Franklin D. Roosevelt

Rear-Platform Remarks at Laramie, Wyo., during a Drought Inspection Trip.

September 02, 1936

As you know, I went to Salt Lake City on a very sad mission. Secretary Dern knew all this Western country very well; he was born in Nebraska and moved on through to Utah. I felt, through these years in Washington, that he was one of those people who always keep their feet on the ground, which is a very great asset. He was a wonderful man and a fine public servant and we are going to miss him, not only in his own State and in Washington but throughout the Nation.

I have been reading this morning one of Secretary Wallace's charts—he is standing right here beside me—and I am very glad to see from that chart that you people from around Laramie and this part of the country got pretty good pasture this year—a great deal better than during the 1934 conditions. This chart shows one of the advantages of having a national Government; you can get information right away from all parts of the country. It shows, for example, that you were able to furnish some additional pasturage here for cattle brought in from the outside.

The point which I think we all ought to realize is that this is necessarily a national picture. What happens to cattle in Texas and in North Dakota affects your prosperity here in Wyoming; and that is true not only of cattle in other parts of the country but of other crops. You are affected by what happens to corn and hogs in the Middle West. It is a queer thought, but it is actually true, and if you will think it out you will see that I am right. In the same way, your prosperity is affected by what happens to the cotton farmer down South. If the cotton farmer gets pretty good prices and has good crops it means that he and his family will buy more beef. That is a simple illustration.

That is why we are trying to look at the whole agricultural problem, not just from the question of drought, but from the point of view of the general economic system. And in spite of drought and other things, we do know that the purchasing power of the country as a whole has gone up a good deal and, therefore, we have a better chance in the agricultural communities today than we had a few years ago.

The train is moving out, so I am not going to give you any more economics. I am just going to say good-bye.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rear-Platform Remarks at Laramie, Wyo., during a Drought Inspection Trip. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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