It has been said that the draftsman who was employed to write the text of the Federal Reserve bill used a text of the Aldrich bill for his purpose. It has been said that the language of the Aldrich bill was used because the Aldrich bill had been drawn up by expert lawyers and seemed to be appropriate. It was indeed drawn up by lawyers. The Aldrich bill was created by acceptance bankers of European origin in New York City. It was a copy and in general a translation of the statutes of the Reichsbank and other European central banks.
Half a million dollars was spent one part of the propaganda organized by those same European bankers for the purpose of misleading public opinion in regard to it, and for the purpose of giving Congress the impression that there was an overwhelming popular demand for that kind of banking legislation and the kind of currency that goes with it, namely, an asset currency based on human debts and obligations instead of an honest currency based on gold and silver values. Dr. H. Parker Willis had been employed by the Wall Street bankers and propagandists and when the Aldrich measure came to naught and he obtained employment with Carter Glass to assist in drawing a banking bill for the Wilson administration, he appropriated the text of the Aldrich bill for his purpose. There is no secret about it. The text of the Federal Reserve act was tainted from the beginning.
Not all of the Democratic Members of the Sixty-third Congress voted for this great deception. Some of them remembered the teachings of Jefferson; and, through the years, there had been no criticisms of the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve banks so honest, so out-spoken, and so unsparingly as those which have been voiced here by Democrats. Again, although a number of Republicans voted for the Federal Reserve act, the wisest and most conservative members of the Republican Party would have nothing to do with it and voted against it.
A few days before the bill came to a vote, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, of Massachusetts, wrote to Senator John W. Weeks as follows:
New York City, December 17, 1913
My Dear Senator Weeks:
Throughout my public life I have supported all measures designed to take the Government out of the banking business…. This bill puts the Government into the banking business as never before in our history and makes, as I understand it, all notes Government notes when they should be bank notes.
The powers vested in the Federal Reserve Board seem to me highly dangerous, especially where there is political control of the Board. I should be sorry to hold stock in a bank subject to such domination. The bill as it stands seems to me to open the way to a vast inflation of the currency. There is no necessity of dwelling upon this point after the remarkable and most powerful argument of the senior Senator from New York. I can be content here to follow the example of the English candidate for Parliament who thought it enough “to say ditto to Mr. Burke.” I will merely add that I do not like to think that any law can be passed which will make it possible to submerge the gold standard in a flood of irredeemable paper currency.
I had hoped to support this bill, but I can not vote for it as it stands, because it seems to me to contain features and to rest upon principles in the highest degree menacing to our prosperity, to stability in business, and to the general welfare of the people of the United States.
Very sincerely yours,
Henry Cabot Lodge
In eighteen years that have passed since Senator Lodge wrote that letter of warning all of his predictions have come true. The Government is in the banking business as never before. Against its will it has been made the backer of horse thieves and card sharps, bootleggers, smugglers, speculators, and swindlers in all parts of the world. Through the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve banks the riffraff of every country is operating on the public credit of this United States Government. Meanwhile, and on account of it, we ourselves are in the midst of the greatest depression we have ever known. Thus the menace to our prosperity, so feared by Senator Lodge, has indeed struck home. From the Atlantic to the Pacific our country has been ravaged and laid waste by the evil practices of the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve banks and the interests which control them. At no time in our history has the general welfare of the people of the United States been at a lower level or the mind of the people so filled with despair.
Recently in one of our States 60,000 dwelling houses and farms were brought under the hammer in a single day. According to the Rev. Father Charles E. Coughlin, who has lately testified before a committee of this House, 71,000 houses and farms in Oakland County, Michigan, have been sold and their erstwhile owners dispossessed. Similar occurrences have probably taken place in every county in the United States. The people who have thus been driven out are the wastage of the Federal Reserve act. They are the victims of the dishonest and unscrupulous Federal Reserve Board and Federal Reserve banks. Their children are the new slaves of the auction blocks in the revival here of the institution of human slavery.
In 1913, before the Senate Banking and Currency Committee, Mr. Alexander Lassen made the following statement:
“But the whole scheme of the Federal Reserve bank with its commercial-paper basis is an impractical, cumbersome machinery, is simply a cover, to find a way to secure the privilege of issuing money and to evade payment of as much tax upon circulation as possible, and then control the issue and maintain, instead of reduce, interest rates. It is a system that, if inaugurated, will prove to the advantage of the few and the detriment of the people of the United States. It will mean continued shortage of actual money and further extension of credits; for when there is a lack of real money people have to borrow credit to their cost.”
A few days before the Federal Reserve act was passed Senator Elihu Root denounced the Federal Reserve bill as an outrage on our liberties and made the following prediction:
“Long before we wake up from our dreams of prosperity through an inflated currency, our gold, which alone could have kept us from catastrophe, will have vanished and no rate of interest will tempt it to return.”
If ever a prophecy came true, that one did. It was impossible, however, for those luminous and instructed thinkers to control the course of events. On December 23, 1913, the Federal Reserve bill became law, and that night Colonel House wrote to his hidden master in Wall Street as follows:
“I want to say a word of appreciation to you for the silent but no doubt effective work you have done in the interest of currency legislation and to congratulate you that the measure has finally been enacted into law. We all know that an entirely perfect bill, satisfactory to everybody, would have been an impossibility, and I feel quite certain that unless the President had stood as firm as he did we should likely have had no legislation at all. The bill is a good one in many respects; anyhow good enough to start with and to let experience teach us in what direction it needs perfection, which in due time we shall then get. In any event you have personally good reason to feel gratified with what has been accomplished.”
The words “unless the President had stood as firm as he did we should likely have had no legislation at all,” were a gentle reminder that it was Colonel House himself, the “holy monk,” who had kept the President firm.
The foregoing letter affords striking evidence of the manner in which the predatory interests then sought to control the Government of the United States by surrounding the Executive with the personality and the influence of a financial Judas. Left to itself and to the conduct of its own legislative functions without pressure from the Executive, the Congress would not have passed the Federal Reserve act. According to Colonel House, and since this was his report to his master, we may believe it to be true, the Federal Reserve act was passed because Wilson stood firm; in other words because Wilson was under the guidance and control of the most ferocious usurers in New York through their hireling, House. The Federal Reserve act became law the day before Christmas Eve in the year 1913, and shortly afterward the German international bankers, Kuhn, Loeb and Co., sent one of their partners here to run it.