Newspaper Articles

Huntington Advertiser
March 24, 1960

Humphrey Rips GOP 'Inaction, Paralysis'

Calls for Aid to State

By Hugh Maxwell

Senator Hubert Humphrey (D-Minn), candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, in a fighting speech to 300 or more Huntingtonians last night at the hotel Frederick, accused the Eisenhower administration of spending billions abroad while turning a cold shoulder upon destitution in West Virginia.

In an hour-long speech, delivered after he had arrived here by private plane from Washington three hours late, the senator charged the GOP administration with over-concern for foreign countries and indifference to needs at home.

As an example, he pointed out that the United States maintains coal commissions in countries like Korea, yet Eisenhower vetoed a bill for a similar commission to help West Virginia.

Senator Humphrey's appearance here opened his West Virginia campaign for the Democratic nomination for president. He and Senator John F. Kennedy (D-Mass) are entered in the West Virginia presidential primary May 10 although the results will not be binding upon the state's 25 convention delegates.

Senator Humphrey, at the outset of his address here, said that "inaction and paralysis of the Republican administration has helped to make West Virginia low man on the totem pole in our so-called affluent society."

He hit hard at GOP administration policies which he said are bogging down the country's economic progress.

He said if it is all right "to loan money to every country in the world," he thinks it should be equally right to loan money to West Virginia, Kentucky, and other depressed areas.

"I have a feeling we are better credit risks than they are in Timbuktu," he declared.

"It is high time," Senator Humphrey declared, "that we have a Marshall Plan to assist distressed areas of the United States, particularly West Virginia.

"Too many of your coal mines are closed and silent. Unemployed miners are eating their hearts out. Meanwhile, gas and oil replace coal. There are 172 areas of chronic labor surplus in the United States and 18 are in in West Virginia.

"Eighty-five thousand men and women are unemployed in your state. One man of every eight in Huntington is job-hunting. Your unemployment is 13 per cent of your labor force.

"These conditions should not be tolerated in what could be the most powerful and the richest nation in the world. I charge the Republican administration with callow disregard for human rights. America needs a government with a big, warm heart and clear vision."

No Personal Attack

It was noticeable that Senator Humphrey made no direct personal attack upon President Eisenhower. The attacks were concentrated upon the entire administration and its foreign, domestic and budgetary policies. The President's vetoes were criticized.

"Blind worship of a fiscal budget has put our people in an economic strait jacket. This is outrageous," Humphrey declared.

He apologized to his audience for being late. He was so late, in fact, the he missed the Huntington Forum's dinner entirely. Dr. Conley H. Dillon, professor of political science at Marshall Colelge, substituted for the senator as the dinner-meeting speaker.

Senator Humphrey said he and Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WVa) and Representative Ken Hechler of Huntington planned to leave Washington by plane at 4 p. m., so as to reach Huntington by 5:30 p. m. Shortly before the scheduled departure, Senators Humphrey and Byrd received notice of an important Senate roll-call. It came at 5:30 p. m. and the two senators answered to their names.

The Humphrey party got away from Washington at 6:17 p. m. He went direct to the main ballroom of the hotel where his audience was waiting.

Forceful Speaker

Senator Humphrey proved to be a forceful and emphatic speaker, with a complete grasp of his subject. He made no secret of his candidacy for the presidency and frankly asked West Virginians for their support.

"Let me stand at your side and help you in the years to come," he said. "If I am nominated and elected, there will be no lock on the gate of the White House. You can come and see me and stay for lunch."

Senator Humphrey made a plea for the reelection of Senator Jennings Randolph (D-WVa) and Representative Hechler. Senator Byrd, who introduced Senator Humphrey, likewise urged the reelection of Randolph and Hechler. Byrd paid Senator Humphrey the tribute of being one of the most highly-regarded members of the Senate and a man eminently fitted for higher office.

Senator Humphrey said:

"the days of the New Deal and the Fair Deal are past. To borrow a phrase from our teen-agers, what we have now is the Big Deal. If you're a Big Dealer, you can sit in the cabinet or even play golf with the President at Augusta. if you work for a living - or, worse still, are seeking the opportunity to work for a living - you get the short end of the stick.

"The small-minded men in Washington worship the Federal Budget like a new golden calf, and daily sacrifice the welfare of our people to it. They see our agricultural abundance as 'a problem of surplus,' not an opportunity to help hungry people.

"They even resent the stubborn tendency of our economy to grow. Whenever it shows signs of expanding at the old-fashioned Democratic rate of five per cent a year, they get out the fire hose and damp it down with their tight-money, high-interest-rate policies.

"We can put these same two factors to work for West Virginia. You have able Democratic candidates for the governorship. One of them will be sitting in the governor's chair in Charleston next January. I am sure that one of his first actions will be to bring the leaders of business, labor, and agriculture together in conference to fashion a program for West Virginia's revival.

Lists 8-Point Program

"I'll do my level best to be on hand in the White House, ready and able to help. In fact, I've already been hard at work at what I call the eight-point Humphrey Blueprint for Action."

The program calls for:

1. Stepped-up U. S. economic growth.

2. Passage of the Area Redevelopment Act.

3. Establishment of a Coal Research and Development Commission.

4. A joint Federal-state-local program to improve highways and public facilities.

5. A better break for West Virginia in defense procurement.

6. Creation of a Youth Conservation Corps.

7. A mandatory food stamp plan.

8. A standby program of public works.

Senator Humphrey was the informal guest of prominent local Democrats following the speaking program at the hotel.

The senator left Huntington at 2 a. m. in the private plane for a return to Washington. He was recalled to attend a hearing scheduled for 9:30 a. m. today.

A press, radio and TV conference, scheduled for this morning at the Hotel Frederick, was cancelled.

Administration Said One of Waste


(See Page One Story)

America cannot afford a situation where only the rich can run for office, Senator Hubert Humphrey (D-Minn), presidential aspirant, said in his address here last night. "I like to think," the senator added, "that the White House still can be reached from the corner drug store." (He referred to a store his father operated in depression days).

Other Humphreyisms, culled from his hour-long talk, follow:

"The Republican administration has failed in its responsibilities to West Virginia. The administration is one of waste. It is wasting our resources, our brainpower and our prestige over the world..."

"America needs full-time leadership to forge ahead instead of inaction, confusion, fear and uncertainty in high places. The GOP administration stands immobilized by fear. We had a similar situation in the early 1930's. One man. who took the nation's highest office on March 4, 1933, revitalized the nation. He said: 'All we have to fear is fear itself.'"

Living in Credit Economy

"I have been called an intellectual liberal in politics. I learned my brand of liberalism in the Dust Bowl and the depression - the school of hard knocks."

"America is deep in debt, public and private. We are living in a credit economy, incidentally with high interest rates."

"In one election, we can relieve Washington of its paralysis.

"For anyone but a millionaire, aspiring to the presidency of the United States is becoming more and more difficult. Maybe the days of the log cabin to the White House are over."

"I have no vast reserves of money to pour into this campaign. But I have, out of a lifetime's experience, a vast exposure to the problems which confront you West Virginians."

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