Mar 12, 1924 From:        To:        
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Darrow, Sissman, Holly & Carlin
1310, 140 N. Dearborn St.

Clarence S. Darrow
Peter Sissman
William H. Holly
William L. Carlin
Victor S. Yarros

Central 925

March 12, 1924

Dear Paul:-

   Was glad to get your letter with Everett's enclosure.  Everett has gone plumb crazy.  I never write to him any more about the question that obsesses him.  The fact that a member of the cabinet took a bribe of $100,000 to make conveyance of government property, does not seem to effect or even interest him.  This man was always a crook and Harding knew it when he appointed him and appointed him for that reason.  Only a small part of his work has come to light or ever will come to light, most likely.  About half of Harding's cabinet and all of his friends are the same sort, as everybody knows who cares about knowing.

   As to Coolidge, I regard him as simply nothing. His tariff on the farmer's wheat shows how much he amounts to and likewise what he thinks of the farmer. As to the latter, he is undoubtedly right.  Of course Everett would not have the Senate or any one else make any investigations as to fraud.  No matter what crooked thing the employer or capitalist did, he would think is all right.  I was surprised he classed Adams as a red.  It gives me a better opinion of Adams, although I notice Adams has been doing something of late.

   LaFollette, I regard as the outstanding, honest man in politics.  He has never wavered in his fight on the crooked men who control political and business life.  Of course it is wrong for the farmers and laborers to have a bloc, but every one else has and always have had it.  Lenroot has always been a tool of the corporation.  I think he admires Phipps who was elected Senator because he had money to pay for it as everybody knows.  Of course I admire his stand on the soldier's bonus, but that is all I ever saw about him to admire.

   Every lawyer that Coolidge has appointed to represent the government is a man tied up with big business and one who is on their side, no matter what they do.  Of course he is dreaming when he things all of this is going to seriously effect any half-way decent business.

   Much that he says about the railroads in reference to regulations and rates and combination, is due entirely to railroads.  The working man had nothing whatever to do with it.  The Union Pacific, for instance, was built entirely with government money.  They had a land grant in addition, which was large enough to build it and they repudiated both their bonds and obligations to the government and they bonded and
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stocked it for many times its value.  The same is true of the Southern Pacific and largely true of all other railroads.  Their freight rates, as you know, are simply a specie of grand larceny.  They have no regard whatever for the rights or justice of anybody who pays them, but simply get all they can.

   As to the labor unions, of course I know more about their good and bad things than he ever dreamed of.  They do a great many unwarranted things, most of which they learned from the employer.  Even at that, the working man would be helpless without them.  The truth is that all business is a hodge podge where every fellow is grabbing all he can.  There is no method or system or sense of justice in any of it and I do not know how it can ever be changed.  I don't see how anybody who thinks can believe that coal and oil and lumber, to say nothing about air, should be privately owned.  The trouble with the question is to know how to own it and operate it some other way, but I have never seen the way.

   As to the Coolidge oil business, it is perfectly plain that he was trying to shield Fall and the rest of them from the beginning.  It does not admit of question.  I don't know how far organizations of capital or organizations of labor are either immutable or natural laws.  They are probably neither one, but grow out of a phase of life and in that sense are natural.

   Of course McAdoo did not go to Mexico to do anything to Doheny's rights in Mexico.  This could only have been done in Washington.  He either went there or sent his partner, which is the same thing.

   I wonder how soon we would get cheap transportation or cheap freight rates if the railroads were left to manage it without the interference of government.  The truth is, the railroads have always owned the government.

   I see that Everett misunderstood your letter as to business in Colorado.  I presume you have written him about it since.  Of course he is a fine fellow and would do anything we wanted him to do, but I don't like to have him even worry about the amount of bonds he has.  I could take them up if you can't.

   I am not certain as to what you write me about the
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tariff and the balance of trade as shown by the imports of plate glass.  Of course the tariff on farmer's wheat is nothing but a reflection on the farmer's brains.  The farmers last year exported about two hundred and fifty millions of wheat, most of which went to Europe.  Canada exported about one hundred and fifty millions, but I have not the figures, most of which went to Liverpool.  A small amount of Canadian wheat like the Red River Valley Wheat and there was a shortage in the Red River Valley last fall.  This is not in any way influenced by the tariff and of course the extra 12¢ that the politicians in the White House put on, will not raise the price of wheat.  There was already a tariff of 30¢ on wheat and the farmer has never received this because he takes the Liverpool price after paying the freight.  I presume this was the sense in which you made your reference - the tariff on wheat - that it would have a tendency to keep Europe from buying it.  One trouble with us has been that our exports have so far exceeded our imports and I am glad that we are importing more glass than we once did.  It shows that we are selling more wheat.  Of course trade is a good thing. If it was not, we ought to exclude it.

   I am not writing all this because I want to seriously influence your thought on the matter.  I have always wanted you to do your own thinking, which I know you do.  If for any reason you are a little doubtful on the tariff question, you might reread one of the books that treat on that subject.

   I am glad to see that business is doing so well this year.