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Harry S. Truman
1945-1953


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Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.
  214. Rear Platform and Other Informal Remarks in Texas and Oklahoma  
September 28, 1948

[1.] SHERMAN, TEXAS (Rear platform, 8:29 a.m.)


Mr. Speaker, Governor Jester, and fellow Democrats of Sherman, Texas:

I can't tell you how happy I am that we were able to stop in this wonderful city of education and agriculture and recreation.

The president of the Young Democrats brought me the key to the city, and I couldn't possibly go by when that happens. It says on here Agriculture-Education-Industry-Recreation. What more do you want? You can't have anything else that is necessary for human existence and for the happiness of the human family.

I have been all over this great State of Texas, practically. Of course, because it is just too big, about half of it I didn't get into; but when I came to El Paso, Governor Jester and Mrs. Jester and Sam Rayburn met me just as soon as I got into the State, and I want to say to you that the hospitality of the State of Texas, and the way I have been treated by the Speaker and by the Governor and Mrs. Jester has never been equaled.

Talk about hospitality!--when I say "Texas," that is the definition for hospitality.

The Governor and I just signed the guest book for Miss Lou Rayburn, and the Governor put down his hobby as "Texas." That's a pretty good hobby.

I am slowly coming to the border of this great State, and I have tried--in going across it--to set out the issues in this campaign; and I have just got a copy of some of the comments of the bitter anti-Truman columnists, and evidently they are hurt, because like old Taber, they are "squealing like stuck pigs," because I am driving home to the people what this 80th Congress did to them.

Now you study that situation, and when you get the issues balanced--which I discussed yesterday in Dallas and wound up in Bonham last night with the fundamentals-if you will just study those remarks, you can't help but be satisfied that the country is much safer, the welfare of the country is safer in the hands of the Democrats. When you put it in the hands of the Republicans, it isn't safe and it hasn't been safe for the last 100 years.

I have always been for the people--the man in the street. Lincoln called them the common people. He said the Lord must have loved them or he wouldn't have made so many of them.

Well now, "big" men always have people to look after their interests. They have lobbyists, highly paid men who go around trying to get things done for special interests.

The people have only one representative in Washington who is all the time for the people, and that is a Democratic President.

Now you have a bunch of wonderful men in the Congress, but they are in the minority, and when I speak of the 80th Congress-the 80th "do-nothing" Congress--I am talking about the leadership and majority control of that Congress. There never was a better man than Sam Rayburn in the Congress of the United States. If this country does what it ought to--and I am sure it is going to--Sam Rayburn will be the next Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Speaker of the House is the most powerful official in the Government of the United States aside from the President, and the most important one; and when you put such fellows as Martin and Taber and Halleck in control of the Congress, you get just exactly what you deserve.

One-third of the people elected that Congress this last time. Two thirds of you didn't vote. I hope that everybody will go out and we will have such a landslide for the interests of the people that we will have no more trouble with the special interest lobbies in Washington. I am sure that is what you are going to do.

Again I want to thank the Governor of Texas for his cordiality and his hospitality, and his wonderful treatment of me on this trip.

Thank you for getting up so early this morning.

[2.] WHITESBORO, TEXAS (Rear platform, 9:25 a.m.)


Mr. Speaker, and Governor Jester, and citizens of Whitesboro--and good Texas Democrats:

It is a pleasure this morning to be presented to you by my good friend Sam Rayburn. We had a wonderful party at Sam's house last night at Bonham. In fact, it has been a wonderful party all the way across Texas. Ever since we came in at El Paso and met the Governor and Mrs. Jester and Sam Rayburn, we have had a grand tour of Texas. I imagine that I have seen a million people in Texas, and they have given me the most cordial reception that I have had anywhere in the United States. I don't see where all the people come from.

It shows that you are interested in your Government. It shows that you are anxious to find out what the issues are, and I have made a sincere attempt to lay those issues before the people of the great State of Texas and the whole United States.

I think the line is well drawn. It is the people against the special interests. That's all the issue is in the campaign, and I have cited specific examples as I have gone along, which shows that the Republicans are for special interests, and that the Democrats look after the people.

That is all you need to consider, when you go in to vote on election day, November 2d.

I want to again pay tribute to the cordial hospitality extended to me and my family by the Governor and Mrs. Jester. They met us at El Paso, Tex., and they have been with us ever since; and they will go as far as Ardmore, Okla.

I can't tell you how very much I appreciate the cordiality with which the Governor has treated me. In fact, that has been the case with all Texans--Sam Rayburn, and every Congressman, and Lyndon Johnson, your candidate for Senator--they have all been just as kind to me as they possibly could be.

I had a most happy breakfast a while ago, when I stopped to see John Garner. He gave us chicken, and white-wing dove, and ham, and bacon, and scrambled eggs, and hot biscuits, and orange juice, and rice; and if there is anything else you can think of, it was on that breakfast table. I never had such a breakfast since I quit the farm.

That's the way it has been all the way over Texas, now. It is something I will remember all my life, and I am very highly appreciative of your turning out this morning.

I am certainly sorry to part with Sam Rayburn, but I think he has got an ox in the ditch at Bonham, and he has to go and do some work on the farm, so he tells me. Having been on the farm myself, I know that sometimes even a politician has to do a little work on the farm.

Thank you very much.

[3.] GAINESVILLE, TEXAS (Rear platform, 10:10 a.m.)


Governor Jester and fellow Democrats of Texas:

You know, I am a little sad this morning. I would like to say that I am glad to be here-and of course I am glad to be here--but you know, the reason I am not as happy as I would be is because this is the last town in Texas, and I hate to leave it.

I have had one of the most pleasant tours that any man ever took in the great State of Texas. Your Governor and his charming first lady met us in El Paso, and they have been with us constantly all the way across Texas. We have had a most enjoyable time with them. They have been extremely hospitable to us. They have made our stay in Texas most pleasant, and I certainly am sorry that we have to leave Texas at this time, although I am sure that the Governor of Oklahoma, who is on the train, will do his best to equal the welcome I received in Texas.

This is a most important situation with which we are faced. We are faced with a situation that is of interest to every single one of you.

You once had one of the greatest orators in the country in this town, who made the same fight for the people that I am attempting to make now. That was Joe Bailey, who was a native of this town. One of the great Texans. He had an oratorical voice that required no loudspeaker such as I have to use. He could make the people hear him over 40 acres of land, if he wanted to. And he worked for the welfare of Texas and the United States, because their welfare is intertwined. What is good for Texas is good for the whole country, and what is good for the whole country is good for Texas.

This great country is made up of 48 States, whose interests are mutual and whose interests are at stake in this campaign. You here are in the midst of one of the greatest agricultural districts in the world. You are on the Red River, which is one of the great rivers of the country. The improvement of that river had been started by the Democratic administration, and that improvement, to be continued must be continued by the Democrats, because the Democratic administration since 1933 has been interested in the development of the waterways and the power dams in this great country of ours.

This Republican "do-nothing" 80th Congress made every attempt possible to sabotage the public power program of the United States of America. They tried their best to put a tax on co-ops so that the Rural Electrification Administration would have been absolutely made slaves to the power trust. They have done everything they possibly can, not having complete control of the Government, to sabotage the farmer and the laboringman and the small businessman.

Now, you can't afford to take a chance on that situation. You must, under all circumstances, vote for yourself on election day, and when you vote for yourself, you will vote for the Democratic candidate for President, and for the whole Democratic ticket from top to bottom, and then the country will be safe.

Again, I want to emphasize to you the hospitality of this great State of Texas. Back here in Whitesboro a while ago, I told them that from now on my definition for hospitality would be just "Texas."

The Governor, in signing Sam Rayburn's guest book, which asked what your hobby was, said his hobby was Texas, and that is a pretty good hobby, and a pretty big one. I think the Governor is making the most of it.

Again I want to thank him and Mrs. Jester for all the courtesies that they have extended to us since we have been in Texas. Nothing could have been finer. From El Paso to Gainesville, it has been just like this all over Texas. It looked like everybody in Texas was at every stop, yet I must have seen and spoken to a million people in Texas, and I am satisfied that I spoke to the relatives of at least the whole 6 1/2 millions as I passed across this State.

I would now like very much to have the Governor of Oklahoma come out here and tell us what he is going to do to me in Oklahoma.

[At this point Governor Turner said a few words. The President then resumed speaking.]

Now I think it would be more than fitting and proper for the Governor of Texas at the last stop in Texas to speak to us as to his impressions of this trip. I have been talking about him. Now he is at liberty to say whatever he pleases about me.

[At this point Governor Jester addressed the gathering.]

[4.] MARIETTA, OKLAHOMA (Rear platform, 11:15 a.m.)


Governor Turner, ladies and gentlemen of Oklahoma, and fellow Democrats:

It certainly is a pleasure to me to start my trip in Oklahoma in this great Democratic stronghold known as the little Dixie of Oklahoma. You know, we have got one in Missouri that we never have to do anything about, it goes Democratic every time there's a chance for the Democrats to vote; and they tell me that is the way it is here, that the Republicans are just a token down here in this part of the world.

I have had a wonderful trip across Texas with the Governor. I am anticipating the same sort of trip across Oklahoma with your able and distinguished Governor.

It was a very great pleasure to me this morning to meet Carl Albert on the train-your Representative in Congress, and an able and distinguished gentleman with a war record that I envy.

I was telling him a while ago my experience in trying to get into the Second World War. I had served in the first one, and I was a Senator on the Appropriations Committee and on the Military Affairs Committee of the Senate in 1940 when we passed the First Draft Act; and I went down to see General Marshall, who was then Chief of Staff, and told him that I would like very much to serve, that I was still a colonel in the Field Artillery Reserve, and I thought I could do a good job if he would let me.

The General pulled his specs down on his nose, like that, and he said: "Mr. Senator, how old are you? .... Oh," I said, "I am 56.'' "Well," he said, "you're too old for this war, this is a young man's war. Go on back and do your duty in the Senate."

Well, after I became President, he was still Chief of Staff, and he was sitting out in the anteroom waiting for me, one day; and Mr. Connelly handed him a little piece of paper that had been written about that incident, and he said, "General, what would you do now if the same question were put to you by the same fellow ?"

General Marshall said, "I would have to give him the same answer, but I would be a little more diplomatic about it."

Circumstances alter cases, as you see.

Now I am familiar with this part of the great State of Oklahoma. I have been here many a time when people didn't look at me so much, they didn't crowd around when I came to town; and I have had many pleasant visits to Oklahoma, nearly all over the State.

I have been interested in the development of the Red River ever since that development started while I was in the Congress. I have been interested in the development of the waterways of the whole Nation, in fact; and have, I think, made a contribution to that, because I had a complete survey made of the waterways of the country, and had authorizations made by the 79th Congress, and have endeavored to get appropriations out of the 80th Congress to get those things implemented.

Very difficult thing, to get anything out of this 80th Congress. They don't want to do anything for the people. They are awful anxious to do things to the people, and they have done a lot of things to the people which I have been telling the people, and it's beginning to hurt.

Old Tuber, you know, said that the West was "squealing like a stuck hog," because he knifed appropriations for conservation and flood control, and things of that sort. But I have got them squealing now, and they are going to squeal a lot more before I get through with them.

I want you to analyze this situation. This campaign has just one issue, it's the special interests against the people--just the special interests against the people.

The Democrats stand for the people, and always have stood for the people. The Republicans have always stood for special interests, and they haven't changed a bit.

Don't let them fool you with their slick talk, because if they get back in control of the Congress of the United States and the Presidency, too, the people of this country will be in an awful fix.

You will have such fellows as Taft running the Congress; you will have such fellows as Taber in control of the appropriations; you will have such fellows as Knutson in control of the most powerful committee in the Congress, the Ways and Means Committee.

There won't be any change in the complexion--it will just be the 80th Congress all over again that will take you to town, if they get back there and have the Presidency, too. You can't afford to do that.

You must turn out, down here in this wonderful Democratic part of the world, and help Oklahoma to roll up the biggest Democratic majority it has ever rolled up. I want to see Bob Kerr in the Senate. We need a man like Bob Kerr to take old man Moore's place. He never was any good in the first place.

I know old man Moore. I served in the Senate with him for quite a while, and if he did anything for the people it was by accident and not intention.

You want somebody like Kerr. You know what he can do. He was your Governor. He was a good Governor, too; and you have got a good Governor now.

So let us have a congressional delegation from Oklahoma that is unanimously for the people and not against them. In order to do that, you have got to turn out and vote, and the bigger the vote you roll up, the more it means in the operation of the Government to the President when he is trying to do things for the people.

And I want the backing of the people, that is the reason I am out here talking to you. I want you to know me. I want you to understand what I stand for; and you won't have any trouble finding out, because I will tell you in words of one syllable.

But if you can get these other fellows to tell you how they stand, you are good at it. I can't get them to tell me where they stand. They do a lot of double talk, so that they can take both sides of the street.

This is a fight between the people and the special interests. I am making a crusade to win that fight, and I want you to help me do that. Will you?

[5.] ARDMORE, OKLAHOMA (Memorial Park, 12:10 p.m.)


Governor Turner, Governor Jester, distinguished guests:

I can't tell you how highly I appreciate this wonderful reception in the great city of Ardmore. They tell me that the population of Ardmore is 20,000 people. It looks to me like it has grown to about 40,000. It has been that way, in the receptions I have received, all the way across the United States. It does my heart good, it makes me feel exceedingly happy, to know that the people are really interested in their Government, that they are really interested in meeting the President of the United States and finding out just what his views are on the issues before the country at this time.

Well, I am perfectly willing to discuss those issues with you and let you know exactly where I stand and what I'm trying to do as President of the United States--and then if you can get the other people to tell you where they stand, you can go to the polls and vote for the country's welfare on the 2d of November.

I met an old friend on the train this morning at Marietta, Mr. Easley, who runs your newspaper here. I've known him a long, long time. I've known him so long he still calls me Harry. That's not unusual, for all over the country they call me Harry.

When I was down in Mexico City they had tremendous crowds out, and they would stand out on the street and say, "'Allo 'Arry." I like it. I like it. I believe when you speak to me like that you really do like me--and I want you to like me because I'm trying my best to serve you with everything I have. And if you are pleased with it I am the happiest man in the world.

I hope, some time or other--I say "some time or other" for my time is not my own-- to come down here and let that expert fisherman, Easley, take me out to this beautiful Lake Murray and show me how to catch bass. He said he'd put one on the train for me--and I was going to try to eat it all if I could get to it first.

Now, I want to say a few words to you on some of the issues in this campaign.

We can keep our country prosperous, or we can bog down again into the mire of depression, as we did in the 1920's. The threat we face comes from high prices and inflation.

For 2 years now the special interests have had, from their viewpoint, the Congress that is best for them. This Congress has done more for special interests in the year and a half that it has been in Washington than has been done for those special interests since Mellon was in charge of the Treasury in the 1920's.

Now, that's a terrible thing when you contemplate it, and I just wonder what they would have done had they had control of the whole Government. The country would have been in a terrible fix, I think. But I stood there with my right of veto and I vetoed some 61 of their special-privilege bills, and they only passed 4 or 5 of them over my veto. So I was protecting the interests of the people all the time.

Now, these special interest fellows want runaway inflation because they cash in at tremendous profits. They don't care if you people are thrown into a depression.

I say we can control the inflation that threatens us, and we can continue the prosperity which is everywhere evident. Never, in the history of the country, has there been a situation such as we have had for the last 3 years since the war ended--since our enemies surrendered, let us say.

Last year this country had the biggest income it has ever had in its history--some $217 billions--and that income was so distributed that the farmer and the worker and the small businessman got his fair share of it. That's the first time in the history of the country that that's ever happened. I want to keep things that way. These fellows don't want them that way.

Let me cite you an example or two.

Every one of you here is concerned with the rural electrification program because it reaches practically every farm in Carter County. Every one of you knows of the Democratic flood control and reclamation and conservation programs because Lake Texoma is right in your backyard, and that's a Democratic project put through by a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President.

You know, to complete the work on the Oklahoma side of the Table Basin Area, we must have appropriations to complete that work.

Rural electrification, flood control, reclamation, conservation, recreation facilities-these are important and vital to you and to every one of the States of the United States. The Democratic Party has shown, by action, that it's for them. The Republican 80th Congress has shown that it's not for them-and we can only judge the Republican Party by its acts.

It's clear to you who your friends are in Washington when it comes to supporting these programs. Let me tell you a little about rural electrification.

When the question of increasing funds for rural electrification came up before the House of Representatives in 1947, 99 percent of the Democrats voted to increase these funds. Just 12 percent of the Republicans voted to increase these funds. When the same measure came up before the Congress in 1948, 98 percent of the Democrats voted in your favor, and only 26 percent of the Republicans voted to help the rural electrification program.

Look at what happened in May of this year when the Democrats in the Senate asked for a $75 million increase in funds for the 1949 crop conservation program. One hundred percent, every one of the Democrats in the Senate, voted for this increase. Only 7 percent of the Republicans voted for it. It passed by just a bare majority in the Senate because there were a few forward-looking Republicans who didn't agree with what the leadership in the Senate wanted to do.

I could continue to give you the record of these predatory animals in Washington, and of the fight that we have been carrying on against them, but you're intelligent people. You know the record. Just study the record--that's all I ask you to do. Study my record. Study the record of the 80th Congress, controlled by Republican leadership, and see the difference.

The question is: Are we going to let this crowd take over full control in Washington? Are we going to let that crowd get control of the Government? I don't think you are. I don't think you are.

I know you, here, won't let me down, and that on election day the polling places are going to be packed early in the morning, and they're going to stay that way all day-and you're going to vote the Democratic ticket while you're in that booth.

Now, in 1944 you gave President Roosevelt and me a 4-to-1 vote in this county. I want you to give me 6-to-1 this time. If you do that, Oklahoma will have done its duty by the Nation. Oklahoma will have elected a Democrat to Congress from here-my friend, Carl Albert, who is an able citizen if there ever was one. Oklahoma will elect Bob Kerr to the Senate, and Oklahoma will elect a whole delegation to the Congress that are looking forward, and not voting to turn the clock back as these Republicans want to do. Keep that in mind. Do your duty on election day and the country will be safe for another 4 years--and I won't have to move out of the White House.

[6.] DAVIS, OKLAHOMA (Rear platform, 1:08 p.m.)


Governor, I certainly thank you for the splendid introduction and this splendid reception in your home county. I understand that you are somewhat in the Hereford business. They tell me this is Hereford heaven.

You fellows in Oklahoma certainly do give a fellow a welcome. I was in Ardmore a few minutes ago, and there must have been 50,000 people in that plaza out in front of the Methodist Church, and I appreciated it more than I can tell you; but it looks to me like everybody in the county is here at Davis.

You are vitally interested in this Presidential campaign. Your interests are at stake, as a result of the policies of the two parties.

The Republicans always have been for special interests. The Democratic Party is the party of the people. I have been going up and down this country from one end to the other myself, personally explaining what those issues are, because you have a right to know what those issues are, and you have a right to be told by the people who understand those issues just what they are.

The Republicans are using a lot of propaganda that misrepresents the facts at every turn in the road so far as they possibly can, because they want to fool you. I don't think you are going to be fooled. I think you are going to turn out on election day and show those Republicans just exactly where this country stands when the public interest is at stake.

You can take my record to go on, you don't have to take any promises from me-you know what I have done. I am running on the record, and I am trying to continue that record.

The Republicans have got to run on the record of that Republican 80th Congress, and they can't get out of it no matter how much propaganda they put out.

I wish I had plenty of time here to go into the fundamental issues in this campaign, and take them one by one and explain them to you, but it would take all the rest of the day; but you know, I have got to go to 40 places in Oklahoma yet, and I want to see as many Oklahomans as I possibly can.

Now, do this one thing for me, will you? On election day, get up early, go down to the polls, and put in that ticket with the Democratic ticket voted straight from President to constable, and the country will be safe.

I certainly appreciate the turnout. I have certainly appreciated these young people coming out to take a look at the President. I know that for years to come you will remember the visit of your Governor and the President of the United States to your good town of Davis; and it makes me happy to see these uniformed bodies from the schools, and these little girls and little boys--thousands of them--for coming out to see what their President looks like. They have got a right to know--they have got to know what he is thinking about. Most of them can analyze the facts and the issues, and it will be good for the country in the next generation, because I am looking forward, in the next generation, to the greatest age in history.

I wish I were 14 instead of 64. I would like to see that age, and see it come about; and you will see it.

Now, use your judgment, get all the education you can, and when you grow up, make this country continue to be safe for the people.

[7.] PAULS VALLEY, OKLAHOMA (Rear platform, 1:45 p.m.)


Governor Turner, and the citizens of Pauls Valley:

I didn't know Pauls Valley had this many people in it. I have seen big crowds and I have been received by big crowds all over the United States, but I'll tell you--this is one to write home about. Thank you very much for coming out.

You know, it certainly is good to be in a place where you have friends, in a county represented by one of the best men who ever came to Congress--Mike Monroney. You know, it was my privilege to present Mike with a medal which said he was the best Member of the House of Representatives-and I never did anything that pleased me more in my life than when I presented him that medal.1 He earned it and he deserved it, and I know you are going to send him back to Congress with the biggest majority he's ever had.

1For the President's remarks of April 11, 1946, upon presenting the Collier's Congressional Award to Representative Monroney see 1946 volume, this series, Item 80.

And I want you to send Bob Kerr to the Senate, in place of that old man who has been misrepresenting you for the last 6 years. Bob is my friend and Bob knows the Democratic principles, and he lives up to them. You know him a little better than I do because he served you as Governor.

I've had a most pleasant time in this State. Your Governor met me last night at Sam Rayburn's house down at Bonham, Tex.-the Governor and Mrs. Turner and Bob Kerr--and we had the grandest time you ever heard about at Sam's house. Sam said he was going to have a little reception. Sam's little reception turned out to be about three or four thousand people, after we had already spoken to three or four times that many out at the baseball park.

The Washita Valley here is one of the richest and most fertile valleys in the country, so I'm told. I don't want you to tell any of these tall corn boys in Iowa, but they tell me you raise more corn here to an acre than in Iowa. I don't know whether it is so or not. I wish somebody would confirm it. Is it true?

That makes it better. The gentleman here says it's Democratic corn. I don't know whether that's liquid or on the ear.

Oklahoma ought to be exceedingly proud of the contribution that it made to the winning of the last war. I was familiar with your divisions that served in World War I and in World War II. Oklahoma certainly did its share in every way possible--and that, you know, is much to your credit.

As I came across this country things certainly looked good. They looked prosperous. You know what I'm trying to do? I'm trying to keep that prosperity going. I'm trying to keep the clock going forward and not backwards. Look at some of the things that have been happening in connection with things with which you are concerned right here.

You have been menaced for years with semiannual floods that used to cover most of your city. We are engaged now in an $11 million project of controlling floods from the Washita watershed to hold water on the uplands through soil conservation and through special water holders to keep the floods back.

You are concerned that we must continue the farm price program. You want a price support program. You want to continue your rapid growth in the development of farm and mineral resources. The problems are important to you, and I am sure you want people in office who will see that they are taken care of.

Now, the Democratic record on these issues which face you is clear. You know of that Federal help we gave to you in controlling the floods and in helping you with soil conservation. The Republicans in this last Congress tried to cut that out.

Do you know what Senator Taft, the Republican wheelhorse in the Senate, said about problems of floods in May of this year? I'll give you the chapter and verse so you can read it. That's in the Congressional Record of May 17, 1948. He said--and let me read you what he said: "We've had floods for 160 years. Whether we do certain work this year or next year is not a vital question."

Of course it's not a vital question to Taft, because he doesn't live in a flood valley.

Remember that when you think about how your homes used to be flooded down here. And I always remember that 2 weeks after Bob Taft said that we had the biggest flood, on the Columbia River, that's ever taken place--and it washed a whole town away at the middle of the Columbia River. And I went down and inspected that town.

You know, in times past they used to give the President an emergency fund with which to meet emergencies like that flood in Oregon, like the hurricane that's just happened in Florida, like the hurricane that happened last year on the Gulf Coast. But do you know what these Republicans did to the President's Emergency Fund? They wiped it out. They wiped it out because they didn't feel like they could trust this Democratic President to tell when an emergency came about. In fact, it was a direct accusation that your President didn't know how to take care of the country.

But your President does know how to take care of the country because he's been through the worst 3 years that the country has ever faced.

I want to get back a little bit to that price support program. There's a Republican Congressman from Pennsylvania--his name is Gavin--and here's what he said about the price support program, and I think it states the Republican position very accurately.

This Republican said: "I'm telling you right now that sooner or later you'll have to discontinue the price support program, and you may as well start reconciling yourself to that fact. The sooner you stop it the better off the country will be."

Now, I wonder just how well off the country would be without price support. The price support program is a parity program which puts the farmer on exactly the same basis as labor and businessmen. It gives the farmer a fair price for his products, and it keeps the farmer from having to pay more for what he gets than for what he sells, in proportion to what the rest of the things are bringing.

It's the sanest approach to the farm problem that ever has been put out, and it's been successful because back in 1932, 123,000 farmers were kicked off their farms by mortgage foreclosures. In 1947 there were less than 800. The farm income in 1932 was about $4 1/2 billion. Do you know what it was last year? It was well over $18 billion. And the farm debt has decreased more than 50 percent.

I want to say to you that if the farmers in this country know which side their bread is buttered on--and I believe they do--they're not going to put this Republican gang in control of the Government.

You know, there's a journal published in New York. It is called the Wall Street Journal. That journal isn't published in the interests of the people. It's published for the economic royalists that are terribly anxious to take over the country again. And here's an editorial comment from this Wall Street Journal, dated September 4, after Mr. Stassen gave out his famous interview on the price support program at Albany, N.Y.:

"Nevertheless the whole import of Mr. Stassen's press conference at Albany was just what Secretary Brannon said it was--in essence an attack on the price support program."

Then the editorial goes on to say why farmers shouldn't have price support and a lot of other things; and then it says: "Mr. Stassen is, in fact, proposing a far-reaching reform of the price support policy, or he doesn't make sense." And Mr. Stassen was speaking for the Republican Party when he made that statement.

I have been warning the farmers all across this country that their interests are with the Democratic Party, which has always been their friend. The Democratic Party believes that there ought to be a balance between the farmer and labor and the businessman, and that every one of them ought to have his fair share of this phenomenal income which this country has now.

If you send Bob Kerr and Mike Monroney to the Congress I'll be the happiest man in the world, because in another 4 years we're going to see that this country goes on the right road. It'll be the Government of and by and for the people.

I want to thank all these young people for coming out here. It's a pleasure to me to see so many young people come out to see the President. It shows that they, as the future generation, are interested in the welfare of the United States.

As I said back at Davis: I wish I was 14 instead of 64. And I'll tell you why: because I think we're facing the greatest age in history, and the greatest age in history is going to be in the next two or three generations, and I would like to see it. Of course, I won't be able to see it, but all these young people will--and I want to leave this Government in such a condition that the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States will still be the greatest documents in the world when these young people grow up. That's my one ambition.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate this wonderful turnout.

[At this point it was announced that the President would make a radio address at 4 p.m. The President then resumed speaking.]

You better listen because I'm going to give them everything I've got!

[8.] PURCELL, OKLAHOMA (Rear platform, 2:35 p.m.)


Governor Turner, and fellow Democrats of Purcell:

My, my!--what a welcome.

It certainly is a pleasure to me to see this wonderful turnout in Purcell. You know, Purcell means a lot to me as a name. When I was on the County Court in Jackson County as Presiding Judge of that court, I had an Eastern Judge named Buck Purcell. He was one grand man. He has gone to his reward now, but I always think of him when I pass through Purcell, Okla.--and I have passed through here on numerous occasions. I know something about your problems. I know that this great agricultural county has been very much interested in soil conservation. I know that soil conservation means a lot to the people of this county, and I know that soil conservation is one of the greatest assets that the Democratic Party has given to this country.

Your great Congressman, Mike Monroney, whom you are going to send back to Washington on election day, has told me about the hard work you have put into helping out the farm program and transforming McClain County from one of the counties with the highest percentage of farm tenancies to one of the widest of farm ownerships. That is a wonderful record. That is what we want.

You know, if we can have satisfied farmers on farms that they own and with conditions so that they feel that they are secure in that ownership, and if we can have satisfied homeowners in the cities with jobs they can keep on a prosperous basis, then you have a prosperous and happy country.

And that is what the Democratic Party has been working for.

Back in 1932, if I remember correctly, there were 123,000 farmers kicked off their farms because they couldn't pay the interest on their mortgages. Last year there were less than 800 people--farm-owners--who had foreclosures. That is most remarkable--a most remarkable thing.

Now, we have 61 million people at work--61 million people at work; and the national income of this country is greater than it ever was for any country in the history of the world--some $217 billion; and that income has been distributed so that the most people get the most benefit from it.

Now, you here in Purcell, I want you to bear in mind those things when you go to the polls on election day. I know that everyone is going to the polls and vote for himself, and vote for his own interests; and if he does that, he will vote the Democratic ticket straight, and the country will be safe for another 4 years, and I won't be troubled with the housing problem because I can live in the White House another 4 years.

In order to make the country safe, I want to see Mike Monroney back in the Congress, and I want to see Bob Kerr in the Senate of the United States. Bob will make a real Senator. I served in the Senate for 10 years with Elmer Thomas, and I know he is a real Senator. You will have two, if you add Bob Kerr.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate these welcomes that I am getting in all these Oklahoma cities. I didn't know there were that many people in Oklahoma. I must have seen at least half the population of Oklahoma this morning, and I haven't got to the big cities yet.

[9.] NORMAN, OKLAHOMA (Rear platform, 3:10 p.m.)


Thank you, thank you very much. I appreciate that welcome immensely.

I sincerely wish that we had more time. The train has been behind the schedule about 30 minutes and we have a statewide broadcast at Oklahoma City which I have to make at 4 o'clock, and I hope that every one of you will listen to that broadcast for I'm going to take the Republicans to town in Oklahoma City.

This certainly is heartening. I can't tell you how very much I appreciate the privilege of getting a chance to look into your faces and giving you a chance to see me. I wish I had time to discuss the fundamental issues in this campaign.

There is just one issue: The issue is the people against special privilege. The Democratic Party stands for the people; the Republican Party stands for special privilege. And I'm asking you to analyze these issues clearly, as I have stated them across the country. I intend to make every one of them perfectly dear so you can make up your mind on the facts and not on propaganda.

This is the seat of one of the great educational institutions of the United States. Education is the fundamental necessity for democracy. If we have the right sort of education our form of government will continue always to be the best form that the sun has ever shone upon.

What I'm hoping is that we can fix our educational system so that it will continue to work. It's in a bad way now. We're short of teachers; we're short of space. I tried to get this "do-nothing" Republican Both Congress to pass the aid to education bill, and I didn't have any luck. The bill passed the Senate and it died in the House, because these Republicans don't believe in aid to education. One of them had the nerve to say that he thought the little red schoolhouse was good enough. The little red schoolhouse was a great institution and it brought forth one of the greatest countries in the world, but we are living in another age from the red schoolhouse. We might as well go back to ox-carts as to try to go back to the little red schoolhouse. We can't do it. We must make our educational system work. The Democrats are for that. I don't think the Republicans are.

I want you to study these issues. I want you to read the record of this Republican "do-nothing" 80th Congress and the platform on which the Republicans have to stand, whether they like it or not.

They showed by that Congress how they stood and what they believed in. You've got my record. I don't have to tell you what my record is. I have been in the Presidency 3 years and I was in the Senate 10 years before that. I've got a record on which to run.

I'm making a crusade across this country to save the Government for the people and to keep the special interests from getting control of it.

Now, on election day, in order to keep this country on its feet and to keep this country running like it ought to be run, you must go out and vote. And in order to save the country, vote the Democratic ticket straight--and I won't be troubled with the housing shortage.

Thank you very much.

NOTE: In the course of his remarks on September 28 the President referred to Representative Sam Rayburn, Governor Beauford H. Jester, former Representative Joseph W. Bailey, Jr., and Representative Lyndon B. Johnson, Democratic candidate for Senator, all of Texas; Roy G. Baker, president of the Young Democrats; Secretary of State George G. Marshall, former Chief of Staff, U.S. Army; Matthew J. Connelly, former Secretary to the President; Charles F. Brannan, Secretary of Agriculture; John Nance Garner, former Vice President of the United States; Representatives John Taber of New York, Joseph W. Martin, Jr., of Massachusetts, Harold Knutson of Minnesota, Leon H. Gavin of Pennsylvania, and Charles A. Halleck of Indiana; Representative Carl Albert, Governor Roy J. Turner, Senator E. H. Moore, Democratic candidate for Senator Robert S. Kerr, Senator Elmer Thomas, and Representative Mike Monroney, all of Oklahoma; Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio; John F. Easley, Publisher of the Daily Ardomoreite; and Harold E. Stassen, former Governor of Minnesota.
 
Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.