National Affairs: Speech No. 3

  • Share
  • Read Later

(2 of 2)

By Name. At Detroit President Hoover made campaign history by mentioning his Democratic opponent by name for the first time. He read a letter from Governor Roosevelt to one Lowe Shearon, a Manhattan "forgotten man," which he said had been widely circulated among the jobless. The letter: "I believe in the inherent right of every citizen to employment at a living wage and I pledge my support to whatever measures I may deem necessary for inaugurating self-liquidating public works ... to provide employment for all surplus labor at all times." Hotly the President declared:

"This letter was published . . . with the statement quoted from Governor Roosevelt, that it was substantially correct. ... It is a hope held out to the 10,000,000 men and women now unemployed and suffering that they will be given jobs by the Government. It is a promise no government could fulfill. It is utterly wrong to delude suffering men and women with such assurances. . . . There are a score of reasons why this whole plan is fantastic. ... I ask you whether or not such frivolous promises and dreams should be held out to suffering unemployed people. Is this the 'New Deal'?"

A highly esoteric argument on government finance developed when President Hoover warmly retorted to Governor Roosevelt's Pittsburgh address (see p. 12). The Democratic nominee had charged that from 1927 to 1931 the Republicans had upped the Federal budget a billion dollars which, if elected, he promised to eliminate. President Hoover replied that this increase was all for emergency relief, that the ordinary expenses of government had already been sharply curtailed.

The only way Governor Roosevelt could start to make good his promise to cut expenses by a billion, his Republican opponent strangely suggested, would be to abandon half the lighthouses along the coast, turn half the Federal prisoners loose on the public.

Aglow with satisfaction President Hoover returned to the station. There Henry Ford's private car ("Fairlane") was cut into the presidential special just ahead of the Hoover car. On the journey back to Washington where he and his wife were White House guests, Mr. Ford urged the President to extend his campaign, speak this week in Chicago and Indianapolis, go to California if necessary. Back in Washington, President Hoover made good his tariff talk by instructing the Tariff Commission to reinvestigate, in view of depreciated currencies in 30 foreign nations, the import duties on 16 commodities produced in 30 states. Meanwhile he fell to work on his Oct. 31 speech for Manhattan's Madison Square Garden.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. Next Page