• U.S.

Letters, Dec. 31, 1934

9 minute read

Death & Taxes


. . . I cannot refrain from making the following suggestion to the civilized nations of the world.

As a means of increasing their tax receipts and of thereby being able to pay their debts, and at the same time to build, equip and endow hospitals for all communities, thereby benefiting humanity instead of satisfying our own sentimental vanity, I propose that a tax of 100% be placed on the cost of burial, starting with the wreath or what have you after death, through to the finished and marked grave.

If this were done, perhaps within a few hundred years we would eliminate this fanatical, superstitious and heathenishly extravagant expenditure on the dead, to the great advantage of the living.

D. J. FOSS Wooster, Ohio

What do other TiME-readers say?—ED.

“Crackpots, Sissies, Bums”


I say, down with the Legion of Decency and all other forms of pernicious busybodying. Such things serve only to emphasize as indecent what would otherwise pass unnoticed. In this free country a man ought to have a right to see a filthy show if he wants to. Preventing him from seeing it will not prevent him from being the kind of person that wants to. . . . Censorship, for all its misguided good intentions, is just another racket the people have to pay for. . . .

All talk of smutty movies ruining children is nonsense. Children are cither too young to get the point or old enough to know better. If they are neither, whose fault is that?

We are becoming a nation of crackpots, buck-passers, sissies andbums. . . .

G. STEVENSON New Haven, Conn.


In your issue of Dec. 10 there is an article on religion in which that able and distinguished theologian, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, in his discourse on the subject speaks disparagingly of its powers—”For it lifts up its voice, but only to protest. It cannot command.” . . . It is quite evident that Dr. Schweitzer is not cognizant of recent religious activities in the U. S. I refer, in particular, to the Legion of Decency recently organized by the Catholic Church. . . .

It was created to command. It laid down an ultimatum to movie producers: Either cease productions of indecent shows or we withdraw our patronage. This group was speaking for the Catholics of the U. S., 20,000,000 strong. And as a proof of the power of the church, over 75% of that number, or approximately 16,000,000 Catholics immediately pledged allegiance and obedience to this edict. What greater proof of religion’s power of command could one desire?

HENRY J. PHELAN Memphis, Tenn.


Fearful that the latest move of the Legion of Decency . . . indicates what inflictions might be made on other forms of entertainment, other than the cinema, by . . . Roman Catholics, kindly inform me whether or not an anti-league movement has been organized.

R. B. SEITZ Cleveland Heights, Ohio

No countermovement has been organized. The cinema industry is working toward an “understanding”‘ with heads of the Legion of Decency.—ED.

Sharon for Apple-Joan


Two of my three daughters have protested so strongly against the caption under their mother’s picture on p. 73 of your Nov. 19 issue that the writing of this letter has been literally forced upon me. The daughter appearing with me in the cut in question is Sharon Walsh and not Apple-Joan Vail, as TIME states. Apple-Joan would have written you herself only she doesn’t write yet. and Sharon writes only German script which might have proved a bit troublesome to you.

KAY BOYLE Kitzhubel, Tirol, Austria

“Loving Push”


. . . Your first letter under Letters, i.e. Mr. Phillips’ (TIME;, Dec. 10), gave me the thought of how worthwhile life really is in the friends we have and their loving helpful push in aiding us over the top. Honestly now, wasn’t it magnificent of Mr. Phillips to come to the uncalled-for defense of Mr. Chrysler’s tomatoes? That’s just about as “big a flock” of sportsmanship as I know. More power to Mr. Phillips—you wish them both joy with their terrapin—and I will add— I know they’ll relish the dish. Just being together must be happiness to them—that’s the unstated thought between the lines. All the world loves a thoroughbred.

H. W. EVANS Chemainus, B. C.

Motormaker Walter P. Chrysler wagered Col. Albanus Phillips (Phillips Packing Co.) that he could raise ten tons of tomatoes on an acre of his Maryland estate. Stake: a diamond-back terrapin dinner. Mr. Chrysler lost (TIME, Nov. 26). He visited Soupman Phillips at the latter’s 6,700-acre game preserve near Cambridge, Md. (see cut), made plans for the dinner debt payment sometime after New Year’s. Meanwhile Col. Phillips gave another “loving helpful push” to a friend in Abilene, Tex., whose cherished Red Irish Setter had died. Col. Phillips acquired the pedigreed Red Cloudburst, sent it to his friend for Christmas in an airplane piloted by Miss Katrina Canning, onetime stenographer.—ED.



TIME’S reporter who speaks of the President’s “thoroughbred bulls” (The Presidency. Dec. 10) would surely flunk the Animal Husbandry Course at Iowa State College. In proper livestock parlance, “thoroughbred” refers only to one specific breed of English type saddle horses, Webster’s definition notwithstanding.

If the President’s bulls are eligible to registration in the herdbook of their breed, they are purebred, but not thoroughbred.

BERT S. GITTINS Freeze-Vogel-Crawford Inc. Milwaukee. Wis.

“Bit of Sanity”


I have noted your remarks in your Dec. 17 issue about the National Association of Manufacturers’ meeting.

It strikes me that your article is very misleading and unfair. You belittle and ridicule efforts to inject a bit of sanity and soundness into our present government.

It is true that a platform was adopted “consisting of all the familiar things that the men who go to such congresses favor.” Did you expect them to depart from proven sound policies to follow the hairbrain courses of the Administration? . . .

It is very well for Richberg to yell out, “Damn the torpedoes. Go ahead.” That makes sensational headline stuff for such as you. but business has been torpedoed by the Richbergs and got nowhere by it. …

GEORGE BAEKELAND Vice President Bakelite Corporation New York City

. . . You mention the fact that there were four or five outstanding executives not present. Frankly, I was very pleased to note that there were some additional outstanding executives in the country who had the ability and the initiative to undertake this immense piece of work. It does not do the country one bit of good, and I do not think anything accrues to business, if only the same few men fight the battle — it takes the whole industry. … I think your whole article is entirely in the wrong spirit. . . .

ERNEST V. MONCRIEFF President Swan-Finch Oil Corporation New York City


. . . My impression of the meeting was that it was a serious effort. . . .

I cannot understand your attitude.

DONALD E. RUST Treasurer Rust Craft Publishers, Inc. Boston, Mass.


. . . You totally overlook the fact that this meeting had been preceded by conferences extending over six months, and has been succeeded, as was planned, by the important industrial conference now under way at White Sulphur Springs. . . . You entirely omit mention of the important addresses by an ex-Governor of Wisconsin; the counsel of the National Association of Manufacturers; the president of the National Industrial Conference Board, and the professor of economics of Lehigh University, as well as the complete answer (occupying 30 seconds) of Mr. James A. Emery to Mr. Richberg’s speech. Neither do you mention the unprecedentedly large attendance. . . .

The absentees that you list are good men, able citizens and representatives of great industries, but the great mass of American manufacturers employ fewer than 100 employes each; and the hundreds of earnest men, and a few earnest women, who were in attendance, constantly, throughout the conference, were truly representative of American manufacturers. . . .



. . . Contrary to the impression of your reporter that “speech followed dull speech,” I was greatly impressed with the keen interest, deep sincerity and prodigious amount of work which had gone into the preparation for the meeting. … If [your writer ] judged the meeting by a few of the prepared speeches, he entirely missed the significance of it. I might almost say that the bigger the name, the more platitudinous the speech.

Mr. Richberg said nothing that had not been said time after time in the papers in the days preceding the meeting. The only thing new that I learned . . . was that he seemed to be somewhat resentful . . . that although the Manufacturers’ Association was making Herculean efforts to find planks for a platform on which they could cooperate with the national Administration, they did not believe in State Socialism nor that it was possible to coax private enterprise with one hand and lambaste it with the other. . . .

PAUL J. FURNAS Treasurer Sandura Co., Inc. Philadelphia, Pa.


. . . You owe an apology to the National Association of Manufacturers. . . .

NORMAN R. McLURE Vice President E. J. Lavino & Co. Philadelphia, Pa.


. . . As far as the “Damn the torpedoes” stuff, Admiral Dewey at least had a chance to shoot back and you don’t seem to think even a verbal shot is in order. . . .

E. M. BATH Vice President The Athenia Steel Co. New York City

It was Admiral Farragut at Mobile Bay. —ED.

Warm for Mr. Anderson

Sirs: . . . In TIME, Dec. 10, you carry a picture of Mr. Maxwell Anderson on the cover, with a very interesting story elsewhere in the issue. You state that Mr. Anderson left North Dakota, “because his efforts to make lignite coal burn wearied him.” . . . The University of North Dakota has expanded considerably since Mr. Anderson’s sojourn here. For the past 20 years of my 36 years as chief engineer of the University Power Plant, our constantly enlarging campus has been heated successfully with North Dakota lignite. . . . We are indeed proud of the achievements of Mr. Anderson. . . . However, we are also equally proud of the North Dakota lignite coal development in our State. We hasten to assure Mr. Anderson that if one clay he sees fit to return to the fold temporarily, we shall guarantee to make it amply warm for him—with North Dakota lignite. . . .

E. J. O’KEEFE Chief Engineer University of North Dakota Grand Forks, N. D.

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