View original document

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






The President



Chairman Eccles

If you have not already decided to do so, I hope you m i l
consider including in your annual message a brief announcement that
you intend to send to the Congress, for its consideration, a summary
report, to be implemented later on, outlining in as precise terms as
possible the national economic policies that this Government should
follow after the war*
An American version of the Beveridge Report is urgently
needed as soon as possible after the new Congress convenes, around
which liberal opinion in America can rally. It will help to arrest
the reactionary drift evidenced in both major parties• It should
produce a sharp division, compelling all hands to stand up and be
counted. It will give reality to what we are fighting for and should
exert a vast influence on public morale. OWL tests of popular opinion
continue to reveal apprehension about the post-war period and the fear
of more breadlines and destitution when war contracts are canceled*
The Beve ridge Report is a liberal document only in that it is an extension of British social services, but it has the great virtue of being specific enough so that the man on the street can understand exactly what he may expect to get in pounds and shillings if he is involuntarily idle, ill or superannuated.
Responsibility for preparation of this document should be
assigned to a very small group which in turn could select those best
qualified to do the necessary drafting. Much preliminary study has
been given to many aspects of the over-all problem, for example, to
urban rehabilitation and river development planning, but all this material has never been pulled together, and individual projects are not
understandable unless seen against a broad background of national
purpose and policy. Such a broad background needs to be spelled out
in terms not merely of adequate social services, but also in terras of
Government responsibility for creating and maintaining conditions of
high national income and full employment, specifically by providing
jobs on non-competitive public works when private enterprise fails to
provide adequate employment. The relationship of domestic prosperity
and international collaboration is a vital part of the picture. Reactionary forces, opposed to Government assumption of such responsibilities, will be forced to silence or the unenviable position of opposing such a program. Liberal forces can unite on the basic assumptions even if disagreeing on details.

Memorandum to the President



In accordance with your request made orally to me many
months ago, the Reserve System has initiated a series of post-war
studies, engaging Alvin Hansen of Harvard, among others, for this
work. If Harxy Hopkins and Judge Rosenman could give their supervision to it, Dr. Hansen could help organize such a document for
you in collaboration with the Budget Director's staff, including in
particular Gerhard Colm, and also the National Resources Committee
with which Dr. Hansen has also been working in an advisory capacity.
On presentation to Congress, it would, I am confident, be hailed as
a new charter of liberalism for this country. It would give further
reality and meaning to the Atlantic Charter. It would necessarily
foreshadow the trend of American policy at the peace table. As the
recognized leader of liberal democracy throughout the world, you
alone can enunciate it.