Election 1944: Dewey hits Roosevelt’s post-war plans (8-5-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (August 6, 1944)


Dewey hits Roosevelt’s post-war plans

Reconversion job ‘not a single task’

Pawling, New York (UP) – (Aug. 5)
Governor Thomas E. Dewey, completing a 2,350-mile trip through pivotal Midwestern states, returned to his Pawling farm tonight after charging the Roosevelt administration has “failed to show a degree of competence” necessary to prepare the nation’s war industries for peacetime production.

The Republican presidential nominee said he planned to get his first real test since he gena the trip which took him through Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri and Indiana. The Governor retired to the seclusion of his Quaker Hill farm immediately after stepping rom his special car at 7:37 p.m. ET.

Mr. Dewey’s latest attack on the New Deal came at a press conference, which was held aboard the train en route from St. Louis. He told newspapermen that to bring about orderly reconversion there must be extensive planning, and challenged “the ability of the present Democratic administration to prepare post-war blueprints.”

‘Must do many things’

He said:

There is nothing that can be done to speed reconversion. You could do one thing well and still the whole thing can break down. For example, a large auto company may have a hundred companies that manufacture parts to be fed into the main plant. If so much as one of those companies is not handled with equal speed, the other 99 and the main company and all the employees of all of them will be idle.

It requires a degree of competence never yet shown by the present national administration in anything.

The Republican standard-bearer said he believed reconversion would probably start first in the East, but no matter where the reconversion takes place virtually all the same problems are involved.

‘Big reduction coming’

He said:

I think everyone recognizes there will be a very substantial reduction in production when the war in Europe is over. The reduction will be very substantial. Of course, that will differ in different states very sharply. There may be an increase in some items, but the overall picture will decline, and decline very substantially.

Mr. Dewey slept late on his train, explaining that it was the first time he had more than six hours rest since leaving New York City last Sunday for a trip which was planned primarily for the Republican Governors Conference at St. Louis. He said he would remain at his farm in Pawling until Monday morning when he will return to the State Capitol at Albany.

Directly at Roosevelt

The Governor made it plain that during his campaign for the Presidency, which is expected to include a coast-to-coast trip, he will point his attacks directly at President Roosevelt. He told a group of soldiers from Massachusetts that he also expected to appear in New England, “but no definite dates for any speeches have been made,” he said. “There are no definite details at this time.”

Mr. Dewey spent most of his press conference talking about reconversion policies, which were outlined by the 26 governors who met at St. Louis.

Mr. Dewey turned aside a question about reports that Wendell L. Willkie would be nominated U.S. Senator from New York. “Mr. Willkie isn’t a candidate, is he?” the Governor asked.

The Republican State committee meets in Albany Tuesday to nominate an opponent for Democratic U.S. Senator Robert F. Wagner, ardent supporter of Mr. Roosevelt.