December 10, 1953
JFK SAYS FEDERAL PROGRAMS & UNFAIR PRACTICES HARM NEW ENGLAND INDUSTRY
Chattanooga, Tennessee (JFK+50) Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, speaking here in the South today, addressed the issues of industrial development & migration.*
JFK said that it is an “unfortunate fact” that industry is leaving New England & heading to the South.
Senator Kennedy proposed these two major reasons for this phenomenon:
1. The influence of Federal programs such as TVA which receives a ‘disproportionate share of government contracts, tax amortization certificates, & federal construction projects & grants.’
2. The cost differential resulting from unfair and substandard practices permitted by Federal law.
As examples, the freshman Massachusetts senator cited the Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act that allows the South to bid on Federal contracts despite paying lower wages than those in the North & the Labor Relations Act which permits employers to oppose unionization of their industries.
Senator Kennedy closed his speech in Chattanooga with these words:
“It is a common goal–the expansion & prosperity of every section, not the ephemeral aggrandizement of one at the expense of another through the exploitation of…self-destroying values.”
*JFK began his speech by saying “It is a great pleasure to be here…in Tennessee & to be better acquainted with your famous & justly celebrated state.”
He also recognized Tennessee’s Democratic Senators Estes Kefauver & Albert Gore, Sr. Ironically, Kefauver would defeat JFK for the VP nomination in 1956 due to Gore’s decision to support his fellow Tennessee senator.