Harry S. Truman photo

Rear Platform and Other Informal Remarks in Ohio

October 11, 1948

[1.] CINCINNATI, OHIO (Breakfast in the Netherlands-Plaza Hotel, 8:35 a.m.)

I appreciate that most highly, Mr. Mayor. I appreciate that reception more than I can tell you, and I would, of course, like to have it continued, but you know this radio time is paid for--we want the full benefit from our investment.

I cannot come anywhere near expressing my appreciation for the cordiality of the welcome I have received in Cincinnati this morning. I have had that sort of welcome all over the United States. I was most agreeably surprised, last Friday, when we landed in Albany, N.Y., and it was raining just as it is here this morning. It rained from one end of New York to the other all the way to Buffalo, yet people turned out in immense numbers and stood in the rain. That makes me believe that people are really interested in this campaign with which we are faced. I think people are interested in knowing what the facts are.

In staid, old Philadelphia, that town turned out to see us and there were 800,000 people on the streets. There were 16,000 came to the Convention Hall where I was nominated for President, to hear the issues, and there were radio stations and television setups. So you know people must be interested in the issues when they will do that.

You have a great city here on the banks of this Ohio River, and one of the reasons why I think so is that you now have a Democratic Mayor. He tells me he is the first Democrat that has been Mayor of Cincinnati for 35 years. That is certainly something to be proud of, and I think it shows what the people are thinking and the way the trends are going. I think the whole country knows how you organized the city charter movement here in Cincinnati in the early 1920's, when local Republican leaders had just about wrecked the city. A short time after that, I think it was in 1930, I paid a visit to Hamilton County, Ohio, because you had an assessment system here that seemed to me to be a just one. I tried to get that system implemented in Jackson County, Mo., when I was head of the government there in Jackson, but I didn't have any luck; but I still think you have a great assessment system. I didn't know whether it is still in effect or not, but it seemed to be the most just one in the country.

Now, some Republican leaders in the 80th Congress, which I call the notorious, "donothing" Republican Congress, almost wrecked our chances for keeping prosperity. They did wreck the hopes of the American people for fair labor laws, good housing legislation, and all the other progressive measures which we need so badly now.

We are in the middle of an election campaign right now. The Republican candidate for President has made a good many headlines with clever talk about unity. He claims that if he is elected there will be unity. I don't know what he means by that. I am going to try to analyze it the best I can. Of course, we don't know what he means by unity because he won't tell the country where he stands on any of the issues in which the American people are so deeply interested.

Since he won't tell us, we will have to look at the record of the men who run the party-the men who would be in power if the Republicans are elected.

I think you here in Cincinnati are in a good position to know just what Republican unity would mean. I think, in fact, you know better than people anywhere else in the country.

Now, let's take a look at that record. It shows just what the preachers of unity believe in.

Republicans led the fight to destroy price control in 1946. They have led the fight ever since to prevent the restoration of controls which are so badly needed by the American people to prevent runaway inflation. They took the lead in putting handcuffs on labor. The Taft-Hartley Act in 1947 was a deliberate effort to weaken labor unions for the benefit of employers.

In that Taft-Hartley bill, Senator Taft said about that bill, and I quote him: "This bill is not a milk-toast bill. It covers about three-fourths of the things pressed on us very strenuously by the employers." I don't think labor was very carefully listened to when that bill was passed. I wish everyone of you could read the veto message which I sent to Congress on that bill.

Under Republican leadership, Senators consistently refused to provide Federal funds to help States meet the crisis in education. You know, we have an educational crisis right in this country. There are thousands and thousands of young men and young women who are thirsting for an education, and there are thousands and thousands of children in the grade schools who are not getting the proper education because one teacher cannot do very well when she has 50 or 60 or 70 pupils, as some of them have to do.

We urged a Federal program under the direction of the States which would help meet that situation. The Republicans killed that bill in the House. They are not interested in that phase of the educational situation.

The Republicans supported a measure that took social security away from at least a million people in this country, yet their platform of 1944 made it very plain that they were for an increased base for social security. But their acts in the 80th Congress did not prove that they meant what they said in that platform.

You remember, I called a special session, on the basis of the Republican platform at Philadelphia, which said they were for a lot of things, which they had turned down in the regular session of Congress, and they could turn them down even in the special session.

They have consistently opposed a sound national health program. This is only a part of the recent record of the Republican Party, but it is enough to show us what Republican unity would mean in terms of backward-looking laws, and narrow-minded class legislation.

There are, of course, some rank and file members of the Republican Party who hold liberal views. I am sure that they would like to take some of the Republican campaign oratory at its face value. But the frank statements of my friend Bob Taft ought to dispel any hope they may have that the Republican Party may follow a liberal course if its candidates are elected.

Now, I served in the Senate with Bob, and I like him personally. There is one thing I do like about him: You know where he stands; that is more than you can say of some of the Republican candidates. Bob is frankly--he is frankly conservative. He believes in the welfare of the top ahead of the welfare of the bottom. But he is frank about it, and I can understand that. While he and I are personally on the friendliest of terms, we are as far apart as the poles on what we think is best for the welfare of the people of this country.

When the Republican candidate for Vice President made a campaign speech that contained a few liberal phrases, Bob had this to say, and I quote him, "You know that is contrary to everything I stand for." He was talking about Governor Warren when he said that. Well, there you have it. The Republicans don't even have unity in their campaign oratory. The only kind of unity they would have in office would be the kind we don't want: that oppressive unity forced on us by the big bosses of the Republican Party.

Don't let anybody fool you, if they send a Republican Congress back there it won't be a bit different from the 80th Congress, it will be run by exactly the same men, it will put through exactly the same program--and I don't care what the man in the White House will do about it, he will be just as helpless to do anything about it as I have been in the last 2 years. All I could do was exercise my veto power, but vetoing pays, to a very great extent, against that kind of thing.

All of you probably know that I made a good many critical remarks about this 80th Congress. I think that is putting it rather mildly, but I admit that in one way we are very lucky to have had the 80th Congress. It taught us a lesson. It taught us a lesson before it was too late. The 80th Congress taught us what to expect from the Republican Party. We found out what Republican campaign promises really mean. We find out that they do not mean a thing. They are not worth the paper they are written on.

If you will examine the Republican Party's platform of 1944, and then see the hypocritical document they wrote in Philadelphia this year, you can understand what I mean when I say Republican campaign promises are not worth the paper they are written on.

Now, I stand on the record. You know where I stand. I have taken a stand on every one of the issues that are before the country today. You know what I stand for.

But, just try to find out where the other fellow stands ! We would be hopelessly committed to an old-fashioned Republican boom-and-bust cycle if we turn the whole Government over to the Republicans.

This is not the kind of unity I want to see. The kind of unity we need is unity for lower prices, unity for good housing at prices our people can afford, unity for better labor management laws, unity for strengthened and extended social security, unity for a national health program--unity, in other words, for a prosperous and progressive United States.

I don't know whether you have analyzed the situation or not, but there are more than 61 million people at work in this country today; and everybody is prosperous, to some extent--that is, there is a distribution of the national income which was $217 billion last year and it will be greater this year--there has been an evenly fair distribution of that income. The farmer has his fair share, labor has received good wages--three times what it was back in 1932. At that time there were less than 31 million people at work, and there were 12 or 15 million people walking the streets who couldn't find jobs.

Now, I think it is much better to have a government whose interest is the whole people than to have a government whose interest is only for the people at the top of the heap. That is why I am convinced that the 81st Congress will be a Democratic Congress. I am convinced that you are going to elect Edward J. Breen from the First District, and Edward J. Gardner from the Second District. I am convinced that you are going to elect one of the most progressive Governors Ohio ever had--Frank Lausche.

I am going up and down this country, and I think I am on a crusade for the welfare of the people; and I think the people are beginning to find out that their interests are the interests that I am fighting for.

I think that these fellows are going to have the greatest surprise they ever had in their lives on the 3d day of November when the vote is in.

Now, I usually take my greatest assets around the country with me. How would you like to meet my family ? I will present Mrs. Truman first--she runs me and the White House. Now I have the privilege of presenting my baby, my daughter Margaret.

Thank you all very much.

[2.] HAMILTON, OHIO (Rear platform, 10:17 a.m.)

Thank you, thank you very much.

I have just been over in Cincinnati. I understand that you call Cincinnati a suburb of Hamilton; is that correct? I live in Independence, Mo., and we call Kansas City a suburb of Independence, and I suppose you do that same thing here of Cincinnati.

The Cincinnati people turned out at 7 o'clock this morning, to greet the President. I had a fine reception there, and I certainly appreciate this wonderful reception here. It shows that you are interested in the issues before the country and that you want to find out just exactly what they are.

I want to congratulate the people of Hamilton on their fine wartime record. You made a wonderful production record. I believe that fewer man-hours were lost here due to work stoppages than in any other similar area in the country; and I visited Hamilton during the wartime to investigate that very situation and to find out how you did it. I was at that time chairman of the committee in the Senate that was investigating the war effort.

I want to talk to you about the crusade I am making around this country to get people to realize what this election means to them--and it is a crusade. I have to come out and face the people personally and individually and tell them just what the issues are, or they won't find out--and that's what I am doing. My Republican opponents talk about sweet nothings. They don't discuss the issues, and if I didn't come out and face you people and tell you what those issues are, and bring them to your minds, you would never know anything about them. It means a lot to me but it means more to you.

I am going to repeat that: this election means a great deal to me but it means much more to you.

I am speaking to you plainly and honestly. I think you know that my opponents in this campaign are not speaking plainly or honestly. They haven't got it in them. They are afraid to face these issues because they know there can be but one result. The candidates who do not speak honestly and clearly are trying to make you believe that there aren't any real issues in this campaign. My friends, nothing could be further from the truth. There are great problems facing this country today, and this is no time for soothing syrup. This is no time for candidates who are afraid to tell the people where they stand.

In my crusade I have found that most of us have three big things in our minds: peace, prices, and places to live.

Now, those things are all tied together. To keep the peace in the world, the United States must remain prosperous and strong. To be prosperous and strong, we must keep our country from going through another boom and bust. To be prosperous and strong and to win the peace, we must have decent places for our people to live.

I am proud of the record of my administration on peace, the record on prices, the record on trying to get places for people to live at costs they can afford to pay. My administration has fought communism at home and abroad so vigorously that the Russian radio hurls slanders at me everyday in the week. We have been building up the United Nations, helping small countries like Greece and Turkey keep their independence, and helping wartime European nations get back on their feet and become self-supporting again. That's why and that's the way I have been working for peace.

I would much rather have peace in this country than to be President of the United States. I would much rather have peace in the world than to be President of the United States--and I have said that time and again all over the country, and I mean every word of it.

I have been working just as hard to bring down the cost of living. I have fought for a strong price control law. In 1946 and in 1947, and in 1948 1 called the 80th Republican Congress back into special session twice, in an effort to get these backward-looking men to pass a price control bill. They wouldn't do it. So prices keep going up and up and up. I have done all our present laws permit, but that's not nearly enough to stop inflation. We need the kind of laws that the 80th Congress refused to pass, or we are headed straight for another bust.

As soon as the war ended, we began converting war construction into temporary homes for veterans and others, but that was not enough. I have urged the Congress over and over again to pass a comprehensive housing law that would clear slums, build rural housing, and provide low-rent public housing. The Republican Party isn't interested-and its leaders killed the housing bill the last days of the special session. They did that with malice aforethought, and they did it for the real estate lobby.

You know, that Congress has had more lobbies and more powerful lobbies than any other Congress in the history of the country-and that 80th Congress has stepped every time they stuck out a finger at them.

I match the record of my administration with the Republican record. I leave the decision to you. All I ask is for you to go to the polls in November. I want to see you elect a Democratic Congressman from this district, Congressman Breen. He is a good man.

You know, I am happy to be in the district that was represented at one time by Governor Cox before he ran for President of the United States, and I am going to visit Governor Cox this morning in Dayton and have a fine time with him. He is still the same good Democrat he always was.

My friends, it is up to you now to decide whether you want to vote for yourselves, vote for your own interests, or whether you want to vote for special interests who have nothing in common with your problem. If you really mean what you say, go to the polls on election day and vote for yourselves. Vote a straight Democratic ticket--and if you do that, you'll have Frank Lausche for Governor of the great State of Ohio, and I'll be President of the United States for another 4 years and won't have to worry about the housing problem myself.

[3.] DAYTON, OHIO (At Memorial Hall, 11:50 a.m.)

Mr. Chairman--and your next Congressman, Ed Breen, who is the chairman:

I am simply overcome by the remarks of Governor Cox. I have always been a great admirer of his, and was an ardent supporter of his in 1920. I do appreciate most highly the unequivocal statement that he believes in what I am trying to do. I know I am right.

I came into Ohio this morning and was most cordially welcomed in Cincinnati and in Hamilton, but Dayton capped the climax.

I was met at the station in Cincinnati by your next Governor, Frank Lausche. I have known him a long time--I knew him when he was Governor of Ohio before. Ohio never had a better Governor--except Governor Cox--than this one right here.

I am acquainted with this great city of yours. Years and years ago, long before we had paved roads in the United States, Dayton was a center of road boosters. Since I was a road booster, and still am, I used to come to Dayton and discuss with the people here in this city the necessity for a transcontinental paved highway from Baltimore to Los Angeles. We have this highway now, and we are going to get a lot of other things too.

It was my duty, as chairman of the committee in the Senate to investigate the national defense program, to come to Dayton and visit your great airfield here on many an occasion. I have been here during that war effort in an endeavor to make a contribution toward the winning of the war. President Roosevelt said I made such a contribution.

The history of the United States would have been very different--and very much better--if the American people in 1920 had elected James M. Cox and Franklin D. Roosevelt to the Presidency and Vice Presidency of this country. We would not have had those horrible scandals of the 1920's and that boom and bust program that followed the election of a Republican candidate.

I know you do not want to stand still with the Republican Party in this election. I believe you are going to live up to your forward-looking traditions and step ahead with the Democrats.

In my crusade across the country to make the people realize what this election means to them, I have found that most of us have three big things on our minds: peace, prices, and places to live.

Since I have been President of the United States, I have been working for 3 1/2 years to bring about a lasting peace. We have built up the United Nations. We have helped small nations stay free from communism, and we are now getting Western Europe back on its feet. This administration has been building a sound and prosperous United States. This administration's postwar economic policies have been so successful that 61 million people now have jobs, and the national income is $217 billion, the highest ever in the history of the world--and equitably distributed as the Governor stated to you.

Now, the one thing absolutely essential is peace in the world. You know, back in 1920 we shirked our duty. We turned our backs on what God Almighty intended us to do. We tried to live by ourselves, and for ourselves, in a perfectly selfish manner when the world needed us. We paid the penalty. We had to come along and meet that situation once more, which we thought we had met in 1920.

Now, this great Republic--the greatest in history, the greatest that the sun has ever shone upon--is charged with leadership in the world for the welfare of the whole world as well as our own welfare. We can't do that unless our own welfare is at top notch in this country. And that is what I am fighting for, ladies and gentlemen!

We must ourselves be prosperous and lead the way if we expect the world to follow.

But, at the same time, we have some very serious problems which threaten our long-run prosperity. I have been concerned about them for a long time.

One of these problems is runaway prices-high prices. Another is housing.

Runaway high prices can wreck our prosperity. If inflation is allowed to continue, we shall certainly have another boom and bust, another crash--another 1929• I have done everything possible under existing law to slow down inflation, but our present laws don't begin to do the job.

I called that Republican "do-nothing" 80th Congress back into special session twice, and urged them time and again to pass price control laws that would give a break to the little people in the country. But the
publicans are only interested in those few at the top that don't need help--they would like to help them all the time. But the everyday fellow can get it as best he can from any Republican organization, what he can get and when he can get it; and that isn't very much under a Republican administration.

The Republican Congress flatly refused to take any step that would cut into the fantastically high profits that corporations are now making. They refused to give us the protection we need against another crash. As a result, prices keep on going up and up and up.

You know, the Republicans said if we got rid of price control that prices would adjust themselves. Well, they have--they have gone clear off the chart.

So far as our national housing problem is concerned, it is hardly necessary for me to tell the people of Dayton how badly we need a comprehensive housing law, to provide for slum clearance, rural housing, low-rent public housing, and the like.

The real estate lobbies have tried to convince the people that they can do the job of meeting our housing needs without the help of the Federal Government. The plain facts--here in Dayton, and in every other big city in the country--show how wrong they are.

The truth is that Dayton has been growing so fast that the builders cannot keep up with the city's expansion. That is true of every other great city in this country. Your population has nearly doubled in the last 10 years. You need a Federal housing program in the city to aid your builders to clear away your slums, and produce houses for working people at prices they can pay. That is the key note--at prices they can pay!

They are selling shoddily-built houses to veterans all over this country that aren't worth a third of what the veterans have to pay for these houses.

Now, here is a statement the head of your own Municipal Housing Bureau made 1 year ago. He said--this is a quote--"In spite of new construction, Dayton's housing shortage is the worst it has ever been. A sharp rise in evictions and the condemning of insanitary dwelling units by city health inspectors have combined to increase the pressure of the housing pinch."

That situation hasn't improved one bit anywhere in the United States. That statement was made in October of 1947. Now, 1 year later, your city Plan Board Director said that there are between 12,000 and 15,000 substandard dwelling units in Dayton alone. Now if that is the case here, what is it in New York and Philadelphia and Baltimore and Cincinnati and St. Louis and Kansas city and San Francisco and Los Angeles? It is just a duplicate of that, and proportionate to the size of the population.

Yet, the real estate lobby prevented the 80th Congress from doing anything about that situation, for their own selfish interests and nothing else.

I have been trying for over 3 years to get the Congress to pass the kind of housing law that we need. But the Republican leaders in Congress are now more interested in what the real estate lobby says than what the people of this country need. That is just as true as it can be, and that is true of a lot of other things. I hope you will listen to my broadcast tonight in Akron, I am going to take the hide off 'em from top to bottom. I hate to have to do that, but they have it coming. Just listen to the speech. When I get through that speech, they won't have any hide left.

When I called the 80th Congress back into special session last July and placed the facts before them, the Republican leaders still refused to pass a real housing bill. All the people got was a "phony" that won't result in one single additional low-cost house anywhere in the United States. That is typical of that Republican 80th Congress. That is typical of the Republican Party, which is represented by the leaders of this 80th Congress. They can't get away from that no matter how many "sweet nothings" they put out about unity and all that kind of speech, which means nothing--absolutely nothing.

I am sorry to say that is typical of the Republican candidate for President in this election. The Republican 80th Congress failed miserably in meeting its responsibilities to the American people in dealing with high prices and housing. Those weren't the only things they neglected to do. I have a long list that would keep me here from now until midnight. I wish I could explain every one of them.

Yet, the Republican Party candidate said, and I quote him--now listen to this: "I am proud of the record of my party and of the 80th Congress." I just wonder what he has got to be proud of.

And he said this, too--and I quote him again: "The 80th Congress delivered as no other Congress ever did for the future of our country."

I'll say they did l They delivered you into the hands of special interests, lock, stock, and barrel.

I say you ought to be able to decide how you are going to vote on the basis of these two statements alone.

The Republican candidate is standing squarely on the record of the Congress that refused to do anything about high prices. The Republican candidate praised a Congress that refused to do anything that would help you meet your housing problems.

Just what do you suppose the Republican candidate had in mind when he said the 80th Congress "delivered" for the future of the country? Well, it "delivered" the Taft-Hartley Act, a body blow at labor. That is one of the main "deliveries"--don't forget that. It "delivered" a body blow at more than three-quarters of a million workers by taking away their social security rights that the Republican Party said they wanted to spread the base on social security rights. That Republican Party platform is not worth the paper it is written on.

It "delivered" for the rich by passing a rich man's tax bill. The man who is getting $100,000 a year income would save $16,000 a year by that rich man's tax bill. The man who is getting $60 a week would save $1.50 a week on that tax bill. Of course, prices have now taken care of that $1.50 a week, so he is way behind.

The Republican Congress "delivered" for the railroad lobby, the oil lobby, the grain speculators, and for the private power lobby--and I can give you a longer list than that. I wish I had time to tell you about all the laws that Republican 80th Congress "delivered" for the benefit of special interests, and all these they had to make law by passing over nay veto. I vetoed more bills than any President except Grover Cleveland, and I did it in the public interest. If I hadn't been there to protect you, you would be in a very great fix by this time.

I wonder if that is the kind of Congress you want for the 81st? You had better send such fellows as these to the new Congress.

I am equally sure you don't want as President a man who won't tell you where he stands on any major issues that you are interested in. If you want to find out what he believes, you will have to look at the record of the 80th Congress. That is a Congress he said he was proud of.

I think the people of Dayton want a progressive, prosperous, advancing America. I think the people of Dayton want an administration that is working for the people and not against the people.

If that is what you want, then the only thing for you to do is to go to the polls on November the 2d and just vote the Democratic ticket straight, and the country will be in safe hands.

[4.] SIDNEY, OHIO (Rear platform, 1:10 p.m.)

Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Thank you very much.

I can't tell you how very much I appreciate this wonderful turnout in this great city in the center of Ohio. It is one of the finest greetings I have had during my crusade across the country to tell the people what the issues are in this campaign. And I think you want to know what the issues are. You wouldn't turn out like this if you didn't want to see the President and if you didn't want to find out what the President stands for, and the why and wherefore of this tremendous crusade I am making across the country to let you know what the issues are.

I would like to congratulate the people of this fine city on the record they made during the war. I heard a lot about Sidney when I was chairman of the special Senate committee to investigate the national defense program. I remember a Saturday Evening Post article way back in 1943 about Sidney's outstanding record in the production of war materials. I remember that the War Manpower Administrator, Paul McNutt, talked about Sidney on a nationwide broadcast, and he told me about what you had done here.

The whole country needs that kind of ingenuity and elbow-grease--and Sidney seems to have it. We need it if we are going to keep the prosperity we now have.

The Democratic administrations of the last 16 years have brought this country from the bottom of a depression to the greatest prosperity in the history of the world. The reconversion policies of the administration have resulted in more than 61 million people being at work right now. They said that was impossible. And if you remember, this same bunch of Republicans said it was impossible for us to turnout 60,000 airplanes when we needed them--but we did it. And
3 years ago a lot of people laughed when I said 60 million jobs was the goal. They said it couldn't possibly be done.

It's not going to be easy to keep this prosperity because the Republican 80th Congress refused to take any steps to meet the conditions with which we are faced today. They tried to turn the clock back. They are trying to go back to the 1920's. And I'm very, very sure that you don't want to go back to the 1920's. You want to go forward to the 1950's.

Prices can be checked. I know, because we kept prices in line during the war when inflationary pressures were even greater than they are now. But the Republican leaders are more interested in big profits for big business right now than they are in helping you meet the rising cost of living. Time and again I asked the Republican Congress to pass laws to take care of that situation. They refused to take any action. Their only excuse to you people has been a lot of false propaganda.

They won't discuss the issues in this campaign. they are afraid to discuss the issues in this campaign because they are on the wrong side of those issues. They tell the farmer that prices are going up because people in the cities are getting too much money in wages; and they tell the people in the cities that prices are going up because the farmers are getting too much for their crops. Both of these statements are false, and you know it. The prosperity of farmers and workers goes hand-in-hand. One is prosperous only when the other is prosperous. And that has been the policy of this administration--to make a fair distribution of the income of the country so that the farmers get their share, the workers get their share, and the small businessman gets his share. That's not what the Republicans want.

I'm going into some detail tonight in Adron on just what the conditions are with which we are faced and why these Republicans are afraid to discuss the issues. I hope you will listen in on that conversation because it will be very edifying for you if you are interested in you own welfare.

The programs we need for prosperity are the programs set out by the Democrats. The republican Party looks backward. They never look forward. They never have any remedies for conditions with which we are faced. Whenever we are in a serious condition where there is a crisis you will find that we have been taken out by the leadership of the Democrats. Remember that, now.

Don't send us another 80th Congress to tear the situation down. Elect Earl Ludwig from this district to be your Congressman. Elect Frank Lausche for Governor. You can't possibly go wrong.

You know, the best way to vote for yourself and your own interest is to get up early in the morning on November 2d and go to the polls. Vote that Democratic ticket straight and you'll be voting for yourself and your own interests, and I'll stay in the White House for another 4 years and won't have a housing problem myself.

I want to thank your Mayor most sincerely for his cordiality and courtesy to me this morning. I appreciate it most highly.

I want to thank you again for turning out this way. The people want to know the facts. In order to get those facts they've got to come out and hear what I have to say because they can't find out about it any other way. These people won't talk about these issues. They are not interested in your welfare. They are interested in obtaining power for the special interests of the country. Don't let them do it.

[5.] LIMA, OHIO (Rear platform, 2:05 p.m.)

Thank you--thank you very much. I can't tell you how very much I appreciate this most cordial reception from your great city of Lima. It has been just like this all the way across Ohio. I think you are interested in the welfare of your country, or you wouldn't turn out like this to see the President and hear what he has to say.

I understand that you have got a great locomotive factory here, known all over the world. Well now, on this campaign, I have worn out about three locomotives and we'll use about three more before we get through, so that will make it good for business here in Lima.

I am told by your former Governor, Frank Lausche, that this is the center of one of the great agricultural communities of Ohio. Then you are vitally interested in the welfare of your country--you are vitally interested in your own welfare.

You see, back in 1932 the net income of farmers was about $2½ billion; gross it was
$4½ billion. In 1947, the gross income of the farmer was $31 billion; his net income was $18 billion.

Now, I wonder if the farmers have studied this situation carefully and understand just why that came about? You see, there was not a fair distribution of income in 1932. There were special privilege classes that claimed the income of the country, and then they hoped that a distribution would be made from the top down.

After the great crash of 1929, a different policy was inaugurated when we elected Franklin Roosevelt to be President of the United States in 1932. He took office in 1933, and immediately policies were established for a fair distribution of the national income, so that the farmer would get his fair share, the man who works with his hands would get his fair share, and the small businessman and white-collar worker would get his fair share. That is true of this $217 billion income we had last year--there was a fair distribution. Everybody had his fair share of that income.

Now, we inaugurated a policy--a labor policy, a farm policy, and a policy for the welfare of the United States as a whole--a forward-looking policy which goes along when the clock goes forward.

Now, these Republicans would like to turn the clock back. They had control of the Congress in 1946, because two-thirds of the people in the United States stayed at home and did not vote in 1946. They did not vote. One-third of the population in this country that was entitled to vote elected the 80th Congress.

Well, look what you got out of this 80th Congress. They immediately began to turn the clock back. They began to take privileges away from the farmers, they began to take privileges away from labor, and they began to legislate for special privilege all down the line.

I am going to discuss that in detail tonight in Akron. I hope you will listen to what I have to say. I am going to take the hide off 'em from head to toe. I am going to tell you just exactly what your interests are, and then if you stay at home and don't vote on November 2d, you won't have anybody to blame for the situation but yourself.

That farm policy inaugurated by the Democrats was one which gave the farmer parity. If you understand what parity means, it means that it is so arranged that a farmer would receive for what he sells a price that is in line with what he has to pay for what he buys. He is no longer exploited as a man outside the circle in this great Republic.

In 1932, 123,000 farmers were foreclosed in this country. Last year, less than 800 farms were foreclosed. As I said before, the farmers income was nearly 4 times as great in 1947 as it was in 1932. The general situation is entirely different now from what it was in 1932. That is the only comparison you can make--Republican administration against Democratic administration.

You were afraid to go into a bank in 1932 because you were afraid it would blow up in your face. Now, for 3 years, in this great country of ours, there hasn't been a bank failure, due to the Federal deposit law which guarantees the deposits of those depositors who have $5,000 or less in any bank. That means that small depositors are protected, and the big depositor can take care of himself, because the bank does not fail under the conditions under which we work now.

Don't forget all those things I am telling you on election day. Get out early on November 2d and protect yourself. Vote for yourself and if you do that, you will vote in your own interest. You can't help but vote the Democratic ticket straight.

Elect Earl Ludwig to Congress, and Frank Lausche to be Governor of Ohio. I won't have to worry about the housing shortage, for I can still live in the White House for another 4 years.

Again I want to thank you for this wonderful turnout. It shows you are interested in the welfare of your country. Just keep up that interest, do your duty on November and I won't have anything to worry about, and neither will the country.

[6.] OTTAWA, OHIO (Rear platform, 2:40

Thank you very much. I certainly appreciate this reception and this lovely--I judge this is the high school band. Well, it looks all right, beautiful uniforms and everything.

I have had receptions like this all the way across the great State of Ohio, beginning this morning in Cincinnati.

There is some excellent farming country around your town, so I am told by your next Governor. I grew up on a farm and I always like to see good farming country.

Judging from the crowd here today, the whole region around this city of Ottawa is sharing in the country's prosperity. I have covered most of the United States in my crusade to wake the people up in time for the November elections, and I have found prosperity everywhere I have gone. We can keep that prosperity, and if we keep the Democratic policies that have brought this country the prosperity, the country then can go along just as it has been going along for the last 16 years--in the interests of the people. We will lose it if we let the Republicans tear down those policies.

There is a great difference between the Democratic and the Republican Parties. One of the most important differences is in farm policies. Under the Republicans, the farmers don't count. The farmers are left to shift for themselves. The Republicans are interested in looking after the interests of the big manufacturers of the East. They are not very much interested in the welfare of the farmer. The Democratic leaders know that the farmers of this country are the foundation on which the welfare of the country is built, and that they must have fair prices for their products. That is the reason for the farm price support program which was carried forward by this administration.

Let me give you some facts and figures to show you the difference between the condition of the Ohio farmers under the Republicans and the prosperity in the Democratic years. In the Republican year of 1932, Ohio farmers got $180 million for their 'products, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Now, last year the farmers in Ohio received $1,052 million for their products in the State of Ohio. And this year the Ohio farmer's income will be well above a billion dollars.

Those figures prove that the Democratic farm policies bring benefits to farmers all over the country--and especially to Ohio farmers--benefits that mean better clothing for Ohio families, more money in the bank-and you know, that bank is safe because we haven't had a bank failure in 3 years under the policies pursued by the Democratic administration-more schooling for the children, more tractors in the fields, and more cars on the roads.

If you don't want to go backward, if you don't want to slide downhill into bankruptcy and poverty the way you did under the Republican 12 years of rule back there in the 20's, you better get out early on election day and look after your own interests. I want you to remember that Republican leaders are attacking the farm price support program in the cities. They say that is what caused the high cost of living. And they tell the farmers that the good wages that the laboringman is getting causes the high cost of living. Neither one of these statements is true. When labor is prosperous, the farmers are prosperous. They go along together. Good prices for farmers and good wages for labor means that the general prosperity of the country goes to everybody and that a fair distribution of the wealth of the country is being made.

These Republicans keep on blaming the farmers for high prices, and then they keep on blaming labor--to the farmers--for high prices. You know, the working people can't be prosperous unless the farmers can sell their products for enough money to buy the products of the factories.

The Democrats are not trying to fool the farmers or the workers. We are telling you the truth and the facts, and I am going into some detail tonight in Akron on the facts and figures that affect this program that we are faced with now.

We are in a campaign which will go down in history as one of the most important in the history of the country. And it's your campaign. It's your welfare that is at stake. I'm asking you to exercise good judgment. Go to the polls on election day and vote for yourself. If you do that, you'll vote a straight Democratic ticket and you'll elect Dann Batt to the Congress from this district, and you'll elect Frank Lausche for Governor of Ohio--and that will be in your own interests. Don't forget that, now, because the welfare of this country is at stake. It's in your hands. You are the government. If you exercise the privileges that are yours, I'll be perfectly happy and satisfied--and I'll stay in the White House another 4 years.

[7.] DESHLER, OHIO (Rear platform, 3:10 p.m.)

Thank you very much for that welcome, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate that introduction highly. I want to thank you good people of Deshler for the warm and cordial reception which I have received. This is the sort of reception I have been receiving all the way across the great State of Ohio, and all over the United States for that matter. People are interested.

You know, I have been going all over the country on a crusade to make people realize how much they have at stake in this election. The Republican leaders hope that the voters will not wake up until it is too late. They are giving you soothing syrup, talking about unity and all that kind of business, which has nothing whatever to do with the issues in this campaign. I am waking them up, however. The Republican bosses hope that the voters will swallow the empty platitudes of the Republican candidates. I think that the Republican bosses are wrong. I don't think the people are going to do anything of the kind. I don't believe the American people want to turn their backs on the prosperity gained under a Democratic administration.

Over in Ottawa, I talked to the people about the progress Ohio farmers have made since the bad days of the Republican depression. I reminded them that the income of Ohio farmers has gone up to more than a billion dollars a year. At the height of the so-called boom in 1929, when the Republicans were bragging about prosperity in the Nation, the income of Ohio farmers was around $377 million just about a third of what it was here last year, a third of what it is going to be this year.

In 1932 the income of Ohio farmers was only $180 million. The farmers here in Ohio have done very well because the Democrats had the foresight to establish a farm price support program. The Republicans in the 80th Congress tried to pull the props from under that program.

The Ohio farmers are doing well, because the Democrats found markets for their products through reciprocal trade treaties with other nations and through the school lunch program. And we are trying to see to it that farm prosperity in Ohio, and all over the United States, will continue.

We are helping Ohio farmers to take care of their soil and to make sure that it stays rich and productive. Under the Department of Agriculture's soil conservation program, in 1 year alone, conservation work was carried out on more than 137,000 farms in Ohio. That work covered over 9½ million acres of land--more than 70 percent of Ohio's cropland. That is the kind of practical help Ohio is getting from a Democratic administration headed by men who know the farmers' problems.

Now, what would happen to these farm programs if the Republicans win the election? The record of the 80th Congress gives us the answer to that. The Republican Congress cut down funds for the soil conservation program, and the school lunch program, and they tied our reciprocal trade treaties with other countries up into knots-tried their best to beat it. They refused to ratify the International Wheat Agreements which would have guaranteed a steady market for wheat for American farms for at least 5 years to come.

The farm price support program was attacked on the steps of the State Capitol in Albany, N.Y., by Governor Stassen just after he had had a conference with the Republican candidate for President. That candidate has expressed complete approval of what the 80th Congress did to the farmers of this country, and I quote him: "I am proud of the record of my party and of the 80th Congress."

I am going to discuss the record of that Both Congress, to some extent, tonight in Akron. I hope you will be able to listen in and hear what I have to say about it.

You have a vital choice to make in November, whether you want to continue to make progress with the Democratic Party, or whether you are willing to go backwards with the Republicans and turn the clock back.

Turn out early on election day and vote for Dann Batt for Congress from this district and vote for Governor Lausche for Governor of the State of Ohio. In other words, vote for yourself. Go to the polls on election day and just vote the straight Democratic ticket. You will not only be voting for me, you will be voting in your own self-interest. I can prove that to you, and have been proving it all over the United States. I think the people are waking up to that fact, that the welfare of this country and of the world is at stake in the election on November 2d.

Don't fail now to vote in your own interest, and to do that vote the straight Democratic ticket, and the country will be safe for another 4 years, and I won't be troubled with the housing problem, I can live in the White House for another 4 years.

[8.] FOSTORIA, OHIO (Rear platform, 4:05 p.m.)

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen Fostoria:

I can't tell you how very much I appreciate this turnout. I am delighted to be here this afternoon, and the reason I am delighted is because of your interest. When you turn out like this in a cold breeze of this sort, I know you have got the welfare of the country at heart and you want to learn the facts.

All day long I have been riding through the finest farm land in America. Why, your farms here are almost as good as those back in Missouri.

I have had a good opportunity to talk over the problems of your State with your next Governor, Frank Lausche, and with your fine Democratic candidates for Congress, Dwight Blackmore and Andrew Durbin.

Dwight and Andrew tell me that Fostoria used to be two towns. In 1854 they united and became the prosperous community of Fostoria. Unity has helped you people here build a strong community, the kind of community that some of these Ohio Republicans call, "whistlestops." Well, I say thank God for the whistlestops of our country. They are the backbone of the Nation. They have got the people who produce the Nation's goods and the Nation's food--and they have got the people who are going to keep the Democratic administration in the White House and elect a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate in the coming election. The kind of unity that built Fostoria is something that I can go for. It is the kind of unity that helped build this Nation. It's the kind of unity that helped win the war. I can understand that and I like it. That's why I had that kind of unity in this administration. But I'll tell you frankly, I don't understand the phony unity that the Republican candidates are talking about. I expect that's just a phrase he picked up because he doesn't dare talk about anything else. He doesn't dare tell you what the real plans of the Republican Party are. He's afraid that if he says anything, he will give the whole show away. The Republican Party still is wrestling with its old problem: it has to figure out how to fool the many into voting for the interests of the few. That is why the Republican candidate is talking in generalities. That is why the leaders of this Republican "do-nothing" 80th Congress have been sent off into the bushes to hide until the campaign is over. They are afraid to bring them out.

Well, I think the people have got a right to know where the candidates stand. That is why I am here today, and that is why I have been going all over the country telling the people about the issues. You are entitled to know what those issues are--and I am satisfied that if you know the issues you are going to vote in your own interests. And I am trying to tell the people as sincerely and as plainly as I know how; and I am going to tell them again tonight over the radio from Akron. I am really going to tear the mask off the Republican Congress and the Republican candidates.

We have got to have housing for our people. We have got to do something to get the price structure on a sound level so our working people can buy from the farmers and the farmers can buy from the working people without the profiteers getting in the way. We have got to keep the prosperity we have gotten under the Democratic administration.

They tell me that Seneca County is a Republican county. Well, that's all right with me. I want the Republicans of Seneca County to know what I think--and I think if they have open minds, they will vote in their interests, just the same as the Democrats will, and that will be to vote the Democratic ticket.

All I want is that the Democrats of Seneca County, and the Republicans too, have an opportunity to know what the Republican candidate thinks. And most important of all: I want you to say what you think at the polls on November 2d. And if you do that-if you get out and exercise your privilege as a citizen at the polls on the second of November--I'm not a bit in doubt as to what the result will be.

You know, in 1946 a third of the people elected the 80th Congress. Two-thirds of you stayed at home. And look what you got! You got just what you deserved. You got a good kicking around, just as soon as they had an opportunity to give it to you. Now, if you do that again, you won't have anybody to blame but yourselves.

I am asking you, in your own interests, to get out early in the morning on November the 2d and vote for your own self-interests; and if you do that, I'm not a bit doubtful of the result, and I won't be troubled with the housing problem on January 20--I'11 still be living in the White House for another 4 years.

Thank you again very much for this wonderful turnout. I certainly appreciate all these young people coming out. It shows that they are interested in the future welfare of the country.

[9.] WILLARD, OHIO (Rear platform, 4:55

I have had a most wonderful reception in Ohio today. It has been just like this all across the State of Ohio. We started in Cincinnati and came up the western border of the State, and now we are headed for Akron, and it seems as if everybody in the neighborhood and in every city has turned out, because they are interested in what is taking place in the country today and in the world.

It is good to be here in Willard this afternoon, even for a short stop. You people here in Willard have a great tradition, a tradition set by Dan Willard many years ago when he was President of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. I think it is significant that the name of Dan Willard is loved and respected all over the country, because he was the man who believed in the common people of the Nation. He liked and respected the people who worked for him, and he recognized their right to join a union and bargain collectively.

Now, Dan Willard did not sneer at the "whistlestops" of our country. He trusted people, and people trusted him. I think that is a good principle. It is a good way to run a railroad, and it is a good way to run a country. That is the way I have tried to run the country, but the Republican Congress would not cooperate, this 80th Congress.

Now, that is the way, with your help, we are going to run the country for the next
4 years.

The Republican candidate and the Republican Congress do not trust the people. They just work along at their old problem of trying to fool the people into voting for the interests of the few. They try to do it without telling you what they think. I have been out among the people now for nearly a month. I believe you have got a right to know what I think, and I have been telling you what I think.

Tonight, in Akron, I am going to talk over the radio about the Republican Taft-Hartley law. I am really going to tear the mask off the Republican Congress and the Republican candidate.

In Cincinnati this morning, at a splendid meeting, I talked about housing. I told the people there how your President had tried for 3 years to get a decent housing bill passed. At other places we stopped at in Ohio, I talked about prices. I told the people how your President had twice called Congress into special session in an effort to get something done about inflation that is picking your pockets.

Since I have been in the White House, there has not been a moment of doubt about where I stood on issues which are of concern to the people of America today. I have always spoken out and I have taken a stand on every issue as it has come up. I don't wait for any polls to tell me what to think. That is a statement some of the Republican candidates cannot make.

You know, since I started this campaign, I have talked to over 3 million people in various communities. They have come down to the train, just as you did this afternoon, because they were interested in this election. They know that the peace of the Nation and the peace of the world depend, to a large extent, on this election. They know that the continued prosperity of our Nation depends upon this election, and they want to know where the candidates stand on the issues. And that is what I have been telling you as simply and as plainly as I know how.

There is not a single, solitary man or woman in the United States today who can't find out in two minutes where I stand on the important matters like foreign policy, labor, agriculture, social security, housing, high prices, and all the other problems we as a nation have to face.

But there is not a single, solitary man or woman in the United States who has been able, within the last 2 months, to find out where the Republican candidate stands on these issues.

I think he is going to get a shock on the second of November. He is going to get the results of one big poll that counts--that is the voice of the American people speaking at the ballot box.

And he is going to find out that the people have had enough of such fellows as the one from this district who has been helping the 80th Congress to turn the clock back. And I think you are going to elect Dwight Blackmore to Congress in his place. And I think you are going to elect Frank Lausche Governor of Ohio.

If you do that, you will be voting in your own interests, and when you vote in your own interests on the second of November, you cannot do anything else but vote the straight Democratic ticket, and I won't be troubled with the housing problem. I will live in the White House 4 more years.

Now, that will be entirely to your interests. You will have a Congress who believes in the people, and you will have a President who has shown you right along that he believes in the welfare of the country as a whole, and not in the welfare of just a few at the top.

[10.] RITTMAN, OHIO (Rear platform, 6:30 p.m.)

Thank you very much. I certainly appreciate this turnout. It has been this way all across Ohio today. You are interested in the welfare of this country and the fact that you are interested in the welfare of the country and the world is shown by the fact that you are coming out here at these meetings to hear just exactly what your President believes, and what he thinks is for the welfare of the country.

I started at Cincinnati this morning and we stopped at a number of the great cities in Ohio, and I expect to wind up at Akron tonight, where I am going to discuss a number of the issues in this campaign very frankly and very candidly, and I sincerely hope that all of you will be listening.

You know, there is just one issue in this campaign and that is the issue of the people against special interests. The Democratic Party has always stood for the welfare of the people. Ever since Jefferson, who founded the party, through Jackson, Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and down to date, the Democratic Party has been for the welfare of the country as a whole. It tries to make all the people happy.

The Republican Party has always stood for special interests. They still stand for special interests, and the 80th Congress conclusively proved that they still believe in special interests and let the other people hope that they will get a fair share--maybe--of the few crumbs that fall off the table.

Now, on November 2d when you go to the polls to vote, you want to be studying your own interests, you want to be studying the interests of the farmer, the workingman, the small businessman, the white-collar worker--and if you study those interests, you will go to the polls and vote for yourselves. And if you do that you will vote a straight Democratic ticket, and you'll elect these wonderful men who have been introduced to you tonight for Congressmen, you'll elect Frank Lausche to be Governor of Ohio-and you'll elect me to the White House for another 4 years, and then I won't have any housing troubles whatever for another 4 years.

I sincerely hope that you will weigh these issues carefully. You have no trouble finding out where I stand. You know what I stand for because I tell you very frankly what my position is, and I've been in a position where I have had to act--and actions speak louder than words. The Republicans so far have only talked, and when they had a chance to act in the 80th Congress, they didn't act in the interests of the people. They acted in the interests of the special few. That has been their policy ever since they have been in existence.

[At this point the President received a gift of salt. He then resumed speaking.]

I understand that this is a sample of the salt of this great community--and don't you think I'm not going to put it on the tail of the opposition! "The President Truman Brand of Salt"--I'm sure going to sprinkle that around where it will do the most good!

Bacon in there, too! That means we're going to bring home the bacon.

Everywhere I go, it's just like this. Everybody is interested, and I'm glad of it. I want you to know the facts, and then use your judgment.

Note: In the course of his remarks on October 11 the President referred to Mayor Albert D. Cash of Cincinnati, Senator Robert A. Taft, Democratic candidates for Representative Edward Breen, Edward Gardner, Earl Ludwig, Dann Batt, Dwight Blackmore, and Andrew T. Durbin, former Governor James M. Cox, and Democratic candidate for Governor Frank J. Lausche, all of Ohio; Earl Warren, Governor of California and Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States; and Daniel Willard, former president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.

Harry S Truman, Rear Platform and Other Informal Remarks in Ohio Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233423

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