It is the duty of a political party, in order to qualify as an effective agency for expression of public will and for exercise of public power, to proclaim to the people its basic principles. Accordingly, the Republicans of Maine, acting by representative convention of our party, now adopt this declaration of our policy and aims.
Reaffirming our faith in responsible representative government, we urge Republicans to nominate and ask the people of Maine to elect to public office men and women whom they can trust to exercise public power with wisdom, courage and prudence in the light of their official knowledge, always according to their convictions of duty in the pub1ic interest and without yielding to pressure from interests seeking special privilege.
We ask no candidate to sacrifice conscience or conviction to party. But we do maintain, as a condition essential to an informed electorate and to public confidence in our party assurances, that any Republican candidate must be held as obligated to fulfill the commitments undertaken by the party in this platform, unless prior to his nomination he shall have publicly declared his determination not to be so obligated on [one?] or all of such commitments.
Welfare and Security
Aid for worthy citizens in need is an obligation of the more fortunate which is being met more and more through the agency of government. State government expenditure for relief has increased 67% since 1942. There is no magic in government money by which this burden can be shifted from the shoulders of those who work.
While we must provide amply for. proven needs, we must try to lighten the load by bringing local knowledge and experience to the aid of our competent State administration. In the determination of need for aid, we shall continue to insist that the family is primarily responsible, within the limits of ability, for the welfare of its members.
We shall work for steady improvement in the quality of instruction of our youth. Our aim will be to create and maintain a superior educational system, free from Federal control, and with active public participation on the formulation of policy. Our teachers must be well trained and adequately paid. In conformance with conditions of life in a free society, we shall maintain competition among teachers, as among students, as a basis for promotion according to merit.
While endorsing generally the principles of the National Republican policy statement as a guide for party conduct in National affairs, we stress as most worthy of sustained effort on the part of our Congressional delegation:
Constructive participation in the formulation of a foreign policy designed to promote unity among nations in the cause of world peace and prosperity as conditions essential to the growth of freedom by national self-achievement, and characterized by frankness, firmness, and civility both in discussion at home and in application aboard.
Resistance to expansion of Federal authority except upon clear demonstration of necessity, with immediate positive action designed to bring every Federal function within the clear comprehension and constant control of Congress.
A substantial reduction in Federal expenditures, already proved by the Hoover Report to be practicable, to be reflected in the reduction and revision and in a reduction of federal debt.
Insistence upon the maintenance of individual self-reliance and self-discipline and the preservation of local leadership as protection against the undermining influence of reckless adventures in social theories promising something-for-nothing, and as the soundest base for National unity in defense of the cherished rights of free men.
A political party of enduring value must be an association of persons who share similar convictions as to the proper function of individuals and government in the promo-lion of the general welfare. Cohesive unity which comes from basic common convictions among party members is more important than the ambitions of individual candidates. The local zeal of the party worker must rest upon reliable assurance that the party will keep the faith with those who serve its cause.
Our aim will be to unite within the Republican Party all who know that work and production are the only source of genuine prosperity and reliable security; all who are sure that the right of private ownership is essential to the preservation of freedom for the individual; all who are determined to resist encroachment of federal power upon the rights and responsibilities of the states within the area of their own competence; all who stand for fiscal sanity, balanced budgets, and honest money; all who hate deception and corruption as political means wherever found; and all who love truth, honesty, decency, fair play and reliable justice as proven moral values which require stronger support in our Nation, and, so far as our influence extends, throughout the world.
Continuing the existing sources of highway revenue, we intend as a minimum objective to build and maintain our roads at the current level of expenditure, aiming for State-wide improvement under policies subject to legislative approval. Borrowing for permanent improvements, when deemed desirable by the Legislature, should be submitted to the people as part of a long-range highway construction program.
To encourage development of our water powers and river control by private ownership under State regulation; to press for steady progress in abating the nuisance of stream pollution, through cooperation tic among industries, municipalities, and State; to protect and increase the forest resources upon which our industries rely for raw materials; to conserve the natural resources of sea and shore; to foster and protect our fish and game; to protect the natural beauty of our land and waters; to develop our State parks and recreational areas and otherwise to promote our facilities for pleasant living; these are continuing aims to which our party remains committed for progressive action in legislation and administration.
We shall encourage higher standards of grading and improved methods of marketing; we shall work for continued progress in soil conservation, and seek ways to promote the utilization in agriculture of lands most suitable for that purpose; we shall continue to support research in the increase and improvement of products; giving encouragement in permissive legislation to self-supporting group projects.
Labor and Industry
Maine must hold her own in the keen competition for industrial location. We must create for Maine new advantages in industrial attitudes, aptitudes and skills. We shall work to maintain a favorable climate for labor, management, and owner, fostering in the competitive spirit the will to strive to excel in quality of product and in capacity to produce. We must encourage initiative and the spirit of creative venture. By a unity of purpose in a public made fully aware of our industrial problems, and by actions suited to the occasion in every walk of life, we must show our youth that Maine is a place of opportunity for those who do their best.
We commend both Maine labor and industry for excellent labor relations, and we note no need for restrictive State labor legislation in Maine .
(An amendment offered by George Varney of Kittery for the First District Convention was accepted by the State convention and incorporated in this plank. The amendment asked that management and labor reach an agreement on needed revisions in State unemployment compensation and that such revisions as are required to bring up-to-date the affected laws be presented.)
We urge the Legislature to continue to study the need for revision of our State constitution, to the end that the structure of our government may conform to principles of effective organization and control, and in order that our basic law may always command the respect of every citizen for its clear and comprehensive exposition of his individual rights and safeguards. We commend to the people the revisory amendments so made and submitted for popular approval by the present legislature.
Finance and Taxation
We favor and propose to effect a revision of the State tax system. An essential feature of such revision must be the abolition of the State property tax on municipalities. Funds required by the State to replace the loss from property tax revenue, together with such additional funds as may be required to meet other proven needs, should be raised by new taxes to be levied upon the broadest base consistent with fairness and ability. We urge the Legislature to enact forthwith and upon its own responsibility such tax measures as may be deemed fair, equitable, and adequate for proven needs, consistent with our party policy here expressed.
State Valuation and Equalization
To establish a simple, definite, and equitable basis for equalization through State aid to municipalities and to simplify and strengthen the base of municipal credit, the State valuation of cities and towns and the municipal valuation of property should be revised. Contingent upon a revision of the State tax system being accomplished, the Legislature should establish principles for State revaluation designed to reflect local capacities and needs in equitable relation.
The people of Maine have been fortunate in their public servants. The Republican Party of Maine is proud of the record of these public officials, who have come mainly from the ranks of our party through recognition of merit. This convention extends to Governor Payne, and to all public officials embraced with the term and scope of his administration, its commendation and congratulation upon the results of their collective successful efforts under his able leadership and direction in the affairs of Maine .
We urge a survey of the economic feasibility of the International Quoddy Power Project.
We oppose any curtailment in personnel and medical services of the Veterans’ Facility at Togus which will prevent any Maine veteran from receiving prompt arid adequate treatment.
Source: unidentified newspaper article in Maine State Law Library clippings file, dated April 1, 1950. (Errors in the text may have been made by the newspaper and not the Republican Party.)