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P.O.Box 122,
Mannington, W. Va
June 27,
Mr. Merriper Idles, Chairman,
Federal Reserve Board,
Washington, D. C.
Dear Mr. Eccles:
In reading the Washington-Merry-Go-Round, under sub­
title "Too Much Saving," you are accredited with having
told the President that the piling up of a vast pension re­
serve, is taking out of the pockets of consumers and put­
ting it in an idle fund. That what should be done is to
provide reasonable pensions for old people immediately, as
this would not only me_gt a great social need and popular
demand, but would alsoAeconomically sound at this stage in
our economic life.
With this statement I am in hearty agreement. Therefore I very much deplore the empty gesture made bfr the
House of Congress in its recent pretense of liberalizing
the social security law by increasing the federal contri­
bution for old age assistance from $15 to $20 per month.
This amount to be matched dollar for dollar by the states
as previously provided for in the original act.
What congressman does not know that West Virginia,
along WiLth many other states, is not matching dollar for
dollar,^&ven the half of the present federal appropriation
of $15 per month? Consequently, the $5 increase in federal
appropriation is little less than cold mockery. Even if we
ignore the humanitarian standpoint and consider it only
from political expediency, just what result is such an act
likely to produce in the 1940 election? There is already a
substantially growing conviction among the masses that the
administration of old age assistance and relief in general,
is nothing less than an efficient and highly paid political
machine which absorbes the major portion of all relief ap­
propriations .
As a result of this conviction, great numbers of both
Democrats and Republicans are enthusiastically climbing onto
the Townsend band-wagon and lustilly whooping 'er up— bliss­
fully ignorant that capitalism will never allow the Town­
send plan to become law. But what of the result? It is my
conviction that the 1940 election is already in the ballance
and the Townsend vote may be the means of tossing the chief
political rewards into the lap of the already distracted
GOP, and perchance to another Hoover with his famous wreck­
ing crew— will masterly Republican strategy bring this about
Ko, only blind conservative Democrats can do it for the eco­
nomical sterility of Republicans *


July 1, 1939.

Mr. S. D. Gifford,
P. 0. Box 122,
Mannington, »vest Virginia.
Dear Mr* Gifford:
This is to acknowledge receipt of your
letter of June 2?. I was very much interested
in having your comment in regard to the present
operation of our pension system. I undertook to
discuss this very briefly in a recent speech be­
fore the Harvard Business School Alumni and I am
enclosing a copy.
I wanted you to know that I appreciated
your interest and your courtesy in writing.
Sincerely yours,

M. b. Eccles,