THE KOTCHAROVSKY LETTER TO HOOVER JUNE 1932

On June 27 the US minister in Belgrade, Yugoslavia John Dyneley Prince, formerly minister in Copenhagen, sends by pouch a letter from Charles R Kotcharovsky, a Russian living in Belgrade and considered “an outstanding economist in Russia before the War”. For some time Prince taught Russian at Columbia University in New York City where he was also head of the Slavonic Language Department. His multilingual skills excelled “with a mastery of all tongues and dialects was indeed extraordinary”, recalls Sir Nevile Henderson P. C., G.C.B., G.C.M.G..,and always remembered how he was particularly impressed when his American counterpart sang Kipling’s On the Road to Mandalay in twenty languages. The only time Henderson ever saw his friend “stumped was at a Rotary lunch where a South African talked to him in the Zulu ‘click’ language, Henderson adds, “His ancestors were of Yorkshire origin, and he was extremely well disposed towards everything British.” Prince later serves as Deputy-Governor of New Jersey. Prince and his wife (“a most efficient doyenne of the diplomatic ladies”) return to America, in 1934, replaced by Ambassador Wilson whom Henderson had known since their days together in St. Petersburg. (Sir Nevile Henderson, Water Under The Bridge: Failure of a Mission, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1945)

Sir Nevile Henderson is another key Consortium Pilgrim, and friend of Blenheim Palace. His opinion of Hitler’s insane attack on Russia is noteworthy here of his opinion in that era of bedlam, and he wrote, “I remember Mr. Lloyd George saying during the Peace Conference in 1919 that Bolshevism would end in extreme nationalism, and he was assuredly right. Germany might overrun Russia from Poland to the Urals, but, as Tolstoi says, it is not battles which decide the ultimate fate of nations. The spirit of the Slav will survive, as it always has survived, in spite of the Rurik autocracy or Mongol invasions. One cannot believe that Germany will be fated one day, when the gods –who remember everlastingly and strike remorselessly – choose their moment, bitterly to regret the evil day when Hitler’s Nazis chose wantonly to attack Russia and revive that savage latent hatred of the Slav for the Teuton. Just as the Napoleonic aggressions stimulated, no less than Frederick the Great and Bismark, German nationalism, so will Hitler contribute, no less than Lenin and Stalin, to unify the Slavs and invigorate the Slav genius, which has so long been fettered by restraints of foreign origin alien to its true conception and natural gifts.” (N. Henderson, 26)

As ambassador Prince tells it Kotcharovsky is sober and articulate and represents the part of the Russian and Ukrainian population who carry in their heart the living memory of Hoover’s humanitarian aide in the 1920s. Now in the White House and one of the most powerful men in the world certainly he can help now they believe and desperately hope but they do not comprehend why he does nothing now to save lives and end the death and suffering. Kotcharovsky had been exiled to Siberia by the Czar for “anti-Tsarist regime sentiments”.

After acknowledging the ARA famine relief work, Kotcharovsky denounces the Bolshevik regime and the famine now ravishing the countryside in a letter addressed to Hoover. “Sir, You were the organizer of America’s military operations during the World War; you organized in 1921 the saving of nine million Russian lives; you are now the Head of the great North American United States. I cannot believe that at this moment Russia and her misery are not in your thoughts; perhaps a scheme of organized aid may again be in your mind … the distress of Russia, however, cannot wait; – immediate relief is necessary, for it may otherwise come too late. Let not the crash of events – even that of a new war – cover the silence of Russians dying a hungry death …” No, he couldn’t believe it. When on earth would the Americans come back? But they had! Working in the factories, plants, designing infrastructure, hydrodams, huge electric power stations converting Mother Russia into a vast modern militarized fortress. There wasn’t much time! Hitler’s Brown shirts were on the march sweeping through German villages and towns, enlisting youth into the new Nazi fascist order. In desperation to save her soul Mother Russia would sacrifice her sons and these Ukrainians too, not once but twice! (SDDF 861.48/2428)

The Kotcharovsky letter urges Hoover and the Americans not to forget their recent history and the memory of the suffering and death of twenty million starved Russians in 1921. “One half of the number were saved by foreigners, especially by Americans, the other half perished.” Kotcharovsky attacked the Five-Year Plan and “mass ‘Kolkhozes’/ collective farms” which he said were destroying Russia. “This excursion into the realm of fantasy, believing (sic) in reality a preventive civil war and universal unparalleled servitude, gave them a short socially-political breathing time, but inevitably brought forth economic ruin; “review of the disaster of collectivization and ‘the orders of the ignorant ‘Kompartya’ all domestic economy was ruined and cattle destroyed, whereas sowing deteriorated notably, etc.”

The Russian economist reviews the tragedy of Soviet Russian harvests the history of which is fully documented and known to the American Russian observers, agriculture specialists and the Consortium planners.

Again listen to Kotcharovsky: “When after ten years came the bad harvest of 1931, it found Russia economically falling to ruin and with no reserves. And again it brought with famine. For a long time the bolshevists were silent on the subject of the harvest; at last in November they admitted drought, bad harvest and a ‘deficit of some hundred millions pouds’. They essayed to pass over in silence the beginning of famine, but in February had to admit officially ‘difficulties of alimentation’. The fact that a famine had begun in winter and had been aggravated in the spring, is depicted beyond all doubt in numerous letters from Russia, as well as in the information given by foreigners, and is confirmed by numerous tragic facts, such as the rush of crowds all over Russia in search of food, peasant’s masses deserting villages in certain localities, etc. Russia suffers already from famine. What may happen yet? The bolshevists have publicly admitted 1/ insufficiency of grain for sowing; 2/ late spring sowing, and 3/vast areas of unsown land. This means even a satisfactory harvest this summer cannot safeguard half starved Russia from famine, and that if 1931 was not a repeat of 1921, 1932 will surely be one.

“We are now spectators of the lingering extermination of the Russian people. Millions perished during the World War and the civil war that followed, millions died of famine in 1920-22, millions of degenerate, forsaken children perished, millions degenerated thanks to illnesses and bolshevist immorality, – countless numbers were annihilated and shot in slave-camps and hard-labor prisons, and now Russia is menaced with a further extermination of millions through famine. “Other nations are now faced with a cruel dilemma; either to notice the misery of Russia and lend a helping hand, or to close their eyes to it and attend only to their own difficulties and troubles.” With this letter sent late June the Hoover administration has yet again another full warning of the disaster, and it comes a year before the worst blow overwhelms Russia and the Ukraine. (italics added)

Kotcharovsky writes, “I do not stand for sentimentalism; of late years Russians have forgotten it. It is perfectly useless nowadays to speak of gratitude or even of justice towards Russia. Simple foresight and the thought of tomorrow ought to urge civilized Humanity to help Russia toward a normal existence, towards health, peace and resurrection. The very absence of an immense, rich, healthy and peaceful Russia whose creative powers are only now fully valued by all nations, is dangerous and of grave import to the whole world; her almost limitless possibilities must have at least a practically restrained, appeased and mitigated the threatening crisis. Infinitely worse for the whole world is the fact that instead of a fresh space of healthy might, lying between Europe and Asia, there exists a huge 150 million mass, bleeding and putrid owing to the parasites that dwell within, and presenting a centre of misery and famine, of disease, madness, of war and destruction.”

“This refers to the harm, physical and psychic, the extreme poverty and negativity inflicted on that population in that part of the world and the consequence for its future and for Humanity in general. It is certain that Russia will one day return unaided to life and to the course that has been traced for her. But it would be better for all, if suffering and anger were not permitted to cast a dark shadow over her soul, if she were to remain kindly and not become a menace, if friendship, affection and help were offered to her at the proper moment that is at present, while she is suffering martyrdom.”

The economist and former Tsarist prisoner is at a complete loss where to turn for help. And who might help? What on earth could possibly be done to prevent further devastation? He asked the right questions but dared not antagonize the Americans. “Whence can help be expected? It might be expected from every nation inspired by reason and charity – especially from kindred Slavs and from Yugoslavia where I write these lines. One might expect help from the League of Nations, although the latter is still feeble and rather slow in action, whereas distress cannot wait. Someone MUST begin however, someone must show immediate efficiency, and make others follow. This initiative belongs to the great American people.”

“The severe economic crisis that reigns now in the United States can in no way (sic) hinder giving aid to starving Russia. On the other hand, having experienced herself what calamity means, America will more readily sympathize with the plight Russia is in. On the other – the American crisis does not spell impoverishment, rather superproduction of every kind and in particular of food stuff. It would therefore not be too difficult to send aid, which would certainly be useful in respect of the moral and political authority and future economic perspectives of the United States.”

June 28 from Riga Cole relays his dispatch from the Warsaw press of a brazen attack in the heart of Moscow at police headquarters near the Kremlin. “Death of two OGPU agents…” The story says they were killed by “terrorists” in a brazen attack inside the OGPU headquarters on Moscow’s Lubyanka Street. The trouble occurred when the two prominent agents were killed by peasants along with “three other OGPU agents” in a battle “in the frontier region near the Dniester River”. Kiyakovski was a twelve-veteran with Cheka, and head of the Anglo-Saxon division of Counter-Revolution of the OGPU. Isakov, once made a “Knight of the Order of the Red Banner” – the Bolsheviks naturally persisted with these imperialist bourgeois sophistries – joined the dreaded secret police during the October Revolution and worked under Dzerzhinski. The Warsaw Molva reported “Kiyakovsky (Stetskevich, a Pole) was one of the most experienced and most dangerous Cheka men and agents-provocateurs.” He left Polish military service and became director of OGPU work in the Baltic States at Riga and Helsingfors Soviet Missions, under the alias Kaminski and was active in kidnapping the Estonian Envoy to Moscow, Ado Birk, posing as a Soviet diplomat, alias Petrovski. According to the Riga paper Sevodnya (Today) June 27, 1932 OGPU agents were sent to wage war against the peasants trying to escape to Rumania. They raided a hut on the Rumanian frontier to capture an insurgent leader who tossed a grenade which killed everyone inside the hut including his wife.”

British diplomats receive more alarming reports which arrive more frequently at the embassy in Moscow. Secret police whom the Brits call “minders” tail foreigners and diplomats around every corner, hotel and favorite restaurant recording their contacts with soviet citizens. Writer Michael Hughes in Inside the Enigma: British officials in Russia, 1900-1939 (2003) tells of a week tour in the Ukraine in July 1932 by the observer Vyvyan “who was surprised by the apparent health of the local population in an area supposedly ravaged by famine until walking unchaperoned through the streets of Rostov he saw ‘two men lying on the streets – their faces covered with flies’. None of the passers-by took any notice of them, a tell-tale sign that death from malnutrition and disease had become so common in the region that it was no longer a cause for any comment or concern. In another town, Vyvyan watched as a passer-by eagerly scraped out the contents of an old sardine tin into which some used tea-leaves had been emptied.” (M. Hughes, Inside the Enigma: British officials in Russia, 1900-1939, Manchester University Press, 2003, 236; FO 371/16339, “Report on a Week’s Tour in the Crimea and Ukraine” by Vyvyan, enclosed with Lord Strang to Sir Esmond Ovey, Aug. 1 1932)

Andrew J. Williams (Trading with the Bolsheviks, 1920-1939) is a slick writer playing “the Game” of politicians, bankers and diplomats. His ploy adept in rhetoric, that specious art of speaking with signs and multilayered nuance is compelling at a glimpse. Yet here is just another academic out to do his bit to baffle and confuse a clear reading of a truncated historical record. Still his focus on trade, business and grain deals with the Bolsheviks is worth the read yet he scantly refers to the Great Dictator as though Stalin was too insignificant a common rogue in the empire world abounding with Lords, Barons, and Viscounts. Instead s scurrilous banter and nonsense of falsehoods mixed with salient diplomatic files on serious issues is passed off at an attempt at scholarship, another shrewd deception to earn possible tenure but no knighthood. Kent Professor Andrew Williams ignores Sutton’s three volumes researched at the Hoover Institute at Stanford. In a chapter titled “The US and Russia, 1928-1935”, the professor takes the extraordinary but traditionally corrupt path of denial for both American presidents Hoover and Roosevelt of their responsibility for making and executing the policy adopted and orchestrated through Stalin’s Five-Year Plans. Instead, in order to play safe and align himself with the Foreign Office version of the FDR Consortium gang’s portrayal of how things were perceived at the time, and so, likewise, to parallel academic reflection with the administration’s political expediency of the era, Williams promotes Hull, a front, and Kelley, a low-level scapegoat without wealth or political connections in the State Department bureaucracy to a role and importance they never had. At least we can see here how the establishment historians persist in falsifying the Holodomor history. Here, for example, here professor Williams fabricates an insipid misleading piece of academic gibberish passed off as serious scholarship writing, “where Hoover was able to devote attention as Secretary of Commerce to Russia and many other things, both Roosevelt and, for half of his term, Hoover, were forced to concentrate on the unfolding domestic disaster. Although Roosevelt did have a far more ‘internationalist’ line-up in the State Department, he nonetheless pursued an unremittingly nationalist foreign policy for the first few years of his Presidency. Russia was largely left, as it had been under all presidents since Wilson, to key members of the President’s cabinets after 1929… Cordell Hull and his top officials, especially in Bob Kelley’s Eastern European Department, and the personnel based in Moscow, especially William C. Bullitt and Joseph Davies, become the key American policy makers.” Total flapdoddle. As we know these guys don’t make “policy”. William’s specious comment on Bullitt and Davies is equally absurd and should trigger immediate suspicion of his intent. Genuine rot. But this is sort of treatment we find too often by skilled technicians of rhetoric taught to deceive the ignorant in tedious time-consuming diversions of trivial pursuit. Reader beware a blend of chaff. (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 151-2)

Apart from saying little about the intricate activities of the Consortium Anglo agenda shared with the Americans, professor Andrew Williams does float some useful and documented material on trade and grain issues situated in the context of Empire politics which culminates in the annual international wheat conference held in Ottawa, Canada in mid-summer 1932. Having failed to deal openly with the famine crisis in 1932, he cites Russia as having “enjoyed a large trade surplus in 1930 and 1931” with the US. He added, however, that as hard economic times were met with rising American trade barriers, namely that because of the Smoot-Hawley in 1930 “in the circumstances of the passing of the Tariff Act and the wildest charges of ‘dumping’ and ‘slave labour’ it would have been surprising if Hoover’s administration had not taken some moves against Russian trade.” Rather, it would have been “surprising” if he had, and certainly not during the Plans. Nor is there any serious Congressional outcry against Stalin. State terror and the Soviet gulag system merit no treatment by the British professor as it did little for Hoover, as Williams writes, “whose Cabinet saw some tightening of the rules as they applied to Russia as not ‘include(ing) any new or broad questions’, but the implementation of them created a great deal of controversy. In particular, the Treasury and the Department of Agriculture but not, it should be noted, the Department of Commerce, put steps in motion to investigate the accusations of slave labour and dumping, similar to those leveled in Britain and France.” (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 155)

Particularly cited were wheat, timber, pulp and other foodstuffs. Still, under the Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930 Congress managed to include a clause that no goods produced by “convict labor” were to be imported into the US. Another clause targets dumping. The economic turmoil in America by mid-1930 saw 80 per cent of the country’s saw and timber mills closed down. Hoover’s offices are inundated with pleas against Russian dumping. Its left to Treasury and Mellon to handle it. Williams cites that under Section 307 of the Act relating to goods produced by “convict labour” that for a while Soviet pulpwood was banned “but the reason seems to have been more emotional than logical”. Russia’s grain shipments regardless of labour conditions on the Soviet collective farms and the general communist system of manpower and ration cards on which survival depended and where individuality is attacked as a bourgeois commodity and citizens are virtually reduced to chattel, or property of the state now that there is the “revolution” in human relations redefined according to new laws of universal Bolshevik society where everyone is a prisoner, even the dictator himself. (A. J. Williams, Trading with the Bolsheviks, 157)

“In 1929,” Williams wrote, “Russian exports of lumber (boards. Etc.) to the United States amounted to less than one per cent of US imports and less than one-tenth of a percent of domestic consumption. Imports of Soviet pulpwood stood at 11 percent of American imports. The Treasury ruled on 8 July 1930 that this was not produced by convict labor, then changed its mind on 25 July with an embargo, only to remove it again 1 August.” Even in the muddle Williams doesn’t find anything odd with that, and instead ignores the issues it raises over complicity with the Soviet Terror Gulag.

The US State Department, however, is concerned. So is the politically ambitious Henry Fletcher, Hoover’s appointee to chair the US Tariff Commission (1930-31) and currently chairman of the Republican National Committee. Today Fletcher is an icon of spotless reputation with his name carved in stone on the Fletcher School of Diplomacy in Massachusetts. About this brother of the Consortium readers of Time were told in the September 1, 1930 issue that Fletcher who seemed to appear on the American scene from nowhere had begun his ascendancy as a former “private in Roosevelt’s Rough Riders (1st U. S. Volunteer Cavalry) during the Spanish War (who sic) was not mentioned at the White House last week as one of the official reasons why President Hoover appointed him chairman of the new Tariff Commission”; five years later this Republican stalwart unsuccessfully leads his party to dethrone Roosevelt in the White House. And who exactly is Henry Prather Fletcher (1873-59) who layed to rest eternally in Arlington National Cemetery normally reserved for military men of distinction? According to writer Gerard Colby (DuPont Dynasty), GOP chairman (1934-36) Fletcher received “over $35,000 in DuPont family donations” in 1934. This during late 1934 and 1935 with US Senate munitions hearings casting the public spotlight on Consortium-Nazi connection including the DuPont ammo deals with German companies. None of that tarnished Fletcher and his gang whose priority is to protect their money sources. The Senate hearings reveal that DuPonts ranked in over $250 million in profits of the carnage of the First World War. Colby observes, however, that “even here, the DuPonts were not unique. Other American companies had also done business with the Nazi regime. United Aircraft Corporation, for example, sold twenty-nine airplane engines to Hitler in 1933, increasing their German business from $6,000 in 1932 to $272,000; by 1934 the figure was $1,445,000.* Curtis-Wright, Douglas Aircraft, and Sperry Gyroscope all provided airplane equipment easily adaptable to wartime use. And General Electric, Alcoa, and Standard Oil of New Jersey (now Exxon) all maintained patent agreements with companies of Germany… Indeed, the crimes of the DuPonts could only be described as the crimes of private enterprise itself, and, such being the case, the DuPonts remained immune from federal prosecution, for their ethics presumed certain basic principles of political economy shared by everyone in Washington, including those in the White House.” It was left to Bonesman Henry Luce and his editors at Time to bring the cultivated university educated elite up to date on this Consortium politics. Although Fletcher lacks the Ivy League pedigree so keen to Luce, Time spotlights his obscure military background. It’s just another stitch to the Roosevelt legend of the battle to take San Juan Hill precipitating the flight of the Spanish navy from Santiago in the Spanish-American War. Fletcher enlists in the 40th US Infantry deployed in a massive occupational force to seize the Philippines from the Spanish and smash the nationalist drive for independence. (*The 1933 dollar value was before FDR’s devaluation approximately slightly less than one-tenth of the 1990 dollar value; G. Colby, DuPont Dynasty, 1974,1984 ed., 324)

The 1898 war was a one-sided American victory if there ever was one. Poorly-armed civilian Filipinos were no match against well-equipped and mechanized modern foreign expeditionary divisions and the largest overseas deployment of American troops ever in the history of the young nation, not yet two centuries since the American Revolution. Shameful examples of America’s meat-grinding war machine are cited in an illuminating website, Philippine-American War, 1899-1902, A Pictorial History. Blogger Arnaldo Dumindin tells just how glorious war could be: “On March 17, 1900, 200 troops of the 1st Battalion, 44th Infantry Regiment of US Volunteers (USV), led by Maj. Harry C. Hale, arrived in Tagbilaran. Bohol is one of the last major islands in the Philippines to be invaded by American troops. Bernabe Reyes, ‘President’ of the ‘Republic of Bohol’ established on June 11, 1899, separate from Emilio Aquinaldo’s national government, did not exist. Major Hale hired and outfitted Petro Samson to build an insular police force. In late August, Samson took off and emerged a week later as the island’s leading guerilla. Company C of the 44th Volunteers encountered him on Aug. 31, 1900 near Carmen. The guerillas were armed with bolos, a few antique muskets and ‘anting-anting’ or amulets. More than 100 guerillas died. The Americans lost only one man. Two hundred men from the 19th US Regular Infantry Regiment led by Capt. Andrew S. Rowan, West Point Class 1881, reinforced the Americans on Bohol. On Sept. 3, 1900, they clashed with Pedro Samson in the Chocolate Hills. From then on through December, US troops and guerillas met in a number of engagements in the island’s interior, mostly in the mountains back of Carmen. Samson’s force consisted of Boholanos, Warrays from Samar and Leyte, and Ilonggos from Panay Island. They lacked firepower; most of them were armed simply with machetes. The Americans resorted to torture – most often ‘water cure’ – and a scorched-earth policy: prominent civilians were tortured; 20 of the 35 towns of Bohol were razed, and livestock was butchered wantonly to deprive the guerillas of food. In May 1901, when a US soldier raped a Filipina, her fiancé murdered him. In retaliation, Capt. Andrew S. Rowan torched the town of Jagna. On June 14-15, 1901, US troops clashed with Samson in the plain between Sevilla and Balilihan; Samson escapes, but Sevilla and Balilihan are burned to the ground. On Nov. 4, 1901, Brig. Gen. Robert Hughes, US commander for the Visayas, lands another 400 men at Loay. Torture and the burning of villages and towns picked up.(At US Senate hearings in 1902, when Brig. Gen. Robert Hughes described the burning of entire towns in Bohol by US troops to Senator Joseph Rawlins as a means of ‘punishment’ and Sen. Rawlins inquires, ‘But is that within the ordinary rules of civilized warfare?…’ General Hughes replied succinctly: ‘These people are not civilized.’) At Inabanga, the Americans killed the mayor and water-cured to death the entire local police force. The mayor of Tagbilaran did not escape the water cure. At Loay, the Americans broke the arm of the parish priest and used whiskey, instead of water, when they gave him the ‘water cure’. Major Edwin F. Glenn, who had personally approved the tortures, was later court-martialed.”

Among the arsenal of American weapons used in the massacre against machetes and spears was the 600-round Gatling gun. A Texas regiment compared engagement to a turkey shoot. By 1901 General MacArther replaces the Spanish governor-general in his Malacañan Palace on the Pasig river as his base of command for the Division of the Philippines, the largest in the Army at the time of nearly 72,000 enlisted men and 2,367 officers barracked in 502 garrisons throughout the islands. In three years of war, from February 4, 1899 to July 4, 1902, the Filipinos lose some 20,000 soldiers killed in action and 200,000 civilians; the Americans suffer 4,390 dead; among them 1,053 are killed in actual fighting. After pacification with order restored in 1901 Bonesman and future US President William Howard Taft is ceremoniously appointed Civil Governor. In the wake of Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet America ranks with the Empires, one step from the Boxer Rebellion and the sacking of the Imperial Palace in China, and only four years before at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Teddy Roosevelt arbitrates Czarist Russia’s defeat in the Russo-Japanese war of 1905.

So Time rolls out the red carpet for Fletcher. The Consortium diplomat is praised as “a suitable person to head the Commission” chosen “to flex out the ‘inequalities and injustices’ of the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act.” Fletcher ,“the suave, immaculate guide and counselor of his pre-inaugural South American tour”, has nearly three decades of prestigious service in the State Department: Cuba, Portugal, briefly in China (1907), Chile (1914), ambassador in Mexico (1916-20), and off to Europe after the Great War as an undersecretary at State in charge of economic matters (1921-22) before he settles into the cozy Paris ambassador’s residence (1922-24); then off again, this time to Rome (1924-29). (Time, Sept. 1, 1930)

Fletcher was part of a Stimson’s tightly-knit group of Consortium friends that included Bill Phillips, Basil Miles, Willard Straight, Gen. Frank McCoy of Stimson’s 1932 Manchurian Commission named for British diplomat V. A. G. R. Bulwer-Lytton, the 2nd Earl of Lytton. After meeting with government leaders in China and Japan in 1932 this group spends six weeks in Manchuria on a fact-finding mission in the spring. Their report condemns the Japanese aggression and occupation. Efforts to cool the burning embers have the reverse effect. Just over a year has passed since the plot of a radical ultra-nationalist group called the Cherry Blossom Society failed in their plot to overthrow the civilian government. Prime Minister Hamaguchi was shot in the Tokyo railroad station. This year a group of young military officers called the Blood Brotherhood kill Finance Minister Kaoru Inoue and Baron Dan, head of Mitzui, the largest zaibatsu. Then, on May 15 Prime Minister Inukai considered anti-militarist and an advocate of peace negotiations with China is murdered in his government residence by assassins shooting down government guards. That day several attacks failed including an attempt to bomb the Mitsubishi Bank, slay Count Makino and bomb the headquarters of the Tokyo police. Clans and cliques fought over what faction would ultimately dominate the sacred Imperial Palace and its hostage Emperor. “The young officers did not want total war. ‘It is obvious,’ said one of them, ‘that Japan’s relations with Russia, China, Britain and the United States are now so strained that any careless step on Japan’s part may throw our divine country into the abyss of war and annihilation,” the Seagraves write. (S. Seagrave and P. Seagrave, The Yamato Dynasty, 148)

The Seagraves describe conditions at the time: “The only real opposition to the Manchurian takeover came from Chinese citizens who boycotted Japanese exports, which fell an average of 90 percent in 1932. In Chinese cities, Japanese were beaten up or murdered. In Shanghai, portraits of Hirohito were paraded with paper daggers stuck through his heart. Here was an opportunity not to be missed. Japanese provocateurs posing as Buddhist monks provoked a quarrel with a Shanghai mob and two ‘monks’ were slain. At the time Japan’s navy was responsible for policing her commercial interests in Shanghai and there were a number of well-armed Japanese vessels in the Whangpo river. Knowing that reinforcements were already on the way, the Japanese admiral in Shanghai dispatched his marines and mobilized some of the city’s 30,000 Japanese residents. Immediately fighting broke out with the Chinese Nineteenth Route Army in Shanghai. Random gunshots were succeeded by artillery barrages and aircraft strafing and bombing runs. Large parts of the city were flattened. Thousands of Westerners watched the carnage from the relative safety of the International Settlement, so where Japan’s unseen actions in Manchuria had been applauded, its conspicuous brutalities in Shanghai were denounced. Tom Lamont lamented that the Japanese blunder (the blunder of being observed) would make it ‘impossible to arrange any (further) credit (for Tokyo), either through investment of banking circles’.” And that spring on March 27, 1933 Japan pulls out of the League of Nations taking another great step towards an inevitable and epic clash and realignment with Consortium global strategy. (S. Seagrave and P. Seagrave, The Yamato Dynasty, 145-6)

Miles, only 51 when he died in 1928, had been for the last six years the American Administrative Commissioner to the International Chamber of Commerce, a high-level position since his 1917 Bolshevik coup days in Petrograd with William Franklin Sands, a director of the New York Federal Reserve who sent a million dollars to the Bols. As the State Department’s chief Russian specialist Miles, he and his group advised US ambassador Francis how to “deal with all authorities in Russia including Bolsheviks”. (Sands had also intervened to help John Reed.) Sutton observes, “… Basil Miles, in charge of the Russian desk at the State Department and a former associate of William Franklin Sands, was decidedly helpful to the businessmen promoting Bolshevik causes; but in 1923 the same Miles authored a pro-fascist article, “Italy’s Black Shirts and Business”. Miles declares, “Success of the Fascists is an expression of Italy’s youth”. Miles sees in the fascist movement a bold new opportunity for the American Consortium gang. (A. C. Sutton, “Alliance of Bankers and Revolution”, Wall Street and the Bolsheviks)

One little story Luce and Time will not divulge is the saga of 1718 H Street in Washington. There “the Family” hang out in a smart little DC townhouse reserved for a tightly-knit set of top hotshot Consortium diplomats. It began in 1907 the best and the brightest moving up fast at State rented the home of retired Army General William H. Emery. Some time after Basil Miles (Oxford) is assigned to Petrograd, in 1914, they decide to buy “1718” to ensure a cornerstone residence for “the Family,” actually a very private men’s hideaway. Other members of the “1718” club include Bill Phillips, Willard Straight, and Norman Davis, the sugar magnate who organizes the Trust Company of Cuba and a wartime adviser to Treasury on foreign loans and an Armistice delegate; Boston Mayor Andrew J. Peters; New York Fed Governor Benjamin Strong, Undersecretary David K. E. Bruce, scion of a distinguished line of Virginians including Patrick Henry (Princeton). In 1926 Bruce marries his first wife Ailsa Mellon, daughter of Andrew W. Mellon and the richest woman in America, more rich even than the Harriman women. During the war Bruce joins Bill Phillips in the OSS and listed to head the newly formed CIA. Instead he got ambassadorships at Paris (1949-52), Berlin (1957-59), and London (1961-69). During the Vietnam Peace Talks Bruce follows Lodge as US envoy to Paris.

To crown his achievements as often happens with the Consortium top cadre, David K. E. Bruce served two years as US ambassador to NATO (1975-76); Undersecretary Joseph C. Grew, later ambassador to Japan; Leland Harrison (Eton and Harvard ’07); Frederick Sterling (Harvard ’98); undersecretary and NY lawyer, Joseph Cotton, James C. Dunn, and Francis White. Between missions Norman Armour is another regular showing up at 1718 H Street bringing his friends from St. Pauls, Princeton ‘09, Harvard Law ‘13. During the Russian Revolution Armour was a junior officer in the US embassy; in the tumult he helped Princess Myra Koudacheff escape from the Bols and married her. Parties at 1718 H Street inevitably includes the Roosevelts, no strangers to this crowd. As most members are married house rules are set to allow for a spirited and proper longevity of all-male “The Family” while preserving the residence as an all-male “club for the social elite of the Diplomatic Service”. And it’s strictly off-limits to pressmen.

Historian Robert D. Schulzinger called the house “virtually a second FO”. Across town, at the Smithsonian, visitors to the art gallery might have seen the 1925 exhibit of a collection of bronze and terracotta which included Mussolini emboldened in black marble next to H. Fletcher in bronze. When Fletcher presented his credentials to the dictator, Time ran a glossy tribute to the Republican Party bagman comparing him to his soviet counterpart.

In the issue appearing April 7, 1924 Luce writes “Henry Fletcher, new American Ambassador to Italy (Time, March 3), and Mrs. Fletcher were welcomed at the Rome railway station by Marchese Paplucci, personal representative of Premier Mussolini, and by the staff of the American Embassy. On the same day another new Ambassador presented his credentials to King Vittorio Emanuele III. He was M. Jurenev, Ambassador of Soviet Russia. Jurenev with all the members of his staff, imitated the absurd American custom of wearing full evening dress as a diplomatic uniform. He drove to the Quirinal Palace, received a salute from an honor guard,”entered the throne room, engaged in 20 minutes of cordial conversation with the King”. Quite an impressive rise to power since his Rough Rider cowboy days with TR in Puerto Rico. Its hard today to know who was more ridiculous, Luce, Fletcher, Mussolini, the Italian King, or comrade Jurenev…