The Pittsburgh Press (August 4, 1944)
Administration accused of mishandling welfare agencies, usurping state rights
St. Louis, Missouri (UP) –
The Republican Governors Conference concluded its work today with final reports charging the New Deal with chaotic administration of welfare agencies and arbitrary handling of labor problems in a manner tending to promote industrial strife.
Under the leadership of Governor Thomas E. Dewey, Republican presidential candidate, the governors submitted the last of their bill of particulars challenging the Roosevelt administration in the form of five reports and a statement of conclusions. Mr. Dewey said the action of himself, vice-presidential candidate Governor John W. Bricker, and the 24 other GOP executives was unanimous in all instances.
With the conference out of the way, Mr. Dewey began today a series of conferences with Missouri politicians and representatives of other groups. He will entrain for New York this evening, ending a one-week, three-state campaign organization tour which led through Pennsylvania and Illinois to the banks of the Mississippi.
14 domestic issues
The five reports today completed the conference agenda of 14 domestic issues in which the GOP cited conflict between state and federal interests in a broad field of governmental relationships and demanded greater scope and responsibility for local government.
Today’s reports dealt with social welfare, education and public health; public expenditure; labor, water resources; and state-federal tax coordination.
Charging the administration with inefficient and arbitrary approaches to labor problems, the governors demanded “an immediate and drastic change in the spirit and methods of administration of these [labor] laws.”
They objected to a general policy of federal collection of tax funds to be shared with the states and said “taxes must be simplified and reduced after the war is won.”
The governors hit at the Wagner-Murray Bill to provide medical care for the population generally with a federal subsidy.
There is too much duplication of state and federal effort, the governors said in discussing public expenditures, and they called for action to make “the cost of government fit the American pocketbook.”
Ask powers for states
In three reports issued last night the governors demanded continued state control of the insurance business, return of the public employment service to state administration and the freeing of agriculture from “the unreliable controls and whimsical restraints that now hamper production.” Six reports were issued early yesterday.
The administration, the governors charged, is using the public employment service to extend its political power over labor.
In their conclusion made public today, the governors complained that the federal government has not been attentive to the needs of all parts of the country for lack of personal contact between the President and the governors.