September 6, 1945 – With the War over a little less than a month, the road back to Peace and life-before-War was foremost on everyone’s minds. On this day, the new Emergency Peace Session of Congress was busy reading President Truman’s 16,000 word legislative re-conversion program proposal. Mr. Truman’s program contained 21 major recommendations for congressional action. The recommendations ranged all the way from the controversial Full Employment Bill to a suggestion that members of Congress raise their own salaries.
The proposal was considered by many to be a sort of “New Deal Program”, similar to the ones President Roosevelt proposed before the way. Truman made several proposals to aid the employment situation. He wanted Congress to pass two bills; a measure that increased, with Federal Funds, Unemployment compensation to $25.00 per week and the Full Employment Bill with provisions for government spending to create jobs. As a third recommendation for Labor, Truman wanted Congress to raise the minimum wage for workers to above the $.40 an hour currently the ceiling on minimum wage. Truman also wanted the Fair Employment Practices Committee made permanent, and that was expected to touch off a floor fight. He also wanted the Labor Department strengthened, which would mean the end of the War Labor Board. And he wanted the Employment Service Board kept in the hands of the government, at least for the Post-War Emergency.
President Truman also favored a big Housing program for low-income workers. He also asked for a major Public Works program to make jobs.
For the reconversion of Business, President Truman offered what he called “A Transitional Tax Bill For 1946”. Apparently Mr. Truman opposed any sizable cut in 1946 taxes, which he cautioned that, even with the war over, the U.S. faced a deficit of some $30 billion. And on the subject of business, President Truman wanted to abolish the old Surplus Property Board, asking instead for one single administrator to sell the $100 billion worth of surplus goods. President Truman also promised an aid to little business during reconversion, recommending an increase in trade abroad.
And that’s only part of the details of this 16,000 proposal, being discussed on this September 6, 1945 – as reported by a roundtable of NBC News reporters and commentators.