The United States after the World War

By James C. Malin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XX
SOCIAL POLICIES

THE remarkable mobilization of physical, moral, and emotional resources for war effort seemed for a time to mark the culmination of the development of comprehensive social policies of the Federal government. This spirit carried over for a short time into the post-war period, but not long enough to permit the realization of the program. In Great Britain and in France departments of public health were created to meet the social demands of post-war reconstruction. During the campaign of 1920 such a department was discussed in the United States. In his special message of April 12, 1921, Harding recommended its creation. The scheme as outlined in the press provided for four divisions: education, public health, social service, and service to veterans. It was soon obvious that Congress was not interested. In his first annual message of December, 1923, Coolidge urged the assumption of larger social and humanitarian activities by the Federal government, but he did not definitely indorse a new department.

In the field of pure-food regulation no new legislation was enacted. The Department of Agriculture inaugurated an experimental service in grading and stamping choice and prime beef at Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Kansas City, St. Joseph, and Omaha . The aim was to emphasize meat of high quality and to enable the consumer to know the grade of meat purchased. The service was also expected to react to the benefit of the farmer in placing a premium price on the best grades of live stock. An important step was taken in the regulation of drugs by an act of March 4, 1927, safeguarding the distribution and sale of

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