Public Works and Work Relief

Archive Report

Changing Function of the Public Works Program

President Roosevelt's determination, voiced in his annual message to Congress, to “quit this business of relief” and provide employment on federally-financed projects for all unemployed persons capable of working signified not only a new approach to the relief problem but a changed attitude toward the function of public works in the general recovery program. The original plan of spending large sums on public works was conceived, not primarily as a means of affording direct employment, but as a method of stimulating industrial recovery. The public works program was to supplement efforts of another sort, toward the same end, put forth by the National Recovery Administration. Provisions for establishment of N. R. A. and P. W. A. were thus ...

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