The Log of “Jason” Glasscock
of His Voyage of Search
for the Golden Fleece
part 10

by Wilmer Newton Glasscock

Jan 1878 - May 1966


TUESDAY, May 8, 1934

  I was at Mr. Bowen’s office at nine o’clock this morning, but he did not come in until 9:30. Senator Henderson was already in his office at work. The stenographer did not come in until 9:20.

  I had ascertained that the Examiner had passed on the files and his report, and now was my opportunity to talk with the Directors. However, that was not quite the case, for the Board of Review is sandwiched in between the Examining Department and the Board of Directors. If one cannot sell his proposition to the Board of Review the chance of selling it to the Board of Directors is practically nil, I learned. Yet I seemed without a lead into the board of Review. No one made any suggestion, and when I inquired I realized it is not expected that people be referred to them. However, there might be a way. Go and talk with Senator Henderson personally, and if he would introduce me to Mr. Mandeville, the head of the Board of Review, that would be the only way. So I did call on Senator Henderson personally. He asked Mr. Mandeville to come down and see him. When he came I found him to be a very high type of man, widely and fully informed, and very experienced in banking and general business. He was well informed about the title business and the trust business. We three talked for several minutes about the general features of those businesses , and about our problem in particular.

  About 10:30 this forenoon Mr. Bowen had made the suggestion to me that he believed if he were in my place he would prepare and have ready for use a written review of our viewpoint, and would not make it too concise, but would use the chance to say enough to give the whole picture in its most pertinent features. I hurried back to the hotel, for I wanted to get it ready before the consideration of our application and the Examining Department’s report had advanced too far for my statement to be useful. I worked with my pencil for a time, then went to the public stenographer in the hotel and dictated to her and she wrote it directly on the machine. It was so noisy there I had to come back to my room several times to outline the presentation in more quietness. It was finally completed and signed at 3:30, and I jumped in a taxi and went over to the RFC office. Mr. Bowen read it, pausing to discuss the Mortgage Guarantee Company’s affairs. When he finished he said that so far as he knew we were the first people to come to them before the axe had fallen on their necks. I replied that that fact ought not to be a bar to approval of our application, particularly because the Insurance Commissioner was after us now, and the trouble we had seen coming had now actually arrived. I told him the old story about the man in Arkansas, who said when the sun was shining the roof did not need fixing, and when it rained he couldn’t do it. It was then for the second time today I found something standing between me and the Board of Review, and that suggestion was made that I go in and see Senator Henderson.

  Mr. Mandeville said the papers were doubtless in his department, but had not come to him yet, but when they did he would read my statement carefully, and if he wanted to talk with me further he would leave word with Mr. Bowen, who could get hold of me. Then it was five minutes before five, so that is all for to-day.

WEDNESDAY, May 9, 1934

  When I went into the Grill for breakfast this morning there sat Judge J. W. Curtis and Mrs. Curtis. It was a relief to have some one to talk to whom I really knew. Judge is attending a lawyers’ convention here today and tomorrow. Then they will go on to Boston to visit their older daughter, who is married and living there, I understood. They came in yesterday morning, and we found, by each telling what he had been doing, that both of us saw George Arliss’ picture, "The House of Rothschild," last night. In the picture, in a brief scene, Nathan Rothschild said to Hannah, his wife, that thirty years ago today, when they were married, was the happiest day of his life. Today is our wedding anniversary, the thirtieth. I have been trying to think of an exactly appropriate message to send to Ethel. Arliss gave me the cue, so I wired Ethel this morning that May ninth, 1904 was the first of the happiest days of my life. Seems to me I did not begin to really grow until then. Apparently, the growth process need never stop.

  Yesterday when I was having my statement rushed into shape, the one for use at the RFC, I could not foretell just what use would be made of it. Last night I concluded it would be best to have five copies made and I would endeavor to use them among the Directors, in addition to the one I gave to Mr. Mandeville. The typist is making the copies now, and they should be ready by eleven o’clock, when I will go over to the RFC offices again. At twelve o’clock I will go to the Willard Hotel to attend the Rotary Club Luncheon. The Lions are meeting here in the Mayflower today, in the Jefferson room.

  I called on Mr. Hays, Assistant to Director Merriam, reviewed my status and told him of the present place of the application in their routine. I offered him a copy of my statement, which he took. He was very courteous and attentive, but had laid aside some work to meet me. Director Merriam will be back Friday. However, he may not function on our case anyway. It was twelve o’clock now and I went to the Willard to the Rotary Luncheon.

  At two PM I was back at the RFC offices. Although Mr. Bowen had suggested that I call on Mr. McKee or Mr. Sheehan, upstairs, I still felt uncertain, and that I might get in wrong unless I was very careful. So, when I got to see Mr. Sheehan I first identified myself and stated my readiness to submit any information I could give in elucidation of any point or question. They are always glad to see applicants, he said, but when applications get to them there they are supposed to be entirely complete, and they did not wish to be exposed to high pressure. I told him I had been sensitive to the fact that they had rules and a proper routine and was trying to fit myself into them, and that I had called upon him by suggestion. He made inquiry and told me our matter would very probably go to the Board tomorrow. In the meantime I should be as patient as I could and come back tomorrow afternoon and they would see if there was anything they wanted to talk with me about. So, I seem to be near the end of this episode.

    William R. Castle, Jr. served in the State Dept. from 1919 to 1933, under four presidents. He was Ambassador to Japan for six months (Dec 1929 - May 1930). He was Under Secretary of State from April 1931 to March 1933. He continued to influence foreign policy for at least 20 more years. His son Alfred L. Castle has written about his service in Diplomatic Realism, published by the Univ. of Hawaii Press in 1998.

  I have dispatched the first page of today’s diary to Mr. Mack by air-mail, but I should make a note of the address which I heard at the Rotary Luncheon by Dr. Castle, formerly Under Secretary of State. The Chairman stated in his introduction that Dr. Castle had formerly been connected with Harvard and some other school.

  Dr. Castle said he would talk on the very pleasant (?) subject of "War." He spoke extempore and easily, in a conversational manner. He was delightful in his easy and choice use of language, and the frank simplicity of his statements. First, he said that the Geneva Disarmament Conference had broken down. Both France and Germany had contributed much to this breakdown. The Germans claim that the Allies promised at Versailles to make a material disarmament; that this had not been done and Germany was now free to arm reasonably because of the default of the Allied nations in keeping their promise. Dr. Castle stated that the Allies had made no such promise, but there was some implication they would disarm. France takes the position that with Germany arming she cannot even talk about disarming, but must build up her armies.

  France’s viewpoint, Dr. Castle stated, could be easily understood, when we recall that she has been invaded time after time from over the Rhine, and she has now determined to prevent a new invasion with all the means she possesses.

  England has been a sincere champion of disarmament, said Dr. Castle, and the breakdown of the Conference is a grievous disappointment to the English. He stated, however, that if there had been a question of naval limitation, England might, probably would, have taken a different attitude. It was the speaker’s view that England has always wanted and permitted the type of ships which she could use to best advantage, and has wanted to limit the building and use of the types we could use to best advantage.

  On a recent trip to Europe, particularly to France, everybody, he said, was talking war. Finally he got tired of hearing it, and shot back, "All right, I’ll agree with you, but will somebody tell me who is going to start it and why?" Nobody had a word to say, he told us.

  However, he did feel certain that a condition favorable to war is being built up by the intense nationalistic interests, and war could issue from such an atmosphere upon the happening of some untoward incident. There is no present quarrel anywhere which is a justifiable basis for war, he claimed. "People are passionately fond of half-baked ideas," is a striking statement which he made in connection with his remarks concerning these nationalistic doctrines, and it is his view that "we are in danger from such partial ideas, and they are holding back recovery."

  Dr. Castle stated that he had been keeping a diary ever since he entered the State Department in 1918. About fifty years after he is dead this diary may be published. He does not want it to be quoted before that time as a protection both to himself and to others. He said that he was looking through the diary the other day, and he noted that in the year 1923 there called upon him a German who stated that he was a lieutenant of one Hitler, who was at that time in prison, of Austria. It was the prediction of this German that Hitler would one day rule Germany. Dr. Castle stated that he exhibited doubt of a considerable degree. But the German went on to state Hitler’s objectives in some detail. It is an astounding fact, Dr. Castle said, that these objectives have now become accomplished facts in Germany. One of these objectives was the suppression and ousting of the Jews. Dr. Castle queried, "How many statesmen, politicians, or any other kind of people, can lay out a program and carry it to completion over a period of ten of twelve years?"

  Hitler does not want war, Dr. Castle believes, notwithstanding his belligerent speeches. Instance the Polish Corridor, which is indefensible by Poland. Mussolini does not want war, notwithstanding his bellicose shouting. France does not want war, notwithstanding a case of "Nerves." Russia does not want war, although she is undoubtedly hurrying a defense preparation adjoining China and Manchukuo. He would not be at all surprised if at this very time Japan and Russia are having friendly conferences, although, of course, he does not know it is true. When the price for Russia’s interest in the Chinese Eastern Railway is agreed upon and paid by Japan (or Manchukuo), you will see the major problem between these two countries settled, Dr. Castle was sure.

  A few days ago the Japanese Ambassador said to him, Dr. Castle stated, "If Japan and Russia go into a war, the United States will side with Russia." Dr Castle stated that he told the Japanese Ambassador plainly that the United States would do no such thing.

    Henry J. Morgenthau Sr. was Ambassador to Turkey from 1913 to 1916. He wrote a significant book about the horrible genocide of over a million Armenians. His son Henry J. Morgenthau Jr. was Secretary of the Treasury from 1934 to 1945.

  In a conversation recently with the Soviet Ambassador Dr. Castle stated that the Ambassador said he could guarantee that there would be no war within the next two years. On the contrary, Mr. Morgenthau, Sr., father of the Secretary of the Treasury, tells Dr. Castle confidently every time he sees him that there will be war in Europe within six months; that he has been telling him this same thing for years past, and every time it is to happen within six months!

  It is Dr. Castle’s conviction that the United States has no cause for war with any other nation. He believes that if any other nations get into a fight we should stay out absolutely. To do so, he was sure, would require a sacrifice of a part of what we have heretofore called our "rights" as a neutral. (He referred, doubtless, to our right to trade with the enemies impartially, which has been recognized by what we term International Law.) He said the thing for us to do was to keep out of the fight, and get along the best we could while it lasted, and attend to our own business.

May 7, 1934
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