Page:Congressional Record Volume 81 Part 3.djvu/154

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Congressional Record—House

March 19

for what he did in the settlement of the General Motors strike. I believe that I am just one of the millions that appreciate his humanitarian plan and method whereby he settled a strike when we were trembling for fear that it might lead to bloodshed and revolt.

This recent history of Michigan's honored Governor reminds me of a great citizen of France. The people called him Mirabeau the Peacemaker, and they said of him, "If only our Mirabeau could have lived, there would have been no French revolution." And I believe they were right. I believe in offering a tribute to Governor Murphy and President Roosevelt in the peaceful settlement of this threatening strike that I speak the sentiment of 80 percent of the people of our Nation.

Mr. Knutson. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. Binderup. Not now. I know what the gentleman wants to say. But just wait until I get through and then I will give him the privilege of saying it.

Mr. Knutson. The gentleman must be very wise; I am sure he knows what I am going to say.

Mr. Binderup. I do know, because I have listened so much to the gentleman from Minnesota for several years, and I know what he is going to say, and I would like to answer it a little later, after I finish.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I desire that my subject should not be considered a political issue. I would like to refer also to the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Focht], who spoke immediately before me. He asked a very striking question, honestly and conscientiously I believe, when he called attention to the fact that we have not eliminated the poverty and misery of the United States, and asked why we had not been able as yet to bring our great Nation back to normal. I wish to give my own reasons for that. It is because we have never analyzed the case, and we have never yet discovered the cause in this Congress of this depression.

But the Republicans and the Democrats are alike to blame. I remember a few years ago when the Republicans were trying to cure this depression, and they suggested as a remedy to build prosperity from the top and down, telling us that in this way the money would dribble down to the farmers and the working people, and thus prosperity would be returned. I have often said, and I wish to repeat it once more, that you cannot build prosperity, my friends, from the top and down, any more than you can build a 10-story brick house and build the top story first. You have to build from the bottom and up. We tried it during the Republican administration. We experimented.

First we gave to Mr. Dawes' bank $90,000,000, and waited and hoped that it would dribble down. But it never dribbled. It stayed right in Mr. Dawes' bank, locked up. It never moved. Then do you remember that they gave to the Missouri Pacific Railroad millions of dollars because, we said, the money would dribble down and give work to the laboring people? But it never dribbled.

And then do you remember that J. Pierpont Morgan stepped in and said, "I'll just take that money myself"? We said, "Wait a minute, John. Now listen, you can't do that. We gave those millions of dollars to the Missouri Pacific in order to create work, in order to make the railroads safe, that the public might travel in confident safety, in order that labor might have employment. You can't take that away from us." But Mr. Morgan replied, "The bonds are due." And we said, "All right. I guess that's right, Mr. Morgan. Go ahead." And do you remember he invested this money in Europe? Again we went to Mr. Morgan and said, "Now, listen, John, you can't take our money and invest it in Europe. That money belongs down there in Missouri. That's what we gave it for. You can't take that money and send it over to Europe." Mr. Morgan replied, "Investments in Europe are safer now than they are in the United States." And again we said, "I guess that's right. Investments are not very safe here."

We did not take the trouble to stop and tell J. Pierpont Morgan who it was that had made investments unsafe over here, who it was that had taken the money away from the people and wrecked our Nation.

The crime of 1920

And now, Mr. Speaker and fellow Members of Congress, I wish to return to the subject I had intended to discuss this afternoon. There is an old, old saying that peace has its horrors as much as war, and by this I mean to refer once more to the crime of 1920, the greatest crime that was ever committed against the people. On former occasions and appearances before this House, on February 16 and March 4, and more or less at other times, I told you of this crime that was committed at 12 o'clock noon on the 18th day of May 1920 in the office of Governor Harding, Governor of the Federal Reserve Board of the Federal Reserve bank, where a secret meeting was being held, consisting of 53 of the large banking representatives of the United States, international bankers and representatives of Wall Street, and also Mr. Houston, the Secretary of the Treasury, and John Skelton Williams, the Comptroller of the Currency, ex-officio member of the Federal Reserve Board of the Federal Reserve bank at that time. Since that time, however, the Comptroller of the Currency and the Secretary of the Treasury, the representatives of the people, have been removed, as they were apparently in the way of the large bankers and interfered with their program.

I have in my possession the records of the minutes of that meeting. There is no longer any question about it. It is strange to me that the people of America have not long since known exactly how it is, and why it is, that this disastrous calamity, this depression, was brought upon us. This was the twenty-fifth time that we had suffered from these depressions, all coming from the same source, all man-made. Every depression is man-made, and yet we did not understand.

Everybody said and whispered to each other, "Isn't it strange? What in the world is the matter? We seem to have too much of everything, and yet we are in want. We have too much to eat and to drink, too much of the necessities of life, too much of the luxuries, and everything, but we can't have it." Yes, my friends, we are sitting upon the largest pile of gold that has ever been accumulated in the history of the world in any nation; actually sitting upon this pile of gold, surrounded by all the natural resources that an Almighty God could give to man, in a nation with unlimited credit and unlimited wealth, and yet the farmer is losing his farm and the laboring man is losing his home. Fifteen thousand banks failed, destroyed eight billions of the people's savings. And all about us there are bankruptcies and misery and want and despair, soup kitchens, and bread lines.

And then the people of our great Nation would look at each other in surprise and say, "I can't understand it. It's the strangest thing that I ever heard of. How can it happen that we are suffering of poverty in the midst of plenty?"

My friends, believe me, there is only one reason. It is because they had that meeting on the 18th day of May 1920 in Governor Harding's office, where they took away from the people their money, the lifeblood of trade and industry and the wheels of commerce. I wish I could shout this from the mountaintop until the people of our great Nation might know and understand. I assure you that there would then be a change before morning if the people only knew.

It was Henry Ford who said, in substance, this: "It is perhaps well enough that the people of the Nation do not know or understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."

I told you in my last talks the substance of the conversation that took place at this meeting, and one of the first days direct from this floor I will tell you the name of every banker who was there, representing the interests of the Morgans and the Mills and the Myerses and the Mellons and the Rockefellers and the Du Ponts and the large corporations and money monopolies.

I will tell you this emphatically and definitely, taking it from the records of that meeting. I told you that John Perrin, of California, arose and suggested that we could take away from the people two billions of their money, money that measures the sweat of the brow of man, money