Scores of jobless Americans are pictured standing in line for a free meal in New York City ca. 1930. UPI File Photo
WASHINGTON, April 13, 1932 (UP) --Democratic orators, loading party workers with Campaign ammunition, today heaped upon the Hoover administration the blame for the depression and outlined a program of economic rehabilitation for the party to espouse.
Through a series of addresses at a Jefferson Day luncheon attended by Democratic leaders from near and far ran the theme that the Republican Party had wrecked business, plunged millions into misery and engulfed the government in debt due to extravagance.
Senator Joe T. Robinson of Arkansas said President Hoover had been elected as "an economic genius with a patent formula to insure prosperity" which now should be thrown "into the limbo of exploded heresies."
"Every policy advanced in the 1928 campaign by the economic marvel of the age is now generally recognized as unsound," Robinson declared. "The record of the last three years establishes the conclusion that the economic policies of the United States as reflected in extravagant government expenditures, in loans to bankrupt foreign governments, and in the enactment of tariffs which have well-nigh destroyed our commerce, have been the controlling factors in producing depression in this country, and in causing it to extend to other shores."
Democratic Floor Leader Henry T. Rainey of the House concentrated his fire on the Republican tariff policies. He said all the world has retaliated against "our upward revisions of the tariff" until international trade is paralyzed. The State Department, Rainey declared, "entered into the conspiracy by negotiating unconditional most favored nation treaties."
Representative Mary T. Norton of New Jersey denounced the administration for extravagance and falling to balance the budget of the past two years. She directed charges of waste particularly against the Department of Commerce, of which Hoover was head before he became president.
Mrs. Nellie Tayloe Ross, vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, declared that "if this nation is to be lifted from the present abyss of distress, a partnership must be established between the Democratic Party and men and women of all political faith who believe that times and conditions demand a change in the control of the government."