Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939 Page: 10 of 263
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this time I commend to you for careful study and action each plank
in the State Democratic platform. For your convenience I am attaching
hereto a copy of this platform, with the respectful suggestion that it
be inserted in the Journal of each House.
In this message I desire to direct your attention to what I deem to be
our more pressing problems; and to submit by specific statements, for immediate
consideration during the first thirty days of your session, a limited
number of subjects.
There is much work for each of us to do. I heartily agree with the Party
platform declaration to which we are committed that:
"Restoration of a sound, economic and social structure is of most immediate
concern to the people."
There are approximately 250,000 families on the relief rolls of the
State. Many of the breadwinners for these families, through no fault
of their own, are the unfortunate victims of an economic catastrophe.
All that they need or desire is a chance to earn a decent living.
Direct and Work Relief
I know you will agree with me that the speedy elimination of this
burden of direct relief by the restoration of jobs for the idle is our greatest
and most pressing problem. Under the National Administration policy
this responsibility has in great measure been undertaken by the Federal
Government, operating of course, with the cooperation of the State, each
in their separate and proper spheres.
Under the leadership of our beloved President, Franklin D. Roosevelt,
the Congress of the United States is expected to meet this great challenge.
According to recent press announcements, it is now the plan of
the National Government shortly to substitute work relief for direct
relief wherever possible. The President has made his recommendations
to Congress, and we in Texas may well take pride in the fact that the
plan of the National Government tracks closely the recommendations
of our own State Democratic platform, upon which practically all of us
were elected in November.
The very plan of the Federal Government, however, presents a grave
question of immediate concern to Texas. Heretofore, the Federal Government
has matched State funds for direct relief. It is understood that
hereafter they will only furnish funds to give work relief to employable
persons on relief rolls; and, in the absence of available work relief, will
contribute toward direct relief to employables until work can be afforded
them. This change in the policy of the Federal Government means that,
of necessity, the State, county and city governments may soon have to
make provision for relief of all unemployables in the State.
I am advised by the Board of Control (which now constitutes the State
Relief Commission) that there are now on the relief rolls many thousands
of people who are unable to work. These unfortunates must be cared
for. Nobody is going to starve in Texas if we can help it.
The only means at hand for direct relief is the issuance of the remainder
of the relief bonds authorized by the constitutional amendment
adopted in 1933. Of the $20,000,000 of relief bonds originally authorized,
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Allred, James V. Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939, book, 1939; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth3899/m1/10/: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .