• U.S.

CORRUPTION: Bonds & Blondes

2 minute read

Putting over big deals with the aid of champagne suppers and chorus girls was standard business technique of the roaring 1920s. Trying that technique on representatives of the biggest business in the land—the U. S. Government—was last week among the allegations brought against William P. Buckner Jr., 31, a smooth, sporty lawyer who lived in The Bronx but could boast kinship with Thomas A. Buckner of New York Life Insurance Co. (uncle).

When Federal agents arrested young Lawyer Buckner as he debarked from the Queen Mary last week, they said his racket had been bonds of the Philippine Railway Co. When the bonds were down around $10, he got himself appointed chairman of the bondholders’ protective committee. To boost the bonds, the Federals said, he flew to Manila and from there flashed word that he was getting the Philippine Commonwealth to take the issue over at $50 or maybe $65. The bonds shot up to $31 last January and February, crashed when President Manuel Quezon categorically denied his Government was buying them. SEC found that speculators-for-the-rise had lost about $1,000,000.

Before his Manila junket, said the G-Men, Bondster Buckner had tried to get legislation through Congress which would have helped Philippine Railway Co. To help lobby his bills through, he threw a party for some Congressmen at the Carlton Hotel. To make it a real party, he flew five Broadway cuties down to Washington, including a morsel called Doris (“Peewee”) Donalson.

Bondster Buckner’s first gesture after his arrest (with his partner, William J. Gillespie, 37, of Brooklyn) was to tele phone to his friend Cinemactress Loretta Young in Hollywood. About the party at the Carlton he said: “That part about girls being employed by me and my asso ciates — ridiculous! It would be a terrible thing, wouldn’t it, if our statesmen in Washington could be influenced in such a manner!”

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com