View original document

The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.

October 29, 1940.

Dear Lauch;
At the Chairsan's suggestion, I am sending
along a couple of p&jes with ideas that he thinks should
be worked Ifl somewhere:
1. To make a better case on employment. I
do not have the exact figures and they would have to be
checked, but I am using the approximate ones to convey the
idea.
Zm On this particularly vicious propaganda
about inflation, predicting that owners of savings deposits
and insurance policies will be paid only fifty cents on the
dollar.

sincerely yours,

Dr. L. B. Currie,
The White House.
enclosures
ET:b




Employment

According to estimates of the Industrial Conference Jioard,
there were 15,000,000 unemployed at the bottom of the depression.
This does not take account millions who war* working only part tiiae,
a few hours, or a day or two a week. Before the defense program got
underway, it was estimated that about 9,000,000 were unemployed--or
sone 6 millions fawer than in 1933*

Since that tine, i M W W I , owing

to the increase in population, about 5,000,000 new porkers have come
on, the labor market. This is a net figure.

In other words, jobs in

private industry have been provided for about 11,000,000 workers—and
this does not take account of those who were working part time in
19?2f but are now working full time or overtime. Nor does it take
account of the million and a half who are employed on WPA.

If they

were to be counted, 12-1/2 millions more are at work today than in
19:2,

This is a tremendous gain—though it still falls short of the

goal—and it is fer removed from the picture drawn by Republican
orators.




fOW years the spectre of inflation is resurrected
in an effort to frighten those of YOU. -ho have put money into a savings
bank or into an insurance policy. One group, composed chiefly of insurance and banking executives who bftVt money to lead and who call themselves the t?Peppla8 Committee to Defend Life Insurance and Savings", are
flooding the mails with pamphlets headed by the scare question, "Will
you take 50 cents for your dollar?".
Those who rig up this spectre and drag it out at the appropriate season &onft believe in it themselves*

If they did believe in

it, they would not be buying United States Government bonds. If there
were a vestige of truth in their predictions. Government bonds would be
declining in price. Yet, throughout the history of this Administration-"
notwithstanding these recurrent attempts to undermine public confidence
in the Government*© credit—market prices of Government securities have
steadily advanced—exactly the opposite of what would be the case if
we •srere on the road to inflation. For exaraple, one issue of Government securities which M M selling do^yn as lor as 82^ in 1932, is selling
today for over 111-l/S.

Recently an ietjue of #700,000,000 of 15-year

bonds was sold at an interest rate of Z per cent—the lojest rate for
an issue of comparable maturity in history. Among the purchasers of
Government securities are some of the lenders of money who are trying
to make you believe that your savings and your insurance policies are
in danger. Don't you believe it! They donft believe it themselves, or
their actions WfO&d not belie their words. The fact is that insurance
companies and savings banks have bought
securities during the past o




years. Why?

^

of Government

Because they have con-

fidenee in them, because there is no safer place to invest savings.
We can understand the natural desire to have our savings
earn as Boofc as the economy will justify. The all important thing is
to protect both the borrower and the lender. For unless the borrower
can pay, the lender cannot collect. That M M the condition existing in
193£«

That is what jeopardizes your savings and insurance policies.

Countless faraers and home owners could not meet the excessively iiigh
interest charges* The foreclosures and evictions that resulted have
not so soon been forgotten. The investors, the owners of savings, did
not profit by tfct disaster, A H Of us went clown together, borrower and
lender alike. Not only were homer, and farms lost in the wreckage, but
the interest and in M S ? cases the principal were lost on our saYings*
What the perennial prophets of inflation mean, is that the
purchasing power of the dollar woold be so reduced th&t it would buy
only fifty cents worth of goods. But the truth of the matter is that
the purchasing power of the dollar today is greater than it was in th©
£0fs.

That is in the opposite direction from inflation. We have

achieved today, in greater measure than ever before, the objective which
I hare repeatedly stated—a dollar of reasonably stable purchasing power,
which is fair alike to lender and to borrower.
The restoration of values—a restoration that has been brought
about without the inflation that has been so often and so falsely predicted—has assured us today that interest will be paid on our savings
and that both our savings and our insurance policies w U I be paid one




hundred cents on the dollar—in dollars that represent neither a deflated nor an Inflated value. The record, year after year, has
proved the falsity of these inflation alarms. Our currency, the
Government's credit, our savings and insurance policies, are safer
and sounder than ever before* We T S I H keep them ao.




October 30, 19U0
Mr. Thuraton
C M * Counts

Following is a table which shows the amount held and ohanf.es
each year since 193& i» holdings of United States Ocyvermsent
rities by life insurance companies aad mutual savings banks*

r« 6* Qommmm SECUBXTIBS mu> at LIFE IRSURAKCE
AHD MmOAL SAVINS BAHQI

(In ailliona of dollars)
EDI E&paaurtm*

banks

37 i e s

panics

D - . 3 1 . 1936 3, 321

3. 691

Dee* 31* 1937

3, 9W

4. 363

+672

2,482

•125

Bee. 3 1 , 1938

4. 195

ki <^6

•263

2,909

+427

Dee* 3 1 , 1939

4#611

*5. 100

•454

3,130

•221

Awg. 3 1 , 1*0

4, 929

• 5 , 500

4iOO

*3.250

•120

pan

Change •

CMC/fso




• • • •

Chaise

held

Change

2.357

•1,809

•693