The Brooklyn Daily Eagle from Brooklyn, New York on February 22, 1925 · Page 58
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The Brooklyn Daily Eagle from Brooklyn, New York · Page 58

Brooklyn, New York
Issue Date:
Sunday, February 22, 1925
Page 58
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STEVENSON'S ARTICLE and REAL ESTATE FASHIONS WOMEN THEA TERS AND FILMS FIVF PFNTS '" " i mi vi rrv rs MOW YOUK CITY, SUNDAY, FKimiLVKY '2'2, V.KZ. Scanda D rosecution Ls rieid Back in- the Federal Courts BROOKLYN DAIIji ii.AbrJL.Ji. Why Oil A Senate Investigating Com mittee Unearths an Astounding State of Affairs in the Interior Department and Among Big Operators, Indictments Are Returned i and Still There Is an Unex plained Delay of Justice. By FREDERICK BOYD STEVfcNSON. About a year ago the most hnsational National) Scandal ever unearthed in this Country came into full view. , 1 ' It was the Teapot Dome and other oil leases. The Stench of its Rottenness inside and outside of Governmental Circles -rose to Heaven. A year ago a Special United States Senate Investi gation Committee got to work, and reported groundsi for the prosecution of the principals in this National Scandal. , V , 1 A year ago President Coolidge ordered prompt Government prosecution of all acciised .of criminal actions in the Oil Leases. ; A year has passed. ' ' . What has happened?, Nothing. ' No one has been prosecuted. " -- WJiv? '.'''' Ask the Smooth Lawyers. ' Ask the Smooth Politicians. The only one behind the Prison Bars is Justice, v ' Cobivebs have been woven about the Law.' T HERE, are now two Oil Scandals in Washington. The ono is the Scandal pf the Naval Oil Reserves. The other is the Scandal of the High Authorities in not bringing the defendants in the Oil Scandal to the Bar of Justice. What influence is being brought to hoar to keep these defendants out of Court? Is it. Political? Is it the fear that the Scandal will reach into Higher Zones? Is the Delay of Justice. premed. Jtated and deliberate as a part of the shrewd criminal lawyers' ancient and well-known Game of wearing nut Public Interest, with firm faith in the old theory that Time dulls remembrance that an indignant People soon forget their Indignation? And yet this National Scandal, still reeking with tilth still .offensive to the nostrils - of decent men still hangs over the Administration as a National Disgrace. It Ftt ill hangs over the People of this Country that placed the Administration in Power, as a National Disgrace. Why ls not the Machinery of the Government put into action to wipe out the Disgrace? Why does not the Senate demand that action lie. taken? ' , Where are those Senators who were the loudest in the denunciation of the Scandal a year ago? Let's Jog Our Memories A Bit About That Reeking Teapot Dome. Has all Washington gone Cold? And indeed are the America people themselves becoming indlffer-tnt to the enforcement of the Law? Are they becoming inured to the rampant crime that prevails throughout the Country to th! escape of murderers from noose and chair through the cunning of paid defeat-rs of the Law ut the Bar and the lack of a legal sense of Justice on the part of many sitting on the Bench? Are they becoming so used to rend-ing of holdups and burglaries mid defalcations mid forgeries and open (lefliince of the Law by nil classes even the so-called Higher Classes that the idea o Enforcement of the Year After Sensational Law has gone stale upon their men-tallties and their moralities? It looks that way. But do we forgot so easily ? Let's Jog our memories. There wore three Naval Oil Reserves under the guardianship of Albert B. Fall while Secretary of the Interior, which he turned over to pri. vate parties. Two of these are In California and the other the Teapot Dome, over which the great Scandal arose Is In' Wyoming. It is about forty miles from the town of Cas. per and gets Its name from'the oddly shaped mountain formation in the vicinity. ' Teapot Dome Is a great natural pocket of oil. The lowest estimate of its capacity is 12,000,000 barrels, nnd , that varies up to 135,000,000 barrels and, perhaps, an almost endless flow. While President Roosevelt was in office there was considerable discussion in favor of conserving this oil Held entirely for the use of the Navy. And this movement under President Taft and later under President Wilson .came to full success, and Teapot Dome was set aside for naval purposes. Both Republicans and Democrats supported the movement as a non-partisan measure in view of the importance of having a suffi cient supply of oil for our Navy. Secretary Daniels, in a report to President Wilson In 1914, said: "Henceforth all the fighting ships which are added to the fleet will use oil, and the transition from coal to oil will mark an era in our naval development almost comparable with the change from black powder to smokeless powder for our guns. "I am'of the opinion that the Navy should use Us own oil lands and ultimately produce, transport, refln and storo Its own supply of oil, In order that the Navy Department may at all times be assured of an adequate snp-ply of fuel bll at reasonable cost, so that full arlvantngo may ;be taken of the grout superiority of oil as a fuel without fear ota privately controlled price, forcing the Government to enormous Increase in cost f operation of the fleet or reduced nctlvlty of the fleet In time of greatest need to the Nation." Four years Inter Secretary Daniels again wrote, Urging the reservation I SHIFTING PLACES WITH CRIME rat twA'awx jdi.;r" i.w.nnm 11 , i w k u ,mzm of the three pll fields that now fig. ure In this Scandal. Io recommended ". -That the Navy may be Justified In building oll-burntng ves-sels, am to assure an adequate future supply of fuel, the President sot asldo Reserves 1 and 2 in California and 3 - la Wyoming, the Teapot Dome." And yet in face of the warning and In face of the recommendation; Secretary Fall deliberately leased all three of those oil reserves to private corporations." The most pronounced of those leases yind the ono that has been under in-vestlgatlon and should now be prosecuted is the lease of Teapot Dome. Archie Roosevelt and Wahlberg Get Mixed On Dollars and Cows. And that lease was made in 1021! with the full approval of the lule President Harding. In fact, when the Senate voted to Inquire 'into the oil leases, President Harding said: "I think it is only fair to say, in this connection that the policy which has been adopted by the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of the Interior in dealing with these matters was submitted to me prior to the adoption thereof, and the policy decided upon and the subsequent acts have at all times had my entire approval." At the time the lease was signed for the Teapot Dome Senator John B. Kendrlck of Wyoming questioned tho wisdom of the uct nnd the De-rnrtment of tho Interior replied that the Teapot Dome field was being tapped by adjacent wells In tht Salt Creek Held and was in danger of being drained unless operations there were begun nt onee and that the Government was not ready to begin them.. , ' At that time oil operators n the vicinity and geologists declared that Teapot Dome could not possibly be drained from the outside, and It has since been asserted by experts that It Is a pocket so hemmed in by earth 1'nrmhtlons that it cannot be tapped from 'the outside. " - Attention was thou called to the fact that the lease had been secretly consummated without notice to the State of Wyoming or to any of the independent oil men interested In the matter. Then the relations between Secretary Fall and Harry F. Sinclair, the lessee of Ten pot 'Dome, began to be known. Some of Mr. Fall's neigh-bors in New Mexico told the Investigating committee of the signs of prosperity ,on the Fall ranch near Three Rivers. Mr. Fall was questioned about that. He said the improvements on ils ranch were made out of J 100.000 leut to him by Edward B. McLean, publisher of the Washington Post. Mr. McLean said he . had lent Mr. Full some money in "the form of checks, but the cheeks had come back to him uncashed. Somebody was getting away from bedrock facts. Then young Archibald Roosevelt, son of the late President Roosevelt, was dragged into the ease. He wa in the employ of Harry F. Sinclair, lesseo of Teapot Dome and one o the richest and most daring of nil owners and speculators in the world. Young Roosevelt testitled that he had Just resigned as Vice President of the Union Petroleum Company, a foreign subsidiary of the Sinclair oil interests, because of his "suspicions" in the Teapot Dome case. His brother, Theodore Roosevelt, at that time was Assistant Secretary of the Navy, un-der Edwin Denny, Secretary of the Navy, who acquiesced in tho leases cf the naval oil reserves. Theodore Roosevelt claimed ho did not know whnt was going on In regard to these very Important leasesso vital to the Navy. Why, Certainly, Doheny Lent $100,000 to Old Friend Secretary Fall. Then Archibald Roosevelt volunteered that he bad been informed by H. D. Wahlberg, conlldciitiiU secretary to H. F. Sinclair, that Mr Sin-cluir hud made a mysterious payment of $liK,000 to the foreman or the Fill I r:i null.' Tills looked like n lend. The Senate committee was quick to follow it up. Mr. Wahlberg, the confidential sec-totary, was called. Piffle! Ho never said anything of the kind to yqung Roosevelt or anybody else! ' All he said was aomeUilngv about "six or eight rows" not a whisper about $(S,000. Naturally the Senatorial committeemen were a hit In the nir. Then another gentleman appeared on the scene. , He was Edward L. Doheuy, Amer-loan, and wealthy Mexican oil operator iu fact, quite a spectacular plunger. He Is a friend of Mr. Fall. And It was Mr. Fall who leased to Mr. Doheny the two California Naval Oil Reserves for the good of the country. Mr. Doheny rather threw the Senatorial committeemen off their respective balances when he blandly informed them that he was. the kind- Who's Who in CARAWAY, THADDEUS H.-U. S. Senator. Arkansas, known as the Democratic Gadfly of the Senate and Chief .Critic of the Oil Scandals. DAUGHERTY, HARRY M. Ohio; Attorney General in Harding's Cabinet, who, saying he would ne'er resign, resigned. DENBY, EDWIN Former Secretary of the Navy, Michigan, nhquiesced in leases of Naval Oil Reserves. DOHENY, EDWARD L. Big Moxicnn Oil Operator, friend of Fall's, whom he said he lent $100,000, leased California Naval Oil Reserves from Interior Department. FALL, ALBERT B. Former Senator from New Mexico, Secretary of the Interior in Harding's Cabinet, leased the Naval Oil Reserves. McLEAN, EDWARD B. Publisher of the Washington Post and friend of Mr. Fall, sender of cod& telegrams. ROOSEVELT, ARCHIBALD Resigned as Vice President of Sin-clair Oil Company; father, as President, originated policy of conserving Naval Oil Reserves. ROOSEVELT, THEODORE jr. Assist irt Secretary of lha Navy under Dcnby: war not cognizant of Naval Oil leases, and resigned. SINCLAIR. HARRY F. World Famous Oil Operator who obtained a secret lease of tho Naval Oil Reserve, Teapot Dome. WALSH, TIIQMAK J IT. S. Senator from Montana. Democrat,'' noted constitutional lawyer and leader iu pushing investigation of Teapot Dome. hearted gentleman who lent Mr. Fall $100,000. That is a little thingi you know, and Mr. Fall had probably forgotten all about it and about returning the uncashed checks to Mr. McLean. Or could It be possible that aftw all Mr. Fall was right and Mr. McLean and Mr. Doheny were the ones who had the bad memories? And some of those Senators from tho back counties were wondering why in Heck either Mr. McLean or Mr. Doheny should lend to Mr. Fall $100,000 or even why Mr. Sinclair should figure on "six or eight cows." But Mr. Doheny waved all doubt away when he remarked just like that it was quite natural as he and the former Secretary of the Interior who was so quick to lease Government Oil Reserves worth millions of dollars were old. old friends. And what's $100,000 and for that matter, the Constitution between friends? . And after that thing,-, began com- Oil Investigation Expose ing along pretty fast. The committee was advised that Harry M, Daughcrty, the Attorney General who would have to prosecute tho oil dabblers if they ever were prose cuted and if the prosecutor could st'ek it out till they were had been speculating in Sinclair oil stock. Senator Wheeler put the information in his possession before President Coolidge. What Mr. Coolidge said if anything is not on record. Few things that he dues say when he docs say anything arc on record. But Dangherty stuck to his job. He hud been a great power in Ohio politics. In fact, he probably 'more than any other mini put over the' presidential nomination for Harding. Pressure was brought upon CoolUhc to force Dnughertys resignation, hot the Attorney General bold his ground, even defying the President. At Inst it came too strong for him, and he backed down and out. Secretary Denby hail resigned voluntarily, saying he did not wish to embarrass the President. In the meantime. Senator Elkins of West Virginia Admitted that he had bought Sinclair Oil stock, but at the time he knew nothing of the oil leases. Senate Committee Makes Stiff Charges in Report to Senate. And in the course of the Investigation a score or more of telegrams, bearing on the oil question and all oddressed to Edward B. McLean ar Palm Beach, were read Into the records of the Seriate committee. Quite a number of them were written in code and the words "apples" and "peaches" figured frequently. The messages showed Mr. McLean's anxiety to keep out of the investigation, and he sought through his representatives in Washington to bring pressure to bear on Senator Thomas J. Walsh to drop the inquiry so far as Mr. McLean was concerned. Soon after these messages had been published William J. Hums, chief nt' the Bureau of Investigation at the Department of Justice, testiliod that Mc Lean had been placed on the o roll of secret agents of the Depart, ment In 1021 and was still retained in flint connection nt tho time of the Investigation. Finally on June r, 101'f, the report of the Senate committee which had investigated the oil lenses to Sinclair and Doheny was transmitted to the Senate by Senator WaMi of Montana, prosecutor of, the committee. The report charged that "utter dls--egtird of the law" and "unwarranted assumption of authority" were displayed by Albert B. Fall In connec-lion with tho leases. , The report questioned the legality of the executive order issued by President Harding In May. 1921. transferring control of the Naval Oil Reserves from the Secretary of the Navy to the Secretary of the Interior and contended flint tho established policy of Congress had been flouted by Secretary Fall. Especial emphasis was put upon the testimony of Edward L. Doheny that h" had lent $100 000 to Secretary Fall pending negotiations for the lease of Naval Reserve No. 1 In California. The report further stated that the lease of Teapot Dome was secretly let to Harry F. Sinclair without competitive bidding. What Has Become of Those Four Criminal Indictments of 1924? Four criminal Indictments were returned by a Federal Grand Jury in Washington against the principals In the oil leases on June 110, 1024. These men were indicted Albert B. Fall-Harry F. Sinclair E, L. Doheuy Sr. E. L. Doheny Jr. In the first indictment Fall, Doheny Sr. and Doheny Jr. were charged with conspiracy to defraud the Government of the United States in con-uectloii with the leasing or the California Oil Reserve. In the second Indictment Fall and Sinclair were charged with conspiracy to defraud the Government in connection with the Teapot Dome oli l"nse. In the third indictment Fall was charted with accepting 'n bribe of ?'.ni!.iMin for using his oflicial infl-ence in the California lenses in be- nilf of Doheny Sr. In flu1 fourth Indictment the two Dohenys were charged with inducing Fnli, in behalf of the Pan-American Petroleum Company, by the "unlawful nnd felonious" payment of $10(1,000 to take an unlawful action. In the testimony before the Senate Oil Committee It was stated that Secretary Fall was lent $100,000 by Doheny Sr. and the money was delivered in a satchel by Doheny Jr. Later on Doheny Sr. obtained the lease to the Elk Hills Oil Reserve in California. Sinclair i elvod the Teapot Dome, Wyoming. Oil reserve without com petitive bidding. High Time That This Second Scandal Should Be Investigated. There are the indictments. Why are not prosecutions begun? The American Bar Association places the bliune upon Congress for tailing to pass certain measures now before it to expedite criminal prosecutions of this character. Members of the Senate committee which in-vcstignted the oil cases deny this. They will be sustained in theit de Hints, for criminal cases have been tried before without the proposed laws. Senator Thomas .1. Walsh of Montana and Senator William K. Borah of Idaho and Senator Thaddous H. Caraway of Arkansas, iu writing lo The Eagle, deny that the non-passage of these bills was the cause of tin-delay ami all are opposed to the bills as detrimental. Martin W. Littleton, counsel for Sinclair, nnd Krnnk H. Hogan. counsel for Doheny. evaded the question propounded by The Eagle as to the cause of delay. In the meantime you and I and probably several other men who are figuratively speaking up a tree, and who perhaps are not conversant with the clever tricks of the legal profession, nor with Senatorial courtesy, nor with diplomatic jugglery know full well that there are far too many grievous delays in criminal prosecutions. We know that this Rotten Oil Scandal has been n disgrace to the hide Country. We know it should be cleaned Hp. It is high time that this Second Scanda! the Scandal of Delay should, be investigated. s

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