A historical document that shows the past programs and ideas of Technocracy.
This transcript also clears up some untruths being stated that we refused membership to non-whites; Technocracy had no ban on membership based on race, at all, ever. During the time of the U.S. conflict with Japan, Technocracy did not allow Japanese people as members; this was based on the conflict, not the racial aspect. A sad truth, and a reminder today that we should not, shall not, make blanket generalizations about people based on race, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or other descriptors.
This is a long document – 35 pages in Word, but it is a very interesting read and tells a lot about the general societal and political mindset of the times (1940s era) and the second world war issues.
BEFORE THE BOARD OF ECONOMIC WARFARE (O.E.W.A.)
QUESTIONING OF M. KING HUBBERT, Division of Supply and Resources.
Room 2240, Temporary “T” Building, Washington, D.C., Wednesday, April 14, 1943.
BEFORE: Thomas Brockway (presiding), Special Assistant to the Assistant Director of W.E.W.A.,
Philip Dunaway, Assistant to Chief of Office, O.E.W.A., John M. Lowrie, of General Counsel’s Office. Also Present: Dr. Joseph Gould, Chief of Division of Supply and Resources.
Mr. Brockway: “The occasion of this meeting is a notification from the Civil Service Commission to the Board that Mr. Hubbert had been declared ineligible on the basis of his connection with Technocracy, Incorporated.
The Personnel division is now waiting for a recommendation from Mr. Stone as to the choice of three options:
(1) The option to terminate Mr. Hubbert’s services with the board at once;
(2) To recommend to him that he personally make an appeal to the Commission with whatever witnesses or testimony he would like to take from the Board; and
(3) That the Board itself would make an administrative appeal from the judgement of the Civil Service Commission.
This group was appointed by Mr. Stone to advise him as to the three options, and we are meeting with Mr. Hubbert to ask him questions along the lines I indicated to him yesterday concerning: (1) the nature of Technocracy, Incorporated; (2) his relations with that organization and (3) questions on his own political, economic and social views.
I have no particular plan for starting, but I thought we might begin by asking Mr. Hubbert to tell us what Technocracy, Incorporated, is, and what its aims are, and, although I had thought of putting method under a separated category, I think the aims and methods will be combined when we begin.
Is that procedure satisfactory to begin with?”
Mr. Lowrie: “Yes.”
Mr. Brockway: “Do you want to start on that general outline, Mr. Hubbert?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes. The first thing that I want to point out is that there is a sort of a dual aspect of this problem. One of them is that I happen to be an individual who is employed by the United States Government. I happen to be a member of some six or eight organizations, all of the same legal standing. This charge is that because I happen to be a member of one of these six or eight organizations, that I am ineligible for service with the Government.
That charge, put in that way, requires substantiation; put in that form it is no charge at all.
The second aspect is that the organization specified is a corporation in the State of New York and a legal entity of its own, and it is not subject to investigation by this procedure. In other words, if the organization is having charges made against it, they must be preferred against the organization through proper legal channels. The charges must be met in a corresponding manner. No such charges have ever been preferred, and I venture to suggest they never will be; so, that leads the problem back to an investigation of me, personally.
It is I as an individual and not the corporation who is employed by the Government, and therefore, the only one subject to the investigation. My record is entirely before you for any degree of cross-examination you like, but with regard to making this an investigation of a corporation of the State of New York, I am not at liberty under these circumstances to do that, but I will give you generalities. I am a member of the organization, and, so far as I personally am concerned, that is open to discussion. So, I will be very happy to give you some of the background history of how the organization came into being and how I became associated with it, if that would interest you.”
Mr. Brockway: “You would not mind discussing the aims of it, then, if you are willing to talk about the history of it?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No, I am not willing to discuss the inner workings of the corporation.”
Mr. Brockway: “That is a change of attitude from yesterday?”
Mr. Hubbert: “That is right. I have had some good advice since yesterday.”
Mr. Brockway: “All right. Mr. Lowrie, have you any comment on that?”
Mr. Lowrie: “I do not quite get that point of view, the fact that a corporation with which you are associated is a legal association does not affect the kind of organization it is in order that we may determine whether the charge made against you is correct or not.”
Mr. Hubbert: “As I say, I am subject to investigation; anything that I ever did or sponsored or ever said is open to investigation or inquiry before this Board. The organization called “Technocracy Incorporated” is an entity in the State of New York and is not subject to investigation by this Board.”
Mr. Brockway: “We are not attempting to investigate Technocracy Incorporated.
Mr. Hubbert: “So, if you wish to proceed on that basis, I will give you the history of the organization’s formation, its coming into being and my association with it, if that is what you are interested in knowing.”
Mr. Brockway: “I think we are not interested in the history of the organization or its origin. We all know about that. I am much more interested in the aims and methods and the organization of that group in the last two or three years than I am in the period from the beginning of the Technical Alliance in 1919. That
Mr. Hubbert: “Well, I am not at liberty to go into the inner workings of a corporation of the State of New York with this body.”
(Discussion was had outside the record.)
Mr. Brockway: “You may proceed, Mr. Hubbert.”
Mr. Hubbert: “The way this organization came into being was through the association of a number of people here in Washington during the last war. That association arose from experience in the war agencies, the War Industry Board I believe it was called then, and various other Government agencies, the problems of getting production out involved breaking down a lot of established rules and customs which, in turn, were rather eye-opening as to the possibilities of better ways of running industry than was customary at the time.
That led to many discussions and out of this a group of these people formed an organization called “The Technical Alliance.” I happen to have in my hand the original organization leaflet of that organization, or prospectus. The address is 23 West 32nd (35th) Street, New York. There are several pages of discussion and on the back page was the temporary organizing committee. The names of that committee were Sullivan W. Jones, Secretary; Frederick L. Ackerman, Architect; Carl L. Alsberg, Chemist; Allen Carpenter, M.D.; L. K. Comstock, Electrical Engineer; Stuart Chase, Certified Public Accountant; Alice Barrows Fernandez, Educator; Bassett Jones, Electrical Engineer; Robert H. Kohn, Architect; Benton Mackaye, Forester; Leland Olds, Statistician; Charles Pl Steinmetz, Electrical Engineer; Reichar C. Tolman, Physicist and Physical Chemist, — presently dean of Physical Sciences at California Institute of Technology; John Carol Vaughan, M.D.; Thorstein Veblen, Educator; Charles H. Whitaker, Housing Expert, and Howard Scott, Chief Engineer.”
Mr. Lowrie: “What was the date of that?”
Mr. Hubbert: “This particular piece of paper is not dated, but the date was about 1919 or 1920, think 1919.
The men here, many of the names well known; some of them I do not know myself, but anyhow the more familiar ones are people like Thorstein Veblen who is now dead but who was a leading economist; Richard C. Tolman, physicist and physical chemist, presently Dean of Physical Sciences at the California Institute of Technology and one of the associate administrators of the War Research Board, – I forget the initials of the organization here in town.”
Mr. Dunaway: “Is that the War Manpower Commission?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No, it is the National Defense Research Committee, I think. It is an official Government body in charge of all physical research going on in connection with all war problems. Thorstein Veblen, outstanding economist, – possibly I mentioned before. Bassett Jones, Electrical Engineer, and Sullivan Jones, his brother, whom I mentioned, Architect of the State of New York; Stuart Chase, a well-known writer who wrote his first book as part of this work; Carl L. Alsberg was Chief Chemist for the Bureau of Soils. Department of Agriculture, and subsequently Dean of Science at Stanford University.”
Mr. Brockway: “Are any of those people now in the organization?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I do not believe they are. Some of them are dead.
If I may continue with this, the point is, to my knowledge, none of these are members now; some of them have been but are now dead.”
Mr. Brockway: “Wasn’t Mr. Scott …”
Mr. Hubbert: “I am sorry, Howard Scott is director of the present organization.”
Mr. Brockway: “He was director then?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes, he was Chief Engineer and is director of the present organization.
The work that these people did back in 1920 I only know by hearsay, meaning by that, by conversation with people who were in it. Anyhow, there were about three well-known books that were published out of the conferences that were held on Saturdays among this group. There was a permanent office and a permanent office staff and there were staff conferences of this group and others. One of those books was Chase’s “Tragedy of Waste”, which came out of it. Another was Veblen’s “Engineers and the Price System”, a series of articles collected into book form. Another was Robinson’s book, “The Mind in the Making.” Robinson used to be in the same conferences, and he wrote that book out of these conferences.
This organization ran for a few years, but for one reason or another which I do not know, folded up in the so-called boom days of the 20’s, people had other interests.
In the winter of 1931, I came to New York as a member of the staff of Columbia University and quite by accident heard of Howard Scott and some of the things he was talking — mind you, this was when there was still going to be two chickens in every pot and prosperity was just around the corner. I was introduced to the gentleman and we had dinner together, and we covered quite an extensive range of subject matter. He was a total stranger to me. I had never heard of him before and what he told me was largely the work of this old Technical Alliance and its implication. I was impressed with it as the most important piece of scientific thinking I had ever heard of and that impression still stands.
At my instigation, Mr. Scott rounded up some of these old group members again, and we formed a small informal group that started to review the old work, quite informally, no formal organization. That went along quietly until it got out in the newspapers through the Columbia University publicity agent who wanted some publicity for the University; so, that, in turn, spread around the press for a while and before very long, it looked like a forest fire. The reason it looked like a forest fire was because, fundamentally, we stated that technological employment was real and that the number of persons who would be employed ten years from now would be less than the present on the same hours of labor which at that time was the rankest kind of heresy. In fact, it was such bad heresy that steps were soon taken to oppose it, but, in the meantime, seven or eight publishing houses rushed out with books on Technocracy. Those houses included a fair percentage of the publishing houses of New York City and some elsewhere. The books being written by their own appointed men who did not know beans, but the most of what people read about Technocracy was contained in those books.
At that stage, at the same time, we had a deluge of people who wanted to work or be of assistance or contribute money, so to protect ourselves legally, to prevent piracy of the type that was going on, we set up a membership organization so we could utilize these people. We incorporated as a membership corporation under the laws of the State of New York. That was about 1933.
Subsequent to that time the organization has proceeded as a combined research organization and educational organization.
With respect to its own membership, it is entirely non-political, it is a membership organization supported by members’ dues, and the membership rules are that only those are eligible who are eligible who are American citizens, that is, non-alien and non-Asiatic and non-politicians. All other American citizens are eligible for membership.”
Mr. Brockway: “That means an American citizen who is Asiatic would not be eligible?”
Mr. Hubbert: “That is right.”
Mr. Brockway: “Would that go back to the half and half?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Half and half, what?”
Mr. Brockway: “A Japanese or Chinese mother and an American Father?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I do not know that that situation has been raised. I dare say if it were raised, the half and half would rate as an American citizen, but, to my knowledge, it has never come up.”
Mr. Brockway: “You mean he would not rate as an Asiatic, in other words”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes, that the ruling would be thrown on the American side.”
Mr. Brockway: “You haven’t any grandfather clause?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No. The reason for that is not a race reason, as such, it is an international political reason.”
Mr. Brockway: “It is not racial?”
Mr. Hubbert: “It is not racial. In other words, Negroes are quite eligible.”
Mr. Brockway: “But the Asiatic—that is a regional distinction?”
Mr. Hubbert: “It is a regional distinction rather than racial.”
Mr. Brockway: “It is not political; it is not racial; it is regional?”
Mr. Hubbert: “It is regional. In other words, they constitute only a very small percentage of this population. There was a series of Asiatic problems on the Pacific Coast which were heading us toward war.”
Mr. Brockway: “Does that include the Turks?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No, the Japanese.”
Mr. Brockway: “They are Asiatic?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Not in the meaning of the word as we interpret it. It is the Mongolian type of Asiatics.”
Mr. Brockway: “It does not include Hindus?”
Mr. Hubbert: “That I do not know.”
Mr. Brockway: “I just wondered about the confusion that seems to exist in some things I have read whether it is racialism or not.”
Mr. Hubbert: “I do not think it is.”
Mr. Dunaway: “Did you misspeak yourself when you said it was international political?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Perhaps I misspoke, if you drew an impression from that that I did not intend. The organization is distinctly limited to the North American Continent, I mean, in conception. In other words, sections are only authorized in the countries of the North American Continent and northern fringe of South America. That is the geographical domain about which it drew a boundary as the appropriate region of interest, and the organization is limited to that, and the Oriental Asiatic was excluded from membership simply because they were predominantly outside that area.
The aims of that organization, I mean the primary interest of the organization is simply a high standard of living, high public health, standard of public health, minimum wastage of non-replaceable materials. That is just about the works, the achievement of that within this area”
Mr. Brockway: “Would you like to discuss your method of achieving that? You say you are nonpolitical?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No, I do not wish to discuss that at all”
Mr. Brockway: “When you say you are non-political, that would imply that you do not attempt to achieve these aims by political means.”
Mr. Hubbert: “We are strictly non-political. We have never supported any political candidate for any office of any description. We have never permitted any of our members to have anything to do with politicians at all.”
Mr. Brockway: “Do politicians include ourselves in this room?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No, “politicians” means people who run for elective office. On the other hand, policemen, firemen, Civil Service employees, technicians, doctors, and all that kind of thing working for the Government are not included at all. It means the politically elected, those people whose names appear on the ticket at local or national elections.”
Mr. Brockway: “Whether or not elected, I mean they are politicians whether they are elected or not?”
Mr. Hubbert: “That is right.”
Mr. Brockway: “Would you like to indicate why you discriminate against that group?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Simply to keep free of politics, to avoid any charges. We have no political interests, and, therefore, we do not want to have anything to do with it.”
Mr. Brockway: “And that is why you exclude politicians from membership?”
Mr. Hubbert: “That is it, because they would start abusing the organization for political purposes.”
Mr. Brockway: “Are there any members who are naturalized, such as Mongolians?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Those are all; non-citizens, politicians, and Asiatics.”
Mr. Brockway: “Women?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No.”
Mr. Brockway: “Have you any women in the membership?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Lots of them; approximately 50 percent of the membership are women.”
Mr. Brockway: “I would infer from your answer that you do not attempt to achieve these aims by political means?”
Mr. Hubbert: “We have never made any political maneuver of any kind.”
Mr. Brockway: “But you prefer not to say how you hope to achieve these aims?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Well, I think you questioning is running again into background that I said, for entirely other reasons I do not wish to discuss here. I do not think it is a proper place or the proper circumstances. I have given you the history of how the organization came into being and my association with it.
From here on out, I would prefer that your investigation be confined to me. This is the background. The headquarters of this organization are available and open every day in New York. Any amount of the information that you are asking me for could be acquired by walking in and sitting down and carrying on a conversation. I mean, there is nothing secret about it: it is simply I do not regard it as relevant to this discussion.”
Mr. Brockway: ‘Could I rephrase the question? What is your own view of the best way to achieve the aims you have stated? I take it you agree with those aims. Would you be willing to say—”?
Mr. Hubbert: (Interposing) I would say predominantly education. There are two things, two way of doing it. One of them is: That we are undergoing an entirely spontaneous and entirely automatic evolution which nobody can stop. That evolution is rendering certain of our social forms and customs obsolete. It is producing problems that have not been solved. That process itself is the biggest educational process there is. In other words, we have learned more about this country on mass, socially, in the last ten years than we did any preceding fifty by entirely automatic processes. That is what you might call a purely impersonal form of education and the most important one that there is.
The second is that in any kind of situation of this sort, it is impossible to prevent more intelligent members of society from thinking and also talking, so that out of that kind of a social school there is a clash of opinions about the kind of things that ought to be done and possible solutions, and, by a give-and-take process and an interchange of ideas, something finally emerges as the better solution.
My own personal notion of how social evolution takes place is just about that; writing, talking and the trend of events themselves. If you write and if you talk and if you are wrong, you are buried; and if you are not wrong, you will probably survive.
Mr. Brockway: “Then, you would think it desirable to have a group of people that you describe as the most intelligent talking together and working out a solution of a situation which itself educates the masses to the effect that something is wrong. That is your emphasis; you are arguing for a group who will work out, in harmony within itself at least, the solution to these problems?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I can be more general than that. The procedure that I am talking about is the standard procedure of all scientific evolution. That’s how any science evolves; somebody gets interested in a group of phenomena and talks to his friends and writes books and papers about it. In the early stages, he is often wrong, but there may be a modicum of enlightenment that was somewhat better than his predecessors. That, in turn, sets off another series of cogitations and somebody else comes out with something that is better, and by leap from or ladder fashion, we gradually emerge with a modicum of knowledge which is pretty good.
With regard to this immediate problem, the social problem that we face here, when we ran into this it was almost like a train going into an open switch in 1929 so far as the public of the United States was concerned. They literally believed in Santa Claus. We had the stock market psychology of New York and so-called boom period which was not a boom period at all except in paper. We hit the crash in 1929 when some of our most highly reputed economists were saying there was never going to be another depression, only two months or so before, and we went into the worst social mess this country has seen in its history, and we went in it quick, and we did not come out of it in two years; and prosperity was not just around the corner, and the business cycle did not work the way a business cycle was supposed to work for perfectly good reasons. A situation like that is very dangerous social situation. It is a situation where something has to be done, and if the wrong thing is done for example driving the bonus army out of Washington with United States forces which is an example of the wrong kind of administration, the results may be catastrophic. If the wrong thing is done, you can create a very bad situation. If the right thing is done, you can steer through the rough spots and at least give us time for a little thinking before you really get into a bad situation. So, our point of view is simply—on the basis of evidence then existing, was that we could clearly foresee approximately where this country was going to be in the next 15 or 20 years, because the data then existing enabled any scientist to do it if he wanted to use two cents worth of intelligence. So, we have simply elected the industrial complex, our present country, as our major field, and that, I think, is second to nobody’s. We have anticipated a great deal of work by the United States Government by four or five years and obtained the same results.”
Mr. Brockway: “What have you done with that stuff?”
Mr. Hubbert: “What have we done? Some of it has been published.?
Mr. Brockway: “What are examples of that?”
Mr. Hubbert: “As a personal example, I made a study in 1934 of technological unemployment in terms of certain industrial factors which were known, and from that I was able to show that the approximate all-time peak of industrial employment had to be around 1920, and from then on into the future it would decline unless you shortened working hours drastically. In other words, the total number of man-hours in our industry reached an all-time peak in 1920 and it had to do that and it had to keep on declining except insofar as we jacked up production through extraordinary measures, such as the present—and in other words, by unusual means, such as the present war.”
Mr. Brockway: “Has anything of that sort—”
Mr. Hubbert:(Interposing)” May I finish this statement?”
Mr. Brockway: “Yes.”
Mr. Hubbert: “About four years after that time, the WPA put a staff of some dozens of people on a job looking into the same kind of thing, industry by industry. I have seen all of those publications, it is a whole shelf of blue books in paper binding. I have examined them. There is not one single one of them that has not verified essentially what I wrote in 1934, and I was not guessing. I had perfectly good information when I wrote it.
Within the last few weeks, the national Resources Planning Board has been repeating some of that material with my own writing for reference and verified my productions in every single industry that they have gone into, and they showed me several dozens.
Mr. Brockway: “Do you owe that study to Technocracy Incorporated?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Entirely.”
Mr. Brockway: “Did they finance it?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No, it was not financed by them. I did it myself.”
Mr. Brockway: “You mean the inspiration came from them?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes.”
Mr. Brockway: “Could you name works of that sort done in the last five years?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No, I cannot. There has been very much work of that kind published in the last five years. The group has a lot of publications, but none of them are on that particular kind of thing.”
Mr. Brockway: “I did not mean on that subject.”
Mr. Hubbert: “They are more of current interest.”
Mr. Brockway: “Could you name a few of those?”
Mr. Hubbert: “The thing most of interest in the last three or four years has been the large-scale program of national defense.”
Mr. Brockway: “Is that contained in a little pamphlet called ‘Total Mobilization’?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No, that is contained in about three or four magazines devoted to various aspects of the problem.”
Mr. Brockway: “You haven’t any books?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No.”
Mr. Brockway: “In other words, there has not been much research that has come out under the name of Technocracy Incorporated?
Mr. Hubbert: “Very little. The publications have been almost entirely or predominantly, I would say, of the nature of house organs; in other words, organization publications. You could almost not call them publications in the sense of being distributed outside the organization.
Mr. Brockway: “In other words, it has been educational for its own organization rather than the public.
Mr. Hubbert: “Predominantly. In fact, a lot of stuff has been written for that purpose, and even though it has been printed, I would not regard it as a publication. It has not been for distribution to the public.
Mr. Lowrie: “Can you state how large a membership you have?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No.”
Mr. Brockway: “I wonder if we could receive your ideas on the method of achieving your aims? You have ruled out the political.”
Mr. Hubbert: “I have given them.”
Mr. Brockway: “Your educational program. You have agreed the educational program is limited to its own membership?”
Mr. Hubbert: “That is right.”
Mr. Brockway: “And it is a rather small group?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Predominantly.”
Mr. Brockway: “Which you describe as the most intelligent–”
Mr. Hubbert: (interposing) “I believe you described it that way.”
Mr. Brockway: “No, I am using your words”
Mr. Hubbert: “No, I was speaking quite broadly. I was not speaking of this organization. I was saying in any social organization, that when a problem comes up, a number of people start thinking about it and by an interchange of ideas, the more intelligent emerge.”
Mr. Brockway: “You have in your own mind a plan and you and these other people — I do not want to involve them. You are educating your own membership in that plan. What is your view of the next step? How does that ever come into being?
Mr. Hubbert: “It comes into being automatically. It depends entirely upon what events happen when the next step is ready. In other words, you are asking me what would I do in 1955. I haven’t the remotest idea.
Mr. Brockway: “Well, we know what you are doing now.”
Mr. Hubbert: “That is right.”
Mr. Brockway: “You are engaging in education.”
Mr. Hubbert: “That is right.”
Mr. Brockway: “Of a selected group.”
Mr. Hubbert: “That is right.”
Mr. Brockway: “But it is not quite clear how you would bring about the aims—”
Mr. Hubbert: (Interposing) “I did not say I would bring anything about.”
Mr. Brockway: “Have you any interest in bringing these aims about?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I have interest in seeing them brought about. I haven’t any interest in bringing them about myself, if you mean that I would go out as an individual. After all the only thing I can do is study, think and write and talk. That is the only operation I can indulge in. From that time out, the problem from there on out is what other people do, not what I do.
Mr. Brockway: “When the aims you have in mind come into being automatically, regardless of you and your group and anybody else, how do you visualize the situation in this country politically, economically, and socially? Do you expect to find pretty drastic changes in our institutional set up?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Whether I exist or whether technocracy exists, either one, I expect quite marked changes in the institutional setup in the next 20 years, quite as marked as have happened in the last ten years and possibly more so.
Mr. Brockway: “What do you think is the future of democracy in this country?”
Mr. Hubbert: “About the same as in the past.”
Mr. Brockway: “Do you expect the electoral system to be radically changed?”
Mr. Hubbert: “It has been in the past and I expect it will be in the future.”
Mr. Brockway: “Do you expect the vote to be limited?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I do not know.”
Mr. Brockway: “Do you think it would be desirable to limit the vote?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Let’s put it this way: When this group of 13 States was organized, under the existing Constitution, a very small fraction of the existing citizens were permitted to vote and that small fraction was permitted to vote because there was a small minority who did not dare let the rest of them vote. In fact, one of the major issues of the Constitutional Convention was over that problem. It was only slowly and painfully that the change of suffrage was made. All right. Some social devices were found to counteract that, so, in other words, you let them vote but you pulled teeth out of the vote and we have now arrived at a situation that we have something like 3,000,000 federal employees, none of whom were elected politically and, in fact, the only federal employees that I can discover that are elected at the present moment are members of Congress, the President and the Vice President; so, we have done an excellent job of eliminating suffrage right now. In other words, at the present time we carry out suffrage as a sort of friction. It is a device for appearing to have popular election. And we do nothing of the sort with the exception of these particular officials that I named. We get around that by not permitting most of those officials very much power. The people with power are not elected, that is, most of them.”
Mr. Brockway: “You would admit that the elected officials have considerable power over us, wouldn’t you?”
Mr. Hubbert: “As individuals, yes. They can put the spotlight on an individual and make that individual uncomfortable by political procedures, but they haven’t much power over the United States Government as a whole.”
Mr. Brockway: “I do not mean as individuals. I mean Congress itself can create or destroy a new agency and it could limit the power of any agency.”
Mr. Hubbert: “To a limited extent, and the safety valve on that is that if the administration of the country gets too bad, Congress does not last. In other words, the only way in the world the public can get back at the GPA is by voting for the other guy for Congress in the next election, and that is precisely what they did in the last election. That is political heads rolled in the last election because that was the only possible way the public had to do to express its dislike for something that did not have anything to do with Congress.”
Mr. Brockway: “Do you think that some other actual power should be brought into Government than the present power?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No, I do not know anything about what the present power is or any ‘actual power’. The Government of any country is of its own people. The only question that is involved is an optimum method of organization. If you want to know if I think the existing Federal Government is the optimum government organization, the answer is ‘No’.”
Mr. Brockway: “Would you like to indicate what would be your idea of the best arrangement?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Why, the best arrangement would be that arrangement which is geared or which is organized to operate a large complex of integrated industrial equipment so as to deliver, keep that equipment running and to deliver its product to the people without getting stopped periodically and without one part of it getting balled up and gumming up the other part. In other words, in order to not to have one part impeding the other part. In other words, it should be coordinated as a governmental structure so that when the chiefs of various branches decided to do a certain thing they could at least get it done.”
Mr. Brockway: “That sounds like an engineering planning a job.”
Mr. Hubbert: “I think it is necessary. After all, we are running machinery in this country.”
Mr. Brockway: “How would you get your engineers into the position that they could do that job?”
Mr. Hubbert: “When the country gets into a bad enough situation, when it wants them.”
Mr. Brockway: “When it wants them, how does it express that?”
Mr. Hubbert: “When the people of the United States decide they want that sort of thing, I have no doubt they will take practical action for getting it.”
Mr. Brockway: “Through the ballot?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Presumably.”
Mr. Brockway: “You mean they will vote for engineers?”
Mr. Hubbert: “They might vote for the constitutional amendment.”
Mr. Brockway: “But not for engineers?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I do not know. I mean you are going into questions I cannot answer. All I am saying is that our existing governmental structure is not doing a very good job of running an industrial complex. We know perfectly well that it is possible to have social organizations that could do a better job. It would not be done until the citizenry of the country, of the region concerned, becomes sufficiently interested in it, and when they do become sufficiently interested, I have no doubt whatever they will take proper steps and, what is more, it need not be drastic. It could be very simple.”
Mr. Brockway: “What would be the nature of the constitutional amendment that you mention?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Simply the adoption of a new constitution.”
Mr. Brockway: “What would be the nature of the new constitution?”
Mr. Hubbert: “A constitution compatible with the organization built along functional lines to operate equipment and distribute goods.”
Mr. Dunaway: “Do you think that the functions of the Government should be limited to the operation of the industrial complex?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Not at all. In the sense that I use that term, that is rather all-inclusive, industrial complex automatically includes the people. In other words, I would like to see a government that has the power to do something rather than one that merely has the power to get itself stuck in Tanglefoot.”
Mr. Brockway: “Tanglefoot with a capital ‘T’?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Right.”
Mr. Dunaway: “The government you would like to see would be a government with more power than the present one?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Decidedly so; combine in the United States Government powers held by the big corporations. I am tremendously impressed with the example of the government’s fear of big corporations. I sometimes wonder who is more important, standard oil or the United States Government, for a perfectly good reason. A big corporation is a very effective organization, but it is not operating in the interest ordinarily of the citizenry. It is operating on entirely other criteria, so I would like to see the effectiveness of big corporations incorporated into the actual operating structure—-The effectiveness and power of big corporations incorporated into the structure of our national government. In other words, I would like to see a government that truly represents the public on one side and on the other side had the power to really get things done.”
Mr. Dunaway: “I cannot imagine a government that has more power than our present government which I had always understood had the ultimate power in the United States.”
Mr. Hubbert: “It hasn’t, not by a long sight. The United States Government cannot even work in a state without permission.”
Mr. Brockway: “They can take all of the boys out of the States though.”
Mr. Hubbert: “The may do that but they go into the state for a large class of things with their hat in their hand, and by invitation. What I am getting at is that our present United States Government does not have a great deal of power.”
Mr. Dunaway: “What additional power could you give the United States Government that it now lacks?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Give it the power to run all of the industrial equipment that is now run by so-called private corporations. I would give it the power to own the houses in Washington instead of letting the landlord’s own them. If you did that, you would not have a housing problem in Washington. If the District of Columbia were owned by the United States Government, there would be a possibility of a modicum of competent administration.”
Mr. Dunaway: “But couldn’t the United States Government purchase the District of Columbia or all of the houses in it if the people in the United States wanted the government to do that?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Could it? Well yes it could, I suppose, but nobody outside the District of Columbia is interested. I mean, as far as I see, it is irrelevant.”
Mr. Dunaway: “Isn’t that in a sense, at least, a rejection of government through a congress, a duly elected Congress, representing the people as a whole and a government in which Congress has its staff which is, in effect, what the Federal employees are carrying out, that is, the wishes of Congress?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Well, my only point is they are doing a very poor job. Either the wishes of Congress do not amount to much or the staff. I have never seen as badly an administered city as Washington and I have been in several cities.”
Mr. Dunaway: “Of course, the District of Columbia is a special problem.”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes, and a very badly run one.”
Mr. Dunaway: “So, it is not a good one to talk about because it is unique.”
Mr. Hubbert: “I think it is an excellent one.”
Mr. Dunaway: “It is unique in that there is no other community in the United States like it.”
Mr. Hubbert: “And we hope there never will be.”
Mr. Dunaway: “But I think we are getting into irrelevancy. I was struck by something you said earlier. You said that the Government of the future, in your view, in effect, would have a dual nature; the people would be on one side and the power would be on the other side.”
Mr. Hubbert: “No, I did not say anything of the sort.”
Mr. Dunaway: “You said something which indicated that to me or which led me to that interpretation. What did you mean by that statement?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I did not make such a statement.”
Mr. Dunaway: “What did you mean by a statement similar to that?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I do not know what the statement was.”
Mr. Dunaway: “You do not believe there should be dualism in the government, that is, the people separated from the operation of the government, do you?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I am interested in a government which is far more representative than the one we have at present.”
Mr. Brockway: “How do you distinguish this Government? Do you visualize tremendously increased power over the whole economy of the country? How do you distinguish between that and a totalitarian form of government, or is it a form of totalitarian government?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No, totalitarian government is primarily a corporate enterprise. If you let Standard Oil take over the country and run the country for the interest of the stock-holders, then you would have something that would approach the totalitarian government. If not Standard Oil, a group composed of Standard Oil and DuPont and various and sundry other corporations.”
Mr. Brockway: “Totalitarian, as a generic term, would cover the sort of government you are picturing?”
Mr. Hubbert: “The term ‘totalitarianism’ is very specific. It refers to types of government which exists in Germany and Italy.”
Mr. Brockway: “And Russia?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Not Russia. The word ‘totalitarian’, as used in common parlance, does not include Russia, and that is exactly what has happened. You have got the major corporations with dual entities. They become the government. Government officials and corporation officials are one and the same thing in Germany and Italy.”
Mr. Brockway: “And they are not in Russia?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No.”
Mr. Brockway: “There has been complete fusion of monetary—”
Mr. Hubbert: (interposing) “It is not a monetary corporation.”
Mr. Brockway: “How do you distinguish the Russian system from the system you are picturing for the United States, or would they be very similar?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No. So far as I know, they would be quite different. Of course, I speak partly in ignorance because I do not know a great deal about the existing structure of Russia but the type of administration that I have in mind would certainly be a governmental administration which was directly tied to the operation of equipment and whose major objective would be operational and without any of the financial considerations that we have either at the present time, or, so far as I know, in Russia. Russia still operates on a financial system, I believe. In other words, they still have their state corporations. I have read very little about Russia, and I speak considerably out of ignorance.”
Mr. Brockway: “You would not have state corporations here?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No.”
Mr. Brockway: “How would you run the oil business in this country under the plan you are describing?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Simply have the oil division of the government in charge of it.”
Mr. Brockway: “How would that be distinguished from a corporation, a Russian corporation?”
Mr. Hubbert: “That I do not know, because I do not know exactly how a Russian corporation works. Anyhow, the oil industry in this country is the best integrated major industry we have now. It is far superior to coal, for example, but that integration that they have already achieved is all in that direction, but instead of it being run by a series of corporations acting as rather large states in themselves, I simply visualize combining the entire operation into a branch of the Government.”
Mr. Brockway; “How would you mediate between different branches running a competing industry, say, the coal and oil business?”
Mr. Hubbert: “There would not be any competing. That is exactly what I am interested in getting away from, that is, competition. There is no competition inside any major operating unit that owns a number of things like that. It is a matter of allocation, whether coal is better or oil is better for this job; if shipping and hauling distances are farther; the policy with regard to conservation. We have several times as much coal as we have oil reserve, and questions of major policy would be: What are we going to do with the oil? Shall we burn it up at this rate? Should we limit it only to these special uses, use coal for something else? Those are not business problems.”
Mr. Brockway: “You get into some political decisions near the top, don’t you?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I don’t think so.”
Mr. Brockway: “So whether the standard of living ought to include some of the silly things that the American advertising puts over on us or whether we should have a fairly sober life that allowed no part of our national income to go into liquor making, for example—”
Mr. Hubbert: (Interposing) “They might be political in that broad sense, in the sense of whether your policies that are adopted are popular, are liked popularly or not like popularly, if the decision was made that had a popular adverse reaction, you might call that a political consideration.”
Mr. Brockway: “Would that be determined by the same technician, or would you have—”
Mr. Hubbert: (Interposing) There are excellent ways of determining that, just the same way the manufacturer now judges whether a thing is popular or not, and I can say we have very accurate ways of determining that right now.”
Mr. Brockway: “Give the people what they want, that would be the job of the Government?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes, within the framework of the resources and of certain industrial requirements, and furthermore it is perfectly easy to satisfy human wants, extremely easy, once you pass the subsistence level.”
Mr. Brockway: “Has anyone else any questions on this line?”
Mr. Dunaway: “May I ask two questions?
Would the group of technicians in your plan be elected technicians by the broadest possible suffrage?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Before I answer that question, permit me to make this insertion into the record, that this entire discussion for that last half hour or more pertains to a hypothetical social question which does not exist other than the speculation of various individuals, so when you say “my structure” and that kind of thing, what you are really talking about is broadly the type of thinking that I have done about practical ways of solving existing problems. Beyond that, we are not talking about my structure or anybody’s structure. We are simply discussing what you might call possible designs of social structures to fit in with American problems, and I would like that to be clearly understood.
Now, your question was what?”
Mr. Dunaway: “Does what you have said here today reflect your views?”
Mr. Hubbert: “It reflects some thinking that I have done, yes, and as far as I know, thinking is not yet illegal.”
Mr. Dunaway: “That is all.”
Mr. Lowrie: “I would like to know if you could give me a better explanation of the reasons for not being willing to describe the character of the group, as such, aside from your individual views?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I can tell you very simply. I happen to be called up here this morning on some very obscure charges. Nonetheless, those charges happen to involve my personal reputation and my professional career. Now, that happens to be very serious to me, if it isn’t to anybody else. I am being cross-examined here by a group of people. What will be done with what I am saying, I haven’t the remotest idea.” [At this point two sentences in stenotype report are garbled. Mr. Hubbert does not remember what was said.] “Actually, there have been no charges make against me. There aren’t any charges against me now, nor never have been.
The charges that are being made and the discussion of this group is entirely directed toward a corporation of the state of New York. That investigation or that kind of investigation has never been made through direct legal channels. Now, if action is going to be taken—The Civil Service Commission has arbitrarily issued an order, action has already been taken, in a sense that involves me in the manner indicated. That is a very serious performance, and since it is a legal operation, I want the legality of it understood; and if that aspect of things is going to be—-In other words, if charges are going to be made against Technocracy, Incorporated, those charges must be made through proper channels and with proper legal formalities, and that has not been done.”
Mr. Hubbert: “All right, that is okay.”
Mr. Lowrie: “So, we are trying to get from you enough about these charges that have been made in order to make a determination. We have not the time to investigate Technocracy, so, we are trying to find out from you what is the basis of the finding made by the commission.”
Mr. Hubbert: “Well, I should say that–or perhaps I had better go back further and say, I do not know what the finding made by the Commission is. I wish they would enlighten me. Until I know and until charges are preferred, I am in the dark. If the Civil Service Commission would prefer charges, then I would have something to go on. As it is now, I have nothing whatever. In other words, the Civil Service Commission says I belong to a corporation, which corporation the Civil Service Commission somehow or another disapproves of. That is the gist of the whole business. So, if that is the charge, the plea is guilty. I belong to that organization, and I am going to remain.”
Mr. Brockway: “I would like to ask one or two more questions. Do you feel that in any period of this future trend that you see it might be advisable for a group that had a clear idea of what to do to seize power?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No.”
Mr. Brockway: “You disagree then with Technocracy’s suggestion that at some point it might be desirable to start a coup d’état?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Technocracy has never made any suggestion of any kind anywhere like that. If that is the charge, that will have to be sustained in court, and it cannot be done.”
Mr. Brockway: “That is your own—-We are not talking about Technocracy.”
Mr. Hubbert: “But your statement included a statement or imputed to an organization a position which that organization has never taken.”
Mr. Brockway: “It ought to be in the record he states it never—”
Mr. Hubbert: (Interposing) “All right.”
Mr. Brockway: “Do you reject the fundamental tenet of democracy that men are equal?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes, if that be the fundamental tenet of democracy, I say I reject that flatly.”
[Statement about war objectives by Mr. Dunaway omitted.]
Mr. Hubbert: “I would like to say this on the record, that I have had a fair amount of contacts with various government investigators around here investigating my colleagues. Now, I have been under the impression that our colleague was Russia in the war and that our enemy was the fascist nations. Out of some dozen or fifteen Civil Service examiners that I have talked to, all but one have solicitously inquired whether the person being investigated had communistic tendencies or leanings. Only one has ever asked whether the person had fascist leanings or tendencies, so that makes me wonder which side we are fighting on after that experience. I am not sure. I thought we were fighting on the side of Russia, but I sometimes wonder.”
Mr. Brockway:” I think we have still an area to cover, and that is perhaps a little more—”
Mr. Hubbert: (Interposing)” Before we go on to another area, I too have a letter from the Civil Service and mine does go on the record. Here is a letter dated June 13, 1939, from the United States Civil Service Commission. It is to Mr. C. K. Duryee, Clerks Box, United States Post Office, Pasadena, California.
‘Dear Mr. Duryee;
Reference is made to your letter of April 21, 1939, regarding your interest in an organization known as Technocracy, Incorporated. It is noted you inquire whether or not it is permissible for you to participate in the following activities of the organization:
- Answer questions at their local meetings;
- Contribute money to their various funds;
- Be an officer in the organization;
- Give public lectures;
- Write articles concerning it;
- Inscribe its symbol on your car.
After careful consideration of the matter, the Commission does not believe, judging from the printed information issued by Technocracy, Incorporated, that the above-mentioned activities in which you wish to participate in connection with your interest in that organization would be a violation of section 1 of Civil Service Rule 1, as it is understood that Technocracy, Incorporated is not a political organization. However, in engaging in any activity in connection with any organization, employees in the classified service must avoid becoming embroiled in political issues or committing any act which, of itself, would constitute a violation of the political activity rule.
For your information, there is enclosed a copy of the political activity circular, from 1236.
By direction of the Commission
William C. Hull,
Mr. Brockway: “The area that I had in mind was a little more information on your connection with Technocracy Incorporated, and the role you play in it. You have indicated that you had a good deal to do with getting Mr. Scott to move in the direction of forming Technocracy, Incorporated in the early ‘30’s.”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes.”
Mr. Brockway: “You have been a member since then?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I have been a member since the corporation was formed, that is right.”
Mr. Brockway: “Have you held any office in the organization?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes, I am secretary.”
Mr. Brockway: “How did you get that position?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I was a founding member. I was a member of the Board of Governors that founded the organization.”
Mr. Brockway: “You would not want to say how the Board of Governors was chosen?”
Mr. Hubbert: “It was chosen— The Board of Governors founded the organization.”
Mr. Brockway: “So they chose themselves?”
Mr. Hubbert: “That is right. They were the officials of an organization. They were the only members.”
Mr. Brockway: “How is the Board of Governors chosen now, would you care to say that?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I do not remember.”
Mr. Brockway: “You don’t know—”
Mr. Hubbert: (Interposing) “That is in the bylaws which are obtainable in the state of New York.”
Mr. Brockway: “Have you ever voted for members, for officers of this organization?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Not in the sense of a formal election. My advice has been given with regard to officers.”
Mr. Brockway: “Whom did you advise?”
Mr. Hubbert: “The Board of Governors.”
Mr. Brockway: “And the Board of Governors appoints the officers?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes.”
Mr. Brockway: “You do not know what the length of your term as secretary? Is it yearly or for life?”
Mr. Hubbert: “It is indefinite.”
Mr. Brockway: “It is indefinite?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes, until the Board of Governors decides they want a new secretary.”
Mr. Brockway: “Are you on the Board of Governors?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I was, yes.”
Mr. Brockway: “You are not now?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I do not know whether I am or not.”
Mr. Brockway: “The Board of Governors never meets?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes, it meets.”
Mr. Brockway: “But you have not attended a meeting since the war began?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes, I have attended meetings since the war began.”
Mr. Brockway: “Have you had any strong disagreement with the Board of Governors on any issue?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Occasionally.”
Mr. Brockway: “Have you lost out in those disagreements?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No.”
Mr. Brockway: “So that your view has prevailed pretty much?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No, I would not say that; I would say that I am very much interested in the organization and my view prevails to the extent that I would be in than out. I could resign any day that I want to. I can be thrown out any day.”
Mr. Brockway: “By the Board of Governors?”
Mr. Hubbert: “That is right.”
Mr. Brockway: “Who are not elected?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I do not remember.”
Mr. Brockway: “Do you pay dues?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Well, I suppose—I do not know whether I have or not. I have donated perhaps several hundred dollars but I do not think I have paid formal dues.”
Mr. Brockway: “Several hundred dollars over these—”
Mr. Hubbert: (Interposing) “Over these last ten years or so. I do not know whether that would show on the books as dues. I would say my financial contributions are somewhat in excess of what my dues would have been.”
Mr. Brockway: “Of course, your position is a little different from the ordinary member, isn’t it, since you were one of the founding fathers?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes, that is right; that is right.”
Mr. Brockway: “I suppose you would not want to answer the question whether the democratic principle of elections prevails or whether that is based pretty much on the leadership principle?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No, I do not think I do. I think again you are going into organization matters which I do not think are appropriate to this occasion.”
Mr. Brockway: “Do you have any further questions in connection with this discussion?”
Mr. Dunaway: “Do you care to say whether there have been any other offices or activities in which you have engaged for Technocracy Incorporated?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes, I have written a few odds and ends for the literature of the organization; a study on man-hours, a study of technological unemployment or employment as you like. I wrote another paper once on the thermodynamic method of house heating. I wrote a book review of a book by Wilcox on agrobiology, and there may be a few other odds and ends.”
Mr. Dunaway: “Have you lectured for this organization or spoken in public meetings?”
Mr. Hubbert: “On occasions.”
Mr. Dunaway: “When was the last occasion, approximately?”
Mr. Hubbert: “A couple of years ago, maybe.”
Mr. Brockway: “Have you solicited for new members?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No.”
Mr. Brockway: “Have you attempted to persuade anyone, anybody to join?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No.”
Mr. Brockway: “Does anybody do that in the organization?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I suppose it is done, but it is not a general organization policy. In other words, it takes two things to have a member join the organization: one is the consent of the member and the other is the consent of the organization. In this case, both are required.”
Mr. Dunaway: Has your relationship to the organization changed in any way since you became a federal employee?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Not formally, no. It has changed to the extent that I have only been in New York two or three times in the last year, but when I was in New York I never worked for the organization. I mean my relations were entirely that of a citizen of New York who once in a couple of weeks or so was called to headquarter for consultation about something or another. I have never been an employee of the organization. My work is entirely voluntary. My relationship with the organization is the same as my connection with the Methodist Church. They Collect money. It is a voluntary organization and I am a member entirely on my own.”
Mr. Dunaway: “My question was directed more to what, if any charges have been made since you have been a federal employee?”
Mr. Hubbert: “To this extent: When I was in New York, I would give a lecture occasionally. Since I have been a federal employee, I have not. When I was in New York, I did some writing. Since I have been a federal employee, I have not. In other words, my association with the corporation since I have been a federal employee has been practically nil.”
Mr. Dunaway: “Is the office of secretary a nominal office?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No. It is an actual office. It involves keeping certain records and signing certain papers.”
Mr. Dunaway: “You have discharged the duties of that office since you have been a federal employee?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes. I occasionally receive papers to sign. If you wonder what the duties of that office involve, they involve signing bank accounts, statements, or once in a while a section charter and a few odds and ends of that sort, plus consultation on more serious matter once in a while by mail, sometimes in person if I happen to be in New York.”
Mr. Brockway: “Does that reference to banking indicate you also perform as if you were treasurer?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No. Our bank accounts all require double or triple signatures, and I am one of the signatories in setting up bank accounts.”
Mr. Brockway: “But you charter new chapters?”
Mr. Hubbert: “As secretary of the corporation I sign a charter for a new section. It is a standard form on which I put my name at the bottom of the page saying ‘XYZ Section has been authorized.’”
Mr. Brockway: “Is that done by you, the authorization, or is that done by a vote of the Board of Governors.”
Mr. Hubbert: “That is just a formality. It is done by the Board of Governors. I simply sign the piece of paper.”
Mr. Brockway: “Are there any further questions, Mr. Lowrie, in relation to the organization or its activities?”
Mr. Lowrie: “I understood you are unwilling to state the number of members or how many sections there are?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I am both unwilling and unable. Perhaps the answer that would satisfy you the most is that I do not know, but if I did know I would still be unwilling because that is, again, going into matters that I do not think involves or concerns this inquiry. That information can be obtained through proper channels. My point is that his is not the proper channel.”
Mr. Brockway: “Would you say whether, in your own view, you have engaged in any subversive or un-American activities?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Never.”
Mr. Brockway: “While a federal employee?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Never then or any other time.”
Mr. Brockway: “Have you ever engaged in any activities which, in any way, would impede the prosecution of the war?”
Mr. Hubbert: “It seems almost superfluous. The only things, if we are getting back now to myself, my personal history involves, on both sides of my family, pioneer Americans dating back to about the 17th century, and they have been pioneers from the beginning. They went west and took the country away from the Indians, so I am simply a Native American and exercising the right of an American to be both intelligent and vocal. My dominant concern, and only concert now or ever has been, is for the welfare of my own country. At the present moment, I have no interest other than getting this war over and for its successful conclusion. Aside from that my interest is in the internal well-being of our country.”
Mr. Brockway: “Have you written anything which would indicate what your views of the war are?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I have never written anything about the war. I have not written anything since the war started.”
Mr. Brockway: “You read the pamphlet ‘Total Mobilization’, I believe?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes.”
Mr. Brockway: “Is there any implication in that pamphlet—”
Mr. Hubbert: (Interposing) “I say I have read it; I have seen it. I have glanced at it hastily. I do not know what is in it.”
Mr. Brockway: “You did not write it?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No.”
Mr. Brockway: “Is there any implication in that that we will go from total mobilization to a new system in which—”
Mr. Hubbert: (Interposing) “No, I do not think so. That program, as I have read it, very explicitly states that this proposal is strictly a way proposal. The date of its cessation is given as the end of the war, and then we are right back where we started off. I think they even used the words ‘put in cold storage’ our present business structure for the duration. ‘A quick freeze’, perhaps was the term they used, and all bank accounts start in precisely where they were left off when the war is over. I believe that is very explicitly stated in that pamphlet.”
Mr. Brockway: “Then, you go back to normalcy?”
Mr. Hubbert: “As far as you can after a war. In other words, we cannot go back to where we were but as close as can be.”
Mr. Brockway: “Are there any further questions?”
Mr. Dunaway: “I think it would be helpful to have some more information about your career and qualifications and so forth, if you would like to make a sort of general statement on that.”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes, I would be happy to.”
Mr. Dunaway: “Incidentally, while you are making that statement, I personally would like to know about the five or six other organizations that you said you also belong to.”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes, I would be glad to give you a list of those. I am a member of the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers. I am a Fellow of the Geological Society of America; a member of the Seismological Society of America. I am a past member of the National Research Council, and I suppose I might add the Methodist Church.”
Mr. Dunaway: “I think that is very pertinent. Are you a member of any other organizations?”
Mr. Hubbert: “That is just about the list. If not, I have forgotten them. I mean, I would not swear I have not skipped one somewhere.”
Mr. Dunaway: “If you have forgotten one, would it be of the same general nature as the ones you have given?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes.”
Mr. Dunaway: “You were going to give us some sort of general statement about yourself, your education, training, and experience.”
Mr. Hubbert: “I am from pioneer American ancestry. My immediate forebears helped take the country away from the Indians, moving progressively westward. I was born in central Texas, San Saba County, October 5,1903.
Aside from local high school, I attended college two years in Weatherford College, Weatherford, Texas; the same school that Congressman Lanham attended, who used to be a friend of mine. I went from there to the University of Chicago from about January, 1924, until December, 1930, with the exception of one year, when I worked for an oil company in Texas.”
Mr. Dunaway: “You have advanced degrees?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes.”
Mr. Dunaway: “You did not indicate, or at least I did not hear that.”
Mr. Hubbert: “No, I have not indicated. My training is primarily in physical science.”
Mr. Dunaway: “I would like the record to show your degrees.”
Mr. Hubbert: “Degrees: The degrees that I have are Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Ph.D., all from the University of Chicago.
My training is in the broad field of physical science. That includes chemistry, mathematics, physics and geology. I have taught geology and geophysics for a total of about 12 years in the University of Chicago and Columbia University.
Mr. Dunaway: “What rank did you have at Columbia when you left the teaching profession?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Instructor, which is why I left.
I have published something like 300 pages of scientific material in rather a variety of fields and a certain miscellany of things in social phenomena, one of which is an article contained in the Advanced Management, about September, 1941.”
Mr. Brockway: “Did you ever have any training in economics?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Formally, no; actually yes. I have read an enormous amount of economic theory and have a rather wide acquaintance with people interested in that sort of thing.”
Mr. Brockway: “And a considerable amount of your writing has been in that field?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No, I would not say that. I would say it has been in social phenomena. The distinction is important. In other words, economics is a particular mode of analysis of social phenomena. My method of analysis is distinctly not economics in the orthodox and conventional sense.”
Mr. Brockway: “All the subject matter is that which is generally handled by economists?
Mr. Hubbert: “Subject matter— I have gone somewhat into monetary theory, forced into it from the approach of ‘Why did machinery shut down; why did men go into the breadlines under certain conditions’, but formal training in economics, no.”
Mr. Dunaway: “Can the record show some of the publications you have written for?”
Mr. Hubbert: “The publications I have written for?”
Mr. Brockway: “If you will give the name of the magazine and date.”
Mr. Hubbert: “Well, here is an article the title of which is “Economic Transition and its Human Consequences,’ published in Advanced Management for July-September, 1941. This is the official journal of the Society for the Advancement of Management. This particular paper was prepared originally as a memorandum for Morris L. Cook who decided to have this paper printed, I was informed late. The editor who published it was Mr. Ordway Tead of Harpers.”
Mr. Dunaway: “Ordway Tead is Chairman of the New York City Board of Education?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes. In other words, I wrote as a private memorandum for Mr. Cook. It was given to him in response to certain questions he asked me, certain information he wanted. He read it over several times and wrote back he had decided to have it printed, and there it is.”
Mr. Dunaway: “May I ask you one more question about it?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes. In other words, I wrote this as a private memorandum for Mr. Cook. It was given to him in response to certain questions he asked me, certain information he wanted. He read it over several times and wrote back he had decided to have it printed, and there it is.”
Mr. Dunaway: “May I ask you one more question about it?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Yes.”
Mr. Dunaway: “To what extent does this article reflect your general views or, putting the question again, suppose someone wanted to learn what your general views are, would this indicate them?”
Mr. Hubbert: “I certainly did not write that article with my fingers crossed. When I sign a piece of paper, I meant it. That goes for the record. I do not write things I do not believe. Now, If I make a mistake and somebody can show me I have made a mistake, I am the first person in the world to retract it.”
Mr. Dunaway: “How good a picture would one get from this article of your general views of the subjects with which is concerned? Or does it reflect only a small portion of your views?”
Mr. Hubbert: “It reflects only a small portion of my views. After all, I have numerous views on numerous subjects, but that reflects some of my best thinking on a particular problem.
Here is another article of a somewhat journalistic nature called ‘Future Ore Supply and Geophysical Prospecting’, written at the request of the editor of the Engineering and Mining Journal, published in January, 1934. This pertains to the exhaustibility of metal resources and some of the implications of that fact.
Here is another paper by myself and Professor Frank A. Melton of the University of Oklahoma, the title of which is ‘Gravity Anomalies and Petroleum Explorations by the Gravitational Pendulum.’ This pertains to certain methods of locating oil.
That was published by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.
Here is another paper entitled “Theory of Scale Models as Applied to the Study of Geologic Structures’, published by the Geological Society of America in 1937. This paper contains far more than I can tell you.
Here is still another paper called ‘The Theory of Groundwater Motion’, published by the Journal of Geology, in 1940. This is 159 pages of very technical material.
Here is still another one entitled ‘The Place of Geophysics in the Department of Geology’, published by the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers in 1938. This is dealing with a very important educational problem, technical education.
Here is a paper entitled ‘Isostasy- A Critical Review’, published by myself and F.A. Melton, in 1930, by the Journal of Geology.
Here is still another paper which is entitled ‘The Results of Earth Resistivity-A Survey on Various Geologic Structures in Illinois’, published by the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, in 1932. As part of this record, I might interpose right here that for a period of seven or eight years I was in charge of geophysical explorations for the State of Illinois. Some of that work is just now being published by our United States Geological Survey. It is in the press right now and is a major publication, a professional paper.
Here is another paper entitled ‘A Suggestion for the Simplification of Fault Descriptions’, published by the Journal of Geology in 1927.
Here is another paper entitled “Location of Faults in Hardin County, Illinois, by the Earth Resistivity Method”, published by the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers, in 1934.
Here is a paper entitled “Electrical Profiles in Gaps in New Jersey Trap Ridges”, published by the American Journal of Science, in 1934.
There may be some more that I haven’t got here, and I think there are.
Mr. Brockway: But they are of this general nature?
Mr. Hubbert: That plus a few of these odds and ends I mentioned earlier that I had written for Technocracy that I do not have copies of. One is entitled “Man-hours – a Declining Quantity.” Another, I believe, was entitled “Determining the Most Probable”. A third was entitled “Thermodynamic Method of Heating.”
Mr. Brockway: Would you like to say a few words about your activities with the Board, what field you have been covering and what are your chief contributions?
Mr. Hubbert: “I think Dr. Gould is the person who is more qualified to say that than I am as Dr. Gould is my supervisor.”
Dr. Gould: “I think you had better make the statement, and I will check it and correct you if you are wrong. This is your record.”
Mr. Hubbert: “All right. I have been in charge of certain studies in mineral resources and mineral geology. When I came to the Board, I was supposed to be in charge of that sort of study for the British Empire. That was about the time the Board was undergoing a reorganization which happened about every two weeks, but that setup did not materialize, we only talked about it and then we became the United Nations. I was then in the Minerals and Metals Unit of the United Nations Division in which my unit made mineral investigations in various parts of the world, mostly at direct Army requests.
At the present time, after a new reorganization my unit is called the Minerals and Fuels Unit of the Supply and Resources Division, and again we are studying the resources of various parts of the world, mostly on specific assignments with more general studies as background, but the actual working reports are by specific request.”
Mr. Brookway: “Who makes those assignments?”
Mr. Hubbert: “They come through the regular routine of the office.”
Mr. Brookway: “You do not originate the projects?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No. We do a lot of the background work.”
Dr. Gould: “I may say that all of the work that Mr. Hubbert has done has been studies which were requested by the military forces, particularly the Service of Supply, for the purpose of determining the availability of fuels and minerals, particularly with reference to building materials which might be available in areas where our troops are located in order to reduce the need of shipping from this country those bulky commodities. That required an individual who had a pretty thorough knowledge, not only of geology but a familiarity with the processing of some of these materials, the techniques of processing, and the industrial uses of these materials in order to determine their suitability for the armed forces’ purposes.
I should add, though, that more recently, at the request of Mr. Stone, we are helping out the reoccupation division, particularly with reference to the types of minerals and fuels that would be needed in Greece and in Italy in the event of occupation. Both are very important studies, as to where those materials would come from, the nearest possible source and the amounts that would be available.
I should say, with reference to the previous work, that we have received letters of commendation form the Army Engineers Corps as to the usefulness and value they have been able to get from the reports which Mr. Hubbert prepared on fuel resources and building material available in other areas. They actually use the reports directly in their work.”
Mr. Brockway: “They implied or stated they are of high quality?”
Dr. Gould: “Absolutely. They said they were so good that instead of reworking it themselves they have incorporated it in their handbooks, and they sent me a sample of how it was incorporated in their handbooks. I showed you that.”
Mr. Dunaway: “Yes. I saw that handbook and I can verify that the report was incorporated with perhaps a word or two changed here and there. It was a verbatim report in a publication of the Army for field use with credit given to the Board of Economic Warfare.”
Mr. Brockway: “Would you care to say a few words on the effect of your operations in case you lose Mr. Hubbert’s services?”
Dr. Gould: “If we lose Mr. Hubbert’s services, our present Minerals and Fuels Unit is practically shot to pieces because Mr. Straley, who is a colleague of Mr. Hubbert and who has been working under the direction of Mr. Hubbert, has been loaned to the Oil Division for a survey of asphalt deposits in Cuba. We do not know when he will be coming back, and, aside from Mr. Hubbert, we do not have anybody else trained in this particular field to do this particular type of work. We have a young man who has come in as Grade P-1.”
Mr. Brockway: “Would you have difficulty in replacing Mr. Hubbert?”
Dr. Gould: “I would say “Yes, with a person of his training and general broad view of industrial processes and relation of mineral resources to industrial processes in case of rehabilitation in areas that have been occupied, it would be difficult to get a person of that sort.
I think you can see from the writings that Mr. Hubbert has indicated that he has completed, that his interest is varied but it is definitely in the field of the physical sciences, particularly in the field of geology.”
Mr. Brockway: “Have you had any reason to think that his outside activities have interfered with his work?”
Dr. Gould: “No reason at all. In fact, I did not know about his outside activities until this came up. To my knowledge, he has never discussed the implications of Technocracy or even the word “technocracy” or the existence of the organization, and, to my own knowledge and to the knowledge of the people in the shop, I did not know anything about it until this question came up. I think I am telling you all that I know about that.
Mr. Hubbert came to me highly recommended by Oscar Kiessling, a mineral economist who was at one time with the Bureau of Mines and later in charge of the statistics of mining and quarrying of the Bureau of Census. He wanted very much to hire Mr. Hubbert himself, but he did not have budget enough, and he said ‘he would be more useful to you now you are concerned with the uses of resources in the war effort’, and at that time I believe Mr. Hubbert was on the staff of the Bureau of Standards.”
Mr. Hubbert: “That is right.”
Dr. Gould: “I asked for his transfer from the Bureau of Standards, where he was not doing anything directly related to the effort of the war, to our office, so we could use him.”
Mr. Brockway: “Have you asked for a promotion for him or reclassification?”
Dr. Gould: “Definitely. I have put in some papers recommending Mr. Hubbert for reclassification as chief of the Fuels and Minerals Unit in the Supply and Resources Division. I did that some time ago.”
Mr. Brockway: “On the basis of –”
Dr. Gould: (Interposing) “On the basis of his work and also on the basis of his ability to work well with others and to help train people who have not got the background that he has.”
Mr. Brockway: “Have you any further suggestions?
Would you like to make any further remarks for the record?
You have some misgivings about this whole procedure?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No. As I told Mr. Stone yesterday, I think this is the only honest and intelligent thing to do. This charge has come over. You people have to do something about it, and what you do about it is up to you and not up to me.
My record is absolutely in the clear. I plead guilty to being an intelligent citizen of the United States and to having done a considerable amount of thinking and to having a tremendous interest in our social well-being now and in the future.”
Dr. Gould: “Why do you suppose that the Civil Service Commission should suddenly decide that the organization is not desirable when there is a record, as you have indicated, that they have been cleared, or at least some of their people have been told the organization is all right and they have so many people working for the Government?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Since yesterday, I have talked to some of the better informed people in the Government and told them what was up. Their first reaction was that I was kidding them, that it was just incredible, – I mean people who have known me for years. When I convinced them I was not kidding them, they went into a considerable amount of mental stew as to what was up and between comparing notes, here is the best we can make of it; Some of these dumb investigators of the Civil Service Commission got hold of this pile of stuff, that is had not gotten any higher than a third of the way up the ladder; the Civil Service, as such, does not know anything about this matter, and these boys who have to keep busy, like the rest of us, are just trying to make a job for themselves and figure they have got something they can get excited about. That is the only sense we can make out of it, and if that be the case, why, it can be easily handled by appeal.
The only other alternative is that there is some kind of political maneuver under foot that we do not know about, and, so far, there isn’t the slightest evidence that is the case.”
Mr. Brockway: “Do you have any indication that the Government has been investigating Technocracy, Incorporated?”
Mr. Hubbert: “No. We have Government officials in our New York office practically every day or every few days after information. That office has been continuously cooperating with officers of the Navy and the Army and various civilian officials, particularly the Intelligence branches have been there continuously right along. Our relations with the United States Government have been always of the utmost cooperation.”
Mr. Brockway: “They come to you for information, technical information?”
Mr. Hubbert: “There is a considerable amount of correspondence in the files of this Board with our headquarters office, the New York office.”
Dr. Gould: “Board of Economic Warfare?”
Dr. Hubbert: “Yes.”
Mr. Dunaway: “Would you indicate the type of information?”
Mr. Hubbert: “All sorts and kinds.”
Mr. Dunaway: “Can you illustrate?”
Mr. Hubbert: “Well, I cannot be specific because I have only seen the generalities. After all, the amount of time I have spent on those is extremely small, but I happen to know this has been going on; but there is information on the industrial capacities of certain foreign countries that is hard to get dope on. The Navy was very much interested in trying to solve some of our own domestic problems in production and distribution of required materials back before the days of WPB, and we gave them a lot of ideas on how to handle large nation-wide industrial problems which went into Navy use because I have seen copies of it on their paper.”
Dr. Gould: Who investigated you? You said you had about a two-hour session with the Civil Services Commission.
Mr. Hubbert: A chap by the name of Burnett was the principal one, an ex-insurance salesman. There was a young fellow by the name of Lowe who was of the nature of an observer in this cross-examination who impressed me as an extraordinarily decent and intelligent person. He is now in Naval Intelligence, and is not over there anymore. So that is all I can make of it.
Mr. Brockway: Do you have any other questions?
Mr. Lowrie: That is really what I have been trying to get at, what the nature of this thing really was.
Mr. Hubbert: That is the best I can find out in talking with friends of mine who know the inner workings of the Government fairly well and who know me.
Mr. Brockway: You would be surprised if it was learned or if it was true that the Department of Justice hadn’t any real information on the organization?
Mr. Hubbert: Well, this might interest you in that connection. When this routine investigation started, the same as it does for everybody, they called at headquarters office in New York to make inquiries about me. At that time, there was a Civil Services man there and a Department of Justice man. That is the first instance I know of, of the beginning of the inquiry.
Dr. Gould: When was that?
Mr. Hubbert: About a year ago.
Dr. Gould: About the time you came with this department, or a little before?
Mr. Hubbert: That was early summer.
Dr. Gould: That wasn’t after you came here?
Mr. Hubbert: Yes, I am sure it was. The Department of Justice dropped out and has never been heard of since, and the Civil Service boys have been very busy up until last August, which was the last I heard of them until this thing popped up. In other words, I cooperated far more fully with them than I have with you gentlemen in regard to the organization. I subsequently regret having done so. I think it was unwise, but I did, and I submitted them large piles of publications and that sort of thing from the organization which they have.
Mr. Brockway: What was the date of that interview with the Civil Service Commission?
Mr. Hubbert: About August. I do not remember the exact date.
Mr. Brockway: That is about five months after you came into the Board?
Mr. Hubbert: That is something like five months, and something like nine months ago, so this thing has been absolutely quiescent. I might remark they have a handwritten manuscript of mine which has a thousand dollars’ worth of work in it, and I am going to get that manuscript away from Civil Service, or we are going to have some fun. They were particularly interested in what I had been doing the past year, and I had been writing. I have left it alone because I wanted some kind of decision as to what was up, and this is the first word I have had.
Mr. Dunaway: What is the nature of the manuscript?
Mr. Hubbert: Something like the thickness of one of these papers here.
Mr. Dunaway: Is it on a scientific subject?
Mr. Hubbert: Yes.
Dr. Gould: What subject?
Mr. Hubbert: Hydrodynamics is what it is about, and it particularly related to the production of oil, petroleum engineering.
Dr. Gould: Mr. Hubbert’s training is very valuable for us, because we have to attempt to determine the capacity of certain areas to do certain things, and that is completely an analytical study. We do not go into the monetary aspects, political or social programs. We discuss the physical possibilities of that area to do certain physical things for the armed forces, and you cannot get all economists to do that because of their training, but you do have to have somebody with a scientific background, and when I talked with people about Mr. Hubbert when he was coming with the Board, I queried them regarding his ability to do the job, first; his ability to get along with people, second; and his ability to train others. I assumed that all other background material an investigator would have to find out.
Mr. Dunaway: Does your application form that you submitted show membership in Technocracy, Incorporated, or does it contain any reference to it?
Mr. Hubbert: I do not remember whether it does or not; I have filled out so many forms. I know it has been on some things and on others it hasn’t, but it just depends on how much space you have got. Sometimes you have two lines to put that all down.
Mr. Dunaway: Do you remember informing the Civil Service Commission at some place on the form that you were a member?
Mr. Hubbert: Yes. Furthermore, although Dr. Gould has forgotten it, the same information was contained on a memorandum I wrote to him in response to a request for personal data when the reorganization was going on.
Dr. Gould: Yes, that was given to the personnel division.
Mr. Hubbert: And that was on that.
Dr. Gould: Yes.
Mr. Brockway: I think we have probably gone as far as we can. We are grateful to you for coming in, and we are grateful to you for listening, and we will have a meeting ourselves.
(Whereupon, at 12:15 p.m., the members of the hearing board retired into executive session.)