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Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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As my colleague who actually wrote the editorial, Leonard Silk, who was our principal economic editorial writer, noted, a propos of that letter in a memo to me: “John, if it was such a poor day for Mr. Cross to find himself serving both the Morgan Guaranty and on the board of the New York Times, why does he not consider resigning from the Morgan Guaranty, so that his special interest will not get in the way of his public policy thinking?” Which I felt was a very appropriate comment to make, and I did write Punch a response to Mr. Cross' letter, in which I - which I will put here into the record, dissenting from his suggestion that the editorial is destructive of the private enterprise system, and so on and so forth.

Here again, the only point of all this is that this was heavy leaning on the editorial policy of the Times by a board member, a member of the New York Times board of directors, who obviously had a very, very special interest. And there's no question of impugning Mr. Cross' sincerity or his integrity or anything else, but it is illustrative of the very difficult problem raised by -


He would have to say to himself, “What good is it for me to be a member of the board of the Times if I can't speak up on an issue like that?”


Well, I would think it's absolutely natural. There's certainly nothing illegal or immoral about it. From the point of view of the editor of the paper, that there is something, perhaps unethical may be too strong. It's questionable that this should happen, and I would have felt and did feel and do feel that this whole problem could be better resolved by only having, if we have to have outside directors as a company whose stock is publicly held,

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