Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Alben W. Barkley, August 3rd, 1953

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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SHALETT: This is Sidney Shalett's voice again. We're transcribing at Nantucket now, and Senator Barkley is going to discuss the twelve years of Republican administration.

BARKLEY: Well, I think probably it would be appropriate to discuss briefly the campaign of 1920, at which Governor James M. Cox of Ohio was the Democratic nominee for president, and Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York was the Democratic nominee for vice president, and Senator Warren G. Harding of Ohio was the Republican nominee for president, and Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts was the nominee for vice president. As the Wilson administration drew to a close, the fight over the League of Nations continued to be a matter of public discussion and an issue between 00:01:00the Republican and Democratic parties and between Governor Cox and Senator Harding. President Wilson had become ill in his fight to persuade the Senate and the people to endorse and ratify the Treaty of Versailles containing the League of Nations. And the great fight came over the covenant of the League of Nations. And there was opposition to it led by Senator Lodge and others, of course, whom I've already mentioned, on the ground that the covenant of the League of Nations obligated us to make commitments to other nations of the world which they objected to. And also there was a great furor in the debate over the question that we only had one vote in the League of 00:02:00Nations Council, whereas Great Britain had ten. They added all her colonies, like Canada and Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, and added them all up, and it made something like ten, as I now recall. And one of the great objections to the covenant of the League of Nations was that we would be outvoted in the League because we would not--a vote by us, a single vote, could not veto an act, as was provided later in the United Nations in the charter at San Francisco. Well, that fight had terminated. It had terminated in the defeat of Mr. Wilson's League of Nations. And when the conventions met in the summer of 1920, as I recall now--I'll have to check that by looking at the platform, which I don't have here with me--the Republican Party had a plank in which it opposed 00:03:00the League of Nations as it had been written, but recommended and endorsed an Association of Nations, which was another name. And they nominated--they had a bitter fight over the nomination for president in the Republican convention. Governor Lowden, Frank--former Governor Frank O. Lowden of Illinois and General Leonard Wood were the outstanding Republican candidates, and they had a very serious deadlock, and it became apparent that neither one of them could be nominated. And in the famous smoke-filled room that we have heard so much about since 1920, at two o'clock in the morning, the leaders of the Republican Party agreed on Warren G. Harding of Ohio, who was a senator from that state. Mr. Harding had been lieutenant governor of Ohio. He had been nominated for governor of Ohio, but 00:04:00was defeated, as I recall, by Governor Cox, who had been a member of Congress prior to the Wilson administration and was elected governor of Ohio at the very same election when Woodrow Wilson was elected president of the United States. So he retired from Congress to become governor of Ohio, and he made a great governor of that state. He was governor for eight years, winding up in 1920 when he was nominated at San Francisco for president, as I've already said. Well, the Democratic Party and its platform endorsed the League of Nations without reservation. Of course, it could do no other thing without repudiating its own President, Wilson. And it not only had no desire to repudiate him, but it was sincerely and genuinely in favor of the League of Nations. Well, the campaign issue in 1920 largely turned on the 00:05:00League of Nations. Governor Cox traveled all over the country; so did Mr. Roosevelt, who had--was at that time assistant secretary of the Navy, in which they campaigned in favor of the League of Nations. While it had been defeated in the Senate, they were in favor of it, and if Governor Cox had been elected and had carried with him a majority of the two houses, or especially the Senate where it had to be ratified, the chances are that the Senate would have been again called upon to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, including the League of Nations. I campaigned with Governor Cox some during that year. I was a member of the House, had been for seven years. Governor Cox frequently came to Kentucky to hunt and to visit, and he had great friends there, and the Kentucky delegation at San Francisco favored his nomination. I was a delegate at-large at that convention. 00:06:00To my surprise, I didn't attend the state convention which elected the delegates, but I stayed in Washington because Congress was still in session. And to my great surprise, I was included as a delegate-at-large from the state of Kentucky to the San Francisco convention in 1920. And I might add parenthetically that I have been a delegate-at-large from Kentucky ever since, at all the conventions that have been held. Well, I campaigned with Governor Cox, especially when he was campaigning in Kentucky, and I think I went down into Tennessee with him. At any rate, he was very fervently in favor of the League of Nations. He was thoroughly convinced of its righteousness. And in all of the speeches that I heard him make, and in, I think, most of his major speeches, he stood loyally by the League of Nations, as it had been included in the Treaty of Versailles. Mr. Harding, who had 00:07:00been a senator from Ohio for some years, who was not an active candidate before the convention met, but a passive candidate, he was a--he had the support of the Ohio delegation as a sort of favorite son. But as a result of the deadlock between General Wood and Governor Lowden, after he was nominated by the compromise, he took a definite stand against the League of Nations as such. And he campaigned in favor of an Association of Nations in many of his speeches, as I recall them. He pledged himself, and inferentially the Republican Party of which he was the head as a candidate, to an Association of Nations somewhat different from the League of Nations, which probably would not include the covenant about which there was so much controversy, and he was elected. He was elected president--


[Pause in recording.]

BARKLEY: --and of course carried with him a very substantial majority in both the House and the Senate and was consequently inaugurated on the fourth of March, 1921.

SHALETT: I think you remarked at one point that you had had no intimate associations with Harding as a senator.

BARKLEY: No, I had not. I was a comparatively young member of the House from Kentucky, and I knew him like I knew many senators, because the privileges of the floor of the Senate are available to members of the House who go over there and sit around and listen or talk with senators. I knew Senator Harding like I knew many other senators, but I didn't have any intimate association with him, and there's no particular reason why I should except that he was a senator from a neighboring state across the river from Kentucky and there were some common interests down in that section of the country which made it desirable now and then to speak to 00:09:00a neighboring senator about some legislation in which I might be interested.

SHALETT: He did not have the reputation of being one of the great intellectuals or statesmen of the Senate.

BARKLEY: No, he did not. Now, he was a very affable, personable man, a very handsome man. He really looked like a president. He was tall, swarthy of complexion, and very good looking, distinguished looking, and I think that fact jumped him somewhat, not that he out-looked or out-shone Governor Cox, who was a very distinguished looking man too, not quite as tall as Mr. Harding, but I think really more intellectual. Mr. Harding did not have the reputation as being one of the intellectual giants of the Senate. And in his book, which he calls I Knew Them, I think, Senator James E. Watson at some length explains that Mr. Harding did not want to be nominated for president. I had no reason to know whether he did or not. 00:10:00I always doubt the statement that any man who is eligible does not want to be nominated for president, because in our schools from primary grades to graduation our teachers have instilled into us as a motive for our excellent work and ambition that every American boy may hope to be president of the United States. My teachers told me that, and they almost convinced me of it until recently. Anyhow, Senator Watson, who was a great friend of Harding's, he was a senator from Indiana, and by the way a great friend of mine. He and I became great friends in the Senate notwithstanding our political differences, and when he died after he retired--some years after he retired from the Senate, his family asked especially that I be one of the honorary pallbearers at Senator Har---Senator Watson's burial, which I was glad to 00:11:00accept. He says in this book that Harding was not a well man, that he had a chronic disease of some kind or a chronic ailment that made him disinclined to go through the rigors of a campaign or to undertake the office itself. And as you know, he died in 1923 out in San Francisco after a trip to Alaska. And that's somewhat--there was some mystery about what was the matter with Mr. Harding, but if Senator Watson's statement is accurate in his book, it might offer some explanation as to the real fundamental cause of Mr. Harding's death. At any rate, Mr. Harding was inaugurated in '21, and of course took over the government. Woodrow Wilson retired on that day. I think he afforded a tragic example of a man 00:12:00giving his life or his health for a great cause, because I recall that in the parade that day, Wilson and Mrs. Wilson--President and Mrs. Wilson came along in a carriage, a horse-drawn carriage, as a part of the parade, and he showed in his face the terrible suffering that he had endured by reason of a stroke that attacked him in 1919 when he was campaigning all over the country.

SHALETT: Where did you--where were you standing when you saw Wilson pass?

BARKLEY: I was down on Pennsylvania Avenue, somewhere near the Willard Hotel.

SHALETT: In a reviewing stand?

BARKLEY: In a reviewing stand, yes. I had my wife and three children there to witness the parade. And that, I might say, was the last presidential inaugural parade that I ever witnessed, notwithstanding I was always in Washington, except the one in which I had participated as a vice president of the United States in 1949.


SHALETT: ----------(??)

BARKLEY: That was--you said why was?

SHALETT: Why didn't you see any of ----------(??)?

BARKLEY: I got tired of parades, just got tired of them. Just standing and watching them, they're all alike. And it's a terrible ordeal to sit or stand all day and watch a parade. And there's so many people who really like to see them that I thought that I might as well get out of the way of some of them because I didn't care much for parades, and I don't care much for them now. Well, Wilson was a pathetic figure at that time because he was recognized as having been a casualty of the war, really, as much so as any soldier. Well, he had purchased a home out at--on S Street, 2300, as I recall it, S Street. And when he and Mrs. Wilson went out there, great crowds surrounded the house, stood in the street, across the street in a vacant lot, just assembled there out of sheer devotion to 00:14:00him. And he had to come to the window and to the door frequently to acknowledge the plaudits of the people who had assembled there. I was in the crowd with the rest. I had one of my daughters, and Mrs. Wilson came to the door and recognized me and invited me and my daughter into the house. And we went upstairs where Mr. Wilson was seated, or where he was standing at first, and then he asked permission that he might sit down because of his physical condition. Well, of course, President Harding brought to Washington his cabinet. He--I can't recall all of them, but I think Mr. Edwin Denby was Secretary of the Navy, and he became involved later to some extent in the rather unfortunate episode involving naval oil 00:15:00reserves. He had given his consent to the transfer of some of these oil reserves. He brought Albert B. Fall, who was a senator with him in the Senate for a number of years, into the cabinet as Secretary of the Interior. And by the way, I don't say this with any degree of pride, but as a matter of fact, he was born in Kentucky and went west. And there's a very amusing episode that took place later while he was in the cabinet. It seems he had boarded with a widow in Morganfield, Kentucky, and left without paying his board bill. And he'd been out to the West a long time, had supposedly gotten rich and was--became a senator and a member of the cabinet. He still had not paid that bill. And I had received a letter from a lawyer, a prominent lawyer in Morganfield calling my attention to the fact that Fall still owed that (laughs) board bill, and asked me to see what 00:16:00I could do about it. Well, I sent the letter down to Mr. Fall with a courteous accompanying note, and he paid that bill, I'll say. He paid that bill with interest on it for a number of years. I don't know how much it finally amounted to. Well, that's a mere little personal episode that I suppose might happen because of a lapse of memory or something. Anyhow it amused me very much and it humiliated me a little too that a man born in Kentucky going west and becoming apparently well-to-do would overlook a bill like that. Anyhow, he became very seriously involved, as you know, in the scandal involving Teapot Dome, which had been set aside as an oil reserve for the use of our Navy. And he was accused and indicted and convicted of receiving a bribe of a hundred thousand dollars while a member of the cabinet, as Secretary of the Interior, for his part in the disposition of Teapot Dome. Edward L. 00:17:00Doheny, the big oil man of the West, was also involved. And the papers were full of the fact that he had visited Mr. Fall with a little black satchel in which he was supposed to have this money. Fall admitted taking the money, but contended that it was a loan, not a gift. Anyhow, he was indicted and tried and convicted. But I don't think he ever actually served because they claimed his health was such that he couldn't stand a term in the penitentiary. Well, as attorney general he brought Harry Daugherty from Ohio, a personal, political friend. He became involved in all sorts of scandals. And there was a fellow named Smith who he put in an office there, who had lived in what they called the Little Green House on K Street, which became very famous. He committed suicide.


SHALETT: Little Green House?

BARKLEY: Little Green House on K Street. He committed suicide on account of the revelation. And he had a man named Forbes, I've forgotten his first name, Charles Forbes, I believe, also a personal friend, who was appointed head of the Bureau of War Risk Insurance, which is now the Veterans Administration. It was the bureau that dispensed compensation and benefits under the laws passed by Congress to disabled veterans. He was indicted and convicted for corruption and thievery in permitting the spoliation of the entire Veterans Bureau as it is now called, sheets and pillow slips and medicines and things like that. It was a terrible scandal involving the rights of our ex-servicemen. And--

SHALETT: ----------(??)----------

BARKLEY: He--in addition to these men whom I have mentioned, Mr. 00:19:00Harding appointed a man named Thomas W. Miller, who had served in Congress for two or three terms, as Alien Property Custodian, whose duties were to conserve and protect the property of aliens that was taken over by the government during the war so that it could not be used against us by the enemy. Well, Mr. Miller became involved in corruption and graft and the stealing of these funds, and he served a term in the penitentiary also by indictment and conviction. I mention these things because they were exposed by--largely by investigations carried on in the Senate. The Teapot Dome Scandal was exposed largely by Senator Thomas Walsh of Montana, a very able lawyer, and who was to 00:20:00become attorney general under Franklin D. Roosevelt if he had not died on the very eve of the inauguration.

SHALETT: Senator, at this point from your long observations in Washington, isn't it a fact and a pathetic fact, a tragic fact that almost any man who serves long enough in Washington, regardless of his even militant integrity, would be approached at some time with some deal that would be shady and bring you to anger. How do you deal with that?

BARKLEY: Well, I wouldn't say that every man who serves in Washington is approached by venal interests in an effort to sell out the people and sell out the government and to accept bribes or things of that sort. But many men are approached, and if there is any reason on the part of a selfish interest to believe that the approach may be successful, the greater his influence and the longer his service there, the more apt he is to be approached 00:21:00with such purposes. But it is not true that every man in public life is thus approached. I would hate to think that every single man or woman who serves in any public capacity, whether elective or appointed, in Washington is constantly defending himself or herself against the approach of these selfish interests who are willing to pay any price to get something that they want from the government. Of course, many men have reputations for integrity and scrupulous honesty so well-known that nobody would approach them with any improper motive or any improper suggestion or proposition. But if a man is really honest and above any such corrupt motives and should be approached on a subject of that kind, the only thing for him to do is to denounce the person 00:22:00who makes the effort or kick him out of his office.

SHALETT: Have you ever had to do that?

BARKLEY: Well, I never kicked anybody out of my office, but I had once a proposal that would have made me very wealthy if I had been willing to accept it for some important matter involving legislation and executive policy. And of course, as soon as the matter came--was broached to me, I dismissed the man and told him that I was not in that sort of business and that I wouldn't even talk to him again about it or anything else, that I was through with him. Well, that's the only way I know of to deal with it, because if you're even courteous or play the part of a gentleman in such a situation, they think that's an evidence of weakness and they'll come at you again. You've got to nip it in the bud at the very beginning, let it be known that you're not out for that kind of business.

SHALETT: There have been examples of people who have integrity, but 00:23:00by their politeness and who haven't been forthright enough to denounce the shady party, who've had their own reputations irretrievably ruined.

BARKLEY: Oh, yes. That's true. And of course, a man in public life, in a sense, is helpless in this sense there. People come to Washington on all sorts of missions; they want something from the government. They may visit a senator or a member of the House or a cabinet member or any man in a high public position and talk to him in a perfectly legitimate way about the thing, maybe seeking advice ostensibly or asking maybe that if it comes around so that a good word could be spoken in behalf of the proposition, that they would do it. Well, there's no direct effort to bribe on the surface. There's no proposal made. Well, it may happen that in the course of time what the man wanted is granted by the government, by some department. He may, in order to 00:24:00entrench himself with his employer--with his particular interest, may write a letter home that he saw Senator So-and-so about this matter and it's gone through. Or after it has gone through, he may say or write that he saw a certain Senator and talked to him about it, and the matter has been settled to their advantage, and leave the impression that he has had tremendous influence over the senator or over the member of the cabinet or over the member of the House, so that he may ingratiate himself with his employer or his particular interests or his associates as a man of great influence. And frequently that--it got--if the public should hear that sort of statement or see such a letter that these irresponsible people would write, it would create the impression that this man had been subjected to undue influence for which he'd received pay. And you know, it's always harder to chase 00:25:00a lie down and nail it than it is to start it. And in many cases, men's reputations have been irreparably damaged by somebody who wanted to brag about how much influence he had with a certain senator.

SHALETT: A crook like that could even put down a fake item that he paid so-and-so some--


SHALETT: --and pocketed it.

BARKLEY: Of course, he could. Of course, he could. He could put in a--he could pad his expense account and conceal it so it wouldn't know--or he could even say he paid a man so much money when he didn't pay him a cent, and the man wouldn't have accepted a cent. But that man--of course, if he's crooked enough to try to bribe a member of the Congress of the United States, he's crooked enough to hide his expenses and claim anything for his own benefit. Well, those things do happen, and a man has to be always on his guard up there, because a lot of these purveyors of influence and these seekers of official favors are smart. And they come in, and of course, they're suave, they're polite, 00:26:00and they're--like Shakespeare said, "A man may smile and smile and smile and be a villain still." And frequently, many of them are.

SHALETT: Is there any law against--that punishes the bribe offerer as well as the bribe taker?

BARKLEY: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. There's a law against that, indeed. Well now, I mentioned these scandals--and they were scandals. They--I suppose they were the most outstanding examples of official venality and corruption that has taken place, certainly in my memory, and I'm not sure that at any time in the history of the country there was as much of it covering as many people as was involved during the Harding administration. Now, there was a scandal back in Grant's administration and the Hayes administration on the part of a Secretary of War in regard to some contract. Well, that involved only one or two men. This 00:27:00involved almost the whole administration. It involved the Department of Justice, it involved the Interior Department, it involved the Navy Department, it involved the Veterans Administration, it involved the Alien Property Custodian, and it was a terrible thing. And of course, not only Senator Walsh of Montana led in the exposition of these conditions, but also his colleague, Senator Burton K. Wheeler, I think, played a prominent part in the exposing of the corruption in the Veterans Administration and in the Alien Property Custodian's office and other places. Well of course, all that became a great issue. In the meantime, when it was at its height, Mr. Harding died. Many people have asserted that he died really of a broken heart because of the scandals in his administration. They charged that the Ohio Gang, which he had brought to Washington, had exploited the government 00:28:00and had reaped millions of dollars in corrupt rewards for betraying the public and all that. And if Mr. Harding were a sensitive man, which he probably was, it would necessarily have preyed upon his mind. And because of that situation and because of what I've already referred to as Senator Watson's statement that before he was ever nominated for president he was afflicted with some chronic malady that made him fear that he would not be able to undertake the burden, all of that created a good deal of mystery at the time about the cause of Mr. Harding's death. But I know nothing about that, because that was a matter for the doctors, and I'm just giving now the general public impression about it at the time.

SHALETT: You had no personal contacts with Harding during his brief time in office?

BARKLEY: Oh, no important contacts. I was out to the White House two or three times. I recall that I had been invited 00:29:00to make a Democratic speech in Marion, Ohio, which was Mr. Harding's home. Mr. Harding had owned the newspaper there, which he sold, I think, while he was president. And there was a lot of talk about that, that he got more money than it was worth. Well, that all grew out of this terrible scandalous situation to such an extent that every time anybody did anything they were almost sure to be accused of getting something on the side. I knew nothing about the value of Mr. Harding's newspaper, and I always assumed that nobody would have wanted to buy it for very much more than it was worth if he intended to run a legitimate newspaper. Well, I think the Democrats of Marion, that county, had a Jefferson-Jackson Day event, and they invited me out there to speak. And I did. And of course, I lit into the Harding administration for its shortcomings, naturally. Well, a week or so later, there was a reception at the White House, and Mrs. Barkley and I attended. And as we walked 00:30:00by the president and Mrs. Harding and shook hands, I said, "Mr. President, I was out in your hometown the other day making a rip-snorting Democratic speech against your administration." Well, he smiled rather graciously, and he said, "I hope they treated you becomingly." And I didn't go into details as what he meant by becomingly, but I told him I was treated very well, and so on. Well, I do recall too another thing. I was--after I got back from San Francisco where I'd attended the convention and helped nominate Governor Cox, I went back to Washington where my family were still there remaining until I could get back. We--we drove home from Washington, but we went around up the Hudson River and up the Mohawk Valley to Niagara Falls. None of us had ever seen Niagara Falls, so I wanted to show them my fa---my family the great falls there. Then we went to 00:31:00Buffalo and put our car on a lake steamer and went to bed and slept all night and woke up the next morning in Cleveland. And we drove down through Ohio. And to show even the curiosity of a Congressman and his family about the home of a candidate for president, we drove through Marion and drove down the street to see Mr. Harding's home, and we saw him there on the front porch conferring with his friends and supporters. He made a sort of a front-porch campaign that year. Then we drove on down to Dayton and out to Trail's End, which was Governor Cox's home. And we drove up in front of his house where he was conferring with a lot of friends on the front porch. And we didn't approach the house, just looked at it from a distance. But I don't think anybody ever gets beyond the point where they don't like to see the circumstances and the environment and the home of the man who may become president of the United States. Later on in that year and campaign, I saw more of Governor Cox and campaigned 00:32:00with him. Well--

[Pause in recording.]

BARKLEY: Well, I have already stated that Mr. Harding, Senator Harding, as a Republican candidate, pledged himself to an Association of Nations. Well, he was elected and had a majority of both houses, but so far as I now recall, he never proposed any Association of Nations. He never made it a recommendation of his administration that any kind of Association of Nations should be organized. Of course, the League of Nations was already in existence; we had refused to join it. And I always thought that his promise to support an Association of Nations after he was elected was done for the purpose of satisfying a great many Republicans who were friendly to the League of Nations and thought there ought to be some kind of international organization to preserve peace and to prevent war. But after he was elected, he never, 00:33:00as I recall now, recommended it or proposed it, and then shortly thereafter made a separate treaty of peace with Germany, which our people--which almost--Mr. Wilson, I think, had almost pledged our allies in the war not to do, that we would not make a separate peace with Germany, but the Harding administration did so. Well of course, there were some things that Mr. Harding advocated that were, I thought, very well-taken. For instance--well, he had appointed Charles E. Hughes Secretary of State. And in my book, Charles E. Hughes has been one of the great Americans, one of the great men of our generation. I had really admired him from the day he was the attorney for the Armstrong Committee in New York, investigating the insurance scandal. And he exposed the insurance scandal of the great insurance companies and brought about their reorganization 00:34:00in many respects as the attorney for the Armstrong Committee of the New York Legislature. And it was largely because of his work as the attorney for the Armstrong Committee that he was nominated and elected governor of the state of New York. And then he was appointed justice of the Supreme Court, and then nominated for president in 1916 on the Republican ticket, and later became chief justice of the United States. And I always had a great admiration, a deep admiration for Chief Justice Hughes. My closest association with him was as a member of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution. Under the law, the chief justice presides over that body. And I was a member of it by reason of my position in the Senate, and I got very well acquainted with Mr. Hughes. And I found that instead of the austere man, which was the impression many people had of him, that he was a very human, approachable, affable, friendly man with 00:35:00great dignity. And I admired his posture. I admired his looks. He looked like a great man. He looked like an old Greek, like Demosthenes or some of those old Greeks whose busts are now stationed around different places in all the libraries that can afford them. So he was Secretary of State under Mr. Harding, and Harding called a conference in Washington for disarmament, and Mr. Hughes as Secretary of State presided over it. And there was always--they provided in this agreement for certain reduction in naval armaments, especially naval armament. And it was hailed as a great accomplishment in behalf of peace. And yet it was criticized subsequently because it was said that we really scrapped our--part of 00:36:00our Navy by the destruction of actual ships in existence, whereas Great Britain only scrapped blueprints of ships, and did not scrap or destroy any of those that were in--actually in existence. Now, I think that criticism was somewhat exaggerated. I think the object of the conference was good. I think if the world had gone on in a normal way, and all the disturbing elements had not arisen in Europe and in Asia as a result of the aftermath of World War number one, that conference might have accomplished some good. But as it turned out, it's doubtful whether it did accomplish any good except as an evidence of the fact that governments were willing even to talk about disarmament and reduction in armaments and the burdens on the people, notwithstanding subsequent events made those gestures futile.

SHALETT: You don't think anyone could be expected to have looked 00:37:00into the future at that time?

BARKLEY: No. Nobody could have been expected. As a matter of fact, it was a matter of common statement and common belief that after all the suffering and all the tragedy and the devastation of World War I, that no nation, no people would tolerate another world war within our generation. And it was a legitimate belief, because the agencies of war have become so destructive that it's incredible that any nation would want deliberately to plunge itself or the world into another war. But anyhow, it came about as a result of events over which we had no control and for which we were not responsible. Well, those--so much for that. The Harding administration started out legislatively--of course, the Underwood-Simmons Tariff Law had been enacted in the first year of Mr. Wilson's administration. And it was described, I think, by impartial judges as the fairest and the most honest tariff law ever written in the history of the country. But when the Republicans came in under 00:38:00Mr. Harding, they of course wanted to change that law. They thought the tariff rates were too low; they believed still in protection of interests, and the farmers' situation had gotten a little depressed. And the first thing they did was to pass a rather quick, what they called a Farmers' Tariff Law. They passed a law raising the tariff on farm products that come into this country as a protection to the farmers. It did not do much good, but it was a gesture, and it was one of the old chronic methods that they always pull out of the hat whenever there's anything goes wrong with the country. Well, then they passed some legislation of one kind or another, nothing of very great importance, until a little later they did revise completely the Underwood-Simmons Tariff Law with the Fordney-McCumber Act, which was higher tariff than the Payne-Aldrich Tariff except as to Schedule K, which 00:39:00was the rock on which the Taft administration had been wrecked in 1909. And then they later passed, under Mr. Hoover, another tariff law which I'll comment on in a moment. Well, in the meantime, in the summer of 1923, which is two years after Mr. Harding was inaugurated, he took this trip to Alaska by boat from San Francisco and back and then died. And then Mr. Coolidge as Vice President became president of the United States. Well, Coolidge was an entirely different type of man from Mr. Harding. Harding was what you might describe as the back-slapping type, affable, a professional hand-shaker. He'd been a candidate for office in Ohio practically all his life, and he had served in the state legislature, and as the lieutenant governor of the state, and he'd been elected senator, and all that. But Mr. Coolidge was 00:40:00a different type of man. He had come up from the lower ranks of officialdom in Massachusetts, born in Vermont, but moved over into Massachusetts. He became mayor of Northampton; he became governor of the state. And while he was governor, there was a police strike in the city of Boston, a strike among the policemen. Mayor Peters, with whom I had served in the House of Representatives, had in the meantime been elected mayor of the city of Boston. And Mr. Coolidge made an announcement that popularized him all over the country, that policemen should not strike against the state or the city, and he got the credit for settling the strike of policemen in the city of Boston while governor. As a matter of fact, Mayor Peters, I think the record would show, played a greater part in the settlement of that strike than the governor did. But of course, he was just mayor 00:41:00of Boston, and the governor of the state had wider publicity, and he had a more important vision, so Coolidge got widespread credit for the settlement of that policemen's strike in Boston. And largely based upon that reputation for courage and integrity in office, he was nominated on the ticket with Mr. Harding for vice president of the United States. He'd gone to the convention as a sort of a favorite-son candidate himself. He had the endorsement of his own delegation, but he was not seriously considered as a compromise candidate when Governor Lowden and General Leonard Wood destroyed themselves by their own fight, their bitter fight over the nomination. So Mr. Coolidge was nominated with Harding for vice president, and of course became President on the death of Harding.

SHALETT: Had you come to know Coolidge as vice president?

BARKLEY: I knew him as vice president, yes. Of course, as I have said many times, members of the House are free to 00:42:00go over--


BARKLEY: --and sit around in the Senate and talk to any Senator. They can even go up and speak to the vice president. Now I never did intrude myself up at the rostrum where the vice president presides while Mr. Coolidge was there. But I met him and knew him. And he was not an impressive looking man, good looking man enough all right, probably above average, but you wouldn't pick him out in a crowd as a great outstanding statesman, because he was of fairly average stature, his face was most frequently immobile, you--it was--he didn't betray what was in his heart or in his mind by any expression on his face. Anyhow--

SHALETT: Since you've mentioned that, why don't you jump ahead of the story a little and tell the story you told earlier at breakfast?

BARKLEY: (laughs) Well, Mr. Coolidge--if this will not be regarded as too much of a diversion--while he was President, especially after he was 00:43:00elected in 1924 for a full four-year term on his own, he had a--he formed a habit, which was a very gracious habit, of inviting senators down to the White House for breakfast about once a week, as often as he wanted to, and they were always glad to go. There was nothing discussed of any consequence at these breakfasts; no great problem of government was discussed, no legislative program. They were made up usually of Democrats and Republicans alike. Well, on one occasion--one or two occasions, I was included in the list of senators who had breakfast with Mr. Coolidge. And this--on this particular morning that I mentioned--

SHALETT: Did he feed you well?

BARKLEY: Oh yeah, he fed--his breakfasts were delicious. I might give you the breakfast we had the morning--one of the mornings I was there. Cantaloupe, corn flakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, griddle cakes, Vermont syrup, and 00:44:00coffee. Pretty decent breakfast, I'd say. Well, on this particular morning, we were all seated around this round table, not in the big dining room but off in the family dining room. There were ten or twelve senators. Well, Mr. Coolidge had just returned from the Black Hills out in the Dakotas where he made that historic announcement that he did not choose to run. And that landed with such that it created very great doubt whether Mr. Coolidge really meant not to run or whether he was just toying with the idea, because it was an old-fashioned expression, "I do not choose." I can remember as a boy many times when visitors would come to our house for dinner and my mother would pass the vegetables or the preserves or some fruit or some delicious dish to our visitors and say, "Would you have something more?" And his answer would be, "No, I don't choose any more." That meant he didn't want any more and wouldn't take any more. And it was in that sense that Coolidge used this 00:45:00expression, "I do not choose to run again." But barely--because he said he didn't choose to run, and most people not being familiar with that old-fashioned expression at the table to which I've referred, a great doubt grew up in the minds of people and in the press as to whether Mr. Coolidge meant it. And that reminded me of a story of a country boy down in my country who graduated at the same college where I graduated, but he never had anything to do with the girls. He never went w ith a girl; he'd never had a date. And finally he went up to the state university and graduated and came back there, and he got a school out in the country to teach. And while out there he fell kind of in love with a very lovely country girl, and he spent all one Saturday afternoon writing a note to her asking if he could call on her the next day, which was Sunday. And he finally got the note fixed up to his satisfaction, sent it over by a neighbor boy, and she wrote back and told him that she'd be delighted to have him call on her the next day. And when he got the note and read it, then 00:46:00he got on his own horse and rode over and called her out to the front gate and asked her if she meant it. (laughs) Well, that was a result of inexperience. Well, a lot of people doubted very much whether Coolidge meant it when he said he didn't choose to run, but he really did mean it. Well, anyhow, it took--

SHALETT: You don't think it's true, as some observers have commented, that Mr. Hoover pulled those canned preserves away from him too quick after that. (Barkley laughs) That he really didn't want any more.

[Pause in recording.]

OTHER VOICE: This is the end of track number one of reel thirteen of the Barkley tapes.

[Pause in recording.]

OTHER VOICE: This is side number two of tape number thirteen, the Barkley tapes.

[Pause in recording.]

SHALETT: We're back on now, Senator. You got me so interested I let the tape go. I had asked you if Mr. Hoover pulled the canned preserves away from Coolidge too quick, and you were answering.

BARKLEY: Well, I don't know. Mr. Coolidge--Mr. Hoover was Secretary of 00:47:00Commerce, having been appointed first by Mr. Harding, and he was kept by Mr. Coolidge during the rest of his administration. And Hoover was nominated for president, of course, to succeed Mr. Coolidge and elected. But I don't know how--although Mr. Hoover was much touted as an expert in practically everything, engineering and everything else, and in government too, I do not know how expert he was in pulling preserves from in front of his boss, the president. At any rate, getting back to this breakfast, we were all seated around, and Mr. Coolidge had just announced that he would not--didn't choose to run again, and there was a great deal of speculation about who would be nominated, and who Mr. Hoover--Coolidge would favor as his successor, if anybody. Well, Caraway--Senator Caraway of Arkansas was a great needler, and he was a kind of a Peck's bad boy in a way in a crowd. He was always prodding people and playing mischievous jokes upon them. And in a 00:48:00lull in the conversation, in which Mr. Coolidge had taken no part because he was devoting himself to eating this delicious breakfast, and everybody else was talking about anything that concerned them or concerned their next-door neighbor at the table. But in a lull in the conversation, Caraway said, "Mr. President, I see you've announced that you're not going to run again, and we're all interested in who the Republican nominee will be." He said, "I'm for Dawes. I'm for vice president Dawes as far as I'm concerned." Well, everybody knew that there was not any great love between President Coolidge and Vice President Dawes. In the first place, they didn't agree on the agricultural situation. Dawes rather favored the McNary-Haugen farm legislation, which Coolidge vetoed. And in addition to that, Mr. Dawes was asleep at the Willard Hotel one day when Mr. Coolidge's nominee for Attorney General, Charles B. Warren, was being voted on in the Senate. And it was a tie vote, and a tie vote 00:49:00kills anything because everything has to get a majority. And Mr. Dawes was asleep at the Willard Hotel, which was a habit of his after lunch, and he was aroused and rushed like Paul Revere over to the Capitol, but he got there too late. Mr. Warren had been defeated, and Coolidge never was very enthusiastic about that, and he always blamed Mr. Dawes for being asleep at the switch when an important appointment of his. So there wasn't much love between them, and so Caraway said to Mr. Coolidge, "I'm for Dawes, myself." Well, everybody was very much amused, and they watched Mr. Coolidge's expression to see what reaction he had to that. Well, it was the funniest thing I nearly ever witnessed. Instead of any reaction whatever or opening his mouth to say a word, which he never did, he just filled his mouth full of scrambled eggs and sausage and hot cakes and syrup, and he chewed down upon them like a squirrel eating a nut, and never gave expression to any sentiment. Not by a word 00:50:00or by any facial expression did anybody know what his reaction was to Caraway's mischievous remark. But he had a facility for that. If he didn't want you to know what he was thinking about, he had a way of making his face utterly immobile so that you could not detect what he was thinking by the way he looked.

SHALETT: Jumping you a generation here, did you ever get caught on missing an important tie vote when you were vice president?

BARKLEY: No I did not. I was always present, and I think I untied as many tie votes as most any president--vice president for the same length of time. Henry Wallace got--he got caught one time down in the restaurant of the Senate. There was a tie vote, and he didn't go up from the restaurant up to the Senate to vote. And of course, whatever it was was lost, and Henry was--he was joshed and kidded a good deal and criticized a little by not coming on up and voting. But of course, you don't know whether there's going to be a tie until they actually take place. And when there is one, whoever's in the chair presiding 00:51:00can't wait to send off downstairs or downtown to get the vice president to come there and untie the vote. So it wasn't really Henry's fault, but still it just--it was an unfortunate episode.

SHALETT: Well, we can cover that in the chapter on the vice president.

BARKLEY: Yeah. Sure.

SHALETT: I think we're back to Coolidge now.

BARKLEY: Yeah. Well, Mr. Coolidge became President. Well, in the meantime, these scandals of the Harding administration, which I've outlined, were still in the headlines. And the Democrats made a great issue of these scandals and this terrible record in the campaign of 1924. And the situation was such, and there was so much unfavorable comment in the press and in the public about this thing that had happened with the war just over with, and with all of our boys having gone to war in Europe for the first time in a really--an international war in which we participated, there was a great deal of criticism 00:52:00on the theory that when the war was over and we were bringing our men back and trying to forget the unpleasant episodes of the war, that a gang moved into control of our government and took advantage of the people while they had their backs turned to steal nearly everything that was loose. That was the way the people were talking. Well, it looked like a great political issue, and under ordinary circumstances, would have been. And I think it's fair to say that when the Republican convention met in Cleveland in 1924 and nominated Mr. Coolidge and Mr. Dawes for president and Vice President, the vast majority, even of them, didn't believe they could win the election in 1924 due to these unfortunate scandals. Well, of course, that pessimism was dissipated and offset by the fact that the Democratic convention met in New York at Madison Square Garden and got into an interminable and bitter fight between Governor Alfred E. Smith of New York and former 00:53:00Secretary of the Treasury William G. McAdoo. It took 105 ballots to nominate a candidate. Finally, both of them had to be eliminated. There were other candidates. Senator Underwood of Alabama was a candidate, and it's even a tradition now how on all those 105 ballots, the governor of Alabama, whose name was Brandon, would rise in a chair and say, "Twenty-four votes for Underwood." A hundred and five times he shouted that until it got to be a password, a byword, that "twenty-four votes for Underwood." Well, Underwood was a very able and a very great man, but he just didn't have a chance to get that nomination. Well, we fought so much and engendered so much bitterness in that--the convention that finally nominated John W. Davis, a very able lawyer and a very able diplomat and a very able statesman. But we had lost all chance to win the election before that convention adjourned in New York in 1924. Davis made a very able and consistent 00:54:00and statesmanlike, constructive campaign. But Coolidge was a man of--he had established such a reputation for integrity and honesty as governor of Massachusetts, and having gotten rid of all of these fellows in the Harding Cabinet who'd been responsible for these scandals, that people reacted to him very favorably and said, "Well, in spite of all these things that have happened under Harding, Mr. Coolidge is a different kind of man." And he turned out to be, because I think Calvin Coolidge is a man of impeccable honesty and integrity. Not a brilliant man, nobody would claim that he was brilliant, but he was--he fitted into the time. We were fairly prosperous. It turned out to be a hectic prosperity. It was a hectic flush on the cheek of our economic system, like the hectic flush on the cheek of a tuberculosis patient. It gives the appearance of health, but underneath is fundamentally bad. But that 00:55:00all happened after Coolidge went out. The debacle occurred in the Hoover administration, but the times were such that a man who was not glamorous, a man who let nature take its course, a man who was not agitating anything, seemed to be the type of man the people approved as President. And Hoover--Coolidge made a great reputation for himself.

SHALETT: The Democrats missed their chance in '24 by squabbling.

BARKLEY: They missed their chance.

SHALETT: They probably could have won.

BARKLEY: They missed their chance. Now of course, that's speculative. You can always say what might have happened in the world if something else had happened that didn't.

SHALETT: That's the way it seems to you, in this respect.

BARKLEY: But it was--we felt at the time that we had thrown away our chance by the bitter fight at New York over the nomination of our candidate and finally had to agree on a good man, but a man who didn't have any particular appeal to 00:56:00the imagination of the American people because he had served in the House, and he'd been Solicitor General, and he'd been ambassador to England, and he'd come back to New York and was practicing law and doing extremely well, but it wasn't the type of man who appealed to the imagination and the glamour of the people.

SHALETT: Speculating a little further, do you think if the Democrats had won in '24 then the Depression of '29 would also have occurred and been tagged on the Democrats?

BARKLEY: Well, I don't much think so, because I think, as I will undertake to discuss a little later, that one of the things that brought about the Depression in the 30's was the foolish legislation that was enacted in the Hoover administration, in part, building a tariff wall around the United States, higher than ever before, and so high that almost nobody could come in with products, and we couldn't get out with them, and setting the example for all the nations of the world to do the same thing, because following our example 00:57:00in 1930 in the enactment of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Law, which I will come to at some other time, every nation almost did the same thing. They erected these artificial barriers around their country, seeking to protect their own industries against anybody. And they created so many national, water-tight, air-tight compartments in commerce and industry and economics and international trade that it was felt very largely--and I was one of those who felt--that we had set the example for all this extreme nationalism that followed in the wake of the so-called era of prosperity, when stock market prices went up and up and up. And whenever--if they started down for only two or three days, would find the Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Mellon, who had been appointed also by Harding, a 00:58:00very able financier all right, and he left a great monument to himself in the National Gallery of Art in Washington because of the enormous wealth that he had amassed during his lifetime. But whenever the stock market would drop for a few days, Mr. Mellon would issue a statement saying that the basis of our economic condition is sound, and stocks ought to go up instead of down, and they would go up. And on one or two occasions when Mr. Mellon's announcement didn't start them back up, the president would do the same thing by undertaking to scotch the decline in the value of stocks on the stock exchanges.

SHALETT: This was during the Coolidge administration.

BARKLEY: The Coolidge administration and merging into the Hoover administration, because Mr. Mellon continued to be Secretary of the Treasury under Mr. Hoover after he became President. Well, all of that--of course, that was the beginning of an artificial situation which revealed the unsoundness of our economic 00:59:00foundations, and the thing began to topple all around and--but Mr. Coolidge was really never blamed for any of it or any contribution to it, because he went out of office before the thing broke. It broke in the middle of Mr. Hoover's administration. And I think, as I said, one of the reasons why it was precipitated was the enactment of this monstrous tariff law, as I felt, because I fought it in the Senate. I was active in fighting the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, and I felt that it was unjust to the American people, that it was heaping burdens upon them that could not be justified, and--because they had to pay all that, because as Alexander Hamilton, the father of the Republican Party--or the Federalist Party, which was one of the Republican Party's ancestors, said, "You can tax the coats off of the backs of the people, and if they don't know it, they will not revolt against it." Well, so Mr. Coolidge--he escaped really the 01:00:00responsibility in the public's mind of having contributed to this terrible depression, which so affected our economy and our political and economic and social lives--

[Pause in recording.]

BARKLEY: --following his administration.

SHALETT: It was no secret in Washington that he didn't like Mr. Hoover too well.

BARKLEY: Well, that was--there was a contradiction there. It was rather paradoxical, because Hoover had been appointed Secretary of Commerce under Harding, and he remained under Coolidge.

SHALETT: No scandals connected with--

BARKLEY: No scandals. No, there was no scandal connected with his administration, although he was criticized somewhat for sitting in cabinet meetings with men who were responsible for these scandals, like Daugherty and Fall, and even then to a smaller degree. And when he became the nominee of the Republican Party, and even before that when he was seeking the nomination, people would say, "While Mr. Hoover is an honest man, 01:01:00yet he sat there in cabinet meetings with these men who were indicted and convicted of fraud upon the government, and why didn't he do something about it or say something about it?" Well now, that's a question that nobody can answer, because what happens in cabinet meetings is usually confidential. I've attended many cabinet meetings, and I never revealed after one of them anything that happened within them, because it wasn't my business to do so.

SHALETT: Just for the record, what was the chronology of the Teapot Dome? It broke during the Harding administration. And were the indictments returned under that administration or--

BARKLEY: No, I think the indictments were returned after Harding died. I'm not--I'd have to check on that, but I think that's true.

SHALETT: And did these men resign office when indicted? Or when--

BARKLEY: They did--they--you see, Daugherty, the Attorney General, was still in office when Coolidge--when Harding died and Coolidge took over. Coolidge practically fired him, asked for his resignation. I think that Fall did not resign 01:02:00until he was indicted, and I'm not certain at the moment whether he was indicted before Mr. Harding died or afterwards under the Coolidge regime. I'm not certain about that. But at any rate, the whole thing merged between the Harding and Coolidge administration, and a great many of these revelations took place after Mr. Coolidge took over as president to succeed Harding. But the chronology of them I'd have to check up on, because they were happening so fast there that it's difficult after nearly thirty years--and it has been thirty years--without reference to the record to remember which one happened first, who resigned first, who was indicted first, and all the rest of the details. Well, of course, then Coolidge, he announced that he would not be a candidate, and Mr. Hoover was--of course, at the time, the funny thing about Mr. Hoover, and I suppose he wouldn't appreciate having this said any more than General Eisenhower would, but Mr. Hoover was somewhat in the same 01:03:00situation that General Eisenhower was. He was a part of the Wilson ----------(??) that he was head of the Food Administration. He had been made--he had been head of the Belgian Relief Commission during World War I, and he had never been active in politics, and Wilson brought him back to the United States and made him head of the Food Administration, and he was a part of the Wilson set-up. And as 1920 came along, there was a good deal of talk about Mr. Hoover for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States. And there was quite a feeling that while he'd never been active in politics, that being a part of the Wilson administration and a very important part of it, that he must be a Democrat, that he never had announced which he was, Democrat or Republican. And there was quite a feeling at the time that if he had received or had been offered the Democratic nomination for president, he might have accepted it. Whether he would, I do not know. But anyhow, there was widespread discussion of it. Well then, of course, when Harding was elected, Hoover went into the Harding cabinet and of course identified himself 01:04:00with the Republican Party and--as Secretary of Commerce and so forth, and then finally as a candidate for the Republican nomination. Now whether Mr. Coolidge promoted Mr. Hoover's nomination in an effort to name his own successor, which many presidents have attempted to do, and some of them successfully, I do not know. But there were all sorts of rumors and gossip around Washington that Mr. Coolidge was not too enthusiastic about Mr. Hoover as the Republican nominee, and made rather snide--if I may use that term--disparaging remarks about him, nothing particularly bad, but just indicating his mental attitude.

SHALETT: Calling him 'wonder boy.'

BARKLEY: Yeah, referring to him--after--as Coolidge's term drew to a close and it was obvious that Mr. Hoover was going to be nominated, and after he was elected in the fall of 1928, people would 01:05:00go down to the White House to get Mr. Coolidge to do something about something, and he'd say, "Oh, I'll wait and let the wonder boy attend to that after he goes into office," referred to Mr. Hoover as the wonder boy. Well, that was not regarded as a great compliment. Although he may have been a wonder boy, it wasn't in that sense that Mr. Coolidge used the term. Well anyhow, then Coolidge didn't--there was no outstanding act of legislation or of executive policy while Mr. Coolidge was President. The times didn't seem to call for any aggressive or any positive action. The country had been through a world war, it was fairly prosperous, the stock market went up and up and up, and things looked wonderful on the surface. And the people just wanted to be let alone. They didn't want any agitation, any legislation, and Mr. Hoover--Mr. Coolidge fitted into that situation, because he did not agitate much, and he did not recommend much. And as a result, there was not very much done in the way 01:06:00of legislative innovation or executive innovation in the pattern of our government.

SHALETT: Life in Congress was very gentle then compared to what it is now.

BARKLEY: Yes. Oh my, it was very gentle. Of course, the work of Congress, the individual errand-boy work of members of Congress had vastly increased due to the war and to the great increase in the number of injured and ailing ex-servicemen who had claims upon the government, and which they took up with their Congressman and

Senator, and which no one of them could ignore, and so forth. But so far as legislation and great broad policies of government were concerned, it was an easy time for members of Congress, compared to the period of World War I and the period, of course, that followed Coolidge's administration, even during the Hoover administration when things began to go from bad to worse and the whole economy of the country collapsed and brought about great widespread disaster to all the people. So 01:07:00I'll just--so much for that. There may be some--one or two outstanding policies that I want to discuss a little more in detail when I refresh my memory about them, but I think in general that is a fair picture of the Harding and Coolidge administrations without any effort to give figures or dates, which are dull and usually uninteresting.

SHALETT: Then the engineer came after.

BARKLEY: The engineer. Yeah, the great engineer, as he was called. I don't use that term with any derogation at all, but it was a common term about Mr. Hoover. He was not a lawyer, he was not a professor, he was not a historian. He had been an engineer, a world-wide engineer, many of his activities in China in the mining industry. He was a mining engineer, and he was reputed to have accumulated great wealth in that industry. I know nothing 01:08:00about that except what I've read and heard, because it's none of my business. And he was evidently a successful man in his profession. He took over on March the fourth, 1929. I would like to say just this about Mr. Coolidge from a personal standpoint.

SHALETT: Coolidge.

BARKLEY: Coolidge, yes. He was, as I said, not a glamorous man. He was--he had a sort of a sly sense of humor that the people never knew anything about, and he could be very gracious and gallant on occasion. I remember while he was President, my mother, who was quite an elderly lady, came to Washington to visit with my family and me.

SHALETT: I believe we have the story about your mother's visit to Coolidge on, Senator. You're going to tell instead--

BARKLEY: Yes, I will not repeat that. I recall that I did tell you about that the other day. Well, he not only had a sly sense of humor, but many of his characteristics gave 01:09:00great amusement to people who heard about them. He was very reticent, you know. He had nothing much--he was not a great conversationalist. I've heard many stories about dinner partners of his among the ladies in Washington who would go to dinner and have an awful time getting through the dinner because they couldn't make any conversation with Mr. Coolidge. One woman claimed that she made a bet at a table with him that she had bet somebody a dollar that she could make Coolidge say more than two words. And she was telling Mr. Coolidge about having made this bet that she could make him say more than two words, and he replied by saying, "You lose." That's all he said about it. (Shalett laughs) Well, there was a story also about a newspaperman going into the White House one day to interview him. And he said, "Mr. Coolidge, what do you think about Prohibition?" "No comment." "What do you think about the League of Nations?" "No 01:10:00comment." "What do you think about inflation?" "No comment." And the newsman started to leave, and Mr. Coolidge said, "By the way, don't quote me." (Shalett laughs) That of itself, rather intentionally or accidentally, was cause for a good deal of humor and amusement. And that was typical, though, of his characteristic. And I don't think it was assumed; I think it was the nature of the man. Well, I think that's all I'll say right now about Mr. Coolidge. Of course, then Mr. Hoover came in. He was inaugurated on the fourth of March, 1929. And they started out, in spite of this hectic prosperity, in the first place, which turned out to be false, they started out to try to remedy what evidently somebody foresaw as a possible catastrophe by passing another tariff act. All revenue measures have to originate in the 01:11:00House of Representatives, as you know, under the Constitution. The Senate may amend tax bills, but they cannot originate one. And whenever they pass a bill that even has the semblance of a revenue measure in it and send it to the House, originally the House has, on many occasions, refused to receive it. They just wouldn't receive it, because under the Constitution they're entitled to originate revenue bills and they're somewhat jealous of that authority, very naturally, because it is their constitutional right. Well, they began to form the basis for another tariff act. And the Ways and Means Committee of the House, which was presided over by Willis C. Hawley, a Congressman from the state of Oregon, began to hold hearings in December 1928 on a new tariff act. That 01:12:00was before Mr. Hoover was inaugurated on the fourth of March, '29. They held hearings all that winter, all that spring, and finally passed through the House the Hawley tariff bill, raising the rates of tariff duties on imports higher than they had--on the average than they had ever been before in the history of the nation. And that was only just a perpetual example of the effort to boost our economy by raising artificial barrier between our country and other countries. And that in spite of the fact that for many, many decades our country has produced about ten percent more than it could consume, and therefore must rely upon foreign markets for the sale of that extra ten percent. And that's even true now, and in some cases it's much greater than ten percent, so that it's been my theory always--and I 01:13:00think it's not an unsound one--that a nation that produces on the average of ten percent more goods, agricultural and industrial, than it consumes must find a market elsewhere for that ten percent surplus, or it must stop producing the surplus and thereby throw men out of employment, or it must dump that surplus on the home market and drive the price down of the ninety percent that we do consume, in many cases below the cost of production. Well anyhow, they passed this high tariff law. It came over to the Senate. The Finance Committee held exhaustive hearings on it, in addition to what the House Ways and Means Committee had done. I was a member of the Finance Committee and took an important part--I took an active--I don't know how important, I'll rub out the word important--I took an active part in the hearings and in the investigations while they were in progress on 01:14:00this new tariff law. The Republicans had a majority of the Senate, and therefore they had a majority of the Finance Committee. And Senator Reed Smoot of Utah was the chairman of the Finance Committee. That's why the bill became known as the Smoot-Hawley tariff law, usually taking the name from the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee of the House and the chairman of the Finance Committee in the Senate. I was made the chairman--I was made ranking minority member of the Subcommittee on Metal. And metals, it included everything, clocks, watches, all things made out of metal, steel, iron, all kinds of metals. And I learned a whole lot about metals and their uses and their relationship to other industries in this country by my membership on that subcommittee. That bill that originated in the House in December '28 did not 01:15:00pass and become a law until I think the thirtieth of June, 1930, eighteen months in writing a tariff bill. In the meantime, business and industry and finance were uncertain. They were suspended in mid-air. They didn't know what kind of a law would finally come out of Congress. And therefore, as always, a long, exhaustive agitation over a change in the tariff rate upsets industry, leaves it uncertain. And it upsets the whole economic and financial structure of the country. Well, I recall that Senator James E. Watson of Indiana, whom I've mentioned in another place, was the Republican leader of the Senate. And I recall how, with some degree of fervor and flamboyance, he announced on the floor 01:16:00of the Senate that within sixty days after the Smoot-Hawley law became effective, prosperity would rise, and that industry would rise, and every smokestack would be belching forth the smoke, and employment would increase, and all that. Well, of course, it was a--just a political promise, a gesture, or speculative exaggeration. It couldn't have happened in the very nature of things in sixty days. And of course, as a matter of fact, things went from bad to worse after it became a law. Well, as I have already said, our unprecedented haste, not in the consideration of the bill, which took a year and a half, but our unprecedented haste in rushing into the consideration of these artificial barriers that interfere with international trade set an example that was followed by most 01:17:00of the other nations. And the first thing the world knew, along every boundary--and that's especially true in Europe, and it was true in the Americas also--there was an artificial wall raised between trade of one country with another country. And the first thing you know, the whole world was divided off into economic water-tight compartments, which interfered with the ability of one country to sell their products to another country, except by overcoming these barriers, leaping them, and getting over. And the same thing happened the other way around; it was a barrier both ways, because international trade is not a one-way street. No nation can expect to sell to other people if it won't buy from other people, any more than--

[Pause in recording.]

BARKLEY: --any more than two neighbors in a city block will 01:18:00engage in trade if one of them bars the other one. No city in America could sell to another city if it had the power and the right to erect barriers so that people from outside the city couldn't bring their commerce into the city. And the same rule applies in a nation and to international trade. Well, of course, the prediction of Senator Watson not only did not come through, but it miserably failed. In the meantime, agriculture was on the way down the toboggan, and Mr. Hoover--the tariff bill, which had been passed previously, presumably for the benefit of the farmer, turned out to be ineffective. Farm prices went down and down. The sale of farms and homes at the courthouse door to satisfy mortgages increased. The people almost revolted against it. And out in some of the western states the people even resisted the sheriff when he, under the orders of court, was 01:19:00ordered to sell a farm to foreclose a mortgage. They resisted the sheriff, in some cases were put in jail, I think, for contempt of course for resisting the orders of the court. It became so acute and so desperate that the people were--they were willing to take any chance to save their homes.

SHALETT: It seems some of the seeds of Communism grew in those tragic years.

BARKLEY: Oh, yes, undoubtedly, because Communism feeds on disaster. It feeds on helplessness, hopelessness; it feeds upon despair. And that's why, as I think I've already said, the Communists of the Soviet Union and their satellites have opposed every effort we've made since the end of World War II to help those people get on their feet. They didn't want them to get on their feet. They want them to be in despair and hopelessness and revolt against their government, against democracy, against what they call the capitalistic system, so that they could move in and offer their spurious remedy as the solution of all the problems 01:20:00that face mankind. Well, there's no doubt about--conditions like that are the breeding ground of Communism, discontent, and revolt. Well, that was going on out there. Well in the meantime, of course, Mr. Hoover recommended to Congress that they do something about the farm situation. In the meantime, Congress had passed the McNary-Haugen Agricultural Bill, named for Senator Charles L. McNary of Oregon and Congressman Haugen of Iowa, who were the authors of the bill. That bill passed the House and Senate two or three times. It was vetoed by Mr. Coolidge, and I think it was vetoed by Mr. Hoover. I'm not certain about that, but I know it was vetoed by two presidents, and I don't believe it ever was put up to Mr. Harding. Anyhow, it was vetoed. But Mr. Hoover felt that something should be done about the agricultural situation, 01:21:00so he recommended, and Congress created, what is known as the Farm Board, to be appointed by him with confirmation by the Senate, and appropriated five hundred million dollars to be used by that Farm Board to try to stop the decline in agriculture and start the spiral back up the hill. Well, Congress enacted that legislation, and Mr. Hoover appointed a very distinguished Kentuckian, Mr. James C. Stone, who had been very active in the organization of the tobacco cooperatives in Kentucky, as the chairman. I'm not sure he was the first chairman, but he was--he soon became a chairman of that board. And he--he asked Mr. Stanley Reed, now a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United 01:22:00States, to come to Washington as the counsel of this Farm Board, which he did. And Mr. Reed was a Democrat, and when he was offered this position, he was a little embarrassed and came to my office to ask me my advice about whether he ought to take it or not. And I--he had been the attorney for these tobacco cooperatives in Kentucky, and he knew a lot about the agricultural situation, and he knew the law on the subject. And I urged him to accept the place. I said, "I think it'll be an opportunity without regard to politics. Everybody knows you're a Democrat. Jim Stone certainly knows it, and I'm sure Mr. Hoover knows it. I think it would be a great opportunity for you to render outstanding service to the farmers of the nation." And he accepted it. Well, that was the beginning of his career that finally landed him on the Supreme Court of the United States. And later, I had the pleasure to recommend him to President Roosevelt as Solicitor General of the United States. And later, I had the pleasure to recommend him and urge 01:23:00his appointment by Mr. Roosevelt to the Supreme Court of the United States, and so forth. Well, this Farm Board--the situation was too critical to be remedied by the creation of a Farm Board and the pouring of five hundred million dollars into any sort of agricultural pool. And as a result, in my judgment, that five hundred million dollars was wasted. I mean, it did no good. It did not stop the decline of farm prices; it did not remedy the farmer any; it didn't stop the foreclosure of mortgages. And of course, there followed the complete collapse of our whole economic and industrial system. Factories were closed, smoke no longer exuded from the smokestacks--or was emitted, I should say, that would be the proper word, instead of exude. Anyhow, they 01:24:00are two good words and you can choose them as you please (laughs). Fifteen or sixteen million working people were unemployed, were seeking employment anywhere of any kind, walking the streets in search of work they couldn't obtain, universal distress, selling apples on the sidewalks and pencils for a precarious dime to take home to a hungry family, and banks closing everywhere. It reminded you of the story of the man in Mississippi who took a check up to be cashed at a bank, and the bank was closed, and he said, "Why," said, "this man's got money in that bank." He said, "Here's his check. He signed it. I want my money." And they said, "We're not paying any money out today." And finally he kept on until the cashier said to him out the door, he said, "Well this bank's closed," said, "this bank's busted." Well, this fellow said, "All my life I've heard about banks busting, but this is the first time I ever had one to bust right in my face." (Shalett laughs) Well, that was 01:25:00the situation that was going on all over the country. And of course, in the meantime, the campaign of 1932 came along.

SHALETT: What were your personal observations of Hoover during this period when the bank was busting in his face? Did you see anything of him?

BARKLEY: Well, I saw--not very--not too much of Mr. Hoover. I went down to the White House occasionally, and he came over to the Congress occasionally. Mr. Hoover seemed to be very much distressed about the situation, and frankly appeared to be helpless in the midst of it. Now, I do not mean by that to say that anybody under the same circumstances would have known precisely what to do. Mr. Hoover, I have great respect for as an individual. We had one or two little personal clashes over matters that didn't amount to a great deal. And I have come to have a great respect for him as--not only as a former President, but as a man, and we have really--our relationship has become closer since he retired and in 01:26:00the last two years, as a matter of fact, under the Truman administration than it ever had been before. But I was down at the White House a number of times to talk about things. Naturally, I was not consulted primarily about the solution of the terrible problems that the administration faced. We were in a minority in both the House and Senate up until 1930. The election of 1930 gave the Democrats the majority in the House, and they elected a speaker. And while I don't think we got a majority in the Senate as a result of that election, we did reduce their majority very materially. And many people regarded the election of 1930 as a forerunner of what would happen in 1932.

[Pause in recording.]

BARKLEY: A moment ago I remarked that I wouldn't be able to say that any other man under the same circumstances would have known what to do in the situation that confronted Mr. Hoover. I 01:27:00should probably say that no man with his viewpoint, and his background, and with his surroundings, and with a party in control of the government that had never relied on anything except another tariff law as a remedy for whatever evils afflicted the country, could have done any better or known what to do. Of course, later on, as I will point out elsewhere, as a result of the election of 1932, a man came into power who did know what to do and had the courage to do that. And the American people gave him a sympathetic Congress who worked with him to do these things that did remedy the terrible conditions which he inherited, and started the country again upon a highway of progress and prosperity which has never been equaled in the history of this country, from my judgment. And I think the statistics and the facts will show that, that we have now--we have the soundest economic system, we have the soundest banking system, we have the soundest agricultural legislation, we have during the twenty years 01:28:00that followed the election of 1932, under the leadership of Mr. Roosevelt and of Mr. Truman, and with sympathetic support in both houses of Congress, with the exception of the eightieth Congress which was a Republican Congress elected in 1946, that during that period of two decades, more legislation, more executive policies were inaugurated that put our whole economic and social system upon a firmer foundation than was ever done in any similar period or twice that length of time in the whole history of the country. And what was done in those years has become a part of the warp and woof of our national policies. And I do not think that any administration or any political party will ever have the nerve or the audacity to recommend or carry out the repeal of these fundamental laws, which I will discuss later in another place, which did start us on the highway to a more 01:29:00healthy economy and brought honesty into the administration of government and into the administration of banking and commercial and industrial and security agencies throughout the country.

[Pause in recording.]

SHALETT: Senator, to digress for a moment before we move into the next administration, this--I think the date today is about August third, and just a few days ago you lost a valuable colleague and a great friend of the opposite party. I think you want to say something about Bob Taft.

BARKLEY: Yes, I would like to digress here for a moment to say a few words about Senator Taft. Of course, I knew his father more or less casually, not as president, but I knew him when he was Chief Justice of the United States. I saw a great deal of him. He had an engaging manner about him. He had a fascinating chuckle.

SHALETT: Well, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you 01:30:00to tell the Adam Bede story then.

BARKLEY: (laughs) Well, this happened while he was president. Since I've mentioned, I was going back to the father of Bob, sort of as a background for what I want to say about Bob, but during Mr. Taft's administration, and in the midst of his troubles too, because the Democrats won Congress right in the middle of his administration, Taft was a very portly man, he was a large man, he had an enormous stomach, and there was a Congressman from Minnesota named Adam Bede. It's a strange name, because George Eliot wrote one of her most fascinating books and called it Adam Bede.

SHALETT: That's B-e-d--

BARKLEY: B-e-d-e. And this fellow's name was B-e-d-e, I think, maybe--well anyhow, it sounded the same. We'll check on that. His name was Adam. He was quite a humorist, and one day he was out to the White House to talk to Mr. Taft about something, and when he got up to leave he rather audaciously laid his hand 01:31:00on Mr. Taft's stomach, and he said, "Mr. President, what are you going to name it?" (laughs) Well, Taft chuckled and said, "Well, Adam," he said, "if it's a boy, I'm going to call it Theodore. If it's a girl, I'm going to call it Theodora. But if it's what I think it is, wind, I'm going to call it Adam Bede." (both laugh) Well, they both had a big guffaw about that, it was a pretty good comeback on the part of Mr. Taft and so forth, but illustrated Taft was a man of a high sense of humor, and he had a very engaging chuckle, and he made a great Chief Justice, although I think he is accounted pretty much as a failure as president of the United States. I remember Senator Ollie James one time in debating one of Mr. Taft's problems and his policies, he got off this one. He said, "Taft's a good man, he means well, he's an able lawyer, and he was a fine governor general of the Philippines and a fine Secretary of War and a fine federal judge." But he said, "As president 01:32:00of the United States, the trouble with him is that both of his feet are left feet," which was a pretty humorous, witty description of the difficulty. Well anyhow, I never knew Bob--young Bob Taft, the son, until he came to Washington, except incidentally. I knew there was such a man and he was a lawyer with his brother Charlie, whom I knew much better than I did Bob until Bob came to the Senate. I became well acquainted with Senator Taft. He went on the Banking and Currency Committee. Of course, I preceded him to the Senate by several years. My recollection is that he was elected in--let me see, he served three terms--that would be eighteen years--and part of another one. He's been there about twenty--no, he's been there fifteen years. He served two terms and about half of a third, that's the way it is. Well, he was assigned as a Republican to the Committee on Finance, of which I was a member and had 01:33:00been. And he came also on the Committee on Banking and Currency, of which I was a member. So we had a very intimate association, mostly in disagreement, on both of these committees because I opposed the Republican theory of high protection. I didn't believe in it, and I didn't believe it was wise for the country. And he was a protectionist, and we had many difficulties and many disagreements, both on the Finance Committee and on the Banking and Currency Committee about the banking laws about control of prices, about the RFC, and all the things that the Banking and Finance Committee controlled. But while our disagreements were frequently boisterous, because when he first came to the Senate, he had a habit of breaking in right in the middle of anybody's sentence without waiting until he finished it, just impulsively just barge in. Well, it irritated me sometimes, and I chided him. Especially was that 01:34:00true when there was a big audience in the committee room and so forth, and probably we were both making a little exhibit of ourselves. But those things were superficial. I always admired Bob Taft's ability. He was a hard-working man. He was as hard a working man as any man I served with in the Senate. Now, he was not always consistent. He might take this position this week, and next week he might look as if he were meeting himself coming back, as we say. But even that took a good deal of courage, to take a position this week and in two weeks have another position based upon new facts and new information which he'd gathered. And it somewhat reminded me of a statement Senator Ashurst of Arizona made about himself one time, who was always being chided because of his inconsistency. And he replied one time--of course, he quoted that old statement, that consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, and so forth, which is an old saying about consistency. But he said one day, "I 01:35:00am proud of my consistency in my inconsistency." Well, Bob Taft was somewhat like that. (laughs) Well, notwithstanding these disagreements, we did agree many times on policy. And whenever Senator Taft and I agreed on something, as members of the Finance or Banking Committee, we could go off into a room to ourselves and usually sit down and agree on the language of a bill or the provisions of the bill, and come out recommending it, and go on the floor of the Senate recommending it and fighting for it. And as majority leader, I always felt that if I had the support of Senator Taft on any measure in the Senate that required exhaustive debate, that if he was on my side, he was an invaluable ally. If he was on the other side, he was a dangerous foe. But we disagreed and we agreed with mutual respect, and I had a very warm affection 01:36:00for Senator Taft, notwithstanding we disagreed fundamentally about many things. And I think only about two and a half months ago I invited him to be my guest on my television program that I give every week. And he was glad to come, we had a fine program, and he exhibited a good humor, a real sense of humor that many people who saw him on the television screen didn't know he had. And I got many letters (laughs) from people over the country congratulating me because I had made Senator Taft throw his head back and open wide his mouth and laugh as heartily as any man in the world.

SHALETT: Had his illness ----------(??)?

BARKLEY: I--no, I--he came breezing in in fine humor and fine shape. He breezed out when it was over, rushed up the steps that he had to go up to get out from the studio. I never dreamed or suspected from anything that--and I don't think he 01:37:00did at that time. That was only two months and a half ago. And so this malady attacked him, and as has been stated, it was impossible to control it and he died. His death is a great loss, not only to his party, not only to the Eisenhower administration which had come to lean very much on him in the Senate to weld the divergent views of even members of his own party, but his courage and his integrity, his honesty, are a great loss to the American people. And I grieve with the country and with his family over his departure, because I have lost a valuable personal friend and neighbor, because he lived in Cincinnati just across the Ohio River from Kentucky, and I am sincere in my deep sorrow and grief over Bob Taft's death.

SHALETT: I think we might put on tape that when we 01:38:00were discussing Senator Tobey the other day, we were up in the country and we didn't know at the time that he had died--


SHALETT: --when you said those very fine things about him.

BARKLEY: No. We were talking about Senator Tobey. We were talking about the type of oratory in the Senate, and you asked me, I think, if I regarded Senator Tobey as an example of the old-fashioned orator, and I discussed Senator Tobey. At that very hour, he was dead and we didn't know it because we hadn't heard the word up in the Adirondacks.

SHALETT: You often speculate on courses history can take through accidents. Of course, if Senator Taft had been elected president, which was quite a possibility, we would be in an entirely new page of history.

BARKLEY: Oh, yes. Of course, it's all speculative because nobody knows who would have been vice president if Taft had been nominated in the election, but among the possibilities, unless he himself indicated whom he wanted to run with him, and that's usually done regardless of any statement that a convention is an open, free convention as far as 01:39:00the vice presidents are concerned, it just isn't true, because the convention naturally wants to consult the man whom they've just nominated for president, and if he has any choice, he'll indicate it. If he has none, why then it may be free and open, but if Senator Taft had wanted a running mate who entertained more or less the Eisenhower viewpoint of public matters, and had been elected and died now, of course we might assume that somebody in sympathy with the Eisenhower viewpoint would now become president. If he had wished a running mate more in harmony with his own view on international affairs, where he was really an isolationist, and I say that in no derogation, he was a sincere, genuine isolationist; his votes in the Senate show that. If he had chosen that sort of a man to run with him, of course, we would have an entirely different situation, which emphasizes the difficulty sometimes of determining whether certain events in history are accidental 01:40:00or whether they're providential. Whether--if Taft had been elected president, we're bound to assume that he would have been a victim of this same disease which took him away, and therefore some vice president would have succeeded him. We do not know who that would have been, and we can't speculate about it very much, except to know that there would be an entirely different situation from that which now exists.

[Pause in recording.]

SHALETT: Senator, you're going to tell us a few words about the farewell luncheon at Dean Acheson's house after the Eisenhower inaugural.

BARKLEY: Well, yes. That was a very pleasant and rather unexpected episode, as far as I was concerned. Of course, we had attended--Mr. Truman and I had attended the Eisenhower inauguration in front of the Capitol. We participated only by our presence; there was nothing for us to do in the way of participation. And when it was over, we were told--maybe we had been told a short time previous to 01:41:00the actual inauguration that when it was over we should go to Mr. Acheson's house out in Georgetown where he was giving a dinner party, a farewell dinner party for the president and Mrs. Truman and to Mrs. Barkley and me. So we all went out there, and there were members of the cabinet and various guests. I don't recall the list; that's not important.

SHALETT: We can fill that in.

BARKLEY: We can fill that in anyhow. But I think practically all the members of the cabinet, nearly every one, was there. And when we drove up in front of his house, of course, the president in his car was ahead of Mrs. Barkley and me, and a great crowd had assembled in the street to greet the president. And I shared in the reflected glory of it, I suppose. They were there to cheer both of us. They cheered us too, and when president--or ex-president and Mrs. Truman got out of their car, they received a great hand from this audience which had assembled to fill 01:42:00the street in front of Mr. Acheson's place. And when Mrs. Barkley and I got out, we got a similar hand. And others--Mr. Acheson himself got quite a reception, of course, when he reached his own home. These were friends from everywhere who had heard that we were to be out at Mr. Acheson's for lunch, and they had assembled there out of good will and friendship to give us a parting greeting. We went on inside, and they kept standing there and kept applauding and calling for a speech. And finally Mr. Truman went out and made a brief talk to them, and they still hung around. It reminded me somewhat of the inauguration of Harding, when Wilson went to his home on S Street, and the great crowd gathered there to see him as he was retiring, showing that in retirement he had the affection of a great number of people. It didn't take 01:43:00office or the habiliments of office to create that friendship. So they called for a speech from Mr. Truman. He went out and made a few brief remarks to them, thanking them. They kept hanging around and calling for a speech, and then finally I heard them call for the 'Veep'. And recognizing that as my (laughs) appellation, I walked out on the terrace and made them a brief little speech also and thanked them for their generous reception and for their cordial support during these trying days through which we had been going, and went on back into the house. And they kept shouting for somebody, and finally Mr. Acheson himself went out and made a very clever little talk to them. And they stayed there until the lunch was over, two or three o'clock, I don't know how long it lasted. We were nothing--we were in no hurry, we had nothing to do, except that Mr. and Mrs. Truman were leaving, I think, around six o'clock by train for their home in Independence, but Mrs. Barkley and I were not leaving immediately. And so--but we had nothing particularly to keep 01:44:00us anywhere, so we hung around after lunch and talked and enjoyed one another in a final gathering representing the cabinet and close friends of Mr. Truman and Mr. Acheson.

SHALETT: Was Acheson as witty and urbane as ever at that last--

BARKLEY: Oh, yes. He was very witty and very--oh, he's--he has a sense of humor that the public hardly realizes, and he's a scholarly humorist. I mean, his humor is clothed in classic terms and classic illustrations, and it's very--he's very funny. When he's funny at all, he's really funny.

SHALETT: Can you recall any gems from that day?

BARKLEY: I don't remember--no, I don't remember what he said that day. I may be able to reconstruct one. If I do, I'll fill it in, but I don't right now recall. Well, we finally left and the crowd was still there. I remember one man who was there. I couldn't identify all the people, but I remember one of the men right up in front was John Mason Brown who 01:45:00had gone out there. You remember John Mason Brown, the--

SHALETT: The critic. The drama critic.

BARKLEY: The critic and the lecturer and poet, and I don't know what all. He's quite a fellow. He's an all-around raconteur of many things. And he was there.

SHALETT: He was in the sidewalk crowd.

BARKLEY: Oh, he was on the sidewalk crowd, yes, and many others there. It was a very fine spirit of friendship and farewell, and we all appreciated it very much.

SHALETT: Then did you go to the station with the Trumans?

BARKLEY: No, I--yes, I did. Yes. We went to the station, I'm--I was mistaken at first. We went to the station and told them goodbye. And I think they took a lot of pictures, and there was a great crowd out at the station to give Mr. Truman a send-off.

SHALETT: I understand there was some mix-up. They wouldn't let them get through the gate to give him a send-off? Some--

BARKLEY: Well, I don't recall about that. I heard about it, but I didn't witness it. There was some little mix-up, as there frequently is, a great crowd like that, with policemen and the officials 01:46:00of the station there, but it was not a very disturbing incident at all. And they left, of course, with the good wishes of a vast crowd of people who assembled there that wished them well and long life and happiness and so forth. And I was among them.

SHALETT: Was there a feeling at this last luncheon of the Truman cabinet that the Democrats would be back in power, a confidence--

BARKLEY: Well, that was of course something that nobody could be very certain about, because everything depends on the course of events between now and the next presidential election, and nobody at that time could predict what would be the course of events, or what Mr. Eisenhower's administration would bring forth. I felt myself, and I say this without any partiality in any way, I thought that Mr. Eisenhower delivered a very creditable inaugural address at that occasion. And of course, everybody wished him well and wished the country well under him. It would be a very narrow partisan who wouldn't do that.


SHALETT: I think we're off of this reel now.

[Pause in recording.]

OTHER VOICE: This is the end of side two, reel thirteen of the Barkley tapes.

[End of interview.]