Federal Land Bank of Berkeley President, William H. Joyce, wrote Farm Loan Board Commissioner George W. Norris on June 30, 1919 regarding Joyce’s meeting with officers of the Bank of Italy to discuss their plan to organize a Joint Stock Land Bank. Norris mentions the prospect that Joint Stock Land Banks may be eliminated if a bill to be introduced by Senator Smoot was passed. The purpose of Joyce’s meeting was “for the promotion of harmony,” with the hope that they could “maintain a sort of gentleman’s agreement and a working relationship which would really be mutually beneficial rather than antagonistic and competitive.” Noting the seven thousand loan applications (worth twenty $22,000,000) his bank had rejected, Joyce wanted to be able to turn that business over to a Joint Stock Land Bank in exchange for payment of the cost of appraising that business, which had come at loss to his bank. Joyce closed his letter with a request of the Board’s opinion on whether they approved the plan of the Bank of Italy.
Norris did not disapprove of Joyce’s meeting but emphasized that the matter may be moot, for Senator Reed Smoot (R) of Utah had announced his plan to introduce a bill amending the Farm Loan Act to eliminate Joint Stock Land Banks. Norris felt that the proposed bill was likely to pass, so declined to consider the matter much further until the vote came to pass.
Institution: National Archives and Records Administration
Collection Name: RG 103, Entry 87-A
Box & Folder: b.25 f.1
Tags: 1910's, Farm Loan Associations, Farming, Federal Farm Loan Board, Finance, Joint Stock Land Banks, Land Banks, Pacific, Woodrow Wilson