University of California General Library/Berkeley
Regional Oral History Office
PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND PUBLIC WELFARE
An Interview Conducted by
James R.W. Leiby
Picture on page following:
Chairman, Advisory Commission
on Intergovernmental Relations,
All uses of this manuscript are covered by an agree
ment between the Regents of the University of California
and Prank Bane, dated 15 February 1965. The manuscript
is thereby made available for research purposes. All
literary rights in the manuscript, including the right
to publish, are reserved to the General Library of the
University of California at Berkeley. No part of the
manuscript may be quoted for publication without the
written permission of the University Librarian of the
University of California at Berkeley.
These things I saw, and
part of them I was
Virgil, Aeneid. Book II, 11. 5-6
The Regional Oral History Office was established
to document the recent history of our society by means
of tape recorded interviews with persons who have been
significant in that history. Such a person is Prank
Bane, whose contributions and participation in the
development of public welfare programs and concepts
and public administration techniques make him a prime
mover in that field. When Associate Professor of
Social Welfare James R.W. Leiby proposed that he
interview Frank Bane for the oral history collection,
the plan was accepted with enthusiasm and arrange
ments were made to record and transcribe the sessions
with financial assistance from the Institute of Social
Sciences of the University.
Professor Leiby organized and conducted five
tape recorded sessions with Frank Bane during January
1965 while Professor Bane was at the University
serving as a Regents Professor. Transcribing and
editorial work was then done by the Regional Oral
History Office, after which the transcript was
mailed to Professor Bane for his corrections and
approval. He went over the manuscript carefully,
making many small corrections of detail or wording
but leaving the transcript basically unchanged.
The following manuscript is copied from his
The reader is referred to the catalog of the
oral history collection for other interviews on
public welfare and public administration. The
Regional Oral History Office is under the admin
istrative supervision of Professor A. Hunter Dupree,
director of the Bancroft Library.
Willa K. Baum,
Head, Regional Oral
Room 486 The General Library
University of California
I first heard of Prank Bane in I960 when I was
working on a history of public welfare in New Jersey,
I had found it difficult to see how the various
agencies at work there fitted into a pattern. Then,
as I followed the historical record, I came across a
report on the subject, made to the Governor and pub
lished in 1949, by Mr. Bane and Geoffrey May. The
analysis was so clear that I immediately looked
these gentlemen up and found out that Bane was the
executive of the Council of State Governments and
Hay was an associate of his. I also learned that
Bane had been secretary of the Virginia State Board
of Charities and Corrections beginning in 1920,
that he had later reorganized that department and
also the welfare department of Knoxville, Tennessee,
in the 1920*3, and that in the momentous decade
that followed he had become the first executive of
the American Public Welfare Association, the Social
Security Board, and the Council of State Govern
I learned much more about Mr. Bane and his
works in the next few years, and so when he was
appointed Regents Professor last fall, 
available to students and faculty, I arranged an
interview. My thought was simply that he might fill me
in on the history of services in New Jersey, on which I
had written, by this time, a hefty manuscript. Sure
enough, he not only knew most of the people who figured
in my story, but he knew where they had come from and
where they went later; he could put characters and
events in a broad context that was fascinating and
instructive. It struck me that few people saw the
big picture as well as he. Accordingly I arranged to
tape a series of interviews with him about his career
in public welfare and public administration, as a
venture in oral history.
The setting was his office, a penthouse on Barrows
Hall with a splendid view of the lower campus and the
bay. The (laughter) recorded in the transcript is a
pale reflection of the genial mood and comic insights
of Mr. Bane's stories, and type does not convey his
charming Southern speech and manners.
The Institute of Social Sciences of the University
of California at Berkeley paid a part of the cost of
the transcribing and editing done by the skilled staff
of the Regional Oral History Office.
James H.W. Leiby
Department of Social
University of California
from Who's Who,
Executive Director Council of State Governments; born
Smithfitld, Virginia, April 7 t 1893; eon of Charles lee
and Carrie Howard (Buckner) Bane; A.B., Randolph-Macon
College, 1914; student at Columbia University, 1914-15;
married Lillian Greyson Hoofnagle, August 14, 1918;
children Mary Clark, Frank.
Principal high school Nansemond County, Virginia,
1914. superintendent of schools, 1916-17; secretary
Virginia State Board of Charities and Corrections, 1920-
23; director of Public Welfare Knoxville, Tennessee,
1923-26, associate professor of sociology, University of
Virginia, 1926-28; commissioner of public welfare,
Virginia, 1926-32; member of the President's Emergency
Employment Commission, 1930-31; director of the American
Public Welfare Association, 1932-35; lecturer in public
welfare administration, University of Chicago, since
1932; general consultant to the Federal Emergency Relief
Administration, 1933; consultant on public welfare ad
ministration, National Institute of Public Administration,
1930, Brookings Institute, 1931-35; executive director of
Federal Social Security Board, 1935-38; director of the
Division of State and Local Cooperation; advisory commis
sion of the Council of National Defense, 1940-41; member
of civilian protection board, Office Civilian Defense, 1941;
director of field operations, Office of Price Administra
tion, 1941-42; homes utilization division, National Housing
Authority, 1942; secretary-treasurer Governors' Conference,
since 1938; executive director Council of State Governments
Served as cadet-pilot Aviation Corps, U.S. Army, World
War I. Member American Political Science Association, Phi
Kappa Sigma. Democrat. Methodist.
Contributor to various magazines.
TABLE OP CONTENTS
PREFACE, by Willa Klug Baum 1
INTRODUCTION, by James R.W. Leiby ill
PRANK BANE, from Who's Who v
TABLE OP CONTENTS vi
PREPARING POR A CAREER 1
VIRGINIA STATE BOARD OP CHARITIES AND
CORRECTIONS, 1920-1923 6
REORGANIZING THE VIRGINIA STATE DEPARTMENT OP
WELFARE, 1926-1932 24
DIRECTOR OP PUBLIC WELFARE, KNOXVILLE,
TENNESSEE, 1923-1926 56
TEACHING AT THE UNIVERSITY OP VIRGINIA, 1926-1932 71
PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION IN THE 1920s 75
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS 93
National Conference of Social Work 93
Hiring Social Workers 97
Consulting in Public Administration 103
AMERICAN PUBLIC WELFARE ASSOCIATION, 1932-1935 111
National Conference of Social Work and Public
Welfare Officials 111
Organizing and Financing the Association 115
Emergency Relief 122
Reconstruction Finance Corporation 123
State Emergency Relief Programs 125
Committee on Economic Security 149
Private vs. Public Relief Agencies 150
Direct or Work Relief 161
Continuing Activities of the Association 172
FEDERAL SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD, 1935-1938 176
A Survey of European Institutions 176
Appointed Executive Director 180
Administrative Organization 187
State Plans 203
Problems in Particular States 211
Field Offices and Service 219
Leaving the Social Security Board 226
Reflections on Policy and Administration 228
Reflections on Policy and Administration.
COUNCIL OF STATE GOVERNMENTS 244
Organizing the Council 244
Mobilizing State Governments for War 256
Official Positions During the War 270
Post War Activities of the Council 272
Mental Health Study 272
Other Activities: Study of State Purchasing 276
SUMMARY: PUBLIC WELFARE AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION 279
PARTIAL INDEX 282
PREPARING POR A CAREER
(Interview of January 5, 1965)
Leiby: I know from Who's Who that 7012 were born in
Smithfield, Virginia, in 1893, and that you
graduated from Randolph-Mae on College in 1914.
What was the curriculum you studied at Randolph-
Bane: As you know it was a typieal, small, four-year
liberal arts college. But I specialized, to the
extent that we did specialize in those days, in
political science: and history. The same profes
sor, in those days, taught both political science
and history. We had a faculty of about a dozen
people and a student body of approximately a
hundred seventy-five or eighty. Se the faculty
members teamed up occasionally.
Leiby: This was in relation to your thought that you
would become a lawyer?
Bane: Probably. But also because of my interest in
political science as I knew it in those days.
As a matter of fact we used to call it political
- 2 -
Bane: economy in the early teens.
Leiby: Then you went to Columbia through the reeoamenda-
tion of your friend.
Bane: Yea. I went to Columbia in 1914-15. I went up
there with the idea of getting a at art in law.
Leiby: Were you in the law school?
Bane: Yes, I was in the law school. The dean of
the law school at that time was an old friend
of yours, George W. Kirohwey. He not only was
the dean of the law sehool but he also taught.
He taught real property. In fact he had written
a book called, Heal Property.
Leiby: And he taught criminal law.
Bane: He also taught criminal law.
Leiby: Do you remember what courses you had at Columbia?
Bane: I took mostly law but in addition thereto,
beeause I like the individual and I was casually
interested in what he was doing, I audited courses
that were taught by Professor Edward T. Devine. He
was teaching social welfare administration and
general administration. I did that, as I recall,
largely at the suggestion of Dean Kirohwey.
Leiby: What was the suggestion?
Bane: I met Professor Devine at Dean Kirchwey'a house.
And we had discussed what he was doing and what
my interests were. So Kirchwey suggested to me
one day that I might be interested in sitting in
in Devine' a courses. Which I did upon occasions.
Leiby: What sort of lecturer was Derine? Did he have
Bane: Yes, he had formal lectures. But he also had
seminars. I remember one seminar that he had,
whieh was entitled, "Where Does Tour Prejudice
Start?" He would ask a series of questions
and then some hands would begin to go up. That's
the kind of a lecturer he was.
Leiby: Do you remember any of the students?
Bane: Ne. I remember a number of the visiting professors
that used to come in on occasion, and meet with
the class or talk with the seminar.
Leiby: John Ellis was there about that time. He was a
high school teacher. He was in history. He worked
with James Shotwell.
Bane: Shotwell and Charles Hacea were the great history
professors there at that time.
Leiby: He went then and taught high school in Bigelwood,
- 4 -
Leiby: New Jersey. You went back and taught school then
Bane: Yea. I was principal of a rural high school in
Nanaemond County, Virginia for a year. And then
I became Superintendent of Schools in Nansemead
Leiby: Had you given up the law more or less?
Bane: At least, 1 had deferred the law. I had gone
into teaching because, in those days, those were
the jobs that were immediately available. So I
started in teaching. I went on to Superintendent
of Schools. I was enjoying it. And then the
war came along and I went in the army. When I
came back I went back into teaching.
Leiby: Did you get overseas?
Bane: No, I didn't.
Leiby: What did you do in the army?
Bane: T he closest I got to overseas was Langley field.
I fought most of the war in Kelly field, Texas.
Leiby: Yeu weren't in the air corps, were you?
Bane: In the air corps. But, technically , not in the air
corps because there was no air corps. The air was
a division of the signal corps in 1917. We did
- 5 -
Bane: observation, primarily* I was sent to the
University of Teras for ground schooli work,
then I went to Kelly Field. And there I stayed,
and stayed, and stayed. I even became an instruo.
tor in engines for a short time* (Laughter)
Ini November, 1918 they transferred us to Langley
Field, Virginia, to get ready to go overseas.
The armistice came and within ten days of
the armistice we were all mustered out. I
went back to the Nansemond County school system.
- 6 -
VIRGINIA STATE BOARD OP CHARITIES AND CORRECTIONS,
Leiby: When was your first acquaintance with welfare
work in Virginia?
Bane: My first acquaintance with welfare work in
Virginia was a casual acquaintance, primarily be
cause of my acquaintance with two gentlemen
who, had been involved in welfare work in
Virginia for many years, Dr. Samuel C Hatcher
who was Vice-President of Randolph-Mac on College
while I was there ( he was Chairman of the State
Board of Charities and Correct ions) and Dr. J.P.
Mastin who was a friend of Dr. Hatcher's. I had
met him at Dr. Hatcher's house on the campus at
Ashland. But my acquaintance with each of those
gentlemen was casual. One day I got a tele
phone call from Dr. Mastin, who was Secretary of
the State Board of Charities and Corrections,
asking me to meet him in Norfolk, Virginia, about
twenty miles from Suffelk, where I was Super-
- 7 -
Bane: intendent of Schools in Nansemond County. I
went down to see him, having no Idea what he
wanted* The upshot of the matter was that
he told me that he was going to retire, since he
was past sixty-five years of age. He had dis
cussed the matter with the State Board of Chari
ties and Corrections, had cleared it with the
governor, and he offered me the job of Secretary
of the State Board of Charities and Corrections
on the ground that 1 had had some little training
with Dr. Devine at Columbia University. 1 knew
something about the problem. And also I'd been
with Dean Kirchwey.
Leiby: Then the job really came to you.
Bane: Yes. It was a complete surprise.
Leiby: And, at that time, you had no idea of going into
welfare administration. And then you said you'd
consider it, I suppose.
Bane: Yes. I said I'd consider it. "I had to go back and
talk it over with Mrs. Bane. And I'd let him know
within a week." I went home and talked it over with
Mrs. Bane. We had come from Richmond originally
that is, she had so we decided to take the job and
- 8 -
Bane: to go back.
Leibyt What did Dr. Mas tin tall you about the job?
Bane: He told me what the State Board of Charities
and Corrections was. I knew, in general, what
their duties and responsibilities were* He
elaborated on it, And he told me, in addition,
that he thought the time had come in Virginia
to expand the welfare activities beyond the cur
rent duties and responsibilities of the State
Board of Charities and Corrections. As I
remember, he said, "That being so, I think we
nee-d a younger man."
I asked him if I should take the job
would he stick around for two or three months
until I got my feet on the ground, until I
learned the ropes, which he agreed to do.
He did, which was an enormous help to me in get-
ting started. In those days, the State Board of
Charities and Corrections was what might be cal
led an inspection agency. It had no responsibil
ity for any institutions or any agencies. It
had the right to inspect and we talked about the
right to supervise, but supervise in a very loose
- 9 -
Laiby: Supervise men? Inspect?
Bane: Inspect and report. What we did was to inspect
and report to the legislature, to the Governor, and,
from time to time, to the local officials and to the
press. The Board was charged with seeing to it
that the institutions and agencies in the welfare
field in Virginia were conducted in an effective
and efficient and humane manner.
Leiby: Now who did the inspecting, did you?
Bane: I did and we had four or five people on the staff.
We had a staff, altogether, including stenographers
and so on, of eight or ten people.
Leiby: That's a fairly substantial organization.
Bane: Yes. We had three persons, other than myself, who
traveled around the state, primarily to the county
courthouses, inspecting jails, alms houses; and
also traveled all over the state inspecting private
institutions for the mentally ill, state institutions,
reformatories, industrial schools, etc.
Leiby: Did the Board members themselves inspect very much?
Bane: She Board members tried once a year to make a tour
of the major state institutions. We used to set
- 10 -
Bane: aside four or five days, take two oars, get
out on the then gravel roads, and drive from
Staunton to Williamsburg and from Williamsburg
to Piedmont and around the state where the
institutions were located
Leiby: Hew many Board members were there?
Leibyt Had they been in office for some time?
Bane: Many of them had been in office for years. Dr.
Samuel C. Hatcher had been on the Board for many
years. Dr. W.F. Drewry, who was a medical doctor
whose interest was primarily in mental health, had
been on the Board for many years. H* was a very in
teresting person. He had been enormously interested
in general welfare, as well as his specific field.
He was Superintendent of the Central State Hospital
in Virginia for a great many years, which was a
hospital for the colored insane at Petersburg. Then
he was on the Board for a while. Then, later, when
we reorganized the Department of Welfare, he got
off the Board because the Board, for all intents
and purposes, ceased to exist.
Leibyt This was after you came on? Was this 1923?
- 11 -
Bane: This was 1926.. I came on in 1921. I persuaded him
to come with the Board aa a member of the staff
to help us Bet up mental health clinics.
Leiby: Won't you say something else about the relation of
the Board to private agencies. It inspected lecal
public agencies and reported on them, was there any
difficulty in reporting? Were your reports mueh
read or resented?
Bane: There was not as much difficulty as I would have
liked. I should have been perfectly delighted to
trade mere attention for more difficulty. I mean
by that that we got into some controversies, but, in
the early days, we were not strong enough to be
strongly resented, shall I say. That changed
after a while with reorganizations. We would
submit reports, and unless the report got into
the newspapers and caused some kind of a scandal,
everybody pursued the even tenor of their ways*
Ieiby: How did you pick your inspectors? I guess you in
herited some of them.
Bane: I inherited the three people when I
went there. And thereafter we picked them on a
very interesting basis. I hasten to say we never
had, while I was there, any major political pree-
- 12 -
Bane: aura with respect to the selection of our staff.
When I say major I mean from the governors, I
worked with four of them, or from state legis
lators. We might have a suggestion from
individual people around the state, which we
took or not as we pleased. Bat this is the
way we selected our people. There was a man
named Arthur W. James, who is now in Richmond.
He was approximately my age and he'd gone to
William and Mary College. H e also had an edu
cational background. I talked with him
about being my chief assistant. He was
interested. So we made a deal. He would come
with me as my chief assistant provided he would
go to Harvard for six months and take a course
specifically in the general welfare area.
We would pay him half of his salary while he
was at Harvard. So Arthur James went to Harvard
and took this course and came back.
Leiby: Was that in the School of Public Administration?
Bane: Yes. It was just getting started.
Then he came back with us. And years later he
succeeded me. He is still in Richmond with
- 13 -
Bane: the Department of Conservation and Development.
Leiby: Could you say something about the relation of the
State Board to private agencies?
Bane: In the early days, before the first reorganization
into the Welfare Department, the State Board had
very little oonnection with private agencies, of
ficially. We associated with them constantly.
I was on the board of the Associated Charities
in Richmond, Virginia. It was the private social
work organization in Richmond. The Associated
Charities later became the Family Welfare Society,
and then later the Family Service Society.
Leiby: Were there very many private agencies in Virginia?
Bane: Richmond and Norfolk and Roanoke each had an As
sociated Charities organization, ^hey were small,
three or four people. They had small appropriations.
But they were getting away from the old-fashioned
poor relief concept*
Leiby: There was a professional school of social work in
Bane: Yes. It was run by a Dr. Hibbs. He was a Fh.D,
He operated the school first as an independent
school, then it became associated with William and
Mary. It is now a definite branch of William
- 14 -
Bane: and Mary.
Leiby: Kow large was the school at that time?
Bane: It was a sizable school. I would guess it had
about a hundred people mostly from the South
Virginia, North Carolina,
Leiby: It trained social workers. Where did it market
Bane: Primarily in the private social agencies in
Virginia and North Carolina, at that time* That
is, in the early 1920s. The market expanded
greatly in the late 1920s.
Leiby: I'd like to ask about the connection between the
members of the State Board and private agencies
in Virginia? In New Jersey the State Board people
are characteristically very much associated with
private agencies and they exercise a kind of super
vision over local public agencies 9 or they sought to,
Bane: The same thing, to some extent, existed in Virginia,
particularly through the State Conference of Social
Work, which had been started by Dr. Mast in im
mediately before the First World War, around 1914-
15* They had this annual meeting, all the
private agencies and all the public agencies get
together. The private agencies, of course,
- 15 -
Bane: were a great source of support for this developing
public agency* One day I almost lost all of
their support by attempting to be brief, concise,
and, perhaps, even cute. Before a legislative
committee one time, one disagreeable member of
the committee kept insisting that he didn't know
what welfare was. And, finally, he asked me the
specific question, "Just what was a welfare com
missioner? 1 * On the basis of my almost total
inexperience, I said, "A welfare commissioner was
a general counsel for the crazy, the crooked, and
the broke." (Laughter) Whereupon I almost lost
all of my social work support in the state. It took me al
most a year to live that down.
Leiby: What were the main interests of this State Board
of Charities and Corrections in those days? You
said they were interested in helping public wel
Bane: Their major interest was in doing something about
local institutions, on the one hand, the jail and
the alms house. That was definite and specific.
And, secondly, about devising schemes or plans or
programs, or providing facilities which would en-
Bane: able them to do two or three things that were
very much in the public mind:
1) Get children out of jails, where they were
held pending trial; 2) Expand the juvenile
court system; 3) Abolish, to the extent that
they could, the local county alms houses and
establish regional institutions for what were
then e ailed the aged and the infixnu
Leiby: Now this program would put them in some sort
of opposition to the local public officials,
Bane: In certain areas, but not in the particular
area that I mentioned. Sheriffs would be glad
if they could get children out of jail.
Leiby: There were lots of vagrants, but not serious
Bane: Yes, that's true* The overseers of the poor
were not powerful, politically. They probably
made $250 a year or something of that kind.
They didn't do anything much. But, later, when
we got into another matter having to do with
local institutions we had a direct, powerful,
and for many years a successful opposition of
- 17 -
Bane: local officials, namely sheriffs, when we tried
to abolish the fee system.
Leibyj When was the fee system abolished?
Bane: ^he fee system wasn't abolished until quite a
number of years after I left probably in 1935-36.
They started to abolish it by a gradual development
in 1926, after the so-called Byrd reorganization.
But it took eight or ten years to grow out of it.
Tear after year when 1 was with the Welfare
Department, we would introduce a bill to abolish
the fee system and put all sheriffs on a salary
basis. And year after year, in the first few
years that I was there, the bill was bottled up
in committee. The last two or three years it
got out on the floor to be defeated. But that
meant progress. A. few years later they
Leiby: It seems then that the Virginia Board, in a way,
sort of stood between the people in the private
agencies and the local public people. That is,
you had something that you wanted to do with the
local public agencies* And the ideas of what
you wanted to do came mostly from the private
- 18 -
Bane: To a very large extent the private agencies
were doing the experimenting, the demon
strating, the promoting, and the urging of
governmental expansion. Notable among the
private agencies, in addition to Associated
Charities, was a developing movement, which
was brand new in Virginia, of what was called
the Community Chest; federated agencies in a
given city; Richmond, Norfolk, and Roanoke
were the three that had them at that time.
Leiby: In the 1920s already Richmond, Norfolk, and
Roanoke had federated financing.
Bane: They were just beginning to develop.
Leiby: What would you say were the characteristic
interests of politicians in welfare in
Virginia? We hear in the history of public
welfare a great deal about politics and
my understanding is that politics was
less important in Virginia than in other
Bane: In the general welfare field in Virginia,
- 19 -
Bane: while I was there, and I'm reasonably certain
it exists to a large extent even now, politics
did not play any great part in the welfare
field. So far as state government was con
cerned, they thought about the welfare field
as including the hospitals for the mentally ill,
the tubercular sanitoria, and the industrial
schools and so on. The state, as an agency,
that is the Governor and the state legislators,
didn't bother much about local welfare one way
or another. They left that largely to the
boards of supervisors in the counties because
there was no political pay-off in being over
seer of the poor. So far as the penal or de
linquent end of it was concerned, the sheriff
was an elected official. He carried his own
weight and looked after himself, very well, in
cidentally. The only time the state as such got
involved was when something like the fee system
argument would come up. Then the sheriffs
would descend on Richmond en masse and defeat
any bill that we would introduce. (Laughter)
- 20 -
Lei/by: Then the operation of the spoils system, the
letting of jobs and contracts, was not really
very worthwhile. It wasn't worth enough for
them to care about.
Bane: That's right.
Leiby: You were interested, of course, in administration
and services on the State Board. You wanted a
professional administration, more service oriented
sort of operation. At what points would this
bring you into difficulties with the local pol
Bane: They would usually say, H We are, too, but we
don't have the facilities or the money. If you
get us the money to do this we'll do anything
that you say, if you pay for it." That was the
usual, eternal, and ever-lasting argument against
any particular project. We would say, on the
other hand, "It doesn't take much money to clean
this jail up. What you need is soap and water
and elbow grease." That was our constant
argument there. We would insist that the ever-
lasting *or of disinfectant in all jails was per
so a confession of bad housekeeping. So our job
- 21 -
Banet waa to clean up the jails, aside from getting
children out of jails* Finally, we
developed a definite program in welfare depart
ments to abolish local jails. We stumped all
over the state to abolish local jails as a
place to keep convicted misdemeanors. We have
to have the jails to hold witnesses and to
hold people overnight. But once a person was
convicted, we urged that they be taken out of
jail and sent to regional farms, and a number
were established in Virginia, where they could
serve out their sixty or ninety days at least
Leibyt These were called farms? We called those
Bane: These were farms. They just handled misde
Bane: Drunks and people of that kind. And they were
established by agreement and participation of
the local units.
Leiby: Which is to say counties.
Bane: The counties and the cities. Per instance,
Richmond had a local farm which we finally
- 22 -
Bane: established there, which alao took care of
the prisoners from Henri** and Chesterfield
Counties, by agreement. But they were not
state institutions. They were local in
Leiby: These were regional*, now, wh financed them?
Bane: The counties and the cities. They financed
certain aspects of them. Of course, the
state paid for all prisoners in jail on the
fee system basis. When a person went to jail,
for whatever purpose, if he was just picked up
or if he was sentenced or held as a witness,
the state, on a fee basis, paid the cost of
his care in jail. -And, therefore, the more
persons a sheriff had in jail, the more
money he got.
Leiby: I always thought it was the county taxpayers.
Bane: No sir. In Virginia the sheriff was a state
officer. Elected locally, but a state
Leiby: In other words the state treasury paid the
fees of everybody in jail*
Bane: Yes. So the more persons a sheriff had in jail
- 23 -
Bane: the more he made. Hence his opposition to the
abolition of the fee system, until they worked
out a scheme years later to pay him a salary, a
little bit more than he got in fees.
Leiby: In New Jersey sheriffs would get $10,000-115,000
a year, from their fees*
Bane: That was the situation in Virginia. One of
the beat paid state officials in Virginia when X
was there, if not the best, was the eity sergeant
in the city of Richmond* It was the largest jail
in the largest eity.
Leiby: A real plum. (Laughter)
Bane: A real plum, yes indeed.
REORGANIZING THE VIRGINIA STATE DEPARTMENT OP
Leiby: When you went into the State Department, there
was a real reorganization. When you became
Secretary of the State Board of Charities and
Corrections, you developed these extramural
agencies and did quite a let in that line, both
for mental hygiene clinics and probation and
parole* The idea of these, as I understand it,
is connected with prevention and rehabilitation.
Can you say something about who was specifically
interested in these ideas. Who was promoting
Bane: We mentioned, a few moments ago, the State
Conference of Seeial Work in Virginia, which was
the organization where the public and private
organizations and agencies worked together and
developed programs, suggestions, resolutions,
and so on. So the State Conference of Social
Work recommended to the then governor, Westmoreland
Davis, that he appoint a Children's Code Commission
- 25 -
Bane: to review the statutes haying to do with children
and, at the same time, to recommend a reorganiza
tion of the State Board of Charities and Correc-
. tions into what was called, then, a modern welfare
Leiby: So this was connected with child welfare.
Bane: It started off with a child welfare push. Again,
there were three or four objectives: to establish
a statewide system of juvenile courts; to get
children out of jail; to set up detention homes in
connection with juvenile courts. ?hat was the
major impetus at the time. As someone used to
say down in Virginia, in those days, "The way to
get something through the state legislature is to
shake the children at them." Se the drive was
through the child welfare program.
Leiby: It also fits into the idea of prevention.
Bane: Yes, the general idea of prevention and
education. The commission was appointed and
its chairman was J. Hoge Ricks. He was one of the
most prominent juvenile court judges. He was from
Richmond and was president of the juvenile court
judges association for a couple years* He
- 26 -
Bane: was chairman and the most interested people in
the state from the private agencies were on this
commission* Mrs. Louis Brownlow, for instance,
was on this commission. She is the wife of Louis
Brownlow, who had been Commissioner of the District
f Columbia and was later City Manager of
Petersburg* She had come to Virginia with
all kinds of ideas--good ideasfrom the District
of Columbia as to how they were handling this
problem. The commission worked for about a
year. It came in with a report that was ninety
per cent adopted by the state legislature. The
first recommendation was to establish a State
Department of Welfare, to appoint a Commissioner
of Public Welfare, to maintain the Board in an
advisory capacity, and a whole series of extremely
forward looking, at that time, measures and
proposals in the realm of eare of dependent,
delinquent, and handicapped children. For in
stance, let me emphasize again that Virginia's
immediate concern was to get children
out of jail.
Leibyt Were these city children or country children?
- 27 -
Bane: Mostly city children, some country children.
Leiby: This was mostly a city problem.
Bane: Mostly. But a child would be picked up for this,
that, or the other and referred, maybe, to a
juvenile court. But even if he were referred to
a juvenile court the only place you had to detain
him was in a jail in many instances. And as soon
as he'd be sent to jail, everybody would raise
Cain if they knew anything about it. We tried to
see that they did know something about it. That
was one of our major problems. With that in mind,
perhaps because that situation had affected the
conscience of the state, the legislature adopted
a child welfare act which provided:
1) That there should be a statewide system of
juvenile courts in every county in the state.
2) That juvenile courts should have exclusive,
original jurisdiction, with respect to all
children under eighteen years of age.
3) And it provided and this was more or less
revolutionary, at that time, that if any juve
nile court judge, for any reason, decided that
a child was delinquent to such an extent
- 28 -
Bane: that he had to be removed from hi a hone or his
regular environment, the only thing that the judge could
do with the child would be to commit him to the
Department of Public Welfare.
Leiby: H e did not sentence.
Bane: He did not sentence, he couldn't send him to any
jail or anywhere else* He couldn't send him to
a reformatory. He could just send him to one
place if he decided the child had to be separated
from hia home because of delinquency. H e wag al
lowed only one recourse and that was to commit him
to the Department of Public Welfare, period. The
act then went on to provide that the Department of
Public Welfare should 8 et up necessary facilities,
employ necessary staff to handle this duty and
responsibility which was given to them under this
act* That, of course, meant that: 1) T hat
within the central department we had to get ad
ditional social workers; 2) We had to set up a
mental health clinic for diagnosis; and 3) We had
to develop immediately and quickly some type of
detention home-- children's detention home. Because
we couldn't put a child in jail. So that was the
- 29 -
Bane: beginning of the expansion of the department into
an operating agency. Prom that derelopment within
the department itself, it naturally followed that
the next thing we thought about was what we were
going to do with the problem out in the com
munities, in the various counties* So the
second part of the program provided for the estab
lishment of county welfare departments 'boards in
each of the hundred counties in Virginia and in
each of the twenty-two cities* In Virginia the
city is separate from the county. It's a separate
entity. So we had welfare boards in the
cities as well as in the counties.
Leiby: That's good, isn't it?
Bane; Well, you generally think something is good if
you're used to it* I'm used to that system, so
I've always liked it.
Leiby: I'm just astonished at the powers granted to the
department under this and the powers granted to
the juvenile courts. I would have expected that
the lawyers would have howled over taking the pre
rogative of sentence away from the judge.
Bane: Our problem, initially, wasn't taking the sentence
- 30 -
Bane: away from the judge. Our problem, initially, was to
establish a system of juvenile court judges.
Once we established a system of juvenile oourt
judges, those judges were in favor of having the
sentence taken away from them*
Leiby: Were these really separate judges? In New Jersey,
for example, the juvenile oourt judges are our old
friends with another, hat.
Bane: Ne, no. In practically all instances they were
Leiby: Especially prepared?
Bane: No, not necessarily. But especially interested. I
remember Suffolk, Virginia where I had been,
which was a town then of about
twelve or fifteen thousand people, the county seat,
we selected a very competent lawyer-- up-and-coming
young lawyerwho had a major interest, and made him
juvenile judge. He was delighted to have the
assignment. He took a major interest in it. It
was a way for him to get some experience and at
the same time do a public service. So in the small
places that's the way it was. In the larger places...
Leiby: You chose these?
- 31 -
Bane: Oh no, they were chosen by the County Board of
Supervisors and the regular district or circuit
judges, as we called them.
Leiby: Did you make recommendations?
Bane: Occasionally, when we were asked which we were
frequently in the early days* We were not only
asked to make recommendations, we were asked some
times to persuade somebody to take it.
Leiby: This must have been quite a show to set up. I mean,
that's a detention home in a hundred counties.
Bane: We didn't try to do that. We set up detention homes
in the larger cities. And we could transport from
the smaller counties to these centers. There were
maybe ten detention homes in the state.
Leiby: But then you needed at least one diagnostic clinic.
Did you have more?
Bane: From the one diagnostic clinic we then began to
spread the system of traveling clinics. And from
traveling clinics we developed the idea and the
system this was after I leftof clinies in certain
centers, for instance in Bristol, Hoanoke, Lynchburg,
Norfolk, Alexandria, and Richmond.
LeibY: These were state financed?
- 32 -
Leiby: State financed and connected with the Department of
Leiby: The county didn't finance them. How were they housed?
Bane: Generally they were housed very poerly in a small
room, many times a basement room of a local hospital
or of the courthouse. It was very embryonic in the
Leiby: The children were referred to the department...
Bane: T he children could be referred to the clinics by
the juvenile court. Or, if the juvenile court
committed them and they came to the department,
then they would be referred to the clinics by the
Leiby: And then after that you made a decision about this
Bane: It was either foster home, or perhaps an industrial
school for an indeterminate term, or sometimes
Leiby: Who decided upon release? Did the school have a
board of managers and they would decide?
Bane: Yes. Once they went to industrial school they were
- 33 -
Bane: out of our hands.
Leiby: A vary enlightened program.
Bane: I thought it was a ground-breaking program at
the time. There were some interesting develop
ments with respect to it.
You remember that the act provided that the
juvenile courts should have exclusive original
jurisdiction with respect to all children under
eighteen charged with any offense.
Leiby: Even murder, even a capital offense.
Bane: That's right, any offense. They had exclusive
original jurisdiction. We had a circuit judge in
Roanoke, Virginia by the name of Judge Hart.
He was known far and wide as a very strict and
very stern judge. Judge Hart used to say that
he ran his court, that's what he was there for.
Some children, three or four boys, and maybe some
of them were older than eighteen, were arrested
along with a girl sixteen years old stealing an
automobile, in the Roanoke area. The judge
submitted the whole oase, along with the little
girl, to the grand jury for indictment. We ob
jected. The judge said he was going to try all
- 34 -
Bane: those cases. Automobile stealing had to stop.
He would stop it. Whereupon, as we did fre
quently in those days, the Welfare Department
employed on a case basis a lawyer to handle
our case with respect to this child in the Roanoke
Circuit Court. The lawyer that we employed
was Cliff Weodrum, who later went to congress.
The airport in Roanoke is named the Cliff Woodrum
Airport. We instructed Cliff to take exception to
the jurisdiction of the court because it was a
circuit court and the Child Welfare Act provided
that the juvenile court should have exclusive
original jurisdiction. Then we told him to be
the worst lawyer that he could possibly be. After
having noted his exception, we wanted to lose the
case because we had discussed the matter at length
with the Attorney General of Virginia, Colonel
John H. Saunders, and there was no difference of
opinion between Colonel Saunders and the Welfare
Department as to what the law meant. So we knew
perfectly well that if the case came up on appeal,
and we were going to appeal it, that the Attorney
General of Virginia would plead error and we would
get a Supreme Court decision. Well, Judge Hart
- 35 -
Bane: had been around quite a while and he was experienced,
and he had read the minutes of the previous meetings.
So to our surprise and great disappointment
when Cliff Woodrum noted hie exception, the Judge
agreed with him. He threw the case out* (Laughter)
So we didn't get our Supreme Court decision.,
Leiby: You spoke about foater families* Had you had a
foster family program?
Bane: The private agencies like the Associated Char
ities had. But the state, as such, had had no
foster home care program until the reorganization
Leiby: Was it possible for a court to commit a child to
Leiby: Did the state pay in that case?
Bane: 1 would imagine it did. But I wouldn't be certain.
Leiby: I can imagine that foster care would be an important
resource for the department.
Leiby: '^-'hen you must have built up a foster care program.
Bane: We started immediately to build up a foster care
program in 1922.
- 36 -
Leiby: Did you use private agencies or did you build up
Bane: We built up our own staff &a rapidly aa we could,
and we used private agencies at the same time.
That was when we brought into the department Cray
Shepperaon, Hay Hankins, who later was Commissioner
of Welfare in Washington,D.C., & Bnily Dinwiddie.
Leiby: When did you get Gay Shepperson? She'd been with
the Children's Bureau.
Bane: No, she'd been in charge of the social work section
of the American Red Cross.
Miss Hankins had been with the Children's Bu-
reauShe used to come down as an adviser.
And Miss Emily Dinwiddie had been with the
Associated Charities in Philadelphia.
Leiby: All of these people were more or less professional.
Bane: Oh they were professional.
Leiby: Really professional. New when did this reorganization
of child welfare go through?
Leiby: You'd been there for two years then. Did you have
much to do in this commission that made the study of
- 37 -
Leiby: the children's code?
Bane: We over in the department acted as more or less a
secretary for the commission. We kept the minutes,
we assembled the material, we developed the agenda.
Leiby: You worked with them.
Bane: Yes. To the extent that they had a secretariat, we
Leiby: What were the obstacles in selling this program?
In the first place, I gather, you wanted local
governments to set up their own county boards.
A nd you would say that these mental hygiene clinics
and probation and parole are very useful in preven
tion and rehabilitation. In studying this the
problem I've had is that everybody's in favor of
prevention and rehabilitation, and yet it's a long
hard battle to get them to finance it. I mean you
go to them and you say, "Look in the long run we're
going to save you money." Then what do they say to
Bane: Wn f they say, if they are honest and direct and
they're not speaking to the press, "That's all
right about the long run saving us money, but what
we're concerned about is our budget right here this
- 38 -
Bane: year, right now when we are about to run a deficit
and somebody says we have to increase taxes. You
take care of the long run. We're interested in the
immediate present." That's the usual steck answer
when you're sitting down and talking with a budget
director about that kind of a problem.
Leibyi Then you'd have to persuade them.
Bane: Yes. And the way to persuade them is the age old
technique; you get a great many people
to come in before the committee influential people-
to urge it. And you use examples. There are many
more examples now than you had in those days.
You could use the example now of what we've done
in TB, what we've done in pneumonia, what we've
done in polio recently. The only example we had
in those days, that 1 can recall, is what we'd
done in diabetes. Insulin had just come in and
everybody was interested in diabetes. And we'd
use that as an example*
Leibyt Now it occurs to me that there's another way that
you might do this. You might try to gather some
sort of empirical evidence that this really works.
In rther words you might say, "This is a theory
- 39 -
Leiby: about how it works. And here 'a a kind of empirical
validation for this." I think this is the way we
would go at it today.
Bane: Yes, we would go at it that way today. We
used to attempt to go at it that way. But it's an
awfully difficult thing. Delinquency, human beings,
they don't test tube very well. They don't act the
sane way under all circumstances. We used to
find it very difficult to prove much in that
field, be it reasonable or not.
Leiby: Or to put another construction on this, there's no
real evidence that these things work.
Leiby: I don't know if there is now, but certainly in the 1920s.
Bane: Well even now. Let's take the field of mental ill
ness, which is subject to much more scientific appraisal
than delinquency. You and I remember the various ex
periments that were carried on twenty or twenty-
five years ago , in that area. Doctor
Henry Cotton in New Jersey with his focal infection, Dr.
De Jarnette in Virginia with his sterilization law,
and all kinds of various and sundry experiments. But
wo oould never demonstrate that such and such action
- 40 -
Bane: would yield such and such a result , even to the ex
tent of a specif ie known mental illness. Even if we
were certain that we knew what the trouble was,
we never had any direct cure, like insulin for
diabetes, or sulfa drugs for pneumonia.
Lei by: Well there was salvarsan.
Bane: It was helpful in quieting, but it never
Leiby: But it arrested*
Bane: Yes, it arrested.
Leiby: In other words the problem you had in trying to
persuade somebody that it's a good idea to set up
this kind of local service because it keeps them
out of the institution and it gets them out of the
institution, and it's better for them and it's
cheaper all these wonderful arguments the problem
was not simply that you had to say, "This is going to
cost you money but it's worth it in the long run."
The problem also was that you had to go very easy
on making laims.
Bans: Yes. And you had to base it largely on a human
itarian appeal, rather than on dollars and cents.
In 1923 we were not dealing with big institu
tions e We weren't in the realm of big money.
- 41 -
Bane* We did get into that in 1926. In *23 we were
deeding with money, but not big money. We had
great support from all private agencies, church organ
izations, and especially the League of Women Voters.
They did an excellent job. And as I said a few
moments ago eighty to ninety per cent of this
program was passed. Our chief difficulties were:
1) Inertia. Everybody was interested in roads in
those days. We were just beginning to build high
ways. And all the fight in the legislature was over
a bond issue for roads. And incidentally in that
same legislature the bond issue for roads was de
feated. The gentleman who was leading the op
position to the bond issues with the slogan "Pay
as you go" was a gentleman by the
name of Harry P. Byrd. (Laughter) a e*s been in
favor of pay as you go ever since. And ever since
those days he has stood for, more or less as a
badge, economy and governmental efficiency.
2) Honey. We emphasized that here was a situation that
needed some money but not too much. The human
itarian appeal was what we used more than anything
Leiby: So basically it was a humanitarian appeal and it was
made by many distinguished and honorable witnesses
- 42 -
Leiby: giving testimony.
Bane: Chat's right.
Leiby: Now tell me this, would you have thought very much
of attempting some kind of empirical validation?
I mean, they did eatoh Cotton out. T hey did perform
a series of observations that proved conclusively
that Cotton's theories didn't work. Would this
have occurred very much to you, then?
Bane: It didn't in those days. We were operating in a
very narrow field . We wanted to set
up a better department that would function ef
fectively in this field and not be merely an in
spection and advisory agenoy. And we wanted very
definitely to do something about the children's
situation. We wanted also to tie the two things
together and have an effective organization in the
children's field, which we could spread to general
dependency and general delinquency and mental
Leiby: So your basic interest was in humanitarian service.
And your interest in administration, in those days,
would have been connected with giving the chil* a
good social worker, or a good mental hygienist,
- 43 -
Leibyj insofar as you could determine what these were*
Bane: Yes. And the big economic arguments didn't come
in until 1926, Then they came in with a bang.
Leibyi You said this 1926 reorganization of the Department
of Welfare was under Governor Harry Byrd,
Bane: Yea, Byrd became governor in 1925-26. Of course, he
had been in the state senate for years. And in ad
dition to having been in the state senate he'd been
Chairman of the State Democratic Committee. In
1926 he took office. a e had a rather strenuous
campaign against another member of the state senate,
a gentleman named Mapp. Mapp had been a leader of
the prohibition forces in Virginia. And he had the
support of the famous or notorious character, de
pending on your point of view, Bishop James Cannon.
Leiby: One of H.L. Mencken's friends. (Laughter)
Bane: That's right. He was a great promoter and supporter
ef Happ. Byrd was elected.
Leiby: Was this for the nomination?
Bane: It was in the primary. They didn't have conventions
in those days in Virginia. And in those days the
November elections between the two parties didn't
amount to anything. Happ was supported by one group
and Byrd by another group. You might say that Mapp
- 44 -
Ban*: was supported by the clerical group, interested
primarily in prohibition. Byrd, whereas he was a
prohibitionist also, everybody was in
Virginia in those days, was supported by the polit
ical organization groups , the so-called county
organizations or county rings, depending on whether
you approve of them or disapprove of them. Byrd
was handily eleeted. It developed
that you had in the governor's office a person who
had overwhelming political support in the state.
He had been in politics since he was a young boy*
He'd been in the state senate for many years. His
father, Richard Evelyn Byrd, had been speaker
of the house of representatives in Virginia
for a, number of years.
Leiby: How old was Harry Byrd when he became governor?
Bane: He was about thirty-six or seven. He is now seventy-
seven. On occasions we used to say something about
our being young men. He's between five or six years
older than 1 am. He came in with a definite,
specific reorganization program.
He had control of the legislature and he knew it.
Se he set up a top notch in New York you would
- 45 -
Ban*: call it a blue ribbon committee- -on the reorganization.
x 'he head of the commission was a man by the name of
W.T. Reid, who was at that time President of Larus
Tobaooo Company that makes Edgeworth tobacco.
The commission decided to employ a consulting firm
to come into Virginia and make a study of the state
government and submit recommendations to the com
mission. It employed what was called in those
days the National Institute of Public Administra
tion of which Luther Gulick was director,
Luther and his group came to Virginia and
made the study in 1926. They submitted an elab
orate plan for changing the government very
materially. Perhaps a dozen constitutional amend
ments. Byrd and his commission took the plan
almost look, stock and barrel, and put it through. It
changed the status of many elected officials. We
had seven or eight officials in Virginia that had
been electedthe constitution provided they could
be elected by the people Byrd got rid of all
of that. It provided that all state officials in
Virginia should be appointed, with the exception of
the Governor, the Lieu tenant -Governor and the At
torney General. It did away with the old $5,000
- 46 -
Ban*: limitation on the Governor's salary, that had existed
since 1901. *t did away with the oath that all state
officials had to take that, "They would not fight a
duel with a deadly weepon." as the justices of the
peace used to say. They reorganized the constitu
tion and established Byrd's reputation as one of the
ablest governors that this country had.
Leiby: What was Byrd interested inefficient government to
Bane: Primarily he was interested in efficient government.
He was also interested in economy. His great stock
in trade in those days was economy, has continued to
be economy. But as governor he was as much if not
much more interested in efficiency than he was in
sheer economy. He did more for the Welfare
Department and for other departments than any gov
ernor we'd ever had before that.
Leiby: Bid he have an idea of what Chili ok was going to say
in the report?
Bane: Oh, not in the beginning. But certainly, as they
went along, Gulick had constant conferences with the
Leiby t So he wanted to reorganize the government. He didn't
- 47 -
Leiby: have any ideas in particular* I guess he did have some
Bane: Yes he did. He had some ideas but not in detail. w hat
he wanted was an effective and efficient governmental
Leiby: So he called in the Public Administration boys from
Bane: That's right. And he made a contract with them.
Leiby: Aad they made a study and he bought the study.
Bane: Yes. And what is equally important or more important,
he put it through.
Leiby: $o this is when public administration as a science, as
it were, begins to...
Bane: G ome into state government and begins to come into the
Welfare Department. The Welfare Department, from
then on, began to think much more in terms of econ
omics than it had before.
Leiby: How had the Welfare Department fared in Gulick's study?
He undoubtedly had a chapter on it.
Bane: Oh yes. First he recommended that the Commissioner of
Public Welfare, instead of being appointed by a board,
be appointed by the governor, subject to the approval
of the senate.
Leiby: This was to establish responsibility.
Bane: To serve at his pleasure indeterminate term. Then
- 48 -
Bane: he suggested that all of the major state institu
tions, the penitentiary, the state industrial
schools, the hospitals for the mentally ill be
brought into the Welfare Department and that
the Welfare Department be made an operating a-
There was one concession to the old system.
Whereas the welfare commissioner would be
ex-officio a member of all of the boards, the
one concession was to keep the boards for
the various institutions the local boards.
So then the welfare commissioner couldn' t
immediately control the entire operation of
every institution, nor could he, on his own,
and without the advice of a board, appoint
a superintendent of say, the Western State
Hospital. That authority was lodged in the
The welfare commissioner, to repeat,
was ex-officio a member of all the boards,
which meant to all intents and purposes that he
- 49 -
Bane: was the representative of the governor on each of
those boards. He carried a great amount of
Leiby: Now hitherto had the State Board inspected state
Leiby: But it had had no operating control.
Bane: None whatever, ne operating participation.
Leiby: They merely inspected and reported to the governor.
Bane: That's right.
Leiby: And now what this did was to make the superintendent
of the institution responsible to the commissioner
Bane: And also responsible to his board. His board had
charge of all local operations. But for its over
all big problems) like his budget and things of that
kind, he worked with the welfare commissioner.
Leiby: Did he submit a common budget?
Bane: Bach institution submitted an individual budget, then
were put together, consolidated.
Leiby: When did the consolidated budget come in?
Bane: After 1926.
Leiby: So in other words this is a very considerable power.
- 50 -
Bane: Surely. That was the Byrd reorganization, that
power. And that got us into the field of economics,
as well as into the field of humanity.
Leiby: Now would you expand a little on this, about economics,
Bane: Well I remember the major economic question that came
up so frequently. I became sick and tired of it.
The per capita cost of a particular patient in a
hospital. Everything had been run on that basis for
many years. We tried during my years there to ex
pand and elaborate that approach to the problem.
We never got very far while I was there. But we
succeeded in pushing up the per capita costs. So
long as we were stuck to a per capita cost business,
which is always tied back to what you had in years
before, we pushed up ten cents-twenty cents, etc.
Leiby: In other words, compared with other states.
Bane: Yes. We tried once to wipe the slate clean and say,
"Let's forget the past. What is an adequate per
capita cost? Let's start from here." But we
never made too much progress with that.
Money began to be a problem because hospitals,
aside from education and highways, was the biggest
single expenditure of state government, the most
- 51 -
Bane: expensive facilities that we had.
We had five of them. That is we had four hospitals
and one institution for the epileptic and feeble
Leibyx Were there any county institutions?
Bane: No, just state institutions* Of course we had a lot
of senile people in the county alms houses
who couldn't get into the hospitals for the mentally
And, I would guess, 35# or maybe more of
all the people in state hospitals for the insane
were senile, aged people.
Leiby: I'm interested in this per capita cost basis* I
know for years, and I guess still is. a primary
consideration. And it has the merit that this is
something you can figure out and you can compare.
If you're going to manage institutions you need some
sort of bookkeeping, obviously. And this is a very
Bane: Oh that's good* I wasn't objecting to the cost ac
counting phases of it* What I used to object to
was being tied back to the per capita costs that we
had five, ten, or fifteen years ago* The budget people
- 52 -
Bane: would always say,. * Well we have to go gradually,
two or three steps at a time, fifteen cents,
twenty cents ,. " etc. We had a budget
director in my later years in Virginia, a grand
gentleman, but if there ever waa a meticulous person
he was it. He's still a grand old friend of mine al
though we used to fight like oats and dogs* His name
was Bradford. a e was there for twenty- odd years. I
would come in and sit down and he would say, "Now the
per capita costs... " I would say, "My Lord, do we
have to go into that again?" (Laughter) I would want
to start with the per capita costs now, never mind what
the per capita costs were ten years ago. Times are
different. Times had changed.
Leiby: But even if you could get a per capita cost on the
basis of a standardwhat you wanted essentially
was to formulate standards.
Bane: 1 wanted some modern standards. I used to say, "Yes
we have this per capita cost but this is when we
called our hospitals asylums for the in
sane* Now we're talking about hospitals, not
asylums. It's a different proposition. Let's start
with another standard of per capita cost."
_ 53 -
Leiby: Would there be any other unit of service per capita
cost doesn't measure unit of service, does it?
Bane: It does within limits. It measures very adequately
and effectively the problem of food; the problem of
shelter, heat, light, and power; the problem of
clothing* ^ut how do you measure per capita cost
when you get into the question of physicians and so
on? Unless you just take eighteen physicians and
divide them by 1,800 patients and say one physician
to a hundred patients.
Leiby: The Public Administration people were very much in
terested in accounting. I know, in New Jersey, this
is the way we got to those institutions. We'd come
out with per capita costs very different, why? Then
you have to explain it and justify it. Was there any
speculation about other measures of service? I'm in
terested in this, generally speaking. You must have
thought, "If we could only isolate service costs."
Bane: Yes, we used to think in terms, in addition to per
capita costs, about patient doctor ratio, patient
nurse ratio. We used to try and get away from
the per capita costs when we were thinking about
these things. We used to think, also, in terms of
- 54 -
Bane: types of buildings for certain kinds of patients.
Leibyt This is important. Or prisoners for that matter, you
know, minimum custody prisoners.
Bane: Yes. These enormous four and five story buildings
that they built back in the eighteenth century
for hospitals and asylums. We began to get
away from those and build one story buildings for
certain kinds of patients, particularly the elderly.
We even built ramps instead of steps for elderly and
senile patients. I notice in the housing for the
elderly in the housing progress now they emphasize
ramps instead of steps.
Leiby: Where did you get the idea of doctor patient ratio?
Did you ask some doctor?
Bane: From quite a number of people. When I went
with the Welfare Department my technical training
left much to be desired. So I used to take my vaca
tions and go on busmen's holidays. I had met a
number of people in New York in this field. So
I would go to visit them . The National
Mental Health Committee , in those days , was
my source of information, ideas, and data, Clifford
Beers and George Stevenson. In the realm of prisons
- 55 -
Bane: and the general field of delinquency it was Hastings
Hart* He was with the Russell Sage Foundation.
Leiby: And Kirchway was with..*
Bane: The New York School of Social Work after he came
back from Sing Sing. And then I would go around
and visit various and sundry hospitals in other
states. That's when I met and knew and stayed with
Dr. Cotton in New Jersey. He told me at length
and showed me in detail what he was doing about what
he called, I think, focal infection. I went
to Massachusetts with Dr. George M. Kline, the
Mental Health Commissioner, and with Dr. Pernald who
was in charge of mentally retarded children.
Leiby: Suppose we come back to the general character of
the states you visited tomorrow.
Bane: Fine. Tomorrow at the same time.
- 56 -
DIRECTOR OP PUBLIC WELFARE, KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE,
(Interview ef January 6, 1965)
Leibyi Yesterday we were talking mostly about state wel
fare in Virginia. I know from 1923 to 1926 you
moved te Knoxville as Director ef Publie Welfare*
Hew did you happen to get interested in the job
Bane: When I was Commissioner of Public Welfare in
Virginia there was a gentleman by the name ef
Mr. Louis Brownlew, who was City Manager ef
Petersburg, Virginia* Prior to going to Peters
burg Louis Brownlew had been one of the eommis-
sioners of Washington, D.C* In fact, he had been
ehairman of the district commissioners, running the
city of Washington.
Leibyi A much better ehairman than that oity deserved.
Banes A much better chairman than you would expect under
the type of government which the oity of Washington
has* It's the old type of government r the old
commission type, whereby they divide up the
- 57 -
Ban*) activities of the city among three commissioners,
each commissioner taking a certain branch of the
government and being responsible therefore.
Brownlow as commissioner had been responsible in
Washington for welfare activities, for the pelioe,
and for finance* So when he went to Petersburg
he was greatly interested in the welfare activ
ities in Petersburg, which were at that time al
most non-existent. He began to look to the
state for a great deal of help in setting up
Petersburg's local welfare agencies of one kind
Leibys Brewnlew hadn't begun his academic career then.
Bane: Ne, not yet. He was in public administration,
mostly local administration. As a matter of fact
throughout his life Brownlow was almost exclusively
in local administration and probably the country's
greatest authority on public administration in
the locality. He branched off a little bit into
the federal government when he made the study of
the federal government for President Roosevelt.
Brownlow and I were acquainted in Virginia and, in
fact, became quite friendly. Brownlow was offered
- 58 -
Banes the job of City Manager of Knoxville, Tennessee.
He came to see mo In Richmond one night, and
told me he was going to take that job and that
they were going to set the oity government up in
fire major departments. Of course, a law depart
ment with a general counsel* ill government
agencies have a general counsel . And then a De
partment of Public Works, a Department of Public
Safety, a Department of Finance, and a Department
of Welfare. He asked me if I would accept the
job as Director of Public Welfare for the oity of
Knozville, to set up a brand new department.
Knoxville had just adopted a new charter and a new
oity manager form of government. I was
starting from scratch more or less in organizing
a welfare department in a reasonably sized city
probably 150,000 population.
Lelby: A considerable metropolis.
Bane: At that time it was the third largest city in the
state; Memphis, Nashville, Knozville, and then
Chattanooga. I was young and adventuresome and
I liked Brownlow, and so I agreed to take the job.
. In that department we had the usual welfare
- 59 -
- x ~'
Banes activities;; The health bureau, the recreation bureau,
the city institutions, and we had the licensing of various
private institutions of one kind or another in the
welfare or health fields.
I spent three years in Knoxville, working
on the task of setting up a municipal welfare de
partment. Knoxville was a very interesting
city in those days. The first thing that in
terested me was the health work or lack of
health work in the City. Shis was 1923 and Knox
ville still had a considerable amount of smallpox*
They had a city pesthouso in 1923, which
Leibys That's an eighteenth century innovation.
Bane: Soon after we got started and had gotten our feet on
the ground, Brownlow and I talked about the small
pox question. We were in the process of de
veloping the city budget. So I announced to the
press, with the collaboration and consent of
Brownlow, that after this particular year, which
was 1923, we were going to eliminate all ap-
- 60 -
Bane: propriations for the city pesthouse. We were
going to substitute: 1) A compulsory system of
vaccination in the public schools; and 2) We
were going to set up a clinic where anybody could
be vaccinated if they wanted to, free of charge.
Thereafter we were going to operate on the general
thesis that we believed in liberty public health
liberty. If anybody wanted to have and insisted upon
having smallpox, the city wasn't going to pay for
it. We'd let him pay for it himself.
Well at that the newspaper people began to ask
all kinds of questions every day. And every day I
was talking about smallpox, until the Chamber of
Commerce sent a committee down to see me one day.
They said, "You are ruining business. You've con
vinced the people in the neighborhood and in the
countryside that we have an epidemic of smallpox
in town." I said, "We have." We had something
like twenty-odd cases. That to me is an. epidemic
of smallpox. They said, "We're going to see Mr.
Brownlow about it." Mr. Brownlow was my boss.
They went to see Mr. Brownlow. Mr. Brownlow
- 61 -
Bane: suggested to them that he thought that they could
make a trade with me. He waa reasonably convinced
if they (the committee from the Chamber of Commerce)
would help me pass a city ordinance for compulsory
vaccination of school children and would encourage
people to be vaccinated, I would quit talking
about smallpox. They came over* We made that deal.
I quit talking about smallpox. We put through com
pulsory vaccination of school children. We set
up the clinic. Many people came in to be vaccinated.
The next year we abolished the pesthouse.
Leibys I would imagine that it was the Chamber of Commerce
people who supported Brownlow at first.
Bane: Very much so.
Leiby: The city manager came in, this was a businessman's
Bane: Exactly. And they were, to all intents and purposes,
his kitchen cabinet, you might say,
Leibys So you convinced them.
Bane: Maybe they convinced themselves* that this was a
good idea from a business point of view, not to have
the reputation of having smallpox in town. We
set up quite an elaborate* for a small city, health
bureau, and a rather large municipal hospital.
- 62 -
Leiby: This was a municipal, general hospital.
Bane: Yes. Knoxville General Hospital. We had a
problem there, of course, which was the problem
of staffing. I brought an outside superintend
ent in, which was very beneficial from the stand
point of the hospital but immediately got me into
controversy with all of the doctors not all, a num
ber of the doctors* That situation worked out
and we got the hospital accredited, with the usual
number of nurses in proportion to patients, and by
requiring certain minimum things such as the use of
gloves in surgical operations. (Laughter)
We had the Job of setting up a
recreation system. Mr. Brownlow had always been
a great proponent of organized recreation; munic
ipal playgrounds as well as parks. So we sub
mitted a proposition to establish various and
sundry playgrounds, and we put it in the budget. Al
so, we put in the city budget a provision for su
pervisors of these playgrounds. In retrospect
that was one of the most interesting experiences
we had in Knoxville. Two members of the
- 63 -
Bane: council opposed that item for supervisors
of playgrounds. Said they, "It is proposed the
most outrageous proposal we've ever heard of it is
proposed that we use oity money to pay people to
teaoh children to play. Any old child can play*
The job is to teaoh him to work." (Laughter)
That was a very very interesting experience.
That started me, to a considerable extent,
in the business of local government administration,
which I hadn't had too much of except in a super
visory capacity in Richmond* I stayed there for
Leibyt Did you have much to do with poor relief in
Bane: The poor relief situation in Knoxville was what
it was everywhere rather standard, utterly in
adequate, but usual. We had the county alms house.
And we had the oity overseers of the poor, which
we took over in the Welfare Department. We put two
social workers on the staff. We got one from the
New York School of Social Work and one from the
Chicago School of Social Work*
Leibyt Professional social workers?
Bane: Yes. Both had come from Tennessee. That helped
- 64 -
Bane: to offset criticism of what I'd done before. (Laughter)
As a matter of fact in that government Brownlow, who
was the city manager, was from out -of -at ate;: James
Otey Walker, head of the Department of
Public Safety, fire and police, was an outsider; I
was head of the Welfare Department; and I brought in
an outsider to be head of the hospital,
Leiby: Which was the most expensive*
Bane: The most expensive, the most controversial, the
most potentially explosive institution was the
Leiby: It had not been accredited*
Bane: No, it had not been accredited
Leiby: You got it accredited.
Bane: We got it accredited with all the headaches that
would go with that kind of a reorganization when
you're dealing with professional groups as well
as with the general public. To repeat, three of
us were from out of the state. Two of us were
Whenever we went to any hotel, dining room,
or restaurant where
- 65 -
Banes they had an orchestra, the orchestra always started
up "Carry Me Back to Old Virginia." (Laughter)
Many years later the attorney general of Ten
nessee was a man named Roy Beeler, quite a lawyer.
When we were in Knoxville, Roy Beeler had "been city
attorney just before the city manager form of gov
ernment came in. So, when the city manager form
of government came in, Roy Beeler was out of a job.
A lawyer by the name of Edgerton was appointed
as head of the law department and general counsel
for the city. Roy was a delightful gentleman
and occasionally we would speak on the same platform.
Especially when the administration was promoting a
bond issue to build a viaduct over the Southern
Railroad tracks. Of course, we were for it. Roy
was against it. M e was just against the admin
istration. We would speak on the same platform
occasionally, around the different wards. I would
speak for the bond issue. Beeler would speak after
wards. He would say, "My dear friends and my
fellow townsmen." (Laughter) "Do you really
think that if you vote this bond issue this
foreigner is going to put all of that money into
building the viaduct? Do you really think so?"
- 66 -
Bane: That would be his speech. Afterward he and
his wife would ome over to Mrs* Bane and myself
and say, "It's early. Let's go on home and play
bridge for the rest of the evening." (Laughter)
It was all in the game of more or less benevolent
Leiby: Tou were spending lots of money in Knorville.
Bane: We were spending a great deal of money at that time.
Leiby: How did you raise it local property taxes?
Bane: Before we went to Knorville as soon as the new
council came in they found themselves with a
whale of a deficit. So they, thank the Lord, had
levied a very much increased property tax before
we got there. The Brownlow administration got
there in time to inherit the revenue from the in-
or eased tax rate. The first year or two we had
no acute financial problem.
Leiby: And ygaa had businessmen backing good government.
Leiby s Good government men hiring outside experts to come
in and improve the services.
Bane: That was the general pattern.
Leiby: These services were quite different from the sorts
- 67 -
Leibyj of things you were doing in Virginia. Did you
have a ohild welfare agency or operation?
Bane: No, we had no ohild welfare operation. Of course,
we had the children's section of the health de
partment clinic. But we had no foster plan or
arrangement of that kind* All that was handled
by the county, to the extent that it was handled,
We had no adoption procedures in the department*
They were handled by the courts. And we had
little connection with the courts.
Leiby: N probation.
Bane: No probation. Again, that was in the courts.
We had a judge in Knorville in those days by
the name of William*, who was very jealous of his
He insisted that we should stay out of his
backyard, which we did, since the charter
Leiby: To get back to poor relief, what did the social
Bane: They investigated income, administered means tests,
and that's just about it.
Leibys Social investigation.
- 68 -
Bane: Social investigation to determine how muchand
we experimented a little bit in Knoxville with
cash grant a*
Leiby: Instead of grants in kind.
Bane: Instead of grants in kind, instead of the grocery
order. If a person was a oertain kind of a person,
meaning by that if most of his life he had earned
and expended his own money, we would give him a
cash grant, which was new at that time. And, in
retrospect, it didn't kick up too much opposition.
Still most of it was on the old grocery order
basis the order on the corner grocery store.
Leibys Did these social workers take the place of the
overseers of the poor? Or direct them?
Bane: They gradually took their place. By the time we
left Knoxville in 1926, the social work unit
had taken over the entire job of the over
seers of the poor.
Leiby: Did you have a centralized intake?
Bane: Yes, we had a centralized intake. And in those days
whenever I went into a social worker's office her
first question was always, inevitably, "Don't you
want to see my records?" Records had just begun to
- 69 -
Bane: play a large part in social work.
Leiby: When you as administrator walked in.
All social workers played up records in
those days. So we started a records system.
We had pretty good records. We worked very
closely with the local private agency in town,
which was a local Associated Charities.
Leiby: Family Service.
Bane: Family Service, which at that time was called
Associated Charities, which was headed by a
Miss Mgnall. She had been there for a num
ber of years and she was one of my best sup
Leiby: So there was something constructive or pre
ventive, some sort of case work going on.
Bane: Yes. And, of course, we had other institutions.
We had the Institution for Delinquent Women,
called Camp Home. A man by the name of Camp
had given his big house to the city. We had,
also, a small tubercular sanitorium.
Leiby: A municipal tubercular sanitorium.
- 70 -
Bane: Yes, a small one of about twenty beds, which
we tried to keep for temporary care until the
state sanitorium could take over.
- 71 -
TEACHING AT THE UNIVERSITY OP VIRGINIA, 1926-193 2
Leiby: Then you went back to Virginia as Welfare Commissioner,
Bane: Then I went back to Virginia, That* a when Byrd came
in as governor in 1926.
At the same time the University of
Virginia was talking with me about my
coming to the University as Professor of Sociology.
So I went back to Virginia as Welfare Com
missioner and with the permission of Governor
Byrd and the group in our own office, I would
go over to the University of Virginia at Charlot-
tesville twice a week. At
first it was just once a week and then it was twice
a week, giving courses in what they called "Pure
and Applied Sociology, " which really meant public
welfare administration or applied social work
Leiby: What kind of students did you have in these courses?
Bane: Interestingly enough we had about a fifty-fifty
split as between men and women. The public admin-
- 72 -
Bane: istration side of it attracted the men and the
social work side attracted the women.
Of course, at that time, a woman had
to be an applicant for a graduate degree to
get into the University of Virginia. All
of the undergraduates were men.
Leiby: You were in sociology, not political science.
Leiby: What sort of things did you talk about in
Bane: We talked about the general principles of
social work. We talked about the organiza
tion and operation of welfare departments.
We talked about the day to day duties of a
public welfare administrator or a social worker,
as the case may be. And I imagine upon oc
casions we branched out a little bit into
what might be termed social philosophy.
- 73 -
Lei/by: Do you remember what sort of reading you could
Bane: Yes The reading that we had mostly was Mary
Richmond's book in the realm of social work*
And in the realms of public administration
we dealt mostly with pamphlets and studies of the
Brookings Institute in Washington, the National
Institute of Public Administration, Gulick's
outfit, and other general text books in
public administration* There was a professor
at Columbia by the name of John A. Munro who had
written an excellent text book.
Leiby: He was in political science
Bane: We used both political science text books and
social work text books.
In the Department of Sociology, there was
just one full-time professor at that time.
Leiby: I see. You were just on a visiting status*
Bane: I came in once a week at first and later it was twice
a weeko The course was denominated, which interested
me at the time, applied sociology. What they
were trying to emphasize was that Professor House,
he was the sociology professor ,. was dealing in
- 74 -
Bane: principles and theories and I was supposed to be
Leiby: Did this teaching weigh very heavily in your de
cision to come back to Virginia?
Bane: Yes, it weighed rather heavily from two points of
view. I had had some experience in the field. I
liked it. I still do. And another attraction was
that state salaries in those days were not too large.
The salary the University of Virginia paid me
supplemented the salary which the state paid me.
I had a growing family, and I needed the money.
Leiby: I suppose your main attraction, however, was the
Bane: By that time I was in administration to stay.
Leiby: And this was a real challenge that Byrd offered you.
Bane: Yes, to reorganize the department. Said he, "We're
going to put all the welfare agencies, departments,
and institutions in one department. And I'd like
you to run it."
- 75 -
PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION IN THE 1920s
Leiby: What strikes me as I listen to you is that, in a
way, you seem to be sort of riding on a rising
tide. That is, you got in on the reorganization
of 1921 in the Virginia department; then you got
in on the reorganization in Knoxville. I mean,
people were interested in this. People wanted
to do this. You were getting opportunities. And
you were getting means to work with.
Bane: ?hr was a stirring, as we used to say, in that
field. As you say, it was coming along about
the time I was coming along agewise. And I was
riding it. But I had no idea at that time what a
tide this was going to be would turn into--and
how I was eventually going to be riding along
Leiby: Prom my point of view as I study the history of
the 1920s, these reorganizations were going on all
over the country. Knoxville, Tennessee was not a
place that you would expect to be out for real
- 76 -
Leiby: modern city managers and there they were. And
this was going on all over in places like Knox-
ville; in Virginia for that matter. Suddenly in
the mid 1920s they change over to really a modern
welfare structure. And I know that there were a
great variety of state reorganizations in the 1920s <
Por the most part I'm impressed by the character of
the executives who came into these jobs. They were
young men. I know in New Jersey John Ellis was
thirty-five when he ran and that was big money,
that was all of the New Jersey institutions in
one department. And you were in Virginia. I
think Louis Brownlow was a pretty young man.
Bane: Yes, Brownlow was just 12 years older than I was.
That would have made him in his middle forties.
Leiby: But I can't imagine them hiring a thirty-five year
old man to run the New Jersey department today.
Bane: Probably not. The market would be better today.
There would be more people to choose from. In
those days when you were in the welfare field if
you were looking for someone that had any partic
ular background, there weren't many. As wit
ness, I imagine, in New Jersey when John Ellis
- 77 -
Bane: died and they began to look for a person they went
out of the state and got Sanford Bates, an experienced execute
Leiby: Who was on the market.
Bane: Who was on the market, but an older man. Then when
Bates resigned or retired, why still they went out
of New Jersey and got John Tramburg, Virginia fol
lowed pretty much the same pattern, not as con
sistently as that* Although, as I think I said
yesterday, when I left Virginia in 1931 of the four
directors who handled eighty-five per cent of the
state's money, three of them were from out of state.
I was the only one who had been to the manor born,
so to speak.
Leibys In a historical nse this strikes me as a moder
ately important development. It suggests the de
velopment of a nationwide market and a nationwide
group of people to fill the market, ^hat is, there
is a group of young executives who are coming up.
^hey know one another. They're in touch with one
another. And they're in a position to staff these
Banes And you might say, in addition, a growing conscious
ness on the part of people that government was an
- 78 -
Bane: important business and should be handled by some
one who knew his business.
Leiby: Both the politicians and the businessmen thought
this. Both the Chamber of Commerce and Harry Byrd
thought the government ought to be run like a
Bane: As an example, during that period the city manager
form of government spraA all over the country. It
started, incidentally, in Virginia. The first city
manager form of government was in the city of Staunton,
Virginia, And for many years the largest city to
have a city manager form of government was Norfolk,
Virginia, which had a city manager form of govern
ment in the early days--two or three years after
Staunton started it. Norfolk adopted it and
employed a man named Ashburn to be city manager.
Ashburn had been city manager of Staunton. He was
about the only person who was available who had
definite experience as a city manager. So they
employed him and he stayed in Norfolk
for twelve or fifteen years. Norfolk was just coming
out of the First World War, the navy was on the make.
When the navy is on the make Norfolk
- 79 -
Bane: prosperous. It always has been a navy town.
It wanted a top notch type of government.
They picked the one experienced city manager
in the country, and off they went with it.
That kind of thing was more or less in the air
at that time.
Leiby: Students of public administration like Gulick
and Brownlow looked upon their jobs in a really
practical way. They really looked for great
advances in municipal government, first of all.
Bane: They started mostly in municipal government.
We used to insist, in those days, that
municipal government, and to a large extent,
state government, was to all intents and pur
poses a commodity. It was collective house
keeping, if you please.
It's a commodity to the extent that you can
buy as much as you want, as little as you want,
of good quality or shoddy quality. And generally
speaking, you get what you pay for. For instance,
take municipal government, practically all that
they do is collective housekeeping. Most of
- 80 -
Bane: the things local governments do my grandfather
and his family did for himself, one way or an
other. He took care of the road that went by
his farm. He was warranted to do so. If he
didn't do it himself, individually, he had
to employ someone to take care of that road and
he had to pay him. He took care of his own
aged parents, he even looked after his well.
One of my most interesting recollec
tions, after I'd gone with the state of Virginia
as Welfare Commissioner, my uncle, who lived
on our old home place in Virginia, wrote me
to come to see him. I went up, and he was in
a row with the county health officer, who had
just been appointed in Stafford County, Virginia.
He had sent some young men out there to inspect
his well. And they had trespassed on his
propertyl His well was all right. It had
been all right for generations. "And what was
all this business about germs anyway." (Laughter)
So we used to take care of our own health.
Insofar as education is concerned, in the
East particularly, before the turn of the
- 81 -
Bane: century most people who sent their children to
high school, if they could afford to do it, sent
them to private schools. And the states abounded
in academies for boys and seminaries for girls.
Now government comes along and takes over most
But we have learned to want many, many of
these things. And we have learned to insist
that our governments equip themselves to provide
these various commodities in an adequate and ef
Leiby: Suppose this idea of government as a commodity
and standards of measuring service I suppose
this was one of the most important ideas of the
Bane: That's what we were urging in the 1920s, that
government is a technical business requiring
competent trained personnel. We used to say, "In
- 82 -
Bane: the health field we're going to spend a lot of your
money on two things: Inspection of the dairies that
supply milk and inspection of the milk itself. And
we're going to examine the water that comes out of
the Holston River, four or five times a day. " A nd
they would say, "Pour or five times a day?" And we
would say,"1fc% all to keep you from having typhoid
fever and other diseases. If you don't want it
inspected, if you want to take * chance on typhoid
and other diseases that you used to have, cut it out."
Leiby: They weren't so keen for that. The health field then
was one field where you oould make a real ease for
Bane: We used it not only in that particular field but we
used it as an argument for other fields. But
we couldn't be as specific. We couldn't point to
definite results. We couldn't say, for instance, "If
you set up this playground in this neighborhood
it will reduce your crime twenty five percent.*
But we could use the same kind of an argument. "It
will keep them off the streets, it will keep children
out of the back alleys, it will keep them out of
- 83 -
Bane: 'mischief . '"
Leibys Now looal government is housekeeping, it's a commodity.
And you're trying to get across the idea that you get
what you pay for here. And there are standard** A nd
one should not just think of the costs but also of the
standards. You say this is peculiarly true of local
communities. You wouldn't characterize state govern
ment as collective housekeeping?
Bane: Yes. I said it's primarily true of local governments.
It's almost equally true of state governments,, For
instance in state governments, where does seventy-five
to eighty cents of every dollar of state revenue go?
First it goes into education, which is the biggest
expenditure. Then it goes into welfare and
highways, which are second and third in almost all
states. Then it goes into health and conservation.
Take a look at those services. Every one a
century ago was largely an individual family job.
It was not until the turn of the century that they
became primarily public services.
Leiby: With standards. It would be true that your local
governments were more interested in direct service.
Bane: Arid then they brought the states into it.
- 84 -
Leiby: And the states are not so much interested.
Bane: They're not very interested in operating them, except highways
they are interested in standards; for instance, let's
take education. When I first went to Wansemond County
we were just getting out of a system that had been
prevalent there for a long time. The system was
that on the third Monday in July at the county court
house an examination would be given for teachers to
teach in the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth
grades f local examinations set up by the county it
self with no particular state standards or state cer-
tifaotion. The state came into the picture and when
they did they came in, as they always do, through
financial help. And standards always followed fi
nancial help whether it's federal to state or state
to locality. So the first thing that the state did
when they came into the picture with what they called
an equalization fund was to require certain standards.
Leiby: Of teacher selection.
Bane: Exactly. A uniform method of certification.
The same thing applied in roads. Up until 1916
in Virginia we had no state highway department.
Roads were the county's business. And working on
- 85 -
Bane: the roads was a very interesting operation. You
dug out the ditches in the wintertime and threw the
mud in the middle of the road, so the road would
drain. And in the springtime you hitched a pair of
mules to a heavy drag and filled in the ruts. It
was 1914 before there was a yard of concrete road in
the state of Virginia. Initially then there were two
stretches about nine miles each, one from Hopewell
to Petersburg, the rail head, and that stretch was
built by the Du Pont Company who had built a plant at
Hopewell. And the other was from Lee Hall, Virginia,
to Newport News, Virginia. The navy built that
one. It was built for the navy, not as a federal road
building program. The warehouses for the navy were
at Lee Hall and the docks were at Newport News.
Leiby: Then in 1916 came the Federal Highway Act,
Bane: And the state set up a State Highway Department and
they began to get into the road-building business in
a big way.
Leiby: And insist on certain standards. It was more dif
ficult to do this in welfare wasn't itft
Bane: In those days they used to say, "The road business is
easy to get into because roads are concrete. And wel-
- 86 -
Bane: fare is so abstract."
Leiby: Let's get back to this group of people who are
taking the administrative jobs in the 1920s, You
said that in the 1920s you went around and visited
people, I suppose you did this at Knoxville, too,
Leiby i And then as Virginia 1 ! Welfare Commissioner you'd
take your vacations and go to visit people, Now who
were some of the people you visited?
Bane: To repeat what we discussed yesterday, when I went to
Virginia as welfare commissioner, I did not have a
complete and thorough training in the field of wel
fare administration. So I immediately ran into prob
lems that I didn't know too much about or wondered
about. So I started visiting people around the
country that I thought were competent in this field.
The first place I started to go was New York because
I'd had some experience at Columbia.
Leiby i You had personal associations there.
Bane: Yes, with George W, Kirchwey. And through him I met
Hastings Hart, And those two happened to be, at that
time, perhaps, the leading authorities in the country
- 87 -
Bane: in the field of penology. The problem
that was giving me most trouble was, perhaps, the
problem of mental health and mental hospitals
So I started using my vacations to visit hospitals
that I had heard were good or had read about o
Leiby: How did you hear and where did you hear?
Bane: I would get Survey Magazine, the Mental Health As-
sooiation had a magazine, the American Psychiatric
Association had a magazine*
Leiby: There was Mental Hygiene. s o you really read those.
Bane: I would read those magazines. And while I was in New
York seeing these other people, I would go around to
the National Committee for Mental Hygiene. That was
being run by a man named Clifford W. Beers, who had
once been a mental patient, incidentally. And his
chief assistant was a young man by the name of
George W. Stevenson. They would suggest places
for me to go. One of them that I went to visit was the
Irenton State Hospital in New Jersey and its then
superintendent, Dr. Henry Cotton.
Leiby: They really sent you to Cotton I
Ban*: They sent me to Cotton.
Leiby: My, my I
- 88 -
Bane: And they also sent me to Massachusetts, to Foxboro
and several other hospitals up there. Also, to one
of the psychiatric clinics right outside of Boston.
In prisons it was suggested that I go out to
Illinois. They were building a brand new prison
in the form of a circle, which was supposed to be
escape proof. It is interesting to note that I
was out there at the dedication of that prison. I'd
hardly gotten back to Richmond and gotten settled in
my office before three people escaped from this es
cape proof prison. (Laughter) I visited all around
the country with these people. And, of course, as
always happens, I would say, "Come down and see what
we're doing. Give us a little advice on this."
They would become interested. And pretty soon we
were visiting back and forth.
Another person was Mr. Homer Folks in I.'ew York.
And another was C.C. Carstens. He was head of the
Child Welfare League of America. And he's the person
that used to recommend social workers for our chil
dren's bureau in Virginia.
- 89 -
Bane: So what the Virginia Department turned out
to be was largely an outgrowth of the distilled ideas
of about fifteen or twenty people all around the
Leiby* You would think that progress would come from New
York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Massachusetts.
These would be the places with the big problems and
the professional people and the forward looking
programs. Do you remember these states in that
Bane: Yes. Not only in New York State but in New York
City itself there was a group of people who had come
from all around and were running these large agencies
of one kind or another, like the Child Welfare League.
Leiby: Private, national agencies.
Bane: Yes, Like the New York State Charities Aid Associ
ation that Homer Polks was running, the Russell
Sage Foundation, with Hastings Hart.
And that waa the chief center. In addition, Boston
was quite a center in those days, especially in the
field of mental health. And New Jersey with its
Dr. Johns tone and Alex Johnson and its Vineland
experiment, everybody went there, including myself.
Leiby: What about Illinois? Illinois had had a reorganization,
one of the first states to do so.
- 90 -
Bane: It was the first, in 1917, under Governor Frank
Lowden. It set the pattern for state reorganiza
tions for the next twenty years. When Lowden be
came Governor of Illinois he had what most states
had in those days, a loose conglomeration of
agencies, semi-independent, each doing a particular
job without reference to the whole pattern, and
most of the heads of them elected by the people.
The directors of agriculture, education, con
servation, and even of fish and game. So, Lowden
initiated a study of the government and developed
a pattern, which was the cabinet pattern. All
of us took that pattern, I think, perhaps too
much too slavishly adhered to the pattern. But
through the next twenty years, practically every
state government that was reorganized wanted to
1) A responsible organization; 2) An ef
fective organization; and 3) An organization that
could be operated by one person who could control
costs to some extent. And out of that idea grew
the executive budget. Immediately following the
executive budget came state personnel departments,
on the old theory that government essentially is people
- 91 -
Bane: and money*
Leiby: Do you remember hearing anything about California
in those days?
Bane: I didn't hear too much about California in those days.
Leiby: Did you visit it?
Bane: I did not visit it for very obvious reasons; ap
propriations were small, it cost a lot of money to
go to California. So as far west as I went in those
days was Chicago and Springfield, Illinois.
Leiby: How about in the South? There were some interesting
things going on in Alabama and North Carolina.
Bane: Alabama particularly, yes. There was a Mrs. Tunstall
who was for many years welfare commissioner in
Alabama. And in the realm of child welfare activities
she did an outstanding job, one of the best in the
country. She never got into the institutional phase.
But in child welfare and in extramural welfare ssh
did an excellent job. And, by the way, her assistant
in those days was a young girl by the name of Loula
Dunn, who made a national reputation first by being
with Harry Hopkins and his outfit and then succeeding
Mrs. Tunstall as the welfare commissioner in Alabama.
For ten or twelve years she has been director of the
- 92 -
Bane: American Public Welfare Association. She just
resigned last month.
Leiby: Hon< is it that Alabama gets a forward looking child
Bane: Personalities mostly* This should not be taken too
seriously*, but this was Mrs. Tunstall's explanation
of why Alabama did well in this field. She used to
say from many a platform around the country that
when she first became commissioner her department
didn't amount to much because she couldn't get any
money and it was a red-headed stepchild of the
legislature and the governor's office and everything
else. And year after year she butted her head
against that stone wall of where and how are
are we going to get the money to run
this department? And then she had an inspiration
as to how to solve the problem. She acted upon that
inspiration and did solve the problem. She married
the Speaker of the Legislature in Alabama
and thereafter they lived happily ever after,
in the family and in the Welfare Department. (Laughter)
That was Mrs. Tunstall's story And I think there was
a great deal to it.
Leiby: She went to great lengths to get political support.
Bane: She would say, "Anything for Welfare." (Laughter)
- 93 -
National Conference of Social Work
Leiby: Could we get into the origin of the Public Welfare Associatic
Did you attend the meetings of the National
Conference of Charities?
Bane: Yes. It was first the National Conference of
Charities and Corrections and then it became the
National Conference of Social Work. I used
to attend those meetings regularly.
Leiby: You regularly attended the meetings. What were
Bane: Mostly they were speeches and papers speeches in
the large meetings, the general meetings; what they
called papers in the group meetings-or discussions
of day-to-day operations, shop talk. But out of
those meetings there began to develop among us
people like Sanford Bates and John Ellis,. Mrs.
Tunstall, and Mrs. Bosh of North Carolina
the idea that those conferences should
be directed a little bit more toward
the public problem rather than dealing
- 94 -
Bane: almost exclusively with the technique of the opera
tion of a private agency or the technique of casework.
In those days there was a section of the National
Conference of Social Work, Section Nine, which was
called Public Welfare Officials Section; and it
always had the back room. We were regarded if not
as politicians, as people who have to handle the
day-to-day routine dishwashing jobs in the general
area; that we didn't have time for the philosophy
or the scientific approach to these problems. And
that if we did have the time we wouldn't know how
to do it.
Leiby: How do you suppose they got this status? Originally
the National Conference was set up by state boards.
Bane: That's right. I think they got that reputation
primarily because, with the development of social
work as a specific and technical profession,
they began to get more and more leery of
what they regarded, particularly in New Jersey, as
politics. Stay away from those contaminated people.
I used to say, with a reasonable degree of accuracy,
that when Harry Hopkins came to Washington as
- 95 -
Bane: Director of the Federal Bnergency Relief Admin
istration he had a suspicion that
every politician had horns and a tail. He
would avoid them at all costs. After a while,
after working with them there in Washington, he
found that they were really interested in what
he was trying to do. And, furthermore, they
could help him enormously.
Leiby: Could you characterize the group that seemed to
you, as you attended these meetings, to dominate
the conference? ^hey would be from private agencies,
but could you characterize them more specifically
Bane: I would say that it was a group that had embarked
on what, in those days, was to a large extent a
new profession. For some reason or other, some
times it was a related reason, they had gotten
into this profession some from the ministry, some
from medicine, some from education and they were
very anxious to establish social work as a profession
in the public mind- with certain definite standards. We
talked a great deal in those days about standards.
Leiby: Meaning standards of service.
- 96 -
Bane: Standards of service and standards of training for
the service. And they thought that the standards
could be best implemented through private agencies,
such as the Family Welfare Agency and related
agencies, the National Children's Bureau in
the public sector.
Leibys So in general then, just as you would go to the
Child Welfare Association in New York because
they would be the ones who would help you, the
importance of these national agencies was that
insofar as anybody eould set a standard, they
Bane: They set them. And insofar as anybody could
promote a certain level of service, they promoted
Leiby: They were the authority to whom you as an admin
istrator would turn. You're not an ezpert on
child welfare, you go out and hire an ezpert.
Whom do you hire? You hire them.
Hiring Sooial Workers
Leiby: This is a little digression. When I talk to you
and many others about the 1920s they talk about
the unfolding opportunities. If you had a little
background you could go a long way. And yet if
you look at the writings of people who were in
the schools of social work, or civics, or phi
lanthropy, or what have you, they're always
complaining about the low salaries paid to social
workers. As a man who runs a child welfare opera
tion you must hire social workers. And you're
looking for them and can't find them. On the
other hand they turn out people and they don't
give the impression that people are writing them
all the time saying, who can we employ?, we'll
offer this much. This seems to be a little in
Bane: Yes. Everybody always complains about low salaries,
especially in certain areas, particularly in sala
ries for teachers* Teachers' salaries beginning
about that time began a rise. In recent years the rise
has been rather substantial. We were used to
- 98 -
Bane: teachers then, we weren't used to social workers.
We could sell our budget bureaus a little bit
better on providing a somewhat better salary for
a social worker by more or less emphasizing that
here is a special kind of teacher. We would say
here is a person with a graduate degree. They
always thought of the salaries in the range of
We used to be able to
justify a little additional salary by saying,
yes, this is a teacher all right but a teacher
with additional specialized training.
Leiby: You would have thought that competition would
have forced up the price.
Bane: Yes, but somehow or other it didn't seem to
work that way. Although then, as now, and I'm
certain the social work group would agree to
this, the big salaries were paid at the top
and it went downward too steeply when
it got down to the third and fourth echelons.
Leiby: I have a feeling that the professional schools of
social work were in fact much more interested and
perhaps were pressured into training case workers
- 99 -
Leiby: who were directly involved in service. And they
were not really training administrators.
Bane: They weren't training administrator s^that is, not many.
Leiby: You must have been in a position where people
called you up and said, "Who can we hire? We've
got a job here." And you didn't say, "Write
Edith Abbott," the Dean of the Chicago School of
Social Service Administration.
Bane: No * not for an administrative job. The emphasis
was on casework and it was not on administration.
It was not on administration until the days of
the depression. Early in the depression the FERA
set aside a certain amount of money which they
would give as a grant to schools of social work to
train certain kinds of social workers. They were
interested in a soial work background but with an
administrative aspect to it as well.
Leiby: They were interested in administrators who knew
something about social work.
Bane: Yes. And Edith Abbott once said to me, "I'm get
ting too many women here. And I want
Harry (Hopkins) to send me men." PERA designated many of
the people, then, to go to these schools. She said
- 100 -
Bane: to me, "You tell Harry to send me some men and I
mean some sure enough men. I don't care if they
chew tobacco and spit on the floor," (Laughter)
Leiby: Did you talk very much to Edith Abbott about
Bane: We used to talk a great deal because we lived
in the same block after we moved to Chicago.
Leiby: How about when you were going to New York? Did
you ever talk to Porter Lee [Director of the New
York School of Social Work] very much about
Bane: Yes. That's what I talked to him mostly about.
Porter Lee and Walter Petit [professor at the
New York School of Social Work] both talked about
personnel problems with me. Incidentally, we
established such a relationship there that it
continued with Porter Lee for years afterwards.
Porter Lee and myself were both on Hoover's first
Committee on Emergency Employment. It probably
grew out of that relationship.
Leiby: When you talked to them about personnel, what did
you talk about? Did you ask to hire?
Bane: Yes. I would say, "I want two or three people,
this kind of people." For instance, a medical
- 101 -
Bane: social worker to help me set up mental hygiene
clinics; or I want a caseworker; or I want some
one who has had some experience in running a
clinic in a penal institution,
Leiby: My impression is that graduates of schools of
social work could not command higher salaries
than people who didn't have advanced training.
If you had a year of social work you could get a
job easier but you couldn't really command much
of a higher salary. You hired some of these
people. Was this your impression?
Bane: No. I would say if they had some social work
background, especially if they had a considerable
amount sometimes I used to say, a specific package
in this area, educationwise--that they could com
mand a higher salary.
Leiby: So as an employer, then, you paid for what you got.
Bane: We paid for what we got. To take a specific
instance: In Knoxville we wanted a health of
ficer. We'd had a city physician. In those days
a city physician was on the payroll but he just
went to see the indigent sick occasionally.
We were going to set up a bureau of public health
and we wanted a top notch public health person.
- 102 -
Bane: So I went to Johns Hopkins University.
Leiby: The best!
Bane: To see a Dr. Freeman, who, incidentally, was a
brother of Douglas Southall Freeman, the editor
and historian. He had the best public health
school in the country.
Leiby: Yes, yes, the best I
Bane: In addition to that I knew him and knew his family.
I said,, "Pick me a health officer. I'd like to
interview him after you've picked him, but purely
from the standpoint of personal characteristics
and so on, whether we can get along together. But
you pick the man." He picked a Dr. Hagood and
loaded him on the train. Freeman used to say,
facetiously, that he "Crated him and sent him down."
(Laughter) He did load him on the train and said,
"Go on down to Knozville and take this job."
We paid him a good salary.
Leiby: You paid out the money and you got the commodity.
Bane: We paid the money and we got the commodity.
Leiby: Was there any other place that you would meet
your associates as administrators other than the
- 103 -
Leiby: National Conference of Charities and your in*
formal visiting around?
Consulting in Public Administration
Banes Oh, maybe we would casually meet each other fre
quently. For instance, when visiting the
Children's Bureau, which was a center at that time,
you ran into Tom, Dick and Harry and Alice, Maud,
and Kate from around the country.
Lei"by: You didn't get acquainted with these people at
meetings of the American Political Association?
Bane: No, those people went to other places, i we nt to the
American Political Science Associations for entirely
Leiby: Why did you go there?
Bane: First, 1 was interested in administration; secondly,
I had gone to school with those people; and thirdly,
so many people in our state legislatures and other
government departments were going to these various
meetings, and it was more or less the thing to do.
- 104 -
Leiby: John Ellis never went to one, I know that. He
went to the American Prison Association. He was
a corrections man.
Bane: I didn't go to that meeting as I did to the social
work groups. Later I would go occasionally, but
Leiby: But your connection with the American Political
Science Association was more of a personal thing.
Bane: It was personal, not professional.
Leiby s I mean, you didn't go there to hire people.
Bane: No* I belonged to that association for many,
many years. I didn't go as regularly
as I did to the National Conference of Social Work.
Leiby: Haw about the National Institute of Public Admin
istration? You were a consultant for them. When
did you first meet Luther Gulick?
Bane: H e came to Virginia to do a study in 1926, and I
met him then.
Leiby t How old was he then?
Bane: I would guess that he's four or five years older
than I am. I would say he was in his early forties
then. I was in my middle thirties. Several
years afterward he was in Virginia and
- 105 -
Bane: he talked with, me about taking a part time job on
a spot basis with the National Institute of Public
Leiby: H e wanted to hire you. And, at first, you must have
looked to him as a sort of expert.
Bane: Perhaps. He was the head of that outfit. And he
liked what we'd done in Virginia. Furthermore, he
liked the *titud that we'd had toward the or
ganization of state government, namely, we
didn't want anybody between us and the governor.
We didn' t want any protection. We'd much rather
have help and support than protection. We sup
ported his reorganization plan in Virginia for a com
missioner appointed directly by the governor. So
a couple of years later he asked me to come with
the National Institute of Public Administration as
a consultant to do spot jobs when they were making
state surveys, to take over the welfare end of it.
Leiby: Did they make a living making state surveys?
Bane: That was a large part of their job.
Leiby: What else did they do?
Bane: They did various and sundry research projects.
They did demonstration projects. They would go
into a department in New York City and reorganize
- 106 -
Bane: the accounting end of it, the reporting end of it,
or the filing systems anything of that kind.
Leiby: Would you say they were sort of a link between
academic and practical administration?
Bane: That's what they were and that's what they in
tended to be.
Leiby: Do you recall any difficulties in establishing
Bane: Not particularly. The difficulties we encountered
were neither with the academic profession, on the
one hand, nor the practical boys on the other.
They didn't think about the philosophical differences.
The difficulties were in trying to uproot some vested
interest and to get adequate appropriations for spe
cific services. For instance, the first study that
I worked on with the National Institute of Public
Administration was a study of the state government
of Maine in 1929.
Leiby: Yes, I know that study.
Bane: We recommended , in my area, the consolodation
in a state the size of Maine, with the population of
Maine-*of the welfare department, as such, and the
health department. I didn 1 t put education
- 107 -
Bane: in, so it was not exactly the forerunner of
Health, Education, and Welfare on the federal
level. But here was the consolidation of related
functions in a small state that couldn't afford
elaborate, over-all administrative machinery for
Leibyt Did the National Institute act as a clearing house
in any way?
Bane: Somewhat I imagine. I wasn't that close to them.
Leiby: If you wanted to hire someone you would not call
Bane: Yes, as an individual.
Leiby: How about the Brookings Institute?
Bane: Brookings was somewhat more elaborate , a larger
institution. I also worked with them on the same
kind of things. I did studies for them in New
Hampshire, in Iowa, in Mississippi, in Alabama.
Leiby: Who was running the Brookings Institute?
Bane: Dr. Albert Hall was the head of their government
division. He had previously been president of the
University of Oregon. He was a political scientist.
They had a stmff consisting of Powell, Lewis Meriam,
Henry Seiderman and others. You might have known
some of them.
- 108 -
Leiby: (Laughter) Oh yes, I've heard of Lewis Meriam,
Bane: He was there. Henry Seiderman was their Finance
Chairman, and I was their consultant on over-all
management and on welfare.
Bane: Did they do the same kind of thing as the N.I. P. A.?
Leiby: Exactly the same and on the same basis. It
was a contract basis for a study over a defi
nite period of time, generally about six months,
and submission of a report. In Iowa it involved
not only the submission of a report, but then it
involved a promotion job an agreement to go around
the country, the statewith the governor to a dozen
meetings or so to discuss the report before the
legislature met. Governor Clyde Herring was
governor in those days. He later went to the
United States Senate from Iowa. He scheduled
the meetings , criss crossing the state, Rotary
Club meetings, Chamber of Commerce meetings, etc.,
to discuss this report. We both spoke at
each of these meetings.
Leiby: These groups had a small staff and they'd call in
consultants men actually in the field. But their
own costs were rather low.
- 109 -
Banes Yes. Each of them had about half a dozen men on
their own staff, mostly in the realm of finance.
Because the major problems were generally in the
realm of finance.
Leibyi A lawyer perhaps?
Bane: Yes, but he didn't figure it was more of an
economic job than a legal job. You could
depend on the state attorney general for legal
Leiby: Was their someone else besides Brookings?
Bane: Yes. Brookings and the National Institute of Public
Administration were non-profit organizations. There
was another organization in the field, still is, I
noticed they just made a study out here in the
Western area,. Griffenhagen and Associates.
They were in Chicago. They do work ex
tensively in this field, both for local
and state governments.
Leiby i Who was the man at Griffenhagen?
Bane: Griffenhagen, himself.
Leiby Oh. Now, where would you meet Luther Gulick and
Albert Hall? I mean, they never attended the
National Conference, I suppose.
- 110 -
Bane: No, I would go to see them.
Leiby: They never showed up at the National Conference?
Bane: No. But both of them went to the American Political
Leiby: Oh. And you'd meet them there* We've just about run
out of time*
- 1131 -
.AMERICAN PUBLIC WELFARE ASSOCIATION, 1932-1935
(Interview of January 9> 1965)
National Conference of Social Work and Public
Leiby: Last hour we were talking about how you got to
gether with your peers in various associations.
And these weren't very satisfactory. Did John
Ellis of New Jersey show up at the National
Bane: Yes. He was very prominent at the National
Conference. He was one of the most prominent
men in Division Nine, which was known as the
Division of Public Welfare Officials, along with
Dick Conant of Massachusetts, Grace Abbott of
the Children's Bureau, and a number of others
that I could mention.
Leiby: In other words, quite a few executives did show up,
Bane: Yes, I would guess from ten to fifteen. Not too
many but they were the ones who were generally in
terested in matters other than their day-to-day
- 112 -
Leiby: How were those programs organized? Do you remember?
Bane: In those days the Secretary of the National Con
ference was Howard Knight. His office
was in Columbus, Ohio. He was primarily interested
in private welfare because at that time, in the late
'20s, the private welfare social work organizations
not only controlled but they dominated the confer
ence. There were only about a dozen or so public
welfare officials who came regularly, despite the
fact that the conference, when it began as a Con
ference of Charities and Corrections, was established
by public welfare people rather than private. But
this Division Nine was a small division and Knight
used to write to the people who generally came and
ask what they would want on the program. He
would set it up as a part of the Conference of
Leiby: Did he do this for a living or was this a part
Bane: He did it for a living. It was a full time job.
The conference, in those days, had about five
thousand members. Only about fifteen or twenty
active heads of state departments would attend, if
- 113 -
Bane: that many.
Leiby: How about municipal heads?
Bane: Some of them would attend. I remember a few of
them. The one I remember particularly was the
head of the Welfare Department in the city of
Cincinnati, Fred Hoeler.
Leibyi That's good social work out in Cincinnati, good
public social workers*
Somewhere along the line you and your col
leagues thought that something more was needed*
Did you discuss this with Knight at all?
Bane: Yes. In 1929 when the Conference met in Boston
at the Statler Hotel, at the first meeting of
Division Nine there was a considerable dissatis
faction not only with the program, but with the
attendance of public officials, and more impor
tantly, the status or prestige which public of
ficials had in that Conference. Division
Nine decided to attempt to do something about it.
Encouraging Division Nine to do just that was a
gentleman we'll talk about considerably as
we go along, Louis Brownlow. We've mentioned him
- 114 -
Bane: in a previous interview. He had been city manager
of Petersburg, Virginia; Chairman of the District
Commissioners in Washington; and he used to say
that he thought of himself primarily as a public
official but also as a social
worker. Because generally in city government he
would be interested in the social work aspects of
government, such as relief, police, probation,
health, and things of that kind a
Leiby: What was his atatua? Was he a professor at this
Bane: At that time he was connected loosely with the
University of Chicago as a lecturer. But he was
just getting ready to go to New Jersey for the
City Housing Corporation, a private organization
in New York,
They had just employed Brownlow to go to New
Jersey to build in a cabbage patch a modern, small
city. It was built and was known as Radburn.
It was a garden city built for the modern
age no street crossings.
Leiby: Oh yes, and underpasses, oh yes.
Bane: Are you interested in Radburn?
- 115 -
Leiby: Oh, I was in American Civilization.
Bane: One comment about Had burn, after they had the town
just about built, they suddenly found out that
they had forgotten a very, very serious aspect of
life and living. The town was built with beauti
ful front yards, beautiful back yards, and
beautiful aide yards, and then the question came up,
where do you hang out the wash? (Laughter) That
worried Brownlow a great deal* (Laughter)
In any event at this meeting in Boston it was decided
to explore the establishment or organization of a
separate association of public welfare officials.
Organizing and Financing the Association
Bane: We talked it over with Knight at the time and we talked
much about the status and prestige of public of
ficials in the welfare field. He
was interested, sympathetic, and tolerant, but
he didn't know exactly what he could do about it.
That being so, a number of us, Brownlow par
ticipating, decided we would explore the matter to see if
we could find out how it could be done. A
- 116 -
Bane: small committee was appointed consisting of
Grace Abbott, John Ellis, Dick Conant, a
Mrs* La Du of Minnesota, and two or three
others. We had a meeting during early
1930 to explore the matter further and we found out
via Brownlow that a certain gentleman was in
terested in this subject and probably
to the extent of putting money in a
project such as the establishment of an Associa
tion of Public Welfare Officials . That
gentleman was Mr. Beardsly Ruml, who was
at that time Director of the Laura Spelman
Rockefeller Memorial Fund, which later became
the Spelman Fund.
With that in mind various ideas were de
veloped. When the Conference met in 193Q
there were some rather definite plans as to how
the thing should be done. We had maybe
fifteen public welfare officials there.
And as someone said later, "Then and there a
committee was appointed with power to act,"
- 117 -
Bane: always with the idea that money would proba
bly be available. We rocked along with this
committee until the fall of 1930, when two
things happened almost simultaneously.
In the fall of 1930, in October I
think, I got a telephone call from a man
named Joslin, who was one of the secretaries
to President Hoover. He said that the Presi
dent was going to set up an emergency com
mittee for employment and that I would get a
telephone call from a Mr. Arthur Woods, who
was going to be chairman of the committee.
He was going to talk to me about serving on
this committee, and Joslin said he hoped I
would do so.
Mr. Woods called me and asked me
about coming to Washington for a meeting.
The date he first suggested was impossible
for me because I had an engagement in Wash
ington with this committee to talk
about the organization of the American
- 118 -
Bane: Public Welfare Association. So we agreed I would
stay over in Washington and talk the next day.
So the committee met and decided to organize an
association f accepted a proposition from the
Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial to contribute
$50,000 a year for a period of five years with
the hope and expectation that at the expiration
of five years the association would be able to
take care of itself. The committee then con
stituted itself into an operating committee to
draft a prospectus to be submitted to the Laura
Spelman Rockefeller Memorial. Part of the
prospectus, of course, was the constitution and
by-laws of the organization. The only thing
that I remember about the discussion, connected
with the constitution and by-laws, was the
question of how a director should be appointed
and what should be his method of operation and
his term of service? It was finally agreed
that he would be appointed by a board which
would be selected or approved by the Division
Nine of the National Conference of Social Work.
And that he would serve at the pleasure of the
- 119 -
Bane: board with no term of office* That was
the emerging public administration idea of a
The committee then put on its other hat
because it was empowered to act. A couple of
weeks later, having been assured the $50,000 a year
would be forthcoming over a period of five
years, the question was, how to organize?
It was agreed that the initial board would be a
committee of this ad hoc committee. The
first question was who would be chairman? I
knew two or three weeks later a lot more of
what had gone on before than I knew at the
time I went to this committee meeting. As a matter of
fact looking back on it in retrospect two or
three months later, I realized that although I
was a member of the committee,
no one was talking much to me. I later found
out that there were three people who were doing
a great deal of talking among themselves, Grace
Abbott, Louis Brownlow, and Beardsly Ruml, the
foundation director who was going to put up the funds.
To repeat, when the committee met the first ques-
- 120 -
Bane: tion was, who would be chairman? It
was moved, seconded, and duly passed that
John Ellis would be chairman. The next ques
tion was who would be executive director? All
of this was happening in a period of just two
or three weeks from the first committee meeting.
Grace Abbott nominated a
person that she said was a hybrid, a cross between
a politician and a social worker. That was her
nominating speech. At the end of her
speech she suggested that the person was Prank
Bane. So that's how I happened to be director.
The question was would I accept? I didn't
know whether I would accept or not until I could
go back to Virginia and talk to Governor John
Pollard, who had succeeded Byrd as governor,
I had the opportunity, of course,
to tie in this Hoover committee
on which I had agreed to serve on a part-
time loan basis with this developing situation in
the American Public Welfare Association. After a
number of conferences over a period of three or
four days the Governor said , "If I were you
I would take it. This is going to be important in
- 121 -
Bane: the next few years." So I resigned, and
with his encouragement took that job.
The first thing I looked for, of
course, was staff. The first person
that I appointed was Marietta
Stevenson, to be assistant director. She was
in the Children's Bureau in Washington, had
been with them a number of years. But she was also
a Ph.D. in political science from the University
of Chicago. So there I had another hybrid, or
there were two of us on the staff. We set
up a little office in the Architects 1 Building,
just off 18th Street 18th and P in Washington,
and began to advise with state welfare de
partments, commissioners, on development of a
program what the states should do with respect
to the accelerating problem of relief.
Leiby: What was the date that you set up the office?
Bane: I would surmise that it was early September, 1931.
Leiby: 1931, so the situation was getting very grave in
deed, going into the second winter.
Bane: Yes. And in the meantime, of course, the committee
- 122 -
Bane i for emergency employment had resigned, not with
any great fanfare, but individually, because they
thought they had done everything they could.
Bane: Another committee had been established by
the President, called the Gifford Committee.
Gifford, who was then President of American
Telephone and Telegraph, was chairman, and Croxton,
who had been on the first committee, went over
with Gifford to maintain a certain continuity.
We were working with more energy and in
tensity month by month as we assembled a staff
on the one hand and as conditions got worse on
the other. Early in 1932 we, of course, got
into the midst of the discussion of federal
relief or no federal relief. And we were divided.
Divided to such an extent that we agreed as of the
spring of 1932 not to take any position on it.
Leiby: Now is this the Gifford Committee?
Bane: No, the American Public Welfare Association board.
- 123 -
Bane: The Gifford Committee was definitely opposed to
any federal aid. But it looked as though some
thing were coming about, namely that sooner or
later we would have to have welfare departments
operating in every state administering a relief program,
however that relief program might be set-up.
Reconstruction Finance Corporation
Something happened in Washington very soon
that gave the American Public Welfare Association,
this new organization, a great shot in the arm and
got it off to a running start. Congress, in the
early summer of 1932, passed the Reconstruction
Finance Act that had been recommended by the ad
ministration. The Reconstruction Finance Corporation
was established. Due to pressure from both
senate and house members, Joe Robinson in the
Senate and John Nance Garner in the House, the
President agreed to a section in the
bill to loan certain monies to the states
for relief. That section authorized the ap
propriation of two or three hundred
- 124 -
Bane: million dollars, to be loaned to the
states. It provided that the money would
be loaned and must be paid back. If it wasn't paid
back by a state, the amount of the loan would
be subtracted from federal grants to the
state for roads during the next fiscal year.
That did three things: it provided
federal money for relief, it got the federal
government into the relief picture, and it
saved everybody's face.
Leiby: You said that the congressmen who planned this
amendment understood perfectly well that the
states would not pay back, probably. Did the
President understand this?
Bane: Oh, I'm certain he had to understand it. Any
one in government knew that the moment the
twenty-fifth state, the majority of one, bor
rowed the money, you could forget it.
Leiby: There would be a landslide repudiation. (Laughter)
Bane: Yes. Of course, none of it was ever paid back,
Immediately, the G-ifford Committee became in
terested as to how this money was going to be
! ! - 125 -
Bane: allocated and administered. Aa a matter of
fact, Mr. Fred Croxton moved over from the com
mittee to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation.
The American Public Welfare Association, then,
had a direct connection with the R.F.C. because
Croxton had been on the old Hoover committee
with me and we worked together on the whole
State Emergency Relief Programs
So, with the cooperation and support of the
R.F.C. the American Public Welfare Association
took over the job of negotiating, in an advisory
capacity, with the states to set up the necessary
machinery which they would need to administer the
money which the R.F.C. was going to loan to them.
Leiby: The R.F.C. is a money lending corporation?
Bane: Just a money lending corporation.
Leiby: And they have money to lend to states. But they
don't know how to lend it, the procedures, or what
Leiby: to expect in return? They can lend money to banks,
they understand that.
Bane: They were lending money to banks, to railroads, to
large corporations. But they also could loan money to
the states on the application of the governor. If
the governor certified that he needed the money for
relief, they would loan it to him. But the H.F.C.
didn't know what the governor should do with the
money once he had it.
Leiby: It should be the condition to the loan.
Bane: They thought, largely at Croxton's instigation,
that it would be helpful if some machinery existed
somewhere to advise with the states J on im
proving existing departments in some states,
and setting up new departments in many
states. That is how the American Public
Welfare Association got into that picture.
And about that time it's interesting how
things developed so rapidly in those days
the Carnegie Corporation indicated to certain
people that they were interested in the
- 127 -
Bane: relief picture* Enormous pressure had been
brought upon them to make direct contributions
to a New York City organization simply to buy
Leiby: Do you know who was putting this pressure on?
Bane: Well just everybody around New York.
Leiby: New York public officials?
Bane: New York public officials and private officials.
1 guess it was private officials mostly because
they were conducting most of the relief centers
at that time.
Leiby: Yes* And then the Carnegie Corporation would
give them the money and they would hand it out*
Bane: Yes. The director at that time was in
terested in getting into the picture but he
didn't want to get into that kind of picture,
that is, buying and distributing food.
Leiby: There's no future in that. That's not what a
foundation is set up *io do.
Bane: That's what he talked with us about. So, on
his own, he offered two organizations some
money. He offered the American Public
Welfare Association $40,000 .
- 128 -
Bane: And he offered the Family Service Organization
in Mew York, Lynton Swift's organization, $40,000.
Needless to say in those days both organizations
needing money, we accepted the grant. And
we went out immediately to beef up our staff.
Leiby: Did the federal government pay you for your ad
Bane: No, nothing.
Leiby: This was gratis.
Bane: Gratis. We wanted it that way at that time.
Leiby: I see. But the Carnegie Corporation would pay
you some extra money.
Bane: Yes, on top of what the Spelman group had
Within a short period of time, over a month
or six weeks I would say, we employed Aubrey
Williams, Burdette Lewis, Frank Persons, and
Howard Hunter. Later, when we got additional money
from the Rockefeller people, and the states began
to put in a little money , we added
people such as Robert Lansdale, who was later in
New York as State Commissioner of Social Welfare,
- 129 -
Bane: Nothing was more in the public eye. In the
next two or three years the American Public
Welfare Association prospered, both from the
standpoint of grants and from the stand
point of what we were really able to
do in setting up welfare departments in
Leiby: Can you tell me a little about what you wanted
your staff to do and how you went about hiring
them? You must have had a job for each person.
Bane* Oh we had a job for each of them. They were more
or less the same jobs but they were in different
territory. The immediate job the governor
would borrow a certain amount of money, then he
would immediately raise the question of how he was
going to administer this fund? How he was going
to handle it? And if he asked the R.F.C. the
R.F.C. would say, you public welfare officials
state public welfare officials you have an
organization, why don't you ask them? The gov
ernors would ask us* And we would send Burdette
Lewis to the Midwest, Frank Persons to the East,
Aubrey Williams to the South, and Howard Hunter
- 130 -
Bane: to the West, They worked with the governors
right in the state capitols.
Leiby: They were sort of field representatives.
Bane: Field representatives, largely doing the same
Job, That is, they were attempting to aid
the welfare departments already existing, at
tempting to enlarge the relief and extramural
picture in the states that had nothing but a
board of control, by setting up a welfare unit
in the board of control in states such as Iowa,
Minnesota, and Kansas, and organizing a de
partment in states such as Mississippi that
had no department at all. Aubrey Williams did
the job in Mississippi,
Aubrey came back to Chicago to see me and
said he thought maybe that it might be all right,
in that state, if we suggested to the governor
that he use the money to subsidize various
private organizations that were already in
the field. I said, "Aubrey, if you make that
suggestion to the governor you can't work for us. M
We have a principle and a slogan , "public funds should be ac
- 131 -
Banei ministered by public agencies." Aubrey had come
from a private agency in Milwaukee. Aubrey
thought about that for two or three days as I sug
gested, and came back and said that he agreed with
us. The next thing I knew Aubrey was going much
further in that direction than I was*
(Laughter) When he became converted he was con-
verted lock, stock and barrel as witness his later
development of W.P.A. and the National Youth Ad
Leiby: Now when the governors borrowed the money, did
they have to have some sort of state plan?
Bane: No, no state plan. The plan idea came in with the
Social Security Act. They borrowed it on the basis
of a letter stating that there was a need and they
would like to borrow a certain amount of money.
Of course, as always, the R.P.C. had taken the
gross appropriation and tentatively al
located it in their own minds on a basis of need,
population, and things of that kind. So there was
a limit to how much a governor could borrow. But
he could borrow within limits on the basis of his
statement, that there was need, and the states and
the localities were not able to handle it.
- 132 -
Leiby: Did your field representatives have any authority?
Bane: None at all.
Leiby: The only authority they had was if the governors
didn't listen to them, they'd tell you, you'd
tell the R.F.C., and the R.F.C. might frown. So
informally they had some authority.
Bane: Informally. But we had no authority.
Leiby: But they did not have to formally submit a plan.
Bane: Hot at all.
Leiby: So the working was all informal. As a matter of
fact I would suppose there was considerable coop
Bane: Oh yes, a great deal. This money that the gov
ernors were getting was money they were borrowing.
And they were instructed by the Act to pay it back.
Of course most of the governors were as well aware
of the facts of political life as Garner and
Leiby: Can you tell me something more about each of these
individuals the field representatives? Now you
had to hire people to do this job for you. So you
had to look around. Can you tell me a little bit
more about how you did that?
- 133 -
Banes We looked around . We talked to a great
Leiby: To whom did you talk?
Bane: Anybody that we ran into. We had to have a staff.
We wanted a top notch staff the best people we
could get. And we'd ask for suggestions.
For instance , with respect to Frank
Persons, Prank had been Director of the
National American Red Cross. He f d left them
and gone into business. The business had folded up
or was greatly reduced. I found out that Frank
was out of a job. The opportunity to get on our
staff a man of the stature, background, training,
prestige of a former Director of the Red Cross was not
to be overlooked. I got on a train immediately and went
to see Frank Persons. We made a bargain and he came with
us. The same thing applied with respect to
Burdette Lewis, who had been Commissioner of
Corrections in New York during the Mitchel ad
ministration. H e had also been in N e w Jersey and
also went into private business and didn't do so
well. They were the first two. Aubrey
Williams was the third. I think I heard
- 134 -
Bane: about him through a woman "by the name of May
Hankins , who had worked In Milwaukee .
She was quite a friend of Marietta
Leiby: He had been an executive of the Family Welfare
Agency in Milwaukee.
Leiby: They kept running out of funds. (Laughter)
Bane: Yes. And years later Aubrey used to say to me
he didn't know in those days where his next rtnt
check was coming from, despite the fact that he
had four small boys. So that's the way we as
sembled our staff. It was done very rapidly,
in about six weeks.
Leiby: How about Hunter?
Bane: Hunter had been with the Community Chest in Grand
Leiby: He was also in private welfare work.
Bane: Yes. That's the way our staff got together.
In those days it was quite a staff. We were
not hampered by the things a new organization
was usually hampered byj money and having to
search ad infinitum for people. We had a major
- 135 -
Bane: project, which was the chief interest of the
whole country, the job was just to get it done,
Leiby: Yes. Where were you located then? I gather you
were in Chicago.
Bane: I started off, as I mentioned to you, in three
offices in the Architect's Building in Washington.
But that was purely temporary. The agreement was
that we would move to Chicago. That was one of
the reasons that Laura Spelman Rockefeller and
Beardsley Ruml were interested in the American
Public Welfare Association. They were
planning then to move a group of government
organizations to Chicago and establish a gov
ernmental center there. So part of our bargain
with the Spelman Fund was that within a reason
able time, as soon as was convenient, we would move to
Chicago and establish a central office there. When we
got to Chicagt, already there in the same
building, 850 East 58th Street, was the Public
Administration Clearinghouse, Louis Brownlow'sj
the International City Manager's Association
with Ridley; the American Municipal League with
Paul Betters; and the American Legislators'
- 136 -
Bane: Association with Henry Toll as director. The
American Legislators' Association later de
veloped into the Council of State Governments.
Leiby: They were interested in standardizing state
Leiby: How, could you say something about how the dif
ferent states lined up. You're the first person
who gets a good look at the way state organiza
tions are set up. You have to work with every
state. Did any typical pattern strike you?
Bane: In the beginning, of course, there were three
types of organizations in the welfare field.
There were the states that had what was, in ef
fect, a welfare department regardless of what
they called it. In a pretty big outfit like
New Jersey they called it the Department of
Institutions and Agencies* And its
major concerns and its major expenditures had
to do with institutions and specific custodial
or treatment agencies of one kind or another.
Then there was the department in Massachusetts,
which was interested in institutions, but it had
an extramural program as well. In Massachu-
- 137 -
Bane: setts the mental health group had a separate de
partment. The corrections people had a separate
Leiby: That was true of New York.
Bane: Yes, that was true of New York, also.
Leiby: I believe Pennsylvania, too.
Bane: Pennsylvania was almost entirely institutional,
with practically no extramural activities at that
Leiby: Your friend Ellen Potter had tried something...
Bane: But she came in a little bit later as I recall.
Her interest at that time was primarily in the
health field, children's health.
Leiby: That's right, children's health, that's right.
And then this branched out into delinquency. She
was a doctor, it was health and child welfare that
was the link for her.
Bane: The second group of states had small welfare
departments, not much in the way of appropriation
for central administration, they handled institu
tions in a partnership way, that is, they had sep
arate boards and had quite an extramural program,
North Carolina and Virginia were examples.
There were a number of states that
Leiby: Places like Illinois and Ohio would have a de-
- 138 -
Bane: had nothing whatever along this line. Each in
stitution was on its own the prison was on its
own, the hospital on its own, and so on. And
there was no coordinating machinery at all.
Leiby: And nothing to do with poor relief.
Bane: Nothing whatever to do with poor relief.
That pertained to most, as I recall, of the mountain
states f most of the states in the Southwest,
and many of the states in the South.
Bane: Yes. So our Job was to say to the governor, "Here la
what you have;here is tbe money you're borrowing." We
would intimate that this was just the beginning,
" A nd you'd better get yourself set up." In
many states they would say, "How do we set it up?"
We would send a field representative and have him
work with the governor a week, sometimes a month.
Leiby: You must have had some sort of model in your mind.
When you sent these fellows out, did you give them
Bane: We would have conferences and say, "This is our
plan, this is our program. " But, of course, you
- 139 -
Bane: must adjust this to fit the needs of the par
ticular state, you know* We had a pattern,
it was a state agency, and a county welfare
board like that in Virginia and a number of
other states. A state department operating
through a county board, with an executive of
ficer or whatever they chose to call him on
the state level. The money from the state to
the localities would be handled through the
executive officer of the county agency,
Leiby: There would be a county welfare board of laymen?
Leiby: And they would hire professionals.
Bane: If they could get professionals. What they
usually got in those days was a person with
great interest, a considerable amount of natural
ability, who, in many instances, had been a
teacher. (Laughter) That's what they usually got,
Leiby: At any rate they would hire as well qualified a
person as they could get. But the authority
would not be with the local political boards of
- 140 -
Bane: Ho , through this county board of welfare.
Leiby: How about the state level department? There
would be a qualified executive.
Bane: Yes, in those days, they almost always insisted
on a board. In some states it was a board of
control that had the authority to select the
executive director. In other states it was an
advisory board to let the people know what you
were doing, but the governor usually appointed
Leiby: What did you think in terms of the internal
organization? There is a qualified executive
at the state level. H e is either appointed by
a board of laymen or he's appointed by the gov
ernor, who very likely has an advisory board.
Now, did you think of him having any organiza
tional structure under him, in particular, like,
for example, departments for child welfare, or
old age or anything like that?
Bane: Of course in the new states, the states that
were setting up from scratch, we set up initially
an organization to deal with relief. The idea, hope and
expectation, which was realized in many instances,
- 141 -
Bane: was that it would expand into these other fields.
We didn't try to set up a full outfit all at once.
Leiby: Obviously. I'm interested in the political re
sponsibility of these agencies. You were pretty
clear in your own mind that the local men who
actually handed out the money at the county level,
or supervised those who handed it out, these men
would be responsible to a county welfare board.
You were pretty clear on that.
Leiby: At the state level, did you tend toward hoping that
there would be a board of laymen?
Bane: We used to talk about that. Our pattern ,
on that particular point, was to set up two alter
natives and take no position. Our own staff was
split wide open.
Leiby: Burdette Lewis would have been solid for the board.
Bane: For the board. Aubrey Williams was solid for the
board. I was for the executive appointed by the
governor. Bach of us was following our up
bringing, shall I say, and our pre-conceived notions on
that point.So we had an alternative and we left it
up to the governor. We were not adamant either way.
- 142 -
Leiby: What were some of the things that these fellows
would go out and then they'd come back and they'd
talk to you. They'd say, "We've got problems."
What were the kinds of problems they'd get,
actually? What were the problems of field
Bane: The first problem, and this not only applied to
this particular project, but it applied to all
of our field service work with the Governor's
Conference over a quarter of a century, was to
establish a definite, sympathetic, understanding,
working relationship with the governor himself.
It's interesting about field work, as I've ob
served so many times, the first time a field
representative of any organization goes in to see
a governor if he doesn't know him, the gov
ernor is polite, he might be greatly interested,
but he's careful. The second time he goes in to
see him, he knows something about the business and
about you, he. relaxes. The third time you go in,
it's old home week. By that time you've
established a relationship of trust and con
fidence and the governor wants to get all the
- 143 -
Bane: help he can get. That applied then
and it applied down through the years I've worked
with the states. That was the first problem.
The next problem was if the governor had
machinery or thought he had machinery, he al
ways said--this is almost axiomatic "I don't
want to establish anything new. I want to fit
it into the machinery which I have." The
question was, then, how you fitted it into the machin
ery he had and whether it could be fitted in.
That was the pattern, as you will remember, in
New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts, where
they had strong departments. If they didn't
have a department, the problem was how do you establish
an agency? Then we came in with our pattern.
The minute you began to talk about a pat
tern and how to set it up, you ran into per
sonalities. And we would urge gently; "This
is a man-sized job, don't put a boy in it."
Meaning by that, this was a job that
required competence and don't put
- 144 -
Bane: somebody in there "because his mother loves him
or he needs a job, I would say those were the
Leiby: Now, surely your field representatives talked
with someone else besides the governor. I mean,
they went out and they sized up the situation.
They'd have to talk to the governor but they'd
also have to make an independent judgment of the
situation. Did you tell them who to talk to?
Bane: Yes. As a matter of fact we always made two
independent judgments. If we were going into
a state to talk to a governor about the situa
tion, especially if we didn't know the governor
personally, we went to the welfare people
we knew in the state and talked to them before
we went to see the governor. So they would be
advised that we were working in their state in
their field. [And this is what you were going to
say to the governor.] Then we talked with the
governor and then checked back with the
welfare group. As a matter of fact, in New
Jersey, the minute I went into that state, or any
of our people did, the first person we went to
- 145 -
Bane: see was John Ellis And we would say, "John, at
eleven o'clock this morning we have a date with
the governor to talk about this relief situation.
This is what we plan to say. What do you suggest?
Or what are your ideas?" And he would say, "The
governor is this kind of a person. I would ap
proach it this way and not approach it that way."
We'd go over and talk with the governor and come
to some kind of an agreement, or a tentative
agreement. And we'd check back with the welfare
department, which was just across the street.
And we'd say, "This seems to be the set-up."
And then we would work together along the same
lines. In almost every state, in those days,
there was somebody that some of us knew in the
welfare field. And if it wasn't in the welfare
field, we knew some people in the political
field whose judgment we valued and who we thought
could be very helpful.
Leibyj You said there were two independent judgments.
Do you mean before and after?
Bane: Before and after.
Leiby: But you talked to--like in New Jersey you talked
- 146 -
Leiby: to John Ellis, you didn't mean you talked to
anybody else besides John Ellis?
Bane: There was a lady in New Jersey in those days,
Geraldine Thompson. When we were setting up the
Association John was chairman and I was the di
rector. So, I was in New Jersey quite frequently.
She lived up in Monmouth County and I used to go
up there and speak at some of her meetings We
used to talk to people like Geraldine Thompson,
people of that kind.
Leiby: Oh yes, Geraldine Livingston Thompson, New York
Livingston and Standard Oil Thompson.
Now, you'd know these people primarily, I
suppose, through the Public Welfare Association.
Bane: Yes, or National Conference of Social Work, or
some people from universities, and the American
Political Science Association.
Leiby: But you had a group of people, in an informal way,
one way or another you'd have connections. And
the principal channel of these informal connections
was through channels that had been set up in the 1920s.
Bane: Yes, in one way or another. Which is the technique,
if it can be called a technique, which any organ! za-
- 147 -
Bane: tion uses in the field service today. If I
was setting up a new organization in the public
interest and came to California, I'd come by and
talk with people at the University here; I'd go
down to Los Angeles and talk to people who'd been on
our Commission on Intergovernmental Relations; I
would go up to Sacramento and talk to people I've
known there in the past. It would be the same
Leiby: Who was associated in the Public Welfare Associa
tion? You had a membership?
Bane: Oh yes, we started right away with a membership
Leiby: And who gets to be members? Did institutions?
Or did individuals?
Bane: We had three kinds of memberships: departments,
institutions, and individuals. We wanted an over
all department. We wanted departments, institu
tions, and we wanted individuals. In fact we wanted
anything, in those days, that would give us a source
of funds because, as I said a few moments ago, where
as we hadn't agreed to it, we had not objected when
the Spelman Fund told us that in five years we
- 148 -
Bane: should be self-supporting. As a matter of fact
I employed a young man to head a membership
drive, a specific drive for a short period of
time, a period of four months. He'd had
some experience at this. That young man's
name was Louis livingston. Years later,
after I'd gone to the Social Security Ad
ministration, a young lady came into my of
fice one Friday and asked me what I was
going to be doing on Saturday, the next
morning? I said, I worked a half day and
that I would do anything she wished. "What
do you wish me to do?" And she said, "I'd
like for you to give me away." I said, "Who
are you going to marry?" She said, "Louis
Livingston." That was Marietta
That was the pattern, and that was
the program. We had some side interests
here and there, but relief and the machinery
to take care of it was so pressing all over
the country , that we gave ninety - eight
per cent of our time to it , until 1934.
- 149 -
Committee on Economic Security
Bane: In 1934 people around the country, in
the Association and elsewhere, began to talk
about social security, and the President set up
the Committee on Economic Security. It was in
teresting that he called it Economic Security
and not Social Security. We became very much inter
ested in that committee. As an individual and
as a director of the American Public Welfare As
sociation, I gave half my time to working on this
However, we had lost a good part of our
original staff in the interim, between April, 1933
and August, 1933. I lost Prank Persons, Aubrey
Williams, Robert Lansdale, and Howard Hunter.
And we had brought in a new group of people.
Ivan Asay, who's now the administrative of
ficer of the Bureau of Standards; Glen Leet, who's
now with the United Nations in charge of child care-
Save the Children Foundation; and Alvin Roseman,
- 150 -
Bane: who was with U.N.R.R.JU for a while, then
with the A.I.D. program , and now he's
at the University of Pittsburgh teaching public
Leiby: The old group was hired away from you.
Bane: Yes. Miss Perkins took Frank Persons to head the
Employment Office. Harry Hopkins took Aubrey
Williams, Howard Hunter, and Bob Lansdale.
Leiby: Did he go with Hopkins, too?
Bane: For a little while.
Private Vs. Public Relief Agencies
Leiby: Would you say something about the administra
tion of relief? There are two questions I'm
particularly interested in. One is private and
public agencies, if you could expand on that a
little more. And the other is direct or work
Bane: The private and public agency controversy we
mentioned the other day in passing. The initial
reaction of almost all of the private agencies
- 151 -
Bane: was to agree with the prevalent idea, namely that
this was an emergency. And underscore emergency.
In many states and cities it was underscored to
such an extent that the organizations were called
the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration,
as in New York State, That being the case, the
funds appropriated by the states first and later
by the federal government should be used to sub
sidize already existing private agencies in the
field so the argument went.
There were four or five people who promoted
that idea with great fervor and much enthusiasm.
They were the head of the American Bed Cross,
at that time it was Judge Payne of Virginia. He
was chairman. He had a staff that was urging
that point of view, especially in the rural
areas, where they'd develop a home service system.
In the cities there was another group that
aaid, "No, it should be administered not by
government but through family service agencies."
- 152 -
Leiby: They did case work regularly. They didn't have
Bane; No they didn't have any money but they had the
staff and they had the know-how. We didn't then know the
phrase "know how," that came in later. (Laughter)
Then there was another group in the cities
that agreed with the Family Welfare group ,
the associations of community chests,
The Family Welfare national association was
run "by a friend of mine , lynton Swift.
The community chests group headed by Allen
Burns agreed completely with the private sub
sidization program because he also was having trouble
raising money for the community chests in those
days. And going along with them was the National
Association of Catholic Charities and W grand
old friend Father O'Grady.
We, the American Public Welfare Association,
disagreed completely, flatly. We all just agreed to
disagree. ^e had numerous conferences but we
always disagreed. So it was a contest. And those
gentlemen that j mentioned were all very influential
- 153 -
Bane: in this field. But I had an influential staff, too;
Burdette Lewis, Aubrey Williams, Howard Hunter, Bob
Leiby: What about Fred Croxton himself? He was a key man.
Bane: Yes. He had been a public official in Ohio in the
Labor Department. But he was also a very able,
careful, cautious administrator. So as success
fully as anybody I've ever known, he walked straight
down the middle in that controversy.
Leiby: Now the nature of the controversy was this: These
people said, it's a temporary emergency, it's going
to be over soon. We have an organization. The
organization is skilled, it's volunteer which means
it's inexpensive, relatively. Why set up a public
salaried organization? Why go through all this
routine when you can simply channel your funds
through the existing organization? It will be
cheaper, you know it will be well administered.
We have our past and you certainly catt f t cast any
aspersions on Home Service, the Red Cross, or the
Family Service Agency. What you fellows want to do
is hire people to hand out relief. In answer to
this you said, public money must be expended by a
- 154 -
Leiby: public agency. And O'G-rady could never really
understand this. "That's the only thing you
say, Why do you keep saying that over and over
again?" Now, why did you keep saying that?
Bane: We started out with a philosophy and we reasoned
from that philosophy to what turned out to "be
an accurate fact. Our philosophy was that public
funds should be administered by public respon
sible agencies; to use such public funds that
happened to be available and scatter them among
Tom, Dick, and Harry, would be to make it im
possible to develop an effective, over-all,
coordinated program. That was just good
political science philosophy to begin with.
That was the political scientist in me, if you
please, and the administrator. Furthermore,
we would insist that this isn't what you think
it is. We think this is going to be much more
serious, we think that it's high time the states
organized themselves to handle this kind of a
problem, in fact, organized state welfare depart-
- 155 -
Bane: ments because we think welfare is an important,
respectable, large scale function of government
and the states better get themselves set to
Leiby: They say, "Public welfare means the administration
of relief by irresponsible officials, that is,
political hacks who are just holding down a job.
That's what it means, traditionally. What we
are talking about is a tradition of service.
Traditionally the people who give the service, the
people who know something about it, are volunteers.
What you're going to do is subsidize a lot of local
public welfare operations that aren't worth sub
sidizing." Is that the sort of arguments you got?
Bane: Oh yes, we got that all the time. And we would im
mediately say, "From an historical point of view,
that isn't true. Initially and traditionally, the
job was a public job." We could go back to 1600 if
they wished. "Of course it hasn't been done ef
fectively in the light of present day situations,
but it's always been accepted as a public job.
We've always accepted the general philosophy that
local government had the responsibility for the
- 156 -
Bane: welfare of the individual. So, traditionally,
government is in this; it's going to get in it
more; and it ought to organize itself effectively.
Now you say | if you turn it over to government you
know perfectly well you're just going to have it
handled by a bunch of politicians. It may be so,
initially, in some places. But the problem is
to get competent people to handle it. If a
politician handles it through fraud and graft and so on,
get rid of him, get a decent one." We used to use
the public university as an example. We said,
"They used to say the same thing about education.
As late as 1900 you used to say exactly the same
thing about education. Look what we've built in
public universities and public schools. Welfare
is the same kind of a function, namely the
responsibility of the public. And the public
should equip itself to handle it."
Leiby: This involves, really, a rejection of the old
charity organization society philosophy that you
do away with public outdoor relief.
Bane: Oh yes.
Leiby: As a matter of fact we haven't done away with public
outdoor relief. All you have to do is look at these
- 157 -
Leiby: statistics. Wayne McMillen was beginning to col
lect these. Did you know Wayne McMillen?
Bane: Yes, I knew Wayne in those days, as soon as I
moved to Chicago* By the way, he's here in Oakland
Leiby: Yes. I mean, you must have been able to go to
these people and say, "Just look at the statistics.
Just look at who's handing out the relief, really."
Banet i n the country at large, I mean from one c*ast to
the other, even in those days, much more was going
through public outdoor relief than through private agencies
Because the private organizations were centered
largely in just a few places.
Leiby: Even there the ratio was as much as two or three to one
that weren't, according to McMillen and his
statistics. So this argument for private agencies,
it seems to me, was not really a very good argument.
Bane: No, Except that it was a good pragmatic
argument from the private agencies* point
of view. In certain places, doubtless, they could
handle it better for a short period of time.
Leiby: So their argument is it's temporary.
Bane: Yes, it's a temporary emergency. And why set up
- 158 -
Bane: all this machinery?
Lelby: This would recur at every state level.
Bane: Yes, they would carry it right to the gov
ernor. And that's when Aubrey Williams came
back to see me and said, "Maybe that's the
best thing to do . " I have already told
you that story,
Leiby: Now, what was really involved here , then ,
was in the first place , the nature of public
welfare as a public service. You said ,
"This is a public service . " And you knew
this because you had actually been in it in
Virginia, And , at that time , you worked
very closely with private agencies. But ,
nevertheless the work has got to be
done. It has got to be paid for out of tax
monies, one way or the other. And it's got to
- 159 -
Leiby: be done by public officials who are trained and
qualified and responsible as public officials.
Bane: .And underscore responsible as public officials.
Leiby: Not as decent men or as philanthropists, but as
public offials who are giving a service like
the other public services.
Bane: And who would be audited and supervised and in
vestigated, and responsible all along the line.
Let me emphasize because perhaps there is some
misapprehension here, during all these contro
versies and many arguments, it was all in the
best gentlemently spirit. We all met together.
Leiby: Even Father O'Grady?
Bane: Father O'Grady used to come to Chicago and come
out to our house and stay. And he'd sit there
and say, "Frank for God's sake, won't you de
velop another idea except that public funds
should be administered by public agencies?"
Leiby: (Laughter) Well this was a real important mat
ter to him.
Bane: Oh yes, it was so important to him that we had
a meeting in Chicago in the middle of 1932
of public and private agencies. The up-
- 160 -
Bane: shot of the meeting was that we agreed --by that
time, the middle of '32, the size of the problem was be-
coming clear that we should set up public agencies
to handle this. After every motion that was made
Father O'Grady said, "Please record Father O'Grady
as voting, 'No.'" (Laughter) I always had a sneaky
feeling and I would tell him so and we would laugh
about it that maybe Father O'Grady was voting his
sentiments and feelings and maybe, again, he was
voting the party line. (Laughter) Maybe that's not
a good phrase for it. (Laughter) We were
great friends. At that time and down through the
years we've continued as great friends. And the
public and private agencies continued being helpful
to us all along the line. Some people have sug
gested, with a certain degree of accuracy perhaps,
from one point of view, that the Red Cross never
got over that setback. But I don't know. After
that matter was settled, first with the Federal
Emergency Relief Administration, then the Civil
Works Administration and the Works Progress Ad
ministration, along came sooial security , and
it was apparent that the Red Cross was out of that
- 161 -
Bane. picture. But in its disaster relief business and
in the various assistance programs of that kind,
and in experimental work, they've continued to
grow and prosperand what a job they have done
and are doing.
Leiby: There was, in 1932 and 1933, this argument and
what happened was that time was on your side.
Bane: Yes, but the economic system was sliding badly
and the worse it got the more favorable it was
for us from the standpoint of governmental
philosophy and public administration.
Direct or Work Relief
Leiby: Pretty soon it became clear that recovery wasn't
Just around the corner and then they began to have
the argument about direct or work relief? Do you
remember anything about where this idea came from?
Leiby: What did the American Public Welfare Association
have to do with that?
Bane: Just a little background: The type of person on
relief in late '33 was an entirely different kind
of a person than the person who had been
on relief in years gone by. Here
- 162 -
Bane: was a person who'd earned his own living, done
well. The great majority who had been put out
of work and were destitute, were destitute "because of cir
cumstances beyond their control, not due to
any handicap either mental or physical.
And someone expanded upon the idea that what an
unemployed person needed was a job. So the
thing to do was provide jobs.
Leiby: Now this was a really new idea.
Bane: This was completely new at that time*
Leiby: Do you remember anything about where this idea
Bane: A lot of people were talking about it Aubrey
Williams developed it into, what we would call
now in Washington, a position paper, a memorandum,
Leiby: So Aubrey Williams was the man who took the ball.
Bane: You might be interested sometime in looking
at two books dealing with this
particular proposition. The first part of
Sherwood's book, Roosevelt and Hopkins. deals
specifically with this very question which you
asked me. And Brownlow's second book, Passion
- 163 -
Bane: for Anonymity* also deals with it in some detail.
Aubrey developed this idea and Hopkins suggested
that he bring it out to Chicago and discuss it with
us. The "us" being Charles Merriam, Edith
Abbott, Bob Hutchins, Louis Brownlow, and myself.
Leiby: They didn't have work relief in England, did they?
Bane: No. They had what was called, in this country,
the dole. Although the localities might have
had some work relief, the national government
was on a dole system.
Leiby: Do you remember what Edith Abbott's position was
on direct relief?
Bane: She was all for it.
Leiby: She was for work relief.
Bane: Yes indeed, work relief also.
The idea was to set up some kind of an ex
periment in providing jobs for people out of
work and paying them in wages. So four or
five of us, one Saturday afternoon Saturday
morning Hopkins had come out to join us along
with Williams decided to go to a foot
ball game together and sit in Bob Hutchins* , the
President of the University, box and talk
- 164 -
Bane: about it , It so happened that I had three
tickets for that football game for myself, my wife,
and my daughter. I came home at lunch and said
I couldn't go to the football game with them, that I
was going to the football game with this group, and
so on and so on. That didn't sit very well with
either my wife or, particularly, my daughter. And
from that good day to this my daughter never liked
Harry Hopkins. (Laughter) *" went to this foot
ball game and sat there in the box and watched
Indiana run all over the University of Chicago,
Incidentally, that was the last football game the
University of Chicago ever played. After that
game, they abolished football. But we came away
from the meeting on the football field with
a work relief plan.
Ten years later, another plan was de
veloped there, on that football field, in
that stadium and fieldhouse, at the
University of Chicago!
Leiby: The bomb.
Bane: Y e a, the bomb. So it was agreed to set up the
Civil Works Administration, C.W.A.? to stop al-
- 165 -
Bane: locating money, to allocate jobs. I went back
to Washington for a while and took half of my
staff for two or three weeks to help get that
Leiby: Your initial response to this idea was favorable.
Bane: Very favorable. We took Maine, Vermont, New
Hampshire, all the states right down the line
and allocated a certain number of Jobs to them,
on the basis of what we knew by that time was
their need. We said, "If you put this number
of people to work, in a given length of time,
we 1 11 pay them this wage." Immediately, you
understand, that put the F.E.R.A. , that was
sponsoring and operating the C.W.A. into a
wage controversy. And added to that, it had
administrative troubles. Suffice it to say C.W.A.
was admittedly just a winter program. But the
minute it went out everybody began to work on
how do you continue it? And out of that came
the Works Progress Administration that lasted
through the depression. It was a straight
federal program, W.P.A. j not a federal-state
Leiby: JProm an economic point of view, work relief is a
- 166 -
Leiby: "bad idea, or would have been in those days, because
it tends to force up wages, it tends to increase
taxes, it costs more money. And you want to save
money. Everybody wants to economize. So econ
omically it's a bad plan.
Bane: Practically all of the Congress and the economists said
exactly what you're saying here. And, incidentally, it's in-
teresting to note in retrospect and was interesting
then, that the economists had a great supporter in
the political area. His name was Harold Ickes.
Ickes agreed with the economists. "The thing
to do if you're going to spend money on work is to spend
it on useful public works."
Leiby: Productive productive investment.
Bane: Exactly. And spend it on building big public
works. Then it will filter down, so much for land,
so much for cement, so much for labor, and so much
for this, that, and the other. And the by-products
will be enormous.
A number of us, in particular Hopkins and
Williams--of course they were running it, we were
supporting them would say, "That's all very nice,
that's beautiful, delightful, interesting. We
- 167 -
Bane: listened to the economists in 1929, '30 and *31.
We concede that they are brilliant people "but they were
definitely wrong. They're wrong now. And whether
they're right or wrong isn't the question. Here
we have a man who is out of work. H e needs a job.
He needs it now. He has to have some kind of sus
Leiby: He needs relief*
Bane: First he needs a job. And if he doesn't have that
he doesn't have sustenance and must have relief,
Leiby: He needs a job from private, productive industry.
Bane: That's right. H e needs the wherewithal, we'll say,
to care for his family.
Leiby: There's no question about this.
Bane: Exactly. And he needs it now. He doesn't need
it next week . He hasn't any great over
riding interest in the gross national
product or whether prosperity is around the corner.
What he needs is something which will provide him
with the wherewithal to take care of his family
Saturday night. And the only way to do that and
do it rapidly is this program.
Leiby: The traditional way, the way they did it in England,
is to give them a relief check, not give them a job.
- 168 -
Bane: That was the traditional way, always had "been the
Leiby: He needs a relief check.
Bane: Tea, But conceding that, if there is any way
whereby you could maintain his skills, maintain his
interest, improve his morale, and at the same
time provide this relief check let's
Leiby: So work was justified. Now, you had to justify the
idea of work relief. You had to justify it, first,
to the President and then to the congress.
Bane: Just as you say we had to justify it first to the
President. And interestingly in this connec
tion , Ickes , as I said before was with the
economists and not in favor of this kind of a
program. And one of the reasons that he wasn't in
favor of it was when C.W.A. was set up and first
discussed with the President, it was thought that
the President would take it under advisement.
He listened to it for about an hour. And he said,
"We'll do it. I'll transfer three hundred fifty
million dollars or some such amount from the
works fund , to finance it."
- 169 -
Bane: The public works fund was administered by Ickes.
And there began, right then and there, the feud
between Hopkins and Ickes.
Leiby: Were you at the conference at which this idea was
broached to the President?
Bane: No, 1 was over at the office-- the w.P.A. office,
Leiby: You must have known though that somebody, presum
ably Hopkins, was going to the President,
Bane: Oh, yes, we prepared all the papers and so on,
He went over and the only person that he took
with him at that time was the auditor. To re
peat, we thought this was going to be a pre
liminary presentation to the President, It
was something he would think about and probably
decide in a couple of weeks. Harry came back
flabbergasted and said not only had the President
bought it lock, stock, and barrel, but he had
provided the money! Harry knew, of course, what
that would mean with respect to Ickes, The
President also had called in the press and told
them "We'll have this in operation in thirty
- 170 -
Leiby: The Cabinet didn't decide.
Bane: Nobody, just the President. And it was operating
in thirty days.
We set up a little sub-office over at the
then Powhatan, now the Roger Smith Hotel,
Within thirty days it was rolling. But immediately
two slogans developed, which in no time at all were
countrywide, one was "leaf -raking" and the second
was "leaning on a shovel,"
Leiby: Yes. Reflecting the notion that this is the wrong
kind of thing for these guys.
Leiby: What they really need is a job in private industry.
Bane: That's right, yes.
Leiby: Where they'll make them work hard. There's no
boondoggling in private industry. (Laughter)
When the emergency relief set-up was dis
banded, one of the main functions of the
American Public Welfare Association, traditionally,
Bane: Yes. When the F.E.R.A. was disbanded, the national
government concentrated all of its activities on
Bane: work relief. That left the residual load of relief
to the states and locaties. And a large part of
the residual load was cardiac cases, aged persons,
and marginal economic people.
Leiby: And they were a large, large number. (Laughter)
Bane: Yes. Of course, that immediately put us, in the
American Public Welfare Association, in the
position to say, which we would try, being more
or less ladies and gentlemen, not to say too often,
tt We told you so." Because the states were left
with the residual load. And by that time they all
had some kind of an organization to handle it.
Leiby: In other words in 1933 you had said, "This is
probably going to be a continuing thing. In one
way or another public welfare is certainly going
to be a continuing thing. You need a public wel
fare organization, a public welfare administration
in your state. You should have had one. But now
the need is perfectly evident." And four or five
years later you go around saying, "I told you so."
Bane: Not too blatantly I hope ! By 1935 the
federal government was out of direct relief and
concentrating entirely on work relief.
- 172 -
Continuing Activities of the Association
Leiby: Were you still with the Public Welfare Association?
Bane: I was still with the Public Welfare Association up
until about August, 1935.
Leiby: At this time and later the Public Welfare Associa
tion must have been thinking of what they were
going to do. They had been advising on emergency
relief. Now this job was over. What role did
they see for themselves?
Bane: They didn't think the job was over. They thought
their job was going to be more or less a continuing
job. And they thought and believed that the As
sociation was, if possible, even more necessary
once these new organizations had been set up; to
establish standards, to develop morale among public of.
ficials,etc.As a matter of fact the American Public
Welfare Association was first called the American
Association of Public Welfare Officials. And
they had an enormous training program ahead of them.
Leiby: Training program?
Bane: They were advocating training programs in the various
- 173 -
Bane: states in order to provide the social workers that
would be needed in these new welfare departments.
It was urging Hopkins, which he did, to estab.
lish training programs and to send
people to Chicago , the New York School, etc.,
to take training. The reason they urged
Hopkins to do it was because he was the only
person who had what we called, in those days, un
encumbered money. He could operate, to a consider
able extent, on allocations from the President's
Bnergency Fund. And for little things like grants
to colleges &r training he didn't have to go back
to the Congress for additional funds*
Leiby: What was your staff organization like at that time?
Did you continue with the field representatives?
Bane: Oh yes, we continued having field representatives.
And I was in the field as much as any of the staff.
Our person who ran the shop was still
Marietta Stevenson. She was Assistant Director and
later Deputy Director. She ran the office.
Leiby: You had a publication.
Bane: Yes, we had the Public Welfare News, which I think
- 174 -
Bane: is still being published.
Leiby: There's still a periodical, yes.
Did you have anything to do with research?
Bane: Not to any considerable degree. To repeat,
Marietta was a Ph. D. and had been a re-
search per son* And we did some spot, what might be
called, utilitarian research. That's what Leonard
White used to say we did. He said, "We did the
best kind of research one could imagine
to substantiate our own preconceived notions."
And he wasn't too far wrong.
Leiby: What did he have in mind there?
Bane: Oh, he was Just being facetious. In other words,
we had such and such an idea and we would look
around and set up a research project to
assemble the necessary data , to support
what we wanted to do* That was a
facetious remark . What
he meant was that we didn't do any fundamental re
search. And he was right.
Leiby: In other words you were in the position of promoting
enlightened policies, essentially.
Bane: Decidedly promoting. I was speaking all over the
- 175 -
Bane: country most of the time,
Leiby: You'd go around and talk to people.
Now these enlightened policies, did the
county welfare board continue to be viable?
Bane: Y es indeed , as I understand. I've been
away from it for many years.
Leiby: In the 1920s this was a big thing in California,
the county welfare boards. In the 1930s it was
dropped and now, of course, it's run by the
county board of supervisors. There's no county
welfare board. And that's my impression over the
Bane: Y es. I think they started off with these
boards, because it was something new;
But now it's, especially in California, the regular
board of supervisors. In California counties
relief is one of their biggest jobs. It's
very expensive. It's not only just a part of gov
ernment, it's a big part of government.
- 176 -
FEDERAL SOCIAL SECURITY BOARD, 1935-1938
(Interview of January 13, 1965)
A Survey of European Institutions
Leiby: In 1935 you left the Public Welfare Association and
became the first Executive Director of the Social
Security Board, a position you held until 1938.
Could you tell me something about how you were
approached for that job?
Bane: I'd better start with a little background. Early
in 1934 a great many people in Washington, and
certainly around the country, began to wonder when
an emergency would cease to be an emergency. And
they began to be a little tired of the oft-repeated
words temporary and emergency. Many of the organ
izations in the early days of relief were called
temporary emergency organizations of one kind or another,as
we have said. There was considerable talk about
social security. And the Rockefeller people
suggested to me soon after the Committee on Econ
omic Security was appointed by the President to
- 177 -
Bane: devise a social security plan, that I might go to
Europe and take a look at the social security
programs in Germany, where social security had
started under Bismarck, and also in England
Leiby: You speak of the Rockefeller people?
Bane: The Spelman Fund.
Leiby: Under Beardsley Rural.
Bane: Beardsley Rural, yes.
Late in June Mrs. Bane and I went to
Europe on this assignment. We went first to
Germany. And we did the "best we could under
the circumstances in Germany at that time. But
"Bast man in Germany persistently got in our way.
We got there immediately after the blood purges
of 1934. And just before we left, we stayed
there some two or three months- Hindenburg died
and Hitler took complete power. So we
learned as much as we could from the German de
partments and agencies , but in retrospect ,
it seems to me , that they spent
part of the time giving us information and
the other time jumping up when anybody came in
- 178 -
Bane: and saying, "Hell Hitler!" (laughter)
Leiby: What sort of information were you looking for?
Bane: We were looking for the background of the
first social security program: How it was
set up? Why it was set up? But, particu
larly, we were interested in the organization
and operation of the system itself and what
Leiby: You were an administrator looking at a system.
Bane: We were administrators looking at a picture
and trying to develop ideas as to how we would
set such a program up administratively, if and
when we should have one.
We did the same thing in France and in
Leiby: To whom did you speak in Prance and in England?
Bane: I don't recall the individuals' names.
Leiby: Professional administrators.
Bane: In England, it was primarily the Department of
Labor. In Germany, it was scattered around in
different departments ; assistance , unemployment
compensation, insurance, and so on. It was different
departments in Germany, as it was in Prance. We weren't
- 179 -
Bane: very successful in getting much information in
France because we happened to get to Paris in
August, Then and since everybody in Paris
in an official capacity, it seemed to us, went
out of town in August.
Leiby: Summer vacation.
Bane: Yes, summer vacation.
When we came back we reported at length to
the Committee on Economic Security, to which I
was a general consultant; and to the Technical
Committee, of which I was a member. Then we went
to work on the actual report and a little later
on the substance of the actual bill*
Leiby: You say, "we." Was there anyone with you?
Bane: No. When I say, "we" went to work on the bill and
the substance of the report, I was working with
Leiby: I meant when you went to Europe.
Bane: Mrs. Bane was the only person with me.
Leibyj I see. Did you bring back any ideas that were in
fluential in your report?
Bane: Yes, we brought back some ideas that, as a matter
of fact, were written into our act. The federal-
- 180 -
Bane: state idea we had, of course, before we went*
Leiby: Grants -in -aid, like for highways.
Bane: Exactly. But the German system was similar,
to a very large extent. They had their
divisions; Bavaria, Rhineland, and so on. And
Leiby: It was a federal government.
Bane: Yes, it was a federal government.
Leiby: Unlike Ifagland and Prance.
Bane: That's right. So we learned more from Germany
than we did from either of the other nations.
Leibyt Did they use grants-in-aid?
Bane: They used grants-in-aid for one activity or an
other, particularly, in the assistance field.
Also , in the unemployment field and in the
insurance program it was somewhat similar to the
one we developed in this country.
Appointed Executive Director
Bane: Then the bill was sent up to congress.
The problem then was to get action on the
- 181 -
Bane: suggested bill* And there, again, the
American Public Welfare Association came in
very handy because we had representatives
in all the states who could explain to their
representatives in congress: 1.) what the
act was , and 2.) emphasize its import
Leiby: So this is a wonderful lobbying device.
Bane: It was an excellent lobbying device and I
was repeatedly accused of using the American
Public Welfare Association as a lobbying
device. I've never denied it. (Laughter)
The act was passed. At that time
there was a professor of economics at the
University of Chicago , Simeon E. Leland.
He is now Dean of Northwestern University,
retiring next month. He had a cottage on
the dunes outside of Chicago, the Indiana
Dunes. The Banes and Lelands lived very
close to each other and saw a great deal
of each other. Leland suggested, in the late
summer, that we go out and spend a week or ten
- 182 -
Bane: days with them at their cottage in the dunes,
assuring us that it was a delightful, restful
plaoe. No telephones, no visitors, Just rest,
recreation, and relaxation.
Leiby: This is the summer of 1935.
Leiby: After the bill was passed.
Bane: After the bill was passed. The bill was passed
in August and this was late August. One morning
a gentleman came down the road in a Model T Ford
from the crossroads store, about a mile and a
half away. He asked, "Is there a Mr. Bane around
here anywhere?" Leland admitted it. He said,
"There's a telephone call in my store," that
was the only telephone around there "I think
it's a joke, but they say the White House is cal
ling Mr. Bane." (Laughter) So, Leland and I got
into the car and went up to the store and got the
White House on the telephone. Marvin Mclntyre,
the President's secretary* was calling. He said
that Mr. John Winant, former governor of New
Hampshire, had just been appointed chairman of the Social
- 183 -
Bane: Security Board, the other two members were
Arthur Altmeyer of Wisconsin and Vincent Miles
Leiby: Who was Miles?
Bane: Miles was a lawyer from Arkansas. And
he'd been strongly recommended by Joseph Robinson,
who was at that time Senator from Arkansas, and
the majority leader in the senate,
Leiby: A strong recommendation. (Laughter) Had Miles
had any connection with you?
Bane: No, Miles had no connection with me prior to that
Leiby: Of course, Altmeyer had.
Bane: Altmeyer was a professional in the field. He had
run the Department of Industrial Relations in
Wisconsin before 1932. And he had come to Wash
ington with the Roosevelt administration as As
sistant Secretary of Labor, when Frances Perkins
was appointed Secretary of Labor.
Leiby: And John Winant, had he been governor?
Bane: John Winant had been governor for two terms in
New Hampshire. He was a Republican.
Leiby: I suppose Altmeyer was a Republican*
Bane: I would imagine so a La Toilette Republican, or Pro.
- 184 -
Bane? gressire Democrat although the question never
came up> And I'm reasonably certain that at the
time he was appointed he was listed as a Democrat,
or was thought of as a Democrat. Because that
would have given the Board two Democrats and one
Winant had been a very progressive governor,
an excellent governor of New Hampshire.
Working for the Brookings Institute, a couple of
years before, I had done a study of the state
government of New Hampshire when he, Winant, was
governor. So we were well acquainted with each
other. Secretary Mclntyre said Winant was going
to call me the next day or that day about a
proposition with the Social Security Administra
tion, at that time the Social Security Board.
The President had told him, Mclntyre, to call
me and tell me that he hoped I would take the
jobo I asked Mclntyre what kind of a Job it
was and what were the limits and delimits, duties,
responsibilities and so forth? He said he
didn't know, that Winant would tell me. Winant
called me later the same day. The following
- 185 -
Bane: day I went down to Washington and had a long
session first with Winant and then with the
Board. And I was appointed the Executive
Director of this new social security program.
Leiby: What did they tell you?
Bane: They told me what was in the act, which I knew
lay heart. (Laughter) They told me what the
problem was. I knew that also, in some detail.
But we discussed, primarily I raised the ques
tion what was and what was going to "be the
relationship between the executive director
and the board?
Leiby: That's a good question.
Bane: Since I was going to be the executive director,
I wanted that point cleared up to the extent
possible before I agreed to take the job. And
it was agreed that the board was going to be a
policy board, concerning itself, primarily, to
the extent possible, with questions of policy
and broad program. That the executive director
would be in charge of administration and that
included the supervision and direction of per
sonnel. I asked for two or three days to think
- 186 -
Bane: it over and to go home and talk with my fam
ily. I wanted to talk also with the board
of the American Public Welfare Association
and the people at the University of Chicago*
I was lecturing at the University of Chicago
at that time* I went back to Chicago, had a
meeting of the Public Welfare Board and a
meeting with the people at the University of
Chicago, And, incidentally, Beardsley Ruml
came over to the meeting* He brought along
Guy Moffett, who was to succeed Bum! as
Director of the Spelman Fund, when he came
to the University of Chicago as head of the
social science division. We had a long
luncheon. Brownlow was there and Meriam
Leiby: The Chicago crowd.
Bane: Yes. And it was decided and I'm choosing
my words carefully by the group that I ought
to take the job* Mrs. Bane agreed, and I
- 187 -
Bane: But before we went to Washington we sent
a confirming telegram, dealing with the agree
ments which we had as to what the job would
be. Because I knew that It was extremely dif
ficult to separate policy and administration.
But we wanted it understood, in any event.
Bane: So down to Washington we went and we
had four offices, which had been loaned to
us, over in the Labor Department Building.
They were loaned to us by Prances Perkins.
Each member of the board had an office and
I had an office. At that time each of us
had a secretary. But we had only four of
fices, so the secretary was in the same of
fice. And that's how and where, the Social
Security Board started.
Leiby: How did the board members look upon their own
duties? Did they divide them up, like county
- 188 -
Leiby: commissioners? (Laughter)
Bane: No, they never divided them up. We never had the
set-up that the Tennessee Valley Authority had initial-
ly. They definitely divided up the duties and
responsibilities among the three commissioners
One took over-all management, one took power, one
took agriculture. Arthur Morgan, for instance,
took over-all administration. H e was chairman.
David Lilienthal took power. Harcourt Morgan,
who had been President of the University of Ten
nessee, took the agricultural part of the program.
Leiby: Acting, in effect, as executive vice-president.
Bane: Exactly. But the board decided and, in fact,
that was part of the decision which influenced
me to come to the board, that it would
always act as a group and that they would act,
as far as operation and execution was
concerned, through an executive director.
Leiby: There was only one executive vice-president, in
Bane: The board took their duties and respon
sibilities very, very seriously. They met in-
terminably, morning, noon and sometimes night.
- 189 -
Bane: We had the problem of setting up the administra
tive machinery and deciding how we were going to
handle, from an administrative point of view,
the duties and responsibilities as set forth in
the act. We had the problem of establishing
precedents, as we used to say , in those
days* And very soon, almost immediately, I
employed as a secretary for board operations, Miss
Maurine Mulliner. She was with the Social Security
Board and Administration continually, with leaves
of absence here and there, up until a year ago
when she retired. So it was the board, myself,
and Miss Maurine Mulliner as the secretary for
board operations, meeting interminably in the
The first thing decided, of course,
which, as a matter of fact, was set forth in the
act, was that the social security program had
three major segments: the public assistance
segment, the unemployment compensation segment,
and the old age insurance segment. This made
it immediately apparent that the first job was
to think about top personnel a director for
- 190 -
Bane: the Bureau of Public Assistance, which included
old age assistance, aid to dependent children,
and aid for the blind; a director for the Bureau
of Unemployment Compensation, which, of course,
just had unemployment compensation; and a
director of the Bureau of Old Age Insurance.
Leiby: But unemployment compensation was a major thing.
Bane: A major thing and a brand new thing. That had
been the great focal point of interest.
Leiby: It had already been decided that this would be
a federal-state thing.
Bane: Oh yes, that was decided and written in the act.
Leiby: So, in other words, this man was going to Wave
to deal with forty-eight states.
Bane: Yes. The first person we appointed was the
director of the Bureau of Public Assistance, be
cause that was the part of the act that would go
into effect first. That would go
into effect January 1, 1936. So we had to set up
administrative machinery; we had to devise a plan
of operations; we had to get state plans in; we
had to approve state plans; we had to have a staff
for supervision all ready to go by January 1, 1936,
- 191 -
Bane: And that was just four months away.
Leiby: You were getting underway in September.
Bane: We were getting underway just about the first of
Mie question was who would be director of
the Bureau of Public Assistance? Of course,
we canvassed the country. Several of us knew
right much about that field. We decided to
offer the job to a top-notch social worker, a top-
notch public relations person, a red-headed, Irish
girl named Jane Hoey. I called her on the tele
phone on a Thursday or Friday and the following
Sunday I went to New York to see her and offer
her the job. Her mother objected strenuously.
Her brother, Jim Hoey, who had been Collector of
Customs in New York for years, approved enthus
iastically. And, ultimately, within the next
week, Janie took the job. She came to Washington
and started to work.
Leiby: How old was she then? Do you remember?
Bane: Perhaps we shouldn't go into that* (Laughter)
Coming from where I do I would never dare risk
such a guess. But I would imagine that Jane
- 192 -
Bane: was in her early forties.
Leiby: What was she doing at that time?
Bane: She was with the Catholic Charities in New
Leiby: With a private agency.
Bane: A private agency. She had been most of her
life. But she had had extensive experience,
during the relief period in 1933 and early '34,
with relief activities in New York State and in
New York City.
Leiby: Had you known her?
Bane: I'd known her for a number of years.
Leiby: In what connection?
Bane: National Conference of Social Work, during the
Leiby: She was one of that crowd and you ran into her.
So you knew Jane Hoey well.
Bane: Yes. I knew her well.
Leiby: Was this your idea?
Bane: Yes, it was my recommendation.
Leiby: So you picked her.
Bane: I picked Jane.
Leiby: Quite a sound appointment 1
- 193 -
Bane: Well, it turned out admirably from every point
of view; from an operating point of view, from
the standpoint of association, from the stand
point of accomplishments* It was a good ap
pointment, I admit it.
The next task was to appoint someone to
the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation. And,
again, we searched the country. The person in
the structure that knew more about that field,
of course, than anyone was Altmeyer. He had
been working in the only state that had a program
of that kind. We came to the conclusion that
Gordon Wagenet was the best man we knew,
Altmeyer was enthusiastic about him. He recom
mended him. We appointed him. He, also, made
an excellent record. He stayed with that or
ganization for twenty years. He set it up from
top to bottom,
Leiby: What had he done?
Bane: He had been with some public industrial relations
groups in the states. He knew something about
workmen's compensation, and public service. He
- 194 -
Bane: also had had some experience with insurance
companies. And he was a well-rounded
person. I would say he, also, was in his mid
Leiby: Do you remember what he had been doing before
he'd been in the public service at the time
he was appointed?
Bane: I think he'd been with workmen's compensation,
primarily, just before he was appointed.
Then we came to the question of Old Age Insur
ance. That was a tough one. No one of us,
that is, no member of the board nor myself,
were too well acquainted in the insurance field.
So we consulted everyone that
we thought had any ideas on the subject
And then we finally came back to Washington.
The railroad retirement system had been
operating in Washington. And the person
who had been most active in that particular area
was Murray Latimer . We ended
up appointing Murray Latimer as director of the
Old Age Insurance Bureau.
We were over the first hurdle. But in
setting up a brand new, big Washington department
- 195 -
Bane: of course you think first in terms of the
substance of the .lob, that is, public assist
ance, unemployment compensation, and old age
insurance. You think first in terms of line
operation. And then you think in terms of
staff agencies, or staff departments, or staff
bureaus. And , first , inev
itably, in almost any department in Washington,
y*i have to get a general counsel.
We decided to employ a lawyer
by the name of Thomas Eliot, a grandson of the great
Charles Eliot, former President of Harvard
Tom had been assistant general counsel
in the Labor Department. And he had worked ex
tensively with Miss Perkins and all the rest
in drafting the act itself. When we agreed
on Tom as general counsel and he was appointed,
we thought we should be pretty careful about
the associate general counsel. Tom was an ex
cellent, careful, cautious, judicious lawyer,
shall we say. So we wanted as associate general
counsel, someone who was, shall I say, of a more
- 196 -
Bane: adventurous nature, (Laughter) So we ap
pointed a gentleman by the name of Jack Tate,
from Tennessee. He is now, incidentally, as
sociate dean of the law department at Yale
University. Tom Eliot is
Chancellor of Washington University in St.
Louis, at the present time. Those two
gentlemen have done very well.
As it worked out, and this has often
amused me,* 116 Wa 7 we operated at that time-
when we wanted a "no" answer to any question
with respect to the act, we would call Tom
Eliot. (Laughter) Whenever we wanted a
"yes" answer, we would call Jack Tate.
(Laughter) So that worked out admirably.
The next staff agency was, again the
inevitable staff agency, Audits and Accounts.
We appointed a man by the name of Banning
who stayed there a long time, in that most
important, but most uninteresting kind of a
The Bureau of Research and Statistics.
That was one that interested me immensely.
- 197 -
Bane: We spent a lot of time considering personnel
for that Bureau. We decided on three
people at pretty much the same time; Mr. Walton
Hamilton to be director. He was an excellent person,
especially on sociological and legal theory. He
was enormously interested in not what you have,
but where do we go from here? What are going
to be the long term trends? We were in
terested in that also ; Winant, the chair
man of the board, was particularly interested
in that. We agreed to appoint Walton
Hamilton as director of this bureau.
Then we were going to need a lot of stat
istics and a lot of research, which might be
called utilitarian research* day before yester
day statistics, a day-to-day operation.
Leiby: Operational statistics.
Bane: Yes. So we appointed two assistant di
rectors; Ewan Clague, who is now director of
the Bureau of labor Statistics and Tom Blaisdell,
who is now Professor Bneritus of Political Science
at the University of California, right here. His
office is right down on the next floor. That's
- 198 -
Bane: the way that bureau was set up.
Leiby: What were the duties of these gentlemen?
Bane: Their duties were to collect and tabulate and
get into usable form for the administrators,
all the facts, figures, and statistical informa
tion that we would need when we began to con
sider state plans and what grants to make to the
states for public assistance, unemployment comp
ensation; and to suggest for Congress, primarily,
what would be the long term trends. What we would
suggest in terms of amendments to the act?
Why? What would be the financial trend and so on?
Leiby: A most important bureau.
Bane: A most important outfit.
The next one was the Bureau of Business
Management. They would handle the budget. They
would handle the actual processing of personnel.
They would handle the mundane and most important
and controversial question in Washington,
space. Where are you going to put a desk? They
would handle supplies. They would have the
housekeeping job. And this will interest
you particularly for that job I stole a man, al-
- 199 -
Bane: most literally, from an old friend of yours
and mine, Sanford Bates. Sanford Bates was
director of the Bureau of Prisons. He
had an assistant director , James
7. Bennett. So, of course, going through chan
nels, I went to see Sanford first. I told him
I would like to have Jim Bennett to direct this
Bureau and that we could do somewhat better for
him, financially and otherwise. Sanford was not
enthusiastic about the idea. (Laughter) But,
of course, he said, ultimately, as everybody
always says, "If you can do better for him and
if he wants the job, all right." We offered
the job to James V. Bennett, who, incidentally,
has just recently retired. Bennett came over,
accepted , and did an excellent job
with the assignment and the task. Two or three
years went by and Sanford Bates decided to re
tire as director of the Bureau of Prisons,
whereupon he, Sanford Bates, stole Bennett back
from us to come over to the Bureau of Prisons and
succeed him as director.
The fifth and last of the service bureaus
- 200 -
Bane: was what we called a Bureau of Information.
All bureaus of that kind in Washington were
generally called bureaus of information, rather
than bureaus of publicity and public relations.
But they're the same thing. They handled our
relationship with the press; took the material
from the Bureau of Research and Statistics and
developed it into pamphlets; developed charts
of one kind or another--the usual thing that a
bureau of information does.
Leiby: Which I use in my class.
Bane: You do, good.
We employed a gentleman from New York who'd
had extensive experience in those fields. His
name was Resnick.
Now we were all dressed up and ready to go.,
from the standpoint of structure.
Leiby: Were these positions under Civil Service?
Bane: The positions were under Civil Service with the
exception of lawyers, policy people, and so-called
experts. An expert had to be a person who was con.
sidered by the Civil Service Commission to be par
ticularly qualified in the particular area.
- 201 -
Bane: -And it had to be a person that we
paid more than $3,600 a year. (Laughter) This
was 1935, you remember, and it was during the
Leiby: The reason I asked was because the T.V.A. did
not. . .
Bane: Did not have ; always had their own system.
Leiby: Two things strike me. One is that you evidently
had no trouble hiring.
Bane: We had no trouble hiring people, from the stand
point of the availability of people.
Leiby: You got who you wanted right off.
Bane: We got whom we wanted, the top people.
The woods were full of people, literally alive
with people, who wanted to work for the Social
Security Administration, for two very definite
reasons. Just before we started the
Supreme Court had declared the National Recovery
Administration, N.R.A.., unconstitutional.
Leiby: So they were going out of business.
Bane: Also , just before we started the Supreme
Court had declared the Agricultural Adjustment
- 202 -
Bane: Administration, A. A. A., unconstitutional. And
it seemed to us that every employee of N.R.A.
and every employee of A. A. A. landed on our
doorstep wanting a job. It seemed to us also
that each and every one of them had a letter
from his congressman. It got to be
such a rush that Miss Heiser, my secretary
for at least a month and maybe
much more, set up a two hour period every
afternoon at which we did nothing but run an
interviewing system. The person with
a letter from his congressman would insist that
he had to see me, personally, individually, and
right now. (Laughter) And thinking, perhaps,
that I would be going up on the Hill, I
tried to see as many as I could. I saw
hundreds of applicants over a month or
Leiby: But I get the impression that your appoint
ments represented your judgment.
Bane: Yes, insofar as top personnel was concerned.
But these people that I was seeing with letters
and so on were told that their applica-
- 203 -
Bane: tions were gone over at another place, I
would have a brief interview with them, tell
them we were setting up a personnel office,
and make arrangements for them to see our
personnel officer, who we were in the process
of appointing at that time Henry Aronson.
He is still with the Social Security Ad-
ministration-in H.E.W, now.
Bane: Our problem was, of course, to work
with the states immediately, directly, help
fully. Every state was clamoring, "What are
you going to require in this plan? What should
our plan consist of? We have to submit a plan
to you before January 1st if we're to participate
immediately in all three of the public assistance
programs. Tell us what we should do." So we
had to devise a manual . "The act re
quires so and so and so and so. We suggest that
you set it up this way, so that it can be handled
most expeditiously here in this office. We
- 204 -
Bane: would suggest that you pay particular attention
to these various aspects of the problem.
We would suggest that you send the plan to us in
triplicate. So we will have one for our desk,
the lawyers will have one and the auditor will
have one." Th plans began to come in,
We began to develop a little staff,
Jane Hoey and her outfit would be available to
go out to a state that was uncertain as
to what the plan should be,
Leiby: Can you tell me something about how you formu
lated the requirements for the plans?
Bane: We discussed them, I assure you, ad infinitum,
in board meetings. The board had to pass on it
Leiby: These are practical men.
Bane: These are all practical men,
Leiby: In effect you were testing out the response you
Bane: Exactly. And Jane, of course, was sitting in on
all of these conferences as head of the bureau.
- 205 -
Bane: And she was fighting for every principle, aa
only Jane could fight for such things. We
finally just hammered it out what the plan
should include, And it was pretty well agreed
upon. By that time a stream of welfare com
missioners from the various states was coming
in. And we would try all this out on them.
"Is this the way it should be? How will it
work? What will it do to you? Can you handle
this in your territory?" I would say the out
line of the initial suggested plan, which we
developed to send out to the states, was modi
fied again and again at the suggestion of the
Leiby: It was a sort of model.
Bane: A model outline plan.
Leiby: A model of a legislative act.
Bane: Yes. It was a combination of our thoughts and
the thoughts of the people out in the states
who came and helped us develop it.
Leiby: Were there any particular discussions that you
recall very vividly?
Bane: This is interesting, though somewhat facetious.
- 206 -
Bane: We were new and the board was enormously
anxious not to make any major mistakes and
to set correct precedents. We were conscious
of the fact that we were doing something that
had never been done before and if we made a
boo-boo here and now it might react for years
to come. We took this job seriously. The
board would discuss most any point for hours,
it seemed to me, being an impetuous, impatient
person. One problem came up that we dis
cussed so long that it became something of a
joke with the board. The question was ,
"HOW did the Confederate veteran who was
drawing Confederate pensions fit into this
picture?" And there was a certain lady in
Alabama who came up to advise with us in de
veloping the plan. She was Loula Dunn,
who had just become Welfare Commissioner
for the State of Alabama; later she be
came director of the American Public Wei-
- 207 -
Bane: fare Association.
Leiby: What was the decision?
Bane: The decision was to treat them, of course,
just like everyone else.
Leiby: Right, a good decision! What was Jane Hoey
Bane: What Jane would call standards; merit exam
inations for all social workers that were
going to handle the program,
Leiby: What did Winant think?
Bane: Winant was all for it; so was Altmeyer. And,
of course, I was for it. But all of us knew
very well that there was no possibility of
getting trained social workers in all of these
jobs to start with . The bodies just were
Leiby: But a merit system required some sort of
qualifications, like another degree.
Bane: Yes, that's why we called it a merit system.
We did our best to persuade all the
states to include in their plans a merit system.
- 208 -
Bane: In some states it worked, in some it didn't.
We couldn't require that. The act didn't re
quire it. So we just tried to develop it
I might insert right here that purely by
accident there developed a situation that en
abled us to do what we had wanted to do and
had not been able to do except in patches .
It enabled us to do it straight across the
board. W.P.A. was still operating in 1936 and
'37. And there was, of course, as there al
ways had been, a great deal of criticism of
that program. The United Press sent a re
porter , Tom Stokes ,into Kentucky and Pen
nsylvania to investigate what was happening
with respect to W.P.A., from the standpoint
of politics to look into reports
of scandals of one kind or an
Tom Stokes went into these states, par
ticularly Kentucky* He wrote a series of
articles blasting the administration of
W.P.A. Incidentally , he got a
- 209 -
Bane: Pulitzer Prize for those articles. In the
articles he mentioned many times Senator
Berkley's connection with the happenings.
Barkley never denied any of this. He simply
said, "The W.P.A. is a federal program. And
federal officials are using a federal program
to their advantage." Barkley was running for
re-election to the Senate. He said he had to
use it, "Because social security was a federal,
state program administered by the state and
Happy Chandler [the Governor of Kentucky]
was running against him for the Senate and
using the social security program." Mr.
Barkley thereupon introduced an amendment to
the Social Security Act that "All staff in
the federal-state program of social security
must henceforth be appointed in accordance
with a merit system established by the state
and approved by the Social Security Board."
That's how we got the merit system in the
social security program. When politicians
fall-out merit systems sometimes prosper.
- 210 -
Bane: Incidentally, that amendment inserted in
the Social Security Act of 1937 has been a sec
tion of practically every grant-in-aid program
since that time. And the state plan idea, which
was developed in the Social Security Act of 1935,
has been carried over in practically every
federal-state grant program since*
Leiby: As you reviewed these state plans, do you re
member any particular difficulties that you
came to have to watch out for?
Bane: I don't remember any particular difficulties,
initially. Again, this was a new program.
Again, every state wanted to qualify as soon
Leiby: Actually many states did not qualify.
Bane: Many states did not and, therefore, approvals
were postponed for quite a while. But they all
wanted to do it, generally speaking. Where they
didn't qualify it was incompetence (lack of in
formation) in setting up the plan. But
the big states qualified pretty
- 211 -
Bane: quickly because they had staffs.
Problems in Particular States
The troubles came later, in the actual
operation of the plan. I might mention three
of the troubles; Illinois, Ohio, and Oklahoma.
I mention those three because in each of those
three instances we had to withdraw funds from
the states because they were not living up to
the plan which they had submitted and the board
had approved. And they were, in fact, not living
up in some aspects to the law itself.
Leiby: That's the state law.
Bane: The state law, which was, of course, modeled
on the federal act.
The first was in Illinois. Interestingly
enough, before the Social Security Act was pas
sed and before I went with the Social Security
Administration, at Governor Horner's request
I had made an appraisal of the situation
in Illinois. I was then with the American
- 212 -
Bane: Public Welfare Association* I made the ap
praisal of that system and drafted a sug
gested act for him in the light of what I
thought Congress would pass, and which it did
in the Social Security Act* When we began
to look at what was happening in Illinois,
we became greatly disturbed. We couldn't
find out what was actually happening, from
an auditing point of view. We were matching
their funds, millions of dollars. Our
auditors would come in with the reports
that they didn't know whether things were
right or wrong. They couldn't find out any
Governor Horner had appointed as the
first director of the Illinois system a de
lightful gentleman, who had absolutely no
experience in this field whatever. He'd
been city manager of a very small city, in
fact, just a town. He was completely buried.
He just didn't know anything about it at all.
- 213 -
Bane: -And we couldn't find out anything. Of course,
I went through the usual procedure; first I
wrote a letter to the governor about it, no
reply; then I wired the governor; and then I
telephoned him. We always pursued that one,
two, three-- letter, wire, and then telephone
call. The governor, on the telephone, said
he'd get to it as soon as he could. He had
a legislature in session and he said he was
busy. Well, we were busy too. And we
didn't want a financial scandal in our laps.
Leiby: This is a serious thing.
Bane: Yes. The General Accounting Office, as we
knew, would be coming along in the next month
or so. And they'd be checking all of this.
So after much effort to get together and do
something, with no response, we cut off funds
and set a hearing. The governor, of course,
reacted violently. As he had to, of course.
(Laughter) A few days later he called up and
said, "Let's get together and iron this thing
- 214 -
Bane: out." We got together in a room In a Chicago
hotel. Within a morning and afternoon we
straightened out the whole business. The
question was to get a competent person. The
governor took his commissioner of finance, a
man by the name of John Weigel, and trans
ferred him over to the W.P.A. program a
top-notch man. He set up the necessary forms,
accounting procedures, and so on. They were
We had a different situation in Ohio.
In Ohio we ran into the election of 1936.
We began to get reports from newspaper
people. Social security was news in those
days. It was new; it was a big program;
a lot of money; a great deal of con
Leiby: Sort of like W.P.A.
Bane: Yes. The newspapers were writing about it
extensively. We began to get reports of ir
regularities gross irregularities in Ohio,
- 215 -
Bane: So we sent out to Ohio a task force, to
investigate. We'd just heard that phrase,
"task force." We just loved it and adopted
it unanimously. (Laughter) And thereafter,
every time we would send out a group, we
would oall it a task force*
Leiby: The plan had been in operation for about
Bane: About, yes. We got a wild, frantic telephone
call from some member of our task force.
They had just come across something that
was outrageous, illegal, immoral, and any
thing else you can think of. The governor, it
was alleged, had sent out in the envelopes
that enclosed the old age assistance checks,
a slip that said, in effect, unless Governor
Davey is re-elected the first week of November,
in the pending election, this will be your last
old age assistance check. That was the story!
Well, I knew the press would have that
pretty quickly. And I was extremely
anxious to beat the press to
- 216 -
Bane: that story. I didn't want them to be in
a position to say they had found out and they
had pressured a reluctant administration to do
something about a Democratic candidate who was
running for governor. So, fifteen minutes after
we got that telephone call, had checked and
verified it as to its accuracy,.,
Leiby: How did you verify that?
Bane: I just called two or three other people out
there. -And they all said the same thing im
mediately. They had access to some elderly
people who had these envelopes with their
checks. So I asked them to check it immediately.
Then, with the information in hand, I went
to see Winant, Altmeyer, and Miles and I said,
"This is what we're going to do." Ind they
said, "Surely, do it quick, " (Laughter) So we
wired the governor and cut off funds and set a
Leiby: Made an announcement.
Bane: T s made an announcement that night as to what
the alleged facts were and what we'd done about it.
We had a hearing and, incidentally, Davey was
- 217 -
Bane: not re-elected, John Bricker was elected
the first time he was elected as governor,.
He cleared up that situation after a lit
tle while. But for months thereafter the ques
tion was, in congress, whether the amount which
we'd taken away from Ohio for a month or two,
should be reimbursed to the state.
Leiby: What was the decision on that?
Bane: The decision finally was to reimburse them.
Leiby: You really hated to withdraw funds.
Bane: Surely. What we were doing was just cutting the
aged persons' allowances in half. And that's why
we didn't fight much the reimbursement on a retro
active basis. It was just giving back to the old
folks what they should have had anyway.
Leiby: You meant to hurt the politicians.
Bane: No, we just meant to aat to it that the organization wouL
operate in accordance with the statvitej and that
the people who were entitled to benefits would
get the benefits. Of course, sometimes, when we
tried to make the organizations operate in accord
ance with the statutes, in order to do that we
- 218 -
Bane: would temporarily hurt the benificiaries.
It was a tough problem all along the
The third state was Oklahoma. Again,
we sent a task force. The task force
came back with a very interesting and
amusing sort of story. They had in
vestigated three or four counties in
Oklahoma. The one that I remember
best was Cherokee County. In this
county approximately one hundred twenty
seven per cent, as I recall, of all per
sons sixty-five years or over were on old
age assistance. (Laughter) We notified
the governor that we had to withdraw funds.
We had a hearing. We sent a group down
there that worked with the state department
and helped set it up in such a way as to
enable the state department to more ef
fectively supervise the local units. Those
were the kinds of problems we had initially.
- 219 -
Field Offices end Service
Leiby: You haven't said anything about the field services,
Bane: Each of these bureaus, public assistance, un
employment compensation, and old age insurance,
had a field service.
The field services for the Bureau of Public
Assistance and the Bureau of Unemployment Comt)en-
sation were pretty much the same type of service;
assistance, a certain amount of supervision, a
certain degree of inspection. But in the early
days it was primarily a question of assistance.
We were depending for inspection on our auditing
crowd, largely. They would come along after a
month or two to just see what was happening to
Leiby: A field service is an office with some people in
it. And you have these for regions, I suppose.
How many regions were there?
Bane: We set up twelve regions initially,
Leiby: Did they correspond with the Federal Reserve?
Bane: No. They were our own regions. It probably was
- 220 -
Bane: a mistake but we set up our own regions, con-'
tending that this problem was different. All
problems are different!
Leiby: In each regional office you had a director.
Bane: We had a director and we had a representative
of each of the bureaus That ia ,
public assistance; unemployment compensation:
old age insurance; a lawyer; a representative
of the General Counsel; a statistical person;
an auditor; an information person--all except
the business manager.
Leiby: In other words, it was a duplication of your
central office and they were in touch with the
people in the states.
Bane: And, immediately, the age-old problem that has
never been settled and hopefully maybe our grand-
children in federal or state government will de
vise a way to settle it we ran into the problem
of what is the relationship between the staff in
Washington and the regional offices?
Here's the way the regional offices were set
up. We appointed right from my own office, the
- 221 -
Bane: regional director. And he was responsible
directly to me. Then we'd have a public as
sistance representative in that office. I
would ask Jane to designate a public as
Is that public assistance rep
resentative in that regional office primarily
responsible to the regional director of that
office or is he primarily responsible to the
Director of the Bureau of Public Assistance,
Jane Hoey in Washington? And the same thing
So I drew up executive order number eleven.
I did that early in 1936. I left the Social
Security Board in the fall of 1938. In that
time I had rewritten executive order number
eleven at least five times to try to solve
that problem. I'm not certain it was in any
better shape when I left than it was when I
Leiby: Why was it such a problem? In theory?
Bane: In theory it's not such a problem. Representa
tives should be responsible to the regional directors,
- 222 -
Bane: The regional director should run his office
and be in charge of it. But the regional
director is a general practitioner. And
these representatives of the various bureaus
and divisions are specialists. As Jane Hoey
used to say, "What does that regional director
know about this technical problem of social
welfare? He has no basis for judgement."
Her favorite phrase was "no basis for judge
ment." Tfce same thing would happen with
the lawyers time and again. They would say,
"He's a grand administrator but he doesn't
understand the legal aspects and ramifications
of this problem." And constantly I was having
to settle that kind of an argument.
Leiby: There's a problem in a state and one of the
field representatives, the person from public
assistance, for example, would go out and say,
"The standards of adequacy are really very bad , "
or something like that. Then they'd come back
to the regional office and they'd, presumably,
report this to the regional director. But the
regional director is a general practitioner.
- 223 -
Leiby: Were these fellows under Civil Service?
Bane: Oh yes.
Leiby: But at any rate he would probably be closer,..
Bane: To the administrative aspects, financial as
pects of the problem.
Leiby: And to the state authorities.
Bane : Yea .
Leiby: Did they ever have anything to do to clear
this guy and complain about him?
Bane: Oh yes. We had decided who we would appoint as
Regional Director. I would frequently consult
the Senator in the state in which the regional
office was going to be located. I'd tell him
we're going to appoint so and so and that we
planned to make the announcement next week,
which would give him an opportunity to...
Leiby: Well, it's only decent to talk to a Senator
when you're going to make an appointment.
Bane: Back to your question, the public assist
ance representative would think
something definite should be done.
- 224 -
Bane: The regional director would say, "You just
don't push these people around you understand,
We're going to have to take this thing
gradually. This is new." Well, maybe the
public assistance representative was en
thusiastic, impatient, and suffering from
a bit of frustration. Maybe she'd been out
there before and come back with the same re
port. Then she'd get in touch with her
Washington bureau. And then, of course,
Jane would come in to see me. Of course,
I would call the regional director. And
pretty soon we would have a nice little
donnybrook going . This always hap
pens in every new agency when you're starting
from the ground up. You have to settle
down and not only establish precedents, but
you have to become used to each other. And
you have to learn to devise ways and means to
keep your elbows and knees out of the other
leiby: What strikes me is that although this is awk-
ward for administrators, nevertheless in the
- 225 -
long run it's a good idea to have a number
of points of view on a subject and have a
number of courses of action.
Why, of course.
So this was not really so bad after all.
Of course it might be that occasionally the
public assistance person was right.
Yes. And occasionally we'd have exactly the
same situation develop in exactly the same way
between the regional director and the auditor.
Those were the fighting points.
You really used the auditor as a kind of
And then the auditor might very well come back
and talk to the public assistance person.
Yes. And you'd go out and check on this.
When they didn't agree it always landed on
- 226 -
Leaving the Social Security Board
Leiby: Could you say something about leaving the
Social Security Board?
Bane: That's something else that just happened.
I had no idea of leaving the Social Security
Leiby: You looked upon this, hopefully, as a long
Bane: Yes, I thought I was going to be there for a
number of years.
In August, 1938 the American Bar
Association met in Cleveland and I
got a telephone call from Henry
Toll, who was Executive Director of the
Council of State Governments . H e asked me to
meet him in Cleveland. I thought he wanted
to talk to me about something having to do with
social security. Or I thought maybe he wanted
me to talk at a group meeting of the Bar As
sociation on this subject. So I went over and
I found he had something else in mind. K e told
- 227 -
Bane: me he was going to retire in the next month
or so and he offered me the job as Executive
Director of the Council of State Governments.
He told me he'd checked with the governors and
the board and so on. I said, "Let me think
about that a while."
I began to get calls from the governors
I'd worked with first in the American Public
Welfare Association, then in relief, and then
in social security. They said they under
stood that I'd been offered this job and would
I consider it carefully and seriously. They
said, it's urgent that you by all means ac
cept it. So I agreed to give Toll an answer
in the usual week.
Mrs. Bane and I talked it over at length.
I talked with the Board. I talked with the
people over at the White House, Mclntyre
mostly. And we finally decided to take the
job with the Council of State Governments.
Social security was operating, it was a
had a growing family. I'd come to
- 228 -
Bane: Washington at some sacrifice in salary. My
children were now going to private schools.
The future looked better with the Council of
State Governments than it did with the Social
Leiby: You mean financially?
Bane: Financially, And I've always liked to promote
things, start things, expand things. The Gov
ernors' Conference had just agreed to combine
its operations with the Council of State Gov
ernments, They both offered me the job, urged
me to take it,
Leiby: So substantially then, it was, in the first
place, a financial advantage and also a new
Reflections on Policy and Administration
Leiby: I have one more general sort of question. I'm
interested in this business about policy and
administration. You say now that you think
it's very hard to separate these. Could you
give me any example of a case earlier in the
- 229 -
Leiby: Social Security Administration when the really
necessary connection between policy and ad
ministration came up?
Bane: Let me discuss it briefly from this point of
view. If you have a board in this kind of a
situation, the better the board is individual
qualifications of the individual members the
worse it is. Because a good man dealing with
a problem in which he's enormously interested
wants to work at it and work at it strenuously.
And every board member was interested, as the
Children's Bureau used to say, "In the total
child." (Laughter) People would come in to
see them about personnel, or about what had
happened in a state. And they would dis
cuss it. And pretty soon implied commitments
would be made. And people would come in and
talk to me as Executive Director as to what
should be done about amendments and so on.
That was essentially something which eventually
would be decided by the board. They go out of
my office with certain ideas as to what I
thought of it. And again and again we found
- 230 -
Bane: that administration and policy were inter
twined. Governor Winant was the type of
person who liked to work late at night, like
Winston Churchill, and get up late in the
morning. I was in the office every morning at
about eight o'clock and I was used to going to
bed early. Occasionally I used
to tell the Governor after he'd called me up
and asked me to come over and we had talked until
one or two o'clock in the morning, that he'd
make a nervous wreck out of me. (Laughter)
Leiby: Would it be fair to sum it up by saying that
board members tend naturally to want to be
come executive vice presidents, because
Bane: Yes. Because they're interested, because
they're able, and because whatever the ar
rangement is, if they're on the board and somebody
oomes in to see them the visitor thinks he
is a responsible executive on this job.
Leiby i And Executive Directors tend to want to be
come board members.
Bane: Just the same way.
- 231 -
Leiby: You're close to the situation.
Bane: Yes. My judgment, on the basia of the many errors
and mistakes that I made in this field, is
that you can't effectively separate policy
- 232 -
Reflections on Policy and Administration
(Interview of January 14, 1965)
Leiby: At the end of our last meeting you made the
striking statement that the better a board
is , the worse it is in the sense that the
Bane: Meaning by that that the more competent, the
more able, the more energetic, the more dedi
cated a board member is to his task, if
it's a board operating through an executive
director, the more you have a situation pieces*
sarily and, I think, inevitably, where you
have proliferated directorship. The board
members, if they're able and competent, al
beit they're supposed to deal exclusively
with policy, policy gets into administration
and they can't avoid it. And, on the other
side, an executive director can't possibly
avoid doing things time and time again that
- 233 -
Bane: infringe upon the policy making prerogative,
be it board or commission. And in many instances
inadvertently his executive action will deter
mine policy. Because the board will find it-
self in the position, as the board did with me
once in the Social Security Administration, to
either stand by the executive director in what
he has done which is really maTrlng policy or
get another executive director.
Leiby: Could you say more about that occasion?
Bane: Yes. It's written up quite extensively, in
cidentally, in Professor Joseph P. Harris*
book, The Advice ft ftd Consent of the Senate*
Professor Harris is now here in Berkeley, he
was for twenty odd years a professor of
political science at the University of
California. He's now professor emeritus here.
In 1937 we had a controversy the
Social Security Board with the United
States Senate , which I had some
thing to do with instigating. You must
remember that I was younger in those days than
I am now. And perhaps under present oiroum-
- 234 -
Bane: stances, having acquired as much experience as
I have, and , you know, you acquire experience
as a result of your bad judgement, I might have
done differently. But when we set up the
Social Security Administration we were very
conscious of the fact that we were doing some
thing brand new, very large, and very signif
icant in the lives of the American people*
We wanted to do it right. w e insisted
that people should be employed solely on the
basis of competence and ability and insofar as
certain experts were concerned, which were not
under Civil Service, we wrote our own personnel
requirements. I wrote them, the board approved
them. We distributed them to the bureau di
rectors and said, "You be certain to follow
these instructions in this personnel manual. 11
Some time after that a distinguished
Senator, one of the most distinguished persons
in the Senate, Senator Carter Glass of Virginia,
my Senator I had known him since I was a
boy and incidentally he was Chairman of the
Senate Appropriations Committee
- 235 -
Bant: ame to: see me about appointing
a certain person to a job as an expert in
Public Assistance, I hasten to say that
Senator Glass was not a politician in the
usual, curbstone sense of the word. H c was
not interested in patronage and never had
been. But the Senator, bless his heart, was
eleemosynary. (Laughter) A friend of his
had come to see him who, incidentally, was
not a resident of Virginia. She was a resident
of Tennessee. He had known her through
his wife. She was a widow with several chil
dren. Sne came to see the Senator and
told Mm that she wanted a job with
the Social Security Board. The Senator
assured her that he would do everything he
could. And so he came to see me about it.
We looked her up, investigated her care
fully. The only job in welfare that she'd
ever had was as a $1,200 a year ease assistant
in the District of Columbia Welfare Department..
for about six months. I carefully explained to
- 236 -
Bane: the Senator that she was not competent In
this field* She was not experienced enough
to be appointed as an expert, and we couldn't
recommend her* We couldn't appoint her*
I thought the matter was settled. Some
time later he raised the question with me
again* And I told him I would look into it
a second time, which I did. Some weeks
later he came by the office* Previous to
that I had been going usually up to see him
at his request* He sat down and said, "Frank,
when are you going to make this appointment?"
The Senator was getting along in years at
that time. And I thought, very mistakenly,
that he had probably forgotten some of our
previous conversations. He had not. I went
through the whole file and the whole rigmarole
of the discussion again. He sat patiently
and listened. When I got through the
Senator said, "Yes Prank, that's very in
teresting. I've heard it all before. But
when are you going to make this appointment?"
He said, "I want a yes or no answer. Are you
- 237 -
Bane: going to make this appointment or are you not?"
I had written these personnel
standards. I had recommended their adoption
by the board. I had insisted that our bureau
chiefs govern themselves accordingly. The
only place that I could appoint this person
would be in one of the bureaus. And the only
excuse that I could give the bureau chief for
suggesting the appointment, was that my own
senator had recommended it. I was of the
opinion that were I to make such a suggestion
on such a basis, that I wouldn't have too
much influence thereafter with our bureau
chiefs. So I replied briefly, "Senator,
we've known each other for many years, since
I was a boy. I have valued your good
opinion but if you insist upon a yes or no
answer, the answer has to be no for the rea
sons that I've said." The Senator walked out
and as he left he said, "Very well Mr.
Bane" I'd become Mr. Bane "I shall govern
myself accordingly." He did!
. 238 -
Bane: When our budget came before the Ap
propriations Committee he cut $500 out of
my own individual salary and he cut
ten million odd dollars, as I recall, out
of our appropriation. How you see what the
Executive Officer had done to the Social
Security Board, its policy, and its program.
As a result of this action I was way over in
policy and program* We would have to re
adjust all of our affairs because of this action.
An interesting sidelight on that was that, to
repeat, in those days social security was nev/.
There were very few people in cengress who
knew anything about it except in the most
general fashion. The amount that the senate sub
committee had cut out of our appropriation came
out of administrative grants by the federal
government to the states for the operation
and administration of unemployment compensa
tion. When they did that I almost bit my
tongue to insure that I would keep
quiet, very quiet, make no comment and no
protest. The appropriation bill went back
- 239 -
Bane: to the house. By that time every state had
been alerted to the fact that they had lost
about half the appropriation they were
going to get to administer their own unemploy
ment compensation programs. They all screamed
to high heaven. And of course it was all
put back. That's an example of what can
happen inadvertently and without plan, but
nevertheless is an instance of an executive
action infringing upon policy and program.
Leiby: Not intentionally, quite indirectly.
Bane: Yes. Not intentionally at all. We could name a
number of similar instances where the ac
tion of a board member hampers to a consider
able extent, at least complicates, the opera
tion of an agency through its executive.
With all those things in mind and with
experience over a period of two years, when
the Commission on the Study of Executive
Management of the Federal Government con
sisting of Louis Brownlow as chairman,
Charles Merriam and Luther (Juliet went into
- 240 -
Bane: this matter they recommended the abolishment
of the board and the establishment in lieu
thereof of the Federal Social Security Agency.
Leiby: When did they make this study?
Bane: 1937. It went through congress in 1938, The
board was not entirely abolished. The board
was made the usual one, two stepinto an
executive and advisory board. An executive
officer was appointed with full authority to
administer programs. The "board reported to
him. That executive officer was Paul McNutt,
who had been Governor of Indiana,
Leiby: Was this after you had resigned?
Bane: Yes, it was after I left, I left in '38 and
congress passed the bill in the latter part of
'38 or early '39. It was in the middle of '39
that the actual change was made from the control
ling board, from the standpoint of policy and
program, over to a single-headed agency with the
board left in an operating and advisory capacity--
but subject to the executive officer of the agency.
Leiby: I should think in some ways an advisory board
- 241 -
Leiby: could be a great help*.
Bane: An advisory board is a great help. It's
an enormous help to any executive in three
or four areas. One: it's a cushion between
the executive and the general public and
between the executive and the legislature.
He can always use the advisory board as a
friend at court, so to speak to testify for
his legislation, to issue statements to the
press, to represent an understanding and
sympathetic public. Two: an advisory board
is also enormously valuable, if as and when
you run into a crisis.
Welfare departments are notorious for
having crises riots in penitentiaries, a
charge of murder through neglect in a hos
pital for the mentally ill, a child dies
under questionable circumstances in an in
stitution. That's the time that you thank
the Almighty for a good competent advisory
board that understands your troubles.
Leiby: And speak to the whole nation*
- 242 -
Leiby: You also might get advice from them.
Bane: Oh yes, you get advice from them constantly,
(Laughter) I don't mean that it's unsought
advice. It usually is advice that you seek.
And it usually is knowledgeable and sympa
thetic advice, if you have the right kind of
advisory "board. Occasionally you get on an
advisory board a person who might be unsympa
thetic, characterized as a busybody, that will
cause you a few minor headaches. It might cost
you some time smoothing over some ruffled feel
ings here and there. But on the whole an ad
visory committee's assets, in my judgment, far
exceed its liabilities,
Leiby: Did the Social Security Board continue to be
an advisory board?
Bane: It continued to be an operating and advisory
board until the Re -Organization Plan of 1946,
when the Board was abolished!
Leiby: I see. And then, presumably, H.E.W, set up
- 243 -
Leiby: another system*
Bane: Adrisory boards of one kind or another t
ad hoc boards.
Leiby: Ad hoc boards, I think, are good from an
administrator's point of view,
Bane: Again, not only for the reasons I've al
ready cited, but for other reasons*
n*nr* ea p** following!
***titiv Director, HaUon*l
of liw S*ticm*l
- 244 -
COUNCIL OF STATE GOVERNMENTS
Organizing the Council
Leiby: Would you say something now about the
beginning of your work with the Governors'
Bane: At the last interview I mentioned the fact
that I got a telephone oall from Henry Toll,
who was Director of the Council of State
Governments, to meet him in Cleveland*
The upshot of that, after talking with the
governors and the board, was that I took
the position of Director of the Council of
State Governments with the understanding,
which Toll had engineered, and with the
implied agreement of the governors who had
called me, that the Governors' Conference
would consolidate itself with the
Council of State Governments. That is, it
would come into the Council of State Govern
- 245 -
Leiby: Could you say something about the back
grounds of these two institutions?
Bane: Yes, The Council of State Governments
had been up until two years before I
went with it , the American
Legislators' Association, it had been
getting foundation grants and a little
money, very very little, from states
themselves. It was concerned primarily
with, uniform legislation.
Bane: Standardized legislation in certain major
areas as among the several states.
Leiby: Their main interest was divorce or family?
Bane: Divorce, commercial codes, juvenile proba
tion, non-support, returning what has been
ailed so many times runaway fathers, and
things of that kind. That had been their
Leiby: Who was their director?
Bane: Henry Toll from Denver, Colorado.
Leiby: He was a lawyer, I believe.
Bane: He was a lawyer and he had been a State
- 246 -
Bane: Senator in Colorado, a very able man,
But he had to return to his own law prac
tice. His senior partners had died, so
he resigned, And they were looking for an
other director. And that's how I happened
to go with the Council of State Governments.
To repeat, my first interest was to
consolidate the Governors' Conference, which
just had a part-time secretary, with the
Council, which had by now a very competent
albeit small staff. The Governors'
Conference came into a cooperative arrange
ment with the Council of State Governments
in December, 1938 or January, 1939.
Leiby: What was the Governors' Conference?
Bane: The Governors' Conference was started in
1908 at the instigation of Theodore
Roosevelt, then President, who had been
before, as you know, Governor of the State
of New York. Roosevelt was greatly in
terested in conservation. He called all
the governors together to talk about con
servation. The governors had never before
- 247 -
Bane: worked together In one group*
They met at the White House. They
liked meeting together. So then and
there they decided to develop a continuing
organization known as the Governors'
Conference. It went along for years
as a conference that met once a year with
a part-time secretary that developed a
program dealing with some matter of major
interest to all of the states. It was
just a casual sort of an organization.
In 1938 and *39 the Governors* Con
ference was beginning to think it should
be much, more than just a conference; that
it should be an operating organization;
that it should have a research staff; that
it should have an action staff that would
render various services to the states in
such areas as budgeting and account
ing, personnel and planning and what not.
Leiby: Welfare service.
Bane: Welfare. As a matter of fact the idea grew
very largely out of welfare because of
- 248 -
Bane: experiences in the depression.
Leiby: It reflects the rising importance of state
Bane: Exactly. -And the rising importance of fed
eral-state activities the development of,
shall I say, cooperative federalism*
Toll had initially suggested and I pro
moted with everything that I could the con
solidation of these two agencies. The Gov
ernors 1 Conference voted for it. And im
mediately because of their strength and their
financial situation, their status and prestige,
the Council of State Governments sky
Leiby: Yes. Instead of having a group of state
legislators who are notoriously dubious
Bane: Well, I'd take some exception to that.
Leiby: But a governor is a potential presidential
Bane: And then, speaking administratively, when we
- 249 -
Bane: were working through legislators you had to
work through a commission or a board or a
committee. As soon as the governors came
with us and were well coordinated within
the structure of the Council, our financial
troubles began to ease* We could deal in
each state with one personI'm talking
about administrative procedures and fi
nance. We had only to deal with the gov.
ernors. We were strenuously advocating
and promoting the executive budget* The
governor made up the executive budget. If
you wanted a state to contribute to the
Council of State Governments, you had to
sell only one man; not go before a committee
in the house and the senate and so on as
previously. And I learned, to my great
delight, that it was almost as dif
ficult to get an item out of the gov
ernor's budget as it was to get it in in
itially. Once the governor put your ap-
- 250 -
Bane: propriation Into his budget, you were set.
Leiby: Would you say something about the finance
of the new organization?
Bane: When I went with the Council they had a
budget of approximately $100,000, of which
about $87 t 000 was furnished by the Spelman
Fund. About $12, 000-15 t 000 came from all
the states combined*
Leiby: In what way was this assessed?
Bane: It wasn't assessed. You went before the state leg*
islature; you talked to the House Appropria
tions Committee; then you went over and you
talked to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
And you hoped and prayed for the best.
Leiby: You pleaded.
Bane: You pleaded with hat in hand and sometimes
heart in mouth, as you thought about the
staff back home and the upcoming pay day.
You got very little money for an excruciating
expenditure of time and energy*
Leiby: Who did contribute?
Bane: In those days just five or six
states were actually contributing any-
- 251 -
Bane: thing that amounted to much, I mean, a
few thousand dollars. There were a few
others that would contribute around two
hundred fifty dollars. The state that con
tributed the most in 1938 was &ew York State.
And as I recall its appropriation was 15*000.
Virginia had about $1,500 in; South Carolina,
interestingly enoughbecause of a gentleman
by the name of Edgar Brown, who was president
pro tern of the South Carolina Senate and
chairman of the Finance Committee
In other words, in those days,
you got money from a state if you had an in
fluential legislator who would really see
that you got it, as Brown did in South Carolina
or a person like Morrisett in Virginia. But once
the governors came into the picture it was
Leiby: Whose idea was it to bring the governors in?
Bane: Henry Toll's, initially. I inherited it.
So the governors came in. This would
interest you, we had an excellent executive
- 252 -
Bane: committee in the latter part of 1939 and
early 1940. At one executive committee
meeting I suggested that the states either
wanted a Council of State Governments or
they didn't. They either wanted a compe
tent research and service agency, or they
didn't. The fact that the states should
be running around to the foundations getting
little dabs of money for this, that, and
the other seemed to me to border on the
It was then and there proposed that
we write to the Spelman Fund and tell them
how much we had appreciated their help over
the years, what a grand demonstration job
they had done, but tell them as of next July
first we would ask for no more money, and
send a copy of the letter to each of the
governors. It was suggested that we also
write the governors that if they wanted an
agency they should support it and support
it adequately and suggest a scale of ap
propriations on the part of the states.
- 253 -
Bane: I remember we used Pennsylvania as the
"Keystone State" in working out a formula
solely on the basis of population. Then we
told them that the budget which we then had
was around $100,000, which wasn't enough to
do what they wanted to do. So we asked the
states to appropriate approximately $200,000,
on the theory expressed by one of the gov
ernors "That you might as well be hung for a
hog as a shoat." (Laughter) To our great
amazement and delight the first year after
that, in 1940, the states appropriated
$170,000 to the Council. And it's been
going up and up and up ever since. The
Council now has an appropriation from the
states of about $650,000 or $700,000).
Leiby: There's a suggested assessment, I gather, on
the basis of population.
Bane: Pure suggestion solely on the basis of popu
lation. The Council has no authority to assess
anyone. But, of course, in applying this
suggestion you start with the states where you
have the best opportunity the big states, where
- 254 -
Bane: the money is. And you work from there.
"Tom did this, maybe you might consider doing
that." I remember the years when Dewey was
Governor of New York, we were expanding very
rapidly. Occasionally I would go to New York
to see him about the budget. New York's the
biggest state, largest appropriation, bell
wether, so to speak, from the money point of
view. I'd go in to see the Governor and I
would say, "Governor, you know these various
additional assignments that the Governors'
Conference has given to the Council the study
of mental health, the study of state and local
cooperation, the study of post-war reconstruc
tion and redevelopment" I would get just
about that far. He would say, "Frank, how
much money do you want?" I would say, "Governor,
to finance these various and sundry activities..."
"I asked you how much money you wanted," said
he. I would say, "$50,000." "Go down the
hall and John Burton will put it
in the budget. Good evening, come back and
see me again sometime."
- 255 -
Leiby: Governor Dewey backed this.
Bane: Oh, enthusiastically. And then, of course,
Governor Martin of Pennsylvania would be in
terested in what Governor Dewey had done.
Governor Driscoll would wonder what would
be New Jersey's proper share proportionally.
And the snowball would roll along nicely,
Leiby: Could you say something about your staff and
Bane: We had and they still have, incidentally, an
excellent staff. The people that we had on
our staff in the Council of State Governments
were people like Hugh Gallagher, Leo Seybold,
Brevard Crinfield, Elton McQuery, Herbert
Wiltze, Sidney Specter, Prank Smothers, Roy
Blakey, Morton Grodzins, William Fredrick,
John Seely, etc,
Leiby: How were they organized?
Bane: We had three regional or area offices. The
main office was in Chicago. When I started
out, we had a branch office in New York and
one in San Francisco. It's still here on
Sutter Street. It handles the Western part
of the country.
H, wllk M ?r*i<sa* of
- 256 -
Mobilizing State Governments Per War
Bane: The Council and the Governors'
Conference, like everybody else, got mixed
up in the most acute, urgent, demanding
emergency that we'd ever had, namely, the
coming of the Second World War. Whereupon
we opened up an additional branch office in
Washington, which is there now.
The Council participated in the organization
and administration of practically all of
the war agencies that relied upon state
participation and state cooperation to
The first one was a commission which
the President appointed in the late summer
of 1940 called the Emergency Commission for
Defense, the so-called Knudsen-Stettinius-
Hillman-Budd-Henderson Commission. It was de
signed to stimulate preparadness, to locate
and start to build powder factories, to locate
and start to build cantonments, to or-
- 257 -
Bane: ganize scrap drives and things of that kind,
to help arrange for the administration of
the Selective Service System which was
administered by the states* The states
were indispensable units of our country
when it came to getting something done on
the local level and getting it done quickly.
The set-up was the President, then the gov
ernor, then an administrative officer in
every county and city under the governor.
You even had district administrations, ward
and district leaders under your city mayors
and your county supervisors. So, you had
a government from the President all the way
down to the smallest district in the country,
And you could move the whole governmental
machinery by, figuratively speaking, just
pressing a button which we did. Most
of the work of the Council of State Gov
ernments from 1940 to 1945 had to do with
the war effort and how you could use that
The Council and the governors in an
- 258 -
Bane: emergency situation is best illustrated, I
think, by how we set up rationing in this
country immediately after Pearl Harbor.
The week after December 7th, was, of course,
another Sunday, December 14th. A meeting
was called secret, restricted. We
hadn't gotten as far, in those days, as
to have low secret and top secret. But a
secret meeting was called down at the then
Office of Price Control. About seven or
eight of us from various agencies were there.
We shut the door. We had the Capitol Police
at the door to see that no one came in ex
cept the experts with their charts and
They came in and set them up and in
formed us that what we had thought was a
have nation, the United States, was decidedly
a have not nation. That in one area, rubber,
we didn't have enough rubber to take care of
even the army's needs for a year and a half.
We were completely cut off from all of our
- 259 -
Bane: rubber supply Malaya, Burma, the Par
East. And we had no such thing in this
country as synthetic rubber. They went
on to say that there would be other com
modities in short supply very quickly,
Leiby: Who were these experts?
Bane: One of the experts, who has been prominent
in recent years, who was head of the Price
Division in the Office of Price Administra
tion, was John Kenneth Galbraith. He's now
at Harvard and he wrote the book The Affluent
Society and was, later, Ambassador to India.
Another one of them was Ginsburg, who
is now a lawyer in Washington.
A third was Leon Henderson who was in
charge of price administration and control.
Leiby: They must have accumulated these facts ...
Bane: They had been accumulating these facts
through the Emergency Commission and through
- 260 -
Bane: the Office of Production Management. They
knew what the general situation was, with
respect to resources. It was an outgrowth
of the National Resources Planning
Board* They knew how much rubber
we had. But they weren't particularly
bothered about the situation before Pearl
Harbor because there had been no trouble
about supplies or transportation until our
supply-line was cut off completely im
mediately after Pearl Harbor. Then we
were in trouble. We had no such thing as
stockpiles, in those days. We had no stock
pile in rubber, except a little one.
It oould do for a year or so maybe!
So we had to set up a rationing admin
istration. The question was how to set it
up. It was agreed finally, after much argument
between the nationalists and the federalists,
shall I say. One group wanted to set up a
straight national system. And the other
said, "We have a system of government, let's
use it." I* was decided to use the federal
- 261 -
Leiby: Do you remember who took these various
Bane: The usual state group, of which I was kind
of the spokesman, took the federalists'
part* And we had a gentleman on the
legal staff of the Office of Price Admin
istration , Tom Emerson , now at Tale , who
was the primary advocate of the other side*
The next day we simply got on the telephone
and called all the governors and told them
that this was what we were going to do*
And they said, "How are you going to handle
it?" Then we came to the point. The
procedure was interesting.
We set up two long tables down the
middle of the floor with a flock of tele
phones on them. We gave each girl a
number of governors, starting alphabetically
A-B-C-and D-- so and so* And we told
the girls to make these calls* "Whenever
you get a governor on the line, raise your
- 262 -
Bane: hand." So you walked right around the table
and talked to them. (Laughter) The point
of the matter was we wanted to ask them a
favor, The favor when sugar became short
was that we wanted to borrow their en
tire public school system to register every
body in the United States, man, woman, and
child for ration books. So they could get
their proportional part of things like sugar,
which was a matter of distribution. Of
course, tires, rubber, was a matter of se
lection. So they agreed to lend us their
systems the entire school systems lock,
stock and barrel; from their Commissioners
of Education to their county or city super
intendents, to the principals of their
schools, to the rooms in their schools. The
schools were all manned by experts, as far
as we were concerned, namely teachers.
They could read and write and that was all
we wanted them to do in registering these
people. We registered, due to that organiza
tion, every man, woman and child in the United
- 263 -
Bane: States in three afternoons, Wednesday, Thursday
and Friday. We simply said on the radio
every day for three days, "Next Wednesday,
Thursday and Friday we're going to register
people for their rationing books to get cer
tain commodities, sugar for example If
your name begins with an A and ends in an H
you register on Wednesday afternoon at your
nearest schoolhouse." In those days we
had 269,000 sohoolhouses in the country-
one in reasonable distance of every individual.
"If your name begins with an H and runs through
to P or Q, you register on Thursday afternoon."
We repeated it and repeated it. I borrowed
from Mr. Roosevelt, "Now remember mj dear
friends, no registration, no ration book, no
sugar. It f s your problem. We're just try
ing to take care of you. But we can't if
you don't register." (Laughter) We did
the whole thing in three afternoons* An
acute situation which you could handle through
the existing machinery of government that
reached every individual in the United States.
- 264 -
Leity: There was some problem about manpower, too, I sup
Bane: Yes. There had been a great controversy when we
set up the Social Security System, as I mentioned
before, between the people who thought the employ
ment offices and unemployment compensation should
Tie national and other people who thought it should
be a national policy and a national program but
state administered. The state plan was adopted
there also. So the employment offices were state
offices, supervised by the federal government,
but administered by the states.
When the President wished to set up the
War Manpower Commission he called the Executive
Committee of the Governors' Conference and asked
them to loan to him, the national government, all
the employment offices for the duration of the
emergency. He was going to set up the War Man-
Power Commission, in order to shift people
rapidly all over the country when and where
needed. The governors, of course, agree .
But the governors had been around,
of them were experienced. They knew that times
- 265 -
Bane: do change and that wars do end. So they were eare-
ful to put this agreement with the President into
writing. The President requested, in writing, the
loan of the employment offices for the duration--
with the understanding that they would be returned
at the expiration of the emergency to the states to
be state administered. The governors acknowledged
the letter and quoted from the President's letter so
there could be no misunderstanding whatsoever. In
the due course of human events President Roosevelt
died, the war was over, a reasonable time had
elapsed, the acute emergency had been declared no
longer to exist, so the Executive Committee of the
Governors' Conference went to see then -President
Truman with the letter , and requested the return
of the employment offices to the states.
The President, of course, didn't know what
the committee wanted to see him about. They had just
wired, asking to come in and see him. He
hadn't been President long enough to know the in
tricacies of what was involved in this. So when
the governors talked with him he said, "Why sure,
I wish there were some more things the states would
- 266 -
Bane: take over and relieve the federal government
of all of this pressure," The Governors'
Committee went out with that understanding*
But as we walked out , one of the governors
said to another , "What does that mean?"
The other governor said , "It doesn't mean
anything* The President doesn't know any
thing about this* He wasn't "briefed on
it. Wait until Paul Moffutt and the rest
of the people have a chance to get to the
President and it will be different."
(Laughter) It was.
We introduced a bill in Congress, which
was passed easily, to return the employ
ment offices to the states. The President
vetoed it* Congress adjourned. The next
year when Congress reconvened we again in
troduced what might be called a bill to
return the employment offices to the states.
It was not a bill. It was an amendment to
the Appropriations Act a rider which
passed. Of course , the President won't
- 267 -
Bane: veto an appropriation act. So the employ
ment offices were returned to the states*
Leiby: V?hat did MeNutt tell the President that
made him change his mind?
Bane: McNutt told the President: (l) The employ
ment service should never have been a federal-
state system in the first place ; (2) They
had had now four or five years of administer
ing it as a national system. It was a
cracker jack system, handling the problem
admirably. We were going to need a good
system in the reconstruction and reconversion
period just as much as we did during the war
years. It would be the height of folly to
upset the existing mechanism. And further
more I'm reasonably certain you see I'm
just imagining; I'm thinking what I would
have told the President had I been in McNutt 's
position Mr. McNutt probably told him that
many of the states really weren't competent
to do this job and we would get a hodge
- 268 -
Bane: podge and a patchwork 'business , and that
he must not under any circumstances go
through with this agreement. It would
"be really just a plain calamity. I'm
certain the President was convinced that
he was right. And that's why he vetoed
Leiby: What sort of response did you make to this?
Bane: We didn't make any response to the veto
because it was a pocket veto. Congress
Leiby: He dodged the issue.
Bane: I wouldn't put it that way. There was no
point in discussing it because everybody's
mind was made up on all sides. So what we
did was to draft a proposed amendment a
rider to the Appropriations Bill. We
got some people in the House, on Ways and
Means and the Appropriations Committees
and on the Senate side, some former gov-
- 269 -
Bane: ernors now Senators to introduce this
amendment. It passed with very little
trouble. Some of the people over at the
White House did ask me in a rather pointed
fashion what I as a political scientist
thought of an irrelevant rider being at
tached to an Appropriations Bill. And I
agreed that I thought it was bad practice,
very bad. (Laughter)
Leiby: I should imagine that as a former director
of the Social Security Administration you
would have had considerable sympathy with
the notion that state employment offices
might very well have stayed with the
Bane: Perhaps. I think I said to one of your
classes that whereas I urged and argued
very strenuously for the federal-state
system of unemployment compensation in 1935,
if I were rewriting the act today, I would
be in favor of a national system. Times
have changed. Industry is more and more
dispersed. Labor is much more mobile and be.
- 270 -
Bane: coming more and more so every year* I think
I'd go in that direction in 1965.
Leiby: During the war years, then, the Council of
State Governments and the Governors' Conference
were instrumental in mobilizing the resources
of state and local governments to serve the
national interest in fields critical to the
war emergency. This was rather an ideal situa
tion because the governors were not reluctant
to help; they were eager to help.
Bane: Yes, eager! Everybody, during the war, from
governor on down was asking everyone else just
one question, "What can I do?"
Official Positions During the War
Leiby: You held some official positions during the
war, as I remember.
Bane: Yes. I was Director, for a while, of the
Rationing Administration. I set it up* I
Leiby: You were on leave from the Council.
Bane: On all of these war assignments I was on leave.
- 271 -
Leiby: I see* You set up the Rationing Administration.
Bane: Yes. And I organized the initial Civil
Defense Administration; also the Home TTse
Division of the National Housing Administra
tion. All of those were three or six month
jobs. Then I'd go back to Chicago. But
by the time I got comfortably settled, maybe
a month or so , I'd get another call , "How
about coming down and taking on this short
assignment?" The short assignments, in
those days, were supposed to be two or
three weeks. They had a way of growing
into three to six months. The way to get
yourself released from a situation of that
kind was to put somebody in your office
that you knew could take over the Job and
gradually shift it to him. Then confront
the administrator with a fait accompli.
Leiby: During the war , then , your agency really
got established. Its prestige had sky'*
rocketed before the war , but during the
- 272 -
Leiby: war even more.
Bane: Yes. We got established and we got fi
nanced. It had the support of the
states. And it had prestige and status
in the country , especially in Con
Post War Activities of the Council
Mental Health Study
Leiby: What sort of activities did you turn to
after the war? Was there any discussion
Bane: Yes. We discussed various projects at
every annual board meeting outlined a
program for the upcoming year.
Leiby: Did any governors in particular stand out
in your mind?
Bane: For example, soon after the war we embarked
- 273 -
Bane: n a major study of mental health and mental
Leiby: I know that study well.
Bane: And the moving spirit behind that was the
Governor of Kansas. Kansas, as you remember,
jumped way out in the lead in the mental
health field, largely at the instigation of
the Menninger Clinic.
We spent a great deal of time and a
great deal of effort , with marked suc
cess in improving the situation in
mental health. We were ideally situated
the Council of State Governments -to do some
thing in mental health. We were thought of
as practical, able, knowledgeable politicians
who knew how to get along and work with gov
ernors and legislators not as social workers,
not as physicians, not as psychiatrists, not
as psychologists. This was a practical program,
So we could sell it. We had an excellent
mental health committee composed of the
best psychiatrists and technicians in
- 274 -
Bane: the field to help us. They would help us ,
shall I say , manufacture a package. Our
job was to take that package and sell it;
We sold it to a great many states*
Leiby: Who suggested the outline of the investiga
tion and discussion , do you remember?
Bane: I think it probably grew out of discus
sions in our staff and the experience of
some of our staff. Of course , I car
ried over into the Council of State Gov
ernments my experience of twenty odd
years in welfare and welfare administra
tion. So the Council of State Govern
ments became for a while , not inten
tionally , but because I couldn't for
get my other jobs , an action group
for the American Public Welfare Associ
Leiby: Yes, that's just what I was going to say.
Bane: We were in the same building. And occasionally,
- 275 -
Bane: after Loula Dunn "became Welfare Director,
in fact when Pred Hoeler was Director of
the American Public Welfare Association, I
developed a kind of a habit. Their office was
on the fourth floor and mine was on the
second* I would get letters asking
me what I thought of certain wel
fare programs . I would write on
top of the letter , "Fred" or , later ,
"Loula The attached please tell
me what I think." And they would
tell me what they thought we should do,
Leiby: "?he closest kind of cooperation.
Bane: Close, close relationship.
Leiby: The American Public Welfare Association spoke
for welfare administrators primarily. That
was their main interest. And , of
course , they're mostly interested
in public assistance.
Bane: Yes, they were thought of naturally,
as a special interest group.
Leiby: Primarily interested in public assistance rather
than mental health.
Bane: Yes We were thought of as an agency
- 276 -
Bane: primarily interested in government; knowledge
able in the realms of administrative and leg
islative procedures; and could give both the
legislators and the governors, hopefully, an
objective opinion and appraisal of a situation.
We had worked with them on budgets ,
setting up personnel and purchasing agencies,
things of that kind* We were administrative
Leiby: The axe you ground was administration, which
presumably serves everybody and balances a
variety of interests.
Bane : Yes .
Other Activities: Study of State
Leiby: What were some other investigations that you
Bane: We did an extensive one on higher education.
W had an excellent advisory committee, again,
as we had had on mental health.
Leiby: This was as a state service.
- 277 -
We did a major study on state purchas-
ing.That was an interesting one. We urged
every state to set up a state purchasing de
partment, a centralized purchasing agency.
And we said to the state legislatures , blatantly
and boldly, "If you set up these agencies and
work with us in operating them in a
cooperative group , we will guarantee to
save you five times, ten times, twenty
times as much money every year as you
have appropriated to us." It was the simplest
thing in the world.
First, we got all of the states except
one or two to set up purchasing agencies --
many of them already had them.
Then we established relationships among the
purchasing agents themselves, by getting them
all together. We set up a schedule
dealing with the usual commodities
that are purchased by states light bulbs,
automobiles, furniturewe started with a
hundred items in these various categories.
We urged each state to send us a report on
- 278 -
Bane: how much they paid for each of these com.
modities. And we circulated these reports
to all of the other purchasing agents. A
purchasing agent would look at this and
find out that in some instances he was
paying much more than the fellow next door
to him. These commodities were being sold,
many times, for all that the market would
bear. So pretty soon we got a standardized
low over most of the country. We saved the
states far more than they contributed to
the Council of State Governments on that
one single, simple operation.
Leiby: Very useful.
This hadn't been done before, partly,
I suppose because people didn't know about
it. But partly it was because it was in
volved in politics. Isn't that it?
Leiby: And what you did was to set up something
that was, in a way, both.
Bane: Yes. It was a research organization, an ad
ministrative organization, and a promotional
- 279 -
Bane: organization for such things as establishing
an executive budget, establishing centralized
purchasing, establishing a personnel office
in the office of the governor and directly
responsible to the governor , etc. ,
Summary: Public Welfare and Public
Leiby: Looking over the pattern a generation ago
in which you've been very much active in
both administration and public welfare, what
seem to you to be the most important trends
and developments in the field? And I'm
particularly interested in public welfare
Bane: In the welfare field, perhaps more than any
other area of government, the situation has
changed in fifty years. Prior to the First
World War, welfare was a minor interest of
- 280 -
Bane: government. It was the step-child of state
and local governments. True, local govern
ment had its overseers of the poor and its
almshouse to take care of people who were
judged to be already beyond redemption.
Bat no one paid much attention to it.
la this period of fifty years, welfare aa a
function of government, as a governmental
service, has literally passed from
the horse and buggy days that Roosevelt
used to refer to, to the rocket days that we
have now. Welfare is easily one of the four
major interests of all levels of government,
Bane: Education , highways , welfare , and
health that's where the money goes in
state governments , in the national govern
ment aside from defense- -and in local governments*
Welfare has hanged insofar as
operation and administration is concerned to
an assignment and a job that requires competent,
technical, trained, and able personnel rather
- 281 -
Bane: than the old overseer of the poor or the
old delightful lady bountiful. Now it's a
technical administrative job that requires
well trained people.
The operation has not only changed. The
extent of interest has not only changed.
Over and above the importance of activi
ties in particular fields, is the
change in philosophy in this country in-
sofar as welfare is concerned. Prior to the
First World War, welfare was regarded, to re.
peat, as a minor task for local government
largely thought of as straight out charity
to be used only in case of dire need. That
philosophy is gone and I think gone forever.
The American people have adopted a
philosophy with respect to welfare which
can be stated very succinctly and that is
that here in the United States today all
government federal, state, and local has
a direct, immediate, and continuing respon
sibility for the welfare of every individual
- 282 -
- 283 -
Abbott, Edith, 99,100,163
Abbott, Grace, 111, 116,119,120
Agricultural Adjustment Act, 201-202
Alabama Child Welfare Program, 91-92
Altmeyer, Arthur, 183,193,204,207,216
American Association of Public Welfare Officials, 172
American Bar Association, 226
American Legislators' Association, 135-136
American Municipal League, 135
American Political Science Association, 103,104,110,146
American Prison Association, 104
American Public Welfare Association, 111,115-122,123,125,
170-171 , 172-173 , 176 , 181 , 186 , 212 , 227 , 274-275
American Red Cross, 151,153,160-161
American Telephone and Telegraph Company, 122
Architects' Building, Washington, D.C., 121
Aronson, Henry, 203
Asay, Ivan, 149
Ashburn, , 78
Associated Charities: Richmond, Virginia, 13,18,35;
Knorville, Tennessee, 69; Philadelphia, Pen
Banning, , 196
Barkley, Senator Alben W., 209-210
Bates, Sanford, 77,93,199
Beeler, Roy, 65-66
Beers, Clifford, 54,87
- 284 -
Bennett, James, 198-199
Betters, Paul, 135
Bignall, Miss , 69
Blaisdell, Thomas, 197-198
Blakey, Hoy, 255
Bosh, Mrs. , 93
Bricker, Governor John, 217
Brookings Institute, 73,107,109
Brown, Edgar, 251
Brownlow, Louis, 26,56-58,59,60,61,62,64,66,76,79,113-115,
Brownlow, Mrs* Louis, 26
Burns, Allan, 152
Burton, John, 254
Byrd, Governor Harry, 17,41,43-44,45-50,71,74,78
Byrd, Richard Evelyn, 44
Cannon, James Bishop, 43
Capitol Police, 258
Car s tens, C.C., 88
Catholic Charities, 152, 192
Chamber of Commerce: Knorville, 60-61; Virginia, 78
Chandler, Governor A.B. , 209
Children's Bureau, 36,96,103,111,121,229
Child Welfare Association, 96
Child Welfare League of America, 88,89
City Housing Corporation, Hew York, 114
City manager form of government, 78-79
Civil Defense Administration, 271
Civil Works Administration, 160,164-165,168
- 285 -
Clague, Ewan, 197-198
Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, Los Angeles, 147
Commission on Study of Executive Management of the
Federal Government, 239-240
Committee on Economic Security, 149,176-177,179
Community Chest, 18,134,152
Conant, Richard, 111,116
Consulting in Public Administration, 104-110
Cotton, Dr. Henry, 39,42,55,87
Council of State Governments, 136,226,227,244-257,258-263,
Crinfield, Brevard, 255
Croxton, Frederick, 122,125,126,153
Davey, Governor Martin, 215,216
Davis, Governor Westmoreland, 24
Dawes, Charles Gates, 125
De Jarnette, Dr. Joseph, 39
Devine, Professor Edward T., 2,7
Dewey, Governor Thomas A., 254-255
Dinwiddie, Emily, 36
Drewry, Dr. W.F. , 10
Driscoll, Governor Alfred, 255
Dunn, Loula, 91-92,206,275
Du Pont, E.I. and Company, 85
Edgerton, , 65
Eliot, Charles, 195
Eliot, Thomas, 195,196
Ellis, John, 3, 76-77,93,104,111,116,120,145-146
Emergency Commission for Defense, 256-259
Emerson, Thomas, 261
- 286 -
Family Service Agency, 13,69,128,153
Family Welfare Agency, 13,96,134,151-152
Federal Emergency Relief Administration, 94-95,99,160,
Federal Highway Act of 1916, 85
Federal Social Security Board, 176,182-185,187-189,226,
Fernald, Dr. . 55
Folks, Homer, 88,89
Foundations: Carnegie Corporation, 126-127,128; Laura
Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Fund (changed to Spelman
Fund), 116,118,128,135,176-177; Russell Sage, 55
Fredrick, William, 255
Freeman, Douglas Southall, 102
Freeman, Dr, , 102
Galbraith, John Kenneth, 259
Gallagher, Hugh, 255
Garner, John Nance, 123,132
General Accounting Office, 213
Ginsburg, , 259
Glass, Senator Carter: Controversy with Social Security
Governors 1 Conference, 142,228,229,254,256,270: consolida
tion with Council of State Governments, 244,246-249?
state employment offices lent to federal government for
duration of war, 264-266; controversy with President
Truman over return of employment offices to states
after war, 266-269
Grants-in-aid , 180 , 209-210
Griff enhagen and Associates, 109
Grodzins, Morton, 255
- 287 -
Hagood, Dr. . 102
Hall, Dr. Albert, 107,109
Hamilton, Walton, 196-198,200
Hankins, May, 36,134
Harris, Professor Joseph, 233
Hart, Hastings, 55,86,89
Hart, Judge , 33,34-35
Hatcher, Dr. Samuel C., 6,10
Hazen, Professor Charles, 3
Heiser, Miss , 202
Henderson, Leon, 259
Herring, Governor Clyde, 108
Hibbs, Dr. , 13,14
Hindenburg, Paul Ton, 177
Hiring Social Workers, 97-103
Hitler, Adolph, 177
Hoeler, Fred, 113,275
Hoey, James, 191
Hoey, Jane, 191-193,204,205,207,221,222,224
Home Service, 153
Home Use Division of the National Housing Administration, 271
Hoover Committee on Emergency Employment, 100,117-118,120,
Hoover, President Herbert, 117
Hopkins, Harry, 91,94-95,99,150,163-164,166,169-170,173
Horner, Governor , 212-214
House, Professor Floyd, 73
House Appropriations Committee, 250,268
House Ways and Means Committee, 268
Hunter, Howard, 128,129.134.149,150,153
Hut chins, Robert Maynard, 163
Hospitals: Central State, Virginia, 10; Foxboro, Mas
sachusetts, 88; Knoxville General, 61-62; Trenton
State, 87; Western State, Virginia, 48
- 288 -
Ickes, Harold, 166,168,169
Illinois: reorganization of welfare department, 89-91;
difficulties with social security law, 211-214
Indiana Dunes, 181-182
International City Managers Association, 135
Iowa: study of state government, 90
James, Arthur, 12, 13
Johnson, Alex, 89
John s tone, Dr , 89
Joslin, , 117
Journals: Mental Hygiene, 87; Survey Magazine. 87;
Public Welfare News. 173-174
Kelly Field, Texas, 4,5
Kirchway, Dean George, 2,7,55,86
Kline, Dr, George, 55
Knight, Howard, 112,113,115
Knoxville, Tennessee: director of public welfare, 56-70,
Knudsen, William S., 256
la Du, Mrs. , 116
Langley Field, Virginia, 4,5
La timer, Murray, 194
League of Women Voters, 41
Lee, Porter, 100
Leet, Glen, 149
Leland, Simeon E. , 181-182
Lewis, Burdette, 128,129,133,141,153
Lilienthal, David, 188
Livingston, Louis, 148
Lonsdale, Robert, 128,149-150,153
Lowden, Governor Prank, 90
- 289 -
Maine: study of state government, 106-107
Mapp, , 43
Martin, Governor Edward, 255
Mast in, Dr. J.P., 6-7,8,14-15
Mclntyre, Marvin, 182,184,227
McMillen, Wayne, 157
McNutt, Paul, 240-243,266-269
McQuery, Elton, 255
Mencken, H.L., 43
Mental Health Study, 272-274
Meriam, Lewis, 107-108
Merit system, 207-210; amendment to Social Security Act
of 1937, 209-210
Merriam, Charles, 163,186,239-240
Miles, Vi ncen t, 183,216
Mitchel Administration, New York, 133
Moffett, Guy, 186
Morgan, Arthur, 188
Morgan, Harcourt, 188
Morrisett, , 251
Mulliner, Maurine, 189
Munro, Professor John A., 73
National Committee for Mental Hygiene, 87
National Conference of Charities and Corrections, 93,103,112
National Conference of Social Work, 93-96,104,109-110,111,
112-113,115,192; Public Welfare Officials Section (Division
National Institute of Public Administration, 45-49,50-53,73,
National Mental Health Committee, 54
National Recovery Act, 201
- 290 -
National Resources Board, 260
National Youth Administration, 131
New Jersey Department of Institutions and Agencies, 136
New Jersey State Board of Welfare, 14
New York State Charities Aid Association, 88,89
Office of Price Administration, 259,261
Office of Price Control, 258
Office of Production Management, 260
O'Grady, Father, 152,154,159-160
Ohio: Labor Department, 153; and difficulties with
social security law, 214-218
Oklahoma: and difficulties with social security law, 218
Payne, Judge , 151
Pearl Harbor, 258,260
Perkins, Prances, 150,183,187,195
Persons, Prank, 128,129,133,149,150
Petit, Walter, 100
Policy and Administration: interconnection, 228-231,
Pollard, Governor John, 120
Potter, Ellen, 137
Powell, , 107
President's Emergency Fund, 173
Prisons, Bureau of, 198-199
Public Administration Clearinghouse, 135
Public Administration in the 1920s, 75-96
Public Welfare: changes in over a 50 year period, 279-281
Pulitzer Prize, 209
- 291 -
Radburn, New Jersey, 114
Rationing: administration of, 258-263,270-271
Reconstruction Finance Act, 123-124
Reconstruction Finance Corporation, 123-126,129,131
Reid, W.T., 45
Relief: direct vs. work relief, 161-171; emergency
relief, 122-148,170 (federal relief, 123-124; state
programs, 125-148); Federal Emergency Relief Admin
istration, 94-95,99,160,165,170; private vs.
public relief controversy, 150-161 (private, 151-152,
153,157-158; public, 152-153,154-159); Reconstruction
Finance Corporation, 123-126,129,131; Temporary
Emergency Relief Administration, 151
Resnick, , 200
Richmond, Mary, 73
Ricks, Judge J. Hoge, 25-26
Ridley, , 130
Robinson, Senator Joseph, 123,132
Roosevelt, President Franklin Delano, 56,168,169-170,183,
Roosevelt, President Theodore, 246-247
Roseman, Alvin, 149,150
Ruml, Beard sley, 116,119,135,177,186
Saunders, Colonel John, 34
Schools and Colleges: Chicago School of ^ocial Service
Administration, 99; Chicago School of Social Work, 63,
173; Columbia University, 2,7,73,86; Harvard Univer
sity, 12,195,259; Johns Hopkins University, 102;
Nansemond County, Virginia school system, 4,5,7;
New York School of Social Work, 55,63,100,173; North
western University, 181; Randolph-Macon College, 1,6;
- 292 -
Schools and Colleges continued: Richmond School of Social
Work, 13? University of California, 147,197-198,233;
University of Chicago, 114,121,163-164,186; University
of Pittsburgh, 150; University of Tennessee, 188;
University of Texas, 5; University of Virginia, 71-74;
Washington University, 196; William and Mary College,
12,13-14; Yale University, 261
Seely, John, 255
Seiderman, Henry, 108
Senate Appropriations Committee, 234,238,250,268
Seybold, Leo, 255
Shepperson, Gay, 36
Sherwood, Robert, 162
Shotwell, Professor James, 3
Smothers, Frank, 255
Social Security Administration, 148,201,203,219-225,228,
Social Security Bill, 1935: 182; amendment to Social
Security Act, 1937, (merit system) 209-210
Social Security Program: survey of European social security
programs, 176,177-179; organization and personnel, 189-
203; Audits and Accounts Agency, 196; Bureau of
Business Management, 198-199; Bureau of Information,
200; Bureau of Old Age Insurance, 189-190,219;
Bureau of Public Assistance, 189-190,219,221; Bureau
of Research and Statistics, 196-198,200; Bureau of
Unemployment Compensation, 189-190,193,219; general
Specter, Sidney, 255
State Purchasing, Study of, 277-279
- 293 -
State Social Security: state plans, 203-211; problems
in various states, 211-218
State Welfare Organizations, 136-146
Stevenson, George, 54
Stevenson, Marietta, 36,121,134,148,173,174
Stokes, Tom, 208-209
Swift, Lynton, 128,152
Tate, Jack, 196
Teaching: Nansemond County, Virginia, 4,5; University
of Chicago, 186; University of Virginia, 71-74
Temporary Emergency Relief Administration, 151
Tennessee Valley Authority, 188,201
Thompson, Geraldine Livingston, 146
Toll, Henry, 226,244,245-246,248,251
Tramburg, John, 77
Truman, President Harry S., 265-269 (controversy over
return of employment offices to states)
Tunstall, Mrs. , 91-93
United Nations: Save the Children Foundation, 149;
United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration,
United Press, 208
United States Civil Service Commission, 200,223
United States Department of Health, Education, and
United States Department of Labor: 195; Bureau of Labor
Statistics, 197; Department of Labor Building, 187;
Employment Office, 150
United States Supreme Court, 201-202
- 294 -
Vineland Experiment, 89
Virginia: State Board of Charities and Corrections, 6-24;
politics in public welfare, 18-20) sheriffs and the
fee system, 17,19*22,2?; reorganization of State Board,
24-43; Children's Code Commission, 24-26,28-29,37;
Child Welfare Act, 25-42; State Department of Welfare,
13 f 17, 26, 28-29 j Byrd reorganization of Department of
Welfare, 44-55; State Highway Department, 85
Wagenet, Gordon, 193-194
Walker, James Otey, 64
War Manpower Commission, 264
Weigel, John, 214
Williams, Aubrey, 128,129,130-131,133-134,141,149-150,153,158
Williams, Judge , 67
Wiltze, Herbert, 255
Winant, Governor John, 182,184,185,197,204,207,216,230
Wisconsin: Department of Industrial Relations, 183
Witte, Ed, 179
Woods, Arthur, 117
Works Progress Administration, 131,160,165,169,208-209,214