Administration of Public Welfare

By R. Clyde White | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
FEDERAL ORGANIZATION

For many years the federal government has been gradually assuming the responsibility for expanded public welfare services, but it was not until the recent depression of business that the volume of such services became large enough to make much of an impression upon the public. During the presidential campaign of 1920 Warren G. Harding proposed a reorganization of the executive branch of the government and among other things suggested the creation of a Department of Education and Welfare to which would be transferred a number of educational and welfare bureaus at that time scattered among several departments. No new functions were proposed. Within a short time after the beginning of the new administration in 1921 a bill was introduced in the Senate providing for the creation of a Department of Public Welfare--the educational aspects of President Harding's proposal being omitted. This bill would have brought all the welfare activities of the federal government into the new department, but it was not passed. The next serious suggestion of a similar kind to be made was that of President Roosevelt's Committee on Administrative Management in 1937. This committee recommended that a Department of Social Welfare be established: "To advise the President with regard to social welfare. To administer Federal health, educational, and social activities, to administer Federal grants, if any, for such purposes; to protect the consumer; to conduct the Federal aspects of Federal-State programs of social security where need is the basis of payment of beneficiaries; to administer all Federal eleemosynary, correctional, and penal institutions; and to administer probation and parole."1 Bills were drafted by members of Congress to carry these and similar proposals into effect, but they were not passed.

The existence of federal public welfare agencies, however, is in no

____________________
1
Report of the President's Committee on Administrative Management, 1937, p. 32.

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