Lewis W. Douglas, who resigned last summer as Director of the Budget when he and President Roosevelt were unable to agree on a program of government expenditure, has accepted the invitation to deliver the annual Godkin Lectures this spring. His topic and the dates of the series will be announced later.
Since Mr. Douglas must deal with the "Essentials of Free Government and the Duties of the Citizen" under the terms of the endowment, it is probable that he will discuss the underlying philosophy of the present Administration. Whether he will take up its financial aspects is an open question.
Mr. Douglas, who was awarded an honorary LL.D. here in 1933 "for saving the national credit by wise and just economy" has won his reputation through government service. When he served in Congress from 1927 to 1933, he criticized the Hoover Administration for failing to take sufficiently decisive action to achieve recovery. At that time, he was generally regarded as a liberal.
Becomes Budget Chief
Upon his appointment as Director of the Budget in February, 1933 he became a leading figure in the new deal. Credit for the Economy Bill and the cuts in bonus payments has been attributed to him. As the succeeding months brought tremendous increases in government expenditures, however, the gulf between the beliefs of Roosevelt and his close adviser was uncovered.
Mr. Douglas insisted on a program which would bring the budget into balance and which would ensure the financial integrity of the Treasury. Otherwise, he considered recovery impossible.
The resignations in November 1933 of Dr. Oliver M. W. Sprague, Edmund Cogswell Converse Professor of Banking and Finance, and Dean G. Acheson, Under Secretary of the Treasury, after the Warren and Rogers experimental period with the dollar, made it clear that "so-called conservative" financial policies would not be followed. Nevertheless Mr. Douglas retained his post for ten months in the hope that he might gain the ear of the President.
During the final months of his office, he carried out only routine duties and apparently was not consulted at all by Roosevelt on matters of financial policy.
This important series of lectures was given to the University in 1903 by the friends of Edwin L. Godkin, noted editorial writer on the old New York Evening Post and founder of the Nation, "as a memorial of his long and distinguished service to the country of his adoption."
Previous lecturers have included: Walter Lippmann '10, Lord Bryce, President Eliot, President Hibben of Princeton, and A. D. Lindsay, Master of Balliol College, Oxford