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Democratic Party Platform 1938

To the people Maine we heartily commend the splendid objectives of that great humanitarian, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Administration, which has so greatly benefited every city, town, and hamlet in our State.

In 1932 at a time when the country was suffering from the most severe economic condition in history, our party elected a President of the Nation and a Governor in the State of Maine. We commend to the people of our State the results obtained under the leadership of President Roosevelt and former Governor Louis J. Brann.

Unemployment

We advocate by means of public works or otherwise, employment for the unemployed at a living wage and until such time as such labor can be absorbed by industry. We approve of the plan of President Roosevelt in establishing the Social Security Act so that the working people of our State may have an earned protection against unemployment.

Taxation

We believe that the distribution of the tax burden is inequitable and accordingly our tax system should be revised without the levy of new taxes or any new forms of taxation, except such legislation as may be initiated by the people of the State.

State Money

We condemn the system now being used throughout the State for the protection of money belonging to the State of Maine in the various depositories and insist that a safe and businesslike method be adopted for the protection of such funds.

State Expenditures

We believe that greater efficiency and service at less cost can be rendered to the people of Maine under a Democratic Administration of our state affairs.

Agriculture

We urge the State of Maine to cooperate with the Federal Government for the benefit of the agricultural interests of Maine which are not receiving the consideration to which they are entitled. We reaffirm our position that the State should have a definite program to aid in creating an increased demand for the agricultural products of Maine and emphasizing the quality of these products.

Port of Portland

Again we reaffirm our position in advocating 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 and commercial activities.

State Development

Believing that the future welfare of the State of Maine will depend primarily upon the initiative of our citizens, we advocate the utilization and development of Maine’s resources to the fullest, extent. 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 with respect to such development.

We believe that the citizens of Maine should exert every effort to upbuild the industries, the agriculture, the fisheries and the lumbering industries of our State, and we pledge ourselves to work untiringly to bring this about.

We pledge ourselves further to advance the recreational business of our State.

We believe that the preference should be given to Maine contractors on all state contracts, and that citizens of Maine should be employed upon all state projects.

Sales Tax

Notwithstanding the fact that the people have indignantly repudiated the Sales Tax, the Republican Platform unreservedly commends the Administration of the State Government by its present Governor, thereby endorsing his leadership in behalf of the Sales Tax. We affirm our definite and absolute opposition to the enactment of any so-called Sales Tax in the State of Maine as being impractical, unnecessary and unfair.

Governor’s Council

Because the Governor’s Council is an inefficient, unnecessary, and extravagant part of our State Government, we demand that the Legislature submit the question of its abolishment, or retention, to the people by constitutional amendment.

Civil Service

We recommend that the State Highway Police, upon whose protection our citizens depend, be taken out of politics and that promotions and new memberships be granted solely upon merit. We further recommend that valued employees of the state not be removed under pretense of inefficiency and that the state be permitted to retain the valued services and experience of such employees thus carrying out the provisions of the civil service rules and regulations in their true spirit.

State Relief

The investigation and reorganization of the Welfare Department in such a method as to provide better care and handling of our permanent State Relief Cases, and we further endorse the recasting of our present pauper laws so that they will be treated by the State as State Relief Cases.

Labor Plank Relating to Workman’s Compensation Act

We advocate amending the Workmen’s Compensation Act by making occupational diseases compensable, permitting the injured employee to select his own physician and making employees in lumbering operations subject to the provisions of the Act and that it be compulsory for employers of one or more to be subject to provisions of the Act. We further recommend an amendment of the act to provide for a more equitable basis of compensation. We further recommend that one member of he Industrial Accident Commission be elected from some bona fide trade or labor union.

Plank Relating to Minimum Wages and Maximum Hours

We advocate the enactment of legislation providing for minimum wages and maximum hours. We oppose any national wage-hour legislation recognizing any geographical wage or hour differentials.

Plank Relating to Disfranchisement of Persons Receiving Relief

We condemn the present Maine law which disfranchises unfortunate persons who are obliged to seek relief.

Relating to State Labor Relations Board

We approve and highly commend the attitude and activities of the President of the United States and the Democratic National Administration in reference to labor and we advocate the immediate enactment of a State Labor Relations Act establishing a State Labor Relations Board, said Board to be composed of three members, one member of which shall be an employer of labor or selected from some association of employers of labor, and another to be an employee selected from some bona fide trade or labor union and not an employer of labor and another impartial member to be selected by the first two. We reaffirm our strong belief in the right of labor to organize and bargain collectively, free of coercion and intimidation on the part of employers and we reaffirm our belief in the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and peaceable assembly for all our people. We advocate legislation which will give authority to the State Labor Relations Board to act in the first instance as a Board of conciliation and arbitration to the end that disputes between employees and employer may be amicably adjusted to the resultant benefit of the public welfare.

Plank Relating to Appointment of Representatives of Labor

We recommend that in all governmental positions in the State Administration which concern labor that more consideration be given to the appointment to such positions of representatives of labor.

Plank Relating to the Department of Labor and Industry

We advocate increased appropriations for the Department of Labor and Industry to the end that this Department may be able to function more efficiently in the interest of labor and industry. We advocate the appointment of a Deputy Commissioner of Labor in accordance with the existing statutes. We urge more activity in cooperation with the Maine Development Association on the part of the Department of Labor and Industry in the preservation of existing industries and in attracting new industries to establish themselves in Maine. We urge a strengthening of the laws relating to the protection of workers from conditions which are unsanitary, unsafe or injurious to their health with particular attention given to protecting workers from communicable diseases. We advocate the appointment of sufficient factory inspectors consistent with the needs of the Department to insure adequate periodical inspection of all factories and industrial plants to the end that hazards to the worker be eliminated and proper protection afforded. We urge particular inspection of all establishments employing female workers with special attention given to health and welfare of such workers.

Plank Relating to the Use of Injunctions in Labor Disputes

The use of injunctions in labor controversies has denied the workers their civil rights guaranteed under the constitution: we favor the enactment of legislation to prohibit the use of the injunction in labor controversies.

Plank Relating to Unemployment Compensation Act

We recommend that the State of Maine law relating to unemployment Compensation be revised so as to make subject, employers who employ one or more people instead of eight or more as the law now reads, with the retention of present exemptions under the law.

Quoddy Project

We unqualifiedly believe that a memorial from the Legislature should go to Washington demanding the completion in the earliest possible time of the Quoddy Power Project, and until such time as a Legislature should be assembled, we the Democratic Party of Maine will use every means possible to secure prompt action on this project believing that the entire rehabilitation of eastern Maine hinges upon the immediate reopening of this project.

Fisheries

We condemn the neglect of the Republican Administration for refusal to expend the appropriation for the lobster rearing station, the development of depleted clam flats, and for advertising of the sea products of Maine, which we deem vital to the progressive Interests of the Department of Sea and Shore Fisheries. Proper protection and real future development of the sea and shore industry is vital to retain this industry in the State of Maine, and we pledge ourselves to return this department to the high plane to which it was raised by our former commissioner.

We urge the enactment by the Congress of proper tariff legislation to fully protect this industry.

Social Security And Old Age Relief

We reaffirm our deep interest In Social Security and In Old Age Relief, and advocate legislative action setting up a definite and permanent fund sufficient to pay pensions to every worthy aged citizen of the Stale.

The present plan meets the needs of but a portion of our aged citizens.

Under it thousands are unprovided for.

It is inequitable and unfair.

A sufficient and permanent fund should be made available.

The pensions now being paid are in many instances inadequate to meet the needs of the recipient. We recommend the awarding of pensions on the basis of requirements, and we oppose the confiscation by the State of the property of Maine’s pensioners, and we advocate the repeal of the Section 12 of the Public Laws passed by the Eighty-eighth Legislature at a Special Session held in October 1937, in so far as it permits confiscation.

Federal Air Base

We pledge ourselves to work unceasingly for the establishment of a Federal Air Base in Maine

Business

We pledge ourselves to recommend legislation that will be in the interest of independent business men.

Summary

Upon this liberal and constructive platform containing provisions for the welfare of our people, in accordance with the policies of the Democratic Party since its inception, we, confident of the forward looking view-point and intelligence of our people, invite all citizens, irrespective of party affiliation to unite in pitting into effect the policies outlined in this platform and to elect candidates to office pledged so to do.

Source: Unidentified newspaper clipping. Maine State Law Library. (Errors in the text may have been made by the newspaper and not the Democratic Party.)

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