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Letter to the REA Administrator Concerning Recent Progress in Rural Electrification.

September 28, 1954

Dear Ancher:

I understand that some people are busily circulating statements to the effect that this Administration is opposed to rural electrification programs and that these programs are to be drastically curtailed in the coming fiscal year. I am sure you recognize, as I do, that this is part of a general fear psychology now being adroitly generated in many fields by people who evidently have ends to serve that they consider more important than the truth. I am convinced that our rural population will not be misled by such reckless and irresponsible statements.

For the record I should like to emphasize certain facts. During the past year the progress of the REA has been exceptional. Our rural people know it. This progress has been evidenced in this past fiscal year by your speedier handling of loan applications. This will bring electric power to 170,000 additional farm families--almost 10,000 more than in fiscal year 1953 and 33,000 more than in fiscal year 1952. During the past fiscal year almost $75,000,000 in telephone loans were made as compared with $41,000,000 during the previous fiscal year. The fact is that the backlog of both types of loan applications has been reduced to the lowest point since 1947. Moreover, industry cooperation in these programs, which you have initiated, has already reduced the cost of electric power to farmers in large areas and markedly facilitated the extension of telephone service. Because these jobs in this past fiscal year were done at a substantial saving in administrative cost, the accomplishment is even more impressive.

I want to make this clear: The Administration considers these REA programs great advances for rural America. They have made our farms more productive; they have greatly enriched the lives of our rural families; and they have served as a powerful stimulus to our country's economy. We shall completely meet next year's financing needs for these programs. It is our determination that these programs shall fully accomplish their purposes. We shall continue to give them our wholehearted support.



Note: This letter to Ancher Nelsen, Administrator, Rural Electrification Administration, was released at Lowry Air Force Base, Denver, Colo.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to the REA Administrator Concerning Recent Progress in Rural Electrification. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232772

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