The WPA and Federal Relief Policy

By Donald S. Howard | Go to book overview

AUTHOR'S PREFACE

DURING THE COURSE of the present study the writer and other members of the Russell Sage Foundation staff have, within the past six years, analyzed literally thousands of documents-- federal and state laws; reports of committee hearings and congressional debate on federal legislation; rules, regulations, and statements of policy of federal, state, and local agencies as well as their monthly, quarterly, annual, and biennial reports. While footnotes reveal something of the scope of the sources consulted, they reflect but a small fraction of the materials that have been collected and analyzed. As a general rule, sources of information used in this report have been cited only when they have been quoted directly. To authors and publishers who have generously permitted use of their writings and publications the writer of the present volume is deeply grateful.

Supplementing this study of documents and other published material, the writer has had the privilege of consultation and discussion not only with federal officials responsible for the administration of programs here described, but with state and local officials of the Work Projects Administration and of relief and welfare agencies in more than half the states. Without exception, the many officials consulted gave courteously of their time despite pressing duties which probably required late hours to complete. All of this assistance the writer sincerely appreciates.

Special thanks are due to the several members of the federal WPA staff who reviewed the manuscript at various stages and who gave invaluable aid to the writer.

Willingness on the part of various officials to discuss forthrightly their own failures as well as their successes and to do this frankly and honestly with an independent and often critical observer, has strengthened immeasurably the writer's confidence and faith in the integrity and open-mindedness of officials charged with responsibility for the administration of public services that are of vital importance to the nation's well-being. One cannot but contrast the situation in this country with that prevailing where open criticism of governmental agencies is unknown. To

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