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Mr. Brown. I did not; the association was organized by the former editor and owner of the R. F. D. News.

The CHAIRMAN. How long ago was the association organized ? How long has it been in existence?

Mr. Brown. It was organized, I think,let me refer to the records, please, sir. (After examining paper.) It was organized in October, 1903.

The CHAIRMAN. I didn't catch that.
Mr. BROWN. In October, 1903.

The CHAIRMAN. This association, I understand, includes those who are in the employ of the Government as carriers of the mail in all the States throughout the country!

Mr. Brown. Rural carriers, and substitute carriers.
The CHAIRMAN. It is a national association ?

Mr. Brown. There is a national association; yes, sir. This one you refer to is the national association. The CHAIRMAN. And the publication with which

you are connected is the recognized organ of this national association, is it?

Mr. BROWN. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. And has been from the beginning?
Mr. Brown. From the time the association was organized.

The CHAIRMAN. The News, then, was organized at the time the association was organized ?

Mr. BROWN. No. The R. F. D. News was started in January, 1903, and it was through the efforts of the News that the association was organized.

*The CHAIRMAN. Shortly after the establishment of this publication, then, this national association was organized ?

Mr. Brown. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Brown, I understand, then, that for about three years past you have been the editor and publisher of the R. F. D. News?

Mr. Brown. Since December, 1908.

The CHAIRMAN. You will state to the committee whether or not your rights as a publisher have at any time been interfered with in any way, or have any attempts been made to interfere with your business as a publisher by anyone connected with the Post Office Department?

Mr. Brown. Not with my rights as a publisher; but I have been told that two attempts have been made to destroy the relationship existing between the R. F. D. News and the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association. The first was at Little Rock, Ark., in 1910. As it came to me the Fourth Assistant Postmaster General attended the Little Rock convention and called a meeting of the executive committee of the association and demanded that a resolution be passed destroying the relationship existing between the R. F. D. News and the association with respect to the paper being the official organ of the association. The proceedings of that convention were unusual and, I think I may say, irregular. The resolutions committee was appointed and was directed to hold a meeting at once and take action upon certain resolutions.

Ordinarily the resolutions committee makes its report along toward the last of the meeting. In this case, however, the convention met on Tuesday-it always meets, on Tuesday-the resolutions com

mittee made a special report on Wednesday; ordinarily it makes its report on Thursday afternoon or Friday morning. When the resolutions committee met, I am told that a resolution was presented condemning the R. F. D. News for certain objectionable activities and demanding that the official indorsement of the association be withdrawn. The resolutions committee did not act on that, however; at least they didn't report the resolution that had been submitted to it, but it did report a resolution. I will read that resolution.

The CHAIRMAN. Have you a copy of the resolutions that were presented to the committee with the request that they be adopted by the association ?

Mr. Brown. No, sir; so far as I know they never got away from the resolutions committee.

The ('HAIRMAN. I understand, Mr. Brown, that the resolutions were prepared by some one other than members of the association or of the executive committee and were presented with the request that they be adopted ?

Mr. BROWN. So I was informed. The CHAIRMAN. It is as to these resolutions that I inquire, as to whether or not you have a copy?

Mr. Brown. No; I have not. It is not the custom for the resolutions committee to make any reference to resolutions which they do not report favorably. The resolution referred to was not reported favorably, and I am going to read you now the resolution that was reported favorably.

The CHAIRMAN. Before you do that, Mr. Brown. These resolutions must have been placed in the hands of the executive committee, and I thought if such was the case they were probably preserved by the committee and some one had them or a copy. Do

you

know whether or not the resolutions to which you refer have been preserved and are in the hands of any one at this time?

Mr. Brown. No, sir; I never saw the resolutions, but I was informed by one member at least, and I believe at least two members of the resolutions committee, of the general nature of the resolution and their opposition to it, and when they would not report that resolution another was submitted.

The CHAIRMAN. Well, tell the committee, Mr. Brown, who it was that prepared the resolution and submitted it to your executive committee with the request that it be passed by the national association.

Mr. Brown. I do not know who prepared the resolution, but I was informed that it was prepared either by the Fourth Assistant Postmaster General or the superintendent of rural free delivery, who were both present at the convention, or at their request.

The CHAIRMAN. And who was the Fourth Assistant Postmaster General, and who was the superintendent of rural free delivery?

Mr. Brown. Mr. P. V. De Graw was the Fourth Assistant Postmaster General, and Mr. W. R. Spilman was superintendent of rural free delivery.

I am told that these gentlemen appeared before the executive committee of the association-this is going back a little—and demanded that this action be taken, or that some action be taken by the association with reference to the R. F. D. News, otherwise they would leave Little Rock at once, thus manifesting their displeasure with the convention and with the association.

On Tuesday afternoon, or some time during the day, at least, Mr. De Graw made a brief and very happy little talk to the convention and said he was there to be with them during the entire period of the convention, and hoped everything would be harmonious and pleasant and profitable. And then on Wednesday morning, so I was told by a member of the executive committee, this address was made to the executive committee in which he demanded this action against the R. F. D. News, otherwise the Fourth Assistant Postmaster General and the superintendent of rurual free delivery would depart. Mr. Austin. Did you

verify that statement ? Mr. Brown. I think I could; of course, none of the members of the executive committee are here, but I think I can verify the statement.

Mr. AUSTIN. Was it a member of the executive committee who stated that he had had this talk with Mr. De Graw and the superintendent !

Mr. Brown. It was a statement made in the meeting before the executive committee, and this meeting was called by the Fourth Assistant Postmaster General.

Mr. Austin. Can you give us the name of the member of the committee that is responsible for your information. We may want his testimony.

Mr. Brown. Well, Mr. Austin, that would put the member of the executive committee in a very embarrassing position for the reason that there might be some charges brought against him for something, and his position might be involved.

Mr. AUSTIN. He is in the service?
Mr. Brown. He is now in the service; yes, sir.
Mr. AUSTIN. In the classified service?

Mr. Brown. Yes, sir; if you regard the rural free delivery service as classified.

Mr. AUSTIN. That is, they stand the civil service examination before appointment, do they not?

Mr. Brown. Yes, sir.

Mr. AUTSIN. Under a recent order of the President of the United States no one in the classified service can be removed without first being furnished a copy of the charges against them and given an opportunity to fully answer the same.

Mr. Brown. Well, Mr. Austin, I think you will agree that when any bureau of the Government service goes out after a man they usually get him.

The CHAIRMAN. I would say to you, Mr. De Graw, that you have the privilege at any time to ask the witness any question you may wish to.

Mr. DE GRAW. I do not wish to interrupt him, Mr. Chairman. When he gets through I will then tell you the straight story.

Mr. Austin. We might not be willing to accept merely a hearsay statement such as Mr. Brown has made; we are going to the bottom of this matter and we would like to have the name of this member of the executive committee who had this talk with the Fourth Assistant Postmaster General.

The CHAIRMAN. I quite agree with you, Mr. Austin.

Do you say, Mr. Brown, that some member of the executive committee was present and heard Mr. De Graw make the statement that you have just repeated to the committee and that member informed

you?

Mr. BROWN. I do.

Mr. McCoy. How would it do to have Mr. Brown furnish to the committee the name of his informant and then after Mr. De Graw gets through let the committee determine whether or not they want to call him?

Mr. Brown. I will furnish it to the committee privately.
The CHAIRMAN. You are willing to do that, are you u ?

Mr. Brown. I am willing to give his name, if it is required; I would very much rather not do it. He considered that he was doing me a friendly act when he told me, and it would look like betrayal of a man's confidence for me to divulge his name, and I do not want to be put in that position.

Mr. AUSTIN. Suppose, after you leave the stand, Mr. Brown, Mr. De Graw and the superintendent follow you, and they deny this statement you have made, the committee would be in a position where they would have to have further testimony on that subject. There would be the denial of two interested parties as against a hearsay statement.

Mr. McCoy. I think the committee would say to Mr. Brown, assuming that the disclosure of the name was followed in a comparatively short time by the informant getting into any difficulties with the department that the committee would feel constrained to make it perfectly clear that the fact that he had made this statement should not militate in any way against him.

Mr. Austin. I don't think the committee, or Congress, would permit the discharge of any good, conscientious official, with a good record, for appearing before a committee and giving testimony. I don't think the present administration under Mr. Taft would permit anything of that kind, even if there was a disposition on the part of the bureau or department to do that. If Gov. Wilson was the chief executive, or Gov. Harmon, the same course would be followed.

The CHAIRMAN. We are not attempting to cast any reflections upon any one now holding office or upon anyone who may aspire to hold office. But, Mr. Brown, I would like to inquire whether or not you have any knowledge to warrant you in the impression that you have given this committee that employees of the Post Office Department or elsewhere in the Government service have any fear or hesitation about giving evidence before this committee and to exercise their rights and privileges as American citizens for fear that their positions might be in jeopardy as a result?

Mr. BROWN. Well, Mr. Chairman, I am in almost daily receipt of letters complaining of different conditions in the rural delivery service, fellows asking if I can not do something and bring the matter to the attention of Congress for them, but, for heaven's sake, don't mention their names; they don't want to get in bad with the department, they are afraid of their jobs.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you know of any instance where efforts of this kind have been made by the Post Office Department or anyone connected with it, or is it just simply an unfounded fear on their part ? Is there any real ground for it?

Mr. BROWN. Well, I saw in a little paper published at Winston Salem, N. C., a copy of which came to my desk a few days since, a letter from P. V. De Graw, Fourth Assistant Postmaster General, to E. A. McMahon, president of the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association, demanding certain action against the R. F. D. News and threatening dismissal from the service or reduction in salary in case such action was not taken. I have a copy here—a carbon copy-of that letter here with me, which I think was prepared by the Fourth Assistant Postmaster General, Mr. De Graw, and written to the president of our national association. I was not sure whether such à letter had been sent out; I have not had any advice from the president of the association that such a letter had been received by him, therefore I had not felt safe in making the matter public, but a day or two since I have received a copy of the Rural Patron and Carriers’ Messenger, I believe is the title of it—a little paper published at Winston Salem, N. C.-in which is published this letter and some other matters. The article led off with a note signed by Mr. De Graw and addressed to J. Hampton Rich, the editor of this paper, in which he remarked that he inclosed this rural delivery matter, which he thought might be useful or interesting, or something of that kind. That letter was published in the Carriers' Messenger, and I have here a copy of a letter to Mr. E. A. McMahon, president of the National Rural Letter Carriers' Association, Savoy, Tex. The letter is dated January 29 and contains the threats I have referred to. This letter apparently was signed by P. V. De Graw

The CHAIRMAN. You offer this for the record ?
Mr. Brown. Yes, sir; I would like to read the entire letter.

The CHAIRMAN. I would be glad to have it all go into the record, but would like to have you read now any extracts it may contain that seem to warrant you in making the assertion that you have, that threats had been made.

Mr. Brown. Well, this is page 2 of the letter; the last paragraph reads as follows

Mr. McCoy. Is it very long, Mr. Brown?
Mr. BROWN. Just two or three pages.
Mr. McCoy. We might have it all read.
The CHAIRMAN. All right, then; let's have it all.
Mr. Brown (reading):
(Letter appears later in this record.)

That is the copy of the letter addressed by Mr. De Graw to the president of the association.

Mr. TOWNER. I presume, Mr. Brown, that being, as you are, the official organ of the Rural Carriers' Association, and, as you say, they use you quite largely as a medium for voicing their complaints, that it would be natural for that reason and especially when you do take up these matters in behalf of the carriers, that it would seem as if you are placing yourself in the position of critic of the administration and expressing the antagonism of the association when, as a matter of fact, you are only intending to voice their complaints against the administration. Is that true

Mr. BROWN. Yes, sir; that is entirely true. I have regarded myself as the attorney of the rural carriers here at Washington. They are prohibited by executive order from going to their Representatives in Congress, and the department doesn't permit them to appeal to

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