|266. Rear Platform and Other Informal Remarks in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana|
September 29, 1952 |
[1.] BRECKENRIDGE, MINNESOTA (Rear platform, 7:30 a.m.)
I suppose that you good people, this early in the morning, understand that there isn't any secret about the purpose of my trip out here. I am out campaigning for the Democratic ticket. You see, I have been in elective public office for 30 years--been elected time and again by the Democrats; and for your information I don't think, in the first place, I ever ran for an office that I wanted, but when I had that office, I tried to do it to the best of my ability, and I wouldn't let the opposition take it away from me--as was demonstrated in 1948.
You have some wonderful Democrats running for office here in Minnesota, and I hope you will vote for all of them. You have Orville freeman running for Governor, and William E. Carlson running for Senator, and Curtiss Olson running for Congress. And I certainly would like to see a Democratic Senator named Carlson in the Senate who would do the right thing.
And there's the national ticket of Adlai Stevenson for President, and John Sparkman for Vice President. Governor Stevenson of Illinois is the most promising young leader we have had in a generation. Not since the start of franklin D. Roosevelt's career have we had a man with a background that Adlai Stevenson of Illinois has. He has made a wonderful Governor. He is a real friend of the common everyday man. And the principal thing I am interested in: He's not a stooge for Wall Street.
That certainly is true of John Sparkman too. For 15 years he has been in Congress fighting for the interests of the plain people-farmers, workers, little businessmen. He has been the chairman of the Small Business Committee, and he has done a wonderful job to see that the contracts of the Government go into the hands of the small producers.
These are men you can trust to lead this country, and to keep the interests of the common people at heart.
Well, it's a good thing that the Democratic Party does care about the interests of the everyday man. It's a sure thing that the Republicans don't give a hoot about his interests.
I am suggesting that you might reflect on that a little bit, and just consider who is for you and who is against you. The farmers here might give some thought to price supports for storable commodities and for perishables. You might consider things like the REA--the Rural Electrification organization, and soil conservation, and flood control.
And you people who work here in town might think about your schools and your health and housing. You might consider the jobs you have and the opportunities ahead of you. Think about the security you are building up through old-age insurance, or railway retirement.
Give these things some thought. You ought to think about them very carefully, and find out what the Democratic record is.
And then you want to find out what the Republican record is on those very same things, and you will find that the Democratic Party has been your friend, and is your friend--and the Republican Party has been against you.
Now I am not just making this up. I am not just talking election-year politics.
What I say is true, and I can prove it. And I can prove it right out of the Republican record in Congress. That is where they have made their record, and that is where it counts. And they can get out and give you all kinds of "hooey" about things they believe now--trying to get your votes--but if you will take the Congressional Record, the driest piece of reading in the history of the world, if you will read it you will find that they have been wrong on every issue where the interests of the people are concerned.
Now I am going all over this country, and I am going to cite the record, chapter and verse, and they can't get behind it, because the record is made. They made it, and it's in fine print, in the Congressional Record.
And, for your own welfare and benefit, you had better read that fine print.
I hope to get back to Minnesota before I am through, and I am going to tell you a lot of things that will be to your interests. Then I want you to go home, just like you did in 1948. I want you to sit down--or kneel down and pray over them, and then vote for the welfare of the greatest free nation in the world.
And if you do that, you can't do anything else but vote the Democratic ticket this time. This is the most important year in the history of this great country, and I hope that you will use your heads and your hearts and vote for your own interests, and for the interests of this great Nation.
And if you do that, you will vote the Democratic ticket, and the country will be safe for another 4 years.
Thank you very much.
I have a young lady I think maybe you'd like to meet (introducing his daughter Margaret).
[2.] FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA (Trainside, 8:45 a.m.)
Well, my friends, I can't tell you how highly complimented I feel that you would turn out at this time of day and in this tremendous number to see a man who is not even a candidate for office. I appreciate the fact that I have been introduced by the Democratic candidate for Congress, Mr. Nesemeier; and I want to urge you with everything I possibly have that the safety of the country depends on your voting the Democratic ticket on the 4th of November. That is what I am going to do.
This is the beginning of what the newspapers call a whistlestop trip. You know, that phrase was invented by Senator Taft back in 1948. And I am sure he wishes he hadn't said it. The Republicans were trying to make fun of my efforts to take the issues in that campaign directly to the people all over the country. I took them there and the people understood me and believed me.
They found out, the Republicans did, that it wasn't so funny after all, and they haven't been able to crack a smile since.
A lot of people came out to meet the train 4 years ago at this place, and I told them the truth about what was going on in Washington. When November came, they voted right, and I'm sure they're going to vote right again when they get a chance.
This time I'm not asking you to vote for me, but that isn't going to make one little bit of difference.
I'm still going to tell you the truth about your Government--and about the Republican record, too--and when I get through I think you will know a lot more about both subjects than you can learn from the one-party press in this country.
You know, I have been running for office and been elected for 30 years and I never had the press with me in my life, and if they did get with me I'd know I was wrong!
Now you're going to get the facts, and when you do I know you're going to elect Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman and a real Democratic Congress. That is what this country needs worse than anything.
Adlai Stevenson will be one of the country's greatest Presidents. He has everything that is required for the Presidency--great ability, experience in civil government, humility, and a deep feeling for the everyday man.
Governor Stevenson has been making the issues clear in this campaign. I hope you've been listening to his speeches, and I hope you have been reading them, too. If you have, you know he has been talking straight from the shoulder about the problems that face this Nation, and about the great decisions that will have to be made during the next 4 years.
I'm sorry that his opponent is not doing the same thing. The Republican candidate for President says he's going to try to win this election by appealing to the people's emotions, and not to their intellects. That's why you won't find anything in most of his speeches except slogans, generalities, and scare words. I think it's insulting to the American people to tell them they make up their minds according to their emotions, and not on the basis of the great issues that are before them.
Now, on this trip I'm going to talk facts, and I'm going to talk issues. I'm going to talk about every phase of our domestic and foreign policy, and I'm going to talk about the record of my administration in terms that everybody can understand.
And you people today--and the historians in the years to come--will find that the record of the administration of Harry S. Truman is a pretty good one. The last 4 years have been years of fighting for peace in the world and working for a strong and prosperous Nation here at home--and they have been successful years.
We've crushed the Communist conspiracy in this country. And we've stopped the advance of communism all over the globe.
We moved into Korea to make it plain to the Kremlin that the free countries of the world don't plan to engage in appeasement-for we have learned from bitter experience that appeasement is the road to total war. The Communists have been stopped cold in Korea. And the Communists haven't crossed another frontier since, anywhere in the world.
At home, we've made great progress in a mighty program to strengthen our national defense. We're in a much stronger position now to bring about a just and lasting peace than we have been before.
And while we've been carrying out this great program of combating communism and building strength, we've maintained the prosperity and the high standard of living which have become almost synonymous with having Democratic administrations in Washington.
So the record is good.
But in spite of this, the Democratic administration is being subjected to the most abusive, intemperate, and vicious campaign we have had in years. The Republican Party has launched a crusade, they call it, to exterminate the Democrats-by propaganda, lies, slander by any means, fair or foul. Now, why is this ?
It's because, so long as I have been in office I have been fighting for the common man. I've been fighting against the special interests, and they are out to get me and destroy all I have done. They are not going to succeed, though.
Now, who are these special privilege groups that are behind this vicious attack? Who are the groups behind the Republican candidate, pulling the strings ? I'm going to tell you.
First, there is the power lobby. It wants to do away with low cost public power.
There's the grain speculation lobby that doesn't want the farmer to get the price of the crops he raises.
Then there's the railroad lobby that's been jacking up your freight rates in North Dakota--and fighting tooth and nail against the St. Lawrence Seaway so you can't get the right kind of freight rates.
Then there's the real estate lobby that wants to gouge everyone who needs a home to live in.
Then there's the rich man's tax lobby that's always trying to open up tax loopholes for the wealthy.
And there's the tariff lobby that wants to raise tariffs so they can pick up some extra profits for themselves, even though it means losing the world market for your grain.
In short, it's all the special privilege groups from the oil lobby to the China lobby, and they've all joined together behind the Republican Party. And I am glad they are in the Republican Party because I am going to tear them apart before we get through.
Now, what has this unholy crew decided to try to make the big issue in this campaign? They seem to be putting most of their effort into a terrific drive to make you believe that your Government is full of corruption from top to bottom.
Let me tell you what the truth is. The fact is that most of the 2½ million men and women who work for the Government are some of the finest and most honorable people in this country.
However, there have been some people in the Government who have betrayed the trust that was placed in them. That has been true of all administrations, throughout the history of this country. It is just as true in private business. It is true even in the United States Army. Wherever there are people who are in a position to have bribes offered to them, some of those people are going to be weaklings.
When we have found such people in this administration, we have acted--and we have acted on the basis of facts, and not on suspicion or rumor. Every charge has been investigated. The guilty people have been discharged, and prosecuted when the facts warranted prosecution.
Betrayal of the public trust is damnable, and those who are guilty of it ought to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. And as long as I am President they will be. The people who gave the bribes and the people who took them should all be behind the bars.
I know of nobody who has found a way to prevent some people from being--or becoming--dishonest. If anybody has a formula, I'm very sure that the American Bankers Association, for one, would pay a lot to get that formula. They have temptation in their business just as we have it in the Internal Revenue Bureau, and last year there were something like 600 defalcations and embezzlements in the banks of this country. One out of every 300 bank officers was found to be crooked. And the record of the Internal Revenue Bureau is a great deal better than that, I am here to tell you.
I most certainly do not condone dishonesty in Government--and I do not undertake to excuse it--but I think you ought to get the facts about this and you ought to have the facts straight, and I am giving them to you straight from the shoulder.
One of the fairest comments on the Internal Revenue Bureau--and the Government as a whole--was made by your senior Senator from North Dakota, who is a Republican. Senator Langer said on the floor of the Senate last October, and I am going to quote him (this is Senator Langer speaking in the record of the Congress):
"Mr. President,"--he is talking to the President of the Senate, who at the time was Alben Barkley--"I have listened with interest to the distinguished Senator from Delaware. Judging from his speech and from the various things we read in the newspapers, one would get the impression that Government officials are all a bunch of crooks and grafters. F wish to say that, in my opinion, Federal officials today are just as honest as were the Federal officials in 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, and 1932. It was only a very short time ago that, under a Republican administration"--and this is Senator Langer speaking--"a member of the Cabinet was sent to the penitentiary.
"I want the people of the country to know that"--I am still quoting Senator Langer-"that the senior Senator from North Dakota believes that those who are today holding Federal positions are as honest, in proportion to the number employed, as they have ever been at any time in the history of the United States of America. When we consider that there are 2,500,000 Government employees, it is natural to expect that there will be some delinquents. Even Christ had his Judas. These charges of corruption are doing much more harm to the Government than they are doing good." That ends the quote from Senator Langer.
Now, I am only human and I make mistakes like everybody else. And not half as many as they charge me with, but I make them. But I have been working for the people of the United States just as hard as I can, and I have been doing an honest job. And you know that.
I've cleaned up corruption in the Government wherever I've found it. But I haven't been satisfied just with getting rid of wrongdoers. I've tried to improve the Government's machinery for preventing corruption in the future.
Do you know what's the biggest trouble I've run into in doing that? It's the opposition of the Republicans in the Congress. They have voted against every reorganization plan I have proposed to take Government jobs out of politics and put them under civil service. For awhile they did that. I guess they thought maybe they might win this year but they are going to be disappointed.
Now they don't want to get rid of corruption. They just want to kick it around as a political football.
The truth about the matter is that the special interest fellows who run the Republican Party are so anxious to get control of the Government for their own purposes that they won't stop at anything. They did. not pick one of their own gang to be their candidate for President. They knew the people would see through that. They picked a man who has spent all his life in the Army and doesn't know much about what they have been doing or about what has been going on in the United States. Then they swarmed all around him, they began selling him their special interest line of propaganda. He has swallowed it hook, line, and sinker, and he is doing and saying exactly what they tell him to do and to say. He may not know it, but he has become the front man for the lobbies.
They are sending him around the country with advance agents to put up billboards and balloons, and pass confetti. Now the Democrats never had the money to do that. No, they have plenty of money to put into these things. The Wall Street bankers are just pouring out the cash.
The Republican candidate has a sign on the back of his train which says "Look ahead neighbor." Well, that's not what the sign ought to say. It ought to say this: "Look out neighbor."
Now, I am going to tell you why. Let me tell you some of the things you had better look out for.
Are you a farmer ? Have you been doing pretty well these last few years? Then you'd better "look out neighbor." The men who are going to write the farm ticket for the Republican candidate are no friends of yours.
Do you own your own farm ? Then you'd better "look out neighbor." The last time you had a Republican administration, farm mortgages were being foreclosed so fast you couldn't count them.
Are you covered by social security or railroad retirement? Are you counting on that to help you in your old age? Then you'd better "look out neighbor." The Republican candidate for President said if the American people want security the best place for them to find it is in jail. I don't believe you all want to go to jail under a Republican administration.
Do you have a job? Would you like to keep it? Then you'd better "look out neighbor." There were 12 million to 14 million people unemployed in this country in 1932.
Do you get good wages ? Then you'd better "look out neighbor." The Republican politicians do not believe in good wages-they have been against every step we have taken to raise the wages of the workingman every time it has come up in Congress.
And above all, let me ask you: Do you want to avoid a third world war? Then you'd better "look out neighbor." The Republican candidate seems to be listening to some strange advice so far as foreign policy is concerned.
These, my friends, are some of the real issues of this campaign.
Don't be deceived by any smoke screen. Don't be misled by false propaganda. Don't turn this country of ours over to the special interests.
Vote for the candidates who have your welfare at heart.
Vote for Stevenson and the whole Democratic ticket.
And while you are doing that, you are voting for yourselves. And as I said once before, any farmer or businessman or a man who works with his hands for a living who doesn't vote the Democratic ticket this fall ought to have his head examined. And I am out to examine it if he does it. The best thing you can do for the welfare of this country, and for the peace of the world, is to vote for Stevenson and the whole Democratic ticket this fall.
Thank you very much.
[3.] GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA (Rear platform, 11 a.m.)
You know, I thought I saw about half the people of North Dakota this morning over at Fargo. It looks like the other half is here. I appreciate it. This is a wonderful turnout. That is a wonderful welcome, and I know that you are giving me that welcome as President of the United States, and not as a politician. But I am going to talk to you about some things about which there is no secret. I am out campaigning for the Democratic victory next November.
You have some wonderful Democrats in this State running for office. For Governor you have got Ole C. Johnson. For Congress you have got Edward Nesemeier, and for Senator, Harold A. Morrison. And he is on the train--with his opponent Senator Langer.
I know North Dakota doesn't elect many Democrats to office, and I must say that some of the Republicans you send down to Washington are a lot better than a lot of the Democrats that are down there. However, a good Democrat is even better than a good Republican. This time I wish you would send some Democrats down to the Congress. And don't forget, while you are doing that, to vote in your own interest and vote the national ticket for Adlai Stevenson for President and John Sparkman for Vice President.
Governor Stevenson has made a great progressive record in Illinois, and in this campaign he is talking about the real issues and telling you exactly where he stands. He is a real friend of the common everyday man, and he is not a front man for the special interests or for Wall Street.
And John Sparkman's record is just as good. He has always fought for the plain people of this country. These are men you can trust. They will look out for your interests.
I am very much impressed with the way this region is prospering and growing. Considering the terrible conditions in this State just an years ago, nobody could have believed you would be doing so well today.
I saw some figures the other day which showed that fight here, in Grand forks County, bank deposits were seven times higher last year than in 1932. Of course, I suppose the few people who had any money in those days were lucky if they didn't have it in a bank. That condition is changed now. The Federal Deposit Insurance Act, passed over the vicious and violent protests of the Republicans, has made bank deposits in all the banks safe. We haven't had a bank failure in goodness knows when, and we haven't had a bank receivership since I have been President.
Here is another figure. Nearly three fourths of the farms in this county are now owned by the farmers who work them, as compared with a little more than half just 20 years ago. And you don't hear about foreclosures and forced sales now, either.
The farm is not the only place where things have improved around here. Look at this good city. There are 50 percent more businesses here than there were 20 years ago, and sales are seven times higher. The people who work in these businesses are far better off. Did you know, for example, that more than 6,000 people in your own county are protected by old-age and survivors insurance? I can't give you a comparison with 20 years ago because there wasn't any social security program in that day. The Democrats put them into effect after they came in. And if the Old Guard Republicans had their way, there wouldn't be any social security yet, you can be sure of that.
It's a good thing the workers of this county have had the Democratic Party to help them, to help them get social security and union recognition, and all the other things we have done these past 20 years. It's a good thing for you railroad workers that you had a Democratic Congress to help you get union security. It is certain the Old Guard Republicans won't help you get things like that.
Quite the contrary. A few days ago I wrote a letter to the American federation of Labor Convention in New York City, and I mentioned that I had been reading the Wall Street Journal--some people call it the Bawl Street Journal--about Republican plans for labor laws even worse than the Taft-Hartley law. You should have heard the howl the one-party press put up on that one. They said it wasn't so, at all.
Well, my friends, I knew exactly what I was talking about. I have right here the copy of the Wall Street Journal for May 26, 1952. Let me read you the headline on the front page. It starts off: "New Labor Law. Congress Ponders Curb on Industry-wide Pay Bargaining by Unions. Action Not Likely Because of Election." But come 1953 you had better look out.
And it says in this headline: "Mr. Taft Has Some Ideas." I expect he has, too. The article goes on to say: "... if the Republicans hold their own or gain new strength in the House or Senate, it's almost certain that there will be a new effort next year to crack down on the unions. And if the GOP controls Congress by a comfortable margin, the effort will probably succeed."
Now, that is right here in this Wall Street Journal, and that is exactly what it says. But the kept press almost howled their heads off when I said that in the letter to the American federation of Labor.
This is one time I agree with the Wall Street Journal. It is very seldom I ever agree with them.
I have been talking about some things that are important to the workers in this country. But farmers shouldn't have any false ideas that what I have been saying doesn't affect them. It will affect them, too. Don't you think you can stand by while they kick labor around. You are not safe either--the Old Guard Republicans have got it in for you, too.
Look at their record in Congress. You know what I mean. You remember how they tried to wreck rural electrification back in the 80th Congress. They voted four and five to one for cutting REA funds, and they did that not just once but four separate times. The only thing that saved REA was an even bigger ratio of Democrats who voted right on that subject.
Just this spring a majority of the Republican Congressmen voted against continuing farm price support at 90 percent of parity. Now let me give you a concrete example of what the Republicans will do to you. Under their plan, if they had been able to put it through the Congress, you would be getting a support price loan of $2.13 a bushel at Minneapolis. You know what you are getting now, you are getting $2.46. And that support price law runs through 1953 and 1954. If we had got the Republican program, you would be right back where the farmers in the Corn Belt were in 1946, when they refused to give you storage space.
The other day, Senator Taft said he was against this 90 percent of parity, too. Their candidate for President has claimed that he was for 90 percent of supports--parity, at least, he says, for the next 2 years, but he didn't seem to know about the rest of the party.
The people who really run the national Republican Party can hardly wait to start using that sliding scale they love so much for price supports. They will use it if you give them the chance, and they will slide you right down to ruin.
It all adds up to the same thing. The Old Guard Republican Party is against the interests of the plain everyday people of this country--workers, farmers, small businessmen, and everybody else. The only interests that they care about are the special interests-the big business in Wall Street--the big banks, the big lobbies. These are the fellows they are out to serve. Not you. They don't care anything about you.
Now, don't let them fool you with a lot of campaign promises. They will tell you they are for what you think you want now, but when it comes to their voting record in the Congress, you will find out exactly what they will do to you when they have the opportunity.
Ask them to explain their terrible record of voting against the people. Ask them to explain why they voted against everything we have done to make this country strong enough to stave off world war three and safeguard peace.
Ask that military man the Republicans are trying to make President of the United States. Ask the General to explain his party's record--and watch him squirm. He won't be able to explain the Republican Party's record. But I will tell you, my friends, you had better look it up, it's something to write home about.
I am going to have a broadcast in this State pretty soon that will tell you just exactly what the record of those Republicans in Congress has been for the past 30 years and it hasn't been in the interest of the farmer, the workingman, and the little businessman. That will show you exactly what is at stake for you in this election--you individually. That will show you where your interests lie.
If you want this country to have a chance for peace and for prosperity, there's only one thing you can do that will save the country, and save you. That is to vote for Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman. If you really have your own interests at heart, you will go to the polls on November the 4th and you will vote for yourselves.
And when you vote for yourselves, you will vote for the people's control of the Government, and you will vote the Democratic ticket--and the country will be safe for another 4 years.
[4.] LARIMORE, NORTH DAKOTA (Rear platform, 12:10 p.m.)
I am certainly happy to be with you this morning, and I want to say to you and call your attention to the fact that the United States of America is the only country in the world where a situation such as this could happen: when a candidate for Senator on the Democratic ticket introduces a candidate for Senator on the Republican ticket. That shows we have got a great country.
I have been getting acquainted with your candidates this morning, and I have become very much impressed with them. Mr. Johnson, Mr. Nesemeier and Mr. Morrison are running for Governor and Congressman at Large and United States Senator. They are fine gentlemen, and I am sure that if you decide to elect them, North Dakota will be well governed and well represented.
I want to express the hope that you have been listening to Governor Stevenson's speeches, laying out his program, and what he would do if he were President of the United States. They show you he is a man who cares deeply about the people, and about peace and prosperity and progress for us all.
He will fight for these things, and so will John Sparkman. Senator Sparkman has a fine record in Congress. He has been in the thick of the fight for things like flood control, rural electrification, price supports, and farm housing. We have come a long way since the Democrats took over 20 years ago. I am going to tell you more about it in a minute, but I want to call attention to the fact that--I guess he is here this morning--there's a gentleman here who is the instructor of social sciences at the Larimore State High School, and he rode with me on the battleship Missouri from Rio de Janeiro. And I had a grand visit with him. If he is here, I would like very much to see him. I signed his shellback card on the battleship Missouri when we crossed the Equator.
You know, they give you a pretty rough ride when you cross the Equator on one of these battleships. They initiate you into the Order of Neptune--they initiated my doctor. And they have to run the gauntlet when you do that. They have a bunch of great big tough sailors standing on each side of the deck, and they run you through a tank of water, and then they stand on each side with a rubber hose and see how fast you can run. And I can tell you, you can run pretty fast when that happens. Now that is what I am trying to do to the Republicans, I am trying to run them out of this game.
You know they left you flat broke, mortgaged out, flooded out, dusted out, with no solvent banks, no credit--nothing.
Now we have got price supports. We have got flood control. We have got soil conservation. We have got farm credit and home loans. And we have got guaranteed bank deposits. We have the rural electrification cooperatives which made it possible for the farmers to get electricity on their farms.
Only 10 percent of the farms in this county were electrified in 1950. Now the figure is nearly 90 percent, and it is climbing all the time.
We have these things because the Democratic administrations understood the farmer and believed in him, and set out to help him.
The national Republican Party has never favored our work for farmers. Maybe they like the big corporation farmers, but they don't care for the little fellow on the family sized farms.
To prove that, look at their record in Congress. Their record was bad when they had a majority in that "do-nothing" 80th Congress. And it has been bad since then, when they were in the minority.
They are still at it. Now this spring, a majority of House Republicans voted against continuing price supports at 90 percent of parity. If they had their way the loan price on wheat would be $2.13 instead of $246. That is the difference between the Democratic plan and the Republican plan.
Their candidate for President made a speech in Minnesota, and said he was in favor of 90 percent supports. Well, his Republican platform doesn't pledge that. It says "parity in the marketplace." Now, I don't know what that means, but it doesn't sound very good for the farmers. "Parity in the marketplace"--now what do they mean by that? It might mean 25 percent--it might mean 10 percent--it might mean nothing.
The Republicans in Congress invented the sliding scale, and are still voting for it. If I were you, I wouldn't trust the promises they make. Because they will tell you anything to get your votes, but when they get in control, they will cut your throat. They have done it--my goodness alive. They have done it in times past, and they will do it again, if they get the opportunity.
You don't want to listen to what they say. You want to look at what they do and have done when they had the opportunity. Then decide what will be good for you and good for the country. That won't be hard to do. I will tell you that won't be hard to do.
I went across this State in 1948, and told you exactly what the Republicans intended to do to you, and what they had tried to do to you. And if I hadn't been President, you would have had your throats cut then.
Your interests lie with the Democratic Party. In the United States today the Democratic Party is the party of the plain everyday man--the man who works for a living. We have proved that by the programs we have carried on in the last 20 years.
The Democratic platform pledges to continue and improve these programs--no ifs, ands, or buts about it. And Adlai Stevenson stands squarely on the Democratic platform. I hope he will have the opportunity to come up here to North Dakota and tell you face to face just exactly how he stands on that Democratic platform. And when you see him and hear him, you will be satisfied that he is the man that ought to be the next President of the United States.
Stevenson stands for the things that have made this country great in the last 20 years, the things that have kept this country growing and prosperous, and have made it the greatest republic in the history of the world. I am decidedly proud of my record as President of the United States. I have got nothing whatever to apologize for. I am asking you people to carry on that record and keep the country the greatest free nation in the history of the world.
That is what you will do if you vote for Adlai Stevenson. If you want progress, and if you want to go forward, and you want to look out for your own interests, the thing for you to do November the 4th is to go down to that voting booth and vote the Democratic ticket straight, from top to bottom, and then your country will be safe for another 4 years.
[5.] LAKOTA, NORTH DAKOTA (Rear platform, 1:30 p.m.)
I tell you, I do appreciate this welcome. You know, when I got to Fargo this morning, I thought half the people in North Dakota were in Fargo. Then when I got to Grand forks I thought the other half was there, but I was mistaken in both instances--the other half is right here.
I found out that this city of yours has a Sioux Indian name, which means allies, and it also has the same meaning as the word Dakota itself, which is another part of the Sioux language meaning allies.
Well, you know, a person in politics, and a person in world affairs must have allies and friends if he expects to get along. And I am mighty happy to be in the city this morning that is named and believes in allies.
You all know why I am here. In the first place, the President of the United States has to go around over the country once in a while and let the people see him, and let them understand just exactly what the office of the Presidency means. I am not here for that purpose this morning. I am here to talk politics to you. I am campaigning as the head of the Democratic Party.
You know, the Presidency has five different offices, and it takes a man to fill each of them. But the President has to fill all five of them by himself. One of those five duties of his is to act as the head of the party to which he belongs when he is in the White House. And he is the head of foreign affairs. He makes the foreign policy of the United States. He is the Chief Executive of the greatest Republic in the history of the world. He has to pass on every piece of legislation that is passed by the Congress. He has to make recommendations to the Congress. He has to make decisions that affect sometimes as many as a billion people--one of the greatest responsibilities in the history of the world.
And then the President is the Commander in Chief of the Armed forces of this great Government of ours. He has to make decisions in the military affairs that affect the business of all the world--a tremendous responsibility.
Then he has another responsibility that is a very pleasant one; he is the social head of the state. He has to entertain the visiting firemen when they come here, from Europe, Asia, Africa, and everywhere else. He has to be nice to queens and kings, presidents and prime ministers, and usually has to have luncheons for them. And--oh, it's a great job, I'll tell you. But any one of those five duties is enough to keep a man busy.
Well now, this morning I am working as the head of the Democratic Party--as the leader of the Democratic Party. And I want to say to you, that I have been getting acquainted with these gentlemen to whom you were introduced just awhile ago, and I think they are a pretty good bunch of fellows. And if I was in North Dakota, I wouldn't have any trouble about voting the Democratic ticket--I would know that I was going to have good government if I did. And I hope you will get out the vote. I hope you will get everybody you possibly can to the polls.
You know, it is a disgrace, the number of people in this great Republic of ours who stay away and do not do their civic duty on election day. We are lazy. Now these people who stay at home are the ones who do the most yelling about what is wrong with the Government when they don't get what they think they should have. They have nobody to blame but themselves.
The power of this great Republic of ours rests in the people--in you--every single one of you here. And when you don't exercise the privilege which the Constitution of the United States gives you, you have nobody to blame but yourselves when you don't have the kind of government you want.
Now I am urging you to go to the polls and vote for the national Democratic ticket, as well as your local ticket. When you put Stevenson and Sparkman--Stevenson in the White House and Sparkman to preside over the Senate, as the President of the Senate and Vice President of the United States--you will find that the country will be entirely safe for another 4 years. Both of those gentlemen are fine men, with lots of experience working for the people.
For 20 years the Democratic Party has had your interest at heart, and a lot has been accomplished for you. Just remember how the Republicans left you back in 1932. You will see what I mean. The Republicans have an unbroken record of looking after special interests. They don't care about the farmer and the workingman and the consumer. Their outlook is no better now than it was 20 years ago. Look how they acted in that awful Both Congress. You know I had a wonderful time in 1948 telling the people what a terrible Congress the Both was, and the Republicans are still voting the same way. In the minority, in the Congress, they vote wrong every time they have an opportunity.
Take the rural telephone loans for your REA cooperatives. The Democratic 81st Congress started that program 3 years ago. Three and one-half millions worth of those loans have already been approved for the great State of North Dakota, but if the Republicans had had their way, there wouldn't have been any loans at all--or telephones either, for that matter. Fifty-three percent of the Republican Congressmen voted against the whole program, right at the start. And you know what they did--they tried to do the same thing to the farm loan storage business.
If the Republican program had gone over, as I've told everybody up and down this track, right now the loan value of your wheat would have been $2.13 instead of $2.46. The strongest nerve in the voter is the pocketbook nerve. Remember that. The Republican candidate for President is trying to make you believe that he is for farm programs and social gains, and everything else the Democrats have done. He is trying to make you think the national Republican Party has reformed. But his party is owned body and soul by the big money boys, and he can't change that.
Maybe the candidate is just misinformed. He has been in the Army all his life and he hasn't had a chance to study politics like I have. You know, in this great country of ours, politics is government. It is the most honorable profession in the world because it is government.
Now, it looked that way to me the other day when the head of the Republican ticket spoke down here at Kasson, Minnesota. There he brought up the terrible shortage of grain storage back in 1948--when the 80th Congress stopped the Commodity Credit Corporation from providing storage space.
He said the 80th Congress hadn't done anything wrong. Well that's not what the people thought, after I got through telling them how wrong it had been. Anyway, he said there was no shortage of grain storage back in 1948. Now, that's just plain hooey. Millions of farmers remember the shortage. The Banking and Currency Committee of the House of Representatives admitted in this document right here that there was a shortage, and that the 80th Congress was to blame.
Now listen to this. This is a report of the Banking and Currency Committee in the 81st Congress, when they restored the grain storage proposition in the Commodity Credit Corporation: "It is, of course, necessary"--and I am quoting now from the report--"It is, of course, necessary that adequate storage facilities be available to producers before they can obtain the benefits of the price support program with respect to their crops. There have been many complaints that farmers were unable to obtain proper storage in many localities, either on their own farms, or in commercial facilities, and it is probable that farmers would have been able to place additional quantities of certain commodities under the price support program had storage been available to them. Restrictions contained in section 4(h) of the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act approved in June 1948--the 80th Congress-prohibited the Commodity Credit Corporation from taking any effective action toward alleviating the storage deficiencies, and would prevent it from doing so in the future."
Well now, the 81st Congress cured that. And there was a certain Senator who is in the grain storage business who started this big lie about my not having told the truth in 1948 about the storage, and I am sorry to say that the candidate for President simply did not know the facts, and he got out and made the same statement that this good-for-nothing Senator did. He either doesn't know the facts, or he doesn't care for the truth, and I prefer to think that he doesn't know the facts.
An uninformed President, fronting for the big-time lobbyists who run the Republican Party, shouldn't be in the White House. That is the worst combination I can think of, but that is what they are trying to sell you this year.
Don't you buy it. Don't you buy it. Don't you ruin yourselves. Don't put yourselves back where you were when they had an overwhelming majority in that Republican Congress that almost cut your throat and let you bleed to death. And that is what they will do again if you let them.
The thing for you to do is to go out on election day and vote for yourselves and your interests. Don't vote for the lobbyists, because they are not after your welfare. They are thinking of lining their own pockets at your expense.
The Democratic Party has a record of service, and a forward-looking platform, and a candidate that people can trust. That is the combination to give you the kind of change that will help you to a better future.
If you know what your interests are, you will go out there on November the 4th and you will go in that election booth and you will pick up a ticket and you will put an X up there for the head of the Democratic ticket, and you will put that in the ballot box, and you will go home and feel like you have done something for your country.
Thank you very much.
[6.] DEVILS LAKE, NORTH DAKOTA (Rear platform, 2:30 p.m.)
I certainly appreciate that introduction, Senator Langer. You have been in the Senate a long time, and you know the record, both mine and your own--they have been good, I'll say that, and compliment myself a little bit.
I appreciate this welcome most highly. I am here as the head of the Democratic Party. You see, I have got five jobs, and I am working at one of them now, as a politician. I am trying to inform the people what the Democratic Party stands for, what the Democratic Party has done; and Governor Stevenson is going to tell you what the Democratic Party is going to do when he becomes President.
And I am sure he is going to be President. I have been on the train today with the candidates for office in North Dakota, and I formed a very high idea of their fitness and ability. You can see that what happened just now couldn't happen in any other country but this great America of ours, when opposing candidates can ride on the same train and speak nicely of each other. Back at the last town a Democratic candidate for Senator introduced Senator Langer; and Senator Langer now introduced the Democratic candidate here. Where can you find anything like that outside of this great country of ours? You can't.
And I want to see, of course, a Democratic ticket elected in North Dakota, and everywhere else in the country. I want the Democratic candidate for President and Vice President elected, because I want to see the welfare of this country continued for another 4 years, and the only way you can get that continued is to elect Governor Stevenson as President and Senator Sparkman as Vice President of the United States.
And I am sure that is what you are going to do, for they are two fine gentlemen.
Now I have always been intrigued with Devils Lake. I had hoped sometime to get up here late in the evening and go out and see if I could see the devil that gives it its name. I understand that there is one there, and that people have seen him. In fact, I am told that a couple of Indians once sat on him, and one stuck a knife into him, and that is what brought him to life. I am going to be back here sometime and sit on the shore of that lake and see if I can see that devil for which it is named.
I am also interested in a project down here in South Dakota on the Missouri River which contemplates raising the level of Devils Lake back to the point where it used to be in times gone by when it was a source of navigation to this part of the world.
If--I say if--you will keep the Democrats in office, you will probably get that done. Otherwise you won't.
I am also told that most of the storms that originate in the Missouri Valley come across the Canadian border right here. They start up at the mouth of the Mackenzie River and follow down the Mackenzie River and the Red River and then take you right on down to Missouri. I am a student of weather. And all the weather starts. right here at Devils Lake. Goes all over the country. An interesting study. Sometimes you give us good weather, and sometimes you don't. I wish you would give us good weather all the time. I am asking you now, please give us good weather from now on.
I understand that the Army comes up here to test their clothing every once in awhile. Sometimes, they tell me, in the wintertime it gets just as cold as it does anywhere else on earth. You know, the two coldest places in the world are landlocked places. One of them is Havre, Montana, and the other one is over in the center of Siberia. It gets colder there than it does at the North and South Poles. And that is saying a good deal. So I think I will confine my visits up here to the summertime. I don't like cold weather very well.
I also remember 2 years ago we had to help you dig out of the snow and save your livestock. I was certainly glad that the Government was able to do that.
I am always glad to see the Government help people do things they can't do for themselves. That is what Government is for. And that is what the Democrats have been doing these past 20 years. The great Missouri basin project--Garrison Dam--and all the rest of it, that is a good example of what we have been doing. And I want to say to you that projects like the Garrison Dam, and fort Peck Dam, and this Hungry Horse Dam that I am going out to dedicate day after tomorrow, are projects which are for the public welfare. They are for the welfare of all the people.
You will find, if you will examine the record, that the majority of Republicans in Congress have opposed every one of them.
We hope to find a way, as I said awhile ago, to bring some water up to this territory and help you with irrigation, and put some more land to work down south of us here. With irrigation we could develop thousands of acres of farms in this vicinity. We may even be able to find a way of putting that Devils Lake level up to the point where you would like to have it. I hope we can. But you won't get it if you elect a Republican Congress and a Republican President. You won't get anything. You will get just what you deserve.
You know, the Republicans regard the Government as a device for milking the people, for the benefit of the big bankers, and the railroads, and the oil lobby, and the power lobby, and all the rest of them. You will find them in the corner of the special interests every single time the matter comes up for a vote in the Senate.
That is what they believe. That is the way they operate. They ran this country right into the ground when they were last in power. They showed the same spirit in that 80th Congress. But luckily for you, and luckily for the country, we had a Democratic President sitting in the White House that wouldn't let them get away with the murder they wanted to get away with.
Now the Republicans in the Congress have been acting the same way that the 80th Congress has, only they haven't been able to put it over. They are trying now to fool you into voting for them, so they can put over all these things that they couldn't get away with in the 80th Congress. Maybe you don't realize this, but 2 years ago 64 percent of the Republicans voted to cut all flood appropriations in half. And just last year the great majority of House Republicans tried to stop the Government from building transmission lines like the one which is going to bring Garrison power up here for your REA cooperatives.
If you vote these fellows in, you probably won't have any REA cooperatives. These votes are just typical. Of course, the Republicans want you to forget that. Don't you let them mislead you. You keep your eye on the ball. Keep your eye on your own interests, and let that pocketbook nerve of yours tell you what to do.
When it comes down to voting, vote for yourselves, and vote not for the lobbies. Give yourselves a chance. Vote for Stevenson and Sparkman, and see that they get a real Democratic majority in Congress to back them up.
Now the Republicans have a peculiar way of doing business. They are going around now telling you that they voted more money for the loans on the REA in the 80th Congress than I had asked for in the budget. But you know what they did? They voted that money all right, but when it came time to vote the operating expenses of REA, they didn't do a thing but cut off $700,000 of that appropriation and fixed it so that REA couldn't hire engineers to put these lines in. You know what they had for this part of the country? They left just one engineer for North and South Dakota and Minnesota. And how in the world could he make those surveys?
Well, the 81st Democratic Congress remedied that, when we got back the power in Congress, and the REA got the necessary funds so it could operate. What's the use of voting a lot of money for loans and then cutting off the ability to make those loans? They will come out and tell you a whole lot of hooey like that, and if you examine the record, you will find that they ruined the thing every time they had an opportunity, but they did it in an underhanded way.
They wanted to vote for appropriations, and vote for authorizations. Then when it came to the point of operating them, they fixed it so they couldn't be operated. They are doing that right along now, if they had the chance. And they will do it to you, if you vote them in.
Now, in order to keep that thing from happening, get on your horse and go down to the polls on election day and vote for yourselves. Vote for your own interests. And when you do that, you can't vote any other way but for the Democratic ticket from top to bottom, and then you will be safe for another 4 years.
Thank you a lot.
[7.] MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA (Rear platform, 5:10 p.m.)
It certainly is a privilege and a pleasure to be with you this afternoon. I was here in 1948, and had a meeting something like this. And I was highly complimented then, and I am more than highly complimented now to have all these people turn out for me when I am not even a candidate.
I am here, though, in one of my five official capacities. I am the head of the Democratic Party as President of the United States, and I am out here for a purpose. I want to preach a little Democratic doctrine to you, and see if I can't get you in the frame of mind to elect Stevenson and Sparkman President and Vice President of the United States next November.
Now I have been riding all day with your candidates: for Governor, Mr. Johnson, your candidate for Congressman at Large--who was just out here--Mr. Nesemeier, and your Democratic candidate for Senator, Mr. Morrison. I have been highly impressed with these gentlemen, and of course if you vote the straight Democratic ticket here in North Dakota, I won't be disappointed, I can tell you that.
Stevenson has made a great and progressive record as Governor of Illinois, a record of clean, efficient government for the people. And in this campaign he is talking sense to the American people. He is telling you where he stands on the real tough issues that are before us. He is a real friend of the common, everyday man, and not a front man for the special interests.
And John Sparkman's record is just as good. He has always been a leader in the fight for your interests. These men you can trust to help you all the way.
Now I am mighty glad to see how well you people are getting along here in North Dakota. I understand the Republican candidate for President is saying the country is in terrible shape. He says the country is just going to the dogs as fast as it can go. But I have a paper here that is very interesting, and which I will tell you about in a minute.
Twenty years ago North Dakota was flat broke, farmers were losing their shirts, bank failures and foreclosures all across the State. Today, this whole region is more prosperous than ever anybody thought it could be.
Somebody sent me a copy of this "Fargo forum"--I have it right here. And that headline up there says: "1951 North Dakota farm Income the Third Highest on Record." That is after records were made in 1947 and 1948. The article says your cash income this year was $590 million, over and above what you consumed yourselves. And it says this figure was 97 percent above the 1937-1946 average. That doesn't look to me much like you are going to the dogs.
That is not true just in North Dakota, either. The whole country is in the same shape. The country never was better off.
We have an economy of 62 million jobs, $343 billion total national production and $288 billion national income. And these figures are growing all the time.
In 1948 I made the prophecy that the national income would reach $300 billion within 10 years. Well, it's going to reach that $300 billion within a very short time now, far less than m years.
And that is because the policy of the Democratic administration has been in the interests of all the people.
Now, that kind of general prosperity is what gives you farmers the markets--the great markets. Last year consumers spent $448 per person on food. Contrast that with $245 in 1929, and then $174 in 1932. And those figures are adjusted for price changes. Those figures are parallel. Prosperity has not come by accident. Your Government has helped to make it happen.
Take our farm programs for example. Price supports, farm credit and home loans, soil conservation districts, reclamation and irrigation, agricultural research--all these play a big part in building prosperity and a good living standard on the farm.
And don't forget rural electrification--and rural telephones. In 1930 only 4 percent of the farms in Ward County were electrified. In 1950 the figure was 67 percent, and it is climbing. The Republicans have done everything they possibly can to sabotage the REA program. The Republicans are always talking about socialism and regimentation. They use these words against all our farm programs.
Well, the result of all this Democratic socialism is that here in Ward County farm ownership has shot up nearly 20 percent since 1930, and now over four-fifths of your farms belong to the farmers who work them. Those farmers here own three times as many tractors as they did 20 years ago. In fact, they didn't have money to buy tractors 20 years ago. Does that all sound like socialism?
Of course, the Republicans don't really believe it's socialism. They are just against these things, and they are afraid to say so directly. And the Republican Party has worked and fought against every good thing we have done for the farmer since 1933. If you don't believe it, all you have to do is look at their record. The record in the Congress is where it counts.
Of course, you know about the record of that "do-nothing" 80th Congress that I had so much fun with in 1948. They tried to cripple rural electrification--ruin our power program. They even forced that awful shortage of storage space for grain on the one their candidate says didn't happen. I just read the record of the Committee on Banking and Currency at the last stop, which stated specifically that the 81st Congress had amended the Commodity Credit Corporation and taken out the amendment which the 80th Congress put in there that prevented the farmer from having storage for his grain. They don't mind misrepresenting the facts when they think it will get votes. You will find them talking out of both sides of their mouth all the time. They don't have any principles that they won't throw overboard if they think they can get the power. But I don't think they are going to fool anybody.
But all this is only part of the story. Most of the Republicans in Congress are still just as bad as they were in the 80th Congress-they haven't changed a bit. Fifty-three percent of Republican Congressmen voted against the rural telephone program 3 years ago. An equal number voted against extending price supports at 90 percent of parity. They did that just this last spring.
If you want a good example of the Republican attitude on farm problems, take their Vice Presidential candidate. He has only been in Congress 6 years, but in that time he managed to vote seven times for crippling cuts in the REA and soil conservation programs. You have been hearing a lot about his personal finances, but that is not half as strange a story as his voting record. You ought to look at the voting record, it's a peach from our standpoint. He has been against everything that is good for the people.
Now that brings me down to the Republican candidate for President. I have known him a long time. I have known him ever since he was a major in the Army. I have always been very fond of him. He was a great general. He did a wonderful service for the country in World War II. But he doesn't know the first principle about the program that is necessary to keep this country running. He doesn't seem to be very fond of our REA. Just the other day, he got up at Omaha and said he would take the Government's "sticky fingers" off our rural cooperatives. Now that is just a plain insult, to cover up a bad intention. It's an insult to Claude Wickard and the whole REA--and it's an insult to the cooperatives, too. I think you are not being fooled by any such foolish talk as that.
The Republican candidate has had some other things to say about the farm programs, too. Over in Minnesota the other day, he tried to make the farmers think that he would be for all the good things the Democrats have done. In fact, at that meeting, he got on the Democratic platform and tried to claim it. But he left himself an awful lot of holes to slip out of. I am going to say something more about that later on, which I think you will be interested in; that is, when I come back, maybe. Moreover, he doesn't seem to know what the Republican record is. Maybe he ought to read their platform, which promises to "aim" at parity for farmers "in the marketplace." Now, I don't know what that means. I have never yet been able to figure out what "parity in the marketplace" is. It sounds an awful lot like two-bit wheat to me--sounds like 25 percent of parity.
Now that candidate--fine man that he is--has got a lot to learn about this country-and about his party, too. But I don't think we can afford to educate him at public expense.
The best thing for you to do is send him back to the Army where he belongs.
I want you to remember this. The Old Guard Republican Party won't protect your interests. They don't care about them. They don't give a hoot about your interest. What they are thinking about is feathering the pockets of the special interests with which they are connected.
They have got more friends in more lobbies in Washington than all the Democrats put together. If they get into power, they will act just as they always have--and that will be the end of your great progress here in North Dakota.
That is not the kind of change which you want, but that is the kind you will get if you elect a Republican ticket.
from the Democrats you will get young, vigorous men, skilled in the task of good government, who will carry forward the kind of progress that you have been making for the last 20 years.
Now, for your own interests, for your own welfare, for the goodness of your pocketbook, and for the goodness of your assets, and your bank accounts, it is to your interest to go to the polls in November and vote the Democratic ticket and keep the country safe for another 4 years.
[8.] BERTHOLD, NORTH DAKOTA (Rear platform, 6:22 p.m.)
I appreciate very much being able to be here today, and I want to thank you for coming out to meet me. That is a compliment to the President of the United States. You see, I am not running for office any more, but I am exercising one of my five jobs on this trip. I am acting in the capacity of the head of the Democratic Party, trying to convince the people of the country that it is to their best interests to vote the Democratic ticket.
I have had a wonderful day. I have been associated with some of the candidates who are running for office here in North Dakota on the Democratic ticket, and they are wonderful people, and you can't make a mistake if you go to the polls and vote that ticket. And I hope very much to see the great State of North Dakota go for Stevenson and Sparkman.
Stevenson has made a wonderful record as Governor of Illinois, and I know he will make a great President. He will fight for the plain people of this country, and he will see to it that this is the kind of country you want to live in and want your children to grow up in.
The most important thing of all is that Governor Stevenson is a man of peace. You know, the President of the United States has the most important job in the world. He has more to do with whether or not we shall have peace in the world than any other individual.
These are critical times we are going through, because the danger of Communist aggression threatens us with another world war. It will take all our wisdom and courage and patience, and a lot of hard work, to avoid an all-out war. And I can tell you that Governor Stevenson understands these things. If you have been listening to his speeches, you know that he has met the foreign policy issues frankly and honestly. He has not been hiding behind vague generalities.
Nobody wants war, and the Republican candidate is no exception. I do not want war, either, but in this struggle for peace, we have to have more than good intentions. A military life is good training, but it is good training for war, and the preparation of war. It is not training in the ways of preventing war. That has always been the job of the civilian head of the Government of the United States. The President of the United States, in his capacity as Chief Executive, and in his capacity as Commander in Chief, makes the policies of the United States that can lead to either peace or war. And you want to be careful to get a man in that job whose thinking is the thinking of the people of the United States, and not a military mind.
Since the General became a candidate for political office, he has been getting some strange advice on foreign policy. He has said some things about liberating foreign peoples that could get us into serious--very serious trouble--if they were followed through to their logical conclusion.
I am not altogether sure that he knew what he was saying--and that makes it worse. We cannot afford to have a President who is careless about things like this.
I have worked for peace for 7 long years. I want world peace above anything else on this earth. And I am sure that you feel the same way about it. No man can promise you peace with absolute certainty. But I believe with all my heart that our best chance for world peace lies with the election of Adlai Stevenson.
So I say to you, for your own welfare here at home, for the good of your great State, and for the good of yourselves, and for the welfare of this great country of ours, you should go to the polls on election day, and vote the Democratic ticket, and you will have good government for another 4 years. Thank you very much.
[9.] STANLEY, NORTH DAKOTA (Rear platform, 7:20 p.m.)
I certainly appreciate that. It is fine to be here. I have had one of the most pleasant days I have ever had in my political life, and I have been at this for 40 years. People in North Dakota are certainly cordial and friendly and courteous to the President of the United States, and they have been just as fine as I could ask for. They have treated me just as if I were running for office myself.
Now I am out now in my capacity as head of the Democratic Party, trying to convince you that the best thing for you and the best thing for the welfare of the country and the world is for you to vote the Democratic ticket this fail. I have had the pleasure of riding on the train all day with some of the Democratic candidates on the ticket here in North Dakota. I have become acquainted with your candidate for Governor, your candidate for Congressman at Large--who was just introduced to you--and your candidate for Senator; and I have known Bill Langer ever since I went to the Senate.
I am very much encouraged by what I heard today concerning the prospects for the Democratic candidate for President in North Dakota. I know it has been a long time since North Dakota went Democratic at a presidential election, but I believe this is the year when it is going to take place. I sincerely hope that you will give a good big majority to Governor Stevenson. I am sure that is what you will do, if you have your best interests in mind. He will be one of this country's greatest Presidents, and he will see that the common, everyday man in this country gets a square break.
And John Sparkman is the man to help him do it. You can be sure that you won't find him in the pocket of ,any special interests.
You are at the beginning of a great new age here in this neighborhood. Your natural resources are being developed, like your oil fields here, and the lignite deposits--and the power produced by fort Peck and Garrison Dams.
These things can bring about a great industrial and commercial development far beyond anything ever seen in this part of the country. Your Government is helping to make that possible, just as we have been helping to develop the whole country ever since 1933. We are helping by building dams and lines to transmit power to your cooperatives. We are helping by sound administration with your oil-bearing public lands, to benefit both the oil companies and the general public.
And I want to call your attention to one thing in particular. If this situation had not been properly handled by the Government of the United States, the men who own these firms under which the oil is now being found would not have had them. Those firms would have been in the hands of the moneylenders, and they would have been in the hands of the insurance companies, and you would not have gotten a dime's worth of benefit out of it. But your Government came to your rescue and saved them for you.
And another thing--the Coast and Geodetic Survey made a geological survey up here in this part of the world, and outlined this structure and this oil field that is now being brought into use. And that, by some people, is called Government interference-Government boondoggling. And I am informed that it has exposed 2½ billion barrels of oil--2½ billion barrels of oil; and in 2 or 3 years you will be producing 200,000 barrels of oil a day in these fields. Now that's pretty good boondoggling I would say, wouldn't you?
We are helping with research projects to find out how your great lignite resources can best be used--projects like the new research laboratory at Grand forks. We are helping, too, by all we have done to build up the general prosperity of the whole countryside--supporting farm prices, encouraging REA cooperatives, opening up farm credit and home loans, and all the rest. We have put a floor under the economy of this whole region, and for the whole United States as well.
But if the national Republican Party wins this election, you had better look out--you had better look out. You can kiss your hopes for progress goodby. I know what I am talking about because I have studied their record in Congress, and I am urging you to study it, too. Just read the record, that's all you need to do. That record shows an overwhelming majority of Republicans in Congress almost always voting wrong--if the interests of the people are right, they vote against the people.
Just 2 years ago, for instance, 64 percent of the Senate Republicans tried to cut out one half of all flood control work being done in this country. Just this year, practically all the Republicans voted to give away the Nation's offshore oil--so the oil lobby could exploit it easier.
Now there are 48 States in this great United States, and those whole 48 States have an interest in the offshore oil. Yet the Republicans in Congress wanted to give your interest here in North Dakota away. They almost did it, but I vetoed the bill, and I would do it again if it came up before me. The Supreme Court sustained the position which I have taken in that offshore oil, and it is a right position, because every bit of the country ought to share in that.
That is just a small sample of their attitude. We have held them in check up to now, because when the Congress went wrong, we had a Democrat in the White House to fight for the welfare and the benefit of the people. And I tell you, I fought at every step of the way when they were trying to give the interests of the Government away.
But, just wait till you get a Republican in the White House to team up with the Republicans in Congress. If you let that happen, they will ruin you, sure enough.
Now the head of the Republican ticket is going around standing on the Democratic platform on the farm program. But the Republican platform is not a platform that is in the interests of the people. I have found that these fellows will tell you anything in order to get votes. But I am urging you to read the record, and to study the Republican platform, and compare it with the platform of the party that has been doing things for the welfare of the people. And if you do that, you will vote for your own interests in November. You will go to the polls and vote the Democratic ticket, and keep the country safe for another 4 years. Thank you.
[10.] TIOGA, NORTH DAKOTA (Rear platform, 8:10 p.m., c.s.t.)
Thank you very much for that cordial welcome. You know, I never was treated so well in my life as I have been today in North Dakota. I was just telling Bill Langer in here that I should have come out here earlier and filed for Governor. I believe I could be elected.
It has been a great joy to me, meeting the good people I have met today, and I have been particularly pleased to meet your Democratic candidates for office here in North Dakota. I met your candidate for Governor and candidate for Senator, and the candidate for Congressman at Large, and became very well acquainted with them on the train all day today; and I don't think you will make any mistake by voting for them. I think they are all right.
I know there is one way you can't make any mistake, and that is to vote for Stevenson and Sparkman, because you will be voting for yourselves and your own interests when you do that. And I hope you will go to the polls and make it a point to study the situation. Read the record, and then make up your mind that the best thing you can do is to vote for yourselves--and when you do that you vote the Democratic ticket.
These people running on that ticket are great men--they're all right.
And I have been very much interested in learning about what has been happening recently to this country up here. Whoever thought that North Dakota would have a booming oil town like this?
You know, some time back, there was a time when if the United States Government had not come to the rescue of the farmers up in this part of the world, all this land that is underlaid with oil would now be in the hands of the moneylenders or the insurance companies. But the Government of the United States saved that land for the farmers, and the farmers now are reaping the benefit of that. That is one of the boondoggles that these Republicans talk about, but I thought it was a pretty good boondoggle, though.
The Geodetic Survey made a survey--a geological survey and named this oil basin up here as a possible repository of oil. That was done at public and Government expense, too, but it was done in the public interest. And I am told that this is an immensely rich pool up here, that it is estimated that there are 2½ billion barrels of oil under it, as far as the explorations have come to date, that in a year or two you will be producing 200,000 barrels a day. And the returns from the land on those 200,000 barrels will go into the hands of the people who own the land--small farmers. That is what the Democratic Party stands for.
That is a great development. It is going to mean a lot for the prosperity and growth of this whole region--provided we are not shoved into another Republican depression.
I have been going across your State today, hammering home the point that the Republican Old Guard is against you, the Republican Old Guard is running this campaign for the Republicans. There has been a complete surrender to the Old Guard, and their record in Congress proves just exactly what they are.
If you want peace and security for this country, don't rely on them. If you want prosperity for the West, more electric power, flood control, social security, good education for the kids, don't count on them to help you to get it.
Why if they have their way, they would give away your interest in the offshore oil that the United States Government owns. That has been established in the title to the United States by the Supreme Court of this great country. They would give it away if they could.
I heard Harold Ickes testify before a committee down in the Congress that North Dakota's part of the return from that offshore oil which belongs to the Government of the United States would amount to about $3 million a year. Now, 45 States in this Union have no borders on the seacoast, but they have an interest in that oil deposit, just the same as you have an interest in this one that underlies the land up here. And I don't want to give it away. The Democrats won't do it, but the Republicans have all voted to give it away, so we know where they stand.
We have given you a fair deal, and we want to keep it up. Most of you are better off today than you ever were before in your lives. There are 62 million, 300 thousand people with jobs in this country, and I can remember back in 1932 when I was running Jackson County as presiding judge of that county, which was an administrative office, there was something like 12 to 14 million people in this country walking the streets, not able to find jobs. And now the jobs are trying to find the people.
There wasn't anybody brought that about but the Democratic administrations of franklin Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman.
If you want to keep it that way, you had better go and vote for Stevenson and Sparkman, because they are standing on the Democratic platform which guarantees to the people their share in the Government. You are the Government. The people of the United States are the Government. If you turn this Government over to Old Guard Republicans, who have been tried, you will have the special interests at your throat, just like they were in 1932. And I am sure you don't want that to happen. And if you don't want it to happen, inform yourselves on what the facts are, and then go to the polls in November and vote for yourselves, vote for the welfare of this great country. Vote the Democratic ticket--and you will be all right.
[11.] WILLISTON, NORTH DAKOTA (Rear platform, 8:15 p.m., m.s.t.)
I can't tell you how much I appreciate that introduction from my friend Mr. Burdick. He and I, you know, have a common interest. We are both very much interested in the history and the growth of the West. The Congressman has one of the greatest libraries on that subject in this whole United States. I don't think there's but one other that has as many books and as many volumes on the development of the West as has Congressman Burdick and that is the University of Oklahoma. He and I exchange books, and we always try to find out who can tell the tallest tale about the West. He has had the best of me so far on that order.
I can't tell you how much I appreciate the welcome I have had today in North Dakota. It has just been exactly like this from one end of the State to the other. In every city where I have stopped today, it seemed to me that everybody for a hundred miles around had turned out. And I know that is the case here tonight.
On my trip across the State today, I have had a chance to get acquainted with the candidates for office. Some of them are Republicans and some of them are Democrats. If I was in North Dakota--of course, having been raised a Democrat, I would vote for the Democratic ticket. But I want to say to you that these two Republicans that are friends of mine here in North Dakota, are mighty fine men, and I like them both very much. I would hate to vote against them. In fact, I don't--I don't have to make a decision.
I told Bill Langer today, if I had known how well the people of North Dakota felt about me, I would have come out here and filed for Governor.
Getting down, though, to dead earnestness and brass tacks, it is to your interests in this coming election to send Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman to the White House. Now I have been in the White House for almost 8 years--it will be on the 20th of January, lacking a month and a half--and it has been my privilege and my duty to make some of the most earth-shaking decisions that any President of the United States ever had to make. I have never hesitated to make those decisions, and I have tried my best to do it in a manner which I thought was right for the welfare of the country. And I am just as sure as I stand here that Adlai Stevenson will do the job in the same way. He will make these decisions which the President has to make. He will make those decisions in a manner that he believes will be for the best interests of the country, and I think they will be for the best interests of the country where he makes them.
If you have heard Governor Stevenson speak, you will know he really has your interests at heart. And he has proved that by his clean, progressive record in the great State of Illinois. As Governor he has had a lot of experience in the Government. He understands the foreign policy of the United States. He understands the domestic policy of the United States. And I am just as sure as I stand here that he will make one of the best Presidents this country has ever had.
And his running mate is just as good a man. I have known them both for years and years, and they are both fine men, and I hope you will vote for them.
I well remember stopping here 2 years ago, on my way back from Grand Coulee. Then I was out making a personal report to the people on what their Government was doing. I talked to you then about power developments here, and reclamation and the great progress of the West.
This was a very prosperous country then, and I was proud of that because Democratic administrations had done so much to make it prosperous. Since 1950 we have carried through a huge defense mobilization program, and we have done that without upsetting our economy, or wrecking the living standards of the people.
At this point, I want to explain to you that I am out here in one of my five positions. The President has five different jobs, each one of which is enough for one man to do, but the President, under the Constitution of the United States, has to do all five of them.
I am here tonight as the head of the Democratic Party of the United States. The President is always the head of the party when he is in the White House. And I am here tonight, as the Congressman suspected, to talk politics to you, pure, plain, and simple--not here under any false pretenses. The Democratic Committee is responsible for my being here. They asked me to make this trip to explain the Government as it has been carried on by me as President of the United States--Democratic President of the United States, if you please. That is what I am trying to do. That is what I am going to do and I hope that when I have finished, and have told you what the record of the Democratic Party has been in office, and when Stevenson tells you what he hopes to do as President of the United States, you can't help but vote the Democratic ticket.
Most people are as well off--or better-than they were before we threw this strain on our economy. I am proud of that, too. It shows you what a great, solid, expanding economy we have built up in America since we took over the mess the Republicans left us in 1933.
We have done something else I am proud of. We have kept this country out of world war III. I have spent my whole time, my whole 7 years, as President of the United States in a most sincere effort to keep the peace of the world, and to make the world a peaceable place where there never will be another world war. I am here to tell you that a world war now would be of such tremendously destructive effect, that there would be no civilization left after the war was over.
I don't want to see another war. I am doing everything I possibly can to prevent another war from coming again. I know that is what Adlai Stevenson will do. And I am not saying that the other side wants war. I don't think General Eisenhower wants a war. He has fought in two world wars. He knows what it means for a man to go to the front and get killed. But when it comes to the point of either freedom or fight, it has been the policy of the American people to fight for their freedom, and they always will do that.
Now then, there has been a lot of talk about Korea. Korea is being fought to prevent a third world war. The price has been high, but it has saved us from that all-out war. And I would never minimize the cost of Korea. I am very deeply conscious of it. But never let anyone tell you that the Korean episode has been a useless one.
Korea is a landmark--a great victory in our fight for peace. For there we have stopped the Communists. We have upset their timetable, and we have pushed them back, and we have surely saved the world from total war.
Now these things have been possible in spite of the Old Guard Republicans in the Congress, and not because of them. Their record in Congress shows you where they stand, and what they have done. They haven't helped build prosperity--a lot of them are still voting against the farm programs, against power, against reclamation, against conservation. They have been against every measure that has built up the West. They haven't helped the defense effort. A lot of them have fought against price controls, time after time--and rent controls, and defense housing. They have tried to get tax relief for the rich and all kinds of special benefits for every special interest. Those Old Guard Republicans haven't helped much in Korea, either. Most of them have voted against military aid and economic aid to Korea before the invasion. That is what gave the Communists their signal to advance. Then, later on, they tried to start an all-out war with China. Of course, they were backing a different general then. When he got here, though, they didn't think so much of him as before.
That is the party that wants you to let them have national leadership. They want you to change the leadership, but they have done nothing to earn that trust, and if you are minded to forget that, remember the last time they held power in 1932. And remember their record in the 80th Congress, with which I had so much fun in 1948. I told you all about the 80th Congress, and you believed me. I told you the truth. I want you to believe me this time, for I am telling you the truth right now. And I know more about the world situation and the situation with which this Government is faced than any other man in this country; and I am not bragging when I say that.
The record of these Old Guard Republicans is just as bad as it can be. They are still voting against you. They are trying to hide their record behind a general.
Now, look out. Look out, as I said awhile ago. He has got a sign on his car that says "Look Ahead Neighbor." And I have changed that slogan to "Look out Neighbor," because they are after you. You had better look out.
We haven't had much luck with Republican generals in the past. I can't think of a worse combination than a professional military man, fronting for the power lobby, fronting for the real estate lobby, fronting for the railroad lobby--with their fine discriminatory freight rates, and all the rest of that crew.
If the Republicans should win this election, I would be terribly afraid of what would happen to the domestic economy. I would be even more afraid of what would happen to our chances for peace.
I have worked for peace above everything else, ever since I have been in the White House, as I said awhile ago, and I shall keep on working for peace as long as I live. My career is not going to stop when I get out of office. I am going to be just as hard a worker for the welfare of the American people as I have been for the past 40 years. And I have had every award that a man in .politics can possibly have, and I am grateful for it. You won't find me going out to tear the country apart. I am going to try to make it better than it is now. I think we are facing the greatest age in the history of the world. I wish I was 18 instead of 68.
The threat of Communist imperialism has made the path to peace extremely difficult. We have made great progress up to now, by joining our strength with the strength of the other free nations. But the way is long and hard. It calls for patience. It calls for steady nerves. It calls for keen minds, and it calls for plain, simple honesty-the most valuable thing in the world. Peace will not be won by anyone who puts victory in an election ahead of the safety of the country. It will not be won by bellicose chest thumping on one day, followed the next day by a promise to cut down the funds needed to defend this country if war should come.
I think, my friends, that it has already been made perfectly plain in this campaign which one of the candidates for President best understands the dread issues of war and peace. It has also been made perfectly plain which of them has the courage and the moral fiber to do what is right--even though it be hard, even though it be unpopular. And that man is Adlai Stevenson.
Governor Stevenson is the candidate who is talking sense to us--appealing to the best in us--challenging all America to rise to greatness. His opponent seeks to win by stirring up the passions of the crowd--dragging us down toward the gutter.
The choice is clear. Adlai Stevenson is the only candidate we can afford to trust with the future of this country. And I want to say to you that you are the Government. The people of the United States are the Government of the United States. And when you go to the polls to vote, you are voting for your own welfare, and for the welfare of this great Nation of ours. You are voting for your pocketbook, which is the most touchy nerve on a man or a woman.
And I want to say to you, you want to examine the record, you want to remember what these people say they are for; and then you want to remember to look out for yourselves. Don't take what is said about it. Get the facts and then sit down and weigh them. And when you go to the polls you can't do anything else but vote for your best interests, and that is vote the Democratic ticket on November the 4th.
Thank you very much.
[12.] GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA (Recorded interview, broadcast 9:15 p.m., see Item 267)
[13.] WOLF POINT, MONTANA (Rear platform, 10:50 p.m., m.s.t.)
First, I want to say to you that I have had a great day today. North Dakota turned out just as if I were running for President. This is a fine start on Montana too, and I am more than happy to make the start this early in the morning--for tomorrow.
The reason I am here I suppose you are familiar with. I am in one of my five capacities tonight as the head of the Democratic Party, and I am out campaigning in that capacity for the Democratic ticket. You have some fine candidates here in Montana. For Senator, my good friend Mike Mansfield--you couldn't find a better man than Mike. He has done a wonderful job in Congress for you and for me and for the whole country. And you have Willard Fraser for Congress. You could count on him to work for you and not for the special interests. And for Governor you certainly will reelect John Bonner.
There is another ticket in which I am very, very much interested, and that ticket is headed by Adlai Stevenson and John Sparkman. Stevenson is the most promising young leader to emerge in this country since franklin Roosevelt. Like franklin Roosevelt, Stevenson has been Governor of one of our greatest States, and he has made a fine record in Illinois. He has shown himself to be a real friend of the everyday man, and not a stooge for Wall Street and the reactionaries.
John Sparkman is the same sort of fellow. He is a man that has made a fine record fighting for the interest of all the people.
Since this is my first stop in Montana, I am going to tell you just what I have been telling the people all across North Dakota. This is a most important election for you. The Republican Old Guard is out to grab control of this country, and they don't care how they get it. But they know exactly what they want to do if they do get it. They want to use our Government to plunder the common people, for the benefit of the same old special interests they have been serving as long as I can remember.
I am told the Republican candidate for president has a sign on the back of his train which says "Look Ahead Neighbor." Now, that's pretty corny--like the confetti they hand out at every stop. I can suggest a slogan that fits them a lot better. The sign ought to say "Look Out Neighbor."
That means you. That means you. Look out--for they aim to get you if they can. They are going to ruin you, and the whole country, if you put them in power. If you don't know what I mean, just look at the record, that terrible Republican record in Congress. That record proves they are against you. It shows they vote against your interests every chance they get. That's what they did in the 80th Congress, and that is what they have been doing ever since. And you can bet it's what they will do if you let them grab the Congress along with the White House.
The only thing that kept the 80th Congress from running off with the whole country and giving it away was because I was in the White House and they couldn't get away with it.
Now, you take rural electrification--you are all interested in that--one of the best programs the Democratic Party ever put across. Well, you know how the Republicans have acted. Back in that Both Congress they voted four and five to one to cut the funds for REA. We only saved the program because there was an even bigger ratio of Democrats who voted right. But they did hamstring it the best they could. When it came time to vote for funds for the administration of REA, Senator Bridges, that great statesman from New Hampshire, got an amendment through to the appropriation bill, cutting $700,000 off the administrative funds for the REA. That cut down the engineering force--in fact, you only had one engineer for Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota and the eastern part of Montana, and it just was not possible to get the loans written because the surveys had to be made by the engineer. As soon as the Democrats got back in control with the 81st Congress, why everything has been going all right ever since.
In 1949 a good majority of Republican Congressmen voted against our rural telephone programs. It's the same story everywhere you look. Consider your irrigation and power out here. If the Republicans had had their way, you would still be scratching dry dirt and using kerosene lamps.
Mike Mansfield and Jim Murray are the ones who fought those projects through for you. If you will send Mike to the Senate, with Murray, then Montana will be one of the best represented States in the Union.
I want to tell you a story about that United States Senate. It is just as interesting as it can be. The press gallery boys-there are about 50 or 60 of them in the Senate press gallery. After a session of Congress has ended--that is, a 2-year session of Congress, which is elected for 2 years-they usually take a vote on who is the best Senator and who is the worst one.
Well, way back in 1943, when they took a vote, there was a certain junior Senator from Missouri that got in the class of the best ones. Well, this time they were taking a vote, these press gallery boys, and everybody was voting for McCarthy, of course. But one man who represents the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in the press gallery said out of State pride that he voted for Kem, the Missouri Senator, as the worst Senator in the Senate.
Now I don't have any ambition to see Montana have anything but the best that's in the Senate, and with Jim Murray and Mike Mansfield that's what you will have.
You vote for yourselves, now. When you vote the Democratic ticket that is what you are doing, you are voting for your own interests because the Democrats look after the interests of the everyday man and the common people. They have done that ever since I can remember, and I have been in politics 40 years. And that's a long time. I have been in public office--elective office for 30 years and that is one of the reasons I thought it was about time for me to back out of this business and go out and do a few things I want to do on my own, without having somebody throwing bricks and mud at me all the time. They have never been able to hit me, I will tell you that.
The best thing you can do for your own interest is to go out on election day and vote the Democratic ticket and make the country safe for the people for another 4 years.
Thank you very much.
NOTE: In the course of his remarks on September 29 the President referred to, among others, Orville freeman, Democratic candidate for Governor, William E. Carlson, Democratic candidate for Senator, and Curtiss Olson, Democratic candidate for Representative, all of Minnesota; Vice President Alben W. Barkley; and Edward Nesemeier, Democratic candidate for Representative, Senator William Langer, Republican candidate for reelection, Ole C. Johnson, Democratic candidate for Governor, Harold A. Morrison, Democratic candidate for Senator, and Representative Usher L. Burdick, Republican candidate for reelection, all of North Dakota. He also referred to Representative Mike Mansfield, Democratic candidate for Senator, Willard E. Fraser, Democratic candidate for Representative, Governor John W. Bonnet, Democratic candidate for reelection, and Senator James E. Murray, all of Montana; Claude R. Wickard, Rural Electrification Administrator; and Harold Ickes, former Secretary of the Interior.
Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project. John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.