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September 12, 1955

Governor Marriner S. Eccles,
c/o Eccles Investment Company,
Ogden, Utah
Dear Governor Eccles:
The Board took favorable action on the project today, and
a formal application was entered. I am assured that there will be
no publicity on it until an allotment of funds is actually made
and that we may withdraw the application at any time.
In accordance with your suggestion to Mr. Clayton, I have
written Messrs. Hecht, Fleming, Colt, Emerson, and Wakefield (President of Reserve City Bankers1 Association), asking their personal
opinion on the revised project. I am enclosing a copy of my letter
to Mr. Hecht. The others were in a similar vein. I am hopeful that
replies will be favorable as I adopted suggestions offered by Hecht
and Colt.
I have talked with Mr. Thurston about the publicity, and he
has agreed to go over any further letters sent out. We think that,
if approved, the project can be handled in such a way as to play up
the liquidity-earnings and autopsy-of-failed-banks angles. The fact
that no names would be asked on the questionnaire should scotch the
"share-the-wealth" interpretation. We expect that very few banks
would admit white collar workers and that the great bulk of such
workers would be used in closed banks and in tabulating the data.
I am also enclosing a copy of a favorable letter from a Hartford
banker which may interest you and which I have acknowledged.

Sincerely yours,


Lauchlin B. Currie
Assistant Director of
Research and Statistics
Enclosures - two

The actual motion was that the application be submitted and
that negotiations should be carried forward on the closed
bank aspect of the study, while the open bank aspect shall
be brought up for action at a later meeting.

September 12, 1935

Mr. Rudolf S. Hecht, President
American Bankere Association
Hibernia Katlonal lank
Hew Orleans, Louisiana
Bear Mr. Hecht:
There is enclosed a brief description of the revised proposed
WPA project we discussed on August S£« You will note that your suggestion that an option be offered banks to supply a limited amount of
infonoation themselves or to permit its transcription by relief workers has been adopted. Probably most bankers would elect to supply
the information themselves and the relief workers would be used mainly
in closed banks and in tabulating the data.
You will note on page 5 of the description, which, by the way, is
confidential, that hope Is expressed that various bankers' associations
would endorse the study. We should be very grateful if you would give
consideration to this possibility. We appreciate that such an endorsement would require a gpod deal of time to negotiate. In the meantime,
Governor Eccles, in a telephone conversation last night, suggested that
an expression of your personal opinion about the project in general be
asked at this tiaae. While he does not desire to burden you with details,
he is anxious to learn if you approve the general aim and scope of the
revised project. Any reply you may care to make would not, of course,
be quoted.
I regret sincerely the publicity which attended the preiociture disclosure of an early stage of our preliminary investigation. I am sure,
however, that if the project is approved the publicity can be handled
in such a way as to indicate unmistakably the real purposes of the study.
The fact that no names will be requested in the questionnaire to banks
would, I think, be reassuring. Particular eaph&sis could also be laid
on the relation of the study to the urgent problems confronting bankers
today in striking a proper balance between liquidity and earning*.
Because of the time limit imposed by an Executive Order, it is
necessary to file the formal application today In order to have it

Mr. Budolf S. Hecht, #2

considered. We still* however, have considerable latitude in changing
the KOde of procedure and would welcome any suggestions you iaay care
to offer.
I should appreciate an early reply so that I may communicate your
views to Governor £ccie$. I am writing a letter of similar nmtmre to
Mr. Fleming.
Yours very sincerely,

Lauchlla Qurrie
Assistant Director of
Research and Statistics