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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 1, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 12-THE LETHMIDOI HERALD Nevemoer President Harding central figure Teapot Dome probe was Washington's first political scandal By BRUCE LEVETT WASHINGTON An mbattled a former ittorney-general under in- mis- ise of powers. but ilso .his is the golden anniversary scandal in politics. It was just SO years in Jie same caucus room now over to the Senate Wa- lergate that a gavel sounded to begin the Teapot Dome investigation. When it was the name a small hill in too small to make the index in Tiost made the ustory books as a synonym For corruption The central figure in the Feapot Dome Scandal was Warren G. 29th pres- ident of the United who jied in office slightly more than two months before the investigation began. If Harding was one of the weakest of U.S his Cool- be ranked at least in this among the strongest History books paint Harding as a reluctant president who did little during his 2Vz years in a map easily ma- a man who had lit- tle control over events that swirled around him. PUSHED BY WIFE It was in state politics that Harding fell under the in- fluence of a shrewd political strategist named Harry M Daugherty Har- dmg's wife and manoeuvred the Ohio publisher toward the White House. Harding named Daug- herty his attorney-general. Daugherty wasn't the only old friend Harding brought to Washington. There were so many of they became known as Ohio even before corruption began to become evident A depression in the farm section of the country in 1921 had cost the Republican party dearly in the 1922 congres- sional elections and his own term scheduled to end 18 months out on a tour to restore confidence in his administration. But already there were dis- closures of corruption. Just before Harding began lis Jesse W. a of killed umself and it was disclosed hat Smith had been rigging iettlements between the jus- ice department and crimi- nals. OTHERS AFFECTED Veterans' Bureau director Charles Forbes went to prison or misuse of funds and bu- legal adviser Charles Zramer committed suicide. Harding and his entourage continued west. He visited first U.S. president to set foot in Can- ada while in office. He went on to Alaska. Somewhere along the a coded telegram came from Washington and a shaken president asked re- porters what a president could 'Cheap shot7 at medical profession VANCOUVER British Columbia Premier Dave Barrett is taking a at the medical profession when he charges that it is running a closed Dr. H. S. Gillespie of president-elect of the British Columbia Medical said today. is anything but a closed shop in B.C. as there is unlimited immigration of doc- tors and it certainly is not the medical profession that restricted enrolment at the University of said Dr. Gillespie in reply to com- ments made in the legislature by the premier. Mr. Barrett said one of the objectives of the new B.C. Medical which will co- ordinate and plan medical education as well as advanced forms of medical will be to turn out more doc- tors do when his friends betrayed him. The message informed the president that the Senate was about to investigate the grant- ing of oil leases. Teapot Dome was on the horizon. Harding became ill-the re- port was food his train moved south through Seattle. His condition did not improve and the tour was halted in San Francisco where the diagnosis was pneumonia. He died Aug. 2 and there was no inquest or cause uf uecitii is not tv this day. His wife burned as many of Harding's papers as she to protect his memory. Mrs. Harding died the following year. Coolidge was sworn in as president by his a notary in the dining room of the family farm in Vermont. He made no move to shield the guilty in the various instances of corruption that had flourished during his predecessor's time in office. in he torced the resig- nation of Daugherty and oth- former attorney-gen- eral later was indicted over incidents concerning the Alien Property Custodian's Office. Two juries failed to agree on a verdict he was freed. the Senate in- vestigation into the granting of oil leases found at the urging of Interior Secretary Albert Harding had sign- ed an executive order transferring oil leases at Elk Hills and Teapot Dome from the navy to the Interior de- partment. Fall leased the Elk Hills re- serve in California to Edward Dofaeny of the Pan-American Petroleum and Transport Company. Teapot Dome re- serves went to Harry F. Sin- clair's Mammoth Oil Co. In neither case had there been public notice or com- petitive bidding. The investigation disclosed that Fall had accepted bribes of at least from Doheny and from Sin- clair. He was mid flflfed Fall is the only cabinet min- ister ever to serve a prison term for activities connected with government service. Navy Secretary Edwin Denby also resigned but was never charged. To replace Cool- idge appointed Harlan Fiske whose first move was to revamp the Bureau of In- vestigation into the Federal Bureau of Investigation fire the director and promote the young assistant J. Edgar Hoover. Teapot Dome dragged on through the 1920s intothe De- pression era. It was 1931 be- fore nally went to prison for brief terms. There is one more parallel between Teapot Dome and Watergate. In both least in bringing the facts to was given to newspapers. 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