Newspaper Articles

Weirton Daily Times
May 5, 1960

Humphrey Outlines Plan to Aid W.Va. Economy

Senator Hubert Humphrey carrying his campaign to Weirton today said the establishment of minimum federal standards to increase and expand state unemployment benefits is a "desperately needed weapon in our battle against local or nation-wide recession."

Likening Hancock county and its apparent prosperity to sections of his home state of Minnesota, Humphrey said a single panacea cannot be applied to economic ills as he related W. Va.'s struggle toward overall security.

Humphrey emphasized federal unemployment compensation standards as a basic part of his 10 point program for West Virginia's economic revival.

The Minnesota Democrat who arrived in Weirton's Community center at 8:03 a.m. today was amiable and pleasant in his responses to the press and Hancock-Brooke residents. The early morning coffee attracted a little more than 50 persons.

A cavalcade of Humphrey workers accompanied the senator as he barnstormed Hancock and Brooke.

He departed at 9 a.m. by bus after a whirlwind bombardment by well wishers and representations from the press, radio and television. Mayor David T. Frew presented him with a Weirton steel manufactured key to the city.

Humphrey said West Virginia's importance in the political picture could not be deemphasized although the plurality vote has little or no importance in the assignments of delegates influx of new media; radio and television have created the interest.

He made challenging remarks concerning the emphasis of bigotry prevalent in the campaign, calling upon the Kennedy crusaders to refrain from resorting to these tactics "when the going gets rough."

The poverty evident is southern West Virginia was not 'sudden' but a "growing paralysis" that could hardly be saved by West Virginia and alone. "These problems must be channeled into the national stream of events." He claimed West Virginians must rely upon national assistance "but not government domination. A government responsive to and responsible for local problems are qualities most sought for in the state's economic revival."

The presidential hopeful said he had co-sponsored legislation in Congress, and had sharply criticized the present administration's opposition to the measure. He said "The administration takes its advice from lobbyists for big business and does nothing but ask the states to raise their standards. I believe in an administration which would take its advice from the families who through no fault of their own suffer from unemployment and barely exist on inadequate benefits."

"We must have standards which would establish benefits no less than 50 percent of regular wages, a uniform benefit period of 39 weeks and coverage for all except domestic and agricultural employees."

The federal and state unemployment compensation system should also provide for a national reinsurance fund to protect states with high rates of unemployment."

"It is tragically unfair for an unemployed man in one state to receive far more than an unemployment man in another state. And it is shameful that a state such as West Virginia gets no additional federal assistance for widespread and chronic unemployment."

Democrats who chastised Governor Underwood's search for relocation of industry into West Virginia are "ill-advised, and should reconsider," Humphrey said. The senator said he could hardly believe that anyone- even a Democrat could in fair conscience criticize a governor who was striving to aid his people.

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