The Business Plot

Recorded March 7, 2004
MP3 One seg­ment
NB: This stream con­tains both FTRs #448 and #449 in sequence. Each is a 30 minute broadcast.

Lis­ten to the BBC Radio pro­gramme: The White House Coup
In obser­va­tion of the 70th anniver­sary of the event, this pro­gram recounts the 1934 fas­cist coup attempt in the United States. Appalled at Pres­i­dent Roosevelt’s New Deal, pow­er­ful indus­tri­al­ists and financiers grouped around the Mor­gan indus­trial and finan­cial inter­ests attempted to recruit World War I vet­er­ans into an army of insur­rec­tion. The goal of the con­spir­a­tors was the over­throw of Amer­i­can democ­racy and the insti­tu­tion of a fas­cist gov­ern­ment. Because they selected Marine Corps gen­eral Smed­ley Buter to lead the coup, the attempt was foiled. Although a critic of Roo­sevelt, But­ler (a two-time win­ner of the Con­gres­sional Medal of Honor) betrayed the coup plot­ters to the Pres­i­dent. Fol­low­ing a badly atten­u­ated Con­gres­sional inves­ti­ga­tion by the McCormack-Dickstein Com­mit­tee, the mat­ter was laid to rest. It is worth not­ing that proof of the plot was con­crete and well-documented, but none of the plot­ters was impris­oned, because the con­spir­a­tors were among the most pow­er­ful and pres­ti­gious indus­trial and finan­cial mag­nates in the country.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: The role of Gen­eral Dou­glas MacArthur in the con­spir­a­to­r­ial process lead­ing up to the coup attempt; MacArthur’s rela­tion­ship to the House of Mor­gan; the role of the Du Ponts in the coup prepa­ra­tions; Rem­ing­ton Arms’ agree­ment to pro­vide weapons to the con­spir­a­tors; the sym­pa­thy of key Gen­eral Motors exec­u­tives for the coup attempt; the pro­found sym­pa­thy on the part of the con­spir­a­tors for Hitler and Mus­solini; the crit­i­cal aid given by the coup plot­ters’ asso­ci­ated busi­ness inter­ests to the Third Reich; the domes­tic fas­cist orga­ni­za­tions orga­nized and financed by some of the con­spir­a­tors and the busi­nesses that they ran; the main­stream press’ cover-up of the story and its sig­nif­i­cance. Note that this pro­gram is excerpted from Radio Free Amer­ica Pro­gram #10, recorded on 7/11/1985. For more infor­ma­tion on the MacArthur group in the mil­i­tary and its fas­cist ten­den­cies, see RFA#’s 10–13—available from Spitfire—as well as FTR#’s 426, 427, 428, 446.

1. One of the main ele­ments in the story of the 1934 coup attempt is the piv­otal role of a group of pow­er­ful indus­trial and finan­cial interests—many of which were openly sup­port­ive of Hitler and doing busi­ness with the Third Reich—in orga­niz­ing the plot. Mem­bers of the Du Pont fam­ily, exec­u­tives with Gen­eral Motors (con­trolled at the time by the Du Ponts), key fig­ures in the Mor­gan bank­ing con­stel­la­tion and mem­bers of the National Asso­ci­a­tion of Man­u­fac­tur­ers attempted to trans­late their hatred of FDR and his New Deal into action. (Note that the Mor­gan bank­ing inter­ests financed the Du Ponts’ indus­trial oper­a­tions to a con­sid­er­able extent. The Mor­gan inter­ests were the pri­mary ele­ment in financ­ing the Du Ponts’ estab­lish­ment and oper­a­tion of Gen­eral Motors. Pin­ning their hopes on Marine Corps Major Gen­eral Smed­ley Butler—a two-time win­ner of the Con­gres­sional Medal of Honor—the con­spir­a­tors sought to enlist unem­ployed and des­per­ate World War I vet­er­ans into a fas­cist army of insur­rec­tion, mod­eled after the French Croix de Feu (“Cross of Fire”.)
(Trad­ing with the Enemy; by Charles Higham; Dell [SC]; Copy­right 1983.)

2. Because he had sup­ported the grant­ing of a promised bonus pay­ment to World War I vet­er­ans, Butler—a “sol­diers’ general”—was the coup plot­ters’ even­tual choice to lead the con­spir­acy. The plot­ters pre­ferred Gen­eral Dou­glas MacArthur (a son-in-law of Edward Stotes­bury, a key Mor­gan part­ner), but MacArthur had opposed the bonus and then led the bloody sup­pres­sion of the “Bonus Army” that assem­bled in Wash­ing­ton D.C. to demand their promised pay­ment. Accord­ing to But­ler, MacArthur was aware of the plot, and was involved in the plan­ning. (Idem.)

3. Weapons for the actual coup were to have been pro­vided by Rem­ing­ton Arms, also owned by the Du Ponts. The Du Ponts admired Hitler, and both Du Pont Chem­i­cals and Gen­eral Motors were heav­ily involved in busi­ness enter­prises in Ger­many that con­tributed to the Third Reich’s war prepa­ra­tions and also helped to finance the Nazi Party. (Idem.)

4. In addi­tion to their enthu­si­asm for Hitler and Mus­solini, many of the plot­ters and their asso­ciates were very active in the estab­lish­ment, financ­ing and oper­a­tion of domes­tic fas­cist groups. The Du Ponts helped to estab­lish the fas­cist Lib­erty League, the bru­tal Black Legion and the asso­ci­ated Wolver­ine Repub­li­can League to help break labor unions and ter­ror­ize work­ers in their var­i­ous indus­tries, par­tic­u­larly Gen­eral Motors. (Idem.)

5. When gen­eral But­ler exposed the con­spir­acy and the story broke in the papers, the con­spir­a­tors dis­missed the reports, the McCormack-Dickstein Committee’s report was sup­pressed for sev­eral years and the plot­ters got off scot-free. No one was ever impris­oned for their role in the trea­so­nous insur­rec­tion, despite con­crete evi­dence of their guilt. (Idem.)

6. In addi­tion to their attempted over­throw of the con­sti­tu­tional author­ity, many mem­bers of what author Charles Higham calls “the fra­ter­nity” insti­tuted labor poli­cies that were dia­met­ri­cally opposed to Pres­i­dent Roosevelt’s eco­nomic agenda. (Idem.)

7. Pres­sure by the con­spir­a­tors helped to get MacArthur re-appointed as Army Chief of Staff, a highly unusual devel­op­ment. The pro­gram presents an inter­view with for­mer Speaker of the House John McCor­mack, who co-chaired the con­gres­sional com­mit­tee that inves­ti­gated the coup. He affirms the accu­racy of the charges made by But­ler, and the grave dan­ger that the plot posed to the repub­lic.
(The Plot to Seize the White House; by Jules Archer; Hawthorne Books [HC]; Copy­right 1973.)

8. MacArthur’s father-in-law (key Mor­gan part­ner Edward Stotes­bury) helped to finance domes­tic Amer­i­can fas­cist groups. (1000 Amer­i­cans; by George Seldes; Boni & Gaer [HC]; Copy­right 1947.)

The Whitehouse Coup
The Real Plot to Overthrow FDR’s America
The Business Plot
The American Liberty League
Chris Floyd – The Plot to Seize the Whitehouse


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