Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Telegram to the Governor of New York Concerning the Economic Situation.

February 20, 1958

Dear Governor Harriman:

Thank you for your telegram of February thirteenth expressing your views and those of ten of your fellow Governors regarding the current economic situation.

My economic statement of February twelfth points out that the hardships brought by the falling off of business to many families through shortened work weeks and temporary unemployment are of the deepest concern to me and to the Administration. As I said then, many steps have already been taken by the federal government that bear on the situation, such as measures to stimulate home building, to provide greatly increased expenditures under the national highway building program, to provide an increase in activity under the urban renewal program, as well as a sharp rise in the first half of this year in the letting of defense procurement contracts. Added to this list of course must be the action of the federal Reserve authorities in recent months to increase the availability of credit and reducing its costs to borrowers. Other measures are under Administrative consideration and still others--such as a large Post Office modernization program--have been presented to the Congress. I shall continue to take, or propose to the Congress, such steps as can contribute effectively to the health of the economy and the welfare of our people.

I believe that the underlying growth factors in the economy remain vigorous and every indication is that they will reassert themselves later in the year. Our history shows that economic recovery and growth is not a matter of Washington stop-gaps or panaceas. It is as necessary to avoid doing the wrong thing as to do the right one. We must actively seek to speed the recreation of productive job opportunities for those out of work in ways that will not undermine confidence and thus jeopardize the jobs of the more than 62 million Americans who are at work today.

You will agree, I know, that all of us in positions of trust and authority have a great responsibility in these times to help meet the needs of our people and to do so in a way that will strengthen, and not weaken, a tough-minded confidence in the future. Only if such a confidence is impaired--and thereby the daily decisions of millions of Americans adversely affected--can our present difficulties develop into a deep and protracted decline.

I assure you and your colleagues that the suggestions in your telegram will receive careful study. I also appreciate your offer to be available for personal consultation on these problems.



Note: This telegram was made public at Thomasville, Ga. Governor Harriman's telegram was not included in the release.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Telegram to the Governor of New York Concerning the Economic Situation. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234478

Filed Under



Simple Search of Our Archives