Herbert Hoover photo

Address in Detroit, Michigan

October 22, 1932

Governor Brucker, my fellow citizens:

The most important issue before the American people right now is to overcome this crisis. What our people need is the restoration of their normal jobs, the recovery of agricultural prices and of business. They need help in the meantime to tide them over until these things can be accomplished and that they may not go hungry nor lose their farms and their homes.

I wish to present to you the evidence that the measures and the policies of the Republican administration are winning this major battle for recovery. And we are taking care of distress in the meantime. It can be demonstrated that the tide has turned and the gigantic forces of depression are today in retreat. Our measures and policies have demonstrated their effectiveness. They have preserved the American people from certain chaos. They have preserved a final fortress of stability in the world. Recovery would have been faster but for 4 months of paralysis during the spring months while we were defeating proposals of the Democratic House of Representatives to increase governmental expenses by $3 1/2 billion, to issue fiat money, and other destructive legislation.

The battle must be continued. We have yet to go a long way and to capture many positions to restore agriculture and employment. But it can be made plain that if the strategy which we have established is maintained and the battle not halted by change in the midst of action, we shall win.

If we examine but a few indications, we find that since it was known that the destructive proposals of the Democratic House were stopped, over $300 million of gold has flowed into our country through the restored confidence throughout the world; over $250 million of currency has returned from hoarding of our own citizens because of the restoration of confidence at home; the values of bonds have increased nearly 20 percent, thus safeguarding every depositor in every savings bank and every policyholder in every insurance company. Manufacturing production for the Nation as a whole has increased by 10 percent. Some groups, such as textiles, have increased over 50 percent.

Contrary to the usual seasonal trend, building contracts are steadily increasing. The Department of Commerce shows that over 180,000 workers were returned to the manufacturing industry in August, 360,000 more in September, and there is evidence an even still larger number in October. Car loadings have increased from 490,000 a week to 650,000 a week, showing the increased volume of materials moving in the country. Our exports and imports have increased by nearly 23 percent. Agricultural prices, always the last to move from depression, have improved from their low points, although they are still hideously low. Bank failures have almost ceased; credit has begun to expand. And every week some improvement is recorded somewhere.

As I have said, improvement would have begun 4 months earlier but for the fear of the destructive Democratic program. Today we would be moving faster in the restoration of farm prices and employment but for the threat that these destructive measures will be revived by a change in this election. The Democratic candidate for President has refused to renounce or disavow these destructive measures, or to give the country the assurance it deserves that he will not be a party to them, including the prepayment of the bonus. Observing this, and examining the dominant elements of this party under the leadership of the Vice-Presidential candidate, we can only assume that this program is still in abeyance, to be produced by them if they shall come into power. They have no right to complain that fear runs in the country.

The Democratic candidate has devoted most of his speeches to the presentation of numerous faults and wrongdoings in our economic system in which there is no new discovery. We may have much to do-we do have much to do in the future to punish wrongdoing and correct weaknesses in our system, but these corrections have but little bearing on our immediate national issue, and that is to restore employment, agricultural prices, relieve distress, so that fear and apprehension may be lifted from the homes of our people that they may be bright with hopes for the future. That is the first issue before the American people.

Before I discuss further the successful battle of the Republican administration to meet a worldwide emergency and to restore economic life, I wish to deal with some of the statements made by the Democratic candidate upon economy and the fiscal policies of this administration.

I have on previous occasions repeatedly called attention to the vast increase in public expenditures--local, State, and national--and the absolute necessity for their reduction as a fundamental part of national recovery. The cost of all forms of government must be reduced. The burden of intolerable taxation must be lifted from the backs of men. While only 30 cents of the taxpayer's dollar goes to the Federal Government, yet I and my colleagues have worked hard to reduce even this amount. Much has been accomplished, despite the opposition of selfish groups and sections of our country and the unwillingness of a Democratic House of Representatives to cooperate. And much more must be done.

The Democratic candidate says that we have been extravagant and in his various statements implies that we should make a defense of our actions. There will be no defense because none is needed. The ordinary expenses of the Federal Government, except for relief purposes, have been reduced, while those of the government of New York have been increased. Moreover, there will be proof that the Governor of New York, no doubt through ignorance of our fiscal system or through misinformation supplied to him, and totally ignoring the actions of the Democratic House of Representatives, has broadcast a misstatement of facts. In consequence his conclusions are amazingly far from the truth.

I live with these expenditures morning, noon, and night. Not a day goes by that I do not have them before me for responsible action. There is not a year in the formulation of the budget when there is not a battle between selfish groups which would increase the expenditures of the Government right and left. Not a session of Congress has convened that I have not had to veto increases in public expenditures.

So few of the statements made by the Democratic candidate are in accordance with the record of the Government that it leaves me nonplused where to begin. It would take hours to dissect each line and Paragraph, and I must confine myself to a few representative misstatements.

The Democratic candidate adopts the current method, which I shall follow, of discussing expenditures and not appropriations, and of expressing expenditures in sums less the postal receipts. The Governor also says that he wants to "compare only the routine Government outlay, .... the ordinary costs of conducting Government," and excludes all extraordinary items in his comparisons. On this basis, which I accept, he says, we have increased the ordinary, routine cost of the Government by $1 billion between 1927 and 1931. I shall deal with that in a moment, but he omits to state that when the Republicans took office in 1921, Federal expenditures were still, 3 years after the war, at the rate of $5,500 million, and that by 1927, which year he uses as a base, they were reduced to approximately $3,585 million, or a reduction of nearly $2 billion a year.

The Governor states that, in order to arrive at a true representation of the ordinary expenditures of the Government, he will deduct from each of the 2 comparative years--that is, 1927 and 1931--what he calls "an exceptional item"--that is, the reduction of interest and sinking fund on the public debt--and that he will deal in the case of each year with the residue. There was a reduction of $268 million in the service of the debts from 1927 to 1931. The Governor implies that it is not fair to consider this as an economy. That is an error, for it is a true economy in Government. A large part of this reduction in the charge upon the national debt was the result of many years of steady, painstaking refinance to decrease interest and the application of other economies in expenditure to the reduction of the debt during Republican administrations. That accomplishment can scarcely be considered an extravagance.

The actual expenditures for the year 1927, and I give you the full figures, were $3,585 million.

For 1931 they were $4,220 million or an increase of $635 million. Bear in mind the Governor says he wants to "compare the routine, ordinary costs of conducting the Government." He also says, in the same statement, that he favors relief measures by the Government. He then neglects to inform the country that the increased expenditures for 1931 over those of 1927 were almost wholly for relief of this depression. This increase includes an emergency increase in public works and vessel construction to relieve unemployment of $335,900,000- They include $243,600,000 of emergency relief to the farmers. Beyond this they include $112 million of emergency relief to the Postal Department because of the falling off of receipts from the depression itself. They include a special payment to veterans on the bonus and other items for depression of $124 million as a depression emergency action.

Thus we have a sum of emergency expenditures in relief of the depression of $815 million, compared to the $635 million of increase. If we adopt the Governor's own definition of the ordinary, routine expenditures and deduct this sum, if we adopt his policy, justification for relief measures by the Federal Government, then the ordinary, routine costs of the Government for 1931 were actually less than 1927--and not $1 billion greater, as he has stated to the American people.

Let me explore the subject some further. The year 1927, chosen by the Governor, was an especially low year, an exceptionally low year, for reasons connected with the census and the national defense. If the Governor wanted to be completely fair he would have adopted the year 1929, the last year before my administration, in which you can be sure that there was no waste under President Coolidge. He not only practiced economy, not only preached economy, but he gave the most practical demonstration of it ever seen by the Government of the United States. Had the Governor adopted that year, with its total expenditures of $3,848 million, and deducted from 1931 the extraordinary expenditures due to relief, he would find that there was an actual decrease in expenditures of upwards of $300 million in the ordinary conduct of the Government during the present administration.

But of more importance than this, the Governor promises that he will reduce Federal expenditures by a billion a year.

It would help if the Governor would state what year, and upon what theory, he proposes to use as a base. It would appear inasmuch as he has adopted the promise of the Democratic platform that he proposes to reduce the expenditures below the gross amount of all kinds for the year ending June 1932. That is a good base to start from because the expenditures were a little over $5 billion, due to the extraordinary measures of setting up the Reconstruction Corporation, financing the land banks, and a number of other large Government operations of purely temporary character, but yet charged to expenditures. If that is the basis, if he will compare the total expenditures of 1932, that is the fiscal year 1932, with the estimated total expenditures of the current fiscal year ending 1933, he will find a thing that he possibly knows already, and that is that the promised saving of $1 billion has already been accomplished. He will find that, even though we are still struggling with expenditures forced upon us by the Democratic House. But more than this, if the economies proposed by this administration had been accepted by the Democratic House there would have been for the current year a further saving of at least half a billion more.

If we are supported by the American people, and if the Democratic House will cooperate, I will make for the next fiscal year a reduction from the totals of 1932, not a reduction of a billion but of $1,500 million.

Now, I must tell you in all fairness that a larger part of this discussion depends on what year you use as a base. If the Governor means to reduce the Government expenditures $1 billion below the "ordinary, routine" costs of the Government, taking the present fiscal year, as we call it, the fiscal year 1933, which we are now in, as a base, it might be implied by any reasonable mind, it is only fair that the American people should know where and how he is going to accomplish it. If he is warranted in making such an assertion, then he must know the Federal Government well enough to know the places where such reductions can be made.

In order to help him I may say that the "ordinary, routine" expenditures for the current fiscal year are estimated at $3,647 million. Of these, $1,980 million are for the public debt and certain trust and refund services to which the Government is obligated and cannot escape, together with the expenditures upon the Army and the Navy. In the present disturbed state of the world we must not further reduce our defenses without a general agreement for the reduction of arms. Thus, the Governor must find a cut of $1 billion out of the remaining amount which is $1,667 million of ordinary, routine Government expenditures. Now then, friends, of this sum, $946 million is expended for veterans and $216 million for ordinary public works, while all other costs of Government are about $505 million, making a total of $1,667 million from which we are now to deduct a billion.

This last item of $505 million includes the cost of the Congress, the judiciary, prisons, tax collection, accounting, foreign relations, health, maintenance of lighthouses and airways, merchant marine, education, agriculture, various scientific bureaus, and a host of other critically important services. Assuming the wildest estimate, that these services could be reduced by one-half, that half of the lighthouses could be extinguished, that half the Federal prisoners turned loose on the public, the Governor would still have to find $750 million of economy. And even if he stopped all of the public works, he would have to finally find $500 million, and he would have to take it out of the one remaining item, that is, $946 million which the veterans of the United States receive. That would be a gross injustice. But that is where rash promises inevitably lead.

The Governor points with satisfaction to the increase in expenditures of the Department of Commerce under my administration. He neglects to inform the American people that these increases were nearly all due to the transfer of bureaus to that Department from other departments with a corresponding decrease in expenditures in those other departments. Enough of that statement.

I would like to take your time for a moment to examine the record of the last session of Congress in its relation to economy and to compare it with the efforts of the Republican administration, for it is illuminating both on the Democratic platform and upon the Governor's promises and his ability to perform.

In October a year ago, we prepared the budget--it was formulated before the crisis had become completely acute--reducing expenditures by $369 million over the previous year.

The situation having grown steadily more tense, you will recollect that in a message to Congress on December 8, I pointed out that revenues were falling steadily and then forecast a drop of $1,600 million in revenue and that we must have even more definite and actual reduction in Government expenditures than was possible by executive action, and again repeated an oft-made recommendation for legislative authority to effect certain further economies by consolidation and the elimination of bureaus and so on.

As the situation became daily more and more tense, you will recollect that again, on January 4, I addressed the Congress and urged the growing seriousness of the situation and demanded that we must have "further and more drastic economy in expenditure."

On February 17, little over a month later, you will recollect, I urged upon Congress again "the absolute necessity for the most drastic economy" and proposed the methods by which such further economies could be brought about.

The reply to this urging for economy--the first reply--was not economy, but the passage by the Democratic House on the 4th of March of the Gasque omnibus pension bill, and I vetoed that bill.

On April 4, adequate action not having yet been taken by the Congress to reduce expenditures, you will recollect that I again addressed them, stating that the $369 million of cuts originally recommended in the executive budget were entirely inadequate to the growing situation and proposed further savings which must be made only by legislative authority. I pointed out the gravity of the situation and asked that a national committee on economy representing the Senate, the House, and the executive should be appointed to review the entire question. The Democratic leaders all arose and at once denounced this suggestion as dictatorship.

Now, the House did appoint such a committee, but not under that name. The administration, the Republican administration, at once recommended to that committee that legislative authority be given to effect certain possible economies amounting to $250 million and certain indirect economies amounting to $50 million. At the same time we asked for more cuts from the appropriation committees. By the time these recommendations had filtered through the Democratic committee and through the Democratic House the economy bill had dwindled from $250 million of savings to savings of under $40 million, although the Senate restored a part of them.

Again, as if in reply to my urging for economies, on April 13 a bill which was not economy was passed by the Democratic House setting up a train of large Indian claims which had been settled 75 years ago, which again I was compelled to veto.

Some of you will recollect that on May 31, I addressed the Senate in person, pointing out the disastrous effect of the failures of Congress in effecting economies and to balance the budget with the shocks to Federal credit, its responsibility for degeneration in the economic system, and I stated: "The probable decrease in revenues now is about $1,700 million. It necessitates absolute reduction in governmental 'expenditures," and I demanded as a first consideration that we have more and more drastic economy. I asked for a total reduction of $400 million in addition to my original proposal of December of $369 million, making a sum of nearly $800 million of economies. And I pointed out how they could be obtained.

Despite the desperate situation of the country, the helpful reply of the Democratic House, 8 days later, was not economy but the passage of the Garner-Rainey pork-barrel bill, one portion of which called for the increase in expenditure by $1,200 million. I was compelled to appeal for public support in protest, and I am glad to say the public so rallied that that bill died.

Again showing their utter disregard of the Nation's plight, on June 15, the Democratic House passed the Patman bill for the cash prepayment of the bonus, requiring an expenditure of $2,300 million. Again I protested publicly and asked for public support in stopping that bill. And it died.

Now, among other things, various conferences were carried on in an endeavor to arrive at an adequate relief bill, expanding the activities of the Reconstruction Corporation, but the Democratic leaders insisted not upon economy but on the inclusion in that bill of a new item of $322 million of further expenditures from the Federal Treasury. Ultimately this bill passed the Congress. It contained not only that provision but other measures putting the Government into wholesale pawnbroking in the unlimited use of Federal Government credit. On July 11, I vetoed this bill and again protested about the item of $322 million and requested that at least such a reservation be made on it that would hold back the expenditure until it could be determined if the budget had been balanced. In order to secure the relief bill at all, with its vital provisions in relief of distress, employment, and agriculture, I was finally compelled to accept it with an inadequate safeguard of that $322 million. And that expenditure has been forced upon the Government by the Democratic leaders. And I may say here and now that it has many of the colors of pork legislation.

If there is a deficit this year, it will be due to the Democratic Members of Congress. We had a vast amount of oratory from the Democratic side on the subject of economy during the whole session. The oratory, instead of the facts, seems to have lodged in the mind of the Democratic candidate.

And now these gentlemen arise to say that the Republican administration is to blame if the budget be not precisely balanced. I am well aware that progress in a democracy requires cooperation and compromise on matters that do not involve great principle, but it is not for the Democratic leaders to rise now and talk of economy and reduction of governmental expenditures after their attempts to foist $3 1/2 billion of further expenditures upon the Government, which we stopped, and after their failure to reduce expenses by some $200 million to $300 million which they refused, and after their forcing $322 million of new expenditure on us after our most strenuous opposition. The expenditures of the Federal Government for this fiscal year would be $500 million less had the demands of this administration been heeded.

When our opponents rise and say that they are the party to be trusted with the reduction of governmental expenditures, I recommend that you compare these promises with the actual performance of the body which under the Constitution initiates the fiscal policies of the Government--not the Senate, but the House of Representatives.

Despite all of this obstruction, I propose to continue the fight for reduction of governmental expenditures, and if there be a fresh mandate from the people on November 8, there will be no denying my demands.

The Governor has involved himself in a labyrinth of inaccurate statements, due to misinformation supplied to him, in trying to prove that the Secretary of the Treasury made errors in the estimates of our future revenue. He may have done so. The Governor insists that we should have increased taxation 2 years before we began. He ignores the fact that the Federal budget estimates are made in October for a year beginning the following July. This, however, is a detail. He would, however, appear to expect that by crystal gazing or by astrology the Secretary of the Treasury would be able to prophesy the revenues a year ahead in the midst of the greatest crisis in history, and to have thus anticipated the effect of every crash in the world upon our Federal revenues. I wish it were possible for human beings to predict the action of a Democratic House of Representatives a year or two in advance. If we had been able to do this, we could have interpreted the effect on the revenues and upon the budget of the actions of the last Congress and their disturbances in the whole economic system and their raids upon the United States Treasury.

In this particular the Governor might be interested to know that certain Democratic leaders in Congress publicly protested that no taxes should be imposed at all or that they should be delayed still another year, and that we should continue to live off of our fat, which was then getting thin. The administration was the first to insist that the undermined revenues of the country should be increased as a fundamental necessity to the maintenance of the stability of the United States Government.

The Governor implies that as the result of the failure to read the crystal of the future we have jeopardized the credit of the Federal Government. The answer to that--the Governor apparently does not know--is that only 10 days ago the Treasury of the United States sold $500 million of its notes at 3 percent interest. That does not look like a discredited institution. There is no government in the world financing itself at this moment on such a basis and with such confidence in its stability.

The Governor's labored charge a day or two ago that for some sinister purpose the facts as to Government finance and expenditures were misrepresented or concealed from the people is too silly to merit serious consideration. You are probably aware of the fact that the actual Federal expenditures and receipts for the different branches of the Government are issued to the public every morning at 9:30 o'clock and are open to every citizen of the United States, and he can calculate the progress of the Government day by day, week by week, and month by month with his own lead pencils.

Now I want to address myself to the constructive policies of my administration and the Republican Party, and in addressing myself to this task I want to address myself to the man who has a job, to the man who has no job and is looking for one, to the farmer and the businessman who are in difficulty. After all, the thing which is of real importance is not the misinformation furnished to the Democratic candidate or the promises of that party, but they are the actual measures and forces which we have in motion to restore jobs, agriculture, and business.

It has been my fate to have been born and raised in contact with the problems that come from distress and striving to maintain a home for one's loved ones. And I can say without challenge that a large part of my life has been spent in contact with efforts to solve human difficulties.

I, therefore, wish to discuss with you the emergency program which we have put into action and which we propose for overcoming this crisis, and to compare it with the Democratic program as made evident by the last Congress and with some suggestions which have been made in addition by the Democratic candidate.

In previous addresses I have traced the origins of this depression. I have spoken of the forces which dragged down the prosperity of our people and brought suffering, distress, and fear into American homes. The first stage of depression in this country was a reaction from the mania of speculation and flotation in 1929. I have traced on other occasions the measures which we initiated at that time to increase employment, to hold wages, to assist agriculture, to prevent distress, and the gradual recovery of the country from this domestic phase which took place a year after. I have pictured the dreadful calamity which then interrupted our recovery through the tremendous earthquake whose origins were in the World War and its aftermath and the strains which it had placed upon the nations of Europe. As the result of these they collapsed one by one, finally culminating at the end of September last year, when Great Britain abandoned the gold standard and was followed by a score of other nations with financial panics, overthrown governments, and revolutions.

In other places I have discussed the method by which the tremendous world crisis was transmitted to the United States. At the moment I desire only to point out to you the effect. In the weeks following the abandonment of the gold standard in England, the bank failures measured in deposits rose to over $250 million a week in the United States, and hoarding rose to over $100 million a week. Foreigners, fearing that we might be engulfed, drew out $725 million in gold from us within less than 6 weeks.

We met that situation promptly. On October 3, a year ago, I secured from the bankers of this country the establishment of the National Credit Association, with half a billion dollars with which to support our financial situation. On October 6, I asked for a meeting of the political leaders of both political parties and secured a declaration of unity of national action in the face of national danger.

The ship began to right itself. But again at the end of November it became evident that the forces moving against us were more powerful than could be stopped by these measures. Bank failures and hoarding increased, with a thousand other effects in increased unemployment and decreasing farm prices.

We were faced with three great perils. The first was that through the losses and decrease of profits in business there was a drop in Federal tax revenues of $1,600 or $1,700 million, that is, nearly half the revenue of the Federal Government. We were faced with inability to pay our expenses of Government except by an increase of taxes or, alternatively, by enormous borrowings.

Second, the integrity of the monetary system was increasingly threatened by the terrible impact of foreign gold withdrawals and our own hoarding and the inflexibility of the Federal Reserve Act.

Third, the whole private credit machinery of the country was so paralyzed that credit was practically impossible to obtain. Business dried up, demands were made right and left upon debtors to force them to raise cash upon which their property must be realized in diminished and nonexistent markets. Unless these forces could be stopped the whole Nation was in the gravest of danger.

I should like for a moment to review the whole program we proposed and have largely established to meet that emergency. Some of its effectiveness was lost by delays in placing these weapons into our hands, for in battle much depends on being there on time. Some part of the losses, in failures, bankruptcies, falls in farm prices, increases in unemployment, were due to these delays. Some of the delays were the result of the slow moving of democracy; much of it, the refusal to enact some portion of the measures we asked for, were in consequence of destructive Democratic opposition. And again I wish to state that certain members of that party did cooperate with us, and to them I pay the highest tribute to their patriotism of which I am capable.

You will recollect the recommendations which I made to the Congress in a message at its convening on December 8 last:

First, drastic reduction in Government expenses.

Second, by this and an increase in revenues to balance the budget, thus to hold impregnable the credit of the Federal Government.

Third, the strengthening of the capital of the Federal land banks by $125 million in order to relieve the pressure upon farmers to repay their mortgages.

Fourth, the creation of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation with $2 billion of resources in order that, having maintained national credit, we should thrust the full resources of public credit behind the private credit system of the country in order to reestablish and maintain it in an unassailable position. That with the backing of the Federal credit it should protect the depositors in savings banks, insurance policyholders, the lenders and borrowers in building and loan associations; that it should through existing agencies expand the funds available for loans to merchants, manufacturers, farmers, agricultural marketing associations; that it should protect the railways from receiverships in order that in turn the railway securities in the insurance companies and savings banks might be protected, and the employees of the railways, likewise with a score of other services.

Fifth, an extension of the authority of the Federal Reserve Board to meet the danger of our gold standard and to expand credit in counteraction to the strangulation due to hoarding and foreign withdrawals.

Sixth, the creation of the home loan discount banks with resources of several hundred millions to give homeowners a chance to hold their homes through foreclosure and to furnish credit to create new homes and to expand employment.

Seventh, an authority by which we could secure early liquidation of deposits in closed banks that we might relieve the distress to millions of depositors. We did not secure that authority out of the Congress.

Eighth, revision of the banking laws. This matter was postponed.

Ninth, continuation of the public works program of some $500 to $600 million per annum as an aid to employment.

Later in the session of Congress I expanded these emergency recommendations to include a tenth item, that is, an authority to the Reconstruction Corporation to loan up to $300 million to the States whose resources had been exhausted in relief of distress.

Eleventh, loans by the Reconstruction Corporation up to $1,500 million for the undertaking of great works which would add to employment and from their own earnings repay the outlay.

Twelfth, the erection of a new system of agricultural credit banks with indirect resources of some $300 million in order to save the farmer.

Thirteenth, the extension of credits through the Reconstruction Corporation for the movement of agricultural commodities in a normal fashion to market.

And I may add to these measures others which we have set in motion in this emergency.

The fourteenth would be to maintain the protective tariff as the first safeguard of every manufacturer and every workman and every farmer in the United States. Never has the protective tariff been so vital as in this emergency when 20 countries are suffering from depreciated currencies; their standards of living and wages are lower than even a year ago. The danger of flooding our markets with foreign goods was never greater than at this moment. A week ago in Cleveland I showed wages in foreign countries would buy only from one-eighth to one-third as much bread and butter as could be bought by the wages in the United States today. In the face of these standards of living and in the face of this depreciated currency, the Democratic Party and its candidate Proposes to lower the tariff. In this emergency as never before we require the Preservation of our nonpartisan Tariff Commission, by which this flood can be prevented and through which, if tariffs should become high, they can be lowered without disruption and the logrolling of congressional action. Our opponents propose to destroy that function.

Fifteenth, the prevention of immigration during this emergency is vital except for relatives of those residents in the United States. It is important that we hold for our people the jobs which we have.

I might mention that the administrative order which I issued 2 years ago practically closing immigration except for relatives of residents has resulted in the exclusion of somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 millions of immigrants in addition to our unemployed, if we assume that immigration would have been at the same rate subsequent to that order that it had been in the 2 years previous.

The sixteenth item on our program and by no means the least, the constant mobilization and support of all private relief agencies as we have done over the past 3 years in order that we may have the fullest care and support given to those who are ill and in distress, and that we may maintain a sense of responsibility of every man to his neighbor.

Seventeenth, the mobilization of our businessmen, our labor and agricultural leaders, to carry on the present cooperative activities, initiate new activities for the increase of employment and aids to agriculture. It is upon this line of voluntary mobilization of cooperative action that we are engaged in an attack all along the economic front at this moment.

Eighteenth in the program of reconstruction, the vigorous consummation of the results from the World Economic Conference with view of relieving the pressures from the outside and preventing reoccurrences of these distresses in the future. The continuation of our negotiations for the reduction of armament in order to reduce our expenses and to relieve the world of fear and of political instability.

Now, this is the constructive program proposed by the Republican administration. It has largely been adopted as a relief to this emergency. The reform of banking and relief to depositors of closed banks was not secured. We have other measures to propose to the next Congress, especially for the future relief of farm mortgages. But I would have you examine this program. You will find that it conforms with American practice, American experience, and American common sense. It is proving itself every day. It has prevented national chaos, and it is today producing national recovery.

The first series of these measures was proposed to the Congress on December 8 last, after the debacle developed in Europe. The Congress incidentally, the House of Representatives concluded, against my appeal to its leaders, to adjourn over the Christmas holidays, and only one of these measures was enacted until February.

And coincident with the passage of the principal of these measures, in the middle of last February the ship began to right itself; the country began to show the resilience of its resources, courage, increased employment, upward trend of prices in agricultural products, and to give signs of again resuming its activities.

Then there supervened a whole period of obstructive and destructive actions by the Democratic House of Representatives which I will elaborate a little later, as I have already done in this address, in order to show the real program of the Democratic Party to meet this emergency.

It is now taken for granted that this Republican program has come of its natural self because in retrospect there is such universal recognition of its necessity. On the contrary, it has been wrought out of the fiery ordeal of hard and honest thought, the facing of facts when loose thinking and frightened men offered every temptation for specious panaceas. Much of it was wrought against the heartbreaking obstruction and delays in the Democratic House of Representatives.

But in the main it has been established, and it is working every minute now.

Practically the only evidence of the attitude of the Democratic candidate upon this program is the sneer that it has been designed to help banks and corporations and that it has not helped the common man. He knows Full well that the only purpose of helping an insurance company is to protect the policyholder. He knows full well that the only Purpose of helping a bank is to protect the depositor and the borrower. He knows full well that the only purpose of helping a farm mortgage company is to enable the farmer to hold his farm. He knows full well that the only purpose of helping a building and loan association is to Protect the savings and homes of its participants. He knows full well that in sustaining the businessman it maintains the worker in his job. He knows full well that loans to the States protect families in distress.

Now I may tell you that millions of men and women are employed today because there has been restored to their employers the ability to borrow the money to buy the raw materials and pay the labor and thus keep them on the job. And I may say that if the common man be a farmer, it has restored his ability to secure credit upon which to produce his crops and his livestock. If he be a homeowner or a farm-owner in jeopardy of foreclosure of his mortgage, it now gives him a fighting chance. If he has borrowed for any purpose, he has not been forced to the wall by bankruptcy through inability to meet his debt. If he has savings in the bank, it has protected him and relieved his anxieties. If he has an insurance policy, it has preserved the validity of that policy. If he be a merchant, it has stopped the calling of his loans and today enables him to again borrow to purchase his stock and thus start employment. If he be unemployed, it is making hundreds of thousands of jobs. If he be in distress, it enables the State or the city to secure the money and assures him that he will not suffer from hunger and cold. Those who are in distress in this city are today receiving their bread and rent from the result of these Republican measures. And I may say that nothing works perfectly, there have been casualties and there have been disasters, but I am speaking of the Nation as a whole--the Nation upon which the vitality of our race depends. Beyond these items which I have given you, it is today creating new jobs and giving the whole system a new breadth of life. And nothing has ever been devised in our history which has done more for those whom Mr. Coolidge aptly called the common run of men and women than the program which the Republican Party has produced and put into action.

Now I wish again to turn to the specific Democratic action and program for this emergency as shown by their actions in the House of Representatives, which is the only responsible place where they have been able and compelled to show their attitude of mind. I have only to repeat and enumerate. I hope by this time you are familiar with them. I can remember them by the dates when they were passed by the House of Representatives.

On January 9, 1932, the Collier bill was passed by the Democratic House providing for the destruction of the effective powers of the Tariff Commission. It also provided for an international conference to be called for many purposes, one of which was to ask foreign nations to help us lower the American tariffs. It also proposed reciprocal tariffs, and in vetoing it I stated that "no concessions other than those on agricultural tariffs would be of any interest to other nations," and that has proved true.

On March 4, the Gasque omnibus pension bill, which I mentioned a few moments ago, was passed by the House. As I have said, I vetoed that.

On March 7, 1932, the revenue bill, introduced by a nonpartisan Ways and Means Committee, was torn to pieces on the floor of the Democratic House. It had to be sent back to the committee, and an inadequate patchwork bill was submitted and passed. Long and harmful delays resulted. The injustices in that bill have yet to be remedied.

On April 13, 1932, as I have said, I vetoed a bill passed by the Democratic House that would have set in train the opening of a large series of Indian claims, dead and settled 75 years ago. That was in accordance, of course, with Democratic economy programs.

On May 2, 1932, the Democratic House passed a bill ordering the Federal Reserve System and the Treasury to fix prices at the average prevailing during the years 1921-1929 by the control of the volume of currency and of credit. As no mortal human man can accomplish this, both of those agencies promptly denied that they could produce this kind of a rubber dollar.

On May 3, 1932, the House committees and the Democratic House refused to pass the economy bill, as I have described to you.

On June 7, 1932, they passed the pork-barrel bill for $1,200 million, of which I have already commented. That bill is still advocated by the Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate, still goes on.

I have already mentioned that on June 15, 1932, the Patman bill was passed, providing for the cash prepayment of the adjusted-service certificates requiring an immediate expenditure of $2,300 million.

On June 15, 1932, the Democratic House, likewise as part of the same measure, passed a provision for the issuance of $2,300 million of fiat money--a form of currency inflation that has been best exemplified: recent years by the action of the German Government in issuing paper marks in 1922. Had this measure become law, every farmer and every workman would be paying a penalty for it at this moment.

On July 7, 1932, the Democratic House passed the Rainey bill including a provision for injecting the Federal Government into direct personal banking. I vetoed that measure, and I stated it would mean loans for every conceivable purpose on every conceivable security to anyone that wanted money. It would place the Government in private banking in such a fashion as to violate every principle of public relations on which we have have builded our Nation, and would render insecure its very foundations.

On July 13, 1932, the House passed the relief bill, insisting on injecting the $322 million which I have mentioned. Now, this is by no means all that the Democratic House accomplished, but they at least indicate the controlling elements of that party and they constitute a program of about the same number of parts of the administration program that I have described to you.

Now I wish to discuss a proposal of the Democratic candidate himself.

Early in September there appeared amongst the unemployed in some of our cities reproductions of a letter from Governor Roosevelt which read [At this point the President read the text of the letter as follows:]

Mr. Lowe Shearon,
358 Front Street,
New York, N.Y.

In accordance with your request I shall be glad to have you quote me as follows:

I believe in the inherent right of every citizen to employment at a living wage and pledge my support to whatever measures I may deem necessary for inaugurating self-liquidating public works, such as utilization of our water resources, flood control and land reclamation, to provide employment for all surplus labor at all times.
Sincerely yours,

I emphasize that last line--"to provide employment for all surplus labor at all times."

This letter did not appear in the public press until October 13, when it was published in the leading New York journal. It was republished on the 14th; on the 15th it was again republished in that journal with the statement, quoting from the Governor, that it was substantially correct. In case there is any doubt as to its authenticity, I may say that its continued circulation for the purpose of securing votes is subject to the severest condemnation.

There can only be one conclusion from that statement. It is a hope held out to 10 million men and women now suffering and unemployed that they will be given jobs, directly or indirectly, by the Government. That is a promise that no government on Earth can fulfill. It is utterly wrong to delude suffering men and women with such assurances.

The most menacing condition in the world today is the lack of confidence and faith. It is a terrible thing to increase this undermining effect by holding out, for political purposes, promises to 10 million men which cannot be kept and which must end in leaving them disillusioned.

There are a score of reasons why this whole plan is fantastic. These 10 million men, nor any appreciable fraction of them, cannot be provided with jobs in this fashion. The only way to provide jobs for our unemployed is by healing the wounds of the economic system and restoring them to their normal occupations.

There are many reasons why all this is true. To give a living wage to 10 million men, either through employing them directly on such works, as are here indicated, or indirectly in the furnishing of supplies and services, would cost the Government from $9 to $12 billion a year. The borrowing of this amount of money would suck the resources from industry and commerce and cause unemployment to other millions of people. It would destroy the Government and private credit on which all present employment is built and upon which all hope of future employment rests.

There are not in the United States enough of so-called self-liquidating Projects to employ but a fraction of this total, and the Reconstruction Corporation is at this moment engaged in considering and authorizing all of such available projects. If there were any beyond their resources it would require at least a year or 2 years of technical preparation to get any of them into action before anyone could be employed. To increase land reclamation would hugely increase agricultural production at a time when our farmers are already paralyzed by enormous surpluses. It would create the most gigantic bureaucracy in all history.

And above all, I ask you whether or not such frivolous promises and dreams should be held out to suffering unemployed people. I may reiterate again that the only method by which we can stop suffering and unemployment is by returning people to their normal jobs in their normal homes, carrying on their normal functions of life. This can be done only by sound processes of protecting and stimulating the existing economic system which we have in action today. I hope that that is the case. In any event, it is time that it is answered because it is being circulated and held out for votes in this campaign.

I have tonight confined myself to the measures which we have taken to save the country from a gigantic disaster and which are in action to overcome the present emergency. I have not attempted to cover the long view program of the administration and the Republican Party. I will do that on some other occasion.

In dealing with the present emergency I have insisted that we shall as a nation rely upon the initiative and the responsibilities of our citizens, of our institutions, and of our fabric of local government; that the full powers of the Federal Government shall be used for the protection of our people in this emergency; that the great instrumentalities and the measures which we have erected shall be conducted without interruption and with constantly inspiring and vigorous action until restoration is completed; and above all, that they shall be used in such a manner as to sustain these fundamentals which are the real spirit of our national life.

Your purpose and my purpose is to protect the American home with all of its precious blessings, and to protect our children in their rightful heritage of joy and hope and opportunity, and thus hand on to them the ideals and the aspirations which we have received from our fathers.

To do this and as a nation we have many labors before us when this emergency is past: the strengthening and the better regulation of public service; the improvement of our credit and banking system; the development of a better scene of agriculture and industry; and the score of other pressing duties.

And there is one inspiration for this emergency and for the future of this Nation that transcends all others. That inspiration we shall continue to discover in the schools and the churches of this land and in communication with the Great Searcher of all souls. Our Nation has survived thus far because it was rounded in the favor of God by men and women who were more concerned with His will than they were with selfish aggrandizement and material acquisitions. The ultimate source of great constructive measures of government and of law are in the moral and spiritual impulses of our people.

These are the beliefs and the convictions which necessarily must come to me from the vivid association with these currents and with the forces and in the office which I have occupied, with its invisible presence of the many men who before me have fought and builded for these ideals.

No marl can be President without looking back upon the effort given to this country by the 30 men who in my case have preceded me. No man of imagination can be President without thinking of what shall be the course of his country under the 30 more Presidents who shall follow him. He must think of himself as a link in the long chain of his country's destiny, past and future. That future is in your hands. By your action on November 8, you will determine whether we shall go on in the orderly adaptation of our old American ways to new needs, whether we shall build on the foundations laid by our forefathers over the last century and a half, or whether you will let momentary despair lead you to give the country a new and untried direction.

I can well understand that my countrymen are weary and sore and tired. I can well understand that part of this weariness comes from the exhaustion of a long battle. But in the battle we have carried the first-line trenches. It is of transcendent importance that there shall be no interruption; that there shall be no change in the strategy and the tactics used in the midst of a victorious movement. The essentials of American life must not be broken down in chaos and in peril.

These are questions which the American people must weigh, and weigh heavily, in the next 2 weeks. What you will determine on November 8 will be much more than a change of individuals, or even more important than merely making a choice between ways of coming out of this emergency. More than all that, it will determine the permanent course of this country.

The future of an individual is of no great importance in the lifestream of a nation. No one of us has the right to stand in the light of the Nation's progress. Change in my personal position from command to the ranks is of trifling importance in the life of this Nation. What is of vast importance is the measures and policies, the thought, the philosophy, and the sentiment you adopt by your vote, and the men and the forces who in front and behind the scenes will dominate our national life.

I am anxious to see that these present sound policies and measures shall be continued, only because I am anxious to see that my country shall come safely into the harbor from dangers that but few men not occupying my responsibilities will ever appreciate. The following of will-o'-the-wisps is not being progressive. It is not being liberal. It is driving slowly into the tyranny which means extinction under bureaucracy of liberty and hope and opportunity.

In conclusion, I declare again that it is the high purpose of my administration, it is the historic determination of the Republican Party, to preserve this Nation for our citizens with its American system of liberty intact, its American free opportunity and its equal opportunity still open, moving ever forward in accord with these principles, its American Government forever in the hands of men who believe that our fathers builded well, when for 150 years they strove with brain and brawn to make this the greatest land that ever free men have loved.

Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 8:30 p.m. to 20,000 people assembled in the Olympia Arena. The National Broadcasting Company and the Columbia Broadcasting System radio networks carried the address.

In his opening remarks, the President referred to Wilbur M. Brucker, Governor of Michigan.

The above text is a transcript taken from a sound recording of the address.

Herbert Hoover, Address in Detroit, Michigan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/207940

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