|292. Rear Platform and Other Informal Remarks in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire|
October 16, 1952 |
[I.] NORTH HAVEN, CONNECTICUT (North Haven Green, 9 a.m.)
It is nice of you to come to meet me at this time of the morning. Although I am an early riser, the minority do not get up as early as I do.
I believe you have some inkling of why I am here. I am out campaigning for a Democratic victory in November. I have been told that this city of yours is sometimes considered a suburb of New Haven. Well now, I live in a town in Missouri that Kansas City tries to call a suburb. But we were there first, just as you were, and the suburbs are around the other way--New Haven is a suburb of this town, and Kansas City is a suburb of Independence. They don't like to be told that.
You have a fine slate of Democratic candidates here in Connecticut. I think the world of Bill Benton and Abe Ribicoff. We need them both in the Senate. I don't like to say too much about the Senate because I served 10 years there myself, but if I were to express my opinion they would say I was throwing bouquets at myself. You need John McGuire and Stanley Pribyson in the House to give Connecticut good representation.
I am working hard in this campaign because I think it is the most important election in many, many years. The choice the people make this year may decide whether we have prosperity or depression, war or peace. The whole future of our country is wrapped up in the decision next November the 4th.
Peace is the most important of all. It is the thing I have been working for with all my heart these past 7 years. I am sure we are on the right road to attain the peace. I am sure we can attain that goal, provided we have the kind of government that will work calmly and steadily no matter what the obstacles may be in the years ahead.
That is the kind of government we will have in this country if Adlai Stevenson is elected President next November. He is a man of peace. He is a civilian with much experience in government--with a real understanding of our political system and the needs of the plain, everyday people in this country and all over the world.
During the war, President Roosevelt sent him to Italy to find out how we could best help the people of that great country rebuild their economy and aid in the struggle against the Nazis.
After the war, Adlai Stevenson helped greatly in the task of setting up the United Nations. And now for 4 years past he has been Governor of one of our great States-Illinois. He has given his State a real progressive government--a government for the people.
He is a man we can trust. If you have been listening to his speeches you know that he has met the great issues of our domestic policy and our foreign policy wisely and frankly.
And I want to say this to you. He doesn't make one kind of policy speech up here in Connecticut and another kind of policy speech in Virginia or North Carolina or some other Southern State. His speeches are right down the line. What he says he means, and he means it for the whole 48 States and not just throwing out bait hooks to try and get votes. He is for the welfare and benefit of all of them. You had better watch this thing very carefully when you go to the polls on the 4th.
Now, on the other side we have the Republican candidate for President. He is a general. He is a very great general. I believe he is a very great general because I appointed him to two of the most important military posts in the Government of the United States. But that does not necessarily qualify him to be a good President in the years ahead.
Of course he wants peace as much as the rest of us. Nobody wants war. But in this struggle for peace we have to have more than good intentions. Military life is good training for war and preparation for war. It is not training in the ways of preventing a war. Running an army has very little in common with running the Government.
The President of the United States makes the policies of this country that can lead to either peace or war. We must be careful to get the right kind of man in that job.
No man can promise you peace with absolute certainty, and I know what I am talking about, but I can say to you that I believe with all my heart, our best hopes for peace lie in the election of Adlai Stevenson to the Presidency.
Now I want you to do a little thinking. I am going to ask you to use your head. Study history a little bit. Think of the welfare of the world as a whole. You know, we have been shoved into world leadership--we were shoved into a world leadership which we should have assumed back in 1920, and we didn't have the nerve or the stability to do it. And now, whether we like it or not, we are the most powerful nation in the history of the world. And the most important office in the history of the world is the Presidency of the United States.
I want you to think about your own welfare. Think about the welfare of this great Nation. Think about the welfare of the world as a whole, for that is our responsibility. The free world is looking to us to carry on for the welfare of all the people in the world. Every time the President makes a decision, it sometimes affects as many as a billion people. That is a responsibility that is yours, because you are the Government of the United States. And when you go to the polls on November the 4th you either keep this country in the right groove or you may send it into the most disastrous war in the history of the world. Think of that now, and vote for your own interests. Vote the Democratic ticket on the 4th.
[2.] WALLINGFORD, CONNECTICUT (Lyman Hall High School, 9:25 a.m.)
This is a wonderful valley I have been going through. The drive has been beautiful. This is a fine time of year to come to your great State of Connecticut.
But, I guess that you know I am not here to look at the scenery--beautiful as it is. I am here campaigning for the Democratic ticket.
You have a wonderful group of Democrats running for office here in Connecticut, and I hope you will vote for all of them.
For Senator, Bill Benton. He is one of the hardest fighters in America for your interests. He always is for what is right, and he never dodges tough questions. You know where Bill stands on everything.
For Senator, Abe Ribicoff. It will take a real man, a fellow with a big heart and a big understanding of this whole world, to fill the shoes of Brien McMahon. But Abe has shown by his fine, constructive record in Congress that he is the best qualified man for that place.
Then for Congress you have John McGuire and Stanley Pribyson--I see he has some friends here. Well, I hope you will not just be clapping for him, I wish you would go and vote for him.
For our national ticket I think every day that passes makes it clearer that we must elect Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman. Governor Stevenson is demonstrating day after day that he has the qualities of integrity and courage and wisdom--which we need in the Presidency. I understand that he went to school right here in Wallingford. Perhaps that is one of the reasons he has a real New England conscience--and that is a tough conscience. I know, because I have been associated with a lot of them. And they have tough consciences--those consciences make them do right.
I must say I have rarely met a man who is so fair-minded and conscientious. He is really talking sense to the American people-in the best tradition of good, New England, town meeting democracy.
I hope you have all been listening to Governor Stevenson's speeches. I hope you will be able to see him and hear him when he comes back here to Connecticut. If you do, you will get a real discussion of the facts and the issues involved in this campaign. And that is something you will never get from the other side.
Adlai Stevenson has had just the right background of experience for this tremendous job. The Presidential job now has become the greatest job in the history of the world, and you must have a man to fill it who has a conscience and who understands world affairs, who understands the affairs of the United States, and who has a heart in his breast that thinks of the people.
The Governor has been Governor of Illinois, and that is wonderful experience for the Presidency, because he will have the same kind of problems to deal with as the President as he has had to deal with as Governor. They will be on a larger scale, of course.
Governor Stevenson has also had wide experience in national and international affairs. During the war he was the right-hand man to the Secretary of the Navy. Then in 1943 President Roosevelt sent him to Italy to study conditions there and recommend the policies we should follow. Stevenson recommended a plan that would put Italy back on her feet and keep her out of the hands of the Communists. That plan he worked out was the forerunner of what later was turned into the Marshall plan that saved the free world in Europe.
After the war was over, Governor Stevenson played a very important part in helping set up the United Nations. Twice he represented us at the General Assembly, and he did an outstanding job. I am sure you can see from what I have told you why the Democratic Party is proud of its candidate for President. He is a man of real principle, with the right kind of experience for the job.
I wish I could say as much for the Republican candidate. But in all honesty, I can't. He was a very good general, but unfortunately he hasn't had the proper experience for political office. He has been in the Army 40 years, and that is a very different type of occupation.
Now let me give you an analysis. Suppose, instead of appointing General Eisenhower, who at the time was our most experienced general, to command the forces which were being organized to keep the world free, I had appointed the mayor of my hometown to that job, it would have made just as much sense as for the Republicans to nominate a general to run this country.
If you will study our history, you will find that we have never had but two regular professional generals for President, and neither one of them was able to handle the job.
Every day the Republican candidate is giving us new proof of why that is true. The General is just no match for professional politicians. He has let the Old Guard Republicans take him into camp, and Senator Taft has become the real commander of the General's campaign. Frankly, I am afraid of a professional soldier who lets Senator Taft run over him and then embraces all the worst elements in the reactionary and isolationist wing of the Republican Party.
I think you people up here in New England should think that over carefully. The Taft brand of Republicanism won't do you any good up here, and it won't do the country any good, or the peace of the world, either. And I am talking from the heart, because I know what I am talking about. I haven't been in the Congress, and I haven't been in the Senate of the United States, and I haven't been President of the United States for 7 years for nothing. I know what I am talking about.
When you go to the polls in November, think of your own interests. You are the Government. Vote for the kind of government that will be in your interests, the kind of government that will be for the welfare of this the greatest Nation in all history, the kind of government that understands world affairs.
If you do that, you can't help but vote for Adlai Stevenson.
Thank you a lot.
[3.] MERIDEN, CONNECTICUT (Crown Square, 9:55 a.m.)
I appreciate very much this most cordial welcome from this great "Silver City." You know, in the West they have three things that they are most interested in, and that is sheep, sugar, and silver. I understand that the sheep you have here is in the form of a lamb chop, and the sugar you get from Cuba, but you are still a silver city, because you take all that silver and work it up. And I have got some of it, too.
Frank Maloney, your former mayor and Senator was a great personal friend of mine, and I have been most happy to see Mrs. Maloney this morning, and Senator Maloney's son and grandson. The grandson had a ride with me, and I told his father if he didn't look out, I would take him home with me.
You people ought to be proud of frank Maloney. He was one of the great Senators of the United States. I served a long time with him in the Senate.
I guess if you haven't already found out, maybe I had better tell you why I am here today. I am out campaigning for a Democratic victory this November. I don't want to say it under any false pretenses, so I thought you had better know that I am working at one of my five jobs. I am working as the head of the Democratic Party, to see that we get a Democratic ticket elected this fall.
Now, Connecticut has a great ticket to offer you--Abe Ribicoff and Bill Benton for the Senate, John McGuire for Congressman. You can't do better than to send those people to Congress. That is the sort of people we need down there for the welfare of this country.
As for our national ticket, Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman, these two men are two of the best qualified candidates any party ever offered the country. They are good men, and on top of that, they are good Democrats. They couldn't be good Democrats unless they were good men. They understand the people's interests. You can trust them all the way.
I have been traveling all across the country, trying to explain to the people the real issues in this election. One of the big issues is whether the Federal Government is going to assume any responsibility for the welfare of the working men and women of this country.
Our party believes that the Government should assume some responsibility. The Republican Party, on the other hand, is inclined to leave everything to big business, and hope for the best--and that hope never comes out.
I don't know any better illustration than the way our two parties stand on the question of keeping full employment in this country. The Democrats are pledged to keep employment high. We have that pledge in our party platform, and our record shows that we mean it.
We have got this country out of the worst depression in history, and for the first time in history we have kept the country out of a depression after a big war. That was in 1946. Then when times threatened to get tough, in 1949, we worked hard to reverse the trend--and we did it. By 1950, before Korea, mind you, the whole country was coming back to boom times. And now we have more than 62 million jobs in this country, and that doesn't count any military at all.
The Republican Party has a record of just the opposite of that. After World War I, they sat by and let us run up 7 million unemployed in 1921. Ten years later they did even worse, they doubled it to 14 million unemployed by 1932. If they get in again, you have a chance of having 28 million unemployed. And I am sure you don't want that. Don't think they have learned any better these past 20 years, because they haven't.
After World War II, the Democrats set out to pass a law that would put the full weight of the Government behind the task of keeping employment high. And what did the Republicans do? They fought it tooth and nail. The Republican Congressmen voted against the bill, 2 to 1. If you want the full story of Republican opposition, to the whole idea of full employment, you ought to read a book called "Congress Makes a Law." That book has a complete record of how they tried to scuttle the full employment bill. It was written by a near neighbor of yours, Steve Bailey, the young man who has just been elected mayor of Middletown. The book is a real eye-opener. It shows the Republicans haven't learned a thing since Herbert Hoover's time.
I know a lot of people were hoping last July that the Republicans had reformed when they nominated a general for President. But the General couldn't make the Republicans change their ways. The Old Guard politicians were just too smart for him. In fact, the General seems to like the Old Guard. He sat down at breakfast with Senator Taft the other day, and then let Taft explain that they agreed on all domestic issues. He came out after the Republican Convention in Chicago and said he was going to have a "great crusade." Then he sat down, as generals always do, and waited for higher authority to tell him what to do. And Taft did it.
You can imagine what that will mean to your jobs in the future. I can't think of anything worse in the White House than a professional soldier who doesn't understand the complicated problems we have in this country. He is just a babe in the woods, and Senator Taft controls the woods.
Don't fall for that. Vote your own interests. You yourselves are the Government. I want to urge you to use your judgment. You yourselves have the power in this great Republic of ours to control the Government. Now your interest is in this election-one of the most important elections since the Civil War. If you study the issues, don't listen to all the foolishness that goes on, but study the issues at stake in this campaign. That is what I am out trying to do--to call your attention to the issues. And then do a little thinking and go home and study the record of both parties, and your own interests. And then think of the welfare of this great Nation, and think of our responsibilities in the world.
We have the greatest responsibility that any nation has had in the history of the world. That whole thing is at stake in this election. Now, if you do those things, if you think of your own interests, if you think of the welfare of the greatest Republic in the history of the world, if you think of the welfare and peace of the world, you will go to the polls on November the 4th, and vote the Democratic ticket.
[4.] MIDDLETOWN, CONNECTICUT (City Hall, 10:40 a.m.)
I am happy to be here today--very happy indeed. I appreciate this cordial welcome you are extending to me now. In case you don't know it, I am out campaigning for the Democratic ticket, because this is the most important election for the peace and prosperity of the country and the world that has happened since the Civil War.
You have some fine candidates here in Connecticut. For the Senate you have Senator Benton and Abe Ribicoff; two wonderful gentlemen for Congress: William M. Citron and Stanley Pribyson--both fine men. If you send that group to the Congress, you certainly will be well represented down there.
The Democratic Party is fortunate in having a great candidate at the head of its ticket this year--Adlai Stevenson, the Governor of Illinois. As Governor he has proved his great administrative ability. He will make a great President. He is a man who can be trusted with the great burdens of civilian leadership over the next 4 years.
I am particularly happy to be able to stop here in Middletown, because it is the birthplace of our great Secretary of State, Dean Acheson. Dean Acheson has contributed more than almost anybody in this country to the developing of our positive program to stop world communism. I have no doubt about the great place in history that will be accorded Dean Acheson as one of the chief architects of our foreign policy in these critical times. We have developed a sound foreign policy, and it has stopped Communist aggression in its tracks. We haven't just stood around and yelled "communism," and pointed the finger of shame and lie on people. We have stopped communism by direct action.
There was a time when we could count on the enlightened support of enough Republicans to assure the continuation of this policy for holding down communism. That was when Senator Vandenberg was alive and vigorous and in the Senate. But now our foreign programs are under continual attack from the Republican Old Guard-the isolationist Republicans. They have captured the leadership of their party, and the result is plain to read in the Republican record in the Congress. It is a bad record and it is growing much worse, and getting worse these past 2 years.
Now a new type of Republican isolationism has come to life--an isolationism that says it is all right to recognize our world responsibilities and the responsibilities of the United States, provided it doesn't cost anything. The saddening thing about this election campaign is that the Republican candidate for President has become a front for isolationism. He has swallowed Senator Taft's foreign policy hook, line, and sinker, in the guise of a budget cut.
The General has worked with me, and with General Marshall, and with Dean Acheson, in carrying out our foreign programs, and I had thought he would continue to support them, because he helped to make them. But I was mistaken. Instead, we have been treated to the spectacle of a great military figure throwing his reputation and his record to the winds, sidestepping or repudiating all the things that we thought he stood for.
The people of this country cannot entrust the great decisions in the years ahead to a man who has surrendered to the Old Guard Republicans.
But unfortunately I am sorry to have to say these things because I have been very fond of Ike. I think he is a great general, and it hurts me to see him--it hurts me to see him throw all the principles which I gave hill credit for to the winds.
But, my friends, it is fortunate for this country that the Democratic Party has a candidate who will stand up and be counted for the things he believes in. He supports our foreign policy, and he will be true to our responsibilities for leadership in the cause of world peace.
That is why I am confident that on November the 4th the American people will look after their interests. Now I am out here telling you just exactly what the country and the world is faced with. I am out here asking you to do a little thinking and studying. Study the issues. Study the record, and when you have done that, take your own interests into consideration. Remember the welfare of the greatest Republic in the history of the world. Remember that world peace in the free world depends absolutely on the leadership of this great country.
We must have a man in the White House 'who understands those things--and that man is Adlai Stevenson.
[5.] NEW BRITAIN, CONNECTICUT (City Hall, 11:40 a.m.)
I suppose that you know why I am here. I am out campaigning for a Democratic victory in November. I appreciate most highly the courtesies which are extended to me here today. I have been intrigued and overwhelmed by John L. Sullivan.
You know, you have a slate of candidates here--whom you just met--that are certainly an asset to the Democratic ticket this fall. Your candidates for Senators are beyond compare. Now I understand that this is Abe Ribicoff's birthplace. I hope you are as proud of him as I am. He has been a tower of strength in the House of Representatives and will be a fine successor to Brien McMahon.
Bill Benton is my kind of Senator. He is a fighter, and he is always on the right side of the questions where the people's interests are concerned.
I want to say that if Tom Dodd can really do to John Sullivan what he says he can, you certainly ought to have him in the Congress. Your Congressman at Large, Stanley Pribyson, is without compare. Now, if you will send a group of people like that down to the Congress, the interests of Connecticut will be well protected in the Government of the United States.
Our national ticket this year is one of the best ever offered to the voters of the United States. You have already been visited by our candidate for President, Adlai Stevenson. He is a great American. You can count on him to measure up to the tough job of President for the next 4 years.
One thing about Governor Stevenson that I want to stress to you--he really understands and really believes in the basic principles of equality that make our country great. He believes in equal treatment for everybody, no matter who they are or where they come from.
Now, that kind of understanding, my friends, is important for a lot of reasons. There is one in particular that I want to stress here this morning. I want to talk to you about the sad fact that the immigration laws of our country do not recognize these basic principles of equality and fair play. These laws, passed by a Republican Congress and a Republican President in the 1920's, say that the Polish, Ukrainian, and Italian people who want to move to this country are less desirable than the people from northern Europe. So each year our doors are closed to all but a few people from southern and eastern Europe.
This year we tried to get rid of this unfair law, but the Republicans in Congress with the help of some Democrats passed over my veto that awful McCarran Act. This new act makes our immigration laws even more unfair than ever to the Poles and the Italians and the people of Slavic countries. Men like your own Bill Benton fought hard against this unfair law. I am glad to say he was supported by our vice-presidential candidate. But the Republican candidate for Vice President voted wrong, just as you would expect-and he has voted wrong every time he has had a chance to vote in the Senate, when the affairs of the people were at stake.
Now it is true that this new bill bears the name of a Democrat. But he is not my kind of a Democrat at all. I like a Democrat who votes with the interests of the people. The Democrat for whom this bill is named cannot speak for the party. I speak for the party, and he--I say--is not my kind of a Democrat. I wish we could get some other people to point the scoundrels out in their own party and read them out of it; it would be mighty good for this campaign.
The Democratic Party platform written this past July contains a promise to get rid of unfair restrictions on immigration, and if it's written on the Democratic ticket this fall, that will be done, because our platforms are not pieces of paper. We write them to put them into effect for the welfare of the people.
You won't find anything about the subject in the Republican Party platform. You have heard nothing about it from the Republican candidate for the Presidency, and I will tell you why you don't hear anything about this immigration program from the Republicans. The Republican Party just does not understand the basic principles which have made our country great. Twenty years ago the Republicans adopted this policy of discrimination in our immigration laws, and now 20 years later they voted for it again. They just can't learn anything.
The Republican Party is just as blind when it comes to understanding the economic programs that have pulled this country out of the depression and given us the most prosperous period in the history of the country, or the world. For 20 years the Old Guard Republicans have been fighting the Democratic Party every inch of the way as we developed social security, unemployment compensation, minimum wage laws, and guarantees of collective bargaining.
And these Republicans are the men who have now captured the Republican candidate Dock, stock, and barrel. Like a good military man, the General is now taking his marching orders from the Old Guard Republicans headed by Senator Taft.
But the people of this country for 20 years now have refused to turn their welfare into the hands of these shortsighted men. Instead, they have placed their trust in the Democratic Party--the party of the people, the party that has never let them down.
Now, I have urged everybody everywhere I have been to do a little thinking. Study the record. Study the voting record of the two parties in the Congress of the United States. That is where you will find what they stand for. Study your own interests and find out just how they have been protected over the last 20 years, and who has protected them.
Then, when you go to the polls, you will vote in your own interests, you will vote for the welfare of this great Nation, you will vote for the welfare of the free countries in this whole world, you will vote for the most powerful office in the history of the world. You should do some thinking, and you should do some praying, before you go to the polls on November the 4th--and remember the welfare of this country.
If you do that, I haven't a doubt in the world that you will send Adlai Stevenson to the White House for the next 4 years.
[6.] HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT (Address in front of the Hartford Times Building, 12:40 p.m., see Item 293)
[7.] WINDSOR LOCKS, CONNECTICUT (Rear platform, 1:45 p.m.)
I am more than happy to be with you this afternoon. I have had a wonderful morning across Connecticut, and you know the beautiful part about it is I have to tell everybody I am not running for office. The crowds have been bigger than they were in 1948 when I was out asking you to vote for me. Now I am asking you to vote for somebody else.
I guess you have heard a rumor as to why I am here. I am out campaigning for the Democratic ticket, if anybody doesn't know. You have a fine slate of candidates here. You have just seen them. I am very fond of Bill Benton. He is an able and distinguished Senator. Abe Ribicoff has made a wonderful Representative, and he will make you a Senator that you will be proud Tom Dodd impresses me as being a man who knows what ought to be done for the welfare of the people, as does Stanley Pribyson. If you send a delegation like that from Connecticut to the Congress, you will get the things in which Connecticut is interested before that body, and get fair treatment, I am sure.
As for our national ticket, Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman are two of the finest and most progressive men who have ever run for office. They both have good records of constructive service for the people. They are men who really understand the problems of the everyday man. You can trust them all the way.
I have been enjoying the ride along the Connecticut River. This is beautiful country, and a grand time of the year to be here. And I like your river. I am always interested in rivers and what we have done with them and how we have made use of them. The New England pioneers developed the navigation and waterpower of this river for the common good. They built a productive industry along its banks. They made it a channel of commerce and of trade. Then in the 19th century, your river and your valley were exploited mercilessly for private profit. The hills were denuded. The floods became a problem. Waste was dumped into the river and it became polluted.
And here, of all places, where waterpower was first used for industry, the electricity that could be harnessed from your river is either undeveloped, or being sold to you at about the highest rates in the whole United States.
There are great things to be done along this river, to make it perform full service once again for the people of the Connecticut valley. With proper conservation, floods can be stopped. Pollution can be checked, navigation can be improved, and new sources of cheaper power can be developed, for your factories and farms and homes.
These are all things that you the people of this valley can do--with the right kind of cooperation from your towns and cities, and your States--and the Federal Government.
Now the Democratic Party has always believed that the Government exists to help the people do the things they cannot get done by themselves. We want to give the people of this valley and all New England whatever help you yourselves desire in building up the resources of this great countryside. That is what we have done in other river basins, helping people make the most of their fine rivers.
The Republican Party has exactly the opposite philosophy. They believe it is the purpose of Government to help special private interests exploit our national resources for their own private profit. If the Republicans take control in Washington, they won't help you with your navigation problems, or stream pollution, or power-for that might interfere with the enrichment of the manufacturers and the utilities who like things to stay as they are.
Don't be fooled by scare stories that somebody in Washington wants to come up here and take this river away from you, or take control of it. There is not a word of truth in it. That is power lobby propaganda, and it's plain hooey. They are just afraid you might stand up someday and take control of your resources yourselves. The truth is you can develop and control this river yourselves, and a Democratic government will cooperate with your local and State authorities to help you do it. Then you will really own the river, and be able to enjoy it the way you should, and make it work for you, in your interest, and not in the interests of private power.
Now election day comes in November, as you know, on the 4th, and election day is the time when the people of the United States exercise the control of their Government. If you don't take an interest, if you don't get yourselves registered, if you don't go to the polls on the 4th of November, and you have bad government, you have nobody in the world to blame but yourselves.
So, if you are going to do right by yourselves, if you are going to do right by your country, if you are going to help the world situation to come out without a third world war, you will go to the polls on November the 4th and you will vote for Stevenson and Sparkman, and we will have 4 more years of good government.
[8.] THOMPSONVILLE, CONNECTICUT (Rear platform, 2:03 p.m.)
I am more than happy to see you again. When I was here in 1948, I was trying to get myself elected President. Now I am back working for somebody else. I am working for the whole Democratic ticket, and I hope you will vote for all of them.
You have a very, very fine slate of Democratic candidates here in Connecticut. For the Senate you have Abe Ribicoff and Bill Benton, two very able and decent persons. For Congress you have Tom Dodd. He did a fine job in Nuremberg, prosecuting the Nazi war criminals, and a very good job back home in the Justice Department. I know he will be a good prosecutor for your interests if you send him to Washington.
You have a very, very fine gentleman running for Congressman at Large in Stanley Pribyson.
Now, on our national ticket, Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman are very fine men, with great progressive records of public service. They both have shown that they care about the problems of the plain everyday people of this country. They are men you can trust all the way.
I hope you have been listening to Governor Stevenson's speeches. I hope you will go and hear him speak when he comes back to New England. He is talking sense to the American people, telling everybody where he stands on all the issues.
Now there is a little thing I want to mention to you--just quietly and under the cover--I hope the Enfield Society for the Detection of Horse Thieves and Robbers is still in operation. I know the Society was keeping up its headquarters in Enfield a few years ago. And I hope the Society is all set for some emergencies--just in case something happens next November that we don't expect. Because now I am going to give you some quotations--now these are not my remarks at all, these are quotes--because if the Republicans should win this election, the Society is going to have lots of business after November the 4th. There's an awful bunch of horse thieves in the National Republican Party. And this is what they said themselves. At least that is what they say about each other, in Chicago, and you wouldn't find me to be one that would deny it.
At the Republican Convention last July, there were two groups that had a whale of a fight with one another. One side was the so-called liberal wing of the party, with a lot of New Englanders in it. The other side was the so-called reactionary or Taft wing.
Now you may remember the so-called liberals spent their time calling the Taft men a bunch of rustlers. And the Taft men returned the compliment with interest, I'll say.
The so-called liberals were successful--so Taft said--in stealing the big prize at Chicago. They took the nomination away from Taft and gave it to a very famous general. And then you know what happened? The General kicked out the people who had got him nominated, and he surrendered, lock, stock, and barrel to the Taft crowd--the rustlers they had been all so mad about. He surrendered to Taft. He embraced Jenner. He brought McCarthy on the train, and now they are running his campaign for him. It is hard to say who won the battle at Chicago. It is even harder to say who is a horse-thief now. But one thing is very clear. A vote for the Republicans this year is a vote for Taft, for Taft's foreign policy, for Taft's labor policy, for Taft's domestic policies in general. He has said so, and the General has backed him up.
Now that would be a terrible thing for this country, just as those liberal New England Republicans agreed that it would when they fought Taft at Chicago. It would be bad for the country and the peace of the world, and it would be very bad for you.
But it does not have to happen. If you will use your judgment, if you will do a little thinking, if you will look at the record, if you compare the men at the head of each ticket, you will vote for yourselves.
You are the Government, and if you vote for your own interests, if you vote for the welfare of this great Nation of ours, which is the most powerful Nation in the history of the world, if you will vote for the welfare of this great Nation, and vote for the welfare of the free countries of the world, you will vote the Democratic ticket on November the 4th, and the Government will be safe another 4 years.
[9.] SPRINGFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS (Platform near the station, 2:32 p.m.)
I certainly am highly pleased to be here again, and I am more than highly pleased at the warmth of this reception. I didn't think you would be out looking for a "has-been," to see what he would took like, and I feel highly complimented that you were willing to come out and hear me discuss the issues. That is all I am doing. I am trying to put before the people just exactly what the issues are, and when they know what they are, they will know what to do.
This is good Democratic country. You have shown by your voting record that you know the Democratic Party is the party that really works for the people.
I expect you know why I am here. Maybe I had better tell you, though. I am campaigning for the Democratic ticket. I am working in one of my five jobs as the head of the Democratic Party.
You have an excellent slate of Democrats here in Massachusetts. For Congress, Edward P. Boland--I am sure he will do the same kind of first-class job for you in Washington that Foster Furcolo has done. Now, I understand you are going to elect Mr. Furcolo State treasurer this year. From what he has shown us in Washington, I know he will be a good one.
We also have a candidate for Congress in the first District with us on this train, William H. Burns. I know he will make a good Representative of that district, for the Senate. You have a fine young man in the candidate for the Senate, and we certainly do need some young blood in that Senate. Young John Kennedy is a man who has already rendered great service to this State in the House of Representatives, and will keep up the good work in the Senate. Be sure and send him down there.
For Governor you don't need my telling you anything about Paul Defer for Governor. He is as fine a Democratic leader who will continue his excellent work in the State capital.
I want to say a word about the national ticket now, if I may. Adlai Stevenson for President and John Sparkman for Vice President. Here in Springfield you have already had a chance to see Governor Stevenson and listen to what he has to say. He is one of the outstanding men in public service in our generation. When he speaks to the people, he gives them the straight story. Stevenson is a man of great integrity and real feeling for the everyday people of this country. He is a man you can trust in the Office of the President.
That is also true of John Sparkman. He is one of our most progressive leaders in the Congress. He has proved by his record of 15 years in the House and Senate that he can be trusted to work for all the people.
While I am here--this happens to be Roger Putnam's hometown, and while I am talking about men who have given great service to the American people, I want to pay tribute to this hometown's man of yours--the former mayor of Springfield, Roger Putnam. Roger Putnam has been down in Washington for over a year now, handling the tough job of Economic Stabilizer. He took over that assignment just after the Republicans had finished their first hatchet job on our price and wage controls. He has since lived through another attempted slaughter by the Republicans, and he has done a grand job in helping to stabilize our economy in spite of all the Republican obstruction.
I suppose you know that the Republican candidate for President has been going around the country moaning about the high prices we are paying today, and blaming it all on the Democratic administration.
Of course, he does not dare mention the voting record of the Republican Party. Maybe nobody's told him that his party in Congress has a long, unbroken record of trying to kill or cripple price and wage and rent controls at every chance they have.
Back in 1946 when we needed controls, until our civilian production got back to normal, the Republicans voted almost to a man to kill controls. They finally succeeded, and the cost of living went up 15 percent in 6 months, just as I predicted it would. I am sure you all remember that period, the worst inflationary rise in the history of the country.
In 1947 and 1948 I tried to get price control authority back on the statute books, but the Republican "good-for-nothing" 80th Congress just laughed at my efforts. Then the Korean emergency came along, and by the time we got a controls bill passed and the stabilization agencies established, the cost of living had gone up almost 8 percent in 6 months. Then in early November 1951, we got a general price freeze put on. And what did the Republicans do, once we put a lid on prices? They began a vicious attack on the basic price control legislation. In 1951 they put across the Capehart amendment which by now has added a billion dollars in higher prices to the American people.
Last year the Republican Senators voted 7 to 1 to curtail price rollbacks, and 12 to 1 to prevent effective control of black marketing in meat.
This year the Republican Congressmen voted 4 to 1 to scuttle all price controls, and 6 to 1 to end all rent controls. And then to top it all off, in 1951, and again this year, the Republicans ganged up with a few Democrats to slash appropriations so that the remaining control authority could not be properly enforced against the chiselers and the profiteers.
Despite these Republican attempts to wreck controls, we have been doing a pretty good job to keep inflation down. In the past 20 months, the cost of living has risen less than 4 percent. Prices are higher than they ought to be, and I told you why. But in spite of high prices, most people are better off than they ever were before. The dollar does not buy as much as it once did, but people have a lot more dollars to buy with.
The income has gone up a lot faster than prices in these last 20 years--twice as fast, in fact. The Hoover dollars were worth a lot, all right, but it took many people an entire day's labor to earn one of them. And 14 million of our fellow citizens who were unemployed weren't able to earn anything at all. So the Hoover dollar didn't do them a bit of good.
The Republicans have given this country two terrible demonstrations of how they can drive prices down. In 1921 they got prices down 20 percent in a big hurry--and there were 7 million people out of work. In 1931 they got prices down 25 percent in 2 years-and it took 14 million unemployed to do that.
Any time you hear their candidate talk about cutting prices, and bringing back that Hoover dollar, you had better stop and think how the Republicans go about those things.
In the first effort they made 7 million unemployed. In the next effort they made 14 million unemployed, and if you give them another chance, you will probably have 18 million. Is that worth a Hoover dollar?
You won't get steady prices from an outfit like that--boom and bust is their stock in trade. Their record speaks for itself. They won't look out for your jobs, your income, or the prices you have to pay.
This Government is your Government. The Constitution provides that the power of government rests in the people, and when the people exercise their right to vote, they exercise the power that controls the Government.
Now I am going around the country trying to get the people to think, trying to get people to read the record. I am trying to get people to understand just what their interests are. I am trying to get them to remember that the record made in the Congress by the Republicans in Congress is the record on which they have to run. They don't want to run on that record. They don't dare to.
I want you also to study the record of the Democrats in Congress. The majority of the Democrats in Congress have always been for the people, and they always will be for the people.
Now, if you want to look out for your own interests, if you want to look out for the welfare of this great Nation of ours, if you want to look out for the welfare of the free nations of the world, and to keep the world free, and to keep communism from this country, the way to do that is to vote for the party that has always been against communism, that has always fought them and convicted them. We have taken action-we haven't just talked about it and smeared people just for the benefit of a few headlines.
Go to the polls on the 4th of November and vote in your own interests. Vote the Democratic ticket and the country will be safe another 4 years.
[10.] WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS (Near the train, 4:20 p.m.)
I can't tell you how much I appreciate this most cordial welcome. I was here 4 years ago when I was campaigning for myself. I am campaigning this time just as hard as I was then, because this is one of the most important elections we ever had, and if it is at all possible, I am more anxious that we win this election than I was in 1948--and that's saying a lot.
The reason I feel that way, I think this is the most important election this country has had since the War Between the States.
Now, you have a wonderful slate of Democrats running for office here in Massachusetts. You have Jack Kennedy for the Senate. I know him very well. I knew his father before him. He has made a wonderful public servant in the House of Representatives, and he will give you the right kind of representation in the Senate. Then for Congress you have Harold Donohue, who has a record that does not need me to tell you about. Your Governor has made a record on which you should endorse him overwhelmingly, and I know you will. And I understand that we are in the hometown of your Lieutenant Governor--and you know more about him than I do, so use your judgment, and I know you will send him back.
Now the Democratic Party is exceedingly fortunate in having two great men to head its ticket this year--Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman. They can stand on their records of long service in the public interest. They are men of integrity and conscience, and they will work in the great tradition of the Democratic Party.
I have been all across the country from coast to coast in the last 3 weeks, and I have seen a very prosperous country. This prosperity we have seems to be driving the Republicans crazy. They just can't understand how the country can be prosperous with Democrats in office.
The Republican candidate for President has been doing his best to prove that this prosperity does not exist, that it is all done with mirrors. Now if you can beat that, I'll pay it on the line.
But he knows people won't believe that. So he has been trying to get across the notion that the Democrats don't know how to keep the country prosperous except by spending money on national defense. Now that is not true. It is just one more Republican falsehood to scare you and confuse you in this campaign. That is the reason I am out here. I am out here to tell you the truth.
Everywhere I go I see signs or people yelling "Give 'em hell, Harry." Well now, that is an awful reputation for a good Baptist to get, and I am telling you what I am doing--I am telling the truth and giving you the issues, and that is a lot worse than giving the Republicans hell, because they can't stand the truth.
The truth is that our prosperity is sound and healthy. Right now we have a total national production of about $340 billion. Defense accounts for less than one-sixth of that output. Now in 1945, after the Japanese folded up, I organized a commission to look into the return to civil affairs after World War II; and I sent that committee-two of them, one of them was Senator Benton of Connecticut--to see Senator Taft, who was then the Republican leader in the Senate. I had them ask him what his remedy was--we had decided that we needed a $140 billion income if we were going to keep people at work. Taft said that was impossible, we would never reach $100 billion income, and the best thing to do was to take all the women out of work and let the men do the work, and then this country could go along and everybody would have jobs. Now, if that's not one for the book, I don't know what is. And he is running their present nominee for President.
Now, defense accounts for less than one sixth of that $340 billion output. Now, get this straight. If it were not for the defense effort, we would be even more prosperous than we are now. The defense effort is making us postpone and put off a lot of things we need, things that will make our country greater and stronger. Our population is growing fast, our cities are growing--that means lots of things to do. We need a lot of redevelopment in our cities. We need more houses, better and cheaper houses, more roads, more schools, more hospitals.
Out West where I have been, we need a lot more dams and irrigation works, and all those things. We need more food, and more consumers goods of every kind. Thousands of businessmen are ready now to expand their plants or build new ones. They see bigger markets ahead.
In the city of Worcester, where you make all kinds of things, and know how to adapt your production fast, there will surely be a lot of good work for you, when defense tapers off. This means there need be no depression in this country, and there won't be, if you keep the kind of government in Washington that understands these things and will help get new production going in the right places at the right time. That is one thing that the Democratic Party knows how to do. They have shown it. Remember 1949 when things started to slide back, we took quick action then, and by the spring of 1950 we were in boom times again. That was before Korea started. The defense buildup had nothing whatever to do with it.
But the Republicans are right about one thing. There could be a depression. They ought to know. They are experts in depression organization.
The last time they held office, we had two depressions in 12 years. They don't seem to have any notion of how to get prosperity and growth. For 20 years the Republicans have been voting against almost everything the Democrats have done to help build this country up. Unfortunately, their candidate for President could not change them if he wanted to. He has been a fine general, but the Army is all he has ever known in his whole life. You don't learn much in the Army about what workers and farmers need, or what it takes to keep the country going. If you have never milked a cow, or ploughed a corn row, if you have never worked with your hands, you never can tell what the country needs. And a man who has had social security all his life in the United States Army, doesn't know what it means to meet a payroll. He can't understand how those things are done. And he doesn't know any more about politics than a babe in the woods. He is in the woods and Taft has got the woods under control. The General is surrounded by the Republican Old Guard, and they have taken him to town.
I don't think you can take a chance on turning your country over to an outfit like that.
Don't vote for a big business government. Don't vote for a military government. You are responsible for what sort of government we have. The Constitution provides that the power of the Government in this Republic rests in the people--in you. Now, if you will study the issues--and that is what I am out to get you to do--I want you to satisfy yourselves, I am not trying to convert you to something unusual, I am trying to get you to look after your own interests. I am trying to get you to think about things. I want you to read the record. I want you to study the record of the Republicans in Congress, which is what their policy will be. They have shown it by their votes. And I want you to study the Democratic record in the Congress. That is what the Democrats have done. That is what they will continue to do.
And then I want you to go to the polls on November the 4th and vote for yourselves. Vote in your own interests. Vote for the welfare of the greatest Republic in the history of the world. Vote for the welfare of the free world.
And when you do that, you will put Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman in the Presidency and the Vice Presidency, and this country will be safe for another 4 years.
[11.] CLINTON, MASSACHUSETTS (Rear platform, 5:35 p.m.)
I am very, very glad indeed to be in Clinton here this evening. This is the home of one of my very good friends, about whom I will speak in a minute.
You people in Massachusetts have a most wonderful slate of candidates running. For Senator, you have that able young Congressman, Jack Kennedy. He will make you a great Senator, and I want you to elect him. For Congress, you have had presented to you an able and distinguished Congressman, Phil Philbin. You couldn't have a better one. And for Governor, you have Paul Dever. You know him by experience. He will make you a good Governor, and you can't do anything else but elect him.
We have a great candidate for President this year, Adlai Stevenson. He is a fine and able man. He will give this country good government and real leadership. Adlai Stevenson has served as Governor of a great State, and has proved his talents as a civilian administrator. He knows the problems of the people, and his experience in Illinois shows that he knows how to make the Government work for the people. And he is a man you can trust.
Now I have been in politics for 40 years. I have had every reward that the people of the greatest Nation in the world can give to a man. I started in elective public office just 30 years ago next month--I was elected to my first elective public office. For 30 years I have been in county government, I have been a United States Senator, I have been Vice President--and for the last 7 years I have been President of the United States.
And my ability, if I have any, to make that office function, has been, I think, a talent for picking the right man for the right place.
Now one of my three secretaries comes from this city right here. You know him. You know what kind of man he is. He is able, efficient, honest, and he has been a tower of strength to the President of the United States. His name is Matt Connelly-I don't need to tell you.
Now, just for your welfare and information, and for the information of the country at large, I think I shall elaborate a little bit on the personnel of the Government of the United States in the administrative branch.
There have been a great many misstatements made about the people who constitute the part of your Government that makes the Government work, and that is the administrative end of the Government.
Now I have a Secretary of State, who was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, who was Under Secretary of State, who was the Vice Chairman of the Commission that wrote up the recommendations for the reorganization of the Government. He has made one of the greatest Secretaries of State that the country has ever had. I never was acquainted with him until I came to Washington. I made him Secretary of State because in my opinion he is the best fitted man for the place: Dean Acheson.
I have a Secretary of the Treasury who was the Director of the Defense Plants Corporation in World War II. He spent $20 billion building the defense plants of this country, and every dollar of that $20 billion went where it should go. And we won the war as a result of the effectiveness of that Defense Plants Corporation under John W. Snyder.
My Secretary of Defense was an Assistant Secretary of War under Stimson. He was an assistant in the reorganization of Germany. He has been Assistant Secretary of State. He is one of the ablest men that the Government has ever had; and his name is Bob Lovett. And I never saw him until I picked him on account of his ability and efficiency.
My Attorney General was the Assistant Attorney General of the United States under two Attorneys General. He was Assistant to the Attorney General. I made him a Federal judge in Philadelphia. He was an able and distinguished Federal judge. And when the office of the Attorney General became vacant, I asked him to forego his lifetime job as a Federal judge and come back and become my Attorney General, and he did Judge McGranery.
Then I have a Postmaster General who is unique in the history of the United States. He started as a letter carrier more than 30 years ago. He has come up the line every step of the way. He was Assistant Postmaster General when there was a vacancy in the Post Office Department, and on account of his ability and efficiency, I made him Postmaster General--the first career man ever to be made Postmaster General in the history of the country. His name is Jesse Donaldson.
Then I have a Secretary of the Interior, who was Under Secretary of the Interior under Mr. Ickes. And when Mr. Ickes quit, I made Oscar Chapman Secretary of the Interior. He is a career man. He knows more about the Interior Department than any other man who has ever been in that job, and he does an excellent job for the Government.
Then I have a Secretary of Agriculture. His name is Charlie Brannan. He was in the Agricultural Department for the last 20 years. He knows the Agriculture Department from top to bottom. He is the ablest Secretary of Agriculture that has ever been there, and I know something about it, because I started on the farm and I have known all the Secretaries of Agriculture for 40 years--and this is the best one we ever had.
The Secretary of Commerce is an able and distinguished lawyer and businessman from Ohio, with whom I was not acquainted until I went to Potsdam, and at that time he was Ambassador to Belgium. He was one of my advisers at Potsdam, and on account of his ability I made him Secretary of Commerce-and he is a good one. His name is Charlie Sawyer.
Now in 1948, I had an able and distinguished former Senator and former Federal judge for Secretary of Labor--Lew Schwellenbach. He suddenly passed away in the middle of 1948, a very crucial year. Now you have a very able and distinguished citizen up here in Massachusetts who had been the mayor of Boston, who had been Governor of the great State of Massachusetts. And I asked him to come to see me, and I said to him, "I want to place you in my Cabinet as Secretary of Labor. You are taking a chance. I may not be here except to the end of this term, but I would like very much for you to take the Labor Department for me." And Maurice Tobin took it. And he has run it ever since.
Now I have two Presidential assistants. These are the Cabinet members that sit around the Cabinet table with me once or twice a week and discuss world affairs and national affairs. And we know where we are going, and what we are doing--don't let anybody tell you anything else.
Now these two assistants are able and distinguished men. One of them was Ambassador at Large and in charge of the revival of Europe. He was Ambassador to Russia for 3 years. He was Ambassador to Great Britain for 2 or 3 years, and when I had a vacancy as Secretary of Commerce, I telephoned him in London and brought him back here and made him Secretary of Commerce. And when this European recovery program--Marshall plan--came up, I made him the civilian in charge of it. And he is now my assistant and Ambassador at Large to see that that plan comes to its final conclusion. And it has been a great success because we have kept all of Western Europe from going Communist by that Marshall plan. His name is Averell Harriman.
I have another assistant who has been with me nearly ever since I have been President of the United States. He is a coordinator of the difficulties that arise in the administrative end of the Government. His name is John Steelman. He is a career man, and he has a Ph.D. He knows what he is doing, and he does an excellent job.
Now, my friends, the reason I am rehashing this for you is because there never has been an organization about which so much misrepresentation and so many lies have been told as have been told about my Presidential family that runs the Government of the United States.
Now I have three Secretaries. I have a number of Executive assistants and every one of whom is as efficient and able as any group of men that could be gotten together.
Dean Acheson was the Deputy Chairman of the organization known as the Hoover Commission, which wrote and recommended the plans for the efficient reorganization of the Government. I have set the administrative end of our Government on a more efficient basis than it has been since the Government was launched. I am not bragging, I am merely telling you facts. And I have sent more reorganization plans to the Congress of the United States than all the other Presidents put together; and I have had more of them turned down by the Republicans and a coalition of Democrats who did not believe in the things that I want to do, than any other President has done.
I am telling you all this so you will know the facts, and I am out here now for a specific purpose. I didn't have to come out here and work for the election of a candidate for President. But with all the effort that has been put forth in the last 20 years to give you a government of the people, and by the people, and for the people, I felt that it was my duty to come out here and put the issues in this campaign before you, the people.
The Republicans can't discuss the issues because they don't dare. They have been wrong on every program that has come before the Congress of the United States where the interests of all the people are at stake. They won't talk about it. They want to go off on some side issue.
The Republican candidate said he was going out on a crusade. He said that at Chicago. But he didn't know what the crusade was about until Senator Taft told him.
I feel terribly bad about having to say these things, because I was very fond of Eisenhower. I made him Chief of Staff of the United States Army. I sent him to Europe in command of the greatest organization that we are now making to keep the Communists from taking the world. If I hadn't had that confidence in him, of course I wouldn't have done that. But he has come back here and he has thrown every principle that he is supposed to stand for out the window in the hope of buying votes--he has thrown those principles away.
I can't stand for that, so I am out here to tell you the truth, and that is the only reason in the world that I am going around the country and putting these facts out. Because I know what the facts are. I was there, and I can tell you what those facts are; and I know that the people of this United States know me, and they believe me when I tell them the truth.
And I want you to do some thinking. I want you to take the situation with which we are faced right now. I want you to study the facts. I want you to look at the record. I want you to find out just exactly the record in Congress of these Republican Congressmen, and the record in Congress of the Democratic Congressmen. That is the policy on which you can base your vote. Then when you have done that, I am going to ask you to go home and pray over it--think about the welfare of this Nation, think about your own welfare, think about the welfare of the free nations of the world, and think of the peace of the world.
All I have worked for for 7 years has been peace, and to prevent a third world war. And every policy I have pursued has been with that end in view. I want that policy continued, and in order to get that policy continued, I want you to send Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman to Washington as President and Vice President of the United States.
[12.] LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS (Platform near the station, 6:52 p.m.)
I am more than happy to be here tonight. It has been a most wonderful day coming through New England. I have enjoyed the scenery, but as you may have heard, I didn't come on this trip to look at scenery. I am out here on a campaign trip, working as hard as I can for a Democratic victory in November.
You have a very, very fine slate of Democratic candidates running for office here in Massachusetts. You have just been introduced to them. Now you should, for your own welfare and benefit, send Jack Kennedy to the Senate, Helen Cullen to the House, and Paul Dever to the Governor's chair again.
Now I hope--I hope most sincerely that you are getting acquainted with the Democratic candidate for President, Adlai Stevenson. Governor Stevenson is coming back to New England in a few days now, and I hope you will see him and hear him as often as you possibly can. He is the finest new leader to come along since franklin Roosevelt back in 1932. He is talking sense to the American people. And when you hear him, you will know as I do that he is a man you can trust.
I want to tell you some things you ought to know about Adlai Stevenson's fine record as Governor of Illinois, but before I do that, I would like to read you an article someone sent me the other day from your local paper, the Sunday Sun for October 5th. I see you have the same opinion of the Sunday Sun that I have of the Kansas City Star. But sometimes, my friends, sometimes these awful newspapers have to print the truth, and this is one time it did.
"$307 thousand in social security checks were mailed to Lowell last week." Then the article goes on to say, "This week will bring increased social security checks to about 800,000 people in greater Lowell." About 8,000, not 800,000 "monthly benefit checks mailed during the first week of October will amount to about $307,000. Increases of from $5 to $8.60 each month will go to most retired workers who receive old-age insurance payments."
Now I am glad these insurance benefits are being paid, but there is a story behind them I think you ought to know. For it is a good example of exactly what this election is all about.
All the people who are getting these benefits have of course been paying premiums into the Treasury for years. And the amounts they and their employers paid in, turned out to be larger than were needed to finance the benefits paid out at the old rate. So extra money was piling up in the Treasury's insurance account. And last spring, I asked the Congress to raise the benefit rates and give this money back to the people who were receiving insurance benefits.
It seemed to me that this was only fair-and a good way to help compensate for increases in the cost of living.
The Democrats in Congress thought so, too. Our great Majority Leader, John W. McCormack, was one of those who helped to get action. And in May a social security bill, including this change and some other improvements, came up for a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives. Then what happened? The great majority of Democrats voted for it, of course, but twothirds of the Republicans voted against it, and the bill failed to pass.
Well, John McCormack and some others, wouldn't take "No" for an answer. They brought the bill up again a month later. And they turned the spotlight on the Republicans, who got a lot of heat, I am glad to say. Some of those Republicans got scared and enough of them changed their votes to let the bill go through this second time. The Senate passed it, too. I signed it with great pleasure. And 8,000 people here in Lowell are now getting the benefit. But they would never have gotten a thing if the Republicans had had their way--and don't you forget it.
Now I tell you the story because the Republican candidate for President spoke in Los Angeles a few days ago and claimed that his party was in favor of improving and extending social security. He asserted, and I quote him directly, "The social security law was a bipartisan law to meet a need which had become urgent in the depression." You see, he is starting to say "me too"--it is pretty late in this campaign, though, to start that, and I don't want you to believe it.
In the first place, the social security law was not a bipartisan law. The Republicans fought tooth and toenail against the original social security law in 1935, and I was in the Senate and I know what I am talking about. They voted 95 to 1 to recommit the bill in the House of Representatives. That was the real test in the House. Of course, when we licked them on that, they strung along and voted to pass the bill. So now they claim they helped to start social security. They didn't do anything of the kind. In 1936 the Republican candidate for President--you remember him, All Landon--campaigned against social security. He called it a "cruel hoax."
In the 80th, "good-for-nothing" Congress, the Republicans took social security protection away from nearly a million people. And in 1949 when the Democrats put through a great expansion of the social security program, most of the Republicans hampered and obstructed and fought against the very improvements their candidate now hints he might be for.
You can't afford to be fooled by this "me too" line. The Republican Party in Congress has a solid record of opposition to social security. Not so long ago, their candidate did not have much use for it, either. About 3 or 4 years ago, before he became a Republican politician, he was going around the country saying, "If all that Americans want is security, they can go to prison. They will have enough to eat, they will have a bed to sleep on, they will have a roof over their heads."
When you hear the Republicans make promises at campaign time, you had better look at their record, and you had better find out how that General feels deep down in his heart.
Look into these things, not just on social security but on all the things you want and need, and are entitled to.
Do that, my friends, and I am out here to try and get you to think. I am out here trying to get you to look at the record. I am out here to get you to look at the record of the Republicans in Congress, and the Democrats in Congress, and then make up your mind on what is best for you, and what is best for this great Republic of ours, and what is best for the free world.
And all I ask you to do is to inform yourselves and vote intelligently. You know, the power of this great Republic rests with you, and that power is exercised on election day. When you neglect to do that, when you neglect to register, when you neglect to vote, and you get bad government, you have got nobody to blame but yourselves, and you get just what you ought to get.
I am begging you--I am praying with you--to use your best judgment for your own welfare, for the welfare of the greatest Nation in the history of the world, and for peace in the world to come. I am asking you to vote to see the greatest age in the history of the world, if you have the right kind of government.
And in order to do that, you have got to put forward-looking people in office. And I want to say to you young people that we are faced with the greatest opportunity, we are faced with the greatest age in the history of the world. And we have to have forward-looking people to make that age work for your benefit, and for the benefit of all the people of this great Nation. And you can't do that if you put people in charge of the Federal government who want to turn the clock back to 1896. The clock won't run backward. It has to run forward, and you have to make it run forward.
Now to do this, after you have satisfied yourselves that it is right for you, and right for the Republic, go to the polls on November the 4th, and vote the Democratic ticket, and you will have 4 more years of good government--and forward-looking government.
[13.] NASHUA, NEW HAMPSHIRE (Rear platform, 7:58 p.m.)
I am very happy to stop here in Hillsboro County tonight, because I am told that this county has voted Democratic in presidential elections ever since 1928. That shows that you are a very sensible people, and I am always happy to be among good Democrats.
I don't know whether you know it or not, or whether you have suspected it, but I am out campaigning to elect a Democratic ticket this fall. I have enjoyed meeting your candidates here in New Hampshire. Your candidate for Congress, John Guay; your candidate for Governor, William H. Craig. I am glad you have a good Democrat running for Governor this year, because I expect poor Sherman Adams will be a nervous wreck after he gets off that campaign train he is on now.
This year the Democratic Party has a candidate for President, one of the finest men to serve in public life in this generation-Adlai Stevenson. He is a man of integrity and conviction, and as Governor of Illinois he has proved his abilities as a civilian administrator, and he will make a great President.
I have been traveling all across this country and back, from coast to coast, explaining to the people the main issues in this campaign. When you come right down to it, the big issue shows up in the basic differences between our two parties.
The Democratic Party has always been the party with a heart for the people. With us the people come first. With the Republican Party, property and profits come first, and come ahead of the people.
You people in this city have had firsthand experience with the way this Republican approach works against the people. You have been losing some of your textile mills, and one of the reasons is the Taft-Hartley law passed by the Republican 80th Congress. That act has almost stopped the growth of unions. It has made it easy for employers in non-unionized parts of the country to use every trick in the book to keep workers from organizing and obtaining better wages. That way, wages in other places have been kept down below what you have had to pay here, and this has made is very attractive for the textile companies to move out of New England.
Now you might as well make up your minds that the Taft-Hartley Act and all the trouble it has caused is just small change alongside of the damage the Republicans would bring about if they got control of both the White House and the Congress. They have been talking about giving you a change, but it wouldn't be the kind of change you want or would like to have.
Social security, farm price supports, rural electrification, and other New Deal and fair Deal programs for the benefit of the workers and the farmer would be sabotaged one way or another.
That may sound like a pretty strong statement, but it can be backed up by the record--the voting record of the Republicans in Congress. That is what the Republicans did in the Both Congress when they had control. In the last 4 years, they haven't reformed. They don't even claim that they have reformed. In fact, in their platform this year--in their platform they endorsed that "good-for-nothing, do-nothing" 80th Congress that I talked so much about in 1948. They endorsed all it did.
For over 20 years now they have been fighting these forward-looking programs that the Democrats stand for, and they want to put the Democrats out of the White House so they can undo most of what the New Deal and fair Deal has done for the people.
This year they thought they had their chance by putting up as their candidate for President a great military hero. They figured his popularity would cover up the black record of the Old Guard Republicans. But the General has made it clear that he is taking orders from the same old bunch of Old Guard Republicans.
I don't think the people of this country are going to be tricked or fooled into voting for a five-star general who is just fronting for the worst elements in the Republican Party.
I came out here on this trip--and the other one which I took West--to try and inform everybody exactly what this election means. This is one of the most important elections in the history of the country. This election will decide whether we are going to go forward into the greatest age in the history of the world, or whether we are going to try to turn the clock back to 1896.
Now you--you people--make up the Government. You control the Government. It is your privilege to exercise that control on election day. The Constitution of the United States provides that the power of government in this Republic rests with the people-with you.
I want you to do some thinking. I want you to think these things over. I want you to study the record. I want you to study the record of the Republicans in Congress. I want you to study the record of the Democrats in Congress, and then when you have done that, I want you to make up your minds in your own interests. I want you to make up your minds for the welfare of the greatest Republic in the history of the world. I want you to make up your minds for the welfare and benefit of the free world which for the last 7 years we have been trying to keep from going Communist.
If you do that, my friends, you can't do but one thing on election day, and that is go down to the polls and send Adlai Stevenson to the White House, and the country will be safe for another 4 years.
[14.] MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE (Address at the Armory, 9:05 p.m., see Item 294)
NOTE: In the course of his remarks on October 16 the President referred to, among others, Senator William Benton, Representative Abraham A. Ribicoff, Democratic candidate for the position left vacant by the death of Senator Brien McMahon (see Item 219), Representative John A. McGuire, Democratic candidates for Representative Stanley J. Pribyson, William M. Citron, and Thomas J. Dodd, and Mayor John L. Sullivan of New Britain, all of Connecticut, Francis T. Maloney, Senator from Connecticut, 1934-1945, Mrs. Francis T. Maloney, Arthur H. Vandenberg, Senator from Michigan, 1928-1951, and Senators Robert A. Taft of Ohio, William E. Jenner of Indiana, and Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin.
The President also referred to Democratic candidates for Representative Edward P. Boland, William H. Burns, and Helen Cullen, Representatives Foster Furcolo, Harold D. Donahue, Philip J. Philbin, and John W. McCormack, Representative John F. Kennedy, Democratic candidate for Senator, Governor Paul A. Dever, Economic Stabilization Administrator Roger Putnam, Lieutenant Governor Charles f. Jeff Sullivan, all of Massachusetts; Secretary to the President Matthew J. Connelly, Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder, Secretary of Defense Robert A. Lovett, Attorney General James P. McGranery, Postmaster General Jesse M. Donaldson, former Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of the Interior Oscar L. Chapman, Secretary of Agriculture Charles F. Brannan, Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer, Lewis B. Schwellenbach, Secretary of Labor, 1945-1948, Secretary of Labor Maurice Tobin, Director for Mutual Security and former Special Assistant to the President Averell Harriman, and The Assistant to the President John R. Steelman. He further referred to Democratic candidate for Representative John Guay, Democratic candidate for Governor William H. Craig, and Governor Sherman Adams, all of New Hampshire.
Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project. John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.