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Ma a
rtie

G lare
345

Ba r n e s

C e n tra l A ve n u e

D u n k ir k , N

ew

Y

ork

January £1, 1941

Hon. Marriner Ecoles
Chairman fe d e ra l Reserve Board
Washington, K. C.
Dear Mr* Socles:
1 r e s p e c t fu lly ask you, i f consistent with the
important o b lig a tio n s of your very great public se rv ic e ,
to a lla y some of the propagandized alarm now being so
widely c ircu lated under the bogie o f "monetary in fla tio n *'*
Mr. E. V. Kaltenborn, the self-p ro claim ed in te rp re te r
o f a l l news on the a i r , recently defined monetary i n f la t i o n
in v iv id and h o rrify in g terms, and put fo rth a c a r e fu lly
worded d e fin it io n th ereof which was, on a n a ly sis o f any
i n t e l l i g e n t reasoning, wholly in accurate, f a lla c io u s and
untenable on any combination of fact and r e a l i t y .
As Mr*
Xaltenborn reaches and i s taken s e rio u s ly by m illio n s o f
our people everywhere without question and in good f a i t h ,
I f e l t th is subtle but poisonous inaccuracy o f d e fin it io n
he broadcasted could only confuse and confound i n t e lli g e n t
and reasoning action on the part of m illio n s of p a t r io t io
American l i s t e n e r s .
Therefore, X wrote him, c a lli n g h is attention to the
s e lf-e v id e n t e rro rs which he defined as economic fa c t s .
He
rac io u sly r e p li e d , brin gin g you, Mr. Marriner Eocles,
hairman of the fe d e r a l Reserve Board, into the picture
p erso n ally in the fo llo w in g l e t t e r :

g

"Ho man has defined i n f la t i o n in such a way that the
d e fin it io n i s s a t is fa c t o r y to anyone e ls e .
So I am quite
w i l l i n g to agree with you that I did not define i n f la t i o n
c le a r ly or s a t i s f a c t o r i l y in m broadcast.
y
I f you w i l l
get Henry Morgenthau J r ., Secretary of the Treasury, and
Chairman Marriner l o c l e s of the Federal Reserve Board to
agree upon a d e fin it io n o f i n f l a t i o n , perhaps I could do
lik e w ise ."
I b e lie v e that mistatements lik e Mr. K alten bo rn 's,
even i f made in the good f a it h which I c e rta in ly accord
to him, create great n ation al disunity and should be so
fa r as i n t e l l i g e n t l y p o ssib le be corrected to whatever
extent p o s s ib le .
So I join in Mr. Kaltenborn1s request
that you give us a j u s t i f i a b l e d e fin it io n of "monetary
in fla tio n ."



Mr. Marriner Eccles
Chairman fe d e r a l Reserve Board
January 21, 1941
Page Two
However, our la rg e Dunkirk-fredonia (Hew York)
Economic Club and associates o f economic associates of
B u ffa lo , Hew York, join m in recogn ition o f the great
e
problems you face, and in assurance that no p u b lic it y or
news expression to any reply or answer w i l l be given, and
that any reply w i l l be held in complete confidence.
Ad­
d i t i o n a l l y , should a rep ly seem properly warranted, and
p u b lic w e lfa re be served by i t s announcement, we s h a ll
appreciate suggestionsof y o u r s e lf or designees as to a
f i t t i n g and commendable re le a s e th ereof to the p u b lic .
Thanking you fo r your consideration and awaiting
your suggestions, I am,
f a i t h f u l l y youra,

OB: IJ







January 30, 1941*-

F çr:
C la re B arnes,
345 C e n tr a l Avenue,
Dunkirk, New Y ork .

A tta ch ed i s a copy o f Chairman E c c le s '
r e c e n t ad d ress b e fo r e th e N a tio n a l I n d u s t r ia l Con­
fe r e n c e Board which c o n ta in s , b egin n in g on page 2
and running o v e r t o page 4 , th e quest io n o f i n f l a ­
t i o n about which you in q u ir e d in your l e t t e r o f
January 21.
The Chairman, who i s te m p o r a r ily ab sen t,
req u e sted me t o thank you f o r your l e t t e r and t o
e n c lo s e t h i s m a t e r ia l.

E l l i o t t T h u rston ,
S p e c ia l A s s is ta n t
t o th e Chairman.

e n c lo s u re

ET:b