|The American Presidency Project|
|• Democratic Party Platforms|
|Democratic Party Platform of 1952|
|July 21, 1952|
Our nation has entered into an age in which Divine Providence has permitted the genius of man to unlock the secret of the atom.
No system of government can survive the challenge of an atomic era unless its administration is committed to the stewardship of a trustee imbued with a democratic faith, a buoyant hope for the future, the charity of brotherhood, and the vision to translate these ideals into the realities of human government. The Government of the United States, administered by the Democratic Party, is today so entrusted.
The free choice of the Democratic Party by the people of America as the instrument to achieve that purpose will mean world peace with honor, national security based on collective pacts with other free nations, and a high level of human dignity. National survival demands that these goals be attained, and the endowments of the Democratic Party alone can assure their attainment.
For twenty years, under the dedicated guidance of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, our country has moved steadily along the road which has led the United States of America to world leadership in the cause of freedom.
We will not retreat one inch along that road. Rather, it is our prayerful hope that the people, whom we have so faithfully served, will renew the mandate to continue our service and that Almighty God may grant us the wisdom to succeed.
Twenty Years of Progress
An objective appraisal of the past record clearly demonstrates that the Democratic Party has been the chosen American instrument to achieve prosperity, build a stronger democracy, erect the structure of world peace, and continue on the path of progress.
Democratic Party policies and programs rescued American business from total collapse from the fatal economic consequences of watered stock, unsound banks, useless and greedy holding companies, high tariff barriers, and predatory business practices, all of which prevailed under the last Republican administrations. Democratic policies have enabled the Federal Government to help all business, small and large, to achieve the highest rate of productivity, the widest domestic and world markets, and the largest profits in the history of the Nation.
The simple fact is that today there are more than four million operating business enterprises in this country, over one million more than existed in 1932. Corporate losses in that fateful year were over three billion dollars; in 1951, corporate profits, after taxes, reached the staggering total of eighteen billion.
Democratic policies and programs rescued American agriculture from the economic consequences of blight, drought, flood and storm, from oppressive and indiscriminate foreclosures, and from the ruinous conditions brought about by the bungling incompetence and neglect of the preceding twelve years of Republican maladministration. Economic stability, soil conservation, rural electrification, farm dwelling improvement, increased production and efficiency and more than sevenfold increase in cash income have been the return to farmers for their faith in the Democratic Party.
Democratic labor policies have rescued the wage earners in this country from mass unemployment and from sweatshop slavery at starvation wages. Under our Democratic administrations, decent hours, decent wages, and decent working conditions have become the rule rather than the exception.
Self organizations of labor unions and collective bargaining, both of which are the keystone to labor management, peace and prosperity, must be encouraged, for the good of all.
Unemployment is now less than 3 per cent of the labor force, compared with almost 25 per cent in 1932. Trade union membership has reached a total of 16 million, which is more than five times the total of 1932.
The welfare of all economic and social groups in our society has been promoted by the sound, progressive and humane policies of the Democratic Party.
We are convinced that lasting prosperity must be founded upon a healthy democratic society respectful of the rights of all people.
Under Democratic Party leadership more has been done in the past twenty years to enhance the sanctity of individual rights than ever before in our history. Racial and religious minorities have progressed further toward real equality than during the preceding 150 years.
Governmental services, Democratically administered, have been improved and extended. The efficiency, economy, and integration of Federal operations have been advocated and effectuated through sound programs and policies. Through cooperative programs of Federal aid, State and local governments have been encouraged and enabled to provide many more services.
The Democratic Party has been alert to the corroding and demoralizing effects of dishonesty and disloyalty in the public service. It has exposed and punished those who would corrupt the integrity of the public service, and it has always championed honesty and morality in government. The loyalty program of President Truman has served effectively to prevent infiltration by subversive elements and to protect honest and loyal public servants against unfounded and malicious attacks.
We commend the relentless and fearless actions of Congressional Committees which, under vigorous Democratic leadership, have exposed dereliction in public service, and we pledge our support to a continuance of such actions as conditions require them.
The administration of our government by the Democratic Party has been based upon principles of justice and equity, and upon the American tradition of fair play. Men who are elected to high political office are entrusted with high responsibilities. Slander, defamation of character, deception and dishonesty are as truly transgressions of God's commandments, when resorted to by men in public life, as they are for all other men.
Building Peace with Honor
The Democratic Party has worked constantly for peace—lasting peace, peace with honor, freedom, justice and security for all nations.
The return of the Democratic Party to power in 1933 marked the end of a tragic era of isolationism fostered by Republican Administrations which had deliberately and callously rejected the golden opportunity created by Woodrow Wilson for collective action to secure the peace.
This folly contributed to the second World War. Victory in that war has presented the nations of the world a new opportunity which the Democratic Party is determined shall not be lost.
We have helped establish the instrumentalities through which the hope of mankind for universal world peace can be realized. Under Democratic leadership, our Nation has moved promptly and effectively to meet and repel the menace to world peace by Soviet imperialism.
Progress in the New Era
The Democratic Party believes that past progress is but a prelude to the bureau aspirations which may be realized in the future.
Under Democratic Party leadership, America has accepted each new challenge of history and has found practical solutions to meet and overcome them. This we have done without departing from the principles of our basic philosophy, that is, the destiny of man to achieve his earthly ends in the spirit of brotherhood.
A great Democrat—Franklin Delano Roosevelt—devised the programs of the New Deal to meet the pressing problems of the 1930s. Another great Democrat—Harry S. Truman—devised the programs of the Fair Deal to meet the complex problems of America in the 1940s. The Democratic Party is ready to face and solve the challenging problems of the 1950s. We dedicate ourselves to the magnificent work of these great Presidents and to mould and adapt their democratic principles to the new problems of the years ahead.
In this spirit we adopt and pledge ourselves to this, the Democratic platform for 1952:
Our Goal is Peace With Honor
Peace with honor is the greatest of all our goals. We pledge our unremitting efforts to avert another world war. We are determined that the people shall be spared that frightful agony.
We are convinced that peace and security can be safeguarded if America does not deviate from the practical and successful policies developed under Democratic leadership since the close of World War II. We will resolutely move ahead with the constructive task of promoting peace.
The Democratic Program for Peace and National Security
Supporting the United Nations
Under Democratic leadership, this country sponsored and helped create the United Nations and became a charter member and staunchly supports its aims.
We will continue our efforts to strengthen the United Nations, improve its institutions as experience requires, and foster its growth and development.
The Communist aggressor has been hurled back from South Korea. Thus, Korea has proved, once and for all, that the United Nations will resist aggression. We urge continued effort, by every honorable means, to bring about a fair and effective peace settlement in Korea in accordance with the principles of the United Nations' charter.
Strong National Defense
Our Nation has strengthened its national defenses against the menace of Soviet aggression.
The Democratic Party will continue to stand unequivocally for the strong, balanced defense forces for this country—land, sea and air. We will continue to support the expansion and maintenance of the military and civil defense forces required for our national security. We reject the defeatist view of those who say we cannot afford the expense and effort necessary to defend ourselves. We express our full confidence in the Joint Chiefs of Staff. We voice complete faith in the ability and valor of our armed forces, and pride in their accomplishments.
Collective Strength for the Free World
We reject the ridiculous notions of those who would have the United States face the aggressors alone. That would be the most expensive—and the most dangerous—method of seeking security. This nation needs strong allies, around the world, making their maximum contribution to the common defense. They add their strength to ours in the defense of freedom.
The Truman Doctrine in 1947, the organization of hemisphere defense at Rio de Janeiro that same year, the Marshall Plan in 1948, the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949, the Point IV program, the resistance to Communist aggression in Korea, the Pacific Security pacts in 1951, and the Mutual Security programs now under way—all stand as landmarks of America's progress in mobilizing the strength of the free world to keep the peace.
Encouraging European Unity
We encourage the economic and political unity of free Europe and the increasing solidarity of the nations of the North Atlantic Community.
We hail the Schuman Plan to pool the basic resources of industrial Western Europe, and the European Defense Community. We are proud of America's part in carrying these great projects forward, and we pledge our continuing support until they are established.
Support for Free Germany
We welcome the German Federal Republic into the company of free nations. We are determined that Germany shall remain free and continue as a good neighbor in the European community. We sympathize with the German people's wish for unity and will continue to do everything we can by peaceful means to overcome the Kremlin's obstruction of that rightful aim.
Support for the Victims of Soviet Imperialism
We will not abandon the once-free peoples of Central and Eastern Europe who suffer now under the Kremlin's tyranny in violation of the Soviet Union's most solemn pledges at Tehran, Yalta, and Potsdam. The United States should join other nations in formally declaring genocide to be an international crime in time of peace as well as war. This crime was exposed once more by the shocking revelations of Soviet guilt as disclosed in the report filed in Congress by the special committee investigating the Katyn Forest massacre. We look forward to the clay when the liberties of Poland and the other oppressed Soviet satellites, including Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, Albania, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia and other nations in Asia under Soviet domination, will be restored to them and they can again take their rightful place in the community of free nations. We will carry forward and expand the vital and effective program of the "Voice of America" for penetration of the "Iron Curtain," bringing truth and hope to all the people subjugated by the Soviet Empire.
Support for the Nations of the Middle East
We seek to enlist the people of the Middle East to work with us and with each other in the development of the region, the lifting of health and living standards, and the attainment of peace. We favor the development of integrated security arrangements for the Middle East and other assistance to help safeguard the independence of the countries in the area.
We pledge continued assistance to Israel so that she may fulfill her humanitarian mission of providing shelter and sanctuary for her homeless Jewish refugees while strengthening her economic development.
We will continue to support the tripartite declaration of May 1950, to encourage Israel and the Arab States to settle their differences by direct negotiation, to maintain and protect the sanctity of the Holy Places and to permit free access to them.
We pledge aid to the Arab States to enable them to develop their economic resources and raise the living standards of their people. We support measures for the relief and reintegration of the Palestine refugees, and we pledge continued assistance to the reintegration program voted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in January 1952.
South Asia: A Testing Ground for Democracy
In the subcontinent of South Asia, we pledge continuing support for the great new countries of India and Pakistan in their efforts to create a better life for their people and build strong democratic governments to stand as bastions of liberty in Asia, secure against the threat of Communist subversion.
Collective Security in the Pacific
We welcome free Japan as a friendly neighbor and an ally in seeking security and progress for the whole Pacific area. America's security pacts with Japan and with the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand are indispensable steps toward comprehensive mutual security arrangements in that area. Our military and economic assistance to the Nationalist Government of China on Formosa has strengthened that vital outpost of the free world, and will be continued.
Strengthening the Americas
In the Western Hemisphere, we pledge ourselves to continue the policy of the good neighbor. We will strive constantly to strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation with our Latin American allies who are joined with us in the defense of the Americas.
Disarmament Remains the Goal
The free world is rearming to secure the peace. Under Democratic leadership, America always stands prepared to join in a workable system for foolproof inspection and limitation of all armaments, including atomic weapons. This Nation has taken the leadership in proposing concrete, practical plans for such a system. We are determined to carry on the effort for real, effective disarmament.
We look forward to the day when a great share of the resources now devoted to the armaments program can be diverted into the channels of peaceful production to speed the progress of America and of the underdeveloped regions of the world.
Helping Other People to Help Themselves
Even though we cannot now disarm, we will go forward as rapidly as possible in developing the imaginative and farsighted concept of President Truman embodied in the Point IV program.
We will continue to encourage use of American skills and capital in helping the people of underdeveloped lands to combat disease, raise living standards, improve land tenure and develop industry and trade. The continuance of ever stronger and more vigorous Point IV programs—sponsored both by this country and by the United Nations—is an indispensable element in creating a peaceful world.
Upholding the Principle of Self-Determination
In an era when the "satellite state" symbolizes both the tyranny of the aggressor nations and the extinction of liberty in small nations, the Democratic Party reasserts and reaffirms the Wilsonian principle of the right of national self-determination. It is part of the policy of the Democratic Party, therefore, to encourage and assist small nations and all peoples in the peaceful and orderly achievement of their legitimate aspirations toward political, geographical and ethnic integrity so that they may dwell in the family of sovereign nations with freedom and dignity.
Expanding World Trade
The Democratic Party has always stood for expanding trade among free nations. We reassert that stand today. We vigorously oppose any restrictive policies which would weaken the highly successful reciprocal trade program fathered by Cordell Hull.
Since 1934, the United States has taken the lead in fostering the expansion and liberalization of world trade.
Our own economy requires expanded export markets for our manufactured and agricultural products and a greater supply of essential imported raw materials. At the same time, our friends throughout the world will have opportunity to earn their own way to higher living standards with lessened dependence on our aid.
Progressive Immigration Policies
Solution of the problem of refugees from communism and overpopulation has become a permanent part of the foreign policy program of the Democratic Party. We pledge continued cooperation with other free nations to solve it.
We pledge continued aid to refugees from communism and the enactment of President Truman's proposals for legislation in this field. In this way we can give hope and courage to the victims of Soviet brutality and can carry on the humanitarian tradition of the Displaced Persons Act.
Subversive elements must be screened out and prevented from entering our land, but the gates must be left open for practical numbers of desirable persons from abroad whose immigration to this country provides an invigorating infusion into the stream of American life, as well as a significant contribution to the solution of the world refugee and overpopulation problems.
We pledge continuing revision of our immigration and naturalization laws to do away with any unjust and unfair practices against national groups which have contributed some of our best citizens. We will eliminate distinctions between native-born and naturalized citizens. We want no "second-class" citizens in free America.
Our Domestic Policy
Economic Opportunity and Growth
The United States is today a land of boundless opportunity. Never before has it offered such a large measure of prosperity, security and hope for all its people.
Horizons of even greater abundance and opportunity lie before us under a Democratic Administration responsive to the will of the people.
The Democratic Administration has had a guiding principle since taking office 20 years ago: that the prosperity and growth of this Nation are indivisible. Every step we have taken to help the farmers has also helped the workers and business. Every improvement in the status of the worker has helped both farmers and business. Every expansion of business has provided more jobs for workers and greater demand for farm products.
A Stabilized Economy
The Democratic Administration early recognized that defense production would limit the amount of goods in civilian markets, and subject our economy to heavy inflationary pressure. To prevent this from resulting in ruinous inflation, the Administration proposed pay-as-we-go taxation to keep the national debt as low as possible and ' to prevent excess money pressure on scarce goods and services.
Direct controls were also proposed to channel scarce materials into highly essential defense production, and to keep prices down.
In 1951 and 1952 Republican Congressmen demonstrated their attitude toward these necessary measures when they sponsored amendments which would have destroyed all controls.
We shall strive to redress the injury done to the American people—especially to white collar workers and fixed-income families—by the weakening amendments which the Republicans in Congress have forced into our anti-inflation laws.
We pledge continuance of workable controls so long as the emergency requires them. We pledge fair and impartial enforcement of controls and their removal as quickly as economic conditions allow.
We strongly urge continued federal rent control in critical defense areas and in the many other localities still suffering from a substantial shortage of adequate housing at reasonable prices.
The Democratic Administration prudently passed the Employment Act of 1946 declaring it to be national policy never again to permit large-scale unemployment to stalk the land. We will assure the transition from defense production to peace-time production without the ravages of unemployment. We pledge ourselves at all times to the maintenance of maximum employment, production, and purchasing power in the American economy.
Integrity in Government Finances
We solemnly pledge the preservation of the financial strength of the Government. We have demonstrated our ability to maintain and enhance the nation's financial strength. In the six full fiscal years since V-J Day, our fiscal policy has produced a $4 billion budget surplus. We have reduced the public debt $17 billion from the postwar peak.
We have demonstrated our ability to make fiscal policy contribute in a positive way to economic growth and the maintenance of high-level employment. The policies which have been followed have given us the greatest prosperity in our history. Sustained economic expansion has provided the funds necessary to finance our defense and has still left our people with record high consumer incomes and business with a record volume of investment. Employment and personal incomes are at record levels. Never have Americans enjoyed a higher standard of living and saved more for contingencies and old age.
We believe in fair and equitable taxation. We oppose a Federal general sales tax. We adhere to the principle of ability to pay. We have enacted an emergency excess profits tax to prevent profiteering from the defense program and have vigorously attacked special tax privileges.
In the future, as in the past, we will hold firm to policies consistent with sound financing and continuing economic progress. As rapidly as defense requirements permit, we favor reducing taxes, especially for people with lower incomes. But we will not imperil our Nation's security by making reckless promises to reduce taxes. We deplore irresponsible assertions that national security can be achieved without paying for it.
Closing Tax Loopholes
Justice requires the elimination of tax loopholes which favor special groups. We pledge continued efforts to the elimination of remaining loopholes.
We believe in keeping government expenditures to the lowest practicable level. The great bulk of our national budget consists of obligations incurred for defense purposes. We pledge ourselves to a vigilant review of our expenditures in order to reduce them as much as possible.
The American Farmer and Agriculture
We know that national prosperity depends upon a vigorous, productive and expanding agriculture.
We take great pride in our Party's record of performance and in the impressive gains made by American agriculture in the last two decades. Under programs of Democratic Administrations the net agricultural income has increased from less than two billion dollars to almost fifteen billion dollars. These programs must be continued and improved.
The soil resources of our country have been conserved and strengthened through the Soil Conservation Service, the Agricultural Conservation Program, the Forestry and the Research programs, with their incentives to increased production through sound conservation farming. These programs have revolutionized American agriculture and must be continued and expanded. We will accelerate programs of upstream flood prevention, watershed protection, and soil, forest and water conservation in all parts of the country. These conservation measures are a national necessity; they are invaluable to our farmers, and add greatly to the welfare of all Americans and of generations yet unborn.
Grass Roots Administration
We will continue the widest possible farmer participation through referenda, farmer-elected committees, local soil conservation districts, and self-governing agencies in the conduct and administration of these truly democratic programs, initiated and developed under Democratic administrations.
Under the present farm program, our farmers have performed magnificently and have achieved unprecedented production. We applaud the recent Congressional action in setting aside the "sliding scale" for price support through 1954, and we will continue to protect the producers of basic agricultural commodities under the terms of a mandatory price support program at not less than ninety percent of parity. We continue to advocate practical methods for extending price supports to other storables and to the producers of perishable commodities, which account for three-fourths of all farm income.
We will continue to assist farmers in providing abundant and stable supplies of agricultural commodities for the consumers at reasonable prices, and in assuring the farmer the opportunity to earn a fair return commensurate with that enjoyed by other segments of the American economy.
The agricultural adjustment programs encourage the production of abundant supplies while enabling producers to keep supply in line with consumer demand, preventing wide fluctuations and bringing stability to the agricultural income of the Nation. We pledge retention of such programs.
We pledge continued efforts to provide adequate storage facilities for grain and other farm products with sufficient capacity for needed reserves for defense, and other emergency requirements, in order to protect the integrity of the farm price support programs.
We are justly proud of the outstanding achievements of our agricultural research. We favor a greatly expanded research and education program for American agriculture in order that both production and distribution may more effectively serve consumers and producers alike, and thus meet the needs of the modern world. We favor especial emphasis on the development of new crops and varieties, on crop and livestock disease and pest control, and on agricultural statistics and marketing services.
We must find profitable markets for the products of our farms, and we should produce all that these markets will absorb. To this end we will continue our efforts to reduce trade barriers, both at home and abroad, to provide better marketing and inspection facilities, and to find new uses and outlets for our foods and fibers both in domestic and foreign markets.
We have provided credit facilities for all agriculture, including means by which young men, veterans of military service, and farm tenants have been encouraged to become farmers and farm home-owners, and through which low-income farmers have been assisted in establishing self-sustaining and fully productive farm units. We will not waver in our efforts to provide such incentives.
Crop insurance to protect farmers against loss from destruction of their crops by natural causes has been created and developed under Democratic Administrations into a sound business operation. This program should be expanded as rapidly as experience justifies, in order that its benefits may be made available to every farmer.
Democratic Administrations have established the great Rural Electrification Program, which has brought light and power to the rural homes of our Nation. In 1935, only 10% of the farm homes of America had the benefits of electricity. Today 85% of our rural homes enjoy the benefits of electric light and power. We will continue to fight to make electricity available to all rural homes, with adequate facilities for the generation and transmission of power. Through the Rural Telephone Program, inaugurated by the Democratic 81st Congress, we will provide the opportunity for every farm home to have this modern essential service. We pledge support of these self-liquidating farm programs.
We will continue to support the sound development and growth of bona fide farm cooperatives and to protect them from punitive taxation.
We will continue to recognize agriculture as an essential defense industry, and to assist in providing all the necessary tools, machinery, fertilizer, and manpower needed by farmers in meeting production goals.
The family farm is the keystone of American agriculture. We will strive unceasingly to make the farm homes of our country healthier and happier places in which to live. We must see that our youth continues to find attractive opportunity in the field of agriculture.
The Republican Party platform is loud in its criticism of our great farm programs. We challenge Republicans and other enemies of farm progress to justify their opposition to the program now in operation, to oppose the improvements here proposed, or to advocate repeal of a single vital part of our program.
A Fair Deal for Workers
There can be no national prosperity unless our working men and women continue to prosper and enjoy rising living standards. The rising productivity of American workers is a key to our unparalleled industrial progress. Good incomes for our workers are the secret of our great and growing consumer markets.
Good labor-management relations are essential to good incomes for wage earners and rising output from our factories. We believe that to the widest possible extent consistent with the public interest, management and labor should determine wage rates and conditions of employment through free collective bargaining.
We strongly advocate the repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act.
The Taft-Hartley Act has been proved to be inadequate, unworkable, and unfair. It interferes in an arbitrary manner with collective bargaining, tipping the scales in favor of management against labor.
The Taft-Hartley Act has revived the injunction as a weapon against labor in industrial relations. The Act has arbitrarily forbidden traditional hiring practices which are desired by both management and labor in many industries. The Act has forced workers to act as strikebreakers against their fellow unionists. The Act has served to interfere with one of the most fundamental rights of American workers—the right to organize in unions of their own choosing.
We deplore the fact that the Taft-Hartley Act provides an inadequate and unfair means of meeting with national emergency situations. We advocate legislation that will enable the President to deal fairly and effectively with cases where a breakdown in collective bargaining seriously threatens the national safety or welfare.
In keeping with the progress of the times, and based on past experiences, a new legislative approach toward the entire labor management problem should be explored.
Fair Labor Standards
We pledge to continue our efforts so that government programs designed to establish improved fair labor standards shall prove a means of assuring minimum wages, hours and protection to workers, consistent with present-day progress.
Equal Pay for Equal Work
We believe in equal pay for equal work, regardless of sex, and we urge legislation to make that principle effective.
We promise to further the program to afford employment opportunities both in government and in private industry for physically handicapped persons.
We advocate prompt improvement of employment conditions of migratory workers and increased protection of their safety and health.
Strengthening Free Enterprise
The free enterprise system has flourished and prospered in America during these last twenty years as never before. This has been made possible by the purchasing power of all our people and we are determined that the broad base of our prosperity shall be maintained.
Small and Independent Business
Small and independent business is the backbone of American free enterprise. Upon its health depends the growth of the economic system whose competitive spirit has built this Nation's industrial strength and provided its workers and consumers with an incomparably high standard of living.
Independent business is the best offset to monopoly practice The Government's role is to insure that independent business receives equally fair treatment with its competitors.
Congress has established the permanent Small Business Committee of the Senate and the Special Small Business Committee of the House, which have continued to render great service to this important segment of our economy. We favor continuance of both these committees with all the powers to investigate and report conditions, correct discriminations, and propose needed legislation.
We pledge ourselves to increased efforts to assure that small business be given equal opportunity to participate in Government contracts, and that a suitable proportion of the dollar volume of defense contracts be channeled into independent small business. The Small Defense Plants Administration, which our Party caused to be established, should retain its independent status and be made a continuing agency, equipped with sufficient lending powers to assist qualified small business in securing defense contracts.
We urge the enactment of such laws as will provide favorable incentives to the establishment and survival of independent businesses, especially in the provision of tax incentives and access to equity or risk capital.
Enforcement of Anti-Trust Laws
Free competitive enterprise must remain free and competitive if the productive forces of this Nation are to remain strong. We are alarmed over the increasing concentration of economic power in the hands of a few.
We reaffirm our belief in the necessity of vigorous enforcement of the laws against trusts, combinations, and restraints of trade, which laws are vital to the safeguarding of the public interest and of small competitive business men against predatory monopolies. We will seek adequate appropriations for the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission for vigorous investigation and for enforcement of the anti-trust laws. We support the right of all persons to work together in cooperatives and other democratic associations for the purpose of carrying out any proper business operations free from any arbitrary and discriminatory restrictions.
Protection of Investors and Consumers
We must avoid unnecessary business controls. But we cannot close our eyes to the special problems which require Government surveillance. The Government must continue its efforts to stop unfair selling practices which deceive investors, and unfair trade practices which deceive consumers.
In the furtherance of national defense and commerce, we pledge continued Government support, on a sound financial basis, for further development of the Nation's transportation systems, land, sea and air. We endorse a policy of fostering the safest and most reliable air transportation system of the world. We favor fair, nondiscriminatory freight rates to encourage economic growth in all parts of the country.
In cooperation with State and local governmental units, we will continue to plan, coordinate, finance, and encourage the expansion of our road and highway network, including access roads, for the dual purposes of national defense and efficient motor transportation. We support expansion of farm-to-market roads.
Rivers and Harbors
We pledge continued development of our harbors and waterways.
We will continue to encourage and support an adequate Merchant Marine.
Our Natural Resources
The United States has been blessed with the richest natural resources of any nation on earth.
Yet, unless we redouble our conservation efforts we will become a "have-not" nation in some of the most important raw materials upon which depend our industries, agriculture, employment and high standard of living. This can be prevented by a well rounded and nation-wide conservation effort.
Land and Water Resources
We favor sound, progressive development of the Nation's land and water resources for flood control, navigation, irrigation, power, drainage, soil conservation and creation of new, small family-sized farms, with immediate action in critical areas.
We favor the acceleration of all such projects, including construction of transmission facilities to load centers for wider and more equitable distribution of electric energy at the lowest cost to the consumer with continuing preference to public agencies and REA Cooperatives.
The Democratic Party denounces all obstructionist devices designed to prevent or retard utilization of the Nation's power and water resources for the benefit of the people, their enterprises and interests.
The wise policy of the Democratic Party in encouraging multipurpose projects throughout the country is responsible for America's productive superiority over any nation in the world and is one of the greatest single factors leading toward the accomplishment of world peace. Without these projects our atomic weapons program could never have been achieved, and without additional such projects it cannot be expanded.
The Democratic Party is dedicated to a continuation of the natural resources development policy inaugurated and carried out under the administrations of Presidents Roosevelt and Truman, and to the extension of that policy to all parts of the Nation—North, South, East, Midwest, West and the territories to the end that the Nation and its people receive maximum benefits from these resources to which they have an inherent right.
The Democratic Party further pledges itself to protect these resources from destructive monopoly and exploitation.
River Basin Development
We pledge the continued full and unified regional development of the water, mineral and other natural resources of the nation, recognizing that the progress already achieved under the initiative of the Democratic Party in the arid and semi-arid States of the West, as well as in the Tennessee Valley, is only an indication of still greater results which can be accomplished.
Great farming areas, particularly of the Midwest and West, are in acute need of low-cost commercial fertilizers. To meet this demand, we favor the opening of the Nation's phosphate rock deposits in the West, through prompt provision of sufficient low-cost hydro-electric power to develop this great resource.
Forests and Public Lands
We seek to establish and demonstrate such successful policies of forest and land management on Federal property as will materially assist State and private owners in their conservation efforts. Conservation of forest and range lands is vital to the strength and welfare of the Nation. Our forest and range lands must be protected and used wisely in order to produce a continuing supply of basic raw materials for industry; to reduce damaging floods; and to preserve the sources of priceless water. With adequate appropriations to carry out feasible projects, we pledge a program of forest protection, reforestation projects and sound practices of production and harvesting which will promote sustained yields of forest crops.
We propose to increase forest access roads in order to improve cutting practices on both public and private lands.
On the public land ranges we pledge continuance of effective conservation and use programs, including the extension of water pond construction and restoration of forage cover.
In many areas of the Nation assistance is needed to provide water for irrigation, domestic and industrial purposes. We pledge that in working out programs for rational distribution of water from Federal sources we will aid in delivering this essential of life cheaply and abundantly.
Minerals and Fuels
The Nation's minerals and fuels are essential to the national defense and development of our country. We pledge the adoption of policies which will further encourage the exploration and development of additional reserves of our mineral resources. We subscribe to the principles of the Stockpiling Act and will lend our efforts to strengthening and expanding its provisions and those of the Defense Production Act to meet our military and civilian needs. Additional access roads should be constructed with Government aid. Our synthetic fuels, including monetary metals, research program should go forward. Laws to aid and assist these objectives will be advocated.
We favor increased research and exploration for conserving and better utilizing fishery resources; expanded research and education to promote new fishery products and uses and new markets; promotion of world trade in fish products; a public works and water policy providing adequate protection for domestic fishery resources; and treaties with other nations for conservation and better utilization of international fisheries.
In our highly complex civilization, outdoor recreation has become essential to the health and happiness of our people.
The Democratic Party has devoted its efforts to the preservation, restoration and increase of the bird, animal and fish life which abound in this Nation. State, local and private agencies have cooperated in this worthy endeavor. We have extended and vastly improved the parks, forests, beaches, streams, preserves and wilderness areas across the land.
To the 28,000,000 of our citizens who annually purchase fishing and hunting licenses, we pledge continued efforts to improve all recreational areas.
In the field of atomic energy, we pledge ourselves:
(1) to maintain vigorous and non-partisan civilian administrations, with adequate security safeguards;
(2) to promote the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in the interests of America and mankind;
(3) to build all the atomic and hydrogen firepower needed to defend our country, deter aggression, and promote world peace;
(4) To exert every effort to bring about bona fide international control and inspection of all atomic weapons.
Our national system of social security, conceived and developed by the Democratic Party, needs to be extended and improved.
Old Age and Survivors Insurance
We favor further strengthening of old age and survivors insurance, through such improvements as increasing benefits, extending them to more people and lowering the retirement age for women.
We favor the complete elimination of the work clause for the reason that those contributing to the Social Security program should be permitted to draw benefits, upon reaching the age of eligibility, and still continue to work.
We favor a stronger system of unemployment insurance, with broader coverage and substantially increased benefits, including an allowance for dependents.
We favor further improvements in public assistance programs for the blind, the disabled, the aged and children in order to help our less fortunate citizens meet the needs of daily living.
We favor and encourage the private endeavors of social agencies, mutual associations, insurance companies, industry-labor groups, and cooperative societies to provide against the basic hazards of life through mutually agreed upon benefit plans designed to complement our present social security program.
Needs of Our Aging Citizens
Our older citizens constitute an immense reservoir of skilled, mature judgment and ripened experience. We pledge ourselves to give full recognition to the right of our older citizens to lead a proud, productive and independent life throughout their years.
In addition to the fundamental improvements in Old Age and Survivors Insurance, which are outlined above, we pledge ourselves, in cooperation with the States and private industry, to encourage the employment of older workers. We commend the 82nd Congress for eliminating the age restriction on employment in the Federal Government.
We will continue to work for better health for every American, especially our children. We pledge continued and wholehearted support for the campaign that modern medicine is waging against mental illness, cancer, heart disease and other diseases.
We favor continued and vigorous support, from private and public sources, of research into the causes, prevention and cure of disease.
We advocate Federal aid for medical education to help overcome the growing shortage of doctors, nurses, and other trained health personnel.
Hospitals and Health Centers
We pledge continued support for Federal aid to hospital construction. We pledge increased Federal aid to promote public health through preventive programs and health services, especially in rural areas.
Cost of Medical Care
We also advocate a resolute attack on the heavy financial hazard of serious illness. We recognize that the costs of modern medical care have grown to be prohibitive for many millions of people. We commend President Truman for establishing the non-partisan Commission on the Health Needs of the Nation to seek an acceptable solution of this urgent problem.
We pledge ourselves to the fulfillment of the programs of private housing, public low-rent housing, slum clearance, urban redevelopment, farm housing and housing research as authorized by the Housing Act of 1949.
We deplore the efforts of special interests groups, which themselves have prospered through Government guarantees of housing mortgages, to destroy those programs adopted to assist families of low-income.
We pledge ourselves to enact additional legislation to promote housing required for defense workers, middle income families, aged persons and migratory farm laborers.
We pledge ourselves to provide special housing aids to veterans and their families.
Every American child, irrespective of color, national origin, economic status or place of residence should have every educational opportunity to develop his potentialities.
Local, State and Federal governments have shared responsibility to contribute appropriately to the pressing needs of our educational system. We urge that Federal contributions be made available to State and local units which adhere to basic minimum standards.
The Federal Government should not dictate nor control educational policy.
We pledge immediate consideration for those school systems which need further legislation to provide Federal aid for new school construction, teachers' salaries and school maintenance and repair.
We urge the adoption by appropriate legislative action of the proposals advocated by the President's Commission on Higher Education, including Federal scholarships.
We will continue to encourage the further development of vocational training which helps people acquire skills and technical knowledge so essential to production techniques.
The future of America depends on adequate provision by Government for the needs of those of our children who cannot be cared for by their parents or private social agencies.
Maternity, Child Health and Welfare Services
The established national policy of aiding States and localities, through the Children's Bureau and other agencies, to insure needed maternity, child health and welfare services should be maintained and extended. Especially important are the detection and treatment of physical defects and diseases which, if untreated, are reflected in adult life in draft rejections and as handicapped workers. The Nation, as a whole, should provide maternity and health care for the wives, babies and pre-school children of those who serve in our armed forces.
We will enlarge the school lunch program which has done so much for millions of American school children and charitable institutions while at the same time benefiting producers.
Day Care Facilities
Since several million mothers must now be away from their children during the day, because they are engaged in defense work, facilities for adequate day care of these children should be provided and adequately financed.
Children of Migratory Workers
The Nation, as a whole, has a responsibility to support health, educational, and welfare services for the children of agricultural migratory workers who are now almost entirely without such services while their parents are engaged in producing essential crops.
The Democratic Party is determined to advance the welfare of all the men and women who have seen service in the armed forces. We pledge ourselves to continue and improve our national program of benefits for veterans and their families, to provide the best possible medical care and hospitalization for the disabled veteran, and to help provide every veteran an opportunity to be a productive and responsible citizen with an assured place in the civilian community.
Strengthening Democratic Government
Streamlining the Federal Government
The public welfare demands that our government be efficiently and economically operated and that it be reorganized to meet changing needs. During the present Democratic Administration, more reorganization has been accomplished than by all its predecessors. We pledge our support to continuing reorganization wherever improvements can be made. Only constant effort by the Executive, the Congress, and the public will enable our Government to render the splendid service to which our citizens are entitled.
Improving the Postal Service
We pledge a continuing increase in the services of the United States Postal Service. Through efficient handling of mail, improved working conditions for postal employees, and more frequent services, the Democratic Party promises its efforts to provide the greatest communication system in the world for the American people.
Strengthening the Civil Service
Good government requires a Civil Service high in quality and prestige. We deplore and condemn smear attacks upon the character and reputations of our Federal workers. We will continue our fight against partisan political efforts to discredit the Federal service and undermine American principles of justice and fair play.
Under President Truman's leadership, the Federal Civil Service has been extended to include a greater proportion of positions than ever before. He has promoted a record number of career appointees to top level policy positions. We will continue to be guided by these enlightened policies, and we will continue our efforts to provide Federal service with adequate pay, sound retirement provisions, good working conditions, and an opportunity for advancement.
We will use every proper means to eliminate pressure by private interests seeking undeserved favors from the Government. We advocate the strongest penalties against those who try to exert improper influence, and against any who may yield to it.
Democracy in Federal Elections
We advocate new legislation to provide effective regulation and full disclosure of campaign expenditures in elections to Federal office, including political advertising from any source.
We recommend that Congress provide for a non-partisan study of possible improvements in the methods of nominating and electing Presidents and in the laws relating to Presidential succession. Special attention should be given to the problem of assuring the widest possible public participation in Presidential nominations.
Strengthening Basic Freedoms
We will continue to press strongly for world-wide freedom in the gathering and dissemination of news and for support to the work of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in furthering this and other freedoms.
Equal Rights Amendment
We recommend and endorse for submission to the Congress a constitutional amendment providing equal rights for women.
Under Democratic Party leadership, a new status has been developed for Puerto Rico. This new status is based on mutual consent and common devotion to the United States, formalized in a new Puerto Rican Constitution. We welcome the dignity of the new Puerto Rican Commonwealth and pledge our support of the Commonwealth, its continued development and growth.
Alaska and Hawaii
By virtue of their strategic geographical locations, Alaska and Hawaii are vital bastions in the Pacific. These two territories have contributed greatly to the welfare and economic development of our country and have become integrated into our economic and social life. We, therefore, urge immediate statehood for these two territories.
Other Territories and Possessions
We favor increased self-government for the Virgin Islands and other outlying territories and the trust territory of the Pacific.
District of Columbia
We favor immediate home rule and ultimate national representation for the District of Columbia.
We shall continue to use the powers of the Federal Government to advance the health, education and economic well-being of our American Indian citizens, without impairing their cultural traditions. We pledge our support to the cause of fair and equitable treatment in all matters essential to and desirable for their individual and tribal welfare.
The American Indian should be completely integrated into the social, economic and political life of the nation. To that end we shall move to secure the prompt final settlement of Indian claims and to remove restrictions on the rights of Indians individually and through their tribal councils to handle their own fiscal affairs.
We favor the repeal of all acts or regulations that deny to Indians rights or privileges held by citizens generally.
The Democratic Party has demonstrated its belief in the Constitution as a charter of individual freedom and an effective instrument for human progress. Democratic Administrations have placed upon the statute books during the last twenty years a multitude of measures which testify to our belief in the Jeffersonian principle of local control, even in general legislation involving nation-wide programs. Selective service, Social Security, Agricultural Adjustment, Low Rent Housing, Hospital, and many other legislative programs have placed major responsibilities in States and counties and provide fine examples of how benefits can be extended through Federal-State cooperation.
In the present world crisis with new requirements of Federal action for national security, and accompanying provision for public services and individual rights related to defense, constitutional principles must and will be closely followed. Our record and our clear commitments, in this platform, measure our strong faith in the ability of constitutional government to meet the needs of our times.
Improving Congressional Procedures
In order that the will of the American people may be expressed upon all legislative proposals, we urge that action be taken at the beginning of the 83rd Congress to improve Congressional procedures so that majority rule prevails and decisions can be made after reasonable debate without being blocked by a minority in either House.
The Democratic Party is committed to support and advance the individual rights and liberties of all Americans.
Our country is founded on the proposition that all men are created equal. This means that all citizens are equal before the law and should enjoy equal political rights. They should have equal opportunities for education, for economic advancement, and for decent living conditions.
We will continue our efforts to eradicate discrimination based on race, religion or national origin.
We know this task requires action, not just in one section of the Nation, but in all sections. It requires the cooperative efforts of individual citizens and action by State and local governments. It also requires Federal action. The Federal Government must live up to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and must exercise the powers vested in it by the Constitution.
We are proud of the progress that has been made in securing equality of treatment and opportunity in the Nation's armed forces and the civil service and all areas under Federal jurisdiction. The Department of Justice has taken an important part in successfully arguing in the courts for the elimination of many illegal discriminations, including those involving rights to own and use real property, to engage in gainful occupations and to enroll in publicly supported higher educational institutions. We are determined that the Federal Government shall continue such policies.
At the same time, we favor Federal legislation effectively to secure these rights to everyone: (1) the right to equal opportunity for employment; (2) the right to security of persons; (3) the right to full and equal participation in the Nation's political life, free from arbitrary restraints. We also favor legislation to perfect existing Federal civil rights statutes and to strengthen the administrative machinery for the protection of civil rights.
Under the guidance, protection, and help of Almighty God we shall succeed in bringing to the people of this Nation a better and more rewarding life and to the peoples of the entire world, new hope and a lasting, honorable peace.
|Citation: Democratic Party Platforms: "Democratic Party Platform of 1952", July 21, 1952. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=29600.|
© 1999-2011 - Gerhard Peters - The American Presidency Project