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Letter to Senator Wagner and Representative Manasco Concerning the Full Employment Bill.

December 20, 1945


The Full Employment Bill adopted by the Senate modified the language of the original bill but did not remove its essential provisions.

On December 14, 1945, however, the House sent to conference a wholly new measure lacking the essential features of the Full Employment Bill as passed by the Senate. Many of the Representatives who voted for the House bill did so, I believe, in the belief that the conferees would have an opportunity to restore the essentials of the Senate bill.

In my opinion no bill which provides substantially less than the Senate version can efficiently accomplish the purposes intended. I urge the conferees to support the essential characteristics of the Full Employment Bill as contained in the legislation adopted by the Senate by a vote of 71 to 10.

The essential characteristics of effective legislation to establish a national policy in respect to employment opportunity, as I see them, were described in my message to the Congress on September 6, as follows:

"A national reassertion of the right to work for every American citizen able and willing to work--a declaration of the ultimate duty of Government to use its own resources if all other methods should fail to prevent prolonged unemployment--these will help to avert fear and establish full employment. The prompt and firm acceptance of this bedrock public responsibility will reduce the need for its exercise.

"I ask that full employment legislation to provide these vital assurances be speedily enacted . . ."

I hope that the Congress will adopt a bill substantially in the form passed by the Senate.

Very sincerely,


Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Robert F. Wagner, the United States Senate, and to the Honorable Carter Manasco, the House of Representatives. Senator Wagner and Representative Manasco were the chairmen of the conferees of the Senate and of the House of Representatives, respectively, on the full employment bill.

Harry S Truman, Letter to Senator Wagner and Representative Manasco Concerning the Full Employment Bill. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/229600

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