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Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir. And then I authorized him to get them.
The CHAIRMAN. Where was he when he made this first communication to you? Was he in Mexico ?
Mr. ČLARK. He was in Mexico.
Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir. I would rather not answer too many questions about him, if it can be avoided.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, he wrote you from Mexico ? Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. 'Somewhere near Mexico City ? Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. And did you reply to him somewhere near Mexico City ?
Mr. CLARK. Yes, sir; not very far from Mexico City.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, I interrupted you when you were telling what he replied that second time.
Mr. CLARK. He replied that the letters were of very great interest, so much so, as I have already told you, that if Mr. Hearst was not interested in them, that he would undertake to get some friends to help him, and they would each contribute and buy them and offer them to somebody else; he felt that it was his duty to do so.
The CHAIRMAN. Very good. And what next!
Mr. CLARK. I authorized him to get the letters, and he did get them and brought them to New York.
The CHAIRMAN. He came with them to New York, did he?
The CHAIRMAN. Did you inquire of them how they had been obtained
Mr. CLARK. I didn't go into great detail. I made some inquiry. The CHAIRMAN. Did they tell you anything about Mr. Avila?
Mr. CLARK. I think so. That is my recollection. I am not positive. I know they did later, but whether they did at that time I do not know.
The CHAIRMAN. Did they tell you the methods that Mr. Avila had adopted to secure those letters?
Mr. CLARK. No; I didn't go into much detail with them. I felt all that I had to do was to take them to Mr. Hearst's residence, which I did.
The CHAIRMAN. Did you take them up to Mr. Hearst in New York?
Mr. Clark. I took the gentlemen up to Mr. Hearst's house, and they took the papers up with them.
The CHAIRMAN. And were you present during the consideration of the papers?
Mr. CLARK. I was at that one time; yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Was your advice asked as to the wisdom or propriety of publishing them?
Mr. CLARK. I do not know that I was asked as to the wisdom or propriety of publishing them. My opinion was asked as to what I thought of them.
The CHAIRMAN. What did you say?
Mr. Clark. I said I thought they were genuine, but I didn't believe that the money went where it indicated in the letters.
The CHAIRMAN. În other words, you did not think that any Senator got any?
Mr. CLARK. No; I did not think any Senator got any
The CHAIRMAN. Well, what was your next connection with this matter, Mr. Clark?
Mr. CLARK. Might I add an observation of my own there, as to what I did think.
The CHAIRMAN. Very good.
Mr. CLARK. I considered that this was the means of raising money for the future among these officials of Mexico for their own benefit.
My next move, as I recollect it, was, at Mr. Hearst's suggestion, to take the papers to South Dakota. I was going there on business, and he suggested that I take them and show them to the President
The CHAIRMAN. Tell us what happened, please.
Mr. CLARK. Well, I have some hesitancy in telling what happened in my interview with the President, unless the committee insists that I do so.
The CHAIRMAN. I do not think it is of any particular importance.
Senator Bruce. I think we may as well bring that out. I do not see any effect on the President.
Mr. CLARK. It is a delicate thing to discuss what the President says to you, and I should not want to do anything to offend the President, without his permission.
Senator BRUCE. I do not see how the discussion with the President would be offensive in any degree. I think we should bring it out.
The CHAIRMAN. I think he would prefer that you do so, Mr. Clark.
Mr. CLARK. I might say, in this discussion Mr. Page said that he had talked to Ambassador Sheffield.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Page told you that in New York?
The CHAIRMAN. I feel very sure that President Coolidge would not want you to conceal anything,
Mr. CLARK. That is not it. I do not want to conceal anything. But you
feel a little different about a discussion with the President than anyone else. However, I will do what you say.
The CHAIRMAN. What does the committee say?
Senator BRUCE. I think it puts the President in a false position not to bring it out.
The CHAIRMAN. Go ahead, Mr. Clark.
Mr. CLARK. By appointment I called on the President at his office in Rapid City, and after a short conversation as to the surroundings and conditions out there, and some of his experiences out there, I started to tell him why Mr. Hearst had asked me to come to see him. I had these papers with me I had photostatic copies of the papers with me.
He said, “Well, just wait, please; I do not know that I should listen to what you have to say on the subject.” Ambassador Sheffield was there at the time, I think, in the building, and undoubtedly had discussed the subject with the President. That, at least, was the inference I got. And I said, “Very well.” We discussed conditions in Mexico generally in the abstract, and after listening a while, he said, "I think it is better that I do not see these papers, or look at them.” Of course, I had nothing further to say on the subject, and said nothing.
The CHAIRMAN. It was obvious that he was in no position to judge of their genuineness.
Senator BRUCE. Did he say that they were matters that more properly appertained to the duties of the Secretary of State ?
Mr. CLARK. No; he did not discuss it at all.
Senator ROBINSON. Had the ambassador, Mr. Sheffield resigned at that time, or come home to return again at the time of that call ?
Mr. CLARK. I think he did not return to Mexico after that. He came out there, and from newspaper accounts, he offered his resignation, and so far as I know he did not return to Mexico. This was in the first 10 days of July of this year.
Senator ROBINSON. Was it arranged that he should be there at the time of your visit?
Mr. CLARK. I do not think so. I do not know, but do not think so. Senator ROBINSON. Did you know that he was there?
Mr. CLARK. Only by the published accounts in the papers. But I was told while I was there that he was there.
Senator ROBINSON. Did you discuss the matter with the ambassador
Mr. CLARK. No; I have never seen the ambassador.
Senator ROBINSON. You did not see him when you went to call on the President at Rapid City!
Mr. CLARK. No; I did not see him.
Mr. CLARK. No; I did not. Then I went to California and remained until October, and know nothing subsequent to the date I testified to. Those papers I took were the first 10 or 11 papers that you had under discussion.
The CHAIRMAN. Did they include the ledger statement ?
The CHAIRMAN. Any further questions? Senator Jones, any questions!
Senator JONES. No.
Senator ROBINSON. Do you know whether any effort was made to determine whether that ledger sheet was written on a typewriter used in the auditor's office in Mexico City ?
Mr. CLARK. I do not know anything about that.
Mr. CLARK. May I be excused to go back to New York, to return at any time you call me?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, Mr. Clark. Thank you for coming down. (The witness was excused.) The CHAIRMAN, Mr. John Page.
TESTIMONY OF JOHN PAGE, NEW YORK CITY
(The witness was duly sworn by the chairman.)
The CHAIRMAN. Are you employed by the Hearst publications, or any of them?
Mr. Page. Yes, sir.
Mr. Page. Between a year and a half and two years; about a year and nine months.
The CHAIRMAN. When did you first commence to work for them?
The CHAIRMAN. Where were you located when you were employed by them?
Mr. PAGE. In Mexico City.
The CHAIRMAN. How long were you employed by the Philadelphia Public Ledger?
Mr. PAGE. Roughly, two years and three months.
The CHAIRMAN. And prior to that time where and by whom had you been employed ?
Mr. Page. In Washington, by the Universal News Service, a Hearts organization.
The CHAIRMAN. In May of 1926, were you acquainted with Mr. M. R. Avila ?
Mr. PAGE. Yes, sir.
· The CHAIRMAN. How long have you known him?
Mr. PAGE. I should say since very early in the year of 1924; possibly since January or February of 1924.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you known him well?
The CHAIRMAN. How came you to be so intimately acquainted with him?
Mr. Page. Because I liked the man and considered him a personal friend. He was one of my best news sources in Mexico City. He knew the ropes and could give me a great deal of information, and I found hini to be almost invariably trustworthy.
The CHAIRMAN. What is the first that you heard of any of these documents that were produced to us to-day by Mr. Hearst ?
Mr. PAGE. Late in April or early in May of this year.
Mr. PAGE. An American resident of Mexico City-I can not mention his name, because to do so would perhaps. imperil his life; this American resident of Mexico City told me that on the preceding day a Mexican woman had talked with him ; that their conversation had turned toward the troubles that Mexico was going through; and this American friend of mine observed to the Mexican woman that the most of the trouble arose from the fact that the Mexican public officials were grafters, and the Mexican woman was somewhat resentful. She replied, “Yes; a good many of them are grafters, but also a good many American public officials are grafters.” And to support her statement she told my friend that she was an employee in à Mexican Government department, in the contralor genneral, or the controller general's office, which is a subdivision of the treasury department; and in the files of that department she had seen papers purporting to show that the Mexican Government had paid money to American Senators. She could not recall their names. And there the conversation between my friend and the Mexican woman seems to have ended.
The CHAIRMAN. Did he tell you the name of the Mexican woman?
Mr. PAGE. He told me the first name. That is all I can remember, is her first name. I do not know her last name.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, now, after your friend had told you this, what, if anything, did you do? ?
Mr. PAGE. I communicated the story to another American friend of mine whom I knew to be in the close confidence of Mr. Hearst. I knew that he was a friend of Mr. Hearst, and that Mr. Hearst trusted him implicitly. I told the story to this man. I took him
I then to talk with the man who had told the story to me.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, this second American friend to whom you repeated the story, was that the same man whose name was handed us by Mr. Hearst this morning, if you know?
Mr. Page. Yes; that is the same man.