TRAGEDY AND HOPE
by: Carroll Quigley
Excerpted from pp. 950 - 955 - detailing the establishment of the "New York branch of the ROYAL INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS". . . the:
COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
There does exist, and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network which operates, to some extent, in the way the radical Right believes the Communists act. In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Group has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, of any other groups, and frequently does so.
I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960's, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments.
I have objected, but in the past and recently, to a few of its policies (notably to its belief that England was an Atlantic rather than a European Power and must be allied, or even federated, with the United States and must remain isolated from Europe), but in general my chief difference of opinion is that it wished to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known.
The Round Table Groups have already been mentioned in this book several times, notably in connection with the formation of the British Commonwealth in chapter 4 and in the discussion of appeasement in chapter 12 ("the Cliveden Set").
At the risk of some repetition, the story will be summarized here, because the American branch of this oganization (sometimes called the "Eastern Establishment") has played a very significant role in the history of the United States in the last generation.
The Round Table Groups were semi-secret discussion and lobbying groups organized by Lionel Curtis, Philip H. Kerr (Lord Lothian), and (Sir) William S. Marris in 1908-1911. This was done on behalf of Lord Milner, the dominant Trustee of the Rhodes Trust in the two decades 1905-1925.
The original purpose of these groups was to seek to federate the English-speaking world along lines laid down by Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902) and William T. Stead, (1840-1912), and the money for the organizational work came originally from the Rhodes Trust.
By 1915 Round Table groups existed in seven countries, including England, South Africa, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, and a rather loosely organized group in the United States (George Louis Beer, Walter Lippman, Frank Avdelotte, Whitney Shepardson, Thomas W. Lamont, Jerome D. Greene, Erwin D. Canham of the Christian Science Monitor, and others).
The attitudes of the various groups were coordinated by frequent visits and discussions and by a well-informed and totally anonymous quarterly magazine, The Round Table, whose first issue, largely written by Philip Kerr, appeared in November 1910.
The leaders of this group were: Milner, until his death in 1915, followed by Curtis (1872-1955), Robert H. (Lord) Brand -- brother-in-law of Lady Astor -- until his death in 1963, and now Adam D. Marris, son of Sir William and Brand's successor as managing director of Lazard Brothers bank. The original intention had been to have collegial leadership, but Milner was too secretive and headstrong to share the role.
He did so only in the period 1913-1919 when he held regular meetings with some of his closest friends to coordinate their activities as a pressure group in the struggle with Wilhelmine Germany. This they called their "Ginger Group". After Milner's death in 1925, the leadership was largely shared by the survivors of Milner's 'Kindergarten', that is, the group of young Oxford men whom he used as civil servants in his reconstruction of South Africa in 1901-1910.
Brand was the last survivor of the "Kindergarten", since his death, the greatly reduced activities of the organization have been exercised largely through the Editorial Committee of The Round Table magazine under Adam Marris.
Money for the widely ramified activities of this organization came originally from the associates and followers of Cecil Rhodes, chiefly from the Rhodes Trust itself, and from wealthy associates such as the Beit brothers, from Sir Abe Bailey, and (after 1915) from the Astor family.
Since 1925 there have been substantial contributions from wealthy individuals and from foundations and firms associated with the international banking fraternity, especially the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust, and other organizations associated with J.P. Morgan, the Rockefeller and Whitney families, and the associates of Lazard Brothers and of Morgan, Grenfell, and Company.
The chief backbone of this organization grew up along the already existing financial cooperation running from the Morgan Bank in New York to a group of international financiers in London led by Lazard Brothers.
Milner himself in 1901 had refused a fabulous offer, worth up to 100,000 a year, to become one of the three partners of the Morgan Bank in London, in succession to the younger J.P. Morgan who moved from London to join his father in New York (eventually the vacancy went to E.C. Grenfell, so that the London affiliate of Morgan became known as Morgan, Grenfell, and Company).
Instead, Milner became director of a number of public banks, chiefly the London Joint Stock Bank, corporate precursor of the Midland Bank. He became one of the greatest political and financial powers in England, with his disciples strategically placed throughout England in significant places, such as the editorship of The Times, the editorship ofThe Observer, the managing directorship of Lazard Brothers, various administrative posts, and even Cabinet positions.
Ramifications were established in politics, high finance, Oxford and London universities, periodicals, the civil service, and tax exempt foundations.
At the end of the war of 1914, it became clear that the organization of this system had to be greatly extended. Once again the task was entrusted to Lionel Curtis who established, in England and each dominion, a front organization to the existing local Round Table Group.
This front organization, called the royal Institute of International Affairs, had as its nucleus in each area the existing submerged Round Table Group. In New York it was known as the Council on Foreign Relations and was a front for J.P. Morgan and Company in association with the very small American Round Table Group.
The American organizers were dominated by the large number of Morgan "experts", including Lamont and Beer, who had gone to the Paris Peace Conference and there became close friends with the similar group of English "experts" which had been recruited by the Milner group.
In fact, the original plans for the Royal Institute of International Affairs and the Council on Foreign Relations were drawn up at Paris.
The Council of the RIIA (which, by Curtis's energy came to be housed in Chatham House, across St. James's Square from the Astors, and was soon known by the name of the headquarters) and the board of the Council on Foreign Relations have carried ever since the marks of their origin.
Until 1960 the council at Chatham House was dominated by the dwindling group of Milner's associates, while the paid staff members were largely the agents of Lionel Curtis. The Round Table for years (until 1960) was edited from the back door of Chatham House grounds in Ormond Yard, and its telephone came through the Chatham House switchboard.
The New York branch was dominated by the associates of the Morgan Bank. For example, in 1928 the Council on Foreign relations had John W. Davis as president, Paul Cravath as vice-president, and a council of thirteen others, which included Owen D. Young, russell C. Leffingwell, Norman Davis, Allen Dulles, George W. Wickersham, Frank L. Polk, Whitney Shepardson, Isaiah Bowman, Stephen P. Duggan, and Otto Kahn.
Throughout its history, the council has been associated with the American Round Tablers, such as Beer, Lippmann, Shepardson, and Jerome Greene.
The academic figures have been those linked to Morgan, such as James T. Shotwell, Charles Seymour, Joseph P. Chamberlain, Philip Jessup, Isaiah Bowman and, more recently, Philip Moseley, Grayson L. Kirk, and Henry W. Wriston.
The Wall Street contracts with these were created originally from Morgan's influence in handling large academic endowments. In the case of the largest of these endowments, that at Harvard, the influence was usually exercised indirectly through "State Street", Boston, which, for much of the twentieth century, came through the Boston banker Thomas Nelson Perkins.
Closely allied with this Morgan influence were a small group of Wall Street law firms, whose chief figures were Elihu Root, John W. Davis, Paul D. Cravath, Russell Leffingwell, the Dulles brothers and, more recently, Arthur H. Dean, Philip D. Reed, and John J. McCloy. Other nonlegal agents of Morgan included men like Owen D. Young and Norman H. Davis.
On this basis, which was originally financial and goes back to George Peabody, there grew up in the twentieth century a power structure between London and New York which penetrated deeply into university life, the press, and the practice of foreign policy.
In England the center was the Round Table Group, while in the United States it was J.P. Morgan and Company or its local branches in Boston, Philadelphia, and Cleveland.
Some rather incidental examples of the operations of this structure are very revealing, just because they are incidental. For example, it set up in Princeton a reasonable copy of the Round Table Group's chief Oxford headquarters, All Souls College.
This copy, called the Institute for Advanced Study, and best known, perhaps, as the refuge of Einstein, Oppenheimer, John von Neumann, and George F. Kennan, was organized by Abraham Flexner of the Carnegie Foundation and Rockefeller's General Education Board after he had experienced the delights of All Souls while serving as Rhodes Memorial Lecturer at Oxford. The plans were largely drawn by Tom Jones, one of the Round Table's most active intriguers and foundation administrators.
The American branch of this "English Establishment" exerted much of its influence through five American newspapers (The New York Times, New York Herald Tribune,Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, and the lamented Boston Evening Transcript )
In fact, the editor of the Christian Science Monitor was the chief American correspondent (anonymously) of The Round Table, and Lord Lothian, the original editor of The Round Table and later secretary of the Rhodes Trust (1925-1939) and ambassador to Washington, was a frequent writer in the Monitor.
It might be mentioned that the existence of this Wall Street Anglo-American axis is quite obvious once it is pointed out.
It is reflected in the fact that such Wall Street luminaries as John W. Davis, Lewis Douglas, Jock Whitney, and Douglas Dillon were appointed to be American ambassadors in London.
This double international network in which the Round Table groups formed the semi-secret or secret nuclei of the Institutes of International Affairs was extended into a third network in 1935, organized by the same people for the same motives.
Once again the mastermind was Lionel Curtis, and the earlier Round Table Groups and Institutes of International Affairs were used as nuclei for the new network.
However, this new organization for Pacific affairs was extended to ten countries, while the Round Table Groups existed only in seven. The new additions, ultimately China, Japan, France, the Netherlands, and Soviet Russia, had Pacific councils set up from scratch.
In Canada, australia, and New Zealand, Pacific councils, interlocked and dominated by the Institutes of International Affairs, were set up.
In England, Chatham House served as the English center for both nets, while in the United States the two were parallel creations (not subordinate) of the Wall Street allies of the Morgan Bank. The financing came from the same international banking groups and their subsidiary commercial and industrial firms.
In England, Chatham House was financed for both networks by the contributions of Sir Abe Bailey, the Astor family, and additional funds largely acquired by the persuasive powers of Lionel Curtis. The financial difficulties of the IPR Councils in the British Dominions in the depression of 1929-1935 resulted in a very revealing effort to save money, when the local Institute of International Affairs absorbed the local Pacific Council, both of which were, in a way, expensive and needless fronts for the local Round Table groups.
The chief aims of this elaborate, semi-secret organization were largely commendable: to coordinate the international activities and outlooks of all the English-speaking world into one (which would largely, it is true, be that of the London group); to work to maintain the peace; to help backward, colonial, and underdeveloped areas to advance toward stability, law and order, and prosperity along lines somewhat similar to those taught at Oxford and the University of London (especially the School of Economics and the Schools of African and Oriental Studies).
These organizations and their financial backers were in no sense reactionary or Fascistic persons, as Communist propaganda would like to depict them. Quite the contrary.
They were gracious and cultured gentlemen of somewhat limited social experience who were much concerned with the freedom of expression of minorities and the rule of law for all, who constantly thought in terms of Anglo-American solidarity, of political partition and federation, and who were convinced that they could gracefully civilize the Boers of South Africa, the Irish, the Arabs, and the Hindus, and who are largely responsible for the partitions of Ireland, Palestine, and India, as well as the federations of South Africa, Central Africa, and the West Indies.
Their desire to win over the opposition by cooperation worked with Smuts but failed with Hertzog, worked with Gandhi but failed with Menon, worked with Stresemann but failed with Hitler, and has shown little chance of working with any Soviet leader. If their failures now loom larger than their successes, this should not be allowed to conceal the high motives with which they attempted both.
It was this group of people, whose wealth and influence so exceeded their experience and understanding, who provided much of the frame-work of influence which the Communist sympathizers and fellow travelers took over in the United States in the 1930's.
It must be recognized that the power that these energetic Left-wingers exercised was never their own power or Communist power but was ultimately the power of the international financial coterie, and, once the anger and suspicions of the American people were aroused, as they were by 1950, it was a fairly simple matter to get rid of the Red sympathizers.
Before this could be done, however, a congressional committee, following backward to their source the threads which led from admitted Communists like Whittaker Chamber, through Alger Hiss, and the Carnegie Endowment to Thomas Lamont and the Morgan Bank, fell into the whole complicated network of the interlocking tax-exempt foundations.
The Eighty-third Congress in July 1953 set up a Special Committee to investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations with Representative B. Carroll Reece of Tennessee, as chairman. It soon became clear that people of immense wealth would be unhappy if the investigation went too far and that the "most respected" newspapers in the country, closely allied with these men of wealth, would not get excited enough about any revelations to make the publicity worth while, in terms of votes or campaign contributions.
An interesting report showing the Left-wing associations of the interlocking nexus of tax-exempt foundations was issued in 1954 rather quietly. Four years later, the Reece committee's general counsel, Rene A. Wormser wrote a shocked, but not shocking, book on the subject called Foundations: Their Power and Influence.
One of the most interesting members of this Anglo-American power structure was Jerome D. Greene (1874-1959). Born in Japan of missionary parents, Greene graduated from Harvard's college and law school by 1899 and became secretary to Harvard's president and corporation in 1901-1910. This gave him contacts with Wall Street which made him general manager of the Rockefeller Institute (1910-1012), assistant to John d. Rockefeller in philanthropic work for two years, then trustee to the Rockefeller Institute, to the Rockefeller foundation, and to the Rockefeller General Education Board until 1939.
For fifteen years (1917-1932) he was with the Boston investment banking firm of Lee, Higginson, and Company, most of the period as its chief officer, as well as with its London branch. As executive secretary of the American section of the Allied Maritime Transport Council, stationed in London in 1918, he lived in Toynbee Hall, the world's first settlement house, which has been founded by Alfred Milner and his friends in 1984.
This brought him in contact with the Round Table Group in England, a contact which was strengthened in 1919 when he was secretary to the Reparations Commission at the Paris Peace Conference. Accordingly, on his return to the United States he was one of the early figures in the establishment of the Council on Foreign Relations, which served as the New York branch of Lionel Curtis's Institute of International Affairs.
As an investment banker, Greene is chiefly remembered for his sales of millions of dollars of the fraudulent securities of the Swedish match king, Ivar Kreuger. That Greene offered these to the American investing public in good faith is evident from the fact that he put a substantial part of his own fortune in the same investments. As a consequence, Kreuger's suicide in Paris in April 1932 left Greene with little money and no job. He wrote to Lionel Curtis, asking for help, and was given, for two years, a professorship of international relations at Aberystwyth, Wales.
- End Excerpt -