Rear Platform and Other Informal Remarks in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York
[1.] QUINCY, MASSACHUSETTS (First Parish Church, Quincy Square, 7:30 a.m.)
Thank you, Mr. Mayor. I can't tell you how highly I appreciate the compliment which you gave to the President of the United States, and to your wonderful citizens of this great State who are with me this morning, by turning out at this time of day.
I am very glad to be here in this historic city this morning, and it is a very high honor to be presented to you on the steps of this church where two great men and their wives are buried.
You know, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were political enemies, but they [p.887] became fast friends. And when they passed away, on the same day, the last words of one of them was, "The country is safe. Jefferson still lives." And the last words of the other was, "John Adams will see that things go forward."
You can't beat that in a Republic like this, my friends. That is what makes this country great. We can have our political fights, but we understand that the other fellow has a perfect right to. his views no matter what they may be, and he has a right to express them. That is what makes the Constitution of the United States the greatest document of government in the history of the world.
I have known about Quincy all my life, of course, because it is and has been the home of these two great men. Now, I sincerely hope--I sincerely hope that you good citizens here will send David Concannon to the Congress because I will have somebody I can work with, if you do that.
And I know very well that you are going to elect the whole Democratic ticket here in this great State, if this is any index--the way you turned out this early in the morning.
The way Boston gave me a welcome yesterday and last night, I am just as sure as I stand here that Massachusetts will turn in a hundred thousand majority for the Democrats.
I learned a lot about this great city when I was Chairman of the Special Senate Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program. I came to have a very great admiration for the magnificent work that you did here in your shipyards. Ships from your yards fought all over the world, and you people who built them helped win the war just as surely as did the sailors who sailed them.
Now, we have another big job to do, and that is win the peace. It is much harder to win the peace than it is to win a war, because everybody is behind you when you have to fight for the welfare of your country. But when you have to fight for the peace, everybody has his own idea of what that peace should be, and it is a very difficult matter to get people together on just exactly what it should be.
Only one country, you know, can start a war, but it takes two or three, four or five, to make the peace. I have been working ever since V-J Day to establish conditions for a just and lasting peace in the world.
This Nation has a serious problem in stopping the menace of communism. I have fought communism here in the United States, and I have led in the fight against communism all over the world.
Communists don't like me very well. They are all against me, and I am glad of it. I don't want them for me. I hate communism, and because I have fought so much to prevent its spread, the Communists hate me. They are doing their very best to prevent my election.
I know that the best way to stop communism in this country is to make sure that every citizen has a good standard of living, and a job all the year round, a decent place to live, and good schools with medical care for his family.
I have been fighting for those things ever since I have been President and long before.
The Republican Party has blocked my efforts wherever it could. Republican leaders in the Congress killed price control, and as a result, prices have gone through the roof. Every family's living standard has suffered as a result of the inability to control the spiral that will lead to inflation. I called the Congress back into special session twice, but the Republicans refused to do anything about high prices.
I have been fighting for a decent housing bill, too, and I believe that every American family has the right to a decent home. The [p.888] Republican Party does not believe that, because the Republicans in the Congress killed the Taft-Ellender-Wagner housing bill.
I also believe that we should protect and extend the rights of labor. The Republican Party does not believe that. They passed the Taft-Hartley law. Now they say that is only the beginning of what they will do to labor if they get a chance next year. I don't believe you are going to give them a chance.
I don't have to tell you any more about the issues in this campaign, but I want you to study the record of the two parties. I want you to go out and vote in your own interests next Tuesday.
Vote for the control and lowering of prices.
Vote for decent housing.
Vote for the repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act.
Vote for the party that knows that the way to beat communism is by keeping this Nation strong and prosperous.
And, finally, my friends, just vote in your own interests, and when you vote in your own interests and exercise your right to control the Government by voting, you can't help but vote just one way, and that is to vote the Democratic ticket straight. Then this great Commonwealth will have the sort of administration it ought to have--a Democratic administration; and I will stay in the White House another 4 years.
[2.] BROCKTON, MASSACHUSETTS (8:20 a.m.)
Thank you very much. I appreciate that prophecy, and I think it is going to come true. It is a great pleasure indeed to be here in Brockton this morning. I have been hearing about Brockton's shoes for a great many years--and now I am well fixed. I not only have two pairs of shoes for myself, but I have two pairs for my wife and daughter. Isn't that nice--just think what that will mean for the "old man." Your record of production for shoes of the Armed Forces during the war was almost unbelievable. Nobody knows more about that than I do, because I had to make an investigation of the shoes sent out to the Army when I was in the Senate of the United States. I think you turned out 18 million pairs of shoes for the Army, Navy, and Air Force. You know, that is a wonderful record.
But prices are now so high that many people in the country are finding it difficult to buy the necessities of life, like good shoes.
I think you all know who is to blame for it. The blame rests on the leaders of the Republican Party--and nowhere else.
The National Association of Manufacturers put on a great campaign to fool the American people into believing that we would have more production and lower prices if we got rid of price control. The Republican leaders took part in that conspiracy just to deceive the everyday person.
Right in the halls of Congress, Republican leaders made the flat statement that prices would fall, if controls went off. Well, you know what happened. Prices have been going up and up and up, they have gone all the way off the chart. Those fellows running the Wall Street Journal can tell you just what things are doing.
The Republicans always seem to be willing to do what the lobbies of big business want them to do.
Here in Brockton, like nearly every city in the country, there is a housing shortage. The Democrats believe we ought to have a comprehensive Federal housing law. We believe that the Federal Government ought to help the cities and the States clear away slums and build large-scale and low-rent public housing projects.
The real estate lobby does not want such a law, because the real estate owners couldn't [p.889] make so much money if there were plenty of housing.
Under the prodding of the real estate lobby, the Republican leaders in that "donothing" 80th Congress killed the housing bill which we need so badly.
Now, another lobby is getting ready to start to work on the next Congress to kill rent control. This lobby, the National Apartment Owners Association, is getting ready to spend a quarter of a million dollars to influence Congressmen against rent control so that the Congress will not extend rent controls next year.
The awful and most disgraceful thing about that 80th "do-nothing" Congress-as I call it--was the fact that it was controlled absolutely by lobbies. There were more lobbies in Washington and more money spent in Washington by lobbies during the 80th Congress than in all the history of preceding Congresses. It is shameful and a disgrace to this country that a Congress would let a lobby tell it what to do. They did not work for the people, because that is the reason I have been fussing at them all over the United States, and it is beginning to hurt. People are beginning to find out what the truth is.
Now, the apartment owners are getting ready to spend all that money to take rent controls off. If you return the same leadership to the 81st Congress that we had in the Both Congress, they will succeed in it.
If you folks here in Brockton want your rent raised 20 percent next spring, stay at home and don't vote--like two-thirds of you did at the last election.
If you don't want that, you had better go to the polls on election day and vote for yourselves.
Vote for the Democratic Party and then you will be right.
All you need do is look at the record--the record of the Democratic Party and what it has been doing for the people in the last 16 years. And then look at the sorry record of how the Republicans sold out to the lobbies in the last Congress. That was a blessing in disguise, that we had a taste of what the Republicans did to you good people who didn't vote in 1946. That was a blessing in disguise, I say, because I think our country has awakened to the fact that the Democratic Party, under Democratic leadership, is working for the welfare of all the people, and not just a few.
You see, I am anxious that you know the facts. You don't suppose I would go from one end of the United States to the other, backwards and forwards and crossways, informing the people of what the situation is, if I didn't think it was in your interest to do that. This is about the 270th or 280th appearance I have made before such public audiences--from Maine to California, from Washington to Florida. I want to say to you that this situation right here in Brockton is the result of the policies of the Republican Party.
Now, if you believe in honest government, if you believe in the welfare of the people as a whole, you won't stay at home this time.
Go to the polls and elect a Democratic Governor and a Democratic Congressman from this district, and elect the whole Democratic ticket--and then you will be safe, and your President won't be troubled with the housing shortage--he will still stay in the White House for another 4 years.
[3.] TAUNTON, MASSACHUSETTS (9:05 a.m.)
Thank you very much. Isn't that lovely-[a silver plate]--that's beautiful. I am certainly glad that it has my name on it, because if it didn't I know a young lady by the name of Margaret who would have possession of it.
I can't tell you how very much I appreciate this royal welcome given me here in the [p.890] Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They tell me that in this town here the first flag of the United States was raised in 1774 on the liberty pole right here in this park. What I have been trying to do is raise liberty poles all over the United States by telling the people just exactly what we are faced with during this campaign.
The Republicans have been putting out a lot of polls. They call themselves the pollsters of this campaign, and I want to say to you that on the morning after election, there are going to be more red-faced pollsters than the country has ever seen before in its history.
I am just as sure as I stand here that this great State is going to vote in its own interests and that it is going to vote for the welfare of the people as a whole, and not vote for the special interests. That will mean that you will vote the Democratic ticket from top to bottom--you will elect a Democratic Congressman from this district--you will elect a Democratic Governor--and the whole Democratic ticket, and then the country will be safe because you will still have a Democratic President.
You know, they have been talking about a change--the need for a change. I will tell you the sort of change we need: we need to change the Congress. What we need is a Democratic Congress to go along with a Democratic President, then the rights of the people will be safe. I think that is just what you are going to do.
You know, one of the first things that this Republican 80th Congress did when it came into power was to begin to tear up the rights of labor. The Democratic Party under Franklin Roosevelt gave to American labor the Wagner Act, which is the bill of rights for labor. Well, this Republican 80th Congress, just as soon as they got into power, passed this Taft-Hartley law. I want that Taft-Hartley law repealed, and the best way to get it repealed is to elect a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress.
I understand that they are trying to pass Taft-Hartley legislation right here in Massachusetts on the ballot. I am just as sure as I am standing here that you are not going to let that happen here, either, in this great State.
You know, the welfare of this country is wrapped up in the welfare of the whole population. Last year we had a national income of $217 billion. This year it is going to be over $220 billion, and that income has been so distributed that the farmer has his fair share, the workingman has his fair share, and the small businessman has his fair share.
Now that is not what the Republicans want. They want special privilege to get the majority of that income. That is what they want. They have sent out letters to people asking for campaign contributions as a result of their rich man's tax bill which they passed--the most outrageous tax bill that has ever been passed in this country. They passed that tax bill three times, and I vetoed it three times. They had to pass it three times before they could make a law out of it. I want to say to you that if I hadn't been standing there with the veto power, there is no telling what they would have done to the people of this country.
Now I want you to remember these things--that the welfare of the country is in your hands. You must yourselves exercise that power which makes you the government, and that is to go to the polls and vote on election day.
If you don't do that, and you get something like the 80th Congress in the next Congress, you have got nobody to blame but yourselves for it--you can't quarrel with [p.891] anybody about it. You are the Government when you want to exercise that privilege.
I sincerely hope that every person within the hearing of my voice, who has the right to vote on November the 2d, will go and vote. That's all I ask. If you do that, I am not a bit worried about what the result will be, because you are going to vote in your own interests, you are going to vote for yourselves. That means that you are going to vote the straight Democratic ticket on November 2d, and I will stay in the White House, and we will have a Democratic Congress, and we will have a Democratic administration in the great State of Massachusetts.
Thank you very much.
[4.] FALL RIVER, MASSACHUSETTS (South Park, 9:55 a.m.)
Thank you--thank you. Thank you, Mr. Mayor, for that most cordial introduction. I hope I shall continue to deserve your good opinion and the good opinion of the fine people of Fall River and the great State of Massachusetts. I am more than happy this morning to be in Fall River. I sincerely wish I could have also gone to New Bedford, but I couldn't go to both places. I went to New Bedford in 1944, and didn't get to Fall River. This time I changed it about. I hope the people of New Bedford will understand that it is necessary for me to be in New York City tonight at 5 o'clock. It is necessary for me to be there because we are going to carry the great State of New York as well as Massachusetts.
I have been going all over the United States from one end of the country to the other, telling the people what the issues in this campaign are. That is the only way you have been able to find out about them, for the simple reason that the Republican candidate for President will not discuss the issues in this campaign. He is afraid to discuss the issues, because the Republicans are on the wrong side of every issue that affects the people of the United States.
There are more people at work under this Democratic administration than ever had jobs before in the history of the world in any one country. Sixty-one million people have jobs and they have jobs at living wages.
The pay of textile workers is three and a half times what it was under the last Republican administration. That did not come about by accident. That was the result of legislation which the Democratic administrations put on the books. That was the result of the Walsh-Healy Act, the Wagner Act, and Fair Labor Standards Act.
Of course, the first thing the Republicans did when they got in the Congress--got control of it--was to try to tear up these things that made labor's rights in this country a great deal better. They immediately went to work to repeal the Wagner Act, and they passed that Taft-Hartley Act which I think ought to be repealed.
Now, I understand that they are trying to do the same thing right here in this great Commonwealth. They are trying to pass a local Taft-Hartley law, and I hope you won't let them do it. I don't think you will.
Last year we had the greatest national income of any country in the history of the world--$217 billion. This year it is running over $220 billion. That income is fairly distributed to all the people. The farmers got their fair share of the farm income. This year it is the highest it has ever been in history--$18 billion for the farmers. The farmers in 1932 had an income of $2 1/2 billion. That's the difference.
The wages of labor are three times what [p.892] they were under Republican administrations. We want to keep them that way. We want to see that the farmers get their fair share of the national income, that labor gets its fair share of the national income, and that business gets its fair share of the national income.
But the Republicans don't want it that way. They want special privilege to control this country. The legislation which they passed in this Congress--most of it over my veto--was for special interests and not in the public interest.
Now the Democratic Party has a different philosophy. The Democratic Party has always been the party of the people ever since Thomas Jefferson organized it. Thomas Jefferson organized that party way back yonder in 1800, and Andrew Jackson implemented it in 1828 to 1836. Woodrow Wilson revived it and gave it new life in the 8 years in which he was President of the United States.
And Franklin D. Roosevelt and I have carried on those policies for the people and not against them.
This fight I have been making, as I told you last night in Boston, is the fight that Al Smith was making, the fight that Franklin D. Roosevelt was making, and now it is my fight, and I want you to help me win that fight--and I am sure you are going to do it.
I can't tell you how very much I appreciate this wonderful turnout. It is a wonderful welcome. I think it means an overwhelming victory in Massachusetts next November the 2d.
I want to urge you again, with everything I have, to go to the polls on November the 2d and vote for yourselves--vote in your own interest.
When you do that, vote the straight Democratic ticket and you will have a Democratic President, a Democratic Congress, and a Democratic administration from top to bottom in the great State of Massachusetts.
[5.] PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND (City Hall, 11:15 a.m.)
Governor Pastore and the good people of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations:
It is always a pleasure for me to come to Providence--a great Democratic city in a great Democratic State. Rhode Island shows them the way!
Rhode Island has produced two of the finest Senators in the Congress of the United States--Theodore Francis Green, a leader in the fight for social progress; and Howard McGrath who is carrying a double load of Senator and serving as the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. You have two wonderful Congressmen from this great State in Congressman Forand and Congressman Fogarty. Rhode Island is going to do that same thing again, you are going to keep two Democratic Senators and two Democratic Congressmen in the Congress.
You proved your devotion to democracy by the enthusiastic support of those outstanding Senators and Congressmen, and by electing as Governor of Rhode Island my good friend, John O. Pastore.
You good Democrats of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations are entitled to be the first to hear some good news. I am going to tell it to you right now.
All through the dark days of Democratic defeatism spread by phony polls, and Republican publicity experts, Rhode Island has stood firm as a rock. You stood firm for the Democratic Party and for the Democratic faith which I am preaching all over the United States.
Now, see the results. I have just come out of Massachusetts this morning, and here is the good news:
Massachusetts is going to have a Democratic [p.893] majority of at least a hundred thousand.
There are going to be a lot of other surprises for those pollsters on the 3d day of November.
Massachusetts is on our side in this fight just the same as Rhode Island has been in the forefront.
The Republican pipe dream of victory next Tuesday is going up in smoke as 60 million voters prepare to go to the polls on November the 2d.
I told the people of Cleveland two nights ago that we have the Republicans on the
The Republican candidate is on the run, too. He is running right behind me! That is exactly where he belongs.
The American people can't be fooled. They have seen through this expensive Republican propaganda. State after State that the Republican bosses boasted were in the bag are swinging back to the Democratic Party--where they belong.
From North to South, from East to West, I am getting reports that States are with us. The people's crusade is rolling along to victory, and it is going to leave the Republican polltakers flat on their faces on November the 3d.
The Republican Party forgot that it was founded by a man who said that you can't fool all the people all the time. They have completely forgotten that man. That is what the Republican candidate has been trying to do. He has been trying to fool all the people, trying to lull them to sleep and give them soothing syrup so they would not go out and vote on November the 2d. You are not going to be fooled that way--and I know it.
Now, the Republican candidate tries to stand on both sides of every fence, and put himself for and against every question that is before the people. He had a picture taken the other day against a farm gate, and the gate was upside down. I hope you all noticed it.
Apparently, he thinks that the task of political leadership consists of saying "me too" to everything and everybody. The American people resent being treated that way. They want to consider the issues. They want to size up the candidates. They feel that the citizens of a free country are entitled to make up their own mind, and that is particularly true here in Rhode Island.
I agree with that. That is why I am doing my level best to talk to the American people about the issues as I see them, so that you can judge for yourselves.
I told you where I stand on housing, and prices, and education, and medical care, and social security. I have told you where I stand on the Taft-Hartley law, and the iniquitous displaced persons bill. I have told you what I have been doing in our efforts for world peace, and every American knows where I stand. Every American citizen in this country understands exactly what I believe in and what my philosophy is.
Now, if you can find out where that fellow stands who heads the Republican ticket, you are better than I am--I can't find out.
But, I defy you to say where the Republican candidate stands on anything. He won't tell you. He won't talk to you man to man, face to face, about what he would do if he were elected. That is because he doesn't dare tell the people the real plans of the Republican Party.
I want to thank you Rhode Island Democrats for your steadfast faith and for your unfaltering support. Here in the cradle of our civil and religious liberty, I have only one wish to express: I hope that I may prove worthy of your loyalty and your fine democracy during the next 4 years. That is all I pray for, to be worthy of the job that you [p.894] are going to give me to do after November the 2d. After you have gone to the polls on November the 2d, watch the returns. Don't say I didn't warn you that this country is going to come through with another good old Democratic victory.
This country can't stand a Republican administration at this time. This country needs housing, this country needs educational help, this country needs to be in the forefront to the world--this country needs to lead the world.
To do that, you have got to have a forward-looking administration. You can't have a man in the White House who wants to turn the clock back--and that is what they want to do. He is running on the record of the 80th Congress, and he can't get away from it. That is the Republican program.
I am asking you now, for your own protection, to go out on November the 2d, every one of you, and vote for yourselves. Vote for your own interests. Vote for the welfare of this great Nation, and the world.
Vote the Democratic ticket straight!
[6.] NEW LONDON, CONNECTICUT (Rear platform, 12:42 p.m.)
Thank you, thank you. Thank you very much. I'm very glad, my friends--very glad to be here in New London this afternoon. New London is world famous. The submarines that were built here were a vital power to the United States Navy during the war. The "Silent Service" never got the publicity that it deserved. But I know that the histories of this war will make it clear how great a part you people who built submarines, and the gallant submarine crews, had in winning the war.
The Coast Guard Academy here in New London and the Naval Base are important parts of our national defense. We intend to keep both the Academy and the Naval Base as strong and as active as possible.
Now, my friends, the real basis of our strength is a strong economy in this country. We are now enjoying a great prosperity, but a number of storm warnings have been hoisted. We are in a boom period that can turn into a bust period unless we are very, very careful. I have repeatedly warned the Congress and the country that we must take strong measures to prevent another depression. The Republican candidate for President says that I shouldn't even mention depression. He says I'm helping the Communists by talking about a depression. Talking about a depression won't help the Communists. What would help them would be to have a depression.
The only thing in the world which can endanger our leadership for peace would be a bust, brought on by failure to stop skyrocketing prices. The Republicans in Congress took the lead in killing price control 2 years ago. I have been urging Congress since then to pass price control laws. And I called the Republican 80th Congress back into special session twice for that very purpose.
The Republican 80th Congress made it perfectly clear that the Republican Party does not believe in doing anything about high prices. They prefer to let things run their course. The Republican candidate for Congress and the Republican candidate for President endorsed the 80th Congress. And he has made it perfectly clear that he does not want to help you in any way.
Now, I know what you are going to do, I think, on election day. I think you're going to make Chester Bowles Governor of Connecticut. I think you're going to make Mrs. Chase Going Woodhouse your representative in Congress again from this district. I think you are going to look after your own interests on election day, and when [p.895] you do that you can't do but one thing: that is to vote for yourselves. Go to the polls and vote the Democratic ticket straight, from top to bottom, and then you'll be on the right track because you will be voting in your own interests--you won't be voting for special interests. And your President then won't be troubled with the housing shortage like a lot of other people are--I'll still be in the White House another 4 years.
[7.] NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT (Station platform, 1:50 p.m.)
Thank you, thank you. I can't tell you how very much I appreciate this wonderful reception in this great and historic city of New Haven. You know, New Haven, in my mind, has always had one great distinction--and that's Yale University. And it's my regret, the regret of my lifetime, that I didn't ever have the privilege of attending any university. I regret it exceedingly. I would give anything in the world if I had a Ph.D. from the university that gave the first Ph.D. in this United States--and that's Yale. Of course, you have to have something up here [indicating] in order to get that.
This is the kind of reception that has been so inspiring on this crusade to put the Democratic Party, the people's party, in Washington for the next 4 years. This kind of a reception means that John McGuire is going to be the next Democratic Congressman from New Haven. It means that Fred Trotta is going to be the next Congressman at large from Connecticut. And it means that Chester Bowles is going to be Governor of Connecticut. I know we are going to be elected because the people of Connecticut want to maintain the progress and prosperity we have been enjoying since the Democrats took office in 1933.
Here in New Haven today I'd like to pay my respects to the memory of the Honorable Wilbur Cross, who died just about a month ago. Governor Cross was a great man who served the people of Connecticut well in his four terms as Governor. Now, you have another great man who will also be a good Governor. He has already served the people of the whole country through his fine work in Washington in my administration during the war. I know he can do as good a job for you as he did for the Federal Government, and I want you to elect Chester Bowles to be your Governor next time--and I hope you elect him for three more terms after that, too.
I have been traveling around the country a great deal, and I have seen, I suppose, about five or six million people in the last 6 weeks, or since Labor Day. I'm even more convinced now than I was before that the American people are capable of accomplishing anything they put their hearts to. When World War II broke out we had the job of providing most of the world with the tools to beat the Axis. Maybe you don't remember, but it was right here in Connecticut where the phrase, "The Arsenal of Democracy," had its start. You people in Connecticut certainly lived up to that phrase. And I can say that advisedly for I don't think anybody had a closer connection with the war production end of World War II than I had as chairman of the committee to investigate the national defense program.
I say there is no reason why we can't lick the housing shortage in this country just as we beat the Axis. I believe if we want to build houses we can do it.
The Democratic leaders in Washington worked out a plan--now, listen to this--the Democratic leaders worked out a plan which was called, in the beginning, the Wagner-Ellender-Taft bill. But that Wagner-Ellentier-Taft bill didn't get through at the time it was first introduced, so they changed the [p.896] name of it in the 80th Congress. They called it the Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill. That bill, if it had been passed by the Republican Congress, would have made it possible for us to clear out the slums and build houses for sale or for rent, at prices that the people could afford.
This housing plan was so good--pay attention to this--that Senator Taft was glad to have his name put on the bill in the beginning. But do you know what he did? When he really had a chance to put that bill through he changed his mind and sabotaged it in the Senate. Now, after the real estate lobby went to work on the Congress-I'm sorry to say this--Senator Taft backed down and wouldn't even vote for his own bill. The real estate lobbies swarmed all over Washington, and the Republicans in Congress were very obedient, as they usually are when lobbyists are around. And they killed our chances for low-cost housing, killed them until we get a better Congress-which I am sure we're going to get after this election of November 2d.
Do you know what the real estate lobby is interested in? They just want to build houses that sell for $30,000 or $40,000 or $50,000. They don't want to build low-cost, low-rent housing--there's not enough profit in it. And I will tell you another reason why we don't have enough houses for our veterans and for our working people today: because some people were just not interested in doing anything about getting the right kind of a law on the books.
The Governor of the State of New York now wants to be President. He was asked right at the height of the fight in Congress what he thought about the Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill. Do you know what he said? He said, "I haven't had time to read it." Well, he pretends to know something about housing, but if he's too busy to read the bill that would have made the difference between houses and no houses, then he doesn't know much.
I saw his picture the other day, with Governor Warren, leaning on a gate. And that gate was upside down! He didn't know which way to put the gate up. You get that picture and look at it. You'll find the gate is upside down, if you know anything about farms.
He didn't lift a finger after he became the Republican nominee, running on the Republican platform, to get a housing bill through the Congress when I called the special session in July.
A public opinion poll was taken in Albany, N.Y. Now, remember--Albany, N.Y. The people were asked whether they thought the Taft-Ellender-Wagner housing bill was a good bill. The poll showed that 70,000 people in Albany thought the Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill should pass. It looks like the only man in Albany who doesn't know or doesn't care about the Taft-Ellender-Wagner bill is the Governor who is now the Republican candidate for President.
And do you know what? That same old gang, if he is elected and the Congress is elected with him, will be in control of the Congress, and they will give him the same ride they did on the displaced persons bill. You know, he said that he would like to have the displaced persons bill passed in the manner in which I wanted it. And do you know what happened ? The gang that controlled that Congress let him know who was riding the elephant. He didn't have a chance in the world to do anything about it. He would be in the same fix if we elect the 81st Congress with the same leaders we had in the 80th.
I know we can build homes in this country. We can get rid of the slums in this country. When this administration is supported [p.897] by a new Democratic Congress next January we are going to get started on this job. It's not a new President you need. You need a new Congress to go along with your president. We should have started a long time ago, but too many people stayed at home and forgot to vote in 1946. We have the Republican 80th Congress as a result of that. I hope things are going to be different this time.
Back in 1944--now listen to this; this is interesting to you--when everyone here in New Haven and the rest of the Third Congressional District was concerned about what was going on in Washington, 159,000 people came out and voted, and the Democrats won by a big majority. In 1946, 30,000 Democrats stayed at home. The Republicans won. Now, don't let that happen again. Do your duty.
The future of this country depends on whether you exercise your right to vote or not. Your right to vote is your control of your Government. And when you fail to vote you are shirking your duty to the United States of America, the greatest Republic that the sun has ever shone upon. And when you exercise your right to vote you control the Government. You say who will be President, you say who will run the Congress, you say who will be your Governor, you say who will be your constable-and that, my friends is your duty. I am asking you with everything I have: Get out and vote on November 2d. And then I won't be troubled with a housing shortage-I'll still stay in the White House--and you will have Chester Bowles as your Governor, and a whole Democratic list of good public servants on the road to doing the right thing for this great country of ours. I'm asking you with everything I have: Vote on November 2d. That's all I want you to do. If you do that I know everything is safe for the country.
[8.] BRIDGEPORT, CONNECTICUT (Rear platform, 2:23 p.m.)
Thank you very much, thank you very much. This is certainly a wonderful reception. Nobody could ask for anything better than this, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.
You know, when I was a kid, about 17 or 18 years old, I saw the first horseless carriage in Independence, Mo., and there were just about this many people out to look at it. And that was a Locomobile that was made right here in Bridgeport, and it was a horseless carriage. It looked just like an old buggy, and it ran with steam. But there is quite a change now in that automobile business from what it was in those days, and that's true of the age in which we live. We are living in an age with which we haven't yet caught up, and I am doing everything I can to keep the country going forward instead of trying to turn the dock back to that old steam horseless carriage we had in 1902.
I passed the housing project a while ago, with which I am familiar. Father Stephen Panic built that housing project--or, he was the promoter of it--and it is one of the great things in this community. I wish we had more of them. And if it weren't for the Republican Congress we would have more of them. I want to see this great State go forward with the rest of the world, and I think that is what you are going to do.
I have been traveling all over the United States for the past 6 weeks, telling the American people the true facts about this election campaign in which we are engaged. I had to come out and join your Democratic candidates in telling you just exactly what the issues are in this campaign because that's the only way you can find out what they are. You want the truth and the facts because the Republicans won't tell you the facts. The Republicans are pretending that [p.898] there aren't any issues. Their candidate is going around saying, "Me too, but I can do it better." You aren't getting any facts from the Republican candidate for President either. He is sticking to high-level platitudes-big two-bit words that he uses to hide behind. I have about come to the conclusion that G.O.P. in this day and age stands for "Grand Old Platitudes."
You people in Connecticut can't afford to take any chances with men who won't tell you what they believe in. Vote for Democratic candidates who believe in the Democratic platform and will carry out their pledges. Send William Gaston to Congress, and be sure to elect Chester Bowles to be Governor of the great State of Connecticut. When you send Mr. Gaston to the 81st Congress I'll have someone there who will work with me in controlling these skyrocketing prices that the Republican 80th Congress refused to do anything about.
Back in the days when we had a Democratic program to control prices, and Chester Bowles was in Washington keeping prices in check, you folks here in Bridgeport were paying 17 cents for a quart of milk, 65 cents for 10 pounds of flour, 10 cents for a loaf of bread, 53 cents for a dozen eggs. Now a quart of milk is costing you 23 cents, 10 pounds of flour costs you as high as a dollar, bread costs 13 cents a loaf, eggs are about 80 cents a dozen. Why they put it up every day, I don't know. I can't keep up with the way they put it up.
Wheat has gone up more than a dollar a bushel, but you haven't had any reflection of that in your bread price. It just keeps going up. That's Republican free enterprise. That's what you are living under.
Back in 1945 you could go to the grocery and buy a quart of milk, a loaf of bread, 10 pounds of flour, and a dozen eggs for $1.45. It costs you about $2.16 now, and it may cost you about $3 tomorrow.
And that's what the National Association of Manufacturers and the Republicans, working together, did to you in Washington. The National Association of Manufacturers had more influence with the Congress this time than any of you people did, and if you are going to let that happen again, that will be your own fault.
That, I think, is very close to being robbery-Republican robbery--when they do that to you. I called the Republican 80th Congress back into special session twice, and I repeatedly asked them to pass laws to halt the rising prices. The Republicans had no sympathy for that sort of a program. You'll not get any help from them any time, either.
If you want relief from high prices, vote for a party that has proved by the record that it knows how to keep prices down. The best thing for your own interests is to vote the Democratic ticket and vote it straight-you can't make a mistake on that. If you are troubled with the housing shortage-and I know you are--vote for a party that has a positive program and will carry it out. Election promises don't mean a thing. You've got to study the record of the people who are running for office. Now, I have a record, and you know where I stand, because I have been President of the United States for 3½ years and you know what I stand for. And you know what I have been trying to get for the people.
And if you want a housing program, you had better vote the Democratic ticket, because the Republicans won't give it to you-they will let the real estate lobby tell them what to do. If you want to see the minimum wage raised, vote for the party that established the minimum wage in the first place, and is now determined that it should be raised to at least 75 cents an hour. I have been trying to get the Republicans to tell me where they stand on minimum wage. Well, the Republican candidate, here not [p.899] long ago, said he was for a minimum wage, but he didn't say whether he wanted 40 cents or 35 cents or 45 cents. I think the minimum wage that he wants is just as small a minimum as he can get. I have said to you I want at least 75 cents an hour for minimum wage. And I want to say to you that if a lot of those Congressmen had to work for 40 cents an hour and get $16 a week to raise a family, I think they would come around and vote the Democratic ticket.
If you want to see fair labor laws, in place of the shameful Taft-Hartley Act, vote for the party that put the Wagner Act on the books--and if you do that, you'll vote the Democratic ticket because the Democratic Party has always been the friend of labor. And labor leaders have awakened. They know that their only hope for the welfare of labor in this country is a Democratic administration and a Democratic Congress. Think of that, will you, on election day.
I wish I had time to tell you all the reasons why you ought to vote the Democratic ticket, but I have got to get to New York tonight and convince a lot of people in New York to vote the Democratic ticket, because we are going to carry that State and I want them to get on the bandwagon.
Now, don't make any mistake about this situation. We are going to win this election because we are right and the Republicans are wrong. They are scared to death. I have gone up and down this country and told the people just exactly what the issues are and what I stand for; and the Republican candidate for the Presidency has been going up and down the country saying nice things and trying to give the people soothing syrup so they won't go out and vote on election day. They tried to convince you 6 months ago that the election was already won. Wait until the morning of November 3d--and you are going to see more red-faced pollsters than you ever looked at in your life!
Now, I don't want you to let me down on this thing. I want you to get up early on election day. I want you to go to the polls and take that ticket and vote for yourselves, your own best interests. And when you do that you'll just vote a straight Democratic ticket, and we'll have a Democratic administration in the great State of Connecticut, we will have a Democratic Congress in Washington--and I'll stay in the White House another 4 years and won't be troubled with this housing shortage.
[9.] SOUTH NORWALK, CONNECTICUT (Rear platform, 3:07 p.m.)
Thank you very much, Brien, for that most cordial introduction in your hometown. You know, Brien McMahon has done a wonderful job in the Senate of the United States. I wish we had 96 like him. I think we are going to have a majority like him in this next Congress, after I get through talking about this good-for-nothing 80th Congress. I don't think you're going to send another one like that back there.
I can't tell you how much I appreciate this wonderful turnout in this great city. I think this ought to be called a victory crowd. I have been getting bigger and bigger crowds every day. That means only one thing--that the Democrats are going to win this election on November 2d. It means you are going to send William Gaston to the Congress. It means you are going to have Chet Bowles for your Governor. And I know Chet Bowles. I know Chet Bowles just about as well as I do Brien McMahon. I have been associated with both of them at Washington, and they are able and efficient public servants. I always wish for more like them.
Now, I learned something about this town. I learned that Colonel Tom Fitch lived not far from here and that that great old American [p.900] song, "Yankee Doodle," was written about Colonel Fitch's Revolutionary War soldiers. Some of those soldiers came from this town. And when "Yankee Doodle" was written it was supposed to be a song mocking the American soldiers, who were just ordinary farmers and working people from the towns. They didn't look as smart as the British Redcoats. But Colonel Fitch's men were fighters, and they went out and made "Yankee Doodle" a fighting song--a victory song.
The story of "Yankee Doodle" reminds me of this campaign. The Republican Party has been mocking the people ever since the Republican 80th Congress was elected, and they have been mocking and belittling your President ever since I took office in 1945. The Republican leaders have been mocking your interests by refusing to pass the kind of legislation this country needs to go forward. Colonel Tom Fitch's men and men like them won the Revolutionary War because they were on the right side. The Redcoats were on the wrong side.
The Democrats are going to win this fight because they are on the right side--the people's side. These Republican belittlers are going to lose because they are on the wrong side. They are on the side of special interests and special privilege. That's the fundamental foundation of the Republican Party. That's the reason I had to go out throughout the United States, from one end to the other, and tell the people the facts. They couldn't get the facts otherwise because 90 percent of the press is against me and 90 percent of the radio commentators are against me; and I had to come out and tell you what the facts are. And we've got them on the run now. Don't think we haven't.
The Democrats believe that you deserve good places in which to live, places which you can sell or rent at prices you can afford to pay. The Republicans are against the Federal Government's doing anything to help meet the critical housing shortage in this country. The Democrats believe that prices should be kept at a level so that every family in the country can buy all the necessities of life. The Republicans don't seem to care how high prices go. They don't seem to be worried by the fact that many families have been priced right out of the market for the necessities of life. Why, I was in Brockton, Mass., this morning, and the price of shoes has gone so high the factories can't work full time. They don't sell as many shoes as they did under price control and rationing. That's the best answer.
Do you know what the Republican solution for high prices is? That is what the Republican leader in the Senate says--my good friend, Bob Taft--he says, "If prices are too high, just wait till they come down." Senator Taft seems to think it would be all right just to do without shoes or clothes or food for the children.
The Democrats believe there should be fair labor-management laws which will protect and enlarge the rights of the working people in the country. The Republicans passed the Taft-Hartley law to strip labor of the rights which it earned under the Democratic administrations since 1933, because the Republicans wanted to "put labor in its place." They didn't want labor to have a place in the sun.
You see, the Wagner Act was the Magna Charta of labor, and the first thing the Republicans did when they went into office was to try to tear that thing up. They did it over my veto, too. They tried to do a lot of other things which I wouldn't let them do. You know, I vetoed more bills in that time than any other President in the history of the United States. And I am proud of that record. That is the reason I can go out and face you people and tell the truth, because [p.901] I have been for you all the time. The Republicans haven't.
Now, the New England Yankees made the Redcoats wish they had never gotten into a scrap back in the time of the Revolution. And I believe the New England Yankees this year are going to make the Republicans regret that they ever got in this fight too. The Democratic Party is going to win because we are on the side of the people.
Do your duty to yourself, now, and support me in this thing. Go to the polls on election day and vote for yourselves, vote in your own interests. You don't have to think about this very much--you just have to think about what is for the welfare of this country as a whole and what is for your interest. Vote against special interests. To do that, all you have to do is vote the straight Democratic ticket. Then you'll have a Democratic Governor. You will have a Democratic Congressman from this district, and you'll have a Democratic President in the White House another 4 years--and he won't be bothered by a housing shortage.
[10.] NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK (37th Street and Seventh Avenue, 4:35 p.m.)
This is a tremendous turnout, and it is a wonderful tribute. We are winning this election--don't let anybody tell you anything different ....
[11.] NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK (Rally, Amalgamated Clothing Workers, Union Square, 4:45 p.m.)
This certainly is a great pleasure for me to speak at a rally sponsored by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers, one of the most forward-looking unions in this great Nation. I am very proud to stand beside your fine leader, Jacob Potofsky. I have known him for a long time, and he is a man after my own heart. He tells you the truth, whether you like it or not--and that is what I like. He is carrying on a magnificent tradition of a leader with a great vision who was able to turn his dreams into realities--Sidney Hillman.
I wish that Sidney Hillman could be with us today to see that you still have that same fine spirit that lifted your union up to the front ranks in the labor movement in this country.
I am more than happy to be on this platform with so many good Democrats also: the Mayor of New York, the chairman of the New York Democratic Committee, and the former chairman of the New York Democratic Committee.
I remember that the Amalgamated Clothing Workers fought side by side with me 4 years ago, when Franklin Roosevelt and I defeated the forces of entrenched privilege.
You know who led those forces 4 years ago. They were led by a man who used every trick in the book in a desperate effort to pull the American people away from liberal principles. He is still trying to do it. The same man heads the Republican ticket again today and I think you will agree that he hasn't changed a bit. The leaders of the Republican Party still stand with the National Association of Manufacturers, the big bankers, the big businessmen--against the working people of this country.
You fought a good fight to beat that gang 4 years ago. Now I want to congratulate you on putting up a wonderful fight--a winning fight again this year.
We're going to lick 'em, just as sure as you stand there!
You remember the whispers that the Republicans sent through the country in 1944. The Republicans said that President Roosevelt and I had to clear everything with Sidney. It is true that we placed a great deal of confidence in Sidney Hillman, but we [p.902] didn't have to clear anything with anybody.
We cleared it with the American people.
And they believed us, and that is what we are doing this year--clearing it with the people is certainly a lot better than clearing it with the National Association of Manufacturers. What do you think about that? That is what the Republican candidate is doing in this campaign--he is clearing everything with the NAM and the lobbies that ran the 80th Congress.
The spirit of Sidney Hillman is far above that of the bosses of the Republican Party. Sidney Hillman fought for the working people, and that includes nearly all of us. I know it includes me because I work 18 hours a day and I don't get time and a half for overtime either.
The bosses of the Republican Party work for the men with millions to spend, for the men who believe they can buy your Government behind a smoke screen in hotel rooms.
And I want to tell you that I don't care how much money the Republicans have, we have got the votes--and that's what counts!
The Republican leaders and the Republican Party are interested in bigger profits for the corporations, smaller taxes for the rich, and bigger and worse Taft-Hartley laws for labor. You ought to read Mr. Hartley's book if you don't believe that. I read parts of that book out here in Akron, Ohio the other night, and it is a wonderful book because it gives us the information on what these Republicans really intend to do to labor. I wish you could all read it. I am giving him a plug but not for his benefit but for the benefit of the people and the ruination of the Republican Party, I hope.
I speak plainly and honestly to you. I speak these things because I believe I am telling the truth, and I can speak freely because we are in Union Square, and this Square is dedicated to one of our great freedoms--the freedom of speech. I have got a right to say anything I please here so long as I don't harm the character of any individual. That is one of the fundamentals of our Government, the greatest Government in the world. The atmosphere of Union Square is the exact opposite of the atmosphere around Republican headquarters. You are not getting the facts--and you are not getting the truth from the Republican Party in this campaign.
The candidate refuses to face the issues squarely and tell you exactly where he stands, because he knows the American people wouldn't stand for that. He is trying to give you soothing syrup to see if he can't get you to stay away from the polls on election day. If you do that, and get an 81st Congress like the 80th Congress, you won't have anybody to blame for it but yourselves.
But every now and then we get an inkling of what the Republicans have up their sleeves. We hear what their plans are if-that is a great big "if"--if they get elected.
Only a few days ago, that book of Mr. Hartley's went on sale. Its title is "Our New National Labor Policy and the Next Steps." Think of that--the next steps! The Taft-Hartley Act is not enough. The NAM is getting ready to fire both barrels at you this year.
This is what Senator Robert A. Taft-you have heard of him, haven't you?-says in the foreword that he wrote for Mr. Hartley's book--this is what he says: "this book of Mr. Hartley's and the great work which he did during his years in Congress will always be of the greatest assistance and furnish sound guidance."
Mr. Hartley didn't have the nerve to run for reelection, because he knew he couldn't make it.
Just exactly what kind of "guidance" Senator Taft has in mind he doesn't make very clear in this shocking book of Mr. Hartley's which outlines a frightening picture [p.903] of labor legislation yet to come. But the Republicans are cagey. They are hoping most Americans won't catch on until it is too late.
Listen to this statement in Mr. Hartley's book: "No sooner had the Taft-Hartley law been enacted"--I am quoting from Mr. Hartley's book now--"over the Truman veto, than the Republican leaders of both the House and Senate decided that no more legislation to which organized labor could object would be passed until after the presidential election of Nineteen Forty-eight."
I am here to tell you I don't think they will have a chance to pass anything else like that after the election of 1948. We are going to have a Democratic Congress and a Democratic President after that!
The Democrats have always been proud of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which was one of the major pieces of New Deal legislation. For the first time in the history of this country, there was a floor under wages. We set a minimum wage.
Listen to what Mr. Hartley has to say about that on page 1922 of his book. This is what he says now: "The Fair Labor Standards Act is typical of the New Deal legislation enacted to combat the depression. Such legislation failed to affect the depression one way or another, and it has definitely outlived the usefulness it was supposed to have had."
They want to repeal the Fair Labor Standards Act. I have been trying to get a bigger floor under the minimum wage. You know, the Republican candidate said the other day that he was for the minimum wage. He didn't say how much, but I came to the conclusion that the smaller the minimum, the better he would like it.
I asked the Republican Congress to raise minimum wages from 40 cents to 75 cents an hour. They refused to do it. Now we find that some Republicans don't even want to keep the present minimum wage. Raising the minimum wage would be a great benefit to every single one of you. As wage levels go up in the lower-skilled industries, they go up in the higher-skilled industries, too.
You know what I think? I think it would be a fine thing if we would take all those Republicans who are against the minimum wage and put them on salaries of $16 a week and see how they would get along down in Washington.
I think you know what to do to block these well-laid plans of the Republicans. You are going to have your opportunity next Tuesday.
Here in Union Square near the statue of Abraham Lincoln, we should recall the words he spoke in the Congress of the United States when he was a Representative from Illinois. This is what he said: "To secure to each laborer the whole product of his labor, or as nearly as possible, is a worthy object of any good Government."
That is the kind of government in which you and I believe. That is not the kind of government that the modern Republicans believe in.
Now I want to say this to you, that if you believe in government of, by, and for the people, if you believe in your own self-interest, the best thing for you to do on November the 2d is to go to the polls early and vote the straight Democratic ticket, and then the country will be safe for another 4 years.
[12.] NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK (City Hall, 5:20 p.m.)
It certainly is a great pleasure to be in this great metropolis of the Western World again--in fact, the great metropolis of the world, I might say. You have every right to claim that this great city is the greatest on earth. It is great because of its buildings, [p.904] its size, its wealth, and its culture. But the real reason for New York's greatness lies in the people. In your five boroughs and in your metropolitan population of 8 million, you have every creed and race living and working side by side in harmony and friendship. New York is proof that the brotherhood of man can be reality and not just a phrase.
Mayor O'Dwyer tells me that there are a lot of city employees right here in this crowd. I like to talk to Government workers. In 25 years of public life I have known many civil servants of local, State, and national governments. They are as fine and loyal a body of men and women as exist anywhere in our free society.
The Republican Party--the minority party--holds career Government workers in contempt. The Republican spokesmen in Washington are always sneering at the bureaucrats. They seem to believe that we can run a 20th century Government with about as many public servants as we needed in the days of the stagecoach--when this part of Manhattan was out in the country.
The Republicans are still living back in that age. They are trying to turn the clock back there now. Such servants like your great Mayor, and the Democratic delegations which you have in the Congress in Washington, are not going to let the Republicans turn the clock back--and if you listen to me, I won't let them turn it back. They can't turn the clock back forever.
The Republican candidate for President also feels strongly on the so-called bureaucrats. He threatens to have a great housecleaning if he should get to Washington. A great housecleaning, he says, if he should come to Washington. Now that is a tremendous "if"--that "if" is as tall as that building over there, and I don't think he is going to get there.
All he means when he says he wants to get rid of the bureaucrats is that he would like to fire all the Democrats in the Government--that's all he wants to do. We aren't going to let him do it.
The Republican candidate has a real contempt for the men and women who run our Government, city, State and local.
Here is what he said: "You know as well as I do that all civil service employees are mediocre at their best."
Well, he doesn't know what he is talking about. He is just as wrong on that like he is on every other issue before this country. He doesn't know what it is all about.
"If I had my way," he continued, "the present civil service system in force in the national, State, and local governments would not exist."
Now that is what Dewey said. He made that statement in a public speech.
Now, I have always been proud of our civil servants. The Democratic Party knows that the civil servants are also people--people with families and houses and problems like the rest of us. And all of you know only too well that the civil service in this country, like all people of fixed incomes, are being squeezed between their fixed salaries and Republican high prices.
The Democratic Party has always believed in good wages for civil servants, and especially for schoolteachers. I have been fighting for fairer wages for Government employees and I am going to continue that fight as long as I am President of the United States.
My friends, we are today in the midst of one of the greatest presidential campaigns with which this country has ever been faced. I have been privileged to visit nearly all the great cities of our country and to tell the people what the issues are. They couldn't find out otherwise because 90 percent of the [p.905] press is against us--90 percent of the radio commentators are against us; and the only way you can find out the truth is for me to come out and tell you what the truth is. I have faced between five and six million people in this great country of ours, and I have told them what the issues are--and they know! I have been immensely pleased at the receptions I have been receiving. Those receptions mean something. They mean that the people are interested in the welfare of this great Nation and that they are going to exercise their right to run this Government. And when they do that, I am not afraid of the results.
In no city, I assure you, have I received any more sincere or heartwarming reception than I have received here this afternoon.
When a man faces a reception like that, with responsibility as great as the one which it is my duty to assume, he wonders--he wonders in his heart if he can ever be worthy of that confidence.
My friends, I have worked as no other man has ever worked, to try and meet the conditions with which I have been faced. Nobody in the whole history of the world has ever faced the end of two immense great world wars--nobody has ever faced a worse condition such as we have been faced with in the last 3 years. I have done everything I know how to do, to the best of my ability, to meet that situation. I have always borne in mind that the people of the United States are the Government of the United States, and their welfare comes first in everything I do.
Now, if you believe that--and I think you do--the best way to see what this country stands for is for every one of you to get out early on election day and vote the Democratic ticket, and you will be voting for yourselves, for your own interest, for the welfare of the United States, and for the welfare of the world.
[13.] NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK (Sara Delano Roosevelt Park on the East Side, 5:45 p.m.)
Thank you, Mr. Mayor, thank you very much for that wonderful introduction. I appreciate very much being here on this occasion. George Coombs is a resident of my home county in Missouri his father is one of the great preachers in that part of the world. I am very fond of George. I feel like I had met some of the home folks when I saw George on this platform. I am delighted to be with Mr. Rogers and Mr. Moses and the other fellow Democrats with whom I have been associating this afternoon.
I am delighted to be here to visit you in this Park which was named after President Roosevelt's mother. Sara Delano Roosevelt was a very important person in Franklin Roosevelt's life. When his boyhood letters were published recently, we could see in them the fine relationship between a great mother and a great son. The more we learn about the life of President Roosevelt, the more we know what he owed to his mother.
A park like this is a splendid tribute. Sometimes I think that we are too inclined to put up monuments, even living monuments like this park, and then to feel that we have done everything we need to do in repayment of the debt that never can properly be repaid.
The greatest gift that we can give to our mothers, or in their memory, is a contribution to world peace. Sons fight wars, but it is the mothers who suffer the most.
This is not the only reason, but it is one of the reasons why I have said so many times--and I will say it again now--that I [p.906] would rather have lasting peace in the world than to be President of the United States. And I think the great American mother for whom this park is named would agree with me.
Peace is what I have been working for practically all my life. I started working for peace when I saw war at first-hand. I have never ceased to feel that peace is within the reach of mankind if we would only make the necessary effort.
The past few years have taught us many lessons. One of them is that there is no peace in weakness. There can be peace in strength. But those who make themselves strong have a duty before the whole world to use that strength to maintain peace and not to break it.
Strength--patience--support for United Nations--these things will enable the United States to keep the peace.
Peace at this time is the first step toward a just and lasting peace for all times.
There is one thing we have learned that is necessary above all. If you believe in peace, you must never give up trying to get it. I have never given up, and I never shall give up in the effort to get world peace.
[14.] NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK (Democratic Club Reception, 37th St. and Madison Avenue, 6:15 p.m.)
Mr. Mayor, and members of this wonderful Democratic dub:
I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the reception which has been given me here in the Club, and all over this great city of New York. It shows that the people are interested in this campaign. It has a special meaning for me since your enthusiasm here tonight is a reflection of the kind of fight and spirit that the workers of the Democratic Party are going to show throughout the country on election day.
Let me tell you one thing right now: We are rolling up another Democratic victory.
Next Tuesday, the Democratic Party is going to roll up a vote, the like of which this country has never seen. When the votes are counted Tuesday night, we are going to be the winners in this campaign--60 million American voters are going to blow the Republican hooey right off the map. Don't let anyone fool you. Don't let anyone tell you differently from that.
We are going to win because everyone is against us--except the people. And, my friends, the people have the votes. The special interests are against us, the exploiters of labor, the monopolists, the lobbies, and most of the newspapers--nearly 90 percent of the newspapers are against us. Those are the ones that are against us. I repeat, the only ones that are for us are the people.
Our job as working members of the Democratic Party is to get the voters to the polling place on election day.
I have been working at that job just as hard as I can. I know you have, too, and I thank you for your efforts.
I have had some people say to me on my trips around the country that we can't win. They look at the public opinion polls. Well, let me tell you that the opinion polls don't vote on election day. It's the people that do the voting.
Right here in New York City, in 1944, the polls were saying that Franklin D. Roosevelt and I couldn't win. You remember the Literary Digest back in 1936, and you remember in 1940, they said that the barefoot boy from Wall Street was going to win the election in New York. But he didn't! We carried New York by over 300,000 votes in 1944, and we can do it again this year.
There is a lot of talk in this country today about its being time for a change. It is time for a change. I admit it. It is time for a change from the kind of backward-looking [p.907] Government that the Republican 80th Congress has given us. It is time for a change in the Congress. You don't need a change in your Chief Executive, he is already looking 'after the interests of the people.
I am just as sure as I stand here that we are going to win on November the 2d.
Now, I wish it were possible for me to shake hands with everybody here, but it just isn't possible. My hand has to sign my name between five and six hundred times in a day in transacting regular Government business, and that doesn't include autographs that people ask me for, or the 150,000 people I have shaken hands with, going around the country.
Now I have made the greatest campaign in the history of the country in the interests of all the people. As I said in Boston last night, I am carrying on the fight of Al Smith, I am carrying on the fight of Franklin Roosevelt--and now, this is my fight, and I want you to get out there and help me to win it.
[15.] NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK (Dinner, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, 9:42 p.m.)
It's a great privilege to appear tonight and add my tribute to one of the truly great men of American history, Robert F. Wagner. I served in the Senate 10 years and I knew him, and I still know him--and I think he's one of the great men of the age. Bob Wagner has made untold contributions to this great country of ours. I know about his work because some of the best days of my life were spent in the United States Senate, helping Senator Wagner write his great laws to bring security and freedom to our Nation and our people. Along with Franklin Roosevelt he stands for the very heart and soul of the New Deal--and I'm proud to be an exponent of the New Deal!
These men and their great achievements brought new life and new hope to the American people, especially to the poor and the underprivileged. They were great humanitarians.
And when I think of the New Deal and all that it meant, I can't help but think of another dinner that was held in the Waldorf about a year ago. That dinner was held to honor the 50 foremost business leaders. The publicity about that dinner was very careful to point out that the combined income of those 50 foremost business leaders was $7,500,000 a year--$7,500,000 a year! That's an average of $150,000 a year for each one of them.
Now, at every dinner like that they must have a speaker. They looked around for a speaker who would be able to talk the language of those who make $150,000 a year. They didn't ask me.
But they didn't have a great deal of trouble finding a man who would. He was practically within whistling distance--it's about 150 miles from here to Albany. So they whistled, and the speaker hurried right down here. He was anxious to make a name for himself--because he wants to be President.
Right here in the Waldorf-Astoria he rose up before the assembled millions--dollars, not people--and began his speech. This is how he started: "Fellow victims of the New Deal." Believe it or not, this man thought it was funny to call the $150,000-a-year men "Fellow victims of the New Deal."
I really don't think those men had much to complain about. I think they fared very well under the New Deal. And though you'll never get them to admit it, these men owe as much to Bob Wagner as the working people do. When the New Deal drove away depression and despair it benefited all the citizens of this great Nation of ours--[p.908] rich as well as poor. And for Bob Wagner's part in that all of us ought to be eternally grateful to him.
He wrote the National Labor Relations Act, the great charter of labor. No greater law ever went on the statute books of any nation than that. Under the Wagner Act labor finally achieved its right to organize unions of its own choosing and to bargain collectively. Union membership in our country grew from 2 1/2 million in 1932, until today that membership is approaching 17 million union members.
Bob Wagner thought of the whole Nation. He was one of the chief architects of the Social Security Act. No man ever contributed more to the social well-being and security of any people. We're working now to see that the Social Security Act is extended-extended to all our wage earners, to the farmer, the domestic worker, the self-employed, and to all those who need its protection. The Republicans, though, don't like that. They had, in their platform of 1944, that they were for the extension of social security--but the 80th Congress took a million out from under it. That's how they carried out their promise.
Bob Wagner wrote laws for railroad men, too. He wrote laws to help us build houses. His hand can be seen in every decent piece of legislation that has come out of Washington since 1927. We are here tonight to honor Senator Wagner. But no one man, no group of persons, can rightly honor him tonight. It's history that will honor him as he really deserves. History will tell of the security and the happiness and the strength this man brought to the people. The people of our country, the free people of all the world, face the future with confidence, knowing that Bob Wagner is with them in their struggle to achieve a peaceful and decent world in which to live. And I want to say to you people here--my friends-that I considered it a great honor to serve in the Senate with Bob Wagner and to go along with him on those great forward-looking pieces of legislation, with the help and advice of the great leader at that time-whom I had to follow--Franklin Roosevelt. Thank you very much.
Note: In the course of his remarks on October 28 the President referred to Mayor Charles A. Ross of Quincy, Democratic candidate for Representative David Concannon, Democratic candidate for Governor Paul A. Dever, and Mayor William P. Grant of Fall River, all of Massachusetts; Governor John O. Pastore, Senators Theodore F. Green and J. Howard McGrath, and Representatives Aime J. Forand and John E. Fogarty, all of Rhode Island; Democratic candidates for Representative Mrs. Chase Going Woodhouse, John A. McGuire, Fred Trotta, and William Gaston, Democratic candidate for Governor Chester Bowles, former Governor Wilbur Cross, Father Stephen Panic, and Senator McMahon, all of Connecticut; Mayor O'Dwyer of New York City, chairman of the York Democratic Committee Paul E. Fitzpatrick former chairman of the New York Democratic Committee James A. Farley, Manhattan Borough President Hugo E. Rogers, Tammany Hall Secretary Sidney Moses, former Governor Alfred E. and Senator Robert F. Wagner, all of New York Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio; Governor Warren of California; Representative Fred A. Hartley of New Jersey; George Coombs of Missouri; and Jacob Potofsky and Sidney Hillman, president and former president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America.
Harry S Truman, Rear Platform and Other Informal Remarks in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233936