In the past two months 60,000 mothers and 23,000 children have been summarily struck off State welfare rolls in Louisiana, USA.
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ 1: female worker: Q. "What was the case I just heard you talking about on the telephone?"
A. "A family being evicted this afternoon at 3 p.m."
Q. "How many of them?"
A. "Six children and the mother, they haven't eaten since Tuesday."
Q. "And it is now Thursday midday".
A. "Yes that's right".
Q. "What can you do for them?"
A. "Well there's little or nothing we can do in the line of rent because our funds are very limited, now we will be able to give them some food but that's about all at the moment I know that can be done for them".
Q."So they were turned out on the street with no money at all."
A. "With no money at all. It's a very sad situation around here now".
SEQ. 2: unmarried mother: Q. "How many children have you got?"
Q. "How old are they?"
A."Well, twelve, nine, eight, seven, three, and three months."
Q. "And this is the three month old here?"
A. "Yes, it is".
Q. "Have you any money at all now?"
A. "No I don't".
Q. "When did your children last eat?"
Q. "How many hours ago is that now, 24 hours ago?"
A. "I don't know".
Q. "What about your rent, can you pay that?"
SEQ. 3: male social worker: Q. "What are some of the toughest cases you have had here in the last few days?"
A. "Well, for example here is one with eight children, ranging from the age of three months to thirteen years. They used to get 150 dols. now nothing".
Q. "Well I see you have lots more down here, but what can you do for these people. What funds have you got?"
A. "Well right now our funds are very limited, but the funds that we are getting we can give to the people to get food, that seems to be the basic need for the people although the other needs are tremedous."
SEQ. 4: Judge Leander Perez: (in New Orleans): Q. "Judge, just why was it necessary to strike these children off the welfare rolls here?"
A. "Well, as a matter of fact because of the liberal welfare payments being paid to so called "aid to dependent children ". Negro women were having so many illegitimate children that it was not only becoming a scandal, but it was becoming a drain on the state treasury. And of course, worst of all, it was promising the increase of an irresponsible breed of illegitimate bastard negroes to curse our white children in the future.
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Background: In the past two months 60,000 mothers and 23,000 children have been summarily struck off State welfare rolls in Louisiana, USA. Almost all are negroes. Reports of starvation, destitution and hopelessness pour in from all over the state to the Urban League of New Orleans, a bi-Racial civic group leading welfare work, who describe the victims plight as a "disaster situation".
A number of unmarried mothers have tried to give their children away to more fortunate Negro families. More and more waifs are being left on church and orphanage steps. Children have joined Negro beggars scavenging the dustbins for edible scraps The situation is critical.
In a campaign to "clean up the welfare mess", Governor James D Davis - composer of the song "You are my Sunshine" - navigated a new law through Louisiana State Legislature whereby relief for dependent families was cut, and in many cases stopped altogether. Governor Davis has been pressing his campaign with puritan zeal. He declares that his aim is to "clean up the baby factories and discourage those who produce illegitimate children as a business".
Our reporter visited New Orleans September 5 to obtain a special report on the situation, during which he interviewed welfare workers, an unmarried mother, and Judge Leander Perez.
Interview with female welfare worker: (SOF)
Interview with unmarried mother:
Interview with male social worker:
Interview with Judge Leander Perez: (in New Orleans)