MAY, 1959 SPECIAL ISSUE
INK PRINT EDITION
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND
2652 Shasta Road, Berkeley 8, California
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2010 with funding from
National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
SPECIAL ISSUE (May, 1959)
By Jacobus tenBroek
THE CRISIS IN THE FEDERATION: A Report from the President, Jacobus tenBroek
THE ARCHIBALD STORY
By Kenneth Jernigan
THE CALIFORNIA STORY AS IT REALLY HAPPENED
By Russell Kletzing, President, California Council of the Blind
WHAT FEDERATIONISTS ARE THINKING
ANALYSIS OF THE EARL SCHARRY LETTER
By Jacobus tenBroek
Some Additional Corrections
This special edition of the Monitor, devoted to a full account of the internal warfare which threatens to destroy the National Federation of the Blind, is being issued at Federation expense. In the past we have not hesitated to spend Federation funds to fight the external enemies of the organized blind. We should not now hesitate to use Federation money to preserve the organization against an attack from within more serious than any we have yet confronted.
back to contents
Two years ago I reported to you that the National Federation was faced with a concerted and serious attack from without--from a number of powerful agencies which had pooled their resources to oppose our right to organize.
Today I am obliged to report to you that the Federation is faced with an equally concerted and no less serious attack from a different source: an attack from within.
The assault upon the Federation by the agencies was principally characterized--as it is still characterized--by defamation of the character of our elected leadership, by ridicule of the achievements of our movement, and by systematic attempts to disrupt or dominate our national, state and local organizations.
The present attack upon the Federation from within is characterized by the same strategy and tactics: by defamation of the character of our elected leadership, by ridicule of the achievements of our movement, and by systematic attempts to disrupt or dominate our national, state and local organizations.
The nature and extent of this attack from within--which constitutes a thoroughly organized and substantially financed assault upon the basic structure, constitutional operations and democratic leadership of the Federation--will be described in detail in the pages to follow. The need for such an itemized report may be simply stated. The Federation has thus far survived the onslaught of the agencies only through coming to know and understand the exact sources, motivations and ambitions of the agency opposition. If the Federation is now to survive the attack upon it from within, it will only be because Federationists themselves have come to know the full meaning of the fratricidal campaign being waged against their organization--in terms of its original sources and motivations, its principal leaders, and its guiding ambitions.
One thesis above all has been repeated again and again over recent months, with mounting clamor and bitterness, by a small group of members within the Federation. The thesis is simply that tenBroek must go. A campaign against an incumbent officer with an eye to electing another, standing by itself, is not necessarily an attack upon the organization. Free elections are an essential part of the democracy of the Federation. The tenBroek-must-go campaign, however, does not stand by itself; it is an integral part of a campaign to change the character of the organization. Moreover, since 1959 is not an election year, this insistent campaign can only be intended to drive the president out of office by other than electoral means--a procedure violative of all constitutional and democratic precepts.
The drive for the elimination of the present administration has been accompanied, as thousands of our members and much of the public are now aware, by such depths of vituperation and divisive action as to bring the National Federation of the Blind to the brink of ruin. Whether such total destruction of our movement is within the purpose of the minority faction may still be a matter of speculation; but that the disruption of the Federation has been deliberately threatened as the alternative to resignation of the president is now plainly part of the record.
In fact such disruption has been not merely threatened but carried into practice in a number of our state affiliates. The California Council of the Blind, one of the strongest and oldest of our affiliated organizations has been literally torn asunder by a wing of the national faction which seems determined to stop at nothing to achieve its ends. The tragic thing about the warfare in the California affiliate (see the later sections of this report) is that the strife is not coming from within the state, but is apparently being directed from without. And, of all things, in the name of state's rights and local independence! In North Carolina the factional ambitions and private animosities of the president of the affiliate have split the organization into two warring factions, gravely weakening its stature and effectiveness in that state. Similar divisive and disruptive tactics are now being practiced among others of our state affiliates. They are demonstrably part and parcel of a national campaign being waged by a small but clamorous minority with the object either of dominating the Federation or of leaving it in disgrace and ruins.
The immediate objective, the moral tone and the ultimate ambition of the tenBroek-must-go campaign may be quickly perceived from a few utterances culled out of the vast accumulation of written attacks by the McDaniel-Boring faction over recent months.
From Marie Boring, this unequivocal declaration of purpose:
"The Federation can function as a moving force only with a new administration...."
From Bradley Burson to Hollis Liggett, editor-designate of the opposition press: "...the organizational structure of the National Federation must be renovated.... This objective demands two simultaneous pursuits--elimination of the tenBroek machine and a new organizational structure....The first pursuit requires a house-cleaning.... The second pursuit will follow as those concerned with this renaissance become better organized."
From the authors of the "California News Bulletin"--A.L. Archibald, Robert Campbell and Catherine Skivers--a sinister personal threat against the president of "legal consequences to himself, to his career at the University, and to his family"; and a call to action: "In our judgment, the members of all the State affiliates must move fast to cleanse the organization, or this will most likely be done for them at great cost to all the blind."
From Earl Scharry, this succession of statements: "The Right to Organize bill is dead, killed by the stupidity and megalomania of the tenBroek faction....The membership must take back its organization from the adventurers who have appropriated and distorted it....the Federation is indeed doomed unless it makes drastic alterations in its structure and its leadership--very soon....There can never again be peace within the organization so long as he [the president] persists in his war against the membership in order to perpetuate himself in power...It is too late for half measures. The rescue of the Federation would require a complete constitutional overhaul....Yet an overhaul of the Constitution would not suffice. There would have to be at the same time a change of leadership."
In the face of this concerted attack from within, the paramount question which must be answered by all Federationists is: Can the organized blind movement, thus divided and assaulted, continue to stand? Secondary to this is the immediate question forced by the minority faction: Must there be a "complete constitutional overhaul" accompanied by "a change of leadership"? Let us muster the strength to face these issues squarely and decide them conclusively.
The few members within the Federation responsible for the present attack may accurately be labeled "the McDaniel-Boring faction". Durward McDaniel and Marie Boring, both members of the national executive committee, have been from the outset the prime movers and instigators of the internal agitation. Each therefore requires special mention.
McDaniel is a veteran Federationist with strong feelings and political ambitions who has never been content with the degree of recognition which his contributions have received. His personal drive to split the Federation was precipitated in particular by two developments: (1) the decision of the president to fire A.L. Archibald, his close personal friend, as Washington representative; and (2) the rapid growth of the Federation over the past few years to national standing and financial substance. As in his own Oklahoma affiliate, McDaniel has manifested little desire for the formal trappings of office; his ambition (long since achieved in his own state) is rather to control the organization from behind the scenes. In pursuit of this goal he has sought allies in various quarters. As a reward for his aid and comfort to one set of interests at the Boston convention, McDaniel was eulogized by the American Foundation's New Outlook as having "manifested the ability to understand how the Federation appeared to outsiders--to the public, to the government, and to agencies for the blind". McDaniel has been indefatigable in travel, personal contacts and correspondence in the interest of his disruptive campaign. This agitation has not been entirely in vain: he has now brought about the establishment of a permanent faction of opposition within the Federation, complete (as we shall see) with its own private and hostile press. [Emphasis added.]
Marie Boring is the other principal founder of the faction. She was raised to her present position on the executive committee, although at the time a relatively unknown newcomer to the movement, through a feeling that her elevation would strengthen the hand of the North Carolina affiliate in the fight against the oppression of Pete Wood in that state. Her role in the creation of the faction was also galvanized by the firing of Archibald, with whom, like McDaniel, she was on close terms of friendship. The combination of her personal ambitions and emotional disaffection with respect to the Archibald case made her into a bitter foe of the present administration and of the president in particular.
One of the members of the McDaniel-Boring faction is Bradley Burson. The president had induced Burson to come into the Federation a few years ago because it was believed that the singular character of his profession as a nuclear physicist would enable him to make a special contribution to the Federation. In order to maximize this possible contribution, Burson was made a member of the board of directors. Based on their earlier contact with Burson, the Illinois delegation objected to this appointment at the time on the ground of Burson's unsuitability. Events have proved the correctness of the Illinois judgment. It was not long before Burson became increasingly dissatisfied with his role. By the time of the Boston convention he had become thoroughly resentful and hostile. His scandalous and defamatory attacks on the president of the Federation, circulated by the Illinois Federation in the early summer of 1958, were the cause of the censure resolution concerning the Illinois affiliate which was passed by the convention. Burson's personal appearance on the floor of the convention was of a similar character. After the convention he followed up his attack on the president by seeking to convert the employability committee, of which he was chairman, into a political tool in the internecine warfare. He wrote a letter to members of the committee attacking the president and seeking to turn the committee against him. In the letter he acknowledged his political collaboration with McDaniel during the preceding months. He sent a copy of the letter to Marie Boring "since as a leader of the political minority she is entitled to know what has happened and what I am doing about it". As a result of this effort to convert the employability committee which had all-important work to do for the Federation into a tool in his political warfare, the executive committee of the Federation at its St. Louis meeting in November, 1958, recommended that Burson be removed from the chairmanship of the committee and that the committee be reconstituted in such a way as to enable it to proceed with the research project which had been committed to its charge.
In addition to these other activities Burson has been active in attendance at various conventions of state affiliates and in voluminous correspondence.
That Burson has continued to link himself to the McDaniel-Boring faction is made plain by the following excerpts from two of his recent letters: the first to McDaniel and Marie Boring on March 19, the second to Hollis Liggett on March 23. To McDaniel and Boring, Burson wrote: "What happened to your 'Minority Free Press' and did the California News Bulletin replace it? ... I don't have much stomach for [tenBroek] and his gang at all any more. We have to either take the organization away from them or start a new one. I don't intend playing games with them any longer.... As disgruntled as ever, Brad." To Liggett, Burson wrote: "Durward has probably told you enough so that you are quite aware that I have not been an innocent by-stander.... As you might suspect, to ask me if I should like to contribute something [to the magazine proposed to be issued by the faction] is like asking a duck if he would like to take a swim.... I shall abide by the decisions of your editorial committee...."
Behind these principal leaders of the attack from within are two former employees of the Federation, both of whom were fired: A.L. Archibald and Earl Scharry. Both of these members of the faction have an understandable interest, not to say a personal stake, in the removal of the president and the administration. They would like to get back at the man who fired them. The full story of their respective roles in the agitation is set forth in subsequent articles below.
Of Robert Campbell, until recently president of the California Council of the Blind, we shall have more to say in a later article in this issue. Right now, however, certain facts should be noticed. Several of the leading members of the Campbell faction are state agency employees. Campbell himself is director of advanced education at the California School for the Blind. Fogarty also works for the school. Runnion is a state rehabilitation counselor. Meyer works for the Los Angeles Department of Welfare. Archibald is seeking employment with the California agencies. The Campbell faction has publicly expressed strong opposition to California's "Little Kennedy Bill" (see the article by Archibald, "Some Frank Advice to Council Members", in the California "News Bulletin" distributed in February). Septinelli, employed by the state bureau of vocational rehabilitation, appeared against the "Little Kennedy Bill" at a Senate committee hearing on April 7. Peck, a vending stand operator, also appeared in opposition. Some of the members of the Campbell faction have taken a stand against the national Kennedy bill.
What are the root causes of this attack upon the Federation from within? What has impelled these few individuals to initiate so desperate and unrelenting an assault upon the structure, operations and elected leadership of their own organization?
The answer is, at bottom, simple. The origin of the McDaniel-Boring faction may be found in the frustration of political ambitions and in a chain of circumstances which led to more and ever more bitterness. (See "The Archibald Story" as told elsewhere in this report) The faction had begun to take definite shape by the 1957 convention. It erupted into violent and aggressive action with the firing of A. L. Archibald in August of that year. Both McDaniel and Mrs. Boring, as already noted, were intimate friends of Archibald; their resentment at his discharge was deep, lasting and personal. When a meeting was called by the president specifically to discuss the reasons for this action, however, the two committee members saw that they were without any grounds for protest or any chance of winning on this issue. Accordingly McDaniel and Mrs. Boring sought to elevate their personal feelings into a matter of principle and reform. They undertook a broader and loftier campaign aimed at undermining the constitutional powers of the president as well as those of the national convention. Out of such frustration and resentment was born the McDaniel-Boring faction.
At the executive committee meeting in September, 1957, the faction's campaign was defeated by a vote of eight to zero, with two abstentions. Following this meeting the McDaniel-Boring faction proceeded to intensify their attack still further in preparation for the 1958 convention. At that convention, as hundreds of delegates will remember, they were given every opportunity to voice their grievances and propound their case--and then were repudiated by a constitutional majority of two-thirds through the convention's adoption of the Card Amendment.
For all but a handful of those who had been swayed by the McDaniel-Boring campaign for basic changes in the Federation, the decisive action of the convention was final and conclusive. Unfortunately, this willingness to abide by democratic processes did not extend to the leaders of the faction. Far from accepting the convention mandate, they left Boston proclaiming that they had won a "moral victory" and laying the groundwork for a new set of charges and a new attack on a different front. It was at this juncture that the vast majority of our members who had been confused by the vehemence of the factional campaign came to see its true character and to recognize that no democratic defeat or repudiation, however overwhelming, would deter its advocates from their reckless drive to overturn the elected leadership at whatever cost to the organization and to the membership.
The first move of the McDaniel-Boring faction following the 1958 convention took the form of a purported "rebuttal" by McDaniel to George Card's mild convention summary in the Monitor. The McDaniel piece contrived to revive and fight out all over again the very issues which had been decided by the convention. In an effort to confine this acrimonious debate so far as possible within the boundaries of the Federation, the president declined to publish the McDaniel rebuttal in the Braille Monitor but instead circulated it to Federation members in the form of a special bulletin. Among other things, the McDaniel rebuttal contained the amazing argument that the "basic changes" in the Federation which his faction sought "could have been accomplished by the president and the executive committee" alone--without any need for consultation or consent by the convention. That argument was only the most obvious revelation in the paper that what the faction was agitating for was not more, but distinctly less, democracy; not additional authority or responsibility for the membership and its delegates, but simply more power for the executive committee power which could, of course, be obtained only by taking policy-making powers away from the convention and administrative powers away from the president.
In releasing the McDaniel rebuttal as a bulletin, the president wrote in his accompanying letter: "Democracy indeed requires, as our critic seems to say, enlightened and effective leadership. But leadership however enlightened can only be effective when other essentials of democracy are also present; and the most essential of these is the simple willingness to resolve the differences peaceably through the process of majority vote. It would be better, no doubt, if there could always be unanimous and perfect accord among us; but when there is not, it is indispensable to the very life of any democratic movement that those who find their views defeated should accept the decision in good faith and work together with their fellows in the common cause. No one who refuses to recognize and abide by the principle of majority rule should be permitted to invoke the name of democracy for his tactics of obstruction. For if those tactics should succeed the result would be not democracy, nor unity, nor effective leadership, but only anarchy and failure."
The answer of the McDaniel-Boring faction to this appeal to reason and fair play was to shift their battleground and intensify their cross-fire. Both the principal leaders appeared in person at the Labor Day weekend convention of the Tennessee Federation of the Blind for the purpose of pressing their attack and enlisting new supporters. At that convention they capitalized on the local problems of Tennesseeans to build a following; they sought to discredit the Tennessee delegates to the national convention who had refused to join their cause; and they were assiduous in conducting as widely as possible their whispering campaign against the leadership of the National Federation. How well they succeeded is illustrated by Hollis Liggett's conversion to the faction at that time and his acknowledgement that he "had no more than casually met McDaniel and Boring before the Tennessee Federation convention of this year". It is also illustrated by the disruption in the Tennessee Federation which followed.
Obviously well-prepared and thoroughly organized, the next maneuver of the faction took place in Los Angeles on October 30, 1958, when Archibald and Campbell, accompanied by two other directors of the American Brotherhood for the Blind (Harry Runnion and Fred Pearson), suddenly descended upon the offices of the Brotherhood with microfilm equipment and proceeded to film large portions of the Brotherhood's files. At about the same time one or more of these members of the faction called at the office of the Los Angeles Department of Social Services, which issues solicitation permits, and made statements (as reported by the director of the department) suggesting that she withdraw the Brotherhood's solicitation permit. The Brotherhood, as nearly all Federationists are aware, was the publisher of our own Braille Monitor and a long-time ally of the Federation. The immediate consequence of this action by members of the McDaniel-Boring faction was the withdrawal of the Brotherhood's permit at least temporarily, resulting in a substantial reduction in its funds and a serious question of its continued existence.
The same group of Brotherhood directors then sought at the next board meeting of the organization, on November 1 in Los Angeles, to take over the Brotherhood. They challenged the right of various members to sit on the board, attacked the president of the Brotherhood, sought by the most brazen conduct and every device of parliamentary maneuver to hamstring the Brotherhood in the same way as the larger McDaniel faction has been seeking to paralyze the Federation, and entered numerous items in the minutes of the meeting conveying the threat of contesting the legality of the proceedings in another place. The objects of this proceeding were: to bolster the tottering California wing of the McDaniel faction by securing control of the Brotherhood's seat in the California Council of the Blind; and to dominate the means of communication with Federation members through control of the Monitor.
The next move of the McDaniel-Boring faction was the successful effort to drive George Card from his elected office as first vice-president of the Federation. In a November letter to President tenBroek announcing his resignation, George minced no words in describing the principal reason for his action: "The ruthless and lacerating attacks made by a small, disgruntled group during the past fifteen months have taken all the joy out of it for me. Watching the organization which I love so much split into warring factions has made me heartsick. I have seen those whom I thought of as my blood brothers turn on me, impugning my motives, exhibiting a ferocious and unrelenting hostility.... I can go into battle with our traditional enemies with a joyous heart but, if I must engage in a disastrous civil war with former friends and colleagues, I prefer to do so as a private member."
George's decision to resign his elective office was the direct result of personal attacks by the McDaniel-Boring faction concerning the propriety of his receiving a salary from the Brotherhood during part of 1958 as editor of the Braille Monitor. For several years previously, as many Federationists were aware, George had served as Monitor editor entirely without compensation. After the Monitor had been made a Federation organ by decision of the national convention, it largely supplanted the numerous special bulletins which were formerly necessary; moreover, it was restored to a monthly publication schedule, was expanded greatly in circulation and coverage, and the work of editing it became in every sense a full-time job. There could be no doubt that George earned every penny of the salary which the Brotherhood began to pay him only last year. The fact that some Federation funds may have been involved raised no conflict with the Federation's informal proviso that its elected officers not be paid, since as first vice-president George received no pay or compensation whatsoever. Even if the Federation had paid his entire salary as editor, the representation concerning our officers would still be completely accurate.
For many years Dr. Newel Perry, then the president of the California Council of the Blind, had received a salary from the Brotherhood as editor of the Legislation Section of the All-Story Braille Magazine, the earlier name of the Braille Monitor.
Even after they had driven George Card from his elected office, however, the minority faction was not appeased in its appetite for power. Faced with further attacks and aspersions on his integrity, George subsequently sent a letter to the president of the Brotherhood enclosing a check for the entire amount of salary which he had re- ceived from the Brotherhood. The smear campaign which had led George to this sacrifice--made at a personal cost which can only be calculated by those who knew the gravity of his financial and medical condition--centered around a politically inspired and politically designed letter from David Cobb, then an attorney for the Federation, to Durward McDaniel. This letter was similar in character to an earlier missive circulated by Cobb to members of the executive committee immediately prior to the Boston convention, and was transparently part of the factional attack upon the national administration.
Meanwhile, the camouflage which had cloaked the real purposes of the McDaniel-Boring group had been entirely torn away. Late in December Marie Boring sent a letter to George Card containing various threats and declaring flatly that "the Federation can function as a moving force only with a new administration". This was the first overt declaration of the theme which had been the paramount objective of the faction all along and which has subsequently dominated all its actions: i.e., "tenBroek must go."
One week later, McDaniel dispatched a letter to the president making an open and direct accusation of improper transfer of funds by the president from the Federation to the Brotherhood, and demanding restitution of the alleged funds. This stark piece of character assassination represented much more than a continuation of the old factional dispute: it was a blatant effort to drive the president of the Federation from his office as the first vice-president had been driven out before him--and as the Brotherhood had been besmirched and all but destroyed as an ally. Fabricated as it was out of whole cloth, the charge that the president had used Federation funds "for purposes not authorized by the constitution, the convention, or the executive committee" was readily refuted in a presidential bulletin. The funds so used had been clearly authorized by the constitution, by the convention and by the executive committee, in numerous ways and on numerous occasions. The executive committee of the Federation at its March, 1959, meeting, "disavowed and deplored this uncalled for and improper action of Durward K. McDaniel". The significance of the McDaniel letter lay less in the trumped-up charges themselves--these, when exploded, would quickly be replaced by others--than in its obvious intention to smear the character of the president by libelous innuendo and thus to bring about his elimination. The demand for restitution itself, made by McDaniel "as a member of the executive committee", was a flagrant attempt to usurp the authority of the executive committee which of course had in no sense authorized him to act.
The next attack upon the Federation from within--by far the most elaborate to that date--appeared on February 1 in the form of a letter "to all NFB members" from Earl Scharry, who had shortly before been released from his staff position. The Scharry letter accused the "temperamental tenBroek" of "stupidity and megalomania", and struck a shrill note of crisis: "It is too late for half measures. The rescue of the Federation would require a complete constitutional overhaul.... Yet an overhaul of the constitution would not suffice. There would have to be at the same time a change of leadership." Because of the great length of this diatribe, the numerous falsehoods which it sets forth, and the broad reach of its circulation, an analysis of it is published in this issue of the Monitor.
On Valentine's Day (February 14), 1959, a meeting of members of the McDaniel-Boring faction was held in Memphis, Tennessee. Constituting in effect a rump convention of a handful of disaffected Federationists from several states, the Memphis meeting was called for the purpose of establishing a permanent cabal of opposition with-in the Federation and of instituting a hostile publication--the so-called "Minority Free Press"--to combat the Braille Monitor and to sow division among the membership. This purpose was plainly stated by McDaniel in a letter of invitation sent prior to the meeting, which read in part: "Enough has been done to make me confident that a braille bulletin will soon be published independently of the tenBroek administration and the conference at Memphis should be an important step in getting this project launched." The balance of the McDaniel letter consisted of a diatribe rehearsing all the familiar and long deflated charges of presidential autocracy and suppression.
What the conference at Memphis was all about has been revealed in a letter written soon after the event: "The purpose of this organization, they claim, is to educate the blind to the gathering momentum of the criticism that McDaniel is spreading of the George Card Amendment, which they opposed at Boston; additional mud-slinging to be directed to Dr. tenBroek." This new organization of dissidents, with its private press and factional purpose, confronts all members of the Federation more starkly than ever with the central issue posed by the McDaniel-Boring attack from within: Can the organized blind movement, thus divided against itself, stand?
If the vituperative Scharry letter out of Washington was the most elaborate decoction yet prepared by members of the McDaniel-Boring faction, it was soon to be outstripped on all counts by the spectacular production of a separate wing of the faction at the opposite end of the continent. The chief architects of the "California Story", as it has come to be known, were Robert Campbell, A. L. Archibald and other California members of the McDaniel-Boring faction. Their contribution took the spurious form of a "news bulletin" running to some 90 odd pages of Braille (37 in the inkprint edition) and containing a "hystereophonic" onslaught upon the Federation.
This story is told in detail in the article in this issue entitled "The California Story As It Really Happened".
back to contents
by Kenneth Jernigan
In August of 1957, A. L. Archibald was fired from the staff of the National Federation of the Blind. This event ushered in a new era in Federation affairs. It became the focal point of an internal conflict which was already getting under way. It was the beginning of a civil war.
Throughout all of the strife which has plagued the Federation ever since, one figure, A. L. Archibald, has been ever present. In whatever part of the country the conflict has flared, wherever there have been unrest and dissension, wherever there have been charges made--there has A. L. Archibald been. He has lurked in the background as a principal agitator and emissary of hate and suspicion.
Unlike McDaniel and Boring, he has not, until recently, made public statements or circulated letters through the mail. He has kept himself in the background. Many of the delegates at Boston did not even know that he was present at the convention, yet he was always at Durward McDaniel's side.
The time has now come when A. L. Archibald must be brought forth from the shadows. His story must be told so that Federationists everywhere may know the real reasons for his dismissal--the facts about his performance as a Federation staff member.
The McDaniel faction has sought to make Archibald a hero. In general the story they tell is this: Archibald was a tireless worker for the Federation. He was brilliant and shrewd, a lobbyist without equal. He was loyal to the organization that hired him. He worked both day and night to advance its interests. Because he would not bow to the whims of the "dictator" who was and is the President of the Federation, he was suddenly fired without warning or cause. He was not even given an opportunity to resign or told why he was being dismissed. Emissaries from the dictatorial President simply came to his room one night and gave him a letter saying that he was fired.
What are the facts? Is this a true account of what happened? Was Archibald really a hard worker? Did he win friends for the Federation? What were his attitudes toward the elected officers of the organization? Were there specific reasons for his dismissal or was it simply based on whim? Let Federationists everywhere read the record and judge for themselves. Let them read Archibald's own letters. Let him speak for himself. This is the Archibald story.
When the Federation was established in 1940, there was little money to hire staff or to do anything else. The first thought of paid employees came in 1942 at the Des Moines convention. At that time the delegates unanimously decided that the President, not the Executive Committee, should do the hiring. The nominating committee was also serving as a resolutions committee. The exact wording of the motion establishing the first Federation staff position was as follows:
Your nominating committee formally recommends that the Federation authorizes its president to appoint a person to act as his assistant and to be officially designated as Executive Director of the National Federation of the Blind.
The first Executive Director of the Federation, Mr. Raymond Henderson, was selected and appointed by the President. He served brilliantly and efficiently from 1942 until his death in 1945. The President then selected and appointed Mr. Leslie Schlingheyde. Mr. Schlingheyde, however, did not get his work done, and he was dismissed by the President. In 1946 Mr. Archibald was hired as a part-time employee. In 1952, he was employed on a full-time basis.
It was hardly a year after his full-time employment that the trouble started. He began to refuse to carry out assignments given him by the President of the Federation. He insisted upon his right to decide whether specific articles or other printed material sent him by Dr. tenBroek should be distributed in Washington. In one instance, he categorically refused to circulate a particular article concerning public assistance because he thought the wording was not quite what it should be. This despite the fact that he was a hired staff member and Dr. tenBroek was the elected President of the organization with responsibility for supervising his work.
From 1952 to 1956 there was a gradual deterioration in Archibald's performance and attitude. He tried more than once (unsuccessfully) to form political alliances with individual members of the Executive Committee, always with complaints against Dr. tenBroek and the fact that he, Archibald, was under Dr. tenBroek's supervision. He became increasingly sulky and insubordinate, and there were long periods of time when he did, and moreover seemed incapable of doing, little if any work at all.
Throughout all this nonperformance and insubordination, Dr. tenBroek was patient in the extreme. As he later said, he kept hoping that if he were patient long enough, "Archie would come to his senses." In the meantime Dr. tenBroek was careful to make no statement which would injure Archibald's relation with the affiliates. He had only words of kindness and friendliness for him.
It may well be that the 1956 convention at San Francisco, that meeting which seemed so harmonious and full of promise for the Federation, was the real turning point in the Archibald story. Archibald's earlier attempts at forming alliances with members of the Executive Committee in opposition to the President had been unsuccessful. At the 1956 convention the name of Durward McDaniel was placed in nomination for the Second Vice-Presidency of the Federation. He was defeated in the nominating committee. It was then that McDaniel went to Dr. tenBroek's room and angrily talked to him and other leaders of the Federation about "the presidential succession". It was soon after the San Francisco convention that Archibald's insubordination increased markedly and that carbons of almost all of his letters began to be sent to McDaniel, but not to other members of the Executive Committee.
The extent of Archibald's nonperformance and insubordination is so great that it should be shown by his own letters. Otherwise it could hardly be believed.
On August 6, 1956, Dr. tenBroek wrote to Archibald requesting him to prepare a draft of proposed Federal rules and regulations implementing the new self-care and self-support provisions of the 1956 Social Security Act Amendments. This was simply a routine assignment.
On August 15, 1956, Mr. Archibald replied in perhaps one of the strangest letters ever written by an employee to an employer. Among other things, he said that while he appreciated the honor of it all, he felt forced to decline to carry out the assignment. He was not content merely to send this letter to the President of the Federation but sent it to others as well, among whom, of course, was Durward McDaniel. The letter says:
My vacation plans and reservations have all been cancelled. I don't know how much good this will do the Federation; for I can't cancel my secretary's plans. She is scheduled to give birth to a baby this week. Tomorrow, in fact, is the due date. Having had the forethought to time the arrival of this infant for some time after the close of the congressional session, these plans can be changed by no one. She has, in fact, pressed her luck a bit by staying on as long as she has. But this is her final day with me. I have thus far had no luck in finding a temporary replacement. Were it not for her kindness in volunteering to come in for a few hours now and again until she goes to the hospital, my prospects for getting anything done would indeed be slight. I have set these facts forth in order that you and others may understand fully my situation here with respect to the project outlined in your letter of August 6th.
My first comment with respect to that project is that you do me entirely too much honor to believe that I can, like Athena sprang from the head of Zeus, single-handedly come forth with a complete plan in all its refinements whereby the Social Security Administration will have to do no work to adopt regulations putting into effect the new self-support purpose of state public assistance plans. I am sure that there are many ideas which would never occur to me; nor do I have any long administrative experience to think of all the details. Therefore, while I appreciate the honor of it all, I am compelled to decline the full responsibility for developing a set of regulations to submit to Schottland. I am in consequence calling upon a group of Federation leaders, including yourself, to concentrate upon this project with virtually the same attention that I shall be giving to it. Without their help and yours the project will amount to very little. Having deleted the last paragraph of your letter from the copies I have made of it (the paragraph is not relevant to the project), I am accordingly sending copies of your letter and this one to the people who are listed below in an earnest appeal for ideas from them and with the full knowledge on my part that if they do not make contributions we will probably not have very much to suggest to Schottland....
A. L. Archibald
On August 20, 1956, Dr. tenBroek replied:
This will reply to the tone and substance of your letter of August 15.
In my letter to you of August 6, I asked that you set to work immediately preparing a draft of proposed Federal rules and regulations implementing the relevant provisions of the 1956 Social Security Act Amendments. In so doing, I had no idea that I was conferring an honor upon you. I was sending you an assignment which I now repeat.
The task is not at all formidable. This is the sort of thing that staff people are doing in welfare departments all around the country every day and in voluntary agencies and organizations. I expected that the product would need some refinement and that it would not spring full-grown from your letter making unnecessary any further work either on our part or that of Schottland. There is no need to worry about refinement, however, until a primary draft is in hand.
As I view the picture it is urgent that we prepare our proposals as soon as possible. We are under the gun. The Federal people are already hard at work on such rules. Moreover, the people in the state departments are also getting their ideas together. Our proposals will have their maximum impact if presented while a relatively fluid condition still exists in the minds of the federal and state directors. Progressively as their ideas jell the possibility of getting our ideas accepted diminishes.
Let me say two things about your distribution of this assignment to other Federation leaders. The first is that if I had wanted them to work on the matter at this stage I would have written them myself. The second is that this is the wrong stage of the matter at which to call on them for their contribution. They are all extremely busy and overburdened with Federation work. They should therefore be asked to contribute only when they can do so with maximum advantage and minimum effort. That stage would be to make their comments and suggestions when the primary draft has been prepared and the pick and shovel work done. Doing that pick and shovel work and getting the primary draft ready should be performed by staff.
You should therefore understand that these are instructions to you and I expect them to be treated as such. When you have completed your draft please send it directly to me....
Despite continued urging on the part of Dr. tenBroek, the proposed draft of the Federal rules and regulations was not forthcoming. Finally in desperation, Dr. tenBroek, realizing that immediate action was necessary if anything was to be accomplished, had a draft prepared in California and sent it to Archibald with the request that he make comments on it. Still no action was forthcoming.
On November 21, 1956, Dr, tenBroek wrote as follows:
On October 9 I sent you a copy of a rough draft of proposed social security rules and regulations prepared by Perry Sundquist. In the covering letter sent to you and a number of other people, I requested comments and suggestions preparatory to the working out of a final draft which I indicated I would try to do in a couple of weeks from that time when I returned from Ohio. Subsequent events have prevented my completing the draft. Meanwhile, much valuable time has gone by and valuable opportunity has been lost to present a set of well worked out proposals to the state and federal agencies.
I now reassign this task to you. From August 6 to October 9 you were supposed to have been working on this job anyway. During most of that time you had very little else to do. Surely, you had ample chance to do the thinking required. Assuming that you did not do it, however, you now have before you Perry's rough draft to aid you in the process. A very few days of concentrated work should produce the finished product. I expect you to get at it immediately and to complete it quickly. You are to send your final draft to me for review and distribution.
Let Federationists everywhere read and marvel at the reply of November 26, 1956:
You have expressed an interest in learning what progress is being made on the proposed revisions of Federal public assistance regulations to carry out the new self-support and self-care provisions added to Title X this year.
I am happy to say that work on these proposals has been under way for a long time past. I believe that, if there are no further serious interruptions such as have occurred frequently since this project was first undertaken, the job will be completed in the fairly near future....
I am happy to see (he refers here to Dr. tenBroek's appendectomy) that you have come out of your recent surgery in apparent good shape. We all seem to be subject to interruptions which are not of our own choosing.
One need hardly add that the inevitable copy was sen --to Durward K. McDaniel.
On December 5, 1956, Dr. tenBroek replied in a letter which most administrators would consider mild indeed under the circumstances:
In your letter of November 26 you begin with the sentence: "You have expressed an interest in learning what progress is being made on the proposed revisions of Federal public assistance regulations to carry out the new self-support and self-care provisions added to Title X this year." This is a most amazing sentence yet it expresses an attitude which you persist in clinging to. As the person in the organization responsible for supervising your work and determining what it will be, I gave you a work assignment. After numerous dilatory tactics, delays and procrastinations, you now write me describing this work assignment as a mere expression of interest on my part just as you would reply to an outsider who had asked about this or that.
In the past when you have attempted to force an issue on this score, I have systematically followed the practice of deliberately avoiding it hoping that if I were patient long enough you would gradually find your proper niche in the Federation and come to your senses. It is obvious now that my excessive patience has not been helpful. It is time therefore that we straighten this matter out once and for all.
You have simply got to face the fact, and moreover accept it fully, that your position in the Federation is not that of an independent constitutional officer. You are not free to decide what work you will do and what work you will not do and when and how you will do it. You are not free to select your own duties. Your duties are to be carried out under the supervision and direction of the president of the Federation. The tasks you will perform, your over-all work load, and how and when you will perform assigned tasks, are to be determined by him unless in the circumstances of particular cases he tells you that you are free to decide for yourself.
It is absolutely preposterous that at this late day I should have to say these things to you. You know full well that this has been the mode of operation in the Federation as long as you have been in it. The letter of appointment which I sent you when you were raised to your present salary was very explicit on this point. In addition, you were present at the Executive Committee meeting at which a resolution was formally passed confirming the long-standing mode of operation on this point, i.e., assigning to the president the authority and responsibility of determining the duties and supervising the work of all employees of the Federation. That resolution reads:
"WHEREAS there is now every reason to believe that the income of the National Federation of the Blind will continue to increase and that, as a result, our organization will soon be in a position to make long overdue and desperately needed additions to its paid staff, and
"WHEREAS, it seems desirable that there be a restatement and clarification of our established policies with respect to the hiring, supervision, direction, and if necessary, the dismissal of staff members,
"THEREFORE be it resolved that in the future, as in the past, the President of the National Federation of the Blind shall have the exclusive authority to negotiate with, hire, supervise, direct, and when necessary, dismiss any and all members of the staff of this organization."
There are some intimations in your letter that you have not had time to get this assignment done and that you have been subject to distractions beyond your control. This assignment was originally given you some four months ago. Let us assume that you spent a month working on Dave Cobb's post office report which is an extravagant assumption. Let us assume further that other work claimed your attention, or that you were sick for another month. I have had no evidence that either of these assumptions is correct. Since August, you have done very little Federation work. Still this would leave approximately two months in which to do a job that at the very outside would take a week of concentrated effort.
You are receiving a very substantial salary. Including full maintenance in a Washington hotel, it totals between $9,000 and $10,000 a year. For that amount of money, the Federation has a right to expect a substantial amount of work, and beyond that, a substantial amount of cooperative compliance with those responsible for the executive direction of the operations of the Federation. There are several people in the Federation who are more productive than you are despite the fact that they carry on full time jobs in addition to their work for the Federation.
This may seem to you like a tough letter. After so many years of patience of putting up with your refusal or inability to comply with work assignments and of your maneuvers to carve out a different position in the Federation from that assigned to you, it is intended to be just that. It may also seem to you like an angry letter. If so, it is based on an attitude that I have had for a long time and will continue to have for a long time.
So far as I am concerned, Archie, you have only one course open to you and that is at long last to face and to accept the role assigned to you in the Federation and to carry out with a greater show of willingness and deliberate effort the tasks you are asked to perform.
It has been said by some that Archibald was given no intimation of the fact that his attitudes and work performance were not satisfactory. He was fired in August of 1957. The foregoing letter from Dr. tenBroek was written December 5, 1956. Let the record speak for itself.
These are by no means the only instances of insubordination on the part of Archibald during 1956. During the early part of the greeting card difficulties with the Post Office, our then Washington attorney, David Cobb, suggested that Dr. tenBroek should secure from him and other employees of the Federation, including Archibald, an exact accounting of the way they spent their time working for the Federation. This would permit the distribution of expenditures in accordance with the various headings in the Federation's books. On June 13, 1956, Dr. tenBroek wrote to Archibald requesting that he keep a daily work log. On October 5, 1956, it was necessary to write again:
On June 13 I wrote you a letter asking you to keep a daily work log indicating the allocation of your time to the various projects on which you are engaged. I asked you to send me copies of this daily work log near the end of each month. It is now October 5 and in none of the intervening months have I received any work logs from you.
I now call your attention to this matter again. You are herewith instructed to begin keeping such daily work logs starting with the 1st of October and to send them to me at the end of each month.
On November 21, 1956, Dr. tenBroek wrote once again:
On June 13, I wrote you asking that you keep a daily work log. On October 5, I reminded you of my earlier communication, pointed out that you had not complied with it in any of the intervening months, and repeated the instruction that you were to send me copies of your daily work logs near the end of each month. You still have not complied with these instructions....
I reiterate to you once again that you are to keep a daily work log indicating what time is spent on what projects and that these daily work logs are to be sent to me near the end of each month.
Perhaps the only comment needed is this: Archibald never complied with the request. Was he really a dutiful and hard working employee of the Federation, laboring diligently to advance its cause? What does the record say?
The year 1957 brought many new things, but it did not bring a new Archibald. He was back at the same old stand. Note the following letter from Dr. tenBroek dated April 10, 1957:
Last year I had occasion to write you several times to inform you with such emphasis as I could muster that some of your attitudes, methods and procedures were decidedly unsatisfactory to the Federation. One of the points I discussed explicitly was the procedure by which you distribute to a number of people a request to submit ideas and judgments to you. In the case of the Switzer letter you indulged in this same procedure modifying it, however, to the extent of at least sending out your preliminary evaluation along with the request. The method is still completely unsatisfactory.
The procedure implies and your letter to Bill Taylor makes quite explicit that you will pick and choose among the comments submitted and decide what policy the Federation will follow. It is a basic principle of the Federation, as you well know, from public documents of the Federation as well as from instructions from me, that staff members of the Federation shall not decide important issues of policy.
I do not expect to go over this same territory with you two or three times every year....
To those who feel that the Archibald story reveals a new technique in employee-employer relationships, it can only be said that more novel experiments were yet to come.
In April of 1957, Archibald sent to Dr. tenBroek a bulletin concerning bills affecting the blind which had been introduced into Congress. He requested that the bulletin be mailed immediately to all of the membership. Dr. tenBroek felt that the bulletin was not well written, that it was entirely too long, and that it emphasized rather starkly the poverty of the Federation's legislative efforts for the past few months. He so informed Archibald. On May 10, 1957, Archibald wrote:
I have your letter of May 7, 1957 commenting upon my letter of April 29 which responded to your letter of April 25, describing the bulletin I sent you for release as emphasizing "starkly the poverty of" the Federation's legislative program. You reassert your description. I again reject it.
I further herewith reiterate my request that the bulletin as submitted to you except for one paragraph be put on the mimeograph machine and mailed out to the general mailing list without delay....
You will receive this Monday, May 13. Unless I hear from you by letter, wire or telephone before noon on Wednesday, May 15, that the bulletin is in the course of publication to be mailed, I shall proceed at my personal expense, to order it mimeographed here and mailed out to the limited and incomplete mailing list of this office. It can be decided later whether the National Federation will reimburse me for the expense. Needless to say, I shall disregard any directive from you ordering me to refrain from this course of action....
Again the inevitable carbon. To whom ? Durward K. McDaniel.
At this stage surely most administrators would have felt that Archibald's usefulness to the organization had ended. A paid staff member announces that a particular piece of material must be mailed out immediately. If the elected President does not comply with his wish, then he, the paid staff member, will "order" the mailing to be done from the Washington office. Moreover, he will disregard any order to the contrary.
Apparently McDaniel felt that his friend had gone too far and had perhaps put himself in an untenable position. Accordingly, McDaniel, in a telephone conversation with Dr. tenBroek on May 13, suggested that he, McDaniel, would negotiate with "Archie" and get him to "back down" on his demand. Dr. tenBroek said that there was no negotiating to be done. In a few days the Archibald bulletin was mailed out from Washington. It contained no spectacular material or information, and is probably not remembered by most Federationists.
Despite the fact that Archibald had said in his letter of May 10 with regard to the mailing of his bulletin, "It can be decided later whether the National Federation will reimburse me for the expense," he sent a bill to Dr. tenBroek on July 16, 1957, in the amount of $328.50. It will be noted from Dr. tenBroek's reply dated July 31, 1957, that still other instances of insubordination had occurred in the meantime. Archibald had asked whether he could take his secretary to the New Orleans convention. Dr. tenBroek had told him that he should not do this, that it would be cheaper to hire local secretarial help than to pay all of the travel expenses involved. Note Dr. tenBroek's letter concerning the Archibald bulletin and the secretarial incident:
July 31, 1957
I have your letter of July 16 containing a number of suggestions and attaching two bills, one from Ginn's and one from the City Duplicating Center. The bill from Ginn's has been forwarded to Emil for payment. The bill from City Duplicating Center (the firm that had printed the Archibald bulletin), since it is a personal one, is herewith being returned to you....
I cannot agree with your suggestion that a Washington bank account be established from which you could make payments on your own authorization. Such an independent account would facilitate the development of staff positions into the positions of constitutional officers.
You are authorized to incur Federation bills prior to approval from Federation headquarters only if the bills are small and of a routine nature. For all other bills you must secure headquarter's approval in advance. This applies not only to supplies and equipment, but also to trips for the Federation.
When I was in Washington in June you expressly raised the question with me of taking your secretary to the New Orleans convention. At that time I told you not to do so since arrangements were being made to procure secretarial help locally. Yet you did take your secretary and submitted a bill for her travel expenses to the Federation. That bill was paid by Emil before he secured my approval. Emil has been alerted not to allow such a slip to occur again.
P.S. Your bill from Ginn's is not accompanied by any invoice. You should secure invoices in triplicate along with all bills so that Emil and I will have a permanent record of what the expenditures were for and the third invoice can be returned with the paid bill so that the supplier knows what was covered in the payment.
On August 15, 1957, the real character of Archibald was clearly revealed, if, indeed, there had been any doubt about the matter before. He announced to Dr. tenBroek that he, Archibald, intended to incur expenses in the name of the Federation for any item or service that he considered necessary and reasonable. He said that it was unreasonable of Dr. tenBroek to ask him to send invoices in triplicate, that Dr. tenBroek had a photographing machine in his office, and could make his own copies. Finally, he said that the bill for the mailing of his bulletin must and would be paid by the Federation. He said that if it were not paid, he would advise the creditors to sue the Federation, and that he would give testimony in their behalf. This was the responsible, loyal, and hard working Archibald! These are his exact words:
August 15, 1957
I have deliberately permitted a considerable time to elapse before reacting to your letter of July 31. Surely you realize that I will not agree to accept a Federation expense as a personal bill. I am therefore, returning to you herewith for prompt payment the bill from City Duplicating Center, Inc. in the amount of $328.50. Since you have delayed payment of this bill into the third month there is no difficulty in supplying you with copies in triplicate.
I need not recount here the facts surrounding the incurring of the bill. They are known in detail to you, to Durward McDaniel and to me. When Durward was in Washington during the last week of May, I confirmed with him my understanding of the agreement reached by telephone between you and him on May 14, following your receipt of my letter of May 10. I can say with confidence that both Durward and I understood that I was to mail the legislative bulletin from here and forward the bill to you in the normal procedure.
My actions were taken in good faith. I am sure Durward acted in good faith also. I directed City Duplicating Center to bill the National Federation. They accepted the job in good faith, and billed the Federation in good faith. They expect to be paid in good faith. In addition to repeated billings, they have telephoned to inquire why they have not been paid and reimbursed.
You may rest assured that under the circumstances, I shall not pay from my personal funds any bill made out to the National Federation. [It might be inserted here that Archibald made the bill in the name of the Federation utterly without authorization.] Even if the Federation's creditor should find it necessary to sue for payment I shall take no action except to give testimony to the facts as I know them. If I am again contacted by City Duplicating Center on the subject of this bill, I shall have no alternative but to advise them regarding their course of action. Before raising any question about the bill, you permitted two months to pass [This statement is not true, of course, since the bill was not even sent until July 16, and Dr. tenBroek answered on July 31.] during which there was ample time and opportunity to straighten out any misunderstanding which might have existed, and to take action to avoid embarrassment for the Federation. I can only be very forthright and honest with the Federation's creditor if questioned again.... [Emphasis added.]
Your request for bills and invoices in triplicate will seem demanding to business establishments supplying us with small assortments of items. You have a photographic reproducing machine in your office. You can easily make as many copies for record as you desire.
Your recollection of our conversation on June 13 about taking my secretary to New Orleans is obviously hazy. I regret the necessity of directly contradicting your statement that you "told" me not to take her to the convention. I did not "expressly" raise with you the question of taking her along. After some questions about how she was working out as my secretary, you commented that you were attempting to make some arrangements in New Orleans for secretarial help. When I had heard nothing more regarding the subject of secretarial help in New Orleans, I made the decision on Friday before leaving for the convention to secure reservations for my secretary in order to assure myself of competent help in the difficult and arduous task of drafting, redrafting and putting in final form the very large number of resolutions presented....
My practice generally in respect to incurring expenses for which I ask reimbursement from the Federation, has always been to exercise great care to determine that they were reasonable, under the circumstances. For me to operate under any other rule would be to make my work impossible of accomplishment in a variety of situations. There have been occasions which have required me to reach a decision on my own that a hurried trip was necessary, and there have been occasions when I have had to hire people to get urgent work for the Federation done. There have also been other instances which could be enumerated. The only practicable way for me to function is to continue the exercise of the rule of reason in making outlays for which I expect to gain reimbursement.
Very truly yours,
A. L. Archibald,
Once more the inevitable carbon. To whom? To all members of the Executive Committee? No! To Durward K. McDaniel.
It was at this stage that Dr. tenBroek paid the bill for Archibald's bulletin and fired him. He did not further negotiate with him or plead or persuade. He simply fired him.
In view of all of the past circumstances, however, the letter of dismissal and the financial conditions allowed can hardly be called other than generous. The First Vice-President personally delivered Dr. tenBroek' s letter to Archibald in Washington. The letter reads:
August 20, 1957
Effective immediately upon receipt of this notice your services as Executive Director of the Federation are terminated.
You are directed to turn over to George Card the keys to the Federation's Washington office and all files and other Federation property in your custody.
Your salary will continue for four months as separation pay.
Your reasonable travel and removal expenses to California, if you desire to return there, will be met by the Federation. Other expenses incurred by you after receipt of this notice will not be paid by the Federation.
Your maintenance expenses incurred prior to the receipt of this notice but not yet paid will be processed and paid by the Federation in the usual way.
Very truly yours,
In his letter to the Executive Committee of August 23, 1957, Dr. tenBroek said in part:
On behalf of the Federation I have today carried out the personally very unpleasant duty of firing Mr. A. L. Archibald as the Federation's Washington representative. The separation has been made immediately effective....
Archie has been a full time employee of the Federation since 1952. Prior to that, beginning in 1946, he was a part time employee. He was originally hired as an Executive Director. However, I soon discovered Archie was not cut out to be an executive. He was very slow and inefficient in handling routine matters. He failed to allocate time in accordance with the importance of items. He went to pieces under pressure. I therefore assigned him to duties in connection with the Washington work of the Federation. These increased gradually until in the past two or three years he has spent full time, practically the year round in Washington. Despite this reassignment of duties, the title of Executive Director has not been changed.
At the present time Archie's salary is $10,000 per year. He received $5,000 in cash plus full maintenance. Full maintenance during the past 12 months has amounted to $5,235.00. If Archie maintained a home in California his living expenses in Washington could not properly be considered salary. In that event they would be properly treated as costs of travel. However, Archie does not have to maintain a residence elsewhere and does not maintain one. Since he is in Washington practically the year round and that is the almost exclusive location of his work for the Federation, the payment of the ordinary living expenses such as rent and food must be regarded as part of his salary.
There are two major reasons for Archie's separation at this time. The first has to do with the level of his performance; the second with his conception of his position....
Throughout the remainder of this letter, Archibald's performance and lack of performance are discussed in detail. Since much of this discussion would be repetitious to those who have read the foregoing letters, it will be omitted.
However, perhaps the final paragraph dealing with the relations between hired staff and elected officers should be quoted. It reads:
The theory and even necessity behind this policy and practice (that is, that hired staff members all be under the supervision of elected officers) is of utmost importance to the future of the Federation. If the policies of the Federation are to be carried out and its purposes accomplished the Federation must have a strong executive. Because of the Federation's democratic and representative makeup that executive must be elected. The difficulties I have had with Archie during the past several years illustrate what can be seen without much illustration: either the staff will govern the officers, or the officers will govern the staff. All of the advantages in the struggle are on the side of the staff. They are permanent, they are full time, they are paid, they become knowledgeable. Even without a deliberate purpose to do so the whole tendency of the operation is for them to become the governing forces. In the Federation, the president must have authority to hire, fire and supervise the staff. If the president's administration is not a good one, if he is weak, ineffective or otherwise incapable of discharging his duties, then the delegates at the convention should elect another person. No such safe-guards exist in the case of the staff. If the organization is to remain democratic, then all major policies must be handled by persons who are responsible to the convention by election. Once the staff is in control, then the Federation simply becomes another agency. It loses its democratic and representative character. Elected officers simply become the fronts for the activities of paid employees.
Even though Archibald's conduct had been of the character described, Dr. tenBroek permitted him on August 24, 1957, to submit a letter of resignation for the record. This was done in order to increase his chances of employment elsewhere. The same consideration (namely, the wish to do nothing which would damage Archibald's chances of finding employment) has been largely responsible for the fact that the entire story has never been fully told before. Such a consideration can no longer be taken into account.
McDaniel's reaction to the Archibald firing was immediate and violent. With Archibald's firing McDaniel saw for a second time the ruin of his hopes and ambitions. The first setback had come in 1956 when he had failed to get the nomination for Second Vice-President. Now the alternative means of achieving power and influence, an alliance with the Washington staff representative of the Federation, was also gone. In a bitter letter to the members of the Federation's Board of Directors dated August 29, 1957, McDaniel railed against the President and demanded an immediate meeting of the Executive Committee. He said concerning the Archibald firing:
In closing I would like to make a statement about the President's letter of August 23rd, 1957. I am one of the few members of the executive committee who has been intimately acquainted with this episode as it developed. This letter of August 23rd is an inadequate revelation of the facts. I know A. L. Archibald very well. I know that he has had no desire to exert an improper influence upon the organization which has employed him. This superficial and erroneous issue of staff versus elected officials must not confuse and conceal the real problems confronting us. I can think of many major achievements to add to Mr. Archibald's credit. I was shocked to receive such a letter about a loyal Federationist who apparently was not given a chance to resign. I note in today's mail an effort to mitigate this injustice by accepting a resignation which was voluntarily submitted.
I happened to be in Washington when Mr. Archibald went for the first time to confer with Mr. Dungan on Senator Kennedy's staff. I witnessed his skill in handling this matter which led to the introduction of S. 2411. I think the loss of his full time services may well spell the difference between the success and failure of the Kennedy bill.
Sincerely and fraternally,
As Federationists will remember, the meeting of the Executive Committee demanded by Mc Daniel was held in Chicago early in September of 1957. At that Executive Committee meeting, despite all of his threats and railings, McDaniel had no case to make and he and Marie Boring stood alone as a disgruntled twosome. McDaniel went away from that Executive Committee meeting a bitter and a disappointed man. Ever since that time his actions have seemed to say, "If I cannot rule the Federation, I will ruin it."
Since his firing, Archibald has shown up in various parts of the country--even in Oklahoma. He was recently employed by the Bob Campbell faction in California as a staff member for the state affiliate of the Federation. He is now without a job again.
In the light of all of the letters quoted here and of the facts given, let Federationists throughout the country read again Archibald's writing in the recent issue of the "California Bulletin" which was circulated all over the nation. In the article dealing with the George Card resignation, Archibald exposes himself. He virtually admits that Durward McDaniel was running the campaign and calling the signals for the Campbell administration in California. He admits that he took microfilmed documents from the files of the American Brotherhood for the Blind and sent them to Durward McDaniel. As a matter of fact, Federationists should re-read the so-called "California Bulletin" and sub- ject it to careful scrutiny. Through all of the distortions a great deal can be read between the lines.
The foregoing series of letters and statements has been called "The Archibald Story". But it might also be called "The Story of Frustrated and Twisted Ambition", "The Story of Rule or Ruin", "The Story of Distortion and Suspicion", or it might simply be called: "THE MCDANIEL STORY".
back to contents
by Russell Kletzing, President California Council of the Blind
In February of this year more than 550 Federationists throughout the country received an innocent looking packet in the mail. This packet contained a Braille magazine of 91 pages. It called itself, unpretentiously, the "News Bulletin" of the California Council of the Blind. It further said on its cover that it was the regular, bi-monthly publication of the California affiliate of the Federation.
But the innocent cover was deceptive. It was immediately apparent to all who turned to the first page why the "Bulletin"--a "regular" bulletin of the California Council of the Blind--had come to them in New York, in Vermont, in Florida and Tennessee, in Texas and the Dakotas, in Utah and Nevada, and in all of the rest of the states. The unexpected visitor had come to tell a story, to convince and persuade.
The first three articles were taken up with letters of resignation--written by Robert Campbell, then Council President; by George Fogarty, his closest friend and advisor, and the long-time White Cane Week Chairman in California; and by Tom Long, a recent acquisition of the Campbell administration who was the Direct Activities Chairman for White Cane Week in the state.
These articles were merely to set the stage for what was to come. The fourth article was the real beginning. It was called "The California Story" and purported to tell in true expose fashion the "real" reason why the California organization--once so powerful and united--has now become virtually a shambles.
From beginning to end "The California Story" (and for that matter, the entire "Bulletin") is a bitter and violent attack upon the national President of the Federation and upon his administration. The second paragraph of the article begins, "Contrary to the tale commonly peddled today, the conflicts in the Council did not begin with the controversy over the Card Amendment to the National Federation's constitution, proposed nearly a year ago. Its origins lie simply and directly in the efforts of the NFB's President to take control of the organization which rightfully belongs to the blind people of California. These endeavors began long ago.... Dr. Perry's retirement in September, 1953, was in largest measure brought about by the manipulations of the Federation's President and his personal devotees."
From this beginning the article goes on to tell a strange and interesting story. Briefly stated it is this: The political advocates of tenBroek secured in 1952 the election of their "chief" as First Vice-President of the Council hoping to force Dr. Perry out of office so that their leader could inherit the Council presidency. "Feeling that internal friction might be avoided, Dr. Perry resigned" the next year, emphasizing the necessity for keeping the Council independent of the Federation. "Accordingly Robert Campbell was elected at a special convention" in 1953, whereupon tenBroek "peevishly resigned his office in the Council" and did not participate in its activities for some time. At each succeeding election (1954, 1956, and 1958) tenBroek tried to have one of his "underlings" elected to the Council presidency. At each election, support for the tenBroek "underlings" grew stronger, not because of "a mass shift of opinion of the blind members of the state organization" but because a political machine was being built.
Mr. Campbell heroically fought against this evil machine and stood like Horatius at the bridge as the champion of freedom and integrity. In 1958 the Card Amendment issue was injected into Council affairs. The Council convention in Oakland last May "twice decided by vote of the delegates that" Mr. Campbell "should go to Boston without instructions and free from a prejudicial commitment made in advance of the discussions at Boston". Because of "this expression of honest and independent judgment", Mr. Campbell "became the immediate target of a well organized effort to purge and discipline him by securing his defeat in the state organization's election last November". The tenBroek candidate was Russell Kletzing. As the article puts it, "Mr. Campbell and his supporters had nothing but their personal funds to fight off the onslaught originating in the office of the NFB's President." Although Mr. Campbell was reelected, "such confusion" was brought about "in the minds of convention delegates that a majority antagonistic to Mr. Campbell was elected to the Council's Executive Board". Strangely enough, even the "agencies " in California teamed up with the scheming tenBroek to try to secure Mr. Campbell's defeat "in complete disregard of the fact that many delegates as well as their constituents were... in need of the services of the agencies or of financial assistance".
Mr. Campbell, even though elected to the presidency last October, could not endure the wicked abuse heaped upon him and in February of this year resigned.
The article concludes with a warning to Council members that the future of their state organization depends upon "how insistent they will be that the facilities of their state organization be used for state purposes alone". (The very "Bulletin" containing this warning published at an expense of nearly $400.00 paid out of the California Council treasury was even then destined to go in hundreds of copies to the far corners of the nation.)
The rest of the "Bulletin" is written in similar vein. It contains such articles as:
1. "Internal Strife in the NFB--Its Cause and Its Cure by Earl Scharry."
2. "Tennesseeans Defend Right of State Affiliates to Conduct Own Affairs."
3. "The Truth About the George Card Resignation by A.L. Archibald and Robert W. Campbell."
4. "Some Frank Advice to Council Members by A.L. Archibald."
Such was the innocent and unpretentious visitor which came to the homes of more than 550 non-California Federationists late in February of this year. Such was the "regular, bi-monthly "News Bulletin" of the California Council of the Blind. "The California Story", it said, "should be a warning and a lesson for all to heed", and so it should!--that is, the California story as it really happened.
And what is the California story? How did it really happen?
To get the answer, one must, indeed, go far back into the years. The Council was organized in 1934. Its first President, the beloved Dr. Newel Perry, continued in office until his resignation in 1953. The circumstances surrounding that resignation are fraught with significance. Under Dr. Perry's leadership, the Council had grown from a handful of weak affiliates to a powerful and effective state organization. But by 1953 Dr. Perry was 80 years old, and the inevitable was obvious. The Council leaders, including Dr. Perry himself, felt that a change was necessary.
Accordingly, early in December of 1953 a group of Council leaders--including A. L. Archibald, Robert Campbell, George Fogarty, Dorothy Glass, Allen Jenkins, Kenneth Jernigan, Dr. tenBroek, and others--met to discuss the situation. Dr. tenBroek was, at the time, First Vice-President of the organization. Moreover he had been such since 1948 and, indeed, was one of the founders of the Council in 1934. Campbell was not even an officer. Nevertheless, Fogarty and Miss Glass announced to the group that they had prevailed on Dr. Perry to resign and that Dr. Perry had "decided to ask Bob to be President". It was stated as baldly as that. There was to be no consultation with Council members throughout the state, no election--nothing! Simply a passing on of the succession. In fact, Mr. Fogarty produced a letter which he said that Dr. Perry was going to send to all of the local chapters stating that he (Dr. Perry) had been hoping to retire for several years, but that he had hesitated to do so until he could find the right person to succeed him. He had now found that person--Bob Campbell. And he was asking Mr. Campbell to take the Council presidency.
There was to be a banquet later in the month on the occasion of Dr. Perry's 80th birthday, and at that time Mr. Campbell was to be installed, and a new office was to be created for Dr. Perry. He was to become "Founder and President Emeritus of the California Council of the Blind". To say that their plans came as a surprise is putting it mildly. Not only Dr. tenBroek but others at that meeting pointed out that such high-handed tactics would utterly destroy the Council. It was the general feeling that the presidency of the organization simply could not be passed on like a monarch's crown without even getting the consent of the electorate. Dr. tenBroek had made it clear all along that he was already over-burdened with work as Federation President, and that he did not feel that he could accept the added responsibilities of state leadership as well. But Campbell was not even an officer. Both Fogarty and Glass were furious at any suggestion that the passing on of the succession to Campbell was improper, and Campbell sat by in sulky silence making it clear that he felt that he was entitled to the job. He seemed especially resentful toward Dr. tenBroek, but also toward all those who insisted that he must go through at least the formalities of an election. To show Campbell that he had no wish or desire to be Council President, Dr. tenBroek then and there said that he would resign as an officer to clear the way for Campbell's election at the banquet meeting at which the installation was to be made. Dr. tenBroek and all of the others present pledged their support to Campbell and agreed to call a special convention to be held simultaneously with the banquet, at which convention Campbell could be legally elected. Dr. tenBroek attended that convention and banquet and, in fact, made the principal speech praising Dr. Perry for all of his brilliant accomplishments and great contributions. Does this sound as if "Robert Campbell was elected as Dr. Perry's successor at a special convention... and Dr. tenBroek thereupon peevishly resigned his office in the Council"?
As to the spirit in which Dr. tenBroek resigned as First Vice-President of the Council, you may judge for yourself after reading the following letter sent by Dr. tenBroek to Campbell and other Council members before the special meeting.
8 December 1953
Mr. Robert W. Campbell
3001 Derby Street Berkeley, 5, California
You will note from the call for the special session of the California Council that I am submitting my resignation as First Vice-President to take effect at the close of the special session. Since this matter was up for discussion the other day and since, in any event, this affects all of us, I thought I should circulate to our gang some statement of what is going on in my mind.
On thinking the matter over after our Sunday meeting, it seemed to me practically imperative that I resign the office. Three factors are especially important.
1) There were two points to electing me as Vice-President in the first place--namely, that it would facilitate my helping Doctor to get some of the Council work done; and so that someone familiar with the Council operation would be able to fill the gap in case anything happened to Doctor. These two points were made by people on the nominating committee and by others. Certainly the office has been of considerable help in getting the Council work done over the past few years. The gap created by Doctor's retirement will be ended when the special Council meeting selects the new President. The special circumstances which were involved in my becoming Vice-President consequently have come to an end and the people in the Council should therefore be given an opportunity to make a fresh selection.
2) More important than this, however, is the fact that we have received a great deal of criticism both from within and without the Council about the closed character of the Council leadership. A group of people around Doctor, and especially former students of his, are always being charged with constituting an inside clique. It seems to me that we must ourselves now make a conscious effort to terminate this practice and to put the Council upon a broad democratic basis. With you being selected as President, it will be highly undesirable to have as first Vice-President (1) another Berkeleyan; (2) another former student of Doctor's; and (3) another member of the old governing clique. All of this becomes even truer by virtue of Doctor's designation of you as President in his letter of resignation.
(3) As I see it, if we are to revitalize the Council--let alone just keep it together--and to make it the truly democratic instrument that it must be if it is going to continue into the indefinite future, it is going to be practically indispensable over the next few years that most of the offices and Executive Committee membership rotate, involve as many new people as possible and as much geographic distribution as possible. This will give a much wider sense of participation. The two offices that are an exception to this are the presidency and the treasurership. The treasurership should be kept in the hands of the same person simply because it is technical, complex and difficult in its operations. The presidency should continue in the hands of the same person for a considerable number of years. This is necessary because of his function as external representative of the Council and also because of his function as a stabilizing force and a force of leadership within the Council.
These changes are naturally going to impose a very heavy burden of personal leadership upon the new president. They create problems that do not exist under the system of clique control but they will inevitably have to take place if we are to avoid the problems which we are now seeking to escape.
Of course my resignation as Vice-President has nothing to do with my continuation in the Council or in whatever work I have the time and competence to perform.
Judge the truth of the rest of the so-called " News Bulletin" by its distorted version of the Campbell election. Let Campbell deny, if he can, the accuracy of the foregoing statements.
Almost from the day of Campbell's election, his trouble began. He was not a Dr. Perry. He was constantly beset by the insecurity of trying to fill a job which was too big for him. Before his election he was one of the steadiest and hardest working members of the Council. In reality his story is a tragedy, for he was not and is not a vicious or a mean man. He was simply caught in circumstances with which he could not cope. He was arbitrary and wishy-washy in turn. Above all, he became suspicious of the people around him. He was very jealous of the trappings and the honors of the office, but he simply could not provide leadership and direction. More and more of the work of the organization had to be done by others, and this in turn, quite naturally, increased the President's sensitivity. It was an impossible situation. The Council built so lovingly over the years by Dr. Perry began to degenerate. The decline was gradual but steady. No man in California has ever had more prestige or respect than Dr. Perry, and he gave his unqualified backing to Mr. Campbell.
Yet the Campbell majority which in 1953 was absolute began to shrink and dwindle until it finally vanished. Even Dr. Perry's prestige and name could not keep the groundswell of popular discontent from rising.
In 1954 there was talk of an opposition candidate. In 1956 there was an opposition candidate, and by 1958 there was chaos. For example, in the 1957 legislative session an official of the California rehabilitation program could say of the once powerful Council, "I can lick the Council with one hand tied behind my back." In general he made good his boast.
As the so-called "News Bulletin" says, the Card Amendment became a factor in Council affairs at the 1958 spring convention. It was perfectly clear that a majority of the Californians favored its principles, yet there had been intimations that the McDaniel faction had been courting the Council President and that he was not unreceptive to their wooing. The "News Bulletin" says, concerning this matter, "It will be remembered by those of you who attended the Council's convention last May that it was twice decided by vote of the delegates that the Council's President and national delegate should go to Boston without instructions and free from a prejudicial commitment made in advance of the discussions at Boston."
What really happened was this: Campbell told the Council convention that he would consider a vote of instruction as a vote of no confidence. Besides, he made it quite clear that instruction was not needed since he favored all of the principles of the Card Amendment. He went so far as to introduce a resolution into the Council which the convention passed. That resolution reads:
"Whereas, due to the action taken by some state affiliates of the National Federation of the Blind, a question has been raised as to the scope of the powers and duties of the President of the Federation; and whereas, the proper disposition of that question is of paramount importance to all state affiliates and requires the expression of views on the broadest possible level; be it resolved by the California Council of the Blind (1) That the President of the Federation, as the representative directly responsible to the supreme authority of the national convention, is the proper one to implement the policies adopted by the convention; (2) That the President is also the one who should be exclusively responsible for carrying on the day-to-day business of the Federation, for hiring, directing, and if necessary, firing staff personnel, and for making all necessary expenditures in implementation of the Federation's policies; (3) That the executive committee of the Federation should not be vested with any power or duty which would impair, or be inconsistent with, the powers and duties of the President as above indicated."
Does this resolution sponsored by Campbell himself sound as if he went to Boston "without instruction and free from a prejudicial commitment"? The delegates did not instruct him because he had already, at least morally, instructed himself, and it was felt that his feelings could be spared. Yet not three days after the Council convention the story spread throughout the nation that California had "voted against the Card Amendment and against tenBroek". One wonders how the news--or, rather, the distortion of the news--was carried.
At this point of time the thought had occurred to only a few that Campbell might be one of the McDaniel-Boring faction. Despite his moral commitment to the California Council, Campbell voted against the Card Amendment at Boston. He not only voted against it but also took the floor and spoke against it. In no way did he indicate to the convention that California had voted to endorse the principles of the Amendment at the California Council convention. Quite the contrary, he tried to create the impression that the Council did not approve the Card measure. This conduct constituted a breach of faith with the Council membership. Of the twenty-three California delegates to the 1958 national convention, twenty were for the Card Amendment, and only Campbell and perhaps two others were opposed.
At Boston, however, Campbell did not merely vote against the Card Amendment--he joined irrevocably a faction--a faction determined to stop at nothing in its efforts to tear down the existing structure of the National Federation.
After the Boston convention and as the Council election in the fall drew nearer, Campbell worked ever more closely with the McDaniel faction. Several days before the Council election, A.L. Archibald came to California. He and Campbell admit in their "News Bulletin" that they tried to take control of the American Brotherhood for the Blind during the time of the Council convention. What they do not tell is this: It was obvious that the Council election would be close. The Brotherhood had one vote. During the first day of the Council convention, the Campbell supporters challenged that vote and tried to disfranchise the Brotherhood delegate. They were voted down by the membership. The meeting of the Brotherhood occurred only a few hours prior to the Council election. Campbell, Archibald (and probably McDaniel) knew that this would be the case. If they could have taken control of the Brotherhood, they could have seated a new delegate and picked up another vote.
There was also another, and from the McDaniel viewpoint, a more important prize at stake. The Braille Monitor, our official national organ, was being published by the Brotherhood at that time. If Archibald and Campbell could have taken control of the Brotherhood, the McDaniel faction would presumably have been in control of the Braille Monitor as well and could have turned it to their propaganda uses. They could presumably have used the mailing list of over 2500 Braille readers and approximately 6000 print readers for the purpose of circulating their materials. We do not have to speculate as to whether McDaniel was in on the plot. Read the Archibald-Campbell article in the so-called "News Bulletin". They admit more than they realize. The stakes at the meeting of the Brotherhood were high indeed.
Campbell and Archibald had both been members of the Brotherhood's Board for many years. If things were really as bad as the "News Bulletin" says, why had Campbell and Archibald waited for more than five years "to straighten out the mess"?
Campbell has now resigned as Council President. Why? Does his letter really tell the story? Was he even legally elected? The "News Bulletin" neglects to mention that there was a challenge to the legality of the Campbell election, and that at the spring 1959 convention of the Council he might well have been ousted. A resolution passed by one of the local clubs of the Council throws a great deal of light on the reason for the Campbell resignation. That resolution is self-explanatory. It reads:
Whereas it is of vital concern to every individual member of the California Council of the Blind and to every local affiliate of the Council that the Council be democratic in its operation and truly representative of the blind of our state; and
Whereas our local club has always believed the Council to be, in every way, democratic and representative; and
Whereas the Council constitution provides that each local club is entitled to two (2) votes on any question, and that the club may have a single delegate who will cast two (2) votes or that the club may have two (2) delegates; and
Whereas prior to the fall meeting of the Council in 1958 our club had only one delegate who cast both of our votes on all questions; and
Whereas this delegate publicly stated prior to the fall meeting of the Council that she was supporting Mr. Robert Campbell in his candidacy for the Council presidency; and
Whereas it was the vote of our club to support Mr. Russell Kletzing for the Council presidency; and
Whereas in order to assure that the wishes of the club be carried out in this matter, we amended our constitution prior to the fall meeting of the Council so as to provide that our two (2) votes would be cast by two (2) delegates instead of by one (1) delegate; and
Whereas we provided in our constitution that our two (2) delegates to the Council sit together during the Council election and cast our secret ballot jointly; and
Whereas Mr. Robert Campbell refused to permit our second delegate to participate in the election on the grounds that if our delegates cast the ballot jointly that it would not be a secret ballot; and
Whereas our two (2) votes were cast during the election by the delegate who was openly supporting Mr. Campbell's candidacy; and
Whereas the final count in the presidential election was declared to be 48 for Mr. Campbell and 46 for Mr. Kletzing; and
Whereas if our two (2) votes were not cast according to instruction the result of the election was thereby changed, since Mr. Kletzing would otherwise have been elected by a vote of 48 to 46; and
Whereas Mr. Campbell had no legal or moral right to interfere with the casting of our secret ballot in the manner provided by our constitution; and
Whereas his argument that our delegates could not cast the ballot jointly because it would not then be a secret ballot is not a reasonable argument, since a secret ballot is not intended to be secret from the people who cast it, but only from others; and
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Associated Blind of Southeastern Los Angeles County in meeting assembled this 20th day of December, 1958, that the following statement and appeal are addressed to the Executive Committee of the Council and to the spring convention of the Council:
In view of his illegal action in preventing our delegates from jointly casting our secret ballot in the fall election, and in view of the fact that our two (2) votes would have changed the outcome of the election, we do not believe that Mr. Campbell was legally elected Council President. Therefore, we formally contest the election and ask the Executive Committee of the Council to suspend Mr. Campbell as Council President until the time of the spring convention. As the first item of business on the agenda at the spring convention, we would like a formal vote taken by the delegates as to whether or not it is the sense of the convention that Mr. Campbell was legally elected at the fall meeting. If the Executive Committee feels that it does not have the constitutional authority to suspend the Council President, we request that the Executive Committee place our question as to the legality of Mr. Campbell's election as the first item of business on the agenda of the spring convention of the Council. A copy of this resolution is being sent to each member of the Executive Committee and to Mr. Campbell. We request a formal, official notification in writing as to the disposition of this matter.
In the light of all the foregoing documentation, perhaps several questions are in order:
(1) Considering the fact that A.L. Archibald and Durward McDaniel worked so closely with Campbell during the months preceding his resignation and that Campbell's "News Bulletin" went to only a little over a hundred Californians but to over 550 Federationists in other states and was an undisguised propaganda piece in the campaign of the McDaniel faction, who was really the President of the California Council during the latter days of the Campbell administration? (2) Can Californians do better than to quote from the "News Bulletin" itself?: "The California Story should be a warning and a lesson for all to heed. The member organizations of the California Council now face the task of reclaiming their state affiliate." (3) What significance do the following statements from the "News Bulletin" have?--"Mr. Campbell and his supporters had nothing but their personal funds with which to fight off the onslaught originating in the office of the NFB's President." "Facilities of the state organization should be used for state purposes alone." (4) Could it be that Campbell resigned because he found himself traveling ever farther down a road of no return?
Again it must be said that the story of Robert Campbell is not a tale of villainy. Rather, it is a story of frustration and defeat--of tasks too big and abilities too small. It is a story of tragedy. If there be a villain in the plot, one must look elsewhere to find him. It is not Robert Campbell.
back to contents
What do the members of the National Federation of the Blind think about the internecine warfare being conducted in their midst? What analyses of its character, and what proposals for its solution, are they making? We have, of course, no means of carrying out a full-scale Gallup poll; but the crammed mail baskets of the Federation constitute a substantial sample of the opinions of a broad cross-section of rank-and-file Federationists across the country. Indeed, on few occasions in the history of our movement, has there been such a warm, spontaneous and widespread expression of opinion as that which has been evoked by the present crisis in the affairs of the Federation.
Without disclosure of the identity of any individual or organization, brief passages from a few of these letters are set forth below:
"I say we should act now before it is too late. If this...character assassination, by a small group of...people, is permitted to continue it will cause the downfall of the Federation."
"I do not know what action can be taken to remove these ruthless people from the offices they hold in the Federation and from membership, but I am sure that everyone with any sense of decency and fair play will be aroused sufficiently to force their removal."
"It would be interesting to know where the McDanielites get their money to go about the country stirring up trouble and dissension. Could we ask them and would they tell us? Maybe it doesn't cost money to destroy, but if that is the case, it is about the only thing that doesn't require money....Can't we oust them, and if not, why not?"
"Yes, this appalling situation is, indeed, worthy of comment....It seemed to me that any comment from me would be so futile, so insignificant compared to the enormity of this unholy mess. When the...affair was brought before the convention assembly, it came as a horrible shock to me. I was completely stunned. When I retired that night I couldn't help thinking it was a dreadful nightmare and that there would surely be a peaceful awakening. But such was not the case."
"With a constant and fervent prayer in my heart that some feasible settlement may be arrived at before this ugly business reaches disastrous proportions, I am..."
"Now I care nothing for the technicalities in the present ruckus: but who are these people who give thanks with a kick in the teeth? Of one thing I am certain, they are of no use to the Federation."
"The Federation under its present leadership has become a great organization and the fact that others would like to take it over is a compliment to its success."
"I only hope that something can be done to do away with this bickering within our organization. I believe in the Federation and I will stand by it as long as it is kept on the high standard which it had been prior to the Boston convention. I only hope that we can rid ourselves of the trouble-makers within our own organization."
"It is regrettable that (despite) such phenomenal success on the part of the blind of the nation in their efforts to build an organization to represent them, that we have now reached the point where certain individuals wish to create factional disputes based primarily on personal attacks on the good name and character of individuals who have sacrificed so much in behalf of the blind of the nation."
"In my opinion, this whole attitude has been and is being encouraged and kept alive by personal jealousies, by those individuals who feel themselves injured by not having been given sufficient authority in certain areas, and by those persons just disgruntled over things generally. It is possible for these three groups, under a good leader, to stir up much unnecessary trouble. And at a time when the organization should be more united than ever."
"What we want to know is: What can we people from the local chapters and the state affiliates do to help? We firmly believe in both you and George Card all the way but we want to be sure of moving in the right direction so that we will be helping and not hindering your progress. We will exert every effort at our state convention to send a delegate to the national that is absolutely loyal to your program as we know that we need and cannot afford to lose the wonderful service that you have and still are rendering the cause of the blind throughout our entire land."
"The opposition is sparing no effort in spreading their unjust accusations everywhere and it seems to some of us that it should not be out of order at our convention to present a resolution requesting their resignation from your executive committee."
"I'd say that the rights of the minority have been upheld to the 'nth' degree; now I would like to know when the rights of the majority are going to be asserted. Must we be subjected to this vicious and never-ending campaign to undermine our fine organization...Seriously, I believe it would be a good thing for our Federation's family tree to get rid of its termites."
"How is it that all of a sudden this policy under which the Federation was conceived and founded, and which has brought it to its high point, before all this bickering began, how is it that suddenly this has become a bad policy, an undesirable policy, and one that must be stopped at all costs?"
"It would almost seem that the influence is sifting in from outside of the NFB, unbeknownst to any of our members, since some of the accusations which formerly came from outside are under attempt of proof from within...."
"Is there any way that...and I, as Federationists, could start any kind of action to expel them from the NFB executive committee and the Federation? ...Are they more detrimental as expelled members rather than left within the ranks?"
"We have become acquainted with such terrific people (Clyde Ross, Ken Jernigan, George Card and so many others) that it makes a person heartsick to see the damage done by a few..."
"From the tone of Marie's letter, it is evident that she, aided and abetted by Durward McDaniel, are bent on starting a revolution within the NFB....Since Archie's dismissal, a movement has been promoted and stimulated by a certain few individuals."
"We of the...Association have been following with deep concern the progress of the attack upon you and your administration. The attack, as it is being conducted, could not make a sorrier appearance than it has. It is too bad that the character of the leaders of this faction could not have been known and understood before they were given responsible positions in the Federation. Something drastic will have to be done, I am sure, if we are to keep our organization strong."
"I have the belief that this faction which is causing opposition is the workings of a 'fifth column' movement on the part of agency workers who are seeking to destroy our Federation....My belief is that the agencies have indoctrinated certain of their workers or associates, who are key members in affiliates of the Federation, in certain ideas and policies which have led these Federation members to institute this present attack upon our Administration."
"I feel that Boring and McDaniel were elected to the Board of Directors of the NFB at the San Francisco convention...to represent the membership. In my opinion, they are not doing what they were elected to do. I feel that if they cannot conscientiously represent those who elected them to office, they should resign from that office. They have let petty jealousies and lust for authority get the better of them. I feel they have already committed political suicide."
"Are we going to have to stand by and let these incompetents destroy the organization we think so much of and devote so much time and energy to?"
"First of all, I do not subscribe to the theory that it is necessary for a dissatisfied member or group of members of our organization to engage in a...character assassination and vilification of the officers and members of our organization....For is it not true that we were warned 2,000 years ago that a house divided against itself cannot stand?"
"I don't know whether I am looking forward to Santa Fe with pleasure or not. I hate to think of the disgraceful goings-on at Boston. Must they be repeated at Santa Fe? The San Francisco convention was so delightful and harmonious. I detest the whole affair. We could all spend our time for more constructive things. We are with the Administration. May God give you the courage and strength to carry on for us."
"It is little short of amazing that Archibald would align himself with the McDaniel faction and try to embarrass not only Chick but the National Federation. I am one who told Chick long ago that Archie was not doing the job that could and should be done in Washington, D.C.... he should have been recalled even sooner in favor of John Taylor, who I think is doing a splendid job and one which I doubt could be surpassed if even equalled by anyone."
How can any right thinking person construe the motives of this group as anything but selfish? The irresponsibility of this small group of malcontents is clearly shown in Marie's letter to you."
"I am terribly sorry to learn about all of our internal troubles, though I cannot agree at all with Marie Boring. It seems to me that the letter that she wrote to Mr. Card is a terrible one. Frankly, I would be ashamed to write a letter like that to anybody."
"I can hardly understand the actions of some of the members of the NFB and the reasons for their actions. North Carolina has had more help from the NFB than any affiliate in the Federation in the short period that they have been in the Federation, and yet Marie Boring has continually sniped at the officers at almost every turn in the road."
"I confess that when Marie's letter to George Card had been read to me, I had about the same feelings against the opposition that Carrie Nation experienced one hundred years ago...."
"Marie has laid herself open to some rough treatment. She is able to dish it out and she ought to be able to take it. I believe the time has come to expel her, along with her accomplices, from the NFB."
"I have gained the impression...of certain selfish political interests which have been permitted to creep into the NFB itself, which, if permitted to run their course, can ultimately only result in the destruction of that organization."
"Certainly, the NFB will and should die of its own venom if it ever gets to the point wherein it can not live by the very democratic principles which permit its existence and which it fosters and purports to advance in behalf of the blind."
"The only comment I can make at this time is a warning of what may be behind it all: an underground effort on the part of a united movement of agency officials to plant seeds of discontent, and 'divide and conquer'."
"Your many friends appreciate the wonderful work you have done and know the sacrifice you have made to do it. We are also indignant at the few trouble-makers."
"It troubles me very deeply to see a man, as sincere and honorable as George Card, placed in such a degrading position....just to satisfy the whims of a few members who should be spending their time doing something to better the welfare of the blind instead of pointing an accusing finger at those that have tried so hard to improve conditions of the blind in general and to make the NFB the outstanding organization of the blind in the country."
"One cannot help but wonder why it is that such supposed intelligent people are unable to foresee the fact, that such criticism of loyal dedicated persons is bound in the end to discourage other persons to devote their time, energy and money to such a cause with the result that eventually we will find it difficult to induce capable personnel to accept responsibility and leadership in our cause. When that day comes our organization is bound to fall apart."
"It is regrettable that there has to be dissension within our organization. But in my work with the blind I have found it, and jealousy is one of the prime factors which bring it about."
"I am terribly sorry to hear of the abuse heaped upon you, of all people, by the rebels, but this has been the cross that has to be borne, by many who devote themselves to any worthwhile cause. Recorded history is filled with martyrs of every age; I just wish that I had the physical strength to enter the battle on the side of justice and fair play. I do feel that when they, the noise-makers, have had their day, right and truth will prevail."
"How many of your detractors, faced with similar circumstances, would have set such a marvelous example of unselfish devotion to the NFB and all that it stands for? Not one, you may be sure: for if they were capable of such devotion, they would not have been capable of their ruthless and revolting attacks upon the leader whom they wish to supplant."
"Marie criticizes Dr. tenBroek's numerous trips to state conventions. Again she shows her lack of knowledge of leadership and organizational ability. Members of local organizations do not want a 'mythical leader', they want a real leader, one who they know exists, one who comes and talks to them, who listens to their problems. This is the kind of leadership that has built the National Federation of the Blind. This is the kind of leadership we want in the future. When we lose this kind of leadership, the blind of the nation will suffer."
"My reaction is one of utter disgust for a small group of disgruntled people trying to undermine all the fine work you (Dr. tenBroek) and others have done for all blind men and women. I wonder how far this movement could have gone without your able leadership."
"It is too bad that these things have to happen, for they are not good for any organization. But when you know you are doing the right thing for the thousands of blind people who trust and have faith in you, you surely have nothing to worry about."
"To me it seems that no matter how small or large the organization is, there is also just so much jealousy. And as long as you have come out in the open with the whole matter, neither Mrs. Boring nor Mr. McDaniel will accomplish much."
"It goes without saying that I am back of Chick tenBroek 100 percent in his past conduct of the Federation and with his present program which he is conducting so masterfully."
"Dr. tenBroek, this is a personal letter of thanks to you. It is not possible for me to enumerate all the times you have answered calls for assistance or counsel, the unlimited time and effort you have given to the cause of the blind; the weekends you have spent traveling to assist state affiliates or to speak at annual conventions; the help you have given on legislative bills. Well, it is not necessary for me to enumerate all this, you know it. What I really want to say is that all this is the work of a truly dedicated man. Your life can't help but be an inspiration to others."
back to contents
by Jacobus tenBroek
Under date of February 1st, Earl Scharry, a former employee in the Federation's Washington Office, distributed a letter "To NFB Members". Scharry proclaimed the subject of the letter to be "Internal Strife in the NFB--its cause and its cure".
Scharry himself apparently gave the letter widespread circulation. In addition it was published in the so-called "News Bulletin" of the California Council of the Blind sent broadcast in Braille throughout the country. It is therefore unnecessary to re-publish the letter here in order to inform Federationists of its contents. My analysis of the Scharry letter, prepared on February 19, has not received the same circulation and is set forth below.
"...Since this latest political document is an undisguised and venomous personal attack upon George Card, upon John Taylor, and upon me--as well as a comprehensive demand for the peremptory removal of the entire elected administration and for sweeping changes in the structure of our organization--I have no choice but to reply to it. I shall not, however, reply in kind, nor shall I attempt to itemize and answer every one of the 56 separate distortions and falsehoods set forth in the course of the letter.
"1. The veracity of the Scharry letter as a whole may be judged by its first main point. Scharry declares that he has been forced by considerations of conscience and principle to volunteer his resignation from the NFB staff--specifically, because he 'could not accept the basic policies and assumptions of the tenBroek administration'. The plain fact is that Scharry did not voluntarily submit his resignation; it was formally demanded by me in a Braille letter of November 13--as a means of allowing him to resign for the record so as to preserve other employment opportunities, A transcription of that letter follows:
'"Dear Earl: '"The character of the contents of this letter will explain why it is in Braille. I have been trying to get to Washington to take the matter up with you personally. That, however, has proved impossible.
'"Earl, I'm afraid that you are just not working out as a member of the staff of the NFB. I am sure that you are aware of this yourself. You have been on the staff for a year now--ample time fairly to determine what contribution you can make and how you fit in. With a few rather striking exceptions, your work has not measured up either in quantity or quality; and you have not been able to establish yourself in satisfactory working relationships in the Washington office. It seems to me that I have no alternative but to let you go.
'"I hope you will believe me when I say that I could not regret more having to take this step.
"'In order to keep your record clear, you may wish to send me your resignation. If your resignation is not in my hands by one week from today, I shall send you official notice of termination.
"'I shall be glad to help you in any way I can to get another job. Call on me at any time. I'll leave you on the paroll until January 1 so that you can fully explore your possibilities of finding other employment in Washington. Since the usual rule is one week of separation pay for a year of service, this should be a thoroughly satisfactory arrangement.
"2. The most amazing of all the inventions in the Scharry letter is the apparently gleeful declaration that 'the Right to Organize bill is dead, killed by the stupidity and megalomania of the tenBroek faction'. The fact is that the right to organize bill is far from dead; indeed, the campaign for this crucial legislation is in better health than ever before. More than 40 (now 60) Congressmen have separately introduced bills to this purpose in the present session. In the Senate the bill has been introduced by Senator Kennedy with 32 co-sponsors. The number of the bill is S. 1093 Hearings before the House Sub-committee have been definitely promised by Congressman Elliott. Are these the symptoms of rigor mortis?"
(After these lines were written, Congressman Elliott's Sub-Committee did provide the Federation with a public hearing on the Kennedy-Baring bill. The hearings lasted eight days from March 9 through March 16 and the Federation was provided with a most generous opportunity to present its case. The full story of those hearings may be read in the April issue of the Braille Monitor.)
"Consider this almost unbroken series of misleading statements and categorical falsehoods in the Scharry letter apparently designed to demonstrate how the 'stupidity and megalomania of the tenBroek faction' has brought about the supposed death of the Kennedy-Baring bill which has not occurred. (Incidentally, Webster defines 'megalomania' as follows: 'a mental disorder characterized by delusions of grandeur, wealth, power, etc.')
"'This legislation was conceived by A. L. Archibald...' Not so! It was conceived by a number of Federation officers and staff members, the least of whom was A. L. Archibald.
"'The great leader' had nothing to do with its origins. Not so' I did have. Scharry was not present.
"'Yet he has appropriated it as if it were his very own darling project.' An admirable quality in a president, once the convention made it policy!
"'As with everything else, they insisted on using it as a theme for a colossal show starring the temperamental tenBroek.' Is this not an unintended compliment to our public relations? When the Federation moves ahead, should its president be far behind?
"'They rejected every overture toward negotiation and compromise, insisting on having their full dress performance rather than tangible achievements for the blind.' The fact is that no overture was ever made that did not involve surrender of the main point. Would this have been a tangible achievement for the blind?
"'They spent their time in piling up a long list of co-sponsors in the House to impress the Federation membership, even though experienced legislative experts warned that this procedure is not very effective and might even be harmful.! The 'legislative experts' are not identified. They do not include in their number Senators Kennedy and Hill, nor Congressmen Elliott and Baring, nor Tim Seward, nor the other administrative assistants of these distinguished legislators--for these are the real experts who systematically worked out with us the strategy and planning which have brought us presently to the verge of Congressional hearings with unprecedently broad and bipartisan support in both houses. There is, it must be admitted, one self-styled 'legislative expert' whose advice was largely unheeded: i.e., our former Washington attorney, David Cobb, whose personal resentments are faithfully recorded in the present letter. Indeed, it is of more than passing interest that this communication embodies the pooled grievances of three former staff members, all of whom were fired: Scharry, Cobb, and Archibald.
'"They insisted on transferring their major emphasis from the Senate to the House, thus losing the advantage of the stature and influence of Senator Kennedy.' On the contrary, Senator Kennedy is still very much with us! Not only has he reintroduced his bill, but he has assisted in securing the many other senatorial co-sponsors. Our major emphasis was not transferred from the Senate to the House; every available opportunity was, and continues to be, utilized in both branches of Congress.
"'They were repeatedly warned that opposition would be much more formidable in the House, because the Committee in charge of the legislation was under the Chairmanship of a long-time opponent of the Federation, but they paid no heed.' Such a warning was not necessary; we were aware of the fact. The opposition in the House could, of course, only be overcome by developing favorable sentiment in that chamber, or by building strength in terms of votes. Moreover, the much more significant chairman of the House Subcommittee, Congressman Elliott, is one of the best friends and warmest supporters of our cause in either chamber.
'"Time after time, tenBroek and Taylor promised you categorically that hearings would be held at a certain time and that they would have their show...' Not so! We simply reported that such promises had been made by Congressman Elliott and Senator Hill.
'"...time after time, the date was mysteriously postponed.' Not so! There was no mystery about the postponements. Urgent national defense legislation took precedence, and Senator Hill and Congressman Elliott were perfectly candid and aboveboard in giving the reasons for postponement.
'"Finally, at Boston, the hard truth had to be told that the legislative program of the Federation into which such a lavish treasure of time, money and effort had been poured, was a total failure.' Not so! As shown above, the legislative program was far from a total failure. To have said that it was would have been a hard falsehood, not the 'hard truth'.
"'But it couldn't be done manfully and honestly. Instead, based on a rumor from a person who couldn't be found or even identified, the excuse was made that people in North Carolina had flooded the Committee with requests to be heard in opposition, making it necessary to cancel the hearings for this session.' Not so! The 'person who couldn't be found or even identified' was both found and identified. He was Tim Seward, administrative assistant to Congressman Baring. He was present at the Boston convention. He openly reported to the convention his conversations with Congressman Elliott and the staff of the Sub-committee.
"'The purpose to discredit the North Carolina affiliate was as obvious as the utter baselessness of this silly fable.' Not so! Nobody has ever held the North Carolina affiliate responsible for the conduct of employees of the North Carolina Commission for the Blind. More-over, a letter which is here indirectly referred to was transmitted to the president of the North Carolina Federation.
"3. A strangely recurring theme of the Scharry letter is that the elective administration of the National Federation is worse by far than that of any outside agency, that it has been guilty of 'intemperate attacks against outsiders', and that it has generally refused to 'compromise' with the powerful agency interests opposed to our movement. This fascinating doctrine betrays a new dimension of hostility to Federation policies by the McDaniel faction--a degree of enmity which poses the gravest threat to the organized blind movement. For it is clearly no longer the case, as it once was, that whatever our internal disagreements all Federationists alike are indissclubly united against the vested agency interests so bent upon our destruction. On the contrary, this letter makes ominously plain that the McDaniel faction now believes itself to have more in common with these outside agencies than with the Federation's own elected officers. Can it any longer be confidently supposed that the members of this faction, in the furtherance of their own grievances and ambitions, would hesitate to make common cause with the Barnetts, the Klines, the Kumpes, the Alsups, and all the other custodial-paternalists dedicated to the death of our legislative programs and the destruction of our movement?
"4. The Federation over recent years, we are told, has compiled 'a record of accomplishment for the cause of the blind that it would be charitable indeed to assess at zero'. Is there a Federationist anywhere (including Earl Scharry, if he is any longer such) who can believe this? Is there a Federationist who does not know of the phenomenal growth of the NFB to 45 state affiliates? (Next week we shall announce a 46th.) Is there a Federationist who does not know of the leadership provided by our organization to legislative programs in numerous states, of the impetus to organizational activity, of the administrative reforms sponsored and achieved, of the state surveys undertaken and completed? Is there a Federationist who does not know of the successive breakthroughs in civil service employment, from the Kletzing case through the opening up of switchboards, which have radically transformed the philosophy and attitude of the national Commission toward the working capacities of the blind? Has Earl Scharry forgotten--or can it be that he has never understood--the Federation's vital role in the $50 earned-income exemption in public assistance, in the self-care and self-support amendments of 1956, in the repeated Congressional renewal of extensions to Missouri and Pennsylvania, in the disability freeze and insurance, in the rehabilitation and vending-stand amendments of 1954? What about the outlay of time and effort over all these years in spreading the news and preaching the doctrines of Federationism to blind groups throughout the land, as well as to professional societies and interested associations; through the mass media, by personal appearances, through learned articles, books and popular pamphlets, through the Braille Monitor, and by ceaseless special bulletins? To mention just one more accomplishment, a new and constructive social welfare doctrine has been evolved in the principles of the Kennedy-Baring bill which not only has advanced the cause of the blind but has foreshadowed a brighter future for all handicapped and underprivileged groups.
"All of this is not to be laid to the credit of any single person, be he the president or anyone else. It is the combined and collective effort of an organized social movement, magnificently endowed with an active and articulate rank and file, and with an administration which believes that it is the function of leaders to lead. It is this organization toward whose destruction Earl Scharry is now contributing his bit. Is there any Federationist who believes we should 'conciliate' those who are embarked upon this mission of destruction? May Scharry's contribution, when added to those of his collaborators, be "charitably assessed at zero'.
"In order to set the record straight, I have sought to correct the most glaring of the myths contained in this latest campaign broadside. The appendix which follows sets forth some additional specific corrections. But we all know that the particular set of slanders in the Scharry letter will quickly be replaced by a new concoction, and these in their turn will give way to still newer inventions. The strategy is clearly established, a strategy well known to hate-mongers of all political persuasions. Like Mark Antony, after he had driven his own society to civil war, the authors of these poison-pen letters must now be saying in self-congratulation: 'Mischief, thou art afoot; take thou what course thou wilt.'
back to contents
"1. '...the sole cause of the crisis that is alleged to have been caused in the personal affairs of the former Vice-President was the insistence of the President that his salary be concealed from the membership...' Not so! The sole cause of the crisis in the affairs of George Card, as well as of the Federation, was its willful manufacture by the McDaniel faction as a pretext for forcing George's resignation, for blackening the name of the Brotherhood, for seeking to scuttle the Braille Monitor, for splitting the Federation, and for the subterranean purposes of personal vengeance and ambition.
"2. 'In recent years, the President has assumed and demanded absolute control of the affairs of the Federation on the theory that only thus could they be efficiently administered.' Not so! The president has only assumed that he is elected to be chief executive, and accordingly has demanded that affairs be efficiently administered; but he has always insisted, as against the McDaniel faction, that absolute control over vital policy decisions must remain absolutely in the hands of the convention and not be surrendered to any committee or hired staff (including hired attorneys).
"3. 'The Federation leadership...has done everything possible to foment internal conflict.' Does answering attacks begun by others constitute doing 'everything possible to foment internal conflict'? The present administration will do anything for peace except allow the destruction of the representative character or the effectiveness of the Federation. The fact is that for more than 15 years of this same leadership the Federation displayed a harmony and unity unparalleled among national associations. Were these then years of tyranny and 'war against the membership'? If not, why is it that factional conflict was engendered among us only after the Federation had acquired a prosperous treasury and the promise of an even richer future? Let members ponder the coincidence of this access of prosperity and the appearance of a factional campaign to eliminate the administration which had carried the movement successfully through the years of trial and trail-blazing.
"4. 'The President insisted on converting the conflict from one of policy into one of personalities.' Not so! The factional conflict was never one of policy--except as a tactical device to remove one set of 'personalities' in favor of another (while utilizing every trick of slur and slander to undermine the personalities involved).
"5. 'The public is becoming increasingly aware and will continue to become increasingly aware...' How is this awareness to be fed and cultivated, and by whom? Does not this statement blatantly betray an intention to wreck the Federation in the eyes of the public, if such be necessary to effectuate the political purposes of the McDaniel faction?
"6. '...I had been consulting on vending stand problems with, a member who was a stand operator, and Taylor admonished, 'I don't think you ought to listen to those fellows so much'. This is one of several petty smears directed at John Taylor by his discharged assistant. Of this one it need only be said that Scharry was consorting (not 'consulting') with the advocates of agency control of vending stands, John Taylor's position on this issue is well known and in need of no defense, and in line with Federation policy.
"7. 'The Monitor was used, not to inform the members and the public, but to nourish the legend of the tenBroek personality cult.' Let the members decide whether the Monitor has failed to keep them informed of pertinent developments affecting the blind, or to educate the public through its countless editorials and articles addressed to this purpose.
"8. 'The 'Itinerary of a President' reported in the December Monitor represents the squandering of Federation funds on a campaign for the personal glorification of the President.' Let the officers and members of the numerous state affiliates whose conventions made up this itinerary judge whether it was the president who initiated the moves to bring him to their meetings, and whether or not they benefited from them. If the president performed these functions the important thing is that the movement is advanced. Is the movement similarly advanced by Scharry's effort at the personal deglorification of the president?
"9. 'Every trip made by a staff member was made for the purpose of building up support for the President and discrediting his opposition.' Several of these trips were made by Earl Scharry. Are we to believe that he acquiesced in and carried out such a purpose?
"10. 'When I was sent to Connecticut to assist in formulating a legislative program, it was thought necessary to send along another tenBroek lieutenant...' This is correct. It was necessary to send someone else along to get a legislative program formulated.
"11. '...A letter arrived addressed to A. L. Archibald...that letter was confiscated by John Taylor. Archibald never saw the personal letter and never knew that his mail was rifled.' The letter referred to was addressed to Archibald in his official capacity, and was received after his dismissal. He left no forwarding address. All of his personal mail was, however, forwarded to his friend David Cobb.
"12. 'In violation of that [Card] amendment, they inaugurated a policy change not approved by either the convention or the Executive Committee in the payment of a salary to an officer...' The Federation did not, and has never, paid a salary to an officer. The salary which was paid to George Card by the American Brotherhood as Monitor editor was inaugurated long before the appearance of the Card amendment--which, of course, has nothing to do with the matter.
back to top