FALL OF A PROPHET
Throughout the winter and spring of 1943, Henry Wallace and his chief lieutenant on the Board of Economic Warfare, Milo Perkins, waged an increasingly bitter war with Jesse Jones, secretary of commerce and head of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. They quarreled repeatedly over the pace of Jones's response to requests for money for BEW purchases and programs, and occasionally over the nature of the programs themselves. When the State Department dragged its feet on issuing passports to BEW administrators assigned overseas, Perkins and Wallace saw a conspiracy between Jones and his fellow conservative Cordell Hull.
Wallace sought FDR's backing in this growing feud. In a conversation at the end of 1942, the vice president had warned the president that the nation's liberals saw the conflict as a symbolic clash between the New Deal and its conservative foes. It was becoming a test of the president's commitment to liberalism. Wal