Election 1944: Wallace warns of inflation (9-25-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (September 25, 1944)


Wallace warns of inflation

Vice President cites need for Roosevelt

Buffalo, New York (UP) –
Vice President Henry A. Wallace asserted last night that post-era scarcities of consumer goods plus unprecedented spending power would bring sky-high inflation unless America reelected President Roosevelt as the “maestro” whose experience would enable him to control it.

He told a meeting sponsored by the Committee for the Reelection of President Roosevelt:

The time is coming when, unless we have the old maestro, that inflation will blow up as suddenly as the drop from a precipice. As liberals, it is our sacred duty to hold ourselves together.

Wants OPA kept

Mr. Wallace called for post-war retention of the Office of Price Administration, without which, he said, an inflation would set in “such as we have never seen and spectators would make bullions but labor, farmers, Canada, England and the whole world would get headaches.”

Predicting that the problems of reconversion would be difficult and require great skill, he said the President had had an opportunity to observe such forces “at work on a worldwide basis.”

‘Not tired old man’

He doubted if any who heard the President’s speech Saturday would believe he was a “tired old man.”

“But when it comes to intellect, give me the old maestro,” Mr. Wallace said.

In an earlier address to the Farmers for Roosevelt Committee, Mr. Wallace charged that reactionaries, “especially in the Republican Party, have done their best to drive a wedge between labor and agriculture.”