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American Labor Party: 1936

Declaration of Principles

American Labor Party

New York State

As adopted at State Conference of Labor’s Non-Partisan League, held July 16, 1936, at the Hotel New Yorker.  The name American Labor Party has been selected as the official name of the party in New York State and will be so designated on the ballot.

The American Labor Party of New York State enters campaign of 1936 with a three-fold purpose:

  1. The defeat the combination of reactionary anti-labor and anti-social forces headed by Govenor Alf M.  Landon and to assure the re-election of Franklin D.  Roosevelt to the Presidency of the United States for another term.
  2. To re-elect the Hon. Herbert H. Lehman to the Governorship of New York for another term and to elect to office independent candidates, sponsored and approved by the American Labor Party of New York State, and committed to its political, social and legislative program and objectives.
  3. To secure the enactment in the coming Congress and the State Legislative of an adequate and effective program of social legislation.

The American Labor Party of New York State stands for the full and uncompromising preservation of the nation’s priceless inheritance as incorporated in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

Sees National Emergency

The American Labor Party of New York State enters this campaign impelled by the urge of an extreme national emergency.  Our hard-won first victories in the uphill battle against depression will be jeopardized if reaction wins in this campaign.  The political and civil liberties of this free nation will be exposed to grave danger if we lose.  The road for advance toward freedom and prosperity will be cleared by victory under our banner in this election.

The American Labor Party of New York State will seek the enactment of new laws or the amendment and enforcement of old laws which embody and further extend the vital and progressive laid down as the basis of such New Deal laws covering minimum wages, maximum work hours and the right to collective bargaining, as exemplified by the National Industrial Recovery Act, the National Labor Relations Act, the Social Security Act, the Guffery-Snyder Act and the Railroad Retirement Act.  The American Labor Party of New York State will advocate, propose and seek to have enacted such further measures as will help to restore and extend the people’s prosperity, security and freedom.

The American Labor Party of New York State will advance and support an adequate program of relief, sufficiently financed and efficiently administered through Federal and State action.

The American Labor Party of New York State favors the full use by Congress of its legislative powers in enacting laws dealing with the public welfare and , if found necessary, will urge an amendment to the Constitution which will definitely, unmistakably and finally confine the courts of heir prescribed tasks and take their hands off State and Federal legislation that has been or may be enacted by the people’s representatives.


Political Conflict Analyzed

The present political conflict is not between two parties, nor between two sections of the country.  The conflict is between two camps, which are opposed to each other and are fighting for a major stake that concerns us all, everywhere.  On the one side are the nation’s Tories, the reactionaries of all stripes and kinds, the manipulators of other people’s labor, determined to hold on to their unjustly obtained privileges and advantages and seeking to extend them further.   On the other side are the people of the United States, the overwhelming majority of the population of our great and rich country, demanding the right to work and live under standards of economic decency and security.

In this battle of the people agains the “economic royalists,” President Roosevelt’s sympathies, as expressed in his activities in the past, years and in his utterances, have been on the side of the people.  On the basis of his record and his public commitments the President is pleged to sponsor the legislation we demand.  The American Labor Party of New York State proposes  to strengthen the President’s hand in Congress in the battle for security and democracy by the election of members of Congress committed to the program of the American Labor Party of New York State and who are determined to work in close co-operation with it.

Roosevelt Foes Assailed

The National Association of Manufacturers, the Liberty League, the United State Chamber of Commerce and other numerous non-professional and purely political aggregation have ganged up on the President and are opposing his re-election in the hope of perpetuating and extending their stranglehold on the political and economic life of the United States, all determined to fight and to defeat the progress made in these several years since the demise of the Hoover-Republican regime of misery and hunger.

The American Labor Party of New York State has entered this campaign to mobilize the political power of labor with the progressive forces of the people everywhere, in the cities and on the farms, against reaction and for freedom,  against economic oppression and depression, and for recovery and democracy.  The American Labor Party of New York State will conduct the campaign in every county of the State.  Citizens everywhere are urged to rally to the side of the American Labor Party of New York State and to support the political ticket which it will place in the field, in order that the objectives stated in this declaration may be attained through victory in this most vital campaign.

Source:  Files of Philip Schiff shared by his daughter Mrs. Jeanne Talpers

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