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It has jumped higher year by year, as shown by the following:
Senator KEAN. Mr. Chairman, I should like to have him state in the record where he got these figures.
Mr. WOODHOUSE. I shall be glad to state it. I own the largest collection in the world of historic economic records, beginning with William the Conqueror, and it covers 200,000 economic and other historic records. For that reason, I have been collecting all other records of economic and financial importance, and of banking.
Senator KEAN. I have the Doomsday Book.
Mr. WOODHOUSE. That is the first economic survey of the AngloSaxon race. It is exhibit no. 1 of my collection of economic records.
Senator GORE. We are using that every day, the Doomsday Book.
The CHAIRMAN. The question is, Where did you get these figures here? You do not need to go back to William the Conqueror for that.
Mr. WOODHOUSE. Therefore, I keep on buying and obtaining all economic records to add to my collection to bring them up to date. I obtained some of them direct from England, France, Italy, Germany. For the United States I have been making original economic surveys for 20 years, and have a collection that begins with Colonial records. The Woodhouse Collection of American Banking and Currency contains historic records of the banks of the United States since the days when tobacco was the principal currency of the original 13 American Colonies. I have kept it up to date--as my testimony may show.
Senator GORE. Have you published anything on this subject?
Mr. WOODHOUSE. I shall be glad to. I have been publishing articles on economics, banking, national income, sources of revenue, for over 20 years, some in the New York Times, Current History, some in the Hearst group, some in the Scripps-Howard group, some in other newspapers. Recently I published four articles showing the discrepancies in the figures published regarding the national
income, which, if you wish to have them in the record, I will be glad to transmit.
The CHAIRMAN. You may send them down and we will see whether we will put them in the record or not. (The data submitted by Mr. Woodhouse are as follows:)
THE NATIONAL RECOVERY COUNCIL The National Recovery Council was the name adopted by a small group o; scientists and economists who met from time to time in the past 3 years to discuss the economic conditions and work out plans looking to the restoration of national recovery.
The leaders of the group have been: Mr. Henry Woodhouse, editor of Scientific Age, chairman of the International Science Forum, eminent author on international and national affairs, member of Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt's Committee on the Federal City, appointed by the Governor of New York in 1916 as delegate of the State of New York to the City Planning Congress held at Washington, etc., Admiral Colby M. Chester, United States Navy, noted authority on international affairs, economist and historian; Hon. Joseph S. Cullinan, past president of the Chamber of Commerce of Texas, chairman of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Commission, authority on credit and currency, etc.; Comdr. Arthur Chester, United States Navy, retired, son of Admiral Chester and brother of C. M. Chester, Jr., the president of the General Foods Corporation.
The National Recovery Council held its meetings at the offices of Mr. Henry Woodhouse, 280 Madison Avenue, New York, and its members have carried on a Nation-wide work, which has included the following:
1. The initiating of the movement for direct relief on a national scale.
2. The initiating of the movement to put the unemployed to work on a Nationwide scale, to restore their purchasing power.
3. The first Nation-wide survey was made to ascertain how the unemployed could be put to work in their own communities.
4. A check list of 75 conditions that must be met by plans to restore prosperity to be effective was prepared.
5. When the Federal departments stated that no estimate of the national income had ever been made, and the Secretary of Commerce required until December 1933 to prepare such estimates for Congress, the council collected the necessary statistics and made the estimates of the national income, and discovered that the national gross income had been over six times larger than had been estimated and the exports less than 2 percent of total.
6. A survey of the outstanding economic questions of the past 6,000 years was made and the difficulty of converting.assets into cash by nations as well as individuals outlined. Accounts were published in the New York Times for October 7, 1931, and other newspapers. By indicating the need of an agency for aiding the quick conversion of assets into cash the way was pointed out for an organization such as the Reconstruction Finance Corporation.
7. A definite plan to put 2,000,000 unemployed to work in 60 days, costing less than it cost to keep them on the bread-line basis, was submitted to the leaders of Congress in November, 1931, before Congress assembled. An outline of the plan was published in the New York Herald-Tribune for November 6, 1931, and other newspapers.
8. When it was stared by leaders that putting unemployed to work could not be done because the funds could not be obtained by the Government, the council made a survey of the cash resources and showed that there was over $30,000,000,000 of idle funds awaiting to be invested in Government securities. The correctness was established when the Government asked for bids for Treasury notes and certificates, at from only 1/4 to 374 percent interest and the oversubscription amounted to over $10,000,000,000 on two issues.
9. When the emergency relief bill was being considered by the conferees of the House and Senate, letters were written to the conferees, urging them to include a provision for extending credit to industrials, pointing out that industrials were in a position to put unemployed to work immediately. The provision was included in the bill. But President Hoover vetoed the bill. That left the industrials without relief of any kind, the banks having determined on a policy of liquidity and short terms, which made it impossible to secure credits.
10. When the Government was embarrassed by the presence of the B.E.F. and serious conflict was feared, on June 10, 1932, Mr. Woodhouse_was asked to aid in solving the problem. He immediately offered to invite the B.E.F. to move their camp to the 2,000 acres of historic lands of George Washington and George Mason, 9 miles south of the Capital. On June 14 he extended the invitation to President Hoover, making available the land free of charge, provided that the Government provided the camping equipment and food for the B.E.F. The President transmitted the offer to the R.F.C., and they replied that they had no authority to do anything. The President then transmitted it to the Veterans' Administration. They also replied that they had no authority to do anything.
It has been stated that had the offer been accepted and the B.E.F. tragedy prevented, it would have saved the loss of over $5,000,000,000 that followed from drop of market values, withdrawals of gold, paralyzing effect on business, discontent, etc.
11. Hon. Joseph S. Cullinan attended the Democratic Convention in Chicago and circulated a scientific study of the foreign-debt question from the standpoint of American interest and constitutionality of the proposed cancellation of the foreign debts, indicating that (a) the foreign debts are part of the contract made with the buyers of the Liberty bonds, the proceeds from the sales of which were loaned to the foreign nations, therefore cannot be canceled under the proviso in the Constitution that forbids impairment of the obligations of contracts and depriving people of property without due process of law; (b) that if benefits were to be derived from canceling any debts, it might be well to try it on the farmers of the United States by remitting their taxes and canceling whatever they might have borrowed from the Federal Farm Loan Board or other Government agencies.
A plank was adopted, which is part of the Democratic platform, declaring against the cancellation of debts.
12. When conflict arose between the States and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, due to the R.F.C. requiring the States to assert under oath of the governor that they had exhausted their resources before the R.F.C. would advance them funds for relief, the council brought to the attention of the President and of the R.F.C. that
(a) It was a discrimination to makes the States submit to such impossible conditions, when the foreign nations had borrowed as high as $100 per capita of their population on their I.O.U.
(b) That the Federal Government had no funds or taxable properties of its own and had borrowed the funds on the credit of the States and cities where the taxable properties are located. Therefore it was preposterous to require them to show that they were exhausted before letting them have a part of the money borrowed on their credit.
(c) That if the States and cities should be so unfortunate as to be exhausted, then the $20,000,000,000 of Liberty bonds and other Federal securities would be worth a few cents on the dollar.
(d) That the difficulty of raising funds by the States, counties, and municipality was due to the danger of overlapping, and fear of driving industries from their places on account of multiple taxation.
13. Made a study of the practice and operations of R.F.C. in making loans to different classes of borrowing institutions and checked the studies with R.F.C. officials and others to insure accurate information for use in obtaining legislation that will insure the R.F.C. becoming an aid to national recovery.
14. Secured from President Hoover, the Secretary of Treasury, the Federal Reserve Board, Speaker Garner, the leaders of both Houses of Congress, the heads of all departments and agencies of the Federal Government and from nongovernment agencies engaged in relief or welfare all their reports, statements, hearings and data on national questions and made a survey of the views of all the leaders on all the questions.
15. Prepared and made available to leaders in Congress, financial circles and newspapers a list of 15 rules for judging proposals to broaden the national credit structure by accepting ineligible paper.
16. Prepared rules to guide consideration of plans that might affect the stability of currency.
17. Made scientific study of the use of gold and silver for currency during the past 4,000 years.
18. Made an historic study of the use of gold, silver, and paper as currency in the United States since the founding of the Nation.
19. Made a legal study of the jurisprudence covering gold, silver, bimetalisın, and related questions since the founding of the United States.
20. Made a scientific study of the effect of tariff on national welfare in the United States.
21. Made a scientific study of the effect of export of raw materials at low prices on the welfare of nations, which disclosed that nations before the United States had lost their prosperity by selling their raw materials at low prices, which were returned to them in finished products, but with the value of foreign labor added to them, to compete with home industries.
22. Made a scientific study of the relation of exports to national welfare in the United States since the founding of the Nation.
23. Made a scientific study of the factors that developed the United States' resources to over $350,000,000,000 in 150 years.
24. Made a scientific study of the relation of Government expenditures to Government income and to national welfare.
25. Made an historic and scientific study of the exact causes of the events that plunged the United States in the first cycle of economic depression and of the causes of each of the cycles of depression that have followed.
26. Made a scientific study of the international manipulation of the billions of dollars of idle money and the struggle between groups of international bankers for the control of that idle money.
27. Mad a study of ways and means of preventing the United States from becoming the victim and suffering the damages in the struggle for the control of the world's idle money and its manipulation.
28. Made a study of ways and means of preventing temporary drops in unemployment from growing into such proportions as to create national economic depression through large reductions of purchasing and other depressing factors.
29. Made a survey of capital financing of new and growing industries in the past 20 years and their effect on the nation's prosperity.
30. Made a study and survey of the factors and ways and means essential for national recovery:
31. Established the various economic measures and goals that are accepted as representing national prosperity, secured statistics indicating how far we are from them, and outlined ways and means of reaching them.
(There follows some data regarding the status of Government financing contained in a letter to Secretary of the Treasury Woodin from Mr. Woodhouse:)
MARCH 11, 1933. Hon. W. H. WOODIN,
Secretary of the Treasury, Washington, D. C. DEAR SECRETARY WOODIN: 1. I take pleasure in submitting to you in writing the suggestions which I have made to your office orally, showing that it will be possible to save the United States Government from $22,000,000 to $23,000,000 in the Government financing to be done this week; and to save over $300,000,000 in interest in the financing and conversions proposed by the Treasury for this year; at the same time giving an opportunity to the 20,000 banks and 30,000 depositors to convert part of their $46,000,000,000 deposits in United States Government securities and reduce the demand for currency.
2. An examination of the Treasury reports of the subscriptions received by the Treasury in connection with each of the offerings of Treasury notes and certificates maturing in less than a year indicates that the Treasury may borrow up to $4,000,000,000 at less than 1 percent interest.
3. The banks and the public are even more eager to convert their deposits into Government securities now than they were before the banking crisis, when they offered to subscribe $4,128,000,000 at only three fourths of 1 percent interest.
4. That means that you can save from $21,000,000 to $22,000,000 in interest on the $800,000,000 offering of Treasury 9-month certificates by following the usual procedure of offering them publicly, instead of paying from 4 percent to 442 percent interest by assigning the issue to a few banks, as has been proposed.
5. I appreciate that the Treasury balance is low, but I agree with the suggestion contained in the New York Times for March 11, that the Treasury can, in the meantime, "Obtain its money through overdraft, which is tantamount to a promissory note renewable from day to day in the amounts found necessary.
6. Allowing the public to subscribe to the issues will also relieve the pressure for currency. It will permit the 30,000 depositors to the Nation's 20,000 banks to convert part of $45,000,000,000 of deposits now idle in the 20,000 banks into certificates which, they know, are better than Government guarantee of bank deposits, since they are negotiable at all times, bear interest, and are nontaxable.
7. It is apparent that if the banks and the public had been able to convert from $5,000,000,000 to $10,000,000,000 of the $45,000,000,000 of idle deposits into Government securities there would not have been occasion for closing the banks on account of inability to supply sufficient currency. There would have been less demand for currency.
8. For 90-day borrowings the Treasury has been able to get funds at one ninth of 1 percent interest on account of the idle funds.
9. For 1 year borrowings the Treasury has been able to get funds at less than 1 percent. The offering of December 15, 1932, was oversubscribed by $3,878,000,000. The report of your predecessor, dated December 12, 1932, stated:
“Reports received from the Federal reserve banks show that for the offering of three-fourths percent Treasury certificates of series TD-1933, maturing December 15, 1933, which was for $860,000,000, or thereabout, total subscriptions aggregated over $4,128,000,000.”
10. That oversubscription was not an isolated case. It is shown by the records of the Treasury that every offering of the Treasury has been oversubscribed. One of the offerings, in December, 1932 brought oversubscription aggregating the huge sum of $10,449,000,000, indicating the anxiety of the public and banks to subscribe to Government securities.
11. Following are the recent oversubscriptions to United States Treasury issues; the July 1932 offering was oversubscribed by $4,850,000,000; the September offering was oversubscribed by $6,135,350,000; the October offering was oversubscribed by $8,368,343,000,000; December offering was oversubscribed by the stupendous sum of $10,449,000,000; the January offering of only $250,000,000 5-year notes was oversubscribed by $7,802,000,000.
12. Since the foregoing the banks and the public have become even more anxious to invest in these interest-bearing, nontaxable Government securities, and the Treasury may find it possible to borrow up to $5,000,000,000 at not over 1 percent interest, and up to $10,000,000,000 at less than 2 percent interest, instead of paying from 4 to 442 percent, as it is proposed to do for the $800,000,000 on March 15 and for the subsequent issues.
13. Permit me to also point out that by allowing the public and United States banks to subscribe to these issues the United States Government will be protected from the possibility of repetition of the sudden dumping of United States Government securities by foreign interests to depress the value of United States Government securities and other similar purposes.
14. It is also important to consider that if the foreign governments are permitted to gobble up the United States Treasury securities bearing high interest rate, the people of the United States will be paying the interest to the foreign account held in United States banks, while they cannot get interest on their own deposits. Trusting you will call for any data in my possession to support the foregoing, Sincerely yours,
Chairman National Recovery Council. Mr. WOODHOUSE. Returning to the Federal securities bill: As a director of corporations, I am very much concerned as to the revocation clause of this act. If I am a director of a corporation and this corporation in good faith has been financed, an application has duly been made for certification of the securities, and the securities have qualified and the corporation is being run, I do not think that it is proper to permit a commission, no matter how intelligent a commission, no matter how Christian a commission, to determine how my business shall be run and then make me liable for the acts of the commission.
For instance, if you have the act with the revocation clause, it means this, that after the commission has passed upon the securities the commission promptly resolves itself into an administrative body, and it tells my corporation, I believe the wording states specifically that it may tell my corporation--that its affairs are in an unsound condition and make it insolvent by depreciating the value of its securities to nothing.