal utility 

Wasco-Shafter irrigation 



Proposed east side' 



1 Out of a sample area of 11,698 acres, not including 1 fruit farm of 6,131 acres. 

2 Only the farms in excess of 160 acres were included. 


No survey was made covering the area lying soutli of Mendota and above the 
gravity canals on the west side of the valley, but records of the Agricultural 
Adjustment Administration show more than 20 recently developed holdings of 
more than 5,000 acres each, financed in part through the Production Credit Cor- 
poration. One operating unit developed during the past few years includes 
21,000 acres, planted largely to cotton and flax. The owner of this farm, to- 
gether with his brother, secured a total of $71,543 in Agricultural Adjustment 
Administration payments in 1939. 

Corporate operations.— K problem closely related to large-scale operations is 
presented by a departmental decision in 1913, which excludes corporations as 
applicants for water on reclamation projects. "That Congress," declares this 
decision, "did not intend that the reclaimed lands upon which the Government 
is expending the money of all the people should be the subject of corporate 
contract is conclusively established by the fact that the Secretary is authorized 
to fix the farm unit on the basis of the amount of land that will support a 
family. These lands are to be the homes of families." This clearly expresses 
the feeling in the Congress toward corporate operation on reclamation projects. 
But the decision goes on to say: "But existing corporations to which water 
rights have heretofore been granted should be permitted to continue without 
interference, and in view of past departmental decision, applications by corpora- 
tions pending at this date may be allowed." Furthermore, in a decision dated 
March 8, 1932, "the Assistant Secretary reversed the decision of the Commis- 
sioner of the General Land Office in the case of the Great Western Insurance 
Co., a corporation, assignee of reclamation homestead entry of lands in the 
Cheyenne, Wyo., land district. It was found that the appellant company did not 
take the assignment and apply for a water right with intention of holding and 
cultivating the land in competition with individuals or families, and it was 
believed that the recognition of the assignment and the granting of a water 
right to the company would not be in violation of the spirit of the regulations 
of July 11, 1913, there being no statute which prohibits a corporation from taking 
a reclamation entry by assignment." This decision reiterates the intent of the 
Congress with regard to corporate operations, but lets down the bars for corpo- 
rations such as insurance companies, banks, and other lending agencies not 
organized primarily for farming. 

As high as 98.4 percent of the land in districts organized to receive Central Valley 
project water is owned by corporations at the present time. These corporate 
holdings include farms held by banks, insurance companies, and. other lending 
agencies. A larger percentage of these corporate holdings, however, are owned 
by operating companies. 

The Kern County Land Co. is the largest of these operating companies, so far 
as land area is concerned. They own land in all of the districts organized in 
Kern County to take water from the Central Valley project. Most of this land 
is still undeveloped. The Kern County Land Co., moreover, is in a favorable 
position, so far as water supply is concerned. The lands are served by the sur- 
face and subsurface run-off from Posa Creek (rights to which are owned by the 
Kern County Land Co.), and by a surface water supply from Kern River, con- 
veyed to the lands of the Kern County Land Co. through the Lerdo and Gal- 
loway Canals. According to a report by B. A. Etcheverry to the Kern County 
water committee, the "North Kern water-storage district thus has, through 
existing rights, nearly an adequate supply from Kern River, without acquiring 
Central Valley project water, to meet its full ultimate water requirements, pro- 
vided it could prevent the escape of its ground water to other adjacent 
areas * * *. This it could largely accomplish by limiting the surface irriga- 
tion by canal water and spreading to the central part of the district, and by 
serving sufficiently wide areas adjacent to the district boundaries with ground 
water from wells so located as to prevent as much as possible the escape of 
ground water from the district boundaries to outside adjacent areas." 

If this surface supply is almost adequate to meet all of the needs of the North 
Kern water-storage district, it is undoubtedly sufficient to meet the full needs 
of the lands belonging to the Kern County Land Co., vsiiich owns the surface 
water supplies and is in no legal way bound to supply other lands in the North 
Kern water-storage district, or any other district, with either surface or sub- 
surface supplies. 



Yet the lands belonging to the Kern County Land Co., possessing the only 
rights to surface water in the region, are assessed by the county at from $49.25 
to $56.75 per acre, as judged by random samples in the district. Other land, 
not possessing surface rights bu"t dependent for replenishment of ground water 
upon surface irrigation on Kern County Land Co. lands, have been sold recently 
by the Kern County Land Co. for from $150 to $175 per acre. 

The Di Giorgio Fruit Corporation, through its subsidiary, the Earl Fruit Co., 
is the largest operator in the area to be served by the Central Valley project, 
so far as the value of produce is concerned. The Di Giorgio Corporation and 
the Earl Fruit Co. own and operate a total of some 10,763 acres in the proposed 
East Side project, the south San Joaquin municipal utility district, and the Tule 
River-Deer Creek area. The Di Giorgio Corporation is the largest single pro- 
ducer of deciduous and citrus fruits in the United States and one of the largest 
producers of wine. They produce pears, plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots, 
oranges, olives, hay, asparagus, and grapes in California ; oranges, grapefruit, 
tangerines, and tomatoes in Florida ; peaches and vegetables in Georgia ; and, 
through the Earl Fruit Co., they grow prunes and cherries in Idaho; and 
cherries, pears, and apples in Washington. The organization is a widespread 
and highly integrated enterprise. It has its own lumber and box factory at 
Klamath Falls, Oreg., and sells its own fruit, as well as fruit for others, on a 
commission basis in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, New York, and Baltimore. 

The continued value of the holdings of the Di Giorgio Corporation in the 
Delano-Earlimart, and the proposed East Side water-storage district depends, 
in large part, upon the importation of an outside water supply. 

Some of the land to be irrigated in the proposed East Side water-storage 
district is owned by oil companies, whose interests are primarily in the sub- 
surface rights. Some of this land, however, is being operated by tenants or 
under the supervision of local managers. 

Table IV. — Extent of corporate ownership in representative areas to 6e served 
hy the Central Valley project 

Percent of 
total area 
in district 
owned by 

Percent of 
the num- 
ber of 
farms held 
by corpo- 

Proposed east side district '_ 

1 8.5 
1 17.9 



South San Joaquin municipal-utility district 


Wasco-Shafter irrigation district.. 



Madera irrigation district 

These figures were secured from sample areas selected for special study within the districts. 

Advantages of large'Scale operations. — Before condemning large-scale and 
corporate types of farming, it will be well to analyze their advantages and dis- 
advantages for, certainly, some strong basic economic force has created this 
trend toward industrialized farming an,d the pattern may possess values which 
should be recognized and amplified in a complete reorientation in our thinking 
regarding the relationship of land and people. 

On the positive side, large-scale operations permit full use of mechanized 
equipment. This reduces the drudgery of work in the fields, permits better 
work in land preparation, does the work more quickly when seasonal conditions 
demand haste, and does tlie work with less cash costs. 

Large-scale mechanized operations not only require efiicient management 
but permits the employment of management skills because of the volume of 
business handled. Large-scale operations also permit a division of labor which 
enables the manager to gain the advantages of specialization. The very large 
farms employ specialists — chemists, veterinarians, entomologists, and plant path- 
ologists — sometimes on full-time employment, to take care of the technical 
problems involved in control of insect pests, plant and animal diseases, and 


unfavorable soil conditions, or soil management. They employ skilled traotoi 
operators and mechanics. Large-scale dairy farmers have full equipment for 
efficient milking and for the care of both the milk and the animals. They can 
afford good sires and can employ cow testers of their own to check up on 

Association in production is another principle which is associated with large- 
scale production. When a job is done, several people can be assigned to it. 
One man may mow hay, others rake and load, and others haul and stack. The 
barn raisings, husking bees, and local threshing crews of old, are traditional 
types of association in production, which are now organized and efEectivelj 
used by operators of large farms. A view of large-scale farming operations 
in any line, whether it be extensive wheat culture or intensive fruit and truck 
production, shows groups of men doing specialized work. The cantaloupe picker, 
for example, is a specialist. A group of trained pickers cover the fields, while 
others haul the fruit, and still others grade and pack it, while the irrigator 
sees that water is applied at the right time and in the right quantity, and the 
spray crew keeps track of the insect pests and plant diseases. 

Division of labor and association in production under management are prin- 
ciples of real value, so far as costs of production are concerned. They also 
lighten the drudgery and strain of many tasks. They are not wholly associated 
with large farms, for independent small farmers do associate together in certain 
operations and are employing specialists in constantly widening fields, but large- 
scale operations make the application of these principles easier. 

Disadvantages of large-scale and corporate farming. — Large-scale farming is 
leading to a serious stratification of society in the areas to be served by the 
Central Valley project. A class division is being created between the haves 
and the have-nots, which is basically antisocial. Its counterpart, concentration 
of income in the hands of an owner class, on the one hand, and a curtailment 
of buying power, for the large number who are nonowning wage workers, on 
the other, is creating a condition that has led to social unrest and disintegration 
wherever it has occurred. As pointed out, in the discussion of power, the pres- 
ent maladjustment of income is the most serious internal economic problem in 
the United States. The pattern of large-scale operation in the areas to be 
served by the Central Valley project is accentuating this basically unsound con- 
dition. Efficiency in operation, enables the large-scale farmer to remain In 
business when the small-mortgaged owner is forced out. Large operators in the 
upper San Joaquin Valley, for example, can grow cotton for as low as 6 cents 
per pound. They choose the best land and follow the best husbandry. But that 
is not the whole picture. In the main, they hire labor for permanent as well 
as seasonal jobs without providing the land necessary for subsistence, and with- 
out providing insurance against want in old age, which is the basic social value 
of the owner-operated farm pattern. The primary virtue of the homestead ideal 
is that it is designed to provide job security and a living during the working 
period of a farmer's life, and security of a home and income after retirement. 
The large-scale industrialized farm pattern does not possess this basic virtue. 
The laborers are the lowest paid in the Nation and have less security than the 
urban workers. 

In addition to the concentration of income resulting from large-scale opera- 
tions, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration payments add to the dis- 
crepancy. A casual study of these payments in a restricted area in one district 
showed benefit payments of $9,950, $9,556.70, and $18,211.65 to individuals and 
partnerships. Two brothers in Fresno County received $71,543. 

The average benefit payments on cotton in California in 1939 came to $323.10, 
but 6.1 percent of the growers receiving $1,000 or more each, received 48.1 per- 
cent of the total payments, while 57 percent of the growers, receiving $150 
or less, secured but 11.3 percent of the total amount. In all, $3,506,215 were 
distributed in cotton benefit payments in California in 1939. These figures in 
themselves, are eloquent testimony of the fact that large-scale operation 
dominates in volume of business, while small-scale farms dominate only in 

'From 1939 Annual Report, Agricultural Conservation and Other Programs for Cali- 
fornia, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Berkeley, Calif. 


The effect of a concentration of farm-land ownership and operation upon 
income distribution is clearly brought out in a table submitted to your com- 
mittee by Dean Hutchison of the College of Agriculture of the University 
of California entitled "Minimum average at good yields and 5-year average 
prices to produce a net farm income of $1,500 a year for a working farm 
owner and operator free from debt. A copy of this table is Inserted here for 
reference. In the case of walnuts, for example, capital and management 
income amount to $53.11 per acre or $1,189.60 for 22.4 acres during a year. 
The owner's labor income, where he does all of the work that one man can 
handle, amounts to $14 per acre, or $313.60 per year for a farm of 22.4 acres 
all planted to walnuts. If five walnut orchards were consolidated, four owners 
might conceivably be retained as laborers. The former individual incomes of 
$1,500 per year as owner-operators, would be cut to $313.60 as a labor income, 
while the owner of the consolidated planting would get $5,948, as a capital and 
management income. 

In the case of cotton, the labor income of the owner-operator is $9.80 per 
acre, or $597 per farm, while the capital and management income comes to 
$14.07 per acre, or $903.29 per farm. If 1 man consolidated 10 or 20 farms 
as is frequently done, from 9 to 15 owner-operators getting $1,500 a year would 
be reduced to laborers getting less than $597.06 a year, because consolidation 
would lessen the total labor. From 20 to 25 percent of the former growers would 
be thrown out completely as a result of the use of labor-saving devices, while 
1 man, the owner of the consolidated farm, would get from $9,032 to $18,064 per 
year as a capital and management income. There are many farms of 5,000 
acres and more devoted to cotton and crops associated with it, in the upper 
San Joaquin Valley. One 5,000-acre farm represents the consolidation of 78 
independent farms of 65 acres each. The owner-operator of the larger farm 
would receive a capital and management income of over $70,000, while a large 
proportion of the 77 independent operators who are dispossessed by the process 
are reduced to wage hands getting a meager income. 





e average yi 


ill .ll 

III nil 


5§ ^ 



|Sj 2S2S 


25 i 


of labor 



asK ss ;S 




o 0) 

I'M t^ 0000 IM 



i'l!- ^ 

^^^' ^^£^ 


S5B § 


^ S.- 


er acre 


^g^ §K ;§ 


ss s? 


fegs §s ;^ 


^n r 




er acre 




§s s 


3g3^ SSS 


•^S " 


ft ft 

and man- 

per acre 




5^' " 








er acre 


§S^ SS38S 

lis Esr 


S5 fe 
S3 ^ 


cax! ft 

Gross in- 
come per 


8SS §SS^ 


SS J? 


000 (N ^" -; t- 
















ear average pri 




1 a 1 

1 :isl 


2^11 ^^^s; 

^S ?! 


1 , 


















Good yield 





^ 1 


^^ rH 





e of kind of far 










III fill 












a a 

^ ^ 

^ 9 

:i Bl 

b S 


o o 

CO Q,; 

5 PI 

- ^5^ g g ^ 

H a p a a o ••- 
a ^1^8 1 ^.1 
pisll |-| 


■2 o S-2 ^a 8'^^ 


-g o oj ca Ho g (^^ 
oO a CO « O gv- 

S ^ O CO ft5 "S tJ fe 







Keeping families on the farm.— The problem of keeping families on the farms in 
order that they may be self-supporting, involves this concentration of ownership 
in the hands of a few large operators, or nonoperatiug investors, for it cuts the 
funds which would normally pass into the hands of a larger number of farmers 
operating family-sized farms. This means an increase in the relief load during 
periods of slacli employment. 

It means also a heavy increase in publicly supported old-age relief. An ade- 
quate family farm will provide a living during the working period of the owner- 
operator's life, and the income to ownership will provide an adequate income for 
him and his wife after retirement. Where four families are displaced by the con- 
solidation of five farms of say, 100 acres each, the income of four families will be 
reduced to the wage income, with no ownership income to rely on in old age. A 
fivefold ownership income, on the other hand, will go to the larger owner. When 
the retirement time comes, the four displaced families will have to be supported out 
of the income of their children or by the public, unless adequate social-security 
provisions are made to apply to agriculture. 

The pictures in plate 1, compared to the pictures in plates 2 to 12, show 
graphically what happens to the housing standards. Not only is the income to 
ownership withheld from the displaced independent operator, but his dwelling 
becomes a meager shack as compared to what he might have had as a successful 
operator of an adequate family-sized farm. 

Community settlement.— A striking characteristic of large-scale farming is the 
settlement of the laborers in villages. The size of villages varies, of course, with 
the size of the farming enterprise, and the standards vary with the financial means 
and the degree of social responsibility shown by the owners. This practice of con- 
centrating the houses of the laborers in a central area, is patterned after the 
practice on plantations in the South and is similar in many respects to the old 
haciendas in Mexico and elsewhere. 

The character of these villages can be presented better by photographs than by 
description. Plates 2 to 12 show pictures taken at random through the dis- 
tricts to be served by the Central Valley project. The advantages of community 
settlement are numerous. The answer which large operators give to the ques- 
tion, "Why do you settle your farm help in villages instead of scatteilng them 
out?" is always the same. It is the most economical way of housing them and pro- 
viding services, especially water. One well, for example, will serve many families. 
The village life adds a desirable social contact which is better than the isolation 
of the widely separated individual farms, at least for most people. Having the 
labor adjacent to the headqtiarters also adds to the facility of management. 

Nonresident ownership. — The concern of the Congress and of the Bureau of 
Reclamation over spectilative interests, includes, of course, concern over nonresi- 
dent ownership. The reclamation law says that no sale of water rights "shall be 
made to any land owner unless he shall be an actual bona fide resident on such 
land, or occupant thereof residing in the neighborhood of said land." However, 
from 2.7 to 29.8 percent of the lands in the districts studied are owned by non- 
residents. The lowest percentage was in the North Kern water storage district, 
where nonresident and corporate ownership together covered 92.1 percent of all 
land. The second lowest percentage was in the proposed East Side district, where 
8 percent of the land, in the areas selected for study, was held by nonresidents. 
Here again nonresident and corporate ownership combined totaled 50.6 percent of 
the total area and over 77 percent of the farms were farmed by tenants in 1939. In 
the Madera district, only 10 percent of the land covered by the detailed study was 
held by nonresidents and 40.1 percent by both nonresidents and corporations. The 
full figures are given in table VI. 



Table VI. — Extent of nonresident ownership in the representative areas to be 
served ly the Central Valley project 

Proposed east side district 

North Kern water storage district 

South-San Joaquin municipal utility district 

Wasco-Shaftcr irrigation district 

Delano-Earlimart district 

Madera irrigation district 

Percent of total 
area owned by 
not corpora- 


Percent of the 
total number 
of farms held 
by nonresi- 

Percent of total 
area hold by 
and nonresi- 


1 These figures were secured from sample areas selected for special study within the districts to be .served 
by the Central Valley project. 

2 Taken from records secured by the State engineer's office. 

Tenancy.— T\\e: extent of tenant farming cannot be gaged accurately by the 
amount of nonresident ownersliip, although most of the land held by non- 
residents is farmed by tenants. A large number of local urban dwellers hold 
land that is rented to small farmers or to large operators, handling many 
farms. A very casual tabulation of multiple holdings in the areas selected for 
special study showed the following record : 
42 operators handling 2 farms each. 
19 operators handling 3 farms each. 
7 operators handling 4 farms each. 
10 operators handling from 5 to 9 farms each. 
2 operators handling over 10 farms or more. 
These multiple operators handled cotton and grain land principally. One 
grain farmer handled 23 individual tracts in the areas studied. Most of the 
tenants, however, are small farmers handling slightly less than the average 
acreage. The detailed figures are given in table VII. 

Table VII. — Land farmed by tenants in the areas to be served by the 
Central Valley project 

Percent of 

total area 

farmed by 


Percent of 
total num- 
ber of farms 
operated by 

Percent of 

are tenants 

Percent of 

farmed by 

Percent of 
small grain 

farmed by 


Proposed east side district 


7' 6 





South San Joaquin municipal utility district. 


Delano-Earlimart irrigation district 


Average for the State in 1931 

The family owned and operated farm.— The figures covering the family sized 
farm — the standards contemplated by the homestead law, the Reclamation 
Act, and the California State land settlement act, and idealized in general 
as the accepted pattern in the United States — are no more encouraging than 
are the figures dealing with large-scale area corporate operation, nonresident 
ownership, and tenancy. Low incomes and the insecurity and low standards 
of living, associated with poverty are permanent characteristics of the farms 
of less than 160 acres in the areas studied. 

In its ideal form, the family owned and operated farm, has many basic 
values. It provides an adequate living for a family and provides an adequate 
income for the farmer and his wife after retirement. 

But it occurs in its ideal form in smaller percentage each generation. 
Mortgage debt, subdivision through inheritance, and changing techniques have 
reduced the number of family owned and operated farms to less than half 



of the total number of farms and an appreciable percentage of those that 
remain are subsistence farms, often located in areas of rough topography or 
poor soil where the mortgage lender does not dare to penetrate. The facts 
which apply to the country as a whole, apply to the Central Valley project 
as well. 

The family farm is inflexible in size and is not adjusted to the employment 
of trained management nor can the individual farm gain the full advantage 
of specialization, division of labor, and association in production, which forms 
so important a part in the operation of large farms. The isolation of the 
family farm is also in contrast to the greater social contact of rural villages 
as are found in Utah or in New England. 

Standard of liviiif/. — In order to develop criteria to use in guiding the 
standard of living of farm families, it is necessary to go into a little detailed 

A study of expenditures by farm families in six counties in California 
conducted by the home demonstration division of the California Agricultural 
Extension Service* shows an average ex^jenditure of $1,459 jjer farm family. 
There was a range in average expenditure of from $1,330 for families of two 
persons, to $1,531 for families of five persons. The farm family expenditures 
as represented by these figures, are above normal. The individual items of 
expense compare fairly closely to the expenditures of laborers' families living 
in California cities as given in serial No. R. 630, Monthly Labor Review, 
September 1937, of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department 
of Labor. The comparison is presented in table VIII. 

Table VIII. — Expenditures for various items of family living for farm families 
and urban families in California 

Item in family living 

farm families 



city families 

(Los Angeles 




Operating expenses (fuel, light, refrigeration) 

132 67 



164 70 

Furniture and equipment 

65 57 



Auto and other transportation 

199 98 



47 27 


Personal . 

35 10 



1 425 20 



1, 425. 20 

The general average income of $1,459 for the farm family showed food as the 
Iteaviest expense. Expenditures for food come to $288, or 19.7 percent of the 
total cash costs. Food raised on the farm amounted to $96. In other studies made 
by the Bureau of Home P^conomics of the United States Department of Agriculture, 
shows a low of $126 for food raised on the farm in California, to a maximum of 
$553 for food raised on the farm by families studied in North Carolina. 

In Iowa, it came to $331 and to $265 in Colorado, Montana, and South Dakota. 
The low income from farm-raised produce in California is reflected in the 
scarcity of gardens on the farms covered in the present study. Adequate gardens 
are rare. 

The problem of home production is little understood. It does not represent 
a net saving by any means. An expenditure of $438.54 for food for a family of 

Home Management Program, Home Accounts, 1939, College of Agriculture. 



five is considered adequate for basic maintenauce and emergency standards of 
living" Of this total, $120.77 consists of prepared foods, some of which can 
not be produced on the farm and others which can best be made by commercial 
concerns They include $82.27 for bread and cereals; $31.76 for sugar, sirup, 
tea, coffee, salt, pepper, spices, etc. ; and $5.74 for cheese. The other items amount- 
ing to $317.77 consist of the following : Milk, $130.84 ; vegetables and fruit $71.64 ; 
meats and fats, other than butter, $67.91; butter, $28.90, and eggs, $18.48. But 
the'^e are not produced without cash costs. Interest on land devoted to garden, 
orchard, and feed for cows, hogs, and poultry; interest and depreciation on 
minimum building requirements; irrigation water, taxes, interest, depreciation, 
and repairs on minimum equipmen* iterest and depreciation on cow, hogs, and 
poultry • bull service, seed, fertilize and spray materials, and purchased feed 
for cows and chickens, which cannot be produced on the farm, all come to from 
$135 to $180 per year, which reduces the possible net savings on home-produced 
food to from $137 to $182 per yei Farmers are conscious of the costs and 
many gave as an explanation for « gardens that they could buy most of the 
food they needed more economical] than they could raise it. Unsound as such 
a position is, it is the position tal i by those who do not have gardens or do 
not keep a cow. And the position not as unsound as it appears to be at first 

The city worker spent more thai, le farmer for food, rent, and clothes, recrea- 
tion and personal items, and less r furniture and equipment, auto, education, 
benevolence, and incidentals. The borer's family had no credit for home-raised 
produce. The expenditure for he; h and recreation were about the same. The 
average income for all families , the Pacific coast in 1935-36 was $1,335— 
somewhat below the expenditures bove listed. 

It is interesting to know thai Qone of the farm families considered their 
expenditures adequate. Each — i ,'ardless of the amount spent — would have 
spent more if they could have a' rded it. It is apparent that even the more 
well to do farm families can eas' consume more goods and services than they 
do now, if their buying power ca be raised. 

The farm families saved an av age of $314 in addition to their expenditures. 
No record was given covering the ivings of labor. The $314 set aside for saving 
is inadequate. Over a period of years with interest at 3 percent, this amount 
of savings would amount to $7,25 The average value of wholly irrigated farms 
in California is $24,747. The av .ge value of irrigated farms in Tulare County 
was $22,100 in 1930. The savings would, therefore, not pay for an average farm 
over a normal work period of 40 years, representing the period between the ages 
of 20 and 60 years. 

Now, to interpret these facts in relation to the farm situation in the upper 
San Joaquin Valley. The minimum acreage required to produce a net farm 
Income of $1,500 a year for a working farm owner and operator who is out of 
debt, secures better than average yields, and receives the 5-year average price 
is set forth in table V.^" The acreage set forth in this analysis represents the 
size of farms required to approach the standards set in the analysis given in 
table VII, where the net farm income came to $1,773, wliich was considered 
inadequate by all of the families involved and which did not provide enough saving 
to pay for an average California farm over a period of 40 years. The acreage 
to secure a net income of $1,500, ranges from 15.2 acres of oranges yielding 240 
packed boxes per acre (State average 169 packed boxes), to 67.7 acres, one-fourth 
devoted to cotton, one-fourth to sugar beets, and one-half to alfalfa. 

« Report on Quantity Budgets for Basic Maintenance and Emergency Standards of 
Living, prepared by the Division of Social Research of the Worlcs Progress Administration, 
based upon studies by Dr. Hazel Steibeling, of the Bureau of Home Economics of the 
United States Department of Agriculture. 

10 Talven from Some Notes on Acres of Crops Required to Provide Net Farm Income of 
$1,500 and ECeect of Size of Farm to Hired Labor Needs, prepared by the College of 
Agriculture, University of California, for the Congressional committee appointed to study 
the migrant problem. 



The pictures on follof^ ing pages were 
submitted by Walter J . Packard and 
are referred to in his t* timony on pp. 
3269 et seq. 

Two owner-operated farm homes of the traditionally accepted pattern. One industrialized farm of 1,000 
acres with its low income to labor and low standards of living may be substituted for 10 farms of this 
type by large-scale operations. 

A farm village to be served by the Central Valley project, Calif. Besides the mimerous laborers' homes 
(above), the ranch headquaiters provides a store and a bar (below). 

Views of (lilTerent parts of one ranch village. 







Communitv settlement on the outskirts of a farm village. 



The home of a large farm operator. 


A home at one of the headquarters of a 21,000-acre ranch in California. 

The Mineral King ranch, established by the Farm Security Administration in Tulare County, Calif. 
The farm buildings are in the background. The shade and fruit trees are too young to show, but m a 
short time will dominate the scene. 

A close-up view of one of the homes on Mineral King ranch (previous page). 


4 ' u 

A close-up view of four of the pennaiieiit homes for part-time farmers in Thuruloii, iu the dellu seel ion of 
San Joaquin County, Calif. The gardens serve to reduce the high cost of living. 



Table IX. — Holdings of 160 acres or less in districts to he served hy the 
Central Valley project 

of total 
area in 
farms of 
160 acres 
or less 

of total 
of farms 
160 acres 
or less 

Total number of 
farms of less 
than 65 acres 

size, acres 

of total 
of farms 
of less 
40 acres 

of total 
of farms 
of less 
20 acres 

of total 
of farms 
of less 
10 acres 

Proposed east side district 

North Kern water storage 

South San Joaquin municipal 
utility district 

Wasco-Shafter irrigation dis- 

Delano-Earlimart irrigation dis- 

Terra Bella irrigation district _ _ 

Lindsay-Strathmore irrigation 

Madera irrigation district 













Local opinion regarding living standards. — Another criterion of desirable size of 
lioldings is presented in the "Brief of Land Use Survey of Kern County," prepared 
by the county and community committee of farmers. The desirable minimum 
farm sizes recommended by this local committee are as follows : Field crops, 
80 to 160 acres ; fruit, about 50 acres ; truck, 15 to 20 acres ; and dairying, 160 
acres. The family-sized farms in the upper San Joaquin Valley do not conform 
to the standard set. 

A comparison of actual standards with the theoretical ones.- — In table IX a 
division is made of the farms of 160 acres or less in the area studied in the upper 
San Joaquin Valley. In the Madera district, where cotton and general farming 
predominates, 82.4 percent of all farms in the district under 160 acres include less 
than 64 acres per farm, the minimum set as necessary to secure an income of 
§!l,500. Furthermore, the 82.4 percent were far from free from debt and the 
average small cotton grower did not get a yield of 700 pounds of lint per acre. 
The 5-year State average is but 582 pounds per acre. Approximately 50 percent 
of all farms in the Madera district are less than half of the 64-acre size set as a 
minimum for field crops, yielding above the State average. 

Table X. — Relative importance of orchards, vineyards, and vegetables on farms 
of JfO acres or less in three districts in the Upper San Joaquin area 

Number of 

farms of 40 

acres or 


Percent of 
farms of 40 
acres or 
less, hav- 
ing or- 

acreage in 

Percent of 
farms of 40 

acres or 
less, grow- 
ing truck 


acreage in 



South San Joaquin municipal utility dis- 
trict - 






Delano-Earlimart district 


Madera district 


The South San Joaquin municipal utility district in Kern County and in the 
Delano-Earlimart area in Tulare County are known as vineyard and orchard 
areas. As a matter of fact, however, only 25 percent of the farms of less than 
160 acres have trees or vines. Fifty-one percent and 57.9 percent, respectively, 
of the farms under 160 acres are under 64 acres in size, the minimum required 
for cotton and other field crops. One-third of the farms in the South San 
Joaquin municipal utility district, and 41 percent of the farms in the Delano- 
Earlimart area, that are under 64 acres, contain less than 32 acres, or less than 

260370— 41— pt. 8- 



half enough land to secure a net income of $1,500 on better than average soil. 
The average of all farms under the 64-acre level ranged from 29.9 acres in Madera 
County, to 34.5 acres in the South San Joaquin municipal utility district. In 
the Wasco-Shafter district 70 percent of all farms are under 40 acres. The num- 
ber of farms under 20 acres ranged from 8 percent of all farms in the South San 
Joaquin municipal utility district, to 39.1 percent in the Wasco Shafter district. 

These small farms, moreover, are not devoted to orchards and truck crops. In 
the area selected for special study in the Wasco-Shafter district — the only district 
studied where truck crops are important — 50 percent of the potato plantings were 
made by 4 growers out of a total of 29 growers. These four handled an average 
of 270 acres each. Five other growers handled an average of 117 acres of potatoes 
each. The remaining 59 percent of all potato growers handled 17.4 percent of 
the iTOtato acreage. In the South San Joaquin municipal utility district where 
orchards and vineyards predominate, 71.6 percent of the orchards and vineyards 
in the area studied were operated by corporations and tenants. In the Delano- 
Earlimart area, devoted largely to trees and vines, 14 corporate holdings 
include more than half of the total acreage in orchards and vineyards. The 122 
noncorporate vineyards and orchards average 34.2 acres, but 71.3 percent of 
these averaged but 15.6 acres. As this is a vineyard area, where 40.8 acres of 
raisin grapes are required to make a minimum income of $1,500, the ingnificance 
of these figures is apparent. Moreover, the average yield of 2 tons per acre 
required to make the $1,500 income is higher than is secured on any but the 
better vineyards in the area. The general relationship between small farms and 
fruit and tVuck production in the areas studied is shown in table X. 

The same general fact is true in the citrus belt also. Approximately -10 percent 
of the holdings in the Lindsay-Strathmore irrigation district and 28.8 jiereent of 
the holdings in the Terra Bella irrigation district are under 10 acres. The 
universitv studies show 15.2 acres of oranges yielding 240 packed boxes per acre 
as necessary to bring a net income of $1,500. The State average yield is but 169 
packed boxes per acre and the Tulare County plantings, in general, do not equal 
the State average. 

A fact of importance, then, in considering the farms which come within the 
160-acre limit set by reclamation law is that they are, in general, too small- 
much too small to bring an adequate income to the owner operator who is iCree 
of debt and has better than average yields. This is true, even if the owners 
were free from debt, which most of them are not. 

Tulare may be taken as a representative large-scale farming section. It c(ni- 
tains the largest peach ranch in the world and one of the largest vineyards. It 
is the fourth largest county in the United States, from the standpoint of the 
value of production. It has more tractors than any other county in the United 
States, which is a rough measure of the industrialization of its farming Liiter- 
prises. And during a part of the year (1938 record) more than a third of the 
population of the county are on relief. 

The following extracts from A Social Survey of Housing Conditions Among 
Tulare County Relief Clients, April 1939, presents a general picture of conditions : 
"Since the case load was widely scattered over the county, representative data 
could be obtained on every normally inhabited section. The result is a study of 
rural housing in all its phases, along the national highway, the county road, the 
ditch, the canal, in a private or public camp, at the back of a better house, in a 
tent, in a shack, along a stream, under a fruit tree, or on the unpaved streets of a 
rural village. 

"While recent fiction and motion pictures have touched incidentally on rural 
housing, it should be pointed out that they cover only a phase of the proljlem. the 
housing of migrant people, the temporary makeshift structures of families who 
have no permanent homes, whose seasonal migrations repeated year after year 
produce only temporary migratory shelters in every area in which they work." 
Present or potential housing facilities depend on the current demand and the 
" ability of private business to build homes for the low-income groups. On ar 
Nation-wide basis the housing demand is so great that there are shortages for 
almost every income class. This demand reaches intense proportions in the 
lowest income groups and results, first, in inflated rents for substandard housing, 
and second, in the progressive utilization of poorer types of structures. Relief 
agencies in both urban and rural sections artificially stabilize rents, not at their 
true housing valuation, but at the level of the budgetary allowance for such 


families. Tlie results of this high demand, the housing shortage and stabilized 
relief-rental allowances, are to perpetuate and even extend bad housing. 

It is not possible for private business to build housing for the lowest income 
groups on a large scale. Rents must be low ; otherwise, the houses will be rented 
by persons in higher income brackets. For private business to build large-scale 
housing for the lowest income groups two coniiitions would have to be met : First, 
low rentals, meaning, of course, a very small return on the investment extending 
over several years, prohibiting any profit, and .second, a social approach that 
would insure that housing reached the groups for which it was intended. This 
would mean denying available housing to persons or families above a certain 
income level. Obviously, no private undertaking could successfully carry out such 
a plan. A large-scale investment of this type of social undertaking would call 
for considerable State and local subsidies in the form of capital outlays, leases 
of land, destruction of old buildings, etc. 

Specifically, what is the so-called housing that those families live in? They 
are blighted houses, unimproved shacks, tents, pump houses, wobbly structures 
built out of materials patched together with all types of wood and home-made im- 
provised roofing. 

As a standard, the minimum requirements of the California State Housing Act 
have been used. These requirements are not high. Yet the greater portion of 
the housing surveyed falls so far below the minimum standards that it could only 
be classified as makeshift, poor, and dangerous. 

What types of people live in those houses? They are, in the main, State relief 
administration clients, workers on the Work Projects Administration, agricul- 
tural workers receiving Farm Security Administration grants, county welfare 
clients, recipients of blind aid, and old and infirm persons on old-age security. 
These groups in peak seasons amount to about 35 percent of the total population 
of the county. During these times the State relief administraticni has about 5,000 
families or 22,000 individuals ; the Work Projects Administration, 1,000 families or 
4,400 individuals ; the Farm Security Administration, 1,400 families or 6,160 indi- 
viduals; county welfare department and categorical aid groups total at least 1.000 
families with 4,400 individuals. This is a total of 37,000 individuals. The 1940 
cen.sus shows a total county population of 106.285 persons. 

The laboratory method applied to the land prohh'iu. — No one has the final 
au'-wer to the social and economic maladjustments api'arent in the areas to be 
served by the Central Valley project. The problem of large-scale farms, on the 
one hand, and the two small farms on the other, cannot be wholly segregated in 
any case. They are but a part of the basic lack of balance, created by a failure 
to adjust our way of doing things to the needs of a mechanistic age". But the 
direction in which economic balance and social stability lie is clear. The correct 
formula must be worked out by study and by laboratory trials, just as the 
physical scientist works out hypothesis in experiments of many kinds. 

Policies of the State and Government have favored the ownership of farm land 
by those who till it. Historically, the family owned and operated farm has been 
the pattern used to accomplish this goal. These policies are in direct opposition 
to absentee ownership, corporate operation, and the concentration of ownership 
in the hands of a landlord class. But the facts show that the devices so far 
employed have not accomplished the desired result. The accepted pattern is a 
reality in part only and where it is a reality, it is not working well. These facts 
are amply demonstrated in the areas to be served by the Central Valley project. 

The Durham and Delhi colonies were attempts to force land iise into the 
accepted pattern. They were based on the hypothesis that the problem was one 
•of credit — that long-term payments, low rates of interest, and expert management 
assistance through supervision of credit ^expenditures would correct the difli- 
culties which there then apparent to all students of the land problem. 

Experience, however, showed the hypothesis to be inadequate. The formula 
did not take all of the facts: into consideration. It disregarded the inexorable 
force of machine production, for one thing. It also disregarded the need for 
markets. The project was started at the end of the two l)lad('s df-grass-where-one- 
grew-before era and was at the beginning of a period when incchanical power was 
replacing horses and mules. Credit was but one problem among many. Fur- 
thermore, the plan failed to meet the problem of land speculation which it was 
designed to solve. The formula was not complete, nor wholly realistic in this 



regard. The price paid for the land at Delhi was an example of unconscionable 
acquisition of increments in land value by the land speculators who unloaded 
to their decided advantage. Easy credit could not overcome this initial disad- 
vantage, even if the size of holdings had been more closely geared to machine 
production. , ^ , , . -,^ . 

The policy followed by the Bureau of Reclamation in the Columbia Basin 
project was a more direct and effective way of approach to the problem of land 
siieculation. There, the price of land was limited by law to its dryfarm value. 
This left little room for acquisition of increments in value, at least by the 
original owners. Similar provisions elsewhere, however, have not prevented 
acquisition of large holdings or speculation in land values later on. 

The failure of the formula used as a basis for the Durham and Delhi colonies, 
however, does not mean that the laboratory method is inapplicable to land 
problems. A mistake was made in considering the colonies as demonstrations 
of a solution supposed to be a sound one, rather than as trials of a formula which 
many believed to be workable. Condemnation of the colonies was substituted for 
critical analysis. The projects were written off as financial failures with no at- 
tempt to salvage the experimental results which would have been worth the cost 
many times over if they had been analyzed and applied. 

The Resettlement Administration, unlike the State land-settlement board, 
was started when consideration had to be given to the marketing of the extra 
blade of grass and at a time when the logic of technology was becoming ap- 
parent. In the light of experience on State land settlements. Federal irrigation 
projects, and in private developments, it seemed apparent that new and sounder 
ways of doing things might be worked out. It was obvious, also, that credit 
was not the whole answer. Neither did it appear that a forced subdivision of 
land into family sized farms would meet the problem. A uniform size of unit 
does not provide the needed elasticity to meet variations in capacity of the 
operators, the varying demands of different crops, or variations in acreage 
required to provide an adequate income. Furthermore, it seemed unwise to go 
against the experience of commercial operators who were farming large areas 
with full use of lavor-saving equipment and management skills and techniques. 
In spite of attempts on the part of the Government to force the family farm 
pattern, consolidation of holdings has taken place on many projects where con- 
ditions favored large-scale operations. This persistent trend toward large 
farms may indicate a sound change of direction, as far as land-use patterns are 

This situation is illustrated by the record on the San Carlos project in 
Arizona, administered by the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs. Over 
$10,500,000 were spent by the Government in the development of an irrigation 
system to serve 100,000 acres of land. This included construction of the Cool- 
idge Dam on the Gila River and the development of 88 supplemental wells. 
Most of the land on the project passed from public to private ownership through 
the Homestead and Desert Land Acts since 1908. Land was thus distributed 
to prospective owner-operators largely in 160-acre units. Shortly after title 
passed out of public hands, concentration of ownership set in. The enabling 
act under which the San Carlos project was authorized, required that all land- 
holders owning more than 160 acres, to deed the excess to the Government at 
no cost to the Government. 

This was done. But in 1935, 11 years later, when the Resettlement Admin- 
istration purchased 3,600 acres of land in the project for the resettlement of 
dispossessed farmers, they dealt with with but nine owners, all nonresidents 
except two, and none were living on the land and operating it. The largest 
landholder was a bookkeeper in San Francisco who owned 800 acres. After 
the mortgage liens were all paid, he received $3,000 as his equity in an $80,000 
transaction. All of the farms but one, were handled by tenants. One farm 
was handled by the owner through a manager. Housing conditions were, in 
general, wretched. On one 800-acre farm, 8 families lived in a shed with dirt 
floors and separated into 1-room apartments by chicken wire. This repre- 
sented the best housing on that ranch — except for the hired manager's house 
that had a value of about $300. Some of the farms purchased had no perma- 
nent buildings. The tenants lived in town or in tents. 

The land on the project was thus given away originally in family sized units 
thi-Otigh the Homestead Act. The irrigation system was built with no interest 


charge on the construction costs. A farm adviser and assistant were available 
in the county. The State and Government had carried on experimental work 
which had answered many technical problems. The land bank had loaned 
money in the area. The Agricultural Adjustment Administration contributed 
funds for surplus control and soil conservation. But in spite of all their effort, 
the area was a rural slum of the worse sort. 

Obviously, the bad results which the facts made evident, were not caused by 
the efforts which the State and Government had made. Regulations and rec- 
ommendations were simply not followed. The laissez faire policy of doing 
what appeared to be in your own best interest caused the slums. The desire 
for increment in land value and for large profits in operation were more power- 
ful in their operation than were the broader social policies of the State or Gov- 
ernment. The formulas used were proved inadequate. 

In view of these facts— obvious in varying degrees everywhere— where good 
soil and favorable topography permits the efficient use of mechanical equip- 
ment, it seemed best to develop new formulas and to try them out. Several 
projects, therefore, were established as laboratories where new formulas could 
be tested. One of these was located in the upper San Joaquin Valley. 


The Mineral King ranch, 3 miles east of Visalia, was selected for one of 
these experimental settlements. Seven hypotheses were followed in planning 
the project. ^ ^ 

The first hypothesis was that security of occupancy and use of adequate 
farming area are essential features of sound tenure. Private ownership of 
land has had the insecurity of mortgaged ownership, to tenancy of an undesir- 
able type, to soil erosion and land speculation. It seems logical, therefore, to 
attempt a complete change in tenure arrangements by providing for permanent 
Government ownership of the land with use rights granted to individuals on 
leasing terms which protect the public interest and provide security and an 
adequate income to settlers. This was done, not only at Mineral King, but on 
many other resettlement projects in other States. And so far this phase of 
the experiment is working well. 

The second hypothesis was that division of labor and association in produc- 
tion under competent management offers economies in farm operation which 
cannot be fully enjoyed by independent operators. The 530 acres, therefore, 
were leased as an operating unit to a corporation composed of settlers who 
operate the land as a corporate enterprise. 

The third hyiwthesis was that farmers might be able to cooperate in pro- 
duction if the difficult problem of distribution of income was handled through 
the payment of wages for labor performed under the direction of a ranch 
manager, with the normal democratic machinery for protest. This admittedly 
is the weakest link in the chain. Producers' cooperatives usually fail because 
of disputes over what each contributes toward a common product. The wage 
plan may solve that problem. It does not occur in consumer cooperatives 
because there the benefits are measured by what one buys for his own use, 
not by what one contributes toward a common supply. Marketing cooperatives, 
which have been unusually successful are consumer cooperatives in principle. 
The farmers cooperate only in buying the goods and services that they need. 
They buy paiier wrapping, boxes, advertising services, and transportation. But 
they are highly competitive as producers. Each is paid for his own supply. 

The f<Hirth hypothesis is that community settlements permit material savings 
in utility services and offers definite advantages in the operation of any large 
property. The grouping of houses in a village contributed '^ materially to 
financing the installation of flush toilets, baths, sinks, and wash trays in each 
of the houses. Grouping of houses also permitted the use of natural gas for 
cooking and heating. Natural gas is the cheapest fuel supply in the area. 

The fifth hypothesis was that the Government cannot collect from people 
with inadequate income. The impossibility of securing payments which require 
a cut in essential living budgets is well illustrated by the records prepared by 
the Bureau of Home Economics of the United States Department of Agriculture, 

" As shown in plate. 


covering the expenditures of over 15,000 farm families located in 19 States 
in tlie South, the East, the Middle West, and the West. In all of these accounts 
the record of "Change in net worth" showed a loss when the net family income 
dropped much below the $l,200-a-year mark. In North Carolina families re- 
ceiving $1,117 per year ($674 of which was supplied by the farm in rent, food, 
and fuel) saved $82. In Iowa families receiving $1,112, with $476 fur- 
nished by the farm, showed a decline in net worth of $38. In California fami- 
lies receiving $1,123, with $2[)0 furnished by the farm, showed a net decline 
of $151. Families in the $1,000 to $1,249 income class in New Jersey, Michigan, 
Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, North and South Dtikota, Colorado, Mon- 
tana, and California showed a loss in net worth. They apparently preferred 
to sacrifice their inventory value rather than cut down their living expenses. 
Families in the same class in Vermont, Ohio. Pennsylvania, Washington, Geor- 
gia, Mississippi, and North Carolina saved from $26 to $83 during the year. 
Families in all of these States, with the exception of Mississippi, showed a 
decline in net worth when their incomes dropped down to the $750 to $C99 
class. Families in Mississippi receiving an average income of $870 made an 
average saving of $9. In New Jersey, on the other hand, families in the 
$1,250 to $1,499 income class, with an average income of $1,369, showed a 
decline in net worth of $45. 

These records indicate rather clearly that there is a point at which families 
prefer to sacrifice possible future security for immediate needs. It seems ap- 
parent, therefore, that a project organized on the basis of an income below the 
$1,500 a year mark has little chance of financial success. It will require an 
income of $1,200 to meet immediate needs of a family and savings of $300 per 
year in addition to provide a minimum security for old age. Three hundred 
dollars in savings with interest at 3 percent will pay for a farm costing $6,928 
over a period of 40 years. 

On the basis of this theory of income, 10 families were located on the 530 
acres comprising the Mineral King ranch. After meeting all contractual obliga- 
tions to the Government ; after making payments to the county in lieu of taxes, 
and paying themselves 30 cents an hour for their work, there was a profit of 
$6,000 in 1938. A portion of the profit was spent for cows as a means of in- 
creasing the returns. A serious attack of contagious abortion broke out in the 
herd, making it necessary to dispose of all the stock at an appreciable loss to 
the settlers who had to foot the bill. In 19S9 the profit rose to $7,500. A por- 
tion of this was set aside as a reserve fund. Some of it was used to recoup 
the loss on the dairy herd and a portion was distributed as a wage bonus. 
This labor bonus was paid both to settlers and to 102 cotton pickers not resident 
on the project. Cotton p'ckers were paid at the rate of 90 cents per hundi-ed 
for the first 2 weeks. The price was then raised to $1 and later to $1.30 per 
hundred. The bonus payments were in addition to these regular payments. 
These facts have special significance in view of the strike of cotton pickers in 
Madera County in 1939 to raise the pay above 80 cents per hundred, set by the 
large growers. 

The prospect of 1940 returns on Mineral King are better than for any pi-evious 
year. In addition to larger yields, the dairy herd is being established. 

The income per family on the Mineral King ranch in 1939 was approximately 
as follows: Wage income, $720; wage bonus, $200; rent, $180; income from 
gardens and from reduced cost of fuel and milk, $100; total income, $1,200. 
Savings are covered in part by the reserve account. The income from the 
farm can be appreciably raised by expanding the garden area. The fruit trees 
now planted will cut the cost of the fruit supply as soon as the trees are in 
bearing. These economies will bring the income per family to $1,500 or more, 
including savings. With this standard as a minimum, the Government should 
have no difficulty in having payments met in full. 

Although the settlers are meeting their contractual obligations, including con- 
tributions in lieu of taxes, full water costs, and interest on debt, the debt does 
not include the full cost of land and buildings. Construction was, at first, car- 
ried on under the handicap of relief labor requirements, which raised the cost. 
Interest is, therefore, based on the appraised value rather than actual cost. 
Furthermore, the present cost of superintendence is higher than a project of 
this kind can carry. An isolated settlement of this kind faces this heavy over- 
head, which must be charged against the experimental character of the enter- 

interstatp: migration 3293 

prise. If the principle proves wortli while, the pattern can be expautled on a 
scale which will reduce the overhead to a figure that can be borne. 

A sixth hypothesis was that farmers do not like chores. The extra work of 
raising a garden and tending to cows and other livestock before breakfast and 
after supper, adds little to the value of a "way of life." It is why gardens are 
not what the outsider thinks a farmer should raise, and many prefer to work 
for wages on the outside and to buy milk rather than keep a cow. In a village 
set-up with cooperative operation of the farming enterprise, there seems to be 
no reason why division of labor could not be used to eliminate the chores. At 
Mineral King, therefore, there are no family cows. The ranch dairy supplies 
all of the needs. Milk is distributed on the same basic principle that governs 
any publicly owned service, such as a domestic water supply, for example. It is 
a consumer-controlled service. Milk is sold to settlers at 20 cents per gallon, 
and the supply is adequate. The main garden can also be operated as a part 
of the regular ranch work, thus eliminating this rather burdensome chore and 
at the same time providing an ample supply of garden products at a low cost. 

This application of the principle of division of labor is one effective way of 
shortening the working day for the farmer and of absorbing more people in 
agriculture as an occupation, without lowering their standard of living. On the 
Mineral King ranch, some are engaged full time in taking care of the duties 
which form the chores on the family farm. Developing new services such as 
a central water plant and sewer system, creates jobs for some of those who are 
displaced by the machine. It is but an application of the logic of technology 
which calls for a general raising of the standards of living as a way of creating 
a market for the goods and services which industrialization makes possible. 

The same principle of specialization applies in other ways as well and leads 
to the seventh and last hypothesis, that diversification is sound husbandry. 
It conserves the soil and spreads both the business risk and the labor loads; and 
diversification has been preached for many years, but it is not generally prac- 
ticed on the average farm. Agriculture is rather becoming more specialized ; 
diversification, however, is being carried out effectively on a community basis 
in many areas. In Imperial Valley, for example, old cantaloup land, freed of 
Bermuda grass by intensive cultivation, is rented by dairymen who must have 
clean land for alfalfa. The cantaloup man, on the other hand, wants rich land 
and rents the old alfalfa land given up by the dairyman. It is badly infested 
with Bermuda grass as a result of pasturing and lack of cultivation, but right 
plowing soon eliminates it. Tlius, two separate interests, each specializing in 
a particular crop, operate on a community rotation basis which meets basic 

At Mineral King, this type of rotation is carried out on a well organized basis. 
The dairymen take care of the cows. The irrigator specializes in irrigation. 
Cotton men raise cotton, and the fields are rotated. But the rotation does not 
mean that each man must be a specialist in many lines. Each, on the other 
hand, does the thing he can do best. At least, that is the theory. 

Lahor camps. — Another experiment was tried. Seasonal farm laborers are 
normally congregated in shack towns. Obviously, their wage earnings are not 
large enough to meet normal costs of living. Their standards of housing are 
necessarily low ; their health becomes a public problem ; and their children lack 
the basic care and culture which any child in a rich country should have. 

In order to alleviate the conditions found by this migrant group, the Farm 
Security Administration has established^ several rural villages where the fami- 
lies can live in comparative comfort. Running water is installed at each house ; 
hot and cold showers, flush toilets, and washing machines are located in utility 
buildings situated in the center of a group of houses at convenient intervals 
through the camp. A central building serves as meeting place and recreation 
hall. Kindergarten classes, sewing groups, and church organizations utilize 
the building. Outside playgrounds for children and adults provide seasonal 
recreation facilities. Educational classes, movies, and entertainment, usually 
put on by local talent, occupy the evenings. The assembly hall is frequently 
crowded to standing room at these various functions. A village nurse is em- 
ployed to look out for health conditions. A clinic is located in each village. 
In one village in Arizona a GO-bed hospital is nearing completion. It will serve 
a wide area. Plates submitted with this statement show views in three of these 
migrant villages established by the Farm Security Administration. 


The services available to these families form a forceful challenge. Many of 
the features of village life have been urged for the group by the home econ- 
omists w^ho are atempting valiantly to improve conditions in the ordinary home, 
where isolation limits opportunity and raises the cost of services which any 
village group can have at moderate cost. 

This brief discussion of recent attempts to adjust land-use patterns to modern 
conditions is not offered here with any idea that these experiments necessarily 
provide the best or final answer. They do show, however, a needed willingness 
to face the issue squarely. They probably point in the right direction, but 
they are trials only. 


This reconnaissance study of some of the social and economic aspects of 
the Central Valley project, indicates four needs. The first concerns reclamation 
laws and administrative rulings covering land use. They are not geared to 
present-day conditions which are set, in part, by the use of new mechanisms 
in production. The need for variation in size of operating units and of new 
patterns of tenure require a revaluation of past concepts and an adjustment 
of laws and regulations to meet the new conditions. 

The second need concerns a change in the existing patterns of land use 
which have developed fortuitously in the areas to be served by the Central 
Valley project. The trend is toward small part-time farms on the one liand, 
and large feudallike estates on the other. The trend is away from the family 
owned and operated farm that is large enough to provide an aceptable standard 
of living without supplemental income from outside labor. An attempt to 
blindly force a family pattern, may be both socially and economically vmsound. 
The large-scale farm offers many distinct advantages. But the present patterns 
of large-scale operation contain the seed of its ultimate destruction, for it is 
basically unsound and cannot form the foundation of a permanent society. 
These large-scale farming patterns deserve careful analysis in order to evaluate 
properly their positive and negative values as a basis for planning wisely for 
land use and tenure. 

The third need concerns repayment of construction costs. This problem 
cannot be divorced from the problems of land and franchise values, which pene- 
trate deeply into existing ways of doing things. If the pi'oject is to be self- 
liquidating, all major increments in value will have to be assessed. 
Furthermore, the full increments in farm-land value will have to be directed 
into repayment channels, if the costs, properly chargeable against farm land, 
are to be met in full. This will involve a consideration of the salvaging of 
existing values which will disappear if an outside water supply is not provided. 
The power issue is, of course, involved in any consideration of repayment 

The fourth need concerns procedure. The problems involved call for new 
national policies. They affect labor, the farmer, and the public ; and they are 
basic in character. No one agency represents a sufficient breadth of interest to 
undertake the task of formulating policies for consideration by the State and 
the Congress, so far reaching in effect as these will necessarily be. Changes 
are needed in the present policies of the Farm Credit Administration, the Agri- 
cultural Adjustment Administration, the Farm Security Administration, and 
the Soil Conservation Service as well as those of the Bureau of Reclamation. 
Each of these administrative agencies are directly involved in the area. These 
agencies should join together witli research and planning organizations in 
formulating new policies. The University of California ; State and coiTuty 
planning boards; the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, the Office of Irrigation 
Investigations of the United States Department of Agriculture ; the State 
department of public works ; the State and Federal Departments of Labor ; 
the Farm Bureau Federation ; the Grange and Farmers Union ; all should have 
an important part in investigations, research, and policy formation. The 
Central Valley project, in a very definite way, is the major test of the capacity 
of a political democracy to meet basic economic issues through study and planning, 
rather than through disintegration, with the necessity of rebuilding upon a new 


In view of these needs and in view, also, of tlie serious cliaracter of tlie present 
trend in rural areas, it is felt that construction of the Madera and Friant Kern 
Canals be delayed until some provisions have been made to safeguard the public 
interest. Perhaps the water to be stored in the Friant Reservoir could be used 
on the west side, under strict provision covering size of holdings or social legis- 
lation protecting the interests of labor and the public, pending the completion of 
negotiations regarding these matters in the other areas. 


Can the Low-Income and Destitute Farm Population IMPK0^^ Their Status 
Through Cooperation 

Although circumstances govern human action very largely the social order is 
formed in part by the philosophies held by those who cast the votes. A philosophy 
of class rule, for example, whether it be by an owning class or by labor, may lead 
to action which is opposed to the general welfare. 

The present lack of balance in our economy is due to a concentration of income 
resulting from an uneconomic application of the philosophy of private owner- 
ship. Dr. Harold G. Moulton, president of the Brookings Institution, has this to 
say regarding this particular problem : 

"As to income distribution and its results,* we found in the second division of 
our study the proceeds of the Nation's productive efforts going in dispropor- 
tionate and increasing measure to a small percentage of the population— in 1929 
as much as 23 percent of the national income, to 1 percent of the people. We 
found the unsatisfied wants — needs — according to any good social standard — of 
the 92 percent of all families who are now below the level of $5,000 annual income 
sufficient to absorb the product of all our unused capacity under present condi- 
tions of productivity and still demand much more from such unexplored poten- 
tialities as might thereafter be opened up. We found the incomes of the rich 
going in large proportion to savings and these savings strongly augmented by 
others impounded at the source by corporations through the practice of accumu- 
lating corporate surplus. These savings, after providing for such increase of 
capital goods as could be profitably employed, we found spilling over into less 
fruitful or positively harmful uses, ranging from foreign loans (bad, as well as 
good) to the artificial bidding up of prices of domestic properties, notably cor- 
porate securities. 

"Thus, we begin to discern the answer to our question whether the basic defect 
in our economic system, not discovered in the technical processes of production, 
is to be found in the way we conduct the distribution of income. The answer is 
affirmative ; this is the place at which we do find basic maladjustment." 

Private ownership of land including forests and mineral resources and the 
granting of private franchises for the performance of services essentially monopo- 
listic in character have been the source of most of the great fortunes in the 
United States. Patents and other restrictive measures have added to monopoly 
control. These actions on the part of society are based on a certain philosophy of 
enterprise. This philosophy is based upon the assumption that the passing of 
these privileges of ownership and control into private hands will lead to the 
greatest good to he greatest number. Evidence indicates that this is not wholly 
true. But society, through democratic action, can modify this policy when other 
and better policies are worked out. Many modifications have already been made 
as circumstances have develo-ped which demanded change. Other changes are 

Control by labor, as contrasted to control by an owning group, leads to class 
action also. And this is not always in harmony with the general welfare. The 
American labor movement has been based, quite largely, upon the philosophy of 

Income and Economic Progress, pp. 156-157. 


high money wages, rather than upon a philosophy of high real wages. The gen- 
eral well-being — including, of course, the well-being of labor as a major portion of 
society — depends upon an expansion of production and of services and a lowering 
of prices. This does not mean that labor should not have a greater share of the 
output than they now have. Advancing labor's share of the wealth produced, if 
wisely managed, will promote rather than retard enterprise and will lead to an 
adjustment of prices to basic purchasing power. 

****** * 

This type of enterprise is important for three basic reasons. Public owner- 
ship and operation of essential services and of basic resources serves to dis- 
tribute income. The Central Valley project in California supplies an example. 
If the power from Shasta Dam is distributed through private channels and 
the private companies secure the same rate of profit per kilowatt-hour that they 
now secure, the stockholders of the private utility interests will receive over 
$200,000,000 over a period of 40 years with interest at 3 percent on the full 
amount, or approximately the total cost of the entire Central Valley project. 
If, on the other hand, this power is distributed through publicly owned and 
operated lines, the profit will flow into the hands of several hundred thousand 
consumers in lower rates. 

In one case this large sum is channeled through higher rates from the hands 
of a large number of consumers into the hands of a relatively small number 
of stockholders. This accentuates the concentration of income, which, as already 
pointed out, is the most serious internal economic problem in the United States. 
In the other case the profits are passed on to the consumers, which increases 
directly their purchasing power. The basic profit motive is not abrogated. 
The only difference is that a consumer profit motive is substituted for a producer 
profit motive. 

The concentration of land in large holdings in the area to be served by the 
Central Valley project also results in an uneconomic concentration of income. 
The growth of these holdings accentuates the existing lack of economic balance. 
The figures supplied to your conunittee by Dean Hutchinson, of the College of 
Agriculture of the University of California, shows that the capital and manage- 
ment income from a family sized farm large enough to provide a net income 
of $1,500 per year, runs from 1.4 to 3.7 times as much as the operator's labor 
income. Where farms are consolidated this capital and management income 
goes to one man or to a small group of men who are the owners, while those who 
were displaced in the process are either forced out of the agricultural field 
entirely or are reduced to laborers with relatively small incomes, and no security. 
When they become too old to work they will not have a farm to rely upon as a 
source of income, but will be forced to live on their children's income or on the 
public. The income to ownership which would be theirs in the case of an 
owner-operated farm is concentrated in the hands of the owners of the large 
farms, leaving the dispossessed without the old-age security which the family 
farm is supposed to offer. This provision for old-age security is the primary 
virtue of the family farm pattern. It is absent in the large farm, at least for 
the larger number who do the work. 

Some sort of social security will have to be developed if the large, privately 
owned, and corporate types of farm operation are to remain. Legislation is 
needed covering old-age pensions, good housing, adequate wages, and collective 
bargaining between farm operators and labor. Such legislation would be the 
result of a broad cooperation action through social control. These needs are 
covered quite fully in the La Follette committee reports. 

A fact of importance, affecting provision for the low-income group, is that this 
concentration of capital and management income in the hands of large operators 
is materially lessening the number of families that can be carried by the laud 
and is adding to the permanent relief load. The situation in Tulare County cited 
in my statement to your committee on the Central Valley project is an illustration 
in point. It is the fourth largest county in the United States, from the stand- 
point of the value of agricultural products. It contains the largest peach orchard 
in the world and one of the largest vineyards. It has more tractors than any 
other county in the United States, which provides a rough measure of its 
industrialization, and during a part of the year more than one-third of all of 


the people in the county arc receiving aid of some form from county, State, or 

Public ownership and control of land and social control of size of holdings 
through a distribution of holdings by forced subdivision, as in the case of the 
Columbia Basin project, are remedies which are being tried. These are discussed 
luore fully in my statement on the Central Valley project. .^ , . 

The remedial measures being tried are designed not only to distribute income 
to prevent stagnation in the invest nu'iit fit-kl but to increase the general pur- 
chasing power. The effect is well illust rated in power, where lower rates under 
public ownership tend to increase consumption. A rate of 3.39 cents per kilowatt- 
hour charged bv the Pacific Gas & Electric Co., for example, has been a factor 
in the consumption of 829 kilowatt-hours of energy per consuming unit. In Modesto 
a rate of 2 80 cents per kilowatt-hour has been a factor in a per-customer consump- 
tion of 1,206 kilowatt-hours. In Winnipeg the rate is 0.825 cent per kilowatt-hour 
and the consumption 4,838 kilowatt-hours. 

A third, and by no means the least, effect of public ownership as a consumer 
cooperative activity is expansion of enterprise. This is closely associated with 
the increase in consumers purchasing power just mentioned. A lowering of power 
rates, for example, not only affects the amount of power used by retail consumers, 
but it affects industry as well. Where power is an important cost of production, 
the effect upon private profit and volume of consumption may be very great. 

The effect of public ownership and operation upon wealth creation and unem- 
ployment is well illustrated by the record of the Forest Service. Under its 
administration the Government secured, by withdrawal from entry and by 
purchase, a total of 160,000,000 acres of land, consisting largely of second-rate 
timberland, cut-over areas, brush-covered hills, and overgrazed range. The better 
stands of timber and the most promising cut-over lands are still in private 
ownership. , „ ,. « 

Of the 108,145,000 acres of commercial timber in national forests needing tire 
and other protection, only 2,000,000 are unprotected, while of 404,000,000 acres 
of private lands needing protection, 189,388,000 acres are unprotected. Of the 
41,400,000 acres of forest lands burned over annually, 40,600,000 are in private 
hands. About one-fourth of the national forests are under intensive management 
plans, while but six-tenths of 1 percent of private forest lands are under such 

This conservation and development work costs approximately 38 cents per 
acre of Government-owned forest land. Private holders, owning by far the best 
timber, spend but 1.4 cents per acre in conservation and development. The 
Government, in other words, spends 27 times as much per acre in fire protection 
and other conservation and development work than private owners spend. The 
fffect upon employment is clear. The Government spends all of the income 
from grazing fees and from sale of timber for salaries, wages, and materials. 
If the private forest lands on the Pacific coast were publicly owned, .nil of the 
migrants who have come to the coast during the past 5 years could be con- 
structively employed for some time, and quite a large number could be per- 
manently employed in douig work which is very much in the public Interest. 
Three hundred thousand Civilian Conservation Corps boys, working out of 1,500 
camps in United States forests and parks, have cleaned up and fireproofed 
5,000,000 acres of land ; planted nearly 2,000,000,000 trees, built 109,000 miles of 
trails and roads and 46,000 bridges. This work could be expanded four- or five- 
fold if all of the timberlands were in public hands. 

This type of activity, public ownership of power or of forests, let me repeat, are 
important types of consumer cooperation. The consumers of the Nation, under 
the leadership of Gifford Pinchot and Theodore Roosevelt, became conservation- 
conscious and initiated this plan of recapturing forest lands into public ownership 
as a means of protecting a rich heritage. As a secondary but very important 
result of that philosophy, many people are now constructively employed who 
would not be employed otherwise. 

More recently the consumers of the Nation have become concerned over the 
wastage of soil resources. An average of approximately $22,000,000 are being 
spent each year for technicians, clerical help, and materials in the Soil Conserva- 
tion Service. About 15,C0O people are employed directly, and a much larger 
number indirectly, through conservancy districts and by individuals cooperating. 



This money is secured, very largely, from nonfarm people through taxation and 
the sale of Government bonds. 

The present program enhances private-land values, in part at least, from direct 
Government spending. The submarginal land purchase program represents a 
different approach. In that case no money is spent until the lands are acquired 
so that all increments in value go to the public, as partial or total compensation 
for the work done. Over 10,000,000 acres of submarginal lands have been pur- 
chased under this program since 1933. 

A further example of the effect of a philosophy of social action upon economic 
and social conditions is presented by the Homestead Act. This act was based 
upon the theory that society would be best served by passing land into the hands 
of those who would till it themselves. But the plan has not worked well. There 
is a lower percentage of land ownership among farmers now than there was in 
1862 when the act was passed. This is particularly true, moreover in these States 
where the Homestead Act resulted in the transfer of the largest acreage into 
private hands. 

The owner-operated farm pattern, about which popular support rallied, is a 
reality in part only. More than half of the farm land in the United States is 
farmed by tenants, "and tenancy is increasing. Furthermore, where it is a reality, 
it is not aceomplishins the results expected. Owner-operated farms are con- 
centrated in the (»zarks, the Southern Appalachians, and in New England where 
topography prevents an adjustment in patterns of tenure to the use of machines. 
The broad fields of rich soil and favorable topography everywhere is going into 
large holdings where machinery can be used to advantage. The semifeudal 
pattern of land use, described in my statement to your committee covering areas 
to be served by the Central Valley project in California, is an example of the 
social pattern which is developing in all sections where large scale and corporate 
operation are replacing the family farm. 

Recent legislation and administrative action dealing with tenure problems have 
led in two directions. The Tenant Purchase Act is an attempt to reestablish the 
owner-operation pattern. It, like the Homestead Act, is based on the philosophy 
of private ownership of land. It aims to put land into the hands of those who 
will till it themselves. 

Another direction was taken in the resettlement program. There the fact was 
recognized that experience indicates a basic weakness in the accepted pattern. 
A new approach based on public ownership of land was, therefore, tried out. The 
Mineral King ranch, described in my statement to you on the Central Valley 
project, is an illustration of one pattern under public ownership of land. Other 
projects were established where individual farms of the traditional type were 
located on land owned by the Government. 

Both the individual and the community type of farms on Government land 
meet the weaknesses in private ownership which have led to tenancy and the 
creation of a landlord class. Land speculation has been a major factor in the 
failure of private ownership. Debt and the high capitalization associated with 
large-scale operation have been factors of great importance recently. Inherit- 
ance has resulted in heavy mortgage indebtedness and in unwise subdivision. 
Small holdings, tenancy, mortgage debt, and soil erosion have resulted in all 
too many cases. 

The record is not an indictment against landloi'ds as persons. But because 
of the circumstances governing their interests they have made tenancy the 
unsocial influence that it is. It is the landlords who force tenants to cultivate all 
of the land "right up to the back door" without leaving room for garden, pasture, 
or wood lot. It is they who prepare short-term leases; who refuse to allow 
compensation for improvements; who make it difficult for a tenant to plan a 
rotation of crops, fertilize his fields, or have livestock. It is they who provide 
bad housing, which forms the basis for low living standards. In altogether 
too many cases they are fighting controls, chiseling on benefit payments, and 
seeking greater subsidies, but refusing to pass benefits on to the labor they hire. 
Refusing to bargain collectively, they have on occasion resorted to vigilante 
methods and have secured the passage of laws which support their positions 
as against labor. The antilabor laws passed in 11 counties in California are 
examples of this type of action. 

There is a tendency on the part of all landowners to accept the income to 
ownership as a right rather than a social sanction and to pass on to govern- 


ment more and more of the responsibilities of administration. Both owners 
and tenants look to government, Federal and State, for aid in ever-widening 
fields. It is government that established and supports agricultural colleges 
for the training of young men. It is government that runs the experiment 
stations where science is applied to agricultural techniques. It is govern- 
ment that maintains the extension service with agricultural agents in every 
county in the Nation. The tenant and the landlord enjoy an elaborate market- 
ing service covering current news by press and radio, and covering prices 
and commodity movements. The farmer and the landlord use roads built by the 
Government, receive valuable bulletins supplied free of charge by the Gov- 
ernment, and get bailed out by government when bankruptcy looms ahead. 
It is the Government that provides weather forecasts, directs control of insect 
pests and plant diseases, controls floods, drains land, aids in erosion control, 
develops large irrigation works, builds levees, helps finance railroads and control 
their traffic. It is government that assists farmers in control of supply when 
surpluses pile up, and aids him when drought strikes. 

These contrasting trends in private and public activity are but illustrations 
of the sound and fundamental character of consumer cooperation working 
through economic as well as political democracy. 

The circumstances facing agriculture now call for a change in these rela- 
tionships. The adoption of a policy calling for an increase in public owner- 
ship of farm land would be an important step toward conservation, increased 
employment, and sound land tenure. The advantages in such a policy are great 
enough to justify serious consideration to the possibilities of further experi- 
mentation along those lines. The policy might be initiated in the Columbia 
Basin and Central Valley projects. They would make excellent laboratories 
for the comprehensive trials of new ways of adjusting farm tenure and land 
use to the revolutionary conditions created by machine production. Sucii 
purchase has been recommended for all undeveloped land in both projects and 
the idea is receiving surprisingly wide support. It, undoubtedly, offers the 
most direct method of meeting the perplexing land problem presented by 
these projects. It would add but 3 percent or so to the cost of the Central 
Valley project and not much more than that in the case of the Columbia Basin. 

Income would flow to local county governments through payments in lieu of 
taxation. This problem has been worked out by the Forest Service and by the 
Farm Security Administration. Government ownership of land conserves rather 
than restricts local income. 

The tax-delinquent lands in the Dust Bowl offer an exceptional opportunity 
for public acquisition. Evidence presented to your committee by E. R. Hanson, 
coordinator for the United States Department of Agriculture, at Amarillo shows 
a total of 485,000 acres of land in Baca County, Colo., acquired by the county 
through tax sales between 1934 and 1937, inclusive. Figures for Lincoln County 
show a similar trend. In Los Arrinos County, Colo., over 600,000 acres have 
been delinquent for over 3 years. This situation is not confined to the Dust 
Bowl. It exists in many irrigation districts in the West where fairly good land 
can be acquired for back taxes. 

The situation now, so far as land is concerned, is far different than it was 
when the country was first settled. At that time 80 percent of the people were 
on farms, and farm ownership by individuals was a stabilizing infiuence of 
importance. But science has changed all that. Now 80 percent of the popula- 
tion, or thereabouts, is in urban centers. > They are nonfarm people, but they 
depend nonetheless upon the productivity of the land. Ownership of the Na- 
tion's farm land resources by 20 percent of the population, even if owner- 
operation of family sized farms could be made a reality, would be less significant 
now than formerly. Public ownership of land, and rigid social legislation 
covering old-age pensions, wages and hours, housing, and collective bargaining 
are the two alternatives which offer the best chance for a use of the Nation's 
land resources in the interests of the greatest number. 

The use of water as contrasted to land has naturally drifted into a consumer- 
cooperative pattern. The irrigation district and mutual water users associa- 
tion are consumer cooperative organizations which have proved to be very 
effective, and are the type usually used. Farmers have followed their urban 
neighbors in this respect. As consumers of irrigation, water farmers have found 



it to their advantage to cooperate in the consti'uction and operation of dams and 
canals to get water to their lands, just as urban people have organized under 
municipal laws to provide streets, water facilities, and the like. The protit 
motive is there. But it is a consumer profit. 

Rural school districts form another example of consumer cooperation, follow- 
ing the urban pattern. " 

Still another similarity exists between urban centers and rural villages. The 
settlers on the Mineral King ranch, for example, being consumers of services 
as are the citizens of any town, joined in a cooperative organization which 
.supplies running water, light and gas for heating and cooliing. This has proved 
to be a particularly effective type of cooperative effort. The savings in wells, 
roads, and power lines in many projects will more than pay for a complete 
lilumbing system in each home, including flush toilet, bath, sink, lavatory, wash 
trays, iuid septic tank. On the ("()lnnil)ia r.;isin project the saving in these three 
items wnuld rangt^ from .'j;! ."),()( )().(!( 10 to .SLM.ddd.itOU if the homes were located in 
villages rather than on isolated farms. The gas service at Mineral King would 
be too expensive for installation on isolated units, but, as it is, it furnishes a 
cheaper fuel than any other fuel available in the State. 

These economies are similar to the ones secured by large operators when 
they settle their workers in villages, as they always dp. These savings on 
large farms, however, are not translated into running water, baths, flush 
toilets, and other conveniences. They simply add to the net returns by cutting 
down the capital cost of providing for the laborer's essential needs. 

Settling families in communities facilitates other forms of cooperation. 
The cooperative production of milk, for example, fits in perfectly with such a 
set-up. The families at Mineral King get milk at 5 cents a quart and the 
supply is abundant. The surplus is sold as fresh milk, as the conditions on 
the ranch conform to all county requirements. The dairy is large enough to 
permit the installation of an eflScient working plant, so that the milk can 
be well cared for. 

In Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand, milk is distributed as a 
publicly owned and operated utility service. The milk is sold for 8 cents a 
quart, on the basis of equivalent American money, and the city makes a 
normal profit. It has brought about economies in the cost of treating and 
distributing milk which has made possible the reduction in the consumer 
price. The system has been operating for 20 years. There seems to be no 
reason why any city might not do the same. The only difference between this 
system serving a iiopulation of 135,000 people is that at Mineral King the 
settlers not only process and distribute the milk, but they own and operate 
the dairy as well. Milk is produced and sold in the labor camps in much 
the same way that it is produced and sold at Mineral King. 

The advantages in the cooperative plan for handling milk is an important 
matter in the area to be served by the Central Valley projt^ct because indi- 
vidual farmers prefer to produce fruit, cotton, or truck, which are not so 
confining, but which do not offer the opportunity for expansion. The objec- 
tion to dairying is removed by the cooperative plan. The milkers have their 
regular days ofl: and their annual leave, just as others do. 

Dairying is the most promising farming enterprise in the area and will be 
stimulated by a community type approach. There is nothing that would 
stimulate consumption of milk in the areas to be served by the Central Valley 
project more than the low price which would result from municipal distribu- 
tion. The increased consumption would materially increase the need for farm 
land for the production of dairy products, which would, of course, provide in- 
creased opportunities for dispossessed farmers seeking new opportunities. 

Cooperative marketing has been more highly developed in California and 
in the United States generally than any other t.vpe. The advantages are 
obvious. Duplication is reduced or eliminated, and services are secured at 
lower cost. These cooperatives are called producer organizations because they 
are composed of producers, but the cooperative activity is wholly on a con- 
sumer basis. The growers cooperate in buying paper wrapping," box stocl?, 
advertising services, transportation, marketing, and storage service. They hire 
labor for services in packing and often in picking. These are all goods and 
services which the growers consume as a byproduct in the process of selling 
their products. As producers they are highly individualistic and highly com- 


petitive. Marketing associations are found in every State of the Union. Farm- 
ers in the United States have been building their own marlieting machinery 
for 70 years or more. Over 2,000 farmers' marketing and buying associations 
have been in operation for more than 25 years. Sales of farm products and 
supplies now exceed $2,000,000,000 per year, with 295 associations reporting 
annual sales of more than $1,000,000 each, and 34 associations reporting sales in 
(xcess of $10,000,000. More than 3.000,000 farmers participate in cooperative 
activities in the United States. 

Processing co-ops are also organized on the consumer basis. Growers hire 
labor and rent or own canning plants for the processing of their fruits or vege- 
tables. Again the returns are divided on the basis of what each man as an 
individual produces, which is his affair. Each brings in a supply of peaches, 
for example, and each gets paid on the basis of the volume and quality which 
he delivers to the cannery, which is a highly individualistic matter. The co- 
operative activity is wholly concerned in buying equipment and service which 
the growers can secure more cheaply as a unit than they can as individuals. 
Farmers operate cotton gins, cheese factories, and fruit and vegetable packing 
plants. Nearly half of all creamery butter produced in this country is made in 
cooperative plants. 

Buying is an important activity in both mai'keting and processing coopera- 
tives. This portion of the cooperative activity corresponds with the consumer 
buying cooperative which deals with gasoline and with the ordinary consumer's 
goods handled by retail stores. Farmers buy $80,000,000 worth of oil and gas 
through their own cooperatives each year. 

The laboring class, along with some of the lower middle class, have formed 
the backbone of the consumer cooperative movement in England, Scotland, 
Sweden, Switzerland, France, and Belgium. In Denmark the consumer co- 
ojierative movement is identified with the small farmer. Consumer coopera- 
tives in Europe have paid higher than going wages, they have recognized the 
unions and set up collective bargaining machinery with the closed shop. And, 
in return, the unions have, in general, refused to force wages so high or hours 
so short as to force the cooperatives out of business. 

The record is not so good in the United States. American labor for many 
years held the philosophy of high wages. At present, however, a change is 
taking place. The number of successful consumers' cooperatives have con- 
vinced labor leaders that consumer cooperation will work here as it has In 
Europe and labor is beginning to realize that to get a high real wage, it needs 
a volume of business and low prices as well as a greater share in the total 
purchasing power. Consumer cooperation in the United States has apparently 
demonstrated that it can put goods through co-op stores more cheaply than 
can private enterprise. Various factors have contributed to this end — among 
them being lower rents, fewer lines of goods with heavy turn-over, low capital 
cost, and low advertising costs. 

The competition of chain stores has affected the rate of growth of consumer 
cooperatives in the United States. The price range offered by chain stores is 
low — often as low as the cooperative prices. The basic fault here is not 
primarily in the price or service field. The danger in the chain-store movement 
is in the concentration of income, which, as already explained, presents the 
most serious internal economic problem in the United States. It is important 
from the standpoint of economic balance to have the numerous small profits 
go to a large number of consumers in lower prices and to labor in hi^htn- wages 
than to a very few private enterprises, for in the aggregate these small profits 
represent millions of dollars. 

Small cooperative organizations among farmers are increasing. This move- 
ment is an expansion of the old threshing rings where 5 to 10 farmers joined 
in working and owning a threshing machine. These small co-ops now own 
tractors and tractor equipment for operating land as well as for harvests. 
This enables them to get good equipment. It helps the small farmer to compete 
with the large operator. 

In 1939 the Farm Security Administration helped more than 200,000 farmers 
in the organ izition of small service cooperatives, in every State in the Union. 
Nearly 1,500 farm groups were aided in buying bulls, stallions, boars, .jacks, 
:and rams, which means better livestock and larger incomes. In Box Elder 
-County, Urah, more than 200 small co-ops are now in operation. They are 


engaged in a wide range of activities and include approximately 900 farm 

Health protection has been stressed more recently as an effective field for 
cooperative work. In 1939 the Farm Security Administration, which has 
taken the lead in this work, helped more than 150,000 farm families to form 
health associations. These groups usually include from 150 to 300 families 
in a single county. Each family pays in advance a fee ranging from $15 to 
$80 per year. If anybody in the family gets sick, they go to the doctor of 
their own choice and get whatever treatment and medicine they need. The 
doctor turns the bill into the association for payment. The movement received 
its first big impetus in California where the poor health conditions among 
migrants necessitate action. The county health authorities were unable to 
handle the problem. 

The cooperatives so far discussed have all been of the consumer type. 
They might be divided into three types. The first represents the larger interests 
of the public whose interests as consumers concern the natural resources of 
the Nation, their conservation and proper use. The second includes consumers' 
cooperatives, starting with municipal ownership, or public ownership of utilities 
on a wider base than the city, and ending with retail store ownership by 
consumers. The third type of consumer cooperatives are those made up of 
producers who as producers are consumers of goods and services. In each of 
these the motive is to get more for less. But in addition there is a vital 
effect upon basic economic balance due to the fact that consumer cooperation 
effectively distributes income. 

Producers' cooperatives are of a diiferent nature. They include industries 
owned and operated by those who themselves do the actual work, in contrast 
to consumer cooperatives who hire work done or who buy collectively in order 
to save cost. Producer cooperatives include self-help cooperatives, and any 
enterprise where labor joins together to produce goods on services that are 
for sale. 

Producer cooperation has one primary advantage. It permits individual 
producers to join together on a basis which permits the employment of manage- 
ment skill and permits, also, the economies inherent in specialization, division 
of labor and association in production. These are the advantages enjoyed 
by private industry. Applying them in a cooperative venture channels the 
economies into the hands of those who do the work rather than into the 
hands of stockholders who may have no other connection with industry than 
that of ownership. 

The much-talked-of cotton picker can be used as an illustration. If the 
cotton picker is owned by stockholders or individuals who own or operate a 
large plantation it will result in a very large increase in the number of dis- 
possessed farm families, for the cotton picker will do their work and the 
employers will not need them. If, on the other hand, the cotton picker is 
owned by those who till the fields and pick the cotton it will result in In- 
creased attendance at school, better homes, and larger incomes for those 
who work. Women and children pick much of the cotton in the United 
States. Ownership of the cotton picker by the farmers who do the work in 
the fields would release the women and children from the necessity of working 
in the fields. But the leisure thus created will be very different from the 
leisure of unemployment. The women will be able to remain at home where 
they are very badly needed and the children will be free to go to school, 
while the men do the work in the field. The income to ownership will flow 
into their hands to augment their meager wage income. 

There are two problems which are involved in producer cooperation. One 
concerns class interest. Any group of producers, whether private producers 
or cooperatives, who control production tend to promote their interests at the 
sacrifice of the welfare of consumers. An industry owned and managed by labor 
is apt to want to raise prices, even by securing monopoly advantages if they 
can, just as private enterprises do. That is wiiy essential services such as 
water distribution, or highways, ai'e publicly owned. 

The second disadvantage in producer cooperation is that there is no wholly 
satisfactory way of dividing the produce. The fishermen of Norway did it by 
each doing his part in handling nets and boats and then following the principle 
of share and share alike. The Amana colony in Iowa, a producer cooperative 


which lasted longer than any other in the United States, changed its basic organiza- 
tion to that of a consumer co-op because the principle of contributing according 
to your ability and consuming according to your need developed a surprising 
number of drones. 

In a consumer co-op this difficulty is avoided, as a man gets what he pays for 
only. His share of the consumer profit depends upon the volume he buys and that 
is wholly his affair. If, for example, he has 1,000 tons of peaches to be sold or 
canned through a marketing or processing cooperative, he gets 10 times as much 
consumer profit as a farmer who has but lOO tons of peaches to be sold or processed. 

On the Mineral King ranch which is a mixture of consumer and producer 
interests, the division in tlie production activities is made through the payment 
of wages. Each member works for the corporation, of which he is a member. 
What each gets out of it depends upon the time employed and the character of the 
work performed. Profits above wages and capital costs are distributed in wage 
bonuses after setting aside a reserve for contingencies. This method may work 
well. It may solve the biggest obstacle to producer cooperation. 


Mr. Curtis. Will you give us briefly the liigh lights of those two 
statements which you have prepared, for the benefit of the committee? 


Mr. Packard. The first statement covers an investigation that I 
have made covering the Central Valley project in California. I made 
this for the Haynes Foundation of Los Angeles. This project is of 
interest to your committee because of two facts. 

In the first place, the counties that are to be served, or the areas 
that are to be served by this project, have shown a very large increase 
in po]:)ulation during the past 10 years. The rate of increase has been 
from 25 to 61 percent, as against an average for the United States of 
about 7 percent during the same period. 

The second point is that the project will serve about 280,000 acres of 
land not yet developed under irrigation. That means that there will 
be that much irrigated land available for settlement during the next few 
years, when water is made available. 

I might say, however, in that connection, that during the past 10 
years there has been a very ap])reciable increase in irrigation in this 
area in spite of the fact that those who have developed these lands 
have know that it would be impossible to continue irrigation from 
pumping very long without depleting the supply. They apparently 
have developed land during these past 10 years with full confidence 
that the Government would supply an outside source of water to re- 
plenish the ground water supplies from which they are drawing their 
irrigation water now. 

Those two points, however, are the reasons why this particular 
problem is presented to your committee. 

The situation in the areas to be served by the project is, in my 
estimation, in general, rather unsocial and uneconomic. On one hand, 
you have large farms that are in many respects similar to the old 
feudal estates of former days ; and, on the other hand, you have very 
email farms that are too small to enable a man to make a living. 

You have, of course, another group, intermediate farms, that are 
all right. But the great, the outstanding fact, in the area is that 
there are large farms on this feudal pattern and small farms on the 

200370— 41— pt. 8- 15 


other side. The feudal problem, or the large-scale operation, is what 
I want to mention first, because it is the most important. 

In the areas that I investigated from 50 to 73 percent of all of 
the land — 50 percent if I just include the upper San Joaquin area, 
and 73 percent if I include the delta area also — is in large farms, or 
farms of more than 160 acres, which is the limit the Bureau of Rec- 
lamation has set. Their law says that no water shall be furnished 
in any irrigation project to a holding in excess of 160 acres, and in 
this area a very large portion of the project, something more than 
half, is now in holdings that are larger than that limit. 

Mr. Curtis. Is that area already receiving water ? 

Mr. Packard, A portion of it is, not all of it. 

Mr. Curtis. When that is supplied with surface water, that then 
will be corrected. 

Mr. Packard. Part of it is supplied with surface water and part 
of it by pumping. All of the gravity water that is available is be- 
ing used in canals for surface distribution. But there are large 
areas that are receiving water from pumps, where they are pumping; 
from an underground reservoir. 

Mr. Curtis. But eventually, when they get water under a reclama- 
tion management, will this 160-acre law be applicable ? 

Mr. Packard. It will be applicable unless the law is changed. It 
is a basic part of the Reclamation Act. 

I might say in that respect — I will come to that later, if I may 
follow through with this; I will discuss that particular part a little 

There is one point I wanted to make i-egarding large farms, whicli 
1 think is quite important, and that is that they do not provide secur- 
ity for those working on the land as the old feudal system did. I 
lived in Mexico for a number of years. There a peon is born on the 
farm, he lives there, and he dies there. He has security. He knows 
where he is going to live. On the newer type of development, we 
find that these people are educated first by the State, and when they 
become able to work, they are employed when there is work. When 
there is not work they are not employed, and frequently are sup- 
ported on relief of one kind or another. And when they become old 
and are not able to work, they then are supported on public relief.. 
They are not supported by the land. That, I think, is a very funda- 
mental problem. 

In broad outline, the situation can be pictured perhaps by these 
facts that apply to one of the counties that is to be served by water 
from the project. It is, I think, the fourth largest county, agricul- 
turally speaking, in the United States. It has the largest peach or- 
chard in the world. It has one of the largest vineyards. It has 
more tractors than any other county in the United States. It is 
strictly an agricultural county. During a portion of the year, more 
than one-third of the entiriJ population, rural and urban, in that 
county, is on relief. I think that, in general, pictures the type of 
thing that flows out of the concentration of ownership of land in 
the hands of people who employ the industrial process in agriculture.. 


There are various ways in which the conditions that exist in the 
area do not conform to basic reclamation law. I have mentioned 
one of them, the 160-acre unit. 

On page 25 of the report (table III, page 327 ^ this volume), you 
will see a table that gives the acreages. In the first district, 95.3 percent 
of the land in the district that has been organized to take water from 
the Central Valley project is in excess of the limit that is set by the 
Bureau law. The next one, 42.4 percent of the area is in excess. 

In one case, in the delta, of all the farms that I could find, covering 
nearly 300,000 acres, not one, in that whole area that I studied, was 
less than IGO acres. 

The second requirement in reclamation law deals with corporate 
farming. The law says, in substance, that no water will be furnished 
by the Bureau of Reclamation to land owned by corporations. 

Again, on page 30 (table IV, page 3279. this volume) , you will find a 
tabulation of the land that is now farmed by corporations. In one dis- 
trict, 98.4 percent of the land is owned by corporations. I think that in 
that district of 58,000 acres, 53,000 are owned by two corporations. The 
ownership in one was only 8.5 percent. In the others, it ranged from 
42 percent, to 26.7 percent, 17.9 percent, and 30.1 percent of the area 
that was farmed by corporations. 

Then, again, the Bureau of Reclamation law and administrative 
rulings provide that people must be res'ident operators. It was the 
intention of the Congress, and the Bureau, I understand, when the 
Reclamation Act was passed, to have the farms in the hands of those 
who tilled them. 

But on i)age 38 (table VI, page 3284, this volume), you will find 
aiu)ther tabuhition of the hind that is held now by nonresident owners 
in the areas, and that goes as high as something over 60 percent in one 

The tenant operation, of course, is a supplement to that, and in 
one of the districts, 77.1 percent of all the land is farmed by tenants. 
Tenancy is higher in most of the districts to be served by the project 
than in the State as a whole. 

So, you can see that in general it requires some modification of the 
reclamation law or it requires a modification of the patterns that are 
existing in the area now, before this matter can be worked out. 

Another point that I think is also of very great importance is the 
fact that the act that established the project was very clear in stating 
that the project should be operated in the interest of the people of 

I think I am right in saying that the constitutional authority which 
the Government has for developing water for private lands only — 
where there is no public land involved, and there is none in this area — 
depends almost wholly upon the general-welfare clause of the Con- 
stitution. Therefore, it seems to me it is exceedingly important that 
that matter be studied in order to be certain that what is done re- 
garding these situations that do exist now — and they do not conform 
to reclamation law — is done in such a way that the general welfare 
will be promoted. That is a policy, I think, that should run through- 


out, because not only did the act say so, but I think that is the con- 
stitutional authority which the Government used. 

There are certain advantages to large-scale operations which are 
very apparent. In the first place, they cut costs of operation. They 
do that in many ways, but chiefly perhaps by applying the principles 
of management, division of labor, specialization which goes with 
division of labor, and association in production which enables oper- 
ators to put crews in and do work quickly. Those are the principles 
upon which industry is established and they are the principles that 
are being used in the development of these large farms. 

The matter of cost also, of course, involves other matters, but I 
will come to that a little later. There is another point about all of 
these large farms which I think you will find very interesting. 
They are all organized on a village basis. Every large farm that I 
know of in the State settles the laborers' families in villages. The 
village may not contain more than 5 families. It may contain 200 
or 250 families. But they are always located in villages. 

That represents one economy. One well will support 10 families. 
It will support 1 family. It will support 100 families. It will 
give them all the water they need and provide a large operator with 
an advantage in investment in the very beginning because by putting 
1 well down he can supply many people with water, while, if they 
are scattered out, each man has to put down his own well, with 
much greater cost. 

As to the disadvantages of large-scale operation, in the first place, 
the large owners of land are the ones who own most of the land 
that is yet undeveloped. I know of one area of many thousands 
of acres owned by one company that is now selling undeveloped 
land from $150 to $175 an acre without water. That means that 
that company will get all of the increment in value, all of the pos- 
sible increment in value, in this project before the Government 
gets a dime, before the Government even develops its water supply, 
because that supply has not yet been developed. And if they are 
able to continue selling this land, they will come out with all of 
the increment and the Government will have to deal with buyers who 
have already paid high prices and charge against them a high 
cost for water. So that this speculative matter is exceedingly im- 
portant. It involves the general welfare very definitely, because I 
think it can be shown quite definitely that it is not in the interest 
of the general welfare that absentee OAvners of land, or large owners 
of undeveloped land should take all the increment in value that is 
being created by the development of a water supply at Government 
expense. . 

In the second place, many of the cuts m cost, due to large opera- 
tion, come from labor itself, which I think is quite an important 
matter. It is involved in another problem which is also important 
and is closely related to it, aiid that is the concentration of income. 

If you will refer to page 35 (table V, page 3282, this volume) , I have 
a table there that was presented to your committee in San Francisco by 
Dean Hutchison, of the University of California. By this table I think 
I can explain what I mean by both concentration of income and this 
question about cutting costs due to labor. 


In columns 6 and 7 of that table you will find figures showing 
the capital and management income per acre, and the value of the 
operator's labor. In the first instance, you have walnuts. The in- 
come to the management and ownership is $53.11 per acre. The 
income to labor — and this is a case where the owner is doing all 
the labor he can possibly do on that farm — comes to $14. Now, 
obviously, if you should concentrate 10 farms of this size, which 
is a size that will make $1,500 net income to the operator, you will 
immediately throw by far the largest portion of that farm income 
into the hands of 1 man, and 9 farmers would be receiving only 
$14 per acre, or a low labor income. It is an exceedingly important 

Now, run down the line to cotton. Cotton is the most important 
crop, from the standpoint of acreage, in this area. Here $9.30 goes 
to labor; $14.07 goes to ownership. Farms of 5,000 to 10,000 acres 
are common in that area. I know of one farm of 21,000 acres of 
land that has been developed in the last few years, operated by 1 
man, largely in cotton. If you have a farm of that kind — 20,000 
acres — there are 200 farmers who might be operating 100-acre farms 
that are displaced, and you have a tremendous concentration of 
income in the hands of 1 man, and it is taken out of the hands of a 
large number of operators who might be getting that amount if 
they were farming independent holdings. 

That is important in this way : The ownership of land and the in- 
come from that ownership is the prime virtue of the family-sized 
farm, because when the man gets old and is ready to retire, the income 
from ownership is supposed to support him and his wife during 
old age. Now, if you take that out from under him and concentrate 
it in the hands of a large operator, you are taking out from under 
him all of the social security that the traditional type of farming in 
America has provided, and it makes it necessary for the community, 
as they are doing out in Tulare County — as I mentioned a moment 
ago — to support those iDeople out of old-age taxation. I will come 
to the application of that, but you can see that is a tremendously 
important thing. 

First, you have the concentration of income, which, itself, is a 
serious matter. I think the Brookings Institution over here has made 
studies to show it is the most serious internal economic problem in 
America today — the concentration of income in the hands of a few 
people. Now, you have that on the one side. On, the other side, 
you are taking away the security^ from old age; you have people 
who mioht be independent owners of farms that would largely sup- 
port them not only in rather good income during their life, but 
support them during old age. Again, where you take away income 
from a large number of families, you are, to tliat extent, destroying 
the market for goods in America, and the market is a thing we must 
depend on. We must depend on our own market now more than 
ever before and where, as in cotton, you take $14 away from the 
owner-ojjerator and put it into the hands of large-holding owners, 
you are reducing him to a labor wage and taking away from him the 
portion of that money he might supply to the mai'ket in liuying the 


things lie might need. I think it is an important thing from the 
standpoint of the development of markets. 

The last point in this covers honsing. One of the economies that 
these large operators make is by providing low-cost housing. And 
when I say "low-cost housing,"' I mean it ; because, in many cases, 
it is exceedingly low. I have a number of pictures here that I 
would like to present at this time, with your permission, showing 
not only the type of housing, but showing, also, the type of settle- 
ment that we are getting in these communities. 

The first picture I am presenting shows two farms in the area 
to be served by this project. 

The Chairman. Just wait a minute: I suggest that the reporter 
mark them and attach them together as one exhibit, so that we will 
have the use of them. 

Mr. Packard. Yes. 

The Chairman. I think that it j^robably would be very much better, 
to have them become a part of the record. Of course, if you just 
talk about a picture it means nothing; but we will understand what 
you refer to if you mark them. 

(The pictures alcove referred to were received in evidence) } 

Mr. Packard. The picture I am presenting first shows views of 
two farms in the area to be served by the Central Valley project, 
which represents, I think, the ideal type we have in mind when we 
speak of the family owned and oi)erated farm. It is the type of 
standard we have in mind. (See photos 1 and 2.) 

I have here several other pictures showing not only the type of 
housing, but showing also the community type of settlement that is 
created on those large farms. Here is one where in the lower pic- 
ture [exhibiting], you have the headquarters; a store, a bar, an 
office, and the home of the operator of a large operation. (See 
photos 3 and 4.) In t\\& upper picture you have the houses, perhaps 
25 of them, that are grouped around this central office, and you can, 
of course, see the low standard of housing on that particular ranch. 

Here is another picture of a large beet plantation in one of the 
counties, operated by a hired manager living in a boxcar. (See 
photo 6.) The upper picture shows the houses occupied by the 
laborers in that area. (See photo 5.) 

I do not need to go ahead and describe the others; I think they 
are all self-explanatory. 

I am also presenting one picture of the type of community set- 
tlement that is created in the outskirts of these villages and towns 
in the area. They are generally called Little Oklahomas. It shows 
the type of housing developed in these small settlements. (See 
photo 7.) 

The next two pictures are of the homes of owners of large plan- 
tations, showing the tremendous contrast that there is in the living 
standards of the large owner, and the living standards of the large 
number of people who are operating the land. That is also self- 
explanatory. (See photos 8 and 9.) 

Now, as to the remedies that have been suggested. The Bureau 
of Reclamation, of course, have certain traditional remedies that 

^ See insert of pictures, p. 3288 et seq. 


have been applied. Almost the most recent is the one that is applied 
in the Columbia Basin project. There the Government has limited 
the holdings to 40 acres to an individual. A man and his wife can 
hold 80 acres; but the man now who owns more than that must 
sell all the surplus to the Government, or to any buyer, at a price 
not to exceed the price that is set by the Government, and the Gov- 
ernment has appraised the land at its dry-land value. That act 
was not only approved by the Bureau of Reclamation and passed 
as an act of Congress, but was supported by a law passed in the 
State of Washington, which also provides that that will hold true. 

A more recent project in New Mexico follows the same plan, where 
the area that the man can handle is limited, and anyone holding 
more than that area must sell the surplus at a price that is set 
by the Government, and the price set is the dry-land price. 

There are, however, other precedents I wish to mention. One is 
a project in Colorado, where all of the restrictions regarding the 
excess holding of land have been dropped, and a man can hold any 
amount of land there that he wants to hold. 

Mr. Curtis. May I ask where that is? 

Mr. Packard. It is the Big Thompson project in Colorado. 

Mr. Curtis. That was built by the P. W. A., was it not ? 

Mr. Packard. I do not know whether it was built by Public Works 
Administration or not. I am imder the impression it is an older 
l^roject, where the water being developed now is purely a supple- 
mental supply that will furnish land already under irrigation and 
already in j^rivate ownership and already developed ; so that the effect 
is quite different than it would be in other areas. However, two 
other projects are being affected by a similar act. They are both 
in the State of Nevada, and I understand they certainly will act as 
a precedent for California, if they finally are passed. They have 
been ])assed by Congress, as I understand it without a dissenting 
vote — opening up the destroying of the excess provisions of the Recla- 
mation Act for both projects in the State of Nevada. If that is used 
as a ]n-ecedent for California, it will mean that these restrictions that 
have been ap]:>lied in the past to all Reclamation Bureau projects, will 
not apply to these large holdings in California. 

Mr. Curtis. Were there any justifiable and unusual reasons for this 
action in Nevada? 

Mr. Packard. I have looked up the record in Congress and there 
was no debate. There was simply a letter from the Secretary to the 
Committee on Irrigation and Reclamation, saying that the Bureau of 
Reclamation know notliing about the merits one way or the other of 
the proposal and, therefore, could not make recommendations, but that 
they were studying the problem in a general sort of way and would 
ultimately know, but did not know then. That was all I could find in 
the record. And it passed, I think, unanimously but has not been 
signed by the President as yet. 

This Bureau of Reclamation proposal is one cutting the holdings 
down to family sized farms and forcing owners of excess land to sell 
at the price set by the Government. That is No. 1. That is in opera- 
tion now and, unless the act is changed by Congress, I suppose that 
will ap])ly to the California project. 


The second proposal for remedy is a proposed act somethinoj like 
the Tenant Purchase Act, where the Government buys land and sub- 
divides it into small holdings and sells to small operators, as they 
are doing nnder the Tenant Act. That, of course, is following the 
Homestead Act in theory— at least in part. 

The next provision is social legislation. I think the situation in 
agriculture is very different from the situation in industry, because 
land has certain characteristics that do not hold ordinarily in in- 
dustries. For example, if you have this ownership income con- 
centrated in the hands of one group and you pass social legis- 
lation, you are in reality taking a portion of that income back 
that the' Government, by the Homestead Act, intended to have in the 
hands of a large number of operators; you are taking that back and 
using it to support these people in their old age, or using it in sup- 
porting other services that the Government is rendering. And if 
you take that up, the large diiference is the differential rent value of 
that land. You will not injure the owner from the standpoint of 
the cost of operation ; it will simply reduce the cost of the land. And 
that can be taken without any disadvantage socially, without affecting 
the costs of production, and it can be used in various social ways. 
You get the point. Those people have taken these values from a 
large number of small operators, by buying their farms and consoli- 
dating them. Now, the Government can come along, through social 
legislation, and take back direct the land income of that land, and 
use it to support those families through social legislation, without 
affecting the cost of the product that is raised. 

Following that, of course, is another proposal; that is, for the 
Government to buy the land directly ; then let the Government own 
the land permanently, and rent the land in place of simply taking 
the rental income. That is being done on a number of Farm Security 
Administration projects. 

There is one project in the area that serves as an illustration. 1 
have some pictures here of that project, that I would like to submit 
for the record. 

This picture [exhibiting] is a view of the Mineral King ranch 
in Tulare County. (See photos 10 and 11.) In establishing thig 
ranch, the Kesettlement Administration, now the Farm Security 
Administration, attempted to apply all of the principles that large 
operators have applied to their holdings, to this new settlement Tlie 
farmers are settled in a village in the center of this property That, 
of course, enables them to have one well and running water which 
is supplied all from one well There are many economies in that 
type of thing. It enables them to employ management ; it enables 
them to specialize. They divide their labor — associate in production. 
In other words, they apply all of the principles that large-scale 
operators apply, and get the same advantages, with the additional 
advantage that all of the i>eople working on the land get the ad- 
vantage of the association in income. 

I have also here a picture of another type of village that has been 
established by the Farm Security Administration in the area, repre- 


sentin^ labor camps that you are all familiar with. The labor camps 
not only include places for temporary laborers, but also include small 
farms, where the laborers live in the area for a year or more and can 
have a garden and that sort of thino-. In most of those large camps, 
they have land associated with the camp that is operated coopera- 
tively, and it provides milk, for instance, at a cost of five cents a quart 
in liberal quantities, and the land can also be used in supplying 
vegetables to those families at a large saving in cost. (See photo 12.) 

(The photographs last above referred to were marked as an exhibit 
and filed with the committee.) 

That brings me to a discussion of small farms, and I clo not- want 
to take very much time on that. I think that point is perfectly 

The university has set a certain standard — for example, $1,500, 
as the income for a family, to be a satisfactory income, and quite a 
proportion — it varies in diiferent sections, but quite a large propor- 
tion of the farms that are less than 160 acres, or are within the limits 
set by tlie Bureau of Reclamation. They are very much smaller 
than and in many cases, only half as large as the farms that the 
University of California say are necessary to make a living with 
an income of $1,500. The problem there, of course, is obvious. 

Just one more thing about this Central Valley project, that covers 
the repayment. That, of course, brings in power and brings in other 
beneficial interests as well. I have not much time to speak about 
this, but will simply say this, that in the Shasta Dam a large amount 
of power will be developed. If that power is retailed through pri- 
vate agencies, it will cost nearly as much as any other power, because 
the whole income from the project will flow into the hands of the 
stockholders of the company, while if that power is distributed by 
publicly owned utilities under municipal ownership and that sort of 
thing, \\mt very large income (exceeding $200,000,000 in 40 years, 
plus 3 percent)' will flow into the hands of the consumers of the 
power in northern California. Again, that will involve, I think, 
the general welfare, because, in the one case, you are channeling the 
large income through a large number of consumers, who are charged 
higher rates, into the hands of a comparatively few stockholders ; by 
municipal ownership, you are reversing that process; you are giv- 
ing the large consumer-profits to the consumers in lower rates. It 
expands their buying power very appreciably, as can be demon- 
strated by this chart which I would like to pi-esent, Mr. Chair- 
man.i It is the Effect of Low Rates on Urban Domestic Con- 
sumption, Year 1938. It is confined almost wholly to California, but 
it shows tlie very definite increase in the use of power as the 
rate for power is decreased, and the rate is decreased ordinarily 
through municipal ownership. But publicly owned systems in 
California, in general, sell power at a lower rate than pri- 
vately owned utilities; so it is quite important from the standpoint 
of repayment and also important from the standpoint of the general 
welfare, as to whether or not the power in that project is distributed 
by the public, through publicly owned lines, or by private utilities. 

Chart held in committee files ; not printed. 


The next paper I have prepared - covers the general subject — Can 
the Low-Income and Destitute Farm Population Improve Their 
Status Throuo-h Cooperation. In order to hurry this thnig along, 
I will read a portion of it. 

Mr Curtis. Dr. Packard, there was just a question or two m 
regard to the Central Valley project that I had. Would you prefer 
that I ask them now, or wait until you finish this other ? 
Mr. Packard. It does not make any difference to me at all. 
Mr. Curtis. When will this project be completed? 
Mr. Packard. I do not know. I understand Shasta Dam will be 
completed probably by 1944, although I am not certain about those 
figures, but I think the project will be completed by 1944 or 1945. 

Mr. Curtis. Can you make an estimate in regard to this question : 
Assuming that some sort of arrangement is arrived at for the use 
of the land through small operators, how many people will it assimi- 

Mr. Packard. If you consider the undeveloped land only, you 
could settle perhaps 3,500 families in that area on farms. That 
would mean perhaps as many on farms and in towns, because I 
think, in general, you will find it requires about as many people in 
town as it does in the country, in a balanced rural area. That is 
only on the new lands not yet developed. 

Mr. Curtis. Now, suppose the Eeclamation Bureau's rule is not 

modified as to already developed land 

Mr. Packard. And that land is operated in large holdings? 
Mr. Curtis. No; supposing the existing reclamation law is not 

Mr. Packard. Oh, yes. That would make no difference in the 
figure I just gave you, because the figure I gave you was based 
on a family sized farm, and I was assuming some program of that 
kind would be worked out. 

Mr. Curtis. But you applied it only to undeveloped land; I am 
applying it to all the land in the area, in my second question. 

Mr. Packard. I do not know it would increase the total number of 
families that the area would carry, because of this fact: There are 
too many people now on farms that are too small to make them 
a living.' That number should be reduced. The proper settlement 
of the large holdings may provide homes for this surplus who are 
now on small farms, without providing any new homes for people 
not now on farms. In other words, perhaps the area is carrying as 
many total families as it should carry now, and there might be sim- 
ply 'a shift, where you shift families from very small farms to 
larger farms where they can make more income. 

I want to say, too, 'l do not necessarily recommend those large 
holdings be broken up. I think the cooperative operation of those 
lands does offer one satisfactory way to operate them in large units 
and I think, in the establishment of social legislation such as sug- 
gested — wages and hours; old-age pensions; housing; collective bar- 
gaining — it would at least help in meeting the social problems 
that these large farms have created. 

See p. 3313 et seq. 


Mr. Curtis. But in discussing this subject, you do not suggest 
to this committee that even its best handling will enable this project 
to assimilate a portion of those immigrants that are now in Cali- 
fornia ? 

Mr. Packard. It will not absorb any large number. 

Mr. Curtis. Now, go on with the next paper, please. 


Mr. Packard (reading) : 

Cooperation, if considered witliin its broad horizon, can be a tremendous 
factor in creating new opportunities for employment and in increasing the 
national income. There is no physical reason why the low income and destitute 
farm population cannot find, along with others in like circumstances, a place 
of security on a relatively high standard of living. But not wholly on the 
land by any means. There are more people now engaged in agriculture than 
can be maintained on the land at an acceptable standard. The problem goes 
to the root of our economy. To accomplish the desired ends, our way of 
doing things must be geared to the requirements of machine production. The 
logic of technology is a high standard of living for all. And the necessary 
adjustments require cooijeration on a broad front and in many lines. 

Cooperation, as considered in this analysis, includes political democracy as 
an essential base. People cannot depend for long upon autocracy or dictator- 
ship of any kind no matter how benevolent, as no man or group of men is 
wise enough, or sufficiently free from the disturbing effects of power, to be 
substituted for the choice of a free people. 

Universal sane adult suffrage is, then, the primary basis for effective 
cooperation. It is but an example of people joining together "in a mutually 
helpful undertaking — which is democracy." This calls for an abolition of 
poll taxes and other restraints upon free expression. Unimpaired, universal, 
adult suffrage among sane people is the surest safeguard against class rule 
of any kind. This is important just now because of the desire of some to 
disfranchise the unemployed who are, in the main, but casualties of an 
economic change. 

But suffrage also carries grave responsibilities. Democratic action cannot be 
wise if it is not based upon understanding. The spirit of the town meeting, 
working within a framework adjusted to a broad expression of opinion, is a 
necessary technique in any complex society. This technique has not been fully 
worked out, but the radio has. been a vast aid toward that end. Understanding 
flows, in part, from discussion. It is based in part also upon a native sense of 
right and wrong. But formal education is also necessary. Literacy is the most 
important avenue to knowledge. 

By and large, one lack among the low-income and destitute people In the 
United States is that many of them are not wholly literate. Most of them can 
read and write, but many do not do so easily, because their training has not 
given them sufficient facility. As a primary means of promoting informed 
action, the school facilities should be expanded. This applies less to buildings 
than to the number and training of teachers. The problem of schools for migrant 
families doing seasonal work presents special difficulties which require a better 
answer than has yet been developed. 


The consumer interest, however, is the only common denominator. All are 
consumers and all want an ample supply at reasonable cost. A national philoso- 
phy based upon consumer interest rather than upon any class interest will promote 
the interest of all. 

The philosophy of consumer cooperation has been widely accepted in the 
United States. Consumers of services in most towns and cities have banded 
together in the development of water and power facilities for their own use. 
They have built schools, roads, parks, and libraries. Federal operation of the 
post office and Federal ownership and control of rivers and harbors, highways, 
national parks, and national forests are examples of consumer cooperation 
through political democracy acting in an economic field. 



This, I think, is important for three reasons. Again, I am going to 
mention this distribution of income. Consumer cooperation doe.s 
effectively distribute income, as shown in the iUustration which I gave 
of the Central Valley project, in regard to power and also land. 

The Chairman. Is what you are reading from a part of your state- 
ment ? 

Mr. Packard. Yes, sir. 

The Chairman. Is it a part of the statement you will introduce for 
the record ? 

Mr. Packard, Yes, sir. 

Now, the second point I wish to make is in reference to consumer 
cooperatives, which do aid in the development of markets. One point 
I have not mentioned is that the consumer cooperative is one method of 
expanding activities and enterprises very largely. It is one method 
of affording employment or putting people to work. An illustration 
that shows this principle better than any other is, perhaps, the Forest 

The Federal Government owns 25 percent of the forest lands of the 
United States, and it spends 27 times as much per acre on that land as 
the private interests do on the three-fourths of the forest lands in 
private hands. Tlie three-fourths of the forest lands in private owner- 
ship re])resent by far the best forest lands. Now, that inoney is used 
in the employment of people in putting out fires, cutting brush, and 
doing conservation work of one kind or another. In that work the 
Government spends something like 33 cents per acre, while the private 
forest land owners spend 1.3 cents per acre. When it is in ])rivate 
ownership, it is affected by the desire to earn profits and, of course, any 
inoney spent on the conservation or protection of the land is taken 
from profits. 

Where you have consumer ownership through the Government, all 
ihe money derived from grazing fees as well as the money derived from 
the sale of timber or sale of the land, is tiirned back in the employ- 
ment of services on the land. That is a very good illustration of the 
way employment can be increased by consumer activities through 
consumer enterprises. 

More recently, of course, the people of the country have become 
concerned over soil erosion, just as we became^ concerned over the mat- 
ter of forest destruction some years ago. At the present time we are 
spending about $23,000,000 a year in the employment of experts in 
erosion control in the United States. Another example of consumer 
cooperatives used in expanding activities is where other motives do not 
serve. There are, of course,, many other types of cooperative owner- 
ship, such as the ownershi]) of land resources. For illustration, there 
is the Mineral King ranch project. That is one example which is 
very basic. 

I know that there are a great many people who have recommended 
that all the land in the Columbia Basin project be purchased by the 
Government, and some have recommended that all the undeveloped 
land in California be purchased by the Government. That means 
getting those resources into the hands of the Government so they 
may be used in the interest of all. 


Now, marketing and processing cooperatives are important m re- 
ducing the cost of operations. They are especially helpful to any low- 
income group that must look for economy m its operations. Both 
marketing and processing enterprises are common. I want to point 
out that they are essentially consumer cooperatives and not producers 
cooperatives. They are composed of producers, but the producers buy 
the materials and services they need. The same thing is true of the 
cooperatives that are being extended very greatly now through the 
Farm Security Administration. That is where farmers get together 
and buy mechanisms that the large farms use, so they can be used 
cooperatively, thus giving to those individual operators some of the 
economies that the large operators have. 

An illustration of the self-help producers' cooperatives is the Min- 
eral King ranch project, where they must divide the product that they 
tliemselves together produce. It is a difficult thing to divide it. 
That is one profit that arises in all producers' cooperatives. In the 
case of the Mineral King ranch project, the profits are divided in the 
form of wage payments. The system used on that project is one of a 
stock corporation. They employ themselves, and the division of the 
profit is on the basis of the work they do, because they are paid wages, 
and that is their share. If there is any profit left over, it is paid in 
the form of bonus wages and not stock. The division is made wholly 
on the basis of the contribution made in labor. That, I think, will get 
away from the difficulty that jeopardizes most producers' cooperatives. 

Now, there is one further statement I want to read here [reading] : 

In this very brief discussion of cooperation, I liave attempted to lift tlie co- 
operative idea out of a framework of mediocrity in wliich many are apt to place 
it and to put it into the iwsition of eminence that it deserves. 

We face a situation that is similar in essential features to that faced by the 
founding fathers. Hamillon in an appeal in the Federalist to the people of the 
State of New York had the following to say : 

"After an unequivocal experience of inefficiency of subsisting Federal Govern- 
ment, you are called upon to deliberate on a new Constitution for the United 
States of America. The subject speaks its own importance comprehending in its 
consequences nothing less than the existence of the Union, the safety and welfare 
of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire in many respects the 
most interesting in the world. It has been frequently remarked that it seems to 
have been reserved for the people of this country, by their conduct and example, 
to decide the important question whether societies of men are really capable or 
not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they 
are forever destined to depend for their political constitution on accident and 
force. If there be any truth in this remark, the crisis at which we are arrived 
may with propriety be regarded as the era in which that decision is to be made ; 
and a wrong election of the part we shall act may, in this view, deserve to be 
considered as the general misfortune of lilankind." 

We are facing a like issue now. Political democracy must be trans- 
lated into economic democracy. The interest of the consumers must 
prevail — for it is only through their desire for an ample supply of 
goods and services at reasonable cost that an economy of abundance 
can be built. 

The Chairman. You have made a valuable contribution to our dis- 
cussion, Dr. Packard, and we appreciate it very much. The state- 
ments that you have submitted are a part of the record. 


The Chairman. The committee will stand adjourned until to- 
morrow morning at 10 o'clock. 

(Thereupon, the committee adjourned to meet tomorrow, Tuesday, 
December 3, 1940, at 10 a. m.) 

(The following correspondence was received subsequent to the hear- 
ing and accepted for the record :) 

Pacific Gas & Electric Co., 
San Francisco, Calif.. January 16, 19Jfl. 
The Honorable John H. Tolan, 

Chnirman, Select Committee to Investigate th-e Interstate 

Migration of Destitute Citizens, House of Representatives, 

Washington, D. C. 
Dear Mb. Tolan: I enclose a copy of a letter, dated January 10, 1^1, ad- 
dressed to Dr. Walter E. Packard, of Bei-keley, Calif., who recently testified 
before your committee and in the course of his testimony commented on electric 
consumption and electric rates in the territory served by this company. 

The letter sets forth facts and views which we believe should be published 
in any record containing Dr. Packard's testimony. We ask the courtesy of 
such publication, either in the report of the committee or in the Congressional 

Yours very truly, 

W. G. Vincent. 

Pacific Gas & Electric Co., 
San Francisco, Calif.. Janunrii 10. 19Jil. 
Dr. Walter E. Packard, 

Consultant, 773 Cragmont Avenue, Berkeley, Calif. 

Dear Db. Packard : Recently, in testifying before the Select Committee of 
the House of Representatives Investigating the Interstate Migration of Destitute 
Citizens, you referred to a chart which you said "illustrates gi*aphically how 
lower rates under public ownership tend to increase the consumption of power" 
and added : 

"A rate of 3.39 cents per kilowatt-hour charged by the Pacific Gas & Electric 
Co., for example, has been a factor in the consumption (»f 829 kilowatt-hours 
of energy per consuming unit. In Modesto a rate of 2.80 cents per kilowatt- 
hour has been a factor in a per consumer consumption of 1,206 kilowatt-hours. 
In Winnipeg the rate is 0.825 cents per kilowatt-hour and the consumption Is 
4,838 kilowatt-hours." 

The figures applied to the Pacific Gas & Electric system and to Modesto 
are new to us. Our record shows that in 1939 the domestic use on our system 
was 1,008 kilowatt-hours and the average revenue 3.33 cents. 

In the city of Modesto the domestic use in 1939 was 1,240 kilowatt-hours 
and the average revenue 2.78 cents; in the Modesto irrigation district as a 
whole (city and rural) the domestic use was 1,917 kilowatt-hours and the 
average revenue was 2.27 cents. 

Your Winnipeg figures are substantially correct, but you fail to mention 
that of the 4,838 kilowatt-hours all but about 750 kilowatt-hours are used for 
heating, i. e., cooking, water heating, and heating the house, upon which 
climatic conditions and the absence of cheap fuel have an importnnt bearing. 

Low electric rates alone do not account for greater consumer usage. Many 
other factors affect the situation. San Francisco, for example (with adjoining 
East Bay cities), has the lowest domestic electric rates on the Pacific Gas & 
Electric system, yet in 1939 the annual kilowatt-hour use per customer was 
only 694. On the other hand, 5 large cities on the Pacific system located in 
the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys, having slightly higher rates, had in 
1939 an average use per domestic customer of 910 kilowatt-hours. A group of 
95 small cities with rates higher than these 6 larger cities had an average 
use per domestic customer of 1,163 kilowatt-hours; 22 of the 95 had a use 
over 1,500 and 6 exceeded 2,000 kilowatt-hours per year. In the unincorpo- 
rated territory served by the company (about 180,000 customers), at rates 
higher thau in cities, the average annual use per domestic customer was 1,377 
kilowatt-hours. These figures clearly indicate the opposite to your contention. 
Factors other than low rates are equally, if not more important. 


For instance, the following may be cited. First, San Francisco is a metro- 
politan city with a large number of apartment houses, whose dwellers fre- 
quently dine out and visit the theaters and other places of entertainment. 
They use electricity only for lighting and for the operation of small or "con- 
venience" electrical appliances. Second, the city is supplied with cheap natural 
gas which is generally used for cooking, water heating, and house heating. 

That domestic rates are low in San Francisco is shown by the rate schedule 
itself, which is: Service charge, 40 cents; first 40 kilowatt-hours, 3 cents; 
next 60 kilowatt-hours, 2.2 cents ; next 100 kilowatt-hours, 2 cents ; and all in excess 
of 200 kilowatt-hours, 1 cent. 

Official agencies have frequently noted San Francisco's low rates. A survey 
made by the Federal Power Commission as of January 1, 1940, placed San 
Francisco fifteenth among the cities of 50,000 and over in the bill for 100 
kilowatt-hours. ,^ . , -,rv^/^^ 

A later survey made by the United States Bureau of Labor (October 1940) 
shows that in 51 cities surveyed by the Bureau only 4 had lower bills for 100 
kilowatt-hours than San Francisco. ^.^ , -r, .. 

In its annual report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1940, the Railroad 
Commission of California stated that California's utility rates are among the 
lowest in the country. . , ^ 

The commission included in its report a table "of the amounts paid for gas, 
electric, and telephone service in the 25 largest cities of the United States," 
which placed San Francisco in first position, with Louisville, Ky., second, 
and Los Angeles, Calif., third. 

In your testimony the argument also is made that low rates increase the 
general purchasing power." Apparently this statement is made without regard 
lor the contributions made by the private utilities in taxes. If low rates are 
secured by elimination of taxes, which must be made up by levies upon the 
citizens' income through some other medium, there is obviously no net gam 

in purchasing power. «.-, o nnn r.r.n 

In the year 1939 the Pacific Gas & Electric Co. paid upward of $18,000,000 
in taxes. Federal, State, and local. 

Property taxes and franchise taxes levied by counties, cities, and districts 
totaled .$9,225,000. .^ , ,. 

Taxes paid directlv to the State aggregated ,$2,006,000 including unemploy- 
ment-fund taxes, corporation franchise taxes, sales taxes, and motor-vehicle 

Federal taxes — income taxes on 1939 earnings, a tax on sales of electricity, 
taxes under the Social Security Act, taxes on stock and others— totaled 

The companv is the largest taxpayer in 25 counties in the State, including 
San Francisco." In some of the 25 it pays more than 50 percent of the total 
on the tax rolls— or, in other words, more than all the rest of the taxpayers 

In San Francisco our tnx payments in the year referred to on all property, 
gas and electric, were $1,617,891.21, representing 20 cents of the tax rate. 
That is, except for the company's taxes, the taxes of everybody else in the 
communitv would be at least 20 cents per $100 higher. 

Taxes Tire continuallv increasing. Our taxes for 1940 will be considerably 
greater than thev were in 1939. In 1940 they will approximate the total amount 
paid by us in dividends to all classes of stockholders, and we have a total of 
•95,000 stockholders, of which 70,000 live in California. 

In California no public agency supplies electric service at rates less than 
the private utilities if taxes are deducted from the rates of the private com- 
panies. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. could supply service lower than the municipal 
enterprises in its territory if it were free of taxes. 

When you speak of "customer profits" as flowing "to a large number of 
consumers in lower rates," yon leave a one-sided impression. The "flow in 
lower rates" would not create a new economic current ; it would change the 
flow of money that now goes into taxes and dividends into another channel. 
Farmers and home owners would not be helped if they gained a few cents or a 
few dollars in electric rates and then found themselves paying as mu<'h or 
more in taxes. 

Yours very truly, 

W. G. Vincent 


Berkeley, Calif., Janiianj 30, 1941. 
Dr. Robert K. Lamb, 

Chief Investigator, Committee on Interstate Migration, 
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. 

Dear Dr. Lamb : Your letter of January 24 enclosing copies of letters to 
Mr. Tolan and myself, from Mr. Vincent of tlie P. G. and E. has been received. 

I am enclosing herewith a copy of my reply to Mr. Vincent. 

Since the matter has been called to the attention of the committee I am 
giving a more complete answer to the points raised by Mr. Vincent in this 
letter tlian I did in the letter to Mr. Vincent. 

Mr. Vincent refers to figures given in a chart entitled "The Effect of Low 
Rates on Urban Domestic Consumption. Year 1938." The figures from this 
chart were quoted on page 8 in my testimony on "Can Low Income Population 
Improve Their Status Through Cooperation V These figures are for the year 
1938 and are correct. The figures cited by Mr. Vincent are for year 1939. 

The chart itself may be misleading because it does not show all factors 
involved in relationships between consumption and price. I am, therefore, 
in favor of having the chart deleted. The second and third sentences in the 
first paragraph on page 8 can be changed to read as follows : "The effect is 
well illustrated in power where lower rates under public ownership tend to 
increase consumption." ^ 

In my analysis I did not say that low rates were the only factor affecting 
consumption. Mr. Vincent admits that they are a factor, which is my only 
contention. Mr. Vincent points to the fact that a recent survey by the Federal 
Power Commission "placed San Francisco fifteenth among the cities of 50,000 
or over in the bill for 100 kilowatt-hours." On the first page of a publication 
by the Federal Power Commission dated January 1, 1940, and entitled "Typical 
Electric Bills, California," a table is presented which shows the lowest and 
highest residential bills for connnunities of 50.000 and more, in California. 
Los Angeles, where power is distributed through a public agency, has the lowest 
bills, while Long Beach and Fresno, where power is distributed by private 
agencies, have the higliest bills. 

No one wishes to deny that the P. G. and E. is an efficient organization. 
The fact remains, however, that rates charged by the P. G. and E. are higher 
in general than those charged by towns and districts where power distribution 
is publicly operated. 

Mr. Vincent next speaks of the effect of taxation upon rates and says "If 
low rates are secured by elimination of taxes, which must be made up by 
levies upon the citizen's income through some other medium, there is obviously 
no net gain in purchasing power." He goes on to say: "Pacific Gas & Electric 
Co. could supply service lower than the municipal enterprises in its territory 
if it were free of taxes." The facts are that the amount contributed to the 
payment of general expenses of cities by publicly owned electric utilities is 
appreciably greater than the amount paid to cities in taxation by privately 
owned utilities. The following paragraph from the report of the Federal 
Power Conunission proves this point: "The combined total amount of taxes, 
net cash contribution, and free services furnished governments by publicly 
owned electric utilities for the year 1936 was 25.8 percent of the gross revenue 
and 13.2 percent of the gross revenue for privately owned electric utilities." 

In the year 1937-38, the P. G. and E. i)aid 16.4 percent of their gross revenue 
in taxes. Alameda contributed 26.3 percent of its gross revenue under public 
ownership. Gridley contributed 23.6; Healdsburg, 43.5 percent; Lodi, 23.9; 
Modesto irrigation district 37.7; Palo Alto, 33.6. These are all towns where 
power is distributed through publicly owned agencies. These figures effectively 
answer Mr. Vincent's contention about taxes. These facts will all be ampli- 
fietl in my Haynes report. 
Sincerely yours, 

Walter E. Packard. 

See p. 3298. 


Berkeley, Calif., January 25, 19-'il. 
Mr. W. G. Vincent, 

Pacific Gas d Electric Co., San Francisco, Calif. 

Dear Me. Vincent : I was glad to get your letter of the 10th with suggested 
jiiodiiications iu my analysis of the Central Valley problems. 

I am rewriting the report and shall take into consideration the various pomts 
vou have raised. There are points you make with wliidi I disagree. On a broad 
basis, price always affects consumption. Tlie data presented, however, is mis- 
leading and wilfbe deleted. Another fact is that publicly owned utilities con- 
tribute more to city and other public funds than privately owned utilities pay 
in taxe!^. This fact is well established. 

It is understood, of course, that we view the problem from ditferent angles. 
The Pacific Gas & Electric Co. is an outstanding example of efficient management 
and serves the community well. But the basic issue remains. And it is my 
feeling that it is an issue of tremendous imijortance. It symbolizes, in a sense, 
the broad economic factors which have led to basic lack of balance. Whether we 
like it or not, we must expand consumption and restrict the present channeling 
of income into the hands of a comparatively small proportion of our popula- 
tion. Our continued existence as a democracy depends upon it. And so does 
world peace. Our economic patterns are not geared to the requirements of the 
machine age, and they must be adjusted if we are to continue using these aids 
to production. 

Sincerely yours, ^ ^ 

Walter E. Packard. 

National Press Club, 
Washingtwi, December 10, 19^0. 
Representative John J. Sparkman, 

Migrant Labor Commitice, House Office Building, Washingt07i, D. C. 

My Dear Mr. Congressman : I want to call to the urgent attention of you 
and the Tolan committee an incipient migratory labor problem which is de- 
veloping fast in my home State of Tennessee and in neighboring Kentucky. 
The locale is the dark-tobacco-growing country lying between Nashville, Teim., 
and Padueah. Ky. Growers there are facing a disastrous situation as they 
market their 1940 crop and make plans for the next crop year. The war has 
all but wiped out their export market. And exi>orts comprise more than half 
their total market for this particular type of tobacco. You can readily imagine 
the economic consequences of such a situation. Especially when it developed 
within the short span of one growing season and particularly when it occurred 
in a farming area where the average grower has always had to struggle to earn 
even a subsistence living. 

It will not be necessary for me to go into detail concerning the plight of the 
dark-tobacco grower. The attached data, which I shall identify later, presents 
the over-all picture perfectly. At this point I should like to explain the 
relevancy of the dark-tobacco problem to the scope of your investigation. I 
should like to tell why I believe it offers an excellent subject for consideration 
of the committee at this time. 

In some respects, the plight of the dark-tobacco grower is not unlike that of 
the southern cotton grower, about which you are already eminently well in- 
formed. With both crops we have witnessed the loss of a great share of our 
foreign trade because of nationalism, world trade barriers, and finally the out- 
break of war in Europe and Asia. Before the war started in September 1939, 
the difference between the two situations might be described as mainly one 
of degree. The tobacco situation was similar to but not as bad as the cotton 
situation. Or, to put it another way, the disease which had been sapping the 
strength of our cotton economy was in a more advanced stage. At any rate, 
after the war did break out the dark-tobacco farmer had to make more adjust- 
ments and make them more rapidly than the cotton farmer. That is what he 
has to do now. That is why his plight is so desperate. 

The present seems an opportune time to study migratoi-y labor aspects of the 
dark-tobacco problem in Tennessee and Kentucky. You have looked at migra- 
tory labor in the cotton field. But there the process by which growers are 
being forced down the ladder from owners to tenants to sharecroppers to 

260370— 41— pt. 8- 



migrants— that process has been going on in the cotton kingdom for so many 
years that it must have been difficult for your committee to get a panoramic 
view of its workings. On the other hand, the effect of war is so pronounced 
and so intense in the tlark-tobacco belt that your committee should find a rare 
opportunity there to watch migrancy in the making and from the over-all point 
of view. . , , , ^ , 

Aside from this, there are other reasons why migrancy in the dark-tobacco 
region presents an attractive field for investigation. It is a problem which is 
comprehensible. It is not too large to be readily grasped. The geogi-aphical 
area is restricted. The region where dark types of tobacco are grown is com- 
prised of a relatively few counties lying roughly in two congressional districts- 
one in Kentucky and one in Tennessee— and having a population of not more 
than 750,000 people. In fact, so small and compact is the region and so 
restricted the population that it would be entirely feasible to attempt a statisti- 
cal analysis of the development of migrancy there during the next year or so. 
This could be done county by county and without undue expense, in my opinion. 
If the life of the Tolan committee is extended by the next Congress, I suggest 
this as a possible project. Or if, as has been proposed, some permanent com- 
mission is created to deal with the problem, the suggestion is equally fitting. 

Finally, I should imagine your committee is turning its attention more and 
more these days to the effects of war and national defense upon the migratory 
labor problem. As the conflict abroad sprea<ls and becomes more intense, un- 
doubtedly there are many noticeable changes in the complexion of the subject 
which tlie committee is studying. And the same holds truis no doubt, as our 
national defense drive broadens in scoi>e and increases in tempo. I know of no 
area in the Nation where your committee could so clearly observe the impact 
of war and defense on the general problem as in the dark-tobacco-growing area 
of Tennessee-Kentucky. Our present ills are, for the most part, the ills of war. 
And perhaps our main hope of relief depends upon the coming national defense 
developments to that locality. 

I have referred to the migratory labor situation in the dark-tobacco belt 
vaiionsly as "potential," "incipient," or simply as a migratory "problem." Not 
having at my personal disposal the means of thoroughly investigating the situa- 
tion, I am n"ot certain which term most accurately describes it. On the basis 
of my own knowledge and the facts at hand, I am of the opinion that this 
region has produced at least some migrant farm labor within the last several 
years. For example, an official of Davidson County (Nashville) recently re- 
lated how whole families were moving into that county from the surrounding 
rural areas — and particularly from the tobacco belt to the north — and filling 
public and private charitabit' institutions. These people, who were without 
funds to enter private hospitals, apparently had cut loose from their moorings 
in the black-tobacco belt and drifted away. This official said the institutional 
problem in Davidson County was getting serious. In connection with the ques- 
tion of the extent of migrancy in this region during recent years, I call your 
special attention to one of the attached lettei-s on this general subject (Mr 

Regardless how serious the problem may have been in the past, a situation 
many, many times more serious looms in the imminent future — unless, of 
course, there are strong offsetting factors. To me, it seems almost inevitable 
that dire economic dislocations will result shortly if exports of dark tobacco 
are reduced from seventy-one to twenty-five million pounds within the space 
of little more than 1 year. And on top of that, growers in this section are 
confronted with a cut of one-fourth or one-third in triple-A allotments next 
year — a cut in allotments which are already small enough. (As evidence of 
their willingness to cooperate in solving this problem, dark-tobacco growers 
recently voted to undergo these drastic cuts by approving marketing quotas for 
the next 3 years. Eighty-five percent voted for 3-year quotas in the November 
23 i"ef erendum. ) 

Loss of export market, disastrous market prices, and the prospect of further 
and moi-e vigorous cuts in allotments — all these point to a precipitous drop 
in total income from the crop. This will be reflected in smaller individual 
incomes, of course. And, unless the unexpected happens, this will pave the 
road to migrancy. As Administrator R. M. Evans of the Agricultural Adiust- 
ment Administration told your committee on December 2, there is a direct 
relationship between income and migrancy. "There is no question but that 
the main single cause of migrancy is lack of income," he said. "If a farmer 
is making enough money, he will not lose his farm and go down the ladder to 
tenancy, and sharecropping, and migrancy. If a farm laborer is making enough 
wages, he will not be forced on the road in search of stray jobs * * *." 


Some agricultural experts with whom I have talked profess to see certain 
oftsettiiig factors. For instance, they see an antidote to migrancy m the 
Agricultural Adjustment Administration practice of cutting small growers pro- 
portionately less than large growers, in the making of tobacco allotments. 
Indeed, this would seem to be of some importance in helping the small grower 
remain on the land, but I am wondering just how effective it will be in the 
face of the export losses and quota cuts which lie in store for the dark tobacco- 
man before the next planting season rolls around. 

As another offset, mention is made of the fact that plans for the defense 
program call for location of plants in rural areas. This seems fair enough 
and particularly appropriate in the dark-tobacco belt, whose troubles are 
directly attributable to the war. But the question arises whether the Govern- 
ment has any specific plans for locating defense industry in this area. I have 
heard of none so far. Even assuming there are such plans, the further question 
arises whether the plants will be constructed and in operation in time to meet 
the first impact of the agricultural crisis in that region. All in all, this does 
not seem to be a very strong reed on which to lean our hopes at this time. 

In my opinion, Mr. Congressman, the dark-tobacco grower can place more 
reliance and hope in certain suggestions made to your committee — larger Farm 
Security loans to give growers time to diversify their crops ; more public works 
in the area; Social Security funds to take care of potential cases of migrancy 
where public works are not feasible; establishment of a permanent Government 
commission to study and experiment with the situation. 

Regarding the attached material : The first item is an article from the Nash- 
ville Tennesseean of Sunday, November 17, 1940, headed " 'Black Patch' 
tobacco growers face darkest year as Europe's markets continue padlocked 
by war." The author is John Lipscomb, a member of the staff of that paper, 
who has done a comprehensive and thoughtful article on the plight of the 
grower. I call to your special attention that part of the. article dealing with 
the outlook for tenants and sharecroppers in the region. 

The second item is a letter from the same writer, giving some supplemental 
data about the labor situation and prospects of migrancy there. 

The third item is a letter from Mr. Hugh Helm, who is a member of the 
Christian County, Ky., bar. Mr. Helm is a native of the dark tobacco country 
of Kentucky, just as I am a native of the same region on the Tennessee side 
of the border. Incidentally, he plans to return to his home within the next 
few weeks and make a more detailed survey of conditions there. If your com- 
mittee is continued the next session of Congress, my thought is that you might 
find his observations valuable at that time. 

We wish to thank you and the Tolan Committee kindly for giving us this 
opportunity to make a preliminary statement on migrancy in the dark tobacco 
belt. We earnestly hope you will seek and obtain authorization to continue 
your investigation "nevt year so that you will have time to deal more thoroughly 
with the Tennessee-Kentucky situation. 
Yours very truly, 

J. Lacey Reynolds. 

[The Na.shville Tennesseean, Sunday Morning, November 17, 1940] 

"Black Patch" Tobacco Gkowees Face Darkest Year as Europe's Markets 
Continue Padlocked by War — Opening Sales Approach With Dim Hopes 
for Good Prices 

By John Lipscomb 

The future never looked blacker for the Tennessee-Kentucky "Black Belt" 
than it does right now. 

That's a doleful note on which to begin a story, but in this case it's justi- 
fied — as the farmers in the biggest dark-fired tobacco area in the world will 
tell you if you care to question them. 

For many-many yenrs farmers in southern Kentucky and middle Tennessee 
have produced the finest dark tobacco obtainable in the world. Tightly packed 
hogsheads went down to New Orleans and were loaded in the holds of steamers 
bound for France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy — 
Jind of course a good-sized percentage was sold to tobacco firms here in the 
United States. But the best market by far was in Europe. Today that market 
has been cut in half by the war and eventually will be virtually eliminated. 
Of all the former foreign markets, little Switzerland is the biggest one remain- 
ing — and her purchases are of little help. 




There is a big difference between burley and dark-fired and air-cured tobacco. 
Burley growers, who are also numerous in this Kentucliy-Tennessee area, have 
been touched only slightly by the war. Their market always has been con- 
centrated in the United States, burley being used mainly for cigarettes and 
other ' light smoking." Dark tobacco, though, is used mostly in the manufac- 
ture of chewing tobacco (yes, a few still chew it), snuff, heavy pipe tobacco, 
and cigars. 

Confronting dark-tobacco growers at present are these questions : 

What will happen to prices this year? (The market opens early in De- 
cember. ) 

Wlu'J does the future hold for us? 

How much tobacco should we grow next year? 


Naturally, nobody can give an exact answer to the first two questions — but 
the growers themselves will decide the latter question next Saturday when 
they cast their vote on the Agricultural Adjustment Administration quotas for 

If two-thirds of all the growers in the district vote for the retention of Agri- 
cultural Adjustment Administration quotas, then Government loans will be 
granted again ; the amount of tobacco to be grown next year will be cut dras- 
tically, in some cases 25 percent or more, with each farmer growing a propor- 
tionate share. 

If the quota system is not approved, then every farmer — big and little — will 
be free to grow as much dark-fired tobacco as he wants to grow. Agricultural 
Adjustment Administration men say that such a course would be disastrous, 
and most of the growers agree — although some are doubtful. Scores of the 
growers were interviewed in a trip through the "Dark Belt" during the past 
week and less than 5 percent of them expressed opposition to the quota plan. 

In past "normal" years (JO percent or more of the dark tobacco produced in 
the "black patch" was sold abroad through export buyers in Clarksville, Spring- 
field, and Hopkinsville. Some of these buyers have virtually closed their 
offices — and the rest are literally twiddling their thumbs and wondering what 
is going to happen. 

Farm agents and Government officials say that of the current crop, not 
more than half of the usual amount will be sold to the foreign markets — and 
next year the export trade probably will be just about zero. 


As an example, W. H. Simmons «& Co., of Springfield, has received one lone 
foreign order for dark tobacco since last May 30, and that order still has not 
been delivered to its European buyer because of tie-ups in navigation. 

Adolf Hach, another large export buyer at Clarksville, also said that his 
business had just about hit bottom. Hach, like the other export buyers in the 
area, was doubtful about the outcome. 

"If the war should end soon," he said, "it wouldn't be such a big problem. 
Countries that have bought in the past would buy again. They probably would 
fill their present needs and buy for future demands — thus boosting the market 
again — but nobody knows when the war is going to end." 

The situation, everybody agrees, is dark but not hopeless. Both the Agri- 
cultural Adjustment Administration officials and the growers already are look- 
ing around for a crop that will take the place of dark-fired tobacco. 


So far, the answer to the problem seems to lie in the develolpment of stock 
raising and new crops. County agents in Kentucky and in Robertson, Mont- 
gomery, and other Tennessee counties were preaching diversification even before 
the war started in Europe — but the dark-fired growers are hard to convince. 

"I've been working tobacco all my life," Jake Reeves, a grower near Hop- 
kinsville, said. "There have been years when I made money out of it — and there 
have been years, like this one may be, when I didn't make anything." 

"It begins to look like I've got to find something else, though," he continued. 
"I ain't had much schooling, and I don't know much about big business, but 


I can see there's no use in growing tobacco if there ain't no place to sell it. 
What am I gonna tiu-n to? I don't know, but I guess it'll be livestock. I've 
been so worried over next year that I hadn't thought much about it yet." 

And tliat was just about what the other small growers said. Many of the 
smaller ones, of course, won't be affected by the quotas that will be placed 
in force if the vote is favorable. 


Help for the "small patch" growers was assured last Monday at a con- 
ference of dark-tobacco growers. Those who have no more than half an acre 
of tobacco under cultivation will not be affected in any way. Those who culti- 
vate from six-tenths of an acre to a full acre will not be required to cut their 
crop more than 10 percent under the quota system. 

Those who are really taking it on the chin from the war are the "middle 
sized" growers, the specialists, and the tenant farmers. 

A 3-mile ride over a dirt road in Montgomery County, turning south from 
Highway 112 about 6 miles from Clarksville, leads to the comfortable farm 
home of G. T. Bearden and his son, C. G. Bearden. Last year the Beardons' 
crop of dark-fired tobacco brought the highest average price in this dark-lired 
district— $17.42 per hundred pounds for the whole crop. 

The Beardens are discouraged but not downhearted. 

"It's a bitter pill to swallow," the younger Bearden said, referring to the 
mutilated market. "I've been worrying about what we'll turn to, but that's 
not bothering me so much as the question of what's going to happen to tlie 

'There are a lot of sharecropper families who depend almost entirely upon 
dark tobacco for their living. Of course, my father and I can start growing 
livestock and maybe make up what we will lose if the tobacco market stays 
the way it is. But thei-e tenant farmers over the district can't solve the 
problem that easily. 


"It's easy enough to say 'just grow some other crop,' but it isn't as simple 
as that. I believe the same thing that a lot of others believe — the tobacco 
growers, and especially the small ones, are going to have to grow more food- 
stuff and quit depending on the money they hope to get from tobacco. 

"Growing your own food for the table— and not having to run to the store to 
buy it — will go a long way toward solving the problem." 

Among the plans offered for relief of the tobacco problem was one by Hach 
based on "farm exchange," under whicli growers of dark tobacco woiili con- 
tinue to grow their product, and would receive Government "credits" on their 
surplus. These credits then could be used to purchase other farm products 
which the tobacco grower does not produce. 

"It might work," Hach said. "Anyway, they'll have to work out some- 
thing — unless the war ends pretty soon." 


Here is an official summary of the situation as set out by J. E. Tlugpen, 
Chief of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration Marketing Quota Section: 

"A year ago when farmers were getting ready to sell their 1939 crop of dark 
tobacco the market situation was fairly good. Surplus supplies had been 
eliminated. Domestic consumption and exports in the preceding year had 
amounted to around 145,C0O,00O pounds and the crop to be placed on the 
market was 139,000,000 pounds. 

''The war, which already had caused the closing of the flue-cured markets, 
fortunately did not interfere seriously with the selling of the 1939 crop of 
dark tobacco. 

"Today, as farmers get ready to market their 1940 crop they face one of the 
worst market situations in the history of the industry. Exports during the past 
marketing year ending October 1 amounted to only 46,000,000 pounds. Indications 
now are tliat exports for the current marketing year will be under 20,000,000 
pounds. Prospects for future exports are so bad that export buyers are almost 
entirely out of the market. 

"There is practically no demand for one-half of the estimated 1940 crop of 
137,000,030 pounds. Buyers for the export trade, farmers and farmer cooperative 
representatives have conferred with ofiicials of the Agricultural Adjustment Ad- 
ministration. With uncertainty about the reopening of export markets and with 


some tobacco of the 1939 crop still on hand — even though it may have been sold — 
export buyers are unwilling to invest much of their money in making purchases 
from the 1940 crop." 


If you want figures on what has happened to the market, here's what the 
Agricultural Adjustment Administration says : In 1939 a total of 68,272,000 pounds 
of dark tobacco was exported. Today, markets that received 40,33,7,000 pounds 
out of that total are closed ; markets that received 7,768,000 pounds are partially 
closed by blockade, and only the markets that received 3,271,000 pounds are now 

These figures, the Agricultural Adjustment Administration points out, repre- 
sent the weight of the tobacco at the time it was sold abroad. The actual farm 
weight — or weight of the product at the time the farmer sold it — was 75,500,000 

That is the situation as it stands now — and it has been a big surprise to a lot 
of the growers. 

The United States Department of Agriculture, though, is not surprised. As a 
matter of fact, the Department would be justified in handing out a formal 
"I told you so." 

Through the University of Tennessee Extension Service, directed by C. E. 
Brehm, the Department for the past 3 or 4 years has been urging growers of dark 
tobacco to ease off and go in for diversified farming. 


Here's what Director Brehm, Agronomist J. E. Hendricks, District Agent A. B. 
Harmon, and other Extension officials say about the problem : 

"The Extension Service has been aware of the declining dark-tobacco market 
for several years, as has the United States Department of Agriculture. 

"The solution — at least the only solution we see at present — is diversification 
of farm crops ; but that's not as easy as it sounds. A farmer who has been growing 
tobacco for years just can't shift to other crops suddenly. It requires a gradual 
transition. They will have to learn the characteristics of new crops. They will 
have to learn new farm methods — almost like a man who enters a new trade. 

"No matter when the war ends, the dark-tobacco market will never be the 
same. People — especially in the United States — don't chew much tobacco any 
more ; they don't dip much snuff — and there aren't many other uses for dark 
tobacco. Its use for the production of nicotine and other byproducts is limited 
and certainly has no great effect on the market." 

Hendricks, Brehm, Harmon, and other Extension Service specialists also agreed 
that the soil of Montgomery, Robertson, Macon, and Stewart Counties is well 
suited to diversified farming. 

Such farming, they point out, might include livestock, especially sheep and 
hogs ; fruit, and any crop that would help the farmer become more nearly self- 

The problem when boiled down, they maintain, is not just what is going to 
happen to the dark-tobacco market. The war, apparently, has settled tliat. The 
growers can't switch over to hurley tobacco because" that would upset the hurley 
market — and so they sum up the problem this way : 

"Since the dark-tobacco growers will have to begin diversified farming — 
how are they going to be cared for while the transition is in progress?" 

That problem, they say, "will have to be settled by bigger brains than ours." 

In the meantime, the Government is offering the more-or-less temporary quota 
plan and is hoping that the farmers will approve a 3-year plan instead" of the 
customary 1-year plan. 

Three years. Agricultural Adjustm'ent Administration ofiicials insist, will give 
opportunity for a long-range planning program that may take up some of the 
slack from the dark-tobacco market. The growers, of course, must decide be- 
tween now and November 23 whether they want a 1-year program, a 3-year 
program, or whether they want to start swimming bv themselves. 


The Nashville Tennesseean, 
Nashville, Tenn., December 10. 19'i0. 
Representative John Sparkman. 

Migratory Labor Committee, House of Representatives. 

Wasliiiif/ton. D. C. 

Deab Sib: I have been informed that the problem of several thousand grow- 
ers of dark-fired tobacco, who are facing almost certain ruin because of the 
virtual collapse of their market, is to be called to the attention of your com- 
mittee and I should like to offer some information that I have obtained along 
this line. 

There are approximately 30,000 growers of dark-fired tobacco in the Tennessee- 
Kentucky territory commonly called the "black patch," and of this number 
approximately 10,000 (certainly no less) are tenant farmers. 

The market for dark-fired tobacco has been declining steadily for 20 years,, 
according to attaches of the United States Department of Agriculture here, 
and the last props of this market have l)een knocked out by the European war,, 
which has closed all of the big foreign markets and most of the smaller ones. 

Marketing specialists tell me tliat, within the next 3 or 4 years at the most, 
these small farmers will be growing a crop that positively cannot be sold. 

The larger growers, of coiirse, realize what is happening and are rapidly 
being educated to the fact that they must begin diversified farming if ther 
are to survive. A great number of these large growers are planning to convert 
their farms to the growing of livestock or to crops that require less labor thau 
dark-fired tobacco and which have a market. The solution, though, is not a& 
easy for the small growers who operate their own little farms, or for the tenant 
farmers who own nothing and who, under the "new order," will be left literally^ 
out on their own. 

These are the people who are going to create a critical problem for us 

Tennesseeans and Kentuckians. It is obvious that, when their present work is 
ended — either this year, next year, or the next — they are going to start mov- 
ing to what they consider "greener pastures" — and your guess as to where 
these green pastures are to be found is as good as mine. 

As a newspaperman I am especially interested in this problem and I have 
talked to many of these tenant farmers and small growers. Neither I nor they 
know where they will turn when their dark-fire market eventually breathes 
its last gasp. 

Incidentally, I am using the term "tenants" as a general term and including 
sharecroppers under it. 

This class of farmers — here as in other sections of the Nation where labor 
migration has occurred — looks to the landlord to solve such problems. Natur- 
ally, when confronted with such an immense problem, the landlords can offer 
no solution except whatever solution is proposed by the Government specialists. 

If no such solution is offered them, it seems logical that what occurred in 
the Dust Bowl and in other sections where the demand for farm labor has 
stopped will occur here. 

Those unfamiliar with this problem immediately suggest: "Grow some other 
crop if dark-fired tobacco won't sell." But — to enlarge upon the point I 
mentioned earlier — there are few other crops suitable to this section which 
produce as many jobs and as much work as this type of tobacco. For instance, 
the State specialists for some time havQ been trying to persuade these growers 
(meaning the landlords) to shift gradually over to fruit crops. But as you 
can readily see, this offers no help for those thousands who have kept busy 
with tobacco. 

Livestock obviously is not the solution for the tenants and sharecroppers,, 
because it takes more money than they have ever made to start a paying live- 
stock farm. 

Agents for the University of Tennessee Extension Service, who have been 
watching this problem develop and who now regard it with real concern, tell 
me that there can be no quick solution. The only possible answer, they say,, 
is a long-range program (10 years or more) during which the farmers gradu- 
ally shift over to the most suitable crops. 


This is the point : no matter what program is adopted, it cannot immediately 
solve the problem of feeding thousands of persons who have no credit rating 
and who cannot support themselves while new work is being found. 

If I can be of service to you and your committee in any investigation you may 
make, I trust that you will not hesitate to call on me. 

John Lipscx)mb. 

December 13, 1940. 
Hon. John J. Sparkman, 

Migrant Lahor Committee, 

House Office Building, Washington, D. C. 

My Congressman: The activities of your committee have come to my 
attention and I would like to make a brief statement in behalf of the tenant 
fariuers and sharecroppers of the dark-flred-tobacco region of Kentucky. 

As you doubtless know, this section of the United States has long followed 
the agricultural policy of depending on one money crop, namely, dark fired to- 
bacco. The extensive and almost exclusive use of large areas for this purpose 
has limited the expansion of demand for luanpower on farms, largely to the 
expansion in tobacco acreage, while the increase in consumption of that 
commodity has by no means kept pace with the expansion of the population. 
As a matter of fact, the rate of increase in consumption of dark-fired tobacco 
has hardly exceeded the rate of increase in productivity per man, and the 
expansion of acreage in Kentucky. 

This situation has, for the past decade, been approaching the paradox 
of too many people for the present system of cash-crop farming, and at the 
same time, a large acreage of idle, though fertile, land. It is very obvious 
that we are now faced with a migratory-worker problem in the dark-fired 
tobacco region of Kentucky. 

In 1930 the excess of births over deaths in the South was about 15 per 
thousand, which would mean an annual rate of natural increase of 11/2 percent 
each year, enough to double the southern rural population in about 45 years, 
if none of the natural increment moved away. Looking back 4.5 years to 1885, 
however, it appears that even with the higher rate prevailing in those years, 
the rural farm dwellers of the South did not double in number, but increased 
only slightly. Evidently millions of people emigrated during the generation. 
The extent of this migration can be seen by looking at the figures themselves. 
These figures indicate that the rural farm South in the decade 1920 to 1930, 
exported about a quarter of a million persons each year to cities. Census 
statistics of birthplace further indicate that 24,100,000 of the native born 
population of the United States in 1930 were born in the rural southeast, but 
only 17,000,000 of them were living in the area of their birth. Thus, it is 
evident that over 6,600,000 had moved elsewhere, probably some 3,800,000 leav- 
ing the section entirely, and 2,800,000 moving to southern cities. 

Thus the southeast rural districts, after supplying their own growth, had 
exported about a fourth of their natural increase in population, supplying 
a large proportion of the growth of southern cities, and sending about 3,800,000 
to other sections of the United States. This was the situation up to 1930. 
Southern farms were exijorting populations to the sections were laborers were 
in demand, first to the west, then to eastern and midwestern industrial cities. 
Since 1930, the natural increase has continued at approximately the same rate, 
but the urban demand for this excess labor supply has ceased. During the 
depression years, the population piled up in rural areas, and as the Agri- 
cultural Adjustment Administration bai-red the entry of new farmers into 
agriculture, the problems of relief jind rehabilitation in the South were 
consequently accentuated. All of this is particularly true of the dark-fired 
tobacco area of Kentucky and Tennessee. 

Modern America for the past few years has ceased using snuff and chewing 
tobacco in the quantities that prevailed in former times. Therefore, a large 
portion of the domestic dark-fired tobacco market has been irrevocably lost 
to the farmers of Kentucky. With the advent of present hostilities in Europe, 
the foreign market has been completely lost to the dark-fired farmers. On 


top of all this, the Federal Government, through its voluntary quota program, 
has cut the 1941 acreage quota 25 percent. Where will the tenant farmer and 
sharecropper of the dark-fired region of Kentucky turn? The land ov?ners 
can turn to diversified farming, and particularly stock farming. But what 
will happen to those so unfortunate as to depend on sharecropping or renting? 
There must be some long-range program worked out by your committee to 
take care of this imixtrtant portion of our population. However, immediately 
there is suggested the location of some defense projects in this area. It 
seems to me that this would benefit the landowners, the growers, the merchants, 
in fact, the Nation as a whole, as well as the sharecroppers and tenant farmers 
of the dark-fired tobacco region. After all, their plight is not of their own 
making. They are but the victims of a progressing, modern civilization in 
America, and the unfortunate war in Europe. These people should not be 
forced to leave their native soil and wander over the States of the Nation 
looking vainly for a chance to work in seasonal employment in order to keep 
body and soul together. They deserve better than this. They are not shiftless, 
irresponsible vagrants without hope or care for the future. They are worthy, 
dependable citizens who are the backbone of their Nation. 
Respectfully submitted. 

Hugh B. Helm. 



House of Representatives, 
Select Cojmmitt'ee to Investigate the Interstate 

Migration of Destitute Citizens, 

Washington, D. C. 
The committee met at 10 a. m., in the caucus room, Old House 
Office Building, Hon. John H. Tolan (chairman) presiding. 

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

Also present were Dr. Robert K. Lamb, chief investigator ; Henry 
H. Collins, Jr., coordinator of field hearings; Creekmore Fath, 
John W. Abbott, field investigators; Ariel V. E. Dunn, Alice M. 
Tuohy, assistant field investigators ; Irene M. Hageman, hearings secre- 
tary; Richard S. Blaisdell, editor; Harold D. Cullen, associate editor. 
The Chairman. The committee will be in order. We will call as 
our first witness the Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins. 


Secretary Perkins. Mi\ Chairman, I believe you have received my 
statement of facts. 

The Chairman. Yes; we have; and it is a very valuble statement, 
Madam Secretary. It will go into the record at this point. 



Mobility has always been and still is a normal and vital feature of American 
life. So long as our economic and social patterns continue flexible, this will 
be true, and it is sound and wholesome for it to be so. 

The migration of workers is a healthy, sign of an advancing economy. We 
need a flexible adjustment of the population from the depressed areas, to the 
areas of opportunity, whether rural or urban, where people can hope to make 
a better living. The hardship of migration results fx-om failure to give efficient 
direction to the worker and his family who have the enterprise to move in 
search of opportunity. 

Since 1921, migration from abroad has been restricted. The burden of ad- 
justment to changing economic conditions has fallen upon native Americans. 
During the decade 1921-30, the chief migration was the northward movement 
of Negroes from the rural South into the urban centers of the North. During 
the great depression of 19.30 to 1933 both white and Negro workers moved from 
the cities back to the rural areas, seeking to exchange meager security among 
family and friends for the industrial opportunities which had disappeared. 
Today the majority of migi'ant workers are native white Americans who seek 




to escape from drought, depleted soil, or outmoded industry to larger oppor- 
tunities of advancing industry or agriculture. If we could provide these 
expanding opportunities in sufficient volume to take care of all the surplus 
population of the regions suffering from this decline in economic opportunity, 
the problem of migration would be quickly solved, although there would still be 
problems connected with absorbing those Who would move. 


The largest increases in our population are in rural ai-eas, especially in the 
southeastern section of our country In some of the areas where population 
Increases most rapidly, the soil is too poor to support even the present popula- 
tion on a good standard. In other areas, industry has moved away for various 
reasons. The largest increases in the demand for labor are in the northern 
and western sections, and in southern urban centers. 

Our cities, generally, do not maintain themselves by births in the city popula- 
tions. Yet these cities and their surrounding areas afford the greatest employ- 
ment opportunity. As a result, there was a net movement of more than 
6,000,000 persons from farms to cities during the decade 1920-SO. 

Migration is also needed to meet seasonal demands for agricultural and 
industrial work. Until recently, most American farming was conducted on 
a family basis, with the help of a few hired hands or sharecroppers who were 
provided with maintenance throughout the year. Today agriculture is becom- 
ing mechanized and specialized, in one region after another. As a result, 
there is a demand for large numbers of workers at harvest time, but not at 
other reasons of the year. This change increases the need for a mobile work- 
ing force which will "move in response to shifting seasonal demands. A very 
large number of people also move from place to place, often crossing State lines 
to take seasonal jobs in industries. 

At the present time, migration is also needed to meet the needs of our na- 
tional defense. Effort is being made, through the National Defense Advisory 
Commission, to place orders and build plants in areas where unemployed labor 
now exists. However, other considerations sometimes interfere. Speed dic- 
tates that our defense materials be produced in the areas where the facilities 
already exist. Strategy dictates scattered locations in the less-exposed areas 
of the country. These locations may or may not correspond to the places where 
adequate supplies of labor of the requisite skills are already available. Again 
a considerable volume of migration will be required to meet these needs, and 
it is already taking place. 


The people who move in search of greater opportunity today are mostly 
native white Americans. Cheap automobiles and good roads facilitate migra- 
tion, with the result that wliole families, including young children, now move 
more often than formerly. . 

Many of the migrant workers are those who have not made a good adjust- 
ment in the areas from which they came. But it does not follow that they 
are unemployable. On the contrary, the migrants are among the most ambi- 
tious and enterprising of our people and comprise more young people than the 
population as a whole. They are the modern pioneers who accept the burdens 
of adjustment to changing circumstances as did the travelers in the covered 
wagoii and the immigrants from foreign lands in earlier days. Our social 
problem of migration is that of guiding the migrant to the place where he may 
find the work he seeks, of avoiding useless and wasteful migration, of acceptmg 
the migrant worker for what he is, an. American citizen like the rest of us and 
not an outsider, and of establishing minimum standards so that the migrant's 
necessities will not undermine the wages and working conditions of the estab- 
lished worker. 


Not all migration is accompanied by distress. Much of the moving about is 
accomplished without creating a problem in public health, or in relief, or in 


housing. Distress occurs wtien migrants come too rapidly or in too great num- 
bers to permit ready absorption into our economic or social community life, 
when they appear to constitute a separate social or economic group or when 
the shortness of their stay makes effort on their behalf seem of temporary 

It is the migrants who usually pay the price of the economic adjustment they 
enable the community to make. Migrants often suffer because seasonal jobs 
which they take, in agriculture, pay low wages but require long hours on per- 
ishable crops. Such jobs are usually followed by periods of unemployment. 
Living conditions that go with these jobs are often far below any American 
standard of health or decency. 

Even in national-defense jobs, subject to Federal supervision and Federal 
labor laws, where, as a rule, hourly rates of pay are high, problems arise, be- 
cause the emergency may bring a sudden influx of workers, and often their 
families, to areas unprepared to receive them. 

Migrants frequently lack the protection of labor laws and social-security 
laws, not so much because they are migrants (although that is a special handi- 
cap and a bar to eligibility for certain services) as because they secure em- 
ployment in occupations that are exempted from most labor laws, and in sec- 
tions of the country that are poorly equipped with social services and with 
labor laws. The local population, which works alongside of the migrants, suf- 
fers from many of the same conditions. Both groups would benefit from 
broader occupational coverage in labor and social-security laws. 


1. Community attitudes : 

Our social and political institutions were made to fit the needs of resident 
rather than moving people. 

A striking example is our settlement laws, which still hark back to an Eliza- 
bethan idea that a man will live and die in the parish where he was born. 
People who move, even today, lose their claims on one community before they 
acquire a foothold in a new one. These people travel in order to perform useful 
work, much needed by the communities through which they pass, and most of 
them are citizens of the United States. Yet they do not obtain the right to 
apply for assistance such as is given to other people with similar needs, simply 
because they have not lived long enough in any one place to qualify. This is 
an unrealistic situation, and one for which I hope this committee will try to 
find some remedy. If there are to be settlement laws, at least they should be 
uniform within the State, and also uniform as between different States. 

The compulsory school attendance laws also are intended primarily for resi- 
dents. Even where the right to attend school is given to children of migrant fami- 
lies, school attendance officers often overlcok the children of migratory families. 
These children are a greater burden because of their irregular attendance, short 
stay, and fluctuating numbers, so that even with the best of intentions it is diffi- 
cult for the schools along their routes to fit them in. 

Many other examples could be cited of treatment which might be called "dis- 
criminatory," which arise from the fact that our communities are based on a 
settled existence, in spite of our long tradition of pioneering, and our need for 
these migratory people. 

2. Migrants are employed in o"CCupatioiis that are generally excluded or ex- 
empted from protective legislation : 

Migrants find employment on a large scale in occupations that are for the most 
part excluded or exempted from the coverage of State and Federal labor laws, and 
social-security laws: e. g., agriculture, packing and canning, and casual employ- 
ments, some G-f them in industry. 

Casual labor is not covered by workmen's compensation laws except in a few 
States. Casual workers rarely receive unemployment compensation between 
jobs because they have not had enough continuous employment in one State to 
qualify. Mr. Stanchfield, of the Michigan Unemployment Compensation Com- 
mission, pointed out before this committee at one of its field hearings that 42 i>er- 
cent of the claims filed in his State for unemployment compensation by migrants 
were disqualified for this reason, compared to only 12 Vo i^ercent of resident claims. 

Child labor is common among those migrant families that are employed in agri- 
culture and in processing of food products, these industries being the largest 


users of child labor. Child labor goes with low earnings (which induce families 
to put to work every pair of hands they can muster) and rush work on perishable 
products (which induces the employer to hire all whom he can get). 

In general, State child-labor laws governing industrial and commercial occu- 
pations have not been applied to agricultural work. But, with the extended 
production of truck, fruit, and berry crops and the increase in large-scale farm 
operation, the work of children on farms has beco-me increasingly industrialized, 
with repetitive tasks, long hours, and small earnings. Such work seriously inter- 
feres with schooling of child workers, both resident and migrant. 

While compulsory school attendance laws may, to some extent, restrict farm 
work during school hours, there too frequently is a lack of vigorous enforcement 
in the case of the rural child. In addition, these laws contain numerous exemp- 
tions under which children may leave school for farm work. 

3. Migrants are employed in areas lacking in labor laws and social services : 

iNIigrants are employed very largely in rural areas where social services are 
inadequate even to meet the needs of the residents. In many of these areas, too. 
there are few labor laws on the statute books, and such laws as exist are often 
poorly enforced. 

For example, one State estimates that between forty and sixty thousand agri- 
cultural migrants, and even larger numbers of temporary out-of-State workers in 
(he service trades and clerical occupations — between seventy-five and one hun- 
dred thousand — enter the State each year. This State lacks a fully organized 
State labor department and many of the essentials of a well-rounded State labor 
code. For example, a State official has recently pointed out that a wage payment 
and wage collection law could be used to good advantage in assisting the numer- 
ous workers ( chiefly in service trades) who file complaints that they have failed to 
receive the wages due them. When this happens, the migratory workers are left 

Migratory workers and their families are usually in areas where public health 
and medical care, even for residents, are inadequate and where there is little pos- 
sibility of extension of such services to incoming and temporary groups unless 
local resources are supplemented by outsid*^ fluids. 

The children's bureau found that out of S2 counties, in 17 States, where 
migrants worked, less than one-third provided any opportunity for e'ther resident 
or migrant mothers and children to secure such medical advice as is afforded by 
prenatal and child-health conferences and public-health nursing services, unless 
the families could afford to consult a private physician. The urban counties 
where migrants worked were only slightly better off than the rural counties. 

Although the very fact of migration connotes family instability, social as well 
as economic, migrant families are usually outside the protection of our community 
social services. Family welfare services are limited or lacking; ])iil)lic relief or 
assistance is usually not available for nonresidents. The protective services we 
provide to guard ciiildreii against dependency, neglect, and delinquency do not 
reach the children of migrant families. Recreational opportunities are limited, 
except for the cheapest commercial rec-^atiou. 


Migrants are often the very groiip most in need of protective services and of 
the benefits that labor laws are supposed to confer. The occupations in which 
many migrants work are low paid, highly seasonal, often with bad working 
conditions, and often bad living conditions, too. This is true in agriculture, 
canning and packing and preserving of foods and sea food, and in lumbering ; 
and some of it is true of the service trades in and about seasonal resorts. In 
most of these occupations, it is difficult for workers to organize to protect 

Migratory workers are often preyed upon by unscrupulous labor contractors, 
who are nowhere as yet subject to any effective regulations. Whole families 
may be brought long distances from homes by these conti'actors and forced to 
remain even under intolerable conditions, because the contractor has advanced 
the money for transportation and food, or because the worker will lose his sea- 
son's earnings if he goes back, assinning he can finance the return journey. 
Incidentally, farmers, too, are often victims of the contractors' practice of labor 

The transportation facilities provided for migratory workers by labor con- 
tractors and others, for which fares are collected, are in manv ciises not only 


disgraceful but dangerous to the migrants themselves and to others on the 
highways. jMuch of the transportation concerning which we have received com- 
plaints is in overcrowded, open trucks, making long journeys, crossing one or 
more State lines. Some of it is intrastate. The collision in Texas between 
a railroad train and a truck carrying 44 farm workers, the youngest being 7 
years old, is a striking illustration of the prevalent abuses. This particular 
accident did not come under the jurisdiction of the I. C. C, but many trucks 
similarly loaded are known to operate in interstate commerce. 

Unemployment is perhaps a greater terror to the family on the move than to 
the settled family. People forced to move in search of a livelihood soon exhaust 
their resources "if they do not find work. The earnings on one job are con- 
sumed at once or go to buy gas or pay for transportation to the next job. 
Even a short waiting period between jobs, or between pay days, means misery. 

Unemployment among migrants is not cushioned by funds for unemployment 
compensation, W. P. A. work, or general relief to the same extent as among the 
resident population. When individuals and families need help to survive, our 
present residence laws and patchwork provision for relief in effect deny them 
that aid. Surplus commodities made available by Federal funds, relief grants 
from the Farm Security Administration, and private charity are the chief 
sources of what little aid the mi,i;raut now receives. 

Migrant families suffer niorc illness and receive less medical care than even 
the .lowest income groups with settled residence. Many women go through 
pregnancy and childbirth without prenatal supervision or care at delivery by 
doctors or nurses. A higher proportion of children in these families suffer 
hunger and malnutrition, and develop serious physical and mental handicaps as 
a result of irregular and insecure living, lack of proper diet and lack of medical 
care. Hospitalization and medical care are pi-ovided oidy occasionally, in dire 

Even where there are not enough health and welfare services to go around, 
residents would gain something — in the crudest practical calculation — ^by making 
existing resources more accessible to migrants, for no community can isolate 
itself from the diseases which the migrants may bring with them, or which may 
originate in insanitary migrant camps. It is true here, as has been ob- 
served in another coimection. that you cannot keep a man down in a ditch 
unless you stay there with him. 


The National Conferences on Labor Legislation, the White House Conference 
on Children in a Democracy, the Interdepartmental Committee to Coordinate 
Health and Welfare Activities, the Baltimore Interstate Conference on Migratory 
Labor, the Social Security Board and its Advisory Committee all have urged 
extension of labor law coverage to workers now excluded. (Copies of these 
recommendations are submitted herewith.) 

Specifically, the recommendations of these bodies include — 

(a) Extension of authority of State labor departments to all places of em- 

(b) Immediate inclusion of workers now exempted under workmen's com- 
pensation and wage-collection laws. 

(c) Elimination of present exemptions in State labor laws. The most fre- 
quent exemptions are — 

(1) Agriculture and domestic service, from practically all tyijes of labor 

(2) Hotels, canneries, also telephone and telegraph establishments, from State 
hours legislation. 

Wherever exemptions could not be eliminated outright, the national confer- 
ence felt they should be narrowed as much as possible. 

The definition of agricultural work for purposes of exemption from the 
Social Security Act, which was adopted by Congress in 1939, runs counter to the 
commonly accept(>d meaning of that term. It exempts, along with agricultural 
field occupations, hundreds of thousands of cannery and packing-shed workers 
who are really performing industrial operations. The industrial nature of these 
jobs has been recognized by many authorities, in addition to the Social Secur- 
ity Board and its advisory conmiittee, who strongly advised against this exemp- 


tion and who are pressing for reinclnsion of these workers. The National 
L-ihor Relations Act also exempts agricultural workers. The board has kept 
this definition within the commonly accepted meaning of the term, and has 
held that packing-house workers are covered. In this it has been upheld by 
the United States Circuit Court of Appeals in California in a decision which 
the United States Supreme Court has refused to review. . ,. , 

(d) Setting a minimum age for employment of children in industrialized agri- 
culture, as dtstiuct from the home farm. ^ r.^^-, f n 

Improved educational facilities, equal to those for resident children, for all 
children of school age in migrant families and Federal and State aid to 
reniedv inequalities in educational opportunities. 

The' Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 applies the basic muiimum-age 
standu-d of the act to the work of children in agriculture during the periods 
when they are legally required to attend school. Within this limitation the 
act applies its basic child-labor standard to agricultural employment wher- 
ever the child-labor provisions of the act apply, that is to employment in 
establishments producing goods for shipment in interstate commerce, for exam- 
ple to truck farms whose products move in interstate commerce. 

In New Jersey, where there has been extensive use of young workers on 
industrialized farms, the State's 1940 child-labor law contains special provi- 
sions establishing minimum-age standards for agricultural work both during 
school hours and outside school hours, and includes specific administrative 
provisions for agricultural regulation. ,..,.. 

These are pioneering legislative measures. Experience in their administration 


ill be valuable in pointing out ways of adapting methods of labor regulation 
•iginally develoix-d for industrial and commercial employment to agricultural 


I. Extension of the coverage of labor and social-security laws, both State 
and Federal, to workers in industrialized agriculture and to all workers 
engaged in processing and packing agricultural products. 

This means, specilically, bringing these workers under such laws as work- 
men's compensation, child labor, wage and hour laws, wage payment and wage 
collection laws, legislation for collective bargaining, unemployment compensa- 
tion, old age and survivor's insurance. The places of employment should be 
under the jurisdiction of the State labor departments, so that investigations 
of working conditions can be made. 

One device which has been used to establish labor standards for certain 
agricultural workers is to make crop benefit payments to farmers conditional 
upon their observance of required labor standards. This has been done in 
the case of one agricultural commodity — sugar. 


Both state and Federal agencies engaged in mediation and conciliation of 
labor disputes should give increased attention to methods of settling disputes 
involving agricultural and migratory workers. 

On account of the shifting nature of the group of workers involved, special 
techniques may be needed to develop equitable and peaceful labor relations. 

II. Strengthening and extension of public employment service, along the 
following lines : 

ia) A farm placement service, operating on a regional basis, which will esti- 
mate crop needs in advance, make contracts with both resident and migratory 
labor, and with employers, route labor from job to job, and thus decrease 
the waste motions and cross-currents of migration, and the waiting time between 

(b) An industrial and construction placement service, with interstate clear- 
ance, is now being developed. It is badly needed in connection with national- 
defense projects. 

1 North Whittier Heights Citrus Association v. National Laior Relations Board, decided 
January 12, 1940, U. S. C. C. A., 9th Circuit. Certiorari denied by U. S. Supreme Court 
May 20 and October 14, 1940. 


III. Regulation of labor contractors: 

(a) By State law. Some States have no regulation for any kind of private 
employment agencies; others have laws which need to be revised in order 
to cover the typical labor contractor who recruits migratory, seasonal agri- 
cultural labor, who operates with his office under his hat and does not 
have premises that can be located and inspected. 

(b) By a Federal law designed to regulate agents who do interstate recruit- 
ing and placements. 

At present these operations escape all regulation except in a few instances 
where they may be caught under the emigrant agent laws which a few southern 
States have adopted. 

Such regulation should be under the jurisdiction of the State labor depart- 
ments and of the United States Department of Labor, respectively. 

IV. Improved enforcement and extension of regulation of transportation 
facilities, especially trucks : 

(a) By the Interstate Commerce Commission, for interstate traffic. 

(&) By the State commissions, for intrastate traffic. Apparently much of 
the transporting of migrants at the present time is illegal, and is done in 
violation of existing regulations. However, the regulatory bodies lack staffs 
and funds for enforcement. Existing regulations and basic ^^uthority to regu- 
late may need some revision. 

V. Housing : 

(a) Continuation and expansion of the Farm Security camp program. 

(6) State housing and sanitary regulations should be applied to shelter of 
migratory and seasonal labor, where codes already exist. Where there is no 
code, regulations should be adopted and enforced. Increased personnel and 
appropriations will be needed by enforcing agencies. The State labor depart- 
ment is the logical agency to make inspection of labor camps. 

(c) Low-rent housing projects to take care of demonstrated housing needs 
for workers on national-defense projects, along the lines of the projects aided 
by the United States Housing Authority, to be undertaken by local, State, and 
national housing agencies (authorities) where private enterprise is unable to 
build the necessary housing at rents the workers involved can afford. For 
higher-income defense workers, likewise, adequate housing will have to be 
built with the aid of public agencies and public funds. Housing developments 
will be needed for workers, both white and colored. Where pei-nianent housing 
(»f this sort is constructed, it should be planned not only to fill the immediate 
shortage, but to fit into the life of the local community. 

For short-run defense projects, temporary and in some cases portable housing 
will have to be constructed by public agencies. 

VI. Health, medical care, and welfare services: 

(a) Increased Federal funds under titles V and VI of the Social Security 

These are urgently needed to enable the State health agencies to strengthen 
existing public-health organization, and to extend to migrant citizens and their 
families public-health protection, maternal and child-health services, and medi- 
cal care facilities, especially provision for mothers and infants before, during, 
and after childbirth. 

(6) Allocation of national-defense funds to meet emergency needs for sani- 
tation, control of communicable, medical care, and health services 
(especially those for mothers and children) and welfare services in areas 
where defense projects are causing a sudden influx of population with concomi- 
tant public-health problems. 

(c) Expansion of local child-welfare staffs in areas where migrant families 
congregate, whether for agricultural, nonagricultural, or defense employment, 
to aid families with children, and to devise necessary protective services for 
boys and girls. 

VII. Public assistance: 

(a) Uniformity of settlement laws, both within each State and among the 

(6) Federal, State, and local cooperation in pi-oviding for aid to migrants in 
need of assistance. 

Federal grants-in-aid to the States similar to those now available for public 
assistance under the Social Security Act can be adapted to this end with the 

260370 — 11— pt. 8- 


Federal Government meeting the full cost of assistance for those who have not 
acquLi-ed residence in the States to which they have gone. 

(c) In areas undergoing rapid expansion for defense projects, special emer- 
gency provision for relief needs of industrial workers and their families who 
may be temporarily stranded because defense jobs are not ready for them, or 
because the jobs have closed down, or because they are not equipped for such 
employment as is available. 

VIII. Education: 

Adequate school facilities for all children, migrant and resident, with State 
or Federal aid where necessary to secure equal opportunities. 

IX. Guidance of migration ; rehabilitation, and resettlement programs : 

(a) Continuing study of regional resources and of economic opportunities by 
regions and by occupations. 

This would yield a picture of the need for outward migration from some areas, 
and the needs of other areas for immigration ; it should also include studies which 
give a picture of the obsolescence of some jobs and the emergency of others, e. g., 
the Labor Department's occupational outlook service. 

(&) Programs of assisting surplus population either to find new possibilities 
of employment at home or to migrate to economic opportunities elsewhere. 

Anything that can be done to rehabilitate areas such as those in some of the 
southeastern States, which today constitute a great reservoir of potential mi- 
grants, will decrease both the magnitude and the intensity of the migrant prob- 
lems here discussed, and should be encouraged. Planning would include, for 
example, public works programs for the conservation of natural resources — soil, 
forests, water power ; the promotion of sound industrial expansion ; the location 
of defense projects and the placing of defense orders in places where labor is now 
unemployed, insofar as compatible with other national considerations such as 
speed and strategic location. The education of our stranded populations in new 
skills, both agricultural and nonagricultural. is important. 

X. Need for a central coordinating agency to assist in planning future study 
and to promote both study and action : 

It would be desirable to have such an agency set up for a specified period of 
time, in order to focus all the scatti-red efforts that many agencies are directing 
at different phases of this vast problem. 

Whatever agency is set up should work closely with State and local groups and 
agencies where the problem is acute, in order to adapt the program to local needs. 
Our experience with regional conferences has been that local groups participate 
actively in a Federal-State program when they are given a chance to know what 
can be done. 


In any future programs the Uuited States Department of Labor can be counted 
on to continue its present services and to add facilities for dealing with this 
problem, including — 

Bureau of Labor Statistics.- — Occupational outlook service surveys of economic . 
conditions, working conditions, earnings, etc. 

Women's Bureau. — Studies of employment and working conditions of women. 

Children's Bureau. — Studies of child labor in both industry and agriculture. 
Administration of child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Fed- 
eral aid for maternal and child health, crippled children, and child welfare services. 

Division of Labor Standards. — Promotion of labor standards, including assist- 
ance to State labor departments and interested groups in the States. On the 
problems of migration, this has included assistance in holding regional conferences 
to discuss improving the status of migrants through cooperation of State, Federal, 
and local agencies. 


Some of the measures discussed are primarily for migrants. But we do not 
need to create many separate institutions and programs for migrants, if we 
recognize these jpeople as part and parcel of the whole community of the 48 States, 
and take down some of the barriers in the way of their getting the same treatment 
as those who stay at home. 


Such a policy rests on a primary assumption that the total volume of services 
(health, welfare, public assistance, etc.) will be amplified to take care of the- 
needs of both resident and migrant, and that the coverage of labor laws and 
social-security laws will be extended to cover many workers in occupations now 
left without protection. 

Migrants do not live apart from our whole social and economic system. In 
the long run, the best assurance of a decent life for migrants Is in the continued 
Improvement in the standard of living, and the opportunities for work, of all 

Appendix A 


1. Reports of committees and resolutions adopted by the Fifth National Confer- 

ence on Labor Legislation, 1938. 

Report of Committee on Extension of Labor Law Protection to all Workers 
(p. 3). 

2. Report of committees and resolutions adopted by the Sixth National ('onfer- 

ence on Labor Legi.slation, 1939. 

Report of Committee on Child Labor, p. 4. 
Report of Resolution Committee, p. 22. 

3. Recommendations of the White House Conference on Children in a Democracy. 

Children in Migrant Families, p. 24. 

4. Recommendations of the Interstate Conference on Migratory Labor (Mary- 

land, Delaware, New Jer.sey, Virginia). 

5. Report to the President on' Migratory Labor, by Interdepartmental Com- 

mittee to Coordinate Health and Welfare Activities. 
Recommendations, p. 20. 

Appendix B 

list of puhlrations oe united states department 01" i^vhol! wiih respect to 
migratory workers submitted by the secretary of labor 

Division of Labor Standards 

Statement of Clara M. Beyer, Agricultural Workers Under State Labor Laws, 

submitted to La Follette Civil Liberties Committee, May 22. 1940. 
P-roeeedings of Interstate Conference on Migratory Labor, February 1940. 

Women's Bureau 

Women in the Fruit-Growing and Canning Industries in the State of Wa.shing- 

ton, Bulletin 47, 1926. 
Women's Employment in Vegetable Canneries in Delaware, Bulletin G2 1927 

page 29. 
Application of Labor Legislation to the Fruit and Vegetable Canning and 

Preserving Industries, Bulletin 176, 1940. 
Employment Conditions in Citrus Fruit Packing, 1939. 

Bureau of Labor Statistics 

Migration of Workers. Part I, Nature of the Problem, 1938. 

Labor Conditions in Onion Fields of Ohio, Monthly Labor Review. February 

1935, page 324. 
Patterns of Agricultural Labor Migration Within California. Monthly Labor 

Review, November 1938. 
"^*193?^ ^^^^^' ^^^^^''^^^^^ *^ California, 1937, Monthly Labor Review, August 

Di-ought and Depression Migration Into Oregon, 1930 to 1936, Monthly Labor 

Review, January 1938. 
Seasonal Agncultural Labor in the Yakima Valley. Monthly Labor Review, 

August 1937. 



A Survey of Labor Migration Between States, Monthly Labor Review, July 1937. 
Migratory Farm Labor in the United States, Monthly Labor Review, March 

Drought Refugee and Labor Migration to California in 1936, Monthly Labor 

Review, December 1936. 

Drought Refugee and Labor Migration to California, June-December 1935, 

Monthly Labor Review, February 1936. 

Children's Bureau 

Statement of Katharine Lenroot, submitted to La FoUette Civil Liberties Com- 
mittee, May 27, 1940. . .^. ,, 

Statement of Dr. Eliot, submitted to La Follette Civil Liberties Committee, May 
27, 1940. 

Statement of Beatrice McConnell, "Child Labor in Agriculture," submitted to the 
La Follette Civil Liberties Committee, May 27, 1940. 

Migration of Workers, Part II, Social Problems of Migrants and Their Families. 

Wages, Employment Conditions, and Welfare of Sugar-Beet Laborers, reprint 
from' Monthly Labor Review, February 1938. 

Children in Agriculture, Bulletin 187, 1929. 

Children in Fruit and Vegetab'e Canneries, Bulletin 198, 1930. 

Welfare of Families of Sugar-Beet Laborers, Bulletin 247, 1935-39. 

Report on Social Problems of Migrants and Their Families Summarized, The 
Child, August 1937. 

Age Certificates for Young Workers Under the Sugar Act, The Child, October 1939. 

Regulation of Child Labor in Industrialized Agriculture, The Child, April 1940. 

Child Labor in Vegetable Canneries in Maryland, The Child, August 1940. 

Interdepartmental Committee to Coordinate Health and Welfare Aetivities 

Migratory Labor, A Report to the President by the Interdepartmental Committee 
to Coordinate Health and Welfare Activities. 



Secretary Perkins. I understand that in the review of that state- 
ment of the background you have discovered what is quite nat- 
ural—that it covers much' the same ground and deals with much 
the same circumstances and situations as do the factual statements 
of all the other witnesses who have appeared here. I presume that 
there is nothing new in it. We all derive our information from the 
same sources, with slightly different observations, due to the em- 
phasis either upon social, labor, or health aspects, of the situation. 

Of course, our people, in studying this for some years now, have 
naturally emphasized the labor aspects of the problems of the migra- 
tion of populations looking for work. But we recognize that there 
are other aspects to the problem, too. 

We delivered here yesterday a volume of all the reports that have 
been made in the Department of Labor over a period of time ; it is a 
rather large volimie, as you can see, of reports of one kind or another 
that have been made by different agencies and different groups in the 
Department of Labor. 

The Chairman. I might say to you, Madam Secretary, that this 
committee has traveled about i 0,000 miles. We went into New York, 
Alabama, Illinois, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and into San Francisco 
and Los Angeles in California. We think, really, that we have some 
facts. We came back here to Washington to conclude our discus- 


sions with officials like yourself, who have made studies of this prob- 
lem for years, as it has related to the work of your departments. _ 

Secretary Perkins. I would like to say, sir, that original studies 
in the Department of Labor were made by virtue of suggestions 
that came from labor commissioners of a number of States. They 
were being overwhelmed by some of the problems that came to them; 
migratory labor came into their States, and they had no way of 
regulating it, and did not know what to do about it. 

'We became aware that this problem was common along the whole 
Atlantic seaboard and this was even earlier than the time when the 
world became aware that the problem was acute in the western States. 
and on the west coast. The migration from the Middle Western and 
Middle Southern States to the West was largely due to a specific cause, 
the drought ; whereas, the migration in the Atlantic Seaboard States 
was largely local and was generally in the nature of following the crop. 

I am sure you have had described to you the following of the 
potato crop and all that sort of thing. But that had been going 
on over a number of years in New York State, where I was indus- 
trial commissioner for a number of years before I became Secretary 
of Labor. We had, for a great many years, been dealing with it 
as a purely local problem. We were not aware of the fact that it 
affected aiiy other part of the country and, in fact, a great deal of 
the migration was intrastate. It was the migration out of the cities, 
in what we call the upper tier, and the southern tier, also, into the 
vegetable-growing areas of the great black swamp area of New York 
where the land is so fertile and where they use it for market garden- 
ing, and into the cherry orchards. The people went out from the cities 
in the summertime to pick the cherries and other fruit. 

This was rather an orderly migration out of New York City up to 
the farms along the Hudson River, in the berry and fruit season 
generally, which created migratory problems within the State. We 
had never been aware of it as anything except a local problem and 
tried to deal with it in that way. 

Also, there has been for many years in New York State, going 
back 30 years or more, a law with relation to the handling of migratory 
labor when those groups were immigrants; that is, aliens. There 
was a great deal of exploitation of newly arrived immigrants, alien 
labor, at one time in New York State. Among your labor agencies, 
labor contractors, employment agencies, they were exploited and, in 
places, as you know, if you read some of the old magazine articles 
of 30 years ago, there was ex]:)loitatibn almost amounting to peonage ; 
people being taken out to labor camps by a contractor or a padrone, 
as they were called, and really kept there, and unable to leave the 
camp, with no means of getting away until the job was done. And 
then often there were deductions made from their wages, so that 
when they got through with the job they found that they owed the 
camp all but ]!erhai^s the carfare back to the city. 

That sort of thing, of course, required regulation, and laws were 
passed in New York State many years ago for the regulation of labor 


camps, immigrant labor camps, where the exploitation was of aliens, 
and also for the regulation and inspection of immigrant lodging 
houses, where another great form of exploitation had been found. 

But this problem of migration from other States had not come to the 
surface at that time. We were not aware of it. But I think many of 
the same problems, in lesser degree, that afflicted those early immigrant 
groups in New York State can be found scattered all through this situa- 
tion in lesser degree because of the fact that these people we are now 
dealing with are mostly native-born and speak English and, to a certain 
extent, know their rights and are not strangers in a strange land, so 
that this is not an entirely strange, new social and economic problem. 

The thing that is strange about it is that we find native-born Ameri- 
can citizens on the move in families rather than as individual mi- 
grants, which we have long been familiar with in the old gToups of 
harvest hands who followed the crops. 

The thing that is unique about this today is that you have family 
groups migrating. I sup])ose the automobile and rapid transporta- 
tion have contributed to making that possible. 

The decline of economic opportunities in certain areas has made 
it almost imi^ossible for these families to remain settled. But I feel 
that we ought to regard some of this migration as a normal part 
of American life and not to be too startled by it. 

Another aspect of labor settlement in the development of the coun- 
try and in the development of economic opportunities has been the 
capacity of the American people to be very mobile. It is the mo- 
bility of labor that is commented on, for instance, by all European 
economists who write on the subject. 

By contrast, in England, for instance, I have seen areas where the 
economic life had deteriorated. The coal vein was worked out. There 
would be no more coal mined there ever. And yet the people would 
not leave the valley and go somewhere else. It was that immobility 
of labor which created in itself a profound social and economic 

So that, if there are areas in this country which have ceased to be 
procluctive areas, it is desirable that people should leave those areas 
and they should leave those areas and find for themselves, or with 
direction and assistance from the Government, suitable places for 

Migration, of course, relieves the pressure on the overpopulated 
areas and also meets the seasonal demands for labor in agricul- 
ture and in industry. We have to recognize that many industries, as 
well as agriculture, need a certain extra seasonal supply, and we 
have to recognize that if there is a proper regulation of this flow 
of people and a proper direction of it, so that it does not cause individual 
hardships, there is no objection 

Today, when we see the expansion of the defense program taking 
place, and the deliberate effort on the part of the Government to build 
up industrial centers in parts of the country which have not previously 
had much industrial life— partly for safety of the population and partly 
for the protection of the plant itself— we realize that it is necessary for 
people to be willing to pick up and go to those areas. We have had 
perhaps a little too much of it in some places. The people have arrived 


in advance of the works being prepared to receive them and to employ 

That is, before the shipyards and the ways were erected, the 
people were ponring into Newport News, I understand. So that 
you had the arrival of prospective working populations before the 
work was ready for them. 


What I think we need in that field is mfinitely more direction 
on the part of the States and of the Federal Government. And I 
mean direction not in the sense of law or regulation, saying that 
you cannot go there, or you must go somewhere else, but direction 
in the form of information and advice as to where particular groups 
can best find resettlement and reemployment. 

I think, myself, that one of the important aspects of this whole 
problem is one which is in no way part of the work of my Depart- 
ment, and about which I therefore have no first-hand information, 
but only information of an observer who views situations from the 
labor side; and that is with regard to resettlement. 


I think a very large proportion of these people, who are the most 
distressed of the migratory groups, are people who both need and 
are desirous of resettlement. They want to be resettled somewhere. 
They do not wish to be migrant workers following a crop. They 
want a home and a base of operations. 

Some of them may want to continue to work as agricultural 
workers part of the time, but they want above everything a settled 
home. And I do believe that there is opportunity in this country 
for the provision of resettlement of that sort under proper super- 

I am greatly impressed with the opportunity which is now avail- 
able to us to open up the lands which will be newly irrigated by 
these great dams and water-impounding projects — to open up those 
lands for resettlement. But I realize that that has to be done 
under the most cautious and careful circumstances, and not only 
has the Government itself got to make provision about the sale of 
lands to homesteaders, but it probably has to make provision for 
taking back those lands when any individual family fails to make a 
go of it. Otherwise they will fall into the hands of large operators, 
who will collect them, farm by farm, until they have a great tract of a 
thousand or three thousand acres which again will be operated as an 
industrial farm. 

So that I think there will have to be some pro\Tsion for taking 
those homestead allotments back from people wdio fail to make a 
go of it. 

Also, I realize that not everyone can operate on irrigated land. 
It takes a specialized kind of farming and many of the people who 
are desirous of resettlement have no familiarity with the problems 
of farming on irrigated land. So w^e will have to expect the De- 
partment of Agriculture and the associated States agencies to take 
the lead in developing some instruction and information and even 
perhaps supervision, over a period of years, in regard to farming and 


fann operations for people newly settled on irrigated lands. Other- 
wise I doubt if a large proportion of them could make a success 
of it. 

If we could do that, it would settle the problems of perhaps one- 
third of the people who are now migrants unwillingly, who need to 
be settled and want to be settled, and who will make first-class settlers 
and homesteaders, capable of operating a family farm in cooperation 
with others very successfully. 

One is impressed, as I am sure you have been, wnth the rather extra 
good quality, physical and mental quality, of the type of people who 
are migrants today. They seem to be among the healthiest and most 
vigorous and most vital of the people of the United States. 

I presume that there is something in the idea that the more vigorous 
people are the ones that get up and move rather than become reconciled 
to a low standard of living in a depressed area. 

At any rate, they impress one as being people of vitality and people 
who, given an opportunity, would be rather certain to make good; so 
that it would be a very profitable investment for the future of the 
country to provide for the resettlement of a great many of them. 

As you know, the migratory people who come into a community 
have to make all of the adjustment themselves. It is an expensive 
thing to mio-rate and the communities rarely make any of the adjust- 
ments for them. They are on their own. They have to look out for 
themselves. They are seldom covered by labor and social-security laws, 
and they do not get their share of the local social services, partly be- 
cause of the attitudes of the community, which we can understand. 
A community is always fearful of the lowering of its own social-service 
standards. If they spread them out too thin, they are fearful of the 
lowering of those social-service standards, and often it is because the 
institutions, like the settlement laws themselves, are unfavorable to 
extending the coverage of social services to migratory or unsettled 


They often work, as you know, in occupations that are exempted 
from all protective legislation. They are found also in very large 
numbers in some of the areas which themselves have a lack of labor 
laws or of social services even for their own residents. 

The migrants, it seems to me, need this protection of legislation 
quite as much, if not more, than other grou])S, because they are fre- 
quently exposed to bnd living conditions and bad working conditions,, 
and because, as a shifting group, it is difficult for them to organize to 
protect themselves. They apparently suffer more illness and receive 
less medical care than even the lowest income groups of the settled 
population. And the sudden influx of large groups of workers and 
their families often taxes the resources of the local community and 
creates health hazards for the locnl residents. Also, it creates edu- 
cational problems for the local residents. 

It is undoubtedly true that if an epidemic breaks out in a camp, it can 
spread very rapidly, and it is likely to endanger the local communi- 
ties. The resident populations themselves in many of these areas need 
broader coverage of labor laws and social-security laws. These resi- 


dents, the people who live in these areas, work alongside these migrants 
and compete with them for jobs, so that whatever social services are 
made available on account of the migrants coming into a community 
will benefit the total population. That is true, particularly, of course, 
of such things as health and welfare and educational facilities, which 
are very necessary for the local population as well as for the migrants ; 
also improved educational facilities which are needed by both. _ 

I have seen, in a town that was near several of these migratory 
camps, the educational facilities pulled down, lowered, in ordered to 
accommodate these new people who crowded in. The taxes of the 
town had built up a good school system, which was just sufficient to 
supply their resident population. They had a system Avhere they had 
20 or 25 children to a classroom. With this influx of children coming 
in, uncounted, unknown, they were unprepared for them, and we 
found classes ffoing up to 60 or 70 or 80 per teacher, which is, of course, 
not a sound educational standard. And the teachers, of course, Avere 
unable to deal effectively either with the migratory children or with 
the local children, the residential children. 

An extension of aid in the way of educational facilities would have 
the effect not only of helping the migrants but of helping the local 


It seems to me that I ought to recommend at this time the extension 
of the coverage of labor and social-security laws, both_ State and Fed- 
eral, to workers who are not now covered, specifically including work- 
ers in industrialized agriculture and in processing and packing agri- 
cultural products. 

I want to emphasize industrialized agriculture because it is there 
that you have large-scale farming operations where the farm is car- 
ried on as it would be if it were a factory, as a matter of production 
of goods in a factory. And it is there that we have the most intense 
form of this problem, and that we have the opportunity to regu- 
late it. 

I am told that only 1 percent of the farms in the United States employ 
four or more laborers. This relatively small number of farms employs 
almost one-third of all the farm labor. 

Where you have the industrialized type of farming youffet the same 
problems arising that you do in industry. And the technique of using 
legislation as a method of establishing and creating certain standards 
seems to me to be suitable. 

Wliere you have a farm operated by a farmer who works it himself, 
you have a very different situation. There you have a situation in which 
the working conditions of the farmer and his family are determined 
by the farmer himself and not bv an employer. There, of course, his 
capacity and the quantity, quality, and ]n-ice of products he is able to 
obtain from the land with his own labor will largely determine the 
degree of schooling and health opportunity which he is able to give his 
own children. 

I think also I should recommend the extension and strengthening 
of the public employment services, particularly along the lines of an 



interstate farm placement service. When that is done real attention 
is given, not to meeting the temporary needs of the farmer by any 
means available, bnt to meeting these needs through an orderly and 
systematic method of handling the migratory laborers who want to go 
to work on farms for a season. This not only would meet the needs of 
farmers, through an orderly system, but would also make as much work 
as i)ossible available to those who are in the class of laborers who fol- 
low the crop. 

There is also at the present time a project being carried on by the 
public employment office in the Federal Security Agency, with special 
reference to developing industrial and construction placement service, 
particularly in connection Avith the national defense. This in itself, 
of course, will be of great assistance in handling the momentary acute- 
ness of the migratory-labor problems, but will perhaps not he necessary 
on a permanent scale. 

Then I think I should recommend that there be some regulation of 
labor contractors, both by State and Federal laws; by State laws, 
where possible, and by Federal laws to reinforce the State laws, where 
there is transporting of contract laborers across State lines. 

Then I think there should be much stricter regidation of transporta- 
tion facilities for migrants. And by this I do not mean special regu- 
lation of their travel in their own cars from place to place, except 
that those cars and their method of travel should, of course, meet 
whatever local laws there are. But I mean the transportation of 
migrants by trucks and busses in a sort of wholesale way under some- 
body's control . Tliere have been accidents and there are serious hazards 
involved in that, and we should have some regulation of it. 

Then I think we ought to recommend that there be a sound public 
housing program especially for migrants in agriculture. I think there 
shoukrbe recognition of the fact that there are two kinds of housing 
needed ; the one, temporary housing, for those who come really only 
for a feM' brief weeks to harvest a crop, and then move on, and the other, 
housing which is intended to establish a nucleus of pretty well settled 
people who will work over a whole area on the crops of a great many 
different farmers. 

There are two kinds of housing needed. But they should both be 
developed with a view to the })ublic welfare. The temporary housing, 
and even temporary camp facilities, can be made good. There is no 
reason why they should be made bad. 

I should like to recommend in the appropriation of Federal funds 
under titles V and VI of the Social Security Act that we extend to the 
States public-health, maternal, and child-health services to migrants. 
This is particularly necessary in the States that receive very large 
numbers of migratory workers. 

There probably should be some iipmediate allocation of national- 
defense funds to "meet the emergency health needs in areas where the 
defense projects are attracting a sudden influx of population way 
beyond the capacity of the existing public-health services to meet the 
needs of these newcomers. 

Then I think one must reconunend a movement toward a uniformity 
of settlement laws, both w^ithin each State and among the States, so 


that public assistance in the various States may be handled with 
regard to these migrants on a fair and reasonable basis. 

There is, I understand, a great difference in the settlement laws 
among the States; that counties themselves have settlement laws, and 
that witliin a State these settlement laws are not uniform. This, of 
course, makes for the greatest confusion. It means, of course, that 
persons will try to establish themselves in a county of a State where 
the settlement law is generous rather than in a place where settlement 
is very restricted, thus creating a very large burden upon the particular 
communities that are the more generous. 

That, of course, creates another problem. As you begin to get re- 
strictive laws, and as tlie counties of the States cannot bear any longer 
the increased burden, I think we have to look forward to Federal and 
State cooperation in providing aid to localities. They, in turn, then 
may give public assistance where necessary to migTants in need of 
public assistance. 

Then, with regard to education, I think we cannot in this country 
continue to endure a situation where we have inadequate school facili- 
ties for all of our children, whether their families find it necessary to 
move around as migrants or are settled in a high-standard community. 

We cannot bear this unfairness of opportunity offered to young 
children. So I think we have to look forward to State and Federal 
aid, when necessary, in order to secure equal educational advantages 
and opportunity. 

It is quite true that some of the States that are receiving these migra- 
tory families and their children are the least able under their tax sys- 
tems to support, and to increase the support, of school facilities and 
extend them to these children. 

Then, I think, there should be a continuing study of the regional 
resources and occupational outlook, with a special view to guiding the 
migration of families and of people who want to work or to settle in 
this country. 

You may have heard of the beginning of studies of occupational out- 
look in the Department of Labor. It is always very discouraging to 
any committee of Congress when we report that, although we are doing 
this work, we will not be ready to make a prediction with regard to 
occupational outlook for 10 years. This is what the wisest heads who 
have dealt with trends of population think is the limit. We should 
not attempt to say what occupations or what industries are shrinking 
or extending on a narrow basis — that is, 1 year or 2 years or 3 years — 
because that does not really show you anything; their trends do not 
show themselves effectively in a short period of time. Only trends that 
you can plot over a 10-year period will give you any sound basis for a 
conclusion. The conclusions drawn in a shorter time would be useless 
as a basis for planning. It would be dangerous to use them to suggest 
the movement of populations. 

I think that these studies should be continued, and that they should be 
a i^art of the scheme of things in developing assistance to stranded 
populations and in guiding migrants to suitable areas, either for agri- 
cultural or industrial employment, and in developing resettlement 


Then, of course, I think ahnost everyone who has appeared before 
you probably has recommended that there be a central agency set up 
to have some responsibility not only for taking the work that you will 
have done when you finish your report but also for taking all of the 
other work that has been done in the Government or outside of the 
Government and correlating it into a program of action. 

We know that you will have discovered a great deal when you have 
finished your work and have made your report, and what the country 
will have learned by that, and what the country has learned, and what 
Government officials know from their own reports and studies is really 

What we need at this time is to apply the knowledge we have. 
I have always observed that when you get people beginning to apply 
even a small amount of what they know to a particular problem, at 
once their comprehension of the situation becomes infinitely more 
realistic and less radical. And their treatment of the whole problem 
begins to be practical and realistic. 

So I think what the committee ought to do is to recommend crea- 
tion in some of the operating agencies of the Government a function 
in some bureau or division, whose duty it is not to examine and report 
alone but to apply or cause to be applied, through other agencies or 
through their own efforts some of the recommendations which will 
be made by your committee and have been made by others who have 
studied the subject. That, I think, is the most important part of it. 

If we begin to apply only a small part of our present knowledge to 
this problem, we would find that a large part of the problem would 
dissolve as the knowledge of the people dealing with it became more 
realistic, and as the solution of one part of the problem — say the 
health problem, or the housing problem, or the settlement problem — 
became established other parts of it would fall away. 

Of course, one cannot fail to observe that to a very considerable 
extent the acuteness of the problem today lies in the fact that we had 
climatic and agricultural disturbances which caused abandonment of 
certain parts of the country for agricultural purposes. At the same 
time we had the great economic depression, and that created insta- 
bility of employment in industry. Those two things coming together 
have made the problem particularly acute, and if employment im- 
proves and industrial expansion goes forward, as is anticipated, in 
the next few years a large ])art of the problem of unemployed migrants 
will disappear — at least temporarily. 

But I think one ought to point out that not all of the problem 
will disappear, and that the disappearance which does take place is 
not permanent. We must, therefore, consider the problem of perma- 
nent settlement of some of those people with relation to life on the 
land, and with relation to more permanent forms of industrial occu- 
pation. For instance, we know, if the war ends, or, if for any reason 
the defense program can be reduced, expansion such as the laying of 
ways at Newport News is going to be stopped 2, 3, or 5 years hence — 
whenever it may be. That will mean a large number of people at 
Newport News who came there as migrants, some from the land and 
some from industrial occupations, will again get in their cars and 


see what tliey can find elsewhere. I believe that through the coor- 
dinating of the problem in some agency — one of the operating de- 
partments of the Government— it would be as useful a thing as could 
be done. When there is some group of sworn officers of the Govern- 
ment responsible for this problem, not only for research but for action, 
then, I think, you will begin to see practical and realistic results. 

That will conclude the recommendations I feel I ought to make at 
this time. 

The Chairman. Madam Secretary, some of the Congressmen may 
want to ask some questions of you. 

Mr. Sparkman. Madam Secretary, I have read your paper with 
much interest, and I have listened to "your review of it Avith equal inter- 
est. I think you have made a very fine contribution to the record. 
There are a few things that I want to ask you something about. Prob- 
ably a good part of it w^ill be a rehashing of the statement you have 
already made, but one thing I noticed in your prepared statement — 
and you mentioned it in the beginning of your testimony this morn- 
ing— ^was your reference to migration as an economic necessity. I 
wonder if you would enlarge on that a little and tell us just why you 
consider it an economic necessity ? 


Secretary Perkins. Well, say they find a new oil field, what would 
we do if nobody would go to some remote part of the country where 
they found it? How would we ever get the oil out? I mean it is 
both natural for people to go there, and is necessary, from the point 
of view of the economic develo])ment of the country. 

What would we have done if working people had not been willing 
to go from their quite comfortable homes in the East and build rail- 
roads out across the mountains? I mean it was one of the economic 
necessities in the development of the West, wasn't it? You could 
not have had the West developed, otherwise, and the country would 
not be what it is today, and we would have a very different United 
States of America if there had not been a mobility and willingness 
of people to go into unsettled territory and into new enterprises. 

The same thing happens in the opening of a new mine. The 
opening of mines of metals and coal has required the mobility of 
labor and the migration of families of people who are willing to 
work at new enterprises. It still is true, I think, as we find new 
resources and new raw materials which become important, and which 
we want to exploit. Today we are told there has been, for the 
last 10 years, the pickinc: over of diggings of old gold and silver 
mines in Colorado and Nevada, because new metals — molybdenum, 
and things of that kind — have become important, and I think there 
is a great list of metals found only in small quantities in the slag 
or diggings that were abandoned, and large gi^oups of people are 
going out to work those over. Now, it is necessary for the economic 
life of the country to have these metals; therefore it is economically 
necessary for people to be willing to go and get them. 

We never can look at this problem of the migration of people 
to the great industrialized farm lands and this working of those 
farms on an industrialized basis, without feeling that it is so remote 
from our American conception of agriculture that it does not seem 


like a farm at all. It is like a factory. But we never can look at 
it and be asked to realize the horror of it without recognizing that 
the children in school — take the New York students — are eating 
spinach, they are eating carrots, oranges, grapefruit, and everytliing 
else that is good for their health and that gives them vitamins at 
a low price today because of those farms. 

When I was a child, fresh spinach in the winter was unthinkable. 
1 guess there was a little of it grown in the hothouse, but it was 
not on the market and people just did not eat it. They ate — what 
did they eat ? They ate turnips, or beets, in the wintertime, or went 
without fresh vegetables and did not eat any. So much about 
vitamins. But today we know it is true that protective foods are 
raised on those great farms which make the supply of those pro- 
tective foods available all over the country, so that a large propor- 
tion of our people are better fed today than they were a generation 
ngo. And that is part of the economic result of the willingness of 
people to migrate and to work those crops. 

Mr. Sparkman, Would not you say, also, it is an economic neces- 
sity, in a negative way; that is, in some instances, the particular 
locality in which they live may not offer them an opportunity, and 
they get out in order to better themselves? 

Secretary Perkins. Oh, yes, sir; that is very essential, of course. 
And I think the Department of Agriculture has always reminded 
me that the industrial workers of the cities have been, for genera- 
tions, regularly recruited from people who grew up in farming areas 
where there was not enough agricultural opportunity to support all 
of the children born there, and today those areas have remained 
prosperous only because the young people went to the city to work. 

Of course, I think we ought to recognize this, as Americans — that 
there is a certain amount of psychological relief, too, in this ability 
to move around. A great many people now — I do not mean just 
itchy-foot people — there is a great necessity for people of vitality, 
vigorous people, to get out of places of restricted opportunity into 
other places and make new homes for themselves according to their 
earning capacity and adaptability. I think to cut that off completely 
from American life and to develop a system where everybody had 
to stay where he was born and could not hope to find a job any- 
where else would be about as unpleasant as anything that could 

Mr. Sparkman. In other words, the point is that migration itself 
is certainly not an evil? 

Secretary Perkins. No. 

Mr. Sparkman. And is not something to be stopped? 

Secretary Perkins. That is my opinion. 

Mr. Sparkman. But it is something 

Secretary Perkins. To be regulated and directed. 

Mr. Sparkman. To be controlled, and certainly to be understood? 

Secretary Perkins. Yes; and to be so handled as to make it pos- 
sible for people who migrate to have social services and healthful 


Mr. Sparkman. You referred a minute ago to the fact that all of 
those people are not people with itchy feet, and I noticed, in your 
prepared statement, that you say migrants are among the most am- 
bitious and enterprising of our people. Of course, you know a good 
many people look upon them as being made up almost entirely of 
that'class of people simply with the urge to go, and a great many of 
them they consider as being simply loafers. You do not agree with 
that viewpoint? 

Secretary Perkins. Well, I suppose per thousand of population 
they have "just about the same kind of characteristics that any other 
thousand of i)opulation of Mio United States would have. I recognize, 
too, among the students in college, among any thousand students, you 
will find a certain number of loafers, a certain number of unadjusted 
people, and a certain number that won't study at all. I guess it is 
about the same proportion. 

Mr. Sparkman. In other words, you think they constitute a pretty 
fair cross-section of our population? 

Secretary Perkins. I think so. And certainly among them there 
must be some people who are merely loafers, some people who are 
merely restless, and some people who are a little overexcited, un- 
adjusted, unadaptable people, but also a very large number of good, 
solid people who want to work. 

Mr. Sparkman. Optimistic people who are seeking an opportunity? 

Secretary Perkins. Yes; but if you have any large number of 
people in a community where they are forced, by social circum- 
stances, to live a degraded life, invariably that affects the com- 
munity, and everybody stays down on that level. 

Mr. Sparkman. You referred, too, in your statement, to its effect 
with respect to schools. 

Secretary Perkins. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. And you think it would apply to conditions gen- 
erally in the community? 

Secretary Perkins. Yes. 

Mr. Sparkman. Health, housing, and living conditions? 

Secretary Perkins. It applies very much, too, as you always see, 
with regard to wages. If you can hire a man for a dollar a day, 
that tends to be the going price even for the native before long. I 
mean if there is a large group of people camping on the outskirts 
who are working for a dollar a day, then, before long, employers 
will be offering only a dollar a day to the people who have lived 
there all their lives and had received $3.50 a day. That is my obser- 
vation. It tends to bring down the wage level for the native popula- 
tion, as well as other things, to the standard of the camps, and tends 
strongly to depress the health standard. I think that is one of the 
first things one notices — that when a large number of people live 
under unsanitary, unprotected conditions, you get, first, a loss of 
housing comfort and then a flu epidemic, and that is spread to the 
total population around. They cannot be protected against it. So, 
if you cannot take care of and protect the people who are in the 
most disadvantageous position, eventually it affects the whole body 
of the community. 


Mr. Sparkman. You made reference to the disadvantage that 
migrants had with reference to social-security benefits. I wonder 
if you might specify to what extent, or some of those benefits that 
they do not enjoy? 

Secretary Perkins. For instance, a great many of them work in 
the agricultural lines which are so largely exempt, as you know, 
from any of the social-security benefits and are so largely exempt 
from labor laws everywhere, the laws of every State of the Union, 
as well as the Federal labor law. And many of them work for 
employers who employ a very small number of persons and who, 
therefore, are exempt from the social-security laws. These people 
are without the cash benefits which are paid to unemployed industrial 
workers during periods of unemployment, and are without the 
building up of the old-age pensions which are gradually being 
built up by industrial workers all over the country. The only thing 
they have in the way of security is public assistance, and public 
assistance laws, as you know, usually exclude them from its benefits if 
they are not settled. They are really out at both ends and, being 
very largely occupied in enterprises not covered by the Social Secur- 
ity Act, or by the labor laws, they get neither the protection of the 
regulation of wages and hours, nor the regulation of working con- 
ditions, nor do they get the protection of unemployment insurance, 
or old-age insurance. 


Mr. Sparkman. You made some reference there to settlement laws 
and I notice, in your prepared statement, you referred to it, but I 
wondered what your recommendation was in regard to them. With 
reference to the settlement laws, some people advocate that they 
be made uniform; others advocate that they be eliminated com- 
pletely. I wondered what your recommendation would be. 

Secretary Perkins. Well, as I have thought of it, I think I have 
thought of it in the terms of a movement toward uniformity, which 
1 think can only be brought about by cooperation and conference 
between the States and between the counties within the States. 

First of all, of course, it is highly important that the counties 
within a State and the towns within a State should have uniform laws 
in regard to settlement, and then the States themselves should move 
toward uniformity. 

I do not know whether you are familiar with the program that has 
been carried on under tlie auspices of the United States Department 
of Labor now for 7 years, and is still continuing — a program of con- 
ferences between the States here in Washington, annually, with re- 
gard to their labor legislation. It was out of one of those labor legis- 
lation conferences that this question 'of the labor aspects of migra- 
tory workers came sharply to our attention. These conferences have 
adopted standards of relatively uniform laws in regard to labor 
legislation. Not all of those have been adopted in the States and 
made law, but there is, for most of the subjects covered by labor 
legislation, a model bill, so to speak, drafted by the labor commis- 
sioners of the various States, together with the labor delegates ap- 
pointed by the Governors. Our experts in the employ of the United 
States Department of Labor assisted them in drawing up model bills 


covering most of the subjects ordinarily covered by State legislation. 
And many of those have been adopted — at least bills along those 
lines, modified to meet the needs or habits of the particular State, 
are being introduced regularly in the State legislatures and are being 
heard before their committees, and sometimes are votetl on and made 
into law ; sometimes not. But at least those programs are beginning 
to be adopted today. 

Now, I see no reason why there could not be almost the same thing 
in regard to settlement laws. There ought to be. Of course, the 
impetus ought to come from persons primarily concerned with pub- 
lic assistance, but it is so desirable that there should be uniform — or 
practically uniform — regulation in regard to assistance in all parts of 
the country, that I should believe there would be a ready response to it 
if anybody would take the lead. 

Mr. Sparkman. Of course, as you know, the tendency in the last 
few years has been toward harsher settlement laws, rather than 

Secretary Perkins. Yes; I know. 

Mr. Sparkman. Increasing the period of time and making it easier 
to lose citizenship in a State. 

Secretary Perkins. That ought to be corrected, I think. 

Mr. Sparkman. The suggestion has been made that if the Fed- 
eral Government should participate in direct relief, then it might 
make such participation dependent upon some kind of uniform pro- 
gram of settlement laws. Do you think that might answer the ques- 

Secretary Perkins. I think that might answer. I think the Fed- 
eral Government certainly should not do that unless there were some 
uniformity on the thing; it could not relieve one county because it 
had easy laws and all of the other counties dumped their unfortu- 
nate people into that county. We have seen that happen in some 
States that would regularly pay their way to some county where 
there was a large city that had developed rather reasonable care for 
migrants, or transients, as we used to call them. 

Mr. Sparkman. I noticed your distinction between industrialized 
farming and farming by the family unit, and I agree with you most 
heartily in the distinction you made. And I think we must come 
more and more to recognize that distinction. As I understand, your 
recommendation would be for these various benefits to be made ap- 
plicable to the employee, where the nature of his employment is that 
of an industrial employee. 

Secretary Perkins. That is correct, sir. 

Mr. Sparkman. But still you would leave the family-unit farm to 
operate very much as it is operating now ? 

Secretary Perkins. Yes. I think the problems of a family-unit 
farm have to be treated differently. I dare say there is the same equa- 
tion of a standard and opportunity necessary for them; but I think 
the method of treatment under legislation would be quite different. 

Mr. Sparkman. How do you think the most effective approach can 
be made toward eliminating the evils of child labor among migrants? 

Secretary Perkins. I think, sir, only by legislation. 

260370— 41— pt. 8- 


Mr. Sparkman. You referred, in your verbal statement, to a law 
that evidently you approve of, enacted by the New Jersey legislature 
in 1940. I wonder if you might tell us a little more about that? 

Secretary Perkins. That is a law that is an attempt to regulate 
and abolish child labor on industrialized farms. I am not familiar 
with the details of that act at this moment, but I dare say ^ye can give 
you a copy of the New Jersey law, if you would like to have it. 

Mr. Sparkman. I was interested in your reference to it, and if a 
copy of it could be supplied without too much trouble, I would be very 
glad to have it. 

Secretary Perkins. We will be very glad to supply that. 

(Co;3y of the law was supplied and reads as follows:) 



New .Jersey 

Chapter 153, Laws 1940 

[Assembly Bill No. 174, Substitute A (Regular Session)] 

AN ACT To limit and regulate child labor in this State ; to provide foi- examinations and 

inspections under the provisions of this Act ; to provide for the enforcement of this Act 

and regulations made thereunder ; to prescribe penalties for the violation thereof ; and 

to repeal other acts 

Whereas The employment of minors in occupations or pursuits wherein they 
are subject to exploitation is contrary to public policy ; and 

Whereas, Such employment as will impede tlie progress of minors, prove a 
detriment to their health, or interfere with their education should be abolished 
in the State of New Jersey ; and 

Whereas The work of minors in occasional and nonrecurrent occupations when 
not required to attend school is not thus detrimental, nor will it, when properly 
supervised by parent or guardian, constitute such exploitation ; therefore 

Be it enacted hy the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey: 

1. As used in this Act : 

(a) "Employment certificate" means a certificate granted by the issuing oflScer 
authorizing the employment of a child as permitted under this Act. 

(b) "Age certificate" means a certificate issued for a person between the ages 
of eighteen and twenty-one years. 

(c) "Issuing officer" means any superintendent of schools, supervising prin- 
cipal, or teacher in a school district who is designated by the Board of educaticip 
in the district to issue certificates or' permits in accordance with the provisions of 
this Act. 

(d) "Agriculture" includes farming in all its branches and among other things 
includes the cultivation and tillage of the soil, dairying, the production, cultiva- 
tion, growing, and harvesting of any agricultural or horticultural commodities 
(including commodities defined as agricultural commodities in section fifteen (g) 
of the Agricultural Marketing Act, as amended), the planting, transplanting, and 
care of trees and shrubs and plants, the raising of livestock, bees, fur-bearing 
animals, or poultry, and any practices (including any forestry or lumbering opera- 
tions) performed by a farmer or on a farm as an incident to or in conjunction 
with such farming operations, including preparation for market, delivery to 
storage or to market or to carriers for transportation to market, provided that 
such practices shall be performed in connection with the handling of agricidtural 
or horticultural commodities the major portion of which have been produced tipon 
the premises of an owning or leasing employer. 

2. No minor under sixteen years of age shall be employed, permitted, or suf- 
fered to work in, about, ot in connection with any gainful occupation at any time ; 
provided, that minors between fourteen and sixteen years of age may be em- 
ployed, permitted or suffered to work outside school hours and during school 
vacations but not In or for a factory or in any occupation otherwise prohibited by 


law or by order or regulation made in pursuance of law; and provided, further, 
that minors under sixteen years of age may engage outside school hours and 
during school vacations in agricultural pursuits or in street trades as defined in 
this Act, in accordance with the provisions of section fifteen of this Act. Nothing 
in this Act shall be construed to apply to the work of a minor engaged in domestic 
service or agricultural pursuits i3ei'formed outside of school hours or during 
school vacation in connection with the minor's own home and directly for his 
parent or legal guardian. 

No minor under sixteen 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 such occupations or services may be available 
are in session. 

3. Except as provided in section fifteen and except for domestic service or mes- 
sengers employed by communications companies subject to the supervision and 
control of the Federal Communications Commission, no minor under eighteen 
years of age shall be employed, permitted, or suffered to work in, about, or in 
connection with any gainful occupation more than six consecuti\ e days in any one 
week, or more than forty hours in any one week, or more than eight hours in any 
one day, nor shall any minor under sixteen years of age hv so employed, per- 
mitted, or suffered to work before seven o'clock in the morning or after six o'clock 
in the evening of any day; nor shall any minor between sixteen and eighteen years 
of age be so employed, permitted or suf'fei-ed to work before six o'clock iii the 
morning or after ten o'clock in the evening of any day ; provided, that minors 
between fourteen and eighteen years of age may be employed in a concert or a 
theatrical performance up to eleven P. M. ; and provided, further, that male 
minors between sixteen and eighteen years of age may be employed up until 
eleven P. M. during the regular school vacation. seasons but not in or for a factory 
or in any occupation otherwise prohibited by law or by order or regulation made 
in pursuance of law. The combined hours of work and hours in school of children 
under sixteen employed outside school hours shall not exceed a total of eight 
per day. 

4. No minor under eighteen years of age shall be employed or permitted to 
work for more than five hours continuously without an interval of at least thirty 
minutes for a lunch period, and no period of less than thirty minutes shall be 
deemed to interrupt a contiiUTOus period of work. 

5. Every employer shall ix)st and keep conspicuously posted in the establish- 
ment wherein any minor under eighteen is employed, permitted, or suffered to 
work a printed abstract of this Act and a list of the occupations prohibited to such 
minors, to be furnished by the Department of Labor, and a schedule of hours of 
labor which shall contain the name of each minor under eighteen, the maximum 
number of hours he shall be required or permitted to work during each day of 
the week, the total hours per week, the time of commencing and stopping work 
each day, and the time for the beginning and ending of the daily meal period. An 
employer may permit such minor to begin work after the time for beginniiig, and 
stop before the time for ending work stated in the schedule: but iie shall not 
otherwise employ or permit him to work except as stated in the schedule. This 
schedule shall be on a form provided by the Department of Labor and shall re- 
main the property of that department. Nothing in this section shall apply to the 
employment of minors in agricultural pursuits or in domestic service in private 

6. Every employer shall keep a record, in a form approved by the Department 
of Labor, which shall state the name, date of birth, and ' address of each 
person under nineteen years of age employed, the number of hours worked by 
said person on each day of the week, the hours of beginning and ending such 
work, the hours of beginning and ending meal periods, the amount of wages 
paid, and such other information as the Department shall by regulation require. 
Such record shall be. kept on file for at least one year after the entry of the 
record and shall be open to the inspection of the Department of Labor, of 
attendance oflacers, and of police officers. Nothing in this section shall apply to 
the employment of minors in agricultural pursuits, or in domestic service in 
private homes. 



7. Except as permitted under section fifteen, no minor under eighteen years 
of age shall be employed, permitted, or suffered to work in, about, or in con- 
nection with any gainful occupation, unless and until the person employing 
such minor shall procure and keep on file an employment certificate or special 
permit for such minor, issued by the issuing oflieer of the school district in 
which the child resides, or of the district in which the child has obtained 
a promise of employment if the child is a nonresident of the State; provided, 
htat no certificate or special permit shall be required for any child sixteen 
years of age or over employed in agricultural pursuits. Such certificate or 
special permit shall be issued in triplicate in such form and in accordance 
with such instructions as may be prescribed by the Commissioner of Education. 
The Commissioner of Education shall supply to the issuing officers all blank 
forms to be used in connection with the issuance of such certificates, and 
special permits as provided for in section fifteen. 

Employment certificates shall be of two kinds, regular certificates per- 
mitting employment during school hours, and vacation certificates permitting 
employment during the school vacation and during the school term at such 
times as the public schools are not in session. 

The original copy of the employment certificate shall be mailed by the 
issuing officer to the prospective employer of the minor for whom it is issued; 
a duplicate copy shall be mailed to the Department of Labor in Trenton 
as provided in section twelve, and a triplicate copy shall be kept in the files 
of the issuing officer. The issuing officer may refuse to grant a certificate, 
if in his judgment the best interests of the minor would be served by such 
refusal and he shall keep a record of such refusals, and the reasons therefor. 

8. The issuing officer shall issue such certificates only upon the application 
in person of the minor desiring employment, and after having approved and 
filed the following papers : 

(1) A promise of employment signed by the prospective employer or by 
someone duly authorized by him, setting forth the specific nature of the 
occupation in which he intends to employ such miuor, the wage to be paid 
such minor, and the number of hours per day and days per week which said 
minor shall be employed. 

(2) Evidence of age showing that the miuor is of the age required by this 
Act, which evidence shall consist of one of the following proofs of age and 
shall be required in the order herein designated, as follows : 

(a) A birth certificate or certified transcript thereof or a signed statement 
of the recorded date and place of birth issued by a registrar of vital statistics 
or other officer charged with the duty of recording births, or 

(b) A baptismal certificate or attested transcript thereof sliowing the date 
and place of birth, and date and place of baptism of the minor, or 

(c) Other documentary evidence of age satisfactory to the issuing officer, 
such as a bona fide contemporary record of the date and place of the minor's 
birth kept in the Bible in which tlie records of the births in the family of the 
minor are preserved, or a passport, showing the age of the minor, or a certifi- 
cate of arrival in the United States, issued by the United States Immigration 
Office, showing the age of the minor, or a life insurance policy, provided that 
such other documentary evidence has been in existence at least one year prior 
to the time it is offered as evidence, and provided further that a school record of 
age or an affidavit of a parent or guardian or other written statement of age 
shall not be accepted, except as specified in paragraph (d) of this section. 

(d) In the case none of the aforesaid proofs of age shall be obtainable and 
only in such case, the issuing officer may accept the school record or the school- 
census record of the age of the minor together with the sworn statement of a 
parent or guardian as to the age of the minor and also with a certificate signed 
by the physician authorized to sign the statements of physical fitness required 
by this section specifying what in his opinion is the physical age of the minor. 
Such certificates shall show the height and weight of the minor and other facts 
concerning his physical development which were revealed by such examination 
and upon which the opinion of the physician is based as to the physical age of 
the minor. If the school or school-census record of age is not obtainable, the 
sworn statement of the minor's parent or guardian, certifying to the name, 
date, and place. of birth of the minor, together with a physician's certificate of 


age as hereinbefore specified, may be accepted as evidence of age. The issuing 
officer shall administer said sworn statement. 

The issuing officer shall, in issuing a certificate for a minor, require the evi- 
dence of age specified in paragraph (a) of this section in preference to that 
specified in paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section and shall not accept 
the evidence of age permitted by any subsequent paragraph unless he shall re- 
ceive and file evidence that the evidence of age required by the preceding para- 
graph or paragraphs cannot be obtained. 

(3) A statement of physical fitness, signed by a medical inspector employed 
by the applicable Board of Education, setting forth that such minor has been 
thoroughly examined by such medical inspector that he either is physically fit 
for employment in occupations permitted for persons under 18 years of age, 
or is physically fit to be employed under certain limitations, specified in the 
statement. If the statement of physical fitness is limited, the employment 
certificate issued thereon shall state clearly the limitations upon its, and 
shall be valid only when used under the limitations so stated. The method of 
making such examinations shall be prescribed jointly by the Commissioner of 
Education and the State Department of Health. 

(4) A school record signed by the principal of the school which the minor 
has last attended or by someone duly authorized by him, giving the full 
name, date of birth, grade last completed, and residence of the minor ; 
provided, that in the case of a vacation certificate issued for work before or 
after school hours, such record shall also state that the child is a regular 
attendant at school, and in the opinion of the principal may perform such 
work without impairment of his progress in school, but such principal's state- 
ment shall not be required for the issuance of a vacation certificate for work 
during regular school vacations. 

9. Upon request, it shall be the duty of the issuing officer to issue to any 
young person between the ages of eighteen and twenty-one years residing in 
his district and applying in person, who expresses a desire to enter employ- 
ment, an age certificate iipon presentation of the same proof of age as is 
required for the issuance of employment certificates under this Act. A young 
person between the said ages nonresident of the State may apply to the 
issuing authority of any district where such person states he intends to 
seek employment. The age certificate shall state the color, name, sex, 
date and place of birth, residence, color of hair and eyes, height, and dis- 
tinguishing facial marks, if any, and the kind of proof of age submitted. 
All copies thereof shall be signed in person by the applicant in the presence 
of the said issuing officer in whose name it is issued. 

Any employer before employing a minor may require him to produce an 
age certificate and sign his name for comparison with the signature on the 
certificate. If in his judgment the signature and characteristics of the child 
correspond with the signature and description in the certificate, the employer, 
on employing the child, may require and retain the certificate during the 
minor's employment and shall return it to the minor upon the termination 
of his employment. 

10. An employment certificate shall state the name, sex, color, date and 
place of birth, residence, color of hair and eyes, height, weight, any dis- 
tinguishing facial marks of the child — the employer's name, address and 
type of business, the occupation of the child, the kind of proof of age sub- 
mitted, the grade completed, physician's^ approval, and the name and address 
of parent. Every such certificate shall be signed in the presence of the issuing 
officer by the child in whose name it is issued. 

11. An employment or age certificate or special permit issued in accordance 
with this Act shall be conclusive evidence of the age of the minor for whom 
issued in any proceeding involving the employment of a minor under the 
child-labor or workmen's compensation law or any other labor law of the 
State, as to any act occurring subsequent to its issuance. 

12. Every issuing officer issuing an employment or an age certificate or 
special permit shall send immediately to the Department of Labor at Trenton, 
a duplicate of the certificate or permit and the original papers upon which 
the certificate or special permit was granted. That department shall examine 
and promptly return to the issuing officer the said original papers and shall 


keep on file the duplicate of said certificate or permit. Whenever there ig; 
reason to believe that an employment or an age certificate or special permit 
was improperly issued, the Commissioner of Labor shall notify the Com- 
missioner of Education and the board of education of the school district in 
which the certificate was issued. The board of education of the school district 
may cancel any employment or any age certificate or special permit issued 
by it, and shall cancel the same when directed so to do by the Commissioner 
of Education. Whenever any employment certificate has been cancelled, the 
board of education cancelling the same shall immediately notify the Com- 
missioner of Education, the Commissioner of Labor, and the person by whom 
the child is employed, of its action, and such employer shall immediately upon 
receiving notice forward the certificate to the board of education. 

AH birth certificates, baptismal certificates, pas.sports, insurance policies, or 
other original papers submitted in proof of age shall be returned to the minor 
ui)on request after they have been returned to the issuing ofiicer by the depart- 
ment of Labor and after the issuing officer has transcribed for his files infor- 
mation pertinent to the issuance of the certificates. The Commissioner of 
Labor and the issuing ofiicer may destroy all employment and age certificates 
and special permits or copies thereof when the birth dates set forth in such 
certificates and special permits are more than twenty-one years before the 
date of destruction. 

13. If a child within the ages for compulsory school attendance is employed 
in a school district other than that in which he lives, the issuing officer of the 
district in which the child lives shall immediately send a duplicate of the 
certificate, properly filled out and the address of the employer to the superin- 
tendent of schools of the county in which the child resides who shall thereupon 
send said duplicate to the superintendent of schools of the county in which 
the child is employed. 

14. Every employer receiving an employment certificate shall within two 
days after termination of the employment return said certificate to the person 
issuing it. A new employment certificate shall not be issued for any minor 
except upon the presentation of a new promise of employment. An employment 
certificate shall be valid only for the employer for whom issued and for the 
occupation designated in the promise of employment. Said employer shall, 
during the period of the minor's employment, keep such certificate on file at 
the place of employment and accessible to any issuing ofiicer and to any attend- 
ance officer, inspector, or other person authorized to enforce this Act. The 
failure <>f any employer to produce for inspection such employment certificate, 
or the presence of any minor under eighteen years of age in his place of work 
at any time other than that specified in the posted schedule of hours required 
by this Act, shall be prima facie evidence of the unlawful employment of the 
minor. The presence of any minor under eighteen years of age in any place 
of employment shall be prima facie evidence of the employment of such minor, 
except that the presence on any farm or place of 'agricultural pursuit of any 
such minor shall not constitute such prima facie evidence. 

15. No boy under fourteen years of age and no girl under eighteen years of 
age may engage in any street trade, which term, for the purpose of this section, 
shall include the selling, offering for sale, soliciting for, collecting for, dis- 
playing, or distributing any articles, goods, merchandise, commercial service,, 
posters, circulars, newspapers, or magazines or in blacking shoes on any street 
or other public place or from house to house. No child under twelve years of 
age may be employed in agricultural pursuits. 

Whenever a child under sixteen years of age desires to work during such 
times as: the schools of the district in which he resides are not in session in 
any street tr'ade or in agricultural pursuits, the parent, guardian, or other 
person having the custody and control of the child may file with the issuing 
officer in the school district in which the child resides an application for a 
special permit authorizing such work. Such application shall show the exact 
character of the work the child is to do, and the hours and wages and special 
conditions under which said work is to be performed. 

If upon investigation it is found that the facts set forth in the application 
are true and that the work will not interfere with the child's health or stand- 
ing in school, the issuing officer shall, upon presentation to him of the same 
proof of age as is required for the issuance of an employment certificate, issue 


a special permit, allowing the child to work at such times as the public 
schools in the district are not in session, but such work except in agricultural 
pursuits to be otherwise subject to the maximum hours of labor provisions set 
for minor under sixteen years of age in Section three of this Act; provided, 
that nothing in this section shall prevent boys between twelve and fourteen 
years of age from delivering, soliciting, and collecting for newspapers and 
magazines over routes in residential neighborhoods at such times and under 
such conditions as are not prohibited in this Act and boys between fourteen 
and sixteen years of age from delivering and selling newspapers and magazines 
between the hours of five-thirty o'clock iu the morning and six o'clock in the 
evening of any day; and provided further, that children engaged iu agricul- 
tural pursuits may be employed no more than ten hours per day. 

Such special permit shall show the name, address, and date of birth of 
the minor for whom it is issued, the kind of proof of age submitted, the 
nature of the occupation in which the minor is to engage, and such other- 
information as the Commissioner of Education may i-equire. 

Any such special permit for work in agriculture shall be issue for a period 
not to exceed six months and shall show its date of expiration. Any person 
employing a minor under sixteen years of age in agriculture shall obtain such, 
a certificate from the minor and keep it on file during the period of the 
minor's employment and shall return it to the minor to whom it is issued upon 
termination of his employment. 

16. No fees or expenses incurred in obtaining any certificates under this 
Act shall be charged to or paid by any child, parent, guardian, or other 
person having custody or control of such a child for any service had under 
this Act. 

17. No minor under sixteen years of age shall be employed, permitted, or 
suffered to work in, about, or in connection with power-driven machinery. 

No minor under eighteen years of age shall be employed, permitted, or 
suffered to work, in, about, or in connection with the following : 

The manufacture or packing of paints, colors, white lead, or red lead. 

The handling of dangerous or poisonous acids or dyes. 

Injurious quantities of toxic or noxious dust, gases, vapors, or fumes. 

Work involving exposure to benzol or any benzol compound which is volatile, 
or which can penetrate the skin. 

The manufacture, transportation, or use of explosives or highly inflammable 

Oiling, wiping, or cleaning machinery in motion or assisting therein. 

Operation or helping in the operation of power-driven woodworking ma- 
chinery ; provided, that apprentices operating under conditions of bona fide 
apprenticeship may operate such machines under competent instruction and. 

Grinding, abrasive, polishing, or buffing machines, provided that apprentices 
operating under conditions of bona fide apprenticeship may grind their own 

Punch presses or stamping machines if the clearance between the ram and the- 
dye or the stripper exceeds one-fourth inch. 

Cutting machines having a guillotine action. 

Corrugating, crimping, or embossing machines. 

Paper lace machines. 

Dough brakes or mixing machines in bakeries or cracker machinery. 

Calendar rolls or mixing rolls in rubber manufacturing. 

Centrifugal extractors, or mangles in laundries or dry-cleaning establishments. 

Ore-reduction works, smelters, hot rolling mills, furnaces, foundries, forging 
shops, or any other place in which the heating, melting, or heat treatment of 
metals is carried on. 

Mines or quarries. 

Steam boilers carrying a pressure in excess of fifteen pounds. 

Construction work of any kind. 

Fabrication or assembly of ships. 

Operation or repair of elevators or other hoisting apparatus. 

No minor under eighteen years of age shall he employed, permitted, or suffered 
to work in, about, or in connection with any establishment where alcoholic liquors 


are distilled, rectified, compounded, brewed, manufactured, bottled, or are sold 
for consumption on the premises, or in a public bowling alley, or in a pool or 
billiard room. No girl under the age of eighteen years shall be employed, per- 
mitted, or suffered to work as a messenger in the distribution or delivery of goods 
or messages for any person, firm, or corporation engaged in the business of trans- 
mitting or delivering goods or messages. 

No minor under eighteen years of age shall be employed, permitted, or 
suffered to work in any place of employment, or at any occupation hazardous or 
injurious to the life, health, safety, or welfare of such minor, as such occujiation 
shall, from time to time, be determined and declared by the Commissioner of 
Labor to be hazardous or injurious to the life, health, safety, or welfare of such 
minors, after a public hearing thereon and after such notice as the commissioner 
may by regulation prescribe. 

Nothing in this section shall be deemed to apply to the work done by pupils in 
public and private schools of New Jersey under the supervision and instruction of 
officers or teachers of the schools. 

18. It shall be the duty of the Department of Labor and its inspectors and 
agents, acting under the Commissioner of Labor, to enforce the provisions of this 
Act, to make complaints against persons violating its provisions, and to prosecute 
violations of the same. The Commissioner of Labor and any inspector or other 
authorized person acting under him, attendance officers and other persons em- 
ployed by law to compel the attendance of children at school, and officers and 
agents of any duly incorporated society for the protection of children from 
cruelty and neglect, shall have authority to enter and inspect at any time any 
place or establishment coveicd by this Act. and to have access to employment or 
age certificates or special permits kept on file by the employers and such other 
records as may aid in the enforcement of this Act. 

19. Whoever employs or permits or suffers any minor to be employed or to work 
in violation of this Act, or of any order or ruling issued under the provisions of 
(his Act, or obstructs the Depai'tment of Labor, its officers or agents, or any 
other person authorized to inspect places of employment under this Act, and 
whoever, having under his control or custody any minor, permits or suffers him 
to be employed or to wT)rk in violation of this Act, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor 
and shall be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five dollars ($25.00) nor 
more than five hundred dollars (.$500 00), or by imprisonment of n