BUREAUCRACY CONVICTS ITSELF: The Ballinger-Pinchot Controversy by Alpheus Thomas Mason

BUREAUCRACY CONVICTS ITSELF: The Ballinger-Pinchot Controversy

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What is the reason for publishing this monograph on a case, the importance of which has been minimized over the years, but which was the death knell of the Republican Old Guard of Taft's day? Primarily, its value today is that, implicit in the text is the challenge to our country to guard against a repetition of the circumstances that gave rise to the case, to guard against the dangers of bureaucracy, of size that prevents the possibility of knowing what is going on, of power in the hands of those who would use it to their own ends. The case itself dealt with Alaskan coal lands, but Brandeis, in devoting years to the insistence on pushing the case to completion, did it not because of the specific problem, but because the public rights in national resources as against private speculation were at stake. Glavis as inheritor and interpreter of Theodore Roosevelt's conservation policies, and Pinchot who virtually inaugurated those policies fought with him, but Ballinger managed to get a white-washing out of the affair, even though there was a major victory for public decency and and honor in government against terrific odds. Ickes' comparatively recent exoneration of Ballinger is sufficient reason for publishing this warning.

Pub Date: Feb. 7th, 1941
Publisher: Viking