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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company


The New York Times
June 10, 1921

Letter to Officials Says Various Explanations for Articles on Jews Are All Wrong.

HAS PAID $100,000,000 NOTES.

The New York Times last night received the following dispatch, signed by E. G. Liebold, personal secretary to Henry Ford:

Detroit, June 9.
Copyright, 1921, by Francis Osborn Jr.

Henry Ford, in an authorized personal letter to Ford officials all over the country to be sent out today tells the exact financial condition of the Ford Company and explains Jewish attacks in his magazine, The Dearborn Independent. The letter is the first answer to published reports about financial difficulties of the Ford Company and the first official explanation of the anti-Jewish propaganda in Ford papers.

A significant statement in the letter, regarded as explaining the large number of resignations from the company early this year is that Mr. Ford did not deny published statements regarding alleged financial difficulties because he wanted to discover where and how that story started, and he did.

The letter states that the Ford Company has borrowed no money from the banks, as was reported, and that the enormous transaction of buying out his stockholders for one hundred million dollars has been fully consummated. According to the letter, the last of the notes involved in this deal were fully paid recently before maturity. It characterizes the whole story of financial difficulties as utterly fasle, a hoax by the press.

The letter denies all published Jewish explanations for the series of articles appearing in The Dearborn Independent. These explanations mentioned in the letter "that Jews stung Henry Ford in a business deal," and "Jewish bankers refused to let Ford have loans, and that Ford is a Jew hater," are denied with these statements:

"No Jew has succeeded in getting the better of Mr. Ford. New Jew has had the chance to refuse a loan. No Jew can say that he ever got anything but the squarest of a man-to-man deal from Mr. Ford, as thousands of Jewish Ford employees can testify."

The full text of the letter, written in the third person, follows:

"Gentlemen: The most talked-of publication in the United States today is The Dearborn Independent. No Ford official doubts that he probably hears about it more than he cares to sometimes, and that is what we want to talk to you about.

"The Dearborn Independent is Henry Ford's own paper and he authorizes every statement occurring therein. One proof of the virility of The Dearborn Independent is the enemies it has made. Henry Ford has always had enemies. He made enemies when he single-handedly fought the first automobile trust which sought to restrict auto manufacture under the so-called Selden patent.

"He made enemies when he voluntarily raised the minimum wage of the country to the highest point it has ever reached, and then raised it again. He made enemies when he proclaimed his horror of war. He made enemies again when he threw his whole energies into winning the war and refused to take a dollar for it for himself. There are a lot of persons and interests in this country who would like to see it proved that business cannot be run on the Ford idea.

"You have a most illuminating example of it in recent months. You remember when the 'whispering campaign' started with its slogan 'We'll Get Ford.' A little later it broke in a deluge of newspaper reports that the Ford organization was in financial difficulties.

"You did not see any denials, did you? Mr. Ford was watching the progress of that storm of propaganda across the country, deaf to the appeals of the press association for one word from him that would let them down gracefully from the hoax they had perpetrated on the country. He wanted to discover where and how that storm started and he did.

"The whole story was false. Every banker in the United States who was at all conversant with the Ford financial status knew it was false.

"Mr. Ford was not asking for a dollar, although more money than Wall Street controls was offered him for the taking. Recently he paid the last of the notes involved in the transaction of buying out his stockholders, an enormous transaction involving $100,000,000.

"The last of these notes were paid before maturity. You did not see any splurge about that in the paper, did you?

"A man of whom it was said two months ago, 'we've got him' clears himself of every financial obligation in an enormous sum and yet it is not news to the interests that will never forgive Henry Ford for introducing the square deal in business. Perhaps you will understand now some of the enmity visited on The Dearborn Independent.

"People ask you every day, perhaps, a question which runs like this, 'Why is Henry Ford attacking the Jews?' The answer is 'There is no attack and no campaign against the Jews.'

"The Jewish question, as every business man knows, has been festering in silence and suspicion here in the United States for a long time and none has dared to discuss it because Jewish influence was strong enough to crush the man who attempted it. The Jews are the only race whom it is 'verboten' to discuss frankly and openly, and, abusing the fear they have cast over business, Jewish leaders have gone from one excess to the other, until the time came for a protest or a surrender.

"The Dearborn Independent, in a series of articles, eminently fair, temperate and judicial, has endeavored to set forth the facts and has won the gratitude of thousands of Americans by so doing.

"You as officials of the Ford Motor Company, may deny all Jewish explanations for this series of articles, namely, that Jews stung Ford in a business deal, that Jewish bankers refused to let Ford have a loan and that Ford is a Jew-hater anyway.

"No Jew has succeeded in getting the better of Mr. Ford. No Jew had the chance to refuse him a loan. No Jew can say that he ever got anything but the squarest kind of a man-to-man deal from Mr. Ford as thousands of Ford employees can testify.

Authorized by Henry Ford."

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