, Nevada, USA - 1935 - September 30 - Roosevelt Dedicates Boulder Dam (later to be known as Hoover Dam)
Government Spending Is To Be Ended
Private Industry Mus Now Maintain Recovery Pay Says F.R.
by Frederick A. Storm
United Press White House Correspondent
BOULDER DAM, Nev., Sept. 30 (U.P.) - Government spending has created the purchasing power - now it is up to private industry to maintain the recovery pace set by the New Deal, President Roosevelt told the nation today.
The 108,000,000 Boulder dam completed with PWA funds, and American's greatest engineering achievement since the Panama canal served as a fitting backdrop to Mr. Roosevelt's speech, which clearly indicated that the administration had also completed its major financing program in putting the idle back to work.
Private Industry Must Aid -
"It is a simple fact," the chief executive said as he participated in the dam dedicatory exercises, "that the government spending is already beginning to show definite signs of its effect on consumer spending, that the putting of people to work by the government has put other people to work through private employment, and that in two years and a half we have come to the point where private industry must bear the principal responsibility of keeping the process of greater employment moving forward with accelerated speed."
The first part of the address Mr. Roosevelt devoted to a description of the Boulder dam and the economic and social benefits to be derived by the wide area it will serve. It must be considered, he pointed out, in its relationship to the agricultural and industrial development, and in its contribution to the health and comfort of the people who live in the southwest.
Party Inspects Dam -
The president spoke after Secretary of the Interior Harold L Ickes traced the history of the dam and paid high tribute to the foresight and courage of Senator Hiram Johnson, California Progressive, in pushing the plans for its construction.
Senator Key Pittman, Nevada Democrat, introduced Mr. Roosevelt to the crowd.
The presidential party also went on an inspection tour of the dam, planning to remain until late afternoon, when the trip westward to Los Angeles and San Diego will be resumed.
His remarks were interpreted by observers as a vigorous defense of the recovery method he has sponsored and a blanket reply to the critics who have been attacking lavish federal spending as creating a debt structure not justified by the results.
Pointing to projects, large and small, as laudable means of meeting the economic crisis, he observed:
Boost Purchasing Power -
"In a little over two years this work has accomplished much. We have helped mankind by the works themselves, and at the same time we have created the necessary purchasing power to throw in the clutch to start the wheels of what we call private industry.
"Such expenditure on all these works, great and small, flow out to many beneficiaries. The revive other and more removed industries and businesses. Money is put in circulation. Credit is expanded and the financial and industrial mechanism of America is stimulated to more and more activity. Labor makes wealth. The use of materials makes wealth. To employ workers and materials when private employment has failed to translate into great national possessions the energy that otherwise would be wasted.
"Boulder dam is a splendid symbol. The mighty wastes of the Colorado were running unused to the sea. Today we translate them into a great national possession."
Power Yardstick -
At this juncture, Mr. Roosevelt served notice that such projects as Boulder dam could very well be made to serve as "useful yardsticks to measure the cost of power throughout the United States."
"It is my belief that the government should proceed to lay down the first yardstick from this great power plant in the form of a state power line, assisted in its financing by the government, and tapping the wonderful natural resources of southern Nevada." he said.
"Doubtless the same policy of financial assistance to state authorities can be followed in the development of Nevada's sister state, Arizona, on the other side of the river."
Federal Credit Okeh -
The president then assured the country that in spite of the vast spending program, federal credit "is on a stronger and safer basis than at any time in the past six years."
"Many state," he added "having actually improved their financial position in the past two years. Municipal tax receipts are being paid when the taxes fall due and tax arrearages are steadily declining."
Mr. Roosevelt described the nation's gigantic work programs as a continuation and an acceleration of what has been carried out throughout history, remarking that the speeding up process was for the relief of several millions of citizens whose earning capacity had been destroyed by the complexities and lack of thought of the economic system of the past generation.
"No sensible person," he said, "is foolish enough to draw hard and fast classifications as to usefulness or need. Obviously for instance, this great Boulder dam warrants universal approval because it will irrigate thousands of acres of tillable land and because it will generate electricity to turn the wheels of many factories and illuminate countless homes."
The Daily Herald
September 30, 1935
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