July 1, 2013



From “The Real Deal,” a June 25th op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal: “Roosevelt personally experimented with the currency—one day in bed (emphasis added), he raised the gold price by 21 cents. When Henry Morgenthau, who would shortly become Treasury Secretary, asked him why, Roosevelt said, ‘It’s a lucky number, because it’s three times seven”; Morgenthau wrote: ‘If anybody ever knew how we set the gold price through a combination of lucky numbers, etc., I think they would be frightened.'” Given the flak Winston Churchill gets over returning Britain to the Gold Standard (as Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1925),
it’s interesting to learn how FDR handled currency decisions.


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A member sent us this from a Roosevelt publication: “[FDR’s] military chiefs tell no stories of Roosevelt tinkering with their plans in the way that Winston Churchill drove his chief of staff, General Alan Brooke, to distraction. Brooke is quoted describing the Prime Minister “sitting in Marrakesh…now full of beans. As a result a three-cornered flow of telegrams in all directions is gradually resulting in utter confusion. I wish to God that he would come home and get under control.”

Well… 1) Churchill challenged but never overruled his military chiefs. 2) Brooke was not “distracted” enough to fail in his mission. 3) How do we know what Marshall thought? He published no diaries, as the financially-destitute Brooke did. When offered $1 million for his memoirs, Marshall replied, “I have already been adequately compensated for my services.”

Sir Martin Gilbert wrote of Emery Reves, who treated Churchill the way Marshall treated Roosevelt: “He kept no disagreeable diary and told no prurient stories about the man he admired and helped, and saw so much of….Reves recognised (as one or two recent writers seem to ignore) how great was Churchill’s contribution, not only to the survival of Britain, but also to the survival of liberty and democracy in Europe and beyond.”


On July 2nd the PBS-TV “History Detectives,” claiming a new discovery, presented semi-facts about the Harry Hopkins Short Snorter (Finest Hour 131: 26-28), identifying some of the signatures. Two years ago, FH identified virtually all of the signatures on the Hopkins “Snorter,” including those at London in July 1942 and those at Casablanca in January 1943, and sent owner Gary Schulze this information. But on the program, Schulze expressed delighted surprise at the “discovery” of this information from the “History Detectives.”Schulze has since told us his reaction was a scripted “put up job” arranged by the self-serving producers. Humph.

We wish to thank PBS-TV for the non-existent credit to Finest Hour, and to remind them that the capital of Morocco is Rabat, not Casablanca; and that the Hopkins Short Snorter differs markedly from Short-Snorters exchanged by fighting military in WW2—as FH explained, and the Library of Congress could have demonstrated. Wonder if the “Detectives” would be interested in how Churchill andRoosevelt knew about Pearl Harbor in advance? 

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