Election 1944: Business must be freed of shackles, Bricker says (10-25-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (October 25, 1944)


Bricker: Business must be freed of shackles

Fort Worth, Texas (UP) –
Ohio Governor John W. Bricker, charging the New Deal with dilatory tactics that delayed the war effort, today said if the government handled post-war production as it did war production American business would be “harnessed and hitched” with Sidney Hillman and Earl Browder giving orders.

Denying that industry had to be “thrown” into war “by the scruff of the neck” as Vice President Henry A. Wallace said in a recent Cleveland speech, Mr. Bricker charged that industry could not get on with the rearmament program until the “restraining hands of the Palace Guard” were lifted and expert industrialists took over.

Up to Dewey

The GOP vice presidential nominee, in his first Texas speech prepared for delivery here before departing for Dallas said Governor Thomas E. Dewey was the man “to cast off the harness of paternalistic control” and give business “the green light” to produce and make jobs.

Mr. Bricker said:

If the government steps into the post-war production as it did into war production, Mr. [presidential adviser Harry] Hopkins and Mr. [Secretary of the Treasury Henry] Morgenthau will be playing with the destiny of American labor and industrial management to tunes called by Sidney Hillman and Earl Browder. These gentlemen know exactly what they want. They want American business harnessed and hitched.

Answers Wallace

Attacking Mr. Wallace’s Cleveland speech in which the Vice President said, “You had to take industry by the scruff of the neck and throw it into the war,” Mr. Bricker retorted:

Henry Wallace ought to know better than that. The New Deal took industry by the scruff of the neck all right as early as 1932 but the New Deal didn’t throw industry into the war. American industry got into production just as soon as the administration took its hands off the scruff of its neck.

He added:

And what a job of production industry performed when the restraining hand of the Palace Guard let go and when the expert industrialists took over.