Franklin D. Roosevelt

Remarks at Grand Junction, Colorado.

July 12, 1938

My friends:

I am glad to come back here. I have not been here for a number of years; but I know this route across the continent very well. I am glad to see what look like real signs of prosperity throughout the State of Colorado.

You know, this method of traveling is a very wonderful thing. The reason I delayed coming out on the platform was because I have been talking on the long-distance telephone right here, from the end of the car, to Washington, D. C., talking with Harry Hopkins, the Administrator of Works Progress; and before I leave here I am probably going to talk to a couple more Government officials in the National Capital. It shows how closely every part of the country is in touch with every other part.

On this trip, I have been paying special attention to the subject of water. You know what water means; you know the need of it. In Washington we believe that it is not only cotton and wheat and corn and hogs that are major crops in the United States, but that there are a lot of other crops—such as fruit; and that a lot of other things, like mining, are really in the position of being major industries. That is why we are trying to include them in the picture of national prosperity, not just a spotty prosperity that hits only certain areas of the country but the kind of prosperity that is felt in every single spot and every section of every state. That is why we are doing what we call "national planning."

There are a good many people that take a nearsighted point of view that there should not be any such thing as national planning, that every man ought to be for himself, that we ought to go back to the "good old days." But, since the fourth of March, 1933, your National Administration in every state of the Union has been trying to give help that will be well-rounded help, tying the prosperity of one section in with the prosperity of another.

It is a very interesting thing to me that if I had made a speech in the City of New York, five or six years ago, and told them that their prosperity in New York was definitely tied in with, let us say, the mines of Colorado, or with the fruit or beets or other crops of Colorado, they would have expressed only a mild interest, but very mild. They would not have seen the connection. In the same way, if I had gone out through this territory and had told you, five or six years ago, that your prosperity here was pretty closely tied up with some of the great industrial centers of the country, you would have expressed only mild interest, but it would not have meant very much to you. However, in these later years we have come to realize, all over the country, I think, that agricultural prosperity is definitely affected by industrial prosperity. In other words, if the workers in the great industrial plants in Pittsburgh and New York and Cleveland and Chicago and other places, have purchasing power, if the plants are running and paying them good wages, they can buy more of the things that you produce on the farm and in the mines. In the same way, if you are prosperous and have purchasing power, you out here can buy more of the things that are produced in the great industrial centers. That is what I call the successful working out of the processes of democracy; and, as you know, we are trying to make democratic government work.

We are not only delighted to have the Governor of Colorado and the Senators and the Congressmen with us today, but I am glad also that my old friend, the Governor of Utah, has joined the train.

On this trip I have to pass through most of Utah by night; but I know the State pretty well and when I wake up in the morning, my daughter and her husband from Seattle will be aboard. So, you see, this is a very happy family trip.

It has been good to see you all. I did not come out here for political reasons, but to take my annual "look-see" around the country. I hope to be back and see you good people in the western part of the State of Colorado again very soon.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Remarks at Grand Junction, Colorado. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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