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tv   1960 Presidential Primary Debate  CSPAN  April 1, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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next, archival coverage of presidential races, including the 1960 democratic primary debate in west virginia, the 1980 texas republican primary debate, the 1984 democratic candidates' debate, and a promotional film which aired in new hampshire by the richard nixon campaign. each week until the 2016 election road to the white house rewind brins you or archival coverage of presidential races. in the 1960 campaign a west virginia democratic primary debate between senators john f. kennedy of massachusetts and
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hubert humphrey of minnesota. this was only the second televised presidential primary debate in history. it took place at the wchs tv studios in charleston. five weeks before the primary polls show senator kennedy trailing by 20 points. with west virginia voters expressing concerns about his roman catholic religion. but senator kennedy was able to make the race about religious tolerance and the separation of church and state, and he won with 60% of the votes on his way to securing the nomination. he went on to defeat vice president richard nixon in the general election. our coverage of this hour-long debate is courtesy of the john f. kennedy presidential library and museum and west virginia state archives. >> the following political debate between senator john f. kennedy and senator hubert h. had you ever f humphrey is being presented by wchs tv, the charleston gazette,
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and the participating stations as a public service. here is the moderator for the debate, news director bill ames. >> good evening. the west virginia primary election campaign has already been characterized by the unique and the unusual, and that tradition is being followed in spectacular and unusual fashion tonight with a face-to-face debate between senator hubert h. humphrey of minnesota and senator john f. kennedy of massachusetts. for weeks the attention of the nation has been focused on the voters of west virginia and on the efforts of these two men to enlist their support in the presidential balloting next tuesday. in that voting, only registered democrats can cast their ballots for these presidential candidates and the outcome of the voting is not binding on the democratic delegates to the july convention in los angeles. still, it is generally agreed that the results of next week's election in west virginia will be important to the presidential ambitions of the winner and of
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the loser. with a desire to crystallize for the voter the issues in the west virginia presidential race, the gazet gazette, wchs tv, and participating stations in and out of the state have brought senators humphrey and kennedy together for this encounter. formal debate will begin the program. a question and answer period will follow the debate. the questions, which will be asked, have been sent into the gazette by its readers. the questions will be put to the senators by the two men on either side of me, ned chilton, assistant to the publisher of the charleston gazelle, and by dale schussler with the news department in wheeling. gentlemen, in the debate you will each have an opportunity for an opening five-minute statement. then you will have five minutes for rebuttal. in the toss of a coin before broadcast time tonight, you won, senator kennedy, and then chose
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to go second in debate. you are order to be followed is the opening, senator humphrey, then an opening by senator kennedy, rebuttal by senator humphrey, and rebuttal by senator kennedy. now, the sound of this buzzer will indicate that your time is at an end, and i'll ask your cooperation in observing the limitations placed upon you. and so, senator humphrey, may we begin with your opening five-minute statement. >> thank you, mr. ames and fellow americans. now, every political campaign should make a truly constructive contribution to american democracy. we should learn and become informed, and i have learned that here in west virginia, that you want a government which never rests in this all important and vital effort to build a secure and an enduring peace. i have learned that you want a government that cares and acts for the people and understands the needs of the people.
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and you want a government that isn't blinded by budget balancing slogans, but rather is deeply dedicated to a balanced nation in which the pockets of depression and unemployment and poverty are erased. the problems of this wonderful and beautiful west virginia are much the same as those of other states and, indeed, of the world itself, and mind you, these problems are growing and spreading like a cancer throughout our very land. there's one thing to me that's crystal clear. america needs a democratic victory, and i pledge my wholehearted and active support to any forward-looking democrat who may win the nomination, and i mean that to my friend john kennedy as well. richard nixon must not be the next president of the united states. we've had too many years of caretaker government that ignores problems and avoids opportunities. too many years of shameful
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neglect of america's needs at home and waste and loss of america's prestige abroad. we have, in fact, friends, been the victims of a no-go, go slow, not now veto administration. popularity has been substituted for leadership, and mediocrity for principle. slogans have been offered in place of programs and public relations instead of genuine public service. america, yes, west virginia, deserves a much better deal. now, we have one basic problem, a conservative republican government in washington that is content withstanding still in a changing america and aery rapidly changing world and talk, talk has been substituted for deeds. little or nothing has been done about distressed industries such as coal or depressed areas or the problems of technological unemployment and automation or, indeed, little or nothing about
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the growing demands and needs of education or the care of our elderly. the republican administration has put on the brakes on the american economy when we should be moving ahead with giant strides. it has complained about growing surpluses of food and fiber while in many parts of america, yes, in west virginia, children suffer from inadequate diet. it shouts of inflation as it adds to the cost of living by hiking up the interest rates and tightening up the credit, and we pay a terrible price for this indifference. now, these problems in west virginia and the other states of our union are, in fact, however, not the worst that america faces. time has caught up with america. for the past seven years the soviet union has been eating up the lead that america inherited indeed from past administrations. it's going to be a pitiful
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inheritance that our next president will receive from this administration when he sits across the table from the soviet dictator. now, the next ten years may well decide whether the united states is to be a first-class power or become a second-class nation. more than a year ago i sat across the table from mr. crew chef for better than eight hours. i saw him as he is, tough and able, a communist, a bolshevik determined to surpass the united states and he is determined that communism will rule the world and i am determined that it will not. now, the next president most arouse this nation to heroic deeds. he must courageously search for a lasting peace with justice and freedom, and he must understand the complexities of disarmament negotiations, the workings of diplomacy, the united nations. he must develop a force for peace using our food and our fiber surplus to feed the hungry, our medical knowledge to heal the sick, and our education
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to teach the i will literal. i have tried to prepare myself for this. now, the west virginia primary is more than a popularity contest. there are differences between the candidates, but the basic difference has been very accurately assessed by the journalists of one temperament and one of attitude and one of approach. now, how you choose to vote i think depends on your sober assessment of the need of west virginia. if you are saturday wiisfied wi way things are you will -- if you believe constructive action is required, you know my required and i hope you will find me your man. thank you. >> and now, senator kennedy, it's your turn for five minutes of an opening statement. >> ladies and gentlemen, i run for the presidency after 18 years in the service of the united states, four years in the navy, and 14 years in the
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congress because i believe the presidency is the key office. it is the center of action, and because i believe strongly in my country and in its destiny and because i believe the power and influence of the next president and his vitality and force are going to be the great factor in meeting the responsibilities that we're going to face, so i run for the presidency. and because the presidency is the keeper's office as no other office is, it is my judgment that any candidate for the presidency should be willing to submit their name, their fortunes, their record, and their views to people in primaries all over the united states. west virginia has such a primary, and that is the reason that i am here. i did not have to come. i came of my own free will. there are no delegates involved. a setback here, a defeat, would be a major one, but nevertheless, i came and i must
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say i am extremely glad i came. i think this is the best experience and the best education that an american political leader can have, whether he serves in the presidency or serves in the senate. many of you who may be watching television in other parts of the country have been seeing a good deal of west virginia through your tv, and i wonder whether you realize what a various state it is and how unusual is its past and how bright is its promise. if there is one quality which i think this state can be justly proud of, it is the quality of courage. more men from west virginia lost their lives in the korean war than from any state in the union of its size. more west virginians served in world war ii than for any state of its size. i was in hinton which is the home of the navigator who flew with my brother before he was killed. this is a state that has sent
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men to die in every section of the world and also here in the state of west virginia you have to have courage to work in the basic industry of this state, coal mining. eight west virginians die in the coal mines of this state every month. these people are tough and hard. they have lived in the mountains. they're probably more descendants of the american revolutionary soldiers here in west virginia than in any state in the country. george washington said many years ago, let me plant a banner in those mountains, and i will set men free. this is a state that deserves an opportunity. it deserves recognition from our federal government. last night i was in mcdowell county. that county produces more coal than any county in the world. there are more people on relief in that county than in any county in the country. now, why should there be 250,000 people living on a subsistence and below subsistence distribution from the federal government who only want to
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work. 100,000 able-bodied men who want a job and can't find it who have spent their lives in the coal mines, who have spent their lives underground working in 35 or 40 inches and who want to get a job again, who want to work. that is the problem of west virginia. this state can really do a good deal. i don't think i have seen a more vigorous industrial complex than i have seen along the ohio valley and the river or better farms. the people of this state only need a chance, and i think that they're going to get it. i think this election is probably as important to west virginia as any state in the country. and i hope the people of this country regard carefully what's happened here because the problem that west virginia is facing is the problem that all america is going to face. that is the problem of what happens to men when machines take their place. we produce more coal than we did 20 years ago in west virginia, but there are thousands of men who mined in 1940 who can't find
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a job. what is happening in the coal industry in the last ten years in west virginia is going to spread all over the country. when a machine takes the job of ten men, where do those ten men go? what happens to their families? they live on unemployment compensation and that runs out. they live on a subsistence diet distributed by the federal government which is beyond the living standard for any american, and then they wait for a chance and a job. i must say i am delighted i came here to west virginia. i think everyone who seeks the office of the presidency should be willing to come. the lesson is hard, but it's important for all americans. >> thank you very much, senator kennedy. you have been shy ten seconds of your five minutes. we move on now to the rebuttal portion of the formal debate. senator humphrey, in accordance with the order established by the flipping of the coin, it is
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your turn now to rebut. you will have five minutes for this as well, and you may begin, sir. >> thank you, mr. ames. it would be, of course, very undesirable and foolish to attempt to rebut the fine and splendid and pleasant statement as to the wonderful assets and the great qualities of the state of west virginia and its people. the state that has this marvelous history of freedom and its great contribution to our american system, but i do think there are points that well ought to be emphasized once having made the generalized statements. while it is true that automation and technological improvements have taken jobs, it is equally true that a government that is worthy of the respect of the american people will move into action with private industry and with labor and with the local communities to find new jobs, to retrain workers, to provide for new industries, and to diversify
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the economy. it is equally true that a government has a responsibility, not the total responsibility, but a responsibility to the total economy of the nation, and when you break that down, you make it into the respective jurisdictions such as our states. now, west virginia's problems, as i indicated in my opening statement, are characteristic of this country. in fact, i might say that i wish that the television camera that has become so much a part of the american scene would not only focus upon certain areas of west virginia where there is unemployment and distress, but that it would find its way into parts of new york city and philadelphia and baltimore and boston and, yes, minneapolis, and chicago, to look into those slums where people live in metropolitan areas in conditions that are incredible, and yet we have a government that says we
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have prosperity. i must say without arguing with my associate from massachusetts that we have been taught in recent days by our current government not to care, and i consider this to be immoral. it is absolutely necessary for us to care for one another. the strength of the american economy is best judged by the weakness of any section or any person or any part, and wherever there is an area of unemployment or distress or suffering, wherever there is a slum, wherever there are conditions that degrade humankind, it weakens america, and it surely weakens our moral posture in the world, and it takes a terrible toll in terms of the economics of our country. you see, i was trying to emphasize in my opening statement that america needs to be strong. we're facing the toughest competition of our lives, tougher than anyone ever dreamed and the soviet union is determined to surpass us, and
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he's fighting us, competing with us on every area, not merely military. he's competing with us in economics and education, science and technology and culture, and we have to be prepared to meet that competition and to surpass it, to expand the areas of freedom. now, you can't do that if you ignore problems at home. for example, if we're going to have a foreign policy which is willing to loan economic assistance to every nation in the world under the international development loan fund, which i have supported, it seems to me we must have a domestic policy which will make possible loans to local communities, to local industries, to americans for the improvement of economic conditions in our own country. in other words, our ability to maintain our strength abroad will be dependent in no small part upon our capacity to have full production and employment at home with social justice. now, i have some programs that
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i've mentioned. i don't think that generalities are accurate or adequate. i think i know what it means to be in trouble, to be poor, to be without a job. i learned something about that in the depression of south dakota. i have seen it in the iron mines of minnesota. i didn't have to go to the coal mines of west virginia for firsthand knowledge. i have seen it. i have tasted it. i don't like it. and, therefore, i propose that we have area redevelopment, that we find new uses for coal and find new outlets for this great source of power, that we build generating plants at the mouth of the mine, for example, that we distribute electricity throughout this whole eastern seaboard which is a great power center of america, the great industrial center. that we develop the great recreational facilities of west virginia. that we make it the people's playground. that we give our young people a chance to work in the forests and out in the public lands and the works in a youth conservation corps program, that we spend time and money upon
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conservation. all of this is an asset. all of this is an investment in the people. those are my views for the future of this state. >> now to senator kennedy, it is your turn to rebut the statements made by senator humphrey. thanks to you, senator humphrey. senator kennedy, your time begins right now. >> during my speech, i think that in considering the problems of west virginia, i think the people of west virginia are concerned about what can be done, and i think the people of the united states are concerned. this is a problem which goes beyond west virginia. in massachusetts we lost our textile industry, and we had through four, five, or six years in great mill towns an extremely difficult time. pennsylvania, southern illinois, kentucky, parts of indiana, parts of ohio have all been hard hit by technological change. the question is, what should we
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do about them? what should we do about west virginia? i said there were 250,000 people getting surplus food from the government. i received a letter the other day, april 23rd, from a.f. johnston, box 17, west virginia. here is what he gets every month from the government. i'm a man with tv and i happen to get surplus food. i have seven children. this is what i receive. five bags of flours, four cans of eggs, three five-pound bags of meal, eight pounds of shortening, four pounds of rice which we can't use if you don't get it clean, and four powered milk. we do not get any butter, cheese, or beans as mr. benson stated. i would challenge anybody on the surplus food situation on what we get, what we don't get. these are the powdered eggs f. for a family of four you get three of these per month. it says for distribution of needy persons. there's 250,000 people in west virginia getting this kind of assistance every month.
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it's inadequate diet. there are a good many children who get their only good meal when they go to school and bring some of it home to share with their brothers and sisters. this is a national problem, not a problem just for west virginia, and it certainly a problem which needs the devoted effort of the federal government, the president, the administration, and the congress. there are, i think, some things we ought to do immediately. in the first place, we ought to send a better diet to those who are dependent upon the government. this is not a satisfactory diet for americans. we should certainly add decent food. we send many of them overseas. we sell them for local currency overseas. we should send them here. secondly, we should add to the unemployment compensation benefit. after 24 weeks, a man goes out. he waits on relief. he waits for surplus food. i think we should give him the 39 weeks that the administration is recommending, make it a part of federal minimum standards because no state has adopted the 39 weeks. thirdly, i think we ought to do as senator humphrey said, pass the area redevelopment bill
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which makes it possible for small businesses to come in. which makes it possible for communities to clean the water, to attract industry. makes it possible to retrain workers in new work, vocational retraining. all these things can be done if the force of the federal government is put behind them. then i think we can do a good deal more about west virginia and other states in sending defense contracts to it. you know that west virginia, which had the most serious unemployment in the united states last year, was the lowest in the number of defense contracts it received. west virginia received $20 million in defense contracts from the pentagon which is spending over $40 billion. my own state of massachusetts received 1 billion 400 million. virginia received 1 billion 28 million. i think that the defense department should set aside of every contract a percentage which would go to those areas where there was a high level of
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unemployment. then i think we ought to begin to consider long-range recovery of how we can attract new industries into this area. how we can provide new uses for coal. the administration vetoed the coal research bill. i think the administration should approve it. i think that the federal government must recognize that as machines come in and men are thrown out of work, it presents a problem not just to the community, but also to the country. i think in every industry in the united states in the next ten years there should be councils between labor and management with government representatives so as machinery comes in which throws people out of work, we can find new jobs for them, new training. if the machines come in in a way that will help people rather than just provide unemployments. this is the lesson of west virginia. this is why west virginia should be a matter of greatest concern to us all because what has happened to these people can happen in every state of the country. west virginia needs help and i
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think it ought to be on the desk of the next president of the united states. >> thank you, senator kennedy. now, gentlemen, we have concluded the formal portion of the program, the formal debate with opening statements and then rebuttals, and we come to the portion which will be devoted to questions and answers. i'll remind you again that the questions have all been sent to the "charleston gazette" by its readings and they've been screened by the editorial board of "the gazette" to avoid represent tition and to make a representative selection of the hundreds that were received. the ground rules regarding the answering of questions are as follows -- the questions will be asked of you alternately, and you have two minutes in which to give your answer. now, at the end of the two minutes, the familiar buzzer, the buzzer with which you have now become familiar, will sound as it has before, and you will stop. and i must ask your cooperation in observing that. the candidate to whom the
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question was not directed, some have been directed to you both, but the candidate to whom the question is not directed will have the option of comment if he so desires, and the time limit on comment will also be two minutes. may we have the first question first from ned chilton of "the charleston gazette." >> first question is addressed to both of you gentlemen. should red china be allowed to join the united nations sent in by charles w. simpson of new york. >> mr. simpson and mr. chilton, i would not as a delegate to the united nations representing this country nor would i if responsible for the nation's foreign policy recommend at least at this time the administration of red china to the united nations. she has demonstrated a kind of arrogance and a kind of intransigence which i believe is anything but worthy of the respect and of the consideration
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of our country, and i further add that the charter of the united nations requires that the nations that are members thereof should be peace-loving nations. now, i know there are some members of the u.n. that shurly don't qualify to well for that particular description, but i would add they came in at the time of the united nations' inception, and now we have an opportunity to weigh the administration of new members very carefully. now, i qualify my statement by saying that you don't take a position in terms of the indefinite future. you take it in terms of the present circumstances. >> thank you, senator humphrey. senator kennedy, this question was directed to both. >> yes, i would agree with senator humphrey. unless the chinese come mists demonstrated a change in their foreign policy, and we've seen a very belligerent phase of their foreign policy and their relations with india during the past year, unless they're willing to demonstrate they desire to live in peace with the
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neighbors to the south of them, work out a solution to the problems facing them, then i would not recognize them. if they indicated they would, i would begin negotiations to see if it's possible to establish more intimate relations. after all, we desire peace and harmony. they are one quarter of the world, but i do think that they have to meet certain standards before recognition should be coming. >> thank you, sir. the next question comes to us with dale schussler as the questioner. >> it's addressed to senator kennedy from a reader in white sulfur springs. she asks, in your opinion are the soviets acting in good faith when they press the case for disarmament? >> not for disarmament. when they say they want complete disarmament, then quite obviously that's impossible unless they would agree to the kind of inspection which they have been unwilling to agree to. in addition, i don't think that they have shown particular vigor and good faith because they failed to agree to the efforts
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we've made to provide for the z disarmament of outer space which would be possible as no country dominates outer space. i am hopeful it would be possible to reach some agreement with the soviet union on nuclear testing. this may be an area where it would be to our mutual advantage, where it may be to the self interest of the soviet union and the united states to agree to the cessation of tests, to agree to a realistic and workable inspection system, and if that should be, then i'm hopeful we can proceed on that basis. but on the general thesis which mr. khrushchev advanced many months ago of immediate disarmament, i don't think they're working in good faith. >> may i comment? i would agree that there is considerable evidence of the lack of what one might call good faith, but i do have some hopes about the summit conference, particularly if the summit conference, the first summit conference is limited to the phase of disarmament discussions. now at that conference i think the most that we could expect is
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to be able to lay down or to get an agreement upon the ground rules for the present ten-nation disarmament conference that's under way in geneva. if we could get the ground rules clearly understood, in other words, how -- what they were to do in the ten-nation conference, this would be a forward step, particularly if there was a firm agreement. secondly, there is one basic problem in the field of the nuclear test suspension with adequate inspection and control, and that problem is the number of armed site inspections where the mobile teams, the international inspection teams, can move into an area where there seems to be a suspicious event. now, if we could come to an agreement upon the number of on-site inspections, then i think we would be making some forward progress in the field of disarmament, and this is a prospect that lends some hope. i think the soviet union needs peace for at least the next seven to eight years if it's to
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fulfill its seven-year plan. >> senator humphrey, the next question is addressed to you from j.a.asbury of glass bury, west virginia. what stand to you take on the proposal to raise federal tax exemptions from $600 to $800. >> i took a stand early on that and this is a difference between my colleague from massachusetts and myself. a difference of degree. i voted for the amendment offered by the senator from texas, mr. yar borough, to increase the exception from $600 to $800. i also voted for the george amendment to increase the exemption from $600 to $700. it was a similar measure but of less degree. now, i felt this was important at the time that it was up because there was considerable recession in the country, growing unemployment, and genuine economic distress. i feel that the use of the tax laws to be able to stimulate purchasing power and to broaden
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the base of the consumers or the consumption ability of the people is very important. now, i would have made up that loss of revenue and it was a loss of revenue. i would have made it up by having withholding taxes upon dividends and interest, upon closing tax close loopholes such as reducing the amount of depression allowance on gas and oil. i voted to decrease it from 27.5% to 15%, and those two items alone, the reduction of the depression appreciation allow witness way i submit is fair, the present law is special privilege, closing the tax loophole on interest and dividends would more than have compensated for the loss of revenue and the individual head of family would have had more money with which to make his purchases, to educate his family, to take care of the medical needs of his family, and to be a better customer. i think it was a sensible vote. >> thank you, sir. next question. >> excuse me, senator kennedy --
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>> the question is was i am in favor of it today? >> what stand do you take on the proposal to raise federal income tax exemptions from $600 -- >> well, i think it would be a mistake and misleading for me to suggest i'm going to favor a good many of the programs i talked about earlier. also a stronger national defense, federal aid to education, assistance to this state and other states, and at the same time say that i'm going to reduce income taxes this year. i don't think that's possible. i think -- i think that in the final analysis the president of the united states has to make a determination of what is in the long-range interests of this country, and i don't think, therefore, that at the present time until the economy has moved up, i think it's going to be possible to reduce income taxes. now, secondly, i am hardly in favor of closing the loopholes. i hope that can be done. we've been defeated on many occasions since i have been in the senate. the eight years i've been in the senate the vote has come up many
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times and it's been defeated on many occasion. i hope we can do something about the oil depletion allowance. 27% is too much. i agree we should try to close the loopholes. there are many things that can be done. until we're able to bring in enough revenue to make up for the loss i cannot advocate at this time that reduction in taxes. >> next question is addressed to both of you gentlemen, and the name has been withheld. the reader lives in blue field, west virginia. senator humphrey, former president harry truman said if he was a merchant faced by a lunch counter demonstration by negroes, he would case them out of the store. what would you do? >> well, i surely wouldn't. as a matter of fact i feel that the young men and women who have engaged in these respective demonstrations have been orderly. they've been standing up for their rights as they see them as american citizens, and they've been applying what i would call a higher moral law. now there, may be instances in
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localities where the local ordinances give protection to existing inequities and injustices. if that's the case those ordinances should be changed, and in the meantime i would suggest to those who are the operators of private business establishments that they have some consideration for not only the constitutional rights of people under the 14th amendment because no state is supposed to pass any law which falls unequally upon its citizens, and i would suggest also they might practice some good business sense by treating customers with equity and with equality, and i'd like to add, however, if i may go back to another question on this -- is this within the rules? on the tax question? >> i believe, sir, that you have one minute left. >> yes. i'd just like to point this out, that the tax act of 1954 passed by the 83rd republican congress is not divine script. it's not sacrosanct. it is manmade law. it's filled with inequities and injusts. i refuse to accept it without
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protesting against it. i did not vote for it. i thought it was injustice consummate and i feel that the tax loopholes will not be closed until there is a firmaderm nation on the part of form of us in the congress. that's why i would have supported and do support an increase in the deduction for the average family because i think it will lend itself to the health of the economy and compel this government to do justice in the tax laws rather than to continue to spread the benefits to a handful of people who do not need them. >> senators, before we proceed, you have an answer to the question that was raised, senator kennedy, but let me point out this fact, that senator humphrey raised the point and it was a legitimate one. if you finish your answer to a specific question and you have some comment you would like to throw in on some subject raised before, you will have the option to use up the two-minute time in that kind of reply should you so
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desire. the question was asked of you, sir, senator kennedy, was if you were faced with a lunch counter sit-in demonstration by negroes, would you chase such demonstrators from your store? >> no, i wouldn't, providing the demonstrations are peaceful and respect the rights of others. it is in the great american tradition of peaceful protest which goes back to the beginning of this country. i certainly wouldn't chase them out. >> senator kennedy, the next question is asked of you from bill buchanan of beckley. in view of the recent troubles in cuba, do you feel we should continue to purchase cuban sugar at prices above the world trade prices is? >> i think the best thing to do about cue beat the present time is to put the quota in the hands of the president. the administration recommended that and as a member of the senate foreign relations which both senator humphrey and i are, i would suggest that's the most appropriate course. we can carry it on on a month by month basis and we can make a
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determine nation as events change. we don't know what's going to be the situation six months from now. for the presideent, therefore, would continue it as it is. to merely cut it on the basis you suggest would be an annoying act, would have no serious effect on mr. castro. in fact, it would make him be able to say to the world we were carrying on economic discrimination against him. there are no doubt he would take reprisals against americans that are there. in the case of cuba, i agree with the administration policy. >> this is one of the few times, may i say, where i have agreed that the administration's reluctant to act has had a positive and affirmative position or policy. i thoroughly agree with the comments of my colleague from massachusetts that this kind of patience which we've exercised is credible and desirable and i, too, have the feel that the president, whoever the president may be, must have within his power the opportunity to take timely action as the national
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security requires. i believe that that flexibility would be highly desirable development, and i surely support it. >> senator humphrey, would you agree with this statement from rita in lake, west virginia. how do you feel in regard to foreign aid? doesn't it make more enemies than it does friends? >> well, it can, but i don't think it does. in the main, the foreign aid program has been a constructive course in american life, in american foreign policy and there has been a tendency of late to emphasize primarily the monetary aspects of foreign aid rather than the manner in which it is utilized and the manner in which it is effectuated. take, for example, some time ago i wrote to the state department about our foreign aid program in korea. i have information which led me to believe that it was being poorly administered. in fact, there was some elements of corruption. the administration didn't seem to feel that that was the case. i made a speech in the senate. in fact, i made five speeches
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over two years in the senate on korea pointing out what was happening over there which finally developed, as you know, into riots with the government having to be changed and we now discover that the foreign aid program has been poorly managed and has cost the american taxpayer substantial amount through mismanagement and corruption. but in the main, i must say that foreign aid is required. i don't think that we ought to take it that we ought to do away with it. what we need are administrators of foreign aid, continuity of administration to follow through to see that this foreign aid does some direct good for the people for which it is intended. >> senator kennedy? >> i think that it would be to the advantage of both the united states and the countries involved if more and more foreign aid could be put in the form of loans. if we could use the development loan fund, make it possible for them to pay back. not put so much emphasis on the disposition of sus plus military equipment. i think something like $300
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million and yet they weren't able to defend themselves against a 5,000 guerilla invasion. so i would say i would strengthen the development loan fund, put it on the basis of loans. then when people ask for it, they will have projects which are worthwhile and it willing done in on a more businesslike basis. it does serve a useful function because so much of the world is going through a period of transition. latin america and africa and asia, we want them to maintain their freedom. we've seen what's happened to the balance of power in the world when china went communist. we want to make sure these other countries have a chance to develop under a free system. our security is protected when they do so. therefore, i think the best way in a measured, careful way is to strengthen the loan provisions. put the major emphasis into those and also help get the countries of western europe we assisted ten years ago to play their proportionate role in assisting these countries. >> this question is asked of both. i'll query mr. humphrey first, senator humphrey first.
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vice president nixon by inference has said this country has nothing to fear until such time as an individual with no religion, an atheist or an agnostic, is a candidate for president. would you care to comment on this? >> well, i believe it is quite well understood or at least it should be that the constitution of the united states makes no religious requirement for any candidate for office. my comment is that a good deal of this discussion on a subject that is as sensitive and as volatile and as personal and intimate as one's religious convictions could be well relieved if there was a little less talk about it and a little more understanding about the personal matter of one's religious faith and convictions. i have said and i shall repeat that the most important thing for a voter to understand about
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religion and politics is the moral laws, the ethical standards or the moral standards of the individual candidates and the party he may represent. in other words, we ought to have some religion, some faith in our heart and by that i mean some love of fellow man, a recognition of our humility before divine providence and the need of prayerful guidance and advice. >> senator kennedy. as senator humphrey said, the constitution is quite explicit and says there shall be no test for religion and the first amendment says congress shall make no laws so, therefore, the course of this country was founded on the basis of religious freedom and that means we all believe as we want to believe. and i don't think that the vice president and i'm sure he doesn't intend to or anyone else, how could we decide whether somebody is irreligious or not religious. it's far better we let them
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carry on their own life, believe as they choose to do so providing they have given adequate demonstration that they believe in the constitutional system, that they believe in the first amendment, that they believe in the rights of others to worship as they want, that their decisions are made based on their own experience and best judgment. these are the great factors which i think motivate men as different as jefferson and lincoln, men who had entirely opposite in some ways or in some ways the same religious beliefs. this country -- this is perhaps the most important ingredient in the development of american character. from the beginning of this country which was founded on the principle of religious freedom. therefore, i'm devoted, i know senator humphrey is, to the maintenance of this tradition and i'm confident that they are too in west virginia. that's my experience, and i continue to believe that because i think it's such an important quality in the american
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character and the american experience. if this were lost, if we started to apply religious tests of one kind to another, then really something important in american life would go out, so i must say that i believe that people should be free. that's the important thing. to believe as they wish providing they are loyal americans and devoted to constitutional principles. >> senator humphrey, jerry carney of dunbar directs this question to you, are you in favor of a national fair trade law? >> i have been. i feel that fair trade laws have a place in the american economy. the biggest problem has been in the area of enforcement. i believe that there ought to be rules of conduct in the economic marketplace just as there are rules of conduct in banking, in railroading, in utilities. i happen to believe lost leaders lend themselves to jungle warfare in the economic marketplace, threaten the
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existence of private enterprise, particularly individually owned enterprise or partnerships. i have seen through experience, not through theory, the impact of the powerful, large interests upon the independent retailer, and he is in need particularly in those areas where there are nationally advertised brands of some kind of price protection lest these nationally advertised items be used as come-ons to draw people into a business establishment and ultimately to destroy the independent merchant who is, in fact, as important to the american social and economic structure as the family farmer or, indeed, as the school teacher or the independent school district. these are the ways that we develop an america that has a degree of independence and a degree of social justice which is such an important part of our
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social makeup. >> i think we want to be careful in protecting smaller businessmen and i think they need protection because i think in this administration, particularly credit policies and all the rest have worked to their disadvantage. make sure it doesn't provide consumers are going to have to pay an unnecessarily high cost. i remember senator neely making a speech on the senate floor in which he said a fair trade bill would cost his people millions and millions of people. i think we need to be extremely careful that we are providing protection where it is needed and not merely permitting a higher cost for a good many people. >> gentlemen, this is elsie osborne of glendening, asks why does senator kennedy, this is directed at both of you, why do senator kennedy and senator humphrey blame all the ills of west virginia on the eisenhower administration when we have a democratic congress which both
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of members and have done nothing to help us. >> who are you going to let answer that first? >> since i have been getting all the hot ones, i'll take this one. >> taking the lead to steer defense contracts into distressed areas in which my state of massachusetts had a good many. this administration committed themselves to maintaining it by executive order and it was never done. senator nolan led the fight against our effort. i was the manager in the first area redevelopment bill which was intended to assist areas like west virginia which had high unemployment. the president vetoed that bill. i will let senator humphrey give a couple other examples. >> coal research bill was passed with the support, of course, of the members of the west virginia delegation. by the way, the coal research bill had a very modest appropriate to it that would have been of help to the coal industry in this state and indeed the entire economy.
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the president vetoed that. i might add, however, we have 19 such research programs going in foreign kuntsz which the taxpayers of america pay for but not one dime is to go into west virginia. furthermore, the administration has taken a very dim view upon such programs as the food stamp plan which we passed that would have of help right here in the state of west virginia. i'm the author of the food stamp plan. it would have provided for a balanced diet for the needy people in this state. there is over 400 millions of dollars of monies not paid in my taxpayers but collected by tariffs on food imports into this country that are available, those dollars are available to purchase poultry, meat, milk, butter, cheese, oleo margarine, soybean oil whatever would be necessary for a balanced diet including fruits and vegetables. the administration has vetoed 147 times acts of congress and we have not had the two-thirds to override the vetoes.
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i'm fully familiar with the area redevelopment bill having been with senator kennedy a co-sponsor of it, and by the way we passed it again in the senate and i'm hoping tonight the house of representatives will have passed it for for the second time so that the president will have it on his desk once more. >> i think if i may say, this indicates the importance of the presidency. regardless of what action is taken by the members of congress from this state or any other state, the presidency is the key officer. the president can veto programs as this administration has done, housing, water pollution, unemployment compensation, can oppose minimum wage and you can't get action. all the president needs is one-third plus one in either the house or the senate to stop any bill from passing. in addition, the power of the president to suggest action to the congress. this is the key office. make no mistake about it. the congress is an equal and coordinate branch but the power and influence of the presidency, that makes it the key office. that's why i think it's important for west virginia and the united states to have a
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change of administration. >> i might add, gentlemen, that i remember the days of 1936 when franklin delano roosevelt visited my home state of south dakota at that time in the drought period. he came to see the conditions. i wish the president of the united states would come to see some of the conditions that we have seen in this state and other states. i can't help but feel that any man who occupied that high office with the tremendous power of the presidency would advocate programs of action and insist upon prompt action. but instead of that i read the other day, there was a liberal allowance for food stuffs in this state. >> senators kennedy and humphrey, you put a mathematical burden on me there that i hope i fulfilled. jointly you each had two minutes. i think you have the next question, mr. tilton. >> senator kennedy, this one is submitted to you by jay cummings of parkersburg. are you willing to take a
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definite stand on senator mccarthy? >> yes, i am. i said it. i support the censure. on many occasions i stated that. >> i supported the censure in the senate at the time of the vote and spoke in favor of it. >> senator humphrey, benny twaddle from west virginia asks this question of you. do you honestly feel that if you should win the west virginia primary you would have a chance of getting the democratic nomination? >> i surely do. i suppose it's at this point i disagree most sharply with my friend from massachusetts. no democrat has this nomination tied up. there are a number of democrats that are potential democratic nominees and the west virginia primary is a significant primary. it isn't the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, but it is a very significant primary. if i should win this primary, i will surely have additional
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impetus in my efforts to obtain the nomination. i believe that at the best, any candidate going to the democratic convention will not have over 500 votes. 500 votes is about 165 less than he needs, and if you have 200 votes, you are just as much alive politically as the man with 500 votes. when it gets right down to it, i will be in los angeles at the democratic convention. the democratic party is going to want a candidate who will take this battle to the republicans, who will speak up un equivocalu, who will stand on the platform, who will be able to wage a battle against mr. nixon, the republican nominee, and who will not back off. i waged that battle in my opening statement tonight because i believe that the republican administration has been costly to this country and it has been an unhappy administration for the future of america and i want no more of it. >> senator kennedy, do you care to comment?
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>> well, i think that senator humphrey has stated and he stated it the other day in the district of columbia that he hoped to have at the convention 200 votes. and i agree with you that there probably won't be any candidate who goes in at the beginning with 500. i think this primary may well be key, however, in the state of west virginia. i ran in the new hampshire primary, i have run in the wisconsin primary where i was successful against senator humphrey and mr. nixon. i ran in the indiana primary yesterday, in the pennsylvania primary we received 175 or 80,000 write-in votes, which was a good many more i think, which are 75% of all the write-ins and i'm running in maryland and we run again in oregon. this is a key primary. i think that what happens here could very well determine what will happen at los angeles. no one knows who's going to win, but i would say it may well be decided in west virginia. >> senator kennedy --
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>> i will say if i may, further, that there are other candidates. there are supporters who are supporting senator humphrey in the state, they are not supporting me. they must make a judgment that if senator humphrey wins it eliminates me but senator humphrey does not serve as a major threat to them. otherwise i don't see why every candidate who is opposing me for the nomination, that their supporters in the state are supporting senator humphrey. >> next question. >> next question. senator kennedy, sir, this question has been sent in name withheld from charleston. the roman catholic church's position on truth versus error assumes a right to discriminate against protestants in some countries where catholics are in the majority. do you agree with the church's reported attitude that where protestants are a minority, they shouldn't be permitted equal status? >> i wholly disagree. i couldn't disagree more. i think using the power of the
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state against any group, forcing, using the state to force a group to be of one faith or another or of a faith i think is wholly repugnant to our experience. i wholly disagree with that. now, there are some states where there's no separation between church and state. the que of england is the head of the church of england as well as the state. there are other states in europe where the relationship is intimate. in spain, the relationship between church and state has been intimate. i disagree with that. this country was founded on the principle of separation of church and state. this is the view that i hold against any other view. and it's the view that i subscribe to in the constitution. other countries have less fortunate experiences. i wish they all provided for separation of church and state but we do in this united states and we are going to continue to do it. because i don't know anyone who holds any position of responsibility that isn't devoted to that and wishes that that system could spread throughout the world. >> senator humphrey? >> it was stated very well.
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this obviously is my position. i have always believed in and will continue to believe in the separation of church and state because it is fundamental to my mind to the basic political democracy that this country enjoys and that it wants to enjoy in the years ahead. in the brief time that i have left, i should like to comment on a matter which was raised by my friend from massachusetts about the support we have here in the state of west virginia. senator, jack, i haven't had any endorsement from lyndon or from stu. as a matter of fact, their neutrality has been so conspicuous it's almost been icy. i must say, however, that i have seen in other areas of the country where there was considerable support for you. i know that in wisconsin, for example, that a number of republicans are very strong for you. it's quite well recognized that they were. i also know that there were those that, for example, a congressman came out very
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strongly for you. sort of ganged up on me. nice fellow, don't misunderstand me but he could have been neutral. >> democrat? >> yes, but isn't johnson a democrat? he's majority leader. never can tell. it's wide open. >> gentlemen, senator humphrey has the floor for 30 more seconds. >> i'm sorry. >> i am, too. >> next question? let's talk about, i don't know where the primary in wisconsin, you could vote in either primary, i don't know how the votes divide. congressman democrat supporting senator humphrey, some supporting me. the only point i make is there had been a statement, including a statement by senator humphrey [ inaudible ] that he was his third choice. >> senator kennedy, we have two minutes left until the end of the program. i will give you each one minute apiece to debate on this subject. you have the floor, sir, for one minute. >> debate on the subject? >> the subject you have just
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opened. you have one minute. >> oh, i merely say senator humphrey runs and he's a very able, vigorous senator. all i stated was that those who are supporting other candidates have uniformally supported the candidacy of senator humphrey in west virginia. now, that is their privilege. but that is because in my opinion, the other candidates believe and their supporters that if we can be stopped here in west virginia, it will be difficult to be nominated. that's why i say this is the key primary. and therefore, i'm running as hard as i can and i'm running against what i consider to be a coalition of those who choose a good many other candidates. that is their privilege. all i have is the privilege of pointing it out. >> senator humphrey, one minute, sir. >> senator, let me just say this. i welcome the support of the good people of west virginia and i haven't given them any blood test. i happen to believe that if they wish to support senator humphrey, that they have every right to do so. i can recall here not long ago
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that a poll showed you ahead 70 perce % to 30% and there was no complaint at all to who the support was for. when the race tightened up a bit, at once we had complaints about who was supporting who. i merely want to say that in this primary election, i have had generous support from the rank and file of our people. in the district of columbia yesterday, i saw kennedy support for senator morris, one of his prime workers. now, despite that, i didn't call it a gang-up. i went ahead and proceeded with the election and won it. i hope to be able to do exactly the same thing here in west virginia but to do it honorably. thank you. thank you, gentlemen, for appearing on this open face-to-face debate this evening from west virginia. >> the preceding political debate between senator john f. kennedy and senator hubert h. humphrey was presented by wch tv, the charleston gazette and participating stations as a public service. this has been a wchs tv studio


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