"The Taxing Power, My Dear"

By Perkins, Frances | Freeman, September 2005 | Go to article overview

"The Taxing Power, My Dear"


Perkins, Frances, Freeman


The legal committee soon broke into a row because the legal problems were so terrible. The constitutional problem was the greatest one. How could you get around this business of the State-Federal relationships? It seemed that couldn't be done.

We continued to wrangle about it for days. But one day I went out to tea, although not because I wanted to. In Washington you don't go to parties just because you want to go, you know; you go because you have to go. I had to call upon Mrs. Harlan F. Stone, the wife of the Supreme Court Justice. She was at home on Wednesday afternoons and so about 5:45, which is nearly the end of the day, I went to her house and presented myself. There were a lot of other people there. We went up to the dining room to get a cup of tea, and there I met Mr. Justice Stone who had just come home from the Court and was getting his cup of tea. We greeted each other and sat down and had a little chat.

He said, "How are you getting on?" I said, "All right." And then I said, "Well, you know, we are having big troubles, Mr. Justice, because we don't know in this draft of the Economic security Act, which we are working on-we are not quite sure, you know, what will be a wise method of establishing this law. …

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