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Acceptance Address

President Franklin D. Roosevelt
Address of Temporary Chairman

Hon. Alben W. Barkley
of Kentucky

Address of Permanent Chairman

Hon. Joseph T. Robinson
of Arkansas

Address of

Hon. James A. Farley
Extension of Remarks

Hon. Carl Hayden
of Arizona
in the

Senate of the United States
Thursday, June 18 (Legislative Day of
Monday, June 15), 1936

(Not printed at Government expense)

United States
Government Printing: Office
Washington : 1936




Thursday, June 18 (legislative day of Monday, June 15), 1936

Mr. HAYDEN. Mr. President, under authority granted by
the Senate on June 18, 1936, I insert in the CONGRESSIONAL
RECORD the address of Hon. Alben W. Barkley, temporary
chairman of the Democratic national convention, held in
Philadelphia, Pa., June 23 to 27, 1936; the address of Hon.
Joe T. Robinson, permanent chairman of the convention;
the platform adopted by the convention; and the address of
the President of the United States on June 27 in Philadelphia
at Franklin Field accepting the nomination of the Democratic Party as its candidate for reelection as President of
theiCrnited States; and the address of Chairman James A.

Address of the Temporary Chairman, HOIK Alben
W. Barkley, of Kentucky
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Convention: We have assembled, as we have done for more than a century, to justify in
government a liberalism designed to promote those primal
and inalienable rights which outweigh all political formalism
and all conceptions of special privilege.
We are assembled here not merely to defend but to proclaim the New Deal as the surest highway to that "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" to which Thomas Jefferson devoted his life and Franklin D. Roosevelt is consecrating
every fiber of his immortal spirit.
We meet in the fullness of national responsibility in all
branches of the Government save one, and with a record of
performance never equaled in the history of the Republic;


and on that record we stand before the American people
without apology and without retreat.
We meet to rename, and subsequently to reelect, to the
highest office within our gift a man whose build-up is his
As we survey the picture which the world presents and
contemplate the 4 tragic years just prior to 1933, and the slow
but steady progress of our country under this Democratic
administration, we are moved by a sense of profound gratitude that the Nation today looks-into the future with eyes
that see within reach the goal of a happier and more abundant life for all our people.
We come to this convention in the name of a Democracy
which is national in its historic background, in its approach
to and willingness to deal in a national way with problems
that are national in their scope.
We recognize the complexity of modern life. We covet no
power that would deprive the States of the right to deal
locally with local responsibilities. These are adequate to
consume the energies of all who are willing to devote themselves to their solution.
But we recognize the undeniable and self-evident fact that,
because of our growth in territoryf population, wealth, the
means of production, distribution, and consumption, and the
facilities of transportation and communication which have
knitted the American people into a nation, certain great vital
questions affecting the daily lives of the people as a whole
have been projected into our economic and social structure.
These vital questions cannot be stubbornly avoided or their
solution long delayed by any political party or any administration which has an adequate sense of its responsibility to
the people.
Political organizations are neither created nor j u s t e d
merely as means of obtaining public office. Their justification lies alone in affording a means of expression and d^esire,
as well as a focus of responsibility, in the administration of
public affairs.
Thomas Jefferson is often misrepresented by those who pay
to him the dubious homage of the lip as having said, "That
government is best which governs least."
Prom all the volumes which Jefferson wrote it is, indeed,
unfair to lift and emphasize a single sentence uttered^ concerning an ideal state of human perfection never yet attained.
If that sentence must be taken without context or reservation, it is but a step to the doctrine that "That government
is best which governs not at all."
In this age of infinite complexity, of mutual dependence
of community on community, state on state, and nation on
nation, all responsible governments must enlarge their field of
activity and supervision to the end that the weak may be

protected from the strong and rapacious, and the approximation of Justice among all classes may be secured.
Any political group, therefore, who, in the midst of tragic
impotence among the people to adjust unaided their lives
and fortunes and carve their individual paths through the
impenetrable forests of economic density, hides behind the
sedentary indolence of some ancient shibboleth is unfit for
high station or responsibility in the society of our day.
This is a moving, changing world in which we live. New
generations, viewing the discarded shell of ancient theories
and impatient with the fatal doctrine of defeatism, are asking why, among all the arts and sciences and achievements
of man, only government is a laggard; and make no mistake
about it, they are searching for the answer.
It was this impatience with the blighting atmosphere of
the political and social antiquarian that made Jefferson the
foremost, as well as the most despised, liberal of his generation; that drove Andrew Jackson along a course for which he
was denounced as a vulgar ruffian; that inspired Abraham
Lincoln toward a goal for which he was described as the
earthly incarnation of coarse buffoonery; and that cynically
pictured Woodrow Wilson as a dreamy professor bent on
political and social experimentation.
Franklin Roosevelt finds himself in glorious companionship
with these great spirits who spurned the chariot of futility
and negation.
He has not dallied with defeat nor taken counsel with
cowardice, lest his feet be found on untraveled ground. He
has sought to dedicate the powers of this Government to the
service of the people who support it with their substance and
their blood. He has restored to them faith in it and control
over it.
Why was it essential that the powers of government be
exerted in a new way on the daily life of the American
people? Why is it impossible to tread the same old paths,
no matter where they lead? Why had there been a complete
break-down in nearly every branch of public and private
Because for 12 years—yea, 12 "long" years—the ancient
doctrinaires of special privilege had stood at the pilot's
wheel on our ship of state. Because the powers of government had been exercised to promote the ends of injustice
and bring a palsy to the efforts of the people exerted in their
own behalf.
Because the streams intended for the unretarded flow of
the people's energies were choked and we found it necessary
here and there to cut a new and straighter channel instead
of trying to clean out an old and crooked one.
I find no relish in picking or pointing at ancient wounds.
But in order to assess the wisdom of the remedies we have


administered, let us diagnose the ailments from which we
They are of such recent existence that it ought not to be
necessary to recount them. But my distinguished friend,
the Senator from Oregon, who was temporary chairman of
the Republican convention, forgot to mention them at Cleveland.
And some of those who suffered and have been cured are
now the most arrogant in their antagonism to the process
which brought them through the crisis. Some of those who
were rescued from drowning in the economicfloodwaterslet
loose by the previous 12 "long" years now complain because
in lifting them out we were forced to pull their hair.
When the present administration assumed office on March
4, 1933, all classes of society bore the marks of such a combination of maladies that it is only possible to mention them
in the vaguest outline.
These maladies were not locaL They were not set off by
metes and bounds. They were not walled in by territorial
barriers, nor quarantined by yellow flags nailed to a tree.
They were maladies which took root deeply hi the whole
body of our social and economic fabric and were therefore
They have been fostered by enduring neglect, magnified by
political folly, aggravated by venality, and perpetuated by the
frantic effort to cure them by their causes.
No nation can prosper long or truly which finds no outlet
for the surplus products of its genius and labor.
But in 4 years—yea, "4 long years"—under the guidance of
the man who was applauded but not renominated at Cleveland, we saw our trade with the world decline from $10,000,000,000 to $3,000,000,000 per year, setting the feet of 3,000,000
men upon the streets and turning their faces toward the
lengthening bread lines.
For 10 "long" years the condition of the American farmer
had steadily declined, in spite of the hectic flush of prosperity
found on other portions of the economic body.
Each recurring season saw him compelled to accept for the
products of his toil less than the cost of their production;
saw his debts enlarged and his ability reduced; saw one-half
the farms of the Nation under mortgage and one-fifth of
these on the verge of foreclosure; saw his foreign markets
lost and his home markets reduced; saw mounting and unsalable surpluses in all the basic products of the farm.
The farmer was losing not only his home, his toil, the
rewards of his life and energy. He was losing faith in the
ability or willingness of organized society through its only
agency, government, to give him the same kind of break it
had for generations given to others.
He was losing faith in political promises which had made
him the victim of cynical indifference and devastating greed.

As if to pile Ossa on Pelion, the avenues of public and
private credit were closed to him, and the cry of the auctioneer was heard at every courthouse door.
In the realm of finance chaos greater than was ever seen
in this or any other nation spread its shadow across the
In the 4 years from 1928 to 1932 more banks had closed
in failure than had ever closed before, and more than in
all the rest of the world in the same length of time.
The impact of the crash was so terrific and convulsive that
through terror men cried out in the anguish of their souls at
the loss of their life's savings and their economic independence.
Industrial production had declined to 53 percent of normal,
while industrial employment declined to 61 percent. The
purring wheels of production were silent, and smokeless
smokestacks were silhouetted against the heavens like monuments on a deserted battlefield.
Led on by the sirens of speculative excess and by the false
signals flashed from the doors of the Treasury and the Executive Mansion, millions of men and women found themselves stunned by the falling debris of worthless securities
foisted on them by investment pirates. They saw their substance drawn from their hands as if by some unseen, magic
Archaic and unethical methods of business competition
obtained illegitimate profit regardless of merit and strangled
smaller units of production and distribution.
Sweatshops, long hours, low wages, unwholesome working
conditions, and the physical and mental degradation of children remained the crowning infamy of portions of American
Unemployment rolls never dreamed of by the accumulated
pessimism of the century revealed between 15,000,000 and
16,000,000 laborers in idleness.
Down went every economic index, while the savings of lifetimes ran slowly out like sand in a weary hourglass, and
every month new thousands left the security of work until
15,000,000 workers tramped the streets in hopeless agony of
Down we were hurled for "3 long years", while confidence,
like a prodigal, went into a far country, and the courage
which had braved these barren • shores in the days of the
Puritan and under the pioneers had extinguished a continental wilderness began to faint on every hearthstone.
"Three long years" of Republican superiority found local
charity and relief everywhere collapsing, and millions of
human beings were begging for bread, raiment, and shelter,
and uncounted numbers of them found sleep only by the
roadside or upon park benches, from which they crawled
with the rising sun like dogs from a kennel.

Upon the crowded street corner the soap-box agitator found
it not difficult to lash into fury the emotions which were
aroused in the disillusioned souls of men, who had lost not
only lands and buildings and jobs and scraps of paper, but
their faith in government, in society, and justice, and the
spiritual foundations which sanctify the use and enjoyment
of every earthly possession.
In 1929 the debauch of the Coolidge-Hoover revelry and
the "12 long years" of Hamiltonian exploitation were over.
The dance was ended at last. The gaunt pipers of bankruptcy, starvation, and unemployment had come to claim
their fee.
One sudden blast of wrath from outraged truth and decency
and honor and prudence and thrift and common sense—and
the tinsel tower of false dreams, false pride, false promises,
and false hope collapsed in irretrievable ruin and dreary
"Three long years" of normalcy and they had wiped out
half the values accumulated in this Nation since Christopher
Columbus and half the total income of all the people of these
United States.
"Three long years" and—
We did not dare to breathe a prayer
Or to give our anguish scope,
Something was dead in each of us,
And what was dead was hope.
Then came Franklin Roosevelt and assumed the heaviest
burden, that ever descended on any man since Washington
knelt in the snow and Lincoln watched the Confederate flags
across the Potomac. As his first act he also knelt before an
altar and prayed. As his second he opened his breast to the
raging storm and checked it in a day.
Where were his detractors then? They had sought refuge
in the storm cellar. They now cry, "The Republic is in peril.
The Republic is lost", and for all of them it might have been.
The president of the United States Chamber of Commerce
asked the President to assume the powers of a dictator "for
3 long years."
The Capital was flooded with the paper plans of impotent
puppets of Toryism begging Government to assume responsibility for all.
The President scorned these suggestions. With every word
and act he breathed new confidence in American institutions, confidence in the courage of traditional Americanism,
and he twitted the Nation for its fear of fear.
There is not an American who does not know what happened then. Faith returned. Confidence revived. National
courage rose like the sun at dawn. Faces that for "3 long
years" had forgotten how to smile brightened and looked up.
Americanism returned to America.

Shall I recount the steps by which this task was charted
and is moving to fulfillment?
Have the American people forgotten the valley into which
they were led, and are they unconscious of the resistless
tread of their feet out of that valley and up the long, rough
slopes to the heights from which they had descended?
Need I remind you of that stroke of boldness which proclaimed the holiday of banks? Or the passage of the Emergency Banking Act? Or the Banking Act of 1935, which
together restored not only banking but public confidence in
banks? Which withdrew banks from the feverish speculation of the stock market and made them banks again?
Which strengthened their foundations and guaranteed their
deposits and enticed from hiding places billions of dollars
which had sought security in seclusion?
And need I remind you that the Republicans who manipulated the Cleveland convention nominated a man for President who before the American Bankers' Association denounced
the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, which guaranteed the
deposits of the people throughout the United States, and as
Governor of his State exerted every ounce of influence at his
command to prevent the banks of Kansas from entering the
guaranteed system?
What I now ask, and the people have a right to know, is
whether the miscellaneous assembly of heterogeneous elements which met at Cleveland 2 weeks ago, and the ticket
which it nominated, approve this great financial program
and its results, or whether, if returned to power, they will
scuttle it again as they scuttled the great system set up by
the administration of Woodrow Wilson.
And what I ask, and the people have a right to know, is
whether some of those who journeyed to Washington in the
days of their distress with a tin cup, a pair of blue glasses,
and a dog, and obtained from the Treasury, through the
Reconstruction Finance Corporation, two and a quarter billion dollars of the people's money in order that they might
live, now propose to belittle their past predicament and
those who rescued them from it and made it possible for the
national banks alone to turn an annual loss of $150,000,000
to a net profit of more than $200,000,000.
During the 4 long years just prior to the Roosevelt administration more than 7,000 banks went out of business, and
total deposits in all banks decreased by more than
Ask the 8,000,000 depositors in these vanished banks
whether they desire to return to those days of ragged individualism. Ask them whether they favor the repeal or crippling of the guaranty of bank deposits and the election of a
man as President who struggled to obstruct both its enactment and its administration.
The answer will be an overwhelming "No!"


While under Mr. Hoover more than 7,000 banks closed
their doors permanently, only 264 State and national banks
have closed since March 16, 1933, the end of the bank holiday, and only 8 of them were national banks. Thus far
in the good year 1936 not a single national bank in the
United States has closed its doors in the faces of the people.
Need I here recount the efforts of the great Secretary of
State, Mr. Cordell Hull, to pry ajar the gates of foreign trade
and start again the movement of international commerce
and good will?
Through the trade agreements authorized by Congress and
consummated under that authority, our commerce with other
nations has increased from 27 percent qf normal in March
1933 to 56 percent of normal in April 1936, or from $2,933,000,000 in 1932 to $4,330,000,000 in 1935.
But in spite of this we witnessed in the recent Republican
convention a bitter denunciation of the power given to and
exercised by the President as being wicked and unconstitutional, although from 1798 to 1935 Congress has from time
to time conferred such authority on the President in the
interest of American trade.
The Republican platform proposes to repeal all trade
agreements and the law under which they were negotiated.
The hypocrisy and insincerity of those who framed and
now accept that pronouncement are revealed in all their
nakedness when we recall, as they have conveniently forgotten, that under no less than two past Republican administrations similar authority was conferred upon Republican
Presidents, and no less than 10 such trade agreements were
entered into without ratification by the Senate.
Having driven our trade from the seas, locked our ships in
the ports, and hauled down the American flag as the symbol
of commercial enterprise, the Republican leaders now wail
and gnash their teeth because we are restoring the flag, the
commerce, and prestige of the American Nation.
What do they offer as a substitute out of the depths of
their own political and, intellectual bankruptcy? Nothing
more nor less than another stroke of commercial apoplexy
in the clinic of Smoot and Hawley.
But we are told by the Republican battalion of death and
its illegitimate brother, the American Liberty League, that
we are laying the hampering hand of Government on the
innocent heads of business and finance. These dismal
prophets of panic and propaganda will continue to annoy
the American people with their lamentations.
What business are we outraging?
For 12 years—yea, for "12 long years"—the leaders of the
Republican Party dwelt in a fool's paradise and allowed the
American people to pour billions of dollars into the sinkhole
of fraudulent investment securities*

They saw grow up, if they did not foster, a prodigious system of inflated stocks, and saw them peddled from door to
door throughout America; and they saw the market places
for them juggled and artificially manipulated beyond the
power of the average man to escape or comprehend.
With bland and callous unconcern they sat smugly through
the carnival until the mask was torn off and the public saw
the putrid pestilence of financial debauchery which had
blown into their nostrils an alien odor; and the result was the
passage of the Security and Exchange Act for the protection
of the people.
These measures were denounced en bloc. But the issue of
new and honest securities has increased 50 percent; the
value of old ones by more than 40 percent.
In their platform the Republicans stammer a pious sentence in behalf of regulation of interstate securities and interstate activities of public utilities. But we have already done ft.
They sat in the folds of comfortable and luxurious upholstery while a giant system of holding companies was built
one upon another in the public-utility field, wringing exorbitant profits from investors, operating companies, and
But did the leaders of old or new guards in Republicanism
lash their faces into scarlet or their hearts into indignation
over the spoliation of innocent people?
Among all the tethered and muzzled spokesmen of the doctrine of laissez faire no warning was uttered or relief proposed. Prom the lips of none who controlled or were chosen
by the Cleveland convention came or has come either movement or utterance indicating either knowledge of the subject
or ability or inclination to deal with it.
The administration of Franklin Roosevelt found the
spreading cancer and removed it and will administer to the
affected parts the healing processes of honesty from which
will come a healthier growth and fuller service.
What I ask and the people have a right to know is whether
the Republican program contemplates the honest enforcement of the new enactments; whether those who shape that
program will divorce themselves from whatever allegiance
may have held them to these interests, or whether they propose to undo the work we have accomplished.
The croaking noises which rise from the swamps of olddeal complacency will not suffice. The people call for assurance that the structure of honesty and freedom which we
have erected shall not be destroyed. Has that assurance
come out of Cleveland? Is it in their platform? Was it
couched in their insulting speeches? No!
When we take stock of the Nation's farming interests, how
may I adequately portray the new hope, the restored confidence, the economic resurrection of the American farmer?

In 1920, 1924, 1928, and 1932 the hollow and hackneyed
promise was made by Republican platforms and candidates
to restore agriculture to economic equality with industry.
The promise was never fulfilled or intended for fulfillment.
It has been repeated again in their platform in 1936, with
no more thought of its accomplishment now than in the
During the "4 long years" of Mr. Hoover the burdens
were piled still higher on the farmer's back, while half a
billion dollars were taken from the Treasury and poured out
into a fantastic exhibition of agricultural pantomimicry.
It is interesting and revealing to revert to the recent past
and revive some of the platform and convention utterances
of the Republican group which now complains against our
successful program of farm rehabilitation.
In 1916, Warren G. Harding, temporary chairman of the
Republican convention which nominated Charles E. Hughes
for President, said:
The Democratic Party is always concerned about the American
consumer. Our Republican achievement is the making of a nation
of prosperous producers. Par better a high cost of living and ability to buy than a lowering cost attended by destruction of purchasing capacity. [Applause.]
In the Republican platform of 1920 we find the following
The farmer is the backbone of the Nation. National greatness and
economic Independence demand a population distributed between
Industry and the farm, and sharing on equal terms the prosperity
which it holds is wholly dependent on the efforts of both. Neither
can prosper at the expense of the other without inviting Joint
Their platform in 1924 contained this declaration:
In dealing with agriculture the Republican Party recognizes that
we are faced with a fundamental national problem and that the
prosperity and welfare of the Nation as a whole is dependent upon
the prosperity and welfare of our agricultural population.
We pledge the party to take whatever steps are necessary to bring
back a balanced condition between agriculture, industry, and labor.
In his address to the Republican convention of 1928, as temporary chairman, the Honorable Simeon D. Pess made the
following statement on agriculture:
The purpose of the administration in further aid is to avoid the
Government taking over from the farmer his own control of the
great industry, but to aid him in that control. This aid is justified
because of the inherent nature of an industry of slow turnover, unregulated production, and uncertain consumption. Could agricultural production be held within the limits of consumption the problem would be solved. Or could consumption be indefinitely increased the problem would be solved. The former can be tempered,
but not fully controlled, while the latter may be increased, but
within limitations. Where the Government can assist in regulating
production and Increasing consumption it should cooperate with
the farmer for such purposes.

In the Republican platform of 1928 we find this plan:
The agricultural problem Is national In scope, and as such is
recognized by the Republican Party, which pledges Its strength
and energy to the solution of the same.
The market promises every assistance in the reorganization of
financial lines and, where diversification is needed, governmental
assistance during the period of transition.
The Republican Party pledges itself to the enactment of legislation creating a Federal farm board clothed with necessary powers
(among other things) to prevent and control surpluses through
orderly distribution.
The Republican Party pledges itself to the development and enactment of measures which will place the agricultural interests of
America on a basis of economic equality with other Industries to
secure Its prosperity and success.
In 1932 the Republican platform contained this declaration:
The fundamental problem of American agriculture is in the control of production to such volume as will balance supply with
demand. In the solution of this problem the cooperative organization of farmers to plan production and the tariff to hold the
home market for American farmers are vital elements. A third
element, equally vital, is the control of acreage of land under cultivation as an aid to the efforts of the farmer to balance production.
In 1928 the Democratic platform contained the following
declaration on agriculture:
The Democratic Party recognizes that the problems of production
differ as between agriculture and industry. Industrial production is largely under human control, while agricultural production,
because of lack of coordination among 6,500,000 individual farm
units, and because of the influence of weather, pests, and other
causes, is largely beyond human control.
Producers of crops whose total volume exceeds the needs of the
domestic market must continue at a disadvantage until the Government shall intervene as seriously and as effectively in behalf of
the farmer as it has intervened in behalf of labor and industry.
There is a need of supplemental legislation for the control and
orderly handling of agricultural surpluses in order that the price
of the surplus may not determine the price of the whole crop.
In the Democratic platform of 1932 will be found the following pronouncement:
We advocate the extension and development of the farm cooperative movement and effective control of crop surpluses, so that our
farmers may have the full benefit of the domestic market.
I have recalled these party pledges to remind you that
by 1932 both political parties had recognized the agricultural
problem not as local but as national. Both parties advocated the control of production in order to prevent unsalable
surpluses. The difference was that the Democratic platform
meant what it said and was immediately fulfilled when the
opportunity came to us.
The Agricultural Adjustment Act was the fulfillment of this
pledge to the farmers of the Nation. Under this act, which
was voluntary and not compulsory, the prices of farm products were increased, sometimes doubled and trebled, and

more than $3,000,000,000 was added to the annual Income
of agriculture. It was.because of this increase in farm income and the opening of the facilities of financial credit to
the farmer that he has been able to save more than threequarters of a million homes, begin the payment of his debts,
the repair of his houses, and the purchase of things produced
by others.
It was because of this that in every referendum held among
farmers on the continuation of the President's program it
has been approved by a vote of from 2 to 1 to 20 to 1.
It was because of this that when the Supreme Court intervened to nullify this act, and Republican spokesmen were
gleefully exulting over it, the voice of American agriculture
appealed for the enactment of the Soil Conservation Act,
under which they are working out another plan for the
enhancement of the rewards of farm life.
In the light of past Republican fulminations in behalf of
controlled agricultural production, their present devotion to
uncontrolled abundance seems cheap and hollow.
The businessman and the manufacturer control their production to meet their market. When they shut down because of a slack in demand they "plow under" their machines for the time and discharge their wage earners.
When business is ready to produce for abundance and not
for profit, it will then be logical to ask the farmer to do likewise. But not until then.
They have wept over the slaughter of a few little pigs as
if they had been tender human infants nestling at their
mothers' breasts. They have shed these tears over the premature death of pigs as if they had been born, educated, and
destined for the ministry or for politics.
But their bitterest tears are not shed over the fate of little
pigs. Their real grief comes from the slaughter of the fat
hogs of privilege and plunder which they have fed on the
people's substance.
They are not weeping because we plowed under a few TOWS
of cotton. Mr. Hoover started that. Their real sorrow
springs from the fact that we have plowed under the sordid
conceptions of old deal government and its chance ever to
be restored to the control of American life.
Having declared for 20 years that the agricultural problem
was national, and 4 years ago having declared for controlled
acreage and production, the Republican leaders and reactionaries now denounce the Roosevelt administration for the
doctrine of scarcity.
Having allowed nearly a million family-type farms to become subject to immediate loss, they now avow their love for
agriculture; and they declare that benefit payments, such as
we have for 3 years been making, are consistent with a
balanced budget.

In 1932 they were for "controlled" production. We enacted
it into law. Now they are for "economical" production, by
which I suppose they mean "cheap" production. These are
weasel words of the first magnitude.
The Roosevelt administration has inaugurated a land-use
program. The Republican platform can do nothing but
endorse it.
The Roosevelt administration has inaugurated soil conservation under an intelligent program. The Republican
platform tardily follows in the rear.
Denouncing experimentation by the Roosevelt administration, the Republican platform for political purposes proposes
to extend "experimental" aid to farmers in developing new
In one breath they propose to assist in selling agricultural
surpluses abroad by the bargaining process, and in the next
they would embargo all agricultural imports, which would
render idle 50,000,000 acres of land in cultivation for export
crops; and in still another breath they propose to repeal the
law authorizing trade agreements.
With that omnipotence which they claim but never exercise, they propose to increase consumption. But it was their
dismal failure for "4 long years" that rendered consumption
by one-third of our population impossible except for the
bounty of the Government.
They reject now controlled production, but offer the mirage of a bounty from the Treasury which would ultimately
render impossible the balancing of all budgets and the payment of all debts. The whole scheme is put forth to deceive
the American farmer, which is the only consistent policy of
the platform writers of the Cleveland convention.
After the years of bitter disappointment and disillusionment suffered by the farmers of this Nation as a result of
Republican incapacity and duplicity, it is inconceivable that
they will again be taken in by those who have perpetrated
the wrongs of the past.
To call this a platform is flattery indeed. It is a revolving
eye that looks in all directions and sees nothing.
But the people have been told that the foundations of
national credit are sinking because of an unbalanced Budget.
Deficits and debts! Who began the deficits which have
covered every year since 1920? Did the last Republican administration balance the Budget? They merely juggled the
estimates of revenue and expenditures. Spending little to
retrieve disaster, they increased the public debt by more than
In the hymns of hate which emanated from the recent outbursts of Republican oratory in national convention, deficits
and debts and taxes are treated as a new development of the
Roosevelt administration. The New Deal is portrayed as the

father of one, the mother of another, and the godfather of
the other.
But these apostles of concealment withheld from their
fervid jeremiads the fact that during the 4 long years of
Mr. Hoover the accumulated deficit in the Treasury amounted
to more than $6,000,000,000, although they increased consumers' taxes from 35 to 60 percent.
They did not tell you and will not tell you that during the
creation of these deficits and unbalanced budgets there was
no Federal relief program and no public-works program.
That States and counties and cities threw this burden on the
Federal doorstep, not under Hoover but under Roosevelt.
It was a task for which the Federal Government was not
prepared. But there was no alternative except to assume it.
At-first it was thought that funds should be loaned to the
States to be at some time repaid.
This course for various reasons—one being that many of
the States could not obligate themselves—had to be abandoned. It was understood and it was theoretically required
that the States should make substantial contributions to the
relief of their own people.
Some of them undertook in good faith to meet the requirement. Others did nothing. Some States were able to balance their budgets because they made no contribution out of
their treasuries to feed or clothe or house the helpless.
Those who seek to play miserable politics with human
misery shout that these billions of dollars spent for relief and
work have been poured out in reckless waste.
The Works Progress Administration has given employment
to 3,500,000 people, 95 percent of whom were taken from the
relief rolls in the several States.
With the money and labor thus provided between 25,000
and 30,000 worthy projects of public need and value have
been constructed and repaired. These include schoolhouses,
water and sewer systems, parks and playgrounds, public buildIngs, flood-control systems, airports, farm-to-market highways, streets, and other public improvements.
In addition, the Public Works Administration, through
grants and loans to local communities, has given employment
to more than 3,500,000 workers for a full year.
Who shall assert that these sums have been wasted? Who
shall say that these thousands of useful additions to the
property of thousands of communities all over the Nation
have not brought permanent values not otherwise obtainable? Who shall claim that these two great works administrations have not given a new impetus to the civic standards
of the people?
Shall we measure these values against a Budget temporarily unbalanced?

But the theme song of our antagonists is the destruction
of the Nation's credit and the wrapping of every newborn
child in the swaddling clothes of debt.
When we entered the World War in 1917 our public debt
was $2,000,000,000.
When we emerged from it in 1918 the public debt was
By 1929 it had been reduced under sinking-fund requirements passed in the Wilson administration to $17,000,000,000.
Prom March 1929 to March 4, 1933, that debt was increased to $21,000,000,000 without the inauguration of either
a relief or public-works program of any consequence whatever.
Hence, during the 4 long years of the Hoover administration the public debt had been increased by $4,000,000,000.
From February 28, 1933, to the present time the public
debt has increased from $21,000,000,000 to approximately
$31,500,000,000, an increase of $10,500,000,000.
Out of this increase we have devoted $8,000,000,000 to
relief and public works; $3,000,000,000 went to state and
national banks, a part of which has been repaid. Out of it
have been provided the funds for loans to railroads, insurance companies, industries, cities, counties, and States; the
refinancing of more than 2,000,000 homes through the Farm
Credit Administration and the Home Owners' Loan Corporation; the stimulation of housing under the Housing Administration; the establishment of more than 3,800 Civilian
Conservation camps and the enrollment of more than 1,500,000 young men, taken from idleness and taught the lessons of
frugality and service in the economy of American manhood;
the assistance of more than 600,000 farm families to reestablish their ability for self-support; benefit payments to
the hundreds of thousands of farmers who cooperated with
the Government and whose contracts were fulfilled notwithstanding the decision of the Supreme Court; and all the
other emergency activities made necessary to escape the
blight of the last 4 years of the Republican regime.
When we deduct from the net increase in the public debt
the more than $5,000,000,000 which will be repaid by those
who have borrowed from the Government because of the unwillingness or inability of other lending agencies, we find
that the net increase in the public debt is but little more
than that of the previous administration, which left little to
show for its extravagance.
This great program of rehabilitation has been carried on
not by endangering but by enhancing the credit of the
In 1932 the bonds of the United States sold as low as 83
cents on the dollar. Since the advent of the New Deal these


bonds have risen until today none sell for less than par,
while some sell for as much, as 17 points above par.
During the same period, $175,000,000 in annual interest was
saved by a reduction in the interest rates.
Not only have the prices of bonds increased while interest
rates were being reduced, but each new issue offered by the
Treasury has been largely oversubscribed.
None but a blind and arrogant partisan would assert that
the credit of the United States has suffered under the impetus
given to public confidence by the administration of Franklin
D. Roosevelt*
During the world's greatest war we could afford to spend
more than $30,000,000,000 in defense of our country.
In this war against depression, against the demoralization
and disintegration of our social and economic life, we have
spent not a dollar to destroy life or property, but every dollar
by which we have increased taxes or deficits or the public
debt has been devoted to the saving of life and property and
of that which makes both life and property worth while—
the unconquerable spirit of a matchless people.
We have increased taxes. So did the last Republican administration. They increased them on consumers. We have
adjusted our new taxes according to the ability of the taxpayer to pay* We have increased values and profits out of
which taxes are paid; but the increase in taxes has not
kept pace with the increase in income and land values which
the policies of the Roosevelt administration have produced.
We shall balance the Budget. We shall balance the books
in the Treasury. We shall soon ordain that no discrepancy
between income and outgo shall exist. But we shall not do
it at the expense of human life nor to the degradation of the
spirit and morale of our people.
But we are told by the smug and cynical apostles of the
status quo that the Supreme Court has nullified some of the
acts of this administration. And while anxious farmers ponder their fate and laboring men scan the heavens for a
rainbow of hope, and women and children look in vain for
the preservation of their lives and health, a voice from the
grave at Palo Alto shouts, "Thank God for the Supreme
I make no attack on the Supreme Court. As an institution I respect it, and I would be both unfair and unjust if I
were unwilling to accord to judges on the bench the right to
their views of law and constitutions which I claim for myself.
But there is nothing new in controversies over the Constitution. They began in the Convention which framed it, and
10 amendments were adopted to it by the first Congress that
assembled under it.
If in the future further amendment should become necessary to enable the people to work out their destiny and pro80106—13062

tect their fundamental rights, or to overcome some archaic
interpretation never intended by its framers, I doubt not
that the people will face that duty with the same calm intelligence which has guided them in the past.
But from the exultant voices of the tree sitters and the
devotees of the hitching post you would imagine that the
Supreme Court had never nullified an act of Congress until
Franklin D. Roosevelt became President of the United States.
You would imagine, if you listened to the groans which
arise from the doleful kneelers at the Republican wailing
wall, that we had set out like some blind Samson to pull
down the temple of constitutional government and destroy
everything within it.
Let us take a look at the record.
During the existence of this Nation more than 25,000 laws
have been enacted by Congress. About 67 of them have been
nullified by the Supreme Court, and most of them within the
past 50 years.
From 1920 to 1930, 21 acts were declared null and void.
But did any of these decisions strike terror into the hearts
of the Old Guard and the Old Dealers? Did anybody don
sackcloth and ashes and pray to Heaven to deliver the
people from the clutches of an irresponsible government?
But when some three or four outstanding acts, conceived
and consummated in behalf of labor or agriculture and the
honest conduct of business, and designed to constitute this
as a government of equal rights, are cast aside by the rigors
of technicality and the application of antiquated economic
predilections in the interpretation of the document, as indicated by one of the great dissenters, we are asked to condemn the Legislature and Executive as attempting to inject
some alien concept into the fiber of our institutions.
We have sought to serve the American people under the
Constitution. We have thought that under its broad and
generous outlines we might rescue the people from national
disaster. We have sought to treat it as a life-giving charter
rather than an object of curiosity on the shelf of a museum.
We shall abide by its decisions and seek to shape our
program in accordance with them.
But when 9 eminent men on the highest Court cannot
agree on what the Constitution means, is it any wonder that
531 Members of the United States Congress find difficulty in
agreeing about it?
And when five of those eminent men say a law violates the
Constitution and four of them equally eminent, learned, and
sincere, and equally alive to the compulsions of modern life
say it does not violate the Constitution, then we are at least
relieved of any obligation to underwrite the infallibility of the
five whose views prevail.
Is the Court beyond criticism? May it be regarded as too
sacred to be disagreed with?


Thomas Jefferson did not think so. He did not hesitate to
denounce the decisions of John Marshall and the majority
he led.
Andrew Jackson did not think so. In 1832, speaking of a
decision of that Court, he said:
John Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it.

Abraham Lincoln did not think so. In his iirst inaugural
address he said:
If the policy of the Government on vital questions affecting the
whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by the decisions of the Supreme Court the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be
their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their
Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal,

Mr. Justice Stone does not think so. In his recent dissent
from the unfortunate decision of the majority of the Court,
this great lawyer and great American not only said that the
legislation involved was constitutional, in which view Chief
Justice Hughes and Justices Brandeis and Cardozo concurred, but criticized the opinion of the majority of the
Court by saying:
While unconstitutional exercise of power by the executive and
legislative branches of the Government is subject to judicial restraint, the only check upon the exercise of judicial power Is our
own sense of self-restraint.

"The Constitution," said Chief Justice Hughes during the
interval when he was off the bench, "is what the judges say
It is."
What judges? The five who in most of these cases happened to be in a majority of one.
Theodore Roosevelt did not think so. Speaking to the
Colorado liegislature in 1010, with reference to two recent decisions of the Supreme Court, he said:
If such decisions as these two indicated the Court's permanent
attitude, there would be really a grara cause for alarm, for such
decisions, If consistently followed up, would upset the whole system
of popular government.

Governor landon and Colonel Knox fall upon each other's
necks with hallowed reunion because th«y rode the Bull Moose
behind Theodore Boosevelt in 1912, In that fight Theodore
Roosevelt had so little regard for the Court's decisions that
he advocated their "recall" Jay the vote of the people.
These judges have decided that under the Constitution the
Federal Government cannot lift men, women, and children
out of the degradation of unconscionable hours, wages, or
working conditions because it invades the rights of the States.
They have decided that the States camaot do it because it
invades the rights of private property. I presume this pro*
gressive and logical course will soon lead us to the conclusion
that private property cannot do it because it violates tkm law
of gravitation.

What we need is a new definition and a new interpretation
of interstate commerce. Every article that is grown or mined
or fabricated in one State and destined for another by whatever means of transportation is an object of interstate commerce. It is in competition with every other similar article
originating in or destined for other States. Commerce, like
water, seeks its own level. Like the wind, it goeth where it
listeth; and you can no more divide this Nation into 48 airtight and watertight economic compartments than you can
parcel off the heavens to control the winds or the rains.
Over against the hosannas of Hoover for the tortured
interpretation of the Constitution I place the tortured souls
and bodies of men who work and pray, of women whose Godgiven right is not fulfilled in a sweatshop, and of children
whom we have sought to restore to the schoolroom and the
playground. One day all these will thank God for Franklin
But we were told at Cleveland, and will be told until
November, that we have taken away the liberties of the
people; that we have bound them in chains; and that they
are fettered in the dungeons of moral and economic slavery.
Oh, for another Lincoln to strike these shackles from our
What is this freedom which we have crucified? This liberty
we have slain?
Is it the freedom of workers to free collective bargaining?
Is it the freedom of farmers to escape the loathsome peonage
imposed on them by land and produce speculators? Is it the
freedom of investors to circumvent the secret devices of stock
Is it the freedom of bank depositors from the fear of loss
of their savings? Is it the freedom of home owners and
home lovers to protect and preserve their firesides?
The fight for freedom in the past 3 years has been the same
fight that Thomas Jefferson made in 1776 for the freedom of
the common man, that Lincoln made for the freedom of a
Back of Hoover's cry for freedom at Cleveland stood the
immemorial pawnbrokers of the Republican Party who shout
with glee that they have experienced a counterfeit conversion. Back of him stood the Republican Party's holding
company, the American Liberty League, which, if it had existed in 1776 as now officered and manned, would have been
against the Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary
War, and the Constitution of the United States.
Back of him stood every interest which seeks to coin the
flesh and blood of human beings into profits, every stock
jobber, every monopolist of privilege and power, every propagandist for the discredited and defunct alliance between politics and pelf. Back of him stood the figure of William


Hearst, whose twin discoveries constitute the Kepufoiican ticket nominated, at Cleveland.
Yes; we have destroyed a certain type of liberty in this
We have destroyed the liberty of small groups to pick the
pockets of the American people, the liberty of organized
greed to pervert the agencies of government to their own
ennchme&t, the liberty of great financial wizards to engulf
this Nation In the Soodwaters of frenzied speculation, the
liberty of smug groups of self-satisfied parasites to pull the
strings of puppet satellites in official positions in Washington
under the guise of pedlar government, the liberty of longpampeared interests to use the forms of law to fasten their
teeth in tfoe vitals of American economic life, the liberty of
power and utility combinations to strangle while they rob
alike investors and consumers, the liberty of organized crime
to flaunt its black flags in the face of State and Federal statutes, and we have destroyed the liberty of any powerful or
selfish grouip anywhere in this Nation to claim that the Capital of the United States is located anywhere on this continent
except in the city of Washington, in the District of Columbia.
Who are those who raise tbeir strident voices against the
objectives of the New Deal?
Not the American farmer, whose increased income under
it has lifted him out of the economic basement.
Not the American home owner, who still dwells under his
own roof &&& asks a heavenly benediction upon it.
Not the laboring man, whose long hours have been shortened and his rewards increased. Not the worker whom we
have rescued from the status of a wandering mendicant.
Not the hoaest investor for whom we have provided information and protection. Not the workingwoman, whose tender and immortal functions,, over the dead body of monstrous greed, we have sought to save and beautify.
Not the cbild, whose eyes until now beheld the doors of a
schoolroom as a miragse which vanishes upon approach.
Not the workless millions left by the Hoover administration
as helpless derelicts of an economic and industrial tornado,
for wiaom we have provided work and shelter and attempted
security for the future.
The Republican platform denounces the constructive step
which we have taken in behalf of the unemployed, the aged,
ami the infirm*
But during the 12 long years of night in which the Republican Party controlled the Nation no attempt was made even to
deal with this problem. AH they hold out now is a vague and
impossible promise designed to deceive and thwart the hopes
of l^GWUttO aged people throughout the Nation and countless miUka^ who wiB become aged in the years of the future.
"Who opposes this new light for democracy today? Who
throws across the pathway of real liberty lighted by Tfiomas


Jefferson and relighted by Jackson and Lincoln and Woodrow
Wilson the impediments of falsity and the tangled timbers of
deception? Who seeks to divert the masses of men from the
trail which leads to real and not a spurious freedom? Who
pours into the faces of our people the poison gas of doubt
and fear and suspicion?
Not the more than a million and a half young men from
every State and town who have been offered a haven from
idleness and possible crime.
Not the thousands of towns and cities throughout America
whose needs for better living advantages have been gratified.
Not the anxious fathers and mothers of the Nation from
whose hearts has been removed the fear of the kidnaper and
the gangster.
Not the millions of school children whose facilities for the
enjoyment of learning have been increased.
Not the millions of sufferers of torrential and devastating
floods whose safety and protection we have authorized.
Not the consumers of electric energy for whom we have
provided an honest yardstick.
Not the honest businessman, who asks nothing of Government except the assurance that he shall be permitted to
compete with others on a basis of honesty and justice.
Not the great moral leaders and apostles of America, who
have seen at last some of the sacred precepts of the Golden
Rule applied to the practices, motives, and powers of Government.
"America is in peril", say the platform fabricators of the
Republican Old Guard. It would indeed be true if they should
ever again obtain control.
"The powers of Congress have been usurped by the President", say Hearst and Mills and Moses and Bingham and
Hoover. The same was said of Washington and Jackson and
Lincoln. The American people expect their President to be
a leader, not a craven dummy in the lap of some ventriloquist.
"Regulated monopoly has displaced free enterprise/' say
these who put together Joseph's coat at Cleveland. When
under their domination did anybody see or hear of free enterprise? Uncontrolled monopoly was their middle name.
"The New Deal administration constantly seeks to usurp
the rights of the States," say these master builders. But for
nearly a century and a half they have sought to hamper
both State and National authority when directed against
their pampered pets in politics and business.
"It has dishonored our country by repudiating its most
solemn obligations", and on that platform they nominated a
candidate who 3 years ago urged the payment of public and
private debts in money of the printing press, redeemable in
neither silver nor gold.
"It has created a vast multitude of new offices." So runs
the monotonous refrain.


H we had continued the Bepublican policy of doing nothing
about relief, nothing about the farm crisis, nothing for labor
or business, nothing for homes and farms burdened with
debt, nothing for one-fourth of the distressed population of
this Nation, it would have been possible not to create new
offices. But you cannot double the tasks of government and
not increase the number of employees.
If this is Republican condemnation of doing something as
opposed to doing nothing, let them say so and take the consequences. If it is a Republican approval of doing something
and & condemnation of using the means to accomplish it, it
is rank hypocrisy and unworthy of notice.
Figures are important to register results, but the astonishing figures of American recovery are not the most important
There has been no such volume of recovery in so short a
time in the whole history of the world as occurred here in
the first 6 months of 1933. It paused momentarily in 1034,
but it has gone steadily upward with no sustained recession-.
It has included every form of human activity,
I do not wish to burden this address with statistics, but for
the sake of those who measure life by figures in a table I give
you the essential indexes of improvement:
Farm prices, 50 percent.
Farm income, 53 percent.
Farm, purchasing power, 40 percent.
Factory pay roll, 59 percent.
Purchasing power of same, 50 percent.
factory employment, 33 percent.
Industrial earnings, 35 percent.
Stock-market prices, 40 percent.
Bank deposits, 33 percent,
Railroad traffic, 16 percent.
Automobile production, 30 percent.
Construction permits, 50 percent.
Industrial production, 50 percent.
National-bank earnings, 100 percent.
Decline in commercial failures, 66 percent
Increase in national income, 50 percent.
New securities issued, 50 percent.
Perhaps the most significant of all to industry is the decline of 66 percent in the rate of business failures and the
decline of bank failures of 100 percent
But there are human values far beyond these figures. The
important point is not merely that farm prices have increased, but that American agriculture has been rescued from
impending ruin. It is not merely that the condition of labor
has been improved by the reduction of the number of unemployed from 15,000,000 to 10,000,000 workers, but that labor
has been dragged back from the brink of peonage and that,
with one-fourth of our population destitute, their health,

comfort, and self-respect have been maintained, and there
has been no sedition, riot, or bloodshed during the worst
human catastrophe in our history.
It is not merely that banking and industry have been saved
from bankruptcy, but that faith in banking and industry
have been revived.
The answer to that enigma of denunciation by some of
those who have been saved and others who may not have
needed it is as old as Hamiltonian reaction and Jeffersonian
democracy. This has been a balanced recovery. Benefits
have been bestowed upon all groups with as even a hand as
government can assure.
But there are other gains which have been recorded in the
past 3 years of which I am thinking and of which the American people are thinking.
These are the moral and spiritual contributions we have
made to the life of our people, which are beyond computation by the standards of the dollar.
We talk of the gold standard, the gold content of the dollar,
and men who do not know the history or the significance of
money talk about the gold dollar and the so-called return to
gold, denying the obvious truth that the American dollar,
with a larger reserve of gold behind it today than ever before,
is the soundest medium of exchange among all the nations
of the world today.
But I am thinking of those immortal reserves of character
which partake of the essence of the heart and soul of a
nation, which have been strengthened and perpetuated by
what we have been trying to do.
I am thinking that, while we have preserved homes and
acres and railroads and banks and insurance companies and
factories and all the tangible and corporeal symbols of the
people's wealth, we have also preserved the intangible and
immeasurable values that take form in the realms of pdde
and service and honor.
We have preserved and stimulated respect for law and the
rights of the average man.
We have increased the loyalty of the people to the Government, which should be their servant.
We have restored the faith from which must spring the
defenders of the flag and of the Constitution.
We have cultivated a study of the science of government
and its truest functions among millions to whom government
was something apart and detached and without meaning.
We have renewed and reinforced the belief that after all
government and trusted leaders may hear and heed the cry
of the humblest worshiper at the shrine of equality.
We have rekindled the vanishing faith in the survival of
the best as well as the fittest.
We have revitalized the answer to the question which has
rung through all the ages: "Am I my brother's keeper?"


We have sought to confound the cynics who despise the
moral conceptions of the more abundant life for which the
Master lived and died.
We have under the leadership of a man of rare and superb
courage endeavored not to tear down what others have
legitimately constructed, not to destroy the material rewards
of honest toil of mind or body but to establish a fairer,
juster order that will give to every man, woman, and child
in this Republic the right to stand erect in pride and selfrespect, to see the stars on high, and share the glory of the
We meet here within the shadow of Liberty Hall, in this
City of Brotherly Love, in this State of William Penn, where
eightscore years ago Thomas Jefferson gave to the world
an unfamiliar creed of human freedom. It was here that he
became the spokesman of the drawers of water and the
hewers of wood. It was here that the foundations of our faith
were laid.
It is here again, in the midst of these historic scenes, that
we invoke the spirits of departed patriots, rekindle our belief
in the nobility of their cause, and rededicate ourselves to
its complete fulfillment.
It is here, with such a leadership, in such a cause, with
such a record, that we accept the challenge and hasten our
feet to the field of battle.
May I conclude with this quotation:
No greater thing could come to our land today than a revival
of the spirit of religion—a revival that would sweep through the
homes of the Nation and stir the hearts of men and women of all
faiths to a realization of their belief in God and their dedication
to His will for themselves and for their world. I doubt if there is
any problem—social, political, or economic—that would not melt
before the fire of such a spiritual awakening.

The American people are not afraid to follow—they will
follow—the man who spoke those words. He is the present
and the next President of the United States, Franklin Delano

Address of the Permanent Chairman, Hon. Joseph
T. Robinson, of Arkansas
Mr. Chairman, and Ladies and Gentlemen of the Convention:
National campaigns heretofore usually have involved
sharply defined issues on which political discussions have
centered. The principal concern of the recent Republican
convention at Cleveland was to reconcile its candidate for
the Presidency with the declarations embraced in its platform. It was not the first time in our history that a nominee, in advance of accepting the nomination, has placed his
interpretation on the language employed, but it is the first
instance in which a candidate by keeping silent on national
public questions and after maneuvering himself into a posi80106—13062


tkm assuring his selection has indicated a disposition to bolt
on five or more subjects on which his party had spoken. It
is also the first case in which the platform committee and
convention have anticipated the purpose of a prospective
nominee to break away in a direction opposite to their movement by declaring that it would constitute a breach of public
faith and of private honor should he fail or refuse to conform
to the policies laid down for his guidance.
Republican leaders lately have shown tender, if too long
delayed, appreciation for the platform on which the Democrats won the election in 1932.
Their speakers enter this campaign declaring that we have
betrayed the country by failing to carry out the promises
which at first they regarded as repugnant, but which are now
dear to the hearts of our opponents.
The Roosevelt administration has faithfully complied with
the spirit of the Chicago platform promises. If there has
been partial departure as to the letter of the planks in that
platform relating to economy and balancing the Budget, that
failure is attributable to the constantly changing conditions
and necessities and to the guerrilla warfare of the Republican
Because of the policies of three Republican administrations
extending over a period of 12 years, a condition existed March
4, 1933, which cannot be adequately described. Break-down
was threatened in the government of many States, as well as
in that of the Nation. Millions of laborers were out of work.
The specter of poverty cast its appalling shadow over the
land. Credit sources were dried up; financial institutions
were bankrupt; factories were closed down; agriculture was
profitless; the savings of cities were being swept away; business was at a standstill; our foreign commerce had almost
disappeared; and hoarding was general.
These conditions had resulted in large part from governmental policies, economic isolation, riotous speculation, promotion of monopolies, and the contraction of credits for the
private profits of market manipulators.
You have not forgotten—can you ever forget—the gloom,
the sorrow, and the distress which clouded the hopes and
hampered the activities of all of our people?
President Hoover seemed powerless to suggest any method
by which the engulfing tides of adversity might be impeded
or turned back. All he could do, apparently, was to boast a
refracted vision which he claimed enabled him to see prosperity around corners. Having employed the Army to drive
from the Capital thousands of hungry war veterans, he retired to the cloister of the White House and indulged in
crystal gazing to predict the quick return of better times
which never began to return until after he had been retired
to the sun-baked gardens of Palo Alto to give place to the
new leader of the Nation, President Roosevelt.


The Democratic leadership recognized that drastic changes
in governmental policies were necessary to bring back courage
and confidence and to restore financial stability.
Feeble and ordinary processes had been tried and had
failed. New and decisive methods and measures were demanded . and required. They were necessarily formulated
with haste. It is not surprising that difficulties were encountered or that mistakes were made. To have awaited then the
slow working out and execution of plans for recovery would
have been fatal. No one is wise enough, even with postvision, to know what would have happened if extraordinary
legislation had not been speedily enacted and put into effect.
The banking laws were revised, insurance for bank deposits
was provided, runs on banks were stopped, and the national
credit was employed to prevent bankruptcy and ruin of banking institutions, of railways, and of key industries.
For 12 years before March 4, 1933, Republican administrations had grappled with the farm problem. The only important measure they enacted, the Farm Marketing Act,
had cost the Federal Treasury $500,000,000 and had left agriculture in a worse condition.
The Democratic administration created a system for coordinating production with consumption, and for the payment
of benefits to farmers which quickly restored agricultural
prices to an approximate level with the prices of industrial
products. Indebtedness, under which farm homes were being
foreclosed, was refinanced at reduced interest rates. Foreclosures were suspended. Quickly there appeared better conditions with respect to both agriculture and industry.
With the depreciation of values and the unparalleled fall
in prices following the collapse of markets in 1929 small
businesses were merged into gigantic combinations with monopolistic tendencies or were forced into bankruptcy. As
trade and purchasing power diminished unemployment increased, savings were exhausted, and millions of formerly
self-supporting citizens were compelled to accept charity.
When the Roosevelt administration began local agencies
the States, cities, and counties had well-nigh exhausted
their resources, and charitable organizations were unable to
meet the constantly growing demands upon them.
Hundreds of thousands of young men, many of them college or high-school graduates, were entering life without
prospect. The professions were overcrowded and the immediate future held little promise for the youth of America.
There was devised the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps organization, and
the Civil Works Administration. When the Conservation
Corps was first established it was ridiculed as a useless and
costly experiment. In spite of the contempt of those who had
stood motionless and dumb while the catastrophe was approaching, that organization has demonstrated its effective80106—13062

ness for keeping deserving young men from becoming hoboes
and for giving them useful service in the construction of
highways, the improvement of public parks, buildings, and
grounds, the reforestation of denuded areas, and in other
helpful spheres of labor. Now the value of the Emergency
Conservation Corps is generally, almost unanimously, recognized. Former President Hoover vainly boasts that he was
its originator.
The Civil Works Administration required comprehensive
planning. It was difficult to find useful employment in the
neighborhoods where the unemployed were located. The
consensus of opinion is that more than 75 percent of the
funds expended through that agency was of substantial and
permanent advantage to the communities in which the work
was carried on.
When the Civil Works Administration had served its purpose it was found that the ranks of the unemployed were
constantly being augmented by those who in the beginning
of the depression had been able to live upon their savings,
but who as time progressed were compelled to spend their
While many key industries had been restored following
recovery measures to an approximately normal State, private agencies continued to pursue economical methods and
to substitute machinery for hand labor with the result that
a comprehensive program of public works became necessary
and was authorized under the act of 1935, contemplating a
Nation-wide system of public works, some of them consisting
of permanent structures. In order to take from the dole
3,500,000 laborers, the Works Progress Administration was
organized and plans were made for public works in thousands of communities in which the unemployed resided.
Manifestly the number on the Federal emergency relief rolls
could not be concentrated in the communities where public
buildings and similar works could be located, so that it became necessary to plan for the employment of the majority
of them in or near the communities where they lived. To
accomplish this undertakings of a less permanent nature
than those contemplated by the Public Works Administration program became indispensable. The opposition have
described these expenditures as wasteful and foolish.
The theory of the Works Progress Administration is that
it is better to give those who are willing to labor the opportunity to do so than to make them dependent on charity or on
Government dole.
There is no more pathetic spectacle than that of an honest
man, accustomed to earning a livelihood for himself and his
dependents, forced to face starvation or to accept private or
public charity. If his self-respect is to be maintained, he
should be given opportunity to help himself. That is exactly
what has been done through the Works Progress program.


The greater part of the large fund has been and is being advantageously used. The issue is whether public employment
shall be abandoned for the dole. No one dares advocate that
those who cannot get work shall be permitted to starve.
Certainly where the States and their subdivisions are able
to do so they should be expected to contribute a fair share
to the very laudable and so far only practicable plan that has
been offered for solving the one great problem incident to the
depression, namely, unemployment.
The opponents of the present administration advocate the
abdication by the National Government of control over the
administration of Federal relief funds. They assert that such
funds should be expended solely by local agencies of the
States. Their contention is that this will eliminate politics
and prevent waste and corruption. Experience has not
shown that to be true.
To require the Federal Government to provide the funds,
and to relinquish all control over their expenditure would be
to invite competition among the localities to secure grants
from the Government which would result in demands so great
that the national credit would be impaired.
With respect to politics, the record shows that there have
been less abuses than under any other plan that has been
employed. State officers are not exempt from political influence. Indeed, local pressure on State and county officers
might prove irresistible and overpowering.
There is no plan conceivable under which no waste will occur and under which all abuses may be prevented. So long
as the National Government provides the major portion of the
sums necessary for the unemployed, it must, for its own protection, and for the protection of those who are required to
pay the bill, retain a liberal measure of supervision both as
to the purpose and the manner of the expenditures.
The drain on the National Treasury by reason of extraordinary measures, particularly including those relating to unemployment, has been great. It must be reduced as soon and
as rapidly as circumstances permit. Unemployment assistance cannot be abandoned so long as there are large groups
of American men and women unable to find an opportunity
to earn a livelihood.
Much will be heard of sound money during this campaign.
When world economic conditions were approaching their
worst, Great Britain and many other powers went off the
gold standard and resorted to what is known as managed
currency. The advantage they thus derived in trade and
commerce over peoples still dealing under the gold standard
became manifest. To prevent our foreign trade from being
taken over by competitors and to avoid further contraction
of credit which threatened, we reduced the gold content of
the dollar. We did not create an unsound currency.

Indeed, United States currency is the soundest and the
best in all the world, and we propose to keep it so. Had we
remained on the gold standard while competitor nations were
resorting to managed currencies, we would have lost not only
our foreign commerce and have witnessed our domestic trade
reduced to the vanishing point, but the Government would
have been compelled to face a demand for monetary inflation
that would have been irresistible. Once the printing presses
are started turning out money, you can never hope to stop
expenditures or to stabilize values until the mania has run
its course. That has been the experience of every nation
known to history.
The Republican platform adopted at Cleveland declares for
sound money in the language of the Democratic platform of
1932. The fiercest issue in the committee on platform at
Cleveland was over return to the gold standard. The committee repudiated the proposition, and the convention, without controversy, supported the committee.
At the beginning of his speech nominating Landon, Mr.
Hamilton, the boss of the Cleveland convention, announced
that the candidate had views of his own on the monetary
question. In his telegram the candidate declared that he
favored return to the gold standard—currency convertible
into gold.
It is true that he hedged the issue by declaring that the
proposed change should be made "when it can be accomplished without penalizing our democratic economy and
without injury to producers of agricultural products."
For that declaration, made immediately before his nomination, the Republican candidate for President has been
proclaimed as bold and defiant.
Almost everyone realizes that there can be no return to the
gold standard under present conditions without "penalizing
our democratic economy and without injury to producers of
agricultural products." Governor Landon did not dare advocate an immediate return to the gold standard. His effort
and that of former President Hoover to have a plank incorporated in the Cleveland platform was a failure. Candidate
Landon's declaration on the subject evades the issue by the
use of language that clearly shows he does not believe it safe
and practicable to reestablish at this time a gold-standard
Ttie Cleveland convention did an unusual thing. It impliedly questioned the good faith of its prospective nominee
and his willingness to stand upon the platform by the last
clause in that document, which is as follows:
The acceptance of the nomination tendered by this convention
carries with it, as a matter of private honor and public faith, an
undertaking by every candidate to be true to the principles and
program herein set forth.


When that language is considered in connection with the
well-known fact that in five important particulars the platform committee rejected the views of Governor Landon it is
undeniable that the committee was preparing for a candidate
whom it knew to be out of sympathy with the platform.
That there are five particulars in which the candidate was
turned down by the platform committee the press reports
from the pen of Mr. William Allen White, who constitutes
the head of the Landon "brain trust", may be cited.
In a copyrighted article emanating from Cleveland on the
11th of June 1936, Mr. White published these five points
raised by the candidate and rejected by the committee and
the convention.
What are the five points?
First (quoted from Mr. White's article):
Landon telephoned from Topeka this morning he would like to
have a declaration putting all post-office employees, including the
Postmaster General, under civil service.
Neither the committee nor the convention would stand for
placing Cabinet officers under the civil service.
He also desired a plank curing the Supreme Court decision denying to States the right to control hours of service, working conditions, and wages. Landon advocates an amendment to the Constitution. His plea was denied.

The committee and the convention not only denied his plea
but adopted declarations that the integrity and the authority
of the Supreme Court have been flouted, and pledged resistance to all attempts to impair the authority of the Supreme Court. He also advocates the adoption of State laws
to abolish sweatshops and child labor and to protect women
and children with respect to maximum hours, minimum
wages, and decent working conditions—which is exactly what
the Supreme Court held in Morehead against Tipaldo the
States cannot do.
Third: The third particular in which Mr. William Allen
White declares that Candidate Landon was rebuffed by the
committee and the convention is with respect to the gold
standard and a currency convertible into gold. Mr. White
After considerable protest, he ceased firing on the currency.
Fourth: According to Mr. White, the Kansas delegation
(for Governor Landon) offered a plank—
Looking directly to lower tariffs but under the protective theory.
The plank as it stands represents a compromise.
Fifth: In 1932 the Republicans adopted a declaration
favoring the United States joining the World Court, and
boasted that Presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover had
urged that course. The Cleveland platform pledges that the
United States shall not become a member of the World Court.


Candidate Landon opposed the declaration. Again quoting
Mr. White:
Governor Landon over the telephone this morning asked that the
abandonment of the World Court be reconsidered. His request
was almost unanimously rejected.

This bit of convention history discloses that the platform
committee in the convention doubted whether the candidate
would carry out the platform, and that they sought to bind
him by the unusual charge made in advance that if he failed
to do so his action would constitute a breach of private honor
and of faith.
It has been shown that the candidate of the Republican
Party proposed a platform declaration in favor of reduced
tariff rates, which was rejected.
The Cleveland platform declares for the repeal of the
reciprocal tariff law and for an embargo on livestock, dairy
and agricultural products.
Under the reciprocal tariff law there have been negotiated
various trade agreements which have had the effect of stimulating our foreign commerce without materially interfering
with our domestic trade. To repeal this law and impose embargoes will virtually mean the end of our foreign commerce.
American ships will rot at their docks and our vessels will
disappear from the seas. Under the Republican policy surpluses will continue to pile up in the home market, to the
ruin of American producers.
The Republican platform declares for the immediate balancing of the Budget without additional taxes by simply
reducing expenditures. This suggestion is intended to attract taxpayers. No one close to the leadership of the
Republican Party regards the proposition as practical in the
immediate future. The Roosevelt administration has balanced the Budget except as to extraordinary expenditures,
and the question is whether unemployment-relief expenditures shall be discontinued in order to accomplish what we
all desire to be done as speedily as possible, namely, establish
complete balance between revenues and Government expenses.
The last session of the Congress, with the approval of
Republican Members, authorized approximately $750,000,000
to be expended for flood control, the expenditure to be spread
over a period of years.
In addition, there have been a billion and a half dollars
appropriated for work relief during the fiscal year 1937.
These and other items keep the Budget out of balance for
the present. To balance the Budget promptly would be to
terminate at once all relief. Is this desirable? Do the
American people wish to deny all assistance from the National Government to workers who are out of employment
and who cannot secure engagements from private industry?



A comparison of the income tax, the excess-profits tax,
alcoholic liquor, and other miscellaneous internal revenue,
exclusive of the agricultural adjustment tax, for the first 6
months of the fiscal year ending June 30, 1932, with the
same months of the year ending June 30, 1935, shows an increase of almost 100 percent.
During the 6-month period, July 1 to December 31, 1935,
revenue collections were about equal to those for the full
fiscal year of 1932. During that year $1,557,000,000 from the
sources named were collected. During the fiscal year 1935,
$2,730,000,000 came into the Treasury from the same sources.
The Democratic policy contemplates balancing the Budget
as promptly as this can be done without permitting citizens
who cannot secure private employment to experience suffering from hunger and cold. This policy we believe to be justified from both an economic and a humane standpoint.
By the quick adoption of machines, employment in America has been maladjusted. Added to this, has been the loss
of purchasing power incident to the depression and unemployment arising because of the reduction of business and
enterprise. As these are revived and restored, and as hours
of labor are shortened, the necessity for work-relief appropriations will diminish and disappear.
Decisions of the Supreme Court in various cases have had
the effect of slowing up national recovery, because they have
held invalid the National Recovery Act, the Agricultural Adjustment Act, the Guffey coal law, and some other laws intended to prevent labor controversies, eliminate unfair
competition in trade and in industry, and to secure fair
prices for agricultural products. In spite of these decisions
the American people are going forward. We recognize that
the decisions of the Supreme Court, until reversed, are final,
and we abide by them. Nevertheless, we do not regard the
Court above and beyond those factors and causes which
naturally influence the minds of human beings.
The decision in the Guffey Coal Act case held that the
Federal Government has no power to prescribe maximum
hours and minimum wages for workers in coal mines, because, among other things, it constitutes a transgression of
the rights and functions of the States. In the New York
maximum hours and minimum wages case, recently handed
down, the majority held that the States cannot prescribe
maximum hours and minimum wages on the theory that to
do so violates the right of contract secured to our citizens
by the Federal Constitution.
Notwithstanding this situation the Republican Party advocates legislation by the States and binds its candidate not
to seek an amendment to the Federal Constitution authorizing the Congress or State legislatures to regulate maximum
hours and minimum wages for laborers.

Whatever may be the Just basis for differences of opinion
respecting other decisions, the bar of the United States
overwhelmingly repudiates the denial by the Supreme Court
of the power to regulate maximum hours and minimum
wages. By the decision the right of private contract is not
fortified and strengthened. In a practical sense It is
weakened and destroyed.
What right of private contract is secured by the majority
opinion to the woman who exhausts her physical energies
by toiling excessive hours for starvation wages in unsanitary
sweatshops to support herself and her dependent children?
What power has she, unsupported by law, to protect her
rights and to secure fair and adequate compensation for
her labor? How does this decision strengthen freedom or
glorify justice?
Oh, blind and impartial justice, what blunders are committed in thy name! Liberty, art thou both deaf and dumb!
Canst thou not behold the pallid faces, the emaciated forms,
the sweating brows, the trembling hands of millions of
women and children workers who by the decision are left
at the mercy of those who have neither pity nor charity for
the oppressed and the poor?
The decision in Morehead against Tipaldo should be reversed under that due process of law clause which has been
unjustly invoked as its justification.
That decision itself has answered the charge of pompous
plutocrats that Roosevelt and his administration seek to
undermine and destroy the Supreme Court. The Republicans in their platform attack the decision and halfheartedly advocate the passage of State laws which by the
precedent of Morehead against Tlpaldo would be of doubtful
The weight of the argument, in the opinion of lawyers and
laymen, it is believed, sustains the minority rather than the
majority opinion.
Certainly when such judges as Chief Justice Hughes, Justices Stone, Brandeis, and Cardozo declare a statute consistent with the fundamental law, and criticize the views to
the contrary of the judges constituting a majority as unsound and subversive, it cannot be disloyal or revolutionary
for citizens who believe that the consequences inevitably will
be to deprive women and children laborers of valid legal
protection to express their opinion on the subject with firmness and emphasis. Everyone, including those sagacious
politicians who until recently sought partisan advantage by
praising our highest judicial tribunal for upsetting various
features of the national recovery program, now seeks concurrence in a plan to overcome a decision which, they say,
if permitted to stand will prove oppressive,

The Cleveland platform denounces the Democratic Party
for the policies and measures which have been adopted during the Roosevelt administration for the promotion of national recovery. Many Republican Members in both branches
of the Congress, suggesting no substitute, voted for the
passage of the legislation because they, as did Democratic
Members of the Congress, recognized the extreme and unusual conditions which made extraordinary action imperative.
This is true of the most important laws held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, including the National
Recovery Act, the agricultural adjustment law, and the
Guffey coal measure. It would be interesting and perhaps
surprising to those who have been impressed with the denunciation of the measures and policies of the Roosevelt administration by the Republican convention to hear the names of
the prominent Republican leaders in the Senate and in the
House of Representatives who supported the measures referred to and who now find themselves denounced by their
own convention as intimidators, usurpers, and advocates of
tyrannical policies.
National defense is a subject of interest to every citizen
loyal to our flag and to the institutions which it symbolizes.
The Republican platform on this subject is indefinite. It
favors an Army and Navy, including Air Corps, adequate for
defense. No standard is raised as to what constitutes adequacy. The platform declares for cooperation with other
nations in the control of armaments and the traffic of arms.
It is a trite definition without definite meaning. Every administration since the World War, and some of them before
that, has offered cooperation with rival powers for the limitation of military and naval arms.
Just now, when international antagonisms are being stimulated, when continents tremble beneath the tread of maddened armies, and when age-long hatreds are prompting
nations to strife, it is impossible to accomplish substantial
reduction in military force without sacrifice of national security. The Roosevelt administration is building the Navy
to full strength contemplated by the. Washington an4, London Treaties. It is maintaining a well-trained and efficient
Army. Our platform on national defense is written in the
record of achievements.
Another feature of the Cleveland platform which discloses
how hard its sponsors were driven to find a popular issue
relates to the collection of war debts. The country will not
be permitted to forget that it was the Hoover administration
which granted that moratorium and that the moratorium
was construed by the debtor nations as an encouragement to
their repudiation of their obligations to our Government.
The blame for this blunder in the conduct of international
affairs must rest chiefly where it belongs, namely, on the
Sage of Palo Alto,


As a sop to the Senator from Idaho, Mr. Borah, the Cleveland convention declared, in general terms, for the enforcement of criminal laws and for the enactment of additional
legislation to prevent private monopoly.
These declarations would be received with more confidence
if the Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover administrations had not
neglected the enforcement of criminal laws and fostered the
organization of trusts and combinations tending to drive all
forms of business and industry under the domination of
The Democratic administration seeks to protect small businesses against those great combinations which crush them
and drive them out of existence.
It has terminated the reign of gangsters by destroying the
kidnaper, the national-bank robber, and the outlaw who seeks
refuge in flight to other States from .the place of his crime.
Our platform is to be read in the record of the best national
law enforcement ever recorded in the history of our Nation.
It is, of course, impracticable to make reference in this
address to all of the features of the Republican platform
which invite consideration.
As an illustration, however, of the attempt to attract support by the announcement of principles which are generally
accepted and concerning which there can be no partisan
division, your attention is directed to the "bill of rights",
which pledges preservation, protection, and defense against
all intimidation and threats, freedom of religion, speech,
press, and radio. There has been no impairment or threat to
impair any of them by the Roosevelt administration, although
the misrepresentation has been made that in some mysterious
way they have been disregarded and held in contempt.
The principal danger to the liberties, both of the individual
and the masses, exists in the power of monopolies and trusts
which, under the last three Republican administrations,
thrived and prospered with respect to both production and
distribution. Nothing of importance was done during any
one of the three administrations referred to to check the
tendency toward monopoly.
On the contrary, unfair business practices for the suppression of competition were induced by large combinations without the slightest interference or restraint. It is at once
amusing and shocking to witness this pretended devotion to
sacred causes by the delegates to the convention, while they
paraded and danced to the thrilling strains and inspiring
sentiments of the Republican campaign song, Oh, Suzanna,
Don't You Cry.
Your chairman is prompted by consideration of propriety
to bring this speech to a close.
We do not fear any comparison which the opposition may
make. We meet their challenge in the open, face to face.

Democrats during the present administration have made a
record of great things accomplished. We are not discouraged by the obstacles which have been thrown in the way.
Our opponents, paralyzed with fear, did not attempt to overcome the results of their own mistakes and follies when the
collapse of 1929 occurred. Keynoter STEIWER complains that
Mr. Roosevelt, after his election, did not advise President
Hoover and cooperate with him in the hours of the latter's
extremity and failure.
Keynoter STEIWER denounces our leader as a President
without conscience. President Roosevelt may not possess the
kind of conscience with which Republicans are familiar in
their conduct of public affairs. He has, however, a conscience which takes note of the distress and helplessness of
the feeble and the despairing. A conscience keenly alive to
the necessity of maintaining the national honor, of promoting
national happiness by repealing laws that have destroyed it,
and by advocating measures designed to advance it.
William Allen White, sponsor of the Republican candidate,
Governor Landon, characterized his favorite in the article
already quoted from as "the dumb, smiling enigma, who has
America guessing." That is not my characterization. It is
the statement of the candidate's closest friend, made in an
effort to prove that in making demands to the committee on
platform at Cleveland for the insertion of certain planks and
then in yielding those planks, his candidate had suddenly
demonstrated capacity for leadership.
Opponents sometimes denounce President Roosevelt as a
dictator. No President has demonstrated a kindlier nature or
more generous spirit than President Roosevelt. He has maintained amicable relations with every department of the Government. If he has been given extraordinary authority by
law, it is because the Congress trusted him and regarded him
as the best agent it could find.
On our record of pledges honestly redeemed, or services
faithfully performed, and under as gallant a leadership as
ever raised a political banner, we advance to the battle of
1936 confident that the voters of the Nation will not turn back
to the defeated and disheartened leadership which abandoned
them when the need for service, loyalty, and courage was the
greatest ever known.

Acceptance Address by Hon, Franklin D. Roosevelt,
President of the United States
Senator ROBINSON, Members of the Democratic Convention,
My Friends here and in every community throughout the
We meet at a time of great moment to the future of the
Nation—an occasion to be dedicated to the simple and sincere
expression of an attitude toward problems, the determination
of which will profoundly affect America.

I come not only as the leader of a party—not only as a
candidate for high office, but as one upon whom many critical
hours have imposed and still impose a grave responsibility.
For the sympathy, for the help and confidence with which
Americans have sustained me in my task I am grateful. For
their loyalty I salute the members of our great party, in and
out of official life in every part of the Union. I salute, too,
those of other parties, especially those in the Congress who on
so many occasions put partisanship aside. I thank the Governors of the several States, their legislatures, their State and
local officials who participated unselfishly and regardless of
party in our efforts to achieve recovery and destroy abuses
Above all I thank the millions of Americans who have borne
disaster.bravely and have dared to smile through the storm*
America will not forget these recent years—will not forget
that the rescue was not a mere party task—it was the concern
of all of us. In our strength we rose together, rallied our
energies together, applied the old rules of common sense, and
together survived.
In those days we feared fear. Ifcat was why we fought
fear. And today, my friends, we have won against the most
dangerous of our foes—we have conquered fear.
But I cannot, with candor, tell you that all is well with the
world. Clouds of suspicion, tides of ill will and intolerance
gather darkly in many places. In our own land we enjoy
indeed a fullness of life greater than that of most nations.
But the rush of modern civilization itself has raised for us
new difficulties, new problems which must be solved if we
are to preserve to the United States the political and economic freedom for which Washington and Jefferson planned
and fought.
Philadelphia is a good city in which to write American history. This is fitting ground on which to reaffirm the faith of
our fathers; to pledge ourselves to restore to the people a
wider freedom—to give to 1936 as the founders gave to 1776—
an American way of life.
That very word "freedom", in itself and of necessity, suggests freedom from some restraining power. In 1776 we sought
freedom from the tyranny of a political autocracy—from the
eighteenth century royalists who held special privileges from
the Crown. It was to perpetuate their privilege that, they
governed without the consent of the governed; that they denied the right of free assembly and free speech; that they
restricted the worship of God; that they put the average
man's property and the average man's life in pawn to the
mercenaries of dynastic power—that they regimented the
And so it was to win freedom from the tyranny of political
autocracy that the American Revolution was fought. That
victory gave the business of governing into the hands of the


average man who won the right with his neighbors to make
and order his own destiny through his own government.
Political tyranny was wiped out at Philadelphia on July 4,
Since that struggle, however, man's inventive genius released new forces in our land—forces which reordered the
lives of our people. The age of machinery, of railroads, of
steam and electricity; the telegraph and the radio; mass production, mass distribution—all of these combined to bring
forward a new civilization and with it a new problem for those
who would remain free.
For out of this modern civilization economic royalists
carved new dynasties. New Kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new
uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery
of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital—all undreamed of by the fathers—the whole structure of modern
life was impressed into this royal service.
There was no place among this royalty for our many thousands of small businessmen and merchants who sought to
make a worthy use of the American system of initiative and
profit. They were no more free than the worker or the
farmer. Even honest and progressive-minded men of wealth,
aware of their obligation to their generation, could never
know Just where they fitted into this dynastic scheme of
It was natural and, perhaps, human that the privileged
princes of these new economic dynasties, thirsting for
power, reached out for control over government itself. They
created a new despotism and wrapped it in the robes of
legal sanction. In its service new mercenaries sought to
regiment the people, their labor and their properties. And
as a result, the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minuteman.
The hours men and women worked, the wages they received, the conditions of their labor—these had passed beyond the control of the people, and Were imposed by this
new industrial dictatorship. The savings of the average
family, the capital of the small businessman, the investments
set aside for old age—other people's money—these were tools
which the new economic royalty used to dig itself in.
Those who tilled the soil no longer reaped the rewards
which were their right. The small measure of their gains
was decreed by men in distant cities.
Throughout the Nation, opportunity was limited by monopoly. Individual initiative was crushed in the cogs of a
great machine. The field open for free business was more
and more restricted. Private enterprise became too private.
It became privileged enterprise, not free enterprise,

An old English Judge once said: "Necessitous men are not
free men." Liberty requires opportunity to make a living—
a living decent according to the standard of the time, a living which gives man not only enough to live by, but something to live for.
For too many of us the political equality we once had won
was meaningless in the face of economic inequality. A small
group had concentrated into their own hands an almost complete control over other people's property, other people's
money, other people's labor—other people's lives. For too
many of us life was no longer free; liberty no longer real;
men could no longer follow the pursuit of happiness.
Against economic tyranny such as this, the citizen could
only appeal to the organized power of Government. The
collapse of 1929 showed up the despotism for what it was.
The election of 1932 was the people's mandate to end it.
And under that mandate it is being ended.
The royalists of the economic order have conceded that
political freedom was the business of the Government, but
they have maintained that economic slavery was nobody's
business, They granted that the Government could protect
the citizen in his right to vote but they denied that the
Government could do anything to protect the citizen in his
right to work and live.
Today, my friends, we stand committed to the proposition
that freedom is no half-and-half affair. If the average citizen is guaranteed equal opportunity in the polling place, he
must have equal opportunity in the market place.
These economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain
of is that we seek to take away their power. Our allegiance to
American institutions requires the overthrow of this kind of
power. In vain they seek to hide behind the flag and the
Constitution. In their blindness they forget what the flag
and the Constitution stand for. Now, as always, the flag and
the Constitution stand for democracy, not tyranny; for freedom, not subjection; and against a dictatorship by mob rule
and the overprivileged alike.
The brave and clear platform adopted by this convention,
to which I heartily subscribe, sets forth that government in a
modern civilization has certain inescapable obligations to its
citizens, among which are protection of the family and the
home, the establishment of a democracy of opportunity, and
aid to those overtaken by disaster.
But the resolute enemy within our gates is ever ready to
beat down our words unless in greater courage we will fight
for them.
For more than 3 years we have fought for them. This
convention in every word and deed has pledged that that
fight will go on.


The defeats and the victories of these years have given to us
as a people a new understanding of our Government and of
ourselves. Never since the early days of the New England
town meeting have the affairs of Government been so widely
discussed and so clearly appreciated. It has been brought
home to us that the only effective guide for the safety of this
most worldly of worlds is moral principle.
We do not see faith, hope and charity as unattainable
ideals, but we use them as stout supports of a Nation fighting
the fight for freedom in a modern civilization.
Faith—in the soundness of democracy in the midst of
Hope—renewed because we know so well the progress we
have made.
Charity—in the true spirit of that grand old word. For
charity literally translated from the original means love, the
love that understands, that does not merely share the wealth
of the giver, but in true sympathy and wisdom helps men to
help themselves.
We seek not merely to make government a mechanical
implement, but to give it the vibrant personal character that
Is the embodiment of human charity.
We are poor indeed if this Nation cannot afford to lift
from every recess of American life the dread fear of the
unemployed that they are not needed in the world. We cannot afford to accumulate a deficit in the books of human
In the place of the palace of privilege we seek to build a
temple out of faith and hope and charity.
It is a sobering thing to be a servant of this great cause.
We try in our daily work to remember that the cause belongs
not to us but to the people. The standard is not in the hands
of you and me alone. It is carried by America. We seek daily
to profit from experience, to learn to do better as our task
Governments can err—Presidents do make mistakes, but
the immortal Dante tells us that divine justice weighs the sins
of the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted in
different scales.
Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a
spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.
There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations, much is given. Of others, much is expected. This
generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.
In this world of ours in other lands, there are some people,
who, in times past, have lived and fought for freedom, and
seem to have grown too weary to carry on the fight. They
have sold their heritage of freedom for the illusion of a living.
They have yielded their democracy.


I believe in my heart that only our success can stir their
ancient hope. They begin to know that here, in America, we
are waging a great war. It is not alone a war against want
and destitution and economic demoralization. It is more than
that. It is a war for the survival of democracy. We are
fighting to save a great and precious form of government for
ourselves and for the world.
I accept the commission you have tendered me. I join with
you. I am enlisted for the duration of the war.

Address of Hon. James A. Farley
Chairman of the Democratic National Committee
Opening the Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia,
Pa., Tuesday, June 23, 1936
In inaugurating this convention I am conscious of a great
responsibility. The occasion which brings us together is one
of the most momentous in the history of our country.
The continuance of the New Deal is the issue. The question before the Amercan people is clear-cut and cannot be
disguised. That question is, Shall we continue the New
Deal, which has rescued our country from disaster and
despair, or shall the Government be turned back to the Old
Dealers, who wrecked it?
There you have the issue stripped of all camouflage.
The gravity of this issue is the measure of our responsibility as we assemble here today. Is the Nation to move
forward or is it to turn backward to the Old Dealers of such
recent and bitter memory?
Fortunately for us and for the country, we know now that
the Old Dealers stand right where they have always stood.
The convention at Cleveland, both in manner and method,
revealed once more that old habits are not abandoned.
I am not trying to stir the members of the committee,
which has served so faithfully, or the delegates to this convention into any frenzy of excitement by stressing the
gravity of what lies ahead of us, and which makes this campaign different from the ordinary political struggle inseparable from a Presidential election.
I merely wish to impress on all of you the significance of
the task to which we are committing ourselves. I want to
point out that while the political skies seem fair for our party
and our destined candidates, and all of us believe that the
country will echo our desires in unmeasured enthusiasm,
and a record majority, confidence in the outcome is not
enough. The consequences of the coming election are vital
to the future of this Nation. Because of their gravity, no
one of us dares do less than his utmost toward swelling the
majority that will testify to the national desire that the
processes of recovery, initiated and carried on by Franklin
D. Roosevelt, shall not be interrupted. That verdict must be


BO overwhelming, so conclusive, so compelling, that nobody
can doubt that the country is united in its determination
that there shall be no backward step in our progress.
Our party will remain in power so long as its ideals and
purposes do not deviate from the straight path of public
We are a fortunate party; first in the high patriotism and
caliber of our President; second, in that we are on the right
side, both morally and economically. The minority party
has, by force of circumstance, been compelled to adopt a
platform unsurpassed in the history of party declarations for
platitudes and vague promises. Some day they pledge themselves to accomplish what our administration has already
accomplished. Some day they will put the farmer in the
same economic position that the New Deal has put him, but
never do they say how they are going to do it. Some day they
are going to establish business on a basis comparable with
that upon which our conduct of national affairs has placed
it; but first they would go back to the system that brought on
the great panic. Some day the great corporations are to be
assured of all the favors they enjoyed under Republican
rule, and at the same time everybody is to have equal opportunity and unbounded prosperity.
And their some-day candidates, through this platform, will
tell the country, as a distracted mother tells her fretful babies,
they will have the moon for which they have been futilely
reaching and wailing because they cannot reach it.
They are going to relieve poverty without spending money,
provide jobs without it costing industry anything, and bring
happiness and contentment to everybody—some day.
As chairman of the Democratic National Committee it has
become my happy duty to call this convention to order; to
present the recommendations of the committee for the convention's consideration of temporary officers to conduct the
deliberations of this body until the convention itself shall
complete the permanent organization! Then I shall relapse
into my status as a delegate from the State of New York.
Before I relinquish this gavel I wish to make a brief report
on the work of the national organization since it assumed
direction of the party's affairs at the 1932 convention. That
convention inaugurated a new era In our country's affairs.
Through the masterful work of the candidates of the 1932
convention and the Congresses which were elected in sympathy with them, our country has been lifted out of the worst
depression in our history onto a fair highway that leads to
permanent prosperity. Ordinarily, as you know, the national
committee of our own and of the minority £arty fall into a
deep sleep at the close of a convention and hibernate for 4
years. Following the precedent established by my predecessor, the Democratic National Committee has taken a

different course, actuated by the belief that a Presidential
campaign, with all that it means to our Nation, is not something to be hurried through in a few hectic weeks.
As a matter of fact, we could not have remained idle,
even if we had so desired. As soon as they thought that partisan politics made it necessary, the party we had ousted from
control of the Government began sniping at the policies they
had applauded and participated in. They were grateful for
these policies when our country was undergoing the extreme
crisis of the disaster their President and their administration
had permitted to come upon us.
As soon as the huge financial interests that have been the
backbone of every Republican administration of recent years
had been rescued from the depths of loss and again began to
make money, they exerted their pressure, furnished the funds,
and engaged in a crusade of vituperation and detraction in
an effort to destroy the faith of the people in the President.
He had brought them out of their desperate state when they
were helpless to do it themselves. But he was insisting that
fortune for the few and poverty for the many did not spell
prosperity, and they, feeling themselves threatened with the
deprivation of the unearned and uneconomic favors and privileges they had enjoyed so long, inaugurated the movement
for a return to the old system of everything for them and
nothing for the plain people. Then it was that the minority
party orators and the newspapers controlled by the big interests began telling our people that Franklin D. Roosevelt
sought to be a dictator. Then it was that the laws Congress
had enacted, and for which many of the Senators and Representatives of their own party had voted, were denounced as
being intended to make our country a socialistic and communistic state. Then it was that they proclaimed that the
measures undertaken and functioning successfully to bring
back a restoration of business, decrease unemployment, and
to take care of the jobless until such time as returning prosperity would reabsorb them into normal industry, were all the
product of dreamers and visionaries.
Anybody unfamiliar with American politics would have
gathered from these outcries that our hard-working, systematic, public-serving President was sitting in the White
House with a war helmet on his head, booted and spurred,
and ready to lead a bayonet charge on Congress if they
hesitated in carrying out his despotic orders.
Under these conditions we naturally had to get busy. I will
not attempt to outline for you the activities of the organizations in the various sections of the country, but I do want to
tell you that, without exception, the State Democratic authorities cooperated effectively and enthusiastically, and I want
to thank them publicly for their loyalty, which in no small
degree is responsible for the state of confidence in which we

meet today. You are all familiar, I believe, with the work
performed at national headquarters in Washington, and I
feel authorized to express in your name our thanks to my
colleagues at headquarters for the faithfulness with which
they have discharged their task.
Perhaps I ought to mention in this connection another
agency that has contributed much to the jubilant feeling we
have in regard to the outcome of the election in November.
Do I need to say that I refer specifically to the Republican
convention in Cleveland? By their platform they would have
assured our victory, I believe, even had our national organization remained dormant during the whole preconvention
period. Confronted by the impossible task of reconciling the
standpat views of the powers behind the minority party with
their anguished necessity of making a pretense of liberalism,
they turned loose the most extraordinary platform on record
in this country.
Our friends, the enemy, had an opportunity to be sincere.
If they had any regard for consistency, they would have renamed Herbert Hoover, who represents the classical attitude
of their party, and then we would have had a direct and
frank contest before the American people of the New Deal
and the Old Deal. They passed him up despite his impassioned stampeding speech, which naturally failed. For you
cannot stampede an elephant securely chained to the picket
posts of evasion and straddling. They could have named
Senator Borah, but he was earmarked with the stigma of
liberalism. So they had to find a candidate whom they could
present as conservative enough to meet the specifications of
the du Pont Liberty Leaguers in the East, while appearing
fiercely liberal in the West.
Nobody takes the Cleveland platform seriously—not even
our political adversaries. The leading Republican newspaper
at the National Capital, in a painful effort to make the doeu*
ment sound like sense, said in its appraisal of the Republican
declaration of principles: "On the whole, the platform avoids
the mistake of being too specific, properly concentrating on
principles." It mentions some of what it terms "not infrequent conflicts between an excellent generality and a stupid
particularization." However, it sums up the grand total by
assuring the Republican nominee that he has a complete
license to forget the platform in this impressive language:
The Republican Party has thus assured its standard bearer of the
freedom of action, Within a framework of principle, which a, competent leader must be allowed.

There you have it. They were compelled by the same inexorable circumstance to produce a platform aimed to satisfy
liberals and conservatives, the bold and the timid among the
two conflicting elements of their party's make-up. 3Even
when it came to choosing their Vice-Presidential candidate


they had to follow the same hazardous course. The larger
men refused the post, so they picked a gentleman, doubtless
a good editor, who has never held public office, never strayed
into fields other than his own business—even more widely
unknown to the public than his chief.
Our governmental system directs the same qualifications
for the Vice President as for the President for obvious reasons. Our own beloved Vice President has shown that the
office is neither an ornament nor a sinecure. John N.
Garner's long experience in the public service has been of
inestimable value during the grave period of restoration.
The Vice President presides over the United States Senate.
He knows what the doings of that body mean and his ripened
judgment is available when the Senate divides and his vote
determines the final result.
It is no part of my function to suggest to the resolutions
committee the platform upon which our candidates will run.
But I do not think I am transgressing when I voice my belief
that that document will be one to which they can commit
themselves without laughing, and can swallow without choking. And, incidentally, it will be the only major party platform adopted this year of the sort.
Apart from everything else we have the advantage in this
convention not only of knowing what we are striving for, but
on whom we may depend to carry out the program. We are
in the happy position of being enlisted on the popular side.
It is the popular side because of what our administration
has accomplished for the public welfare. Good government
is the best politics. That was true when Jefferson founded
our party, and the formula has not changed. Circumstances
and conditions change. The immortal principles that have
made us the freest, most secure people in the world remain
changeless. Selfish interests may usurp authority for a time,
but always there arises a figure clear-eyed enough to see the
peril, wise enough to grasp the people's desires, and brave
enough to hew the way through the barriers of influence
and illicit power, and set us again on the right path.
For 3 years ours has been a people's government. It is our
job to keep it a people's government.
That is what I meant when I spoke of the responsibilities
incident to this gathering. We know how millions have
been poured out to prepare the ground for an assault aimed
to bring back the reeking period that piled up great fortunes for those on the inside, and finally brought the country
to the verge of bankruptcy.
No pirate of the olden days chased a galleon that had
escaped him more fiercely than will the backers of the Republican Party pursue the enterprise of getting back the
prize they held so long.


The pursuing corsairs used whatever flag that served their
purpose to close with their quarry. They did not fly the
skull and cross-bones banner, but raised the pennant under
which the prize was sailing to disguise their plundering
Perhaps that illustrates the new plan of the Republican
platform and the uniform of tlieir captain—in the West with
the epaulets of liberalism and in the East with the insignia
of conservatism.
Behind the Republican ticket is the crew of the du Pont
liberty League and their allies, which have so far financed
every undercover agency that has disgraced American politics
with their appeals to race prejudice, religious intolerance,
and personalities so gross that they had to be repudiated even
by the regular Republican organization. They will continue
to disown these snaky assaults and to seek to profit by them.
But the leaguers will never gain the prize. The real New
Deal, sane and orderly—not the wild, visionary/socialistic,
or communistic creation of its enemies' imagination—will sail
on serenely to the goal of complete recovery, and at its helm
that calm, capable, and courageous commander, Franklin D.