Election 1940: Wallace Hits Willkie Stand (10-2-40)

Reading Eagle (October 2, 1940)



Says G.O.P. Nominee’s Policy on Public Utilities 'Confusing’

Spokane, Wash., Oct. 2 (AP) –

Henry A. Wallace carried the Democratic campaign into Washington state today after telling an Oregon audience that Wendell Willkie’s statements of policy on public ownership of power “are so confusing we cannot be sure what his attitude would be.”

The Democratic vice presidential nominee, coming into this section direct from Portland, Ore., scheduled an address for 3:30 p.m. (PST) at Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and one here at 7:30 p.m.

At Portland, the former Secretary of Agriculture asserted that, as counsel and as president of Commonwealth and Southern Corp., Willkie fought the Tennessee Valley Authority and testified before a Congressional investigating committee in November 1938, that he was “convinced” the power activities of the TVA violated the Constitution.

If TVA was unconstitutional, so of course was Bonneville.

Wallace was referring to the Bonneville Dam project on the Columbia River.

Challenges Willkie Charge

Wallace challenged the charge by Republican presidential candidate Willkie that the administration believes that “as a nation of producers we have become stagnant.”

The Tennessee Valley and the Pacific Northwest he described as “two of the areas where the standard of living is rising and new business is growing – thanks to the forward-looking power policies of the administration.”

Wallace questioned Willkie’s “background for bold and aggressive action to promote the expansion of business activity and re-employment.”

He charged that the G.O.P. candidate made an “unfortunate error in judgment” in 1935 “which led the Commonwealth and Southern into an expensive course of obstruction and unsuccessful eligation.”

Wallace described Sen. Charles L. McNary, Republican vice presidential nominee, as “an old friend” and urged the crowd, estimated at 3,500 by the arrangements committee to elect him (Wallace) to the Vice Presidency so he could work with McNary on agricultural and forestry policies.