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DECEMBER 10, 1928. Hon. JAMES A. REED, Chairman Special Committee on Campaign Expenditures,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR SENATOR: While you have had some short communications and telegrams from us, as Senator Vare's physicians, we have thought it advisable and only fair to you, and the committee of which you are chairman, that you should receive some further and more detailed medical information as to Mr. Vare's sickness—not only of the past, but his present condition, and possible future outlook for him.
He called to see me at the office on or about May 11, 1928, complaining of considerable mental depression, cardiac discomfort, with associated shortness of breath and digestive symptoms. At this particular time he had extreme tenderness over his left kidney, with some frequency and urgency of urination. His blood pressure was somewhat above normal for his age. Because his improvement was not as rapid as I deemed it should be, a further examination then revealed a rather low blood pressure for his age, with symptoms of a general let down.
There was some associated weakness and cardiac discomfort from palpitation. Because of the fear of a softened heart muscle (myocarditis), he was put to bed in his Atlantic City home, where I visited him almost every day for about two weeks, and then at longer intervals.
During the early period of his confinement to bed, he could not eat or sleep, neither could be concentrate sufficiently to read or converse. His only request was, do not disturb me, I am so tired. His circulatory and body tone gradually recovered, and at the end of two weeks he was allowed to get up out of bed, for increasing periods each day.
I then talked to him about the national convention as he was exceedingly anxious about it, and talked constantly of the necessity for his being there. I l'emonstrated with him, that he should not make any effort to leave the city, or any attempt to take part in the activities or the excitement incident to this political campaign, but that he should remain quietly home. He seemed to think that he would be able to stand the trip, and against my advice he left for Kansas City.
On his return he was much fatigued. His blood pressure was considerably higher than safe for him. Again, as a result of this, he had considerable shortness of breath, with the usual cardiac discomfort and digestive disturbances. I begged him to stop, and even to go back to bed, but he seemed to think that he had to attend to so many important things that rest was impossible at this time.
As a result of this unusual effort, excitement, and physical exertion he had a stroke, about 10 a. m. on August 1, 1928.
A neighboring doctor was called temporarily until I could reach his bedside, which I did about 4 a. m. At this time I found him almost completely unconscious, irregularity of the pupils, and a complete paralysis of the entire left side, including face, arm, and leg. His blood pressure at this time was very high. We fulfilled all indications for treatment at that time, and I saw him again the next day, August 2, 1928, about 4 p. m. From this time on I had associated with me Doctor Marshall, of Atlantic City, and Dr. John Shaw, who spent almost his entire time at the Vare home, so we would be in a position to have any sudden emergency receive prompt medical attention. My visits were daily, and often twice daily.
On the 2d of August there was no change except that we noticed the usual rise of temperature.
On the 3d of August the stupor deepened, and with this change the temperature promptly rose to 10112
On the 4th of August the temperature rose to 10212 ; this being axillary, really was 10312. In the meantime he could scarcely be aroused. By the evening of the 4th, the stupor was profound, there was the characteristic snore, and no pupillary reflexes. The temperature by this time was nearly 103 axillary, and, according to all indications and our previous experiences with many of these cases, a fatal termination was fully expected and predicted.
On Sunday, the 5th, the temperature was 10312 axillary, comatose, high blood pressure, and we all thought the end could not be far away. After a hurried consultation, we decided on some rather heroic procedure, with the result that the temperature rather quickly dropped, and he suddenly opened his eyes and complained bitterly of a headache. From this time on the favorable turn took place, and a gradual recover followed.
His mental condition and stupor gradually cleared up, and was then fully outside of the danger zone from a possibility of the increase of a hemorrhage causing the attack.
As you may know, in cerebral hemorrhages in this region, a great many of the brain fibers are torn, and cells destroyed, and the repairs of this delicate structure are slow and protracted. In spite of this he has gradually made an uninterrupted recovery, so that at this time his mental faculties have been fully restored, and he is able to converse freely and accurately upon any subject with which he is familiar.
The destruction of the cells and fibers at the time of the hemorrhage is the cause of the paralysis, and naturally depends upon the size of the clot and the location. This governs the extent and amount of recovery from the paralytic disability.
The leg muscles are gaining a return of the power at a much more rapid rate than the upper extremities, which is usually the case, with the result that he is beginning to walk again, at present without much support; but he still lacks the confidence and feeling of security that can only be gained after considerable time, training, and exercise.
The arm muscles are showing signs of returning power, but they are always slower than the leg.
During this time and the immediate future it is very necessary that he be daily massaged and have special electrical treatment to the disabled muscles, coupled with rest and freedom from all annoyance, especially conditions likely to depress, as there is considerabe melancholia at times because of the apparent slowness of recovery, and the inability of a man as active as the Senator was to be so long confined for physicaly disability while his mind is rather active.
We doctors are all of the opinion that it is absolutely necessary for the Senator to remain at his cottage at Atlantic City, where he will receive the benefit of fresh air and sunshine. These nature remedies are more easily had in a location like this than it would be possible at his home in Philadelphia. The necessary treatment of the disabled muscles and the freedom from all cares, annoyances, and worries are imperative.
We are further of the opinion that if he were obliged to make a trip to Washington for any reason, the exertion and fatigue incident to this would in all probability work great hardship upon a nervous system that has been badly damaged, and possibly might even jeopardize his life.
We all have read the recent letter of the Senator, which has been sent to you, and state that it is correct as to fact and conclusions.
We are further of the opinion that the Senator will recover to a great extent the power over the paralyzed muscles so that with perhaps some slight limitation he will be able to get about and attend to the political and business affairs quite as well in the future as he has done in the past. With an apology for this rather lengthy survey, believe us Most respectfully,
ELLWOOD R. KIRBY, M. D.
DECEMBER 22, 1928. Hon. WILLIAM S. VARE, Atlantic City, N. J..
DEAR SIR: The special committee of the Senate acknowledges receipt of your letter of November 28, 1928, and also receipt of a letter of December 10, 1928, signed by your physicians, the general import of the letters being that on the respective dates you were unable, on account of sickness, to appear before the committee.
These communications have been considered by the committee and, in accordance with the committee's instructions, I am writing to communicate to you the conclusions arrived at, and in connection therewith, to call attention to certain proceedings heretofore had.
May 19, 1926, the Senate passed a resolution creating the committee and directing it to investigate the expenditures in senatorial primary and general elections. Proceeding with the business assigned to it, the committee on various dates from June 3, 1926, to July 26, 1926, held hearings.
All the candidates for nomination to the Senate from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania were notified of the proceedings of the committee, appeared and testified, and had the privilege of representation by counsel. The fullest opportunity to be heard touching all matters connected with the primary elections was afforded to all of the parties concerned.
You appeared in person and testified at length, as appears from pages 492 to 526 of Volume I of the hearings. You also were represented by Mr. Harry A. Mackey, who stated :
" I represent the Hon. William S. Vare here in the capacity of the campaign manager of the Vare-Beidleman-James-Woodward campaign committee, as well as being authorized by Mr. Vare to make this notation upon the record.
We are here with all our witnesses, all our books, all our receipts, and evidences of all our expenditures. We are here to give this committee all the information it desires, and we do not place upon the record any question as to the limitations to the qualifications of this committee.”
On December 22, 1926, the committee reported to the Senate its findings of fact touching the Pennsylvania primaries.
On January 10, 1927, there was filed in the Senate as your certificate of election the communication of Governor Pinchot of January 8, 1927.
On the same day the Senate adopted resolution No. 324, directing the committee to take possession of the records of the general election held on the 2d day of November, 1926.
You will recall that the election records were secured by the committee from Allegheny County and Philadelphia, but there was refusal to turn over the records from any other counties, resulting in court proceedings which occasioned delay.
You are likewise familiar with the fact that when, in order to remove any question as to the power of the committee to proceed during the vacation of Congress, a resolution was offered declaring that the committee was so empowered, a long filibuster to prevent a vote on the resolution was carried on by your friends and advocates, and that this filibuster was in your behalf. The result was that a vote was prevented and thus a cloud was cast upon the authority of the committee. Accordingly it was deemed impractical during the vacation of Congress to proceed with the investigation.
On December 9, 1927, four days after the assembling of the Seventieth Congress, the Senate passed a resolution referring to the character of the certificate of Governor Pinchot and to the report theretofore filed by the committee. In said resolution the Senate declared :
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the expenditure of such a large sum of money to secure the nomination of the said William S. Vare as a candidate for the United States Senate prima facie is contrary to sound public policy, harmful to the dignity and honor of the Senate, dangerous to the perpetuity of a free government, and, together with the charges of corruption and fraud made in the report of said committee, and substantiated by the evidence taken by said committee, and the charges of corruption and fraud officially made by the Governor of Pennsylvania, prima facie taints with fraud and corruption the credentials of the said William S. Vare for a seat in the United States Senate; and be it further
Resolved, That the claim of the said William S. Vare to a seat in the United States Senate is hereby referred to the said special committee of the Senate, with instructions to grant such further hearing to the said William S. Vare and to take such further evidence on its own motion as shall be proper in the premises and to report to the Senate within 60 days, if practicable; and that until the coming in of the report of said committee and until the final action of the Senate thereon the said William S. Vare be, and he is hereby, denied a seat in the United States Senate: Provided, That the said William S. Vare shall be accorded the privilege of the floor of the Senate for the purpose of being heard touching his right to receive the oath of office and to membership in the Senate.”
On the same day said resolution was passed another resolution was introduced, which was agreed to on December 13.
That resolution declared in substance that resolutions creating the committee, including Senate Resolution No. 324, and subsequent resolutions conferring authority upon it, had continued in full force and operation since the dates of their respective enactment by the Senate, and do now, as then, express the will of this body; and further recited that the committee shall continue to execute the directions of said several resolutions relating to said committee until the
Senate accepts or rejects the final report of said committee or otherwise ordered.
As a result of these resolutions, of proceedings of the committee of which you had notice, and of agreements to which you were a party the election records were finally delivered to the committee on or about the 20th day of February, 1928.
This committee thereupon proceeded to the examination of these records. At the same time the Committee on Privileges and Elections, hearing the contest between yourself and Mr. Wilson, proceeded to examine the said records. The representatives of both committees and of yourself and Mr. Wilson were constantly present and had the fullest opportunity to examine all of the election documents and ballots.
After this work had proceeded for a long time and was, in fact, concluded, so far as this committee was concerned, the committee proceeded to take the evidence of Mr. Charles Edwin Fox. At that time your attorney and the attorneys of Mr. Wilson were present and were given all the privileges usually accorded to attorneys in the case.
At the conclusion of the testimony on May 8, 1928, the chairman made the following announcement: “ The CHAIRMAN.
That ends this particular hearing. I do not know whether the committee will take any other testimony or not. We may, after consideration. I have not talked with the committee. That ends this particular hearing, unless Mr. Vare or Mr. Wilson has something he desires to present.
“ Mr. VARE. No, sir; nothing."
It is fair to state that at that time the committee was under the impression that the case was closed, unless the committee should thereafter discover some evidence which it desired to hear.
Nevertheless, the committee after consultation concluded that it might be possible that you would desire to submit some matter to the committee, and, accordingly, on May 16, 1928, wrote you as follows:
The special committee appointed pursuant to Senate Resolution 195 will be prepared at 10 o'clock, Saturday morning, May 19, 1928, to consider any matter you may desire to submit it.
Will you please advise us at the earliest possible moment whether you will desire to appear or be represented before the committee?"
You replied by letter dated May 18, 1928, as follows:
“I am unable to come to Washington to-morrow. My Philadelphia doctor advised me to come to Atlantic City, and I was compelled to have Atlantic City doctor attended me to-day. I welcome this the first opportunity I have had to appear before the Reed committee to explain my primary campaign. I regret this attack of acute indigestion prevents my attendance. I am hopeful that the committee will withhold judgment and fix a date after I have recovered from illness that I might appear before the committee and give full and complete information."
On May 10, 1928, the committee met and considered your letter; also the statement of your attorney, Hon. Francis S. Brown, who, among other things, said :
“I do not know what testimony would be required here in this investigation, As I understand, a statement has been submitted to you—to this committee covering the expenditures and how the money was expended, and all that. I do not know what else he can add to it."
Counsel further stated that he had only been consulted very recently regarding the controversy in question. Thereupon the chairman of the committee stated :
The committee recognizes the fact that Mr. Vare is ill and unable to be here and that we ought to grant any reasonable indulgence, but we desire to close this matter up. I will ask you to communicate with Mr. Vare and find the earliest time that he can be here, and advise me, as chairman of the committee, just as soon as you can; and the committee will stand in recess subject to the call of the chairman. We will give you notice in advance of a meeting."
It must be manifest from the foregoing that the committee expected you to notify it as soon as you could possibly appear.
Your communication and the communication of your physicians referred to in the early part of this letter cleary show that shortly after May 19 you could have appeared before the committee, because you were able to make the long trip to Kansas City and participate in the proceedings of the national convention. Nevertheless you gave the committee no notice of your ability to appear and now ask for a continuance without stating any time at which your appearance can be reasonably expected.
In this connection it is proper to state that had it not been for the deliberate attempt to block the proceedings of the committee by a filibuster conducted in the Senate on your behalf evidence in this case would have all been taken in the summer of 1927, reported to the Senate at the opening of its session in December of that year, and the entire matter could have been fully closed up long before your lamentable illness.
The committee was at all times desirous to afford you every reasonable opportunity to be heard, either as a witness or otherwise ; it still desires to grant every reasonable indulgence, but it can not consent to an indefinite postponement.
Accordingly you will please take notice that on January 4, 1929, at the hour of 10 o'clock a. m., the committee will convene at room 417 Senate Office Building, Washington, D. C.
The committee requests that at that time you appear, or if you can not be personally present, that you be represented by counsel ; and that your counsel be prepared at that time to submit statements for the consideration of the committee and to take such action in your behalf as he may deem proper.
The length of this letter is necessary in order to fully set forth the existing conditions.
I am directed by the committee to say that it expresses the deepest sympathy for you in your affliction, and the hope for your speedy and complete recovery. By direction of the committee.
JAMES A. REED, Chairman.
STATEMENT OF FRANCIS SHUNK BROWN, COUNSEL FOR
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Brown, I believe you are here to represent Mr. Vare?
Mr. Brown. I am, Mr. Chairman; yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. I will state that this meeting is called, not for the purpose of summoning Mr. Vare here as a man to be investigated, which has been the nature of part of our proceedings, but for the purpose of affording Mr. Vare the opportunity of making any further showing he might desire to make with reference to any of the matters the committee has under consideration.
It was intimated or stated, I believe, by yourself at the last meeting of the committee when the parties were present, that might have something further to offer. It is in order to afford you the opportunity of making such showing as Mr. Vare may desire that we have met.
It is not necessary to say, but I will say, that we have made a number of efforts to bring this proceeding to a close. It was continued at Mr. Vare's request on account of his health last May; I believe, May 19. At that time the committee requested that it be notified . by Mr. Vare as soon as he could possibly attend. We, of course, received no such notification. The first notice that we received from Mr. Vare was in the letter which he wrote us on November 28, and which is already incorporated in the record.
Accordingly, the committee are here this morning to listen to any statements that you may have to make on behalf of Mr. Vare. Mr. Brown. Shall I proceed, sir? The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. Brown. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the committee, since the receipt by Mr. Vare of your letter he has been physically and