US Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler testifies to the Special Committee on Un-American Activities Congressional Committee of the existence of a plot by wealthy Americans to overthrow President Franklin D. Roosevelt and install a fascist dictatorship.
Butler was first approached by Gerald McGuire, a bond salesman, and Bill Doyle of the American Legion. After a series of meetings including one with heir of the Singer Corporation fortune Robert S. Clark, Butler was asked to lead an army of 500 000 veterans in a coup against the President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Butler first played along with the conspirators to learn more details of the plot. Unfortunately for the plotters, they had picked the wrong man. He had grown disillusioned with the military and felt used for having protected Standard Oil’s property in China during the Boxer Rebellion. He eventually brought in his own man, Paul Comly French, a journalist for the Philadelphia Reporter. French met with McGuire and was able to confirm all of Butler’s allegations. He broke the story on November 21st, 1934 in his Philadelphia Reporter and the New York Post. The very next day, the New York Times called the story a “gigantic hoax”.
Whistleblowers Butler and French both testify to the McCormack–Dickstein Committee that powerful men at Goodyear, JP Morgan, DuPont, Remington Arms, General Motors, US Steel and other prominent individuals, including Prescott Bush were discontent with FDR’s New Deal and the Gold Reserve Act which put an end to the Gold Standard. The Gold Standard enabled the Gold clause common to most contract at the time allowing lenders to demand repayment in gold. Lenders who had borrowed money before the Great Depression were thus unable to pay off their debts.
The committee accepted Smedley and French’s testimonies and was able to confirm their allegations that powerful men were plotting to install a fascism Mussolini-style dictatorship. They were also able to confirm Smedley’s most pertinent statements. Despite this, the Committee opted to remove all prominent names from the final report as hearsay. None were called to testify and as in the case of the 2008 financial crisis, none were ever indicted of any crimes.
On December 28th 1935, Butler called a press conference and described details of the plot to the American people. The conspiracy itself is now referred to as “The Business Plot”, “The Plot Against FDR” or “The White House Putsch”.
Universal Newsreel, 28 December 1935 (1 min 25 sec)
War is a Racket (book)
War is a Racket Speech Full Speech (8 min 54 sec)
The Fascist Plot to Overthrow FDR (40 min 49 sec)
Smedley Butler (Wiki)
Public Statement on Preliminary findings of HUAC, November 24, 1934
American Corporation fondness for Fascism:
American investments in Nazi Germany at the time of Pearl Harbor. These amounted to an estimated total of $475 million. Standard Oil of New Jersey had $120 million invested there; General Motors had $35 million.