The Diary of Rexford G. Tugwell: The New Deal, 1932-1935

By Michael Vincent Namorato | Go to book overview
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Monetary Preliminaries

Among numerous other activities in behalf of the President-elect, Moley, Berle, and I undertook to bring to him in person those people, of whatever persuasion, who had something of importance to say about the issues he would have to deal with. One of these was finance. It happened to be me who arranged, so soon after the election as 17 November 1932, for such a briefing session with H. Parker Willis and James Harvey Rogers.

Willis was a Professor in the School of Business at Columbia; Rogers was at Yale. Willis was generally spoken of as the unseen author of the Federal Reserve Act whose authorship was usually credited to Senator Carter Glass. In some respects even Willis and Glass admitted that further legislation was needed. There was in fact a "Glass bill" before the Congress. The Federal Reserve Act had been passed in 1913 and far from establishing the hampering agency the bankers had uniformly predicted it would, it had allowed numerous abuses now sought to be corrected.

The new bill would not modify in any important respect the Federal Reserve structure and it would not change the method of creating the medium of exchange. The President did not think this bill went far enough. And he had some changes in mind that it did not suggest at all. Also he evidently had some thoughts, got from his Cornell correspondents, which he was not yet prepared to discuss. At any rate he seems not to have discussed them at this interview. I have in my file, and herewith reproduce, the memoranda written by both Willis and Rogers after that November interview. The Willis paper is in the form of a letter to Glass, copy of which was sent to me. The Rogers paper is an original sent to me.

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