Samuel J. Graham to Woodrow Wilson
In response to your request, when I discussed with you some weeks ago the question of the establishment of a trade adjustment commission, to prepare a bill, I am taking the liberty of enclosing herewith a skeleton outline of my opinion as to the solution of the present economic situation and, as a part thereof, the amendments which I think should be made at once to the present law in order to give the relief which is pressingly needed. By this last I mean a change in the law which will enable those who wish to obey the law to find out how to do it without delay. That the law should be so vague and uncertain that he who wishes to obey it cannot find out how to do it, is intolerable and indefensible from the standpoint of intelligent government.
Briefly, this sketch covers the establishment of a trade adjustment commission for the following purposes:
(a) To which those wishing to obey the law can voluntarily go and have their cases passed upon and get an answer without unnecessary delay.
(b) By which, upon complaint of violation of the Sherman Law, an investigation may be made and a finding speedily reached, which can be made the basis of immediate prosecution on failure to obey the order of the commission attached to the finding.
(c) To which, after final decree in a prosecution under the Sherman Act, the Supreme Court may refer a case for taking of testimony and the working out of the details of a proper decree.
(d) Which could, of its own volition, secure, when it deemed necessary, full publicity concerning the organization and conduct of all engaged in interstate commerce by compelling them to file documents and produce witnesses for examination, and prepare and publish a report of facts secured and findings thereon.
I am satisfied that threefourths of the evils we are suffering under at the present time, due to unfair busines methods, will be cured by a thorough system of PUBLICITY under the administration of this commission.
The further amendments of the Sherman Law suggested I will not now discuss.
I am preparing a bill in the matter, which I hope to have ready for your consideration on your return. The further I go into this matter, and I have given it considerable thought and study for several months, the more I am convinced that the ultimate solution of it is a carefully prepared and comprehensive OCommercial OCode, such as the German OCommercial Code, in which the whole matter can be covered in an orderly, complete and definite way, so as to remove uncertainty, secure publicity, and give prompt relief.
I am delighted to see from the press that you have regained your accustomed good health.
Sincerely and cordially yours,
Sam J Graham