Felix Morley – Washington Post & his Career

FELIX MORLEY – Washington POST & his Career. by Leonard P. Liggio, from Felix Morley, For the Record (South Bend  IN, Regnery/Gateway,  1979)                                                                                                                    Felix Morley (1894-1982)  a leading libertarian scholar, editor and a founding member of the Mont Pelerin Society was made editor of the Washington Post after it was acquired in 1933 by Eugene Meyer (1975-1959) in a bankruptcy auction. Meyer’s grandfather had been the Grand Rabbi of France; Meyer was not religiously active. Eugene Meyer’s father was a partner in Lazard Freres, which Eugene joined after graduation from Yale University.  Meyer was a leading financier who had been head of the War Finance Corporation during First World War. President Calvin Coolidge appointed him head of the Federal Farm Loan Board. President Herbert C. Hoover appointed him chairman of the Federal Reserve Board (1930-33) as well as head of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. In 1946 President Harry S. Truman appointed him first head of the World Bank in 1946 and he was succeeded by John J. McCloy.

As a Republican Meyer was critical of FDR’s New Deal as was Felix Morley. Morley criticizes FDR for his refusal to consult with President Hoover during the long transition from 1932 November election to the inauguration on March 4, 1933 (before the 20th Amendment moved inauguration to January): “outgoing President Hoover and incoming President Roosevelt were eyeing each other with ill-concealed distaste. Rancor as to how and by whom, the banking structure should be saved was only the final touch in this deplorable failure of orderly transition.” Morley comments:  “Shattering confusion resulted from Roosevelt’s arbitrary decision to devalue the dollar and loosen its tied with gold. …. (European missions to Washington) were disturbed by the calculated American inflation, certain to be disadvantageous to European exports. The German delegation, headed by Hjalmar Schacht, brilliant president of the Reichsbank, was (or soon became) the most acrimonious of all the visitors. Germany was back on the gold standard, after a runaway inflation that had completely wiped out the savings of its people. … Dr. Schacht warned that unless Germany could increase export, dollar payment on its obligations to U. S. banks and bondholders would necessarily cease. … With so embittered a preamble it seemed probable that the international Monetary and Economic Conference, finally scheduled in London for June 12, would be a failure. This, in a big way, it proved to be, thus making the chances for another war perceptibly stronger.”  Massive reparations burden placed on Germany by the 1919 Versailles Treaty led to huge loans to German institutions by U.S. financial institutions by which Germany might finance its reparations payments to the Allies. This had contributed to the 1929 Depression.

Morley says that his objective as editor was to make the Post an “American version of the Manchester Guardian.”  To Morley that meant international coverage and classical liberalism.  U. S. policy for Reciprocal Trade Agreements to reduce the rates of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff conflicted with German and Japanese attempts to lessen their Depression with barter agreements with Latin America. Japan’s response was to create a client state in Manchuria. In November, 1917, US Secretary of State Robert Lansing had signed the Lansing-Ishii Agreement which stated: “The governments of the United States and Japan recognize that territorial propinquity creates special relations between countries, and consequently the Government  of the United States recognizes that Japan has special interests in China, particularly in the part (Manchuria) to which her possessions are contiguous.”

The Japanese also were extremely hurt that the 1924 Immigration Act specifically excluded Japanese immigration in violation of the earlier Gentlemen’s Agreement by which Japan prevented immigration to the US. With the Soviet Revolution Wilson encouraged Japan to occupy the Trans-Siberian RR to assist the White Russian forces. In 1934, Henry Pu-yi, the last Manchurian emperor of China (who Morley had met in Shanghai in 1926), became emperor of Manchuria, allied with the Japanese, but not accepted by the US. Morley notes: “”In the intellectual and emotional sense” summarized Dr. William Appleman Williams in retrospect, “an important number of American leaders began to go to war against the Axis in the Western Hemisphere.”” (William Appleman Williams, The Tragedy of American Diplomacy (1962).

In discussions with Soviet diplomats he defended classical liberalism which they deemed a spent force. Morley’s editorials were strongly critical of New Deal legislation and rejoiced as the US Supreme Court, under Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, declared thirteen of them unconstitutional.  When the court in January, 1936 declared unconstitutional the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, Morley thought: “This six to three decision I saw as “a staggering blow to Roosevelt” because “based primarily on the thesis that the general welfare clause cannot be regarded as adding to the enumerated  powers of the Federal Government at the expense of those reserved to the states.”” Morley quotes the sardonic editorial of the Baltimore Sun of the Republicans who were “willing to exceed Mr. Roosevelt in public expenditures as a means to stopping Mr. Roosevelt’s lavish expenditures.” In May, 1936 Morley was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his editorials.

FDR’s massive popular vote in November, 1936 led him to propose to pack the US Supreme Court on February 5, 1937. FDR proposed that he appoint an additional judge for every federal judge over the age of 70 years, and up to six additional US Supreme Court judges for those over 70 years.  The Senate with only 16 Republicans left rebelled, led by Democratic senators, such as Edward Burke of Nebraska and  O’Mahoney of Wyoming,  (I met former Senator Burke when I was a student at Georgetown College and attended a couple of the annual George Washington Day Committee dinners of which Burke was the chairman. Others attending included Freda Utley and Henry Regnery. The committee annually gave an award to a Democrat (Harry F. Byrd, Sr. of Virginia) and a Republican (Molly Malone of Nevada).)

In the Spring of 1937 Meyer and Morley took an extended trip to Western Europe to interview the leading figures regarding the international situation.  In London, politicians and editors worried that the end result of a new war would be Soviet dominance in much of Europe. In Paris along with politicians, Morley conferred with Bertrand de Jouvenel. In Berlin, along with US ambassador William Dodd, Morley met with the noted political-geographer, Karl Haushofer who warned against the Soviets gaining dominance of Poland and Eastern Germany.  Since many Americans were avoiding Germany, any information was valuable. (At the time, the US military attaché to Berlin, Colonel Truman Smith was able to gain access to German aircraft factories by arranging the invitation of the German air ministry to Colonel Charles Lindbergh to visit factories (accompanied by Truman Smith).  Smith was able to report valuable information to the US War Department . See Robert Hessen’s book on Truman Smith published by the Hoover Institution Press.) Morley’s columns from Europe were also published as Europe Today.

By the summer of 1937, Roosevelt had lost his fight to pack the US Supreme Court as well as support for his domestic program as the US again entered into a depression. FDR turned to foreign policy to regain his fortunes and was able to propose a major war shipbuilding program to check unemployment. On October 5, 1937 FDR delivered his Chicago Bridge Speech which challenged Japanese policy regarding China.  For the 1938 mid-term elections he campaigned around the country to try to defeat his opponents on court packing in the Democratic Party primaries. He was singularly unsuccessful. (Afterwards a friend of FDR visited one of the successful Democrats, Senator Walter George of Georgia, and said “You know that Franklin is his own worst enemy,” to which Senator George replied: “No he is not; I am his worst enemy.”) The 1938 elections saw a revival of Republican fortunes in the senate and the house. In particular, the election to the senate of Robert Alphonso Taft of Ohio provided a leadership to the emerging bi-partisan senate opposition to the New Deal. Taft had been an advisor to Herbert Hoover during the First World War and at the Versailles Conference. Since Morley was close to Hoover, he welcomed the election of Taft.

With the onset of war in Europe (September, 1939), Morley intensified his deep contacts with foreign embassies and state department leaders. One event he continued to refer to with regret thirty years after was his intervention at the state department with Adam von Trott zu Solz, a German noble who had been a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. Von Trott represented the anti-Nazi German Resistance Movement which sought a reasonable peace if Hitler could be overthrown by the German military. Morley took von Trott to see George Messersmith, assistant secretary of state and former US ambassador to Austria; and then to Sumner Wells, the powerful friend of FDR and undersecretary of state. But, channels to the White House were blocked and no response was forthcoming. Von Trott was executed in August, 1944 consequent to the unsuccessful attempt to kill Hitler.

In the Spring of 1940 Morley was appointed the new president of Haverford College and took up his position in September, 1940. Morley’s former philosophy professor, the respected Quaker, Rufus Jones, urged Morley’s return to Haverford “not because thee is a good Quaker but because some further exposure to Quakerism will do thee good.”

Felix Morley’s father, Frank Morley Sr. (1860-1937) had been born in a community of the Society of Friends (Quakers) in Woodbridge, Suffolk (East Anglia) in England. His family were relatively poor, and he gained a scholarship to King’s College, Cambridge University where he received a Ph. D. in mathematics. Morley’s mother. Lilian Janet Bird, was from an Anglican family of declining fortune. In 1887 Dr. Frank Morley was appointed mathematics professor at Haverford College. Haverford College was a men’s Quaker college; Bryn Mawr was the female college; and Swarthmore the co-educational college. All near to Philadelphia.

The Morley’s three sons were born at Haverford. Christopher Morley (1890-1957) became a leading literary figure and editor of the Saturday Review of Literature. Felix was born in 1894. Frank Morley Jr. (1899-1985) received a doctorate in mathematics at Oxford University and became a well known editor at Faber in London and Harcourt, Brace in New York. All three Morley sons were Rhodes scholars.

In 1901 President Daniel Coit Gilman appointed Professor Frank Morley Sr. as professor of mathematics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Johns Hopkins was founded as a graduate school without undergraduate students. Gilman became the president of the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D. C. Felix Morley recalls “a small but beautiful Confederate war memorial, a life-sized statue of a wounded and exhausted youth, supported and sheltered by a ministering angel.” “And my mother throughout her life remained too English in sympathy to be deeply interested in purely American concerns. Once when I sought at the supper table to start a discussion on “The War between the States” it somehow moved into a parental argument on the seventeenth century struggle between Crown and Parliament. Here my father, a free-thinking Quaker puritan and protestant to the core, was fundamentally at odds with my Anglican and royalist mother.”

Felix Morley kept a diary all his life, so his memoirs are extremely detailed.  There are many details from the first half of the 20th century that are not familiar today. The Morley family took many trips by passenger steamship on Chesapeake Bay, on the Hudson River to Albany, on Long Island Sound from Manhattan to Nantucket. The wide availability of household help such as a cook and a child’s maid could be noted.

In Baltimore, Felix Morley was enrolled in the Old Friends School, and attended Sunday School at the Friends Meeting House. One of his father’s mathematics graduate students sent Felix a copy of his former Yale professor, William Graham Sumner’s The Conquest of the United States by Spain” (later republished by Henry Regnery). Felix recalls Sumner’s warning: “the democratic republic, which has been, will stand in history, like the colonial organization of earlier days, as a mere transition form.”

Felix Morley followed Christopher to Haverford College and notes that the Pennsylvania legislature rejected the 16th Amendment authorizing an Income Tax. Felix attended the Democratic National Convention in Baltimore, observing William Jennings Bryan (three time defeated Democratic presidential candidate) transferred his support from House Speaker Bennett Champ Clark of Missouri to nominate Woodrow Wilson on the 46th ballot.  Felix concentrated on literature and on Plato’sRepublic under the philosophy professor, Rufus Jones, and The Federalist. The First World War focused his attention on naval issues, in particular the naval battles such as the escape of two German cruisers from the British Mediterranean fleet to internment in Istanbul and British threats that forced the Ottoman Empire into the war allied with Germany. Felix graduated in 1915 and with a fellow graduate and two students from (Quaker) Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, Rufus Jones arranged through English Society of Friends for them to join the Friends Ambulance Unit to assist on English hospital trains on the Western Front. Later, Felix worked alongside Herbert Hoover’s Commission for Relief of Belgium. Returning to US in May, 1916 he lectured on the work of the Friends Ambulance Unit and helped in the founding of the American Friends Service Committee. In the Fall, he began to work for the Philadelphia Public Ledger. He then joined United Press, and soon was assigned to the Washington office. War was declared on Good Friday, 1917. He met Isabel Middleton who was to become Felix’s wife in December, 1917.

Morley was critical of the Wilson administration’s wartime measures such as the Espionage and Sedition Act of 1917 and the Committee on Public Information (Creel Committee). Felix quotes historians Samuel Eliot Morrison and Henry S. Commager on the Creel Committee: “one of the most appalling revelations of the entire war was the ease with which modern technique and mass-suggestion enables a government to make even a reasonably intelligent people, with an individualistic, democratic background, believe anything it likes.” Felix notes that the election of November, 1918 gave the Republicans a majority of 40 in the House and two in the Senate, making Senator Henry Cabot Lodge chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations as Wilson was setting off to the Versailles Peace Conference. Voters wanted a ‘Return to Normalcy’ emphasized in the Nov. 1920 presidential election.

With the conclusion of the war, the Rhodes scholarships were postponed during the war and Felix was able to assume one that had been awarded to him. He arrived in Oxford in October, 1919 with Isabel. Felix was enrolled in the School of Modern History (modern history began after the abdication of the last Western Roman emperor in 476 AD). He followed his older Rhodes Scholar brother, Christopher, in New College: “Ernest Barker had succeeded H. A. L. Fisher as Fellow and Tutor in History at New College.” (Later Sir) Ernest Barker (1874-1960) became Principal, King’s College, London (1920-27) and the first professor of political science at Cambridge in 1928. Barker’s doctoral dissertation had been published in 1913 as The Dominican Order and Convocation: A Study of the Growth of Representation in the Church in the Thirteenth Century. Among many books, he wrote the introduction to Otto von Gierke’s Natural Law and The Theory of Society, 1500-1800.

Reading English Constitutional History under Ernest Barker, Felix wrote weekly essays such as ‘The Basis and the Composition of the Anglo-Saxon Witan.” He recounts: “the subjects were selected to clarify the great landmarks of English history – political, economic, social – since the Roman conquest.” In particular, Felix studied the “Holy Experiment” of the Puritan Revolution (1640-60). “There I had closely studied the Puritan Revolution and realized how its motivation had shaped American colonial governments. There I had for the first time seen the connection between Cromwell’s Instrument of Government and the later Constitution of the United States. I had traced the sequence between Milton’s Areopagitica and the First Amendment. And I had been impressed by the tremendous audacity of William Penn’s assertion, made just a century before the Declaration of Independence, that “… we lay a foundation for after ages to understand their liberty as men and Christians, that they may not be brought into bondage but by their own consent; for we put the power in the people.””

““The Power in the People!” There  was the title of the book I should like to write, stressing the Christian basis of the idea, its revolutionary character, the difficulties in making it operative, and the constant danger that such a fragile and complicated political scheme would collapse under the weight of human failings.” The book would be published in 1949 after he left the presidency of Haverford College. In his final Oxford examination, the question was “what is the difference between underlying Law, to which men appeal for Justice, and laws which are made by legislative authority in a fumbling quest for that objective?” Felix drew on “the writers, from Plato, through Locke and Hume, Rousseau, Hegel and Marx to Maitland.”

‘The Good Old Cause’ of individual rights of the Puritan Revolution was pursued by Professor Caroline Robbins (1903-1999) professor of history at Bryn Mawr College (1929-1971), and author of The Eighteenth Century Commonwealthman (Harvard University Press, 1959) (the continuation of the constitutional tradition into the 18th century). Her study of John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon’s Cato’s Letters contributed to the study of their American colonial influence in Bernard Bailyn’sThe Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (1967). Caroline Robbins was the sister of LSE economics professor, Lionel Robbins (later Baron Robbins of Clare Market), MPS member and friend of F. A. Hayek. (See the essay “Felix Morley and the Commonwealthman Tradition: The Country Party, Centralization, and the American Empire” by Leonard P. Liggio in the Journal of Libertarian Studies (Vol. 2, No. 3 (1978), pp. 279-286).

Felix took advantage of his English years to establish contact with the major editors, such as at The Nation and the Manchester Guardian. He also interviewed leaders of the new Labour Party following up on studies he had done on US employment during the war. In 1920, during breaks, he went to the Continent as a journalist. Accompanied by a Virginia Rhodes Scholar, Stringfellow Barr, later president of St. John’s College, Annapolis, where he introduced the Great Books program, Felix visited churches near Poitiers. His main object was to study the Ruhr where Communist unions had occupied factories, and since the Reichswehr entered the demilitarized Ruhr, France was sending troops into the Rhineland.  He sought credentials from the US embassy in Paris: “A fellow-Haverfordian, John V. Van Sickle of the class of 1913, was on the Embassy staff and responded quickly to the suggestion that if given official credentials I would gladly bring back a report from the Ruhr.”

In the summer of 1920 Morley was reporting from Dublin on the Sinn Fein movement for Irish independence. While British tanks patrolled Dublin, “It must, I wrote, have been similar to the situation in the American Colonies just prior to 1776.” With introductions to Sinn Fein leaders, he meet at a restaurant frequented by Sinn Fein leaders, “Frequently a British officer, from the hated “Castle,” would join the group and argue amicably until his stereotyped farewell: “Sorry, lads, me time is up. I’ve got to get back and check on your whereabouts.”” Felix’s Irish reports offended his Anglophile mother.

Returning on the boat from Dublin, he was rudely awakened in his deckchair by a stern Anglican bishop who declared: “Do you realize, young man, that you are occupying the chair of My Lord Bryce.” The small Viscount Bryce invited Morley to sit down and tell him what he learned in Dublin. Bryce much earlier had been British Ambassador to Washington, and was the author of American Commonwealth and Holy Roman Empire.

In the 1920-21 winter holiday, the Morleys were in Berlin working for the Quaker food service for university students. In the spring of 1921, he was assigned to report on the unhappiness in Alsace, now returned from Germany to France (the Laic laws against Catholic schools in France were ultimately set aside in Alsace and Lorraine where there had been Catholic schools under the German administration after the War of 1870). Felix “suggested in my article, Alsace, Lorraine and the rest of the Rhineland might have been reconstituted as Charlemagne’s old “Middle Kingdom”.”

In the summer of 1921 Morleys returned to Berlin to work for the International YMCA. Among those whom Felix escorted in Berlin were William Z. Foster, head of US Communist Party and Sidney Hillman, head of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers’ Union (later FDR’s confident; FDR at the 1944 Democratic Convention on whether Harry S. Truman should be the vice-presidential candidate, declared “Clear it with Sidney”) who were on their way to Moscow.

Felix moved in his third year in England to the London School of Economics to work on a dissertation on unemployment. The director of LSE Sir William Beveridge assigned economics chairman Edwin Cannan as Felix’s supervisor. Felix attended lectures by Harold Laski, R. H. Tawney and Hugh Dalton. But he did not remain for a fourth year as he was invited to be an editorial writer for the Baltimore Sun. The Morleys returned to the US in August, 1922.

At the Sun, Morley also contributed book reviews, and early on provided a book review and then an interview in Washington of Dr. Harold G. Moulton, former economics professor at the University of Chicago, and the director of the Brookings Institution. The book was Harold G. Moulton and Constantine  E. Maguire,Germany’s Capacity to Pay (McGraw-Hill, 1923), “very newsworthy at a time when inflation had made German currency worthless and when French troops had occupied the Ruhr in a vain attempt to coerce the stubborn German miners into digging coal for reparations.” The book “was objective confirmation of everything on the subject told me by Rathenau and von Lewinski in Berlin; by Keynes and Laski in London. … Either the sadistically punitive terms of the Treaty of Versailles, or the fantastic reparations claims on Germany, must be severely modified.” The Allies demand gold backed payments and Germany had no gold. “It was important to emphasize the economist’s belief that the runaway inflation in Germany had been forced by Allied pressures on the feeble government. I wanted development of Dr. Moulton’s assertion that: “Paper-currency inflation once fully under way cannot be checked,” since this would be as true for the United States as for any other country.” Dr. Moulton tried several times to hire Morley at Brookings Institution.

Morley finished writing his study of Unemployment Relief in Great Britain which was published in the US by Houghton Mifflin and in the London School of Economics series. In November, 1925 he was dispatched by the Sun on a five months assignment in East Asia, arriving at Tokyo on December, 10. He provides extensive reports of his meetings in Tokyo, Peking, Shanghai, and Hongkong, where he had a fruitful interview with the governor-general, Sir Cecil Clementi. In Canton, Morley was the first non-Soviet reporter to visit the Kuomintang headquarters, where he believed he met Mao Tse-tung who was directing the press bureau. The Soviet envoy, Michael Borodin, was very prominent as were the Soviet officers who were the instructors at the Whampoa Military Academy. Soviets were playing an important role as well in north China, according to Morley’s reports.

Morley sailed to Manila where he met with the Supreme National Council which was seeking Philippine independence from the United States and its governor-general, General Leonard Wood. Morley arrived in Nagasaki on March 9 to spend another fortnight in Japan. He transformed his frequent dispatches to the Sunduring the sailing to San Francisco into a book, Our Far Eastern Assignment.

He returned to Baltimore in April, 1926. Returning from Japan, a shipmate was the financier, Henry Morgenthau, Sr., who had been Wilson’s ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, who agreed to write the introduction to the book.

On August 1, 1928 the Morley family departed Baltimore to sail to Bremen on the way to Geneva where Morley was to write a book on the League of Nations having received a Guggenheim fellowship. He also would write a weekly column for the Sun called: “On the Quay du Mont Blanc.” To understand the origins of the League of Nations he consulted with Lord Robert Cecil. He attended lectures at the new Institut de Hautes Etudes Internationales (where later Ludwig von Mises and Wilhelm Roepke would teach) of which the director was William Rappard.

In December, 1928 Morley interviewed the German foreign minister Gustav Stresemann who was a strong supporter of the Peace Pact of US secretary of state Frank Kellogg and French foreign minister, Astrid Briand. The Owen D. Young Plan had been negotiated by the US to succeed General Charles Dawes’ Plan regarding German reparations. It included German payments to 1988.  The Bank of International Settlements was created in Basel to assist it. Stresemann stressed: “American loans were making it possible for Germany to pay some reparations…. Americans in particular, he argued, seemed unaware that runaway inflation had wiped out the once solid German middle class and that the vacuum was being filled by reckless adventurers calling themselves National Socialists.” With unemployment the May, 1929 elections in England brought Ramsay MacDonald back as prime minister with a Labour majority of 288 seats supported by 59 Liberals against 260 Conservatives and Irish Unionists. England sought a reduction of the reparations: “Confiscation of German merchant shipping had served to close Clyde shipyards. Deliveries of reparations coal on the Continent had deeply cut the once profitable British export trade.” (Morley recommended J. W. Wheeler-Bennett, The Wreck of Reparations (1933).)

In August, 1929 Morley resigned from the Sun to become the director of the US League of Nations Association office in Geneva. He sought counsel from the US minister to Berne, Hugh Gibson (later an advisor to Herbert Hoover and Robert A. Taft) and J. Pierrepont Moffat, first secretary of the US Legation whose wife was the daughter of Joseph Grew, an US assistant secretary of state who became the US ambassador to Japan in 1930s thru December, 1941. The Morleys departed via Hamburg for the US in February, 1930.

Morley had been hired to direct public relations for the Brookings Institution in Washington by Dr. Harold G. Moulton. The Brookings Institution was “Devoted to Public Service through Research and Training in the Humanistic Sciences.” In 1932 Brookings published Morley’s The Society of Nations with an introduction by Sir Eric Drummond, secretary general of the League of Nations. The Brookings Institution awarded Morley a Ph. D. based on his research for the book. In 1933 Morley was editor of the Washington Post.  In 1940 he became the president of Haverford College where he had regular meetings with the presidents of Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore Colleges, as well as with his good friend, Alan Valentine, the classical liberal president of the University of Rochester.

As Morley entered the presidency of Haverford College, FDR increased his challenge to Japan in July, 1940, by using executive powers to limit Japan’s purchase of strategic resources. Japan responded by establishing its supervision over French Indo-China, “thus cutting off supplies that had been going to Chiang Kai-shek through Haiphong.”  (Northern France was occupied by Germany and southern France was administered by Marshall Henri Philippe Petain’s government at Vichy.) In the Spring of 1941 during a lecture visit to Washington, Morley ”arranged an interview with Admiral Numura, the Japanese Ambassador, with whom I was already well acquainted.  …  The United States, Nomura asserted, was deliberately and increasingly provoking Japan.” Morley carried a message to the State Department that Japan was seeking stability in China and hoped for peaceful relations with Russia. Japan and America could achieve a settlement. Morley then visited with “Senator Taft whose anti-interventionist position seemed to me admirably well-reasoned and sustained.”

In July, 1941 FDR placed an embargo on shipments of aviation fuel to Japan. As Japan had a three months supply of aviation fuel, it would have to capitulate to FDR or seek sources of petroleum, such as in Dutch West Indies (Indonesia). Britain, The Netherlands and the US had negotiated a joint defense treaty in the South Pacific. On November 26, 1941 Secretary of State Hull presented to Ambassadors Numura and Kurusu an ultimatum to withdraw all forces from China and Indochina and support the Nationalist government in Chungking.  “Nobody could have expected those then in power in Tokyo to accept these orders from Washington. And it is not the least of history’s many ironies that the United States, a generation later, would itself begin to write off that same “national government” of Chiang   Kai-shek which it had been willing to fight Japan to sustain.”

Since US intelligence had broken the Japanese code, the Japanese attack on December 7, 1941 was not a surprise in the highest US circles, although the Philippines might have been thought as the easiest place of attack. The Japanese captured the rich oil fields of the Dutch East Indies, as well as Singapore, Hong Kong and the Philippines.  Soviet intelligence in Tokyo had reported the southward direction of the Japanese military and already had moved twenty Siberian divisions to Moscow, reported by the Germans the same day as Pearl Harbor (as John Lukacs has noted).

Major war-time changes at Haverford College included meteorological training for the military. Morley wrote an April, 1942 article in the Saturday Evening Postcalling for a realistic post-war balance of power. He wrote after conferring with Herbert Hoover and Hugh Gibson who were writing The Problem of Lasting Peace. Morley during frequent trips to Washington, following the proposal of Joseph R. Pew, Jr. vice-president of Sun Oil Co., joined journalist Frank Hanighen to lunch a weekly newsletter. Human Events was begun on February 2, 1944 with a feature article by William Henry Chamberlin, who with Morley, each produce a third of the articles. Other articles were provided by Herbert Hoover, Norman Thomas and Oswald Garrison Villard, former editor of The Nation.  William and Henry Regnery became actively involved in the business management of the newsletter and Regnery Publishing produced Human Events monographs.

In April, 1944 Morley addressed the meeting in Washington of the American Society of International Law in defense of neutrality and against a state judging in its own cause. It was reprinted in the newsletter. In June 27, 1945 issue of Human Events, he published “What Unconditional Surrender Means.” Regarding the challenge at the end of the war, in the August 29, 1945 issue of Human Events, Morley published:  “The Return to Nothingness.”  He recalled: “I had been making a study of Thomas Aquinas… Especially impressive was the passage in the Summa Theologica concluding:  “… that which is stable, since it is created from nothing, would return to nothingness were it not sustained by a Governing Hand.” “

In February, 1946 Morley began to publish a monthly column in Nation’s Business which was to continue for a quarter century. He devoted many of his columns to the problem of public education.  In the summer of 1946 Morley attended a conference at the Princeton Inn organized by retired DuPont vice-president Jasper Crane (who later organized the first US MPS meeting at Princeton University Graduate School in the summer of 1958; his brother, Edward Crane, was the publisher of Van Nostrand, a Princeton company which published many of the William Volker Fund series books). Other participants included President Harold Dodd of Princeton, J. Howard Pew, president of Sun Oil Co., Leonard Read, president of the Foundation for Economic Education, Rev. Norman Vincent Peale, and Rose Wilder Lane (an author whose published correspondence with Jasper Crane was published as The Lady and the Tycoon).   The conference decided to sponsor Morley’s book in preparation, The Power in the People.

In May, 1947 Morley was invited by the William Volker Fund to attend the founding meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society. Morley had used F. A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom in his seminar at Haverford College. “My former mentor William Rappard, from the University of Geneva, gave the welcoming address, emphasizing the importance of this non-governmental Euro-American conjunction of post-war liberal thinking, in the classical sense of “liberal”.” (Morley often referred to classical liberalism in connection to Senator Robert Alphonso Taft of Ohio.) Of the MPS meeting, Morley writes: “On the whole the European representatives, including several Germans, seemed more thoughtful about the actual state of the world than the more narrowly trained American economists. Approvingly I noted Hayek’s words: “Of course a political philosophy can never be built exclusively on economics, or expressed merely in economic terms …. Unless the breach between true liberal and religious convictions can be healed there is no hope for a revival of liberal forces.”” Morley was to doubt the civic educational value of mathematical economics: “the more the economists emphasize mathematical applications, developing “econometrics,” the more limited the political utilization of this “dismissal science” is likely to be.”

In September, 1947 Morley was invited by Joe Pew to participate in “SUNOCO Three Star Extra,” a daily radio news program on NBC from 6:45 to 7:00 pm with Morley, Ray Henle and Ned Brooks. (I began high school at that time and listened to the program each evening. The four networks had fifteen minute opinion programs from 6 to 8 pm each weekday, and my family listened to them during dinner time.)

At Haverford, Morley studied Joseph Schumpeter’s Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, as well as conversations with Haverford economist, Frank W. Fetter. “Schumpeter’s book came to my attention shortly after Pearl Harbor, and its forceful logic was reinforced by the wartime swing to socialism, along a road already well-paved by New Deal practice. Alliance with the “liberty-loving democracy” of Soviet Russia of course helped, but probably most instrumental was the condemnation of the profit system implied by the shift to centrally organized war production. … This made it logical to applaud Russia as a political ally, since the economic theories dominant in Moscow and Washington were steadily growing more similar.” Morley asked: “Can capitalism survive?” and adds “a brilliant summary by Prof. Benjamin A. Rogge, delivered at Hillsdale College and reprinted in its Imprimis, Vol.  III, No. 5, May, 1974.”

Morley saw increased government centralization with Cold War planning. In opposition to advocates of that, he commented: “My position remained essentially “Libertarian,” though it is with great reluctance that I yield the old terminology of “liberal” to the socialists. …The vestment of power in HEW is demonstrably bad, but its concentration in the Pentagon and CIA is worse because the authority is often concealed and covertly exercised. Failure to check either extreme means continuous deficit financing and consequent inflation which in time can be fatal to the free enterprise system. As a Federal Reserve Bulletin would later observe, with refreshing candor: “One of the primary benefits of inflation is the revenue it produces for the government.” (St. Louis Fed, Nov. 1976).” Morley shared the views of Arthur Ekirch’s The Decline of American Liberalism (1969).

Morley’s disenchantment with the failure to see the dangers of the welfare-warfare national security state led to his separation from Human Events in February, 1950. (He was replaced by Frank Chodorov who also wrote the “Along Pennsylania Avenue” column for the monthly, Faith and Feedom; when Chodorov moved to FEE to edit The Freeman, the column was taken over by Murray Rothbard who never left Manhattan.) In respect to his separation, he refers to F. A. Hayek’s Postscript to The Constitution of Liberty (1960), “Why I Am Not A Conservative.” Also, he refers back to his conversations with Albert J. Nock before Nock’s death who saw Human Events as in the tradition of his 1920’s Freeman. Morley says he was strongly influenced by Albert J. Nock’s Journal of a Superfluous Man.

In the early 1950’s the Morley’s pursued a project to move to Gibson Island on the Chesapeake Bay. They purchased a property on a rise overlooking Otter Pond which was fresh water and across a road from Chesapeake Bay. Thus they could see freshwater birds and seawater birds which they very much appreciated. Institute for Humane Studies and the Liberty Fund held conferences at the country club at Gibson Island and enjoyed the hospitality of the Morleys at their home overlooking Otter Pond.

Morley turned down an editorial position at the Wall Street Journal, as he did not wish to relocated to New York. He did not accept Herbert Hoover’s offer to nominate him as director of the Huntington Library in Pasadena, California. In August, 1951 Morley invited to dinner Senator Taft and a journalist colleague who “spoke airily of bringing “the American way” to Asiatics the Senator asked him embarrassing questions. “If you bolster these puppet rulers with American bayonets,” Taft inquired, “how will you insure that our subsidies ever get beyond their immediate entourage?””

At Haverford, Morley had joined the Advisory Board of the American Enterprise Association and written a study of the proposed United Nations. The board included Dean Roscoe Pound of Harvard and John Van Sickel. He also wrote for AEA a small book: The American Foreign Policy of the United States (New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1951). With the change of name to American Enterprise Institute and expansion of its Washington office under William J. Baroody and Glenn Campbell, Morley was given charge of its pamphlet series “easing, for instance, the heavy Germanic phraseology of outstanding contributors like Dr. Gottfried Haberler, of Harvard.”

In the Spring of 1952 the Morley’s travelled to Europe “to attend the annual Mont Pelerin conference meeting at Seelisberg, near Luzerne. Here I became better acquainted with “Fritz” Hayek, whose luminous and philosophic mind seemed to me to rise far above the narrowly economic thinking of most of the American contingent. And I also had good talks with Ludwig Erhardt, as Minister of Economics a principal architect of West Germany’s remarkable recovery.”

The failure of Taft’s 1952 nomination caused Morley to be more detached from politics. “I felt almost equally alienated from the Republican swing toward imperialism, soon to be dramatized by the ghastly tragedy of Vietnam, and in the Democratic acceptance of centralized power, from which some good Senatorial friends, like Bill Fulbright, Harry Byrd, Sr. and Mike Mansfield, were outspokenly immune.”

In November, 1954 Morley addressed the Conservative Society of Yale Law School on “Conservatism and Foreign Policy: Either the Constitution or the Policy Must Give Way” which was published in Vital Speeches, XXI (January 15, 1955). He chaired a conference at Princeton in 1956, Felix Morley, Essays on Individuality(Phila. PA, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1958 (Liberty Press, 1977). In the first issue of Modern Age (I, 1 (Summer, 1957), Morley published “American Republic or American Empire.” He published Freedom and Federalism in 1959.

Morley annually lectured in the William Volker Fund summer seminars which usually featured three faculty such as Ludwig von Mises, F. A. Hayek, Bruno Leoni and Milton Friedman (whose Capitalism and Freedom was Friedman’s lectures at the seminars) and which were usually ten days or so in length. He recalled the “uninhibited Volker Fund conferences …of this unique and stimulating foundation.” Morley mentions the Volker Fund officer who organized his participation: Kenneth S. Templeton (who he also acknowledges in his Preface, along Bertrand de Jouvenel, Edith Hamitlon, and Leonard Liggio). Morley suffered from degenerative arthritis and Ken Templeton arranged an Institute for Humane Studies conference at Gibson Island which Morley hosted in 1974 and which Leonard Liggio directed. The research papers were published: Leonard P. Liggio and James J. Martin, eds., Preface by Felix Morley, Watershed of Empire, Essays on New Deal Foreign Policy (Colorado Springs, Colo., Ralph Myles Publisher, 1976). In the early 1980s Ken Templeton arranged two Liberty Fund colloquia at Gibson Island on freedom of the press and on civil liberties. Morley died on March 13, 1982 immediately previous to the last one.