Maine: An Encyclopedia

Democratic Party Platform 1944



We have a two party system. Basically the issue between the parties is liberal thought and policies as against conservative thought and policies. Progressive are represented by the Democratic Party, conservatives by the Republican Party. The Democrats as liberals not only stand for the retention of the progressive social security and labor legislation enacted by the Roosevelt Administration, but for such future progressive legislation, national and state, aw will keep our laws abreast of rapidly changing national and world conditions. The Republicans as conservatives would annul this progressive legislation and return to the normalcy that proved so disastrous after the last war.

We believe that the Democrats of Maine are presenting to the electorate a progressive and forward looking platform. We invite its study and analysis by the voter.

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We recognize that the paramount obligation of parties as well as individuals is to win the war. Efforts toward this end must be judged by acts rather than words. We regret that although the Republican Party in its 1942 platform renounced politics, pledged support to the President for a just distribution of the war burden and declared against war profits, and for rigid restrictions on inflation, its representatives in Congress have constantly violated every pronouncement of their platform.

We pledge full and unqualified efforts to bring about a decisive and complete military victory and wholeheartedly support the President, our Commander-in-Chief, in a victorious and efficient prosecution of the war: to this end we will all in our power to assist him in securing a fair distribution of the burdens of war, the elimination of undue profits from the war, and the imposition of rigid restraints on inflation.

We shall insist that our Democratic Representatives in Congress support this pledge by their conduct and their votes.

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It is fortunate that during the years of depression this country had the brilliant leadership of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He has proven himself as an equally great war president, exhibiting leadership in a coalition war and marked progress toward achieving a coalition peace. Reactionaries are using the stress of war conditions to wreck the great economic and social reforms enacted by the Democrats during the last twelve years. There are many powerful interests that would return us to the isolationist status to which they reduced us after the last war. We pledge ourselves to work for the preservation and enlargement of the reforms achieved and against every form of isolationism however insidious.

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We regret that after the last war our Country saw fit to follow Senator Lodge into an impractical isolationism rather than President Wilson into a practical idealism. For this folly we are now paying in treasure and sacrifice and will. pay more dearly in blood and sorrow. We stand for a foreign policy where this country will take its rightful place in the world of nations and will be able to exert its great power in establishing and maintaining a world order designed to further liberty and maintain peace through law, and in furtherance of this objective we express our approval of the accomplishments of the Allied Conferences at Moscow and Teheran.

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The Maine delegation in Congress (with one exception) voted for the Smith-Connolly bill, without exception against the simplified Federal ballot for the soldier vote and without exception to override the President’s veto of the .inadequate two billion dollar tax bill. We disapprove those votes. We ask the Republicans to specifically set forth in their platform whether they approve or disapprove this action on the part of their republican representatives.


Recognizing with deepest gratitude the inestimable debt due to those of the armed forces who are offering, and those who have given, their lives for the principles for which our democratic government stands, we strongly advocate the prompt adoption, through appropriate legislation and united action by National, State and local governments and agencies, of a detailed and considered plan of rehabilitation of our soldiers, sailors, marines, and their auxiliaries, and of the dependents of the disabled and of the dead; such plan to incorporate especially provisions for prompt and understanding disposition of all claims for disability and dependency, for adequate facilities for hospitalization, and for occupational and educational placement; hereby recording our approval and endorsement of the forward steps already taken to insure these results.

We further record our firm belief that those measures should be based upon the principle that the vast majority of veterans of this war, on return to civil life, desire, if not prevented by service connected disability, the opportunity to find suitable employment in congenial occupation at a fair remuneration for service rendered, to establish the security of home and family, to again pursue interrupted education, all without delay and without the suggestion or semblance of charity or paternalism; it being our conviction that those, the defenders of our Country and of our Ideals, prefer, in so far as their service has left them able to do so, to stand upon their own feet, face to the front, in civil life as they have done in war, and that fulfillment of such desire, nothing less, is their just due.

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Now that young men are called to military service at the age of eighteen, it seems highly desirable to give such youths the right to vote, and inasmuch as we are committed to woman suffrage we believe that the franchise should be extended to young men and young women of the age of eighteen. Youth is not afraid of change, is perhaps more likely than age to take a forward look, and youth coming from school or college into the voting booth is likely to be fully as intelligent as the majority of our voters. Some other states have already taken this progressive step. Maine should also be in the lead.


We believe the Governors Council is not only a useless but a harmful and expensive adjunct to our state Government. We demand its abolition, and challenge the Republicans in their platform to declare for or against its retention.

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The September elections are used to induce the voter to place the interests of his party before those of his Country. We urge the elimination of this un-American and needlessly expensive practice by changing the date of our State wide elections to coincide with the November National Election date.

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We believe our soldiers at home and abroad are entitled to use the franchise they are fighting and dying to preserve. We regret that the Maine Republican delegation in Congress has seen fit to ally themselves with those who, for political. reasons, would for all practical purposes, deprive them of that right. The Maine Democrats pledge the soldiers and their families that they will do all in their power to procure for them a simple and practical Federal ballot.

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We recommend and sponsor such progressive State legislation as will modernize and strengthen our insurance laws so that they will be able to function in the future for the greater protection and security of the insuring public.

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We urge an amendment of the so-called “Death Statute” so that, in addition to the pecuniary loss to the next of kin, reasonable compensation may be given for the negligent instantaneous killing of any person, irrespective of youth or age.

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The Roosevelt administration has made a record for progressive labor legislation. We recommend labor in showing its appreciation by its support of the President and the war effort, and we promise labor to use every effort to preserve the gains achieved.

We urge Federal legislation designed to bring about an orderly transition from war conditions to peacetime economy, a liberal muster out pay for the returning soldiers, a recognition of the necessity of providing them employment, and a roll back of the cost of living to approximately the September 1942 level. In furtherance of these objectives, we urge the restoration of the National Resources Planning Board.

We stand for liberalizing the Maine Workmen’s Compensation Law; we recommend its amendment so that it will include occupational diseases and hazards, and will insure the employee fair and impartial medical advise [sic] and & fair and just injury compensation.

We urge the adoption of a State Labor Relations Act, modeled after the Federal law, protecting the rights of workers to organize and bargain collectively, an act that will not be a mere gesture but a real addition to sane labor legislation.

We believe that the passage of a State Ware and Hour law designed to supplement the Federal Act by protecting the worker not covered by that act would protect intra state workers from labor conditions detrimental to their health, well being and efficiency. We advocate the passage of such a law, and the inclusion of child labor protection measures identical with the Federal law for the protection of children under 16 years of age. We believe the present period for payment of unemployment compensation is too short and urge an immediate extension of payment periods in order to prevent hardship and suffering during the immediate post-war period.

We believe that provision must be made to prevent mass lay-offs of workers after the war and urge that a Federal agency, headed by a policy board, with representatives from agriculture, labor and business be set up to coordinate the program of all agencies, analyze problems and develop policies which will ensure freedom from want.

We pledge ourselves to work for the immediate enactment of legislation designed to aid our returning servicemen in furthering their education and readjusting and rehabilitating themselves in peacetime society. In this connection we pledge our efforts to work for speedy passage of the Wagner-Murray-Dingell Bill, which has especially liberal social security benefits for discharged veterans.

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Realizing that in a successful democracy education is fundamental, we pledge ourselves to the support of a school system which will, under proper direction and guidance, guarantee to every boy end girl of every class, race and religion, that type of educational opportunity that will best meet the needs of his individual ability and capacity.

To this end we affirm our belief in the principle of the equalization of educational opportunity which will afford a satisfactory minimum program in every community in the state; this requires that teachers receive a salary commensurate with their services.

Since our economic and governmental problems are becoming increasingly difficult and complex we assert our conviction that it is fundamental that basic courses in history, geography, economics, and government, be offered to all our youth that they may be so informed and trained that they may discuss and think intelligently concerning all public matters and, whenever the opportunity offers, vote wisely thereon.

We also stand for such an educational program for our returning soldiers as will result in their service to their country providing an educational opportunity instead of a handicap.

In furtherance of a liberal and sane education policy we urge the passage of the bill now pending in Congress designed to equalize educational opportunities and under which Maine would receive nearly one and one-half million dollars in Federal money for educational purposes.

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Farming is our greatest industry. It has — except at election time — received the least attention. We suggest:

1. That the farmer be given access to electricity without exposing him to personal burdens or excessive rates. We confident assert that this is both possible and practicable.

2. A revision of our taxing system that will relieve him from the intolerable burden he now endures.

3. A post-war road construction program that will make farms not on “Through ways” available of access.

4. Taking the fullest advantage of all Federal Aid Road Funds, whether for Super Highway or otherwise to the end that the rural sections may be opened for agricultural and recreational development.

5 A study of the present haphazard marketing methods and a development of some plan that not only will eliminate the present enormous waste but will assist in the farmers getting a fair price for his product.

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A State-Wide Superior Court of seven members was created in 1929. The appointees were all from the majority party and the minority has never had mere than two members on that Court. The minority does not new have and has not had since 1935 a single representative on our Supreme Judicial Court , composed of six members. It is a recognized truth that opinions of Courts are influenced by their social views. We, therefore, demand as a matter of common justice that the minority party have representation on our courts.


We declare for minority representation on all commissions, bureaues [sic] and agencies of two or more persons.

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We approve the long-run foreign policy of the Administration as outlined in the recent summary of Sec, Hull ’s statement. It recognizes the fact that present facilities of travel and communication have interwoven the economic and cultural welfare of our people with that of other peoples everywhere.

In this connection we would point out that to the degree that barriers to “access of all peoples on equal terms to the trade and raw materials of the world” are reduced or abolished, the adjustment of national boundaries becomes largely a matter of sentiment and tradition rather then of political or economic importance.

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Some of the foregoing planks should not be controversial; others represent the fundamental difference between progressive and conservative thought. We trust that the Republicans in their platform will squarely meet the issues raised so that the voter will know what he is voting for.

Source: Maine State Law Library.

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This entry was last modified: April 26, 2013 02:49 PM

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