Letter: H.L. Loucks to R.F. Pettigrew, November 26, 1915

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MA 23 | B01-F03-I14

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  • 1915 November 26 (Creation)


2 pages

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H.L. Loucks expresses his doubt about joining Richard O. Richards in an independent political alliance. Loucks talks about not taking part in the state primary elections and that although he will not lead in the creation of an independent party, he will be willing to help the movement. Loucks asks Pettigrew to reread his address to the Christian Endeavor Society. He discusses his view regarding the money question and the preparedness issue.

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Nov. 26th.
My dear Pettigrw,

Many thanks for yours of the 20th.

John B. Hanten had a visit with Richards in Huron a short time ago, and he says that he is again suffering from one of his attacks, and is being watched quite closely, by his best friend.

I doubt if we can go with Richards even into an Independent movement. I tried it last year, and he failed me at every turn. There is just one way, and that is his way. I am in favor of the independent movement, but we must organize, and if he will, let him come with us.

I have no present intention of registering in taking part in the primaries. There must be a new alignment in both state and nation, why not South Dakota lead once more?

I cannot lead this time, but I am ready to help, and my plans all look in that direction. You are the man to lead. Let us take the issues now before the public. What do all these big gatherings of producer and consumer mean. On top of that the Jingoe.

If financed I can get access to a vast reading circle, and help pave the way. That is what I have been driving at, but I can do no more until help comes. And this is to get your advice on what seems to be a very good opening. You asked me some time ago about the South Dakota Farmer, The enclosed correspondence was wholly unexpected. A year or two ago I would have jumped at the opportunity of using both the Farmer and The Press, but I cannot now without compensation. Say nothing about it. I have written Schlosser to come up to talk it over fully. I might take some chances on compensation thru subscriptions, but not wholly., and if they have to pay, undoubtedly they would want the exclusive right to the study etc.

That is not my ideal at all, but it would be better than doing nothing, and geting out of the swing. I have written you before of my idea. If we could furnish the copy free we could get millions of circulation, and I will not tie myself up now in hopes that you can arrange for such a Bureau. The winter is the time to make an impression, more especially among the farmers, and now when this rural credit fake is being worked is a splendid opportunity.

In re my Christian Endeavor address, you do not catch the point.

Read it over again carefully and I think you will see that I get after them much better than I could outside. I have taken the chance of having it put in leaflet form, and when I can will send to every Preacher and Priest in the state. It has opened the eyes of a few her.

My idea is catch a man or woman on one point, and they are apt to inquire further. Again in that I purposely laid a broad foundation. I have your platform incorporated, except that instead of “without compensation” I would tax back from the defaulting, or unfaithful trustees. See paragraph I marked. There is so much in the way you frame an appeal to the people.
Without compensation, or confiscation, sounds harsh, and gives an opening that might just as well be avoided.

The same is true of the money question “direct” is wholly impracticable. Again “at cost” and “without interest” has been used and ridiculed so long, that I have found “without private profit” hits a responsive chord, and is invulnerable when applied to a public utility. But it means exactly the same thing. In dealing with the land problem I would approach land monopoly with a graduated surtax, after personal property and improvements from taxation.
For the “Preparedness” issue I would advocate that all the preparations for offense and defense that might be necessary should be by the government direct by day labor. Cut out private profit and we cut out the manufacturing of the war spirit. On such a platform I am with you if it never gets beyond we two. On that line I will conduct any newspaper propaganda as far as opportunity offers.

I wish that you could come up some day to talk it over between trains.

Sincerely yours,

H. L. Loucks

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MA 23 H.L. Loucks Correspondence with R.F. Pettigrew Box 1 Folder 3 Item 14

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