Wikipedia has a summary of the partial text, and the NYT article with the partial text is behind a paywall. Furthermore, while the whole text was published in 1937 with a circulation of over 2 Million, it is apparently so scarce that not a jot shows up on the Internet anywhere.
If you know where I can find it, let me know.
This is the summary.
The Conservative Manifesto (officially titled “An Address to the People of the United States” ) was a position statement drafted in 1937 by a bipartisan coalition of conservative politicians. Those involved in its creation included opponents of President Franklin Roosevelt‘s New Deal as well as erstwhile supporters who had come to believe its programs were proving ineffective.
The spring and summer of 1937 saw a return to economic recession (dubbed the “Roosevelt Recession“), a failed attempt by Roosevelt to “pack” the Supreme Court with judges sympathetic to New Deal policies, and a series of sit-down strikes by organized labor. A bipartisan coalition of conservative politicians emerged in light of these political developments, and Senator Josiah W. Bailey (D-NC) recognized an opportunity to oppose the New Deal through “bipartisan conservative action.” The document’s key authors were Bailey and Arthur H. Vandenberg (R-MI), with Bailey acting as “final editor.”
Portions of the statement were published prematurely by syndicated columnists Joseph Alsop and Robert E. Kintner on 15 December 1937. The New York Times carried the full text the following day. Although fear of political reprisal kept many politicians from publicly endorsing the document, the statement nonetheless won endorsements from hundreds of Chambers of Commerce and citizens’ organizations throughout the nation, while forty to fifty business and manufacturing associations reprinted it in lots up to 100,000. By late February 1938, Bailey estimated that almost two million copies had been circulated, not counting newspaper printings. Senators and congressmen were reportedly deluged with petitions from every state in the Union to uphold the policies stated in the declaration.
The statement called for:
- lowering taxes on capital gains and undistributed profits,
- reducing government spending and balancing budgets,
- restoring peace to the relationship between labor and industry,
- resisting government competition with private enterprise,
- recognizing the importance of profit in private enterprise,
- protecting collateral as a prerequisite for credit,
- reducing taxes,
- maintaining states’ rights,
- aiding the unemployed in an economical and locally responsible manner, and
- relying on American free enterprise.