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J u d d , Ra y , O u i n n e y & N e b e k e r
S . J . Q U I N N EY
A L B E R T R. B O W E N
T H O R N L E Y K. S W A N


January 20, 1942

M y dear Marriner?
While under the influence of the outrage which was perpetrated
against you this morning at breakfast, and at a time w h e n m y
memory cannot possibly fail me, I w i s h to report to you a conversa­
tion I had with Phil Purcell.
Since we have no cook or maid, I sometimes take breakfast
in T o m Sutton's and have the pleasure of meeting certain of our
leading citizens with whom you are acquainted.
Frequently Orval
Adams, Phil Purcell, Walter Roche and others are sipping their
coffee about the time I arrive.
This morning Walter Roche alone
was present but subsequently Phil Purcell came in and immediately
asked me if I h ad read your speech delivered in New York.
I told
him I had read the account of it last night in the Salt Lake
Telegram. Whereupon he said, wThat is the worst yet.
I never
thought that he would be in favor of the Russians and their system.
Phil then, by his language Intimated that the only inference to be
drawn from the speech was that you favored Communism as against
the system we have enjoyed in this country.
Needless to say, I
took immediate exception to his remarks and said that anybody,
upon reading the article must conclude that the thesis of your
speech was a plea for cooperation w i t h the government; that we
should endure h i g h taxes and subordinate profits to an all out
defense effort and that you then drew an example w h e n you said
that the Russian morale probably w o uld not have been so great had
they been fighting for a profit motive rather than fo r home and
To m y amazement Phil produced last n i g h t ’s T elegram from
his pocket and began to read.
As I listened, I was more confirmed
that ever in m y v iew and once more threw it into him, but he was
just as convinced as ever that the only inference to be drawn
from your speech was as he had stated before.
I have always liked
Phil, but I am afraid that his judgment is terrifically warped
and that he will carry that newspaper around w i t h h i m today and
point out to those who would like to believe as he does the false
interpretation he has placed on your speech.
I could not possibly
change his v i e w by the assertion that I knew positively that
everything you have said or done was w i t h a view to preserving
as muc h as possible of the profit system.
I think he is thoroughly
convinced that you are a Communist.
I do not like to see these people place a false interpreta­
tion on your words and then gloat over them.
Accordingly, I
request you to send me a copy of your speech.
In fact, I would

M. S. Ecclea

- 2


January 20, 1942

like a copy of all your speeches, as I have told you verbally,
and~as I have toia M i ss E g b e r t . There is no n e e d in rising up
in wrathT against these'TiltrsT'conservative people in Salt Lake,
but I would like to have an opportunity to show t h e m b y u n m i s ­
takable means how u t t e r l y in error they are when they broadcast
a n y lie about you.
I have seen Bammy about her will and about the disposition
of her house.
Spence sent me a copy of the agreement, which
indicates that your mother is entitled to draw $1,000,00 a month.
This does not accumulate as a credit to her account, but if she
should not d r a w $1,000 in any one month, she ma y d r a w in excess
of $1,000 in a subsequent month.
When she dies, she apparently
will have no credit and therefore no estate b y reason of this
She m a y transfer her house to the Eccles Invest­
ment Company b y sale or on contract.
If she sold it, then upon
her death, the proceeds of the sale, whether in the form of
cash or credit, w o u l d be a part of her estate.
If she transfers
it on contract for the benefit of third parties, then I would
say that the contract would not constitute a part of her estate,
because it could be enforced b y the third parties, namely her
Such a transaction, however, m a y be construed as a
gift or as a transfer in contemplation of death and be subject to
As soon as I have a n opportunity, I will w o r k out the detail
and submit it to you.
In any event, I think we will have to face
the probability of an appraisal of her house and lot for tax
I do not want it understood, however, from this remark
that I consider it inevitable that the transfer of the property
b y the means I have suggested will be taxable.
It would be m y
opinion that the property would not be appraised at a v e r y high
figure in a ny event.
Inheritance tax appraisers u s u a l l y do not
appraise real property m u c h beyond its assessed valuation for
general property taxes.
W h e n I started this letter, I ha d no notion I would get
beyond a p a r agraph or two, but now I have gone so far, I had
better tell you what the government has done with respect to
canning crops.
This m a y be a report on a matter w i t h w h i c h you
are al r e a d y familiar, but H. P. Peterson informed me that the
government had raised the price of peas $17.00 a ton, w h i c h will
jump the price of our green product from $40.00 to about $57.00
next year.
At the same time, they have indicated t h e y will p a y
$1.20 a d o zen for standard five sieve peas as contrasted with
about 80 cents last year.
How this price for the finished product
will compare w i t h the increased costs, I do not know.
It goes
without saying, I think, that not only the green product, but
labor and all other items going into manufacturing will be up
this next season.
If you have a n y information about the govern­
ment plans, I w i s h you would let me know.
Mr. Peterson said he
approved of our reluctance to give the boys a bonus this year.


M. S. Eccles

January 20, 1942

told M m that It was our view that so long as we h ad debts and
could earn only half as much relatively as other companies;
that there was little argument in favor of bonuses.
The suffering the people must endure becomes more apparent,
and, of course, as time goes on, it will become also more acute.
As one contemplates what goes on in the world, the stronger
becomes his convictions that the so-called leaders of great
groups blunder into difficulty and then try to lie themselves
out of responsibility.
These leaders, wherever t h e y m a y be,
invent catch phrases to trap the people.
They stir up their
emotions to deaden their suffering and ultimately leave them
stripped bare of their youths, their property, and in m y humble
opinion, their morals.
The only w a y I a m able to reconcile myself
to the catastrophes which seem to beset us is that it is s o m e ­
what biological.
Perhaps it is n a t u r e ’s w ay of destroying surplus
population, and even if man could find a remedy for war like he
has found for othsr great scourges which once destroyed mankind,
nature would invent another means for accomplishing her purposes.
For a time a great m a n y people with w h o m I associated were som e ­
what nonchalant about the w ar a nd considered anyone who looked
upon it w i t h apprehension as a pessimist.
Increasingly these
same individuals are becoming alarmed over the inevitable con­
sequences of our participation in the world conflict.
I hope these things do not molest you too much.
W h e n you
are in the midst of them, perhaps you do not have time to think
of consequences, but only of means of accomplishing an end.
I w i s h you would remember me to Larry, Valois, Elliott and
I earnestly hope you are well and that we w i l l be seeing
you soon again.
With all best wishes.
Affectionately yours,

Mr. Marriner S. Eccles
Federal Reserve
Washington, D. C.

J a n u a r y 2 8 , 19 A 2 .

Mr. S. J. Quinney,
Kearns Building,
Salt Lake City, Utah.
Dear Joe:
I was much interested to receive yours of January 20 in which
you mention the verbal battle you had recently with Phil Purcell anent
my address before the New York State Bankers iissociation, which Mr. Purcell
seems to think brands me as a Communist. Before 1 discuss the idiocy of
this interpretation on his part, I want to express to you my appreciation
of your valiant defense of my economic philosophy as it pertains to the
profit motive.
If Mr. Purcell is capable of objective consideration of the
niatter, it might be well to point out to him that three times within the
past year I have spoken before organizations which by no stretch of the
imagination could be induced to invite a "pink", let alone a real Communist,
to appear before then\. The organizations I refer to are the National In­
dustrial Conference Board, the National Tax Association and the New York
State Bankers association. The first of these is composed of representatives
of the major industrial concerns of the country, and the membership of the
association is noteworthy for its conservatism. Yet I have spoken before
them the last three years in succession.
as to the recent New York speech, It would appear that numerous
other people, including The New York Times, do not agree with Mr. Purcell’s
interpretation. You might show him the enclosed clipping from The New York
Times, as well as the enclosed copies of letters received from some of the
bankers who attended the meeting.

It is a common rule that statements in any writing or speech should
not be interpreted by themselves, but in the light of the entire context. If
this rule were followed with reference to the New York speech, I am sure that
no one could twist my references to the valiant spirit of the Russians into a
plea for Communism. Furthermore, any remark I might make respecting the pro­
fit motive should be considered against the background of jny economic philoso­
phy. '‘
■his has been developed in numerous, papers, in all of which I espouse
private enterprise an4 the profit motive. Such an aristocratic business organ
as Fortune Magazine would not have asked me to prepare an article for its
defense issue last August if I had any pink strings tied to me., I i the Fortune
article I gave a fairly comprehensive outline of my philosophy, and I wpuld
suggest that Mr. Purcell read that paper through, a reprint is enclosed here­

January 28, 19A2.

Mr. S. J. Quinney — 2

Of course I am mindful of the fact that Messrs. Purcell, Adams
and ivoche do not view my pronouncements impartially, ’
■'hey are naturally
delighted if they can find any statement which, taken by itself and suf­
ficiently twisted by their interpretation, will make me appear in a radical
light. Perhaps, therefore, we are wasting time to suggest that they give
fair consideration to the evidence I have mentioned heretofore. However,
since, as a part of your daily routine, you come into contact with them,
maybe you can at least gain some satisfaction in presenting the evidence.
I note your admonition that I should not allow thoughts about
the futility of wars to molest me too much, a s you say, If one is in the
midst of the effort to win through in a situation of this kind, there is
little time to worry about the philosophy of it all. The chief concern
is to find the means to accomplish the end.
i » t best wishes, I am
Sincerely yours,

Enclosures: ,NIGB speech, Nat. Tax Assn. speech, and Fortune article.
(Mayor's speech sent previously.)
Clipping, New York Times.
Copies of letter from bankers.
P. S. The New York speech was extemporaneous and so no copies are available.
I am advised you have already received the speech before .the Mayors, but I am
enclosing copies of the speeches before the National Industrial Conference
Board and the National Tax Association which you may not have seen.