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forthcoming preliminary report became Yet in his address on November 16th known to them, and on November 16th, before the board of directors of the Muat the meeting of the board, when the tual we find him saying: : first bomb was thrown into the Mutual

“ It seems to me that additional efforts camp from the investigating committee

should be made at the present time by all in the way of a preliminary report, President Richard A. McCurdy made an ad- departments to decrease the net cost of dress which, though well calculated to insurance to the policy-holders and to stagger even Mr. Rogers by its brazen increase their dividends. This can best audacity and recklessness, was perhaps be accomplished by economies and the

curtailment of our expenses." chiefly noticeable for its artless humor.

It is difficult to imagine the trustees of

the Mutual maintaining sober counteM'CURDY'S AMAZING

nances during the address in which Mr.

McCurdy gravely informed his associates In this speech it was evident that Mr. that they had all “labored together for McCurdy in the presence of the aggress- the common purpose of making the Muively honest stand taken by the committee tual Life ... the most beneficent insurhad seen a new light since October 10th,

ance company in the world.when he testified before the Armstrong And again, when referring to the pluckcommittee.

ed policy-holders he said: The reader will remember that it was shown by Mr. Hughes that under Mr.

“I assert that it has been conducted McCurdy's management the dividends for their benefit and for their benefit alone.of the Mutual had steadily decreased; that on one five thousand dollar policy reached the question of influencing public

It was not, however, until the President the dividends had dropped from $149.96 in 1872 to only $7 in 1904. And it will legislation that he shone as an humorist also be remembered that President Mc- par excellence. On this point he said: Curdy defended this defrauding of the “I think also that a great reduction policy-holders of their dividends in his should be made in all expenses for legisnow famous disquisition on the Mutual lative purposes. Indeed, for the future as a "missionary society,” in which he my view is that the defeat of proposed said:

legislation hostile to the interests of the

policy-holders should be left to them.” “The Mutual Life Insurance Company was organized upon the theory of the men If Mr. Rogers had been in a mood to who introduced it at that time that it was have enjoyed genuine humor, we imagine a great beneficent missionary institution. he would have highly appreciated this Profits were not thought of, were not piece of drollery, as he and his friends of dreamed of. It was not the object to the “inner circle” and of the finance, declare a dividend to a man; it was not auditing and agency committees rememthe object that he should carry a policy bered Section 56 of the Insurance Code. of $2,500 or $3,000 and pay the premium It is probable, however, that the gentleof $19.28, or whatever it might be, and men of the “inner circle” known as then at the end of the year get $7 and go trustees” were not in a frame of mind to home and spend it for cigars and billiards. properly appreciate the artless humor of The object was to insure as many men

President McCurdy. A preliminary reas possible and to pay them at the time of port was to be read and to go before the their death, and not during their lifetime world that was not calculated to strengthone penny.”

en the position of those who were bent on


retaining their hold on the vast insurance methods and common honesty, it will capital for Wall-street purposes.

be necessary to give the substance of this The first preliminary report furnished requisition, which, it should be rememthe board by the committee at this meet- bered, was signed by all three members ing was published to the world and was of the committee. The communication so widely discussed that it does not call begins with the following paragraph adfor special notice at the present time. dressed to the acting president: Sufficient to say that it contained a severe

"The Committee appointed October 25, 1905, arraignment of the McCurdy manage- by the Board of Trustees of the Mutual Life Insurment and made such radical and whole- ance Company, 'to examine into the organization, some suggestions that it was hailed with by requests from you, at as early a day as possible

management and the affairs of the Company,' heresatisfaction by the public, who entertained and in writing, duly verified by you or the heads of a belief that at last a committee had been the respective departments, or others making the found that would prove superior to the

statements, the following information as to the man

agement of the Company." machinations of the sinister element that had long been in control of, or at least

After explaining that the term "emhad exerted a powerful influence over, ployé” is intended to include the trustees the Mutual.

and all officials of the company, from the We can easily understand, however, president down, as well as others in the that certain officials and members of the pay of the company, the instrument, board of trustees were seriously disturbed among other things, calls for: by the report, and certain it is that from First: If any employé of the Company has any November 16th friction developed in the business relation with any other company or corMutual household between the friends of poration in which the Mutual Life Insurance Com

pany has stock or any interest, then give the name aggressive honesty and those who dreaded of such employé, his position with the other comthe results of a searching investigation pany or corporation, and the compensation he re

ceives therefor. If any employé in any shape, manno less than the great Wall-street gam- ner or form has received or is receiving, directly or blers who were bent on retaining the Mu- indirectly, any perquisites from the Mutual Life or tual on the Wall-street basis rather than salary or stated compensation, give the amount of

such other corporation or company other than his on the insurance basis.

such perquisites-why and how received, and for how long the same have been received, and what

officer of the Mutual Life authorized the same. VI. THE FAMOUS REQUISITION WHICH CAUSED CONSTERNATION

Second: Also a detailed statement of the hoidings or interest of the Mutual Life Insurance Company in the Guaranty Trust Company, the Fifth

Avenue Trust Company, National Bank of ComOn the twenty-sixth of December the merce in New York, Commercial Trust Company

of New York, Morton Trust Company, Lawyers' committee sent its famous requisition to Title Insurance and Trust Company, Lawyers' acting President Frederic Cromwell, Mortgage Company, Title Guarantee and Trust which appears to have struck terror to Company, Mutual Alliance Trust Company, Morthe hearts of more than one of “the powers also in any other trust or title or safe deposit com

ristown Trust Company, Bank of California, and that be "in the Mutual. It indicated that pany or bank or banking company whatsoever. the committee proposed to conduct an

With this statement please give the date when each

holding or interest was acquired, by whose authority honest investigation, without fear or favor, and how it was acquired and what was paid for the and that it proposed to go to the very root same and from whom the same was acquired and of insurance corruption in so far as it re

to whom the payment was made.

Third: Å statement on date of last dividend lated to the Mutual, and furthermore, payment, giving such date, of the individual holdthat the evil-doers might expect no white- ings or interest of any trustee or officer of the Muwashing at its hands. In order that the tions mentioned or referred to above.

tual Life Insurance Company in any of the institureader may gain a full understanding of “Fourth: Also a statement of all the terms of the meaning of this struggle between

each of the leases or contracts by which the Com

pany leases to any person or persons, firm, corporalight and darkness, between Wall-street tion or company any portion of its office uildings in



New York City, with a statement of who authorized officers, trustees and heads of departsuch leases and when and through whom each was respectively made.

ments, and that notification be sent to Fifth: Also a statement of all the loans of any employés to facilitate the collecting of kind since January 1, 1900, excepting loans on poli- the data. cies, made by the Company to any one of its employés, and a statement showing who authorized

In view of the general corruption that the loan, by whom the loan was negotiated, to whom cropped out at every turn in the investihow it was and is secured, and what the rate of in- gation conducted by Mr. Hughes, we can terest and evidence of indebtedness are and have easily understand how real must have been. If any such loans have been paid, date of pay, been the terror of some officials of the ment, to what person paid and by whom paid.

"Sixth: Also a statement of all dealings since company. That they shrank in dread January 1, 1900, of any kind, by which any broker from the results of an honest investigation or brokers, or firm, corporation or individual has such as Messrs. Truesdale, Auchincloss sold to or for the company any stocks, bonds or securities or property of any kind, including all the and Fish had solemnly pledged the public so-called underwritings and syndicate participations and the policy-holders was clearly demonby the Company—and here give the name of the strated by future events. broker or firm or corporation or individual—the property sold to or for the Company, what the Com- Clearly the time had arrived when a pany paid or received for the same, to whom it made

man was needed for the presidency acpayment, by what authority it was authorized, and what became of the property, underwriting or syn- ceptable to Wall-street interests and one dicate participations.

who could be depended upon to hold up "If in any way any employé (including officers the committee and put a quietus on its and trustees of the Company) received any compensation or benefit from any such transaction, action if it could not be driven from its please state who he was, what he received, for what brave stand for honesty and moral rectihe received it, who paid it to him and what officer tude by such pressure as the Standard of the Company authorized such compensation or benefit to be given him.

Oil Company so well understands how “Also a statement of all underwritings or syndi; to employ. cate participations of or made by or for the Mutual Life Insurance Company from January 1, 1900,

Among the men considered for the to October 1, 1905, either directly or indirectly, in presidency of the Mutual Mr. Charles A. porations or individuals; also a statement of the Peabody was altogether acceptable to Mr. underwriting, interest or participation, direct or Rogers and those who were bent on putindirect, of every officer or trustee of the Mutual ting a stop to the thorough-going investiLife in the underwritings or syndicates above referred to.

gation that the committee had under“If in any way any officer or director or trustee taken and which in the opinion of the or employé of the Company has by reason of and committee, up to December 26th, debecause he was in such relation to the Company manded the proceedings indicated in the received from or because of any such transaction any money or other thing of value, or any money requisition. or property of any kind belonging to or intended

Mr. Peabody had been a personal for the Company, give his name, what he received, when he received it and from whom he received it. friend of Mr. Fish, the member of the

Seventh: Also a statement showing in detail the committee whose aggressive honesty and losses, if any, to the Company since January 1, 1900, fearlessness had so alarmed the criminal on any property of any kind, real or personal, purchased by it, giving the names of the persons who rich and the Wall-street contingent. Mr. sold the same to the Company, the sum for which Fish had “made him," as the saying goes. the property was so sold to it and paid for by it, when it was so sold and who on behalf of the Com

Mr. Fish had introduced Mr. Peabody pany authorized the purchase and sale or either. to Mr. H. H. Rogers and Mr. George F.

*Eighth: Also a statement showing any trans- Baker of the "inner circle." Mr. Peabody actions of any kind other than designated above, by which any officer, trustee or employé of the Com- was the personal counsel of the latter. pany has received money or other valuable thing

He was a prominent director in the Harrifrom or by reason of his connection with the Company, outside of and not part of his regular salary

man Union Pacific Railway Company, or compensation. If any such there be, give the which the Standard Oil group controls. details and the names of the persons.”

In short, he was the man of all men to serve The committee further requested that the double purpose of supplying the comcopies of the letter be transmitted to all pany with a respectable figurehead and

of checking the aggressive action of the in the reader's mind when he seeks for a committee if it continued to prove refrac- plausible explanation of this astounding tory. At least, such seems to have been change of front. He will remember that the well-founded conclusion of Mr. Rog- Mr. Truesdale is President of the Delaers and his friends. Mr. Fish opposed ware, Lackawanna and Western Railthe election of any president until the road, on the board of which sit such men investigation had been completed, but as William Rockefeller, James Stillman, “the interests” were in no mood to tem- President of the National City Bank of porize, and he was overruled. Mr. Pea- New York, better known as the Standard body was elected and the choice was her- Oil Bank, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and alded in the press as a triumph for the George F. Baker; and, as Mr. Bullock Standard Oil Company.

pointed out in THE ARENA last month, The requisition, it will be observed, “it needs no demonstration that men of did not stop short at the McCurdys. It this caliber do not sit in corporations for sought to bring to light all facts relating nothing, and they compel obedience from to criminal or illegal acts, whether com- all in their employ, whether as presidents mitted by men who were to be the scape- of their great railroad systems or as footgoats or by others who on investigation men on their carriages. might prove to be fit wards for the State. Whether pressure was brought to bear It is difficult to imagine any reason why in a more or less brutal manner or not, honest trustees or officials should have whether a delicate hint was thrown out, shrunk from the only kind of investiga- or whether some other and less obviously tion that by any possibility could satisfy probable explanation may account for the more thoughtful public after the reve- this astounding recreancy to the avowed lations of corruption, graft and criminality purpose of the committee in its investibrought forth during the Armstrong in- gation and to the course decided on devestigation.

liberately and maturely before the signing From the sending of the requisition of of the requisition of the twenty-sixth of December 26th the relations between December with the approval of the disthose who favored an honest investiga- tinguished counsel, we, of course, cannot tion and those who were bent on a white- determine. Certain it is that Mr. Trueswashing report became more and more dale deserted to the enemy and was folstrained. That the new president was lowed by Mr. Auchincloss, leaving Mr. in accord with the Standard Oil contin- Fish to battle alone for the honor of the gent was obvious from his actions, and it company and the good faith of the comsoon developed that Mr. Truesdale had mittee. shown the white feather, as without the Mr. Peabody's failure to act with reaconsent of Mr. Fish or Mr. Auchincloss sonable promptitude on the suggestions he had told President Peabody that he of the committee as outlined in the fourth need not comply with the committee's preliminary report, issued on December requisition at that time. This change of 27th, in which the committee had urged front on the part of Mr. Truesdale, of that action be commenced against Richcourse, may not have been due to the ard A. McCurdy to recover excess of salopposition of Mr. Rogers and the Stand- ary paid him, against Robert H. McCurdy ard Oil contingent to the proposed thor- to recover excess of payments, and against ough investigation, and no pressure may Charles H. Raymond & Company to have been brought to bear to make him recover any excess of payments or allowgo completely back on his deliberate ances made and to annul contract, at action recorded in the memorable requi- length called forth a memorable letter sition of December 26th. But there are from Justice Peckham of the United certain facts that will obtrude themselves States Supreme Court, dictated on Feb


ruary 12th. Justice Peckham was at mained in blissful ignorance of any fricthat time a director in the Mutual and he tion, man who one would suppose viewed with amazement the dilatory pol- would necessarily have known all about icy of the company since the election of it. But Mr. Charles A. Peabody, the Mr. Peabody, especially in view of the new president, seemed by some strange fact that the McCurdys were said to be fatality to have become affected by the preparing to fly to Europe. In his letter inexplicaable ignorance that was

the Justice Peckham said:

most conspicuous characteristic of the “I see that it is publicly stated that Mr. former president, Mr. Richard A. McMcCurdy is preparing to leave for Eu- Curdy, when before the Armstrong comrope, to remain indefinitely. I think it mittee; for in the New York Herald of would be an inexcusable mistake for the February 11th appeared a most astoundMutual Company to permit him to leave ing interview with Mr. Peabody in which

the new president of the Mutual is rethis country without the commencement of an action against him in the name of ported as saying: the company, to recover back the money “As to published reports of dissension he may owe it. The Attorney-General between members of the Mutual's inmight properly find fault that the com- vestigating committee, I have no knowlpany was not itself doing its utmost to edge whatever except that derived from reclaim the money wrongfully obtained reading newspapers. I am not a memby Mr. McCurdy, the chief delinquent ber of the Truesdale committee, but I in the case. As you may suppose, I take have never been informed of


serious the greatest interest in the matter and I disagreement between its members.” feel as if an action ought to be commenced before the departure of Mr. McCurdy And again, in answer to the question: for Europe. Does it not so appear to “Is it true, as reported in banking circles, you ? The Board, at its last meeting, as that the investigating committee, under I understand it, gave authority to the pressure, was persuaded to withdraw President to commence any action which requisitions made by it for information the counsel advised, and such counsel bearing upon the actions of members of advised as to Mr. McCurdy that an action the company's finance committee ?” Mr. could be maintained against him.

Peabody is reported as replying in these “Surely no further delay ought to be words: had, which might result in Mr. McCurdy's

“That is not true. I do not know departure without action against him. I write your Committee because your action know that every request for information

whence such reports emanate, but I do carries great weight, and I hope it may

be in the line of urging the immediate com

made by the Truesdale committee has mencement of a suit against Mr. Mc

been promptly complied with. Certainly

neither members of the Board nor I have Curdy."

the slightest disposition to limit the scope The strained relations that had devel- of the committee's inquiries in any way, oped in the committee by the deflection of but, on the contrary, it is our desire to Messrs. Truesdale and Auchincloss from coöperate with it fully. the course agreed upon and maturely “If the members of the committee tomarked out by all their number before day will make any request for informathe development of hostility on the part tion bearing upon members of the finance of the Standard Oil and Wall-street ele- committee, or any other individuals, or ments, were the talk of the Street during having to do with any department of the January and the early part of February. Mutual or any phase whatever of its busOne man, however, seemed to have re- iness, I will see to it that the organization's

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