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JUDGE L. C. CAMTON
ALLEGED DIVULGENCE OF PRESIDENT'S NOTE TO
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON RULES,
Friday, January 5, '1917. The committee met at 10 o'clock a. m., Hon. Robert L. Henry (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will be in order. Gentlemen, the committee is in session to consider House resolution 429, adopted by the House on January 3, 1917, and sent to this committee for action, to be reported on within 10 days. Subsequent to the adoption of the resolution, which was privileged, on the same day the House adopted another resolution, introduced by Mr. Garrett, of Tennessee, conferring certain powers on the Committee on Rules. I suggest that these resolutions should be inserted in the record—both of them.
(The resolutions referred to are as follows:)
[House resolution 420, Sixty-fourth Congress, second session.) Resolved, That a committee of five Representatives be appointed by the Speaker of the House to investigate and make report as to whether or not anyone high in the administration of governmental affairs in the United States, or any relative of anyone high in authority in the administration of governmental affairs in the United States, profited financially, either directly or indirectly, by the fluctuation in the stock market occurring on Thursday, December twenty-first, nineteen hundred and sixteen, following the two contradictory interpretations given to the public from the office of the Secretary of State concerning the note of the President of the United States dated December twentieth, nineteen hundred and sixteen, to the belligerent powers.
[House Resolution 429, Sixty-fourth Congress, second session.] Whereas Thomas W. Lawson, of Boston, gave to the public a statement which appears
in the daily newspapers under date of December twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth, nineteen hundred and sixteen, in which he says, amongst other things, that “If it was actually believed in Washington there was to be a real investigation of last week's leak there would not be a quorum in either the Senate or House next Monday and a shifting of bank accounts similar to those in the good old sugar investigation days;” and in another statements which appears in the daily press of December thirty-first, nineteen hundred and sixteen, he says, “The good old Capitol has been wallowing in Wall Street leak grafts for forty years, wallowing hale and hearty;"
and Whereas the statements of the aforesaid Thomas W. Lawson, and each of them, affect
the dignity of this House and the integrity of its proceedings and the honesty of its Members;
Resolved, that the Speaker appoint a select committee of five Members of the House and that such committee be instructed to inquire into the charges made by the aforesaid Thomas W. Lawson, and for such purpose it shall have power to send for persons and papers and enforce their appearance before said committee, and to administer oaths, and shall have the right to make report at any time.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee is now in session, in pursuance of the instructions of the House to take up this and matters pertaining to it.
Mr. CAMPBELL. Now, Mr. Chairman, I move that a notice be sent by the committee to the New York Stock Exchange asking them to preserve their books and papers covering the period from December 18 on, so that these papers may be available for this or any committee that may be appointed hereafter.
Mr. CHIPERFIELD. May I suggest, Mr. Campbell, that you go a step further and require their members to do the same thing?
Mr. CAMPBELL. Yes.
Mr. PATTEN. Why is the date December 18 specified, may I ask?
Mr. PATTEN. What is the date of the publication of the peace note?
Mr. BENNET. The 20th.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, gentlemen, suppose I state the motion, and then if there are any amendments to this resolution we can take them up. The resolution as introduced by Mr. Campbell is before the committee for action.
Mr. PATTEN. I move to amend the date to read December 10.
Mr. HARRISON. I suggest including Hibbs & Co. They are stock brokers in this city, and members of the New York Stock Exchange.
Mr. CAMPBELL. They are members; they say they are members.
Mr. HARRISON. I move to include in the resolution W. B. Hibbs & Co.
The CHAIRMAN. Gentlemen, you have heard the amendment. Is there objection?
Mr. BENNET. What is the amendment ?
Mr. BENNET. I am not sure whether there are any other stockexchange houses in Washington.
Mr. HARRISON. I do not know.
Mr. BENNET. I think there is a Post and somebody; what is the name of it?