Secret Session Arouses Suspicion

Westbrook Pegler

Rome News-Tribune/April 10, 1957

Washington.—Something very mysterious is going on when a strange assortment of 67 self-qualified polyglot designers and arbiters of the economic and political fate of our western world go into a secret huddle on an island off Brunswick, Ga., and not a word gets into the popular press beyond a little routine Associated Press story which completely muffed the importance of the occasion.

These gumshoe superstate architects and monetary schemers were drawn from all the NATO countries.

The fact of this weird conclave, as spooky as any midnight meeting of the Klux in a piney wood, was bound to get known to the world eventually.

I got my first word of it from a reader who happened onto St. Simon island, Brunswick, on her way to West Palm Beach. She wrote that the hotel on St. Simon was almost deserted, but that when she commented on this, the clerk said the place had been alive with mysterious characters a few days earlier and with secret service and FBI, too.

I have not verified whether secret service and FBI were there, but I did brace Ralph McGill, the editor of the Atlanta Constitution, by long distance and he put on a bland face and said why yes, he had been there, but had not thought the occasion required him, as a journalist, to write anything.

Ralph said he divested himself of his journalistic nature for the conference and wanted me to treat his discussion confidentially.

But, after all, I was phoning him as a reporter to get information, whereas he has made some mental and ethical arrangement with himself which allowed him to dejournalize himself for this extremely newsy meeting. However, I did not agree not to quote him and will leave the facts to your judgment.

McGill and Arthur Hays Sulzberger, the publisher of the New York Times, were the only journalists invited to this thing and I observed to Ralph that it was pretty funny that with so many thousands of reporters and professional opinionarians in this country, this conference tagged only those two and no others and they suppressed the story.

Elsewhere I was told that Sulzberger flew down from New York in his own ship.

Senator Harry Byrd of Virginia, a statesman who certainly rates consultation in such a seminar, had not heard a word about it.

He and the judiciary committee’s subcommittee on subversion were highly interested. I keep emphasizing the secrecy because it was obviously planned that way.

Judge Robert Morris, the counsel for the subcommittee on subversion were highly interested. I keep emphasizing the secrecy because it was obviously planned that way.

Judge Robert Morris, the counsel for the subcommittee, had received side-long tips and he was startled when I was able to put in his hands further information which was verified by my talk with McGill.

I told Byrd and Morris and I am telling you now about a queer parallel between this thing and a conference on Jekyll island, Ga., a similar retreat, way back in 1908 in which the currency of the united States and of the world was manipulated, to what effect, whether for good or evil, opinions vary. Senator Aldrich of Rhode Island called this one into being.

There have been many excited versions of that ancient hoe-down on Jekyll island in 1908, but relatively few have even heard of it at all. Byrd frankly admitted that he had not. Neither had Morris.

But long ago B. C. Forbes, the biographer of American big business, told the wild, weird truth in a book and his version stands undisputed to this day.

He wrote that Aldrich and a small, select group of American and European financiers, with a strong Kuhn-Loeb, Hamburg, representation, sneaked onto Jekyll island and stayed a week in such secrecy that not even the servants knew who they were. They called one another by only their first names.

There were 68 on the roster for the recent meeting at St. Simon island, but one who was there has told me that Ike’s protégé. Paul Hoffman, now of the UN, did not accept. Tom Dewey did. And those present included the mysterious Gabriel Hauge, a “Lutheran lay minister, professor and economist,” in the Wall Street Journal’s description of the guy. He was there in the role of Eisenhower’s “economic adviser.” The Wall Street Journal said Hauge “helped teach Ike what to think.”

I will have to continue this later.

(Source: Google News,,2729315)