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P roceedings
o f the

W h ite H ouse C onference on C hildren
in a D em ocracy
W ashington , D. C.
January 1 8 -2 0 ,1 9 4 0

Including the General Report Adopted
by the Conference


Children’s Bureau Publication No. 266


U sS c
Reserve Bank of St. Louis




tos/ £

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

F rances Perkins, Secretary
CHILDREN’ S BUREAU * K atharine F. L enroot, Chief




a s h in g t o n


D . C.

January 18-20,1940

Including the General Report Adopted
by the Conference

Bureau Publication No. 266


For sale by the Superintendent o f Documents, Washington, D . C.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Price 25 cents
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Foreword, by Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor----------------------------------


General Session—January 18
Opening statement by the chairman____________________________________
Plans for Conference procedure, by Katharine F. Lenroot________________
Presentation of the General Report for consideration by the Conference,
by Homer Folks_____________________________________________________
Discussion by members o f the Planning and Report Committees__________
Elisabeth Christman_______________________________________________
Katharine Dummer Fisher____________________________________________
A. Graeme Mitchell, M. D_____________________________________________
W. R. Ogg____________________________________________________________
Floyd W. Reeves___________________________________________________
C.-E. A. Winslow_____________________________________________


A fternoon Session—January 18
Group meetings______________________________________


Morning Session— January 19
Opening statement by the chairman_____________ - _______________________
Remarks by Hon. Milburn L. Wilson, Under Secretary of Agriculture------Remarks by Josephine Roche, chairman, the Interdepartmental Committee
To Coordinate Health and Welfare Activities___________________________


Afternoon Session—January 19
Discussion of and action on the General Report__________________________


Session at the W hite H ouse—January 19
Opening remarks by the chairman of the Conference_____________________
The significance of the Conference to parents,by Mrs. H.W. Ahart________
The Conference report and program o f action, by Homer Folks____________
Address by the President of the United States__________________________


T ranslating the Conference R eport I nto A ction—January 20
Opening remarks by the chairman of the Conference______________________
Plans for Nation-wide consideration and action. Report of the Conference
Committee on the Follow-Up Program, by Mrs. Saidie Orr Dunbar_____
The responsibility of the individual and the community, by Mrs. Franklin
D. Roosevelt-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------83
The responsibility of government, by Frank Bane___________________________
Address by the Federal Security Administrator, Paul V. McNutt____________
Organization and members of the Conference______________________________
General Report adopted by the White House Conference on Children in
a Democracy--------------- ------------------------------------------------- following page
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

The proceedings o f the sessions of the White House Conference on
Children in a Democracy held in Washington, January 18 to 20,1940,
including the addresses and brief summaries o f the informal discus­
sions which constituted the chief part o f the program, together with
the General Report adopted by the Conference on January 19, 1940,
constitute a record whose significance has been greatly intensified by
the testing to which all democratic institutions have been subjected
in the months since the Conference was held. The work o f the
Conference began early in 1939, and plans were given shape at an
initial session held in the White House in April o f that year.1 On
October 11,1939, a letter was received from the President which read,
in part, as follow s:
It was with great satisfaction that I learned o f the recommendation o f the
Planning Committee o f the Conference, adopted on October 5, that the Conference
be called into session from January 18 to 20,1940, and that the Report Committee
have ready for submission at that time a report containing its major conclusions
and suggestions for a follow-up program. I am in hearty accord with the
statement o f the Planning Committee to the effect that events in Europe must
not be allowed to divert the attention o f the American people from the task of
strengthening our democracy from within, and that the needs of childhood re­
quire particular attention at the present time, w ill you, therefore, ask the
Planning Committee to proceed with arrangements for a meeting o f the Confer­
ence on the dates specified?

The Conference has been, indeed, a demonstration o f democracy at
work, using government as the servant o f the people, facilitating the
work o f citizens representing many different interests and points o f
view, who have given their time in many days o f committee and con­
sultation work and have reached general agreement concerning the
aims o f our democracy fo r its children and the dependence o f our
civilization upon the bodily health, the mental vigor, and the integrity
and moral fibre o f the younger generation.
Since the Conference was held, a National Citizens Committee and
a Federal Interagency Committee have been organized to give leader­
ship in the follow-up program, which will be the test o f the value o f
the whole undertaking. Movements for the organization o f State
follow-up activities are under way in many States. In declarations
on child conservation and national defense adopted by the National
Citizens Committee on June IT, 1940, the committee affirmed its con­
viction that the program adopted by the Conference will make for
the national unity so sorely needed at this time and will strengthen
the democratic institutions o f our country.



e r k in s .

1 Conference on Children in a Democracy—Papers and Discussions at the Initial Session,
April 26, 1939. Children’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor, Washington, 1939.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Foreword, by Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor______________________


General Session—January 18
Opening statement by the chairman____________________________________
Plans for Conference procedure, by Katherine F. Lenroot________________
Presentation of the General Report for consideration by the Conference,
by Homer Folks_____________
Discussion by members o f the Planning and Report Committees_________
Elizabeth Christman-----------------------------------------------------------------------Katherine Dummer Fisher---------!___________________________________
A. Graeme Mitchell, M. D__________________________ _______________
W. R. Ogg-------------Floyd W. Reeves__________________________________________________
C.-E. A. Winslow__________________________________________________
Afternoon Session—January 18
Group meetings________________________________________________________





Morning Session— January 19
Opening statement by the chairman________________________________ :___
Remarks by Hon. Milburn L. Wilson, Under Secretary of Agriculture_____
Remarks by Josephine Roche, chairman, the Interdepartmental Committee
to Coordinate Health and Welfare Activities________________________



Afternoon Session—January 19
Discussion of and action on the General Report________________________


Session at the W hite H ouse—January 19
Opening remarks by the chairman o f the Conference____________________
The significance o f the Conference to parents, by Mrs. H. W. Ahart______
The Conference report and program of action, by Homar Folks_________
Address by the President o f the United States________________ __________


T ranslating the Conference R eport I nto A ction—January 20
Opening remarks by the chairman o f the Conference—!____________
Plans for Nation-wide consideration and action. Report o f the Conference
Committee on the Follow-Up Program, by Mrs. Sadie Orr Dunbar_____
The responsibility of the individual and the community, by Mrs. Franklin
D. Roosevelt_________________________________________________________
The responsibility of government, by Frank Bane_______________________
Address by the Federal Security Administrator, Paul V. McNutt_________
Discussion_________________________________ _____ j_______________________
Organization and members of the Conference____________________________
General Report adopted by the White House Conference on Children in
a Democracy--------------------------------------------- -------------------- following page
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis






The proceedings o f the sessions of the White House Conference on
Children in a Democracy held in Washington, January 18 to 20,1940,
including the addresses and brief summaries o f the informal discus­
sions which constituted the chief part o f the program, together with
the General Keport adopted by the Conference on January 19, 1940,
constitute a record whose significance has been greatly intensified by
the testing to which all democratic institutions have been subjected
in the months since the Conference was held. The work of the
Conference began early in 1939, and plans were given shape at an
initial session held in the White House in April o f that year.1 . On
October 11,1939, a letter was received from the President which read,
in part, as follow s:
It was with great satisfaction that I learned o f the recommendation of the
Planning Committee of the Conference, adopted on October 5, that the Conference
be called into session from January 18 to 20,1940, and that the Report Committee
have ready for submission at that time a report containing its major conclusions
and suggestions for a follow-up program. I am in hearty accord with the
statement of the Planning Committee to the effect that events in Europe must
not be allowed to divert the attention of the American people from the task of
strengthening our democracy from within, and that the needs of childhood re­
quire particular attention at the present time. Will you, therefore, ask the
Planning Committee to proceed with arrangements for a meeting o f the Confer­
ence on the dates specified?

The Conference has been, indeed, a demonstration o f democracy at
work, using government as the servant o f the people, facilitating the
work o f citizens representing many different interests and points o f
view, who have given their time in many days o f committee and con­
sultation work and have reached general agreement concerning the
aims o f our democracy for its children and the dependence o f our
civilization upon the bodily health, the mental vigor, and the integrity
and moral fibre of the younger generation.
Since the Conference was held, a National Citizens Committee and
a Federal Interagency Committee have been organized to give leader­
ship in the follow-up program, which will be the test o f the value o f
the whole undertaking. Movements for the organization o f State
follow-up activities are under way in many States. In declarations
on child conservation and national defense adopted by the National
Citizens Committee on June IT, 1940, the committee affirmed its con­
viction that the program adopted by the Conference will make for
the national unity so sorely needed at this time and will strengthen
the democratic institutions o f our country.



e r k in s .

1 Conference on Children in a Democracy— Papers and Discussions at the Initial Session,
April 26, 1939. Children’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor, Washington, 1939.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Proceedings o f the
W hite House Conference on Children
in a Democracy
J an u ary 18-2 0 ,1 9 4 0 1

General Session—-January 18
The session o f the Conference was called to order by the chairman
o f the Conference, Frances Perkins, Secretary o f Labor.
The Conference was opened with an invocation by Reverend Bryan
J. McEntegart, director, Division o f Children, Catholic Charities o f
the Archdiocese o f New York.

Opening Statement by the Chairman
I f is my pleasure as well as my privilege to welcome you here this
morning in the name o f the Government o f the United States and to
say that this, which is truly a citizens’ conference, is a part o f the
“way o f government” in a great democracy like ours.
The very make-up o f the conference—the participation o f the
people rather than the laying out o f a plan by any government—is
an illustration o f our way o f life in America, which becomes clear
to us as we become more conscious o f what the processes o f democracy
are and why it is we must all practice them.
More and more it becomes obvious that not in any one group re­
sides wisdom as regards the problems o f the United States. Out o f
many backgrounds and many specialized types o f knowledge comes
the wisdom which can solve some o f our great problems, or at least
lay the basis for their solution. One o f our problems in this, as well
as in every other nation, is how to make it possible for the children,
who are the future generation, to partake o f the best that the Nation
is able to give while they are children—while they are in the forma­
tive stage, while their health is being built up. So this Conference
does, I think, lay before you the fact that there have been brought
1 The preparation of the proceedings for publication and the summaries of the discus­
sion are the work of the assistant secretary of the Conference, Emma 0. Lundberg.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings of the White House Conference

in people o f many backgrounds, people with many points o f view,
and people with a great variety o f expert knowledge.
This is a citizens’ group. The Government takes no part in it ex­
cept to be the agency, the medium through which people have come
together, which issues the invitations, offers a place of meeting, and
will keep the record for distribution so that all o f the people through­
out the United States who have specialized responsibility for children,
and those others who have the general responsibility for the health
and welfare and progress o f the children o f our Nation, may know
what it was in 1940 that the people who concentrated most on this
problem thought should be done and could reasonably be done within
the decade.
In welcoming you here to this 1940 Conference I feel that it is
extremely wise for us to remind ourselves o f the values that have
flowed out o f the recommendations o f the earlier conferences. This
is the fourth White House Conference on child welfare. None o f us
can say where the leaders o f this present Conference will be 10 years
hence. Most o f us will not be in Washington, but I lay it upon you
and upon this Conference to take on the responsibility o f seeing to it
that the interest o f the people o f the United States is forwarded in
progressive studies o f how to make the resources o f the country
available to the children o f the country.
I charge you not to let it drop but to see that it is continued so long
as we remain a free and cooperating people. This is important, for
as we look back to the first Conference we realize how the Conference
in 1909 laid the basis for everything that is being done now. As yet,
not all o f the recommendations o f that Conference have ever been put
fully into operation. We are still working at the program laid out
then. So, too, with the Conference o f 1919 and the Conference o f
1930. They made great and fundamental recommendations which
we are still working at, and we ought to charge ourselves to realize
that those recommendations have not been fully carried out and that
it is our duty today, as we think o f these new problems laid out and
the new recommendations made in this report, to recall that recom­
mendations o f other conferences must also be carried out.
It has been natural that there should be, at each of these conferences,
certain things which bear the special emphasis o f the day and o f the
period. As we build from decade to decade we will in time come
to a program for children which will satisfy the needs o f the com­
munity and afford a basis upon which public and private institutions,
individuals, and families and groups can work for years to come.
Many o f you have come here from a great distance, and most o f
you who have come are here at your own expense. This is the kind
o f citizens’ conference where each one pays his own way and every­
body comes for the purpose o f getting something and giving some
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Children in a Democracy, January 18-20,19JJ)


thing to the common thought, hoping to take away a program at
which everyone can work. Interest in the White House Conference
denotes not only that previous conferences have been a success, but
that there is an intention and a purpose in American life today, no
matter what the storms, no matter what the stresses, no matter what
the economic and social problems of the world may be. It is our
intent and purpose to keep our minds firmly fixed upon the welfare
o f our children and to promote that welfare under all conditions,
recognizing that they are the vitality, after all, o f this great experi­
ment which we are making upon this continent.
When you were here in April, President Roosevelt said:
Our work, of course, will not be finished at the end of this day—it will only
have begun. During the greater part of the coming year the members o f this
Conference, representing every State in the Union and many fields o f endeavor,
will be at work. We shall be testing our institutions, and our own convictions
and attitudes of mind as they affect our actions as parents and as citizens, in
terms of their significance to the childhood o f our Nation.

This challenge is just as pertinent now as it was at the time the Presi­
dent was thinking o f the work you were to do in the period between
the day in April when you were here and the termination o f the work
o f the Conference. During the next 2 years, or 5 years, or 10 years,
wherever you are, you should be planning to carry out the purposes
which will be expressed from time to time during this 3-day session.
In the months that have elapsed since last April, when this Con­
ference first assembled, its members have faithfully discharged the
responsibilities placed upon them at the initial session. W e have
had, as you know, a Planning Committee o f some 70 members with
the general duty of plotting the course and charting the subjects
to be considered. Then there was a smaller committee on organiza­
tion, which served as an executive committee. Through the efforts o f
a committee on finance, headed by Fred K. Hoehler, a grant o f $47,000
was obtained from the General Education Board, to be disbursed
through the American Council on Education.
The Children’s Bureau, whose Chief is executive secretary o f this
Conference, has been responsible for the detailed work involved in
the organization and conduct o f its work, and I suspect that many
o f you think, as I do, that she has done a very good job in this organi­
zation, as well as in many other things for the last 25 years.
In accordance with the decision o f the Planning Committee at the
initial session, the Conference has devoted its attention, not to origi­
nal studies and investigations which could not have been made with
the resources and within the time available but to assembling and
collating available information about the conditions surrounding
children in America at this time.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings o f the White House Conference

This material has been brought together, analyzed, and prepared for
the Conference by the Report Committee under the chairmanship o f
Homer Folks and a research staff headed by Philip Klein. It has been
discussed and evaluated by a great variety o f consultant groups repre­
senting all the particular and special types o f experience in the Con­
ference. These groups have reviewed and in many cases have revised
the preliminary drafts which were prepared for discussion at this ses­
sion o f the Conference, so that every group report which you w ill have
before you today and tomorrow has been discussed in great detail
by specialists in the subject as well as by those who represented a
variety o f interests in the Conference.
The fact that a single Report Committee, whose membership includes
physicians, educators, social workers, representatives o f organized re­
ligion, and those representing the point o f view o f parents and citizens,
has been responsible for the work in all fields in the Conference seems
to me to be o f unusual significance. It has meant, o f course, a balanced
approach in the interest o f the children and that approach has been
maintained in every subject. No report is just the report o f specialists
in that subject, but other types o f approach and understanding o f the
child’s life have also been brought into play in critical comment and
suggestion upon the reports which may have been worked out, in the
first place, by specialists.
A t the same time, the reports have had the benefit o f specialized
consideration o f particular topics by experts. Some 160 members o f
this Conference have participated as experts in the form ing o f these re­
ports. The Report Committee and the staff, moreover, have been aided
by discussion at three regional conferences throughout the country and
by written suggestions received from members o f the Conference and
others. I feel that the procedure followed in developing the work o f
the Conference, in general, has been consistent with its title—^‘Confer­
ence on Children in a Democracy.”
Through preliminary drafts o f reports you have been kept informed
o f the development o f the work in all stages. The committee and staff
o f the Conference have responded loyally to the suggestion that because
o f the danger that present world events might divert public attention
and perhaps even resources from children’s needs it would be desirable
to hold this session earlier than first planned. I know the days and
weeks o f work for the staff members that this decision has necessi­
tated, but I do not believe the value o f the Conference reports has been
diminished because o f the shorter time in which the work has been
The first W hite House Conference was impressed by the importance
o f buttressing families against poverty which, in many cases in those
days, was completely disrupting the fam ily unit and separating parents
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Children m a Democracy, Jarmory 18-&0,19Jfi


and children, brothers and sisters. Thirty years later this Conference
again finds it necessary to give major attention to the economic founda­
tions o f family life, but with a basis o f far greater experience and an
acceptance o f public responsibility far more thoroughgoing than was
the case in 1909, when the first approach was made.
This Conference also recognizes the threat to child welfare which
is involved in the break-down o f orderly relations among nations and
the lack o f balance among the various elements o f our own economic
life. Nevertheless, the scope and the nature o f the reports presented
for your consideration tell us that man does not live by bread alone;
that to the individual it is the spirit of life in the soul rather than the
material resources available to the body that has ultimate significance.
We are the more deeply concerned about conditions which bring
pain and sorrow within the four walls of home because we realize that
whatever uncertainty, deprivation, and lack of adjustment may
threaten our civilization, the simple normal processes of love, parent­
hood, friendship, worship, joy, and suffering persist and breathe into
our lives something o f the substance o f eternity, which we can use
to build on in the future. These are great reasons for making every
sacrifice to maintain the institution o f the family in its successful care
and nurture o f the children o f this country.
Since this Conference first met, last April, it has lost through death
some o f its most distinguished and beloved members. I want to men­
tion them to you today and ask you to remember them now and through­
out the days o f this Conference, not only for the work which they have
done, but for the thought and vitality which they have contributed to
the subjects we are discussing. We have lost Grace Abbott, C. C.
Carstens, Robert Fechner, Robert Marshall, Dr. F. E. Trotter, Alvin
Waggoner, Verna L. Nori, Herbert P. Orr. Remember them as we
work these 3 days.

Plans fo r Conference Procedure
By K athabine F. L enkoot

First o f all, on behalf o f the Conference staff, I want to thank many
o f you who have participated in the preparatory work o f the Confer­
ence, in the assembling, reviewing, and consideration o f material, and
in the suggestions that have come to the Report Committee and to the
research staff. The staff could never have given to you for your con­
sideration the reports that are before you had it not been for the collab­
oration and the participation o f the widely distributed membership of
the Conference.
This is a large conference. Tomorrow we are to meet in general
session all day for consideration o f and action upon the Conference
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings of the White House Confererice

Report. The group meetings also will have important material to
discuss. It has seemed wise to submit to you for your consideration
and action something in the nature o f rules for the Conference.
The Committee on Organization met this morning, considered and
revised a draft, and submits for your consideration the following
1. Group meetings: Each group will consider a topical report,
giving special attention to the recommendations therein. Suggested
modifications o f the topical report or recommendations, or addi­
tional material, will be referred to the Report Committee for its
consideration, along with suggestions from other groups. The Con­
ference as a whole will not take action upon the topical reports.
They will be utilized by the Report Committee in the preparation
o f its final report.
Each group will also consider material in the General Report
which is related to the topical report under discussion. Suggestions
by the group for modifications will be referred to the Report
Committee, which will be in session Thursday evening.
2. General sessions for consideration o f the General Conference
Report: To facilitate discussion, each member desiring to take part
is asked to submit his name and address to the chairman and to
indicate the portion o f the report which he wishes to discuss.
Each discussant will be limited to 5 minutes unless the Conference
grants additional time.
Suggestions by Conference members o f additional material for
the report should be submitted in writing to the executive secretary
o f the Conference not later than 6 p. m., Thursday, January 18.
The Report Committee will consider such suggestions and report its
recommendations to the Conference before the close o f the afternoon
session, Friday, January 19.
After a period o f general discussion on the report as a whole, the
Conference will consider and vote upon each general division o f
the report. After such action on each part o f the report, a motion
to adopt the report as a whole, subject to such editorial changes as
the Report Committee may deem necessary, will be in order.
3. Authorization to the Report Committee to complete and publish
a final report: Prior to adjournment o f the Conference a motion
will be in order to authorize the Report Committee to prepare and
publish in behalf o f the Conference a final report o f the Report
Committee, which will take into account the material considered
and suggestions made in the group meetings, with such modifications
and additions as the Report Committee may deem desirable, and
will include the recommendations in the General Report adopted
by the Conference.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Children in a Democracy, January 18-80,191ft


Translating the Conference Report into action: The report sub­
mitted by the chairman o f the Conference Committee on the FollowUp Program will be discussed under the 5-minute rule in general
session on Saturday, January 20, and will be acted upon by the
The rules o f the Conference were adopted as read. A motion was
adopted authorizing the Report Committee to act as a Resolutions
Committee for the Conference.

Presentation o f the General Report fo r Consideration by
the Conference
By H omer F olks, Chairman, R eport Committee

The actual task assigned to me might be termed, in language used
more frequently some time ago than now, a work o f supererogation.
It is to present to you the report submitted by the Report Committee.
But you have already been introduced to that report, and I trust by
this time you are quite thoroughly acquainted with it; so I do not
hand it to you in the sense that it is in any degree a stranger to you.
You are familiar, I presume and I hope, with its details and with
its spirit, and the first comment I would make, and for which in
behalf o f my colleagues on the Report Committee I would ask
favorable consideration, is that it is limited to 50 pages. It would
have been much easier to write a report of 500 pages. It would
have taken much less time, and we present that as an initial factor
that might well receive your favorable thought.
Since you have had opportunity to examine it and familiarize
vourselves with its text and point o f view and its definite sugges­
tions, perhaps I can use the time assigned to me more advantageously
in giving you some idea o f how this report came to be what it is—
o f what is back of the opinions here expressed.
The chairman has indicated the nature of this Conference. It was
enabled to provide itself, after the meeting o f last April, with a staff
headed by Philip Klein o f the School of Social Work in New York.
I speak with great enthusiasm and the highest regard and approbation
o f Mr. Klein’s work and that o f his assistants. There were also
associated in each of our various general lines of thought a group o f
consultants. They were people who were supposed to know a lot about
these various subjects and who had the reputation o f being wise men,
able to reach mature views and policies in these various fields. With
the aid o f the staff and in the light of material submitted to them by
the members in most cases, they arrived at suggestions to the Report
Committee o f text and o f recommendations.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings of the White House Conference

The Report Committee has been a very industrious committee. It
has not felt that its task was an easy one. It has held many 2-day
sessions here in Washington and one lasting 3 days. The committee
has taken its job o f joint responsibility for this report seriously and
From these groups o f consultants and from the staff members, there
came to us a series of tentative reports, topical reports, which in their
later stages have come to you. I should like to convey to you, if I
could, something o f the kind o f work that was done on those reports
by the Report Committee and that led to the text which has come
to you.
While the consultants in each group were people who were as
qualified, we believe, as any group in the country to say what needed to
be said in that particular field, they had to submit that material at
the Report Committee meetings and defend it before a group who
were not, exCept for one or two in each case, experts in that field.
The Report Committee consists o f physicians, laymen, lawyers,
businessmen, administrators, and all kinds of people, each o f whom
is qualified by some particular activity or in some particular phase
o f an activity. Therefore they were in a sense a group of highly
intelligent and able guinea pigs on whom the experts tried out their
more or less ideal proposals to see how far they would go.
The manner in which those reports were received and dealt with
is really important when you come to consider this problem. Perhaps
the experts who submitted the material might well have thought that
since they knew all about the subjects and most of us knew little
about them, it would be more or less a matter o f routine approval
o f the material coming from the consultants, with possibly slight
modifications; but that does not describe what took place. The Report
Committee was a tough-minded group. They were set in their ways.
They knew what they thought and they had to be “shown” at every
stage o f progress in dealing with each o f these reports. That was
what kept us here for those 2-day and 3-day meetings.
The Report Committee did a magnificent job o f creative thinking
as a group on each o f these pieces o f subject matter, and what you see
here does not represent the original opinions of any members o f that
group nor the average o f the opinions with which they set out. The
report includes the opinions at which they arrived by thinking with
open minds as hard and as frankly and as seriously as they could on
subject matter o f common interest.
You have discovered that the report covers a great deal o f ground;
that it deals with subject matter which varies greatly in its inherent
nature and possibly in its importance. I can only say in justification
that that is the way life comes. I f life were more rational, if it
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Children in a Democracy, January 18-&0,1940


divided itself naturally into compartments which were separable and
could be labeled, it would have been easy. But life and the conditions
affecting children and child life are a compound o f important and less
important, o f generalized matter, and o f detailed subject matter that
can be stated concretely.
We had to face early the question o f whether we would limit ourselves
to things which were ready to be done now, whether we would be
influenced by the present state o f the Treasury o f the United States and
the several States and the local governments and individual contrib­
utors, by the political programs o f existing parties or agencies; or
whether we would look upon ourselves as putting together something,
not for the distant future primarily, but which we deemed to be pos­
sible o f realization within the coming decade.
We have tried to aim between discarding everything except that
which might be set on foot this year, and, on the other hand, depicting
an ideal condition wnich could not possibly be realized until the
more or less distant future. Ten years, at least, is the period within
which we think all these things might reasonably well be fully recog­
nized and established as public policies and be well under way.

Discussion by Members o f the Planning and Report
E lisabeth Chbistman , E xecutive Secretary,
National Women's Trade Union League

This Conference on Children in a Democracy once more gives tan­
gible appreciation o f our national responsibility for child welfare.
It emphasizes, too, the significance o f real child welfare in a really
democratic America.
W e know, o f course, that the health and well-being of children are
interwoven with the economic security and well-being o f the family.
The welfare o f the family—its ability to survive—is built upon the
wage-earning capacity of its wage earners. When you realize that
wage-earning and farm families constitute nearly 63 percent o f all our
families in America it will not be difficult for you to understand
the deep interest which I, as a representative o f organized labor and
o f women workers everywhere, have in this Conference.
Much has been done to raise wage levels by the trade unions them­
selves and by legislation sponsored by them and supported not only
by organized labor but by the public generally. Raising wage levels
in order to increase family income remains the most important single
consideration in furthering the national well-being o f children.
The income figures which are so well assembled throughout the
various reports which the Conference is considering dramatize in a
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Proceedings of the White House Conference

striking manner the discrepancy between income received and what is
necessary for a minimum standard o f living. It is startling to realize
that in 1935-36 half o f America’s 29 million families had annual
incomes o f less than $1,200 and that more than a million families
received less than $250 a year. These amounts include relief payments
o f all kinds. More than a quarter o f all the Nation’s families received
yearly incomes under $750. Staggering as these income figures are,
it is even more staggering to note the extent to which relief payments
make up the total family income.
The material given in the reports showing our total national income
over the last few years makes some striking observations on the pro­
portion of that income which comes from relief payments and how
that proportion o f our national income has increased. Such a large
proportion o f our low-income families are almost wholly dependent
upon relief for their livelihood and for all their services that the
providing of any kind o f wage becomes a most imperative problem;
but to the extent that we can raise wage levels in families above this
relief group, to that extent can we hope to pull up our whole economy
to a level which permits the children to have a “break.” Concen­
tration on providing needed services for this group is our responsi­
bility, certainly, but concentration on providing work and adequate
wages for that work is o f even greater importance.
What can families in these low-income groups offer their children?
And what hope can we have for the children who come out of these
homes into adult life and into the labor market with poor physiques,
unable to resist the ordinary stresses and strains of physical existence,
and with a completely shattered morale? Can we wonder that there
are so many misfits in industry when we realize how many o f our
children come from these low-income families and try to be wage
earners ?
My work is with wage earners, particularly with industrial women
wage earners, and I am constantly reminded o f an experience I had
last year in Huntsville, Ala., where I had an opportunity to observe
some o f the hardships o f the textile workers in the mill village. The
degree o f poverty and the lack of the simplest kind of health and
education facilities which resulted from low wage scales have re­
mained with me ever since my visit there. I think o f the hundreds
o f other Huntsvilles throughout our Nation where children growing
up in this decade have so little chance to survive and make a living.
Child labor, o f course, is a recognized blot on any civilized country.
We have made rapid and great strides in the last few years toward
reducing child labor, but industry still employs far more children than
we like to contemplate.
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18-&0,19Ifi


One-third o f the unemployed workers in the country today are
young people between the ages o f 15 and 24. Unemployment o f youth
in this group is higher than that in any other group of our unem­
ployed population. A number o f recent pronouncements o f national
organizations and o f some o f our Federal agencies concerned with
youth have given evidence o f a keen recognition o f the seriousness
o f this problem. We need greater attention to the facilities for
providing vocational education for our young people. Study o f the
content o f present school programs shows them to be quite inadequate
in fitting our youth for jobs. In addition, the facilities of public
employment services should be concentrated on this mammoth prob­
lem o f locating employment for our youth and o f suggesting ways
to fit them for this employment. The continuing load o f unemployed
workers in this age group, between 15 and 24, is, I repeat, one o f the
great factors making for insecurity now and in the future. There
must be a will to solve it.
T o bring up the level o f child care in localities like Huntsville,
not only by extending general service programs where needed, but
also by bringing up the general wage level in the industry and giving
support to measures to stabilize wages and employment, must be one
o f the most important concerns of the months ahead i f we are to
save our children and make it worth their while to want to live in
a democracy. For the democratic way o f life means not only indi­
vidual freedom o f speech and thought but also economic and indus­
trial freedom to enjoy these less tangible conditions.
There is much of startling significance in these reports, and I
cannot emphasize too strongly the fact that they should be “must”
reading on this winter’s book list o f everyone interested in our pro­
gram. I commend especially for thoughtful rereading the booklet
entitled, “ Better Care for Mother and Child.” 1 Read those figures
before you adopt the committee recommendations and maybe you will
shout that their recommendations do not go far enough. You will
most certainly be stirred to do your part in the follow-up program,
which to my mind is all-important i f the Conference report is to
have practical value.
The resources of my organization, insofar as it is possible to use
them to stimulate interest and support for the program which this
Conference is sponsoring, will be utilized to the fullest extent. Noth­
ing is of greater moment to the working man or woman in America
than the safeguarding o f the health, security, and education o f the
children o f today who are the wage earners o f tomorrow. Give the
child a “break” and we will have the man well on his w ay!
1 Children’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor.
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Washington [1939L


Proceedings o f the White House Conference
K atherine D ummer F isher

# Th0 things in this report to which I should like to call your atten­
tion are the underlying fundamentals which are implied rather than
W hy do we call this a Conference on Children in a Democracy?
¡Why, having done so, do we not say in this report what we mean by
democracy? We have said it. Not by definition, not by historical
description, not by quotation from the classic phrases o f our fore­
fathers. W e plan to testify to the faith, not with our lips, but in
our lives.
These recommendations which we bring before you must be inter­
preted as more than a list o f material things and beneficial services
which a State should see are supplied to its children, that they may
in turn be o f value to the State. These recommendations are to pro­
vide the means and the opportunity for the full development which a
free, self-governing people believe to be the right o f each o f them.
Such things cannot be provided without a price. That price might
be paid by the giving up o f liberty. It can be paid also by the effort
required on the part o f citizens fo r thoughtful participation in the
process o f government. It is not always easy for us to cooperate, but
we have that capacity and we do it when an object is sufficiently
desired and can be procured by joint effort.
You must read in your report more than requests for running
water and playground instructors, fo r vitamins, vaccination, and vo­
cational advice. W e are asking more than adequate housing, schooling
that prepares for citizenship, and religious instruction. These we
would like to see accepted as factors in the American standard o f
living. They alone are not enough to make the American way o f
life. W e want for our children the high adventure o f pushing out the
boundaries o f brotherhood.
So we ask you to see that these various specific proposals reflect
our democratic faith in the value o f every individual, his right to the
opportunity o f development, his ability to work with his fellows, and
his willingness to pay the price o f liberty by assuming responsibility.
This faith we must transmit to our children in the only way that
can give it validity. We must live it ourselves. It has often been said
that morals are caught, not taught; and this happens in families.
That is why we want to consider the family, not only as an agency
through which the necessities and services may be provided, but as the
most potent force in fostering the growth o f the young human animal
into a personality. This growth occurs in families who are in want
through forces beyond their control, in families o f the struggling o f
the comfortable, and o f the small minority handicapped by surfeit.
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18-J20,19Jfi


As our children find understanding, tolerance, respect for themselves
and their fellows, as they see us prize liberty beyond luxury, as they
see us willing to work with others for the public good, we may hope
that they will grow to express in their own lives the ideals o f
Many things change, the more important things endure. I f we, the
members o f this Conference, can live our own faith in democracy in
such ways as by our efforts to bring to pass those things we here pro­
pose, then we may hope that our children will prize this way o f life
and will, in turn, hand down to the following generation the priceless
heritage o f being children in a democracy.
A. Graeme Mitchell, M. D., Professor of Pediatrics
University o f Cincinnati College o f Medicine
D irector of The Children's Hospital Research Foundation

The spirit in which this medical report evolved was the spirit o f the
Conference itself. A ll o f us desire that all the children o f this de­
mocracy shall have available potentialities for health as well as
provision for good care during illness.
The carefully selected consultants and experts who gave their advice
and criticism were well aware that health is a composite of many
factors. The most important o f these is the child himself or, in the
case o f illness, the patient. Everyone and everything else is secondary,
and the human and material components which go to make up health
are part o f a complete plan.
Thus the doctor, the nurse, the hospital, the health administrator,
the public-health official, and allied personnel must work together, and
furthermore, public-health measures, the hospital, the clinic, and many
private and public health organizations are part o f this plan. Health
and illness are problems too complex to be solved by any one o f these
human elements or organizations.
That is to say, there must, for example, be good water and m illr
supply and there must be good hospitals. Without them the doctor
alone, the nurse alone, the public-health official alone cannot properly
and completely serve the child. That is why this Conference seems
to me to be so significant; it is a council o f all groups interested in
children and not a gathering o f autonomous units.
It is equally obvious that proper physical and mental health can­
not be expected unless there are good housing, proper clothing, satis­
factory food, happy family life, facilities for recreation and education,
to mention only a few o f the necessities which this Conference will
discuss in relation to the total needs o f the child.
For many years, and perhaps with heightened speed during the
past decade, knowledge o f the health needs o f children has been
262205°— 40----- 2
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Proceedings of the White House Conference

acquired. This knowledge has come about by the contributions o f
medical science, which has been concerned, especially recently, with
conditions affecting growth and development o f infants and children,
with the factors which cause disease and injury in the newborn
period, with nutrition in its broader aspects and the requirements for
dietary essentials such as minerals and vitamins, with the effect o f the
endocrine glands on physical and mental growth, with the problems
connected with adolescence, and the like.
Progress has also been made in protection against certain dis­
eases, and especially in the treatment and cure o f other diseases, by
antiserum and the use o f certain chemical substances. As the report
will show, the health o f children has been given increased attention
and support on the part o f the community, both by private health
organizations and by government, and the public itself has been
stimulated to an interest in health and action to secure it.
In medical schools and universities attention has been focused on
teaching physicians and other professional workers the various as­
pects o f the prevention o f disease and the means of carrying out the
measures which present knowledge warrants. Postgraduate educa­
tion in such matters has been supported by the funds o f State and
Federal Governments, and local, State, and National medical so­
cieties, as well as universities, have conducted postgraduate courses
with telling effect. It is obvious that many professional groups and
organizations have continued research, but they have also become
increasingly involved in the spread o f knowledge and in its appli­
cation. Since this is a report on medical care, I may be pardoned
for calling attention to the fine contribution made by the medical
profession to this progress through its individual members and its
recognized organizations.
Some facts which demonstrate progress and the attempt to meet
existing problems have been mentioned. No complacency, and cer­
tainly no boastfulness, can accompany these remarks, for there is
much to be done. There is great need for continued research, for
education, for better care in pregnancy, for continued care through­
out childhood, for increased emphasis on community responsibility—
in short, for expansion o f all health and medical services. It is a
commentary on our democracy that we possess a large body o f knowl­
edge which is not reaching in application to all its citizens.
Certain deficiencies in this respect which cannot be ignored are
matters o f common observation as well as o f statistics, and the facts
show that there is an obvious inequality in distribution o f medical
care in economic groups and in communities. Certain urban com­
munities do better than others, and there is a great discrepancy
between the facilities existing in urban and in rural communities.
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18-&0,191ft


Even in those cities in which medical care has received more than
average attention there has been greater emphasis on the care of
illness than on the prevention o f disease and on the measures which
will maintain health. May I cite a few of many facts ?
Each year nearly a quarter of a million mothers are not attended by a
physician at childbirth; nearly a quarter of a million newborn babies do-not
have the benefit of medical care in the first few days of life, and often no
skilled nursing care; of all children under 15 years of age having illness which
disables them for 7 or more days, 28 percent have neither a physician in attend­
ance nor hospital ca re; approximately 90,000 children die annually from whoop­
ing cough, measles, diphtheria, scarlet fever, pneumonia, influenza, diarrheal
diseases, rheumatic heart disease, tuberculosis, or accidents, and many o f these
conditions are theoretically or actually preventable; several million school
children have defective vision, more than a million and a half have impaired
hearing, and at least two-thirds of all school children have dental caries.
These are, as I have stated, only constituents of a more complete list o f prob­
lems which you will find mentioned in the report, but they are sufficient to
outline some of the needs which our democracy should attempt to meet for its

What is not being done can readily be translated into positive
statements o f what should be done.
Again time permits a statement of only some o f the requirements:
Provision for premarital and preconceptional instruction and care of the
mother, as well as care throughout pregnancy by qualified physicians and nurses
in the home, prenatal clinic, or hospital; care at delivery by qualified physicians
and nurses ; care when necessary in an approved hospital which is adequately
staffed; postpartum care in home, hospital, or clinic, including supervision of
nutrition of the mother and medical and nursing care of the infant; facilities
for expert diagnosis and consultation when necessary; supervision of the physi­
cal and mental health of the child until at least adolescence or early adult life
has been reached; adequate care in the home or hospital during illness.

Obvious accessories to and details o f such a program are contained
in the report.
Here again facts must be faced. Our democracy is such that some
families are able through their own resources to furnish good housing,
clothing, food, recreation, education, and medical care to their chil­
dren. Other families must face from time to time unpredictable
emergencies that put on them an extra load which is beyond their
ability to carry and which causes health as well as other essen­
tials of family life to suffer. Then there is the group who are unable
through their own resources to provide even the minimum needs.
We must, perhaps, redefine what is meant by the term “ medically
needy.” It is known, for example, that o f the more than 2 million
births which take place in the United States yearly, a million occur
in families on relief or with an income o f less than $1,000 a
year; that approximately 900,000 births occur in families on relief or
with an income o f less than $800 a year; that, for example, in large
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Proceedings of the White Rouse Conference

cities 37 percent of children in families with incomes o f less than
$1,000 had neither a physician’s care nor hospital care during disabling
illnesses, whereas only 20 percent in families with incomes o f $3,000 or
more had no such care; that hospital facilities are not obtainable in
many rural communities even for those people who are able to pay for
them, and that in such communities there is a lack or inadequacy o f
health programs and o f professional personnel.
A ll these inadequacies and many others constitute failure to protect
the children o f this democracy. A ll these inequalities are the concern
o f all o f us— o f the local community, the State, and the Nation.
It is certain that more thought must be given, more activity ex­
pended, more facilities and personnel supplied before we can hope to
cope with these obvious problems. Certainly we would like to see
every family financially and intellectually able to furnish individual
care to its children, but even for those who are able there must be
brought to bear the influence and service o f many organizations, and
o f local, State, and Federal governments, in mass prevention and in
establishment o f hygienic measures which the individual demands o f
his community. Certainly, too, there is no one who does not wish all
children to have access to health and to care during illness.
I am far less competent than most o f you to analyze the measures
suggested by your committee to meet these problems; it is not my
function just now and they are set forth for you in the more detailed
report. There you will find the specific recommendations concerning
the means whereby we can continue our progress and expedite it,
whereby we can and should continue research and education, whereby
we can secure the application o f knowledge and o f preventive pro­
cedures to all children. Specific recommendations emphasize impor­
tant phases such as mental health and nutrition.
It is recognized that existing facilities, both private and public,
including the practice and the practitioners o f medicine, should be
utilized before new facilities are provided, but these new facilities
must be provided by the expansion o f existing facilities and by the
institution o f new ones.
A ll this should be done with care and by cooperation. Some com­
munities, for example, may need new hospitals and health centers as
well as other facilities, but the hospital will do little good unless it
can be supported and unless it can be staffed with qualified personnel.
Perhaps it may be transportation facilities which certain communities
need rather than new hospitals.
There must be expansion o f full-time local health organizations on
a city, county, and district basis; there must be coordination o f health
and medical services for which health, welfare, education, social serv­
ices, or other public or private agencies are responsible. Preventive
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On Children in a Democracy, Jaruaary 18-viO, 19J^0


and curative medical care must be made available and accessible to all
members o f the family if children are to be properly cared for.
Voluntary hospital insurance may be encouraged for certain groups,
and other plans for budgeting for illness must be developed. To all
families below the economic level at which it is possible to budget for
the cost o f illness and the cost o f health, aid must be given or the.
children o f our democracy will suffer.
Since I have been asked to give this report and since I have done
so, although inadequately, perhaps I may be allowed, as I close, the
privilege o f interpretation. I feel sure after my analysis o f the re­
port that there is no one in this Conference or elsewhere who will fail
to recognize the inadequacies o f our present state o f medical care.
There may, o f course, be some understandable difference o f opinion
concerning the extent o f the needs and their type, and there may be
some discussion o f methods of approach.
Again speaking as an individual and as an interpreter, I may say
that I believe that the recommendations o f this report are consistent
with the democracy in which we live and with our existing system.
I am sure that we all recognize that we should attempt to secure
good health and satisfactory medical care as an important part, al­
though only a part, o f the complete plan to live up to the principles
o f our democracy. Our duty to the children o f a democracy requires
that they possess abounding and optimum health.
W. R. Ogg, D irector of Research
American Farm Bureau Federation

In these troublous times it is o f special significance that this
White House Conference is to consider the welfare o f children in a
Today the boastful exponents o f the totalitarian state are chal­
lenging the ability o f a democracy to provide effectively for the
national welfare. I believe that the American people, living in the
greatest democracy o f our times, are ready to accept that challenge
and to demonstrate that democracy can and does work—that we can
and will, through democratic processes, meet adequately the needs
o f all our people.
I f democracy is to endure, we must learn how to make it work to
meet human needs adequately. W e cannot attain this goal by living
on the borrowed glories o f the past nor by mere wishful thinking or
academic planning. Fundamental to its realization is a fearless self­
appraisal to determine wherein we have failed and why—to face
frankly and realistically the great problems o f unemployment, public
relief, the unbalance in our national economy, the inequalities o f op­
portunities in a land o f unparalleled resources, the powerful specialinterest groups often sparring for special advantages, the limitations
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Proceedings of the White House Conference

o f partisan politics, the tendency o f citizens to allow their prejudices
to obscure their responsibilities and opportunities to help solve the
great social and economic problems that vitally affect the welfare
o f children.
W e rightfully glory in our democratic heritage and the magnificent
achievements which our vast resources have made possible in so short
a time, but can we truthfully say that democracy has worked as
effectively as we are entitled to believe it should—
When 16 million families, 74 percent o f all nonfarm families in the United
States, did not have sufficient income even in the so-called prosperous year 1929
to provide an adequate diet at moderate cost for their children?
When more than 9 ^ million families at the bottom of the income scale, compris­
ing 32 percent of all families, received no more total income than 150,000 families
at the top of the scale, comprising but one-half o f 1 percent of all families?
When nearly a quarter million mothers and babies have no medical care at
childbirth and the first few days o f life?
When competent authorities estimate that at least one-half o f maternal deaths
and at least one-third of infant deaths are preventable, yet mothers and infants
are allowed to die for lack o f proper medical care?
When 28 percent o f all children under 15 years o f age who had disabling
illnesses for more than 7 days had neither medical nor hospital care?
When in 1930 more than 800,000 children between 7 and 13 years, most o f them
in the poorest rural areas, did not attend school?
When one-third of all unemployed workers are young people 15 to 24 years
o f age, who are denied the opportunity of a job and the opportunity for
further education ?

In the main, the greatest inequalities exist in the rural areas.
This is due to the enormous concentration o f population and taxable
wealth in urban areas and the abnormally low rural income.
In the field o f education, for example, farm families have 31 per­
cent o f the Nation’s children, yet receive less than 10 percent o f the
national income with which to support and educate these children.
The President’s Advisory Committee on Education found that in
general the least satisfactory schools are found in rural areas; that
under present conditions there is no prospect that the rural areas will
be able to lessen this gap through their own resources; that low
school expenditures in rural areas have unfortunate results for the
children and that the education which can be provided at present in
many localities is below the minimum necessary to preserve democratic
These inferior facilities are not due to unwillingness or lack
o f effort to support education; on the contrary, the committee found
that the rural areas on the whole are making a much greater effort
in supporting their inferior facilities than the urban areas, which
with far less sacrifice enjoy greater facilities.
Similarly, hospitals and health and medical facilities are con­
centrated largely in urban areas. Two-thirds o f our counties, mainly
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18-®0, 191fi


rural, do not have even the minimum o f a modern health service;
1,300 counties are without hospitals; the cost o f medical and hospital
care all too often exceeds farmers’ ability to pay, with the result that
many farm families go without adequate medical care and consult
a physician only in acute emergencies, while young, promising doc­
tors are reluctant to settle in rural areas, not only because o f in­
sufficient income but also because o f the dearth o f modem diagnostic
and hospital facilities with which to practice scientific medicine.
In the field o f housing it is estimated that at least 3 million farm
homes do not meet even the minimum standards of health and com­
fort. A recent (unpublished) study by the Bureau of Home Eco­
nomics showed that 85 percent o f farm homes have no bathrooms;
83 percent, no water piped into the house; 93 percent, no indoor toilets;
and more than 15 percent, no toilet facilities whatever. About 70
percent are inadequately screened, and 27 percent have no screens at
all. More than 82 percent need repainting, and 40 percent have no
paint whatever. W hy? Not because farmers do not want better
housing, but because o f their inability to provide it with existing
low incomes.
These conditions are the inevitable result of human impoverish­
ment growing out o f the economic inequality o f agriculture during
most o f the past 20 years. Despite the progress made in recent years
toward a fair balance in our economic structure, farmers are still
exchanging their products for industrial goods at a 21-percent pen­
alty. This unbalance, which curtails the purchasing power of the
52 million people living in rural areas, is a major reason why there
are still millions o f unemployed men and billions o f unemployed
About 40 percent o f all rural youth ultimately go to the cities to
earn their livelihood. The cost to farm people of rearing, educating,
and training these youth during the 10-year period ended in 1930 is
estimated at about 14 billion dollars.
The fundamental philosophy upon which our democracy is based
is equal opportunity for all. Inequalities and unmet needs, whether
in country or in city, must be removed, not only for the sake o f
democracy itself but for the sake of the children.
It is not enough merely to provide for the material needs of our
children. We have left God out o f our schools, our family life, our
business and professional world, and our every-day living. Society
and our children are suffering the penalty o f decaying morals, in­
creasing crime, growing cynicism, and unconcern for the welfare o f
others. Our children need a vital, sustaining religious faith—faith
in God, faith in one’s fellow man, faith in democratic processes, faith
in the ultimate triumph of right.
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Proceedings o f the White House Conference

These are some o f the realities confronting us despite the progress
we have made. Significantly, this White House Conference report
is not content to describe conditions and cite statistics, but, mindful
o f the welfare o f 36 million children, it rightfully concentrates major
attention upon constructive programs o f action to improve the welfare
o f children.
We refuse the philosophy o f despair that says we cannot solve these
problems. We refuse to be content to look on these human needs and
then pass by on the other side o f the road. There can be no compro­
mise with human suffering and destitution, especially when our chil­
dren are concerned. W e are dealing not with abstract facts and
statistics but with human destitution and misery, with stunted and
diseased bodies, with hunger and ignorance, exploitation and human
greed, with the blighted opportunities and blasted hopes o f millions
o f children who seek to find their places in life and make their contri­
bution to human advancement.
This report recognizes that the fundamental solution is restoration
o f the income o f the masses o f people so they can meet these needs
adequately. Meanwhile millions of families must be cared for and bet­
ter opportunities provided for millions o f children. To meet these
immediate needs, the report proposes some specific recommendations
which our chairman has already presented to you : Improved public
relief and public works, improved housing, better schools, churches,
libraries, recreational centers and other community institutions, im­
proved and expanded hospital, health, and medical care and facilities,
and so forth, must be made available to all the people, both rural and
urban, in all sections o f the country.
Such a program costs money. In many cases the areas where the
greatest need exists have the least financial resources to meet these
needs. Therefore it is imperative, especially in the fields o f educa­
tion and health, to equalize these burdens through a system o f Federal
grants to the States in order to assure equality o f opportunity and to
meet the vital needs o f our children.
Meanwhile the future welfare of our children demands that increas­
ing attention be given to the solution o f our basic economic problems
which create and maintain these inequalities and distressing
American agriculture recognizes that these problems cannot be
solved by agriculture, or by industry, or by labor alone, but only
through the mutual understanding and cooperation o f all groups.
W e agree with the splendid statement in this report :
The basic economic problem of our children is the economic problem of the
Nation, to find a sound balance o f wages, prices, and financing that will provide
a growing purchasing power to industrial workers and farmers and profitable
investment of capital.
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On Children in a Democracy, Jarmory 18-&0,19Jfi


American agriculture seeks no position o f special advantage, but we
do seek the removal o f the economic barriers which deny equality o f
opportunity to our children. American agriculture stands ready to
join hands with industry and labor and with government to restore a
fair balance between farm prices and industrial prices and wages so
as to insure the maximum interchange o f goods and services, and to
produce an abundance o f goods and services at fair prices and fair
wages so as to raise the national income to the maximum level for all
the people and thereby make it possible to provide essential services
for all our children.
When the welfare o f our children is at stake, let us think less about
our differences and more about our common needs and mutual re­
sponsibilities. The time has come for national unity for the welfare
o f our children rather than selfish group advantage.
W e talk about conservation» o f soil, water, forests, and so on, but
what about the conservation of the greatest o f all our resources—our
children? Certainly they are worth as much to taxpayers and to our
Government as battleships and airplane bombers. Certainly they are
worth the expenditure o f tax revenues to improve and expand educa­
tional facilities, medical and health facilities, and other vital childwelfare services. Surely they are worth the mobilization o f our vast
resources in intelligent planning through democratic processes in
order that poverty, human selfishness, and neglect may not crush out
their opportunities and blight their future. They are even worth the
sacrifice a little tradition, and a little personal liberty, i f necessary,
to assure more security, freedom, and protection for all.
To bring the matter a little closer to each citizen, let us ask ourselves
if these 36 million children o f ours are not worth a little more sacri­
fice and effort on the part o f every citizen to see that their vital needs
are met, to do his part in translating into human law, into human
relationships, and into human institutions, both public and private,
the divine law, “ Thou shalt love thy neighbor”— and may I add, “ thy
neighbor’s children”—“ as thyself.”
F loyd W. R eeves, Ph. D., LL. D., D irector
American Youth Commission

I shall confine my remarks today to a selected few o f the recommen­
dations in certain sections of the report, those dealing with educa­
tional services in the community, protection against child labor, and
youth and their needs.
The section on educational services in the community includes a dis­
cussion o f the three m ajor institutions responsible fo r carrying on
community educational programs: the school, the library, and the
recreational center. It is well that these three agencies should be
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Proceedings, of the White House Conference

dealt with in a single section o f the report because no hard and fast
lines separate their functions.
The establishment and maintenance o f a fair educational opportu­
nity for every child is set forth in the report both as a responsibility
o f democracy and as an unattained goal to be striven for in this Na­
tion. Few, i f any, will disagree with this aim or with the statement
that democracy has a responsibility for its achievement. I shall,
therefore, limit my comments to the means that may be used to achieve
this desirable end.
In many parts o f the United States it will be impossible to reach any
o f the desirable goals set forth for the schools unless action is taken
to compensate for the present inequalities among States and within
States in financial ability to support education.
The President’s Advisory Committee on Education pointed out that
there are eight States—principally in the northeast and the far west—
which, by the use o f average effort as measured by a model taxing
system, could spend more than $75 per child per year for schools.
For the most part these States actually do spend that much or more.
On the other hand, the committee showed that another nine States—
principally in the southeast—by the same measure o f effort could not
spend as much as $25 per child. Every one o f these States is at present
spending more for schools than the measure o f average effort, yet in
six o f them the actual expenditure is under $25 per child—less than
one-third o f the amount which the eight most fortunate States could
spend with average effort, and less than one-half o f the national average
The advisory committee also reminded us that in 1930 the farm
population o f the Nation was responsible for the care and education
o f 31 percent o f the Nation’s children but received only 9 percent o f
the national income.
This very great disparity is accentuated by regional differences. In
1930 the farm population o f the Southeastern States had about 4 14
million children aged 5 to 17, but it received only 2 percent o f the
national income. The nonfarm population o f the Northeastern States
had 8y2 million children and 42 percent o f the national income. In
other words, this group had 21 times the amount o f income out o f which
to support and educate only twice as many children as had the farm
people o f the southeast.
I f the first three o f the recommendations relating to the schools
were carried out it would be possible to reach all the other goals. But
unless these three recommendations are put into effect it will be quite
impossible in many parts o f the United States to achieve some, or even
any, o f the report’s other recommendations relative to the schools
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On Children in a Democracy, Jarmary 18-&0,1 9 $


The three recommendations which seem to me most essential read as
follow s:
1. Units of local school attendance and administration should be enlarged
wherever necessary in order to broaden the base o f financial support and to
make possible a modern well-equipped school for every child at a reasonable
per capita cost.
2. Substantial financial assistance should be granted by every State to its local
school systems for the purpose of equalizing tax burdens and reducing educational
3. An extended program of Federal financial assistance to the States should be
adopted in order to reduce inequalities in educational opportunity among States.

These recommendations are in full accord with those o f the Ameri­
can Youth Commission in its statement adopted October 9, 1939, and
recently published in its pamphlet, A Program o f Action for Ameri­
can Youth. They are also in full accord with the recommendations
o f the President’s Advisory Committee on Education in its report o f
February 1938.
With regard to the section on leisure-time activities I especially
commend the proposal that the development o f recreation should be
recognized as a public responsibility on a par with the responsibilities
for education and for health. This undertaking should be shared by
local communities, the States, and the Federal Government. Immedi­
ate steps should be taken by each community to appraise local recrea­
tional facilities and to plan systematically to remove inadequacies.
I also agree that special attention should be given to children in
rural areas, children in congested city neighborhoods, children in lowincome families, the children o f Negroes and other minority groups,
children with mental, emotional, or physical handicaps, and children
who have just left school. Let me point out that these are precisely
the same groups which need special attention in education.
I endorse unreservedly the proposal that a national commission
be created to study leisure-time needs and recreational resources.
Turning now to the section on libraries, I would emphasize especially
the recommendation that Federal aid to the States is as necessary for
libraries as for schools, and for the same reasons. Federal grants for
education should be available for school libraries, and, at least at the
beginning, special Federal grants should go to the States for the exten­
sion o f rural library services for both children and adults. Both
these recommendations are in accord with the report o f the President’s
Advisory Committee on Education.
Among the recommendations under the heading o f child labor I
would stress the following: “ Financial aid from public sources should
be given whenever necessary to young persons to enable them to con­
tinue their education even beyond the compulsory-attendance age if
they wish to do so and can benefit thereby.”
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Proceedings of the White House Conference

I agree with the recommendation that schooling should be both
compulsory for and available to every child up to the age o f 16. This
is a corollary o f the recommendation in the section on youth and their
needs, which reads as follow s:
Federal, State, and local governments should provide work projects for youth
over 16 not in school, who cannot obtain employment. Such work should be useful,
entailing possibly the production of some o f the goods and services needed by
young people themselves and other unemployed persons. * * * There should
be further experimentation in part-time work and part-time schooling.

Both these recommendations coincide with statements recently
adopted by the American Youth Commission. In my opinion they
constitute matters o f immediate urgency among the excellent lists of
recommendations which the proposed report o f this Conference
It seems to me to be a matter o f major importance that compulsory
education should not be extended beyond the sixteenth year. I f young
people desire to continue school beyond that age and cannot do so
without financial assistance, such assistance should be afforded to
them. But if they do not desire to continue full-time education and
cannot find employment in private enterprise they should be provided
with jobs under public auspices. They should have the opportunity
for part-time education whether they have jobs in public or in private
I know o f places in the United States where, at the present time,
very close cooperation exists between most o f the agencies working in
the fields relating to the welfare o f children. But I also know o f many
communities and States where close cooperation does not exist. I hope
that the work o f this Conference and the publication o f its report will
bring about closer cooperation among all the agencies dealing with
As I look ahead and try to visualize what might be the outcomes
o f this great Conference, it seems to me that if it has no other direct
result than that o f making those working in any one o f the areas of
social service acquainted with the needs and the work o f those working
in other areas, it will have accomplished something that is very much
worth while.
O.-E. A. W inslow, Ph. D., P rofessor of Publio H ealth, School o f Medicine,
Tale University

D r. Mitchell has reviewed the health program as presented in the
report so admirably that I need not take time to repeat what he has
said in regard to the advances made and the new problems that present
themselves at the end o f this decade.
As Dr. Mitchell has said, it has become increasingly clear that the
preventive and diagnostic services o f the conventional public-health
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18-&0,19Ifi


program must, i f they are to be effective, be supported by a parallel
program o f medical care for those who need such care and cannot
now obtain it. The National Health Survey has made this need abun­
dantly clear.
As one goes down the economic scale, sickness increases and medical
care declines. Even in our cities more than a quarter o f the children
suffering from disease so serious as to disable them for a week or
more receive neither medical nor hospital care o f any kind. Each
year nearly a quarter of a million mothers must go without the attend­
ance o f a physician in the crisis of childbirth.
I f the American child is to have that right to life, not to speak o f
liberty and the pursuit o f happiness, which was visualized by our fore­
fathers, it is essential, as our report points out, that for the large
section o f the population now without the benefits o f modern medical
science there should be made available “ adequately supervised medical
care through a program or programs financed by general tax funds,
by insurance contributions from beneficiaries and government, or by
such combination o f methods as may be best suited to local conditions.”
This is the sort o f broad program that was suggested at the National
Health Conference in 1938, and essentially the program which is
embodied in the national health bill introduced in 1939 by Senator
Wagner. You will hear that this bill is going to put a straight jacket
upon the medical profession and rob it o f liberty o f action and force
the American people into some particular form o f bureaucratic medi­
cine. That is, o f course, completely untrue, as everyone must know
who has read the act through once. A ll the act does is to stimulate
experimentation which is to be initiated by the various States along
lines that seem suitable to local conditions. Any adequate program,
however, must involve some plans of voluntary insurance for those
o f the middle economic group, some plan o f compulsory insurance
for those on a lower economic level, and a program o f tax-supported
care, not only for the indigent but for many other persons in rural
This is the major public-health challenge of the moment, as I see
it, but there are many other things which are vitally important and
which open up new vistas in this campaign o f public health. We
have done much, I think, in the 30 years since the Conferences were
initiated. We have done much, as a people, in substituting preventive
medicine for the purely alleviative medicine of an earlier day.
I am wondering, however, if preventive medicine is enough. Even
this term has a negative aspect; perhaps something which might be
called “constructive medicine” may be the watchword o f the future.
The total death rate has dropped from 18 per 1,000 population in
1900 to 12 and it may be possible to get it to 8, but it is not possible
to go much below that figure. Does that mean public health must go
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Proceedings o f the W hite House Conference

out o f business? Rather, it opens up a new vision, not merely o f
keeping down the mortality statistics, but of vigor and efficiency and
joy o f living. This vision opens up such new problems as nutrition
and housing and recreation. Those are going to be as important to
the health officer in the future as diphtheria antitoxin and septic
tanks have been in the past.
I think one o f the most important recommendations o f the report is
that a national nutrition committee be appointed by the President of
the United States to study this problem.
Then there is the problem of housing. Some people think of hous­
ing as i f it were merely dwellings. It is important to have individual
dwellings where children can have light and sun and air, but that is a
very small part o f the housing problem o f today. A housing project,
in the modern sense, is a group of buildings built as a neighborhood
which is designed to contribute not only to the physical health but
to the mental and social health o f the group concerned. Now, this is
peculiarly interesting from the standpoint o f those whose special
work is with families, for so many o f our modem activities tend to­
ward the development o f recreation and social centers outside the
home. The housing project sets the recreation of the family in the
home itself, and, therefore, I think we can fairly say that a major
need at the present moment is the continuation and extension o f the
United States housing program—a program which, as you know, is
facing a crisis in the present Congress.
The bill for continuing the housing program failed o f passage at the
last session and is coming up at the present session. It will be a
very severe set-back to the entire movement i f Congress fails to pass
the bill this year, for the continuance of this program is an essential
need o f children in a democracy. Democratic children cannot be
developed in the slums.
These are controversial matters, as has been pointed out. W e can­
not have health, we cannot have houses for the children, unless we are
prepared to pay for them. Our conception o f neutrality in the United
States at the present moment involves keen sympathy and admiration
for those who, many o f us believe, are fighting the battle o f civiliza­
tion, but an equally firm determination not to let their fight cost us
anything at all. We show somewhat the same kind of neutrality in the
warfare against disease and poverty. There are plenty o f people who
think the children and mothers o f the Nation should be preserved but
not if by any chance it is going to cost anything.
A t the meeting last night someone raised the question whether we
could do these things without the reconstruction o f our present eco­
nomic existence. Well, England has done them. Sweden has done
them. Denmark has done them. Holland has done them. I do not
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18-&0, W ifi


know about all the other fields, but in health and housing all we are
asking is that we should make the start they made 25 years ago and
follow the English record until the problem has been solved. I f they
can do it we should be able to do it.
Some people think the word “economy” means keeping money in
the pocket. I f you will look up the derivation you will find that
“ economy” means the wise management o f the household. W e have
another word for keeping money in the pocket. It is “ parsimony.”
Economy means wise and judicious management for the general future
good of the individual and o f the Nation. From that standpoint it is
good economy to do the things that have been suggested in this report
and it will be very bad economy if we continue to save dollars in this
country at the cost of the bodies and the minds and the souls o f
American children.
T h e C hairm an . It is very heartening to us to know that in this
Conference there is a woman who carries the same sort o f responsibility
in her country, which is our neighbor across the northern border. It
gives me great pleasure to welcome Miss Charlotte Whitton, the execu­
tive director o f the Canadian Welfare Council, a friend and associate
in all matters which have to do with child welfare. She has often
consulted with our Children’s Bureau, has worked with us on the
League of Nations, on child welfare and nutrition, and all that sort
o f thing, and I know you will be glad to find her a member o f your
group today. I am happy to introduce Miss Whitton and ask her to

Miss W hitton . Madam Secretary, members and guests o f the Con­
ference, we do indeed consider it a high privilege to have the honor
o f participating in this Conference through a representative o f the
Canadian Social Welfare Council, because our welfare has drawn very
largely for its nurturing from the United Kingdom and the United
States. It is clear that for the courageous leadership o f the United
States we, in Canada, owe you a debt so great you need never suggest
its repayment.
We are indeed bound, in our two lands, to the theme of your Con­
ference, recognizing as it does that the successful operation of the
mechanism o f democratic government requires a citizen body that is
strong, intelligent, secure, and happy, and that for the annoying
internal aggression o f poverty, suffering, disease, and insecurity there
must be effort to the same degree that there is against external aggres­
sion. In that common cause against these gnawing internal forces
which threaten democracy there can be no question o f our unity o f
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Proceedings o f the W hite House Conference

I f, Madam Secretary, we in Canada appear to be concentrating
upon the protection o f our democratic institutions in resisting other
forms o f aggression, we will look to your leadership to keep afloat
the flag o f protection for the children in a democracy; and we shall
attempt, perhaps, to repay you with a little service in protecting
democracy for the children. We thank you and we wish your Con­
ference, your children, and your democracy Godspeed and well-being,
now and always.
The C h airm an . I am delighted at the number o f people who are
here today as guests as well as those who are members o f the Con­
ference. I see, sitting in thè front row, a lady who comes from a
foreign country and who happens to be traveling in America at this
time. She has done such distinguished service for the public good
in her country that I know she will forgive me if I call on her to
say a word to us. She is Fru Betzy Kjelsberg, who has been the
chief inspector o f factories in Norway and who in recent years has
devoted practically all her time to the improvement o f conditions
o f women and children in Norway.
Madam K jelsberg. Madam Chairman, members of the Confer­
ence, I am so happy that I postponed my journey and was able to
accept the invitation to come here today. I have learned much, and
I will go home to Norway and tell my people what you are doing
over here and what you are trying to do. O f course, we have heard
what has been accomplished in this wonderful country.
Norway is a little country with only 3 million people. W e have
been working for years trying to get as good social laws as possible
for our country, and I am glad to tell you that we no longer have
any child labor in Norway. I also want to tell you that night work
is forbidden for young persons under 18 years, that we try to get rid
o f as much night work as possible, both for men and for women, and
that we try to have night work only in plants where the work must
be kept going on. Neither men nor women are allowed to work in
bakeries in Norway during the night. I am glad to say that it was
the doctors in Norway who helped us to get the law that forbids
night work in bakeries.
I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to be here, and I do
hope that the Scandinavian countries, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and
Denmark, may be allowed to continue their work for better health
and for happy family life.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Afternoon Session— January 18
Group Meetings
The afternoon o f January 18 was devoted to group meetings for
the discussion o f topical statements. Members o f the Conference
divided into 11 groups for discussion o f the preliminary statements
on the following subjects:
1. The Family as the Threshold of Democracy.
James S. Plant, M. D., Sc. D., chairman.
2. Economic Resources of Families and Communities.
Edwin E. Witte, Ph. D., chairman.
3. Housing the Family.
Frank G. Boudreau, M. D., chairman.
4. Economic Aid to Families.
William Hodson, chairman.
5. Social Services for Children.
Rev. Bryan J. McEntegart, LL. D., chairman.
6. Children in Minority Groups.
Charles S. Johnson, Litt. D., chairman.
7. Religion and Children in a Democracy.
Rabbi Edward L. Israel, LL. D., chairman.
8. Health and Medical Care for Children.
Henry F. Helmholz, M. D., chairman.
9. Education Through the School.
William G. Carr, Ph. D., chairman.
10. Leisure-Time Services for Children.
Grace L. Coyle, Ph. D., chairman.
11. Child Labor and Youth Employment
Courtenay Dinwiddie, chairman.

Reports o f suggestions by the groups for modifications o f the Gen­
eral Report were presented by the chairmen of the groups to the
Report Committee in session the evening o f January 18 and taken
into consideration by the committee in drafting modifications o f the
General Report for presentation to the Conference on January 19.
262205°— 40---- 3
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Morning Session—Jan u ary 19
Chairman, Frances Perkins

Opening Statement by the Chairman
The work of the groups discussing the topical reports went on
all yesterday afternoon. Most o f you know, as members o f one or
more o f those groups, the degree o f discussion that took place and
the degree o f difference o f opinion that developed in the discussion.
The material from those groups, together with the material which
has been submitted by individual members o f the Conference and
by other interested persons, was handed to the Eeport Committee,
which was in session throughout the evening and far into the night.
Thus the amount o f work and consideration given to the work o f the
report which will be discussed this morning is very encouraging.
Nothing was discussed lightly. Everything was discussed with great
seriousness and intentness of purpose, ih order to get out the best
report o f which we are capable in this year 1940.
The preliminary report was distributed to all o f you several days
ago, and you were asked to read especially the section in which your
field o f interest or your field o f experience was particularly vivid
so that you might be able to participate in this discussion and in the
consideration o f this report upon the basis o f your own experience.
I think we should remind ourselves again that this is a body o f
citizens thinking o f laying a pattern and a plan for the better care
and development o f our children for the next 10 years.
This day is to be devoted to the general discussion o f the report,
section by section. It is hoped that during the day we can adopt
finally whatever parts o f this report seem to the Conference to be
valid and important. This will be a free discussion. It is a wellorganized meeting, but there is nothing cut and dried about it.
There is no reason why the report should be adopted as written i f the
majority o f the persons in the Conference do not so desire it. I
want to make that perfectly clear to you.
After a period o f general discussion o f the report as a whole the
Conference will consider and vote upon each section o f the report.
After such action on each portion o f the report, a motion to adopt
the report as a whole, subject to the various changes necessary, will
be in order.
Before proceeding to the general discussion this morning, in order
to bring to your minds some o f the points o f view which have been
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18-&0,19Jfi


prevailing in the preparatory work, I want to call upon two o f the
vice chairmen o f the Conference to review for us what seem to them to
be the points o f greatest significance and the general objectives
which seem to them to be the most important.

Remarks by Hon. M ilburn L. W ilson
Under Secretary of Agriculture
During these days when national unity is essential it is unusually
timely that people from all walks o f American life should gather
here to undertake one o f our periodic appraisals o f the situation of
our children. Leaders o f past generations realized how important
such appraisals are in improving the conditions in which democratic
representative government can flourish. I f such appraisals were im­
portant in earlier times, when democracy was moving forward unchal­
lenged the world over, they are doubly important today.
When democracy is being challenged there is no more important
subject that America can concentrate on than this one o f evaluating
the opportunities open to our children.
In the America o f today there are two patterns o f life. One is
the urban; the other, the rural. They are not separate and distinct
from each other, yet their basic characteristics differ in many
Recognition o f these different patterns will not keep us from
centering our thoughts upon all our children. But it will enable us
the easier to keep in mind the central importance o f the countryside
as the reservoir o f our population. Our rural areas provide not
only food and fiber for the Nation but also more than their pro­
portionate share o f our children. The urban birth rate is lower than
the rural; 10 adults in the large cities have only 7 children on the
average while 10 adults in our farm regions are raising 14 children.
For both urban and rural cultures this is o f central importance.
In this situation rural poverty takes on added significance. For
a good many years now the existence o f widespread poverty in the
cities has been pretty well known; not so, however, the existence of
widespread poverty in the country. One o f the things the country has
come to know about during the past decade is this matter o f rural
poverty. Along with the attractive side o f life in our farming regions
we have the seamy side.
It has cost us a good deal to become aware of rural poverty. Only
through agricultural depression, floods, droughts, dust storms, and
the onward march of technology in agriculture has it been brought
forcibly to our attention. But if it has gained a place in the Nation’s
consciousness, perhaps the price has not been too high.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings o f the W hite House Conference

Through the work o f the Department o f Agriculture, particularly
that of the Farm Security Administration, our research program,
and our extension activities, we are learning a good deal about how
widespread and how acute rural poverty really is. We are not only
uncovering the facts o f rural poverty but within the limits o f law and
o f their financial resources Government agencies are shaping their
various programs to do everything possible to remedy these conditions.
It can be truthfully said that today the children in our rural areas are
receiving more attention from Government than ever before. W e are
recognizing that agriculture is something more than the raising and
disposing o f crops and livestock. It is a way o f life, possessing values
unique in themselves and vital to the welfare o f the Nation as a whole.
Any increased recognition, therefore, that rural children are receiving
today should be regarded as only a beginning. Much more must be
done, both by Government and by other agencies, before the matter will
be receiving attention commensurate with its importance. In view
o f the high rural birth rate the existence o f rural poverty as a factor in
determining the future course o f our population and hence o f our
Nation should be kept constantly before us.
As a representative o f the rural pattern of life and speaking for
the Department o f Agriculture, I want to say that we appreciate
deeply the opportunity to join with people from the cities and from
other Government agencies in undertaking this evaluation o f our chil­
dren’s situation. The convening o f this Conference under the leader­
ship o f the President o f the United States is an event o f Nation-wide
importance. On behalf of agriculture, I extend to you all a hearty
greeting and express the confidence that the results o f your efforts will
be regarded in years to come as o f historic importance.

Remarks by Josephine R oche
Chairman, The Interdepartmental Committee to Coordinate Health
and W elfare Activities
In the General Report before us for discussion two sentences seem tp
me to sum up the objectives which we are discussing and which we
intend to realize.
A t the first meeting of the Conference on April 26, 1939, President
Roosevelt said: “Democracy must inculcate in its children capaci­
ties for living and assure opportunities for the fulfillment o f those
Near the end o f the report we find: “ Secure family life is the
foundation o f individual happiness and social well-being.”
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Children in a Democracy, January 18-820,191fi


Between these two sentences are pages closely packed with evidence
well known to us and very effectively repeated in this report, o f the
conditions o f life, the insecurities, the denials, and the destruction o f
human values which continue to be the lot o f countless American
families today.
The report brings this before us in no uncertain terms. It brings
us to the brink and it forces us again to face the wide and deep chasm
which stretches between the realities o f today and what America’s
democracy at its birth pledged to all its people—equal opportunity
to all and special privilege to none.
I think it is very fitting and very fortunate that the conditions
which persist today, conditions which this report outlines and con­
ditions which stubbornly go on threateningly in violation o f democ­
racy’s commitment, are being presented to us in terms o f their effect
upon childhood and youth; for whatever society as a whole experi­
ences, whatever it is denied or whatever it gains, always is tellingly
registered upon us in terms o f its results for children and young boys
and girls. And today, if these objectives that we are discussing are
to be realized, every citizen must be stirred to action and kept in
It has been pointed out frequently in the discussions that many o f
the objectives that we have in mind can be realized through individual
effort, through community effort, through cooperation between indi­
viduals and communities, through wider information and education.
But I think all o f us realize that the conditions outlined in this
report—these conditions which continue to violate democracy’s com­
mitments—are basically Nation-wide economic inequalities, deeprooted and serious.
They can be overcome and eliminated only as an aroused and
determined citizenry prevails upon its government, Federal, State,
and local, to take courageous and constructive leadership, to accept
its obligation for carrying out the responsibilities of government
through conservation o f our resources. I see no conflict in these two
points o f view, because democracy’s government is only the people
themselves speaking and acting through their self-chosen form o f
organization. And I think that only as we keep this in mind can
we proceed effectively toward the goals that we have outlined. Con­
tinuing progress is the birthright of all our citizens today and the
birthright o f our children who will be the citizens o f tomorrow.
And only as we keep this very definite responsibility clearly in mind
and uppermost in our hearts, can we make sure and swift advance
on any o f these many fronts of child welfare which we are discussing
and acting upon during this Conference.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings o f the White House Conference

D iscussion1
In outlining the procedure for discussion o f the General Report
by Conference members, the chairman suggested that there should
be brief discussion o f the report as a whole, its general plan and
direction and its general conclusions, before beginning discussion
o f the detailed sections.
Suggestions were made by several members relating to points
which should be emphasized especially and to rewording or expan­
sion o f ideas in the General Report.
The suggestion was made by Sanford Bates that the report as
presented tended to “make things out worse than they are” and
that “in our defense o f a democratic system we should not publish
and approve statistics which give people across the sea the oppor­
tunity to say that democracy is a failure. * * * In this report
we should have statistics which will enable us to maintain our con­
viction that democracy is working and that democracy not only is
succeeding materially but is helping to bring a wider culture to our
young people today.”
A t the request o f the chairman, Mr. Folks commented upon the
types o f suggestions which came from the group discussions o f the
preceding afternoon and upon the general nature o f the changes
and decisions by the Report Committee as incorporated in the Gen­
eral Report now presented to the Conference for discussion. He said
that the most prevalent type o f suggestion from the groups con­
sisted o f changes in wording without change o f substance, or slight
rearrangement o f the material, and that it was assumed that the
Conference would entrust the Report Committee with a certain de­
gree o f editorial freedom in completing the revision o f the report,
without submitting to the Conference questions which do not involve
any change in substance. Nothing came from any section, Mr. Folks
said, which called for a recommendation or a statement that was
contrary to any recommendation or statement contained in the pre­
liminary draft o f the report which was sent out to members in ad­
vance o f this meeting, but there were many modifications and
proposed additions.
Mr. Folks stated that the Report Committee devoted much time
to consideration o f comments by different groups that their respective
subjects had not received adequate space in proportion to other
subjects. The remedy usually suggested was to incorporate more
material from the topical reports into the General Report. This o f­
fered real difficulties because the topical reports are to be used only
1 Dr. Henry F. Helmholz, a vice chairman of the Conference, presided.
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18-£0,191fi


after further detailed study by the Report Committee. Considera­
tion was given to the practicability o f putting into the General Report
the material which the various sections wished to have included,
without throwing the whole report out o f harmony with other sec­
tions. The Report Committee, in the main, acceded to a considerable
degree to requests for insertion o f additional material.
In accordance with the procedure which had been agreed upon
for discussion, consideration by the Conference o f each section of
the report began with a brief summary by the executive secretary
o f the changes made by the Report Committee the preceding eve­
ning, as a result of the recommendations of the groups which dis­
cussed the topical statements during the preceding afternoon. This
was followed by presentation o f the range o f subject matter o f the
section under discussion. After general discussion, the Conference
took formal action on the changes proposed in each section.
The first topic, The Child in the Family, was divided into four
sections: The Family as the Threshold of Democracy, Families and
Their Incomes, Families in Need o f Assistance, and Families and
Their Dwellings. This topic was presented by Harry L. Lurie,
executive director, Council o f Jewish Federations and Welfare
H arry L. L urie. Ladies and gentlemen, I want first to pay trib­
ute to the general excellence o f the Conference report and to the
supplementary topical statements. These documents are notable for
their clarity o f expression and for their moderation. The section on
family life and the child is especially pertinent. The problems that
are cited are obvious but they are fundamental. And we know that
fundamental questions are always the most controversial and the
most difficult to define.
What are the important findings o f this section?
They are, briefly, that a large proportion o f Americanvchildren
live under conditions o f poverty and inadequate standards o f living;
that we have made considerable progress in relieving these condi­
tions, but it is not enough. Extension o f Federal support for State
and local programs o f assistance is imperative. The general relief
measures o f States and localities need Federal support. Socialinsurance programs need to be completed. Work-relief programs
for the unemployed extend only to a fraction o f the able-bodied
jobless. They must be enlarged. To protect the incomes o f large
sections o f our working population we need more adequate and
comprehensive minimum-wage standards and legislation to safeguard
labor organizations. Beyond that, there is the general need for
organizing our economic processes so that our country, rich in re
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Proceedings o f the W hite House Conference

sources, can make decent standards o f living available to all o f its
population. A large-scale low-cost housing program is advocated.
As you see, there is nothing novel nor radical about these pro­
posals. In each instance they are merely the next steps to be under­
taken in the present program o f services along lines that the majority
o f Americans have fully endorsed.
As the report recognizes, the main question that confronts us is
whether we can extend the fundamental principles o f democracy to
achieve more satisfactory lives for our children. What ways are
open to us? What is the outlook for the attainment by public
opinion o f “greater economic understanding and social insight,” as
the report suggests?
What is this lag in public understanding that obstructs fulfillment
o f the program ?
W e can state the basic question in terms o f concrete political
issues. That is, in terms o f tax problems, fiscal resources available
for Government purposes, and the controversial matter o f balancing
the budget. Extension o f social-welfare programs in which we all
believe raises all these questions. No one is openly opposed to
achieving social welfare, but agreement on these basic economic ques­
tions has not been secured. W e cannot blink the fact that they
remain unsettled political questions.
I f those who believe in the reduction o f Government expenditures
and welfare measures and who favor so-called business policies are
sincere,, the justification for their program lies in their belief, fal­
lacious as it may be, that by means o f conservative economic policies
the welfare o f our population in the long run can be more effectively
Assuming that this view is correct, may we not reasonably ask why
it is necessary to achieve social-welfare aims by indirection? Why
not proceed directly to solve our problems o f poverty by extending
those measures that have demonstrated their utility? It has been
proved that public-welfare measures can provide economic assistance,
jobs for the unemployed, social security in a more or less satisfactory
manner. Whatever limitations there are exist not in thei measures
themselves but in their inadequacies, their lack o f coverage, their
low standards. The only valid criticism is that they shift our eco­
nomic problems into a different sector. That is to say, we exchange
our poverty problems for fiscal and tax problems. But why not?
I should like to advance thel thesis that we defer experimenting
with economic processes until after we have provided for the security
o f our population. I believe that we shall find that some o f the
problems that now seem so difficult have solved themselves in the
process. We shall have stimulated purchasing power and produc
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On Children in a Dem ocracy, January 18- 20, 191f i


tion to meet the needs o f the population. W e shall have at least
found workable expedients to relieve human ills.
This is our theoretical justification for endorsing and defending
tiie very moderate proposals advanced by this report.
Let me also point out that we have gone a considerable way in
this direction through the enactment and development o f our publicwelfare services. W e have followed the mandates o f the majority
and we have had the acquiescence, if not the good will, o f other
There has been some redistribution o f national income through
taxation. In large measure we have paid for our social welfare by
borrowing and by increasing Government debt. The pecuniary in­
terest o f investors who prefer low-interest-bearing Government se­
curities to alternative risks for capital and savings in private invest­
ments has led them into the financing o f public welfare. They could
not make any better investment in democracy. W hy not continue
to act vigorously along the same lines ?
The end result may be that we shall be facing some difficult ques­
tions o f Government finance, but at least we shall in the process have
preserved the well-being o f our children. W e can then face with
greater freedom the questions o f adjusting our American system o f
agricultural and industrial protection so that it functions within
a Nation primarily concerned with the social welfare o f all elements
o f the population.
The cure for poverty is the provision o f income through work, in­
surance, or relief, and not the fanciful illusions o f tax reducers, relief
manipulators, or addicts o f less government in business. Let me
repeat again that there is sufficient time to experiment with new
economic formulas after we have provided social security.
There is one specific recommendation in the report that we might
examine carefully in this discussion, since it can serve as an excellent
index to the underlying theories and temper o f the report in general.
A large-scale low-cost housing project is suggested. This is a reason­
able proposal not only for the improvement o f living standards, but,
indirectly, for its effect on general economic factors. Large-scale home
building for the lowest-income groups would provide an opportunity
for Government cooperation, private capital, and private initiative.
It is o f interest to note that this suggestion does not propose to eliminate
private initiative in home construction.
The political questions posed by this and other sections of the report
are involved with an important time element. W e see totalitarian
states and dictatorships establishing ruthless programs because men
have lost faith in the democratic process. There are always at hand
unprincipled groups or individuals ready to exploit the moral weak
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Proceedings o f the White House Conference

nesses of a population that has lost faith in its basic institutions. We
in this democracy abhor the destruction of human values under these
reactionary systems.
In its modest way the Conference report has an alternative to sug­
gest—moderate, simple proposals well within the limits of our economic
resources and our political processes. It offers conclusions that are
inescapable in any honest survey o f the needs o f children in our
Among the points brought out by the discussion from the floor were
the desirability o f giving further emphasis to the family as the central
point in the preparation o f children for responsible citizenship in a
democracy and the importance o f strengthening the family. It was
suggested that something should be included in the report in regard
to parent education.
Dr. Richard A. Bolt suggested that something should be said about
the effects o f alcohol on the family from an economic, social, religious,
and moral standpoint. The chairman requested Dr. Bolt to prepare a
short statement on this subject for presentation later in the day.
There was discussion of the practicability o f trying to define, in terms
o f the psychology o f family training, what can be brought into the
lives o f children through the way in which the family is conducted.
It was suggested that emphasis should be given to the quality of lead­
ership which parents should exercise in promoting the security and the
physical and mental health of their children but that discussion of
theoretical adjustments relating to family life and particular philoso­
phies o f experimentation may lead into a field that is not desirable.
It was pointed out that “ the values inherent in the family are the same
values that we are really seeking in a democracy” and that “ if we are
going to give material security, it is just as essential to teach children
habits o f industry and thrift as to give them food and shelter.”
The motion for adoption by the Conference o f the section on The
Family as the Threshold o f Democracy was put to a vote and carried.

The subject of Families and Their Incomes was introduced by Isador
Lubin, Commissioner, Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States
Department of Labor.
I sador L tjbin. After looking over your committee’s report one must
come to the conclusion that the drafters gave attention to every possible
factor which has a bearing upon the income of the American family.
I think they have done a remarkable job in depicting what the standard
o f living in the American family is and in emphasizing the extent to
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On Children in a Dem ocracy , January 18- 20, 191f i


which our families do not have sufficient income to meet certain basic
requirements o f a healthy, developing, decent, constructive life.
I should like to discuss the section o f the report which deals with
employment and unemployment. I do this deliberately because I feel
that a conference o f this sort should go on record in more detailed
fashion than this report apparently does relative to the problem of
employment and its relationship to income. In other words, as I read
the unemployment section I get the impression that the job ahead of
us is simple, that all that is needed is public works, a works program,
and that then everything will be taken care of.
Now, no one will deny that for the immediate future, at least, the
volume o f unemployment will be large. But, after all, let us bear in
mind that unemployment in the United States has always been large—
never, o f course, o f the magnitude o f the past 5 or 6 or 7 years. Never­
theless, it has always been great. And unemployment has always been
a very important factor in making it impossible for our workers’
families to secure the income that they ought to have.
Industry in America has never operated regularly in the sense
that year after year it has maintained given levels o f unemployment.
W e have always had marked fluctuations from year to year and
As industry is operated in this country and as it is operated through­
out the western world, it has never given regular employment to its
workers in the sense that from month to month they were regularly
on the pay roll.
Our system o f private enterprise and the competitive system have
led to hundreds o f thousands o f bankruptcies in our industrial order.
These have caused unemployment.
In any growing society, particularly a society that has been grow­
ing as fast as ours in the scientific field, technology has played a
tremendously important part and probably will continue to do so.
This also brings unemployment.
I think one thing that this report says—that there has been a gratify­
ing improvement in business employment—is something that we may
all be delighted with. And I think that the problem we have to face is
how far industry will absorb those people who will be available for
work during the next few years. And please note that I did not say
“ unemployed” ; I said “those who will be available for work.”
I think we ought to make a very definite distinction between those
who are unemployed and those who are available for work. The
man who works in a cotton mill that is shut down for inventory, or
that is shut down for repairs, or that is shut down because o f a
seasonal lack o f orders is not available for work in the sense that
if somebody came along and offered him a job he would take it.
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Proceedings, o f the W hite House Conference

He is waiting for and expects the mill in which he has been working
to reopen. In fact, if he took a new job when the mill shuts down
seasonally he would not be available when the mill had orders and
could offer employment to its workers. That is one o f the prices
we pay for a system o f free enterprise such as ours.
Furthermore, one o f the things that we should mention in this
report is the place that unemployment insurance can be made to
play in providing for the people who, although unemployed, are not
available for jobs. I think also that something might well be said
about either extending the period o f unemployment compensation
or increasing the benefits. Those who have studied the problem
tell me this can be done without increasing the premium rates or
the tax rates for unemployment insurance.
Again, bear in mind that day after day something in excess o f a
half-million people in this country are not available for work, al­
though employed, because o f illness. * I think they should be taken
into consideration in trying to find means for increasing the income
o f the American wage earner’s family.
I think it is fair to say that once we have reached the stage
where 500,001 new people are employed each year the number of
unemployed will decrease faster than employment rises.
Let me give you a concrete illustration. There are hundreds o f
thousands of families in this country in which two or three persons
are today unemployed and willing to take jobs. But if the father
could get a job at a fairly good rate o f wages those persons would
automatically disappear from the ranks o f the unemployed in the
sense that the youngsters would go back to school. The reason is
obvious. The father could afford to keep them in school, or the
mother would cease seeking employment because o f the fact that
there were other sources o f income for the family.
Industry must absorb 500,000 new persons each year i f the number
o f unemployed is not to rise, that number being the approximate
net addition to the working population resulting from youngsters
becoming o f working age. Beyond that point, with a rapidly increas­
ing employment roll, I think it is fair to assume that the rate of
decline in employment would be faster than the rate o f increase in
Again, there are many people in this country who are unemployed
but not available for work because o f the fact that we have failed
in our job o f training our people in a way which would make it
possible for them to take the types o f jobs that become available.
That becomes very important in a few industries in the United
States, in which because o f prevailing circumstances it is difficult to
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On Children in a Dem ocracy, January 18-&0, 19Jfi


obtain properly trained people. Certain types o f skill are not ex­
istent in sufficient volume to meet the needs o f our industries.
Industry has failed in its job because it did not want to undertake
the cost of training people for future needs. The Government has
failed in the job, and the school systems have failed in the job in
the sense that they have not assumed that responsibility. There are
various reasons for the failure to assume that responsibility. But I
do not wish to go into them at the present moment.
Frankly, I think that the attention of the American public should
be called to the fact that public works in itself will not solve the
problem o f unemployment, but that public works plus A , plus B,
plus C, plus D, must all be used i f we are to create a situation in
this country in which we will at least have the minimum amount o f
unemployment consistent with the way industry operates under our
system o f free enterprise.
I think the report should specifically tie up the various factors
which should be emphasized in attacking the problem—public works,
changes in the unemployment-insurance system, the extension of
old-age annuities, thereby making it possible for people to retire from
industry at an earlier age, and child-labor legislation—this being
a child-labor conference. The Federal Government, so far as inter­
state industries are concerned, has limited the age o f employment
to 16; but there are still many States which permit the employment
o f children of much younger ages. The whole problem o f vacations
with pay has a way of tiding over seasonal unemployment and is
very much worth while considering. W e have only made a beginning
on it in this country. A t Geneva the problem has been discussed
very fully at the International Labor Organization. There is no
reason why the practice of giving people vacations with pay at
periods when industry cannot give them full employment should not
be emphasized.
I think the whole question o f technology and its effects should
also be mentioned in discussing the income o f the American family.
Some plants in this country have developed a system o f dismissal
wages. When a new machine is put in they try to time the instal­
lation o f the machine so that nobody will lose his job. In some in­
stances where people may lose their jobs a very large dismissal wage,
sufficient to tide them over a period o f time, has been put into effect.
But those instances are rare. There is no reason why that burden
should not be borne in part by the employer because o f the lower
cost o f production by the machine, in part by the stockholders, and
even in part, I think, by the consumers.
Another thing that I think might be worth while mentioning in
the report is the part that industry itself can play in eliminating
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Proceedings o f the W M te House Conference

so-called seasonal changes in employment. I suppose one would be
looked upon as terribly orthodox and behind the times in raising
once again the question that we discussed in 1926, 1927, and 1928:
What can we do within a given year to regularize the employment
o f the workers within the individual plant? We seem to have for­
gotten the minor segments of the picture because o f the fact that the
larger problem has been confronting us.
Finally, I should like to say one thing—and I am quite sure my
colleague on the T. N. E. C., Mr. Leon Henderson, will agree with
m e: So far as the economic system is concerned “there is still a lot
o f life in the old gal.”
I should not like to see this Conference give the impression to
outsiders that we are in a situation in which the policy o f despair
There is a very big job still to be done in the United States, even
i f we are to get the output o f industry up to the point where the per
capita output is equal to what it was in the last decade.
We ended the year 1938 with 9^> billion dollars less housing in
existence in this country than 10 years ago. Deterioration, fire, and
other elements have been playing their part. There is a terribly big
job to do in the housing field.
Our railroad system is still to be adjusted to modern, high-speed
transportation. There are still hundreds o f thousands, if not mil­
lions, o f farmers who are quite a distance away from fairly good
roads. There are dozens o f fields that are still untouched in this
country, not in terms o f new industries but in modernizing our
standards o f living and our methods o f doing things.
I feel very definitely that although there may be a fairly large
problem o f unemployment which must be met and provided for and
anticipated by the Government, the problem itself is not one that is
not solvable. The job is here to be done. The question is how we
can provide the stimuli for getting the job done o f seeing that so many
o f our people will not remain unemployed.

Among the points brought out in the discussion were the follow ing:
<{W e must expect private enterprise to fluctuate because it is based
on selfish interests and the profit to be derived. I f we cannot look
for stability and dependability o f employment as it is developed in
our public enterprises, where can we look for the steadying factor in
employment?” It was stated that this point would be reconsidered
by the Report Committee.
“ W e should recognize that no matter what happens we are still
going to have the problem o f many unemployed young people, and
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On Children in a Dem ocracy, January 18-&0, 191ft


we are not going to absorb them in private industry no matter how
good business becomes. A t the present time there are many natural
resources which can be developed without competition with private
industry; there are many services which are not being given and
which can be developed by governmental agencies.”

Dr. Edwin E. Witte, chairman, Department o f Economics, Uni­
versity o f Wisconsin, commented on the section relating to. families
and their incomes.
E dwin E. W itte. A s chairman o f the Conference group dealing
with economic resources of families and communities I want to call
attention to this section o f the report. There are two committees
that ¡are very closely related, the group dealing with economic
resources o f families and communities and the one dealing with eco­
nomic aid to families. A great many o f the suggestions that have
been made are dealt with in the report on economic aid and very
appropriately belong there. A great many more are discussed in the
topical report on economic resources.
I question whether we can give adequate treatment to the big
problem o f unemployment. Any method by which we might be able
to cope with that problem would take the entire 50 pages, which
Chairman Folks has suggested as about the limit o f what the General
Report should be. Consequently, in the 2 or 3 pages which are at our
disposal for this portion o f the report, very little more can be done
than to state the problem.
The group that met yesterday afternoon had the same feeling which
was expressed here today by nearly all the speakers, if not all o f them;
first, the feeling that Dr. Lubin so well expressed, that we in this
democracy, at the zero hour o f democracy in the world, do not need
to feel very apologetic, even at this time, when our record o f the past
10 years is one o f great trouble. I think the great majority o f us in
this audience will agree that the United States has done as well as or
better than any o f the totalitarian countries.
The other feeling of our group was that only the Government’s
part was mentioned in the report. There was no mention whatsoever
o f private employment and the responsibility o f private industry.
Yet in the economic system under which we live the great majority
o f the people obviously must find their employment in private
industry. Consequently, we sent a suggestion to the committee, and
we think the committee has incorporated a statement to the effect
that this problem is one which must be tackled by the Government
and by industry, that everything cannot be done through a works
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Proceedings o f the W hite House Conference

In stressing public works, as the original report did, we had in
mind that there is probably great danger that we may lose the works
program, that we do need to emphasize that there are millions o f
Americans who will have no work in the years to come unless it is
provided through a works program.
And, at the same time, we felt that it is very necessary to empha­
size the responsibility o f business and the fact that the Gov­
ernment alone cannot solve this problem o f unemployment without
the cooperation o f business, and that we must have in mind these
measures for improving conditions in private employment and in
making it possible for private employment to function as we all
want it to function.
Accordingly, Madam Chairman, I make the motion on behalf of
our group that this part o f the report be adopted, with such changes
as the Report Committee may deem necessary, to make mention of
other methods besides public works through which government may
help in this great problem o f unemployment, and to stress further,
if the committee deems it necessary, the responsibility o f industry
and measures for helping industry to assume that responsibility.
The section on Families and Their Incomes was adopted by the
Conditions resulting from absence o f Federal grants-in-aid for
direct relief, the inadequacy o f the home-relief program in many
places throughout the country, and the difficulties which result from
curtailment o f the W . P. A. program were stressed in the discussion
on Families in Need o f Assistance. The discussion included com­
ments in regard to the need for maintaining the Federal works pro­
gram, administration o f “ categorical” assistance, and related prob­
lems, and the problem o f increase and extension o f benefits under
unemployment compensation.
The following extended comments were made :
Msgr. J ohn O ’G rady, secretary, National Conference o f Catholic
Charities. The danger that we face at the present time is that of
losing our works program or having it greatly reduced. I think that
is one o f the most immediate and concrete issues with which we are
faced; that is, there is a danger that this works program may be
reduced out o f all proportion to the need therefor. This is a realistic
problem for social workers, if they are really interested, as is claimed
in these reports, in providing a continuing works program on a
Federal basis.
I am in disagreement with regard to the recommendation on
grants-in-aid for relief. This is not an issue at the present time.
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18-&0,191$



The issue is whether we are going to have a works program on a
Federal basis or whether we are going to turn the whole thing back
to the States. That is the practical issue before the people.
I f we are interested in a constructive American program, the thing
for us to do is to work on the practical issues that are before us. I
think the practical issues are, first, to hold our works program and
develop it this winter. W e need to bring all o f the forces to bear
upon the Congress that we can in order to retain the works program
and to keep it up to the standards that should be maintained in
order that we may be able to provide employment. The works pro­
gram has not been everything that it should be, but we can make
it do the things that it should do. W e will never do that by holding
out the cheaper methods, by lending comfort to those who are really
opposed to a works program.
Therefore, I disagree. And, if I am just a minority of one, I want
to cast my vote against this recommendation that we should have grantsin-aid for Federal relief. We would better make this grants-in-aid
system work in the categories before we begin to extend it to the
whole field. I am not so sure about the desirability of going into
any more grants-in-aid. W e may find some other way out o f it
through an extended works program. I am not so sure, when I see
what has been happening in hundreds o f counties in the past 2 years,
that the grants-in-aid system is anything else at the present time than
a cheaper method o f taking care of our people.
I think the second practical problem with which we are faced is the
improvement o f the standards and the extension o f aid under the
category forms of aid, under aid to dependent children, and under
old-age assistance. These are unsolved problems. We need a sliding
scale in grants-in-aid.
W illiam H odson, commissioner of public welfare of the City of
New York. May I move the adoption of this section of the report
on behalf o f the committee ? And may I say just a word with respect
to the deliberations o f the committee ?
May I make as clear as it is possible for me to do, without res­
ervation and without equivocation o f any kind, that the section»
which discussed this report, all its members and its chairman, believe
fully and completely in the W . P. A. program, and that nothing
in this recommendation by word or deed or implication was intended
to limit or to restrict or to change in the slightest measure, except
hopefully upward and with more appropriations, the W . P. A. pro­
gram in the United States o f America.
I f I have not made that clear I have completely failed my group.
They are insisting that the present W. P. A. program be continued.


262205°— 40-
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Proceedings o f the W hite House Conference

They are not suggesting any changes, in terms of allocation or other­
wise to the States, with respect to the W . P. A. program, and they
hopefully look forward to the time when the W. P. A. program may
be expanded to include all o f the employables who are now on relief.
And, Madam Chairman, as evidence of the intention of the group
to leave no possible doubt on this question, you will observe that the
section as read provides, first o f all, for a statement with respect to
the W. P. A. and then concludes with the recommendation that sup­
plementary thereto and in addition thereto there should be grantsin-aid for direct relief.
Now, may I come more directly to the practical question which
has been stated by Dr. O’Grady.
Is it practical to say that because you believe the Federal Govern­
ment should adopt an additional responsibility you are thereby
arguing that it should give up a responsibility which it has already
accepted and assumed in a very substantial measure?
Let us bear in mind what the situation in this country is where
there are not grants-in-aid for direct relief. Do I have to call your
attention to certain States and to certain cities? I will not mention
them here, but I suppose the members o f this group are perfectly
aware o f the inadequacy o f the home-relief program in the United
States. And I think the members o f this group are aware o f the
fact that in many places throughout the country where there have
been grants-in-aid for the categorical programs the same inadequacies
do not exist.
May I call attention to the fact that, as I understand it, the present
appropriation for the W . P. A. means a cut o f at least one-third in
the present allocation o f funds to the States throughout the country ?
While we are talking about practical considerations let us face that
fact and let us face those consequences, which are that when there
is a cut in the W. P. A. program and when Congress has reduced
its appropriations and effected an economy program, who takes the
backwash? The States and the localities. Do they get reimburse­
ment? No.
Would Congress be equally prepared to reduce the W. P. A. appro­
priations if at the same time it had to assume responsibility for those
persons who are dropped from the W. P. A. and who are picked up
by the local relief authorities and become a charge upon the States
and the localities ?
I think I express the opinion of the group over which I presided
when I say to you that in their belief there is no justification whatso­
ever for saying that the Federal Government will participate with
the States and localities on old-age pensions, on blind relief, and so
forth ; that it will assume responsibility for W. P. A .; but that when it
comes to direct relief there is some strange, sinister bar.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Children in a Democracy, January 18—20,19Ifi


I do not speak for the social workers here today, but I am proud to
be one o f their members. I think the social workers of this country
are professionally concerned about the needs of the unemployed and
o f the destitute. I believe the social workers o f this country are heart
and soul behind the W . P. A. program. They do not want us to take
any action which will in any wise reduce or harmfully affect the exist­
ing program o f W . P. A. They would like to see that program
Now, may I say that it becomes an exceedingly difficult thing for
the States and the localities to object to relief expenditures when they
have those tremendous unknown factors! in the picture w'hich is
W . P. A., with no possibility that the Federal Government will share
in the results o f the economy program ?
How can the localities object to larger relief expenditures when
thousands and hundreds o f thousands are dropped by reason of
Congressional action to the effect that anyone on W . P. A. for 18
months can no longer be carried on that program?
I f we here in this Conference are going to adopt principles o f
action which look toward a stabilized program with some measure
o f planning, with an opportunity for all levels o f government to
plan their programs in advance and to budget their expenditures in
advance, I think it is fair to say that the unknown and uncertain
factors in the picture must be eliminated as rapidly as possible; and
one way to do that is to agree that a program should be adopted
which includes an over-all participation by the Federal Government
in all forms o f public assistance.
As to the point raised by Dr. O’Grady with respect to the question
of reimbursement to the localities based upon the needs o f the States
rather than upon some formula which treats all States equally,
I want to say that I should like to have an opportunity to discuss
that phase of the report further with the Report Committee along
the lines suggested by Dr. O ’Grady.
The motion for adoption o f the section on Families in Need o f
Assistance was put to a vote and carried.

It was reported that problems relating to migrants and transients
were touched upon by several discussion groups. A statement was
presented to the Report Committee by Dr. Ellen C. Potter, pro­
posing that the report be strengthened with reference to this subject
and making a specific recommendation. The Report Committee,
after carefully considering all phases of the problem and the sug­
gestions that had been received, decided to develop a separate section
dealing with the problems o f migrant families and their children.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings o f the W hite Rouse Conference.

The committee came to this conclusion because it recognized that
the problems o f migrant families cut across all subjects dealt with
in the report, and it therefore asked authority o f the Conference to
insert a section on Children in Migrant Families and to incorporate
in it a definite recommendation that appropriate agencies o f the
Federal Government undertake to study the problem further and to
develop and carry out plans for meeting it.

The section on Families and Their Dwellings was adopted without
detailed discussion.
The chairman stated that for purposes o f discussion Keligion in
the Lives o f Children, Schools, Leisure-Time Services, and Libraries
were included in one general division. Discussion was introduced
by Helen Hall, director, Henry Street Settlement.
H e l e n H a l l . I should like to start by pointing out what I should
particularly commend in the educational section o f the report.
1. Units of local school attendance and administration should be enlarged
wherever necessary in order to broaden the base o f financial support and to
make possible a modern well-equipped school for every child at a reasonable
per capita cost.
2. Substantial financial assistance should be granted by every State to its
local school systems for the purpose of equalizing tax burdens and reducing
educational inequalities.
3. An extended program o f Federal financial assistance to the States should
be adopted in order to reduce inequalities in educational opportunity among

This seems enormously significant to all o f us. It makes me think
o f a visit that I made accidentally to a little place not far from
Washington a few years ago, where there was a good deal of excite­
ment because the school for the first time in 2 years had opened and
was going to be kept open for 3 months. Previously it had never
been open for more than 3 weeks.
I think that each child there was obviously in need o f some kind
o f physical care. The teacher was very much excited because of
the fact that she had the children for so long a time. Some o f the
children had walked 3 miles over the mountains in order to get there.
I wrote to Miss Lenroot and asked her if she would look into the
situation. Miss Lenroot wrote to the State Board o f Education and
the board answered that the situation existed because that section
o f the country was too poor to afford better schooling. So it drove
home to me the significance o f those first three sections o f the report.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Children in a Dem ocracy, January 18-&0, 191f i


Leisure time—or free time or voluntary time—is enormously sig­
nificant in the education and development o f the child* Our thought
is that the development o f constructive use o f leisure time should
be recognized as a public responsibility. W e feel that is a step
forward. Steps should be taken in a community by public and pri­
vate agencies to provide local recreational facilities and services
and to plan systematically to meet the present inadequacy. After
all, although there is not enough planning for education and health,
there is infinitely less community planning for the leisure time o f
our children. I think that it is o f great importance to have this
Conference go on record as stating that such planning is significant
and necessary.
In the religious section I should like to see more stress laid on
example as well as on precept. It seems to me the young people
o f today are translating “ I am not my brother’s keeper” into their
social concepts. I know when anyone mentions what the churches
are doing it is with the greatest satisfaction that I am able to point
to men like Bishop McConnell and Rabbi Wise and other leaders
in the formation o f social action, who typify the ventures that the
churches have before them.
It seems to me that libraries should be emphasized, because with
the radio coming into the home reading will be a lost art in 20 years
unless books are brought to the rural sections.
It was reported that the group which dealt with Religion in the
Lives o f Children urged the Report Committee to consider putting
into the General Report the recommendations o f the topical report
as revised by the group, and the Report Committee recommended
that this should be done. The chairman o f the Conference com­
mented upon the fact that “this is the first time in the conferences
on children in the United States, beginning in 1909, that the Con­
ference has considered religion as a part o f children’s lives” and
that “ whatever may have been implied in the purposes and motives
o f individuals and o f groups and associations in their willingness
to serve the interests o f children has never been expressed as part
o f a religious conception.”
Rabbi Edward L. Israel, of the Har Sinai Congregation, Balti­
more, Md., chairman o f the discussion group on Religion and Chil­
dren in a Democracy, moved the adoption o f this section as submitted
by the Report Committee.
Rabbi E dward L. I srael. I hesitate to make any comments on the
report because in one o f the most debatable sections o f the report
yesterday everything was all right until one of us decided to
make a comment, and then that which we thought was perfectly
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings o f the W hite House Conference

clear from a reading o f the report became decidedly obscure. That
is the way theologians work, it seems. Therefore, I hesitate to in­
ject dense and dark clouds into this discussion by any comment.
However, I will say this, that I think this is rather historical,
inasmuch as it is the first time that religion has been faced as a
factor, in the same detail, o f the cultural equipment o f man in a
Nevertheless, there were many things on which we had to make
certain compromises. Therefore, we did not commit ourselves to
theological expressions, which would have opened up the subjects
to discussion, and we did not go as far as we should like to have
gone along certain lines because, in the first place, we realized that
we judged the situation from a rather highly specialized point of
First o f all, i f we have given any impression that religion exists
in the minds o f any o f us for the sake o f democracy, let that be
obliterated. I think the topical portion o f the report brings out
clearly that religion is an attitude o f man, regardless o f the type
o f government under which he lives.
Nevertheless, it is our contention that religion has always dealt
primarily with the problem o f how the individual can express him­
self as an individual and that the fundamental problem in democracy
today is how, with the necessity of the development of governmental
functions, we can have those functions o f a cooperative society
expressed, at the same time preserving the individual values.
^ Therefore, today, religion becomes uniquely a force in the preserva­
tion o f democracy. That was our contention, Madam Chairman, and
that was the spirit o f the report. And in this spirit I move its
Points brought out in the discussion included the desirability o f
mentioning specifically the responsibility o f the home, as well as
the church and other social organizations, for the religious growth
o f older children and youth; and the desirability o f including in
the topical report some material which could not be dealt with ade­
quately in the General Report.
The section o f the report on Religion in the Lives o f Children was
adopted by the Conference.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Afternoon Session— January 19
Discussion o f and A ction on the General R e p o rt1


The first section taken up for consideration was Educational Serv­
ices. The executive secretary outlined the action taken by the Report
Committee on the recommendations submitted by the discussion group
on this subject, which pertained especially to the advisability o f
transposing from the topical report into the General Report certain
statements which were phrased differently in the two reports.
Dr. William G. Carr made the following statement: “ The recom­
mendations refer to the larger unity o f educational administration, to
State aid for lessening differences in educational opportunity within
States, and to Federal funds to lessen unavoidable differences in educa­
tional opportunities among States. Given those three recommenda­
tions, it is probable that the other recommendations can be put into
effect at an accelerated pace. Lacking those three recommendations,
we must expect a considerable amount o f retardation in putting into
effect the other recommendations.”
Suggestions were made that the report should include recommenda­
tions for “ provision of adequate instruction in safety education for
every child” and “ some reference to specialized vocational training
in preparental education” and that there should be a definite recom­
mendation concerning the treatment o f defective eyesight, a factor
affecting scholarship.
The comment was made “ that the health program in most o f our
schools has been the least effective of any o f the health programs put
on in the community,” and that “we still have large numbers o f chil­
dren with defective vision, defective hearing, and at the present
moment children in the lower strata of nutrition, about which nothing
has been done.” It was suggested that there should be a specific
statement regarding the responsibility of the school to see that im­
provement in this situation is effected, either by the school authorities
themselves or by their making possible through the school resources the
clinical and nutritional health services that should be available.
The statement was made by Alice V. Keliher, chairman of the
Commission on Human Relations o f the Progressive Education Asso­
ciation, that “ we have a tendency to consolidate schools all over the

1 Dr.

Henry F. Helmholz, a vice chairman of the Conference, presided.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings o f the W hite House Conference

country. Consolidation is neither good nor bad. Consolidation may
be good for the children, the parents, and the community. It is bad
where it removes children from their communities and makes it im­
possible for the kind of community education that has been described
to go on.” It was urged that “the proposed program should not be
accepted without differentiating between attendance units, tax units,
and the administrative unit.” The statement was made that “ many
teachers in the country have great difficulty making effective contacts
with homes, knowing the parents, taking care o f health. Children
eat cold, soggy lunches, and they go to school 15 miles by unsafe
busses.” The suggestion was made that the larger units should be
recommended where larger units are indicated, but that this must not
be done indiscriminately.
The Conference voted to adopt the section o f the report on Schools.
It was reported that no changes were suggested with reference to
the section on Libraries, except for one statement which needed clari­
fication. Ralph Munn, director of the Carnegie Library o f Pittsburgh,
speaking for libraries, suggested that the recommendation regarding
provision for special collections and personnel to serve children should
not be limited to “ libraries in larger cities” ; even the very smallest
o f libraries should have special collections and personnel for children.
He suggested also the desirability o f adding a recommendation that
provision should be made for research in library service to youth, to
serve as a basis for determining policies and programs.
The question was raised as to the reason for leaving out museums—
“ they play a large part in the cultural life o f the Nation, and certainly
the modern museum that takes its branches into the poorest districts
does a grand job in education.” This question was left for consider­
ation by the Report Committee.
The Conference voted to accept the section on Libraries.

Presentation of the changes recommended by the Report Commit­
tee in the preliminary draft o f the report on Child Labor and Youth
Employment was followed by a statement by Anne S. Davis, assistant
chief o f the Division o f Women’s and Children’s Employment o f the
Illinois State Department o f Labor.
A nne S. D avis. I just want to emphasize, very briefly, the sig­
nificance o f the report on child labor and youth needs.
Twenty years ago, when the second White House Conference was
held, the recommendations relating to child labor presented for adop­
tion were essentially the same as the recommendations that are being
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Children in a Dem ocracy, January 18- 80, 19JJ)


presented here today. They provided for a 16-year age m in im u m for
children entering full-time employment. As this report points out,
only 12 States today have a 16-year age minimum for full-time
Gains have been made during the past 20 years in reducing child
labor in this country, especially in the mills and factories and the
mines, due in part to legislative enactment, both State and Federal, to
widespread unemployment, to the improved school programs in many
parts o f the country, and to technological changes in industry. But
after we have made a recital o f these gains and the way in which
child labor has been reduced, we are confronted with the fact that
child labor still exists and that there is still a child-labor problem.
There are many people in this country who believe that child labor
is no longer a problem and many have the erroneous idea that the
Fair Labor Standards Act o f 1938 has eliminated child labor. Yet
it has been estimated that it has affected only 20 percent o f the children
under 16 who were employed when the act became effective, and it
applies, as you know, only to those industries which ship goods across
State lines. However, it does give the Children’s Bureau power to
raise the minimum age to 18 for industries which are considered
It is estimated that there are between 500,000 and 1,000,000 children
who are still employed in this country. The exact figures cannot be
given until the next census is completed, but thousands are employed
in commercialized agriculture unregulated by State laws. Thousands
more are employed in street trades, and there are only 20 States that
have laws regulating the employment o f children in street trades and
in the sale and distribution o f newspapers.
Then there are many thousands in occupations that are intrastate in
character. They are likely to be employed in offices, stores, garages,
filling stations, and all the service industries, and these occupations may
be just as detrimental to their health, to their physical development,
and to their education as work in factories.
Great inequalities still exist in the various States in the protection
offered these children as to standards o f minimum age for entering
employment, as to hours o f work, as to night work, and as to prohibi­
tion o f work in hazardous occupations.
There are still at least 10 States in 1940 that permit children, no
matter how young, to work in nonmanufacturing occupations, though
some o f these States do set a minimum o f 14 for full-time employment.
There are 25 States that permit young persons between 16 and 18
years o f age, regardless of their immaturity, to enter hazardous occupa­
tions. Yet statistics have shown that the accident rate for this age
group is very high.
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Proceedings o f the W hite House Conference

The children under 16 who are now employed in intrastate industries
need protection just as much as children who are engaged in industries
which ship goods across State lines. In a democracy all children
should be given equal opportunity and protection. Initial responsi­
bility for legal regulation lies in the States but Federal action is a
requisite in order to provide minimum standards below which no
State may fall.
The minimum standards proposed are not radical. They have been
generally accepted as minimum in protective legislation for a number
o f years. Their adoption would mean that if the children are kept
in school until the age o f 16, the jobs now occupied by these children
may go to the youth over that age who are not in school and who
are not at work.
The great problem today is to find a way o f putting to work the
nearly 4 million youth under 25 years o f age who are now unemployed
and who constitute one-third o f the total number o f unemployed in
this country. The youth are getting into idle habits. Their ambi­
tions are being destroyed because they see no opportunity ahead.
Their situation is so acute at this time that major attention should be
given to national planning and Federal financing to provide work
opportunities for the millions o f youth now unemployed.
The Chairman stated that in view o f the close relationship o f pro­
tection against child labor and “ youth and their needs” the two sections
would be considered together. Joseph Cadden, executive secretary,
American Youth Congress, made a statement in regard to the programs
o f the C. C. C. and the N. Y. A.
J oseph C adden. Although at the present time it is possible that
300.000 young people could be enrolled in the C. C. C., the funds which
have been appropriated by Congress are not sufficient to allow such
a large enrollment; there has been a suggestion by the President that
the enrollment be further cut during the next fiscal year. I should
also like to point out that although we say that only one-fourth o f the
young persons out o f school and out o f work are being aided by these
constructive efforts, actually the figure is about one-tenth and not
In addition, I think it would be important to mention here that
300.000 are being given aid by the W. P. A. O f course, this probably
will not be true during the next fiscal year if the cut in the budget
which has been proposed by the President goes through, because the
young people on W. P. A. will be among the first to be cut off.
I think that we must specifically say that, recognizing the value of
the N. Y. A. and the inadequacy o f its current budget with which it
reaches only 1 out o f 10 unemployed and out-of-school young people,
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Ohildren in a Dem ocracy, January 18- 20, 191^0


Congress should at least double the appropriation for the next fiscal
The N. Y. A. is for young people from relief families. A very
small percentage o f nonrelief young people are being helped by
the N. Y. A., and it has now become very difficult for the millions,
literally millions, o f young people who are not from relief families
to find anywhere to fit into the Federal program o f youth aid. It
seems that it is time for someone to take leadership in the fields o f social
service, health, education, recreation, in fields where there will be thou­
sands o f opportunities for young people if they are given the training
when the Federal Government is able to expand its services as is
recommended in other sections o f this report.
Mrs. Dorothy J. Bellanca, vice-president o f the Amalgamated
Clothing Workers of America, called attention to the omission in the
report o f mention o f the part that organized labor has played in help­
ing to eliminate child labor. She said: “ This is not a legislative body;
this is not a body that can really enforce. It is a body that is recom­
mending, perhaps for the next 10 years, and if we cannot go far
enough to recommend the complete elimination o f child labor during
school periods, I think we have failed in our efforts. I appeal to this
Conference to adopt this recommendation eliminating child labor
during school periods.”
In answer to a question as to the desirability o f setting a minimum
age o f 16 “ for all employment during school hours or at any time in
manufacturing or mining occupations” but permitting the minimum
age o f 14 for limited periods after school hours and during vacations,
Mrs. Bellanca replied: “ I am opposed to any exception for the child
under 16 to work even after school, taking into consideration that we
have half a million children under the age o f 16 who leave school and
seek employment and also taking into consideration that we have 4
million youth unemployed who are seeking jobs and cannot get them.”
It was moved and seconded to eliminate all exceptions and make a
flat minimum age o f 16 years for all employment inside or outside
school hours. This motion was voted down.
It was suggested that there should be legislation which would make
it compulsory for children under 18 years o f age either to be in school
or at work or in some kind o f directed project. Discussion brought
out the fact that the Report Committee felt that it was not wise to
extend the period o f compulsory school attendance to 18, particularly
® vi^w o f the fact that a ^.ater recommendation on youth employment
calls for the provision o f public work opportunities for all youth not
in school who cannot obtain employment. Some members o f the com­
mittee thought that there were many children who would not benefit
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Proceedings o f the W hite House Conference

by any school programs available to them or that could be made avail­
able to them within the reasonably near future and that the existing
programs o f education were not adapted to their needs and they would
be better off at work. It was their hope that the public would accept
responsibility for seeing that work was available to all these young
people. It was pointed out that it was perhaps unrealistic to think
that work could be made available to every young person who would
not have voluntarily remained in school, but in reply it was reiterated
that it would not be wise to require all between 16 and 18 to attend
the ordinary schools.
In view o f all the problems and difficulties, it was decided that the
best that the Report Committee could do was to recommend to the
Conference that there should be expression o f the obligation o f the
community to provide schooling, but that the phrase relating to
compulsory attendance should be omitted.
After some discussion it was suggested that in the recommendation
that Federal, State, and local governments should provide work proj­
ects for youth over 16, not in school, who cannot obtain employment,
a recommendation should be included that the N. Y . A. and the
C. C. C. be continued and extended.
A n amendment to the recommendations was proposed, declaring in
favor o f the immediate passage o f the proposed child-labor amendment
to the Constitution. It was reported that the topical statement on
Child Labor and Youth Employment includes the following: “Rati­
fication o f the proposed child-labor amendment by the eight States
whose action is still required to make it a part o f the Constitution
should be completed in order to provide protection for children em­
ployed in intrastate industries as well as those in interstate industries
now covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.” A motion to include
in the General Report a recommendation favoring the immediate com­
pletion o f the ratification o f the child-labor amendment was put to a
vote after some further discussion. The Conference voted in favor o f
the motion.
Emphasis was given to the importance of a tie-up between the public
machinery of the employment service and the schools in the broad
area o f guidance and placement, so that cooperative arrangements
rather than competitive efforts might be encouraged in this field.
It was voted to accept the sections on Child Labor and Youth

In behalf o f the Report Committee, Grace L. Coyle, director o f the
group-work course, School o f Applied Social Sciences, Western Re­
serve University, said that the Report Committee incorporated into
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



On Children in a Democracy January 18- 8,0 19Jfi


the General Report a statement suggested by the discussion group
which gave a more adequate interpretation o f the development o f the
use o f free time. The committee felt that the emphasis on play and
recreation alone did not adequately represent the possibilities o f learn­
ing which come, not only through what is recognized by the child as
play and recreation, but also through a great deal o f informal educa­
tion that goes on voluntarily in leisure-tune groups. The committee
agreed also that the report needed additional emphasis in regard to
the relation between public and private agencies, with special recog­
nition o f the place o f the private agency in this field. It was also de­
cided that consideration be given to the dominant place o f the new
forms o f entertainment industry, particularly the radio and the movies
and their effect upon children; those interested in children should have
more part in the development o f programs which are influential in the
development o f child life.
Adoption o f this section was voted.

Horton Casparis, M. D., professor o f pediatrics, School o f Medicine,
Vanderbilt University, opened the discussion on Health and Medical
Care for Children.
H orton C asparis. There is one thing that I should like to empha­
size in this health section that I do not believe comes out quite so well
as it should, and that is the fact that there have been tremendous ad­
vances in the promotion and restoration o f the health o f children. I
do think it should be emphasized that much has been accomplished.
Now, that does not mean that we do not have to go further, a great
deal further. I happen to come from the starving South, and we did
not know we were starving until someone called our attention to it.
That simply means that people have to be taught to realize what con­
dition they are in.
In my work with individual children in the groups with which we
are concerned, I find that the problem is not merely a matter o f having
better wages, more income, fo r these people. It is largely a matter
also o f teaching them the components o f good health, o f welfare, and
o f religion.
As I say, we did not know we were starving until somebody told us.
A lot o f the people that we deal with do not know, actually, what good
health is until they are taught the components o f good health and are
shown by demonstration that things can be better than they ever
thought. Until they realize what good health is they are not going
to have an appreciation o f better health, and i f they do not appreciate
it I do not believe we can force it on them.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings of the White House Conference

W e can do a lot o f spraying from above and get them to absorb
some health out o f this sprayed atmosphere; but on the other hand it
seems to me that health and appreciation o f it have to be grafted into
people through education, and that the most effective method o f
education in the promotion o f health and in the restoration o f health
is demonstration. That seems to be the way they learn to appreciate
and learn to tell others about what good health is. I might say that
there is one place where there is no unemployment and that is in the
medical and nursing profession, among people well qualified to carry
on this work. There is a marked scarcity o f well-qualified people,
capable o f demonstrating modern methods o f promoting health and
restoring health.
The health o f people is not going to be any better than they want
it to be. They are going to want it only through being shown the value
o f it. The health care that people get is not going to be any better
than the quality o f the personnel that gives it. That brings me to
two points o f emphasis in the health section—which, by the way, I
think has been done extraordinarily well and thoughtfully—and one
o f them is that we need more knowledge.
A s I said a while ago, we need to do research, not only to accumulate
basic knowledge but also to find the methods o f using and disseminat­
ing this knowledge. And we need more qualified personnel to act upon
this knowledge and spread it among the people.
One o f our greatest defects in health care today is not lack o f knowl­
edge but lack o f use o f available knowledge, and that has to come
through trained personnel if we expect to get anywhere.
Now there is another point that I wish to emphasize. I think health
is more or less a voluntary matter. It has to be wanted in connection
with assistance through other measures. I do not deny that assistance
is needed, but it has to be on a voluntary basis ; the health o f people
cannot be any better than they want it to be, and they cannot get any
more out o f life than they put into life. In the broad sense we are all
children in a democracy, and adults have to see that, because the chil­
dren are going to get their ideas from the people who teach them,
whether it is in the home or by the medical groups involved.

The discussion included the follow ing points: Instead o f giving an
estimate o f the number o f preventable maternal deaths, it would be
better to say that “ a considerable portion o f these maternal deaths are
preventable.” It would be desirable to place emphasis upon growth
and development, so that the concept o f health w ill be more dynamic.
It might be opportune to include in the report some reference to in­
struction in parenthood, not only for women but also for men. It
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


On Children in a Democracy January 18-&0,191ft


was said that “ the report recognizes that there are certain deficiencies
and wants them remedied as they can be remedied, and that means that
we have to help as individuals and in our existing groups, as well as
help by government.”
The section on Health and Medical Care for Children was adopted
by the Conference.
It was reported that very few changes had been suggested in the
draft o f the section on Social Services for Children. Material on set­
tlement laws and on proper care o f migrants cut across all categories
o f help, and the Report Committee, therefore, decided to set up a sep­
arate section o f the report to show how the migrant problem cuts across
all other sections, instead o f treating it under social services only.
It was pointed out that it was necessary to condense the treatment
o f social services into very small space and that, therefore, the question
o f juvenile courts and delinquent children had to be dealt with in one
It was pointed out that the last White House Conference issued a
volume on the delinquent child which is still germane and valuable
and that a great many o f its recommendations have not yet been
carried out. It was suggested that additional material from the topical
statement on the subject o f the juvenile court and the treatment o f
delinquency should be taken over into the General Report and that
more detail should be given in the General Report regarding social
services in connection with court action.
The Conference adopted the report on Social Services fo r Children.

Changes which had been made in the section on Children in Minority
Groups in the preliminary draft o f the General Report were discussed.
The discussion brought out the importance o f measures taken by
the school and the community to give recognition to the valuable con­
tributions to American life made by the various nationality groups.
It was said that “ the problem o f the second-generation child is partly
due to the fact that he is often made to feel ashamed o f his parents
and o f his cultural or racial group.” Emphasis was placed upon the
desirability o f positive statements regarding treatment o f racial
This section o f the report was adopted.

No changes were suggested by the Report Committee in the section
on Public Financing and Administration. It was stated that this sec
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Proceedings of the White House Conference

tion had been discussed with people in public administration.
part o f the report was adopted by the Conference.


Richard A . Bolt, M. D., director, Cleveland Child Health Associa­
tion, made a motion with regard to inclusion in the report o f a state­
ment on the effects o f alcohol: “ Alcohol, taken in its various forms, is
recognized as a potential as well as actual danger to the integrity o f the
home, in its social, economic, and moral aspects, as well as to health.
Its social uses by adolescents is likely to fix habits which disrupt
fam ily life.” The motion was seconded by James Hoge Ricks, judge
o f the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, Richmond, Va., who
made a statement including the follow ing: “ In the work in the juvenile
and domestic-relations court, I find the use o f intoxicants seriously
affects the life o f the child in many o f its phases. This is one o f the
most serious problems o f fam ily life. The excessive use o f intoxicants
by parents causes dire poverty in the home, physical neglect o f the
children, and emotional and nervous disorders in them. It is not solely
economic. The drinking man may work regularly at good wages but
drink heavily over the week-end. * * * I think we should empha­
size the obligation o f the State to give our children a continuous pro­
gram o f education as to the harmful effects o f alcohol, and that the
church should include such instruction periodically in its Sundayschool program.”
The observation was made that we should “talk in terms o f temper­
ance and restraint and excessive use o f these things.” It was suggested
that “ parent education w ill take up this matter without loading the
general program o f this Conference with the minutiae o f detailed
programs.” Other comments were as follow s: “ People who are inter­
ested in parent education are giving thoughtful attention to this pro­
gram ; it w ill appear in the parent-education programs that w ill grow
out o f this Conference all over the country.” “ I understand fully the
idea o f temperance in life, but alcohol and temperance do not go to­
gether.” “ Many accidents that occur on our public highways are due
to this one feature. * * * This Conference should go on record as
recognizing that alcohol is a danger in the fam ily, and if certain asso­
ciations are laying stress upon the importance o f this element in their
programs this should be mentioned in the report o f the Conference.”
It was moved that the subject be referred to the Report Committee
fo r consideration. This motion was carried.

The section o f the report on Call to Action was adopted by the
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18-80,191J)


The motion was made and seconded that the Conference adopt the
report, as amended, as a whole, subject to editorial changes by the Re­
port Committee, and that the report be published as the General
Report o f the W hite House Conference on Children in a Democracy.
Sanford Bates, executive director, Boys’ Clubs o f America, Inc.,
returned to the subject which he had introduced earlier in the session,
and made the follow ing m otion: “ It is the sense o f the meeting that
the report be amended by the insertion at appropriate places o f state­
ments which will record the progress and the eminence o f the Am eri­
can, culturally, socially, educationally, and materially, in order that
critics o f our system may have correct information, in order that our
own people, and particularly our children, may not lose confidence in
American democracy as a way o f life, and in order that we may be
encouraged and reassured thereby to press on to greater and higher
accomplishments.” A fter considerable discussion, emphasizing par­
ticularly the desirability o f having the report show progress that has
been made in the United States, it was pointed out that insofar as this
involves comparison with other countries there is very little informa­
tion available fo r exact measurement. The proposed amendment was
The question o f adopting the Conference report as a whole was put
to a vote. The report as a whole was adopted.

262205°— 40-

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Session at the White House—Jan uary 19
Opening Remarks by the Chairman o f the Conference
Those o f you who have been meeting in this Conference for the last
2 days know how important have been the deliberations, the recom­
mendations, and the discussions which we have had together, and
I think that I am right when I say to you and to the President that
this Conference has been an example o f democracy in action.
Embraced within this Conference are people o f all shades o f opinion
and from all kinds o f background. There are people who come from
every walk and every experience which American life offers to its
citizens. So I think we are unusually proud o f the quality and char­
acter o f the deliberations and the discussions which we have had in
these last 2 days, for we have been concentrating our experience and
our knowledge upon the problems o f the child in American life. I sub­
mit that out o f the exercise o f the old democratic process o f debate,
o f dispute, o f question, and o f attack, i f necessary, we have had a
coming together o f minds, a sense o f the meeting o f minds, if you w ill,
which is the essence o f Ajnerican democracy.
In a country as large as this, we cannot hope to have the simple,
elemental practice o f the town meeting, but we have had, I think,
within this representative assembly, something that approaches the
town meeting in its experience and in its expression o f its knowledge.
This, I think, Mr. President, is a very significant and a very important
contribution to the ways o f life in America in this year 1940, for i f we
cannot find a way to meet each other’s minds and to meet each other’s
objections we have lost the essence o f democracy. But in this Con­
ference I think we have found a way by which honest people, people o f
good w ill, really can have a meeting o f the minds.
W e have broken up into specialized groups for discussion o f special
aspects o f the problems o f the child in American life in this year 1940,
and we have recalled that this is not the first W hite House Conference
on children—this is the fourth W hite House Conference on children.
W e have reiterated and reaffirmed our faith in the recommendations o f
the first and the second and the third W hite House Conference on
the life o f children in America, and we have realized that insofar as
we perform our duties and perform our functions with regard to
children in America we are, perhaps, laying the basis o f a democratic
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18-&0,194-0


This Conference tonight is a conference o f unusual importance and
significance in American life. I want to remind you, Mr. President,
that it is a conference in which we have recommended not only a few
patterns and programs which might be useful if enacted into law and
made the basis o f State or Federal action. It is important because it
has recommended, also, a pattern o f life and a pattern o f procedure and
development which can be lived by the people o f America, the parents,
the teachers, the ministers, the recreation directors, the people o f the
United States.
And this is a citizens’ conference, Mr. President. This is a con­
ference in which the people o f the United States have, themselves,
participated. That is why this deliberation is important and that is
why it is really a picture and an aspect o f democracy in action—the
people o f the United States meeting together, not in this case through
elected representatives but through a group o f selected representatives,
selected because o f their knowledge and experience in particular fields,
not trying to impose a pattern but trying to recommend a pattern
which w ill really draw to itself the allegiance o f the people o f the
United States because it is practical, because it is simple, and because
it does really represent the moral purpose o f all the people o f the
United States..

The Significance o f the Conference to Parents
Mrs. H. W. Ahabt
President, Associated Women o f the American Farm Bureau Federation

T o us the most significant fact is that we have a government and an
administration interested in children and their welfare, and this gov­
ernment is striving to eliminate some o f the inequalities o f opportunity
that now exist.
W e have a government that is most anxious to solve the social and
economic problems that affect the welfare o f children and youth in all
its aspects, to give guidance and assistance required to assure security,
protection, and opportunity.
W e are again reminded o f the fam iliar fact that city populations do
not reproduce themselves and must depend on rural areas to meet their
deficits. Authentic reports show—and we have heard this many times
in the Conference—that the farmers o f the Nation are supporting
nearly one-third o f the Nation’s children on less than one-tenth o f the
Nation’s income. Anyone can see what that means to the children in
farm families.
So why should not this Conference be most significant to rural par­
ents and urban people ? It is significant to parents in that it is thinking
o f the health o f our children and attempting to inaugurate a plan to
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Proceedings of the White House Conference

make America a healthy place for our children and our children’s
children. W e are impressed with the fact that the Conference is con­
sidering the housing needs o f children and is attempting to help the
Government in its promotion o f better places to live. W e are con­
sidering the nutritional needs o f the children and are trying to help the
Government make food available to every child.
A very significant factor is that the Conference is attempting to think
in terms o f the parents themselves and to help them secure the infor­
mation which is most needed in order to have healthier and happier
children in America.
This Conference, as Madam Secretary just said, is truly a picture
o f democracy in action. W e believe that the fam ily is the threshold
o f democracy, and we further believe there can never be satisfactory
substitutes for the integrity o f fam ily life and its dedication to the
task o f properly preparing children for the venture in citizenship.
In our deliberations we are stressing spiritual values and the im­
portant part religion has played in the development o f the ideas o f
man and o f the development o f our national life.
W orking together as we are in this Conference, we adults are exem­
plifying and putting into practice the recommendations we are em­
phasizing for child guidance and development; that is, learning that
there is a common bond between the interests o f the individual and
the interests o f the group, learning to respect the rights o f others and
to develop tolerance for their differences in traits and points o f view,
learning to adjust ourselves to the needs o f others without the sacrifice
o f principles.
The greatest potential danger to our American democracy lies in
the attitude o f our youth to the solution o f pressing economic problems.
Ten years o f widespread unemployment and the feeling o f insecurity
that permeates various groups have caused certain dangerous tendencies
to manifest themselves in both the lower and upper age brackets. Age
grows preoccupied with unworkable plans for pensions, and youth
turns to ill-conceived plans fo r the complete reorganization o f society.
These conditions are o f the utmost concern not only to parents but to
their children. How many millions are roaming the country, homeless,
workless, and with no constructive goal ahead o f them ?
An increasingly large proportion o f children are on relief. Youth
fears the future and under conditions o f fear becomes fertile soil for
the planting o f seeds o f discontent.
Youth is a period o f life when one expects to gain an economic foot­
hold in the world. Children in a democracy are entitled to all the
emoluments that provide the necessities o f life and opportunities for
constructive service to self and the State. It is the duty o f govern­
ment to take whatever steps are necessary to provide these emoluments.
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18-&0,1 9 0


I subscribe wholeheartedly to the work o f the National Youth Adm in­
istration and the Civilian Conservation Corps and to their magnificent
accomplishments in saving American youth from the black-out o f eco­
nomic crises. Democracy’s greatest responsibility is to the children
o f our land.

The Conference Report and Program o f A ction
H omes: F olks, Chairman of the Report Committee

The membership o f the Conference has accepted the report and
approved the recommendations submitted by the Report Committee.
W e may now profitably take not a bird’s-eye view but an airplane view
o f three areas in which we have been working in the fields:
I. Children in the American democracy in the 1980’s.
II. Our present conclusions and recommendations.
III. Getting something done about them.

We have by no means extracted the full meaning o f the events o f
the past decade in relation to children. The depression is, o f course,
the outstanding feature o f that decade. W e should not underestimate
its terrific blow to the child life o f America. Neither should we under­
estimate the fact that the depression was met, stood up to, and dealt
with, by the people o f this country. Democracy proved itself flexible,
resourceful, and concerned about its children. It had to take, and did
take, many new untried steps for the relief o f the families o f the
unemployed, including several million children.
Among these steps, it is interesting to note, is the full recognition
in the amendments to the Social Security A ct in 1939 o f one o f the
chief conclusions o f the first W hite House Conference, in 1909; namely,
that children should not be removed from their families for poverty
alone. That unchallenged statement has steadily moved into the area
o f accomplishment during the decade. It received an enormous im­
petus when the original Social Security A ct established Federal aid
to dependent children; the amendment o f 1939 extended this principle
to well nigh its logical conclusion. The hope o f 1909 is a fact in 1939.
Several important things happened during the thirties which indi­
cate that the steps taken to conserve the welfare o f children and their
parents were not without surprisingly encouraging results. For in­
stance, the death rate among babies under 1 year o f age continued to
fall through the thirties. In 1929 it was 68 per 1,000 live births; in
1938 it was 51, a decrease o f 25 percent. That is striking. It would not
have been surprising if it had gone up. But there are even more strik­
ing facts. Since the time o f my earliest public-health experience I
had been told that the maternal death rate in the United States was
high, that it remained high, and that seemingly no one could do any
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Proceedings of the White House Conference

tHing about it. But look now at the depression decade. In 1929 the
maternal death rate was 70 per 10,000 live births. In 1938 it was 44.
It has decreased each year, and in 1938 was 37 percent less than 10
years before.
Again, look at tuberculosis. In 1929 the number o f deaths from
tuberculosis in the United States (estimating conservatively 2 States
whose figures were not then complete) was 93,000. It declined each
year, and in 1938 was 64,000, a reduction o f 29,000 or 31 percent, in the
number o f human lives lost from this cause in 1938. Most o f these per­
sons were in the middle years o f life when fam ily responsibilities were
at their peak. This was certainly a great contribution to the increased
stability o f fam ily life and child care.
Thus even the 1930’s yield cheerful indications for the 1940’s.
W e start upon the new decade hopefully. W e have acquired experi­
ence* and momentum. W e have learned to be flexible. W e have
learned that we must study changing general conditions and be ready
to adapt ourselves and our activities thereto.
In 1940 we begin with new knowledge on how families may be
protected still further in the performance o f their vital functions for
children. Especially is this true in avoiding the break-down o f the
fam ily by avoidable illness or premature death o f the father or
mother. There is every reason for confidence that the notable improve­
ments o f the past decade in the reduction o f maternal m ortality and
tuberculosis may continue with accelerated momentum.
New scientific knowledge and administrative experience open up
other new and promising opportunities fo r comparable gains. The
Nation-wide Federal-State-local well-organized campaign for the con­
trol o f syphilis should certainly reduce in the near future the number
o f disabilities and deaths o f fathers and mothers, for which any
monetary grants can afford only the slightest amelioration o f the harm
done. Pneumonia, until now a catastrophe to be faced with resigna­
tion, is now definitely subject to direct and hopeful attack along simi­
lar cooperative lines, and thereby many thousands o f families that
otherwise would lose father or mother w ill be kept intact. Other
striking opportunities open before us in almost a bewildering variety,
though in varying degrees o f development. Protection o f the health
o f their parents certainly must be our first line o f defense fo r the
children o f America.
In general, we may say that we already have the essentials for pre*
ventive and ameliorative services— a legal framework, a favorable pub­
lic attitude, and adequate scientific knowledge. W hat we need is to
study the present coverage o f preventive and ameliorative services and
to measure long-standing lacks and gaps in particular areas or in par­
ticular functions. The questions o f administrative practicability and
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18-&0,1940


o f financial support move up into the first order o f importance. Gen­
erally speaking, to secure full benefits fo r all children (and we dare
not accept a lesser aim) we must move toward larger geographic units.
The further increase o f technical knowledge makes the smallest units
increasingly impracticable. W e must have larger units, but not too
large, not at least until we have tried out the units next larger than
we now have. W e are clearly entering upon a hopeful effort to solve
the problem o f complete coverage by a system o f financial aid and
through some degree o f leadership, by the larger units, for the smaller
ones, but not for the smallest. This means State aid, fiscal and tech­
nical, for the next smaller units. It means Federal aid, fiscal pri­
m arily, but also technical, fo r the States, and through them fo r the
localities. In entering upon this era o f increased State aid, we should
bear in mind our reasons fo r so doing, the advantages and also the
limitations o f this plan. So long as we leave the operating responsi­
bility to the States we must be careful not to impair that responsibility.
It may well be that a decade from now the next W hite House Confer­
ence on children may find one o f its first duties to be that o f studying
and evaluating the plan o f Federal aid and State aid in the light o f
its actual effects upon the vitality and effectiveness o f the different
areas o f government. W e need not try now to forecast its conclusions
in 1950.
The “ follow -up” for the 1940 Conference w ill be the subject o f tomor­
row morning’s session. The 98 recommendations o f the Report Com­
mittee have been accepted. The text o f the report gives the why and
wherefore for them. One thing may be said o f them all—they w ill not
be self-starting. W e are committed by the logic o f events, by our own
self-respect, by the special knowledge and interest we have developed,
to making some plans and taking some steps to initiate a follow -up
program. What, then, in broad outlines are the things which we are
to follow up?
The Report Committee put together these recommendations as its
best judgment o f what is actually needed; they were set down, one by
one, on their merits. The order in which they are to be followed up
must take into account at least two things—their inherent importance
and the present degree o f probability o f their realization.
It would seem in order, then, to reexamine each o f these recom­
mendations and to ask by what steps its accomplishment may be
approached; who in terms o f authorities, agencies, or individuals, must
act in each case; and who can get him or them to act.
The W hite House Conference is not a permanent nor even a con­
tinuing body. Presumably it should not be. It may be best that once
a decade it should start afresh. It should ask, “ Are we getting what
we thought we would get when we set out on our various courses?”
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Proceedings of the White House Conference

There is unquestionably some degree o f inherent tendency in all
governmental bodies toward becoming bureaucratic and self-satisfied;
and there is, as I see it, an equal tendency in voluntary agencies. The
active program at the moment obscures the view o f the long-range
objective, and the location and nature o f that objective may be for­
gotten. Therefore, in essence, the follow -up program presumably
must consist primarily in getting those permanent or quasi-permanent
bodies, public and private, which have interests or responsibilities
relating to children to measure their present programs and activities
against the things which this Conference finds to be desirable. I f
they concur as to the soundness o f our findings, we may hope that,
with such aid and support as we may enlist for them, they w ill m odify
their program so as to coincide more fully with the conclusions o f this
The recommendations o f this Conference vary widely in kind.
They range, fo r instance, from changes in the attitude o f the entire
people toward such questions as fam ily life as a preparation for
democracy, on the one hand, to detailed amendments o f the Social
Security A ct on the other. They include several prepared studies, one
under Federal auspices, two under national voluntary agencies. They
include a readjustment o f the programs o f a wide variety o f voluntary
agencies, Nation-wide, State, and local, particularly with reference to
taking a constructive interest in governmental policies and activities.
They include action by Congress, both on lines o f Federal operation
and on lines o f cooperation with States. They include legislative and
administrative action in each o f the 48 States. They include modifi­
cation and development o f the activities o f all local governmental
agencies in the wide fields o f education, health, welfare, and recreation.
To give an initial impulse toward such extended objectives it is
obvious that a general educational campaign must be carried on in
respect to the studies, conclusions, and recommendations o f this Con­
ference. It should assist in creating a background-of interest and
acceptance on the part o f the people, out o f which soil modifications
o f the attitude o f individuals, action by voluntary agencies, and legis­
lation and administration o f governmental authorities might naturally
Not only must the soil be prepared by such a broad, inclusive in­
formation service, but the seed must be sown—seed o f many varieties—
and each type must be sown in the manner, under the circumstances,
and in such locations as w ill give promise o f normal growth and
fruitful harvest.
In other words, our task is to foster a definite interest on the part
o f voluntary agencies and public authorities concerned with any
phase o f the total field— education, health, welfare, recreation, and
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18-&0,191^0


the like—in reviewing their present activities in the light o f the
present activities o f all agencies and authorities and o f the total
picture as outlined in our report. Since the end o f knowledge is
action, it must be our hope that in the light o f such comparison they
w ill proceed to the enactment o f such legislative changes and the
realization o f such administrative changes as may be required in
their respective areas to bring about a harmonious, comprehensive
program fo r the children o f America, based on State and local action,
stimulated and supplemented by Federal action, supplemented and
strengthened by voluntary agencies to such extent as may be necessary
to achieve the general objective.
The answer to the question as to who must be followed up must be
“ everybody” : the general public, the general informational and edu­
cational services, the officers and directors o f voluntary agencies, the
President and the Congress, the 48 Governors, the 48 legislatures, and
the army o f local executive and legislative bodies.
There is one other group which must be follow ed up, perhaps the
most important and possibly the most difficult—ourselves. W e see
the W hite House Conference objectives now, we feel their importance
at the moment; but they are no longer novel to us. Under the
pressure o f our other continuing interests are we not likely to lose
sight o f the logical im plication o f what we have done here? W e
must organize procedures by which we may follow up even ourselves,
lest we forget.

Address by the President o f the United States
I come here tonight with a very heavy heart because shortly ago I
received word o f the passing o f a very old friend o f mine, a very
great American, Senator Borah. I had known him for a great many
years and I had realized, although perhaps on this or that or the other
political problem we may have differed from time to time, yet his
purpose and my purpose and the ultimate objective o f, I think, every­
body in this room interested in the future o f America, were iden­
tical—and the Nation has lost one o f its great leaders in his passing.
I am glad to come here in the thought that Senator Borah o f Idaho
would want us to go on with the work o f building a better citizenship
in the days to come in the United States.
You know, I go back, not as far as he did, but I go back a great
many years. I go back to my days in college when I worked fo r an
organization called “ The Social Service Committee.” A fter that my
wife came into the picture and, when we were engaged, I discovered
that she was teaching classes o f children on the East Side in New
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Proceedings of the White House Conference

And then, very soon after I was admitted to the bar, I got to know
another very great American, an old friend o f yours and mine, Homer
Folks. Probably Homer does not remember it himself, but in New
York in those days we were just beginning to take up the problem o f
providing milk for babies, for mothers, in all parts o f that big city.
And I, wanting to do something in addition to trying to learn a little
law, went in with an organization which has long since ceased to exist
because it was absorbed by greater organizations, the New York M ilk
Committee, and I worked for 2 or 3 years in trying to help in placing
milk stations for babies on the East Side and West Side and up in the
Bronx in New Y ork City.
Homer Folks was one o f the principal moving agencies in setting
that up, and it is rather an interesting thing that the woman who was
most directly responsible for helping to provide milk for dependent
poor children in the great city o f New York was Mrs. Borden Harriman. I sent Mrs. Harriman as United States Minister to Norway
2 years ago.
Last A pril when this Conference first met in this room I asked you
to consider two things: first, how a democracy can best serve its chil­
dren ; and, the corollary, how children can best be helped to grow into
the kind o f citizens who w ill know how to preserve and perfect our
Since that time—since last A pril—a succession o f world events has
shown us that our democracy must be strengthened at every point o f
strain or weakness. A ll Americans want this country to be a place
where children can live in safety and grow in understanding o f the
part that they are going to play in the future o f our American Nation.
And on that question people have come to me and they have said,
“W hat about defense?” “W ell,” I have said, “ internal defense and
external defense are one and the same thing. You cannot have one
unless you can have both.”
Adequate national defense, in the broadest sense on the one side,
calls for adequate munitions and implements o f war and, at the same
time, it calls for educated, healthy, and happy citizens. And neither
requisite, taken alone, taken all by itself without the other, will defend
the national security.
And so today, in January 1940, it is my pleasure to receive from you
the General Conference Report with its program o f action. You have
adopted this report after days o f careful deliberation, preceded by
nearly a year o f study and discussion.
And, by way o f illustration, I am having a problem with the Con­
gress o f the United States as to whether the problems o f the United
States are going to be decided after a couple o f days o f careful de­
liberation in each House or whether I am going to get a couple o f
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18-&0,1 9 $


m illion dollars for undertaking studies that would correspond to this
year o f study, this year o f discussion, that you good people have been
putting into the problem o f children in a democracy. And I think
I am going to win out.
When I started to jo t down some notes about what I was going to
say tonight— and so far I have been speaking, as you have observed,
practically extemporaneously—I said to myself, “ This is going to be
the most dreadful speech I have ever delivered,” because when I come
to write down notes and dictate a speech, I say to myself, “W hat is
it in this particular subject that I am going to talk about that hits
me between the eyes?” And, on this particular subject o f children
in a democracy, the thing that hit me between the eyes was what I
got about a week ago— a list, a tabulation, a catalog o f what you have
been studying.
And so I felt that the Nation as a whole ought to realize that the
subject o f children covers several pages o f a catalog. There are so
many interests involved, so many problems involved. Almost every­
body who is hearing me tonight, I suppose, in every State o f the Union,
thinks o f children in terms o f two or three o f these subjects on the
average, two or three subjects in which he or she has special experience
or special interest, such as the education o f children or the recreation
o f children or the health o f children. Or he or she may have some
great enthusiasm fo r one particular kind o f child-welfare service. For
instance, I m yself am tremendously interested in crippled children.
But this Conference report rightly calls on us to think o f children
as a whole, as each child is related, not to one life, not only to his own
life but to the lives o f his brothers and sisters, the life o f his fam ily,
and then, inevitably, to the life o f his community, the life o f his county,
the life o f his State, and the life o f his Nation.
And that is why if people in this country are going to think o f this
problem as it really is, they have got to listen to a catalog for the
next 10 minutes.
I can illustrate best the extent to which the interests o f children are
interwoven with the interests o f families and communities by giving
you these main topics o f the Conference. I do not think there is any
one o f these topics o f which we can say, “W ell, that is awfully nice,
but what relation has it to the problem o f my child?” W ell, o f course
it has; every subject here has.
And the first part o f the Conference report reminds us sharply that
by every step we take to protect the families o f America, we are pro­
tecting the children also. Put that in another w ay: It means that
what Federal Government and State government, county government,
town government, village government, everything else, what they are
doing to coordinate the economy and the social problems o f their own
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Proceedings of the White House Conference

communities in relation to the whole population necessarily has an
effect on every child in that community. Here we find in this report
recommendations in general which constitute an argument for but­
tressing and strengthening, in the first instance, the institution o f the
fam ily, the fam ily as it relates again to a whole, and o f other things—
health, training, and opportunities o f children in what we are pleased
to call a democracy—and, thank God, it still is.
This part o f the discussion includes families and their incomes,
families in need o f assistance, families and their dwellings, and the
fam ily as a threshold to the future democracy o f this country.
And then, follow ing that group o f topics, the report discusses a
lot o f other things that either enter or ought to enter into the life
o f every American child in every part o f the country, schools, religion,
leisure-time activities—mind you, these are all separate topics that
we are trying to coordinate into one national picture—libraries, pro­
tection against child labor, youth and the needs o f youth, the con­
serving o f child health, the social services fo r children, children in
m inority groups, and, something that a lot o f people forget, as I have
good reason to know as the Chief Executive, the subject o f public
financing and administration.
But what I am specially pleased about is th is: that this Conference,
made up o f men and women that belong to every political party in
every part o f the country, has found that we have definitely improved
our social institutions and our public services during-these past 10 years.
I think they have been the most interesting 10 years since—what?
W ell, at least since the Civil W ar and maybe since the Bevolution.
And we are all glad we have had a part in them because I believe
that though we have had lots o f trouble, lots o f difficulties, these
past 10 years have been 10 useful years and, on the whole, 10 years
o f definite progress in a democracy.
The Conference concludes, and rightly, that to have made progress
in a period o f hardship and strain proves that America has both
strength and courage.
But, again, I agree with the Conference that we still have got
a long way to go. T oo many children—and you can find them in
every State in the Union—are living under conditions that must be
corrected i f our democracy is to develop to its highest capacity. The
Conference tells me that more than half o f the children o f America
are living in families that do not have enough money to provide fu lly
adequate shelter, adequate food, adequate clothing, adequate medical
care, and adequate educational opportunities.
I have been called to task, as you all know, because I have reiterated,
reiterated many times, something about one-third o f America—the
ill-clothed, ill-housed, ill-fed—criticized on the ground that I was
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18-%0,19IJ)


saying something derogatory. I have been telling the truth, and you
good people have sustained me by that statement that more than half
the children o f America are living in families that do not have enough
money to provide fully adequate shelter, food, clothing, medical care,
and educational opportunity. W hy should not we admit it? B y
admitting it we are saying we are going to improve things.
Yes, and you are rightly concerned that provision be made fo r those
who are unemployed, whether fo r economic or for personal reasons.
T o keep families from starving while the fathers walk the streets in
vain in search for jobs w ill not give children the best start in life.
Social insurance to provide against total loss o f income and appro­
priate work projects adjusted to fluctuations in private employment
and both urban and rural needs, constitute the first lines o f defense
against fam ily disaster.
And I am glad o f what has been said tonight about urban problems.
I think my very good old friend, the Mayor o f New York, would not
mind my telling a story o f what happened up at Hyde Park last
autumn. He was up there lunching with us. W e had a big lunch,
18 or 20 people, and we were talking about the problem o f distribution
o f population in the United States. W ell, that is an old thing that
I have been “ hobbying” about for a great many years, 20 or 30 years.
And I talked about the problem o f overcrowding the cities. I talked
about whether it was a good thing, with a big question mark, about
cities getting too big, the bigger cities getting still bigger, and whether
we could not work on some plan for a greater decentralization o f the
population, the building up o f the smaller communities. And then,
as a sort o f jest, I said, “ You know, Fiorello, I am going to say some­
thing awful that you won’t agree with. I think your problem in
New York City, with 7 m illion men, women, and children in it, is
a bad one. I think that the problem o f civilized life in a community
o f that size is almost too big a problem, and I think that New York
would be better off if it had 6 m illion people instead o f 7.”
And the Mayor o f New York looked at me, and he said, “Mr. Presi­
dent, I cannot agree.” He said, “ Mr. President, you are wrong.” He
said, “ New Y ork would be better off if it had 5 m illion people in it
instead o f 7.”
And, by way o f follow ing up the same subject—this is just purely
from memory—we were talking o f conditions before the W orld W ar,
somewhere around 1913 or 1914 when I was over here in the Navy
Department—I read an extraordinarily interesting pamphlet which
carried out the thought that you have heard tonight about rural
populations. It was by a great French doctor who had made all
kinds o f examinations o f records, vital statistics in half a dozen o f
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Proceedings of the White House Conference

the great cities o f Europe, and he had come to the conclusion, and
had attempted to prove it by fam ily statistics, that any fam ily that
had been city-bred for three or four generations died out and that
the only families in cities that survived were the families that had
an influx o f country blood every generation or two. Now, I do not
know whether our modern medical friends w ill support that, but at
least it is something well worth our thinking about in terms o f the
America o f the future.
You tell me, in effect, in this report what I have been talking about
fo r many years, that we have been moving forward toward the objec­
tive o f raising the incomes and the living conditions o f the poorest
portion o f our population, that we have made some dent on the prob­
lem and that, most decidedly, we cannot stop and rest on our rather
meager laurels.
Y es; I agree with you that public assistance o f many kinds is
necessary. But I suggest to you that the Federal Treasury has a
bottom to it, and that mere grants-in-aid constitute no permanent
solution o f the problem o f our health, our education, or our children,
but that we should address ourselves to two definite policies: First,
to increase the average o f incomes in the poorer communities and
in the poorer groups, in the poorer areas o f the Nation, and, secondly,
that we should address ourselves to an insistence that in every com­
munity, in every State, and the D istrict o f Columbia, they should
pay taxes in accordance with ability to pay.
The Conference report—going on with this catalog—and it is very
educational to read a catalog—has called attention also to the need
for continuing and expanding public and private housing p r o g r a m s
if the families in the lowest income groups are to live in dwellings
suitable fo r the raising o f children.
Last A pril, to take another item, I referred to our concern fo r the
children o f the m igratory families who have no settled place o f abode.
I spoke casually to the press today about a study I am making. Up
in the State o f Washington we are spending a great many millions to
harness the Columbia River, to put a great dam up there which w ill
pump the water up onto a huge area o f land capable o f providing a
living fo r 500,000 people—irrigated land, today a desert, which can
be made a garden with the process o f modern science. W ho ought to
go there? Are we going to treat that, 2 years from now, just as we
treat the average irrigation project? W ill it be a contract with the
Government to pay out the loan over a period o f years on the b a s is first come, first served?
I have read a book; it is called Grapes o f Wrath, and there are
500,000 Americans that live in the covers o f that book. I would like
to see the Columbia Basin devoted to the care o f 500,000 people repre­
sented in Grapes o f Wrath.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


On Children in a Democracy, Jarmary 18-20, 1940


M igratory families, the situation o f their children, children who
have no homes, families who can put down no roots, cannot live in a
community—that calls for special consideration. But I am being
practical. I am trying to find a place for them to go. This means,
in its simplest terms, a program for the permanent resettlement o f
at least 1 m illion people in the Columbia Basin and a lot o f other
places. And remember that the money spent on it after careful plan­
ning is going to be returned to the United States Government many
times over in a relatively short time.
T o go on, your report has devoted many pages to fam ily economics.
I know very little about that—my w ife does. W e all recognize that
the spirit within the home is the most important influence in the
growth o f the child. In fam ily life the child should first learn confi­
dence in his own powers, respect fo r the feelings and the rights o f
others, the feeling o f security and mutual good w ill and faith in God.
Here he should find a common bond between the interests o f the indi­
vidual and the interests o f the group. Mothers and fathers, by the
kind o f life they build within the four walls o f the home, are largely
responsible fo r the future social and public life o f the country.
And, just as we cannot take care o f the child apart from the fam ily,
so his welfare is bound up with a lot o f other institutions that influence
his development—the school, the church, the agencies that offer useful
and happy activities and interests for leisure time. The work o f all
these institutions needs to be harmonized so as to give our children
rounded growth with the least possible conflict and loss o f effort.
And the money and hard work that go into these public and private
enterprises are, again, repaid many times.
And I think that religion, religion especially, helps children to
appreciate life in its wholeness, to develop a deep sense o f the sacred­
ness o f the human personality. In view o f the estimate that perhaps
one-half o f the children o f America are having no regular religious
instruction, it seems to me important to consider how provision can
best be made fo r some kind o f religious training. W e can do it because
in this way we are capable o f keeping in mind both the wisdom o f
maintaining the separation o f church and state and, at the same time,
giving weight to the great importance o f religion in personal and
social living.
And I share with you the belief that fair opportunity fo r schooling
ought to be available to every child in this country. I agree with
you that no American child, merely because he happens to be born
where property values are low and local taxes do not, even though
they should, support the schools, should be placed at a disadvantage
in his preparation for citizenship.
Certainly our future is endangered when nearly a million children
o f elementary-school age are not in school: when thousands o f school
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Proceedings of the White House Conference

districts and even some entire States do not pay for good schools.
This situation has been reported by many agencies, private and public,
and, the way I have got it down here in my manuscript, “needs to be
more widely understood.” That does not mean anything. What I
really wanted to say is this: I would like to put on the front page o f
every newspaper in the United States a list o f the most backward
school districts, the most backward school States in the United States.
That is rough treatment, but if every person in the United States
could know where the conditions are worst in education and health
those areas would get the sympathy, the understanding, and the help
for im proving those worst o f conditions. And again, I have to sug­
gest that the permanent answer is not mere hand-outs from the Fed­
eral Treasury but that the problem has to be solved by improving
the economics in these poorer sections and an insistence, hand in hand
with it, that there be adequate taxation in accordance with ability
to pay.
W e must plan also, on a larger scale, to give American children a
chance for healthful play and worthwhile use o f leisure. I agree
with you that a democratic government has a vital interest in those
matters. And I am glad that you have suggested a national com­
mission, under private auspices, to study leisure-time needs and recrea­
tional resources.
More than in any previous decade we know how to safeguard the
health o f parents and children. Because o f the advance o f medical
knowledge and the growth o f public-health work, we have it in our
power to conquer diseases that we could not conquer 10 years ago,
and the ability to promote general good health.
New opportunities to us mean new duties. It was one thing to let
people sicken and die when we were helpless to protect them. And
it is quite another thing to leave a large portion o f our population
without care at all. It is my definite hope— and I believe that hope
can be fulfilled—that within the next 10 years every part o f the
country—just to use an example—every part o f the United States
w ill have complete and adequate service for all women during mater­
nity and for all newborn infants. That we can do.
So, too, good nutrition is the basis o f child health. And I am equally
in sympathy with your suggestion that I appoint a National Nutrition
Committee to review our present knowledge and to coordinate our
efforts, looking toward the development o f nutrition policies based
on the newest and best methods—and we are making new discoveries
every day.
You, all the members o f the Conference, have charted a course, a
course for 10 years to come. Nevertheless, the steps that we take
now, in this year o f 1940, are going to determine how far we can
go tomorrow, and in what direction.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


On Children in a Democracy, January 18-&0, 19J/-0


I believe with you that i f anywhere in the country any child lacks
opportunity for home life, fo r health protection, for education, for
moral or spiritual development, the strength o f the Nation and its
ability to cherish and advance the principles o f democracy are thereby
I ask all our fellow citizens who are within the sound o f my voice
to consider themselves identified with the work o f this Conference. I
ask you all to study and discuss with friends and neighbors the pro­
gram that it has outlined, to study how its objectives can be realized.
May the security and the happiness o f every boy and girl in our land
be our concern, our personal concern, from now on.
You, the members o f this Conference, this Conference on Children
in a Democracy, you are leaders o f a new American army o f peace.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Translating the Conference Report Into Action—
Jan u ary 20
Opening Remarks by the Chairman o f the Conference
F or 2 days we have been listening to and taking action on the report
o f the Conference which has made recommendations o f opinion and
recommendations for action.
In his address last night the President o f the United States asked
all o f us to consider how the objectives o f the Conference could be
realized. Only as they mean to the children o f our Nation a better
chance for the security o f home and health and educational oppor­
tunity do they have real significance.
It is how to put them into action and how to prepare a method o f
putting them into action that we are to consider this morning as a
primary responsibility o f the last session o f the Conference. Our
theme at this closing session then is the findings and recommendations
adopted yesterday and presented to the President and their transla­
tion into a pattern o f action by which we are all prepared to stand.
In order that the Conference might have before it suggestions for a
program o f action, a committee on follow -up was appointed by the
Planning Committee. The report o f this committee outlining plans
for Nation-wide consideration and action w ill be presented by its

Plans fo r Nation-W ide Consideration and Action. R e­
port o f the Conference Comm ittee on the Follow-Up
P rog ra m 1
Mrs. Saidie Orb D unbab
President, General Federation o f Women’s Clubs

It was the task o f the Conference Committee on the Follow -U p
Program to consider how the goals toward which we have set our
faces in this Conference may be reached. The challenge given to us
at the first session o f the Conference in A pril 1939 by the President
o f the United States, the chairman o f the Conference, and the chair1Members of Committee on the Follow-Up Program: Mrs. Saidie Orr Dunbar, chairman;
Elisabeth Christman, Martha M. Eliot, M. D„ Henry F. Helmholz, M. D., Homer Folks. Rev.
Bryan J. McEntegart, Mrs. J. K. Pettengill, Floyd W. Reeves, Josephine Roche.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Children in a Democracy, Jammry 18-®0, 191$


man o f the Report Committee, was tw ofold. It included, first,
review and restatement o f the primary objectives o f a democratic
society fo r its children, and the extent to which they are being realized
or can be realized in the United States; and second, the call to consider
how our children may be prepared to take their places as citizens in our
democracy, to understand its aspirations and contribute to its fuller
This Conference, though called by the President o f the United
States, is an enterprise carried on by citizens from many walks o f life,
the m ajority not connected with government. Through committees
and a research staff, with the aid o f groups o f consultants in which
more than 150 persons have participated, material and recommenda­
tions on 11 m ajor topics have been brought together. As a second
step, these have been combined into a General Report, which was
adopted January 19 after 2 days o f deliberation and presented to the
President the same evening in a session held at The W hite House.
The report covers the follow ing subjects: The Fam ily as the Threshold
o f Democracy; Families and Their Incomes; Families and Their
D w ellings; Families in Need o f Assistance; Social Services fo r Chil­
dren; Children in M inority Groups; Religion in the Lives o f Chil­
dren ; Conserving the Health o f Children; Educational Services in the
Community; Leisure-Time Services; and Protection Against Child
Labor. The last section o f the report is a “ Call to Action” : to do now
those things that can be done now, and to plan now those that must
be left fo r the morrow.
The Conference believes that in a world showing many signs o f
break-down the American people can present a picture o f a Nation
directing its thought and actions toward building fo r the future.
Thus we can strengthen our democracy.
In responding to this call we are encouraged by the definite and
tangible results o f the three previous conferences on children held
under W hite House auspices. The Conference o f 1909 gave great
impetus to the mothers’ pension movement and the movement fo r the
establishment o f the United States Children’s Bureau. The Confer­
ence o f 1919 adopted child-welfare standards and stimulated efforts
fo r health protection, child-labor regulation, and protection o f chil­
dren suffering from individual or social handicaps such as the physi­
cally handicapped, the dependent, and the delinquent. The 1930
Conference adopted the Children’s Charter, constituting a declaration
o f the rights o f American children, and laid the foundations for
developments in many fields.
The gains made as the result o f these Conferences did not just hap­
pen. W ords mean nothing in an undertaking o f this kind unless they
lead to action. Fortunately America is rich in possibilities fo r carry
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Proceedings o f the W hite Bouse Conference

ing the message o f this 1940 Conference to every com er o f the United
States. There are agencies in the Nation and in the States and local
communities devoted to advancing the health, education, and welfare
o f children and strengthening fam ily resources fo r the care o f
Membership in the Conference is not confined to a single group but
represents a cross section o f American life. Members o f labor or­
ganizations, farm organizations, churches, schools, leisure-time
agencies, and health and social-welfare organizations—all have partici­
pated in its work. Many agencies o f the Federal Government are
represented in the Conference membership and on Conference com­
mittees. To name only a few, they include the Children’s Bureau,
the Office o f Education, the Public Health Service, the Social Security
Board, various Bureaus o f the Department o f Agriculture, Federal
housing agencies, the National Youth Administration, the W ork P roj­
ects Administration. In addition to governmental resources, Federal,
State, and local, many privately supported organizations are conduct­
ing or are keenly interested in child-welfare work. Some 150 national
organizations interested in children have direct access to the work o f
the Conference through membership o f persons active in these agencies.
To put the recommendations o f the Conference into effect is not a
matter o f creating new agencies. Existing organizations need a con­
tinuing source o f information and help in directing their efforts into
the most fruitful channels and more fully coordinating their activi­
ties. There is need also to bring the work o f the Conference to the
attention o f individuals all over this country, so that the goals for
childhood which the Conference has set forth may be realized.
It is clear that Nation-wide planning is only the beginning o f a
program for making this Conference mean something to individual
children. It must reach individual children in communities and
States, in Maine or Mississippi, New York, Michigan, or Florida. It
must mean something to Johnny, whose father is dead; to Mary, who
shares in the work o f the fam ily as they follow the crops, never staying
long enough in any one place for Mary to become really settled in
school; to undernourished Stephen or crippled Susie or George, whose
mother is at her wit’s end to know why he is forever coming to the
attention o f the police and the juvenile court. The general aims o f
the Conference are equally valid in all parts o f the country and fo r
all children; the community efforts that must be made to achieve the
objectives w ill be many and varied.
In the last analysis whom must we reach in this follow -up program?
It is the citizen, voter, taxpayer. He is the one, the only one, who
can turn recommendations into realities. It may be at a school-board
meeting to choose a school superintendent or teacher who w ill carry
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18-&0,19lfi


out the educational policies recommended; it may be as a member o f
the parent-teacher association whose support or whose pressure may
determine whether a school district is large enough to do the job and
whether the school budget shall provide kindergarten and recreation
along with the three “ R ’s.” The citizen or voter confronted with a
bond issue for a county hospital or a community health service may
determine whether the child or the expectant mother is to receive
medical care. A s citizens join together in common effort to urge pro­
vision fo r libraries where there are none, to support public housing
programs where public opinion is indifferent, to create good w ill for
sound labor relations and labor policies, the aims o f this Conference
will be carried forward.
No standardized follow -up program w ill do. One State may need
to focus its effort on im proving its program o f aid to dependent chil­
dren ; another, on strengthening its child-labor law s; another, on rais­
ing the standards o f its maternal and child-health w ork; another, on
im proving its rural schools. In all States there is need for improve­
ment in all these activities, but the steps that should be taken first
are not the same in every State or even in every community within a
The Conference Committee on the Follow -U p Program has been
exploring the ways in which the Conference could be most effective
in planning how to meet these widely varying needs through utilizing
all the resources o f private initiative and government that can be
mustered. It makes the follow ing recommendations:
1. That follow-up work be started at once.
2. That responsibility for national leadership in the follow-up program be
placed in a National Citizens Committee and a Federal Interagency Committee
o f the White House Conference on Children in a Democracy. The National
Citizens Committee should be nongovernmental in character, representing or­
ganizations and associations that have participated in the work o f the Conference.
The Federal Interagency Committee should include representatives of Federal
agencies that have participated in the Conference activities.
3. That the function of the National Citizens Committee include preparing and
disseminating printed, visual, and radio material; enlisting the cooperation of
national organizations in studying and furthering the objectives o f the Confer­
ence ; cooperating with governmental agencies in matters relating to the follow-up
program; and assisting the States and Territories in the development o f State
and Territorial programs adapted to the needs and interests of each State.
4. That the Conference request the Federal agencies represented in the mem­
bership of the Conference to form a Federal Interagency Committee o f the White
House Conference on Children in a Democracy, with power to add to its mem­
bership, whose functions would include: interchange o f information and co­
ordinated planning on the part of the Federal agencies in matters related to the
Conference program; cooperation with the National Citizens Committee; col­
laboration with such State interagency committees as may be form ed; and
encouragement of cooperation between the Federal agencies and the State agencies
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Proceedings o f the W hite House Conference

with which they have dose relationships in carrying out the objectives o f the
5. That State follow-up programs he inaugurated, adapted to the special prob­
lems and circumstances in each State. In making this recommendation the
Conference takes note of work already done in reviewing child-welfare conditions
in certain States and Territories, notably Louisiana and Hawaii, preparatory to
this session of the Conference. Development of State citizens’ and interagency
committees may be found to be advisable in many States; in others, different
methods o f organization would be more appropriate. The National Citizens
Committee and the Federal Interagency Committee should make available to the
States service in developing methods o f organizing State follow-up work.
6. That State groups responsible for follow-up programs provide leadership
to local communities which desire to organize or expand local programs for de­
termining the ways by which children may be given more adequate care in their
homes and through community services.
7. That the Conference authorize the Planning Committee to appoint a group
of 5 to take responsibility for organizing and calling together a National Citizens
Committee of approximately 15 to 25 members, representative of the interests o f
labor, industry, agriculture, religion, citizens, and the professions.
8. That the Finance Committee o f the Conference be asked to explore the possi­
bilities o f financial support o f the work o f the National Citizens Committee for
a definite period, sufficient to provide adequate leadership and staff assistance,
with funds available if possible for assistance in the development o f State
follow-up programs.
9. That in all States and in local communities existing organizations interested
in child welfare participate to the fullest extent possible, and that National, State,
and local organizations stress continuity and progressive development o f the
services they are prepared to render.
10. That in organizing follow-up programs, National, State, and local, due con­
sideration be given to minority representation in planning and carrying out the
follow-up work of the Conference.

The W hite House Conference on Children in a Democracy recognizes
the steady progress that has been made in many fields o f child welfare
during the past 30 years. It likewise faces the shortcomings and
deficiencies which still exist and determines to set these forth fo r the
immediate consideration o f the people o f the Nation. W e raise our
voices in expression o f fair claims for adequate funds to meet the needs
o f children, who cannot speak for themselves. “ Our concern is every
In this hour o f world-wide confusion, we are gathered in our Nation’s
Capital to accept a call for action to do those things that can be done
now fo r children, to safeguard the strong fam ily life which is abso­
lutely essential to our democracy, and to plan now those things that
must be left for the morrow. W e can present to the world a picture
o f a nation devoting thought and resources to building for the future.
Thus the fourth W hite House Conference w ill serve the child o f today
and the children o f the future.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Children in a Democracy, January 18-&0,191fi


The Responsibility o f the Individual and the Com m unity
Mbs. F ranklin D. R oosevelt

I was asked to tell you this morning about individual responsibility
in the matters which you have been discussing here.
It is perfectly obvious that each member o f the Conference feels
a personal responsibility for carrying out as far as possible in his
community the ideas and the programs which have been thought out
during the past few days; but that is not enough. I think more and
more we realize that what we really must do is to awaken the respon­
sibility o f each individual as far as he can be reached in every com­
munity throughout the United States.
Now, that is a difficult thing to do, and yet as the first thing that we
have to consider in carrying out a program is how we are going to
get the money, it is important that every individual make a study
o f his own community and the needs o f the children in that commu­
nity. It is true that we cannot separate the children from the needs
o f their families, but the more we know about our own community
the better we shall be able to understand what we hear about commu­
nities in other parts o f the country.
The President, last night, said that it was necessary for the country
to know conditions throughout the country, that there were places
that would find it extremely difficult fo r economic reasons to carry
their own load, and that if the rest o f the country knew about what
was happening in any locality which did not have a sufficient economic
background to carry on the necessary services o f education, o f health,
o f care for the young people o f the community, then the rest o f the
country, realizing the importance that everywhere these things be
considered, would be w illing to help bring up the economic level in
their neighbors’ communities.
Perhaps that seems a long way to go, and yet I think we realize
that no one in this country stays forever in the place where he is born.
It is true a few people never move out o f their locality, but more and
more we are finding that people travel and the people who unfor­
tunately have come from communities which cannot give their chil­
dren a fair chance are going to come and live, perhaps, in the
community where we pride ourselves that we give our children every­
thing it is possible to give them.
Therefore, we have got to become national-minded. W e want to try
to take an interest in the economic situation o f every part o f the
country. W e want the whole country, for instance, to know when
one part o f the country needs legislation to help it bring up its eco­
nomic status. W e all want to get back o f the measures which will
help every community.
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Proceedings o f the W hite House Conference


In the meantime it may be necessary for other communities to help
those communities until they have been able to make every community
in the country self-sufficient enough to carry whatever they really
need to do for the well-being o f their children.
I think the important thing that we want to bring home to our con­
stituencies is that this program must be the responsibility o f every
citizen, not just to see that a child in his own community has a chance—
that is very important, very necessary—but as a citizen o f a Nation
to watch the children o f every community.
I have seen many things in different parts o f this country, and I
have seen children that I think everyone who is listening today would
agree with me had very little chance o f being valuable citizens in a
Democracy is being challenged today, and we are the greatest
democracy. It remains to be seen if we have the vision and the
courage and the self-sacrifice to give our children all over the Nation
a chance to be real citizens o f a democracy.
I f we are going to do that, we must see that they get a chance at
health, that they get a chance at an equal opportunity for education.
W e must see that they get a chance at the kind o f education which w ill
help them to meet a changing world. W e must see that, as far as
possible, these youngsters, when they leave school, get a chance to
work and get a chance to be accepted and to feel important as
members o f their communities.
I think there is nothing that helps one to develop so much as
responsibility, and for that reason I think it is well for us to try to
bring home to every one o f our citizens the fact that our young
people must be given an opportunity to feel real responsibility in their
I also feel that it is a pity we do not, some o f us, retire from some
o f our responsibilities and turn them over to younger people in our
communities, because we learn by doing and they w ill learn by doing,
too. And I hope that from this Conference there will come a knowl­
edge throughout the country o f the needs o f young people and a
willingness on the part o f more and more people to take a national
point o f view and a national sense o f responsibility fo r the young
people o f the Nation who w ill some day make the Nation,

The Responsibility o f Government
Frank B ane
E xecutive D irector, Council of State Governments

A ll people have not always agreed that government has any responsi­
bility for the welfare o f children. John Randolph, more than a
hundred years ago, bitterly complained o f a new movement that had
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18-MO, 1 9 $


recently seized the mind o f man that government should educate our
children for us, and he prophesied that such a policy would undermine
the moral fiber o f the Nation and make us all laggards and, perchance,
About 85 years ago President Pierce, in vetoing a bill for Federal
aid to the States fo r welfare purposes, said in no uncertain terms that
the United States under the Constitution has no responsibility in this
field. President T aft, some 30 years ago, questioning whether he
should sign a bill just passed by Congress establishing a United States
Children’s Bureau, observed that interest in the education o f children
and their development was one thing, but recourse to the National
Government fo r a bureau o f this sort was decidedly another thing.
The President was more accurate, perhaps, than he realized.
The establishment o f the United States Children’s Bureau was
another thing, but a very important thing, and one which marked
the beginning o f a new era fo r childhood in America, an era in which,
within the short space o f one generation, all areas o f government, Fed­
eral, State, and local, would recognize their collective and cooperative
responsibility for the welfare o f all children, would assume that re­
sponsibility, and would make great progress in an effective manner
toward building a sound and lasting foundation for this democracy
o f ours.
W hat is the responsibility o f government for the welfare o f chil­
dren ? The answer is not difficult. Previous W hite House conferences
have charted the course, have laid out a program, and we are well
under way.
It is the responsibility o f government to see that the children o f
these United States are well-born, that they enjoy a sheltered childhood
amidst healthful surroundings, that they have an opportunity to play,
that educational opportunities are available to all in accordance with
their needs, and last but most important, that provision is made for the
economic security o f families and that there is a place for children in
the economic scheme o f things when they grow up. Upon these last
two, it seems, all else depends.
One o f the first problems to which the newly established United
States Children’s Bureau directed its attention was that o f maternal
and infant hygiene. As a result o f its activities in cooperation with
States and localities and o f the extension o f public-health activities
and services generally there has been a great and constant decrease in
infant m ortality throughout the country and the maternal death rate
has been greatly curtailed.
First, under the Sheppard-Towner A ct, and now under the stimu­
lation o f the maternal and child-health section o f the Social Security
A ct, all Federal, State, and local governmental agencies are busily
engaged in a Nation-wide effort to reduce further the hazards o f moth
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Proceedings of the White House Conference

erhood, to reduce further infant mortality, and to insure for all
children a running start in the game o f life.
A sheltered childhood, amidst healthful surroundings, and an op­
portunity to play—here, too, progress has been made, but here the
unevenness o f our progress is most apparent. A ll levels o f government
are now agreed that families should be kept together, and concrete
governmental programs are now designed to this end, as Homer Folks
said last night, after 30 years.
States, and particularly municipalities, have within the short space
o f 25 years adopted recreation as a regular and continuing function o f
government and have built recreation programs. The city o f 10,000
or more anywhere in this country without a playground fo r children
is today an exception.
Despite this development, however, such facilities are not available
for all children because in this country some children still must work.
It is therefore, I believe, a responsibility o f government to outlaw child
labor in America definitely, form ally, and effectively by ratifying the
child-labor amendment now pending.
A s in no other country in the world, our governments have accepted
the responsibility fo r providing educational advantages to all children,
and yet education, like some other more concrete commodities, suffers
from problems o f distribution; excellent facilities in some parts o f the
country, very poor facilities in others. The establishment o f certain
minimum standards, the financing o f an adequate system in rural a9
well as urban America, the gearing o f our educational system to meet
the needs o f children with differing mental and physical character­
istics, are problems which still confront government and to which we
must devote our attention during the next decade.
The question might well be raised, in fact has been raised during
the past few years, Can these services to children be maintained and
extended apart from the economic security o f families?
And what w ill it profit us to rear, educate, and train coming genera­
tions if, when they grow up, many o f them find the doors o f oppor­
tunity plastered with “ No help wanted” signs ?
Unemployment and fam ily security—these above all else seem to
constitute our m ajor problems as we enter the 1940’s ; problems which
are within themselves the m ajor responsibility o f our modem gov­
W e have attacked these problems on a broad front and we have made
much progress, but in the next decade we must find a comprehen­
sive solution fo r our economic ills. W e are, however, well started on
our main job, the main job o f every nation, that o f building citizens,
and during the next decade we mean to see this job through.
Just what, in a word, is the responsibility o f government? I can
state it no better than a very distinguished American whose birthday
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18-30,191fi


we celebrate next month stated it some 80 years ago. Abraham Lin­
coln stated that it is the responsibility o f government to do fo r the
people what needs to be done but what they cannot by individual
effort do at all, or do so well, for themselves. I think this Conference
subscribes to just that insofar as the government’s responsibility fo r
the welfare o f children is concerned.
I do not know, Madam Chairman, what these services w ill cost. I
have not tried to estimate it, but I do know that they are the price o f
democracy, a price that we can afford, I am convinced, and a price
that we must pay i f we would maintain this America o f ours as a land
o f opportunity, a land o f freedom, and a land o f peace.

Address by the Federal Security Adm inistrator
P aul V. McNutt

It is a great privilege and pleasure to participate in this Conference
on Children in a Democracy, and I wish at the outset to pay tribute
to the splendid leadership o f the Children’s Bureau in organizing the
Conference and likewise to the distinguished membership o f the Con­
ference, whose careful study and care have resulted in such stimulating
reports around which the discussions o f the Conference have taken
place. In studying these reports and in follow ing the discussions, I
have been impressed with the seriousness o f purpose behind the Con­
ference and the acute realization by all o f us o f the necessity fo r press­
ing for increased work fo r the welfare o f our children i f we are to
maintain the safety o f our democracy, because this safety depends in
large measure upon the welfare o f our children. A s the Administra­
tor o f the agency o f the Federal Government having the responsibility
fo r many o f our social-security programs looking toward the security
o f the fam ily, its wage earners, and individual dependent members,
I am continuously aware o f the great extent to which the well-being o f
our children depends upon real security fo r the family.
Mr. Bane brought that fact to your attention, and through his long
experience in the Social Security Board and now with the Council o f
State Governments, I know that he, by direct observation, has seen
the necessity for really assuring the welfare o f our children through
assuring the security o f our entire family.
This Conference has discussed all the elements making fo r this
security. It has considered the economic aspects, the health aspects,
the state o f education, recreation, and even o f religion.
That this Conference is a successful conference no one would doubt
who had attended its sessions or who had heard reports o f its discus­
sions. But the real success w ill not be measured by what is done here,
however brilliant the discussions have been, however earnest has been
our attention to the problems presented. It will be measured rather
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Proceedings of the White House Conference

by the extent to which we have learned in discussing these problems
together what is to be done back in the communities. That is the test.
It is the test o f the agency in which I am concerned. I go to the local
communities to test the efficiency o f that agency, to see i f those who
are entitled to benefits are receiving them promptly. In stimulating
community action, in educating our community groups, in m obilizing
our community public opinion to focus attention on the problems and
on the programs already in existence for the solution o f those prob­
lems, in considering where these programs are insufficient or inade­
quately administered, we need to use all the resources at our disposal.
W e must depend not only on our public agencies to further the
various programs in which we take interest. Private organizations
also have a great contribution to make, organizations like the Am eri­
can Legion with such a long history o f effective child-welfare work,
and our women’s organizations and our luncheon and civic clubs, as
well as the private and voluntary institutions engaged in administer­
ing their share o f these programs. W e want to expand that work.
A ll o f them welcome efforts to intensify their work by joint and
cooperative action. W e must promote this joint effort. F or this
purpose the National Citizens Committee which you are organizing
w ill be an effective tool.
A s a public administrator I cannot close without expressing, too,
the importance o f a strong public service with a high sense o f
responsibility for the success o f any program fo r children.
This service must be organized effectively and administered by com­
petent people, and to translate the high purpose o f this Conference
into effective action we need to make this the beginning and not the
end o f our discussion.

Fred K . Hoehler, director, American Public W elfare Association,
chairman o f the Committee on Organization, presented the follow ing
resolution, which was adopted by the Conference: “ That the Execu­
tive Committee, with the Report Committee o f the Conference, be
instructed to arrange fo r the distribution o f topical reports for
study and discussion in connection with the follow -up program ; each
report so released to have a foreword describing changes which are
the result o f discussion at this Conference.”
A second motion was made by Mr. Hoehler as follow s: “ That the
Planning Committee be instructed to direct the Report Committee
to prepare a final report based on the General Report adopted by
the Conference on January 19, to include also material which is the
product o f discussion on the topical reports from the group meet
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On Children in a Democracy January 18-&0,19JtO


ings o f January 18 or submitted by Conference members as such
material is deemed suitable by the Report Committee, and further
that the final report shall have the objective o f presenting to the
people o f the Nation a comprehensive picture o f the facts relating
to children in a democracy and the goals toward which attention
would be directed, it being understood that the final report shall be
published as the report o f the Report Committee.” This resolution
was adopted.
The C h a ir m a n . The time has now come to discuss the report o f
the follow-up committee. It will be distributed to you. I think
we ought to realize that in this Conference there are persons who are
active members o f over 150 national organizations, so that from the
composition o f this Conference the actual personnel for putting these
suggestions into effect all over the country is already here. In ad­
dition to these members, a number o f national organizations that did
not participate in the formation o f the recommendations have never­
theless been asked to come into the session this morning. These are
important national bodies that have large memberships before whom
these recommendations can be brought in their local meetings for
discussion and for local action in implementing and carrying out
such recommendations. W e also have here today, and have had
throughout the Conference, representatives o f the press, representa­
tives o f various magazines, and representatives o f the radio.
This report will be discussed under the 5-minute rule which we have
had previously in all other discussions. Miss Lenroot will read the
detailed recommendations so that you may have them once more
in your minds.
After the reading o f the recommendations by the executive secre­
tary o f the Conference, the chairman commented: “ I think the sug­
gestion that the Planning Committee select a group o f 5, and that
that group of 5 take responsibility for organizing a larger group of
25 members for follow-up work, is very wise. In other words, the
Planning Committee does not want to take the full responsibility for
running and developing this program in the future, but it is willing
to take the responsibility o f selecting a small group who will put
their minds on just the one thing o f developing a permanent committee
which can carry on.”
Discussion o f the report o f the committee on the follow-up program
brought out the following points:
The assistance of the National Citizens Committee should not be
limited to the States and the Territories but should include also the
Philippine Islands.
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Proceedings of the White House Conference

Emphasis should be placed upon the importance o f securing the
cooperation o f the motion-picture industry and broadcasting systems
in connection with follow-up activities.
“I f children are really to function normally, happily, and most
efficiently in democratic living, most of the responsibility must rest
upon the parents. This function is implicit, but it does not appear to
be sufficiently recognized in a specific way. The Conference recom­
mendations call upon agencies and organizations and upon Govern­
ment departments to do this and that and the other thing, and upon
the community and citizens, but they do not with any great clearness
indicate what is expected of parents.”
Reference was made to the importance o f the formation o f State
conferences to put into effect the findings o f the Conference, as pro­
vided for in the committee report.
Discussion o f the composition o f the National Citizens Committee,
the members o f which are to be selected by the group o f 5 to be author­
ized by the Planning Committee, brought a proposal that represen­
tation should be geographic insofar as possible, although State
representation would be impossible in a group comprising approxi­
mately 25 members. It was suggested that the membership might be
50 or more, with a small executive committee.
The Conference report does not place sufficient emphasis upon the
importance o f private welfare effort. In the follow-up work boards
o f private agencies and other citizen groups will be found most
The question was raised as to whether the follow-up program should
not make specific provision for follow-up information on orderly and
systematic procedure in organizing and promoting Federal and State
During the coming year probably every State will be having a
State conference o f social work. Instead o f having an individual
White House Conference in each of the States, efforts should be made
to arrange with State conference committees to have a definite part
o f the program set aside for consideration o f the White House Con­
ference program. Local groups concerned with follow-up activities
should consider securing the cooperation o f all the civic clubs and
the various women’s organizations; in the larger communities councils
o f social agencies are especially important.
“ The National Citizens Committee might well consider not only what
democracy must do for the child, but what children can do for democ­
racy. Children want a chance to do what they can for democracy by
translating its principles in terms o f their personal lives. With the
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18-&0,19JJ)


children with whom we work we shall try to share some o f the responsi­
bility for putting the program o f this Conference across and giving
them that part o f it that is their burden and their due; that is, helping
them to translate into the terms o f they* own living the principles that
are implied in this whole program.”
“ In all committees and programs set up to follow up the work o f this
Conference, whether National, regional, State, or county, due considera­
tion should be given to minority representation in the planning and
setting up o f these programs and committees and in actual partici­
pation in the follow-up activities.”
Statements made by members o f the Conference in regard to par­
ticipation o f organizations in the follow-up program included the
follow ing:
1 ^ V . H iscock, professor of public health, School o f Medicine, Yale
University. It seems to me that this Conference is an exhibition o f
joint planning and joint thinking which each one o f us may carry
back to our local and State communities and organizations with a
great deal o f profit, and I think this organization and the joint plan­
ning we have experienced here in approaching this magnificent prob­
lem from so many angles is something which needs to be forwarded
as the crux o f the ultimate success in our joint action in the future.
From the standpoint of observing the work o f these national health
agencies in relation to other national welfare agencies, and from the
standpoint o f observing the very many National and State agencies
interested in education where, for example, in school health educa­
tion alone we have over 45 national agencies interested, I hope that the
new National Conference for Cooperation in School Health Education,
which numbers now over 50 national agencies, as well as the agencies
aligned with the National Health Council, may be useful in forwarding
this movement which has started here, and in helping from the vol­
untary approach. In the interdepartmental committee we have at
the national level an illustration o f the value o f joint study and
joint action which, I think, i f applied at the State and local levels,
could accomplish great things. In the local health councils, local
health committees o f our councils o f social agencies, we have an instru­
ment which the National Health Council is helping to promote and
which may be useful in carrying forward this fine program.
E m m a C. P u s c h n e r , director, National Child Welfare Division,
American Legion. The American Legion, in its child-welfare pro­
gram, sets as its ideal a square deal for every child, and it will be our
responsibility to bring immediately to the attention o f our members,
numbering over a million and a half men and women, the informa­
tion that has come out o f this White House Conference on Children
in a Democracy, to study that information and give it publicity,
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Proceedings of the White House Conference

and to utilize it in the establishment, maintenance, and protection of
proper standards and facilities for child welfare.
W il l ia m F ein blo o m , director, Public Health Bureau, The Ameri­
can Optometric Association. Representing the American Optometric
Association, I can promise the cooperation o f both our National
Health Bureau and our State Health Bureau in carrying out the
purposes o f this Conference and in helping conserve the vision o f
our children to build up, in the words o f our President, our inter­
national defense.
Mrs. G eorge E. C alvert , State president, Oklahoma Congress of
Parents and Teachers. I happen to be here as a parent, representing
the Oklahoma Congress of Parents and Teachers. I happened also
to be the chairman o f the State follow-up committee of the 1930
Conference. W e organized at that tune a State-wide council of
child development and parent education. It is still working, and we
feel that the tie-up o f all these organizations is important on a
State level, going into our study groups and particularly into our
parent-teacher study groups, some o f which are still studying the
children’s charter.
Mrs. D o roth y J. B e l l a n o a , vice-president, Amalgamated Clothing
Workers o f America. I am speaking on behalf o f labor. Labor
has a great stake in this Conference. After all, the majority o f the
children in our democracy are children o f workers—industrial work­
ers and farmers. I can assure you, Madam Chairman and members
o f this Conference, that I shall give this Conference the greatest
publicity in every one o f the cities and States where my organization
has a membership, and we do have a membership in 32 States of this
Nation. I think it is very important to make plans and to work for
a better childhood. I am very much concerned about the subversive
forces that are working among the young in our Nation.
Rev. H. J oseph J acobi, executive director, Associated Catholic
Charities o f New Orleans. When I left here in April o f last year
I was determined that since I was a representative o f the Governor,
I would do everything that I could to forward the interest of this
Conference. So when I went back I suggested to him that he appoint
someone officially to head the activities in regard to the Conference.
I did not expect that he would appoint me, but he d id ; so first o f all
I asked him for his full backing and for his authorization to act in
his name and with his authority as the first safe step in doing any­
thing at all. Then to form a State-wide committee I called a small
group o f four or five people who gave me suggestions for the mem­
bership o f the State-wide group, and it took us about 2 weeks to
decide on that membership. W e got together a group o f about 25
on the State-wide group and we discussed many of the things that
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On Children in a Democracy, January 18^20,19JJ)


were brought up here for a State-wide program. We decided to
have a research committee and a publicity committee. The research
committee concerned itself with the situation in Louisiana, getting
together what material we had already and looking out for possible
sources o f additional information as to our own situation as well as
for information that would give us comparable figures and data
from the rest o f the States. That committee has been working quite
regularly since the middle o f August.
I think I am very fortunate in knowing that I have a group of
people waiting for me back home, people from the educational field,
from the religious field, from the health field, from the two schools
o f social work, from the two universities o f medicine, from all groups,
from the parent-teachers association, from the religious groups.
In addition to that our research committee has gotten up a list of
all the organizations that might be interested in the work o f the
Conference, and in lieu o f a State-wide conference, we have agreed
that we would send representatives who will have prepared speeches
and information at their fingertips, to appear at the annual meetings
o f the parent-teacher, State education, and State welfare groups, at
State conferences o f social workers, and at national meetings o f the
religious organizations.
Mrs. C h ar les W. S e w e l l , administrative director, Associated
Women o f the American Farm Bureau Federation. I should only
like to add to what has already been said, the very fine feeling of the
Associated Women o f the American Farm Bureau Federation,
pledging you our support in trying to carry out this program. Many
references have been made to the rural problems, and we should like
to put at your disposal the offices o f the Associated Women and the
American Farm Bureau Federation to promote this feeling o f good
will, and cooperation in the program.
Mrs. W arren L. M abrey , secretary, National Congress of Parents
and Teachers. I am here as a représentative o f the National Congress,
o f Parents and Teachers, which has a membership of more than 2^4
million. Our main purpose is that of child welfare. Our member­
ship has been looking forward for many months to the outcome o f this
White House Conference, and I can assure you o f our cooperation
and the widespread publicity that will be given to the findings o f
this Conference and the application that will be made in our parentteacher meetings throughout our country.
E sth er C ole F r a n k l i n , associate in social studies, American Asso­
ciation o f University Women. Those o f us who are associated with
the educational and civic groups know that whatever progress is made
in social legislation and administration can be effective only in the
262205°—40---- 7
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Proceedings of the White House Conference

degree in which we assume our responsibility. I hesitated for that
reason to pledge cooperation, because I know the vast amount o f edu­
cation which still needs to be done through our communities. In our
welfare program in the American Association o f University Women,
we welcome the impetus that has been given to the child-welfare pro­
grams by this Conference, its discussions, its recommendations, and to
the materials which are forthcoming, we offer the cooperation o f the
American Association o f University Women.
M a r t A lic e J ones , director o f children’s work, International Coun­
cil o f Religious Education. The International Council o f Religious
Education, representing the educational boards of the Protestant
denominations in the United States, is giving one o f its sessions in
its annual meeting next month to a consideration o f the findings and
recommendations o f the White House Conference. Through our
National denominational and State organizations, we will give the
widest possible publicity to the recommendations for the welfare of
children, in which we are all deeply interested.
F red L. A dair , M. D., chairman, American Committee on Maternal
Welfare. Miss Lenroot and members o f the Conference, I would likA
to assure you that so far as I can judge from the attitude o f the phy­
sicians, doctors will not be among the least to help carry on the pro­
gram outlined in the reports, both the General Report and the topical
reports. Doctors have little to contribute except service, but that is
extremely important in bringing health to individuals and to communi­
ties. There are many things which pertain to health that the doctors
cannot provide, such as food and proper housing and hygiene, and
many things which pertain to individual as well as community health.
The doctors can give advice, but they cannot always provide the
means o f carrying out the advice. So it is up to other agencies to
cooperate with the physicians, and I am sure the physicians will not
be backward in cooperating with other agencies.
There was general discussion by members and guests o f the Confer­
ence on the follow-up program, followed by adoption o f committee
recommendations as amended.

The Conference sessions closed with the following pledge, proposed
by the executive secretary, Katharine F. Lenroot, in response to which
the entire membership arose:
The members of this Conference, hearing in mind those who are no longer
with us and those who are still here to lend their support to the cause of
childhood, with gratitude, reverence, and thanksgiving for the things which they
did, the courage which they manifested, and the leadership which they gave
during the last decade, resolve to go forward in a manner worthy of them and
worthy of the children whom we serve.
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On Children in a Democracy, Jarmary 18-20,191fi


After the close o f the Conference sessions, the Planning Commit­
tee met to take action upon matters referred to the committee by the
Conference. Dr. Henry F. Helmholz presided.
A motion was made and adopted to direct the Report Committee
to proceed to revise the General Conference Report as adopted by
the Conference, interpreting and coordinating the suggestions made
in the course o f the discussion and the official action taken by the
It was voted that, in accordance with the Conference action, the
Report Committee be authorized to prepare, with the aid o f the staff,
and publish a final report based on the General Report, which will
include also, in general, materials contained in the topical reports
with such additional material collected by the staff as may be added.
It was voted to accept the offer made by Miss Lenroot on behalf
o f the Children’s Bureau to take the responsibility for the actual
publication, both of the General Report and o f the final report o f
the Report Committee.
Discussion followed as to methods o f creating the National Citizens
Committee, authorized by the Conference, for purposes o f follow­
up. The suggestion that 48 persons, one representing each State,
constitute the committee was given consideration. After consider­
able discussion, it was voted that a committee of 5 be appointed by
the Chair, after receiving suggestions from members o f the Planning
Committee; this committee of 5 to appoint not less than 15 and not
more than 25 persons who shall constitute the National Citizens
Committee for purposes o f a follow-up program. These 5 persons
are not to be excluded from membership on the National Citizens
Committee but are to be the nucleus of the committee. The National
Citizens Committee, when created, is to be entirely autonomous and
independent o f the Conference administration.
It was voted to authorize the Children’s Bureau to take such
action as may be necessary, including possibly action by the Presi­
dent, to bring about the creation o f a Federal Interagency Committee
to assist in the development o f the follow-up program.
It was voted that the Planning Committee continue its existence,
subject to call by the Organization Committee as may be necessary.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

H onorary Vice Chairman, MRS. FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
Chairman, FRANCES PERKINS, Secretary of Labor
Vice Chairmen
Milburn L. W ilson
Homer F olks
F rank P. Graham
Henry F. H elmholz, M. D.

Right Rev. Msgr. R obert F. K eegan
Jacob K efecs
J osephine R oche

E xecutive Secretary, K atharine F. L enroot
Assistant Secretary, E mma O. L tjndberg

Conference Committees
The Officers of the Conference and the following members;
*Grace Abbott
I rvin A bell, M. D.
F red L. A dair, M. D.
Mrs. H. W. A hart
A rthur J. A ltmeyer
F rank B ane
Chester I. B arnard
James V. Bennett
M. O. B ousfield, M. D.
Allen T. B urns
W illiam G. Carr
*C. C. Carstens
Oscar L. Chapman
E lisabeth Christman
Courtenay D inwiddie
Mrs. Saidie Orr D unbar
Mrs. Gladys T albott Edwards
Martha M. E liot, M. D.
Charles F. Ernst
F rank P. F enton
Sidney E. Goldstein
Ben G. Graham
H arry Geeenstexn
Clifford G. Grulee, M. D.

Herman E. H endrix
T. A rnold H tlt.
W illiam H odson
F red K. Hoehler
Jane M. H oey
H arry L. H opkins
Charles S. Johnson
R ev. F. Ernest Johnson
R ev. George Johnson
A lice V. K etjtter
P aul U. K ellogg
Solomon L owenstein
P h ilip Murray
R t. R ev. M sgr. T homas J. O’D wyer
R t. R ev. Msgr. J ohn O’Grady
E dward A. O’Neal
T homas P a r r a n , M. D.
F rederick D ouglas P atterson
Mrs. J. K. Pettengill
James S. Plant, M. D.
L angley Porter, M. D.
E mma C. Puschner
H omer P. R ainey
R t. R ev, M sgr. Michael J. R eady

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Proceedings of the White House Conference


F elix J. Underwood, M. D.
♦Liixian D. W ald
J ames E. W est
A ubrey W illiam s
Abel W olman
Owen D. Y oung
George F. Z ook

A gnes O. R egan
Grace B oss
Ga t B. Shepperson
L ouise Stanley
Mrs. Nathan Straus
J ohn W. Stppebaker
Louis J. T aber

Chairman, F red K. H oehler
Vice Chairman, George F. Z ook
W illiam G. Carr
Elisabeth Christman
Mrs. Sajdie Orr D unbar

Clifford G. Gruleb, M. D.
J ane M. Hoey
K atharine F. L enroot

and the vice chairmen of the Conference

Chairman, H omer F olks
R abbi Edward L. I srael
0. A nderson A ldrich, M. D.
Hugh R. J ackson
C linton W. Areson
Charles S. J ohnson
Chester I. B arnard
R ev. George Johnson
F rank G. Boudreau, M. D.
W tt.ltam Clayton B ower
J acob K epecs
R ev. Bryan J. MoE ntegart
W illiam G. Carr
A. Graeme Mitchell, M. D.
*C. C. Carstens
W . R. Ogg
Grace L. Coyle
Mrs. Saidie Orr D unbar
James S. Plant, M. D.
Homer P. R ainey
Mrs. K atharine} D ummer F isher
F loyd W. R eeves
L oula F riend D unn
F eux J. Underwood, M. D.
B en G. Graham
C.-E. A. W inslow
W illiam H odson
F red K. H oehler
Research Director, P hilip Klein
Assistant Research D irector, Harald H. L und
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Conference Members
Mrs. Robert Bruce Atwood, Anchorage, director in Alaska for General Federa­
tion o f Women’s Clubs.
Anthony J. Dimond, Juneau, Delegate from Alaska, House of Representatives,
U. S. Congress.
Mrs. Elizabeth J. K. Lucas, Honolulu, county agent, City and County of
*F. E. Trotter, M. D., Honolulu, Territorial commissioner o f public health.
Ana Bosch, San Juan, associate child-labor consultant, U. S. Children’s Bureau.
Beatriz Lassalle, Santurce, Chief, Bureau of Social Welfare, Department of
Marta Robert de Romeu, M. D., Santurce, Chief, Bureau of Maternal and Child
Hygiene, Department o f Health.
James N. Baker, M. D., Montgomery, State health officer of Alabama, Depart­
ment of Public Health.
Loula Friend Dunn, Montgomery, commissioner, State Department of Public
Mrs. Mary H. Fowler, Birmingham, superintendent, State Training School for
Frederick Douglas Patterson, Ph. D., president, Tuskegee Institute.
Edward E. Strong, Birmingham, executive secretary, Southern Negro Youth
Ann Mary Bracken, Phoenix, director, Child Welfare Division, State Board of
Social Security and Public Welfare.
Herman E. Hendrix, Ph. D., Phoenix, State superintendent of public instruc­
tion; chairman, Council of Chief State School Officers.
Yic H. Householder, Phoenix, president, Arizona Society for Crippled Children.
Mrs. John R. Murdock, Tempe.
Mrs. Edwin Bevens, Helena, chairman, Department of Public Welfare, General
Federation of Women’s Clubs.
W. B. Grayson, M. D., Little Rock, State health officer, State Board of Health.
Mrs. Lillian D. McDermott, LL. D., Little Rock, referee, Juvenile Court of
Pulaski County,

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings of the White House. Conference

Beth Muller, Little Bock, director, Child Welfare Division, State Department
o f Public Welfare.
Mrs. Scott Wood, Hot Springs, chairman, Committee on Juvenile Protection,
National Congress of Parents and Teachers.
Mrs. H. W. Ahart, Lincoln, president, Associated Women of the American Farm
Bureau Federation.
Kenneth S. Beam, Los Angeles, executive secretary, Coordinating Councils, Inc.
Alida C. Bowler, Los Angeles, superintendent at large, field service, Office of
Indian Affairs, U. S. Department of the Interior.
Mrs. May P. Carmody, San Francisco, manager, Junior Division, State Depart­
ment o f Employment.
Arlien Johnson, Ph. D., Los Angeles, dean, the Graduate School of Work, Uni­
versity of Southern California.
Harold E. Jones, Ph. D., Berkeley, director, Institute o f Child Welfare, and
professor of psychology, University of California.
Ben B. Lindsey, Los Angeles, judge of the Superior Court o f Los Angeles County.
Karl F. Meyer, M. D., Ph. D., Berkeley, director, curricula in public health,
University o f California.
Guy S. Millberry, D. D. S., San Francisco, dean, College of Dentistry, University
of California.
Rt. Rev. Msgr. Thomas J. O’Dwyer, Los Angeles, executive director, Catholic
Welfare Bureau of Los Angeles and San Diego.
Langley Porter, M. D., San Francisco, dean, Medical School, University o f
John A. Sexson, Ed. D., Pasadena, superintendent of schools, Pasadena.
Nina Simmonds, Sc. D., San Francisco, lecturer in medicine and nutrition
(dentistry), University o f California.
Francis Scott Smyth, M. D „ San Francisco, professor o f pediatrics, Medical
School, University of California.
Paul S. Taylor, Ph. D., Berkeley, associate professor o f economics, University
o f California.
Mrs. H. Jerry Voorhis, San Dimas.
Archibald B. Young, Sacramento, chairman o f board, State Department o f Social
Helen Burke, Denver, executive secretary, Colorado Tuberculosis Association.
Very Rev. Msgr. John R. Mulroy, Denver, director, Catholic Charities o f the
Archdiocese of Denver.
James G. Patton, Denver, president, Colorado Farmers’ Union.
Josephine Roche, LL. D., Denver, chairman, the Interdepartmental Committee
to Coordinate Health and Welfare Activities.
Alfred H. Washburn, M. D., Denver, director, Child Research Council.
Mary F. Champlin, Hartford, medical social worker, Division of Crippled Chil­
dren, State Department of Health.
Rev. Russell J. Clinchy, D. D., Litt. D., Hartford, the First Church of Christ
in Hartford.
Mrs. Herbert Field Fisher, Hartford, member of Public Welfare Council, State
of Connecticut; legislative chairman of Connecticut Council o f Catholic
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Children in a Democracy, January 18-20, 191fi


Arnold Gesell, M. D., Ph. D., Sc. D., New Haven, director, Clinic o f Child Develop­
ment, School o f Medicine, Yale University.
Hugh Hartshorne, Ph. D., New Haven, research associate in religion, Yale Uni­
Ira Y. Hiscock, New Haven, professor of public health, School o f Medicine, Yale
Roy L. McLaughlin, Meriden, superintendent, Connecticut School for Boys.
Katharine D. Miller, M. D., Greenwich, chairman, Community Council of Green­
Grover F. Powers, M. D., Sc. D., New Haven, professor of pediatrics, School of
Medicine, Yale University.
C.-E. A. Winslow, Dr. P. H., New Haven, professor of public health, School of
Medicine, Yale University.
Mrs. William S. Bergland, Wilmington, chairman, State Board o f Charities o f
Mrs. Charles F. Richards, Wilmington, member of board, Children’s Bureau of
Etta J. Wilson, Wilmington, executive secretary, Delaware Citizens Association.
Arthur J. Altmeyer, Ph. D., LL. D., chairman, Social Security Board, Federal
Security Agency.
Edna P. Amidon, Chief, Home Economics Education Service, U. S. Office o f Edu­
cation, Federal Security Agency.
H. Dewey Anderson, Ph. D., economic consultant, Temporary National Economic
Committee, Federal Trade Commission.
Mary Anderson, director, Women’s Bureau, U. S. Department o f Labor.
Mrs. Katharine McFarland Ansley, executive secretary, American Home Eco­
nomics Association.
Mary Irene Atkinson, director, Child Welfare Division, Children’s Bureau, U. S.
Department of Labor.
Helen W. Atwater, editor, Journal o f Home Economics, American Home Eco­
nomics Association.
Edith M. Baker, consultant in medical social service, Children’s Bureau, U. S.
Department of Labor.
Oliver E. Baker, Ph. D., Sc. D., senior agricultural economist, Division of
Farm Population and Rural Welfare, Bureau of Agricultural Economics,
U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Catherine Bauer, special consultant, U. S. Housing Authority, Federal Works
Mary Beard, Litt. D., director, Nursing Service, American Red Cross.
Willard W. Beatty, director, Education Division, Office o f Indian Affairs,
U. S. Department o f the Interior.
James Y. Bennett, director, Bureau of Prisons, U. S. Department of Justice.
Fay L. Bentley, judge, Juvenile Court of the District o f Columbia.
Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune, LL.D., director, Division o f Negro Affairs, National
Youth Administration, Federal Security Agency.
Mrs. Clara M. Beyer, assistant director, Division o f Labor Standards, U. S.
Department o f Labor.
George E. Bigge, Ph. D., member, Social Security Board, Federal Security
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings of the White House Conference

Ruth O. Blakeslee, consultant on maternal and child health, Children’s Bureau,
U. S. Department of Labor.
Agnes M. Boynton, assistant to the director o f rural research, American Youth
Mrs. Ruth Muskrat Bronson, associate guidance officer, Office of Indian Affairs,
U. S. Department of the Interior.
Mrs. Anna Lalor Burdick, Litt. D., formerly with U. S. Office of Education.
Ambrose Caliver, Ph. D., senior specialist in the education o f Negroes, U. S.
Office of Education, Federal Security Agency.
Arno B. Cammerer, LL. D., regional director, National Park Service, U. S.
Department of the Interior.
William G. Carr, Ph. D., secretary, Educational Policies Commission, National
Education Association.
Elsa Castendyck, director, Child Guidance Division, Children’s Bureau, U. S.
Department of Labor.
Oscar L. Chapman, Assistant Secretary of the Interior.
Elisabeth Christman, secretary-treasurer, National Women’s Trade Union
Ewan Clague, Ph. D., director, Bureau of Employment Security, Social Security
Board, Federal Security Agency.
Miles L. Colean, research director, Housing Survey, Twentieth Century Fund.
John Collier, Commissioner, Office of Indian Affairs, U. S. Department of the
Mrs. Minnie Fisher Cunningham, senior specialist in information, Division of
Information, Agricultural Adjustment Administration, U. S. Department of
Edwin F. Daily, M. D., director, Division of Maternal and Child Health,
Children’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor.
Maxine Davis, writer.
Norman H. Davis, LL. D., chairman, American Red Cross.
Lindley H. Dennis, executive secretary, American Vocational Association, Inc.
Naomi Deutsch, R. N., director, Public Health Nursing Unit, Children’s Bureau,
U. S. Department of Labor.
Marshall E. Dimock, Ph. D., administrative assistant, Immigration and Natu­
ralization Service, U. S. Department o f Justice.
Ethel C. Dunham, M. D., director, Division of Research in Child Development,
Children’s Bureau, U. S. Department of Labor.
Halbert L. Dunn, M. D., Ph. D., chief statistician, Vital Statistics Division,
Bureau o f the Census, U. S. Department o f Commerce.
Charles W. Eliot, 2d, director, National Resources Planning Board, Executive
Office of the President.
Martha M. Eliot, M. D., Assistant Chief, Children’s Bureau, U. S. Department
o f Labor.
Mrs. Elisabeth Shirley Enochs, associate in public relations, Children’s Bureau,
U. S. Department of Labor.
Madeline Ensign, program director, Mutual Broadcasting Co.
Joseph H. B. Evans.
Mordecai Ezekial, Ph. D., economic adviser, Office of the Secretary, U. S.
Department of Agriculture.
Isidore S. Falk, Ph. D „ acting director, Bureau o f Research and Statistics,
Social Security Board, Federal Security Agency.
* Robert Fechner, director, Civilian Conservation Corps.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Children in a Democracy, January 18-&0,1040


Frank P. Fenton, director of organization, American Federation of Labor.
Esther Cole Franklin, Ph. D., associate in social studies, American Association
of University Women.
Helen Fuller, administrative assistant, National Youth Administration, Federal
Security Agency.
Edna A. Gerken, supervisor of health education, Office o f Indian Affairs, U. S.
Department o f the Interior.
Willard E. Givens, LL. D., executive secretary, National Education Association.
Bess Goodykoontz, D. Ped., Assistant Commissioner, U. S. Office of Education,
Federal Security Agency.
Rt. Rev. Msgr., Francis J. Haas, Ph. D., LL. D., dean, School o f Social Science,
Catholic University o f America.
Blanche Halbert, rent-relations counselor, Management Review, U. S. Housing
Authority, Federal Works Agency.
Agnes K. Hanna, director, Social Service Division, Children’s Bureau, U. S.
Department of Labor.
* Col. F. C. Harrington, Commissioner of Work Projects, Work Projects Admin­
istration, Federal Works Agency.
Mary H. S. Hayes, Ph. D., director, Division o f Employment, National Youth
Administration, Federal Security Agency.
M. H. Hedges, director of research, International Brotherhood of Electrical
Marjorie M. Heseltine, specialist in nutrition, Children’s Bureau, U. S. Depart­
ment of Labor.
Jane M. Hoey, LL. D., Director, Bureau o f Public Assistance, Social Security
Board, Federal Security Agency.
Robert C. Hood, M. D., director, Crippled Children’s Division, Children’s Bureau,
U. S. Department o f Labor.
Harry L. Hopkins, LL. D., Secretary o f Commerce.
Mrs. Isabelle M. Hopkins, director, Editorial Division, Children’s Bureau, U. S.
Department of Labor.
John Ihlder, executive officer, Alley Dwelling Authority.
Harry A. Jager, Chief, Occupational Information and Guidance Service, U. S.
Office of Education, Federal Security Agency.
Ethel M. Johnson, acting director, Washington office, International Labor
Rev. George Johnson, Ph. D., LL. D., director, Department of Education,
National Catholic Welfare Conference.
Mordecai W. Johnson, D. D., LL. D., president, Howard University.
Frances Jurkowitz, administrative assistant to the Secretary, U. S. Department
of Labor.
Peter Kasius, associate director, Bureau o f Public Assistance, Social Security
Board, Federal Security Agency.
Edward Keating, manager, Labor.
Mrs. Florence Kerr, Assistant Commissioner of Work Projects, Work Projects
Administration, Federal Works Agency.
Hildegarde Kneeland, Ph. D., principal agricultural economist, Division of
Statistical and Historical Research, Bureau o f Agricultural Economics, U. S.
Department of Agriculture.
John Aubel Kratz, director, Vocational Rehabilitation Division, U. S. Office of
Education, Federal Security Agency.
Mary LaDame, special assistant to the Secretary, U. S. Department of Labor.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings o f the White House Conference

Grace Langdon, Ph. D., specialist, family-life education, Work Projects Admin­
istration, Federal Works Agency.
Rev. Lucian L. Lauerman, director, National Catholic School of Social Service,
Mary E. Leeper, executive secretary, Association for Childhood Education.
Katharine F. Lenroot, LL. D., Chief, Children’s Bureau, U. S. Department of
Rev. Gerhard E. Lenski, Ph. D., pastor o f Grace Lutheran Church.
Eduard C. Lindeman, general counsel, Work Projects Administration, Federal
Works Agency.
Frank Lorimer, Ph. D., secretary, Population Association o f America ; professor
o f population studies, Graduate School, American University.
Owen R. Lovejoy, LL. D.
Isador Lubin, Ph. D., Commissioner, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U. S. Depart­
ment of Labor.
Emma O. Lundberg, child-welfare consultant, Children’s Bureau, U. S. De­
partment of Labor.
Mrs. Lydia Ann Lynde, extension specialist in parent education and family
life, Extension Service, U. S. Department o f Agriculture.
♦Robert Marshall, Ph. D., chief, Division of Recreation and Lands, Forest
Service, U. S. Department o f Agriculture.
Elise H. Martens, Ph. D., senior specialist in the education of exceptional
children, U. S. Office o f Education, Federal Security Agency.
Geoffrey May, LL. D., associate director, Bureau o f Public Assistance, Social
Security Board, Federal Security Agency.
Benjamin E. Mays, Ph. D., dean, School o f Religion, Howard University.
Joseph C. McCaskill, Ph. D., assistant to the Commissioner, Office o f Indian
Affairs, U. S. Department o f the Interior.
Beatrice McConnell, director, Industrial Division, Children’s Bureau, U. S.
Department of Labor.
J. J. McEntee, Director, Civilian Conservation Corps.
Rose J. McHugh, chief, Administrative Service Division, Social Security Board,
Federal Security Agency.
Pearl Mclver, R. N., senior public-health-nursing consultant, U. S. Public
Health Service, Federal Security Agency.
Frank R. McNinch, special assistant to the Attorney General, U. S. Depart­
ment o f Justice.
Paul V. McNutt, Federal Security Administrator.
Mrs. Eugene Meyer, chairman, Survey Committee, Washington Council of
Social Agencies.
Capt. Rhoda J. Milliken, director, Women’s Bureau, Metropolitan Police De­
partment of the District of Columbia.
Bruce M. Mohler, director, Bureau of Immigration, National Catholic Welfare
Day Monroe, Ph. D., chief, Economics Division, Bureau of Home Economics,
U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Merrill G. Murray, Ph. D., Assistant Director, Bureau o f Old Age and Sur­
vivor’s Insurance, Social Security Board, Federal Security Agency.
Robert J. Myers, Ph. D., director, Division o f Statistical Research, Children’s
Bureau, U. S. Department o f Labor.
James T. Nicholson, national director, American Junior Red Cross.
Forest R. Nofifsinger, Ph. D., educational consultant, Safety and Traffic Engi­
neering Department, American Automobile Association.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Children in a Democracy, January 18-80,191fi


Mrs. John J. O’Connor, president, National Travelers Aid Association.
W. R. Ogg, director of research, Washington Office, American Farm Bureau
Rt, Rev. Msgr. John O’Grady, Ph. D., LL. D.f secretary, National Conference of
Catholic Charities.
Thomas Parran, M. D., Sc. D., LL. D., Surgeon General, U. S. Public Health
Service, Federal Security Agency.
Oscar M. Powell, executive director, Social Security Board, Federal Security
Rt. Rev. Msgr. Michael J. Ready, general secretary, National Catholic Welfare
Agnes G. Regan, LL. D., executive secretary, National Council of Catholic
Edith Rockwood, specialist in child welfare, Children’s Bureau, U. S. De­
partment of Labor.
James F. Rogers, M. D., Dr. P. H., consultant in hygiene, U. S. Office of
Education, Federal Security Agency.
Rt. Rev. Msgr. John A. Ryan, D. D., LL. D., Litt. D., director, Department o f
Social Action, National Catholic Welfare Conference.
Philip E. Ryan, assistant director, Inquiry and Information Service, American
National Red Cross.
G. Howland Shaw, chief, Division of Foreign Service Personnel, Department
of State.
Sybil L. Smith, principal experiment-station administrator, Office o f Experi­
ment Stations, U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Louise Stanley, Ph. D., Chief, Bureau of Home Economics, U. S. Department
o f Agriculture.
Hazel K. Stiebeling, Ph. D., senior food economist, Bureau of Home Economics,
U. S. Department o f Agriculture.
Collis Stocking, assistant director, Research and Analysis, Bureau of Unem­
ployment Compensation, Social Security Board, Federal Security Agency.
Nathan Straus, Administrator, U. S. Housing Authority, Federal Works Agency.
John W. Studebaker, LL. D., Commissioner of Education, U. S. Office o f Edu­
cation, Federal Security Agency.
Carl C. Taylor, Ph. D., head, Division o f Farm Population and Rural Welfare,
Bureau of Agricultural Economics, U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Florence C. Thorne, assistant editor, American Federationist, American Fed­
eration of Labor.
Josephine B. Timberlake, superintendent, the Volta Bureau.
James G. Townsend, M. D., director of health, Office o f Indian Affairs, U. S.
Department of the Interior.
Leon E. Truesdell, Ph. D., Sc. D., chief statistician, Population Division,
Bureau of the Census, U. S. Department of Commerce.
Clifford E. Waller, M. D., Assistant Surgeon General, U. S. Public Health
Service, Federal Security Agency.
C. W. Warburton, Sc. D., deputy governor, Farm Credit Administration, U. S.
Department o f Agriculture.
Robert C. Weaver, Ph. D., special assistant to the Administrator, U. S. Housing
Authority, Federal Works Agency; administrative assistant, Advisory Com­
mission to the Council of National Defense.
Earlene White, president, National Federation of Business and Professional
Women’s Clubs, Inc.
Aubrey Williams, Administrator, National Youth Administration, Federal Secu­
rity Agency.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings of the White House Conference

Faith M. Williams, Ph. D., chief, Cost of Living Division, Bureau of Labor
Statistics, U. S. Department o f Labor.
Milburn L. Wilson, Sc. D., director o f extension work, U. S. Department of
Mrs. Ellen S. Woodward, member, Social Security Board, Federal Security
Thomas J. Woofter, Jr., Ph. D., economic adviser to the Administrator, Farm
Security Administration, U. S. Department o f Agriculture.
Betty C. Wright, executive director, American Society for the Hard o f Hearing.
John C. Wright, Sc. D., assistant commissioner for vocational education, U. S.
Office of Education, Federal Security Agency.
George F. Zook, Ph. D., LL. D., Litt. D., president, American Council on
Walter Scott Criswell, Jacksonville, judge, Juvenile Court o f Duval County.
Joseph S. Diver, Jacksonville, president, Boys’ Home Association.
Marcus C. Fagg, Jacksonville, State superintendent, Children’s Home Society
o f Florida.
W. J. Gardiner, Daytona Beach, chairman, Underprivileged Child Committee,
Daytona Beach Kiwanis Club.
Mrs. Malcolm McClellan, Jacksonville, president, Florida Congress of Parents
and Teachers.
Eunice Minton, Jacksonville, director of public assistance, Florida State Welfare
Warren W. Quillian, M. D., Coral Gables.
Anna M. Tracy, Tallahassee, dietitian and associate professor, Florida State
College for Women.
Mrs. J. Ralston Wells, Daytona Beach, president-director, Florida Federation
of Women’s Clubs.
Thomas Franklin Abercrombie, M. D., Dr. P. H., Sc. D., Atlanta, director,
Georgia Department o f Public Health.
Mrs. Frank C. David, Columbus, member o f county board o f public welfare.
Arthur Raper, Ph. D., Atlanta, research secretary, Commission on Inter-racial
Willis A. Sutton, D. Ped., Atlanta, superintendent o f schools.
Forrester B. Washington, Atlanta, director, Atlanta University School o f Social
Josephine Wilkins, Atlanta, president, Georgia League o f Women Voters; member of the coordinating committee, Citizens’ Fact Finding Movement.
Mrs. John E. Hayes, Twin Falls, first vice president, National Congress of
Parents and Teachers.
Edith Abbott, Ph. D., LL. D., Litt. D., Chicago, dean, School of Social Service
Administration, University o f Chicago.
♦Grace Abbott, LL. D., Chicago, professor o f public welfare, School o f Social
Service Administration, University of Chicago.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Children in a Democracy, January 18-420, 191$


Fred L. Adair, M. D., Chicago, chairman, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecol­
ogy, University o f Chicago.
C. Anderson Aldrich, M. D., Winnetka, professor of pediatrics, Northwestern
University Medical School.
Will W. Alexander, LL. D., Chicago, vice president, Julius Rosenwald Fund.
Pierce Atwater, Chicago, executive secretary, Community Fund o f Chicago, Inc.
Frank Bane, Chicago, executive director, Council of State Governments.
Lita Bane, Sc. D., Urbana, head, Home Economics Department; vice director
of extension, University o f Illinois.
Jessie F. Binford, Chicago, executive director, Juvenile Protective Association of
M. O. Bousfield, M. D., Chicago, director, Negro Health, Julius Rosenwald Fund.
William Clayton Bower, LL. D., Chicago, professor o f religious education,
Divinity School, University of Chicago; vice president, Religious Education
Sophonisba P. Breckinridge, Ph. D., LL. D., Chicago, professor o f public-welfare
administration, School o f Social Service Administration, University of
Charlotte Carr, Chicago, director, Hull House.
Anne S. Davis, Chicago, assistant chief, Division of Women’s and Children’s
Employment, State Department of Labor.
Paul H. Douglas, Ph. D., Chicago, professor of political economy, University of
Mrs. Katharine Dummer Fisher, Winnetka.
Clifford G. Grulee, M. D., LL. D., Evanston, clinical professor of pediatrics,
Rush Medical College (Chicago).
Fred K. Hoehler, Chicago, director, American Public Welfare Association.
Mrs. A. H. Hoffman, Elgin, national child-welfare chairman, American Legion
Auxiliary; superintendent, Yeomen City o f Childhood.
Joel D. Hunter, Chicago, general superintendent, United Charities o f Chicago.
Paul Hutchinson, D. D., Chicago, managing editor, The Christian Century.
Mary Alice Jones, Ph., D., Chicago, director of children’s work, International
Council of Religious Education.
Jacob Kepecs, Chicago, executive director, Jewish Children’s Bureau o f Chicago.
Lon W. Morrey, D. D. S., Chicago, supervisor, Bureau of Public Relations,
American Dental Association.
Mary E. Murphy, Chicago, director, Elizabeth McCormick Memorial Fund of
William F. Ogburn, Ph. D., LL. D., Chicago, professor o f sociology, University
o f Chicago.
Edward A. O’Neal, D. Agr., Chicago, president, American Farm Bureau
Floyd W. Reeves, Ph. D., LL. D., Chicago, professor of administration, Univer­
sity o f Chicago; director, American Youth Commission; executive assistant
for labor supply, Advisory Commission to the Council of National Defense.
Mrs. Kenneth F. Rich, Chicago, director, Immigrants’ Protective League o f
Lydia J. Roberts, Ph. D., Chicago, chairman, Department of Home Economics,
University of Chicago.
C. Rufus Rorem, Ph. D., Chicago, director, Commission on Hospital Service,
American Hospital Association.
Charles H. Schweppe, Chicago.
262205°—40----- 8
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings of the White House Conference

The Most Rev. Bernard J. Sheil, D. D., V. G., Chicago, director general, Catholic
Youth Organization of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Mrs. Ida B. Wise Smith, LL. D., Evanston, president, National Woman’s
Christian Temperance Union; vice president, World’s Woman’s Christian
Temperance Union ; chairman, Committee on Citizenship for National Council
of Women.
Marietta Stevenson, Ph. D., Chicago, assistant director, American Public Welfare
Edward H. Stullken, Chicago, principal, Montefiore Special School.
Ethel Verry, Chicago, executive secretary, Chicago Orphan Asylum.
Coleman Woodbury, Ph. D., Chicago, director, National Association of Housing
Rachelle S. Yarros, M. D., Chicago, professor o f social hygiene, University of
Edna Zimmerman, Springfield, superintendent of child welfare, Division of Child
Welfare, Department o f Public Welfare.
Mildred Arnold, Indianapolis, director, Children’s Division, State Department
of Public Welfare.
Cleo W. Blackburn, Indianapolis, superintendent, Manner House.
E. M. Dill, D. D. S., Plainfield, superintendent, Indiana Boys’ School.
Mrs. Mary L. Garner, Indianapolis, director, Bureau of Women and Children,
Division o f Labor, State Department o f Commerce and Industries.
Howard B. Mettel, M. D., Indianapolis, chief, Bureau of Maternal and Child
Health, Indiana State Board o f Health.
DeWitt S. Morgan, LL. D., Indianapolis, superintendent o f schools, Indianapolis
public schools.
Emma O. Puschner, Indianapolis, director, National Child Welfare Division,
American Legion.
Mrs. Charles W. Sewell, Otterbein, administrative director, Associated Women
o f the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Mrs. F. R. Kenison, Madrid.
Everett D. Plass, M. D., Iowa City, professor and head, Department of Obstetrics
and Gynecology, State University of Iowa.
George D. Stoddard, Ph. D., Iowa City, director, Iowa Child Welfare Research
Station, State University of Iowa.
George M. Strayer, Hudson, president, Iowa Rural Young People’s Assembly.
Laura L. Taft, Des Moines, director, Division o f Child Welfare, Iowa State
Board o f Social Welfare.
Ruth UpdegrafE, Ph. D., Iowa City, assistant professor and supervisor of the
preschool laboratories, Iowa Child Welfare Research Station, State University
of Iowa.
C. Q. Chandler, Wichita, chairman, Kansas Crippled Children’s Commission.
Anne Laughlin, LL. D., Topeka, State Administrator, National Youth Admin­
istration of Kansas.
Helen C. Mawer, Topeka, director, Bureau of Child Welfare, State Department of
Social Welfare.
E. G. Padfleld, M. D., Salina.
Martin F. Palmer, Sc. D., Wichita, director, Institute o f Logopedics, The
Municipal University o f Wichita.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Ghildren in a Democracy, January 18-420,19Jfi


Esther E. Twente, Lawrence, assistant professor of sociology, University o f
Irvin Abell, M. D., Sc. D., Louisville.
Henley V. Bastin, Anchorage, superintendent, Louisville and Jefferson County
Children’s Home.
Mrs. Mary Breckinridge, R. N., LL. EK, Wendover, director, Frontier Nursing
Service, Inc.
H. L. Donovan, Ph. D., LL. D., Richmond, president, Eastern Kentucky State
Teachers College.
Mark F. Ethridge, Louisville, vice president and general manager, Courier-Journal
and Louisville Times.
A. T. McCormack, M. D., Sc. D., LL. D., Louisville, State health commissioner,
State Department o f Health.
Annie S. Veech, M. D., Louisville, director, Division of Maternal and Child
Health, Department o f Public Health of Louisville.
Margaret Woll, Frankfort, commissioner, State Department of Welfare.
Ralph H. Woods, Ph. D., Frankfort, State director of vocational education,'
Department of Education.
Rupert E. Arnell, M. D., New Orleans, clinical professor of obstetrics and
gynecology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine.
Mrsi René Baus, Gramercy, State treasurer, Parent-Teacher Association.
Albert W. Dent, New Orleans, superintendent, Flint-Goodridge Hospital.
Jess W. Hair, Baton Rouge, State supervisor of health and physical education,
Department of Education.
Rev. H. Joseph Jacobi, New Orleans, executive director, Associated Catholic
Charities of New Orleans.
Elizabeth Wisner, Ph. D., New Orleans, dean, School o f Social Work, Tulane
William B. Jack, Portland, Superintendent of schools.
George W. Leadbetter, Augusta, commissioner, Department of Institutions.
Mrs. Noel C. Little, Brunswick, chairman, Maine Women’s Legislative Council.
Margaret Payson, Portland, president, Children’s Service Bureau of Portland.
Paul T. Beisser, Baltimore, general secretary, Henry Watson Children’s Aid
Society ; president, Child Welfare League o f America, Inc.
Nicholson J. Eastman, M. D., Baltimore, professor of obstetrics, Johns Hopkins
University School of Medicine.
Anita J, Faatz, Baltimore, director, Social Work Department, State Department
of Public Welfare.
Allen W. Freeman, M. D., Baltimore, professor o f public-health administration,
School of Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University.
Harry Greenstein, Baltimore, executive director, Associated Jewish Charities
of Baltimore ; president, American Association of Social Workers.
Sidney Hollander, Baltimore, chairman, committee on child care, State Depart*
ment of Public Welfare.
Rabbi Edward L. Israel, LL. D., Baltimore, Har Sinai Congregation ; chairman,
Social Justice Commission, Central Conference o f American Rabbis ; vice pres­
ident, Synagogue Council o f America.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

1 12

Proceedvngs o f the White House Conference

J. H. Mason Knox, M. D., Baltimore, chief, Bureau o f Child Hygiene, State
Department of Health.
Winthrop D. Lane, Baltimore.
E. V. McCollum, Ph. D., Sc. D., Baltimore, professor of biochemistry, School of
Hygiene and Public Health, Johns Hopkins University.
Joseph W. Mountin, M. D., Bethesda, chief, Division o f Public Health Methods,
National Institute of Health.
Carroll E. Palmer, M. D., Ph. D., Bethesda, passed assistant surgeon, U. S.
Public Health Service.
Edwards A. Park, M. IX, Baltimore, pediatrician-in-chief, Johns Hopkins
Lowell J. Reed, Ph. D., Baltimore, dean, School of Hygiene and Public Health,
Johns Hopkins University.
Joseph N. Ulman, Baltimore, judge of Supreme Court.
Abel Wolman, Dr. Eng., Baltimore, professor of sanitary engineering, Johns
Hopkins University.
John E. Burchard, Cambridge, director, Albert Farwell Bemis Foundation,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Neil A. Dayton, M. D., Boston, director, Division o f Mental Deficiency, Depart­
ment of Mental Health.
Robert L. DeNormandie, M. D., Boston, member, American Committee on
Maternal Welfare.
Abigail A. Eliot, Boston, director, Nursery Training School of Boston.
Frederick May Eliot, D. D., LL. D., Boston, president, American Unitarian
William Healy, M. D., Boston, director, Judge Baker Guidance Center.
Cheney C. Jones, LL. D., Boston, superintendent, The New England Home for
Little Wanderers.
T. Duckett Jones, M. D., Boston, director of research in rheumatic fever and
heart disease, House o f the Good Samaritan.
Marion A. Joyce, Boston, director, Division of Child Guardianship, Massachusetts
Department o f Public Welfare.
Theodore A. Lothrop, Boston, general secretary, Massachusetts Society for
the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
Grace S. Mansfield, Roxbury, assistant professor of education, Teachers College
o f the City o f Boston.
Kate McMahon, Boston, associate professor o f social economy, Simmons College
School of Social Work.
Robert B. Osgood, M. D., Sc. D., Boston, professor emeritus of orthopedic
Surgery, School of Medicine, Harvard University.
Wm. Stanley Parker, Boston, architect.
Herbert C. Parsons, Boston, director, Massachusetts Child Council.
David R. Porter, D.D., Litt. D., Mt. Hermon, headmaster, Mount Hermon
School; chairman, Administrative Committee o f Northfield Schools.
Richard M. Smith, M. D., Sc. D., Boston.
Harold C. Stuart, M. D., Boston, assistant professor of pediatrics and child
hygiene, School of Public Health, Harvard University.
Douglas A. Thom, M. D., Boston, director, Habit Clinic for Child Guidance.
Miriam Van Waters, Ph. D., Framingham, superintendent, State Reformatory
for W omen; member of board, American Youth Commission.
Alfred F. Whitman, Boston, executive secretary, Children’s Aid Association.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Children in a Democracy, January 18-420,1940


William Haber, Ph. D., Ann Arbor, professor o f economics, University of
Michigan; executive director, National Refugee Service.
Icie Macy Hoobler, Ph. D., Detroit, director of research laboratory, Children’s
Fund of Michigan.
Fred R. Johnson, Detroit, general secretary and State superintendent, Michigan
Children’s Aid Society.
Mrs. Thomas F. McAllister, Grand Rapids, director, Women’s Division, Demo­
cratic National Committee.
Mrs. Angus D. McLay, Birmingham, vice president, Michigan League o f Women
♦Herbert P. Orr, Caro, president, Michigan Juvenile Delinquency Prevention
Mrs. J. K. Pettengill, Detroit.
Mrs. William G. Rice, Houghton, vice president, Michigan Conference of Social
Grace Ross, R. N., Detroit, president, National Organization for Public Health
Lillian R. Smith, M. D., Lansing, director, Bureau of Maternal and Child
Hygiene, Michigan Department o f Health.
Mrs. Dora H. Stockman, LL. D., East Lansing.
Marguerite Wales, R. N., Battle Creek, nursing-education consultant, W. K.
Kellogg Foundation.
Edward A. Ward, D. O., Saginaw, member of executive committee, American
Osteopathic Association.
Edna Noble White, Ped. D., LL. D., Detroit, director, Merrill-Palmer School.
John E. Anderson, Ph. D., Minneapolis, director, Institute of Child Welfare,
University of Minnesota.
Rev. James A. Byrnes, St. Paul, executive secretary, National Catholic Rural
Life Conference.
A. J. Chesley, M. D., St. Paul, executive officer, State Department of Health.
Charles F. Hall, St. Paul, consultant, Bureau of Child Welfare, Division o f
Social Welfare, State Department of Social Security.
Henry F. Helmholz, M. D., Rochester, professor of pediatrics, Graduate School,
University of Minnesota.
H. E. Hilleboe, M. D., St. Paul, director, Crippled Children’s Division, Division
of Social Welfare, State Department of Social Security.
Hyman S. Lippman, M. D., Ph. D., St. Paul, director, Amherst H. Wilder Child
Guidance Clinic.
Mrs. Juanita Jackson Mitchell, St. Paul.
John Gundersen Rockwell, Ph. D., S t Paul, State commissioner o f education.
Richard E. Scammon, Ph. D., LL. D., Minneapolis, distinguished-service pro­
fessor, Graduate School, University of Minnesota.
Sister Katharine, O. S. B., Ph. D., Duluth, secretary, Board of Administration,
College of St. Scholastica; consulting psychologist, Duluth Mental Hygiene
Gertrude Vaile, Minneapolis, associate director, graduate course in social work,
University of Minnesota.
G. D. Humphrey, Ph. D., State College, president, Mississippi State College.
R. W. Reed, Tupelo, chairman, State Board of Public Welfare.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings o f the White House Conference

Felix J. Underwood, M. D., Jackson, State health officer.
E. Leroy Wilkins, M. D., Clarksdale, State chairman, child-welfare committee,
American Legion.
Herschel Alt, St. Louis, general secretary, St. Louis Children’s Aid Society;
general manager, St. Louis Provident Association.
E. Van Norman Emery, M. D., St. Louis, professor of social psychiatry, De­
partment of Social Work, Washington University.
Mrs. George H. Hoxie, Kansas City, chairman, Department of Government and
Child Welfare, Missouri League o f Women Voters.
Mrs. Warren L. Mabrey, Cape Girardeau, secretary, National Congress of
Parents and Teachers.
Mrs. Arthur B. McGlothlan, St. Joseph, member, State Social Security
Rev. Alphonse M. Schwitalla, S. J., St. Louis, president, Catholic Hospital
William H. Stead, Ph. D., St. Louis, dean, School of Business and Public Ad­
ministration, Washington University.
Borden S. Veeder, M. D., Sc. D., St. Louis, professor of clinic pediatrics, Uni­
versity Medical School; editor, Journal of Pediatrics.
Edythe P. Hershey, M. D., Helena, director, Maternal and Child Health Divi­
sion, Montana State Board of Health.
Mrs. J. H. Morrow, Moore, State chairman, American Home, Montana Federa­
tion of Women’s Clubs.
Mrs. Mildred K. Stoltz, Valier, State director of education, Montana Farmers’
G. H. Van de Bogart, Ph. D., Havre, president, Northern Montana College;
president, Montana Conference o f Social Work.
Frank Z. Glick, Ph. D., Lincoln, director, graduate school o f social work, Uni­
versity of Nebraska.
Ernest W. Hancock, M. D., F. A. A. P., Lincoln, instructor in pediatrics, Uni­
versity of Nebraska School of Medicine; medical director, Lincoln Junior
League Baby Clinics; attending pediatrician, Nebraska State Orthopedic
Charles F. McLaughlin, Omaha, Member, House of Representatives, U. S.
Mrs. Maud E. Nuquist, Lincoln, member, State Board of Control; president
and director, State Federation o f Women’s Clubs.
Rev. Joseph H. Ostdiek, LL. D., Omaha, diocesan superintendent of schools.
Cedi W. Creel, Reno, University of Nevada; member, Association of Land
Grant Colleges and Universities.
Mrs. Sallie R. Springmeyer, Reno, member, Nevada State Board o f Health.
Christie A. Thompson, Reno, maternal and child-health advisory nurse, State
Department o f Health.
Mary M. Atchison, M. D., Concord, director, Division o f Maternal and Child
Health and Crippled Children’s Services, State Board o f Health.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Children in a Democracy, January 18-20,19Ifi


Mrs. La Fell Dickinson, Keene, second vice president, General Federation of
Women’s Clubs.
Harry O. Page, Concord, commissioner, State Department of Public Welfare.
Mrs. Abbie C. Sargent, Bedford, director o f women’s activities, New Hampshire
Farm Bureau Federation.
S. Josephine Baker, M. D., Dr. P. H., Princeton.
Chester I. Barnard, Sc. D., LL. D., Newark, president, New Jersey Bell Tele­
phone Co.
William J. Ellis, Ph. D., LL. D., Trenton, commissioner, State Department of
Institutions and Agencies.
Edward L. Johnstone, Woodbine, superintendent, Woodbine Colony.
Clara H. Krauter, Newark, principal, Essex County Vocational School for
Alpheus Thomas Mason, Ph. D., Princeton, professor of politics, Princeton
James S. Plant, M. D., Sc. D., Newark, director, Essex County Juvenile Clinic.
Ellen C. Potter, M. D., LL. D., Trenton, director of medicine, State Department
of Institutions and Agencies.
A. L. Threlkeld, Ed. D., LL. D., Montclair, superintendent of public schools.
Henry W. Thurston, Ph. D., Montclair, emeritus, Department o f Child Welfare,
New York School o f Social Work.
LeRoy A. Wilkes, M. D „ Trenton, executive officer, Medical Society o f New
Mrs. Edith Elmer Wood, Cape May Courthouse.
Sophie D. Aberle, M. D., Ph. D., Albuquerque, general superintendent, United
Pueblos Indian Agency; field service, Office of Indian Affairs, U. S. Depart­
ment of the Interior.
Hester B. Curtis, M. D., Sante Fe, director, Division o f Maternal and Child
Health, State Department o f Public Health.
Mrs. Jennie M. Kirby, Sante Fe, director, New Mexico Department of Public
*Verna L. Nori, Santo Domingo, principal, Indian Day School; field service,
Office of Indian Affairs, U. S. Department of the Interior.
Brice H. Sewell, Sante Fe, State supervisor of trade and industrial education,
Department of Vocational Education.
David C. Adie, LL. D., Albany, commissioner, State Department of Social
Elmer F. Andrews, New York.
Ruth Andrus, Ph. D., Albany, chief, Bureau of Child Development and Parent
Education, New York State Department of Education.
Clinton W. Areson, Industry, superintendent, New York State Agricultural and
Industrial School.
Reginald M. Atwater, M. D., Dr. P. H., New York, executive secretary, Ameri­
can Public Health Association.
Sanford Bates, LL. D., New York, executive director, Boys’ Clubs o f America,
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings of the White House Conference

Mrs. Dorothy J. Bellanca, New York, vico president, Amalgamated Clothing
Workers o f America.
Mrs. Gladys Huntington Bevans, New York, writer on parent education, New
York News Syndicate, Inc.
William Frederick Bigelow, LL. D., Litt. D., New York, editor, Good House­
Elsie M. Bond, New York, assistant secretary, State Charities Aid Association.
Mrs. Helen Judy Bond, Ph. D., New York, head, Department of Household
Arts and Sciences, Teachers College, Columbia University.
Mrs. Ella A. Boole, Ph. D., LL. D., Brooklyn, president, World’s Woman’s Chris­
tian Temperance Union.
Mary E. Boretz, New York, executive director, Foster Home Bureau of the
Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.
Frank G. Boudreau, M. D., New York, executive director, Milbank Memorial
Howard S. Braucher, New York, secretary, National Recreation Association.
Edmund de S. Brunner, Ph. D., L. H. D., New York, professor of education,
Teachers College, Columbia University.
Bradley Buell, New York, field director, Community Chests and Councils, Inc.
Allen T. Burns, New York, executive vice president, Community Chests and
Councils, Inc.
Bailey B. Burritt, New York, chairman, executive council, Community Service
Edmond Borgia Butler, New York, professor o f law, Fordham University.
Joseph Cadden, New York, executive secretary, American Youth Congress.
James B. Carey, New York, president, United Electrical, Radio, and Machine
Workers of America ; secretary, Congress of Industrial Organizations.
*C. C. Carstens, Ph. D., New York, executive director, Child Welfare League of
America, Inc.
William L. Chenery, New York, editor, Collier’s.
Charles L. Chute, New York, executive director, National Probation Association.
Everett R. Clinchy, Ph. D., New York, director, National Conference of Chris­
tians and Jews.
Joanna C. Colcord, New York, director, Charity Organization Department,
Russell Sage Foundation.
Hazel Corbin, R. N., New York, general director, Maternity Center Association.
H. Ida Curry, New York, acting director, National Citizens Committee, White
House Conference on Children in a Democracy.
Mrs. Rachel Davis-Du Bois, Ed. D., New York, educational director, Service
Bureau for Intercultural Education.
Mark A. Dawber, D. D., New York, executive secretary, Home Missions
Dorothy Deming, R. N., New York, general director, National Organization of
Public Health Nursing.
Marion Dickerman, New York, principal, Todhunter School.
Courtenay Dinwiddie, New York, general secretary, National Child Labor
Mary E. Dreier, New York, vice president, National Woman’s Trade Union
League of America.
Louis I. Dublin, Ph. D., New York, third vice president and statistician,
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.
Mary Dublin, New York, general secretary, National Consumers League.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Ghildren in a Democracy, January 18-20,19Iß


Dorothy Ducas, New York, director of women’s activities, Committee for the
Celebration of the President’s Birthday.
Franklin Dunham, Mus. D., litt. D-, New York, educational director, National
Broadcasting Co.
Mrs. Ernest Frederick Eidlitz, New York, president, National Association of
Day Nurseries.
Kendall Emerson, M. D., New York, managing director, National Tuberculosis
William Feinbloom, Ph. D., New York, director, Public Health Bureau, The
American Optometrie Association.
Carl Feiss, New York, associate in architecture, School of Architecture, Colum­
bia University.
John A. Ferrell, M. D., New York, associate director, International Health
Division, Rockefeller Foundation.
Marshall Field, New York.
♦John H. Finley, LL. D., Litt. D., New York, editor, New York Times.
Sterling Fisher, New York, director of education, Columbia Broadcasting
Homer Folks, LL. D., New York, secretary, State Charities A id Association.
Joseph K. Folsom, Ph. D., Poughkeepsie, professor o f economics and sociology,
Yassar College; chairman, National Council on Parent Education.
Lawrence K. Frank, New York, vice president, Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation.
Yasha Frank, New York, program consultant, Columbia Broadcasting System.
Edward S. Godfrey, Jr., M. D., Albany, commissioner, State Department of
Abraham Goldfield, New York, executive director, Fred L. Lavanburg Foundation.
Sidney E. Goldstein, New York, associate rabbi, Free Synagogue of New York
.C ity; chairman, New York State Conference on Marriage and the Family.
Abel J. Gregg, senior executive for work with boys, National Council of the
Young Men’s Christian Association.
Mrs. Sidonie Matsner Gruenberg, New York, director, Child Study Association
of America.
Helen Hall, New York, director, Henry Street Settlement.
Helen M. Harris, New York, administrator, National Youth Administration for
New York City.
Shelby M. Harrison, LL. D., New York, general director, Russell Sage
Samuel W. Hartwell, M. D., Snyder, professor of psychiatry, School of Medicine,
University of Buffalo.
George J. Hecht, New York, publisher, The Parents’ Magazine.
Mrs. Charles E. Heming, New York, chairman, Department of Government
and Education, New York State League of Women Voters.
Charles E. Hendry, New York, director, program and personnel training, Boys’
Clubs of America, Inc.
Daniel Paul Higgins, New York, president, Catholic Youth Organization o f the
Archdiocese of New York.
T. Arnold Hill, LL. D., New York, director, Department of Industrial Relations,
National Urban League, Inc.
William Hodson, New York, commissioner of public welfare of the- City of
New York.
Robert B. Irwin, New York, executive director, American Foundation for th»
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings o f the White House Conference

Hugh R. Jackson, New York, director o f public assistance, City o f New York
Department of Welfare.
A. LeRoy Johnson, D. M. D., Sc. D., New York.
P. Ernest Johnson, D. D., New York, executive secretary, Department of
Research and Education, Federal Council of the Churches of Christ ia
Eugene Kinckle Jones, LL. D., New York, executive secretary, National Urban
League, Inc.
Dorothy C. Kahn, New York, American Association o f Social Workers.
Clara Kaiser, New York, instructor in group work, New York School o f Social
Rt. Rev. Msgr. Robert F. Keegan, New York, executive director, Catholic
Charities of the Archdiocese of New York.
Alice Y. Keliher, Ph. D., New York, chairman, Commission on Human Relations,
Progressive Education Association.
Paul U. Kellogg, New York, editor, The Survey Midmonthly and Survey Graphic.
Mrs. Austin L. Kimball, Buffalo, president, National Young Women’s Christian
Freda Kirchwey, New York, editor and publisher, The Nation.
Paul J. Kohler, Buffalo, chairman, International Committee on Underprivileged
Child, Kiwanis International.
George W. Kosmak, M. D=. New York, editor, American Journal of Obstetrics
and Gynecology.
Louis Kraft, New York, executive director, Jewish Welfare Board.
C. E. Krumbholz, D. D., New York, secretary, department o f welfare, National
Lutheran Council; secretary, children’s; division, National Lutheran Inner
Mission Conference.
Gertrude B. Lane, New York, editor, Woman’s Home Companion.
Ruth Lamed, New York, associate international director and case consultant,
International Migration Service, Inc.
Joseph P. Lash, New York, national secretary, American Student Union; vice
chairman, American Youth Congress.
Henry Goddard Leach, Ph. D., New York, editor, Forum.
Clare L. Lewis, New York, associate director, New York State Employment
Mrs. Clara Savage Littledale, New York, editor, Parents’ Magazine.
Solomon Lowenstein, D. H. L., New York, executive vice president, Federation
for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies o f New York.
Harry L. Lurie, New York, executive director, Council o f Jewish Federations and
Welfare Funds, Inc.
Bertha McCall, New York, general director, National Travelers’ Aid Association.
Rev. Bryan J. McEntegart, LL. D., New York, director, division o f children,
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York.
Rustin McIntosh, M. D., New York, professor of pediatrics, College o f Physicians
and Surgeons, Columbia University.
Mary Jeanne McKay, New York, president, National Student Federation of
Jack McMichael, New York, chairman, American Youth Congress.
Mrs. Eleanor Brown Merrill, New York, executive director, National Society for
the Prevention of Blindness.
Frieda S. Miller, New York, industrial commissioner, State Department of Labor.
Mrs. Marion M. Miller, New York, educational director, United Parents’
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Children in a Democracy, January 18—20,19lß


Harold Mitchell, M. D., New York, district health officer, Department o f Health,
Borough of Queens.
Grace Morin, Ithaca, head, Department o f Household Art, New York State College
o f Home Economics, Cornell University.
Claude W. Munger, M. D., New York, director, St. Luke’s Hospital.
H. S. Mustard, M. D., New York, Department o f Preventive Medicine, New York
University College of Medicine.
Frank J. O’Brien, M. D., Ph. D., New York, director, Bureau o f Child Guidance,
Board of Education of the City of New York.
Basil O’Connor, New York, president, The National Foundation for Infantile
Paralysis, Inc.
Almon R. Pepper, New York, executive secretary, Department of Christian Social
Relations, National Council, Episcopal Church.
Walter W. Pettit, Ph. D., New York, director, New York School of Social Work.
William Ward Plummer, M. D., LL. D., Buffalo, president, American Orthopedic
Asa Philip Randolph, New York, international president, Brotherhood of Sleeping
Car Porters ; member, executive committee, Pioneer Youth.
Grace A. Reeder, Albany, director, Bureau o f Child Welfare, State Department
of Social Welfare.
Flora M. Rhind, New York, secretary for general education, General Education
John L. Rice, M. D., New York, commissioner of health, Department of Health.
Mrs. Paul Rittenhouse, New York, national director, Girl Scouts, Inc.
W. Carson Ryan, Ph. D., Ed. D., LL. D., New York, staff associate, Carnegie Foun­
dation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Joseph J. Schwartz, New York, executive director, Brooklyn Federation of Jewish
George N. Shuster, New York, president, Hunter College.
Harriet Silverman, New York, executive secretary, People’s National Health Com­
mittee; chairman, educational committee, American Labor Party, Assembly
District Branch.
Mrs. Mary K. Simkhovitch, L. H. D., New York, director of Greenwich House.
Sister Agnita Miriam, New York, superintendent, New York Foundling Hospital.
Donald Slesinger, New York, executive director, the American Film Center, Inc.
George W. Smyth, White Plains, judge, Children’s Court, County of Westchester.
William F. Snow, M. D., New York, general director, The American Social Hygiene
Association, Inc.
Mabel Keaton Staupers, R. N., New York, executive secretary, National Associa­
tion o f Colored Graduate Nurses.
Rabbi Milton Steinberg, New York, Park Avenue Synagogue.
George S. Stevenson, M, D., New York, medical director, National Committee
for Mental Hygiene, Inc.
Major Julia C. Stimson, R. N., Sc. D., New York, president, American Nurses’
Mrs. Nathan Straus, Valhalla, member of board, New York Section, National
Council of Jewish Women; member, Executive Committee, National Council
for Mothers and Babies.
Arthur L. Swift, Jr., New York, Union Theological Seminary.
Linton B. Swift, New York, general director, Family Welfare Association o f
Charles W. Taussig, New York, chairman, National Advisory Committee,
National Youth Administration.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings of the White House Conference


Ruth Taylor, Valhalla, commissioner of public welfare, Westchester County.
Frederick F. Umhey, New York, executive secretary, International Ladies’
Garment Workers’ Union.
Mr. DeForest Van Slyck, New York, executive secretary, Association of Junior
Leagues o f America, Inc.
♦Lillian D. Wald, LL. D., New York, president, board of directors, Henry Street
Rose T. Weiner, New York, secretary, The Health Security Council o f the
American Labor Party ; secretary, Women’s Division of the A. L. P.
Dorothy P. Wells, New York, vocational expert, National Board, Young
Women’s Christian Association.
James E. West, LL. D., New York, chief scout executive, Boy Scouts of America.
Walter West, New York, executive secretary, American Association o f Social
Walter White, New York, secretary, National Association for the Advancement
of Colored Peoples
Albert W. Whitney, New York, consulting director, National Conservation
Otis L. Wiese, New York, editor, McCall’s Magazine.
G. Dorothy Williams, Ithaca, extension specialist in foods and nutrition,
Cornell University.
Herbert D. Williams, Ph. D., State School, superintendent, New York State
Training School for Boys.
Lewis A. Wilson, Sc. D-, LL. D., Albany, associate commissioner for vocational
education, New York State Education Department.
Leland Foster Wood, Ph. D., New York, secretary, Committee on Marriage and
the Home, Federal Council o f the Churches of Christ in America.
Owen D. Young, LL. D., Litt. D., New York, chairman o f board, General Electric
Company ; chairman of the American Youth Commission.
Mra Gertrude Folks Zimand, New York, associate general secretary, National
Child Labor Committee.
Mrs. W. T. Bost, Raleigh, commissioner, North Carolina State Board of Charities
and Public Welfare.
Mrs. Margaret H. Caldwell, Greensboro, superintendent, National Juvenile
Harriet Elliott, Greensboro, dean of women, Woman’s College o f the University
o f North Carolina; member o f Advisory Commission to the Council of
National Defense.
Frank P. Graham, LL. D., Litb. D., Chapel Hill, president, University of North
I. G. Greer, Thomasville, general superintendent, Baptist Orphanage of North
Joseph B. Johnston, Barium Springs, superintendent, Presbyterian Orphans’
Home of the Synod of North Carolina.
Aldert S. Root, M. D., Raleigh, North Carolina State chairman, American
Academy of Pediatrica
Theodora Allen, Bismarck, supervisor, Division of Child Welfare, State Public
Welfare Board.
Mrs. Gladys Talbott Edwards, Jamestown, national director o f junior education,
Farmers’ Educational and Cooperative Union of America.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


On Children in a Democracy, January 18-20,191fi


Maysil M. Williams, M. D., Bismarck, State health officer, State Department of
E. A. Willson, Bismarck, executive director. Public Welfare Board of North
Richard A. Bolt, M. D., Dr; P. EL, Cleveland, director, Cleveland Child Health
Mrs. Wilson M. Compton, Bowling Green.
Grace L. Coyle, Ph. D., Cleveland, director of the group-work course, School of
Applied Social Sciences, Western Reserve University.
Tam Deering, Cincinnati, director o f recreation, Public Recreation Commission.
Harry L. Eastman, Cleveland, judge, Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court; presi­
dent, Association o f Juvenile Court Judges o f America.
Philip C. Ebeling, J. D., Dayton, president, U. S. Junior Chamber of Commerce.
Joseph W. Fichter, Oxford, lecturer, Ohio State Grange; assistant to the vice
president o f Miami University.
Rt. Rev. Msgr. John R. Hagan, S. T. D., Ph. D., Cleveland, superintendent,
Cleveland Catholic Schools.
Charles W. Hoffman, Cincinnati, judge, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.
Mrs. James T. Hoffman, Cleveland, League of Women Voters; member of Tremont City-Wide Planning Committee.
Harry W. Howett, Elyria, director o f social service, National Society for Crip­
pled Children o f the U. S. A., Inc.
Howard R. Knight, Columbus, general secretary, National Conference o f Social
A. Graeme Mitchell, M. D., Cincinnati, professor o f pediatrics, University of
Cincinnati, College o f Medicine; director, The Children’s Hospital Research
Jean C. Roos, Cleveland, head of the Stevenson Room for Young People, Cleve­
land Public Library.
Agnes H. Schroeder, Cleveland, associate professor o f medical social work,
School o f Applied Social Sciences, Western Reserve University.
Paul Sears, Ph. D., Sc. D., Oberlin, professor of botany, Oberlin College.
Charles L. Sherwood, Columbus, director, State Department o f Public Welfare.
Louis J. Taber, Columbus, master, the National Grange.
Rt. Rev. Msgr. R. Marcellus Wagner, Ph. D., LL. D., Cincinnati, director,
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
P. K. Whelpton, Oxford, assistant director, Scripps Foundation for Research in
Population Problems, Miami University.
Mrs. George E. Calvert, Oklahoma City, State president, Oklahoma Congress of
Parents and Teachers.
Mrs. Amy D. Crooks, Delaware.
Laura E. Dester, Oklahoma City, supervisor, Division o f Child Welfare, State
Department of Public Welfare.
Benjamin Dwight, Oklahoma City, organization field agent, Office o f Indian
Affairs, U. S. Department o f the Interior.
Clark H. Hall, M. D., F. A. A. P., Oklahoma City, professor o f pediatrics, School
o f Medicine, University of Oklahoma; head of department in State University
Alice Sowers, Ph. D., Norman, professor of family-life education, University of
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings of the White House Conference

Joseph B. Bilderback, M. D., Portland, the Children’s Clinic.
Mrs. Henry Roe Cloud, Pendleton, Umatilla Indian Agency.
Mrs. Saidie Orr Dunbar, Portland, president, General Federation o f Women’s
Clubs (Washington, D. C.).
Elmer R. Goudy, Portland, administrator, State Public Welfare Commission of
Mrs. Thomas Honeyman, Portland, member, State Public Welfare Commission
of Oregon.
Frederick M. Hunter, Ed. D., LL. D., Eugene, chancellor, Oregon System of
Higher Education.
Donald E. Long, Portland, judge, Court of Domestic Relations, Juvenile Court.
Elnora E. Thomson, R. N., Portland, director of nursing education, Medical
School, University of Oregon.
Gustavus H. Bechtold, D. D., Philadelphia, executive secretary, Lutheran Chil­
dren’s Bureau; vice president, Board of Social Missions o f the United
Lutheran Church.
Almena Dawley, Philadelphia, chief social worker, Child Guidance Clinic.
Karl de Schweinitz, L. H. D., Philadelphia, director, Pennsylvania School of
Social Work..
Mrs. Gertrude M. Dubinsky, Philadelphia, executive director, Juvenile Aid
Edith M. Everett, Philadelphia, director, White-Williams Foundation.
Ben G. Graham, Sc. D., LL. D., Pittsburgh, superintendent o f schools, Board o f
Rufus M. Jones, D. D., LL. D., Litt. D., Haverford, professor emeritus, Haverford
Ralph Munn, Pittsburgh, director, Carnegie Library o f Pittsburgh; president,
American Library Association.
Philip Murray, Pittsburgh, chairman, Steel Workers’ Organizing Committee.
Clarence E. Pickett, Wallingford, executive secretary, American Friends Service
Rev. James A. Reeves, S. T. D., LL. D., Litt. D., Greensburg, president, Seton
Hill College.
Edwin D. Solenberger, Philadelphia, general secretary, Children’s Aid Society of
Alexander J. Stoddard, Ed. D., Philadelphia, superintendent of schools.
Carroll P. Streeter, Philadelphia, associate editor, Farm Journal and Farmer’s
Katharine Tucker, R. N., Philadelphia, director, Department o f Nursing Educa­
tion, University of Pennsylvania.
Mrs. Helen Glenn Tyson, Ph. D., Pittsburgh, secretary, Family and Child Welfare
Division, Public Charities Association of Pennsylvania.
Philip F. Williams, M. D., Philadelphia, chairman, American Committee on
Maternal Welfare.
Donald Young, Ph. D „ Philadelphia, professor o f sociology, University o f Penn­
sylvania ; member o f staff, Social Science Research'Council.
Richard D. Allen, Providence, assistant superintendent o f schools.
Harry B. Freeman, Providence, president, Rhode Island Society for Prevention
o f Cruelty to Children.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Children in a Democracy, January 18-&0,19JiO


Anna I. Griffith, Providence, administrator, Children’s Bureau, State Department
of Social Welfare.
Arthur H. Buggies, M. D., Sc. D., Providence, superintendent, Butler Hospital.
Kate Bullock, Columbia, chief, Division of Child Welfare, State Department of
Public Welfare.
Roger L. Coe, Ph. D., Columbia, South Carolina State director, National Youth
A. C. Flora, Columbia, superintendent o f schools ; member of board o f directors,
National Education Association.
A. T. Jamison, D. D., Greenwood, superintendent, Connie Maxwell Orphanage.
Hilla Sheriff, M. D., Columbia, assistant director, Division o f Maternal and
Child Health, State Board o f Health.
Thomas Benton Young, Florence, chairman, State Board of Public Welfare.
J. W. Kaye, Aberdeen, member, Unemployment Compensation Commission.
Mrs. Grace W. Martin, Pierre, director, Division o f Child Welfare, State Social
Security Commission.
Karl Mundt, Madison, member, House of Representatives, U. S. Congress.
S. B. Nissen, Sioux Falls, editor, South Dakota Education Association Journal ;
executive secretary, South Dakota Education Association.
Benjamin Reifel, Pierre, field agent, Indian Organization, Office o f Indian A f­
fairs, U. S. Department o f the Interior.
•Alvin Waggoner, Pierre, chairman, South Dakota Social Security Commission.
Horton Casparis, M. D., Nashville, professor of pediatrics, School of Medicine,
Vanderbilt University.
George H. Cate, Nashville, president, Board of Education o f the City of Nashville.
William E. Cole, Ph. D., Knoxville, head, Department of Sociology, University of
Cara L. Harris, Memphis, field secretary, Tennessee Congress o f Parents and
Charles S. Johnson, Litt. D., Nashville, director, Department of Social Science,
Fisk University.
Camille Kelley, Memphis, judge, Juvenile Court.
Mrs. A. H. Roberts, Nashville, director, Child Welfare Division, State Department
of Public Welfare.
W. R. Banks, Prairie View, principal, Prairie View State College.
J. J. Brown, Austin, director, Vocational Rehabilitation and Crippled Children’s
Division, State Department of Education.
Mrs. Irene Farnham Conrad, Houston, executive secretary, Council o f Social
Mrs. Violet S. Greenhill, Austin, chief, Division of Child Welfare, State Depart­
ment of Public Welfare.
Gaynell Hawkins, Dallas, educational director, Civic Federation of Dallas.
Mrs. Val M. Keating, San Antonio, associate director, Division of Employment,
Texas Work Projects Administration.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Proceedings of the White Rouse Conference

Herschel T. Manuel, Ph. D., Austin, professor of educational psychology, School
of Education, University of Texas.
Pansy Nichols, Austin, executive secretary, Texas Tuberculosis Association.
E. E. Oberholtzer, Ph. D., LL. D., Houston, superintendent of schools.
Homer P. Rainey, Ph. D., Austin, president, University of Texas.
Edwin G. Schwarz, M. D., Fort Worth, cochairman, American Association of
Pediatrics (Texas).
James L. Stephenson, Dallas, executive director, Housing Authority of the City
of Dallas; president, Association of Texas Housing Authorities.
Mrs. Elbert Williams, Dallas, national president, Camp Fire Girls.
Ernest A. Jacobsen, Logan, dean, School of Education, Utah State Agricultural
Mrs. Vyvyan Parmelee, Salt Lake City, director, Bureau of Assistance and Service,
State Department of Public Welfare.
Mrs. Louise Y. Robison, Salt Lake City, general president, National Woman’s
Relief Society of the Church of Latter Day Saints;'member, State board of
Kate Williams, Salt Lake City, director, Social Service Exchange; chairman, Child
Welfare Services Advisory Committee of the State Department of Public
Paul D. Clark, M. D., Burlington, director, Maternal and Child Health Division,
State Department of Public Health.
Marian W. Elder, Burlington, executive secretary, Howard Relief Society.
Mrs. Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Ph. D., Arlington.
Mary Jean Simpson, Burlington, dean of women, University of Vermont.
Janet L. Cameron, Blacksburg, State food specialist, Extension Service, State
Agricultural College.
A. L. Carson, Jr., M. D., Richmond, assistant director, Bureau o f Maternal and
Child Health, Virginia State Department of Health.
Sidney B. Hall, Ed. D., Richmond, superintendent of public instruction, State
Board of Education.
Latham Hatcher, Ph. D., Richmond, president, Alliance for Guidance of Rural
Thomas B. Morton, Richmond, commissioner of labor, State Department o f Labor
and Industry.
Mrs. Jennie B. Moton, Capahosic, head field oflicer, Agricultural Adjustment
Administration, Southern Division.
W. L. Painter, Richmond, director, Children’s Bureau, State Department of
Public Welfare.
James Hoge Ricks, Richmond, judge, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.
Gay B. Shepperson, McLean.
Mrs. Ora Brown Stokes, Richmond, president, Southeastern Federation of
Colored Women’s Clubs.
Mrs. Elwood Street, Richmond, chairman, National Council for Mothers and
Mrs. George Norman Campbell, Ph. D., Kalama, study-group chairman, American
Association of University Women.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

On Children in a Democracy, January 18S 0,19JJ)


Charles F. Ernst, Olympia, director, State Department of Social Security.
John F. Hall, Seattle, State director, Washington Children’s Home Society;
member of advisory committee, Children’s Division, Washington State Depart­
ment of Social Security.
Herbert L. Moon, M. D., Seattle.
Lamont A. Williams, Everett, manager, Everett District Puget Sound Power and
Light Co. ; chairman, child welfare, Area E, American Legion.
Ernest F. Witte, Ph. D., Seattle, director, Graduate School o f Social Work,
University o f Washington.
A. W. Garnett, Charleston, director, State Department o f Public Assistance.
Hortense P. Hogue, Point Pleasant, home-demonstration agent, Agricultural
Extension Service, University of West Virginia.
George M. Lyon, M. D., Huntington, chairman, Committee on Postgraduate
Education, American Academy of Pediatrics; chairman, Committee on Post­
graduate Medical Education, West Virginia State Medical Association.
Mrs. Ruth Pell Miller, Charleston.
Ruth C. Schad, Charleston, supervisor, division o f child welfare, Children’s
Bureau, State Department of Public Assistance.
Clarence A. Dykstra, LL. D., Litt. D., L. H. D., Madison, president, University
of Wisconsin.
Dorothy C. Enderis, Milwaukee, director of municipal recreation, Department of
Municipal Recreation and Adult Education, Milwaukee Public Schools.
Benjamin Glassberg, Milwaukee, superintendent, Milwaukee County Department
of Public Assistance.
C. A. Harper, M. D., Madison, State health officer, State Board of Health.
John P. Koehler, M. D., Milwaukee, commissioner of health, Milwaukee City
Health Department.
Mrs. A. W. Schorger, Madison.
Edwin E. Witte, Ph. D., Madison, chairman, Department of Economics, University
of Wisconsin ; member of council, American Association for Labor Legislation.
Elizabeth Yerxa, Madison, director, Bureau of Child Welfare, State Department
of Public Welfare.
Esther L. Anderson, Ph. D., Cheyenne, State superintendent of public instruction,
Department of Education.
Mrs. Harriett Werntz, Gillette.

262205°— 40------9
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


January 19 , 1940
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

F o r ew o r d ............................................................................................................................


Pr e f a c e ............................................................................................. . .................................


T h e G oals


D e m o c r a c y ...............................................................................................


Reviewing the reco rd ......................................................................................


O ur concern, every ch ild ..........................................................................................


T h e C h ild

F a m il y ................................................................................................


T he family as the threshold of dem ocracy............................................................


in t h e

Families and their incomes..................................................


Families in need of assistance.....................................................................................


Families and their dwellings.....................................................................................


R elig io n

in t h e

L ives


C h il d r e n ..............................................................................
C o m m un ity ...................................................................


Schools............................... . . ....................................................................... ..............


Leisure-time services.................................................................................. .............. \


E d u c a t io n a l S e r v ic e s

in t h e



P ro tectio n A gain st C h ild L a b o r ......................................................


Y outh




h eir

N e e d s ..................................................................................................
C h il d r e n .........................................................................


T h e two fronts.............................................................................................................


C onservin g


H ealth


Conditions favoring child health.............................................................................


Objectives for the coming decade...........................................................................


C h ild r en U n d er S p e c ia l D is a d v a n t a g e s ...................................................................


Social services for children........................................................................................


Children in minority groups.....................................................................................


Children in migrant families....................................................................................
P u blic A dm inistration


F in a n c in g .........................................................................


Size of administrative u n its........................


Sharing of financial responsibility.........................................................................


Professional personnel and lay participation...............................................
G o vern m en t
C all


b y the


Pe o p l e ...................................................................



A c t io n .......................................................................

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Chart 1.

Per-capita income, 1935-36, by size of family„. ............. ..................
Income payments in the United States, 1929-39..........* . . . . <..........
Secondary-education enrollment, 1890-1936........ * * •. - ...................
Infant mortality in the United States.................................................
Mortality from tuberculosis, 1910-38.................................................
Who are the babies that die?.............................................................
Children and income, rural and urban..................................... .
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



The W hite House Conference on Children in a Dem ocracy
met for its second session in Washington, D. C., January 18
to 20, 1940.

This session was the culmination of months of

planning and preparation by the Planning Committee of 72
members, the R eport Committee, the staff, and members of
the Conference.

M any members served as consultants to

those responsible for the development o f reports on various
aspects of the relation between children and our American
Dem ocracy.

Reports submitted in advance were reviewed by

the entire membership, which had been somewhat augmented
during the months between the initial session, April 26, 1939,
and the January meetings, so that it now comprises 676 per­

Thus the Conference, organized at the suggestion of

the President o f the United States, was truly a citizens5 enter­
prise, in which those representing many types o f professional
and civic interest, practical experience, and political and
religious belief joined together to consider the aims o f our
American civilization for the children in whose hands its future
The January sessions had but two aims— consideration of
and action upon the reports prepared under the direction of
the Report Committee, and discussion of the ways in which
the Conference findings could be translated into action. The
report presented herewith is the General Report adopted by
the Conference after full consideration in group meetings and
in general session. The Report Committee has followed
faithfully the instructions of the Conference to incorporate in
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



the report the changes agreed to in the general session, in
accordance with authority granted by the Conference in the
following motion, which was adopted unanimously:
That the Conference adopt the report as amended, as
a whole, subject to editorial changes by the Report
Committee, and that the report be published as the
General Report of the White House Conference on
Children in a Democracy .

The Report Committee was authorized also to prepare a
final report, based on the General Report, the topical reports
with suggestions as to their revision made in group meetings
January 18 and in correspondence, and other material avail­
able to the committee. This final report will not be completed
for some months.

In the meantime the topical reports, with

changes based on discussion in group meetings, will be made
available for study and discussion.
As Chairman of the Conference and on behalf of the Plan­
ning Committee, I wish to acknowledge the great debt which
the Conference owes to the Report Committee and its chair­
man, Homer Folks, the members of the Conference who have
given so freely o f their time and thought, and the Conference
Frances Perkins,
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

The Report Committee, to which was entrusted the prepara­
tion of reports to be submitted to the W hite House Conference
on Children in a Dem ocracy, was appointed in M arch 1939,
shortly after the organization o f the Conference. This com ­
mittee, o f 27 persons, is widely representative o f different pro­
fessions and interests affecting the welfare o f children, including
medicine, public health, education, social service, child guid­
ance, religion, public administration, agriculture, and general
civic interests.
A modest fund having been placed at the disposal o f the com ­
mittee, it selected a research staff comprising the persons whose
names are listed elsewhere.

Under the leadership o f Philip

Klein, o f the New York School o f Social W ork, who has served
as research director, the staff prepared a series o f documents on
the several fields of interest within the scope o f the Conference.
Each document, containing factual material, opinions, sugges­
tions, and recommendations, was submitted to a group o f con­
sultants with special experience and judgm ent in the subject.
After revision in the light o f these consultations the documents
were submitted to the Report Committee for study, revision,
and action.
O n the basis of these statements and other material assembled
by the staff, the Report Committee prepared a general confer­
ence report, which was submitted to the Conference at its
meeting January 18. The recommendations in the report
were discussed in groups meeting on the same day, and their
suggestions for revision were reviewed by the Report Com VII
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

V ili


mittee. The whole report, with changes approved by the com ­
mittee, was considered, amended, and unanimously adopted
by the Conference in general session January 19.
Great credit is due to the staff as a whole, and in particular to
its director, for discriminative collection and summarizing of
material, careful interpretation o f subject matter, drafting of
the topical statements and o f the General Conference Report,
and patient revision in the light o f protracted discussions on the
part o f the Report Committee.
In addition to its own staff, the Report Committee received
valuable help from staff members o f various Federal bureaus
and agencies, o f whom some gave regular service for consider­
able periods. The experience, opinions, and conclusions of
these Federal agencies having to do with one or another phase
o f the well-being of children, were freely placed at the disposal
o f the staff and the committee.
Special acknowledgment is due to the Chief and the mem­
bers o f the staff o f the Children’s Bureau, who were at all
times at the service o f the Conference.

W ithout their con­

tinuous and able service the work o f the Conference could not
have been brought to a successful conclusion.
T o the members o f the R eport Committee the chairman
wishes to record his very sincere appreciation o f their patience,
deep interest, objectivity, and resourcefulness in arriving at a
final group judgm ent on highly important subjects, often con­
troversial in nature, in which in each case only a few o f the
Report Committee members were themselves expert.

It is a

notable tribute to their deep interest in the subject that in every
instance full agreement was reached.

The report as a whole

stands as a product in the making o f which every member of
the committee had an equal responsibility.

Clarity and con­

viction are furthered by the absence o f minority reports.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



The report contains 98 recommendations, which grew out of
the experience and considered judgm ent of the staff, consultant
groups, and members of the committee.

It is submitted by the

Conference to the American people in the hope that it may, in
'some degree, clarify the present situation of the children of
America and stimulate increased interest and greater effort
toward a more complete realization of the ideals of the Amer­
ican people for their children— the children of the American
Dem ocracy.


H omer F olks,
Chairman o f the Report Committee.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

The Goals of Democracy
W hite H ouse C onference on Children in a Dem oc-

( £ ) racy, the fourth in a series of children’s conferences held
during the past 30 years, addresses itself to the interests of all
the children of the Nation and to every aspect of child welfare,
including home life, material security, education, health, and
general preparation for the responsibilities of citizenship.
At the first meeting of the Conference on April 26, 1939,
President Roosevelt said:
Democracy must inculcate in its children capacities
for living and assure opportunities for the fulfillment
of those capacities. The success of democratic insti­
tutions is measured, not by extent of territory, finan­
cial power, machines, or armaments, but by the
desires, the hopes, and the deep-lying satisfactions of
the individual men, women, and children who make
up its citizenship.

The people of the United States have talked and lived
dem ocracy for a century and a half.

W e have never felt that

it has reached its full stature nor that it has operated satis­
factorily in every field of human endeavor. W e have not
always agreed as to the exact meaning of democracy, but we
have never lost our belief in certain fundamental democratic
principles. These fundamentals include, above all, freedom
of the individual as it is inscribed in our fundamental law,
with its Bill of Rights assuring freedom of speech, press, religion,
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



and public assembly.

W hile the individual is becoming less

significant as a unit in our elaborate system of production and
distribution, his worth and integrity remain the cornerstone
o f our democratic philosophy.
These principles we wish to preserve for our children, and
we hope so to educate them that they may improve upon and
transmit this heritage to com ing generations.
The development o f science and invention, and the growth
o f industry have created new and com plex conditions, in
which the freedom o f the individual is endangered. Legal
safeguards alone are not sufficient to insure liberty, unless the
individual also has a reasonable degree o f econom ic oppor­
tunity. This is less easily provided in an industrial society
than under pioneer conditions with unlimited free land.. Thus
we have com e to include in our basic concept o f democracy
the principle that in the pursuit o f happiness all men should
have as nearly equal econom ic opportunity as their unequal
natural endowment and the slow process o f econom ic change
Hard, uncomfortable facts have been accumulating which
show that far too many American children belong to families
that have no practical access to econom ic opportunity. These
families, living in actual distress or in constant insecurity, are
trapped in circumstances from which their own knowledge and
initiative cannot extricate them. Not merely thousands but
millions o f children live under these handicaps, which they can
escape only by outside help. And this is happening not by
econom ic necessity but in a country blessed with splendid
natural resources and a high level of public intelligence.
In addition to the striving for individual freedom and eco­
nom ic opportunity the developing national ideal includes, with
new emphasis, capacity for cooperative life as a test o f successful
democracy. Thus varied forms o f cooperative activity, both
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



local and on a national scale, are developing and strengthening
the traditional American spirit of neighborly cooperation and
civic responsibility.
In educating our children we desire, therefore, to give them
freedom to express their natural interests, to enjoy life, and to
gain that self-reliance which is hardly less important today
than it was to the early American pioneer. W e wish to rear
them so that they may successfully participate in our demo­
cratic way o f life. W e seek to develop in them an appreciation
o f the expanding forms of civic responsibility and an under­
standing o f the nature o f social life and the satisfactions of
cooperative enterprise.
The complexities o f modern life require a structure o f govern­
ment and a social and econom ic order which will com bine
maximum individual freedom with maximum opportunity for
every man to find a place among his fellows, to achieve selfsupport, preserve self-respect, and render community service.
Events o f recent years have proved that the preservation and
further development o f the better life in a dem ocracy cannot
be left to chance; they do not just happen.

Plans must be made

and adjusted to meet changes in the national econom y, in
international relations, and in scientific knowledge.
These changes require far-reaching modifications in our edu­
cational system, in family life, in local government, and in the
relative responsibilities of local community, State, and Nation.
They call for more awareness o f the Nation as a unit and of
goals national in scope.
Is the realization of such national standards and aspirations
com patible with continued freedom? W e believe that it is.
In fact, this development is a true continuation o f the process
by which the Constitution was formed and adopted, bringing
the powers and resources o f the Nation of 1787 into line with
the responsibilities and problems of that time.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Since that



date the process has given us a rich and growing body o f social
legislation, a series o f amendments to the National Consti­
tution, and many Federal services o f fundamental importance.
It has given us an increasingly interwoven system o f State and
Federal services in the conservation o f natural resources, in
public education, and in public health and welfare.
Can a free people by conscious effort and thoughtful plan­
ning make certain that the needs o f all their children will be
met? Can they rear them so that their capacities will be
developed for cooperative action in exercising the responsibili­
ties o f citizenship in a democracy?

Can they bring up children

who in turn will maintain and cherish their freedom? W e
believe they can, and in the means for accomplishing these
ends we find the agenda o f this Conference and o f the new
R eview in g the Record
The decades before 1930 were a period o f great progress in
the United States. Through many ups and downs— “ cycles55
in the economist’s way o f speaking— prosperity was increasing,
the standard o f living was rising, and a unified national con­
sciousness was growing.

Perhaps public attention through this

period was centered too much on technical advances and the
marvels o f a mechanized civilization.

Even in fields o f more

strictly human services technical progress was emphasized, as
in medicine, public health, psychology, mental hygiene, gov­
ernmental administration, and education. But in some o f the
less tangible ways also great strides were made toward better
social conditions in the United States. These were real
achievements expressing an enhanced appreciation o f human
As crude exploitation o f the resources o f a virgin land and of
the opportunities presented by a growing population slowly
gave way to the growth o f a more settled American culture,
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



efforts and funds were invested in the general welfare in
generous and increasing amounts. A growing social conscience
was becom ing evident in the activities o f individuals and
groups, and in the functions o f governments.
The enactment of social legislation is one example o f this

It included protection of women and children in in­

dustry and the establishment of public agencies to deal with
labor, public welfare, health, workmen’s compensation, and
mothers’ pensions. The labor movement was gaining in
strength, despite many setbacks, and wages and conditions of
work were slowly improving.
Public expenditures increased for parks, museums, schools,
playgrounds, libraries, medical services, and research in such
diverse fields as agriculture and medicine. School authorities
conducted extensive and fruitful experiments in kindergartens,
vocational preparation, and the development of secondary edu­

Underlying much of this progress was general interest

in the new psychology with its illumination of human motives
and its tolerant understanding of the vagaries of human
The creation of many new agencies to serve the public, as
distinct from those designed for profit or livelihood, is also evi­
dence o f the new emphasis on human values in the decades
before 1930. Social agencies to help people in trouble were
established in large numbers and under many forms and
auspices. They were supported by public funds, voluntary
contributions, and the resources of many new “ foundations.”
The present Conference comes after 10 years of econom ic
depression unprecedented in length and of great intensity. A
large section o f the population was left without income for
months or even years. Since the econom ic soundness o f a
country underlies a continuance of its freedom, the develop­
ment of its culture, and the quality of its public services, we
262205°— 40------10
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might have expected that the decade following 1929 would ex­
hibit the worst conditions ever suffered by the people o f this
country, and either a retrogression to pioneer hardship or an
attempted escape by the way o f dictatorship through which
some European countries have looked for salvation.
It is to the everlasting credit o f this democracy that despite
the strains o f the past decade we not only have maintained our
social institutions and public services but have notably im­
proved some of them. The resiliency o f this commonwealth
and its ability to avoid any serious loss of morale under longcontinued hardships have proved it to be a stable form o f gov­
ernment adaptable to a machine-age civilization and capable
o f meeting new human needs by democratic methods.
Basic problems o f agriculture, banking, finance, conserva­
tion o f natural resources, employment, econom ic security,
housing, and long-range econom ic stabilization have been
examined during this period and remedial processes have been
set in motion.
The health o f the Nation has been studied and appraised;
medical science has been brought more extensively into public
service. Death rates have been reduced, tuberculosis has been
more nearly brought under control, the health o f children has


M edical

services have



public-health administration has been mobilized through local,
State, and Federal agencies for steady progress toward building
a healthy Nation.

M ore has been learned about health

dangers and deficiencies, the means of reducing some o f them
have been found, and programs o f action have been established.
Education, recreation, and the problems o f youth have been
studied by public and voluntary bodies on a national scale
and with a realism often enhanced by local participation and
initiative. Nation-wide programs for the benefit o f youth have
been established.
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But the purpose o f this Conference is not to boast o f the
achievements o f our dem ocracy in prosperity and depression,
but rather to press forward to achievements worthy o f the
freedom and wealth o f our Nation.

It is especially gratifying

to note how fast and how consistently the general standard of
living and the national income o f this country have risen
through the decades despite the interruptions of depressions.
It is heartening to review the progress made and to observe the
stability o f our democratic institutions under strain. But a
special obligation o f this Conference is to point out the short­
comings and deficiencies that still exist. For every proof of
progress that betokens our abilities, there is evidence o f lags
unworthy of our resources and our intelligence.
In some ways the financial collapse o f 1929 and its aftermath
o f prolonged depression are evidences o f this type. Even
though there were danger signs o f econom ic unsoundness—
soil erosion, mortgage foreclosures, bank failures, wild financial
speculation, concentration of financial control and increase of
m onopoly, growing unbalance between productive capacity
and consuming power— still the year 1929 appeared to be a
high plateau o f prosperity, until it suddenly terminated in a
precipice o f tumbling destruction.
The fact that the prosperity o f the twenties rested on eco­
nom ic practices which led to the stupendous losses o f the
thirties was an indication that in our preoccupation with the
wonders o f science we had neglected to develop the institutions
necessary for its sound utilization.

It is evident that much

progress has been made in this respect since the drastic lesson
o f 1929.

It is equally evident that despite all that has been

done to meet the conditions o f the depression, there are still
great areas o f distress among our population to which this
Conference is bound to call attention, since they endanger the
welfare of millions o f children.
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Great inequalities have been discovered throughout the
country in the available opportunities for children and youth
in rural areas, in low-incom e groups, among the unemployed,
among migrant workers, and in various minority groups.
Honest inquiry has uncovered conditions unworthy o f a
dem ocracy with resources like ours and dangerous to its future.
Because this democracy has shown itself bold and capable
o f dealing with a catastrophic depression without loss of
courage or determination, the W hite House Conference on
Children in a Dem ocracy feels free to call public attention to
the many conditions that still are hazardous to children and
to the future o f our democracy.

It has no misgivings about

this Nation’s capacity to face unpleasant facts, its will to take
on new and growing responsibilities, and its readiness to accept
great burdens— for the goal is clear and abundant resources
are at hand.
Our Concern, E very C h ild
The White House Conference on Children in a Dem ocracy
speaks to all the people for all the children. There are some
36 million children under 16 years o f age in the United States,
and about 5 million more aged 16 and 17— altogether nearly
a third o f the population.1 Each year about 2 million babies
are born.

For numbers alone, if for no other reasons, these

voteless fellow citizens who hold the national future in their
bodies and minds are necessarily a first interest of the Nation.
Concern for the child begins before his birth in concern for
his parents; it continues until the child reaches maturity.
During this period of childhood, roughly 20 years, it is possible
to distinguish certain needs o f the child as an individual and
other needs which are identical with those o f his family or
1As estimated by the Bureau of Research and Statistics of the Social Security Board
with the advice of the U. S. Bureau of the Census. The number of children under 16
is their estimate as ofJuly 1, 1938; the number 16 and 17, as ofJuly 1, 1937.
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his community. The child receives or should receive serv­
ices from many individuals, groups, and agencies in addi­
tion to his own family.

Each has its special task; none can be

performed successfully without regard for the others.

H ow­

ever, the best intentions of one group have often been nullified
by ignorance o f the work of another, or by the interference or
inefficiency of others. T oo often people have failed to recog­
nize the simple truth that the child cannot be broken up into
parts— one for the parent, another for the teacher, one for the
public official, another for the playground, and still another
for the church. The child is an indivisible whole as he grows
from infancy to m anhood and must be planned for and served
as such.
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The Child in the Family
The vast majority of children are members of families.
Their world opens up in a family, and they continue to spend
most of the hours o f the day in or about the home, even after
school and playmates have begun to claim a large place in
their thoughts and activities.

Home and family are the first

condition of life for the child. They are first in importance for
his growth, development, and education.
The child has food and shelter if his family has a
home and provides food.
He is content and happy if he is well, if he has par­
ents and others to love and be loved by.
Education begins in the home, where he learns to
speak, to walk, to handle things, to play, to demand,
to give, to experiment.
Religious faith is imparted in the family long before
he goes to church.
Adventure and safety, contentment and rebellion,
cooperation, sharing, self-reliance, and mutual aid are
family experiences.

The Fa m ily as the Threshold o f Democracy

In spite of the great changes which have occurred in family
life, especially in cities, there is still no more far-reaching
educational institution than the family.

It can be a school for

the democratic life, if we make it so. W hat does the family
teach? W hat services does it inaugurate? W hat bearing do
these have on community services— schooling, religious guid­
ance, recreation, employment, medical care, social services,
and protection against exploitation?
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Giving the child food, shelter, and material security in
general is a primary task o f the family.

In the family there is

opportunity also to teach the elements o f personal hygiene,
health, and the prevention o f disease. Relationships with the
doctor, the hospital, and other community services may be
established. When the child reaches the school and the church,
for example, he is likely to esteem them in accordance with
the values which the family has placed upon them.
Less conspicuous but more important by far is what the
child acquires through the family in regard to his relations
with his fellows. Standards o f conduct may be formed by
fear or by example; they may be enforced by authority or by

It is in the relations o f members o f the family to

one another that the quality of the American democratic way
may find opportunity for its most conspicuous realization.
Self-sufficiency, enterprise, initiative, and cooperation are
virtues sought in children as well as in adults. The dem o­
cratic family life consists of give and take, with freedom for
each individual to express his own interests at the same time
that he is tolerant and helpful to others.
Children are helped to develop these standards and capac­
ities by sharing in family discussions and duties.


foundations are thus laid for participation in a dem ocratic
H ow can the family make the best of its opportunities as the
first school in dem ocratic life?
The Conference makes the following recommendations:
It is essential to democracy that self-respect and selfreliance, as well as respect for others and a cooperative
attitude, be fostered. These characteristics may be best
acquired in childhood if the relationship among members
of the family is of a democratic quality.
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2. The democratic principle should be applied not only
within the family but also by the family and its members
in their relationships with others within the home and at
church, club, place of employment, and elsewhere.
3. Parent education should be extended as a useful
means for helping to bring about this type of family life.

Fam ilies a n d T h eir Incomes

A necessary condition o f the family’ s capacity to serve the
child is an income sufficient to provide the essentials o f food,
clothing, shelter, and health, as well as a home life that means
for the child education, happiness, character building.
Parents, being human, differ from one another in com ­
petence, character, capacity to plan, energy, industry, re­

For this reason some parents will achieve a

fine home under adverse conditions while others will fail to

so under favorable

circumstances. These differences

among parents are to be found in high places and low, among
the wealthy and the poor.

They involve good fortune for one

child or an added handicap for another.

Whatever these

differences may be, some degree of material security is essential
for the life and happiness of every family.
This was once an agricultural country.
of the people were rural.

In 1820, 93 percent

M oney incomes were extremely

small, but many of the necessities for health and happiness,
according to the standards of the time, were supplied by the
farm and community without cost. By 1930 only one person
in four lived on a farm, a smaller proportion in villages, and
more than half in cities, where many families cannot even
see a green tree without paying carfare.

City costs of living

not only are high in terms of the price of certain essential
goods but also include items that in the country are “ free as
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Families are smaller than they used to be.


The average, once

nearly six persons per family, now is barely four. Rural families
are larger than city families but are steadily decreasing in size.
Our standard o f decent living has been raised to conform
with advancing knowledge.

Our ancestors could drink pol­

luted water, could lose a high percentage o f mothers by child­
bed fever, could bury one baby out of three, without feeling
rebellious against society, because no human being knew how
to prevent those calamities.

But suffering and death that we

know how to prevent are an outrage against decency, not to
be suffered in meek submission but to be fought with every
new weapon our generation has discovered.

One may find

some satisfaction, o f course, in comparing the plane o f living of
American families, both urban and rural, with the levels of
existence o f the past or with the existence o f many millions of
people in other parts o f the world.
there is widespread actual need.

Despite this, however,

M any children, as well as

many adults, lack sufficient food and adequate shelter, and
many millions of Americans lack needed medical attention.
W ith the decrease in family size and the notable develop­
ment o f science and industry, it might be assumed that all
families today would be assured of income sufficient for their

Estimates based on the number of children in families

at different income levels in 83 cities show that one-half to
two-thirds of the children in American cities live in homes
where the family income is less than the equivalent o f $1,260 for
a family of four.2 There is ample evidence, although it is not
2 The number of children in families at different income levels was computed from
data of the N ational H ealth Survey, 1 9 3 5 , in 83 cities in 19 States (U. S. Public Health
Service). In another study (Intercity D ifferences in C ost o f L ivin g , M a rch 1 9 35, 5 9 C ities, by
Margaret Loomis Stecker; Works Progress Administration Research Monograph XII,
1937) $1,261 was found to be the average cost for a family of four of a level of living
defined for the purpose of that study as a “maintenance level of living.” This study was
made in 59 cities of more than 25,000 population, containing 60 percent of the total
population in communities of more than 25,000 population in the United States. All
regions were represented.
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exactly comparable with these data, to indicate that the eco­
nom ic situation of farm families is no better.
The failure o f income to keep pace with the needs o f the
family is illustrated in chart 1.

The per capita income de­

creases sharply as the family increases in size, dropping to an
average o f $221 for each person in families of seven or more
persons, in contrast to $774 for each person in 2-person families.
It is clear that the safety o f our democratic institutions
requires that as many families as possible be enabled to earn
a decent income on a normal self-supporting basis.

It is

clear also that measures are required to supply substitute
income where there is none or where income is insufficient
to meet family needs.
Twenty-five percent o f the people not on relief obtain their
incomes from farming and nearly 40 percent depend on wages
in industry and trade and in other nonagricultural occu­
pations.3 Basic econom ic measures must be concerned, there­
fore, with agriculture and with wages. Farm income becomes
available when agricultural products find a market, and wage
income is available when industrial products find a market.
Farm prices and wages should be sufficient to meet the basic
needs o f the worker and his family.
The basic econom ic problem o f our children is the econom ic
problem o f the Nation— to find a sound balance o f wages,
prices, and financing that will provide a growing purchasing
power to industrial workers and farmers and profitable invest­
ment for capital. The changing econom ic structure o f modern
civilization and o f national and world markets calls for meas­
ures, directed toward these ends, o f a kind different from those
that were thought suitable for an earlier economy.
8 For description of occupational classifications see Consumer Incomes in the United
States (National Resources Committee, 1938), table 9, p. 26, and p. 44.
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Chart 1













o o





Source: Consumer Incomes In the United States, p. 46.
Washington, 1938.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

National Resources Committee.



The average income o f farm families, after allowance is
made for the value o f home-consumed produce, is far below
the average o f the Nation.4 This income has been especially
depressed and uncertain under conditions that followed over­
expansion during the W orld War.

Far-reaching adjustments

in agriculture have been needed and continue to be needed
to keep the agricultural income from falling lower.
Increased industrial employment would undoubtedly im­
prove the market for farm products, but special measures for
agriculture would still be necessary. Am ong these are adequate
provisions for soil and forest conservation as a permanent na­
tional policy; strengthening of Federal agencies for agricultural
credit; special measures designed to achieve a better balance
between agricultural prices and industrial prices; efforts directed
toward increasing nonmonetary farm income through agricul­
tural research and agricultural extension service; services to
assist migration and resettlement of farm families from de­
pressed or submarginal areas; and social-security laws adapted
to the needs of agricultural workers.
Industrial workers, as well as farmers and farm laborers, re­
quire measures for assuring incomes adequate for their family
needs. Am ong measures appropriate to wage earners are
minimum-wage legislation and laws safeguarding the right of
collective bargaining.

Measures like these tend to make em­

ployment more stable and to protect the income of the work­
ingman and his family.
In order to enable families in all income groups, especially
those at the lower income levels, to spend their incomes more
effectively, education in consumer purchasing should be ex­

Efforts of public and private agencies to improve the

4 For farm-family income see Consum er Incom es in the U nited S tates, table 8, p. 25, and
table 18B, p. 99. For figures on levels of living in farm families (household facilities,
diet, and so forth) see Agriculural O utlook Charts, 1940 (Bureau of Agricultural economics
and Bureau of Home Economics, U. S. Department of Agriculture, 1939).
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marketing of consumer goods and to provide consumers with
more information to help them purchase more effectively
should be encouraged.
In addition to measures which provide employment under
the ordinary conditions of production through the use of pri­
vate capital investment, there has been a steadily growing
demand in recent years for public works through which em­
ployment might be provided from public funds.

This has come

about in part as a result of the growing realization of the need
to conserve and develop national resources and an appreciation
of the value of public provision for sanitation, highways, educa­
tion, recreation, public health, hospitals, and other public

Under conditions of modern life several million men

annually must be employed in supplying our society with
needed public works, and for them public works should be so
conducted as to afford a dependable source of employment.
In addition, it is clear that whenever private industry cannot
find profitable use for all the available workers, the time,
skill, and morale of the unemployed should be salvaged.


can be done in large part by increased provision for public
While there has been a gratifying improvement recently in
business and employment, there is little doubt that for some
time there will continue to be a large volume of unemployment
and periods of expansion and contraction in private employ­

Unemployment is the major economic problem of the

present day.

There is much unemployment even in most

prosperous times and students of the problem are in agreement
that the level of unemployment has been rising the world
The main reliance for providing employment in our economy
must be placed upon private employment.

Every effort should

be made both to impress industry with its responsibilities in
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this respect and to help it to meet these responsibilities to the
fullest possible extent. At the same time it needs ever to be
borne in mind that for some years to come many people who
are both willing and able to work cannot be employed unless
private employment is supplemented by a well-considered and
well-administered public-work program.

It seems necessary

that a system of appropriate and adequate work projects for
the unemployed, as well as extensive public-work programs, be
part of a continuing national policy, adjusted to the fluctuations
of private employment.
Work programs, including both construction operations and
the provision of services, should be adapted to the needs of the
rural as well as the city population, should provide especially
for the needs of youth, and might well develop or expand vari­
ous types of services administered through existing agencies to
promote the health and welfare of children and adults. A
flexible, large-scale, low-cost housing program under Federal
leadership in cooperation with State and local governments is
desirable not only to supply urgently needed low-rent dwellings
for low-income families but also to create useful employment,
provide an outlet for idle capital, and improve community life.
The income of many families has been made more adequate
and secure by the development of various types of social insur­

The economic-security measures incorporated in the

Social Security Act of 1935 have become an accepted part of
our national life. Their old-age-benefit provisions have been
transformed by amendments enacted in 1939 into a type of
family insurance through old-age and survivors benefits. Ex­
tension o f the coverage of unemployment compensation and
old-age and survivors insurance, liberalization of the benefits
provided, and provision for insurance against loss of income
through temporary or permanent disability are opportunities
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for further advance.


Workmen’s compensation laws in most

States are in need of strengthening as to coverage, benefits, and
methods of administration.
Although social-insurance benefits, public assistance, work
relief, and general-relief payments made during the past decade
have been of great significance from the point of view both of
the social policies involved and of the number of persons bene­
fited, they constitute in aggregate amount but a small propor­
tion o f the total income payments received by the American
people, as is indicated in chart 2.
Most of these economic-security measures are already a part
of the programs of State and Federal governments.


will become more effective as public opinion attains greater
economic understanding and social insight.
Reference to public-work and housing programs and to
extending, liberalizing, and supplementing the various forms

of social insurance should not convey the impression that
these are the only measures which can and should be developed
to cope with the problem of unemployment.

There are many

other ways in which government can contribute to its solution;
for example, better training of youth for the needs of industry,
vocational information and guidance, retraining of workers
who have lost their opportunities for employment through
prolonged unemployment or technological changes, improved
placement services, and research and planning for the devel­
opment and conservation of our natural resources.


measures are primarily the responsibility of government.
Likewise, much more can be done by industry to provide
regular employment, to create jobs, to find suitable work for
those thought to be misfits, and to perform more fully than it
has in recent years the function of taking risks which in our
economic system belongs primarily to industry.

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Chart 2

8 ,0 0 0


5 ,0 0 0

4 ,0 0 0

3 ,0 0 0



1,0 0 0














Based on index numbers supplied by N ational Income Division, Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, U. S. Department of Commerce.
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7 ,0 0 0



Fam ilies in N e e d o f Assistance

During the process of adjustment to a changed economic
situation many families and children are left without an assured
livelihood because of unemployment, disability, low wages, or
other factors beyond their control.

It is becoming the estab­

lished American policy that these families be given adequate
economic assistance.

This economic assistance has been called

by various names, such as general relief, public assistance,
work programs, old-age assistance, aid to dependent children,
and allotment of surplus commodities.
The number of families requiring economic aid is so great
that the standards of assistance affect the standards of American
living as a whole.

Between 6 and 8 million children in 1939

were in families dependent for food and shelter on various forms
of economic aid. The following table 5 shows the approxi­
mate number of children involved:
Children in families receiving
economic assistance
March 1939

Work Projects Administration wages...............................
General relief, State and local. . . ....................................
Aid to Dependent Children...............................................
Farm Security Administration grants...............................


August 1939


It is common knowledge that the assistance given to many
families is not enough to permit a good home for the children.6
5 Table prepared by research staff of the Conference from information obtained from
Social Security Board, Work Projects Administration, and Farm Security Administration. The major sources of financial assistance, Federal, State, and local, are included
in these figures. The estimates on general relief and aid to dependent children were
obtained from the Social Security Board. The number of families receiving aid from
private agencies is unknown, as is the number receiving only surplus commodities.
A large number of farm families at low income levels receive small loans for farm
equipment and advice on home and farm management from the Farm Security A d m in ,
istration. The number of children under 16 in families receiving these loans and
services was estimated to be 1,175,000 in March 1939 and 1,150,000 in August.
8Average amounts per case for general relief for December 1939 ranged from about
$3 to about $36. Social Security B ulletin, February 1940, p. 58.

2 6 2 2 0 5 °— 40--------11
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It is common knowledge, too, that there are families in need
which receive no assistance.7 The Conference recognizes
that economic aid must continue to be given from publié
funds to a considerable number of families; that local, State,
and Federal governments should share the responsibility; and
that new, hitherto untried methods may have to be introduced
and earlier measures extended.
In 1935 the Federal Government assumed responsibility for
providing employment for employable persons, chiefly through
the Works Progress Administration.

Although it has not

actually cared for all so-called employables, its share of the
total national relief burden has continued to be much larger
than the aggregate burden carried by the States.


States have been able to meet general-relief needs for those not
designated as employable or not cared for by other forms of
economic assistance.

Other States, however, have found it

impossible to carry this part of the burden.

This has resulted

in uneven and frequently extremely low standards of relief,
as well as neglect of many families in need of aid.


some other way, not yet suggested, can be found, the Con­
ference believes that the Federal Government will need to
take steps to strengthen general-relief systems in the States,
including standards of administration, through financial par­
ticipation in these programs.
The Conference makes the following recommendations:
Measures for unemployment compensation, work­
m en’ s compensation, and old-a¿e and survivors beneñts,
7One source of such knowledge is Som e A spects o f the R elief Situation in Representative
a mimeographed report prepared by the American Association
of Social Workers in May 1939. This report contains the following statement: “Some
sections, mainly in the South and Southwest, report ‘no general relief’ to employables
regardless of the degree of need, and that aid to unemployables, if given at all, is limited
to sporadic grants in emergencies. In these areas Federal surplus commodities are the
only aid available to thousands of needy families.”
A reas o f the U nited States,
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which are of special importance in relation to children,
should be extended as to coverage and liberalized as to
benefits provided, and insurance against loss of income
through temporary or permanent disability should be
2. The Federal Government should adopt a policy of
continuing and flexible work programs for the unemployed,
operated and primarily financed by the Federal Govern­
m ent and carried on in cooperation with State and local
governments. The amount of work provided in each State
should be in proportion to the number of needy unem ­
ployed. As supplementary to this program and in no way
displacing it, the Federal Government should provide aid
to the States for general relief covering all persons in need
who are not in the categories now the objects of special
Federal concern. Federal aid for general relief should be
adjusted in each State to the economic capacities and
relief needs of that State.
3. States should provide substantial financial assistance
to local units to make possible adequate public assistance
and relief. State assistance should be adjusted to need
and financial capacity of the local units.
4. Aid to Dependent Children should be further devel­
oped with the objective of enabling each eligible family to
provide adequate care for its children. Rigid limitations
on the amounts of grants to individual children or fam ­
ilies should be removed from State and Federal laws.
Necessary appropriations should be made by State and
local governments and by the Federal Government. Fed­
eral aid should be equitably adjusted to the economic
capacities and the needs of the several States.
5. State laws making legal residence a prerequisite for
economic aid should be made uniform and reasonable,
with no more than a year required for establishing resi­
dence. The Federal Government should take full responsi­
bility for developing plans to care for interstate migrants
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



and transients, such plans to be administered in coopera­
tion with the States but with the Federal Government
assuming complete financial responsibility. The States
should assume the responsibility for State residents who
are without legal local residence, with such aid as may be
made available by the Federal Government for general
public assistance.
6. In all systems of economic aid safeguards should be
provided to assure staff selected on the basis of merit,
adequate in number and qualifications to administer the
benefits and to provide or obtain for each family the
services needed.
7. Provision should be made for continued study of the
problems of economic need and the operation of the various
forms of economic aid in the light of changing conditions.

Fam ilies a n d T h eir D w ellin gs

The words “ home55 and “ family55 are often used inter­

Perhaps they should be so used.

When a dwell­

ing is really a home it is because of the life that the family
breathes into it.
The character of a dwelling is important to every member
of the family, but especially to children, who spend so much
time in and near the house and are peculiarly susceptible to
environmental influences.

The design, construction, and sur­

roundings of a family dwelling should therefore be developed
with adequate reference to children’s needs.
For all persons the dwelling should at least afford shelter
that is safe against the elements; it should have sunlight and
air; it should be safeguarded against fire and against impure
water and improper disposal of sewage and garbage.
The dwelling should be well designed and large enough to
offer such separate sleeping accommodations as the age and
sex of its occupants may require; it is desirable that there should
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be separation of sleeping, living, and cooking quarters, and
opportunity for privacy.
A dwelling in which children are brought up should meet
other specifications also.

The single-family house with its own

yard is unquestionably the best type.

Indoor and outdoor

play space, at least for children not old enough to reach recre­
ation places unaccompanied by an older person, and accessi­
bility to school, doctor, church, library facilities, recreational
opportunities, and neighbors are important.
A suitable dwelling place is therefore a matter not only of
the design of the structure itself but also of the character of
the immediate surroundings and of the planning of whole
neighborhoods for mutual protection and advantage and for
freedom from traffic hazards and other dangers and demoral­
izing influences.
Farm, village, and urban dwellings present different kinds
of problems.

Farm and other rural homes house half the

Nation’s children under 15 years of age.
children are members of large families.

Many of these

When the farmer

chooses a home he considers the land and equipment, with
which he must earn his living, as well as the dwelling.


limited resources of necessity may go into care of machinery
and stock rather than into improvement of the house.

M od ­

ern conveniences are usually expensive to install on the farm.
Accessibility to community facilities constitutes a peculiarly
difficult problem in rural areas.
Contrary to general opinion, many farm houses are in
effect “ slum” structures, and this is particularly true of a
large number of rented farms whose occupancy changes often.
For example, 1 million of the 3 million farm-tenant families
moved in a single year.8 Upkeep of the dwellings is usually
8The R eport o f the P resident's Com m ittee on Farm Tenancy, 1937 (p. 7) showed that in
the spring of 1935, 34.2 percent of the 2,865,000 tenant farmers of the Nation had
occupied their farms only 1 year.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis




Far below even this range are the shelters (or camps)

of migrant families.
The Farm-Housing Survey made in 1934, covering 620,000
farm dwellings, showed that 18 percent were more than 50
years old, and only 16 percent were less than 10 years old.
Less than 12 percent had bath tubs, 8 percent had central
heating, 18 percent had a home plant or a power line furnish­
ing electricity, 17 percent had running water in the house.9
In the city certain facilities such as indoor flush toilets,
baths, and central heating are essential. This is especially
true in multiple-dwelling structures.

A recent study 10 showed

that of some 8 million urban dwellings 15 percent were without
such toilets, 20 percent were without baths.

One of every six

dwellings needed major repairs or was unfit for use.
The undesirable dwellings in the main were occupied by
families with low incomes.

Sixty times as many “ unfit for

use55 dwellings were occupied by city families paying $10 or
less per month in rent as were occupied by those paying $50
or more; twenty times as many “ in need of major repairs”
were occupied by the $10 group as by the $50 group.11
The housing situation cannot

be corrected overnight.

Because of underbuilding during the depression years, there
is an accumulated numerical shortage of more than 1%million
dwellings in cities and villages, in addition to about 2% million
9 From an unpublished report by the Bureau of Home Economics, based on T he
Survey (U. S. Department of Agriculture Miscellaneous Publication
No. 323, Washington, D. C.), directed by the Bureau of Home Economics, in coopera­
tion with the Bureau of Agricultural Engineering, Extension Service, and Office of the
Secretary, U. S. Department of Agriculture.
10 U rban H o u sin g ; a sum m ary o f real-property inventories conducted as w ork p rojects, 1934—3 6 ,
by Peyton Stapp, p. 4. Works Progress Administration [now Work Projects Adminis­
tration]. Washington, 1938. The data were obtained in 203 urban communities, which
included more than two-fifths of the urban families in the United States. New York
City was not included in the figure for dwellings in need of major repairs or unfit for use.
“ The statements in this paragraph are based on compilations from surveys for 22
of the cities.
F a rm -H ou sin g
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



worn-out houses in need of replacement.12 Some 3 million
farm dwellings fail to meet minimum health and comfort
standards.13 In the past, private capital, loans, and traditional
ways of financing have provided the funds used in the con­
struction of dwellings.

The old ways obviously are not suffi­

cient either for community planning or for financing the hous­
ing of low-income families.

Since the solution is not likely to

be an early general increase in family income great enough
to make low-rent housing attractive to private enterprise, it is
clear that local, State, and Federal governments must take
some responsibility and leadership in this field.


the past decade has been an epoch-making period in the
history of housing.

It has seen local, State, and Federal

governments enter this field, especially for low-income groups,
to an extent that gives promise of notable achievement.
The Conference makes the following recommendations:
1. The Federal Government should continue and expand
its program of promoting slum clearance and new housing
for low-income groups through further authorization of
Federal loans and appropriations for Federal grants to local
housing authorities.
2. The Federal Government should give attention to
rural areas where half of the Nation's children live. Fed­
eral housing programs for rural areas should be adapted to
rural conditions and should include grants and loans for
construction of new homes and repair of substandard
dwellings when their condition warrants, assistance in
providing safe water supply and sanitation, and encourage­
m ent of electrification.
3. State and municipal governments should enact legis­
lation to provide loans and grants for public housing and
12Introduction to H ou sing , F a cts and Principles, by Edith Elmer Wood, p. 70. U. S. Housing
Authority, Federal Works Agency. Washington, 1939.
12 Estimate based on information in F a rm -H ou sin g Survey.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


to authorize cooperation with the Federal Government in
housing programs.
4. Better housing for families of moderate income should
be promoted by safeguarding credit for housing purposes to
assure low interest rates and long-term amortization, thus
serving to stimulate private building and home ownership;
by encouraging cooperative effort of industry and labor to
reduce building costs; and by encouraging housing cooper­
atives and other agencies in which the motive of profit is
subordinated to that of social usefulness.
5. Adequate regulatory laws should be enacted, and they
should be enforced by competent inspection departments
in every city. Such departments should have budgets
sufficient for enforcement of laws and regulations concern­
ing construction, management, maintenance, and repair
of dwellings, and demolition of buildings when necessary.
Local governments should modernize their building, sani­
tary, zoning, and housing codes to conform to present
knowledge of sanitary and other requirements and to
eliminate needless cost.
6. Public-assistance budgets should include provision
for housing adequate for family needs. In each com m u­
nity rent allowances should be based on the rental cost of
such housing.
7. Continuous research by public and private agencies
should be part of housing programs. Appropriations
should be made for this purpose to governmental agencies
participating in housing.
8. Since an enlightened public opinion is essential in
housing, as in every other socially important field, citizen
committees should be organized in communities to pro­
mote public interest, understanding, and support.
Housing facts and problems should be made widely known
to the public through formal and informal education.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Religion in the Lives of Children
The child, whether in the family, the school, the church, or
leisure-time activities, needs to have a personal appreciation of
ethical values consistent with a developing philosophy of life.
Increasingly as he matures, he needs to see life whole and in its
complex relationships.

Here the potent influence of religion

can give to the child a conviction of the intrinsic worth of
persons and also assurance that he has a significant and secure
place in an ordered universe.
Democracy seeks to reconcile individual freedom with social

In the development of the children of a democracy a

proper balance must be maintained.

Historically religion has

succeeded in maintaining such a balance by placing its em­
phasis upon the worth of the individual and at the same time
upon human fellowship.
The primary responsibility for the religious development of
the child rests upon the parents.

In the family he is first

introduced to his religious inheritance as he is introduced to
his mother tongue.

Here the foundations are laid for the moral

standards that are designed to guide his conduct through life.
A child’ s religious development is fostered and strengthened
by participation in the life of the family in which religion is a
vital concern.

Responsibility for the religious growth of chil­

dren and youth is shared by the church and other social
organizations that are concerned with their guidance.
Despite the various efforts made by church groups to edu­
cate their children in religion, the religious needs of many
children are imperfectiy met at the present time.

It has been

estimated that approximately one-half of the children and

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



youth in the United States receive no religious instruction
outside the home.14 President Roosevelt has said, “ W e are
concerned about the children who are outside the reach of
religious influences and are denied help in attaining faith in
an ordered universe and in the Fatherhood of God.”
The Conference makes the following recommendations:
1. Parents, teachers, and others responsible for guiding
children should be ever alert to the importance to the child
of facing specific life situations. Such situations may
provide the occasions for vital and creative religion to
function. Adult leaders of children should be persons of
the utmost personal integrity and of the highest ideals
who have themselves a vivid appreciation of spiritual
2. Whole-hearted recognition and appreciation of the
fundamental place of religion in the development of cul­
ture should be given by all who deal with children and by
representatives of the press, radio, and motion picture.
Religion should be treated frankly, openly, and objectively
as an important factor in personal and social behavior.
When religion enters normally into the subject matter of
courses such as literature, the history of ideas, philosophy,
psychology, and the social sciences, the attitude referred
to should be maintained.
3. Further exploration should be made of the use of
religious resources in personal counseling as it relates to
the welfare of children.
4. Churches and synagogues need to emphasize the
common ends which they share with one another and with
other com m unity agencies. Religion should be one of the
unifying factors influencing the divergent elements that
constitute the community. Although they hold to
different creeds, the churches should constitute a bulwark
14 Estimate for 1926 of the Department of Research of the International Council of
Religious Education.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



against factionalism and antagonism in local comm uni­
ties. Churches and synagogues should recognize their
responsibility to the com m unity and contribute to mutual
good will and cooperation on the part of all groups by
discovering and emphasizing their common objectives, by
helping people to understand and appreciate the loyalty
of other groups to their own convictions, and by utilizing
their resources for the welfare of the com m unity. They
should seek every opportunity to cooperate with other
com m unity agencies in specific projects which contribute
to the welfare of children.
Practical steps should be taken to make more avail­
able to children and youth through education the resources
of religion as an important factor in the democratic way
of life and in the development of personal and social
integrity. To this end the Conference recommends that
a critical and comprehensive study be made of the various
experiences both of the churches and of the schools in
dealing with the problem of religious education in relation
to public education. The purpose of such a study would
be to discover how these phases of education may best be
provided for in a total program of education, without in
any way violating the principle of the separation of church
and State. To conduct such a study a privately supported
nongovernmental commission should be created which
will have on it representatives of national educational and
religious educational organizations, and other representa­
tives of the principal religious bodies.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Educational Services in the Community
Formal education centers in the school and extends to other
agencies, such as the library and the recreation center.
is an essential part of every child’s education.


Reading may

be learned in school but it soon becomes the means of inde­
pendent recreation and cultural growth.

Thus the library,

the school, and the recreation center join in a comprehensive
educational system. No hard and fast lines separate the
functions of these agencies.
Educational programs, whether they refer to class instruc­
tion, to recreation, or to reading, should be available equitably
to all children.

T o approach this equity is an essential part

of the program of action proposed by this Conference.

A pri­

mary responsibility of our democracy is to establish and main­
tain a fair educational opportunity to which every American
child is entitled.

This should be a Nation-wide goal, sought

through all the thousand varieties of local conditions and

In this there is a value beyond direct educational
Every American child should be able to feel pride

and patriotism because his country assures educational oppor­
tunity for him and for every other child.
W e should remember, too, that changes in our national life,
in economics and culture, often require modifications in the
scope, content, method, and management of educational serv­

The scope of education is gradually being extended to

age limits above and below the traditional 6-to-16 period.
The content of education should deal with the personal, social,
and economic issues of the day; its method should take account
of scientific discoveries in child growth, child care, and the
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



learning process. And the management of the educational
services should seek always to combine maximum efficiency
with the requirements of individual initiative and freedom.

The fundamental purposes of the American schools are

Their successes and shortcomings in attaining these

purposes are well known.

The Advisory Committee on Edu­

cation, the United States Office o f Education, the Educational
Policies Commission, the American Youth Commission, and
many other agencies have reported the present situation and
recent changes.

Those who established this Republic recog­

nized the relationship between an educated electorate and
representative government.

The principle of providing edu­

cational opportunity for every child was recognized in State
constitutions as the several States were admitted to the Union.
This principle has gradually assumed the substance of reality.
Elementary education now reaches well over 90 percent of all
children of appropriate ages.

The enrollment in secondary

schools has doubled or nearly doubled in every decade from
1890 to 1930,15 as is indicated in chart 3. During the past
decade this growth has continued.

Secondary education is

rapidly becoming, both in public opinion and in actual fact,
a part of the general educational opportunity which all chil­
dren may expect and enjoy.

Yet a substantial proportion of

the adults in the United States did not finish elementary

Nearly a million children of elementary-school age

are not in school, and school opportunities for hundreds of
thousands of children of migrant and rural families and of
Negroes are often deplorable or entirely lacking.16
18 Statistical Sum m ary o f Education, 1 9 3 5 -3 6 , p. 7. U. S. Office of Education Bulletin
1937, No. 2. Washington, 1939.
16 Advisory Committee on Education: R eport o f the Com m ittee, February 1938, pp. 9-11,
31—34, 133. Washington, 1938.
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Chart 3






19 10





Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Each symbol represents 6 00,000 students
in public and private schools.
Source: Statistical Summary of Education,
1 9 3 5 -3 6 , p. 7. U. S. O ffice of Education
Bulletin, 1937, N o. 2.



National resources for increasing opportunities and for reduc­
ing inequalities in education are not lacking. Nevertheless,
there are States in this country that compared with other
States, have twice the population 5 to 17 years of age in pro­
portion to adults 20 to 64 but only one-fifth the amount of income
per child of school age.17 The resources of many school districts
and even of entire States and regions cannot keep pace with the
needs of the school population nor provide suitable standards
of educational efficiency.
The Conference makes the following recommendations:
1. Units of local school attendance and administration
should be enlarged wherever necessary in order to broaden
the base of financial support and to make possible a modern
well-equipped school for every child at a reasonable percapita cost.
2. Substantial financial assistance should be granted by
every State to its local school systems for the purpose of
equalizing tax burdens and reducing educational ine­
3. An extended program of Federal financial assistance
to the States should be adopted in order to reduce inequali­
ties in educational opportunity among States. Because
the minority groups have proportionately more children
than others and live to a greater extent in areas with the
least resources, the principle of Federal aid to States for
services affecting children is extremely important for their
4. The supreme educational and social importance of
individual traits should be recognized throughout the
educational system. An educational system that truly
serves a democracy will find no place for the philosophy or
the methods of mass production.
17 E qual Educational Opportunity f o r Youth, by Newton Edwards, pp. Ill, 154-155.
American Council on Education. Washington, 1939.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



5. Schools should give increased attention to
tional needs of individual children, including
are physically handicapped, mentally retarded,
handicapped; these needs should be m et with

the educa­
those who
or socially

emphasis on the handicap.
6. The professional education of teachers should be
enriched by study of the principles of child development,
the role of education in an evolving social order, and the
significance of democratic procedures in school life.
7. Teachers and other workers in all branches of educa­
tion should be selected and retained in service on the basis
of professional qualifications alone. They should be
adequate in number to permit them to give attention to

the needs of each individual child.
8. School system s should provide nursery school, kinder­
garten, or similar educational opportunities for children
between the ages of 3 and 6.
9. Local school systems should provide free educational
opportunities, in accordance with individual needs, for
youth up to 18 or 20 years of age, in preparation for higher
education, in basic and specialized vocational training, or
in general educational advancement.
10. Schools should make available to young people, while
in school and after they leave school, systematic personal
and vocational guidance and organized assistance in job
placement, in cooperation with public employment
11. School health supervision
education should be made more
the health of the child and to
standing of the principles and

and health and safety
effective so as to protect
give him better under­
practices of social and

comm unity hygiene.
12. Schools should assume further responsibility for
providing wholesome leisure-time activities for children
and their families, and new school buildings should be
planned and equipped with these functions in mind.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



13. Education for civic responsibility should be empha­
sized with the aim of developing personal integrity and
intelligent loyalty to democratic ideals and institutions.
For this purpose the child’s learning experiences should
include participation in the activities of comm unity life,
on a level appropriate to his degree of maturity.
14. Schools should cooperate with other community
institutions and agencies that serve the child. Close coop­
eration with parents is especially important.
15. Research divisions should be established by local
school systems wherever possible and by State departments
of education. Budgets for the United States Office of
Education should be increased to permit the extension of
research and related services. Planning of educational
policies and programs at all levels should be based on
16. The traditional concern of American education with
ethical values as well as mental and physical development
should continue to be the fundamental obligation of the
schools. It is desirable that the teaching and administra­
tive staffs should maintain among themselves and in their
attitudes toward children the processes and viewpoints
characteristic of a democratic society. Such attitudes
will thrive only in an atmosphere of freedom to teach and
freedom to learn.

Leisu re-T im e Services

The educational importance of play and of the constructive
use of leisure time has been given substantial recognition only
since the turn of the century.

Consequently the provision of

opportunity for recreation and informal education still lacks
full acceptance as a public responsibility and the existing
facilities lag far behind desirable standards.
All children and youth need experience through which their
elemental desire for friendship, recognition, adventure, crea262205°— 40------12
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



tive expression, and group acceptance can be realized.


family life contributes much toward meeting these basic emo­
tional needs.

Voluntary participation in informal education

and recreation under favorable conditions also contributes

Such activities help to meet certain developmental

needs— the need of congenial companionship with the opposite
sex, the need for emotional development and a healthy inde­
pendence, and other needs that arise at different stages in the
individual’s progress toward maturity.

They furnish, finally,

an important means whereby the child can express his need for
the development of motor, manual, and artistic skills, for
contact with nature, for the socializing experience of group life,
and for responsible participation in community life.

M uch

recreation, perhaps the best of it, is enjoyed in family units or is
provided under circumstances that serve both young and old.
The provision of opportunities for the entire population,
developed through cooperative, intelligent planning, is the
concern of both public and private agencies.

Private agencies

provide a medium by which groups of citizens through volun­
tary effort can identify, interpret, and seek to meet special
community needs.

This is especially important in areas of

activity which are yet unrecognized by the larger community.
Private agencies usefully emphasize responsibility and partici­
pation on the part of volunteers, and bring volunteer and pro­
fessional leaders into creative association.

Both public and

private agencies are experimenting in new areas of need and in
new methods of work.

Private agencies often prepare the

community for larger public effort and for the transfer of
services from private to public auspices.
Local, county, State, and National parks, school and com ­
munity playgrounds, and, more recently, the recreation proj­
ects of the W. P. A. have also helped to give recreation a signifi­
cant place in the total educational enterprise.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Within any community, State, or region opportunity for
leisure-time activities must be planned.

If it grows hap­

hazardly, with school, parks, and private agencies acting
independently, the program may be wasteful and retarded.
Planning, on the other hand, may lead to coordination of
services and facilities.

It also helps to bring about public

recognition of the fact that recreation for young and old
requires leadership, equipment, and trained personnel.
Cognizance must also be taken of the vast increase in, and
growing importance of, recreation under commercial auspices.
This is not limited to entertainment and cultural opportunities,
such as are provided by radio, motion pictures, and the theater.
It includes also many opportunities for sports and active

Commercial recreation is usually available only

to those who can afford to pay for it, but it is largely influenced,
in both quality and quantity, by the character and amount
of the demand.

Educational agencies can play a role in pro­

moting intelligent choice and appreciation of these forms of
There are distinctive recreational needs and opportunities
in rural and in urban surroundings.

The natural surround­

ings of the countryside enrich the life of the rural child.


ized recreation, on the other hand, has been more available
to city children.

Leaders in the field of play and recreation,

from the earliest innovators to present administrators, have
emphasized the need for balance between organization and
spontaneity in the development of the play life of the child.
Whether in city or country, organized programs under com­
petent leadership have been found of importance for the
formation of democratic habits and attitudes.
Recreation for children in a democracy should reflect the
values that are implicit in the democratic way of life. This
means, among other things, a program that emerges from the
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



life of the people; a leadership that responds to the vital needs
and interests of children; a relationship with people in the
community that involves them in responsible participation
both in planning and in management; and a form of adminis­
tration that is democratic and elicits the values of group
With these considerations in mind the Conference makes
the following recommendations:
^* Y he development of teciesition end the constructive
use of leisure time should be recognized as a public respon­
sibility on a par with responsibility for education and
health. Local communities, States, and the Federal Gov­
ernment should assume responsibility for providing public
recreational facilities and services, as for providing other
services essential to the well-being of children. Private
agencies should continue to contribute facilities, experi­
mentation, and channels for participation by volunteers.

Steps should be taken in each comm unity by public

and private agencies to appraise local recreational facilities
and services and to plan systematically to m eet inade­
quacies. This involves utilization of parks, schools,
museums, libraries, and camp sites; it calls for coordina­
tion of public and private activities and for the further
development of private organizations in providing varied
opportunities for children with different resources and
interests. Special attention should be directed toward
the maximum utilization of school facilities for recreation
in both rural and urban areas.
Emphasis should be given to equalizing the oppor­
tunities available to certain neglected groups of children,
Children living in rural or sparsely settled areas.
Children in families of low income.
Negro children and children of other minority groups.
Children in congested city neighborhoods.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Children just leaving school and not yet adjusted to
outside life, with special emphasis on unemployed
Children with mental, emotional, or physical handi­
4. Public and private organizations carrying responsi­
bility for leisure-time services should assist and cooperate
in developing public recognition of the fact that recreation
for young and old requires facilities, equipment, and
trained personnel.
5. Schools and other educational and civic organizations
should promote intelligent choice and appreciation of
various forms of commercial recreation.
6. Because of the growing significance of radio and
motion pictures in their impact on children and youth,
social organizations and entertainment industries, insofar
as they are concerned with the leisure time of children,
should collaborate wherever possible in order to provide
programs that will contribute to the sound development
of children.
7. A privately supported nongovernmental national
commission on recreation should be created to study
leisure-time needs and resources and to make recom­
mendations concerning the development of recreation
and informal education.


Little argument is needed to convince the American people
of the importance of public libraries.

Whether for leisure, for

education, for vocational advancement, for research, or for
the dissemination of knowledge, the library is an indispensable
public service. The free public library is a characteristic in­
stitution of democratic life.

Most public libraries are munici­

pal, town, or county institutions.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

A smaller number are



partly endowed and partly dependent upon public appro­

School libraries have become a cardinal feature

of modern schools.

In recent years many traveling libraries

and branch libraries in isolated areas have been developed.
Nevertheless, according to figures collected by the American
Library Association in 1938, more than 18 million persons
under 20 years of age are still without local public-library

O f these young persons more than 17 million live in

rural areas. The best type of library to serve rural areas is the
county or regional library.

Last year 400 of more than 3,000

counties in the United States were served by such libraries.18
More libraries are needed both in schools and for general
public use in all regions of the country. The shortage is
especially acute in rural areas, where there is little hope of
obtaining them through local funds.
The Conference makes the following recommendations:
1. The States should encourage and assist in the exten­
sion and development of local public-library service and
give financial aid for the maintenance of such service.
In rural areas provision should be made for traveling libra­
ries to reach isolated homes and communities.
2. Federal grants to the States for general public educa­
tion should be available for school libraries. Special
Federal grants should be made available for extension of
library service to rural areas.
3. Libraries should provide for special collections and
personnel to serve children. Provision should also be
made for material and for library advisory service for
parents on subjects relating to child care and training.
4. Libraries should be staffed by personnel trained and
qualified specifically for this work.
18 R eport

o f the L ibra ry E xten sion B oa rd o f the Am erican L ibra ry A ssociation f o r the Tear

Bulletin of the American Library Association,Vol. 33, No. 9
(September 1939), pp. 552-557. The association estimates that the number of counties
now served is 450.

E nding J u ly 3 1 ,
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Protection Against Child Labor
C h ild la bor is still a serious p rob lem in this cou n try in spite
o f progress in its con trol under State and Federal laws.

A l­

though the n u m ber o f em ployed children has decreased to a
m arked degree in recent years, children under 16 still cut
short their education to g o to w ork, or engage in w ork during
vacation and outside school hours under conditions detri­
m ental to their fullest physical, m ental, and social grow th.
A cco rd in g to estimates o f the N ational C hild L a b o r C o m ­
m ittee, at least h alf a m illion children under 16 are still gain­
fully em p loyed.

F or the still larger num ber o f you n g workers

betw een 16 and 18 years o f age existing safeguards for p rotec­
tion from hazardous o r otherwise detrim ental conditions o f
em ploym en t are far from adequate.
T h e developm ent o f p u b lic op in ion favorable to the exten­
sion o f the period o f school attendance for children and the
protection o f you n g persons from unfavorable em ploym ent
conditions after they leave school has resulted in restrictive
and regulative legislation, b oth State and Federal.

T h e Fair

L a b o r Standards A c t o f 1938, w ith its basic 16-year m inim um
age, n o w governs the em ploym ent o f children in industries
p rod u cin g


for interstate com m erce.

But the


m ajority o f child workers, particularly those under 16 years
o f age, are in industries w h ich are strictly intrastate in scope
and therefore not subject to the Federal act.

T hese industries

also are less w ell regulated b y State law than factory work,
w h ich to a large extent is subject to the Federal act because o f
its interstate character.

O n ly 12 State laws set a basic m ini­

m u m age o f 16 for em ploym ent.

T h ere are still large areas o f
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



ch ild em ploym ent, such as industrialized agriculture, street
trades, dom estic service, and industrial hom e w ork, w here
m u ch exploitation exists that escapes legislative control and
w here special adm inistrative problem s m ake effective regula­
tion difficult o f achievem ent.

M a n y you n g workers are subject

to undue industrial health and safety hazards.

T h e effective­

ness o f the protective standards that have been set up b y law
is often lessened b y lack o f adequate adm inistrative m achinery.
P revention o f the exploitation o f children and youth in
prem ature and harm ful la b or must be accom pa n ied b y p ro ­
vision for educational training, op en to all children, during the
years left free from w age earning.




T his education should

em ploym ent,


adaptations that are needed in all educational program s as
described in the sections on educational services and on youth



S uch


m oreover,



adapted to the individual needs o f the pupils and should
equ ip them w ith the know ledge, skills, and habits that they
w ill need in m aking adjustm ent to the industrial and social
problem s o f the m odern w orld.
T h e fact can n ot be too strongly em phasized that the w ork o f
children in certain phases o f agriculture is different today from
w hat it was w hen children w ere m ain ly w orking for their
parents o r coop eratin g in harvesting a n eigh b or’ s crops.

W ith

the developm en t o f intensive cultivation o f specialized crops
there has grow n u p the practice o f using large num bers o f
children in industrialized agriculture under conditions w hich
in m an y instances differ little from those o f “ sw eatshop”
em p loym en t and w h ich require the same kind o f safeguards as
those fou n d necessary w ith reference to industrial em ploym ent.
T h e C onference endorses the follow ing requirem ents, n ow
w idely accepted as m inim um for protective legislation:
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



1. A minimum age of 16 for all employment during
school hours and for employment at any time in manu­
facturing or mining occupations or in connection with
power-driven machinery.
2. A minimum age of 16 for employment at any time in
other occupations, except as a minimum age of 14 may be
permitted for limited periods of work after school hours
and during vacation periods in agriculture, light non­
manufacturing work, domestic service, and street trades.
Determination of desirable standards for legislation gov­
erning child actors requires further study.
3. A minimum age of 18 or higher for employment in
hazardous or injurious occupations.
4. Hours-of-work restrictions for persons up to 18 years
of age, including maximum hours, provision for lunch
period, and prohibition of night work, the hours permitted
not to exceed 8 a day, 40 a week, and 6 days a week.
5. Requirement of employment certificates for all minors
under 18, issued only after the minor has been certified
as physically fit for the proposed employment by a physi­
cian under public-health or public-school authority.
6. At least double compensation under workmen’s com ­
pensation laws in cases of injury to illegally employed
7. Minimum-wage standards for all employed minors.

8. Abolition of industrial home work as the only means
of eliminating child labor in such work.
9. Adequate provision for administration of all laws
relating to the employment of children and youth.
T h e C onference also makes the follow in g recom m en dation :
10. Ratification of the child-labor amendment to the
Constitution of the United States should be completed
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



W ith reference to provision o f school facilities as it bears
on ch ild labor, the C onference recom m ends the follow in g:
11. Compulsory school attendance laws should be adjust»
ed to child-labor laws, since school leaving and child labor
are closely related. Schooling during at least 9 months
of the year should be both compulsory for and available
to every child up to the age of 16.
12. It is the obligation of the comm unity to provide a
suitable educational program for all youths over 16 who
are not employed or provided with work opportunities.
. 13. Financial aid from public sources should be given
whenever necessary to young persons to enable them to
continue their education even beyond the compulsoryattendance age if they wish to do so and can benefit
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Youth and Their Needs
T h e transition from ch ild h ood to youth is gradual.


and girls from 16 to 20 years are on the threshold o f life as
adults, w hen they w ill carry responsibility n ot on ly for their
ow n lives b u t for the life o f the N ation as a w hole.

T hey

are entering the period w hen decisions must be m ade in
regard to the kinds o f lives they w ill live and the kinds o f social
an d political program s they w ill endorse b y their votes and
their opinions.

T h e circum stances and state o f m in d o f youth

are, therefore, o f utm ost im portance n ot on ly for their ow n
future bu t for the future o f ou r society.
W h a t does youth expect?

T radition ally, in the U n ited

States, the you n g person ou t o f school looks forw ard to a j o b
o f som e kind in w h ich there is opportu n ity for advan cem ent;
he looks forw ard to self-support and independence, to the
establishm ent o f a fam ily, and to participation in the social
an d civ ic life o f the com m unity.
W h a t is the situation o f you th



A m erican

Y o u th C om m ission, in its leaflet, P rogram o f A ction for
A m erican Y ou th , estimates, on the basis o f the u n em ploy­
m ent census o f 1937,

that one-third

o f the u n em ployed

workers in the U n ited States are you n g persons betw een 15
and 25 years o f age and that abou t 4 m illion youth o f these
ages are ou t o f w ork.

T h e rate o f u nem ploym ent is higher

for you th than for any other age group.

Even in fairly pros­

perous times, you n g persons have difficulty in getting started
at useful em ploym ent.
W h a t does you th have in the absence o f jo b opportu n ity
and self-support?

M a n y are m em bers o f families that are not
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self-sustaining and therefore have few resources.

S ch ool p ro ­

grams are n ot sufficiently adapted to the needs o f youth, in
spite o f great progress in the enlargem ent o f secondary-educa­
tion facilities to the p oin t w here the num ber o f you n g persons
enrolled in secondary schools represents nearly three-fourths o f
the p op u la tion 14 to 17 years o f age.19 R ecreation al facili­
ties also are insufficient for the you n g person approach in g
adu lth ood.
S ch ool program s for older age groups should be thorough ly
reorganized in order to m eet the cultural and vocational needs
o f a large p rop ortion o f you n g people not adequately served
now .

B roader

con ception s

particularly im portant.

o f vocational


T ra in in g for specific skilled jo b s can

be on ly part o f a suitable program .
jo b


T h ere are relatively fewer

opportu nities in the skilled and unskilled fields than

form erly, and m ore in semiskilled occupations.

T h e increase

in openings for em ploym en t in service trades calls for greater
social adjustm ent and adaptability.

It is o f prim ary im por­

tance that you n g p eop le receive general preparation that w ill
be o f practical value to them in seeking and in beginning em ­
p loym en t u nder the conditions and relationships w h ich actually
prevail in industry and business today.

Schools should help

you n g p eop le to obtain a general understanding o f social and
eco n o m ic problem s and to acquire w ork habits suited to the
kind o f opportunities w h ich w ill b e available.

Schools should

take particular pains to introduce you n g p eople to the cultural
and educational opportunities that can be continued after they
leave school.
V oca tio n a l preparation, general and specific, and em p loy ­
m ent services are n ot in themselves enough.
be op en to actual em ploym ent.

T h e w ay must

T h e C ivilian Conservation

19Figures in Statistical Summary o f Education, 1935—3 6 (U. S. Office of EducationBulletin,
1937, No. 2, p. 12) show this proportion to be 67 percent during the school year
1935-36. The corresponding estimate for 1938, according to the Office of Education, is
72 percent.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Corps and the National Youth Administration, both initiated
and conducted by the Federal Government, are designed to
meet some of the employment needs of youth.

They have

made outstanding contributions by programs combining work
and education.
the C. C. C.

An enrollment of 300,000 is authorized in
O n its work program for out-of-school youth,

the N. Y. A. gave part-time employment to an average of
about 235,000 in 1939. There have been few comparable
activities under State or local governments.

Thus at a given

time probably less than one-seventh of the young persons out
of school and out of work are being aided through these con­
structive efforts.

The C. C. C. and the N. Y. A. must be

regarded as pioneer experiments showing what needs to be
done on a much larger scale, rather than as services actually
covering all the present needs of youth.
The situation of youth calls urgently for action.
The Conference believes that the cost of constructive pro­
grams will be less than the ultimate cost of the neglect of
The Conference makes the following recommendations:
1. Programs of general secondary education based on
changes in industrial demands and opportunities and
contributing significantly to responsible citizenship, whole­
som e family life, constructive use of leisure time, and
appreciation of our cultural heritage should be developed.
2. Vocational preparation, guidance, and counseling
services adapted to modern conditions and the changing
needs of youth should be extended in the school systems,
and when carried on under other auspices, should be
conducted in cooperation with the schools.
3. Placement services for young workers should be
staffed by properly qualified and professionally trained
workers, with full cooperation between the schools and
the public employment services.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


Federal, State, and local governments should provide
work projects for youths over 16 not in school who cannot
obtain employment. Such work should be useful, entail*
ing possibly the production of some of the goods and
services needed by young people themselves and other
unemployed persons. Civilian Conservation Corps and
National Youth Administration activities should be con­
tinued and enlarged to serve more fully the purposes for
which these agencies were created. There should be
further experimentation in pait-tim e work and part-time
No person should be arbitrarily excluded from work
programs or other programs for youth because of a delin­
quency record.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Conserving the Health of Children
Medical science has made notable progress during the past
decade in knowledge of how to reduce illness and deaths of
mothers in childbirth, how to prevent deaths of infants, and
how to feed and protect the child during the first critical years
of his life.

Knowledge of how to immunize children against
Chart 4



Each symbol represents 10 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Source: Reports of the U. S. Bureau of the Census.

certain diseases of childhood has increased, as has better under­
standing of nutrition.

New chemicals have been discovered

to treat some of the diseases that have taken a heavy toll of
child life in the past. The close relation between physical
and mental health has been emphasized and this relationship
is being brought home to parents, to the benefit of child and
The progress achieved during the present century in reduc­
tion of the infant death rate is shown in chart 4.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



The T w o Fronts

There are two great fronts in the preservation of health and
treatment of disease, whether we speak of adult or child.


the one front general measures are applied to prevent well
people from becoming ill; on the other, patients are treated to
restore them to health and to limit the spread of disease.


both fronts organization and administration are needed, as well
as technical knowledge, in medicine and in kindred sciences.
Otherwise knowledge is sterile; and we already know more than
we actually put to use.
General preventive measures are of many kinds.

Some are

almost impersonal, like control of water supply, safe sewage
disposal, and sanitary inspection.
are not directly involved.

In these doctor and patient

Other measures do involve medical

practitioners, doctor, dentist, and nurse, even though there is
no patient yet to treat. Among these are immunization and
the prevention of diseases due to nutritional deficiency.


theria and smallpox as dread menaces of childhood are rapidly
diminishing through immunization; improved nutrition is
gradually reducing the high incidence of rickets, scurvy, and

Many individuals with tuberculosis are discovered

by such methods as large-scale testing of adolescents before the
disease passes beyond easy control.

Akin to this type of pre­

ventive work is health education, whether by routine health
and dental supervision by physician, dentist, and nurse or by
lectures, demonstrations, publications, school instruction, or
other means of public information.

Preventive measures are

communicated, person to person, by those having professional

The participation of the general public con­

verts this information into health measures.
When illness strikes, the patient becomes the center of atten­
tion and recovery the immediate goal.

“ Medical care” then

takes a prior place to prevention and public-health administra
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Yet even here prevention and administration continue to

be important.

In most communicable diseases the treatment

of the patient cannot be divorced from control of their spread.
In diphtheria, tuberculosis, or syphilis the patient is also the
spreader of disease, and treatment goes hand in hand with
control and prevention.

It is impossible, for example, to deal

with tuberculosis as a public-health problem without caring for
the tuberculous patient as a sick person seeking recovery.
The physician who applies splints to a child’s leg in the early
stages of an attack of infantile paralysis is practicing preventive
as well as curative medicine.

M uch of the most effective

education of the general public is achieved through the
instruction in hygiene that is given to patient and family by
doctor, nurse, and medical institution.
All this may be said with especial force and pertinence of
the child, whose health from before his birth and through his
adolescence depends as much on general public-health meas­
ures and health education of the mother as it does on medical
and nursing supervision, immunization, and preventive treat­
ment in the home, at school, and in general community life.
Conditions F a vo rin g C h ild H ealth

A health program for the American child during the coming
decades will have important new assets.

For example, we

know more about the health, growth, and development of the
child than ever before.

Therefore our practical objectives

are higher, particularly as to nutrition, protection from infec­
tion, and preventive care of sight, hearing, teeth, and so forth.
We know how far we have advanced but also how far we lag
behind in the application of available medical knowledge,
especially in the less favored parts of the country and among
certain groups of the population.

There are resources that

can be more fully drawn upon for child health: school, clinic,
262205°— 40-

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



health department, hospital, physicians, dentists, nurses, nutri­
tionists, teachers, and social workers especially trained in child
care. These are available through local, State, and Federal
governments and to some extent through private agencies.
Another factor favorable to the health and general welfare
of the child has been a great improvement in public health.
The preservation of many adults from preventable disability
and death has held together hundreds of thousands of families
and kept intact homes for numbers of children who would
otherwise have been orphaned or exposed to serious depriva­

No other achievement is so significant in this connec­

tion as the prevention of death and disability from tuberculosis.
This disease picks off especially persons in the prime of life,
when as earners and housewives they are the mainstays of the

There were 31,000 fewer deaths from tuberculosis

in 1938 than in 1928 in the United States.

Sixty percent of

this saving of lives represents persons between 20 and 45 years
of age.

It should also be noted that the maternal death rate

declined from 69 per 10,000 births in 1928 to 44 in 1938. Thus
are the parents of many children spared and many homes
Chart 5 shows the decline in the death rate from tuberculosis
among persons of all ages since 1910.
The steady development of medical science and of publichealth administration is opening up new and important areas
of prevention of illness and mortality among adults. Most
important perhaps is the recent vigorous Nation-wide move­
ment for the control o f syphilis, which has taken on larger
proportions in a brief period than any other similar movement.
M ore recent and less advanced, but extremely important, is
the effort to apply newly acquired knowledge to the control of

This effort is already bearing demonstrable and

even notable results. The means for the control of cancer are
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



still limited in range and type, but promise tangible results in
the avoidance or postponement of deaths from cancer of certain
types. All these health movements are in reality protectors of
families and their children.
Chart 5


Each symbol represents 10 deaths per 100,000 population.
Source: Reports of the U. S. Bureau of the Census.

Objectives fo r the Com ing D ecade

At different stages in the growth of the modern publichealth movement emphasis was given to different goals or

Today the real dangers to the health of America are

not plague, cholera, and yellow fever.

In preserving the

health and safety of the child attention today is concentrated
largely on the following objectives:
Reduction in maternal deaths.— Since the mother is the most

important protector of the child’s health, she requires care
before, during, and after childbirth.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Each year until very



recently some 14,000 mothers have died from conditions di­
rectly due to pregnancy and childbirth, despite remarkable
progress in obstetric science and skills and in public-health

In the past few years a substantial improvement

has been made in this respect; but in 1938 there were still
nearly 10,000 maternal deaths, and there is urgent need for
improved care in many areas. The decline in the rate for the
Nation as a whole masks rates for certain States that are two
or three times as high as the lowest.20 It is estimated that at
least one-half of these maternal deaths are preventable.
Reduction in deaths of infants.— Notwithstanding the progress

that has been made in reducing mortality in the first year of
life, there are still each year some 50,000 deaths of infants in
the second to twelfth month of life, of which many are prevent­

There has been but slight decline in the death rate of

infants under 1 month of age, and no decline in the death rate
on the first day of life. There are still some 75,000 stillbirths
each year, and 70,000 deaths of infants before they are a month
old.20 One-third of the deaths of young infants and a consider­
able proportion of the stillbirths are believed to be preventable.
Provision of doctors and nurses.— Sufficient

qualified profes­

sional care is not available to meet the needs of the American
people, and the distribution of such care is uneven among
geographical areas and economic strata of the people.
favored urban areas are well supplied.

A few

Many rural areas are

most inadequately provided with doctors, dentists* and nurses;
some are practically without access to their services.


year nearly a quarter of a million mothers are not attended
by a physician at childbirth; about a quarter of a million new­
born babies lack the benefit of medical care in the first, most
critical days of life.20 In thousands of homes no skilled nurse
20 u. S. Bureau of the Census: Vital Statistics, Special Reports.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


is available to help the physician at childbirth.




This situation

Lack of medical attention

among children is reported in illnesses due to acute communi­
cable and respiratory diseases which disable the child for a
week or longer.

The proportion of such illnesses not receiving

medical treatment varies in different economic groups and sizes
of communities from one-fifth to three-fifths.21 Figures are
available showing that for lack of prompt and competent
medical attention hundreds of thousands of children suffer
from correctible deficiencies of sight, hearing, teeth, and mouth
formation, and from aftereffects of disabling diseases.
Deficiencies in individual medical care are paralleled by
lack of hospitals and clinics.

In an astoundingly large portion

of the country, especially in rural areas and small communities,
there are no readily available hospital or out-patient clinic
facilities for mother or child.
Many of the causes of this serious situation are economic
in nature.

The health of the majority of persons is pur­

chasable, and many families are able from their own resources
to provide the necessary care for their children.

But a larger

number cannot afford to do so; the population in many areas
cannot support doctor and nurse; communities of limited size
and means cannot afford hospitals, clinics, and competent
personnel for health administration.

The remedy is, in the

main, to direct a suitable portion of the Nation’ s resources to
areas where unmet needs are great.
The Conference makes the following recommendations:
The health and well-being of children depend to a
large extent upon the health of all the members of their
families. Preventive and curative health service and
medical care should be made available to the entire
21 T he D isa blin g D isea ses o f Childhood , by Dorothy F. Holland. American Journal
of Diseases of Children, Vol. 58, No. 6 (December 1939), pp. 1157—1185.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


population, rural and urban, in all parts of the country »
A considerable portion of the population is able to obtain
from its own resources all or part of the necessary medical
service. Another large section of the population, how­
ever, consists of families whose incomes are below the level
at which they can reasonably be expected to budget all
the varying costs of illness without interfering with the
provision of other items essential to the family’s health
and welfare; for these there should be available adequately
supervised medical and dental care through a program
financed by general tax funds, social-insurance systems, or
such combination of methods as may be best suited to
local conditions.
To achieve these ends will require éxpansion of full-time
local public-health services organized on a city, county, or
district basis; construction and adequate support of health
centers and hospitals as needed, especially in rural areas,
and more effective use of existing medical services and
facilities; more effective coordination of comm unity publichealth and medical services conducted by various agen­
cies, public and private.
F,or all women during maternity and for all newborn
infants, complete service for maternity care and care of
newborn infants should be available through private
resources or public funds. Such service involves—
Care of the mother throughout pregnancy, including
the service of a qualified physician, of a public-health
nurse, preferably one with training in obstetric care
and care of newborn infants, and of a dentist, and
nutrition service and social service when needed.
Care at delivery by a qualified physician, aided by a
nurse trained and experienced in delivery nursing
care, or such care as may be given by qualified and
appropriately supervised nurse-midwife services when
care by a physician is not available.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



Obstetric and pediatric consultation^ service when
needed to aid general practitioners in their care of
mothers and infants.
Hospital care, as necessary, in an approved hospital
provided with obstetric and pediatric consulting staff,
isolation facilities for infectious patients, and facili­
ties for care o / emergency or complicated cases, for
transportation, and for social service.
After the birth of the child medical and nursing care
for the mother in home, hospital, or clinic; supervision
of nutrition of the nursing mother; and medical and
nursing supervision of the newborn infant.
For all infants and children preventive and curative
medical services should be available, including adequate
means for control of communicable disease. These serv­
ices, financed through private resources or public funds,
The supervision of health and development of infant
and child at stated intervals throughout the period of
growth, and care by qualified physician and publichealth nurse when needed, at home, in child-health
conferences, in schools, and in physicians’ offices,
including preventive dentistry by qualified dentists
for children of preschool and school age and social
services as needed.
Health instruction in schools and health education of
parents in methods of conserving both physical and
mental health.
More intensive and widespread programs of safety
Effective nutrition services.
Mental-health service when needed.
Medical care for sick children in home, clinic, or office
of qualified physician. Facilities should be available
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


for expert diagnosis and care of sick children, for con­
sultation by pediatricians in appropriately organized
diagnostic and treatment clinics, and for social serv­
ices as needed.
Hospital care, as necessary, in an approved hospital
provided with pediatric consulting staff and separate
wards for children; convalescent care, as necessary for
medical, social, or economic reasons, for children in
need of prolonged care to restore health and fit them
for family life and comm unity life.
4. In the sharing of responsibility for public maternal
and child-health services by local communities, States,
and the Federal Government, the following principles
should be observed:
The local comm unity should provide maternity care
and health and medical services for children, as
needed, as part of its public-health responsibility,
utilizing available qualified services and facilities.
The State should give leadership, financial assistance,
specialized service, and supervision in the development
of local services, and should be responsible for setting
standards of care and service acceptable on a State­
wide basis.
The Federal Government should assist States through
financial support, research, and consultation service,
and should be responsible for setting standards of care
and service acceptable on a Nation-wide basis.
Federal grants to the States for the expansion of ma­
ternal and child-health services, including hospital
and medical care, should be made on a basis that will
raise most effectively the level of service in those areas
where it is not adequate and so reduce existing ine­
qualities in these fields of service.
5. In recognition of the fundamental importance of
nutrition to the health of children, the President is re-
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis




quested to appoint a national nutrition committee com ­
posed of physicians and other scientists, economists,
agricultural experts, consumers’ representatives, teachers,
and administrators. Such a committee should review our
present knowledge, coordinate the various efforts now
being made to improve nutrition, and point the way to­
ward a national policy in this held.
6. A broad program of education to enlighten citizens
in all the aspects of the program of health and medical
services for mothers and children is a fundamental

Because of the primary importance of personnel training and
of research, the Conference urges special emphasis on the
following recommendations:
7. In undergraduate professional schools and graduate
curricula the training of personnel to develop and carry on
maternal and child health is a major problem. Special
provision should be made for training such personnel.
8. Particular training should be given to nurse-midwives
to prepare them for work in remote rural areas, under the
supervision of physicians qualified for this purpose.
9. Adequate support should be given to research as well as
to direct service through public appropriation and private
grants, since research underlies all advance in practical
programs of health and medical care, including dental
health for mothers and children. The results of research
may markedly reduce the costs of care.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Children Under Special Disadvantages
A true concern for all children must take into account the
fact that many of them labor under heavy handicaps in com ­
petition with their fellows.

In some rural areas the majority

of children are handicapped in this sense. T o meet the needs
of these children it is important to extend activities in housing,
education, recreation, libraries, economic security, health, and
medical care, and to adapt many of them to rural conditions.
It is fortunate that in the face o f an appalling increase in
destitution among the families of the Nation during the depres­
sion, local, State, and Federal governments have assumed
responsibility for economic aid to families to an extent not
known before in our country’s history. That children gener­
ally have not suffered serious conditions of starvation or disease
has been due, above all, to the acceptance of responsibility for
their assistance by governmental agencies.
Social Services fo r Children

In smaller numbers children suffer from many types of
handicap within the family, or in their own mental or physical
development, which require special attention. Argument is
no longer necessary to convince the American public that
society as a whole has the responsibility of providing for
children to the extent that their natural guardians are unable
to give them adequate care and protection.

Authority for

such social protection is found generally in legislation, but
inadequate personnel and facilities have greatly limited its
Certain physical and mental handicaps, such as defective
vision or hearing, crippling conditions, and mental deficiency,
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


are the more obvious disabilities.


State and local govern­

ments, with Federal aid for the care of crippled children, are
providing adequate physical, educational, and social care for
many handicapped children, but others still remain without
such services as would prepare them for a full or partial shar­
ing in community living on equal terms with their fellows.
Children whose handicaps are less tangible— arising from
unhappy or disrupted family relationships, or emotional and
psychological disturbances— need to be discovered, studied,
and treated according to their needs, within their own homes
if possible.

Until recent years society has made little public

provision for social services to children that will reach them in
their own homes before their difficulties have become serious
or have led to grave consequences.

Recently provisions of the

Social Security Act and other Federal and State legislation
have served as a foundation for the introduction or extension
of services of this type in close cooperation with other com ­
munity measures, whether under public or under private
This Conference recognizes that in a democracy responsi­
bility for the care of children centers in the family.


services furnish the means by which society helps to meet the
special needs of children whose well-being cannot be fully
assured by their families and by those community services
that are intended for all children alike.

The primary objective

of child-welfare service is to provide for every child who has
some special need whatever assistance and guidance may be
required to assure him security and protection, within his own
home if possible, and opportunity for his growth and develop­
T o attain this objective the Conference makes the following
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


1. Social services to children whose home conditions or
individual difficulties require special attention should be
provided in every county or other appropriate area. An
obligation rests upon both public and private agencies for
the development of adequate resources and standards of
service. This should apply not only to agencies dealing
specifically with child welfare but also to any organization
whose work affects children.
2. The local public-welfare department should be able
to provide all essential social services to children, either
directly or through utilizing the resources of other agen­
cies. Public and private child-welfare agencies should co­
operate in a program which will assure the proper service
to every child in need. Child-welfare services should be
based on the following principles:
Public child-welfare services should be available to
every child in need of such help without regard to legal
residence, economic status, race, or any consideration
other than the child’s need.
Public-welfare agencies should assume continuing re­
sponsibility for children received into their care as
long as they are in need of public protection or support.
Children should be given whatever service they need
from public-welfare agencies without court com m it­
ment, unless change of legal custody or guardianship is
involved, or legal action is needed because of the cir­
cumstances of the parents’ neglect or the child’s de­
Public child-welfare services should be provided as part
of general public-welfare administration, which should
also include aid to dependent children and general relief.
For children who require care away from their own
homes, there should be available such types of familyhome and institutional provision as may be n e cessa ry
to insure their proper care, having due regard for
special handicaps and problems of adjustment. Child­
caring agencies and institutions should have adequate
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



funds for the maintenance of children, and also for
such services as are required to m eet their physical,
emotional, educational, and religious needs, utilizing
to the fullest extent com m unity reso u rces available for
these purposes.
Where public funds are paid to private agencies and
institutions, they should be given only in payment for
care of individual children whose admission to service
has been approved by the public agency and who
remain its responsibility. Such payments should be
made on a per-capita, per-diem basis and should
cover as nearly as possible maintenance costs. If
service is needed by the family while the child is in
foster care, there should be a definite understanding
between the public-welfare department and the
private agency as to which is to render such service.
It is the function of the juvenile court to provide legal
action based on social study, with a view to social treat­
ment, in cases of delinquency requiring court action and
in cases involving adjudication of custody and guardian­
ship or enforcement of responsibilities of adults toward
children. As local public-welfare departments become
equipped for adequate child-welfare service, juvenile
courts should be relieved of cases not coming within these
Courts dealing with children’s cases should have judges
and social-service staff qualified to give adequate services
to children. In the larger communities a probation staff
of qualified workers is required. In less populous areas
the court may use the services of child-welfare workers in
the public-welfare department.
Social service is needed in connection with court action
in cases of delinquency and neglect and in many cases of
other types. Social investigation and service, for example,
are necessary in cases of divorce and legal separation when
custody or responsibility for the support of children must
be adjudicated; in cases of adoption, of determination of
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


paternity and support of children horn out of wedlock,
and of desertion and nonsupport of families. Where
jurisdiction over these cases is not placed in the juvenile
court, such service should be supplied either by the court
having jurisdiction or through cooperative arrangements
with the juvenile court or community welfare agencies.
4. The State welfare department should provide leader­
ship in developing State and local services for children
and in improving standards of care, and should administer
such services as cannot be provided appropriately in local
units. It should have a division responsible for prom ot­
ing the interests and welfare of children and a definite
appropriation for this purpose. Besides general prom o­
tion and leadership, the service for children provided by
the department should include State financial assistance
to local units of government to enable them to undertake
preventive measures and, when necessary, service to chil­
dren, and to reduce prevailing inequalities in local com ­
munity services.
5. The Federal Government should enlarge its childwelfare activities so as to make them more fully available
to the States, and through the States to local units of gov­
ernment, and to private child-welfare agencies and parents.
These activities should include publication of childwelfare information; research; advisory service to authori­
ties and agencies responsible for developing and adminis­
tering child-welfare programs; leadership and funds for
demonstration of service and development of methods of
administration; and grants to States for assistance to
needy children in their own homes and for such other
forms of service to children in need of special protection as
experience may prove to be necessary.
6. Community, State, and Federal child-welfare services
should be developed on the basis of careful planning par­
ticipated in by health, educational, and social-service
agencies, public and private, and by representative citi-
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



zens. Interdepartmental cooperation in the administra­
tion of these programs should be developed by Federal,
State, and local governments.

Children in M inority Groups

The children in families of minority groups often suffer
several types of handicaps.

Their parents have less chance

for employment and economic advancement; they experience
a degree of social exclusion; they may receive an unequal
share in public and private services: school, recreation, mediChart 6
PER 1,000

PER 1,000

Each symbol represents 10 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1938.
Source: Reports of the U. S. Bureau of the Census.

cal care, and welfare service.

The largest minority group and

the greatest sufferers from discrimination are Negroes, but
minority status is also experienced to a degree which varies
from time to time and from place to place by Indians, Mexi­
cans, Jews, and some foreign-born people.

There are about

5 million native-born children under 16 years of age in the
United States who are other than white, and about 8 million
children who are of foreign-born or mixed parentage.
One of the disadvantages suffered by Negro children is
strikingly illustrated in chart 6, showing the high infant death
rate among Negroes in comparison with the infant death rate
among white children.
Science has made it clear that strict race lines cannot be
drawn and also that no factual basis exists for any assumption
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



that one race is superior to another.

The reasons for preju­

dice and discrimination must, therefore, be sought mainly in
social and economic rather than in biological factors.


problem is a large one quantitatively in the United States
and one which must be met if we are to give all children
reasonable opportunity for health and happiness.
The educational program for reducing inequalities of the
minority groups will of necessity be of long duration.

It will

be based on the conviction, held by this Conference, that
the denial of opportunity to any child on the basis of race,
color, or creed is undemocratic and is dangerous to the wel­
fare of all children.

The effort to eliminate race prejudice

and accompanying discrimination must be made in home and
school, local and national organizations, public and private
The effort to obtain equality of opportunity for children
without regard to race, color, or creed should be pursued in
the places and institutions that have potentially the greatest
influence upon children.

The first of these is the family;

parents have a particular obligation to protect and strengthen
the natural tolerance of their children.

Schools are next in

strategic position to foster tolerance and promote cooperation.
Success depends upon the attitude of the teachers in the daily
life of the school.

Opportunity presents itself particularly in

the teaching of social sciences.

We need better literature on

race relations and great care in the selection of textbooks on
the subject.
The Conference makes the following recommendations:
Civic and social agencies, labor and consumer organ­
izations, political parties and governmental agencies, not
only should place no obstacles in the way of adequate
representation and participation of minority groups both
in the ranks and in administrative and policy-making
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



activities, but should welcome and encourage such par­
2. In housing programs financed by Federal, State, and
local governments, persons should be given equitable
benefits according to need, regardless of race, creed, and
color; moreover, programs should be so administered as
to assure important minority groups due participation in
the development and operation of housing programs.
3. Employers and labor organizations should establish
outspoken policies against discrimination on grounds of
race and color; anti-alien bills which exploit race preju­
dices should be discouraged; practices which limit the
suffrage of citizens in minority groups should be corrected;
and organizations deliberately exploiting race prejudice
should be condemned.
4. In the local use of Federal and State grants the same
standards should be applied to minority groups as to
others, and this should be a specific legislative requirement
enforced by public opinion and safeguarded by the right
of the individual to appeal and to obtain a fair hearing.
5. The kind of protection afforded by fair labor standards
legislation and certain social-insurance benefits should be
provided for those engaged in agriculture and domestic
service, occupations which include a large proportion of
certain minority groups.

Children in M ig ra n t Fam ilies

In recent years another group of disadvantaged children
has become increasingly conspicuous— the children in migrant
agricultural families.

Through press, motion pictures, Gov­

ernment reports, and literature the plight of these families has
become known to a large part of the American public. There
are about one-third of a million such families in interstate
migration comprising about a million persons.22 Up to a
22 Estimate of Farm Security Administration in M ig ra n t
p. 1 (Washington, November 20, 1939).

w ays o f m eeting it,

262205°— 40------ 14
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Farm L a b or; the problem and



decade or two ago we thought of migrant agricultural labor
as a body of men following the harvest through the wheat
belt from Texas to Canada, and then either returning to their
homes or wintering in midwestern cities like Minneapolis,
Kansas City, or Omaha. The migrant family of today repre­
sents a far different problem.

It is, in a sense, today’s version

of the family of the covered wagon that trekked to Oregon, of
the early settler who left Massachusetts to found towns in
Connecticut, and of the Scotch-Irish and German families
who crossed the Appalachians and helped to create some of
our oldest States.
This migrant family of our day represents part of the con­
tinuous history of the development of agriculture in this

Tenant, share-cropper, farm owner, and agricul­

tural laborer have been “ normal” patterns in agricultural

Perhaps the heavily mortgaged ownership of the

recent decades might be regarded as still another.
The conditions in American agriculture have been changing
as a result of soil exhaustion, erosion, changes in production,
and, in recent years, the introduction of industrial agriculture
— that is, of large-scale farming by corporate owners.


development of cotton and fruit raising has converted part of
agriculture into an intensely seasonal occupation requiring
concentration of large numbers for a brief period at a given
place while offering practically no employment for the rest of
the year.
Under these circumstances some sections of industrial agri­
culture have resorted to practices that had existed in industry
for many years, such as the creation of large labor reservoirs
to meet increasing demands for labor, to keep wages low, and
to prevent labor organization.

Wholesale importation of

labor from one part of the country to another has been used
to augment the supply of agricultural workers and has aggra
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


vated the natural difficulties inherent in the problem.



ployer-employee relations tend to be in the crude stages in
which labor organization is looked upon with suspicion and
It is estimated that more than half the area of the United
States is involved in this migration.23 Some of it represents
places from which the migrant family was forced out by agri­
cultural necessity; others are places affording seasonal labor to
the migrant worker.
The farmer and his family forced from their land, seeking a
living, and offering the labor of husband, wife, and children
to the demands of industrialized agriculture confront “ not a
theory but a condition.55 They are lured to California, to
Arizona, to other States, sometimes deliberately, sometimes
by rumors.

They exhaust their slender means in getting

there. Wages tend to be low, periods of labor short, move­
ment haphazard.

The family is underfed, exposed to disease.

The children do not stay in one place long enough for school;
the adults do not stay long enough to exercise their rights of
citizenship; conditions of housing are usually miserable,
whether provided by employer or improvised into shanty
towns by migrants. These families are among the best
prospects for malaria and typhoid.
The migrant agricultural family is really a family, not just
a group of laborers. A special study of 6,655 such families,
comprising 24,485 persons in California, showed that 36 per­
cent of these persons were children under 15 (and the majority
of these under 10). Another 9 percent were between 15 and
19. These children bear the full brunt of the deprivations of
migrant families. Moreover, nearly two-thirds of the children
in the migrant agricultural family, as exemplified by these
6,655 studied, are in families of 5 and more persons, and even
23M ig ra n t Farm L a bor, by Frederick R. Soule, p. 4. Farm Security Administration.
San Francisco, 1938,
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



up to 10 and more— the old-fashioned American rural family,
this time on wheels instead of on their own land.24
T o meet this complicated and deplorable situation, instances
have occurred of employers acting individually as enlightened
and public-spirited citizens.

There has been the beginning of

effective labor organization.

Intelligent planning to meet the

public-health problems involved has been attempted by at
least one State authority, with some supervision of shelter.
The Federal Government has recognized the interstate and
even national aspects of the problem and has assisted in
numerous ways, through the Farm Security Administration,
in providing relief, housing, health service, school space, and
indirectly giving protection from exploitation.

T o the extent

that this service rescued thousands of families from starvation
and disease, we have another example of the competence of
this democracy to adjust its instrumentalities of government
to the needs of the people.
Many studies of the problem indicate that neither the legal
nor the economic problems, nor those of health and schooling
for the children, can be handled by the States to which these
migrants go as their exclusive burden and responsibility; that
the benefits offered through labor organization are seriously
retarded by the handicaps of unsympathetic employer organi­
zation and unenlightened local public opinion; that such pro­
tection against unemployment, old age, and disabling accident
as has been provided for industrial employees is not available
for these workers; that meanwhile close to half a million
children are deprived of assurance of adequate food, clothing,
shelter, education; and that these families represent on the
whole farmers of excellent work habits, Americans for genera­
tions back.
24 A Study o f 6 ,6 5 5 M igra n t H ouseholds
Administration. San Francisco. 1939.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

in C alifornia, 1938,

pp. 53—55. Farm Security



The situation of the migrant agricultural family is somewhat
similar to that of the pioneer of past generations. However,
we now know more about the economic factors involved and
have had some experience in administrative and governmental
procedures for dealing with both the economic and the human

In the light of this perspective and experience it

should be possible to plan intelligent and constructive meas­

Leadership should be taken by the Federal Govern­

ment, since the situation is not bounded by State lines and is
part of the national agricultural problem.
The problem of the migrant family is national in scope.
But shelter, education for children, health supervision, and
medical care must be made available locally wherever and
whenever needed.

A plan that will assure migrant families

and their children essential minimum provisions for their well­
being must place administrative and financial responsibilities
where they belong, and must assure the availability of services
and facilities wherever such families may need them.'
It is recommended, therefore, that the Federal Government
accept responsibility for the development of an inclusive plan
for care of migrant families.
the following principles:

Such a plan should be based on

1. Financial responsibility for interstate migrants should
lie with the Federal Government, since local public opinion
and existing settlem ent laws and other statutes deny
assistance or comm unity services to many migrant fam­
ilies. In the actual provision of such facilities and services
the Federal Government should operate through State and
local authorities wherever practicable, but should take
direct responsibility for their operation whenever neces­
2. State and local governments should take financial and
administrative responsibility for families that migrate
within State boundaries. Actually groups of migrant fam -
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis


ilies often include both interstate and intrastate migrants.
In the provision of services, therefore, Federal, State, and
local governments should work out cooperative plans
which will assure the provision of services to families when
needed, regardless of where ultimate financial responsi­
bility may lie.
3. Government employment services should take respon­
sibility for the orderly guidance of migrant labor in seasonal
employment in agriculture and other occupations.
4. Plans for the employment of migrant families should
take into account the desire for resettlement of those
families for which seasonal labor is only a makeshift and
whose primary desire is to carry on independent farming
5. To deal with the more immediate and also the con­
tinuing problems of agricultural workers and their families,
which constitute at present the majority of migrant fami­
lies, it is desirable that measures relating to wages and
hours, collective bargaining, and social security be extend­
ed as soon as practicable to all agricultural labor, with such
adaptations as may be necessary to m eet their needs.
6. Housing and sanitary regulations should be made
applicable to the shelter of migratory and seasonal labor,
and adequate appropriations and personnel should be made
available to the appropriate agencies to enforce these
7. Long-range measures that may prevent families from
becoming migrants should be introduced both in agricul­
ture and in industry— in agriculture, by such means as
preventing soil erosion and soil exhaustion, and helping
farmers to m eet technological changes and difficulties of
financing operations; in industry, by measures to offset
technical and economic changes that result in com m uni­
ties being stranded because of permanent discontinuance
of local industries.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Public Administration and Financing
Readers of this report will be struck by the frequency with
which recommendations suggest changes in the administrative
and financial responsibilities of local. State, and Federal govern­

The present division of responsibilities is based not on

existing needs but largely on conditions of colonial origin and
pioneer days, when isolation made government and commu­
nity services practicable only on a local basis.

Towns, counties,

and school districts as government units became the general

Their existence was perpetuated and extended in

Territorial and State governments.

Later State legislation in­

creased the number of these units by permitting subdivision of
counties and townships and incorporation of towns, villages,
boroughs, and cities. Functions of public health, education,
and relief were left for the most part with the local units.
Size o f A dm in istrative Units

A study by the Public Administration Service in 1931-32
showed that there were more than 175,000 governmental units
for various purposes in the United States.25
Number o f

Counties (in 46 States) and parishes (in 1 State).............................................
“Towns” and townships (in 23 States)............................................................
Incorporated places........... .............................................................................
School districts...............................................................................................
Other units............................................ ....................... . . ............................

3 053
20 262
16 366
1 2 7 } 108
8 580

Some reduction in these numbers has occurred, especially
through consolidation of school districts, but there are still more
than 120,000 units for school administration.
T h e U n its o f Governm ent in the U nited States, by William Anderson, p. 1.
Public Ad­
ministration Service Publication No. 42. Chicago, 1934.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



There would be nothing inherently wrong in this system if
each unit were administratively and financially capable of
providing adequate service in the several functions left to the
local governments.

A few simple facts about these units show

how futile such an expectation must be.

For example, the

average area of counties is 334 square miles in Kentucky and
8,129 in Arizona.

There are some counties with more popu­

lation than whole States or even a group of States; other coun­
ties have fewer inhabitants than some townships.

More than

four-fifths of the cities, villages, and boroughs of the United
States had less than 2,500 population in 1930. Yet these places
often had separate authority over public health, relief, educa­
tion, and so forth.
100 inhabitants.26

Hundreds of townships have fewer than

Sh arin g o f F in a n cia l Responsibility

T o the technical and administrative difficulties of con­
ducting complicated public services under such circumstances
must be added the overwhelming difficulty of financial

Beneficial and necessary services, appropriate to

modern scientific knowledge and possibilities, require a large
expansion of the field of public operations.

But the traditional

tax system, which places the major burden of local taxation on
real estate, is obviously not adapted to carry any such load in
a country where a large proportion of private incomes is
derived from industrial activities that are not reached by realestate taxation.

The difficulty is accentuated in areas where

local income from all sources is inadequate to cover the nec­
essary services, especially as such areas commonly have a dis­
proportionately large child population.

The adjustments re­

quired consist chiefly in methods for transferring the increased
tax burden from real estate to other tax resources more
»« Ibid., pp. 17, 20, 21.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



directly con n ected with actual econ om ic incom e, and there­
fore from loca l to State and Federal tax systems.
T h e recent N ation -w ide survey o f edu cation fou n d that w ellto -d o com m unities in several States cou ld provide $100 or
m ore per ch ild as easily as som e local units in the same States
cou ld p rovid e $1 per ch ild .27 Y et there ca n be n o such vast
Chart 7


Symbols represent 5 percent of the children under 16 and of the national income,
respectively, in the United States.
Distribution of children based on 1930 census; income distribution based on estimates
for nonrelief families in 1935-36, in C o n s u m e r In co m e s in th e U n it e d S t a te s (National
Resources Committee, 1938).

difference in w hat needs to be spent per child if each is to get
reasonable opportunities for education, econ om ic security, and
health protection .

T o raise the am ounts needed for such

opportunities m any com m unities w ou ld have to tax themselves
far to o heavily.
In the fields o f health services and relief the needs o f the
p oorer com m unities are greater than those o f other com m u n i­
ties, b u t their financial resources are less.

In general, the

resources o f rural areas are m uch less than those o f urban
areas, as is show n in chart 7.
27 Advisory Committee on Education: R eport
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

o f the Com m ittee,

p. 20.



T h e first substantial gain from State action in reducing
inequalities in the availability o f p u b lic funds cam e b y State
grants to local units in the field o f education.

T h e necessity

o f State participation in financing schools was recogn ized in
Pennsylvania as early as 1834.

T h ere has been increasing

participation o f States in pu blic-h ealth and relief measures.
By 1925 State aid to loca l units for these and other purposes
was approxim ately 8 percent o f local revenues.

In 1935 it

had reached 12 percent.28 Federal funds transmitted through
the States have h a d an increasing part in this State aid.
T h e practice o f Federal grants to States began a p p roxi­
m ately 150 years ago, w hen land grants were m ade for com m on
schools and for various educational institutions.

T h e w isdom

o f this p ractice in the light o f the econ om ic and social history
o f the U n ited States is reflected in its later extension up to the
present time.
D u rin g the past 80 years expansion in Federal aid has
in clu ded land-grant colleges, State forest service, agriculturalexperim ent stations and extension service, highways, v o ca ­
tional edu cation

and rehabilitation, rural sanitation,

public-h ealth services.


T h e greatest extension occu rred dur­

ing the past decade as a result o f the depression.

G eneral

relief, w ork relief, social insurance, and p u b lic assistance to
certain groups are aided b y F ederal grants to States.


percentage o f State revenues derived from F ederal grants has
increased, though n ot so greatly as appears to be the general
im pression.29 In addition, the Federal G overnm ent has ex­
pended large sums w ithin the States for such program s as W ork
Projects Adm inistration, Civilian Conservation Corps, N ational
Y o u th A dm inistration, and Farm Security A dm inistration.
28 Facing the T a x P roblem , p. 577. Twentieth Century Fund. New York, 1937.
29 The B ulletin o f the Treasury D epartm ent for August 1939 (p. 4) estimates that Federal
grants to States in 1938 amounted to 14.1 percent of State tax revenues and Federal aid.
Facing the T a x Problem (p. 576) gives this proportion for various previous years as follows:
1912, 0.9 percent; 1925, 10.9 percent; 1928, 7.8 percent; 1932, 12.5 percent.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



T h e unequal capacities o f loca l and State governm ents to
carry on their functions cou ld be dealt w ith in various ways.
O n e w ay w ou ld be to rem ove certain o f these functions entirely
from local or State responsibility.

A n oth er w ay w ou ld be to

aid these governm ents b y grants from Federal funds.

T his

C onference believes that it w ou ld be unsound to relieve g ov­
ernm ents on State and loca l levels from responsibility for such
services as schooling, recreation, health, and m edical service.
It is im portant, how ever, to assure a reasonable m inim um in
these services and to rem ove inequalities so far as possible b y
spreading the cost.

T h e C onference therefore endorses a co n ­

sistent and w ell-organized system o f grants b y States to loca li­
ties and b y the Federal G overnm ent to States, for the support
and expansion o f certain services to children.

Federal grants

on a m atch ing basis d o n ot fully equalize either support or

V arious m ethods o f a pportioning costs have been
It is clear that w hatever m ethods are used, m ore

recogn ition must be given than at present to apportionm ent
b y Federal and State governm ents on the basis o f the needs
and resources o f the States and o f the localities w ithin the

Professional Personnel a n d L a y Participation
In other sections o f this report there are references to the need
for qualified personnel to carry on the w ork and for an inform ed
pu b lic to support and to give critical attention to the services

C om petent services to children depend in the lon g

run on tw o groups o f peop le: O n the one hand, the general
p u b lic w h o m ake these services possible; on the other, those
em p loy ed to render the services.

M a n y services essential to

the health, education, and w ell-being o f children have lon g
since grow n b eyon d the point w here they can be supplied by
parents and voluntary associations alone.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

L arge and




creasing am ounts o f p u b lic funds are devoted to them, im p or­
tant p u b lic policies are involved, and incom e and taxes o f
citizens are affected.

It is the direct con cern o f every person

in the U n ited States that funds should be expended w ith the
greatest benefit.

T h e qu ality and efficiency o f the services

and the w ell-being o f the people receiving them depend
directly on the com peten ce o f the personnel em ployed.


the extent, therefore, to w hich the selection o f this personnel
is invaded b y partisan politics or is carried on w ithout un­
rem itting attention to the m atter o f com petence, the funds o f
the taxpayer w ill be wasted and those w h o should be served will
T h e application o f m erit systems to the selection and reten­
tion o f p u b lic em ployees in these fields is therefore o f prim ary
im portan ce in m aking d em ocra cy an efficient instrument for
p u b lic service.

A lth ou gh there has been en cou ragin g progress

in the application o f the m erit principle in Federal and State
governm ents and in some cities, large areas o f p u b lic service
are still w ithout the safeguards o f this principle.
It is o f the utm ost im portance that m erit systems be adopted
in adm inistration o f p u b lic service in local, State, and Federal
governm ents.

T o accom plish this it is necessary that the gen­

eral p u b lic rem ain interested and b ecom e increasingly inform ed
w ith respect to the m eaning and standards o f these services.
T h e lay citizen becom es m ore effective and m ore im portant
in p olicy m aking to the extent that the operation o f the serv­
ices themselves is entrusted to personnel selected for co m p e ­
tence and training.

T his C onference looks to a tim e w hen

the b o d y o f p u b lic servants w ill be carefully selected and
retained b y reason o f professional qualifications and w ill be
backed b y a strengthened and inform ed p u b lic opinion.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis



The Conference makes the following recommendations:
1. The number of local administrative units o f govern­
ment for health, education, and welfare should be reduced,
and units sufficiently large and appropriate for efficiency
and economy in performing the functions of government
should be organized.
2. Financial responsibility should be shared by govern­
ments at the various levels— local, State, and Federal—
taking into account the needs in the respective localities
and States and the resources of these governmental units.
3. Merit systems which will assure competent personnel
to perform the services essential for children should be
adopted in public administration in local, State, and
Federal governments.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Government by the People
Every recommendation in this report which involves public
action is predicated on certain characteristics of the electorate.
It is the American ideal that every adult citizen shall take
intelligent part in the determination of public policy.


progress toward this end has been made throughout our

However, before the ideal can achieve full reality,

certain existing conditions and practices must be corrected.
In the first place, limitations on suffrage through intimida­
tion, coercion, the levying o f poll taxes, and other undemo­
cratic practices must be removed.

In the second place, those

who are entitled to participate in the affairs of government
through the ballot and otherwise must accept the responsi­
bility for the complete discharge of their civic obligations.


the third place, the exercise of voting privileges should rest
upon knowledge of public affairs and of social and economic
trends and conditions.

Finally, there must be added to the

universal informed exercise of the franchise a profound and
continuing concern for the promotion of the general welfare
and the maintenance and improvement of democratic insti­

Nothing less than this is a suitable goal for a democ­

racy; nothing less can see our democracy through the difficult
problems which confront the world.
The Conference makes the following recommendation:
Undemocratic limitations on suffrage should be re­
moved, especially when they tend to discriminate against
those in low-income groups or racial minorities. Partici­
pation in government and the exercise of civic responsi­
bility can then become the clear obligation as well as the
privilege of citizenship.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Call to Action
This Conference is convinced that the recommendations
submitted in this report are essential to the well-being of the
children of the United States of America.

Many can be put

into effect in the near future, but the Conference has not
limited itself to matters susceptible of immediate action.
Time will be necessary to put some of the proposals into effect.
This is a program for 10 years, and some of it for a longer

But even immediate measures require a perspective

and an orientation; the larger program should be revealed in
taking next steps. The Conference believes that its proposals
are well within the capacities of the American people and
that the economic well-being of the country will be enhanced
by them.

What the American people wish to do they can do.

“ Somewhere within these United States, within
the past few years, was born a child who will be
elected in 1980 to the most responsible office in the
world, the Presidency of the United States,” said
Homer Folks at the first session of this Conference.
“ We cannot guess his name or whereabouts.


may come from any place and from any social or
economic group.

He may now be in the home of

one of the soft-coal miners, or in the family of a
sharecropper, or quite possibly in the home of one
of the unemployed, or in a family migrating from
the Dust Bowl, or he may be surrounded with every
facility, convenience, and protection which money
can buy.
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“ If we could unroll the scroll of the future enough
to read his name and whereabouts, how many things
we would wish to have done for him, how carefully
we would wish to guard his health, his surroundings,
his education, his associates, his travels, his ambitions.”
What is needful and useful in preparing a President for his
exacting duties is true in lesser degree of any public servant
and leader of men.

In our democracy it is true also of every

citizen who exercises the right of suffrage or carries his share
of the common burden of doing the work of the world.


we might wish to do for that unknown child, the future Presi­
dent, we must be ready to do for every child, so that he may be
ready to live a full life, satisfying to himself and useful to his
community and Nation.
This document is a call to action: to do now those things that
can be done now and to plan those that must be left for the

But whether today or tomorrow, action is possible

only if we have faith in the goals to be reached.
The White House Conference on Children in a Democracy
holds these to be the convictions of the American people:
That democracy can flourish only as citizens have
faith in the integrity of their fellow men and capacity
to cooperate with them in advancing the ends of
personal and social living.
That such faith and such capacity can best be
established in childhood and within the family circle.
Here the child should find affection which gives selfconfidence,

community of interest which induces

cooperation, ethical values which influence conduct.
Secure family life is the foundation of individual hap­
piness and social well-being.
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That even in infancy, and increasingly in later years,
the welfare of the child depends not alone upon the
care provided within the family, but also upon the
safeguards and services provided
State, and Nation.

by community,

Recognizing the immediate necessity for providing against
the material dangers of the moment, this Conference is im­
pressed also with the equal necessity for maintaining internal
strength and confidence among the people of the strongest
democracy in the world. If the American people, in a world
showing many signs of break-down, can present a picture o f a
Nation devoting thought and resources to building for the
distant future, we shall strengthen by these very actions our*
own faith in our democracy.
__ — J R
Holding these convictions and recognizing them as our
common heritage, the Conference pledges its members and
calls upon all other citizens to press forward in the next 10
years to the more complete realization of those goals for
American childhood which have become increasingly welldefined from decade to decade and to which the foregoing
pages have given expression.


262205°— 40
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