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these questions; our Works Relief program, the second.
The program for social security now pending before the Congress is a necessary part of
the future unemployment policy of the government. While our present and projected
expenditures for work relief are wholly within the reasonable limits of our national
credit resources, it is obvious that we cannot continue to create governmental deficits for
that purpose year after year. We must begin now to make provision for the future. That is
why our social security program is an important part of the complete picture. It
proposes, by means of old age pensions, to help those who have reached the age of
retirement to give up their jobs and thus give to the younger generation greater
opportunities for work and to give to all a feeling of security as they look toward old
The unemployment insurance part of the legislation will not only help to guard the
individual in future periods of lay-off against dependence upon relief, but it will, by
sustaining purchasing power, cushion the shock of economic distress. Another helpful
feature of unemployment insurance is the incentive it will give to employers to plan
more carefully in order that unemployment may be prevented by the stabilizing of
employment itself.
Provisions for social security, however, are protections for the future. Our responsibility
for the immediate necessities of the unemployed has been met by the Congress through
the most comprehensive work plan in the history of the nation. Our problem is to put to
work three and one-half million employable persons now on the relief rolls. It is a
problem quite as much for private industry as for the government.
We are losing no time getting the government's vast work relief program underway, and
we have every reason to believe that it should be in full swing by autumn. In directing it,
I shall recognize six fundamental principles:
(1) The projects should be useful.
(2) Projects shall be of a nature that a considerable proportion of the money spent will
go into wages for labor.
(3) Projects will be sought which promise ultimate return to the federal treasury of a
considerable proportion of the costs.
(4) Funds allotted for each project should be actually and promptly spent and not held
over until later years.
(5) In all cases projects must be of a character to give employment to those on the relief
(6) Projects will be allocated to localities or relief areas in relation to the number of
workers on relief rolls in those areas.
I next want to make it clear exactly how we shall direct the work.
(1) I have set up a Division of Applications and Information to which all proposals for
the expenditure of money must go for preliminary study and consideration.
(2) After the Division of Applications and Information has sifted those projects, they will
be sent to an Allotment Division composed of representatives of the more important
governmental agencies charged with carrying on work relief projects. The group will
also include representatives of cities, and of labor, farming, banking and industry. This
Allotment Division will consider all of the recommendations submitted to it and such
projects as they approve will be next submitted to the President who under the Act is
required to make final allocations.
(3) The next step will be to notify the proper government agency in whose field the
project falls, and also to notify another agency which I am creating a Progress
Division. This Division will have the duty of coordinating the purchases of materials and
supplies and of making certain that people who are employed will be taken from the
relief rolls. It will also have the responsibility of determining work payments in various
localities, of making full use of existing employment services and to assist people
engaged in relief work to move as rapidly as possible back into private employment
when such employment is available. Moreover, this Division will be charged with
keeping projects moving on schedule.
(4) I have felt it to be essentially wise and prudent to avoid, so far as possible, the
creation of new governmental machinery for supervising this work. The national
government now has at least sixty different agencies with the staff and the experience
and the competence necessary to carry on the two hundred and fifty or three hundred
kinds of work that will be undertaken. These agencies, therefore, will simply be doing
on a somewhat enlarged scale the same sort of things that they have been doing. This
will make certain that the largest possible portion of the funds allotted will be spent for
actually creating new work and not for building up expensive overhead organizations
here in Washington.
For many months preparations have been under way. The allotment of funds for
desirable projects has already begun. The key men for the major responsibilities of this
great task already have been selected. I well realize that the country is expecting before
this year is out to see the "dirt fly", as they say, in carrying on the work, and I assure my
fellow citizens that no energy will be spared in using these funds effectively to make a
major attack upon the problem of unemployment.
Our responsibility is to all of the people in this country. This is a great national crusade
to destroy enforced idleness which is an enemy of the human spirit generated by this [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]


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