Maine: An Encyclopedia

Democratic Party Platform 1936

March 31, 1936

The Convention of the Democratic Party of Maine assembled today in Lewiston with renewed faith in the destiny of our State and. Nation.

In 1932, at a time when the country was suffering from the most severe economic depression in history, our Party elected. a President in the Nation and. a Governor in the State of Maine. Anyone entrusted with the direction of our affairs of government in the months following faced a most difficult and unusual task. The economic forces of the nation had ceased to function in their usual order. It was imperative for the Government to resort to certain expedients that in normal times wou1d not be necessary. By 1934 we had passed through the worst of the crisis and confidence had been restored. In September of that year Governor Louis J. Brann was reelected and polled the largest vote ever received by any candidate for Governor of Maine. Today the nation, although facing many problems, is on its way to renewed prosperity. Every chart and business survey of the nation discloses this fact. It is important that the policies, which have brought us out of such deep depression, be not so immediately changed as to hinder recovery.

We heartily commend to the peop1e of our State the great humanitarian laws, achievements, and. policies of our President Franklin D. Roosevelt; and the able, courageous and unsurpassed record of unselfish service of our Governor Louis J. Brann.


Recognizing as we do the great calamity which the State has suffered from floods and the difficulty of preventing certain conditions that nature imposes upon us, we recognize the necessity of determined effort to cope with this peril in the future. The unprecedented, flood loss which has been sustained by so many sections of the country should focus immediate attention on this problem.

In this connection we advocate:

1. The utilization of every means available, through both State and Federal, as well as private agencies, to render aid and relief to the stricken flood areas in our State; and particularly in the restoration of homes and living conditions.

2. The rehabilitation of flood damage as soon as can be accomplished so as to aid in the restoration of employment, agriculture, commerce and industry.

3. The establishment of a settled policy on the part of the Federal Government to include in its public works program flood control measures that will, so far as possible, avoid such extensive and. heavy damage in the future, and also pollution of our waters.

4. An immediate survey made by the State with such assistance as the Federal Government can give, conducted by flood control engineers with a view to determining the methods which can be most effectively employed in our own State as a part of such public works flood control program; and building for the future along these lines.

With deep concern and sympathy in respect to personal losses sustained, we favor encouragement of the belief that Maine will rise from this catastrophe with accustomed courage and initiative in keeping with our best traditions.


We advocate, by the means of needed public works, or otherwise, the employment of the unemployed, at a living wage, until such time as industry can absorb them, We urge the formation of a voluntary association of our Industrial Leaders, that some plan may be devised, which will materially take up the slack of unemployment.

We deprecate and condemn the present practice of printing the names in the town reports of those who are receiving temporary assistance, or work under any federal, state or local relief project.


We favor a fair revision of the tax system and a reduction of the tax on real property. We insist that revenue derived from new sources of taxation be applied directly and. solely to relieve the present property tax. We favor a more equitable distribution of the Tax Burden.


We favor a continuance of the sound fiscal policies inaugurated and maintained under the leadership of our Chief Executive. Our State’s credit must remain unimpaired; the State budget annually balanced on the basis of accurate executive estimates within revenue, in accordance with the established practice of Governor Brann.


We favor an equalized distribution of educational opportunities for the youth of every City, Town, and Hamlet of the State; and a fixed and adequate fund, for the purpose of education,


We advocate unemployment and old age insurance under federal and state laws.

It is a commentary not in keeping with the initiative and enterprise of America that so many of our people face privation in old age. This applies to hard workings stalwart Americans who have been frugal all their lives and find themselves in this condition a result of circumstances beyond their control. We recognize this as one of our pressing problems and favor immediate progress along lines that will intelligently and effectively meet the problems of unemployment and a comprehensive plan of old age pensions,


We favor the protection and preservation of Main’s industries and sound encouragement to industry in order to promote recovery in the State. We urge the fullest cooperation between State and Federal officials and believe that a continuance of the cooperation which has existed since 1933, and the mutual understanding between our State and Federal officials thereby engendered as to the needs of Maine, will be of continuing benefit to the State.


We favor the continuance of, and no cessation in the work on the Quoddy Project; urge renewed and. unabated effort on the part of our Senators, and Representatives in Congress to this end, and their full support of the President in this undertaking.

This Convention reaffirms its faith and belief in the Quoddy Project now being constructed at Eastport, as a great undertaking, which has furnished employment to thousands of our citizens in need of work to support themselves and their families.


We advocate quicker methods of realizing on assets for the relief of depositors of suspended banks, and a more rigid supervision of state banks for the protection of depositors and. the prevention of the use of their moneys in speculation to the detriment of local credits. We favor the appointment of a commission to study and report to the legislature the advisability of enacting laws for insurance to protect all depositors against loss in our State Banking institutions.


We advocate the conservation, development and use of the Port of Portland as of inestimable value to the State of Maine and to the development of the State’s industrial, agricultural commercial activities.


We advocate every possible effort on the part of the federal government to formulate a policy, that will give sound and effective agricultural relief to the farmer.

We favor continuation and. extension of the State’s program to aid in creating increased demand for agricultural products produced in Maine, advertising and emphasizing the quality thereof. We advocate a federal potato branding law.


We favor legislation advocating a short working week with a minimum wage, sufficient for the proper sustenance, education and livelihood of the worker and his family, and the enactment of such other and further measures as shall fully protect the worker in the enjoyment of his inalienable rights.


Believing that the future welfare of the State of Maine will depend primarily on the initiative of our own citizens, we advocate the utilization and development of Main’s resources in a way to increase our population. The frontier of America is no longer “out West”; it is in Maine.

We favor a comprehensive program to be planned and set in motion by the Chief executive of the State. With the advice and assistance of representatives from the various groups within our State, such program to include:

1. Every encouragement to farm development and new industry for Maine.

2. In addition to the development of the tourist traffic, encouragement also to the long-stay or prospective permanent resident, in conformity with a “make your home in Maine” movement.

3. An effective campaign to impress upon the Nation that Maine leads the forty-eight states in an intensive a development program; invites new capital and labor to come here, new home owners to settle here, and affords opportunity that no longer can be found in the crowded conditions of the larger centres of population throughout America.

In this connection we further commend to the people of our State the untiring and effective efforts that Governor Brann has already made along these constructive lines.

We invite all citizens irrespective of party affiliation, who believe in the progress and advancement of our State’s interest along the general lines as hereinbefore set forth, to unite with us in electing candidates for office who are pledged to put such policies into effect.

Source: Maine State Archives.

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