[Thanks to the THOM HARTMANN program… ~DS]
Republican Party Platform of 1956
August 20, 1956
Declaration of Faith
America’s trust is in the merciful providence of God, in whose image every man is created … the source of every man’s dignity and freedom.
In this trust our Republic was founded. We give devoted homage to the Founding Fathers. They not only proclaimed that the freedom and rights of men came from the Creator and not from the State, but they provided safeguards to those freedoms.
Our Government was created by the people for all the people, and it must serve no less a purpose.
The Republican Party was formed 100 years ago to preserve the Nation’s devotion to these ideals.
On its Centennial, the Republican Party again calls to the minds of all Americans the great truth first spoken by Abraham Lincoln: “The legitimate object of Government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do, for themselves in their separate and individual capacities. But in all that people can individually do as well for themselves, Government ought not to interfere.”
Our great President Dwight D. Eisenhower has counseled us further: “In all those things which deal with people, be liberal, be human. In all those things which deal with people’s money, or their economy, or their form of government, be conservative.”
While jealously guarding the free institutions and preserving the principles upon which our Republic was founded and has flourished, the purpose of the Republican Party is to establish and maintain a peaceful world and build at home a dynamic prosperity in which every citizen fairly shares.
We shall ever build anew, that our children and their children, without distinction because of race, creed or color, may know the blessings of our free land.
We believe that basic to governmental integrity are unimpeachable ethical standards and irreproachable personal conduct by all people in government. We shall continue our insistence on honesty as an indispensable requirement of public service. We shall continue to root out corruption whenever and wherever it appears.
We are proud of and shall continue our far-reaching and sound advances in matters of basic human needs—expansion of social security—broadened coverage in unemployment insurance —improved housing—and better health protection for all our people. We are determined that our government remain warmly responsive to the urgent social and economic problems of our people.
To these beliefs we commit ourselves as we present this record and declare our goals for the future.
Nearly four years ago when the people of this Nation entrusted their Government to President Eisenhower and the Republican Party, we were locked in a costly and stalemated war. Now we have an honorable peace, which has stopped the bitter toll in casualties and resources, ended depressing wartime restraints, curbed the runaway inflation and unleashed the boundless energy of our people to forge forward on the road to progress.
In four years we have achieved the highest economic level with the most widely shared benefits that the world has ever seen. We of the Republican Party have fostered this prosperity and are dedicated to its expansion and to the preservation of the climate in which it has thrived.
We are proud of our part in bringing into a position of unique authority in the world one who symbolizes, as can no other man, the hopes of all peoples for peace, liberty and justice. One leader in the world today towers above all others and inspires the trust, admiration, confidence and good will of all the peoples of every nation—Dwight D. Eisenhower. Under his leadership, the Republican Administration has carried out foreign policies which have enabled our people to enjoy in peace the blessings of liberty. We shall continue to work unceasingly for a just and enduring peace in a world freed of tyranny.
Every honorable means at our command has been exercised to alleviate the grievances and causes of armed conflict among nations. The advance of Communism and its enslavement of people has been checked, and, at key points, thrown back. Austria, Iran and Guatemala have been liberated from Kremlin control. Forces of freedom are at work in the nations still enslaved by Communist imperialism.
We firmly believe in the right of peoples everywhere to determine their form of government, their leaders, their destiny, in peace. Where needed, in order to promote peace and freedom throughout the world, we shall within the prudent limits of our resources, assist friendly countries in their determined efforts to strengthen their economies.
We hold high hopes for useful service to mankind in the power of the atom. We shall generously assist the International Atomic Energy Agency, now evolving from President Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” proposal, in an effort to find ways to dedicate man’s genius not to his death, but to his life.
We maintain that no treaty or international agreement can deprive any of our citizens of Constitutional rights. We shall see to it that no treaty or agreement with other countries attempts to deprive our citizens of the rights guaranteed them by the Federal Constitution.
President Eisenhower has given the world bold proposals for mutual arms reduction and protection against aggression through flying sentinels in an “open sky.”
We support this and his further offer of United States participation in an international fund for economic development financed from the savings brought by true disarmament. We approve his determined resistance to disarmament without effective inspection.
We work and pray for the day when the domination of any people from any source will have ended, and when there will be liberation and true freedom for the hundreds of millions of individuals now held in subjugation. We shall continue to dedicate our best efforts to this lofty purpose.
We shall continue vigorously to support the United Nations.
We shall continue to oppose the seating of Communist China in the United Nations.
We shall maintain our powerful military strength as a deterrent to aggression and as a guardian of the peace. We shall maintain it ready, balanced and technologically advanced for these objectives only.
Good times in America have reached a breadth and depth never before known by any nation. Moreover, it is a prosperity of a nation at peace, not at war. We shall continue to encourage the good business and sound employee relationships which have made possible for the first time in our history a productive capacity of more than $400 billion a year. Nearly 67 million people have full-time jobs, with real wages and personal income at record highs.
The farmers of America are at last able to look to the future with a confidence based on expanding peacetime markets instead of on politically contrived formulas foredoomed to fail except in a wartime economy. The objective is to insure that agriculture shares fairly and fully in our record prosperity without needless Federal meddlings and domination.
Restoration of integrity in government has been an essential element to the achievement of our unparalleled good times. We will faithfully preserve the sound financial management which already has reduced annual spending $14 billion below the budgets planned by our Democratic predecessors and made possible in 1954 a $7.4-billion tax cut, the largest one-year tax reduction in history.
We will ever fight the demoralizing influence of inflation as a national way of life. We are proud to have fulfilled our 1952 pledge to halt the skyrocketing cost of living that in the previous 13 years had cut the value of the dollar by half, and robbed millions of the full value of their wages, savings, insurance, pensions and social security.
We have balanced the budget. We believe and will continue to prove that thrift, prudence and a sensible respect for living within income applies as surely to the management of our Government’s budget as it does to the family budget.
We hold that the major world issue today is whether Government shall be the servant or the master of men. We hold that the Bill of Rights is the sacred foundation of personal liberty. That men are created equal needs no affirmation, but they must have equality of opportunity and protection of their civil rights under the law.
We hold that the strict division of powers and the primary responsibility of State and local governments must be maintained, and that the centralization of powers in the national Government leads to expansion of the mastery of our lives,
We hold that the protection of the freedom of men requires that budgets be balanced, waste in government eliminated, and taxes reduced.
In these and all other areas of proper Government concern, we pledge our best thought and whole energy to a continuation of our prized peace, prosperity and progress.
For our guidance in fulfilling this responsibility, President Eisenhower has given us a statement of principles that is neither partisan nor prejudiced, but warmly American:
The individual is of supreme importance.
The spirit of our people is the strength of our nation.
America does not prosper unless all Americans prosper.
Government must have a heart as well as a head.
Courage in principle, cooperation in practice make freedom positive.
To stay free, we must stay strong.
Under God, we espouse the cause of freedom and justice and peace for all peoples. Embracing these guides to positive, constructive action, and in their rich spirit, we ask the support of the American people for the election of a Republican Congress and the re-election of the Nation’s devoted and dedicated leader—Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Declaration of Determination
In the interest of complete public understanding, elaboration of Republican aspirations and achievements is desirable in the areas of broadest public concern.
Dynamic Economy—Free Labor
Taxation and Fiscal Policy
The Republican Party takes pride in calling attention to the outstanding fiscal achievements of the Eisenhower Administration, several of which are mentioned in the foreword to these resolutions.
In order to progress further in correcting the unfortunate results of unwise financial management during 20 years of Democrat Administrations, we pledge to pursue the following objectives:
Further reductions in Government spending as recommended in the Hoover Commission Report, without weakening the support of a superior defense program or depreciating the quality of essential services of government to our people.
Continued balancing of the budget, to assure the financial strength of the country which is so vital to the struggle of the free world in its battle against Communism; and to maintain the purchasing power of a sound dollar, and the value of savings, pensions and insurance.
Gradual reduction of the national debt.
Then, insofar as consistent with a balanced budget, we pledge to work toward these additional objectives:
Further reductions in taxes with particular consideration for low and middle income families.
Initiation of a sound policy of tax reductions which will encourage small independent businesses to modernize and progress.
Continual study of additional ways to correct inequities in the effect of various taxes.
Consistent with the Republican Administration’s accomplishment in stemming the inflation —which under five Democrat Administrations had cut the value of the dollar in half, and so had robbed the wage earner and millions of thrifty citizens who had savings, pensions and insurance—we endorse the present policy of freedom for the Federal Reserve System to combat both inflation and deflation by wise fiscal policy.
The Republican Party believes that sound money, which retains its buying power, is an essential foundation for new jobs, a higher standard of living, protection of savings, a secure national defense, and the general economic growth of the country.
Business and Economic Policy
The Republican Party has as a primary concern the continued advancement of the well-being of the individual. This can be attained only in an economy that, as today, is sound, free and creative, ever building new wealth and new jobs for all the people.
We believe in good business for all business—small, medium and large. We believe that competition in a free economy opens unrivaled opportunity and brings the greatest good to the greatest number.
The sound economic policies of the Eisenhower Administration have created an atmosphere of confidence in which good businesses flourish and can plan for growth to create new job opportunities for our expanding population.
We have eliminated a host of needless controls. To meet the immense demands of our expanding economy, we have initiated the largest highway, air and maritime programs in history, each soundly financed.
We shall continue to advocate the maintenance and expansion of a strong, efficient, privately-owned and operated and soundly financed system of transportation that will serve all of the needs of our Nation under Federal regulatory policies that will enable each carrier to realize its inherent economic advantages and its full competitive capabilities.
We recognize the United States’ world leadership in aviation, and we shall continue to encourage its technical development and vigorous expansion. Our goal is to support and sponsor air services and to make available to our citizens the safest and most comprehensive air transportation. We favor adequate funds and expeditious action in improving air safety, and highest efficiency in the control of air traffic.
We stand for forward-looking programs, created to replace our war-built merchant fleet with the most advanced types in design, with increased speed. Adaptation of new propulsion power units, including nuclear, must be sponsored and achieved.
We should proceed with the prompt construction of the Atomic Powered Peace Ship in order that we may demonstrate to the world, in this as in other fields, the peaceful uses of the atom.
Our steadily rising prosperity is constantly reflecting the confidence of our citizens in the policies of our Republican Administration.
We pledge the continuation and improvement of our drive to aid small business. Every constructive potential avenue of improvement both legislative and executive—has been explored in our search for ways in which to widen opportunities for this important segment of America’s economy.
Beginning with our creation of the very successful Small Business Administration, and continuing through the recently completed studies and recommendations of the Cabinet Committee on Small Business, which we strongly endorse, we have focused our attention on positive measures to help small businesses get started and grow.
Small Business can look forward to expanded participation in federal procurement—valuable financing and technical aids—a continuously vigorous enforcement of anti-trust laws—important cuts in the burdens of paper work, and certain tax reductions as budgetary requirements permit.
Small business now is receiving approximately one-third, dollar-wise, of all Defense contracts. We recommend a further review of procurement procedures for all defense departments and agencies with a view to facilitating and extending such participation for the further benefit of Small Business.
We favor loans at reasonable rates of interest to small businesses which have records of permanency but who are in temporary need and which are unable to obtain credit in commercial channels. We recommend an extension at the earliest opportunity of the Small Business Administration which is now scheduled to expire in mid 1957.
We also propose:
Additional technical research in problems of development and distribution for the benefit of small business;
Legislation to enable closer Federal scrutiny of mergers which have a significant or potential monopolistic connotations;
Procedural changes in the antitrust laws to facilitate their enforcement;
Simplification of wage reporting by employers for purposes of social security records and income tax withholding;
Continuance of the vigorous SEC policies which are providing maximum protection to the investor and maximum opportunity for the financing of small business without costly red tape.
Under the Republican Administration, as our country has prospered, so have its people. This is as it should be, for as President Eisenhower said: “Labor is the United States. The men and women, who with their minds, their hearts and hands, create the wealth that is shared in this country—they are America.”
The Eisenhower Administration has brought to our people the highest employment, the highest wages and the highest standard of living ever enjoyed by any nation. Today there are nearly 67 million men and women at work in the United States, 4 million more than in 1952. Wages have increased substantially over the past 3 1/2 years; but, more important, the American wage earner today can buy more than ever before for himself and his family because his pay check has not been eaten away by rising taxes and soaring prices.
The record of performance of the Republican Administration on behalf of our working men and women goes still further. The Federal minimum wage has been raised for more than 2 million workers. Social Security has been extended to an additional 10 million workers and the benefits raised for 6 1/2 million. The protection of unemployment insurance has been brought to 4 million additional workers. There have been increased workmen’s compensation benefits for longshoremen and harbor workers, increased retirement benefits for railroad employees, and wage increases and improved welfare and pension plans for federal employees.
In addition, the Eisenhower Administration has enforced more vigorously and effectively than ever before, the laws which protect the working standards of our people.
Workers have benefited by the progress which has been made in carrying out the programs and principles set forth in the 1952 Republican platform. All workers have gained and unions have grown in strength and responsibility, and have increased their membership by 2 millions.
Furthermore, the process of free collective bargaining has been strengthened by the insistence of this Administration that labor and management settle their differences at the bargaining table without the intervention of the Government. This policy has brought to our country an unprecedented period of labor-management peace and understanding.
We applaud the effective, unhindered, collective bargaining which brought an early end to the 1956 steel strike, in contrast to the six months’ upheaval, Presidential seizure of the steel industry and ultimate Supreme Court intervention under the last Democrat Administration.
The Eisenhower Administration will continue to fight for dynamic and progressive programs which, among other things, will:
Stimulate improved job safety of our workers, through assistance to the States, employees and employers;
Continue and further perfect its programs of assistance to the millions of workers with special employment problems, such as older workers, handicapped workers, members of minority groups, and migratory workers;
Strengthen and improve the Federal-State Employment Service and improve the effectiveness of the unemployment insurance system;
Protect by law, the assets of employee welfare and benefit plans so that workers who are the beneficiaries can be assured of their rightful benefits;
Assure equal pay for equal work regardless of Sex;
Clarify and strengthen the eight-hour laws for the benefit of workers who are subject to federal wage standards on Federal and Federally-assisted construction, and maintain and continue the vigorous administration of the Federal prevailing minimum wage law for public supply contracts;
Extend the protection of the Federal minimum wage laws to as many more workers as is possible and practicable;
Continue to fight for the elimination of discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry or sex;
Provide assistance to improve the economic conditions of areas faced with persistent and substantial unemployment;
Revise and improve the Taft-Hartley Act so as to protect more effectively the rights of labor unions, management, the individual worker, and the public. The protection of the right of workers to organize into unions and to bargain collectively is the firm and permanent policy of the Eisenhower Administration. In 1954, 1955 and again in 1956, President Eisenhower recommended constructive amendments to this Act. The Democrats in Congress have consistently blocked these needed changes by parliamentary maneuvers. The Republican Party pledges itself to overhaul and improve the Taft-Hartley Act along the lines of these recommendations.
Human Welfare and Advancement
Health, Education and Welfare
The Republican Party believes that the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of the people is as important as their economic health. It will continue to support this conviction with vigorous action.
Republican action created the Department of Health, Education and Welfare as the first new Federal department in 40 years, to raise the continuing consideration of these problems for the first time to the highest council of Government, the President’s Cabinet.
Through the White House Conference on Education, our Republican Administration initiated the most comprehensive Community-State-Federal attempt ever made to solve the pressing problems of primary and secondary education.
Four thousand communities, studying their school populations and their physical and financial resources, encouraged our Republican Administration to urge a five-year program of Federal assistance in building schools to relieve a critical classroom shortage.
The Republican Party will renew its efforts to enact a program based on sound principles of need and designed to encourage increased state and local efforts to build more classrooms.
Our Administration also proposed for the first time in history, a thorough nation-wide analysis of rapidly growing problems in education beyond the high schools.
The Republican Party is determined to press all such actions that will help insure that every child has the educational opportunity to advance to his own greatest capacity.
We have fully resolved to continue our steady gains in man’s unending struggle against disease and disability.
We have supported the distribution of free vaccine to protect millions of children against dreaded polio.
Republican leadership has enlarged Federal assistance for construction of hospitals, emphasizing low-cost care of chronic diseases and the special problems of older persons, and increased Federal aid for medical care of the needy.
We have asked the largest increase in research funds ever sought in one year to intensify attacks on cancer, mental illness, heart disease and other dread diseases.
We demand once again, despite the reluctance of the Democrat 84th Congress, Federal assistance to help build facilities to train more physicians and scientists.
We have encouraged a notable expansion and improvement of voluntary health insurance, and urge that reinsurance and pooling arrangements be authorized to speed this progress.
We have strengthened the Food and Drug Administration, and we have increased the vocational rehabilitation program to enable a larger number of the disabled to return to satisfying activity.
We have supported measures that have made more housing available than ever before in history, reduced urban slums in local-federal partnership, stimulated record home ownership, and authorized additional low-rent public housing.
We initiated the first flood insurance program in history under Government sponsorship in cooperation with private enterprise.
We shall continue to seek extension and perfection of a sound social security system.
We pledge close cooperation with State, local and private agencies to reduce the ghastly toll of fatalities on the Nation’s highways…
In the last four years, under direction from President Eisenhower to improve the postal service and reduce costs, we have modernized and revitalized the postal establishment from top to bottom, inside and out. We have undertaken and substantially completed the largest reorganization ever to take place in any unit of business or government:
We have provided more than 1200 badly-needed new post office buildings, and are adding two more every day. We are using the very latest types of industrial equipment where practicable; and, through a program of research and engineering, we are inventing new mechanical and electronic devices to speed the movement of mail by eliminating tedious old-fashioned methods.
We have improved service across the country in hundreds of ways. We have extended city carrier service to millions of new homes in thousands of urban and suburban communities which have grown and spread under the favorable economic conditions brought about by the Eisenhower Administration.
We have re-inspired the morale of our half-million employees through new programs of promotion based on ability, job training and safety, and through our sponsorship of increased pay and fringe benefits.
We have adopted the most modern methods of transportation, accounting and cost control, and other operating procedures; through them we have saved many millions of dollars a year for the taxpayers while advancing the delivery of billions of letters by a day or more—all this while reducing the enormous deficit of the Department from its all time high of almost three-quarters of a billion dollars in 1952 to less than half that amount in 1955.
We pledge to continue our efforts, blocked by the Democratic leadership of the 84th Congress, for a financially sound, more nearly self-sustaining postal service—with the users of the mails paying a greater share of the costs instead of the taxpayers bearing the burden of huge postal deficits.
We pledge to continue and to complete this vitally needed program of modernization of buildings, equipment, methods and service, so that the American people will receive the kind of mail delivery they deserve—the speediest and best that American ingenuity, technology and modern business management can provide.
Guarding and Improving Our Resources
One of the brightest areas of achievement and progress under the Eisenhower Administration has been in resource conservation and development and in sound, long-range public works programming.
Policies of sound conservation and wise development—originally advanced half a century ago under that preeminent Republican conservation team of President Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot and amplified by succeeding Republican Administrations—have been pursued by the Eisenhower Administration. While meeting the essential development needs of the people, this Administration has conserved and safeguarded our natural resources for the greatest good of all, now and in the future.
Our national parks, national forests and wildlife refuges are now more adequately financed, better protected and more extensive than ever before. Long-range improvement programs, such as Mission 66 for the National Parks system, are now under way, and studies are nearing completion for a comparable program for the National Forests. These forward-looking programs will be aggressively continued.
Our Republican Administration has modernized and vitalized our mining laws by the first major revision in more than 30 years.
Recreation, parks and wildlife.
ACHIEVEMENTS: Reversed the 15-year trend of neglect of our National Parks by launching the 10-year, $785 million Mission 66 parks improvement program. Has nearly completed field surveys for a comparable forest improvement program. Obtained passage of the so-called “Week-end Miner Bill.” Added more than 400,000 acres to our National Park system, and 90,000 acres to wildlife refuges. Has undertaken well-conceived measures to protect reserved areas of all types and to provide increased staffs and operating funds for public recreation agencies…