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Welfare Workers on Hope Street
Job Ask Two Packages of Tobacco

A request that the welfare workers employed on Hope street sewer be supplied with two packages of tobacco each which was presented to the board of selectmen by a laborer Friday afternoon. The worker told the board that while the town was supplying the men with food and necessities, tobacco was not included and some of them had resorted to picking up "butts" from the street to satisfy their appetites. The recent snow, the worker stated, had even cut off this supply as wet tobacco could not be used satisfactorily. He declared that if the men were confined in the Franklin county-house of correction they would receive an allowance of two packages of tobacco a week and the same would be true if they were inmates of the town infirmary. He felt the morale of the workers would be greatly improved if the tobacco was supplied. The selectmen said it was not within their province to grant the request as they had no funds for that purpose. The dictate was referred to the welfare department.

Judge T. M. Hayes, Rev. J. B. Whiteman and Miss Anna Koch, representing the Community Service council, requested the selectmen to allow the use of Washington hall evenings for the unemployed. The council representatives informed the board that if the hall was kept open evenings until 9.30, supervisors would be supplied to see that no disorder occurred. The council people said that the use of the hall nights by high school students would be eliminated as the matter had been taken up with Principal E. B. Smith, who had issued orders to the students not to frequent the hall.

The selectmen brought up the question of extra cost for lights and heat but granted the request of the representatives that the hall be kept open until 9.30 evenings.

A hearing was held on the petition of Overland-Chevrolet company for a permit to store 550 gallons of gasoline at 3 Fort Square. First class automobile dealers licenses were granted the Packard Greenfield company and Rollin J. Farr. An auctioneer's license was granted to John Sauter.

Notification from the state department was received confirming the appointment of Chief Herbert R. Ferris as forest warden.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The Great Depression caused many kinds of disruptions and changes in people's lives. It forced individuals to alter both their patterns of consumption and their ideas about self-reliance. Town governments were also required to come up with novel solutions to unprecedented social problems. This report from a Greenfield, Massachusetts, Selectmen's meeting illustrates a few of them. Not then considered the health risk that it is known to be today, in 1933 when this report was written, tobacco was nearly as important as food for many people. The unemployed Greenfield men who petitioned the Board of Selectmen were working on a sewer-pipe installation in exchange for room and board. They are requesting a tobacco ration because, with the coming of winter, they are no longer able to "recycle" the cigarette buts that they find on the ground. The snow which covers the streets has either obscured or dissolved the discarded cigarettes. A spokesman for the workers argues that had the men been in the county jail or the town infirmary, they would have received a tobacco ration. But the Board has no funds available to grant their request. During the same meeting the Board is asked to allow the unemployed evening use of a local school hall. This request is granted.


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"Welfare Workers on Hope Street Job Ask Two Packages of Tobacco" article from the Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette newspaper

publisher   Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette
date   Jan 14, 1933
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
height   3.25"
width   1.5"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L06.009

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See Also...

"The Dilemma" political cartoon from the Daily Recorder-Gazette newspaper

Tobacco Plantation in the Connecticut Valley

Proclamation by the Governor of The Compulsory Work Law

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