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Democratic Party Platform 1946

The prompt adoption of legislation by national and state governments of a plan for our veterans for their rehabilitation is strongly urged by the Democratic Party. Congress already has made provisions for occupational and educational placement. Many suggestions have been advanced by civic leaders and several veterans’ organizations for properly taking care of the needs of our soldiers, sailors, Marines and their auxiliaries; in view of these many different ideas, the Democratic Party of Maine suggests that those interested in the welfare of our veterans organize committees that will meet with legislators so that a plan of action, suitable to and favored by the vet­erans be adopted. The average veteran wants suitable employ­ment and continuance of interrupted education — this they demand without delay and without even the semblance of charity or dole.

Let us use no more red tape in giving the veteran what be wants than we used when we handed him a gun!

Veterans’ Bonus

Present proposals before the Recess Committee to compensate veterans of World War II are inadequate and an insult in view of the sacrifices made by the young men and Women of Maine who so nobly defended their Country.

The Governor should immediately call for a special session of the Legislature to pass a cash bonus measure comparable to those passed by other New England States.

Labor

We as Democrats wish to point out the gains the American working man and the Nation have made through progressive labor legislation achieved by the National Democratic Adminis­tration. However, many of the citizens of our State are not covered by these benefits. We feel that every citizen of our State is entitled to these same rights and call upon the Legis­lature of the State of Maine to pass identical labor and social legislation.

We recognize the vital importance of maintaining the purchasing power of the people of our State. To this end we pledge the enactment of legislation whereby the State will assist in maintaining wage levels by predetermining wages in any locality where State monies are involved.

We favor the right of labor to collective bargaining by representatives of their own choosing and the enactment of legislation to guarantee this.

We favor a separate Department of Labor whose sole rep­resentation will be that of labor rather than labor and industry — and the institution of an Inspection service for the safety of the working man.

We favor the extension of the scope of the Unemployment Compensation Law to include all workers in the State and to increase the benefits to $25.00 a week for 26 weeks.

We favor the further liberalization of the Occupational Disease Law to include dust diseases.

We urge the passage of a law setting minimum wage and maximum hours for all workers in Maine.

We favor increasing the Old Age Assistance benefits from a maximum of $40.00 a month to $50.00 and lowering the limit from 65 to 60 years.

We favor the establishment of a State Fair Employment Practices Committee to assure equality of employment opportunity to all groups regardless of race, color or creed.

Farms

Farming is the largest industry In Maine — only at election time does it receive attention. We suggest: ……….

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

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

3. Taking the fullest advantage of all federal aid refunds, to the end that the rural sections may be opened to agricultural and recreational development.

4. 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 farmers getting a fair price for their products.

Roads

We believe all roads should be put into good repair at once regardless of any other road construction.

International Affairs

We endorse the principles of UNO* and aggressively oppose all attempts of impractical isolationism.

Minority Representation

We declare for minority representation on all commissions, bureaus and agencies in our State Government, and abolition of the useless and expensive Governor’s Council.

Small Loans

The small loan rate should be reduced to two per cent a month in view of the similar reduction by our adjoining New England States and the hardships being experienced by borrowers under the present law.

Industrial Development

We believe the Maine Development Commission should renew and redouble its efforts to develop new industry within the State and to encourage and aid present industries to remain and expand so that our citizens may have continued gainful employment.

September Elections

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 statewide elect to coincide with the November national election date.

Port Development

We favor all legislation necessary to develop the Port of Portland and other ports along the Maine coast.

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We believe that the planks presented to you are the fundamental differences between progressive and conservative ­thought. We trust that the Republicans in their platform will squarely meet the issues raised so that every Maine citizen ­will know what he is voting for.

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* United Nations Organization

Source: Portland Press Herald newspaper clipping, March 24, 1946. Maine State Law Library. (Errors in the text may have been made by the newspaper and not the Democratic Party.)

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