Paul Comly French (died 1956)

To help get the word out to the public about the fascist coup to overthrow President F.D. Roosevelt, General Butler turned to the editor of the Philadelphia Herald who had given supportive coverage to his efforts to smash illegal drinking and to expose political corruption when he was seconded by the Marines to the Philadelphia Police Force. Paul Comly French was a reporter enlisted to interview Butler and to write an article exposing Butler's testimony to the MacCormack-Dickstein House Committee on Un-American Activities.

French's article, unlike almost all other mainstream media coverage at the time, did expose the coup and, most importantly, his article named many of the wealthy Wall Street bankers and corporate leaders who were behind it. Here is French's article:

by Paul Comly French
(Copyright [Nov. 20] 1934)

Major General Smedley D. Butler revealed today he has been asked by a group of wealthy New York brokers to lead a Fascist movement to set up a dictatorship in the United States.

General Butler, ranking major general of the Marine Corps up to his retirement three years ago, told his story today at a secret session of the Congressional Committee on un-American Activities.

Before he appeared before the committee, General Butler gave the (correspondent) a detailed account of the offer made to him.

"Of course I told the leaders of this Fascist movement that I wasn't interested in Fascism or in any other Ism," Butler said with characteristic vigor, "and that I wouldn't consider any such proposition.

"The whole affair smacked of treason to me."

He said he was approached by Gerald G. MacGuire, who is connected with the firm of Grayson M.-P. Murphy & Co., 52 Broadway, and asked to organize 500,000 veterans into a Fascist army.

"Shortly after MacGuire first came to see me," General Butler continued, "he arranged for Robert Sterling Clark, a New York broker, to come to my home at Newtown Square, Pa., to see me."

Clark, who maintains offices at 11 Wall Street, is reported to be worth more than $50,000,000.

General Butler outlined the details of the plan. He said MacGuire assured him "they have $3,000,000 'on the line' to start the organization. .

"The upshot of his proposition was that I was to head a soldier organization . . . in Washington (to) take over the functions of government.... MacGuire explained to me that they had two other candidates for the position of 'man on the white horse.' He said that if I did not accept, an offer would be made to General Douglas MacArthur, chief of staff of the United States Army, whose term of office expires November 22, and that the third choice would be Hanford MacNider, former commander of the American Legion. So far as I know, neither General MacArthur nor MacNider has been approached. Their names were merely mentioned as 'alternates.'

If the Un-American Committee wanted to get the whole truth, Butler testified, it should call Banker Murphy (Morgan banker, and treasurer of the Liberty League) Alfred E. Smith (of the Liberty League), General MacArthur, Legion Commander MacNider, and Giannini banker Frank N. Belgrano, and William Doyle, former Department Commander of the Legion in Massachusetts and one of the "Royal Family" or "king makers" of that organization. Apparently the Committee did not want to get the truth."
Source: George Seldes, 1000 Americans, 1947. (Click here to read more about the media coverup as documented by George Seldes.)

Between 1940 and 1946, Paul C. French, was the executive director of the National Service Board for Religious Objectors (NSBRO) (formerly called the National Interreligious Service Board for Conscientious Objectors). In 1940, his book on conscientious objectors to war was published. It is called We Won't Murder, Being the Story of Men Who Followed Their Conscientious Scruples and Helped Give Life to Democracy (NY: Hastings, 1940), 189 pp. (GWU),

During his life, French also worked as a trade union official, an anti-war publicist and as the administrator for CARE, an anti-poverty organization.


Swarthmore College Peace Collection, 500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081-1399, U.S.A.
Center on Conscience and War, Records, 1940-present

George Seldes, Even the Gods Can't Change History, p. 157

"Notes on activities of my brother Paul Comly French." Clippings re: Paul C. French (died ca. 1956), Trade association official, anti-war publicist, conscientious objector organizer and administrator for CARE. ca. 1945-ca. 1956

Twentieth Century Organizations Founded By Individual Quakers or Groups of Quakers or Quakers in Other Groups
By Sally Rickerman, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting