New York (Aug. 1)
PRESIDENCY NOT HIS "KIND OF JOB" BUT DOESN’T KNOW WHAT HE WOULD DO IN 1926
Henry Ford, in an authorized interview reported by Charles W. Wood in COLLIER ‘S for August 4, declared the presidency is not his "kind of a job" and that "it is as silly to talk of drafting him as it is to try to make him volunteer.
Mr. Wood sums up his impression of the hours spent with Henry Ford at Dearborn while piecing together the interview, that Mr. Ford’s present position on the presidency is "more than a declination to become a candidate". "Declinations may be overruled by public clamor, but a straight statement of truth cannot. So long as politics is what it is, Henry Ford simply cannot hold a political position. He is not a Democrat. He is not a Republican. And he has no notion whatever of creating another political party in order to do things that political parties cannot do".
Ford, however, did not explicitly exclude the possibility of his being a candidate. He did say in answer to a question what he would do if he were president, "How does any living person know in 1923, what he would do in 1926 or 1927. If I were president in 1927, what I would do would depend on 1927.
Declaring "no interview with Henry Ford is complete" without a reference to the Jews, Mr. Wood devotes considerable space to the question which he tried to "side-step entirely", but Ford would not let him. What follows is a verbatim reproduction of what appears to have been said by the interviewer and interviewed on the subject of the Jews:-
That is the one subject upon which I found it most difficult to get his point of view; and, naturally, I wanted to side-step it entire. It really can’t be done. References to "the Jews" were sprinkled quite generously throughout our entire talk.
"Mr. Ford laughed at the newspaper dispatch which announced that he, through agents in New York, had tried to ‘make peace with the Jews’. He says he has never made war against them; and I, at least, could never discover any of the ordinary varieties of anti-Semitism in his attitude. While his position has been very hard for one to understand, I am sure that it does not suggest either hatred or fear.
"When the Jews take hold of anything, it goes down’, was one of his commonest observations.
" ‘What do you mean by Jews? ‘ I asked.
" ‘The international financers ‘, he said.
‘Sometimes, after that, he did, but just as often he didn’t. ‘The Jews’, he told me, ‘are ordained by God to clean up the things that are ready to disappear’. Then, as though he were merely repeating himself: ‘These Jew financiers are not building anything. They wait until things begin to decay; then they get into them’.
"I spent hours with Henry Ford, not arguing his question, but trying to get his point of view. All at once it dawned on me. Perhaps he didn’t say anything that he hadn’t said before, but he used terms which I could understand.
" ‘Any business," he said, ‘which is doing a necessary social service ought to be able, as a general thing, to finance itself, just as any man who is working steadily ought to be able to keep out of debt. Unless there is some laziness – unless somebody is lying down on the job – an industry is not apt to get into a fix where it needs help. But the minute it does slow down, or tries to expand abnormally, the Jews sense it. They are keenscented watchdogs in this respect. Aby instituion which has ceased to progress belongs by rights to them and they prepare to take it over. Pretty soon you will find them injecting their wonderful embalming fluid into it which they call ‘finance’.
" ‘You probably think the labor unions were organized by labor, but they weren’t. They were organized by these Jew financiers. The labor union is a great scheme to interrupt work. It speeds up the loafing. It’s a great thing for the Jew to have on hand when he comes around to get his clutches on an industry. Look at the coal business if you want to see the way that the labor unions work with the financiers to paralyze an industry.’ "