Interview with Dr. Robert Bradbury (April 6, 1977)

Samuel Proctor Oral History Program UFCLASHist Digitization of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collections was made possible through the generous donation of Caleb and Michele Grimes

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Interview with Dr. Robert Bradbury (April 6, 1977)
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King, R. T. ( Interviewer )
Bradbury, Robert ( Interviewee )
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Subjects / Keywords:
University of Florida -- History


This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.

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Source Institution:
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
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This interview is part of the 'University of Florida' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
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Material Information

Interview with Dr. Robert Bradbury (April 6, 1977)
Physical Description:
King, R. T. ( Interviewer )
Bradbury, Robert ( Interviewee )
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
University of Florida -- History


This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.

Record Information

Source Institution:
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location:
This interview is part of the 'University of Florida' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
UF 48
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INTERVIEWEE: Robert Bradbury
DATE: April 6, 1977

K: The following is an interview with Dr. Robert Bradbury. It was
conducted on April 6, 1977 in the Ford Library of the Florida
State Museum at the University of Florida.
Dr. Bradbury, where were you born and when?
B: I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on January 3, 1905. So I'm
seventy-two years of age at the present time.
K: How long did you remain in Kentucky?
B: Until I was five and a half years of age. My family moved to
Mexico City, Mexico during the summer of 1910. 1910, of course,
was the year of the centennial of Mexico's independence, and
was the high water mark of the dictatorship of Don Porfirio D{az,
who had been the leader of Mexico for the previous thirty-two
years. My first vivid recollection was that of the centennial
celebration, the 16th of September, 1910. The city had been re-
furbished; there were gifts from many of the countries of the
world to Mexico, primarily honoring Porfirio Dfaz. The centen-
nial parade was a big parade with all the military authorities
and the supporters of the regime, including the famous rurales,
the rural police that were supposed to keep down the banditry
throughout the country, and were composed primarily of ex-bandits
who'd been given either a chance of going to prison or joining
the rural police.
This was very definitely the high water mark of the dictatorship.
Shortly after that, Porfirio Dfaz, was re-elected in
a rigged election. Francisco Madero, who was his opponent in the
election, but was in prison at the time, started a revolution
which succeeded very rapidly. By 1911, Porfirio Dfaz left the
country, and Madero became the reform leader.
Madero in 1911 was definitely interested in political reform.
The peasantry and labor in Mexico were interested more in social
reform. The opponents of Madero claimed that he was spending
his time in a newly refurbished congress debating these political
reforms. The motto of the revolution was "Effective sufferage; no
re-election." What the peasants wanted, which was exemplified by
Emiliano Zapata, one of the revolutionary leaders in the southern
part of Mexico, was "land and a mule." In other words, social re-
form was the essential thing.
Madero was sincere; Madero would have gotten into, I'm sure,
social programs. And he is still honored in Mexico as the father

of the Mexican Revolution.
When I say Mexican Revolution, of course there you're
talking with the capital R. Any time you talk about revolu-
tion you mean this period from 1911 to 1917. If you are
talking about the Civil War that occurred in Mexico in the
1850s and 1860s led by Benito Juarez, that is known as the
Reform, not the Revolution.
Madero was able to stay in power for just under two years.
In 1913 he was challenged by a nephew of Porfirio Dfaz, supported
by one of the old Dfaz generals, Bernardo Reyes. Bernardo Reyes
was released from a prison where he was being held, and led a
march on the national palace. This started a ten day battle in
Mexico City called the Decena Tragica, The Tragic Ten Days. This
battle, of course, is a very vivid recollection on my part. I
was at that time a little over eight years of age, and when you
are listening to the cannons being shot within the city as dif-
ferent groups of the army that supported either the revolt or
the Madero forces.... Actually, the Madero forces were concen-
trated around the center of the city the Zocalo, where the cathe-
dral and the national palace are located. The attempt by the ones
that revolted was to come down and capture the national palace.
They were repulsed, and set up their headquarters at the national
armory, the ciudadela about three miles away.
While there were no large cannons in the sense of modern arma-
ments--most of them were about three inch field guns--they were
shooting back and forth, and there was a lot of damage done to
the center part of the city. There have been various estimates
as to the number killed, but an average figure might be 10,000
persons, plus a lot of horses and so on. At the end of seven days
they declared an armistice primarily engineered by the American
ambassador to Mexico. During that armistice, they tried to clear
the streets of the dead, and my family has pictures of the funeral
biers burning up mixed bodies and the bodies of horses in the cen-
ter of various streets to prevent the spread of disease.
The armistice lasted for just a few hours; fighting was re-
sumed, and at the end of ten days the revolt succeeded. It suc-
ceeded, however, because of a definite double-cross by Victoriano
Huerta, who was the military leader of the Madero forces. He made
a secret agreement with Felix Dfaz, the nephew of Porfirio Diaz,
whereby he would assume temporary presidency, and then he would
turn it over to Felix Diaz. Actually he did a double double-cross.
Having double-crossed Madero by going over, he double-crossed Dfaz
and retained the presidency.
The United States never did recognize the presidency of Huerta,
and part of the reason for the future problems between the United
States and Mexico was the fact that we did not take a firm stand

in February of 1913. Of course, in February of 1913 Woodrow
Wilson had already been elected president of the United States,
but had not assumed office, because back at that time the presi-
dents did not change until March. When Wilson became president,
he had so many other things in organizing the government that his
policy towards Mexico was one of "watchful waiting." During this
time, then, the opponents of Huerta, the ones that admired what
Madero wanted to do started out various campaigns in various parts
of the country. In other words, there was no one leader emerging
against Huerta. Rather you had what developed into a three way
dogfight of the opponents.
In the south I've already mentioned Emiliano Zapata, who was
a peasant leader and interested in peasant reform--a land reform
subdividing the estates for the very poor and so on. His head-
quarters were in the states of the state of Morelos; the famous
city for that area is Cuernavaca. Up in the northeast the even-
tual leader was Venustiano Carranza, and Carranza did emerge as
the ultimate victor in 1917. The colorful bandit of the north-
west was Pancho Villa. I've seen all of those four men including
Huerta in Mexico City. The city changed hands in the next four
years. At one time Zapata came in, and Huerta withdrew; another
time Pancho Villa came in and then withdrew; and finally Carranza
came in.
As I mentioned, the thing became quite sticky between the
United States and Mexico. Huerta made various statements against
the U.S. government. In the early part of 1914 there was an in-
cident at Tampico where some of the sailors from a gunboat located
at that port, which is up the river from the Gulf of Mexico, came
on shore leave and were attacked by a group. The American flag
was desecrated, and we demanded an apology. They said they wouldn't
apologize, and so on. Things got worse, and we declared an arms
embargo against any arms going to the Huerta government, either
coming across the border from the United States, or coming in by
water to the port of Veracruz. Of course, there wasn't too much
danger of sending too much to Mexico City at that time from the
North, because a shipment of arms would have probably been captured
by Carranza if it had gone from Laredo, or by Villa if it had gone
out from El Paso, Texas. We did order two gunboats to Veracruz to
to protect American interests.
In the summer of 1914 the American colony received various
code telegrams warning that the situation was getting better or
getting worse between the United States and Mexico. The code didn't
tell what might happen but the thing was to warn if it looked like
there might be a declaration of war by the United States against
Mexico. So finally the code did come through saying that the baby
was very sick, and come at once. That night about 250 Americans

got on the Pullman trains from Mexico City to Veracruz so as to
go down there and seek the protection of the gunboats in the
Veracruz harbor. This was going out of the frying pan into the
fire. We arrived in Veracruz the next morning, and when we started
to get off the train, there was an American naval officer on the
platform of the railroad station. The naval officer asked each
one in turn: "Are you an American citizen?" If you said yes,
he said, "Go out and get on the Ward line steamer that is tied
up at the dock." This was about two blocks away from the rail-
road station.
My father at that time was working for the Ferrocarril Mexicano,
the Mexican Railroad, which was a British-owned firm. He was super-
intendent of the sleeping car department, which had the sleeping
cars and the dining cars. The Pullman Company did not operate in
Mexico, and so the railroad owned the sleeping cars and owned the
dining cars and so on. He had stayed in Mexico City, but my mother
and my sister, the three of us were on the train. We were expecting
to stay in one of the sleeping cars in Veracruz. We were along
with the families of certain other of the executives of the railroad,
including the general manager's private car.
The naval officer said, "No, we're sorry, but you can't stay
here. There's going to be some trouble, we're afraid, and if there's
any trouble.... Look there on the next track." And on the next
track there was a troop train with Mexican troops.
So we took the hint and said, "Yes, well, we were going to
get on the vessel." When we went out, there were two Ward line
steamers, the Esperanza and the Mexico were tied up at the dock.
Most of the group went and got on the Esperanza as the naval officer
had told us. But we passed the Ward liner Mexico, which had not
been taken over by the U.S. government at that time. The captain
of the Mexico knew the general manager of the railroad, and invited
the whole party on his boat. We got on; shortly after we got on,
they cast off. We pulled away from the wharf just as the marines
came over the side of the two gunboats, and came in for the landing.
When the Battle of Veracruz started we were about a hundred yards
away from the battle.
K: So you witnessed the whole thing?
B: Witnessed the whole thing. It was, of course, a foolish thing to
be up on deck a hundred yards away from the fight, but you know,
the excitement of watching the marines move into the city there,
and seeing the flashes of the guns on both sides.... Most of the
Mexican army did withdraw. The big opposition to the marines
came from either civilian snipers or the cadets of the naval aca-

Now, in Mexico, as it happened, back in 1848 at the time
of the American invasion of Mexico, the cadets defended Chapultec
against the Americans, and have become famous in Mexican history
as the ninos heroes--the children heroes. The cadets were mostly
sons of the wealthy. They were training to be officers; they were
fourteen and fifteen years of age. Well, the same thing was true
in Veracruz. The naval academy was there, and it was these young
naval cadets that opposed the Marine Corps. During the space of
probably half an hour there were nineteen Americans and an esti-
mated 250 Mexicans killed in the fighting.
A vivid recollection on my part was seeing an amphibian air-
plane lowered like a landing boat would be lowered over the side
of the gunboat. It was put on the water; the pilot took off
across the bay and circled the city to try to locate where the
Mexican army had stationed itself. This was long before you had
any radio or anything else in airplanes. The only equipment you
had at that time was wireless, and it was too heavy to be on one
of the light planes that operated at that time. But he came back,
landed, and got out and reported where they were. This was the
first use of the airplane in a military operation by the United
States government--1914 in Veracruz.
Another interesting thing I saw at the time of the Battle
of Veracruz was the fact that there was a machinegun nest up at
the top of the light house tower on top of the customs building,
and they were firing at the marines in the street from that point.
Using three inch shells, the U.S. gun boat aimed not at the machine-
gun nest at the top of the customs house, but down at the base of
the tower, and hit a series of five or six direct hits on the base,
and the whole tower came down like you see in the movies when an
earthquake knocks a building down.
We stayed on the vessel in Veracruz harbor for the next three
days, and we saw the arrival of the Atlantic fleet which had been
ordered to sail for Veracruz when the landing had been determined.
The reason for the landing in Veracruz on that particular day was
because of the United States having declared this embargo against
arms and ammunition going in. We knew that a German ship, the
Ipiranga, loaded with arms and ammunition from Germany.... Remem-
ber, this was before the start of World War I. We were at peace
with Germany. We could not stop a German ship on the high seas,
and say, "You can't go in to a Mexican harbor." We could, however,
keep it from landing if we controlled the customs house. So the
immediate reason for the landing on that day was a matter of stopping
a reinforcing of the Huerta regime by arms from Germany. The follow-
up on that was that the ABC powers of Latin America--Argentina, Brazil,
and Chile--mediated and got an armistice between the United States
and Mexico. During that armistice the Ipiranga sailed to another
port and unloaded the arms and ammunition. After staying in Veracruz
harbor in the boat...the United States government in the meantime
had taken over the Ward liner Mexico as well as the Esperanza, and

we were taken as refugees back to the United States.
K: And your father remained in Mexico City?
B: Father and brother actually remained in Mexico City, but then my
brother was considerably older than I was. We went up and landed
at New Orleans. However, when we got to the lower river, the
Mississippi River south of New Orleans, there was a report that
there had been an outbreak of yellow fever in Veracruz, and so we
were quarantined down the river. Now, at that time you didn't
have mosquito sprays, and the steamer was not equipped with mosquito netting,
and so on. So we were really chewed up by the
mosquitoes down on the delta. Now, of course, you could have
stopped down there for two days and not be chewed up, but we were
definitely chewed up by mosquitoes.
We came in after the incubation period had passed and no
yellow fever had developed among the passengers; we were permitted
to land. We went up to my old home in Louisville, saw relatives
up there, and by then the trouble in Veracruz had passed. We went
back to Mexico by way of Laredo, Texas; from Laredo down to Monterrey,
Mexico, by train. So I was away from Mexico at that time only three
K: Being able to travel the length of Mexico, from Texas all the way
down to Mexico City, indicates that Huerta did not have any problem
in keeping most of the railroads running.
B: Well, the thing is that you had fighting up in the northeast, and
from time to time the railroad cut. But not so much in 1914 as
happened two years later in 1916. By 1916 the city was pretty well
cut off from the food supply from the other parts of the country--
in other words, the northeast, northwest, and south. The train
that we were on did have, of course, a military escort. In other
words, there were boxcars with iron rails on the outside of the
boxcars, with peep holes, and the soldiers inside had a fortification that they
could return fire if there was an attack on the
train. I'm saying that an attempt to send down large quantities
of arms or ammunition would have probably led to a capture. But
yes, trains were still moving in 1914.
Actually, Cuernavaca was not occupied by Zapata. Zapata was
in the interior, but my brother and sister went down to visit some
friends in Cuernavaca, and they had a whole troop train ahead of
them as well as troops on their train just making this fifty or sixty
mile trip. But over the mountains, because Cuernavaca is in the next
valley. There was always the danger that your train might be wrecked
or waylaid.
K: After the incident at Veracruz were there any reprisals against

American citizens on the part of the Huerta government?
B: Oh some, but actually there were not too many Americans left in
Mexico. Most Americans had left at the time of the marine landing.
Not only those that came down on the last trains before the landing,
but other refugees were allowed to leave Mexico. They had cut the
railroad track just outside of Veracruz so that the Americans could
not run a train past there. So what you did was to come down on a
train, and have to carry your luggage across from the final point
of the cut over to where you'd be picked up on the other side--in
other words, a no man's land in there. Or pay baggage carriers to
carry your things, and of course they knew how desperate you were
to get out with your belongings, and so they profiteered and charged
very high rates to carry, say, a trunk on their back across this
gap. But a lot more Americans did leave in 1914.
When we returned toward the end of 1914, things got progressively
worse. People were actually starving to death in Mexico City. The
American Red Cross sent money for organizing of soup kitchens and
things of that kind. But this was pretty difficult, as the city of
Mexico at that time had around 650,000 persons. It's pretty hard
to run a soup kitchen to save that.
One gruesome detail during this period leading up to 1916 was
that the street car company had one street car that had been con-
verted into a funeral car for paupers. It had twenty-four spaces,
and the street car started out at five o'clock in the morning and
drove through the city and picked up corpses that had been left on
the sidewalk, and then went on out to the cemetary and put the bodies
in a pauper's grave, and did that every morning. So things were very
very bad.
By 1916 the city had changed hands two or three times, but
Huerta kept coming back. One reason why the city changed hands was
that during the Mexican Revolution many of the soldiers felt them-
selves not as soldiers of Huerta or Carranza or Villa, or someone
like that, but soldiers of a particular general. In other words,
they would say, "Who are you with?" And they would say, "My general."
And therefore the general, if it looked like one side was winning,
could move his whole group over to the other side and be on the
winning side. Therefore, as an army advanced towards the capital,
you would have men sent out from the capital to intercept them, and
they would go over, and then the ones that were in the city would
withdraw, and you'd come in. Then the whole thing would be repeated,
and move to the other way.
By 1916 things were so desperate in Mexico City that most American
firms said they didn't want to leave any American employees in Mexico
City. My father and mother decided that they would stay; they were
not going to leave. But my brother was working for a mining company
in Pachuca; his employers ordered him out. My brother-in-law was
working for the YMCA, and the YMCA in the United States ordered him

out to San Diego with my brother-in-law and sister. It looked
like the American school would not be operating the next year,
because there were so few Americans left, so they said yes. So
we came down along with the other Americans who had been ordered
out of the country to Veracruz, and were put on a U.S. battleship
in Veracruz harbor.
As a boy, a ten day stay on an American battleship, the USS
Nebraska, was of course a great adventure. The sailors became
very friendly with the younger people on board. I remember one
sailor particularly that took me off in the gun turrets to see the
thirteen inch guns and how they operated. It was just a grand time.
At the end of ten days we were transferred to a U.S. Army transport,
and moved out. Half way across the Gulf of Mexico we got word on
the wireless that a hurricane was coming towards us. The captain--
we found this out afterwards--but the captain had said, "If the
hurricane ever hits us, we'll go down with all aboard." The army
transport had been condemned the year before as being unseaworthy.
We did turn tail, and for thirty-six hours raced ahead of the hurri-
cane. Of course you know here from Florida that hurricanes do move
forward at a slow speed--ten miles an hour, or something like that.
The winds are seventy-five or a hundred miles an hour, but that's
in the circular, not a forward motion. And so we were able to prac-
tically run back to Veracruz.
After the hurricane had passed, we were tossed all over the
place, the waves were so high. But we came on up to Tampa in 1916;
coming in as refugees to Tampa was the first time I ever saw Florida.
That was my first introduction, was landing in Tampa. We were held
outside on the island south of St. Petersburg, at a station there
while they fumigated the ship so there wouldn't be any danger of
bringing in any diseases into Florida. And from Tampa, we went all
the way out to California, and I spent my fifth grade year in the
San Diego public schools.
K: Did you return to Mexico after that?
B: Yes, at the end of the year I went back to Mexico. We went by train.
Well, I went by myself in this case. I went by train from El Paso
through Chihuahua to Mexico City. You could see while the conflict
was practically over--in other words, Carranza had emerged as the
victor--there were still spots where you might find seventeen successive
telegraph poles, a bandit hanging from each pole as you went by on the
train. I was in Mexico City during the triumphal entry of the Carranza
forces, which called themselves the constitutionalist forces, because
they pledged to give Mexico a new constitution. And this did occur,
of course, as the constitution of 1917.
K: How much longer did you remain in Mexico?

B: I remained in Mexico from 1917 until 1922. I went through the
first three years of high school, and then in 1922 went back out.
K: Was that an American high school that you attended?
B: It was the American high school. The American school in Mexico
City was a community project. It did not receive any funds from
the United States government, although certain of the schools
catering to groups did. The German school, for instance, did get
money directly from Germany before World War I. In other words,
it was a special donation from the Kaiser to the German school.
I actually went to that school as a kindergarden student, because
the German school happened to be very close to where we were
living at the time. I went for half a year to the German school;
this was in 1912. The French also had a subvention from the French
The American school was strictly a community affair by the
American citizens. We paid tuition, but the tuition didn't cover
all the expenses, so the big charity drive was the Fourth of July
celebration. They hired the big amusement park in the city, and
this was taken over by the American colony. Everybody came out,
donated things, manned various fund-raising pavilions, and so on.
And then the profits from that went to the American school and the
American hospital. The American hospital was also a community
affair. The American hospital later on merged with the British
hospital, which had been endowed by Lord and Lady Condry of the
Aguila Oil Company. He was one of the predecessors of what became
ultimately the Royal Dutch Shell Oil.
The American school had some Mexican students in it; you didn't
have to be an American to go. So while almost all the courses were
in English, under the Mexican law you had to have a course in Spanish--
in other words, you had to study Spanish as a language. But in any
case, you talked to friends who were Mexican students and to servants
in Spanish, so that I have been acquainted with Spanish ever since
I arrived in Mexico. I've also taken some work at the National
University of Mexico, and then I have made Latin America my principal
interest academically. I wrote my Ph.D. dissertation for the
University of Michigan on the monetary and banking history of Mexico,
this required a study in the archives of the Treasury Department.
I've also been a visiting professor in three different Latin American
universities, and have lectured at twenty-five other Latin American
universities. So I have kept up my interest in Latin America.
Going back to 1917: When I returned to Mexico the American
school was reopened, and I continued on through my grade school, and
then the first three years of high school. In 1917 Mexico had a re-
birth in a sense. In other words, the war was really over. There
was some dissidence in various parts of the country, but gradually

wiped out. Zapata was murdered; Huerta left; and finally Villa
was murdered, but several years later. So the country became calm.
It took awhile for Mexico to get back on its feet. The census of
1910 and the census of 1920 estimated the population of Mexico
as about the same. In other words, there was practically no growth
in the population of Mexico City between 1910 and 1920. That lack
of growth was not because of the death of soldiers. The Revolution
of Mexico killed off relatively small numbers of soldiers, but it
was mostly civilian deaths--children and old people, and so on, that
could not stand the starvation and being deprived of life support
In 1917 the new constitution was debated at length and became
a model constitution of social reform. In other words, the Mexicans
say, "Well, President Roosevelt's New Deal didn't go as far as the
Mexican Constitution of 1917." It tried within the constitution it-
self to spell out many social laws, where in this country we have
a constititution, a short document, and then we pass laws to implement.
There the people tried to write into the constitution many of these
social regulations.
The Constitution of 1917 of course led to many of the problems
that Mexico had in later years. One was the question of...Mexico
passed in the constitution a statement that the subsoil belonged to
the government. This matter of the rule about the subsoil became
a constitutional question, or a legal question, that went up to the
Mexican Supreme Court and so on. That is, could you pass a consti-
tution that really was an ex post facto change, because the concessions
had been given before it became a constitutional provision?
This was finally settled by a compromise in 1926 or '27--well,
actually the compromise was probably almost 1928--by Ambassador
Morrow, the father of Anne Lindbergh, who was able to work out a
compromise between the oil companies and the Mexican government
whereby the oil companies agreed that the subsoil did belong to the
Mexican goverment, but the Mexican government agreed to allow them
to continue to operate on the concessions.
Ten years later, in 1938, the Mexican government expropriated
the oil companies, and this led to hard feelings between the United
States and Mexico in 1938. But at that time it was not a constitu-
tional question of the ownership of the subsoil, because that had
been settled in the compromise earlier. Rather, they were taken
over in 1938 because of another provision of the Constitution of 1917
regarding labor legislation. The workers had demanded an increase
in salaries and a good many side benefits. The law said that if
there is a strike in an essential industry, the government shall step
in, order the workers back to work, and then issue a decision. The
government inspectors decided that the labor demands were justified,
and ordered the companies to pay these higher wages and provide these
fringe benefits. The companies refused to do it, and the government

stepped in and expropriated on the basis of the companies'
failure to abide by the decision. The companies, of course,
were claiming that if they did agree to the decision they
would go bankrupt, and of course that would be another whole
long discussion of the merits of the expropriation of 1938.
I gave that only as an example of some of the things that
were in the constitution. There were questions of maternity
benefits; the maternal leaves; the question of strikes, the
question of social security...all of these things were actually
different provisions in the constitution.
Carranza became the president, and his term was to run
until the election that would take place in 1920. During that
period, Mexico did show great progress, although they were doing
it from a very low base. By 1920 there was very definitely a
split among the supporters of Carranza. Carranza supported a
civilian as his choice for president, but two of his leading
generals both announced as candidates for the presidency. This
finally led to an open revolt by the two generals against Carranza.
K: During the period of the revolution, the constitution, Carranza's
presidency, and then this final revolt...I'm sure that all these
incidents must have been topics of practically daily discussion
among the Americans in Mexico City.
B: Yeah.
K: Can you tell me how the Americans felt generally about the revolu-
tion, and about the constitution of 1917?
B: Well, of course the business community--and most of the Americans
were business men--felt, of course, that the social reforms would
destroy private business. There were over the years many strikes
against the companies. At one particular point in one particular
year (this was several years later) the labor unions had had the
constitutional provisions interpreted in such a way it was almost
sure that they would win a strike. They would make their demands;
they would go out on strike. When the government made its decision,
they received the increased benefits back to the date that the
strike occurred. You couldn't lose then, and it was estimated that
one-third of all the Mexican labor had been out on strike during
that particular year. Well, now, that is of course rather destruc-
Then the land reform, the expropriation of land so that they
divide it into the small holdings or into communal holdings was
another destructive force. Actually, agriculture didn't get back
to its prerevolutionary production until quite a few years after
the revolution. In other words, it was an inhibiting factor. Now,

the poor did gain in certain cases. However, it's possible to...
looking at the long run, it has been the middle class in Mexico
that have gained, while the peasants are possibly not very much
better off then they were. It's hard to say. There is, of course,
a feeling of pride in owning a small piece of land even though the
economics may be such that their production and therefore their
annual income, is very low from these small, mini-farms that were
divided up. Also, the question of whether the communal farms are
efficient units of production.
Going back to when I first went to Mexico, Mexico was a very
primitive society. Mexico City was the glittering jewel in Mexico.
In other words, you had public buildings that were impressive; the
cathedral was impressive. The monuments were impressive. But the
peasants were very, very low paid; most of the work was hand work.
There were the starts of some factories--you had some textile mills,
you had some shoe factories, you had breweries--but small consumer
industries. The use of power was minimal. In the downtown park,
the Alameda, the grass was not cut by a lawn mower. The grass was
cut by workers that hammered out a tin can, flattened it out, and
then sharpened it on the sidewalk until they had a cutting edge,
and then got down on their knees and cut the blades of grass with
this piece of tin. That was what I saw when I first arrived. Now,
of course, they have lawn mowers and everything else. But at that
time, very, very primitive.
Of course there were practically no automobiles in existence
in 1910, no highways outside the cities. The few automobiles there
were confined to the city streets, and you couldn't go from one
town to the next; no automobile could make it. Your trains went be-
tween the major cities. You had rail connections, but no highways.
Oh, you could go by cart over the cobblestones, but that was it.
The Mexican artists, artisans, were really fantastically good.
They could usually repair a car by hand work that would be superior
to most of the work that you'd see done by machinery up here. But
the labor was getting, oh, fifty cents a day sort of pay.
The peasants were usually tied through a peonage arrangement
to the land of the estates. Those estates went back to the period
of the conquest, 1519 through 1521, where the king of Spain granted
to the conquerors, to Cortez and his followers, grants of land.
Even the soldiers were given grants of land. This became the basis
for these landed estates. The Indians were tied to the estates
during the early colonial period by encomiendas, which meant the
Indians were entrusted to the land owner. He was to look after their
spiritual well-being, and educate them, and all that. Actually, the
owners felt that they were being entrusted with them meant that they
were slaves.
After the independence, and even under Spanish law before in-

dependence, slavery was abolished. But debt peonage took its
place, and this, of course, was the reason why there was so much
resentment throughout the country in the rural areas. The debt
peonage was that if you worked for a man, he would tend to advance
money for buying things in the store. He would advance money for
your own seeds; you had a little piece of land that you could crop
as well as working for him. But legally you couldn't leave his
employ if you were in debt. So for all practical purposes, you
had a continuation of slavery with the wages being such that they
couldn't live on the wages, and therefore they went even further
in debt. It was a cheaper way to buy slaves than to buy them on
the open market. So this doing away with the debt slavery as a
result of the Mexican Revolution, of course, was a very good thing.
Of course, the estates were way too large to be efficient, but
possibly if they had been broken up through taxation to be reduced
to more efficient size.... The so-called latifundia, the large estates,
in many cases farmed only a fifth or a quarter of the land
held, enough to keep the land owner living in Mexico City and spending
part of his time in Paris in affluence. The land being supervised
by an overseer, and the peasants also being virtual slaves. When
Madero started the revolution, and then it was continued, these re-
forms were needed, so I don't like to leave the impression that the
Constitution of 1917 was bad. Maybe it went too far in many cases,
but Mexico needed a reform. There's no question about that. They
had their New Deal long before the United States had its New Deal.
And people say, "Well, the Mexican Revolution was communist inspired."
Well, communist, yes, and socialist philosophy; it was not Russian
inspired, because communist Russia, occurred after Mexico. So Mexico
was a leader in the reforms that have gradually spread to other countries of Latin America.
It has been a testing ground for many different
K: You left Mexico in 1922, is that correct?
B: In 1922 I went up to my senior year in high school in California.
K: Was there a particular reason for leaving other than just completing
the senior year?
B: No. Well, my brother-in-law and sister came down to visit. I'd
been with them in 1916, '17, and they came down to visit in the
summer of 1922. They asked me where I was going to college. I
said, up in Michigan. They said it might be an easier transition
from the American high school in Mexico City to a college up in
Michigan if I took my senior year in high school from a school in
the United States. So I went up and visited them for another year,
and graduated at Tulare, California; that's in the San Joaquin

Valley. Sequoia National Park is in that county; so it was a
great thing to visit the park.
K: What college did you then go to?
B: I went to Albion College in Michigan, a liberal arts school, and
then took my master's and Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in
Ann Arbor.
K: As an undergraduate, had you already decided on what you were going
to do in life?
B: Yes, but I didn't follow through on it.
K: What was it?
B: Well, I expected to go through college and go back to Mexico and
work for a firm that my father had joined in the early 1920s, the
Consolidated Rolling Mill and Foundry Company; it was a steel com-
pany. And this illustrates how companies get started in a foreign
country. There was one American went down to Mexico and discovered
that scrap iron was very cheap in Mexico, because they had no furnaces
to use scrap iron. And so he went down and started buying up scrap,
and shipping it to the mills up in the states. Then he said, "Well,
why not buy a couple of electric furnaces, and melt it down here
and make it into castings?" So he started out small scale and in-
stalled some electric furnaces, starting making castings, then
rolling; so it became a rolling mill and casting. Another American
had started a little nail factory. Nails were being imported. He
bought a few nail machines, and bought the special wire. The machine
would point one end of it and smash in the other end. You had the
nails dropping out. Then the two of them went together, and that's
how they got the name Consolidated, because it was these two men
got together. My father went with the company afterwards as auditor
and treasurer of the company.
They more or less had said, "Well, when you finish college, why
come back here and go to work for us." Well, I thought that's probably
what I would do. I graduated from college. My father had said, "I
will partially support you for four years in college." Well, I graduated
and asked him, "If I graduated in three years, and take the fourth year
as a master's degree, would that be all right with him?" He said,
"Fine, sure." He'd like to have me have a master's degree. So I
finished in three years, and went over to the University of Michigan
and worked on my master's.
K: And what was the field of study?
B: I took industrial management in the College of Business Administration.

I took production management, personnel management, and then I also
took money and banking and so on over in the Arts and Sciences
graduate school. I came down to May, and they called me in and
said, "We would like to have you stay with us up here at the University
of Michigan."
I said, "Well, I figured on going back to Mexico."
And they said, "Well, we'll give you a full-time instructorship;
a half time in the College of Business teaching production management,
personnel management, and half time teaching principles of economics
over in Arts and Sciences."
And I was the last one that Michigan ever gave a full instructor-
ship on getting his master's degree to go on for his Ph.D. Back at
that time, of course, you had no grants for working on a Ph.D. I
mean, you taught full time and took your work as incidental. I de-
cided that I enjoyed the work there, and so I got in touch with my
family and said, "Well, I've decided to stay up and work on my Ph.D.--
teach at the University of Michigan." So I taught there for four
years, 1927-1931, and then went down to Louisiana State University
as assistant professor, particularly in foreign trade in Latin America.
K: And what was the Ph.D. in?
B: I wrote a dissertation on the monetary and banking history of Mexico.
K: Would it have been in economics or in history, then?
B: It was economics, yeah. Economics, definitely. At LSU I spent my
time on...oh, I had several different courses that I taught, but
I always taught at least one or two courses in relation to Latin
America. I stayed there from 1931 to 1942 when the war came along.
But in the meantime I had been promoted to full professor and di-
rector of the Division of Latin American Relations. When the war
came along, the State Department asked me to join the State Department.
I was assigned to Latin America.
K: As the Director of the Division of Latin American relations, did
you have any contact with the United States government concerning...
Latin America?
B: Oh yes. You had a cultural division in the State Department; now,
of course, it would be primarily on grants that you deal. Then it
was more a question of visas, passports, and you were dealing with
the International Institute of Education...all these things.
K: You say you had something to do with visas and passports?

B: Well, I mean for the Latin American students coming up to this
K: Oh, you would vouch for them, then?
B: That's right, and in the sense here our Center for Latin American
Studies is primarily Americans studying Latin America but we also
have Latin American students studying Latin American subjects.
Here you have an international student organization division that
takes care of the students coming in from outside. I did both
This is jumping way ahead, but just one point...when you
asked about my relations with the United States government: When
the compulsory draft was instituted at the start of World War II,
the draft law was such that the instructions went out that you have
everybody come in and register, and then you draw these numbers and
the draft board decides whether to take them in. Well, we were
finding that some of the students we'd brought on scholarships from
Latin America were being called in, registered, and getting draft
notices. And Iknew that if any student was drafted, the opponents
of the United States in Latin America could use that as a fantastic
thing that said, "Look, they're getting soldiers by promising a stu-
dent $500 and then putting him in the army." I couldn't get anywhere
with the local draft board. "No, the rule is clear; everybody is
subject to it."
So I sat down and wrote a very strong telegram to Nelson
Rockefeller, who at that time was the head of the Latin American
Institute that was associated with the Department of State. It
was to improve relations with Latin America. I pointed out what
this would imply. Twenty-four hours later I got a wire back from
Nelson Rockefeller, that he had taken it up with General Hershey,
[General Lewis Hershey, the director of selective service] and that
the new orders would go out, and showed what the order would be. I
took that down to the board and said, "You're going to get this thing;
for heaven sakes hold off any further action." Nelson Rockefeller
realized the importance of that possible situation.
Then I was called up.... The State Department had a meeting
which they sponsored in Cleveland, Ohio, of directors of divisions
of Latin American relations from around the country, or those
dealing with foreign students. We were giving our views as to what
we should do with foreign students during the war years. This was
just before I went in the State Department myself. What they finally
did, of course, work out was that if you were an American citizen
you were drafted. If you were a resident foreign student, you were
subject to the draft; if you were on a student visa, then you could
go home if you wanted to. If you belonged to a nation that was an

ally, you were given an option: you could go back to your own
country to serve, or you could serve in the American army if you
were drafted in the army. In other words, if you were drafted,
then you were given the right to go back to your own country
and serve. In other words, a Canadian could go back to Canada,
or a Britisher could go back to Great Britain. If you were a na-
tive, if you were a citizen of a neutral country, you could refuse
to be drafted. But if you refused to be drafted, you would never
be allowed to become an American citizen.
If you were a citizen of an enemy alien country, but you were
a resident of the United States, you had two alternatives. Either
you went in the army, or you went into a concentration camp. As
an enemy alien, you could declare your loyalty to the Americans, or
you could be put in a concentration camp. Of course, you remember
one of the greatest fighting units in Italy was the Japanese-Americans.
And you had German-Americans and so on; they were great in the Pacific
theater. In other words, they tried to not send a person back to
fight. Now, I'm not talking here about Americans that were of German
origin, because they did fight against Germany, all right. But I'm
talking about German citizens. They were not sent to fight in Germany.
K: After war broke out, did you contact the United States government, or
the State Department, or the army, or did they come to you?
B: Well, it became a little bit complicated there. They had approached
me, the State Department had, a matter of several months before the
outbreak of the war, but I had only been Director of the Division
of Latin American Relations for a relatively short time, and we
were building a new headquarters building, the Casa de las Americas.
I turned them down. I said, "I think I'm doing more for Latin
American relations here at Louisiana State University than I would
working for the State Department." The day after war broke out--in
other words, Monday morning--I had dropped a letter in the post office
to the State Department saying, "You asked if I would be willing to
serve, and I turned you down. Now, under war conditions, I'm ready
to go." Some clerk evidently got my letter, didn't match it up with
all the correspondence that they had with me before, but wrote one
of the former letters. "Thank you for your offer; if we need you
we'll get in touch with you."
So I continued, and let's say I worked and went to attend this
conference in Cleveland. I also attended the second Latin American
Agricultural Congress in Mexico City in the first part of 1942 as
a technical advisor to the American delegation, and served, actually,
as an advisor to Eugene Black, who later became the head of the world
bank. In the meantime I had received a long questionnaire that was
the basis for the national roster of professional personnel. They

sent it around to all the faculties and so on--"Please fill this
out." So I filled it out with my background. It was put together
and sent around to the different departments. The State Department
checked off my name, and Treasury checked off my name, Treasury
looking at the fact of my monetary and banking history of Mexico,
and so on. In fact, they even wired the University of Michigan for
a copy of my dissertation.
Within two days of each other I received a letter from State
and a letter from Treasury with a form to fill out: "If you're
willing to serve, will you please fill out this additional informa-
tion." And so I filled out both State and Treasury, and waited a
little while, and got a wire from State to come up and be interviewed.
So I went up there and was interviewed. They said, "Of course we've
not offered you a job, because it requires all the paper work and
the investigation and so on." And so I went over and talked to him,
and he said they were very much interested in me. They had a very
interesting thing that was on the back burner; they weren't sure
they were going to do it or not. But it would have been a very in-
teresting thing if it had ever materialized. That was to go in
succession to each of the twenty embassies in Latin America and
make a report on the accuracy and adequacy and timeliness of their
monetary and banking statistics to use as supplement to the federal
reserve bulletin. And I said, "Yes, I'd be very much interested in
that sort of a thing."
So they said, "We can't offer you anything until you have been
cleared." So I went back, and on exactly the same day my neighbors
got all excited, because here a person came in and flashed his FBI
and wanted to know what sort of a neighbor I was, and, you know, if
I was good to my wife, and did I get drunk all the time, and all
that sort of thing. And then a little while after he left, here
the same neighbors were approached by a treasury agent. They had
visited every house in the neighborhood except our house. And
then we had neighbors converging, asking, "Is your husband in trouble?"
And then these results of two investigations, and within twenty-four
hours of each other, six weeks later, I got the definite offer from
each of the two to offer me the job.
K: How did you decide between the two?
B: Well, treasury wouldn't commit themselves to what I would do. They
merely said, "You are hired for the position that you applied for
at such and such a class, and report to Washington." Well, there
was no commitment there and State definitely committed themselves--
"Yes, you will be assigned to one of the embassies in Latin America."
K: And what would your function be?

B: Well, in the embassy I was just assigned after a brief training
period in Washington, where I was loaned to a division that was
trying to expedite shipments to...I was handling the shipments
to Panama, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. They felt that I would
learn more about war controls and so on by doing that rather
than going to the Foreign Service Institute and taking classes.
So actually I attended the Foreign Service Institute half a day,
and then was on the job the rest of the time.
After six weeks of training I was sent down to the American
Embassy in Panama City, Panama. My job was economic attache of
the embassy, and primarily, at first, working out minimum require-
ments of the country for scarce materials from the United States.
In other words, how much iron and steel does Panama need to keep
its minimum health and industry running? How much copper, how
much ingredients for paints, how much for this, that, and the
other? There were about a hundred studies you had to make, and
recommend amounts. Then the War Production Board would tend to
allocate allocations to the Foreign Economic Administration, and
then they would set the quotas for the different countries of
Latin American--in other words, the friendly countries.
After making these studies, then, things were so bogged down
in Washington that after making the allocations to the country,
they had to go through the routine of saying, "Well, is this a
legitimate importer? Is he importing more than he did last year?
Is he getting his fair share?" And so they decentralized the con-
trol, and in the decentralization I was put in charge of actually
approving the allocations of all these things to the different
importers. Then I sent my approval up to Washington; then they
issued the export license to the factory, to a ship, to a port, and
the port to put it on board and send it on down. So you were sort
of a little tin god that could say yes or no, and sometimes it was
rather humorous.
I was accused of being anti-Christmas.
K: Oh?
B: Because part of it was whether it was scarce in the United States.
In other words, if we're using critical material, and so on. Another
thing, was it using up very scarce shipping space to get something
down? That was even more serious in many cases. And so when it
came to putting in an order during the summer for Christmas tree or-
naments and so on, I turned it down. I said no. I couldn't see
using scarce shipping space to ship Christmas tree ornaments to
Panama for the Christmas of 1943. And you can imagine merchants not
having Christmas tree ornaments.
K: Did anybody ever approach you and try to influence your decision?

B: Oh yes. I had one very...well, at the time it seemed serious. It
ended the same day it started, but.... A representative for all
the Central American countries, for one of the leading United States
steel companies--and I don't mean U.S. Steel it was another one of
the companies....
K: Can you tell me the name?
B: No. No, this would be a confidential report that I had sent into
Washington, and so on. But he came and said, "My company has been
turned down for an export license." This export license, of course,
had to get the approval of the Panamanian government agency and
your approval before the license could be issued in Washington.
And, "I want to know why you didn't tell the Panamanians that they
had to approve this, and why you didn't send it on to Washington."
I said, "Yes, I'll explain to you." The point was that the
application for this steel for Panama said that this was an essen-
tial import, because it was to build the hospital in Panama. It
happened that one of the members of the Board of the Panamanian
Import Control Commission was on the hospital board, and knew that
the contract had not been let for the steel. Of course, the steel
would be exported at the control price in the States, but was selling
for about five times that much in Panama. And, "They said because
you had falsified this information they turned it down, and said
that you would not be given any more export permits for the next
six months."
He said to me that I should go to the Panamanian Import Control
Commission and urge them to rescind their order and permit the steel
to come to Panama. I told him I couldn't do that; that I thought
that the penalty that had been imposed was a perfectly justified
penalty, and that I advised him to accept the penalty as imposed.
He then said, "Well, you're supposed to be helping American
business, and when I get back to New York, my company has enough
power so that I can get you fired."
And I said, "Yes, your company may have that power, but before
I'm fired, they will order a hearing, and order me back to Washington
to testify. I will bring all this documentation." Do you happen
to know how the law is written? The law says--and you've admitted
that you are representing the company in the United States--that if
there is a falsification on these affidavits, that the company can
be denied the power to export worldwide. What's going to happen to
your job if the company gets a banning of all exports?
He thought for a moment, and he said, "Well, what would you
advise me to do?"
I said, "I'd advise you to take your penalty, and then start
exporting again in six months to Panama."
He said, "You know, that's exactly what I'm gonna do. What
is the best restaurant in Panama?"

I said, "Well, I have no idea, but there are some good res-
He said, "Well, I'd like to take you out and buy you the best
dinner in Panama."
I said, "No thank you, I have no desire to go out and eat
dinner with you tonight."
My stay in Panama lasted until March of 1944. I received a
cable from Washington that the Department of State was setting up
a new job classification within the American Republics section.
This classification would be as a political economist for a region.
I was offered the position of economist for the Central American
and Caribbean countries. When I got there, I found that I would
have nine countries under my supervision as economist. It was the
six countries of Central America, including Panama, and Cuba,
Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.
When I arrived in Washington, one of the first chores that I
inherited was that of being the liason between the State Department
and the construction of the Inter-American Highway through Central
America. This highway had been started as part of the Pan American
Highway in the 1930s. The Pan American Highway was a grand plan to
connect all the capitals of the countries of North and South America
with each other. Mexico had progressed quite rapidly in constructing
the Pan American Highway in Mexico.
The plan for the Pan American Highway was that each country
would construct its own section, and hopefully would coordinate their
activities so that the whole thing would be finished some time in
the future. But in the late 1930s the planners, particularly in
the Pentagon, realized that war might come in Europe, and that we
might be drawn into the conflict, and that if we were drawn in, the
logical side of being in the conflict would be against Germany. And
Germany did have a very powerful submarine force. Therefore, there
would be a danger that the United States might be cut off from the
Panama Canal by the submarine activities. Therefore, it would be
highly desirable if there was a highway where trucks could carry
supplies directly from the United States to the canal zone. This
would require, the, speeding up of the construction of the highways
through Central America.
The Central American section was given the special name of Inter-
American Highway, and Congress passed an act saying that the United
States government would pay two-thirds of the cost of paving this
Central American section, with Mexico completing its own section.
This would permit a matter of going down all the way. This act was
passed, and construction was started in all the countries. When the
war started, right after Pearl Harbor, the United States realized the
construction was progressing at such a slow pace that the highway
would be of no real value in winning World War II. Actually, it was

a rather interesting thing: the Pentagon estimated that World War
II would be over by 1946; they missed it by just a very few months.
Either we would lose or we would win, but that it would be over
in that length of time.
What they asked the State Department to do was to go to each
of these countries and sign this agreement to construct the Inter-
American Highway, and offer to go in with the United States con-
struction companies or U.S. Army engineers and construct a pioneer
road, which would not be up to the same standards as the permanent
Inter-American Highway, but would be a fast connection of the uncom-
pleted sections. We did spend quite a bit of money in moving the
equipment in to construct the pioneer road, but about the time that
we were really going to start moving the Defense Department said,
"Well, we've licked the submarine menace; we no longer have to push
this." And so they withdrew their equipment to construct the pioneer
road, and it reverted back to the original two-thirds/one-third co-
operative agreement with the countries.
Well, of course that meant continuing negotiation with the dif-
ferent countries regarding things that should be done. The U.S.
highway department furnished the actual technical advice to whether
they were complying to rules and regulations. But these things had
to go through the State Department, and I inherited the job for a
year and a quarter of handling all the negotiations between the
United States and the Central American countries. The highway was
not completed during the war; it was not completed in the immediate
postwar period; it was almost twenty years later before it was finally
opened all the way to Panama. Because there was no longer any urgency,
it progressed at a slower pace.
K: Did the United States continue to pay two-thirds of the cost?
B: Oh, yes. We continued to pay two-thirds. Costa Rica was the country
that was the final bottleneck. Costa Rica had actually put up more
than was estimated as their one-third of the cost, but they were in
fiscal difficulties. They said, "We can't put up any more matching
funds, even though we will get two dollars for every dollar we put
up." And so it was the section between the end of construction in
Costa Rica and the border of Panama that was the last section to be
There was a section through the border between Guatemala and
Mexico where the highway was interrupted several times. It went
through a very narrow valley called El Tapon, the stopper, and land-
slides did stop the traffic through there several times. But it
has been possible for the last few years to go all the way from
Panama to Washington, our capital, and to Ottawa, the capital of
Canada, on all-weather roads. There are one or two sections that

lack paving, such as the section through El Tapon.
K: After finishing this Inter-American Highway project, what were
you next assigned to?
B: Well, this was a continuing thing during the whole time I was
there. My job primarily was reading all the economic reports,
consulting with the political desk officers of each of those
countries in regard to economic matters. Also, representing
the State Department with various other government agencies that
dealt with the economic problems in these countries. For instance,
I had close contact with the aviation department of the State
Department; they have a special one dealing with aviation matters.
This became a rather important part of my job, dealing with avia-
tion matters in those particular countries. In fact, in November
of 1944, there was a worldwide--or rather, of course, the enemy
countries were not invited--but all the allied countries and the
"friendly neutrals" were invited to Chicago, and for six weeks
this conference tried to plan out postwar aviation.
My job at that conference was to keep in contact with the
delegations of all the Latin American countries to the Chicago
conference, and attend the American delegation's meetings eight
o'clock in the morning, and then attend the planning sessions
tipping off certain Latin American countries as to what our stra-
tegy was going to be so they wouldn't be caught flat-footed and
oppose what we would be doing. It was impossible, of course, to
see everybody during the meetings in the daytime. Quite often it
was a matter of meeting in the bar of the Stevens Hotel, which is
now the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago, and explaining what we were
going to do, why we did it, and try to keep them from opposing
American proposals. You could not tell them how to vote, naturally,
but you could at least keep on friendly terms with them. They felt
that they had somebody from the State Department that was interested
in what they were doing and their problems. And so this was an
interesting chore.
After I went back from the meeting, which lasted six weeks, I
did serve as aviation policy advisor for all of Latin America while
continuing my job as economist for the Central American and Caribbean
countries. Another interesting chore that I had while I was serving
in that capacity was serving on the American commission that bought
the next two sugar crops from Cuba. We had been buying all their
surplus sugar at 2.65 cents per pound. When it came up for renewal
for the next two years, they were asking for 5 cents a pound. The
United States delegation and the principal negotiators were the ones
from the Commodity Credit Corporation, which would be the U.S. govern-
ment's agency for actually buying and paying for the sugar. Then,
of course, it was rationed among all the users in the United States,

the commercial users as well as the individual users. This negotiation
took about two months. We were meeting from time to time.
In other words, we would make a proposal, and they would make a
counter proposal. Then they would go back to Cuba to talk it over,
and then we would have another series of meetings. We gradually
came a little closer together between the 2.65 and the 5.
After we'd been negotiating for something over a month--as I
said this was not a continuous proposition--there was a big editorial
in one of the New York newspapers that hit at this negotiating committee.
It said, "Here are ten men that are wasting their time
talking with Cubans. Give the Cubans the five cents, and let's get
on with the war." Of course, what they didn't realize is that when
you're buying two years of the Cuban sugar crop at that time every
one-one hundreth of a cent was a million dollars. Therefore, every
cent was $100,000,000. This was a lot more than the pay of the ten
men even if we'd been working full time on the deal.
K: Tell me something: once the government had bought the sugar--as I
understand it the United States government was going to buy the
B: Yes.
K: ...is that correct? How would they dispose of it? Would they sell
it to private...?
B: Yes, they rationed it out. In other words, Coca-Cola would get a
K: Coca-Cola would have to pay for that ration?
B: Would have to pay for it, oh yes. In other words, the Commodity
Credit Corporation merely was the channel through which it came in,
and Americans were not permitted to go down to Cuba and buy a sack
of sugar and bring it in. Pepsi-Cola and Coca-Cola and so on could
not go down there and buy a thousand tons of sugar.
K: Why not?
B: Well, because we were buying the whole crop. Cuba merely retained
what they needed for their own economy and sold us all the rest. If
they made individual sales in Cuba out of their own necessary sugar
for their own use, this would mean that we would actually get less
to ration in the United States. And it would be unfair if somebody
could go down and charter a ship and bring a shipload back.
This, of course, was the first time that they started using saccharin
in the soft drinks. One of the companies, Coca-Cola, never
did change over; they used only sugar, and cut way back on their
production. So back during the war period, Cokes were very difficult

to get. They practically all went into the various military bases,
and the sale of the other colas and soft drinks increased at that
time because they did use saccharin along with their quota of sugar.
You could buy one of the other drinks, but you couldn't buy a Coca-
Cola in most drug stores and so on during the latter part of the
war. In addition to the use by industrial users, candy of course
became very scarce. They were allocated only a very small quantity.
And then, of course, you remember that the general public got sugar
stamps, where you could buy five pounds of sugar during a given period
of time, and that was all the sugar you could get.
K: Did Cuba have no other markets than the United States?
B: Well, they had had previous to the war, although most of the Cuban
sugar had always come up to the United States. We did give a lowering
of the import duties to Cuba. This was called our reciprocity treaty
with Cuba. They gave a 20 percent discount on our goods going into
Cuba; we gave a discount on the Cuban goods coming into the United
States. This was a recognized exception that we had a very close con-
tact with Cuba, and that even though we promised another nation that
they would get the lowest rate that we gave to anybody else, this did
not apply to this special discount we gave to Cuba. Now, Castro
afterwards said it was true that we gave a special discount to Cuba,
but because the special discount to Cuba, and they gave a special
discount to us, this was a deep dark plot on the part of the United
States to keep Cuba in bondage to the United States. They knew what
they were going to get for their crop, and it was a very substantial
Actually, what was the outcome of the negotiations was that we
settled for 3.65. In other words, we paid an extra $100,000,000. This
was legitimate; the costs did go up in Cuba. They had more inflation.
We had price controls here in this country. They wanted more or less
at the last minute when we were trying to get everything finally settled,
they said they would settle for the 3.65 if we would guarantee that our
price controls would be continued for the next two years. Of course,
we had to say, "There's no way that we, the ten of us here, can bind
Congress not to remove price controls in the next two years. This
would be absolutely illegal to make any such commitment."
But then we huddled and came up with this solution: We said,
"We can't guarantee the price controls will remain on everything,
but what are the essential imports from the United States that you're
worried about?"
They said, "Wheat and wheat flour, rice, and lard."
We said, "All right." The Commodity Credit Coporation, of course,
handled the surplus of wheat and so on. Commodity Credit said, "All
right, we will guarantee to sell you for the next two years the same
quantity that you bought during the last two years of each of these
commodities at the present price." In other words, we will freeze
the price for that quantity of purchase. Actually, the wheat price

did not go up; the lard price did not go up; but it did cost
Commodity Credit about $3,000,000 to supply the quantity of rice
that had been purchased before. So you might say that the actual
cost to us was not 3.65, but 3.68, which was a lot less than the
extra $132,000,000 that it would have been if we settled for five
Many Cubans did become millionaires in the sugar industry at
that time. The previous high point in Cuban sugar prices had been
back in 1921 when the price had gone up to twenty cents a pound,
and it created many millionaires. If a person visits Havana, you
will see mansions in one section of the city, and they'll say, "Well,
those are the sugar millionaires from the 1921 period!' Then they'll
show you more modern ones and say, "These are the war-time sugar
K: How much of the Cuban sugar crop was owned by Americans?
B: Well, this would have to be a matter of taking a particular time
period. Yes, the American investors had gone in heavily into the
purchase of Cuban sugar land and the refineries, particularly in
the collapse that occurred after the break in the prices of the
1921 period. You see, during the war there had been an increase
in the prices; but then people had speculated--had held back crops.
The world estimate of how much sugar there was in the world was
understated. It was somewhat like the question today of how much
reserve coffee is being held in different parts of the world. When
the price broke, it broke from twenty cents down to three cents,
and ultimately down to one half of one cent per pound.
K: When was that? What year would that be?
B: 1922-'23. And of course many of those Cuban sugar companies went
into bankruptcy and were purchased by American investors. In other
words, we did have surplus funds after World War I, and this was
when we did acquire quite a bit of the Cuban sugar land. Then in
World War II the Cubans did repurchase a part of the Cuban properties,
and so on, so that there had been a shift back and forth. At one
time we held a large percentage; at other times we've held a smaller
percentage. Of course today we do not control any of the sugar property
in Cuba.
K: During the Second World War, did we not own the majority of Cuban
B: I would say that possibly not. If you're taking the whole, the
two or three of the larger companies were American. But I think
if you take the whole thing, they were not.
K: Did you have any direct negotiations with those companies other
than through...?

B: No, no, no, no this was strictly a negotiating group representing
the government of Cuba. Of course, they had industry representa-
tives on their negotiating board, but this was a matter of the
government of Cuba wanting the largest amount for it, because of
course they taxed. And this taxation and everything else, they did
invoke some rather sensational taxes on the American companies.
So they want the high price--very similar to the Arabs before
the takeover of American companies. They wanted the American com-
panies to have high prices because the taxes they received depended
on the price of oil. This was one of the reasons why the Arabs
felt they were being hurt, because they felt that the oil companies
were in a sense maintaining a lower price than they could get.
Well, of course, we know that they did succeed in raising the prices
400 percent.
K: Now, you remained with the State Department throughout World War
II, is that correct?
B: Yes. I stayed in Washington until the middle of 1945. I'd
attended the conference in 1944 when the plans for postwar avia-
tion were made; we knew that there would be a tremendous expan-
sion. Before World War II, most of the international aviation
was confined to within Europe and between the United States and
Latin America. We were just starting the transatlantic and the
transpacific flights, just a few of them had been before the out-
break of World War II. But with the development of the large
bombers in World War II, these then would become the prototype
for long-range commercial aviation. So the State Department
decided that there should be people in each of the regions of
the world that would be interested in watching for aviation
developments; handling negotiations; in a sense being salesmen
for Amercian aviation equipment, and so on. They offered me the
position of civil air attache to the American embassy in Mexico
City. This would mean that I would also be interested in all the
Central American and Caribbean countries as well.
This looked like an interesting change. Of course, I'd gone
into the State Department as an auxiliary officer; I was not a
permanent foreign service officer. It was like the reserve officer
in the army. You went in with a relatively high rank, but this
was not a permanent rank. It was a matter of getting as much ex-
perience as possible, and this looked like an interesting thing
to see what was happening in the postwar period. So I said, "Yes,
I would be interested in going down to Mexico." We had another
representative that went over to Europe; another one went to Egypt
to cover the Middle East; another went over to China. There were
six of us around the world, and one went down to Brazil for South
Before we were sent out, we were rather royally entertained
by the airplane manufacturers and airplane equipment manufacturers.

The State Department ruled that it was perfectly legitimate for
us to accept these invitations; in other words, these were group
invitations and cleared. So we could fly up from Washington to
Hartford, Connecticut, and see the propeller manufacturers, and
fly up to New York and see the airplane motor manufacturers, and so
on, and go to Baltimore and see the Martin plant. We did have quite
an interesting thing of being brought up to date. Most of us had
been out at the Chicago conference; so we knew what the rules and
regulations were.
The first of July, I reported to the embassy in Mexico City.
This was good, getting back, although I had kept up my contacts
with Mexico right from the period when I left to go out to school
in California at the age of seventeen. Then I'd been back to
Mexico on my way up to Michigan to college, and then I'd come back
to Mexico when I was working on my Ph.D. dissertation on monetary
and banking history of Mexico. And so each summer I would go down
on my research work on that, and because my parents were still
living in Mexico, and I was located at LSU; Baton Rouge is not
too far from Mexico City. You can make it in three days of driving,
and so I went quite often at Christmas and holidays. Of course,
when I was working on the dissertation, I spent the whole summer
in Mexico.
I have seen Mexico City change from a city of 660,000 to a
city twelve times that; in other words, a 1,200 percent increase.
Whereas in the early days in Mexico, your central city was a small
compact area, and then these villages connected by inter-urban
street cars spread around the valley of Mexico. Today the valley
is practically one solid city, occupying the whole valley. These
parts that were connected by inter-urban street cars...no longer
do you go through a countryside; it's a built-up metropolitan area.
It was rather interesting back in the very early days, these
inter-urban street cars. Mexico, as many of the Latin countries,
had the idea of the siesta at noon. You had a break from one o'clock
until 3:30, and practically everyone went home for lunch. There
were practically no lunchrooms down to the center of the city. Oh
yes, a few prestige restaurants did serve lunch, but it was nothing
like in New York where everybody goes down to the corner lunchcounter
and gets a quick lunch, and so on. They had two and a half hours.
Well, if you were living in one of the suburbs, at 1:05 these two-
car inter-urban trains would leave the z6calo, would leave the center
square, and would not stop until they got to the center of the suburb.
In other words, they went through on a twenty-five, thirty minute
non-stop run, and then the person got home at 1:30. At three o'clock
he got back on the rapido, the rapid express line, and got back in
the center of town by 3:30. So this was almost a mass exodus of
everybody. The stores all closed; the offices all closed; and they
opened again at either 3:30 or four o'clock. Most of the stores

would reopen at 3:30, but quite often the offices did not open
until four, and then stayed open until seven. So it was a matter
of 9:00 to 1:00 and 4:00 to 7:00 as the working day. Of course,
most of the meals at night started at 8:30 or nine o'clock.
When I came back to Mexico in 1945, of course, I found the
city even at that time greatly expanded. Nothing like it is today,
with Mexico iCity being larger than any city in the United States
with the possible exception of New York City. It's larger than
Chicago. Some estimate it may be as large as New York City. So,
a fantastic change. The last couple of times I went to Mexico,
they had the subway system in Mexico City, and the subway system
in New York. In the case of the Mexican subway, everything is
perfectly clean, immaculate. The stations are clean; the equipment
is clean; and it is very well run; it is very well engineered; and
it does serve to move a fantastic number of people around the city.
When I got down to Mexico City, I not only handled aviation
matters, but I handled other transportation problems. I was in a
sense a transportation attache, rather than strictly civil aviation,
although civil aviation was my most important thing. I had some
interesting trips as a result of my job, because the different air-
lines wanted me to go and see their operations, particularly as they
introduced new equipment and new runs. The inaugural run, non-stop
from Mexico City to Los Angeles, was in a DC 4. Before that, it
had been DC 3, and hedgehopped from Mexico to Los Angeles. The DC 4
ran non-stop to Mexico City from Los Angeles. I went on the inaugural
flight of that. I went on the inaugural non-stop flight to Havana.
I went and surveyed the operations of two different companies through
Central America.
When it became time to try to negotiate a bilateral agreement
between the United States and Mexico...I might talk to you about
this bilateral agreement deal, because it is rather an interesting
point. At Chicago the United States had tried to get the world to
agree to a freedom of the air equivalent to the freedom of the sea.
In other words, in ocean transportation any friendly nation can go
into any of our ports without special permission. We can deny the
entrance of an enemy, but if we have a treaty of friendship, commerce,
and navigation, (and we have that with all friendly nations of the
world) they have the right to come into any one of our ports, and we
have the right to go into their ports. We were proposing that as
the way of handling postwar aviation. In other words, each country
would have airplanes, and they could fly to any of the international
airports, and carry passengers, and so forth.
Most of the other nations said, "No, we want strict control over
international aviation." The British particularly said, "We don't
want the United States to get a big jump on us; we want an idea of
one flight from United States to Britain," and the British would have
then a reciprocal flight from Britain to the United States...even

an identity of capacity. In other words, if we flew a twenty-
one passenger plane, they would fly a twenty-one passenger; if
we flew a hundred-passenger plane, they would fly a hundred-
passenger. And if we wanted to fly two planes, we'd have to
wait until they were ready to fly the second plane. Well,
this would have hampered the development of international
aviation, and so there was no agreement made on the matter of
how many flights, and so on. That was left to individual nego-
tiations. What they did agree on at Chicago was that each na-
tion's commercial aviation could fly over any friendly nation.
In other words, that you would not close your borders and say
that the American plane could not fly from Britain to Italy
over France. France would have said yes; it was called in the
treaty language the right of innocent passage. Then if you
were going to allow the right of innocent passage, then you had
to permit the right of noncommercial stop. You could have an
argument with a ship, and say, "All right, stay outside the three
mile limit until we get this thing settled." But you couldn't
tell an airplane to stay up there in the sky if something went
wrong with one of the motors. So you could make emergency landings,
but not for trade. In other words, you could not bring in passen-
gers or take out passengers, and so on. The question of taking
passengers in and out, and so on, running a commercial operation,
was left then to bilateral agreements. In other words, each two
nations would come together and negotiate. Well, this has been
done, of course, in Latin America before World War II. In other
words, Pan American had negotiated on its own as an individual
company the right to go into Mexico and into Central America and
into South America.
After the Chicago meeting, these negotiations were no longer
to be between a commercial carrier and the country, but rather
between the governments of the two countries in exchanging recip-
rocal rights. We might then get the right for an American plane
to fly into a given country; then we would designate which company
it would be to do that. We would give them a right for one of
their companies. If it was Britain, well then BOAC might be desig-
nated by Great Britain as the company to fly that particular route.
Pending the signing of the bilateral agreements between nations,
the companies of course could continue to operate under concessions
that they had obtained individually from a foreign country. In
other words, Pan American continued to fly down to South America
and over to Europe and so on. These concessions still operated
pending a new bilateral agreement.
The Civil Aviation Board was the negotiator for the United
States, with the cooperation of the State Department. In other
words, the two things went hand and hand. Our first big negotia-
tions of a bilateral agreement was in the early spring of 1946
with Great Britain. We were insisting on a rather unlimited
number of flights, but, of course, agreed with reciprocity as

far as companies flying. Britain hesitated to sign, and, in fact,
you might say that we blackmailed Britain into signing.
K: Now, how did you do that?
B: I had nothing to do with the negotiations with Britain, but the
American negotiators and the British negotiators met in Bermuda.
We were stressing our point of view of unlimited frequency and
capacity, but agreeing to reciprocal exchange of routes. They
said no, they didn't want that. They wanted reciprocity as far
as capacity was concerned. Well, it looked like there was a stale-
mate. They would meet for a few minutes in the morning, and then
they would go out swimming, and then they'd have tea in the after-
noon. But the thing was brought to a conclusion because Britain
was asking the United States for a three and a half billion dollar
loan to get back on its feet after the war. The word was passed
to the British government in London that certain of the members of
Congress might not vote for this loan because of the stalemate in
the aviation agreement. The British cabinet met and wired the
negotiators in Bermuda to sign the agreement. Then Congress did
pass the loan to Britain.
This was the thing that did get Britain back on its feet faster
than they otherwise would. This antedated the Marshall Plan aid
to the rest of Europe, and so on. This was our first big postwar
aid loan.
Well, as soon as the British agreement was signed, the Mexicans
had already indicated that they were ready to start negotiating. So
we invited a Mexican delegation to come to Washington to negotiate
with the American delegation. I accompanied the Mexican delegation
from Mexico City up to Washington, and we met. We said, "Now, what
do you want in exchange for what we want?"
They said, we don't know. They had some air lines, but mostly
domestic, relatively small scale. One of the ones was of course CMA,
Compania Mexicana de Aviacion, which was a subsidiary of Pan American.
They said, "Well, we'll have to go back and think this out."
So we said, "All right, you think it out and then let Bradbury
know. We'll send a delegation down to Mexico City to negotiate."
And so a little later, in about May of 1946, we got together a second
time. We said, "Now here's what we want." We laid our cards on the
table. "We want Pan American right to fly through Yucatan to Central
America. We want Pan American the right to fly to Mexico City and
on down to Central America. We want Eastern to be able to fly from
New Orleans to Mexico City. We want Western to fly from Los Angeles
to Mexico City. We want Braniff to be able to fly from Dallas to
Mexico City. We said, "Now what do you want?"
They said, "Well, in the first place what we want is that we
don't want Braniff."

K: Why not?
B: They said Tom Braniff was a charming man, and liked him personally
very much. But he had gone down to Mexico and gotten a concession
to operate a wholly-owned Mexican company called Aerovias Braniff.
There were some claims that he had bribed the brother of the then
president of Mexico in order to get this operating concession. He
had gone to the Civil Aeronautics Board and asked for permission for
Braniff Airways to buy this Mexican Company. Of course, he did not
own all the stock in Braniff Airways, but he did own all the stock
in the company in Mexico, and he was turned down. They said, "No,
you can't sell that to the American company."
After the death of the president whose brother was supposedly
involved in getting the concession for Braniff, the Mexican government's aviation department
ordered the Braniff-Mexican company to
stop operating. The company was able to get an injunction to permit
continued flying from the Mexican courts. Now, what it was was of
course that here Braniff was flying in Mexico where the negotiators,
representing Mexican aviation, had ordered it stopped. And so that's
why they said, "We don't want Braniff."
We tried to point out that Braniff International Airways is an
American company; this other is a personal venture of Tom Braniff.
They said, "Yes, but Tom Braniff wears one hat one day and wears
the other hat the next day. And we just will not give it."
Well, they indicated pretty much they would give us everything
else we wanted, but that one thing. Well, normally a negotiating
team could say, "All right, this was a fine deal. We'll give you
the right for a Mexican company to fly Los Angeles, a Mexican to
fly to Washington, a Mexican company to fly Chicago, and on up to
Montreal." This was part of the thing that would have been fairly
It's a question of personalities. The head of the American
delegation was Oswald Ryan, the vice-chairman of the Civil Aeronautics
Board. The Civil Aeronautics Board had given that particular route,
the one from Dallas-Fort Worth to Mexico City, to Pan American. The
CAB is final authority on domestic routes, but on international routes
it's the president. And the president overruled the Civil Aeronautics
Board, and gave it to Tom Braniff.
K: Now, this is Harry Truman you're talking about?
B: This is Harry Truman, yes. It was a very good friend of Tom Braniff
from Texas that persuaded Harry Truman to give this concession for
this route. Of course, we could give the route to these people, to
Eastern, Western, and so on. But unless we got an agreement with
Mexico, the route wouldn't mean anything. The Pan American routes
and the American Airline route to Mexico City--those had been granted
by the Mexican government, and those were flying. These others were

ones that would fly if we negotiated the agreement.
Well, Oswald Ryan was down there negotiating. He had opposed
the president as to Braniff. Now, if he as head of the delegation
signed an agreement eliminating Braniff, you could imagine how
Harry Truman would have felt. He would have felt the same way he
did against the music critic who wrote the review of Truman's daugh-
ter's singing. Ryan could not, because of this clash of personalities,
agree to sign away something that the president of the United States
had said, "This is what we want." So we lost the possibility of
negotiating an agreement.
K: No agreement at all?
B: No agreement at all. It just continued to be a Pan American and
American airlines. The Eastern, Western, and Braniff did not get
to a good many years. It was not until the early 1960s that we
did negotiate a bilateral agreement with Mexico. The agreement
continued in limbo. They already were flying up to the border and
up to Los Angeles; they continued to do that. But it was not until
the new agreement that the Mexican airlines came into New York,
and so on. Of course, we do have a bilateral agreement.
The last thing that I did in Mexico was this matter of trying
to get a bilateral agreement. The war was over by then. My job
with the State Department and Foreign Service, as I said, was a
temporary job, and I asked whether this idea of the civil air
attaches would continue. They said, "No we can't make any commit-
ments." In the meantime I had received an offer from a new school
that had been organized in Phoenix, Arizona, the American Institute
of Foreign Trade, to serve as dean of the faculty. When I was told
that they could make no commitment as to how long my appointment
might continue, and being in the academic world, having already
had fifteen years of academic teaching before this, I felt that I
would be going back. But nobody in the academic world wants their
job cut off in October or November. Usually that means unemployment
then until the following September.
I had this offer of the deanship of this newly organized school
in Phoenix. So I said, "Well, all right then, I resign." So I
went out to Phoenix well before I resigned; I went out to Phoenix
to interview there, was hired, and then resigned, and helped recruit
the faculty for the institute, and served from 1946. I started in
September there as dean of the faculty and professor of international
trade for the American Institute of Foreign Trade.
I stayed with them only a year getting them organized, getting
them started, and then moved to Pan American Airways. I knew the
vice president in charge of Latin America very well, and I went
with Pan American in September of 1947 as diplomatic trouble-shooter

for Latin America. My title was Special Executive Representative.
The top man at Pan American in each of the countries was called the
Special Representative. My title was Special Executive Representative,
meaning that I was stationed in Miami, but would go down and act as a
co-negotiator, take the heat off the individual that was stationed
there. In other words, if he said, "This can't be done. Miami has
said no," they'd wonder whether he had really presented the case;
whether he was making the decision individually. But if I went down
and went to the government along with our Special Representative and
said, "This can't be done for this reason..." or quite often trying
to use an economic argument, that this may require a cut back in our
frequency of service and the type of service we give, "This might hurt
you worse than it does us."
So I stayed with Pan American from 1947 to 1950. The job did re-
quire a matter of going pretty much on emergency cases to different
countries trying to get things settled. One of the things that I did
during that time...I mentioned I wore two hats. I had my business
card saying Special Executive Representative to Pan American Airways,
but I also had another card as district director of Intercontinental
Hotels Corporation, a Pan American subsidiary. So I tried to organize
a hotel corporation in Guatemala to build a new kind of hotel there.
The Intercontinental hotels are not built by Pan American. Pan American's
Intercontinental Hotel Corporation is a management firm very much like
the Hilton Hotels around the world. The Intercontinentals are managed
by the management company. Usually the management company may have 10
percent or 20 percent interest in the hotel, but the major capital comes
from local investors, plus quite often a loan from the Export-Import
Bank of Washington, which is a government agency here. What you try
to do then is to get the group of investors that are willing to go in
and build the hotel. And of course this means you get less labor prob-
lems and so on if the corporation owning the hotel is a domestic cor-
In 1949, I spent quite a while in Guatemala. A local business group
was being formed. The only thing was that there was an assassination
of the presidential candidate that was thought to be a more conservative
man than Arevalo who was then president. After the assassination, the
conservatives tried to oust Arevalo; they were defeated. And Arevalo's
successor, Arbenz, was classed as being a communist. With Arbenz
assuming the presidency, these investors said, "No way are we going to
put money into a hotel with a pro-communist, anti-American government
in control. Tourism is going to drop off." And it did.
Actually, one of the big hotels that they had down there was an
older hotel that was converted into a hospital, because even the existing
facilities were excessive. Of course, you may remember that Arbenz was
overthrown by an invasion led by Castillo Armas from the next door
neighbor. With of course quite a bit at stake, we had cooperated and
supported the Armas invasion.
K: We did?

B: Why I think we did, sure. Castillo Armas took over, and since then
there have been several new hotels built. Guatemala is again a
tourist mecca. But I say during that particular period tourism was
in limbo, and Guatemala just stagnated. So that was a failure of a
I had a daughter born while I was working for Pan American. The
baby would see me and started saying "Daddy," and I'd have to go off
to one of these missions. By the time I'd come back, why my daughter
would look up at me and, "Who the hell's this stranger here that's
talking to me?" I decided that this was just not the way I wanted to
live permanently. Because of course before the baby arrived, my wife
did go along with me on these trips.
So I drove up from Miami to Gainesville, and talked to Dean
Matherly. I was employed as a professor of economics here.
K: And why did you decide to stay in Florida?
B: Well, we were in Miami, and we liked it. I'd spent eight years in
Michigan; I didn't want to go back to Michigan. It looked like the
University of Florida was growing rapidly there in 1950. I thought
that Florida had a good future, so I came here in January of 1950,
and spent twenty-five years on the faculty, until I retired at the
age of seventy, compulsory retirement, two years ago in 1975.
I have had another stint in the diplomatic service since being
here at Florida, and that occurred in 1952 and '53. The State
Department called me up long distance and said, "We're short on
economists, and we would like to know if you would be willing to
come back in on a temporary appointment for two years." And my
answer was yes, but it would depend on where. By then, having two
small children, I didn't want to go to a location where facilities
or climate might not be desirable.
They said, "Well, we would like you to go down as the commercial
attache at the embassy in Panama. You've had that experience there,
and we know that your contacts were good."
I said, "Yes, but this would be temporary appointment. I could
not justify asking the University of Florida to give me a leave of
absence to go back to Panama. I have already been there; I'm super-
vising master's candidates and Ph.D.'s. There's not going to be
very many dissertations written on the Panamanian economy." Actually,
I've had two written on that subject out of the twenty Ph.D.'s and
forty-six master's that I've supervised here, where I've been chairman
of the committee here at Florida.
So I said, "This would not increase my academic prestige to have
specialization in Panama. Of course, I could also claim that I had
specialization in Mexico, but to have more time in Panama.
They said, "Well, we'll let you know if there's something else."
And so I thought that's the end of it, and we hung up. Well, a little

while later they called me up. They said, "Would you consider going
down to Sao Paulo, Brazil, as American consul?" And without even
waiting for anything else I said, "Absolutely. I would be very much
interested in that one." Because while I knew the Spanish-speaking
Latin America, I had had very little contact with Brazil. I'd been
to Brazil while working for Pan American, but this was in a sense
passing through and visiting several parts of Brazil. But it was
almost like a tourist. I hadn't handled anything in Brazil, and here
to be able to go down to be in charge of the economic work of the
z::American consulate in the fastest growing major city in the world...
the city today that is, again, larger than anything in the United
States with the possible exception of New York City.
You see, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Buenos Aires are
the big three of Latin America. Sao Paulo is the fastest growing;
it's the industrial, the commercial, and the financial center of
Brazil. It's not the political center, but it's the agricultural;
it's the center of the coffee region; it's the industrial. The fac-
tories are clustered around the city, and it's the financial center.
When I went down there it was approaching the size of Rio. Today it
is very, very much larger than Rio, as you know. Of course, Rio has
lost its position as capital of the country. Brasilia is the capital.
So I enjoyed my stay in Sao Paulo watching and reporting the growth,
the changes, in the Brazilian economy. I stayed there during the time,
and then came back here to the University of Florida. It was just a
matter of increasing my background. Of course, I've taught, ever since
I've returned, courses in Brazilian economy, and I've supervised several
dissertations and master's theses on Brazil. So I felt that I did
strengthen my academic work to the university by taking the time off.
K: You earlier went down and directed the Peace Corps project, didn't
B: No, the Peace Corps was not a matter of going down there.
K: You stayed here?
B: It was here. But in the meantime, to maintain my contacts with Latin
America, I had gone down to Paraguay in 1959 as visiting Fulbright
professor at the National University of Ascuncion, I knew very little
about Paraguay. I didn't feel that Paraguay was important enough to
ask for a year's leave of absence from the university. So I said if
they would take me for a summer appointment, I would go down there
and teach in their summer school, or rather teach a special course
during their session, because their regular session goes right on
through the summer. And I went down there and taught a special course
in international economics.
This was a noncredit course, because the law says that a foreigner
could not teach a credit course in Paraguay. But I had all the juniors

and seniors in economics sitting in on this course. And we gave a
special plaque to each one. I had 150 take the course for noncredit,
just to get the plaque, and so on. They did tape my lectures, then
transcribed them, and printed them up. By the time I left there, they
had done the work so fast that they were able to pass out to all 150
students a copy of the lectures that I had delivered.
In 1961 I had an interesting contact again with Brazil, and with
a good many other countries. In 1961 the U.S. sponsored a workshop
for economists in Brazil at what would be considered a summer resort
up in Minas Gerais, up in the hill country. They asked me to go down
and serve as chairman of this workshop. It was a two-week workshop.
They said, "We realize that you won't be able to do anything else this
summer if you go down there for two weeks, and so we will hire you for
the summer; and after you've completed the workshop, we will arrange
a lecture tour for you to go around to other countries."
So I went down to Brazil and ran this workshop. We had quite a
fewspecialists giving lectures during the workshop, and a good many
were faculty members in economics from Brazil, that were, in a sense,
the students.
After that was over, I went down to Argentina, and lectured in four
universities in Argentina; and then went to Peru, and lectured in three
universities in Peru. Then I went to Panama, and lectured at the national
university in Panama; and then up to Mexico, and lectured in three uni-
versities in Mexico. So it was a grand tour, and very, very interesting
there to talk.
This being 1961, it was right after the signing of the Alliance
for Progress. Most of my lectures had several topics, but one was the
Alliance for Progress. Almost invariably they said, "Yes, this is very
definitely a hot, current topic." The students were very much interested
in it.
One of my interesting experiences during the tour was in Lima, Peru.
The embassy, of course--the cultural affairs officer--arranged where I
would lecture, and when, and so on. He arranged for me to lecture for
a whole week at that Catholic University of Lima, and then up in the
mountains at Cuzco, the old Inca...city, at the University of Cuzco.
But no way would the embassy go and offer an American lecturer to San
Marcos, the oldest university. Well, there's the three universities in
Latin America that all claim to be the oldest. It's a question of one
having the claim to being the first one designated by the king of Spain;
another one the first one to get in operation; the other one being the
oldest that's been in continuous operation--so, the one in Santo Domingo,
the one in Mexico, and the one in Lima. San Marcos, however, had not
extended an invitation to Richard Nixon as vice-president to appear on
the campus, and he said he was going to appear anyway. Well, when the
students say "no" in Latin America, the thing is, it's "no," and so he
was given a very hot reception when he went to try to lecture at San
Marcos. And so that was the last previous thing that happened involving

an American at San Marcos. And they said, "No way would we consider
having you go in there to lecture."
Some of the student leaders at San Marcos, however, had heard
that I was lecturing at the Catholic University in Lima, and had
approached the director of the binational center in Lima. He came to
me and said that the student government was inviting me personally as
their guest to lecture. And so I accepted their invitation. I appeared,
and was introduced by the rector. The rector, or president of the uni-
versity, was quite put out that I had not been invited through his office.
But the fact that I was introduced as the guest of the student body gave
me the most generous reception that I've had at any university. I had
no booing, no embarrassing questions, but rather here I was the guest
of the students which, of course, Richard Nixon had not been.
K: Yeah, right. What was the topic of your speech?
B: The Alliance for Progress. You see, this was in 1961, and the Alliance
for Progress had just been signed at Punta del Este in Uruguay. And
so this was one of the topics that I offered when I was invited to give
a lecture. Most of the lectures that I delivered during that lecture
tour were on the Alliance for Progress--what I thought would happen. And
I must say that most of my predictions did come out correctly on the
Alliance for Progress. The people were very much enthused that the United
States was going to "give" twenty billion dollars to Latin America. This
was, of course, not true.- This was a sum total of grants, and not gifts.
Of course, the expectation also was that you would get an immediate re-
action from the project. But the projects contemplated by the Alliance
for Progress were long-run developmental projects, and not initial sti-
mulus, and, of course, not supposed to be charity grants at all.
K: And you pointed this out to all of your audiences?
B: Yes, to all my audiences. Because the audiences were primarily interested
in economics, and so this was strictly an economics thing. I did not
get into the politics, and so I was well received. However, on my next
lecture after San Marcos, I went up to Panama and lectured at the University
of Panama. There, the first two questions from the audience after my
lecture were on completely extraneous matters of disputes between the
United States and Panama. After the lecture was over, the professor that
had introduced said, "Well, that first question came from the leading
communist in Panama, and the second question from the number two communist
in Panama." So that they were said to try to embarrass me in Panama.
But I had nothing like that in San Marcos in Lima.
K: Now, you've lectured all over in Latin America. Your vita indicated that
you have spent a great deal of time in many of the countries of Latin
America. I'm wondering if you did all of this on your own initiative,
or whether or not it was as a representative of the United States govern-

B: Well, it was a combination of things. I have been down to Latin
America, of course, earlier on diplomatic missions. But later I
lectured at the University of Asuncion, Paraguay, under a Fulbright
grant. Then I was invited to lecture in Argentina on my way back
from the Asuncion lecture. In 1961, this last one that I was men-
tioning was on a State Department grant, because I was sent down to
conduct the workshop in Brazil, and then these lectures were the
balance of that summer. In 1963 I was again down on the Fulbright
program. I've also been down under grants from the Ford Foundation.
I've been down through a project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture
on a grant given to the IFAS here at the University of Florida;
this was in 1967, during which I visited four different
countries. And then I've had other grants through the Center for
Latin American Studies to attend the Congress of the Americanists
in Mexico City. So these grants, these trips, have been funded in
different ways.
Primarily, of course, all of them were of interest to the
University of Florida, because they did increase my capacity to supervise doctoral
dissertations and master's theses. Here at the University
of Florida during the twenty-five years that I served on the faculty,
I did supervise twenty Ph.D. dissertations as chairman of the committee,
as well as serving on probably fifty other committees; and forty-six
master's theses, where I was chairman of the committee, and probably
served on another thirty or forty master's theses as a member of the
K: It seems to me that it would be in the best interests of the United
States to have you representing our country in Latin America, and
by representing I mean going around to various universities...trying
to explain American economic policy as it pertained to Latin America.
So my question then was meant to find out whether or not the government
had had any influence over getting you these various speaking engagements;
if they had contacted foreign countries to have you invited,
B: Well, the way the Fulbright program operates, the funds, of course,
do come from money that was paid to the United States for our Food
for Peace. The money, however, was not transfered into dollars and
brought back to the states, but was left in the country itself with
the Fulbright commission. Then your application went up to Washington;
they sent your credentials down to an individual country; and then
the Fulbright commission said, "Yes, we will use the funds to pay the
person's expenses while down there. Your pay for the trip down and
back came directly from the U.S. government in dollars, with the rest
in local currency.
Now, there is a limitation that you may not have more than two
Fulbright appointments, and I've had my two Fulbright appointments.
This other one where I went down directly as a State Department lecturer in 1961,
and then, as I say, the others have been money that

has come pretty largely through the University of Florida, where
the University of Florida has secured funds for travel expense
from the Ford Foundation or from the U.S. Department of Agricul-
ture in the case of the IFAS people.
K: Dr. Bradbury, some of your colleagues seem to feel that there's
the possibility that you have been gathering intelligence for the
United States in some of your trips through Latin America. Can
you comment on that?
B: That is absolutely false in any formal sense. I have never been
sent down by the CIA or anything of that kind. Of course, the
U.S. government does get reports of my lectures. In those reports
I do, mention student reaction to different points.
One time coming back from Latin America...I had been down to
Latin America two years before, just after Castro had come into
power, and then two years later I went down. And in conversations
with the students, I could sense a very definite change in student
attitudes toward Castro. The attitude originally had been that he
was a knight on a white horse fighting the United States. But after
he came out and said, "I have always been a communist; I'm a sup-
ported by Russia," and so on, the student attitude changed. He was
then looked at more as a puppet of the Russians rather than a hero
fighting on his own. Now when I came back, in a newspaper interview
I mentioned that. Now, that sort of thing if you consider that in-
telligence, sure.
When I was with the government, I was economic attache. There,
of course, all your reports are on economic development, on crops
as they will affect the economy, on industrialization, on fiscal
matters...all of these things are "items of intelligence." But no;
never anything that could be considered as spying.
K: Have you represented any private firms in the United States? I
know you were hired by Pan American, of course, but other than the...
B: No.
K: ...period of time during which you were working for Pan American?
B: Well, two different things. Pan American, I worked for them full
time from 1947 through 1950 before coming here to the University
of Florida. And then in 1955 and 1956, I worked as a consultant
during the summer months for Alcoa Steamship Company...making an
estimate of future trade trends between the United States and cer-
tain of the Caribbean countries where the Alcoa Steamship Company
operated. So I have worked for two private companies since I've
been an adult. Now, as a high school student, I did work for an
import-export firm in Mexico City computing costs of goods--taking

the transportation costs, converting it by the exchange rate into
Mexican pesos, adding a profit margin, and we're coming out with a
sales price. But this was as a high school student.
K: You wouldn't have any direct knowledge, then, of United States
involvement in any of the political affairs of any Latin American
B: No, no.
K: Now, you came to the University of Florida when--in 1950?
B: 1950, yes. So I spent twenty-five years on the faculty here until
I retired in 1975.
K: We'd earlier talked about that, and you told me that you'd gotten
tired of being separated from your wife and family for so long
working with Pan American, and had then decided to come to the
University of Florida. But we didn't go into it in any detail.
You came up here at the behest of whom?
B: Well, I came up here and saw Dean Walter J. Matherly, who was a
great man. Of course, he died in 1954. He was the founder of the
College of Business Administration. The last Thursday of this month,
the Collegeof Business Administration will celebrate its fiftieth
anniversary. Fifty years ago Dean Matherly came here and founded the
College of Business Administration. They're going to have a celebra-
tion in the College of Business Administration from noon until 9:30
at night, the last Thursday of this month. I will definitely be there,
because I will see a lot of former students who will come back for the
Walter Matherly was a great man in Florida development. He was
the only...he actually from 1927 to 1954 was dean, and founded all
the programs here. He interviewed me. I then was interviewed by the
head of the Economics Department. Because I had already had a matter
of sixteen years of university teaching, I did come here as professor
of economics, and particularly of interest in the Latin American
field, although I also taught transportation and economic development,
and economic principles.
K: Now did you come here as a full professor?
B: Well, there was no line item when I came. And they said, "Well,
you are here. We consider you a full professor," but technically--
I'd been a full professor and a director of the Division of Latin
American Relations at LSU--technically, I came here as an associate
professor, because that was the only open line item. But the next
budget I was called a full professor; so in a sense I've been a
full professor ever since I've been here. Also, of course, when I

came, I met Curtis Wilgus, who was the director of the Latin
American Division here at the University of Florida. The courses
that are taught in the Latin American field were considered as
economics courses, but counted towards the program in the Latin
American Center. And so I've been in a sense affiliated with our
center ever since I've been here.
The center has never had a budget for faculty except for
visiting professors from Latin America. But the regular faculty
are appointed to the academic departments, and merely teach courses
in their own department that are related to the Latin American sub-
ject. There are a couple courses called Seminar in Latin America
which are interdisciplinary, and I have directed that a couple years
K: Can you give me some idea of the salaries, relative salaries, being
paid when you came to the University of Florida?
B: The first salary, I believe, was something like $5,800 for what was
considered a full professor.
K: How did that measure up to what you were being paid at LSU in 1939-
B: This of course, was a nine months salary. In 1940 I was paid $5,500,
not as a full professor, because a full professor was quite a bit
less, but as director of the Division of Latin American Relations.
So actually there was very little difference in the salary on a nine
month basis. In other words, I was receiving about the same for
nine months as I had been receiving~ for twelve months there. That
was the increase from 1940 to 1950. Now if you you want to go really
back into ancient history, the full time instructor at the University
of Michigan in 1927--this was teaching four courses--was 1,500, a
nine month academic year. Not for a month, but for a year. When I
went to Louisiania State University...my salary at Michigan had in-
creased from $1,500 to $2,000 when I left there. I went down to LSU
at $3,000 as an assistant professor, and then it got up to $5,500 on
a twelve month basis as director of the Division of Latin American
K: At the University of Florida, did the salaries vary much from one
college to the other? For instance, was Arts and Sciences being
paid about as much as the College of Business Administration?
B: Well, the College of Business Administration salaries were a little
bit higher than Arts and Sciences; probably not as high as engineering
or law, and of course at that time we did not have medicine here
on the campus at all. The College of Medicine is more recent. The

The salaries, of course, at Florida have increased over the years
so that if you look at what it was in 1950...but of course you also
have to look at the inflation problem since 1950. If you look at
the change in the price of housing, my house today would probably
cost three times as much as I paid for it in 1954 when I built it.
K: When you arrived at the university, what sort of steps were taken
to see to it that you got adequate housing? Was there any sort of
a program here?
B: There was no program whatsoever. I looked at the only available
apartments at that time, and they were practically nil in Florida,
and so I bought a house. Actually, before I came up here, I made
another trip up from Miami, and soon as I decided to come here,
my wife and I looked at houses. This one was almost completed, and
so I made arrangements to buy it, and we moved in when we moved up
here from Miami.
K: One of the complaints of the faculty today is that there are prac-
tically no fringe benefits here at the University of Florida.
B: Yes.
K: Was that the case when you arrived as well?
B: Oh, yes.
K: Could you compare that to the situation in other universities of
the size of the University of Florida throughout the United States?
B: Well, for instance, one of the complaints here is the lack of having
a year off to more or less bring yourself up to date. There's been
an increase; they have given so-called enrichment grants for a small
number of faculty. But most universities allow a faculty member a
year off with pay, or at least a year off with half pay, or half
year off with full pay. This had been .a matter of a very small num-
ber getting those, and no right to the time off. The pensions
probably are about as generous as in most universities, although there
are some where the pension is completely paid for by the university.
But this matter of paying in a part of the cost of the pension is not
unusual. Florida has not granted in the past free tuition to faculty
children; most universities do. I've had two, a son and a daughter,
that have gone. Well, the daughter went completely through the
University of Florida; my son went part way through and finished up
at FSU. But there's been no grant of that kind.
The one thing that has actually gone down as far as a minor
fringe benefit was the fact that when I came you were given, or per-
mitted to buy, football tickets at half price if you were a member
of the faculty. No, all of the faculty pay full price for football

tickets and basketball tickets, and now even baseball tickets--
baseball has been free up until this year. So that was, you
might say, a fringe benefit. Certain of the other universities
not only sell you the football tickets for half price, but give
you then a free pass that permits you to go to the basketball and
baseball games at no charge. Of course, when I came up you were
given a parking ticket; now you buy a parking ticket.
K: So then, other than in the field of salaries, it would appear that
conditions at the university have not improved.
B: Not very greatly.
K: Not for faculty members, at least.
B: Yeah, that's right.
K: Along those lines, I'd like to ask you something about the general
classroom environment. Another complaint being heard today is that
class sizes are much greater than they have been in the past.
B: Yes.
K: And of course that makes it extremely difficult to teach effectively.
B: Yeah.
K: Can you comment on that?
B: Yes. And my feeling there is that it was much more like a real
university when you had relatively smaller classes.
K: And how many was...?
B: A class of twenty-five or a graduate seminar of ten to fifteen,
you get much more chance of class discussion. When you get into
a classroom that is designed to hold exactly forty-five chairs,
and you squeeze into forty-eight chairs, you can't do anything
but lecture. You can't really carry on a class discussion with
forty-eight, and a good many of our rooms, of course, are sixty-
five; that makes it even worse. And then, of course, when you
get your big lecture room with 250 students, the thing becomes
strictly a formal lecture. You can't interrupt with 250 in the
room. If you tried to answer questions with 250, you wouldn't
get anything done. Now, in a public lecture with 250 people there...
and then after you finish a lecture, let's say an hour lecture,

then you throw it open at the end of the first half hour, and
spend the.last half hour answering a few questions, and still
make normal progress in your course work.
K: Approximately what was the average class size in 1950, at least
B: Twenty-five. Twenty to twenty-five was the average of the classes
that I was teaching at that time.
K: Do you think there's been any change in academic standards at the
B: I cannot say that there has been any serious weakening of the level
of attainment that is demanded. I will admit that there's been very
definitely an inflation of grades. That doesn't mean that the stu-
dents are not getting as much as they did before. They may be getting
actually a little bit better. We've got better students; we at the
University of Florida are getting the cream of the crop from the
schools in the state. Now, in that sense you could justify a higher
level of grades. In some of the very prestigious northern universities
where you must be in the top 5 percent of your graduating class in
order to even be considered for admission, it's rather foolish to say
that a person that's in the top 5 percent or 4 percent, should not
make As and Bs. So that your drop-out rate from some of the professional
schools and some of the prestigious universities is very, very low,
and the grade average may be quite high.
On the other hand, with the tendency to increase the amount of
the student ratings of faculty, and so on, you may have...it may be
subconscious in many cases, but there is that feeling that, "Well, we
don't want to give a low grade if the person has a borderline between
C and B' we'll give him the B rather than the C." Another reason,
however, for the criticism that we have inflated the grades here has
not been that the faculty are giving higher grades in many cases, but
rather that we have a much more liberal drop-out policy. And so it
may be unless you try to cheat the student and keep him in by infla-
ting the earlier grades, and then fail him on the final.... If you
give a legitimate midsemester, and he's going to fail, he's going to
drop out. The petitions committees have been rather generous in--
and different colleges--in permitting the late drop-outs. And even
a student that's doing badly in several courses will drop out of
school, and therefore get nothing on his record. So if you do not
have any chance of keeping an E student in your class, you're not
going to have many Es.
K: Right. What was the drop policy when you arrived here?
B: The drop policy was quite rigid. In other words, there was no auto-

matic drops, but rather it was a petition proposition, and the
position of many were quite rigid on it. Now, then, you change
and permit one or two drops during their upper division course
work without any questions. In other words, they had a right
to drop.
K: How did this evolve? Was student pressure a part of it?
B: Student pressure, I would say, yes. They said, "Well, these drops
are pretty much at the discretion of a committee, and this is not
fair. We should have rules that you are permitted to drop once or
twice, and you should be able to drop up to a certain point in the
sememster without even a petition."
Part of the arguments the students have made have been this
matter of...that a more liberal drop policy would take away this
matter that the professor might discriminate against him. Now,
in Latin America you have cases where the student pressure has been
even greater. There they said they did not feel that the professor
should have the right to fail the student or to give the student
a good grade. And so in Argentina, when you come down to the end
of the course, each student has a thirty minute oral examination
before his professor and two other professors sitting on each side,
and then the three must agree on the grade on the basis of that
thirty minute oral examination. You are not permitted to give
written examinations. And so you sit there, and the three are sup-
posed to consult.
Now, in practice...as a visiting professor, I had said, "I
think that he deserves so-and-so." And they would agree with me.
Also they had a special meeting to permit me to give a written
examination, because I said that I would probably be able to judge
them better from a written exam. But that was special in my course.
Normally there is no written examination at all, just strictly this
oral exam. You can imagine in a large class that if each student
gets a thirty minute exam, and you have to get three persons together
to give it, you get through the course in October, and then spend
November and the first half of December giving the examination. So
it's a month and a half on exams, because the average professor will
schedule, say, three students a night. Of course many of their courses
are at night. And so, therefore, you would have to have a matter of
fifteen days if you had forty-five students. Well, if you did that
on two nights per week, it would take you a month and a half to give it.
I did give the final exams in a total of three days, because I
said I had to get back up here to the University of Florida and start
teaching my courses. And so I got two other men that sat with me
from 9:00 to 12:00, and then a different two from 1:00 to 5:00 and a
different two from 7:00 to 9:00. So I was able to get many, many more
people in a day then they got in two weeks.

K: When you came to the University of Florida, did the business
administration college have a graduate school?
B: Yes.
K: Awarding both master's and Ph.D.s at that time? Is that correct?
B: No, the College of Business Administration does not have a graduate
school; they had a graduate program under the graduate school. The
graduate school is a graduate school for the whole university.
K: Oh yeah, of course. But I mean a graduate program; I'm sorry.
B: A graduate program--both a master's and a Ph.D.?
K: Yeah.
B: I did not have my first Ph.D.s until after I returned from serving
as an American consul in Brazil in 1953.
K: How successful was the business college in getting its undergraduates
placed in graduate schools throughout the United States?
B: Quite successful. The best students from here have always had good
success in getting into graduate schools. I was just talking to a
young man who is majoring in economics, because I still am serving
in a volunteer position as advisor to the undergraduate economics
majors. He came around and asked me to be one of the ones to recom-
mend him to three graduate schools. And I saw him on the campus yes-
terday, and he said that he had been admitted to the graduate school
at the University of Chicago, and the University of Washington, the
state of Washington. So I say this is quite typical. On the other
hand, several of the men that have taken master's degrees from me
have gone on and taken their Ph.D.s at other universities. We actually
recommend against a student taking his bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D.s
at the same university.
K: Sure, yeah. Have you served on any faculty search committees since
you've been here?
B: No, I haven't been on the search committee. I've been on a rating
committee, rating a given department as whether they were qualified
to give Ph.D. degrees; I've been on the nominating committee of the
university senate; I've been on various interdisciplinary committees
relating to Latin America. I have been on a program where we rated
the university in regard to all of its international programs. This
was part ofa national program; I served as chairman for part of that

period. Somebody else started out as chairman, and I finished as
chairman. So I've been on quite a few committees, but I've not
ever been on the search committee for the dean of the college.
K: Can you give me some general idea as to what the policy has been
in trying to find new faculty members for the College of Business
Administration, and what they're looking for.
B: Well, in contrast to the policy at the present time...in the earlier
days it was much less formal. In other words, you didn't have a
formal search committee, but rather the department head sent out
letters to the other colleges around the country, and said, "We
have an opening" for this particular thing. You see, on the outside
of our own economic department letters from many other college asking
our graduates to apply to them for positions. But then, the depart-
ment head would call us in as an informal thing, or take it up in the
departmental meeting, and we would rate.
In recent years the thing has become more formal, and when we
need a new member of the faculty, a formal committee is set up, and
the applications go to that committee. The committee then tries to
read the publications to see whether they're scholarly or not, rate
the journals in which the publications occurred, and then report back
to the departmental faculty. The departmental faculty votes on whether
to extend the invitation or not. And then, of course, it had to be
confirmed by the dean. The dean sends it over to academic affairs,
and the appointment is finally made that way. It's a much more formal
setup now. Principally it became more formal with Dean Lanzillotti
[Dr. Robert F. Lanzillotti] becoming the dean of the College of Business
K: Have you noticed any change in the quality of faculty since this
program has been instituted?
B: Well, I would say that's part of it. Yes, there's been, in a sense,
an improvement. However, the College of Business Administration has
always had people from good graduate schools around the country. But
in the last three years, with the production of Ph.D.s catching up
with the decreasing growth rate in the colleges of business, the com-
petition has become keener. Where in the past a Harvard Ph.D. might
not have applied at Florida for an opening...he would have said he
wanted to go to Chicago or Michigan, and so on. There have been
openings at Chicago and Michigan. And therefore he hears about an
opening here...he didn't come down.
Now, I don't mean that we haven't had Harvard Ph.D.s in the past;
we have. My degree from Michigan, and we've had Chicago men, and so
forth. But more recently there have been more Harvard, MIT, Yale,
Princeton applications for each job. In a sense, you had a small
increment in the prestige appointments. I don't know that our faculty

is very much stronger--I mean, whether these young fellows are
really sounder.
Of course, remember there are many more Ph.D.s now being pro-
duced. At the University of Michigan, which had a very prestigious
graduate school, we were only producing one or two Ph.D.s a year
from the economics department. Now I imagine it's maybe ten or fif-
teen a year. But the year I got my Ph.D., I was the only Ph.D. from
the economics department. Now, this is quite a different thing. Of
course, the number of students that went to the college at all in
the 1930s and 1920s was very much smaller. I entered in 1923, and
you were in a sense a part of the elite if you went to college at
all; very definitely in the elite if you graduated from college.
As I say, the advanced degrees were quite scarce at that time.
K: I believe William Woodruff shares an appointment with economics,
doesn't he--economics and history? Who was responsible for getting
him here? What are the circumstances surrounding his appointment?
B: Well, we of course had heard of his standing; we had had his first
book. He had been here in the States as a visiting professor at...
Princeton, I believe, was one of the places that he was a visiting
professor. And so there was this correspondence started by the head
of the department with him. He evidenced a certain interest in it.
However, he was here on a temporary visa and had to leave, and so
when we definitely wanted him here, we had to have him apply for
another visa, which was against the general rules. In other words,
you were only permitted to get a visa after you'd gone back to your
own country and waited a year or two before you could get another
The department, after he was approved...as well, of course, he
had been down here for an interview before he left. And for a
graduate research professor, not only is he approved by the depart-
ment, by the dean of the college, but very definitely the dean of
the graduate school would be the big one that would have to decide
on that particular rank. And so Dean Grinter was very definitely in
the decision process.
But then it became a matter of the University of Florida peti-
tioning the State Department to grant an exception, because we needed
this distinguished man here as a graduate research professor in eco-
nomics. The time was getting short, and the petition had not been
acted on, and I was going up to Washington on a completely different
matter. Dr. Donovan, who was at that time head of the economics
department, said, "You've been in the State Department; you might be
able to find your way around, find out where the petition is." And
so I went up there and found the stages that it had to go through.
I had to go three places before I actually located where it was.
I got to see the secretary of the committee that had to act, and he
said, "Yeah, let me see if I can find it." And he went through his
stack. It was down there at the bottom. I explained why we needed

action on it, whether favorable or unfavorable. And so he took it
from the bottom of the stack and put it on the top of the stack.
He said that the committee was meeting the next Friday, and "we will
let you know."
After that meeting they did let the University of Florida know
that he would be given a visa. He came here as a professor of eco-
nomics in economic history. And then after he'd been in economics
for a while, he decided that he would resign. But then the history
K: Why was he going to resign?
B: In one sense, some sort of clash of personalities. He felt that
he was not teaching as many graduate students as he should. The
thing is that in the College of Business Administration the students
were not as interested in economic history. While moving over to
the history department, they said, "Yes, you will be teaching economic
history." History courses labeled as economic history courses are
much more frequently signed up for than economic courses labeled eco-
nomic history. In other words, he felt his talent was partially
wasted. He's been, I think, very happy over in the history department.
And of course we still continue to have a joint appointment; he is
still listed as a professor of economics. But his pay check comes
through the Department of History. So technically, he's....
K: In Woodruff's case, was the position created to fit the man? Did
you go after William Woodruff, and decide to make him a graduate
research professor, or were you looking for anybody to fill the
position of graduate research professor?
B: Yes. Well we did have constant flow of nominations or suggestions
as to who might be up to that caliber. In other words, the graduate
research professor has to demonstrate his ability for creative work.
It's his publications record as a professor before you invite him,
and give him this more distinguished title and higher salary. To
start out with, the salary is granted through the graduate school;
so the graduate school does have control of the initial invitation
in each case. And the College of Business Administration did not
have a graduate research professor. So his name was suggested. And
we did not have anyone in the field of economic history. There'd
been no graduate work done in the field. Of course, the important
thing was when he came down there, no...no students, you see. So
it was a matter of trying to build something up gradually.
You can't, in a sense, force a student. If ihe thinks that
urban development is the coming thing, why he's going into urban
development; if he thinks that economic development is the coming
thing, or if he thinks environmental economics.... In other words,
you have to offer these...you have to have the adequate faculty to

offer the program at all. And then the student picks and chooses.
Now, we have students that have taken the economic history, and
therefore you have a joint listing of these courses, and they go
over and take the courses from Bill Woodruff, and these are con-
sidered as economic courses.
K: You were here during the period when Charlie Johns was running
around all over the state of Florida attempting to straighten things
out to his satisfaction. Was the business college affected by this
in any way?
B: No, I don't remember that there was any charges against any of the
faculty in the College of Business. Of course, we were all affected
by the hurting of the reputation of the University of Florida by the
Johns Committee. You see, the University of Florida suffered a dual
loss at the same time there. We had the death of President Miller
[J. Hillis Miller] and the death of Governor McCarty [Dan McCarty.]
So these two men stepped down, and that meant Johns became acting
governor because of the death of the governor. And at the same time
you had an acting president; the vice-president here was acting.
He could not take as aggressive a defense of the university as Miller
would have taken.
I don't think the Johns Committee would have gotten to first
base if Miller had been still alive. That doesn't mean that Vice-President Allen
was weak, or anything of that kind, but he was in
an acting capacity. So the university suffered very definitely.
The legislature appropriated a very small amount of money for the
next two-year period, and so on. So that we went through a very
bad period there with acting governor and acting president.
K: Did that affect the course content in any way...the various charges
that were leveled concerning communism, etc.?
B: No, I don't believe so. This was never an issue in the College of
K: Has the College of Business ever taught Marxist economic theory?
B: Well, yes, it has comparative economics systems, and therefore sure,
you're reading Karl Marx; you're reading the various economic literature from Russia,
and so on, and all this.
K: But was that being taught at that time during the...?
B: Oh, yes.
K: And was there any objection to it?
B: No. I mean, if it had been called communism, why it probably would
of...but comparative economic systems. While these things partly

are semantics, they were not taught as being pro-communist at all.
So in a sense, your comparisons between the various systems were
Now, later you had in other departments a question of teaching
communism in a favorable light. We have a course in Russian economics
in the college today. The person teaching it is an oriental; this
semester he had a course in the economics of the Far East, and in
the economics of Russia. So that Russian studies now are a recognized
part of the international studies program here at the University of
Florida. The College of Business has their own course being offered.
K: The Center for Latin American Studies has grown enormously since
you have come. Have you been an integral part of this growth?
B: Oh yes. Of the twenty Ph.D.s that I have produced, fifteen of them
have been on Latin American subjects. Most of those have been Ph.D.s
in economics. But back in the early days there was also an interdis-
ciplinary Ph.D. in the Latin American Center. I think something like
three or four of my Ph.D.s were actually Ph.D.s in economics, but
through the Center program.
Today there is no longer a Ph.D. through the Center. The reason
for that was not that it wasn't as strong a degree--because we required
the same standards--but a faculty member very likely has to be a
professor of economics. He is not a professor of Latin American studies
with his major interest economics. He has to be an economist; he has to
impress his own colleagues. So if he has a Ph.D. in economics, that's
all right; if he has a Ph.D. in Latin American studies, this may not
be satisfactory to get his appointment as an assistant professor or
associate professor of economics. So this other degree has been
phased out. At the master's level we still have the Master of Arts
in Economics, and the Master of Arts in Latin American Studies. Now
of my forty-six master's that I've supervised, I would guess that
probably ten or fifteen of those have been in Latin American studies,
and the rest in strictly economics.
K: I have just a few more questions to ask you. Some of them not directly
related to your experiences here at the university. In reading your
vita, I've found that you had been an advisor of one sort or another--
I can't remember the title exactly--to the Army Corps of Engineers for
the Cross-Florida Barge Canal. Can you tell me briefly what that was
all about?
B: Yes. Back in the summer of 1957, I was teaching a course here at the
University of Florida, and had been for several years, in water trans-
portation in the College of Business Administration. The national or-
ganization of water transportation of both ocean, great lakes, barge,

and so on, is called the Propeller Club of the United States. I
had taught that same type of course at Louisiana State University.
So the Propeller Club had sponsored so-called student ports--in
other words, student branches at the university of those people
interested in water transportation. I'd established the student
port at Louisiana State University; I had established the student
port at the American Institute for Foreign Trade in Phoenix when
I was there; and when I came here I established the student port
of the University of Florida.
The sponsoring senior port are the men interested in ocean
transportation, in ship building, in international banking, in
marine insurance, and so on. In Jacksonville they are the Propeller
Club of Jacksonville. They have 400 members; and they were the
sponsoring group for the University of Florida. As faculty advisor
for the student port here, I had very close contact with the group
in Jacksonville, and attended about three times a year the meetings.
I'm an honorary member of the port of Jacksonville. I got ac-
quainted with the colonel that was the chief of the Corps of Engineers
for the Jacksonville district. He said that they have civilian em-
ployees because the Corps of Engineers does not have economists with
Ph.D. degrees in the individual district offices, and so he asked me
if I had anyone that I could recommend. And I told him yes, I had a
student that was completing his Ph.D. that year and was going to go
up to Michigan State as an assistant professor and that I thought
could do the job for the economic benefits of the Cross-Florida Barge
Canal. And so he was hired to work on that.
Then the next year he said, "I have to make a study, and this
will take a lot less time. This will just take one summer to work
out the economic benefit ratio of the proposed Sanford-Titusville
Canal which would be part of the canal system. But this would mean
that if the Cross-Florida Barge Canal were built, then barges that
are having to go from Palatka up to Jacksonville, and then down the
coast in the intercoastal canal to Miami, would go up the St. Johns--
and of course up means south--and to Sanford, and then cut across
at this very small cut over to the intercoastal canal, and go down to
Miami. So it would save a very great amount of time in getting down
to Miami." And so he wanted to know what products might go over
such a short canal.
The engineers estimate what it will cost to build the canal,
and what it will cost to maintain the canal. So you get a cost factor
there. Then you have to look at the savings, and then you get a
benefit/cost ration. My findings were, of course, that you could not
justify building the Sanford-Titusville Canal until you had built the
Cross-Florida Barge Canal. This just coming down from Jacksonville
by the St. Johns, and then crossing over there, would be no saving
at all. And so the only possible thing would be...oh, Hudson Paper
Company sending paper towels and toilet paper down to Miami from

Palatka. You see, that was definitely a rather large tonnage figure,
but nothing like enough to justify it. So I had to conclude that
under present conditions this canal could not be justified.
If the Cross-Florida Barge Canal was completed, then a completely
different analysis would have to be made by taking the estimated figures
for the Cross-Florida Barge Canal, and then breaking it down into what
would use the short-cut, because this was a short-cut. So it was a
very pleasant three months to work with the Corps of Engineers; there
was no censorship of this.
Oh, one of the things that did give us a higher benefit ratio
than you would expect was, of course, the use of such a Sanford-
Titusville canal for pleasure boating. There would be a great increase
in the use of such a facility by pleasure boats making loops, and one
from the Ocklawaha coming down and going over to the...if they were
going south rather than north.
K: Later--in fact, in 1965--I think you wrote an article advocating
completion of the Cross-Florida Barge Canal.
B: Yeah.
K: Now, do you still feel that the canal ought to be completed?
B: This question of the ecology was not really what I was studying.
K: Yeah.
B: I was taking the statements of the engineers that the canal being
a lock canal, a high level canal; it was not like the cutting of
a ship canal, which of course was the original plan in 1934. Now,
that would have, of course, been a depth to take an ocean going
across; it would be like the Corinth Canal and other canals across...
or even the Cape Cod Canal would be a deep canal at sea level. But
that, of course, was stopped because very definitely there was a
danger to the Florida aquifer. The engineers said that at this
higher level they did not feel that there was any danger to the
aquifer. The question of pleasure boating...yes, there would've
been a great increase in pleasure boating if it were built.
There would be a very definite...well one of the things that
would move today if there was a Cross-Florida Barge Canal would
probably be the coal for Deer Haven II; now about bringing coal down
from the state of Kentucky or West Virginia fields by train. But
if you had a method of bringing coal by barge to near Ocala, why
this would be probably saving there. So my feeling, and I was writing
this from an economic viewpoint....
Now, the opponent of course, was writing strictly from the stand-
point of an ecologist saying, "Well, you can't put a dollar value on
the aesthetics of a wild river." So you look at the same thing from

two different viewpoints. The questionof a hydroelectric dam,
and also for agriculture, versus a small fish that may be drowned
out by the completion of the dam. Or, I believe there was a
variety of snapdragons that only existed in the backwaters of the
projects. Well, as I say, it's an awfully hard thing. Yes, I'm
a conservationist; I agree with very many of these things. But
sometimes you have to look at the economic benefits.
K: Would you still say, then, that the economic benefits are great to
be deprived from the canal?
B: Yes. Well, of course, the thing is that you can't...once you've
made your determination, and have invested one-third of the cost,
and have it better than one-third completed, then to go and say,
"Now if we had had the present interest rates at the time we started
it, that we have at the present time, we might not have found that
it would be economical to have started." Yes, I mean Deer Haven II
would never have been started as an oil burner if we'd known what
was going to happen to the price of oil. It's going to cost the
city of Gainesville a tremendous amount to change from the equipment
that has been ordered for an oil burner to equipment for a coal burner.
But it's not fair to criticize the people that made the decision back
at that time when oil was at a quite low price.
And then, of course, also the commissioners have been criticized
for not making a formal contract to be guaranteed a certain amount
of natural gas. They got the gas at a very much lower price by
agreeing to take surplus gas. Well, there was a lot of surplus gas
at that time. Now, with the gas company, the pipe-line company,
getting more and more households to use gas, there is no surplus.
Now, one of the commercial, private utilities that made a contract
to buy a fixed quantity of gas, and were therefore guaranteed that
natural gas, they have been able to generate electricity at a lower
price than RUB [Regional Utilities Board] has. Well, here again, hindsight.
Sure, if you'd known that there was going to be a very definite
shortage of gas, you would have made a firm contract to be guaranteed,
but you got a lower rate by making contracts to take their surplus.
There is no surplus at the present time.
Well, yes. In 1950, had I known what was going to happen to inflation
and to land values, I could have borrowed money at a very
low rate of interest and bought farm property. I could have bought
a farm out on the corner of Twenty-Third Avenue and North Thirteenth
Street; it was agricultural property where the mall is today. It con-
tinued to be agricultural property until the mall was built. Well
sure, if I could have bought that for a relatively low price back in
1950.... If you knew exactly what was going to happen, but you don't.
And if you bought it, and paid interest on that money for all those
years, and then Gainesville had not developed--the university had not

developed the way it did--you might not have recovered your investment
plus the accumulated interest during that time, and plus taxes,
of course, that went up.
K: Before we close the interview, is there anything else that you would
like to say about your experience here at the University of Florida,
or about anything, for that matter?
B: Yes. I've enjoyed my stay here at Florida. When I came up here,
Gainesville was a relatively small town. You had two or three hotels:
you had the White House; you had the Thomas; you had the
Commercial--that's the only building that's still standing of the
hotels over there. There were about two motels in the whole city.
There were small apartment houses, usually with eight apartments
in the apartment house. There were no big apartment complexes.
Thirteenth Street was a two-lane road at that time. The city has
grown tremendously. It is what would have been thought of back in
the earlier days as a definite metropolitan area. So I have seen
the city itself develop very rapidly in the last twenty-seven years.
And I've seen the university increase tremendously from what
it was in 1950. The university, in 1950, of course, was already
three times the size it had been in 1941. It had very rapid postwar growth from 1946 to 1950,
but it was still in the process of
growing, and the growth has been continuing. The buildings on the
campus have been increased tremendously.
Matherly Hall was dedicated in 1954, and the dedication of the
building actually followed Dean Matherly's death. We had already
moved into the building, and we had our first general faculty meeting
in the building, and it was that night that he died in 1954. The
building was more than we really needed at that time. We had offices,
but there were other departments that used some of the classroom
space. Now, of course, the college is not only using all of Matherly,
but it's using all of Bryan...well, geography is going to get out of
Bryan when the new classroom A building is open. So the college has,
of course, grown along with the university.
These new buildings on the campus now overshadow the older
existing buildings. Library East was here, but we have Library West
that greatly expanded out library facilities. The library is a re-
spectable library, except that in recent years it has not had the
appropriation that it needs in order to keep being a great library;
it's going backward. And this, of course, is true of certain other
programs at the university where the lack of appropriations have kept
the university from developing as it really should develop.
I'm hoping that the present legislature will come through in
this session with adequate funding of many of these programs, and that
in the future it'll continue to consider that the University of
Florida is the flagship university of the state.
K: Thank you very much. I've learned a great deal.