PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT OUTLINING POLICIES OF THE NRA, JUNE 16, 1933
The law I have just signed was passed to put people back to work--to let them buy more of the products of farms and factories and start our business at a living rate again. This task is in two stages--first, to get many hundreds of thousands of the unemployed back on the pay roll by snowfall and second, to plan for a better future for the longer pull. While we shall not neglect the second, the first stage is an emergency job. It has the right of way.
The second part of the Act gives employment by a vast program of public works. Our studies show that we should be able to hire many men at once and to step up to about a million new jobs by October 1, and a much greater number later. We must put at the head of our list those works which are fully ready to start now. Our first purpose is to create employment as fast as we can but we should not pour money into unproved projects.
We have worked out our plans for action. Some of it will start tomorrow. I am making available $400,000,000 for state roads under regulations which I have just signed and I am told that the states will get this work under way at once. I have also just released over $200,000,000 for the Navy to start building ships under the London Treaty.
In my inaugural I laid down the simple proposition that nobody is going to starve in this country. It seems to me to be equally plain that no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By "business" I mean the whole of commerce as well as the whole of industry; by workers I mean all workers--the white--collar class as well as the men in overalls; and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level--I mean the wages of decent living.
Throughout industry, the change from starvation wages and starvation employment to living wages and sustained employ-