Humphrey Hits Aid
Try “Dime” Diet, Ike Challenged
By Jame[s] A. Haught
April 29, 1960
Humphrey Hits Aid
Try “Dime” Diet, Ike Challenged
By Jame[s] A. Haught
Sen. Hubert Humphrey scored President Eisenhower claims of liberal assistance to meet the emergency needs of unemployed West Virginians Thursday with the suggestion that the President and Agriculture Secretary Benson “try surviving for a month on the less than a dime-a-day starvation diet of surplus food being distributed” in the Mountain State.”
Humphrey said on an evening television program that actual commodities and amounts being distributed as the monthly allocation of food to unemployed and welfare cases in West Virginia include:
Flour, 10 pounds, corn meal, five pounds, lard, one pound, rice, one pound, dry eggs, 13 ounces, and dry milk, 4 ½ pounds.
“I will let the people themselves judge how adequate a diet that is for a month,” the Minnesota senator said.
Humphrey’s renowned wit sparkled in Charleston as the presidential hopeful held his first all-day campaign effort here Thursday.
When a Morris Harvey College student accidentally called him “Sen. Kennedy,” Humphrey replied:
“That’s all right—100,000 voters in Wisconsin made the same mistake.”
And when his public address system broke down during an outdoor address on Capitol St., he quipped:
“I wonder if the Republicans arranged that.”
Then he grabbed a portable, battery-operated loudspeaker and added:
“See, we Democrats won’t let any temporary setback throw us. We’ll improvise somehow.”
However, the major part of his day’s work was serious.
Speaking on surplus food distribution, the speaker said he had purchased the same quantities allocated by the government each month “in retail markets” in Charleston Thursday for these prices:
Flour, 98 cents; corn meal, 42 cents; dry milk, $1.70; rice, 21 cents; lard, 18 cents; and dry eggs, 40 cents.
“That is a total retail cost of $3.89 for this one-month food allocation for the needy—at least double what it cost the government. That is less than a dime a day for the needy,” he charged.
“That is what the President calls ‘very material assistance’.”
He declared that the Department of Agriculture has an unexpended $424,080,391 in “Section 32 funds,” accumulated in tarrif [sic] revenues and available under law for such purposes as purchase of perishable foods to supplement relief distribution diets.
“In addition, Congress authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to expand up to $500 million to expand food consumption among low income families through a Food Stamp plan that would provide more adequate diets to these needy people.
“I should know—because it was the Humphrey bill.”
He declared he was “amazed that the President would have the affrontery to boast about cash distribution for food purchases under the national school lunch program, when he and his administration constantly opposed my efforts to increase these appropriations to keep pace with school population growth . . .
“I am even more amazed that he would boast about the Special Milk Program—which I sponsored, and his administration has opposed . . .”
The Minnesota liberal began in the morning by walking along downtown streets and meeting passersby. Then at noon, he gave an address from the Federal Building steps on Capitol St., followed by another address at 2 p.m. at Morris Harvey College. More handshaking filled the remainder of the day until a televised press conference at night.
He told the large gathering on Capitol St.:
“The way West Virginians vote on May 10 is going to affect the outcome of the Democratic National Convention. Your vote will have national significance. . .
“West Virginia is very much alive, despite what the Saturday Evening Post may say.”
He said his opponent, Sen. John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, is a man of “good character, conduct and family, but urged his listeners to measure the two men in terms of experience and legislative record.
He spoke of West Virginia’s depressed economy, saying:
“These conditions need not be. The government has a responsibility to the people, a duty to help people do things for themselves.
“The Eisenhower administration is asking for $4 million for foreign aid, but won’t even estend [sic] the warm hand of friendship to West Virginia and other states in economic trouble.
“America can’t afford the luxury of unemployment. We need a government in Charleston and in Washington that will cooperate with the desires of the people.”
At Morris Harvey, Humphrey was greeted by a large banner over a door declaring, “Defender of Korea Freedom at its Darkest House—Thanks, Sen. Humphrey!” The sign had been erected by four Korean students at the college.
In his address to the students, Humphrey referred to the sign and said:
“For years I said that we ought to do something to restore civil liberties in Korea. I said that when we give aid to a republic, we ought to insist that that country act like a republic.
“Each time, I was rebuked. Finally, the students took things in their own hands.
“It is often that where the elders have no social conscience, the young people must take action. I approve of students speaking up in cases of injustice—instead of being conformists as they are told to be nowadays.”
Concerning foreign policy, Humphrey told the youthful audience:
“I’d rather call it ‘international policy.’ The word ‘foreign’ indicates a lag in thinking, because nothing is foreign any more. Every act made by any national affects the rest of the world.
“This is a world in revolution. The old systems are going. Colonialism is nothing but an ugly memory. Nationalism is rampant.
“We must channel the force of nationalism into internationalism if we’re going to make it a positive force.”
Humphrey said America must grasp the lead in world unity, and prevent the further growth of communism, by helping other nations solve their food, medical, education and other problems.
“We’ve got to stop thinking of massive retaliation as a way of life, and think instead of massive doses of health, science, education . . .
“If we can’t win the ancient struggle against disease, poverty, illiteracy and hunger, we can’t expect to survive merely by armed strength.
“The hungry and poverty-ridden world is a world made for the demagogue. Khrushchev knows his communism will win in such a world . . .
“Since Cain and Abel, the Bible has been asking ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ If we don’t answer in the affirmative, then our brother will slay us.”
The televised meeting between Sen. John F. Kennedy and Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey will be held from 7:30-8:30 p. m. May 4 in the WCHS-TV studios.
The session, which is co-sponsored by The Gazette and five state television stations, will consist of opening statements by the candidates in the West Virginia Presidential preference primary and then questions submitted by state voters, will be asked the two senators.
Gazette readers who want to submit questions may do so by completing the “Debate” coupon and mailing it to The Gazette. Questions may be submitted also on plain sheets of paper.
The live show will be carried on WCHS-TV, Charleston; WHIS-TV, Bluefield; WTRF-TV, Wheeling; WBOY-TV, Clarksburg; and WTAP-TV, Parkersburg.
Bill Ames, news director of WCHS-TV, said Thursday that WTOP-TV, Washington, D. C., would also broadcast the entire show and that the Canadian Broadcasting Co. had indicated it would tape the program for later release.
The Columbia Broadcasting System Thursday said it could not accept the offer to pick up the program because of Section 315 of the Federal Communications Act.
To comply with this section, Robert E. Lang, vice president of the CBS news divis[i]on, said, would mean that equal time would have to be given by the network to all other candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
Gov. Orville Freeman of Minnesota will come here today to step up the campaign tempo in behalf of Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey.
Freeman, co-chairman of the national Humphrey-for-President Committee, will arrive at Kanawha Airport at 8:45 a.m.
Then he will head for West Virginia State College, where he will speak at 10:30 a.m.
After a luncheon at the Press Building, he will attend a coffee reception given by Major Lawrence Barker of Dunbar at 2 p.m.
Next destination will be St. Albans, where he will be honored at a reception given by Mayor Averill Ramsey.
Then he will return to the Ruffner Hotel for dinner.
At 8 p. m., the young Minnesota governor will address a rally at Chelyan Junior High School.
At 9 p. m., he will appear at B’nai Jacob Synagogue.
Following the meeting of a discussion group there, he will drive to Parkersburg.
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