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- 1915 October 19 (Creation)
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H. L. Loucks thanks Pettigrew for his support. He mentions taking advantage the "rural credit" issue to advance his agenda. He also talks about furthering his views by giving an address to the Christian Endeavor Society and visiting with farm and labor organizati
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Hon. R. F. Pettigrw,
Sioux Falls S. Dak.
My Dear Friend,
I am more than pleased with your kind letter of the 14th.
I do get very much discouraged at times, and have several times of late felt that I must give up the unequal task self imposed of course, but it has become my religion, and I pitch in once more. I believe that I have with you struck bed rock on these vital economic principles, and that if I had the opportunity I could do effective work, but I am handicapped in every way imaginable. I have neither material in the way of current literature, help or expense money to go ahead with a well thot out plan of campaign.
We must attract the peoples attention to these problems along new lines as it were. There can be no change as to the fundamental principles but my idea is that we must change the manner of presenting them, and I can think of no better plan than to use current events. As an illustration of what I mean, I am trying to do it in a small way now.
There can be no question but that “ Rural Credits was injected as a fake to capture the farmer vote. But it has acquired quite a place in the public eye. I am trying to take advantage of it and use it.
I lay my foundation broad enuf to raise the whole issue as opportunity offers, and then offer a substitute plan which in essence mans money at cost, thru public service mediums. In so far as I have been able to ra reach them it has started a good many thinking. It is a new way of presenting the old thought. That is all. Now my idea of following up is to make use of current happenings, and point a moral.
The newspaper reports of what The Sec. of Labor and Interior propose doing gives an opening. It will have no effect on them of course, but it would attract attention. Then oir own condition, and our foreign loans, with Bryans brilliant idea gives another opportunity. Then the an annual “ emergency” fake gives another opportunity and so on. There is not a week passes that there is not a good object lesson going to waste.
Some three weeks ago The Cong. Minister requested me to give an address to the Christian Endeavors next Sunday on their national topic “ Capturing Politics For GOD.” At first I thot he was joking as I am not much of an authority on capturing politics for anything, but I saw an opportunity, and have given more than two solid weeks to the preparation of a 20 minute address. The same old thing, but from a new angle. I have it typed and gave it to our own Pastor (Presbyterian” and shown it to the Cong. Minister, and they are both very much pleased with it, and want to have it published. The same old views in a new dress. Will send you a copy later. Now that is my idea for present propaganda.
Your letter gives me an idea that has been incubating for some time.
You have a genius for making money. You are in touch with a good many who believe with us on economic questions. There are plenty, who like yourself have the money and the desire to help, but not the time.
They would gladly asist in a propaganda plan that would appeal to them. $25 – 50 - $100 a month. Organize an “ Economic Bureau of information at Washington D. C. with me in charge for just such work as this.
I should be able to visit as many as possible of the national and state farm and labor organizations to get them interested. I think many of them would gladly pay the expense of a visit and be induced to contribute to help such a bureau. I would prefer that it be under your Presidency, as I would know that there would be no strings attached.
I would gladly start with the bare expense guaranteed, as I feel that it would grow. To start with the expense need not be large. I suggested something to the Master of The Washington State Grange a few weeks ago, and he is cordial y in favor, and would help push it along.
Think it over
There is to be a whole week next week in Chicago, the first three three days with The Peoples Money League, and the last three devoted to Co-operative marketing. etc. But I presume that you are posted as to those meetings. I think that The Peoples Money League is probably in pretty good hands. I have sent them some of my literature, but did not have time to prepare a special paper. J. Weller Lang and old Pep is interested in both on behalf of the American Society of Equity.
Had I been able I would have liked to attend, but it is impossible.
I wish that you could though. Now is a good time to begin shaping for the future. I doubt if a check can be given to the exploiters, but if not there will be awful times within the next ten years.
Evidently it has got to get worse before it can get better.
The open Forum proposition at Washington is not opening up as I had hoped for. The contributors while progressive are I fear moderate progressives and will want to shape things along their own lines. But if I went to Washington I could cooperate to a certain extent with Hampton who is a royal good fellow. But their work for the near future is not advanced enuf. Amos Pinchot seems to be coming all right, and no doubt Gifford is in accord. But you will know better whom to sound.
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