Dr Stone Keeps Job as City Relief Chief

Arthur L Stone - 1926

Camden Courier-Post – June 6, 1933

Cramer Takes Back Request For Resignation After Parley

Surprise Action Revealed by State Director Following Conference

Colt Hits News Ban; Says Public Must Know

County Office Issues Prepared Statement on ‘Campfire’ Case

Dr. Arthur L. Stone, who “let his heart rule his head,” will remain director of the Emergency Relief Administration in Camden city.

This surprise announcement was made last night by John Colt, of Princeton, director of the State Emergency Relief Administration.

Wayland P. Cramer, Haddonfield, Camden county relief administrator, withdrew a request for Stone’s resignation at a conference with Colt yesterday at Princeton.

Dr. Stone who attended the meeting, thereupon asked Colt to return his written resignation forwarded by Cramer a few days ago,

‘Magnanimous Attitude’

Colt issued this statement:

“Mr. Colt, State Director of the Emergency Relief Administration today had a conference in Princeton with Wayland P. Cramer, the county director of Camden county, and Dr. A. L. Stone, the city director of emergency relief in the City of Camden.

“As a result of this conference, Mr. Cramer withdrew his request for Dr. Stone’s resignation, and asked Dr. Stone to continue at the head of the Emergency Relief Administration in the City of Camden.

“Dr. Stone agreed to this request and asked Mr. Colt to return the resignation which was forwarded Cramer a few days ago.

“This magnanimous and public spirited attitude and action on the part of these two gentlemen assure the carrying forward of the work of emergency relief in the City of Camden along lines best adapted to adequately take care of the needy during the present emergency.”

Colt Favors Publicity

The action followed disclosure by Colt yesterday that Cramer was not following the dictates of the state director in refusing to discuss relief bureau matters with newspapermen.

Since the rift with Dr. Stone opened last Wednesday Cramer has steadfastly evaded newspapermen and on one occasion slammed his office door in the face of one of them. Cramer said this policy was in line with instructions given him by Colt.

It was further revealed yesterday that Dr. Stone and Cramer “never had a fair understanding.”

In contradicting Cramer regarding the news restriction, Colt said:

“The public,” said Colt, “has got to know about general affairs pertaining to relief in their locality. I’ll straighten this matter out immediately with Camden.”

Howard ‘Busy’- Cramer ‘Out’

Neither Cramer nor Captain Albert S. Howard, his deputy, would answer the telephone at the relief headquarters yesterday. Word was relayed from Captain Howard that he was too busy while Cramer was reported “not in.”

Later, however, A. Lincoln Wood, Jr., secretary to Cramer notified the Courier-Post that a “news release” was ready. After signing his initials, a reporter was handed the statement. The statement follows:

“Following recent publicity with regard to 11 families residing at 106-108-110 State Street, Camden, Wayland P. Cramer, Camden county director of the Emergency Relief Administration, arranged with A. L. Stone M.D., municipal director for the city of Camden, for a full investigation as to the reason these relief recipients were without gas for cooking on Friday and Saturday of last week.

Applicants Delinquent

“The arrangement made with the owner and agent for these properties by the Emergency Relief Administration was that the owner would furnish light, heat and fuel for cooking. Some of the relief recipients were extremely delinquent in making application for renewal of the rental payments by the Emergency Relief Administration to the owner, and the owner claims that due to this situation he was unable to make proper payment to the utility company. A change in method of handling renewal applications for rental payments has been made by the Camden City division of the Emergency Relief Administration, whereby it will not hereafter be necessary for the relief recipient to call at the Emergency Relief office, and it is believed that this will obviate any reoccurrence of this situation.

“The Emergency Relief Administration learned on Friday, June 2, of the fact that the gas had been shut off, and immediately contacted the owner by telephone with the request that he arrange for continuance of service.

No ‘Understanding’

Dr. Stone stated he had received no orders from Colt’s office to “declare a moratorium on relief news.”

“I shall refuse no one the right to question me about the affairs of my department.”

Besides “letting his heart rule his head” in the administration of city relief, Dr. Stone strongly intimated in his conversation that there had never been a “fair understanding” between him and Cramer.

“I guess,” said Dr. Stone, “that I took too many liberties in the administration of city relief. However, I have found out that the county administration is over the city relief office. Apparently I was under the wrong impression when I thought I could get along with a fair understanding.”

Why Girls Were Kept

Dr. Stone yesterday admitted that married men had been discharged and single girls had been retained as city relief visitors as charged Monday at a meeting of the North Camden Civic Association in the Pyne Poynt Social Club, 939 North Fifth Street.

“The reason for that” said Dr. Stone, “was because we reduced the city visitors staff from 41 to 34 as an economy move and the girls proved more capable than the men.”

“We were faced with the problem of training two persons to take the places of two relief supervisors loaned us by Newark. The men did not show capabilities for supervisory positions that the girls did. That phase of the service requires a special skill.”

“When it comes to facilitating to the best advantages the administration of relief to thousands of persons, I believe the best candidates for the jobs should be chosen. The ones who made the grade happened to be single.

“In selecting recruits for the visitor service we set standards of excellent, very good, fair and poor. None of those who were let go were poor from the standpoint of service, but unfortunately the retrenchment program called for a reduction of seven in the staff.”


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