Breadcrumb

Rear Platform and Other Informal Remarks in New York

October 10, 1952

[1.] BATAVIA, NEW YORK (Rear platform, 10:42 a.m.)

I enjoyed my stop here very much in 1948, and I am glad to be back. I am here, if you don't know it--I am here campaigning for the Democratic ticket.

I have enjoyed meeting your local candidates. I hope you will support them. And vote for them: for Senator, John Cashmore, he will make a fine colleague for Governor Lehman, who is one of the best Senators in the Senate; and for Congress, Richard Judson.

For President we have a very able man-Adlai Stevenson. He is the best new leader to come along since franklin Roosevelt. Like Roosevelt, Stevenson has been a fine, progressive Governor of one of our great States. And, like Roosevelt, Adlai Stevenson is a real friend of the plain everyday

John Sparkman is his running mate, and he is the same kind of man. He is a true progressive, a real friend of the farmer, and of labor--always fighting for the people.

These are men you can trust to understand your problems and work for your interests.

I have here a copy of the Batavia Daily News for September 12. It was sent to me the other day, and on the front page is a news story that interests me very much. The headline says: "Production Workers in Demand . . . Area Manufacturing Plants Report . . . Jobs . . . Unfilled." Then the article says: "Batavia area industries are in urgent need of manpower . . . production and factory workers are in top demand in Batavia."

Now that's fine. That is what I like to see. That shows that our full employment policy is working. And, my friends, it is working not only here, it is working all over the country.
The Republicans have been going around saying that all this is artificial, this prosperity we have. They say it's all because of the defense effort. Otherwise, to hear them talk, we would be having a depression right now.

Well, that just isn't so. We were enjoying prosperity--the greatest ever--in the first half of 1950, before we had this big defense effort.

Our prosperity is a lot more solid than the Republicans would have you think. It is solid because for 20 years the people have had a government that believes in prosperity and full employment.

Take our social security program and our minimum wage laws, and our policy of encouraging workers to organize and bargain collectively with their employers. These things help greatly to boost the incomes of the working people.

By our policies toward the workingman, we have helped build up the markets of the farmer and the businessman.

And by our progressive farm programs, we have helped the farmer to increase his income, so that he can be a consumer of the products that the city workers make.

These are the ways we keep our prosperity strong and healthy and growing all the time.

Now the Republicans have never understood this. All they can think of is profits. And it never occurs to them that the way to make more profits is by building up the buying power of our people.

The Republicans in Congress have fought and hampered almost every measure we have devised to help the working people. They fought social security. They fought minimum wages. They fought the Wagner Act. They even fought and voted against the full employment bill we passed in 1946. In 1946 we still had a Democratic Congress. That was before that terrible 80th Congress came in.

Now, you working people here, I give you fair warning. The Republicans in Congress, the Old Guard who run the party, have always stood and voted against your interests. And they are taking the same stand today.

Read their party platform. Read the speeches of their five-star candidate. Or better still, read what Senator Taft says the candidate believes in. Then you will know the Republicans are still the same as always-and no friends of the ordinary man.

And you farmers around here, don't you think you can stand by while the Republicans put the squeeze on the working people. I am told that four-fifths of the farmers around here participate in our agricultural conservation program. Well, did you know that just this last year a big majority of the Republicans in Congress voted to cut out three-fourths of the funds for that very program? Of course you didn't know it. The kept press won't tell you about it, and if you don't read the Congressional Record you never will find out what goes on in the Congress.

The Democrats saved the money this time, but what do you think will happen next year, if the Republicans grab off the Congress and the White House, too?

You had better find out about the people who represent you down in Washington. You had better think about who is for you, and who is against you. You had better realize that the farmers and workers are on the same side of the fence, no matter what the Republican orators may tell you.

And you had better go and vote for the party that has always looked after the farmer, and the worker, and all the plain people. And that is the Democratic Party.

Think of your own interests when you go to the polls. Now you are the Government-you are the Government, and when you don't vote in your own interests and you don't vote for progress in this country you are just injuring yourselves.

Now I want to say to you young people, you had better do a little studying for the future, because it is going to be your turn to run this Government pretty soon. You had better find out what it means to go forward, instead of trying to turn the clock back to William McKinley. If you look out for your own interests, you will go home and tell your mama and papa to vote the Democratic ticket and keep the country safe another 4 years.

[2.] ROCHESTER, NEW YORK (Station platform, 11:30 a.m.)

I am delighted to see so many people here today. I had a most wonderful reception when I was here the last time.

I understand that the newspapers of New York State are supporting the Republicans about 12 to 1 in the Republican campaign of misrepresentation now going on. So I am glad to have this opportunity to get some of the real facts and issues out into the open.

First of all, I want to urge you to go to the polls on November the 4th and elect Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman as President and Vice President.

They're a first-class team, a team that will carry on the splendid traditions of the Democratic Party.

These traditions have a lot of roots here in New York. This is the State of Al Smith, of franklin Roosevelt, and of Herbert Lehman. Adlai Stevenson is of the same mold as those three great Democratic Governors. His administration in Illinois has been one of the most able and progressive the State has ever had. He will go down in the history of this Nation as one of its ablest Presidents.

Adlai Stevenson is a man of whom the Democratic Party can be, and is, extremely proud.

I also want to urge you to send to the Congress two men who will uphold the great traditions of New York Democracy: John Cashmore for the United States Senate; and Victor Kruppenbacher for the House of Representatives. Adlai Stevenson will need the support of men like these in this critical period.
Now, I have been on a trip all across the country, talking to the people, trying to put a lot of facts into the record. The Republicans in this campaign are telling more half truths--more deliberate, unvarnished lies-than in any other campaign in my recollection. And I can remember them for 40 years.

Now the Republican candidate for President hasn't even tried to talk about the issues. Instead, he's gone around the country putting out a smoke screen to hide the issues. He's shouting--just give me a chance, and I'll pour it on them--about corruption in the Government, when he knows that only a tiny fraction of the Government's 2½ million employees have even the slightest taint of corruption on them. And he knows that the corrupt employees have been fired, have been tried and convicted where the laws have been violated. He knows that we have reorganized the Government and reduced the number of patronage jobs.

He's gone around the country making these loose charges about communism in the Government. He knows better than that. He knows that for years the Government has had an effective program to keep the Communists out of Government service.

In the end, the people are not going to be fooled by a campaign of lies. They are not going to be taken in by a smoke screen campaign. In the end, they're going to vote on the issues, as they always have. They're going to demand that the Republican candidate take a stand on the issues.

And that will be fatal for the Republican candidate. He doesn't know anything about most of the issues. He's been a military man all his life. And his speeches show that since he left the Army he hasn't even attempted to master the complex problems of civil government that he would have to face as President.

The Republican candidate did take a stand on one issue, and that's what I want to tell you about today. Along with being in favor of honesty and against sin, he's in favor of the expansion of American industry. He has taken a firm and unequivocal stand in favor of building our economy. And that, he says, requires "a wholly new climate in Washington."

That sounds as if the idea of a growing and expanding economy was a new one to him. It sounds as if someone had just told him about it. What kind of economy, I wonder, does the man think we have? An expanding economy has been the central objective of the Democratic Party throughout these postwar years. Our achievements in the expansion of the economy are some of our proudest achievements. There has never been anything to equal them in the history of the world.

The Republican candidate has shown that he has no understanding at all of what's been going on in our economy.

Our total national production is now $336 billion a year--almost three times what it was in 1932 and twice what it was in the peak year of the Republicans in 1929. And that's after making adjustments for price changes. In other words, the production of our economy has grown as much in the last 20 years, under the Democratic administrations, as it had grown in the whole history of the Republic up to that time. And yet the Republican candidate says we need Republicans "to revive in the American economy its inherent power to grow." That's just poppycock!

Right now, the American economy is adding to its productive plant at the fastest rate in all its history. Private capital is investing in new plant and equipment at the rate of about $30 billion a year. Think of it--$30 billion a year. That indicates the response of private enterprise to a climate in Washington that has never been more favorable to it.

All this growth makes this country much stronger in case we ever had to defend ourselves against Communist aggression. But these new plants will also be a tremendous resource when the defense program tapers off. They can be used for making all the things we need that we haven't been able to make in the last 2 years because of the defense program.

Now just why do the Republicans want to change the climate in Washington that's bringing about the greatest industrial expansion in the history of the world?

I'll tell you why they want to change the climate. The Republicans don't like the way the benefits of our prosperity are distributed. They want to see more of the profits of the American enterprise go into the dividends of the big corporations and less of it into the pockets of workingmen, the small businessmen, and the farmers.

Now, my friends, that is the issue, pure and simple. They want to rewrite the tax laws to give the breaks to big business. They want to rewrite the price control law to let the speculators make a killing. They want to rewrite the labor laws to make them even more biased against labor than the Taft-Hartley Act already is.

That's what the Republicans mean when they talk about a change in Washington.

But they're completely shortsighted about the whole issue. They're still as shortsighted as they were in the Republican 1920's when the whole object of the Government policy was to help the rich and the privileged.

The thing the Republicans have never understood is that when only big business is helped, the country as a whole is hurt. Eventually, big business and everybody else is dragged down in a general depression-which happened in 1929.

You don't have a prosperous country unless the little man--the farmer, the worker, the small businessman--is well off, too. And when the little man prospers, big business gets along just fine.

We have proved that point over and over again since World War II. At the end of the war, the Republicans hooted at the whole idea of having 60 million jobs. We now have more than 62 million people employed, at good wages. Farm prices and farm income are high. This is good for the farmers and for the workers. It's good for the shopkeepers and the salesmen and everybody else who has things to sell.

And what about corporations? Believe me, they're doing all right.

Corporate profits before taxes in 1950 were almost $40 billion, and last year they were $43 billion. That is more than four times the profits earned in 1929--the peak year before the Republican depression. And it compares with a net loss of $3 billion in 1932--the bottom year of the Republican depression.

Even after taxes, corporations made $21 billion in profits in 1950 and $19 billion last year--more than double the 1929 earnings.

The Republican candidate can't deny we're having prosperity with a Democratic climate in Washington. So he resorts to the false charge that we have what he calls a "war prosperity" created by the defense program. The answer to that is very clear. All he has to do is to look at the figures for 1948 and 1949 and 1950, before the defense program got underway. We were breaking all kinds of records in 1950.

And I just want to remind you that the period after World War II--when this present so-called "bungling" administration was in office--was the first time in our history that a major war has not been followed by a depression.

It's just plain dishonest for the Republican candidate to overlook these facts.

Now, I know that many of you are concerned about what is going to happen when the defense program tapers off. Will there be jobs to take up the slack?

Nobody knows, of course, exactly what lies. ahead of us. But this much I will say to you--there can be jobs to take up the slack when the defense program drops away. It may not happen, if your Government follows the wrong policies. But if you have a government that follows the right policies, our post-defense economy can boom to even greater levels than those we now enjoy.
I say that with confidence because I am aware of all the peacetime work that has been piling up while we've been building our defenses. This work will still need doing as fast as money and materials become available again. And in the aggregate, this work should more than counterbalance any cutbacks in defense that we can now foresee.

Ultimately, of course, the reason we can look forward to future economic growth rests in our solid and expanding consumer markets, based on a full employment policy. These markets will grow as population grows--and it is rising fast. With proper programs to help assure good incomes for our workers and our farmers--with more and better social security, minimum wages, farm price supports, and other measures-we can be confident that our consumers will have funds to buy what we produce.

For all these reasons I am confident we can keep full employment, keep our country growing and need suffer no depression, if and when the defense effort slacks off. But I am just as sure that these things will not come about, unless our National Government is dedicated heart and soul, to a national policy of continuing expansion and full employment.

You cannot count on that kind of government from the Republican Party.

The Republican Party is controlled and dominated by big businessmen. To them, full employment is something that's perfectly all right if it just happens, but not something to get terribly concerned about. They don't believe in using, or do they know how to use, the powers of government to keep this economy on an even keel. They let you down in the 1930's, before you sent your great Governor, franklin Roosevelt, down to Washington. They'll do it again, if you give them a chance.

The Democratic Party, on the other hand, is committed to a policy of full employment. It is made up of ordinary people to whom full employment is a matter of bread and butter, or life and death. The Democratic Party has achieved full employment in the difficult postwar years. It understands a basic economic fact--t