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Republican Party Platform of 1960

July 25, 1960


The United States is living in an age of profoundest revolution. The lives of men and of nations are undergoing such transformations as history has rarely recorded. The birth of new nations, the impact of new machines, the threat of new weapons, the stirring of new ideas, the ascent into a new dimension of the universe- everywhere the accent falls on the new.

At such a time of world upheaval, great perils match great opportunities—and hopes, as well as fears, rise in all areas of human life. Such a force as nuclear power symbolizes the greatness of the choice before the United States and mankind. The energy of the atom could bring devastation to humanity. Or it could be made to serve men's hopes for peace and progress—to make for all peoples a more healthy and secure and prosperous life than man has ever known.

One fact darkens the reasonable hopes of free men: the growing vigor and thrust of Communist imperialism. Everywhere across the earth, this force challenges us to prove our strength and wisdom, our capacity for sacrifice, our faith in ourselves and in our institutions.

Free men look to us for leadership and support, which we dedicate ourselves to give out of the abundance of our national strength.

The fate of the world will be deeply affected, perhaps determined, by the quality of American leadership. American leadership means both how we govern ourselves and how we help to influence others. We deliberate the choice of national leadership and policy, mindful that in some measure our proposals involve the fate of mankind.

The leadership of the United States must be responsible and mature; its promises must be rational and practical, soberly pledged and faithfully undertaken. Its purposes and its aspirations must ascend to that high ground of right and freedom upon which mankind may dwell and progress in decent security.

We are impressed, but not dismayed, by the revolutionary turbulence that is wracking the world. In the midst of violence and change, we draw strength and confidence from the changeless principles of our free Constitution. Free men are invincible when the power and courage, the patience and the fortitude latent in them are drawn forth by reasonable appeal.

In this Republican Platform we offer to the United States our program—our call to service, our pledge of leadership, our proposal of measures in the public interest. We call upon God, in whose hand is every blessing, to favor our deliberations with wisdom, our nation with endurance, and troubled mankind everywhere with a righteous peace.

Foreign Policy

The Republican Party asserts that the sovereign purpose of our foreign policy is to secure the free institutions of our nation against every peril, to hearten and fortify the love of freedom everywhere in the world, and to achieve a just peace for all of anxious humanity.

The pre-eminence of this Republic requires of us a vigorous, resolute foreign policy—inflexible against every tyrannical encroachment, and mighty in its advance toward our own affirmative goals.

The Government of the United States, under the administration of President Eisenhower and Vice President Nixon, has demonstrated that firmness in the face of threatened aggression is the most dependable safeguard of peace. We now reaffirm our determination to defend the security and the freedom of our country, to honor our commitments to our allies at whatever cost or sacrifice, and never to submit to force or threats. Our determination to stand fast has forestalled aggression before Berlin, in the Formosa Straits, and in Lebanon. Since 1954 no free nation has fallen victim behind the Iron Curtain. We mean to adhere to the policy of firmness that has served us so well.

We are unalterably committed to maintaining the security, freedom and solidarity of the Western Hemisphere. We support President Eisenhower's reaffirmation of the Monroe Doctrine in all its vitality. Faithful to our treaty commitments, we shall join the Republics of the Americas against any intervention in our hemisphere, and in refusing to tolerate the establishment in this hemisphere of any government dominated by the foreign rule of communism.

In the Middle East, we shall continue to support the integrity and independence of all the states of that area including Israel and the Arab States.

With specific reference to Israel and the Arab Nations we urge them to undertake negotiations for a mutually acceptable settlement of the causes of tension between them. We pledge continued efforts:

To eliminate the obstacles to a lasting peace in the area, including the human problem of the Arab refugees.

To seek an end to transit and trade restrictions, blockades and boycotts.

To secure freedom of navigation in international waterways, the cessation of discrimination against Americans on the basis of religious beliefs, and an end to the wasteful and dangerous arms race and to the threat of an arms imbalance in the area.

Recognition of Communist China and its admission to the United Nations have been firmly opposed by the Republican Administration. We will continue in this opposition because of compelling evidence that to do otherwise would weaken the cause of freedom and endanger the future of the free peoples of Asia and the world. The brutal suppression of the human rights and the religious traditions of the Tibetan people is an unhappy evidence of the need to persist in our policy.

The countries of the free world have been benefited, reinforced and drawn closer together by the vigor of American support of the United Nations, and by our participation in such regional organizations as NATO, SEATO, CENTO, the Organization of American States and other collective security alliances. We assert our intention steadfastly to uphold the action and principles of these bodies.

We believe military assistance to our allies under the mutual security program should be continued with all the vigor and funds needed to maintain the strength of our alliances at levels essential to our common safety.

The firm diplomacy of the Eisenhower-Nixon Administration has been supported by a military power superior to any in the history of our nation or in the world. As long as world tensions menace us with war, we are resolved to maintain an armed power exceeded by no other.

Under Republican administration, the Government has developed original and constructive programs in many fields—open skies, atoms for peace, cultural and technical exchanges, the peaceful uses of outer space and Antarctica—to make known to men everywhere our desire to advance the cause of peace. We mean, as a Party, to continue in the same course.

We recognize and freely acknowledge the support given to these principles and policies by all Americans, irrespective of party. Standing as they do above partisan challenge, such principles and policies will, we earnestly hope, continue to have bipartisan support.

We established a new independent agency, the United States Information Agency, fully recognizing the tremendous importance of the struggle for men's minds. Today, our information program throughout the world is a greatly improved medium for explaining our policies and actions to audiences overseas, answering Communist propaganda, and projecting a true image of American life.

This is the Republican record. We rededicate ourselves to the principles that have animated it; and we pledge ourselves to persist in those principles, and to apply them to the problems, the occasions, and the opportunities to be faced by the new Administration.

We confront today the global offensive of Communism, increasingly aggressive and violent in its enterprises. The agency of that offensive is Soviet policy, aimed at the subversion of the world.

Recently we have noted Soviet Union pretexts to intervene in the affairs of newly independent countries, accompanied by threats of the use of nuclear weapons. Such interventions constitute a form of subversion against the sovereignty of these new nations and a direct challenge to the United Nations.

The immediate strategy of the Soviet imperialists is to destroy the world's confidence in America's desire for peace, to threaten with violence our mutual security arrangements, and to sever the bonds of amity and respect among the free nations. To nullify the Soviet conspiracy is our greatest task. The United States faces this challenge and resolves to meet it with courage and confidence.

To this end we will continue to support and strengthen the United Nations as an instrument for peace, for international cooperation, and for the advancement of the fundamental freedoms and humane interests of mankind.

Under the United Nations we will work for the peaceful settlement of international disputes and the extension of the rule of law in the world.

And, in furtherance of President Eisenhower's proposals for the peaceful use of space, we suggest that the United Nations take the initiative to develop a body of law applicable thereto.

Through all the calculated shifts of Soviet tactics and mood, the Eisenhower-Nixon Administration has demonstrated its willingness to negotiate in earnest with the Soviet Union to arrive at just settlements for the reduction of world tensions. We pledge the new Administration to continue in the same course.

We are similarly ready to negotiate and to institute realistic methods and safeguards for disarmament, and for the suspension of nuclear tests. We advocate an early agreement by all nations to forego nuclear tests in the atmosphere, and the suspension of other tests as verification techniques permit. We support the President in any decision he may make to re-evaluate the question of resumption of underground nuclear explosions testing, if the Geneva Conference fails to produce a satisfactory agreement. We have deep concern about the mounting nuclear arms race. This concern leads us to seek disarmament and nuclear agreements. And an equal concern to protect all peoples from nuclear danger, leads us to insist that such agreements have adequate safeguards.

We recognize that firm political and military policies, while imperative for our security, cannot in themselves build peace in the world.

In Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, peoples of ancient and recent independence, have shown their determination to improve their standards of living, and to enjoy an equality with the rest of mankind in the enjoyment of the fruits of civilization. This determination has become a primary fact of their political life. We declare ourselves to be in sympathy with their aspirations.

We have already created unprecedented dimensions of diplomacy for these purposes. We recognize that upon our support of well-conceived programs of economic cooperation among nations rest the best hopes of hundreds of millions of friendly people for a decent future for themselves and their children. Our mutual security program of economic help and technical assistance; the Development Loan Fund, the Inter-American Bank, the International Development Association and the Food for Peace Program, which create the conditions for progress in less-developed countries; our leadership in international efforts to help children, eliminate pestilence and disease and aid refugees—these are programs wise in concept and generous in purpose. We mean to continue in support of them.

Now we propose to further evolution of our programs for assistance to and cooperation with other nations, suitable to the emerging needs of the future.

We will encourage the countries of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, to initiate appropriate regional groupings to work out plans for economic and educational development. We anticipate that the United Nations Special Fund would be of assistance in developing such plans. The United States would offer its cooperation in planning, and the provision of technical personnel for this purpose. Agreeable to the developing nations, we would join with them in inviting countries with advanced economies to share with us a proportionate part of the capital and technical aid required. We would emphasize the increasing use of private capital and government loans, rather than outright grants, as a means of fostering independence and mutual respect. The President's recent initiative of a joint partnership program for Latin America opens the way to this approach.

We would propose that such groupings adopt means to attain viable economies following such examples as the European Common Market. And if from these institutions, there should follow stronger economic and political unions, we would welcome them with our support.

Despite the counterdrive of international Communism, relentless against individual freedom and subversive of the sovereignty of nations, a powerful drive for freedom has swept the world since World War II and many heroic episodes in the Communist countries have demonstrated anew that freedom will not die.

The Republican Party reaffirms its determination to use every peaceful means to help the captive nations toward their independence, and thus their freedom to live and worship according to conscience. We do not condone the subjugation of the peoples of Hungary, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Albania, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and other once-free nations. We are not shaken in our hope and belief that once again they will rule themselves.

Our time surges with change and challenge, peril and great opportunities. It calls us to great tasks and efforts—for free men can hope to guard freedom only if they prove capable of historic acts of wisdom and courage.

Dwight David Eisenhower stands today throughout the world as the greatest champion of peace and justice and good.

The Republican Party brings to the days ahead trained, experienced, mature and courageous leadership.

Our Party was born for freedom's sake. It is still the Party of full freedom in our country. As in Lincoln's time, our Party and its leaders will meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and keep our country the best and enduring hope of freedom for the world.

National Defense

The future of freedom depends heavily upon America's military might and that of her allies. Under the Eisenhower-Nixon Administration, our military might has been forged into a power second to none. This strength, tailored to serve the needs of national policy, has deterred and must continue to deter aggression and encourage the growth of freedom in the world. This is the only sure way to a world at peace.

We have checked aggression. We ended the war in Korea. We have joined with free nations in creating strong defenses. Swift technological change and the warning signs of Soviet aggressiveness make clear that intensified and courageous efforts are necessary, for the new problems of the 1960's will of course demand new efforts on the part of our entire nation. The Republican Party is pledged to making certain that our arms, and our will to use them, remain superior to all threats. We have, and will continue to have, the defenses we need to protect our freedom.

The strategic imperatives of our national defense policy are these:

A second-strike capability, that is, a nuclear retaliatory power that can survive surprise attack, strike back, and destroy any possible enemy.

Highly mobile and versatile forces, including forces deployed, to deter or check local aggressions and "brush fire wars" which might bring on all-out nuclear war.

National determination to employ all necessary military capabilities so as to render any level of aggression unprofitable. Deterrence of war since Korea, specifically, has been the result of our firm statement that we will never again permit a potential aggressor to set the ground rules for his aggression; that we will respond to aggression with the full means and weapons best suited to the situation.

Maintenance of these imperatives requires these actions:

Unremitting modernization of our retaliatory forces, continued development of the manned bomber well into the missile age, with necessary numbers of these bombers protected through dispersal and airborne alert.

Development and production of new strategic weapons, such as the Polaris submarine and ballistic missile. Never again will they be neglected, as intercontinental missile development was neglected between the end of World War II and 1953.

Accelerate as necessary, development of hardening, mobility, dispersal, and production programs for long-range missiles and the speedy perfection of new and advanced generations of missiles and anti-missile missiles.

Intensified development of active civil defense to enable our people to protect themselves against the deadly hazards of atomic attack, particularly fallout; and to develop a new program to build a reserve of storable food, adequate to the needs of the population after an atomic attack.

Constant intelligence operations regarding Communist military preparations to prevent another Pearl Harbor.

A military establishment organized in accord with a national strategy which enables the unified commands in Europe, the Pacific, and this continent to continue to respond promptly to any kind of aggression.

Strengthening of the military might of the free-world nations in such ways as to encourage them to assume increasing responsibility for regional security.

Continuation of the "long pull" preparedness policies which, as inaugurated under the Eisenhower-Nixon Administration, have avoided the perilous peaks and slumps of defense spending and planning which marked earlier administrations.

There is no price ceiling on America's security. The United States can and must provide whatever is necessary to insure its own security and that of the free world and to provide any necessary increased expenditures to meet new situations, to guarantee the opportunity to fulfill the hopes of men of good will everywhere. To provide more would be wasteful. To provide less would be catastrophic. Our defense posture must remain steadfast, confident, and superior to all potential foes.

Economic Growth and Business

To provide the means to a better life for individual Americans and to strengthen the forces of freedom in the world, we count on the proved productivity of our free economy.

Despite the lamentations of the opposition in viewing the economic scene today, the plain fact is that our 500 billion dollar economy finds more Americans at work, earning more, spending more, saving more, investing more, building more than ever before in history. The well-being of our people, by virtually every yardstick, has greatly advanced under this Republican Administration.

But we can and must do better. We must raise employment to even higher levels and utilize even more fully our expanding, overall capacity to produce. We must quicken the pace of our economic growth to prove the power of American free enterprise to meet growing and urgent demands: to sustain our military posture, to provide jobs for a growing labor force in a time of rapid technological change, to improve living standards, to serve all the needs of an expanding population.

We therefore accord high priority to vigorous economic growth and recognize that its mainspring lies in the private sector of the economy. We must continue to foster a healthy climate in that sector. We reject the concept of artificial growth forced by massive new federal spending and loose money policies. The only effective way to accelerate economic growth is to increase the traditional strengths of our free economy—initiative and investment, productivity and efficiency. To that end we favor:

Broadly-based tax reform to foster job-making and growth-making investment for modernization and expansion, including realistic incentive depreciation schedules.

Use of the full powers of government to prevent the scourges of depression and inflation.

Elimination of featherbedding practices by labor and business.

Maintenance of a stable dollar as an indispensable means to progress.

Relating wage and other payments in production to productivity—except when necessary to correct inequalities—in order to help us stay competitive at home and abroad.

Spurring the economy by advancing the successful Eisenhower-Nixon program fostering new and small business, by continued active enforcement of the anti-trust laws, by protecting consumers and investors against the hazard and economic waste of fraudulent and criminal practices in the market place, and by keeping the federal government from unjustly competing with private enterprise upon which Americans mainly depend for their livelihood.

Continued improvement of our vital transportation network, carrying forward rapidly the vast Eisenhower-Nixon national highway program and promoting safe, efficient, competitive and integrated transport by air, road, rail and water under equitable, impartial and minimal regulation directed to those ends.

Carrying forward, under the Trade Agreements Act, the policy of gradual selective—and truly reciprocal—reduction of unjustifiable barriers to trade among free nations. We advocate effective administration of the Act's escape clause and peril point provisions to safeguard American jobs and domestic industries against serious injury. In support of our national trade policy we should continue the Eisenhower-Nixon program of using this government's negotiating powers to open markets abroad and to eliminate remaining discrimination against our goods. We should also encourage the development of fair labor standards in exporting countries in the interest of fair competition in international trade. We should, too, expand the Administration's export drive, encourage tourists to come from abroad, and protect U.S. investors against arbitrary confiscations and expropriations by foreign governments. Through these and other constructive policies, we will better our international balance of payments.

Discharge by government of responsibility for those activities which the private sector cannot do or cannot so well do, such as constructive federal-local action to aid areas of chronic high unemployment, a sensible farm policy, development and wise use of natural resources, suitable support of education and research, and equality of job opportunity for all Americans.

Action on these fronts, designed to release the strongest productive force in human affairs—the spirit of individual enterprise-can contribute greatly to our goal of a steady, strongly growing economy.


America's growth cannot be compartmentalized. Labor and management cannot prosper without each other. They cannot ignore their mutual public obligation.

Industrial harmony, expressing these mutual interests, can best be achieved in a climate of free collective bargaining, with minimal government intervention except by mediation and conciliation.

Even in dealing with emergency situations imperiling the national safety, ways of solution must be found to enhance and not impede the processes of free collective bargaining—carefully considered ways that are in keeping with the policies of national labor relations legislation and with the need to strengthen the hand of the President in dealing with such emergencies.

In the same spirit, Republican leadership will continue to encourage discussions, away from the bargaining table, between labor and management to consider the mutual interest of all Americans in maintaining industrial peace.

Republican policy firmly supports the right of employers and unions freely to enter into agreements providing for the union shop and other forms of union security as authorized by the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947 (the Taft-Hartley Act ).

Republican-sponsored legislation has supported the right of union members to full participation in the affairs of their union and their right to freedom from racketeering and gangster interference whether by labor or management in labor-management relations.

Republican action has given to millions of American working men and women new or expanded protection and benefits, such as: Increased federal minimum wage;

Extended coverage of unemployment insurance and the payment of additional temporary benefits provided in 1958-59;

Improvement of veterans' re-employment rights;

Extension of federal workman's compensation coverage and increase of benefits;

Legislative assurance of safety standards for longshore and harbor workers and for the transportation of migratory workers;

An increase of railroad workers' retirement and disability benefits.

Seven past years of accomplishments, however, are but a base to build upon in fostering, promoting and improving the welfare of America's working men and women, both organized and unorganized. We pledge, therefore, action on these constructive lines:

Diligent administration of the amended Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947 (Taft-Hartley Act) and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (Landrum-Griffin Act) with recommendations for improvements which experience shows are needed to make them more effective or remove any inequities.

Correction of defects in the Welfare and Pension Plans Disclosure Act to protect employees' and beneficiaries' interests.

Upward revision in amount and extended coverage of the minimum wage to several million more workers.

Strengthening the unemployment insurance system and extension of its benefits.

Improvement of the eight-hour laws relating to hours and overtime compensation on federal and federally-assisted construction, and continued vigorous enforcement and improvement of minimum wage laws for federal supply and construction contracts.

Continued improvement of manpower skills and training to meet a new era of challenges, including action programs to aid older workers, women, youth, and the physically handicapped.

Encouragement of training programs by labor, industry and government to aid in finding new jobs for persons dislocated by automation or other economic changes.

Improvement of job opportunities and working conditions of migratory farm workers.

Assurance of equal pay for equal work regardless of sex; encouragement of programs to insure on-the-job safety, and encouragement of the States to improve their labor standards legislation, and to improve veterans' employment rights and benefits.

Encouragement abroad of free democratic institutions, higher living standards and higher wages through such agencies as the International Labor Organization, and cooperation with the free trade union movement in strengthening free labor throughout the world.


Americans are the best-fed and the best-clothed people in the world. Our challenge fortunately is one of dealing with abundance, not overcoming shortage. The fullness of our fields, forests and grazing lands is an important advantage in our struggle against worldwide tyranny and our crusade against poverty. Our farmers have provided us with a powerful weapon in the ideological and economic struggle in which we are now engaged.

Yet, far too many of our farm families, the source of this strength, have not received a fair return for their labors. For too long, Democratic-controlled Congresses have stalemated progress by clinging to obsolete programs conceived for different times and different problems.

Promises of specific levels of price support or a single type of program for all agriculture are cruel deceptions based upon the pessimistic pretense that only with rigid controls can farm families be aided. The Republican Party will provide within the framework of individual freedom a greater bargaining power to assure an equitable return for the work and capital supplied by farmers.

The Republican Party pledges itself to develop new programs to improve and stabilize farm family income. It recognizes two main challenges: the immediate one of utilizing income-depressing surpluses, and the long-range one of steady balanced growth and development with a minimum of federal interference and control.

To utilize immediately surpluses in an orderly manner, with a minimum impact on domestic and foreign markets, we pledge:

Intensification of the Food for Peace program, including new cooperative efforts among food-surplus nations to assist the hungry peoples in less favored areas of the world.

Payment-in-kind, out of existing surpluses, as part of our land retirement program.

Creation of a Strategic Food Reserve properly dispersed in forms which can be preserved for long periods against the contingency of grave national emergency.

Strengthened efforts to distribute surpluses to schools and low-income and needy citizens of our own country.

A reorganization of Commodity Credit Corporation's inventory management operations to reduce competition with the marketings of farmers.

To assure steady balanced growth and agricultural progress, we pledge:

A crash research program to develop industrial and other uses of farm products.

Use of price supports at levels best fitted to specific commodities, in order to widen markets, ease production controls, and help achieve increased farm family income.

Acceleration of production adjustments, including a large scale land conservation reserve program on a voluntary and equitable rental basis, with full consideration of the impact on local communities.

Continued progress in the wise use and conservation of water and soil resources.

Use of marketing agreements and orders, and other marketing devices, when approved by producers, to assist in the orderly marketing of crops, thus enabling farmers to strengthen their bargaining power.

Stepped-up research to reduce production costs and to cut distribution costs.

Strengthening of the educational programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Land-Grant institutions.

Improvement of credit facilities for financing the capital needs of modern farming.

Encouragement of farmer owned and operated cooperatives including rural electric and telephone facilities.

Expansion of the Rural Development Program to help low-income farm families not only through better farming methods, but also through opportunities for vocational training, more effective employment services, and creation of job opportunities through encouragement of local industrialization.

Continuation and further improvement of the Great Plains Program.

Legislative action for programs now scheduled to expire for the school milk program, wool, and sugar, including increased sugar acreage to domestic areas.

Free movement in interstate commerce of agricultural commodities meeting federal health standards.

To prevent dumping of agricultural imports upon domestic markets.

To assure the American farmer a more direct voice in his own destiny, we pledge:

To select an official committee of farmers and ranchers, on a regional basis, broadly representative of American agriculture, whose function will be to recommend to the President guidelines for improving the operation of government farm programs.

Natural Resources

A strong and growing economy requires vigorous and persistent attention to wise conservation and sound development of all our resources. Teamwork between federal, state and private entities is essential and should be continued. It has resulted in sustained conservation and resource development programs on a scale unmatched in our history.

The past seven years of Republican leadership have seen the development of more power capacity, flood control, irrigation, fish and wildlife projects, recreational facilities, and associated multi-purpose benefits than during any previous administration in history. The proof is visible in the forests and waters of the land and in Republican initiation of and support for the Upper Watershed Program and the Small Reclamation Projects Act. It is clear, also, in the results of continuing administration-encouraged forest management practices which have brought, for the first time, a favorable balance between the growth and cutting of America's trees.

Our objective is for further growth, greater strength, and increased utilization in each great area of resource use and development.

We pledge:

Use of the community watershed as the basic natural unit through which water resource, soil, and forest management programs may best be developed, with interstate compacts encouraged to handle regional aspects without federal domination.

Development of new water resource projects throughout the nation.

Support of the historic policy of Congress in preserving the integrity of the several States to govern water rights.

Continued federal support for Republican-initiated research and demonstration projects which will supply fresh water from salt and brackish water sources.

Necessary measures for preservation of our domestic fisheries.

Continued forestry conservation with appropriate sustained yield harvesting, thus increasing jobs for people and increasing revenue.

To observe the "preference clause" in marketing federal power.

Support of the basic principles of reclamation.

Recognition of urban and industrial demands by making available to states and local governments.

federal lands not needed for national programs.

Full use and preservation of our great outdoors are pledged in:

Completion of the "Mission 66" for the improvement of National Park areas as well as sponsorship of a new "Mission 76" program to encourage establishment and rehabilitation of local, state, and regional parks, to provide adequate recreational facilities for our expanding population.

Continued support of the effort to keep our great out-of-doors beautiful, green, and clean.

Establishment of a citizens board of conservation, resource and land management experts to inventory those federal lands now set aside for a particular purpose; to study the future needs of the nation for parks, seashores, and wildlife and other recreational areas; and to study the possibility of restoring lands not needed for a federal program.

Minerals, metals, fuels, also call for carefully considered actions in view of the repeated failure of Democratic-controlled Congresses to enact any long-range minerals legislation. Republicans, therefore, pledge:

Long-range minerals and fuels planning and programming, including increased coal research.

Assistance to mining industries in bridging the gap between peak defense demands and anticipated peacetime demands.

Continued support for federal financial assistance and incentives under our tax laws to encourage exploration for domestic sources of minerals and metals, with reasonable depletion allowances.

To preserve our fish and wildlife heritage, we pledge:

Legislation to authorize exchange of lands between state and federal governments to adapt programs to changing uses and habits.

Vigorous implementation of long-range programs for fish and wildlife.

Government Finance

To build a better America with broad national purposes such as high employment, vigorous and steady economic growth, and a dependable currency, responsible management of our federal finances is essential. Even more important, a sound economy is vital to national security. While leading Democrats charge us with a "budget balancing" mentality, their taunts really reflect their frustration over the people's recognition that as a nation we must live within our means. Government that is careless with the money of its citizens is careless with their future.

Because we are concerned about the well-being of people, we are concerned about protecting the value of their money. To this end, we Republicans believe that:

Every government expenditure must be tested by its contribution to the general welfare, not to any narrow interest group.

Except in times of war or economic adversity, expenditures should be covered by revenues.

We must work persistently to reduce, not to increase, the national debt, which imposes a heavy economic burden on every citizen.

Our tax structure should be improved to provide greater incentives to economic progress, to make it fair and equitable, and to maintain and deserve public acceptance.

We must resist assaults upon the independence of the Federal Reserve System; we must strengthen, not weaken, the ability of the Federal Reserve System and the Treasury Department to exercise effective control over money and credit in order better to combat both deflation and inflation that retard economic growth and shrink people's savings and earnings.

In order of priority, federal revenues should be used: first, to meet the needs of national security; second, to fulfill the legitimate and urgent needs of the nation that cannot be met by the States, local governments or private action; third, to pay down on the national debt in good times; finally, to improve our tax structure.

National security and other essential needs will continue to make enormous demands upon public revenues. It is therefore imperative that we weigh carefully each demand for a new federal expenditure. The federal government should undertake not the most things nor the least things, but the right things.

Achieving this vital purpose demands:

That Congress, in acting on new spending bills, have figures before it showing the cumulative effect of its actions on the total budget.

That spending commitments for future years be clearly listed in each budget, so that the effect of built-in expenditure programs may be recognized and evaluated.

That the President be empowered to veto individual items in authorization and appropriation bills.

That increasing efforts be made to extend business-like methods to government operations, particularly in purchasing and supply activities, and in personnel.

Government Administration

The challenges of our time test the very organization of democracy. They put on trial the capacity of free government to act quickly, wisely, resolutely. To meet these challenges:

The President must continue to be able to reorganize and streamline executive operations to keep the executive branch capable of responding effectively to rapidly changing conditions in both foreign and domestic fields. The Eisenhower-Nixon Administration did so by creating a new Department of Health, Education and Welfare, by establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Agency and the Federal Aviation Agency, and by reorganizations of the Defense Department.

Two top positions should be established to assist the President in, (1) the entire field of National Security and international Affairs, and, (2) Governmental Planning and Management, particularly in domestic affairs.

We must undertake further reorganization of the Defense Department to achieve the most effective unification of defense planning and command.

Improved conflict-of-interest laws should be enacted for vigilant protection of the public interest and to remove deterrents to governmental service by our most able citizens.

The federal government must constantly strengthen its career service and must be truly progressive as an employer. Government employment must be a vocation deserving of high public respect. Common sense demands continued improvements in employment, training and promotion practices based on merit, effective procedures for dealing with employment grievances, and salaries which are comparable to those offered by private employers.

As already practiced by the Republican membership, responsible Policy Committees should be elected by each party in each house of Congress. This would provide a mechanism for meetings of party Congressional leaders with the President when circumstances demand.

Needed federal judgeships, appointed on the basis of the highest qualifications and without limitation to a single political party, should be created to expedite administration of justice in federal courts.

The remarkable growth of the Post Office since 1952 to serve an additional 9 million urban and l 1/2 million farm families must be continued. The Post Office must be continually improved and placed on a self-sustaining basis. Progressive Republican policies of the past seven years have resulted in reduced costs, decentralization of postal operations, liberal pay, fringe benefits, improved working conditions, streamlined management, and improved service.

Vigorous state and local governments are a vital part of our federal union. The federal government should leave to state and local governments those programs and problems which they can best handle and tax sources adequate to finance them. We must continue to improve liaison between federal, state and local governments. We believe that the federal government, when appropriate, should render significant assistance in dealing with our urgent problems of urban growth and change. No vast new bureaucracy is needed to achieve this objective.

We favor a change in the Electoral College system to give every voter a fair voice in presidential elections.

We condemn bigotry, smear and other unfair tactics in political campaigns. We favor realistic and effective safeguards against diverting non-political funds to partisan political purposes.

Republicans will continue to work for Congressional representation and self-government for the District of Columbia and also support the constitutional amendment granting suffrage in national elections.

We support the right of the Puerto Rican people to achieve statehood, whenever they freely so determine. We support the right of the people of the Virgin Islands to an elected Governor, national representation and suffrage, looking toward eventual statehood, when qualified. We also support the right of the people of Guam to an elected Governor and national representation. These pledges are meaningful from the Republican leadership under which Alaska and Hawaii have newly entered the Union.

Congress should submit a constitutional amendment providing equal rights for women.


The rapid pace of international developments serves to re-emphasize dramatically the challenge which generations of Americans will face in the years ahead. We are reminded daily of the crucial importance of strengthening our system of education to prepare our youth for understanding and shaping the powerful emerging forces of the modern world and to permit the fullest possible development of individual capacities and potentialities.

We express our gratefulness and we praise the countless thousands of teachers who have devoted themselves in an inspired way towards the development of our greatest heritage—our own children—the youth of the country.

Education is not a luxury, nor a gift to be bestowed upon ourselves and our children. Education is an investment; our schools cannot become second best. Each person possesses the right to education—it is his birthright in a free Republic.

Primary responsibility for education must remain with the local community and state. The federal government should assist selectively in strengthening education without interfering with full local control of schools. One objective of such federal assistance should be to help equalize educational opportunities. Under the Eisenhower-Nixon Administration, the federal government will spend more than a billion dollars in 1960 to strengthen American education.

We commend the objective of the Republican Administration in sponsoring the National Defense Education Act to stimulate improvement of study and teaching in selected fields at the local level.

Toward the goal of fullest possible educational opportunity for every American, we pledge these actions:

Federal support to the primary and secondary schools by a program of federal aid for school construction—pacing it to the real needs of individual school districts in states and territories, and requiring state approval and participation.

Stimulation of actions designed to update and strengthen vocational education for both youth and adults.

Support of efforts to make adequate library facilities available to all our citizens.

Continued support of programs to strengthen basic research in education; to discover the best methods for helping handicapped, retarded, and gifted children to realize their highest potential.

The federal government can also play a part in stimulating higher education. Constructive action would include:

The federal program to assist in construction of college housing.

Extension of the federal student loan program and graduate fellowship program.

Consideration of means through tax laws to help offset tuition costs.

Continued support of the East-West Center for cultural and technical interchange in Hawaii for the purpose of strengthening our relationship with the peoples of the Pacific world.

Federal matching grants to help states finance the cost of state surveys and inventories of the status and needs of their school systems.

Provision should be made for continuous attention to education at all levels by the creation of a permanent, top-level commission to advise the President and the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, constantly striving to focus the interest of each citizen on the quality of our education at every level, from primary through postgraduate, and for every age group from children to adults.

We are aware of the fact that there is a temporary shortage of classrooms for our elementary and secondary schools in a limited number of states. But this shortage, due to the vigilant action of state legislatures and local school boards, is not increasing, but is decreasing.

We shall use our full efforts in all the states of the Union to have these legislatures and school boards augment their present efforts to the end that this temporary shortage may be eliminated and that every child in this country shall have the opportunity to obtain a good education. The respective states as a permanent program can shoulder this long-standing and cherished responsibility easier than can the federal government with its heavy indebtedness.

We believe moreover that any large plan of federal aid to education, such as direct contributions to or grants for teachers salaries can only lead ultimately to federal domination and control of our schools to which we are unalterably opposed. In the words of President Eisenhower, "Education best fulfills its high purpose when responsibility for education is kept close to the people it serves—when it is rooted in the homes, nurtured in the community and sustained by a rich variety of public, private and individual resources. The bond linking home and school and community—the responsiveness of each to the needs of the others—is a precious asset of American education."

Science and Technology

Much of America's future depends upon the inquisitive mind, freely searching nature for ways to conquer disease, poverty and grinding physical demands, and for knowledge of space and the atom.

We Republicans express our profound gratitude to the great scientists and engineers of our country, both in and out of government, for the remarkable progress they have made. Reliable evidence indicates, all areas of scientific knowledge considered, that our country has been, is, and under our system of free inquiry, will continue to be the greatest arsenal and reservoir of effective scientific knowledge in the world.

We pledge our continued leadership in every field of science and technology, earthbound as well as spacial, to assure a citadel of liberty from which the fruits of freedom may be carried to all people.

Our continuing and great national need is for basic research—a wellspring of knowledge and progress. Government must continue to take a responsible role in science to assure that worth-while endeavors of national significance are not retarded by practical limitations of private and local support. This demands from all Americans the intellectual leadership and understanding so necessary for these creative endeavors and an equal understanding by our scientists and technicians of the needs and hopes of mankind.

We believe the federal roles in research to be in the area of ( 1 ) basic research which industry cannot be reasonably expected to pursue, and (2) applied research in fields of prime national concern such as national defense, exploration and use of space, public health, and better common use of all natural resources, both human and physical. We endorse the contracting by government agencies for research and urge allowance for reasonable charges for overhead and management in connection therewith.

The vigor of American science and technology may best be inspired by:

An environment of freedom and public understanding in which intellectual achievement and scientific research may flourish.

A decentralization of research into as many centers of creativity as possible.

The encouragement of colleges and universities, private enterprise, and foundations as a growing source of new ideas and new applications.

Opportunity for scientists and engineers, in and out of government, to pursue their search with utmost aggressiveness.

Continuation of the advisory committee to represent the views of the scientific community to the President and of the Federal Council for Science and Technology to foster coordination in planning and execution.

Continued expansion of the Eisenhower-Nixon Atoms-for-Peace program and a constant striving, backed by scientific advice, for international agreement for peaceful and cooperative exploration and use of space.

Human Needs

The ultimate objective of our free society and of an ever-growing economy is to enable the individual to pursue a life of dignity and to develop his own capacities to his maximum potential.

Government's primary role is to help provide the environment within which the individual can seek his own goals. In some areas this requires federal action to supplement individual, local and state initiative. The Republican Party has acted and will act decisively, compassionately, and with deep human understanding in approaching such problems as those of the aged, the infirm, the mentally ill, and the needy.

This is demonstrated by the significant increase in social security coverage and benefits as a result of recommendations made by the Eisenhower-Nixon Administration. As a result of these recommendations and normal growth, 14 million persons are receiving benefits today compared to five million in 1952, and benefit payments total $10.3 billion as compared to $2.5 billion in 1952. In addition, there have been increases in payments to those on public assistance, both for their basic needs and for their health and medical care; and a broad expansion in our federal-state program for restoring disabled persons to useful lives—an expansion which has accomplished the rehabilitation of over half a million persons during this Administration.

New needs, however, are constantly arising in our highly complex, interdependent, and urbanized society.

Older Citizens

To meet the needs of the aging, we pledge: Expansion of coverage, and liberalization of selected social security benefits on a basis which would maintain the fiscal integrity of the system.

Support of federal-state grant programs to improve health, welfare and rehabilitation services for the handicapped older persons and to improve standards of nursing home care and care and treatment facilities for the chronically and mentally ill.

Federal leadership to encourage policies that will make retirement at a fixed age voluntary and not compulsory.

Support of programs that will persuade and encourage the nation to utilize fully the skills, wisdom and experience of older citizens.

Prompt consideration of recommendations by the White House Conference on Aging called by the President for January, 1961.

Health Aid

Development of a health program that will provide the aged needing it, on a sound fiscal basis and through a contributory system, protection against burdensome costs of health care. Such a program should:

Provide the beneficiaries with the option of purchasing private health insurance—a vital distinction between our approach and Democratic proposals in that it would encourage commercial carriers and voluntary insurance organizations to continue their efforts to develop sound coverage plans for the senior population.

Protect the personal relationship of patient and physician.

Include state participation.

For the needs which individuals of all age groups cannot meet by themselves, we propose:

Removing the arbitrary 50-year age requirement under the disability insurance program while amending the law also to provide incentives for rehabilitated persons to return to useful work.

A single, federal assistance grant to each state for aid to needy persons rather than dividing such grants into specific categories.

A strengthened federal-state program to rehabilitate the estimated 200,000 persons who annually could become independent after proper medical services and occupational training.

A new federal-state program, for handicapped persons completely dependent on others, to help them meet their needs for personal care.

Juvenile Delinquency

The Federal Government can and should help state and local communities combat juvenile delinquency by inaugurating a grant program for research, demonstration, and training projects and by placing greater emphasis on strengthening family life in all welfare programs for which it shares responsibility.


We believe that military service in the defense of our Republic against aggressors who have sought to destroy the freedom and dignity of man imposes upon the nation a special responsibility to those who have served. To meet this responsibility, we pledge:

Continuance of the Veterans Administration as an independent agency.

The highest possible standard of medical care with increasing emphasis on rehabilitation.

Indian Affairs

As recently as 1953, thirty per cent of Indian school-age children were unable to obtain an education. Through Republican efforts, this fall, for the first time in history, every eligible Indian child will be able to attend an elementary school. Having accomplished this, we will now accelerate our efforts to open up both secondary and higher education opportunities for every qualified Indian youth.

As a result of a stepped-up health program there has been a marked decrease in death rates from tuberculosis and in the infant mortality rate. Also substantial progress has been made in the modernization of health facilities. We pledge continued progress in this area.

We are opposed to precipitous termination of the federal Indian trusteeship responsibility, and pledge not to support any termination plan for any tribe which has not approved such action.


Despite noteworthy accomplishments, stubborn and deep-seated problems stand in the way of achieving the national objective of a decent home in a suitable environment for every American. Recognizing that the federal government must help provide the economic climate and incentives which make this objective obtainable, the Republican Party will vigorously support the following steps, all designed to supplement and not supplant private initiative.

Continued effort to clear slums, and promote rebuilding, rehabilitation, and conservation of our cities.

New programs to stimulate development of specialized types of housing, such as those for the elderly and for nursing homes.

A program of research and demonstration aimed at finding ways to reduce housing costs, including support of efforts to modernize and improve local building codes.

Adequate authority for the federal housing agencies to assist the flow of mortgage credit into private housing, with emphasis on homes for middle- and lower-income families and including assistance in urban residential areas.

A stepped-up program to assist in urban planning, designed to assure far-sighted and wise use of land and to coordinate mass transportation and other vital facilities in our metropolitan areas.


There has been a five-fold increase in government-assisted medical research during the last six years, We pledge:

Continued federal support for a sound research program aimed at both the prevention and cure of diseases, and intensified efforts to secure prompt and effective application of the results of research. This will include emphasis on mental illness.

Support of international health research programs.

We face serious personnel shortages in the health and medical fields. We pledge:

Federal help in new programs to build schools of medicine, dentistry, and public health and nursing, and financial aid to students in those fields.

We are confronted with major problems in the field of environmental health. We pledge:

Strengthened federal enforcement powers in combatting water pollution and additional resources for research and demonstration projects. Federal grants for the construction of waste disposal plants should be made only when they make an identifiable contribution to clearing up polluted streams.

Federal authority to identify, after appropriate hearings, air pollution problems and to recommend proposed solutions.

Additional resources for research and training in the field of radiological medicine.

Protection of Consumers

In safeguarding the health of the nation the Eisenhower-Nixon Administration's initiative has resulted in doubling the resources of the Food and Drug Administration and in giving it new legal weapons. More progress has been made during this period in protecting consumers against harmful food, drugs, and cosmetics than in any other time in our history. We will continue to give strong support to this consumer-protection program.

Civil Rights

This nation was created to give expression, validity and purpose to our spiritual heritage—the supreme worth of the individual. In such a nation—a nation dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal—racial discrimination has no place. It can hardly be reconciled with a Constitution that guarantees equal protection under law to all persons. In a deeper sense, too, it is immoral and unjust. As to those matters within reach of political action and leadership, we pledge ourselves unreservedly to its eradication.

Equality under law promises more than the equal right to vote and transcends mere relief from discrimination by government. It becomes a reality only when all persons have equal opportunity, without distinction of race, religion, color or national origin, to acquire the essentials of life—housing, education and employment. The Republican Party—the party of Abraham Lincoln—from its very beginning has striven to make this promise a reality. It is today, as it was then, unequivocally dedicated to making the greatest amount of progress toward the objective.

We recognize that discrimination is not a problem localized in one area of the country, but rather a problem that must be faced by North and South alike. Nor is discrimination confined to the discrimination against Negroes. Discrimination in many, if not all, areas of the country on the basis of creed or national origin is equally insidious. Further we recognize that in many communities in which a century of custom and tradition must be overcome heartening and commendable progress has been made.

The Republican Party is proud of the civil rights record of the Eisenhower Administration. More progress has been made during the past eight years than in the preceding 80 years. We acted promptly to end discrimination in our nation's capital. Vigorous executive action was taken to complete swiftly the desegregation of the armed forces, veterans' hospitals, navy yards, and other federal establishments.

We supported the position of the Negro school children before the Supreme Court. We believe the Supreme Court school decision should be carried out in accordance with the mandate of the Court.

Although the Democratic-controlled Congress watered them down, the Republican Administration's recommendations resulted in significant and effective civil rights legislation in both 1957 and 1960—the first civil rights statutes to be passed in more than 80 years.

Hundreds of Negroes have already been registered to vote as a result of Department of Justice action, some in counties where Negroes did not vote before. The new law will soon make it possible for thousands and thousands of Negroes previously disenfranchised to vote.

By executive order, a committee for the elimination of discrimination in government employment has been reestablished with broadened authority. Today, nearly one-fourth of all federal employees are Negro.

The President's Committee on Government Contracts, under the chairmanship of Vice President Nixon, has become an impressive force for the elimination of discriminatory employment practices of private companies that do business with the government.

Other important achievements include initial steps toward the elimination of segregation in federally-aided housing; the establishment of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, which enforces federal civil rights laws; and the appointment of the bi-partisan Civil Rights Commission, which has prepared a significant report that lays the groundwork for further legislative action and progress.

The Republican record is a record of progress—not merely promises. Nevertheless, we recognize that much remains to be done.

Each of the following pledges is practical and within realistic reach of accomplishment. They are serious—not cynical—pledges made to result in maximum progress.

1. Voting.

We pledge:

Continued vigorous enforcement of the civil rights laws to guarantee the right to vote to all citizens in all areas of the country.

Legislation to provide that the completion of six primary grades in a state accredited school is conclusive evidence of literacy for voting purposes.

2. Public Schools.

We pledge:

The Department of Justice will continue its vigorous support of court orders for school desegregation. Desegregation suits now pending involve at least 39 school districts. Those suits and others already concluded will affect most major cities in which school segregation is being practiced.

It will use the new authority provided by the Civil Rights Act of 1960 to prevent obstruction of court orders.

We will propose legislation to authorize the Attorney General to bring actions for school desegregation in the name of the United States in appropriate cases, as when economic coercion or threat of physical harm is used to deter persons from going to court to establish their rights.

Our continuing support of the President's proposal, to extend federal aid and technical assistance to schools which in good faith attempted to desegregate.

We oppose the pretense of fixing a target date 3 years from now for the mere submission of plans for school desegregation. Slow-moving school districts would construe it as a three-year moratorium during which progress would cease, postponing until 1963 the legal process to enforce compliance. We believe that each of the pending court actions should proceed as the Supreme Court has directed and that in no district should there be any such delay.

3. Employment.

We pledge:

Continued support for legislation to establish a Commission on Equal Job Opportunity to make permanent and to expand with legislative backing the excellent work being performed by the President's Committee on Government Contracts.

Appropriate legislation to end the discriminatory membership practices of some labor union locals, unless such practices are eradicated promptly by the labor unions themselves.

Use of the full-scale review of existing state laws, and of prior proposals for federal legislation, to eliminate discrimination in employment now being conducted by the Civil Rights Commission, for guidance in our objective of developing a Federal-State program in the employment area.

Special consideration of training programs aimed at developing the skills of those now working in marginal agricultural employment so that they can obtain employment in industry, notably in the new industries moving into the South.

4. Housing.

We pledge:

Action to prohibit discrimination in housing constructed with the aid of federal subsidies.

5. Public Facilities and Services.

We pledge:

Removal of any vestige of discrimination in the operation of federal facilities or procedures which may at any time be found.

Opposition to the use of federal funds for the construction of segregated community facilities.

Action to ensure that public transportation and other government authorized services shall be free from segregation.

6. Legislative Procedure.

We pledge:

Our best efforts to change present Rule 22 of the Senate and other appropriate Congressional procedures that often make unattainable proper legislative implementation of constitutional guarantees.

We reaffirm the constitutional right to peaceable assembly to protest discrimination in private business establishments. We applaud the action of the businessmen who have abandoned discriminatory practices in retail establishments, and we urge others to follow their example.

Finally we recognize that civil rights is a responsibility not only of states and localities; it is a national problem and a national responsibility. The federal government should take the initiative in promoting inter-group conferences among those who, in their communities, are earnestly seeking solutions of the complex problems of desegregation—to the end that closed channels of communication may be opened, tensions eased, and a cooperative solution of local problems may be sought.

In summary, we pledge the full use of the power, resources and leadership of the federal government to eliminate discrimination based on race, color, religion or national origin and to encourage understanding and good will among all races and creeds.


Immigration has historically been a great factor in the growth of the United States, not only in numbers but in the enrichment of ideas that immigrants have brought with them. This Republican Administration has given refuge to over 32,000 victims of Communist tyranny from Hungary, ended needless delay in processing applications for naturalization, and has urged other enlightened legislation to liberalize existing restrictions.

Immigration has been reduced to the point where it does not provide the stimulus to growth that it should, nor are we fulfilling our obligation as a haven for the oppressed. Republican conscience and Republican policy require that:

The annual number of immigrants we accept be at least doubled.

Obsolete immigration laws be amended by abandoning the outdated 1920 census data as a base and substituting the 1960 census.

The guidelines of our immigration policy be based upon judgment of the individual merit of each applicant for admission and citizenship.


We have set forth the program of the Republican Party for the government of the United States. We have written a Party document, as is our duty, but we have tried to refrain from writing a merely partisan document. We have no wish to exaggerate differences between ourselves and the Democratic Party; nor can we, in conscience, obscure the differences that do exist. We believe that the Republican program is based upon a sounder understanding of the action and scope of government. There are many things a free government cannot do for its people as well as they can do them for themselves. There are some things no government should promise or attempt to do. The functions of government are so great as to bear no needless enlargement. We limit our proposals and our pledges to those areas for which the government of a great republic can reasonably be made responsible. To the best of our ability we have avoided advocating measures that would go against the grain of a free people.

The history and composition of the Republican Party make it the natural instrument for eradicating the injustice and discrimination in this country. We Republicans are fortunate in being able to contend against these evils, without having to contend against each other for the principle.

We believe that we see, so far as men can see through the obscurity of time and trouble, the prudent course for the nation in its hour of trial. The Soviet Union has created another of the new situations of peril which has been the Communist record from the beginning and will continue to be until our strategy for victory has succeeded. The speed of technological change makes it imperative that we measure the new situations by their special requirements and accelerate as appropriate our efforts in every direction, economic and military and political to deal with them.

As rapidly as we perfect the new generations of weapons we must arm ourselves effectively and without delay. In this respect the nation stands now at one of the new points of departure. We must never allow our technology, particularly in nuclear and propulsion fields, to lag for any reason until such time as we have dependable and honest safeguards of inspection and control. We must take steps at once to secure our position in this regard and at the same time we must intensify our efforts to develop better safeguards in the field of disarmament.

The free nations of the world must ever be rallied to the cause and be encouraged to join together in more effective alliances and unions strong enough to meet all challenges and sustain the common effort. It is urgent that we innovate to keep the initiative for our free cause.

We offer toil and sweat, to ward off blood and tears. We advocate an immovable resistance against every Communist aggression. We argue for a military might commensurate with our universal tasks. We end by declaring our faith in the Republic and in its people, and in the deathless principles of right from which it draws its moral force.

APP Note: The American Presidency Project used the first day of the national nominating convention as the "date" of this platform since the original document is undated.

Republican Party Platforms, Republican Party Platform of 1960 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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