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May 1 6 , 1938

The attached is self-explanatory.
Since you saw Mr. Estey before I am
forwarding this to you.

M. H. Me:
Secretary to the President


May 16, 1938

My dear Mr. Esteyi
Pardon ray d^iny i n replying t o your
l e t t e r of .:ay L>cvcnth«
lioteovt:-,r, I did not


oiuo-truck w your

proposal, hut am put t i n ; i t tohert It Hill f l l
real conaidoration*
sincerely youra,

Secretary to the

ucland .?• ..stay, -s^i.,
60 eat 42nd 3 t r e e t ,
How York,
Ke» York,







December 27, 1957

Mr. Marriner Eccles, Chairman
federal Reserve Board
Washington, D. C.
Bear Mr. Eccles:
The suggestion of a closer cooperative activity between Government, Capital, Labor, and Business is made in the hope that a
better understanding may be brought about of the problems faced
by each, and that a constructive plan will make for better
conditions in the activities of these four factions, resulting
in each coming nearer the realization of their objectives.
It is not the intention to belittle the past activities, policies, or endeavors of any person, group of individuals, or
organization. Neither is it the intention to criticize or
hold responsible any person or group for what might seem, on
the face of things, detrimental policies or activities, nor is
it the aim to establish facts to be used for selfish or personal
The proposed activity to bring about a cooperative movement
between government and business is one whereby figures, facts,
trends, and other data is collected from business organizations
as a means of determining the absolute conditions of various
industries and then, when compiled, presented to the administration without selfish or biased reasons.
It would be the means of bringing about a progressive activity
in business for the improvement of commercial enterprises;
greater earned profits for business; increased revenues for
government; and a consolidation of objectives for government
and business.
It would establish a clearing house or direct channel between
government and business, whereby national conditions as seen
by the administration, or those conditions relating to a specific
industry could be studied and analysed by this "proposed agency"
and then in turn given to the administration. Such reports and


Mr. Marriner Eccles 12/27/57
Page 2
the suggestions or recommendations which would accompany them
could be the basis of the government determining just what
policies were best fitted to clarify any situation, as shown by
these surveys and studies.
By this presentation method of true conditions, it will be possible to deliver to the administration the definite reasons for
the present or any other recession. This, from a national
viewpoint, or as it applies to the true conditions of any
specific industry.
Under this type of operation, any and all analyses or recommendations would be supported by positive proofs based on actual
figures and results of business operations. This will discontinue any suggestions or recommendations of business executives,
who offer advice to the administration with their feelings and
desires foremost, rather than offering the specific needs and
requirements of the industry of which they are a part.
Government, on the other hand, can through this same source of
agency method, present and explain its objectiyes and reasons
for certain policies. Through such an activity, it can extend proofs in the same manner as the sustaining proofs of
business conditions are presented to it.
The method of operation to be by the distribution of questionnaires to an approved list of manufacturers; in some instances
by personal call and investigation. The type of questionnaire
and the questions asked to be prepared along reasonable and
adequate lines, approved by a Board of Advisors, consisting
of one representative each of Government, Business, Labor, and
The operation of this type activity would best be conducted by
an organization without obligation to either government or
business, and with no personal or biased feelings toward either
of these factions; the financial support necessary to come
from both government and business.
Of course this type of work could be supported entirely by
government or business, but the suspicion and doubt which now
exists in the minds of both government and business, as relates
to the other, would not necessarily be removed if the support
of this "proposed agency11 was paid for by either faction.
That there is a definite gap of understanding between government and business as to the problems faced by each, is quite
obvious, we agreed upon this point when I talked with you


Mr. Marriner Eccles 12/27/57
Page 5
last Wednesday. We also agreed that there seems to be a keener
recognition on both sides of the necessity of a cooperative
movement. Yet, there is definitely lacking any attempt to
bridge this gap.
Business, generally speaking, fails to see the broad public
needs with economic aspect. Yet business does play an important part in any economic condition, and it is true that they
fail to realize that the correction of those factors which they
are so desirous of seeing improved depends upon their cooperation, as well as upon the forces outside their specific control.
Government, on the other hand, must regard all public questions on a broad national basis. Each problem must be carefully
viewed from the point that government is sustained by the
people themselves. The solution to any particular problem is
one of national economic stability*
It is not easy to accept the viewpoint of one side and exclude the others, for both have their economic value and place
in the structure of the country . Neither side can exist without the other's contributions toward the stability of satisfactory conditions.
There can be no division of responsibility, nor should it be
expected. Each has a definite place in the nation's affairs,
and a cooperative activity by both in which a clarifying of
viewpoints, resulting in a complete understanding of the
problem of each, will bring about a set of objectives common
to both and for the mutual benefits of each.
When I was in your office, I spoke to you of the recent
meeting held by the National Association of Manufacturers, at
which the leaders of some of our most outstanding manufacturing
concerns tore apart the past policies and activities of the
administration. 1 mentioned that this reminded me of the small
boy who took apart the alarm clock, and when the springs, wheels,
and other parts of this timepiece lay on the floor, he became
disgusted with his activity and failed to put the clock back
into working order. I criticize these same gentlemen for not
substituting a progressive plan or program of activities for
that which they tore apart.
Did you listen to last night's radio talk by Assistant AttorneyGeneral Robert H. Jackson? If you did not, I would suggest
that you read the newspaper reports, for it relates to the
activities of business during the last six years; insofar as


Mr. Marriner Eccles
Page 4


business has stood in the way of a progressive government
program; and, as an obstacle to improved conditions as regards their own specific industries. This type of talk,
with due respect to Mr. Jackson and the administration represents one of the direct reasons why business does not
come forward more aggressively and aid materially in bringing
about a betterment of conditions. This pushes business
back into its shell.
In my mind the discussions and speeches such as were heard
at the meeting of the National Association of Manufacturers,
and that heard over the radio last night only tend to widen
the gap of understanding between government and business.
They certainly emphasize to a greater extent the absolute
need of the cooperative movement which we discussed last
It is quite obvious that government and business united with
a set of objectives common to both could very readily bring
about a condition in this country which would remove any
existing recession, and any future ones that might possibly
arise due to this lack of understanding between the two.
There can be no doubt but what both government and business,
during the last six years, have made mistakes, but there is
little that can be done about them for they are in the past.
That which is most important today is the adoption of a plan,
approved by both government and business, to bring about a
happier situation between these two factions, and for the
good of the nation as a whole. Unfortunately, this cannot be
brought about unless the existing gap between the two is closed.
This letter is much
please pardon me if
I should. When you
realizing that I do
political advantage

longer than I expected it would be, so
in my enthusiasm I have written more than
read this letter I would appreciate your
not speak for any industry, nor am I seeking
or publicity in any form. May I have your

Yours/very truly,

H. W. Estey

R O L A N D

W. E S T E Y


6 0


4 2 N D




M U H R A Y H I I . I . 2 - O B 1 O

January 4, 1938

Mr. Marriner Eccles, Chairman
Federal Reserve Board
Washington, D. C.
Dear Mr* Eccles:
I have been expecting a note from you giving
me your reactions to my letter of December
twenty-seventh, in which I covered the question
of a cooperative activity between government
and business.
I listened with interest to the President's
message, particularly that part of it regarding
cooperative activity between government and
business, as this is the sort of movement I
have suggested.
As this seems a most opportune time to go ahead
with this activity, would not the outline attached bring approval from both the President
and business? What is your reaction?
Yours^v^ry truly,



An outside agency investigating conditions and factors pertaining to business in the broad sense, resulting in a set
of conclusions to be presented to the President (and Congress,
if expedient).
Such an agency to present ideas based on actual findings
wherety business activities can be developed along lines to
fit into the administrations plans and policies.
This agency to be unbiased towards either side and without
obligation, established and operated for the following basic

To bring closer cooperation between business
and government*


To establish a set of planned objectives
common to both*


To take any national problems assigned to
them and make suggestions or recommendations
to the administration based on actual national conditions.


National; and, to study those problems
directly pertaining to business and its
relationship with national affairs.


Combined business and government, and financed
by both.

Advisory Board:

A small workable group of business executives
with proven ability and respect for national
conditions and affairs.


January 6, 1958

I have just received the attached
letter from Mr. R. W. Estey, whom I believe
you saw at my suggestion last month.
I would appreciate it if, with
the return of his letter, you could' let
me have a suitable draft of reply. Many

Secretary to the President

January 10, 1958.

Dear Mac:
I am returning herewith Mr. R. W. Bstey's
letter of January 4th to you, and a draft of a suggested reply for your signature as you request.
X have already written to him in response to
his letters to me, telling him that I cannot be of
help in promoting the new set-up to be financed jointly by business and governiaent—which would require an
appropriation by Congress—and that I think it would
be preferable to make possibly more effective use of
existing organization and the more than adequate information already at hand, rather than to create still
another mechanism which would not be likely to command
any more •confidence* from business, labor, agriculture
and the government than existing groups we now have.
Also I pointed out that our difficulties are due not
so mich to a lack of "cooperation" between business and
government, as to innumerable conflicts in the ranks of
business itself, in labor, agriculture and other private
groups. I enclose for your information a copy of my
letter to him*
I suspect that Mr* Estey, with whom X had a
long conference, inasmuch as he caste over with your
blessing, is looking for a set-up that will furnish his
with a good place to light* I am satisfied that he has
nothing new to contribute and, therefore, that the best
thing to do is not to encourage him further.
Sincerely yours,

M* S. Eccles,
Honorable Marvin H. Mclntyre,
Secretary to the President,
The White House.
Tprp _ *L
Pi \ 2 Q


January 10, 1958,

Sir, Roland !?• Bstey,
6£> East 4,26. Street,
Xork City.
Dear Mr. Bstey:
I regret that I have not had an opportunity to
respond sooner to your letter of December 27th for, of
course, I am wholly sympathetic with the views you express, though I must admit that I am not sanguine about
effecting through any one organization a practical reconciliation of the aany conflicting interests, not simply
as between governmental and political views, on the one
hand, and those of business and industry on the other,
but as between the many groups in business, agriculture,
finance and labor«
What you have in mind—a new set-up jointly financed by business and by government—-doubtless would contribute to better understanding and, therefore, would help
to find common ground on some policies* We have had much
talk about better cooperation for the past six years, and
various coordinating efforts have been undertaken, including
the organisation of the Business idvisory Council, which, to
ay mind, has been about the most helpful* let, as I am sure
you recognize, anich of the effort, however disinterested,
intelligent, and fair-minded, has been sterile because of
the deeper and seemingly irreconcilable conflicts rooted in
emotions, prejudices, self-interest, etc., on all sides.
I deplore as you do the resort to bitterness and brickbat
throwing by any of the participants whose common problems
cannot be intelligently faced, let alone solved, in an
atmosphere of animosity and recrimination.
However, there is no way in which I could be of
service in promoting such an organization as you suggest.
For such a set-up, Congress would have to appropriate funds,

I4r. Roland W. Bstey



January 10, 1958

and this would require that the President siake a forual request therefor* If Congress approved, I presume the Administration would then have to select men to serve on the
committee—or commission—and, for myself, I do not know
where it would be possible to find a representative group
which had the confidence of business, labor, agriculture,
the Administration and Congress to a sufficient extent to
make it© findings and recommendations effective. It would
be preferable, in ny opinion, to bring nbout a better coordination of existing groups, governmental and representative
of business, agrictilture, labor, etc., and to make better
use of the virtually complete information already available,
than to try to create still another "coordinating* body.
Although I cannot be of assistance in advancing
your proposal, I was glad to have the opportunity to talk
with you and I appreciate your letters and the desirability
of your objectives.

Sincerely yours,

U S. Eccles,


Deer Mr, Estey:
This is to thank you for your letter of January
4th and the attached outline of your proposal for an
organisation, jointly financed by business and government,
for the purpose of bringing about closer cooperation between business and government.
While your objectives are highly desirable, your
proposal would involve an appropriation by Congress, as
well as the difficulty of selecting personnel who would
command the confidence of the diverse groups in business,
labor, agriculture, and in Congress sufficiently to make
such an organisation effective. Inasmuch as numerous
organizations, representative of the aany, often conflicting, private interests on the one hand, and of the public
interest on the other, are already in existence, I doubt
whether it would be regarded as feasible to propose creation
of an additional group.
Is you know, most of the country's business and industrial leaders are already represented in various existing
organizations, and some of the most prominent leaders who
desire to cooperate actively with the government h&ve been
closely associated with the Business Advisory Council, for
exaaple, and have given a great de&l ox their time to considering various important economic and social problems and
to aiaking recosuaendations. It would not appear to be
practicable to ask these leaders to associate themselves
with some new grouping unless it held out greater promise of
accomplishing results than those already existing and
I want you to know, however, that your interest and
your desire to be of assistance are greatly appreciated.
Sincerely yours,


R O L A N D

W. E S T E Y

6 0


4 2 K D



M U K R A T H I I - I . 2 - 0 8 1 0

May 7, 1938

Hon. Franklin D. Roosevelt
President of the United States
Washington, D. C»
Dear Mr. President:
I have on two previous occasions offered suggestions
to you for the improvement of conditions throughout
the country. While I do not wish to assume the attitude ofW I told you so $ n the fact does remain that
many of the conditions existing today could have been
avoided if the suggestions had been adopted*
It may be presumptuous on my part to think that I can
be of assistance to you; however, I am offering
another suggestion in the hopes that it may be of help.
Would it not be most expedient, in view of recent
events, to have a study of actual nation-wide conditions made for the purpose of determining exactly
what is prohibiting a betterment of conditionst Such
a study would be made by one not obligated to either
business or government, and would include a set of
recommendations based on actual findings*
He commendations or findings would not necessarily have
to be detrimental to the Administration. With such a
study having been made it could readily be used to
bring about corrections of national conditions without
losing political prestige. Using such a study as a
means of starting a movement towards the improvement of
conditions, the momentum once started could easily be
kept in the right direction.
As I once told you, I am not seeking any political advantage, nor publicity in any form. However, I do offer
my experience in analyzing conditions in business and in

Hon. Franklin D, Roosevelt

- 2 -

May 7, 1938

correcting situations for the betterment of detrimental conditions.
If you see the value in this suggestion, I will gladly discuss it with ]
you at any time it meets with your I
Most respeofeijully yours,

>land W, Estey