Camden Courier-Post – June 2, 1933
Jobless Union Demands All Facts Public
City Director Refuses to Discuss Battle with Cramer
Reporters Forbidden to Attend Meetings
County Chief Continues Secrecy, Refers Queries to State Head
Dr. Arthur L. Stone last night resigned as Camden city director of the Emergency Relief Administration.
His decision to quit came as a climax of a clash with Wayland P. Cramer, Camden county relief director which has stirred the city for the past two days.
Cramer, who “drafted” Dr. Stone for the municipal post last January 14, continued to mantle in mystery the reason behind his request for the resignation. He referred inquiries to John Colt, of Princeton, who is state director of the relief administration.
While speculation over the reason for the rift between Dr. Stone and Director Cramer was spreading throughout the city the county administration was denounced at a meeting held in Convention Hall annex.
All Facts Demanded
Frank J. Manning, president of the Unemployed Union of New Jersey, made a public demand “for all the facts” behind Cramer’s request for the city health bureau chief’s resignation.
Dr. Stone announced his resignation after Director Cramer had added to his long series of refusals to inquiring newspapermen. Asked for a statement Dr. Stone said: “I have no statement. I have sent my resignation to Mr. Colt, through Mr. Cramer. That’s all there is to it.”
In response to an inquiry regarding the reason for Cramer’s action in asking him to quit, Dr. Stone said: “I feel it is better for the service not to say anything about the matter at the present time.”
Prior to the conversation with the city physician Director Cramer was asked by a reporter if he had learned whether Dr. Stone had resigned.
“I’m awfully sorry but I can’t say anything about the matter. Director Colt has instructed me to say nothing. I’m going to follow his instructions.
“I’m not trying to be nasty about this situation. When the director gives me an order I have to obey it. Any information you desire must be obtained from Director Colt.”
Press Ban Adopted
A. Lincoln Wood, Jr., secretary to Cramer, answered telephone calls for the county director yesterday. He denied that Cramer was in his office and announced the administration’s new policy, that from now on the press would be excluded from personal or telephone interviews with the county relief director.
“I’ve had my orders,” said Wood, “and they are that Mr. Cramer will grant no interviews to newspapermen. If you aren’t satisfied with that arrangement, you had better call Mr. Colt, the state relief director.
“How will the public receive news of the activities in the relief administration?” Wood was asked.
“Written statements will be sent all newspapers,” said Wood.
“Will newspapermen be permitted to ask questions after the statements are received?” Wood was asked.
“No,” was the answer.
A week ago Wood and Cramer criticized the Courier-Post Newspapers for the stand they had taken in printing the statement of a forestry recruit who had left Camp Dix, in protest against living conditions there. Cramer intimated that the recruit’s statement should not have been published before the relief authorities were consulted.
Called by telephone at Princeton, Colt, the state relief director, declared that he had Cramer’s request for Dr. Stone’s resignation under consideration, but denied rumors he already had ordered an investigation.
“In due time,” said Colt, “I shall have a statement to make. Until then, I have the matter under consideration and have nothing to say.”
Later, a typewritten statement by Cramer was handed newspapermen by Captain Albert S. Howard, deputy county relief director. When asked to elaborate, Capt. Howard would not comment.
The statement follows:
“The Camden county director of the Emergency Relief Administration, of the State of New Jersey, Wayland P. Cramer, states that the situation connected with the recent publicity concerning the city of Camden’s municipal directorship has been referred to John Colt, state director of the Emergency Relief Administration, and all information in this matter will be released through the state director.”
Ask for Shakeup
In attacking the relief bureau before the unemployed union meeting Manning demanded a “shakeup” of the whole crowd from top to bottom. He suggested a protest parade be held July 4.
“It is about time we had someone in the relief organization besides army officers and others who know nothing about the administration of relief,” he declared. “What we need is people who are versed in social service work.
“It is about time the unemployed slackers wake up to the manner in which relief is being administered. Let’s band ourselves together in a mammoth parade on July 4 and demand a shake-up of the whole crowd from top to bottom.
“I read this week,” he continued, “about Cramer’s request that Dr. Stone resign. It is the right of the unemployed and the general public to know all that is behind this request. If Dr. Stone is incompetent or if there is something more serious behind it, let's have all the information to which we—the public—are entitled. In making this demand, I am not defending Dr. Stone or any other official.”
Termed as ‘Politics’
Circumstances surrounding the request for resignation of Dr. Stone were characterized as “politics” by Clarence E. Moulette, executive secretary of the Unemployed Union.
“It looks to me,” Moulette said, “as though the politicians are trying to ease one of their henchmen into Dr. Stone’s job as relief director. They thought it policy to oust him because he is giving too many babies too much relief. Dr. Stone probably has been the best man in that job, but he hasn’t done as much as we expected he would do. It appears to me as though he would like to have accomplished more for the unemployed but couldn’t.
“Let’s find out why they want to dismiss Dr. Stone. As long as Cramer is head of the relief organization in Camden county, there isn’t much hope for the unemployed.”
A motion was then presented and adopted that the Unemployed Union demanding that the reason for the Dr. Stone resignation request be made public.
Charges that Ralph Baccellieri, a Berlin relief official, was using his relief office to depress wages in his mill were submitted at the meeting from unemployed representatives of the town.
“Our Berlin representatives,” said Manning, “charge that Baccellieri is paying the workers in his factory such low wages that they have to apply to the emergency relief for food. What a fine situation that is. Here is a man, the joint owner of a sweatshop, who is trading on his relief office so that he can employ people at starvation wages.
“A copy of a letter,” continued Manning, “was sent Cramer and John Colt, state relief director, pointing to the situation in Berlin. And what do you think I received today from Mr. Cramer? Well, he thanked me for the information. Like hell he thanked me.
“Another thing that Mr. Cramer thanked me for in his letter was the information about how the Lawnside relief director played politics at the polls at the recent primary. There he was at the polls despite the statement of Mr. Cramer prior to the primaries that any relief official involved in politics would be dismissed from the administration.”
Manning stated that the Unemployed union produced affidavits to prove his assertion concerning the Lawnside relief situation.