Ladies and gentlemen:
I’ve, on several occasions, had the particular honor of being invited to make some speeches that I was supposed to get some kind of Honoraria for. I started to say moratorium.
One time over in Cleveland I was supposed to get $250, and one time in New York I was to get five, six, seven hundred dollars, but my conscience wouldn’t allow me, on either of these occasions, to take the money.
Now, however, I have never made a free speech. I never made a speech unless it was before a court or before a crowd where I was trying to get votes or before an audience where I was trying to get converts. And I am probably addressing, for the benefit of the work I am pursuing, the most important and probably the farthest-reaching organization that I’ve ever had the pleasure of speaking to, because you are the people who have the contact with the American people.
According to the tables which we have assembled, it is our estimate that 4 percent of the American people own 85 percent of the wealth of America, and that over 70 percent of the people of America don’t own enough to pay for the debts that they owe.
Any man with a thimble-full of sense ought to know that if you take 85 percent off of that table and give it to one man that you are bound to have 2/3 the people starving because they haven’t got enough to eat.
How many men ever went to a barbecue and would let one man take off the table what’s intended for 9/10th of the people to eat? The only way to be able to feed the balance of the people is to make that man come back and bring back some of that grub that he ain’t got no business with!
Now we got a barbecue. We have been praying to the Almighty to send us to a feast. We have knelt on our knees morning and nighttime. The Lord has answered the prayer. He has called the barbecue. “Come to my feast,” He said to 125 million American people. But Morgan and Rockefeller and Mellon and Baruch have walked up and took 85 percent of the victuals off the table!
Now, how are you going to feed the balance of the people? What’s Morgan and Baruch and Rockefeller and Mellon going to do with all that grub? They can’t eat it, they can’t wear the clothes, they can’t live in the houses.
Giv’em a yacht! Giv’em a Palace! Send ’em to Reno and give them a new wife when they want it, if that’s what they want. But when they’ve got everything on God’s loving earth that they can eat and they can wear and they can live in, and all that their children can live in and wear and eat, and all of their children’s children can use, then we’ve got to call Mr. Morgan and Mr. Mellon an Mr. Rockefeller back and say, come back here, put that stuff back on this table here that you took away from here that you don’t need. Leave something else for the American people to consume. And that’s the program.
We will call in Mr. Rockefeller, Mr. Morgan, Mr. Mellon…. Dear Mr. Mellon, We’re not going to destroy the capitalistic system, but we’re going to put in a limit, you can have up to 4- to 5-million dollars and that’s all. We’re not going to destroy the Gulf Refining Company; we’re not going to destroy the Standard Oil Company, but we’re going to say that the limit of any one man’s stock ownership in the Standard Oil company is from 3- to 5-million dollars for that individual and the balance to the people of America who own the balance of what the Standard Oil company is worth!
Then, we start from the bottom. That the 25 or more million American families shall have a homestead. Up to $5,000…. a home and the comforts of a home, including an automobile and a radio, the things it takes in that house to live on…
We say to America, 125 million, none shall be too big, none shall be too poor, none shall work too much, none shall be idle. No luxurious mansions empty, none walking the streets, none impoverished, none in pestilence, none in want, but in the land blessed by the smile of the Creator with everything to be consumed, to be eaten, to be worn, that America will become a land, sharing the fruits of the land, not for the favored few, not to satisfy greed, but that all may live in the land in which the Lord has provided an abundance sufficient for the luxury and convenience of the people in general! I thank you.
December 11, 1934