The violent labor struggles of the early 20th century engendered concern at all levels of society and led to the appointment of a federal Commission on Industrial Relations in early 1913. Headed by Kansas City lawyer-reformer Frank Walsh, the commission was in the midst of taking testimony from owners, workers, and reformers in dozens of industrial communities around the country when the southern Colorado coal strike erupted late in 1913. The killing of three women and eleven children at a mining encampment in Ludlow, Colorado, on Easter night, 1914, sent shock waves across the country. After the “Ludlow massacre,” as it came to be known, the commission held public hearings in Colorado where they heard horror stories about the brutality and rapacity of the Rockefeller-owned Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, the region’s largest operator of coal mines. These articles from the New York Times described the testimony of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., before the commission, where he denied any knowledge of his company’s brutal actions against the Ludlow strikers.
New York Times, May 21, 1915:
ROCKEFELLER SAYS HE TRIES TO BE FAIR
John D., Jr., Tells Industrial Commission
He Did Not Draft Letter For Colorado Governor
NOT INTERESTED IN LAWSON
And Denies He Sought Conviction of Labor Leader - Hears Pastor Accuse Him of Treason.
Washington, May 20—John D. Rockefeller, Jr., sat for several hours today during the examination of the Rev. Samuel S. McCorkle of Sunrise Wyo., a worker in one of the camps of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, before the Industrial Commission, and heard himself described as a man who had committed treason and should be executed. After that Mr. Rockefeller was called to the stand and subjected to a scathing examination by Chairman Walsh. Mr. Rockefeller was accompanied by W. L. MacKenzie King, former Canadian Commissioner of Labor; Starr J. Murphy, of his personal office staff; L. M. Bowers, former Chairman of the Executive Board of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company; Ivy Lee, his publicity manager, and Charles O. Heydt, his Secretary.
Mr. Rockefeller was an intent listener to the statements of Mr. McCorkle. He did not allow his attention to be interrupted by conversation with his assistants. Dr. Dumba, the Ambassador of Austria-Hungary, came into the room while Mr. McCorkle was being heard and took a seat at Mr. Rockefeller’s right. He smilingly undertook to engage Mr. Rockefeller in conversation, but the effort was unsuccessful. Mr. Rockefeller nodded and fastened his face upon the young clergyman, who was testifying.
Chairman Walsh began the examination of Mr. Rockefeller a few minutes after 4 o’clock and proceeded to his task with apparent impetuosity. He had hardly obtained a dozen answers which recorded the name, occupation and residence of the witness, before Mr. Rockefeller asked to be allowed to read a statement he had prepared.
At first Chairman Walsh refused, and insisted on proceeding with his questions, but a few minutes later Mr. Rockefeller got permission to read what he had prepared. As soon as the reading was concluded Chairman Walsh began a series of direct questions that came with some swiftness and some heat. Mr. Rockefeller did not appear disturbed. He tried for a time to make answers that would meet Chairman Walsh’s demands. Mr. Walsh wanted to know if the witness knew that thousands of his employes were taken to the tent colonies in the Fall of 1913, and when he was writing reassuring letters to Mr. Bowers at Christmas time his former workmen were with their families suffering in the canyons of Colorado without work or food. Mr. Rockefeller replied that he could not say, but that officials of the company could state the facts. Later, Mr. Rockefeller appeared to realize that Chairman Walsh intended to handle him roughly, and his manner changed.
Mr. Rockefeller’s Statement.
The statement that Mr. Rockefeller read recited the various suggestions considered to remedy the labor situation in Colorado; denied that he or any official of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company had taken part in securing the conviction of John Lawson; that he had no knowledge that the agents of the company had fixed prices or working conditions at the mines, and declared that had at all times tried to do what he thought right and wise. Here is part of the statement:
"I had hoped to have carried out before this the purpose mentioned to the commission in January to go to Colorado and see for myself what conditions are. But through an unfortunate succession of events I have thus far been prevented from doing so. While I might, of course, have found time to go for a few days I have been postponing the trip until such time as I could be free to stay for several weeks, or as much longer as necessary. It is still my purpose to undertake this mission as soon as it can be arranged, with due regard to my other obligations.
“In the meantime, I am assured by the officers of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company that they are co-operating with these employes to improve working and living conditions, and these co-operative efforts are meeting with gratifying success. Following the hearings in New York in January, I was glad to avail myself of the opportunity for informal conferences with members of labor organizations, to get their point of view concerning the Colorado situation. We have also had helpful conferences with the commission of which Mr. Seth Low is Chairman, appointed by the President of the United States, and have assured that commission of our desire to co-operate with it in its work of promoting harmony and good will.”
In regard to the controversy over Mr. Rockefeller’s responsibility for inspiring Governor Ammons' letter on the strike to President Wilson, Mr. Rockefeller said:
"It has been stated that correspondence filed with this commission shows that I exercised a personal influence that extended even to the State House at Denver, and presumed to dictate letters that went out to the President of the United States and to the Governors of the States, over the signature of the Governor of Colorado. The facts are as follows:
Lee Prepared Draft for Governor.
"Last May Governor Ammons sent Major E. J. Boughton, Adjutant General of Colorado, to New York. I never met Major Boughton, but he met Mr. Lee. Major Boughton said Governor Ammons had been concerned over the misunderstanding which seemed to prevail in East over certain phases of the strike. Mr. Lee suggested that the Governor write a letter to the President of the United States and another to his fellow-Governors of other States, setting forth the situation as Governor Ammons saw it. Major Boughton suggested that Mr. Lee make his ideas concrete by preparing a draft of the kind of statement or letter he had in mind. As a basis for such a draft, Major Boughton sent to Mr. Lee a memorandum of his own views of the situation.
"The memorandum written by me and referred to in one of my letters as having been sent by me to Mr. Lee, was nothing more than a rough draft of a statement concerning the Colorado situation which I had drawn up in answer to statements which had appeared in the press, but had never been used. A copy of this memorandum, which, as I wrote Mr. Lee on June 10, 1914, was incomplete and only suggestive, was given to the press some weeks ago.
“Personally, I have never seen a copy of the draft which was sent. Major Boughton has since advised Mr. Lee that he went no further with the suggestions, and that neither General Chase nor Governor Ammons ever knew that suggestions had been made.”
After reading his prepared statement Mr. Rockefeller continued to read a series of letters written to him by Mr. Bowers, Chairman of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company. In one, dated Oct. 11, 1918, Mr. Bowers wrote:
“When this Government places in the Cabinet men like Commissioner of Labor Wilson, who was for many years Secretary of the United Mine Workers of America, which has been one of the unions that permitted more disorder and bloodshed than any class of labor organizations in this country, we are not skating on thin ice, but we are on top of a volcano.”
Said President Dodged Issues.
In another letter to Mr. Rockefeller, dated Nov. 28, 1913, Mr. Bowers, referring to a visit of Secretary of Labor Wilson to the Colorado strike zone said:
"I will inclose herein, or forward to you later in the day, copies of President Wilson’s reply to my letter of Nov. 8 and my answer to all the points he raised. You will notice in his letter that he dodged all the essentials, excusing himself in a way that men usually take when they have the worst of the argument, and he falls back onto arbitration law and the spirit of the times. A test case which, if successful, will warrant a national campaign to force the closing of open shops throughout the country during Secretary Wilson’s retention in President Wilson’s Cabinet. My reference to this matter being a national issue in my letter to President Wilson was to give him a hint that any such attempt of the part of the Department of Labor supporting labor union leaders in this movement would not be tolerated by the American people.
We are satisfied, all of us, that since the receipt of our letters by President Wilson, and your reply to Secretary Wilson’s telegram, the letter has been prompted to labor for any sort of a compromise, to which we will never consent."
One passage between Mr. Walsh and the witness dealt with the advance in the price of coal in Colorado because of the strike. Mr. Rockefeller read a telegram from Mr. Wellborn, dated May 15, 1915 saying no shortage had occurred in the coal supply until Nov. 15, 1913. And it was insisted that the price of coal had not gone up. Mr. Walsh, however, secured the admission from the witness that the Southern Colorado supply was then exhausted and the Northern supply cost $1.50 more a ton.
“Did you know that the men sworn in as Deputy Sheriffs by Jeff Farr, at Trinidad, were Baldwin-Phelps detectives and that the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company supplied them with guns?” asked Chairman Walsh.
“I must refer you to Mr. Wellborn,” said Mr. Rockefeller.
“Would you go to Denver and take actions against your officials and employes paid by you down to and through the trial of Lawson, if you knew that their testimony was being used to secure conviction and in effect being paid for by the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company?”
“I would not stand back of any authority that was not perfectly fair,” replied the witness.
“Then you would go there?”
“I am not prepared to say what steps I would take,” said the witness.
“Suppose that you learned that a man who had an exclusive privilege with the company was taken to Trinidad and made a member of the jury that tried Lawson, what would you do?”
“I have no knowledge of the facts you state.”
“You met this young man, Lawson?”
“Yes, I met Mr. Lawson.”
“What steps would you take to save him from a life sentence by a jury on which this man was a member?”
“I cannot say.”
“Would you say that was fair.”
“I am not at all familiar with the facts.”
“Well, if you were and the facts are as I have said?”
“I would do what was necessary,” replied the witness. “I should say that the State should select the jurors with care and that an improper juror should be rejected.”
Won’t Stand for Injustice.
Mr. Walsh told the witness that the Rev. Eugene Gaddis, formerly the Sociological Superintendent of the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company had testified that he had met on a train, one W. W. Wilson who said he had the exclusive contract to sell the goods of the United Biscuit Company to the company stores of the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company, and that he had been a member of the jury that convicted Lawson. Mr. Rockefeller said he had not heard the Gaddis testimony but would read it. Mr. Walsh seemed to be angered at the indifference of Mr. Rockefeller to the testimony before the commission.
“Haven’t you heard any of these witnesses telling about the conditions out there?” he exclaimed. “Is it a part of your plan not to learn or to even hear of these conditions?”
“I shall read the testimony,” quietly replied the witness.
“Well if it turns out as has been testified here by Mr. Gaddis, will you do anything?”
“I would not be a party to any injustice, and I reserve the right to act as I deem wise and right. The administration of justice is in the hands of the State authorities.”
“Well, what will you do?” demanded Chairman Walsh, bending over towards the witness with his face drawn and tense with feeling.
“If an injustice has been done I will do all I can to see that justice is done,” replied Mr. Rockefeller.
Chairman Walsh read a letter from Mr. Rockefeller to Mr. Bowers, dated Dec. 26, 1913, at a time when foreigners and negroes were being sent into the Colorado coal fields to take the places of the strikers.
“You say you tell your father of the progress of the industries in which he is interested. Did you tell him that when your men were out in the canyons that Christmas, your officials were shipping in these foreigners and negroes to take their places and forcing them to starvation?”
Mr. Rockefeller said he could not remember as far back as that and added that his father lived out in the country and he saw him as often as he could and probably he had seen him that Christmas.
“Well, what did he say about this situation? Or did he just laugh at it?” fiercely demanded Mr. Walsh.
“It is difficult for me to recollect,” said Mr. Rockefeller.
Mr. Walsh brought up Jeff Barr and his employment of 328 special Deputy Sheriffs who were gunmen and thugs, he said, recruited from all parts of the country, and the shooting of a miner at Forbes as he lay in the tent.
“I can’t vouch for the account of that,” said Mr. Rockefeller.
“Well, did your officials ever, prior to this letter of yours at Christmas time, treat with the men? As a matter of fact, didn’t they refuse even to go through a door in a thin partition to meet the representatives of the men?”
“I remember that the representatives of the company met the representatives of the miners in the presence of Secretary Wilson and proposed terms that were not agreed to by the men,” replied the witness.
As the hearing was adjourned “Mother” Jones, who for several days occupied a front seat in order to be present to hear Mr. Rockefeller’s testimony arose and tried to address Chairman Walsh.
“We cannot allow the hearing to be interrupted,” exclaimed Mr. Walsh, “and we have adjourned.” Mrs. Jones explained afterward that she desired to ask some questions.
New York Times, May 22, 1915:
ROCKEFELLER AGAIN HECKLED BY WALSH
Chairman Resents Associates Attempts to Soften Attacks - Will Run Hearing His Way.
WITNESS DISPLAYS SPIRIT
Resents Imputations as to Motives and Disclaims Responsibility for Colorado Strike Horrors.
Washington, May 21. - Throughout a hot day in stifling air, made the more intolerable by the presence of a large crowd stretching out into the corridors, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., remained on the witness stand at the hearing before the Federal Commission on Industrial Relations. The examination was conducted by Frank P. Walsh, Chairman of the Commission, with the same relentless and times savage plainness of language and intensity of manner that characterized the opening of Mr. Rockefeller’s testimony yesterday. Because of what was regarded as an authorized statement that the commission at a meeting last night discussed Mr. Walsh’s methods and decided that they must be modified, there was expectation that the tone of the questions put to Mr. Rockefeller would be very much softened. But the expectation was not realized, and the witness was pursued all day with questions of the most direct character.
Mr. Rockefeller demanded that there be accorded to him the same rights given to other witnesses, and firmly insisted that Chairman Walsh was seeking to inject into his questions implications against the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company and its officers. Some questions he declined to answer, as improper, and others he characterized as useless.
Chairman Walsh was the sole examiner today, other members taking no part in the questioning. Mr. Rockefeller will be on the stand again tomorrow.
Before the session began the commission held an executive session at the instance of Commissioners Weinstock and Mrs. J. Borden Harriman, who frankly informed Chairman Walsh that they believed the attitude he assumed yesterday had the appearance of hostility.
Mr. Walsh said he had no intention of displaying hostility, but that he could not restrain a tendency to conduct the examination vigorously. He informed his colleagues, moreover, that he was determined to conduct the examination as he saw fit. Later in the open hearing the Chairman emphatically told Mr. Rockefeller he was running the examination, and did not propose to be dictated to by the witness.
Would Resort to Force.
A circumstance considered to be of significance today was the statement by Mr. Rockefeller that he agreed with witnesses who said recently before the commission that after all legal means had been employed for the protection of their lives and property, they would resort to force. This was the position taken by a considerable number of witnesses representing organized labor.
The whole purpose of the day’s examination was to connect the action and policy of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company before, during, and since the strike in 1913 with the Rockefellers, father and son. Mr. Rockefeller admitted that he had power to make and unmake Directors and officers of the company, that he approved of the methods employed by his representatives in Colorado in “whipping into line” Governor Ammons to use the State militia to escort strikebreakers to the mines, and that the company equipped and armed Troop A of the State militia, which was organized from superintendents, clerks, physicians, and mine bosses of the company, this being the organization that killed miners and their wives and children at Ludlow. Mr. Rockefeller himself spoke of the affair as the “Ludlow Massacre,” and said in extenuation of the deaths that the evidence seemed to show that many lost their lives from being smothered, rather than shot.
Circulated a Hillis Sermon.
Much time was spent on the strike publicity work done through Ivy L. Lee, and an extended passage was devoted to a sermon by the Rev. Dr. Newell Dwight Hills of Brooklyn, entitled “The Real Issue of the Strike in Colorado,” that was printed and distributed by Mr. Lee apparently through an agency in Detroit. The facts in regard to this sermon came out because it was sent to all the students at Cornell.
Dean James H. Brewster of the Law Department of the State University of Colorado, testified that he wrote a letter to Dr. Hillis protesting against his alleged misstatements of fact about the strike. Dr. Hillis did not answer the letter or take any steps, he said, to correct the misrepresentations in his sermon.
Dean Brewster charged that gifts of $100,000 in each case had been given to two colleges in Colorado as a reward for a statement signed by the Presidents of those colleges declaring that the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company should be supported by good citizens as against the strikers. Mr. Rockefeller declared with emphasis that he resented the imputation.
Chairman Walsh read from a letter from Mr. Rockefeller to Mr. Lee to show that the Hillis sermon was to be used in the campaign of publicity for the company.
When Mr. Rockefeller took the stand in the morning he read a statement making all the more clear his position in regard to the case of John R. Lawson of the miners' organization, who is under sentence of life imprisonment for a murder growing out of his participation in the strike. Mr. Rockefeller said yesterday he would do all in his power to see that there should be no injustice done in Lawson’s case. In his statement today he said:
"Since giving my testimony yesterday, I have read with care the stenographer’s transcript of the questions asked by the Chairman of this commission in reference to the Lawson trial and my view of certain hypothetical cases and the course I would take should the facts subsequently prove to be as presented. As these questions all relate to a criminal appeal at present pending before the courts of this country, I feel that my position cannot be too precisely stated.
"I have no more right than has any other citizen in this country to attempt to interfere with or influence the course of justice, and questions which are so framed as to seek to put me in the position of appearing to concede that there has been willful tampering with the courts or of stating what I am prepared to do to influence the future course of justice, either as respects Mr. Lawson or any other person, I cannot regard as other than improper questions, and a direct reflection upon those who are charged with the administration of justice. To sinister reflections of this kind I must decline to be a party even by influence.
“Were I, either directly or indirectly, to attempt to influence the judiciary of Colorado as respects the present appeal in Mr. Lawson’s trial, I should be guilty of the very procedure against which witnesses before this commission have so strongly protested.”
Ludlow Massacre Taken Up.
The hearing had not preceded far before Mr. Walsh directed the witness' attention to the “massacre at Ludlow,” and asked him if he had read the testimony taken before the Coroner’s jury. Mr. Rockefeller said that he had not - that he had trusted the officials of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company in their statements in regard to what took place.
“You close your eyes to the crime at Ludlow and the evidence at the inquest?” asked Mr. Walsh. “You sit back in your offices in New York and say ‘I uphold the executives’?”
Mr. Walsh produced a postal card from the mother of a little boy, Frank Snyder, killed at Ludlow while, so Chairman Walsh said, caressing his sister.
“Here is this boy’s picture,” said the Chairman, sending a photograph over to Mr. Rockefeller. “Do you wish to see it?”
“No; you have described it,” said Mr. Rockefeller, putting his hands up in protest as the sergeant-at-arms held the photograph out to him.
“On April 18,” said Mr. Walsh, “five days before the Ludlow horror, you got a letter from Mr. Bowers personally addressed to John D. Rockefeller, Jr., in which he stated: ‘Another favorable feature of the strike situation is the organization of a military company of 100 volunteers at Trinidad next week; they are to be armed by the State and drilled by military officers. Another squad has been organized at Walsenberg; they are independent of the militiamen and will be subject to orders of the Sheriff of the county. These volunteers will draw no pay from the State.’ Didn’t you get from this letter the knowledge that that was a volunteer company that the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company was to pay?”
“If that is what the letter states I must have understood it so,” answered Mr. Rockefeller.
“I will ask you if, immediately after the Ludlow massacre, on the next day, you did not receive this telegram from Mr. Bowers: 'Following withdrawal of troops by order of Governor, an unprovoked attack upon small force of militia yesterday by 200 strikers forced fight, resulting in probable loss of ten or fifteen strikers. Only one militiaman killed. Ludlow tent colony of strikers totally destroyed by burning 200 tents, caused by explosion, showing ammunition and dynamite stored in them. Expect further fighting today. Militia to be reinforced. Suggest you give this information to friendly papers. L. M. Bowers; What friendly papers?”
Knows of No Friendly Papers.
“If I had undertaken to carry out his suggestion, I would not have known where to turn,” Mr. Rockefeller replied.
“Mr. Bowers just imagined you had friendly papers to give this to?”
“I suppose he thought there were some. I don’t know any more than you do, but I would not know where to turn in New York to find a friendly paper.”
“Please indicate what friendly papers he meant.”
“I do not know a friendly paper.”
“Did you give it out to the papers?”
“I do not know.”
“Did you give it to your publicity agent to give out to the papers?”
“I do not recall.”
“You have learned,” said Mr. Walsh, reading from a letter or other memorandum, “that Troop A was made up of superintendents, foremen, the clerical force, physicians, store keepers, and mine guards?”
“Does that say ‘of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company’?”
“It says it was a troop of men enlisted among the Superintendents, and foremen, the clerical force, physicians, store keepers, mine guards, and other residents of coal camps. Do you claim that they were not your mine guards?”
“I do not claim one way or the other.”
“I will say that the other testimony showed that they were your mine guards, store keepers, and others,” said Mr. Walsh. “Now these men were actually paid with the money of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company for whatever they did that day?”
“I do not suppose they were off the payrolls of the company because they went into the military company.”
“Do you have militia raised in other states that way?”
“There is another question, Mr. Chairman, I do not think is fair,” said Mr. Rockefeller. “I never heard of a case of a man serving in the militia and while doing so his pay being stopped by his employer.”
“I will ask you the direct question: Were these men, mine guards, physicians, store keepers, and others, that went into Troop A, paid by you for what they did that day? Were they kept on the payroll?”
“I do not know,” said Mr. Rockefeller.
“Do you know that afterward Troop A wantonly fired on this camp where there were women and children, that they looted the dead, stole their property and set fire with torches and oil to the tents in which they were dwelling?”
“That is one of the reports that have been circulated.”
Credits Burning and Looting.
Mr. Walsh read from the report of the Military Commission presided over by Major Boughton as follows: “Beyond a doubt, it was seen to intentionally that the fire should destroy the whole of the colony. This too, was accomplished by the usual loot. So deliberately was this burning and looting that we find that cans of oil found in the tents were poured upon them and the tents lit with matches.”
“That is the report,” said Mr. Walsh, “of the Military Commission, signed by Major Boughton. Do you believe it now?”
“Of course I believe the statement made by those gentlemen.”
“If you had known that the company, composed in large part of mine guards, was going to be put into the field, what action would you have taken as a Director of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company?”
“I would have taken no action,” replied the witness. “I would have deplored the necessity which compelled the officers of the company to resort to such measures to supplement the State forces to maintain law and order.”
“Have you made any effort of your own, as a director of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, to bring to justice those men in your own employ, who are in Troop A, who may have poured oil on the tents of those people and lit them with matches?”
Chairman Walsh referred to the case of Linderfelt, accused of complicity in the killing of a striker named Tikas and tried and acquitted by a military court.
“As your company was interested in the upholding of the law,” continued Mr. Walsh, “has it taken any action to have Linderfelt brought to justice in the criminal courts of Colorado?”
“As I understand it,” replied Mr. Rockefeller, “Linderfelt was a member of the State militia, under the orders of the Adjutant General of the State, and I should regard it as interfering with the military authorities of the State and the civil authorities and the authorities that are upholding justice if I were to take any such step as you suggest.”
Resents and Imputation.
Mr. Walsh handed the witness a copy of Leslie’s Weekly with an advertisement of the Standard Oil Company on the back, and asked if that had any connection with the fact that “Mr. Bowers thought that this was a splendid publication, a good one to send out industrial matter to.”
“I resent the imputation,” replied Mr. Rockefeller. “I have no connection with any of the Standard Oil Companies.”
Mr. Walsh read an article by Professor John J. Stevenson of Columbia University in the Popular Science Monthly, which Mr. Rockefeller in a letter to Mr. Lee had pronounced the best article he had ever seen on the labor question. The article declared that “one E. H. Harriman was of more lasting service to a nation than a million unskilled laborers;” that “unskilled labor is merely animated machinery,” and that “owners of industrial concerns assumed all risks.” Members of trade unions were referred to as “peons,” and it was said that the principles of the unions were “no better than those of the India thugs, who practiced robbery and murder.”
Mr. Walsh wanted to know if Mr. Rockefeller thought these two statements were true. The witness declined to give his opinion of the statements separately, but said that the article as a whole was sound and of great value.
Letters from Mr. Bowers were read, in which he said that he had finally “got our little cowboy Governor whipped into line” to use the militia to take strike-breakers to the mines. Former testimony was read to show how Attorney General Farrell had persuaded the Governor at the alleged urging of a number of banks to use the troops for the mine operators. Mr. Rockefeller said he had no direct knowledge on the subject, and that the officers of the company could be relied on to do what was best and right.
New York Times, May 23, 1915:
WALSH AGAIN TILTS WITH ROCKEFELLER
Industrial Commission Chairman Continues His Hammer-and-Tongs Method of Inquiry.
PROTEST BY WEINSTOCK
Commissioner Objects to Walsh’s Methods and Says Nothing Has Been Gained by Them.
Washington, May 22. - John D. Rockefeller, Jr., today underwent four hours more of questioning by Chairman Walsh, of the Industrial Commission. Late in the afternoon he was excused in order that he might return to New York. The general line of questions today, as yesterday, was intended to establish responsibility of the Rockefellers, father and son, for the labor conditions in the Colorado coal field. The attitude of Mr. Walsh and of the witnesses were unchanged. Mr. Walsh, in spite of the objections that had been raised by some of his commission associates to his methods, went at Mr. Rockefeller in hammer-and-tongs fashion.
When Mr. Walsh had concluded, Commissioner Weinstock read into the record numerous statements from Colorado newspapers giving opinions in regard to the causes and the character of the Colorado strike. Mr. Weinstock protested against what he thought to be a discrimination against Mr. Rockefeller in that he had not been supplied, as other witnesses had, with an outline of questions to assist him in his testimony.
Chairman Walsh explained that the commission had appointed a Committee of Procedure in hearings, of which committee Mr. Weinstock was not a member, and when this committee took up consideration of the method of conducting he
Source: New York Times, 21–23 September 1915.