Herbert Hoover photo

Rear Platform Remarks in West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Ohio

October 15, 1932


My friends in Martinsburg:

It is always a pleasure to come to Martinsburg and to touch on the soil of West Virginia. There is no State I know that has such a varied beauty and such a varied character of industry and where the people are more self-reliant and self-sufficient than those in West Virginia. It is generous of you to come out to greet me this morning, to give to me the encouragement of your presence here and this promise that you are actively participating in this campaign and this assurance of the reelection of the Republican Party on November 8.

I deeply appreciate your coming. It is heartening, and I thank you for it.

[2.] CUMBERLAND, MARYLAND ( 10:35 a.m.)

Even if no other reminder were needed, the mills of Cumberland would recall the importance of the protective tariff. If it were not for that Republican policy these Celanese mills would be closed down this minute.

The people of Maryland are vastly interested in maintaining the protective tariff. You have taken an active interest in it ever since the founding of this Republic.

The people of Maryland had a large part in the passage of the first protective tariff in our country. On April 11, 1789, a group of manufacturing workers and others of Baltimore joined in a petition to President Washington and the first session of the First Congress. It was indeed the first petition filed with the Congress.

They prayed that the new government would render the country "independent in fact as well as in name" and give early attention to "the encouragement and protection of American manufacturers and workmen by invoking upon all foreign articles which can be made in America such duties as would give a just and decided preference to their labors and thereby discontinue that trade which tended to so materially injure them."

President Washington responded to that petition, and the first piece of legislation passed by the Congress and signed by the first President was a protective tariff.

From that day to this the State of Maryland has had this independence which its citizens demanded. It has grown constantly in strength. And not only are the industries of Maryland today dependent on protective tariff but a large part of her agriculture as well. Your dairy products, truck products, wheat, corn, livestock are so near the seaboard that the countries of cheap production could penetrate your markets and do great injury to your farming industry. You will find that today practically every farm article produced in the State of Maryland could be imported for less than the present price, depressed as those prices may be.

The Democratic Party is opposed to a protective tariff. It proposes to reduce these tariffs. In its platform in lieu of a protective tariff, it proposes a competitive tariff for revenue. It denounces the present tariffs as exorbitant. Their candidates and supporting orators demand reduction in the face of depreciating currencies in foreign countries during the last 12 months which have resulted in still further reduction of their living standards. Indeed, the increase in imports into our country of certain lines of manufacture by virtue of this depreciation is already beginning to displace our workmen in certain localities. I would submit to the thoughtful citizens of Maryland that your first interest lies in sustaining the party whose policies and whose candidates alone can be relied upon to maintain protection to your jobs, your farms, and your industries from destruction through imports of cheap goods and the products of cheap land.


It is a great pleasure to meet you, I assure you. And it is generous of you to come here to wish me good fortune. I thank you for that. It would be a great satisfaction to me if I could stop longer and really talk with you. You have the same interest at heart that I have--the speedy restoration of our country. You are doing your part in that, as I am doing mine. You will read in tomorrow's paper the report of my address this evening at Cleveland. That will tell you much that I would say to you now if time permitted.

I wish to return your courteous reception by giving you my own best wishes for all sorts of good fortune to you.


Friends in Connellsville:

I find it difficult to express the very great appreciation that both Mrs. Hoover and I have for your coming in such enormous numbers to greet us here this morning. It is the most generous and the most courteous reception that we have received. It is heartening and encouraging, and it is an indication of what the people of Connellsville will do on the 8th of November next.

I thank you for coming.


My friends:

I find it difficult to assemble the words that such a reception as this requires in appreciation. There are here probably 30,000 or 40,000 of people in such a reception as has seldom been tendered to a President on so short a notice. I wish to assure you that both Mrs. Hoover and I deeply appreciate your greeting. I could go along and make a political address, and perhaps I might repeat to you what I expect to say this evening. But although time does not permit that, I shall have the vision of your faces and your enthusiasm in my mind and the feeling that you will be listening tonight when I address you as well as the people of Cleveland.

I wish again to express. the appreciation of both Mrs. Hoover and myself for the fine courtesy that you have shown in coming and giving to us this greeting. It is not only encouraging but it is a fine indication as to the support that you will give the Republican Party on the 8th day of November.

Thank you.


It is a real pleasure to me to have this opportunity to stop for a moment and meet you. You are hospitable to come here in such numbers. It is an encouragement to me to carry on. If my stop here could have been longer, I might be tempted to make to such a generous audience as this the whole speech I have prepared for this evening, but I must save that. But when I deliver it tonight I shall remember your friendly faces and shall imagine that you are listening at your radios--so I shall feel that you are in my audience after all.

Again, I thank you for coming here to greet me and to wish me good luck.


I deeply appreciate the greeting which you have extended to me. It is encouraging and heartening. It is a good sign of your support. This is not an occasion on which to endeavor to talk to you about great national issues. I am going to talk to you tonight. I hope many of you will be able to listen in. I shall remember your faces and this platform when I discuss the matter before the Cleveland audience. I find difficulty in expressing what I feel for the support you are giving by coming here this afternoon.

Thank you.

My dear friends:

I deeply appreciate this greeting which you have given to Mrs. Hoover and myself. I know of nothing that is more encouraging, that is more stimulating, and more heartening than the manner in which we have been received on this journey by the people of southwestern Pennsylvania. It is not an occasion on which to speak of national issues, during a short stop in your town, but I am in hopes you may be able-many of you--to listen in this evening when I shall make an effort to explain to you the major purposes of my administration and the service which the Republican Party is giving and can give to this Nation.

Your coming here this afternoon is evidence of your support, and it is evidence of the support which you will give on the 8th of November, and I do thank you for it.

[9.] YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO (5 p.m.)

My friends:

I deeply appreciate your coming here this afternoon to extend to Mrs. Hoover and myself this greeting. It is heartening and encouraging. It is evidence of your support.

I need not tell you that our Nation has been passing through an unprecedented crisis, and I need not tell you it has had its reflex in your city and in every home. Your banks have been closed. Your mills have been partially shut down. You have much unemployment. You have much distress. You have great anxiety for the future. All this is the result of forces which have swept the United States from abroad, and against which this administration has carried on a continuous battle from the day that they first appeared. And in carrying forward that battle we have forged great weapons in defense of the American people and in defense of the industries and employment of your city and of your homes. You will recognize that one of the instruments of the Government, which was created, intervened and secured the reopening of the banks in your city. The employment which we have gradually stimulated over the country has begun to reflect itself in this very city. I fortunately have in my hands a telegram that reached me a few moments ago, which has given to me great encouragement, and I know it will be encouraging to you. It says:

"The Associated Press carries following Youngstown dispatch: Improvement in steel production next week will raise mill operations in Youngstown district above 20 percent of capacity for first time in many months. Finishing mill activity also will increase. Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company's Bessemer plant, idle for 2 weeks, will resume during the week, giving Company's highest steel tonnage output since last May."

That, my friends, is tangible and positive evidence that we are winning in this battle. It is an encouraging result of the effort that has been made by this administration and the effort being made by our people.

I wish before departing to mention one other subject. When you consider what you will do on next November 8 you should remember a primary Republican policy, on which the safety of your city and your State is builded, and that is the continuance of the protective tariff. Our opponents propose to reduce that tariff. It has been the sustaining factor; it has been the guardian of your industries in Ohio during this last 40 years. President McKinley, of your State, more than any one other man effectively established that policy as a fixed purpose of the Republican Party. He did so because of his recognition of its vital importance to the Nation and to this State. It is indeed a matter of deep concern to you that that policy as well as the measures and policies instituted and initiated by the Republican Party shall be continued in this Nation.

I deeply appreciate your coming to give me this greeting and this welcome. It is evidence of your support in the battle which we are carrying on.

[10.] AKRON, OHIO (6:25 p.m.)

Mrs. Hoover and I deeply appreciate your cordial greeting. Ohio has a personal interest for us both because her parents and mine both sprung from the soil of this great State, which has contributed so notably to the material and spiritual growth of our country. Now, within a few hours I shall be talking to the people of Ohio on national issues. I will not take your time now to go into these questions on this occasion. Presumably, you may be able to listen in later on. There is, however, one issue I would like to emphasize to the people of Akron. Ohio is in the first rank of States in agriculture, mining, transportation, and manufacture. It is an outstanding example of the benefits of the American policy of protective tariff which is one of the cardinal principles of the Republican Party.

Your city, with its diversified industries, is a manifest and I hope an enduring monument to the protective tariff. Never was the protective tariff needed more than right at this moment. Over 30 commercial countries have been compelled to abandon the gold standard. With the consequent depreciation of their currencies, their standards of living and their wages have fallen to an extraordinary degree during the last 12 months. The differences between the cost of production of commodities in those countries and the cost of production in the United States with our higher standards of wages are now wider than ever before.

Already rubber goods, in the manufacture of which many of you are deeply interested, are beginning to flow into the United States in large quantities because of this depreciation. The Treasury Department, under my direction, has been holding an inquiry during the past week to determine whether these imports are in violation of our laws aimed at the dumping of foreign goods. The Tariff Commission has also undertaken an inquiry to determine whether the duties on rubber goods should be increased in order to give adequate protection to the American rubber industry.

Here I will point out to you one of the most important and progressive steps ever taken in American legislation. That was the effective authority given by the act of 1930 to the Tariff Commission, a bipartisan body, under which it may, after determining the relative costs of production at home and abroad, either increase or decrease tariff duties in order that if, on the one hand, the tariffs may be too high they may be lowered, but, of far more importance at the present time, if the tariffs should be too low in order to protect American labor, they may be increased.

The Democratic Party is not only opposed to the protective tariff in principle, but proposes to take from the Tariff Commission the authority to make tariff adjustments and return the whole question of the tariff once more to the madhouse of congressional logrolling.

The Democratic Party proposes to reduce the tariff. Never before was the retention of this policy more necessary in order to protect American workers.

My friends, we have been passing through a great crisis. The many measures we have taken to mitigate the devastation of the economic storm that swept upon us from abroad have helped many of your institutions and have held for you much employment that would otherwise have been lost. They have aided in the care of your unemployed. We are making recovery. We shall see a restoration of employment and business if we continue the battle on these lines.

I hope you will continue the Republican Party in power on the 8th day of November.

Note: The President was en route to Cleveland, Ohio where he was scheduled to make a major campaign address. Times provided for the President's remarks are approximations based on his itinerary.

Herbert Hoover, Rear Platform Remarks in West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Ohio Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/207855

Simple Search of Our Archives