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Notes on The Memoirs of Cordell Hull
by William P. Meyers

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Page 6
Cordell Hull on Disarmament, 1928 Election, and Election as Senator

Hull is critical of the 1921-1922 Washington Disarmament Conference (better known as the Washington Naval Conference). He believes more could have been achieved by the U.S. joining the League of Nations and that the U.S. disarmed more than other nations. He notes the rivalry of Japan with the U.S. and Britain for economic control of China. He notes the Conference was very popular with the American people, and argues with William Jennings Bryan about it. [116-117]

Hull opened the Democratic National Convention of 1924 in New York City. John W. Davis was nominated for President, and Hull acted as a campaign advisor. [122-123]

In the 1920s Hull decried the rise in U.S. and global tariffs and pointed out how hard they made it for foreign governments to repay their debts to the U.S. [126-127]

In 1927, after a tonsillectomy, Hull stopped smoking cigars, which he said he had been smoking at a rate of 15 per day for 35 years. [129]

In 1928 many Democratic Party leaders endorsed Hull for President, although he did not seek the nomination. Alfred E. Smith won the nomination on the first ballot in Houston. Smith favored high tariffs. [129-130]

In 1929 "my conferences with Franklin D. Roosevelt intensified ... Mr. Roosevelt used to stop off at the hotel near the depot in Washington. ... He entertained the same tariff and general economic views as myself. These conferences continued until the time arrived to organize in support of his candidacy for President in 1932." [131-132]

"My battle against the Smoot-Hawley bill became almost an individual effort." [132]

After the death of Senator Lawrence D. Tyson, in late 1929, Cordell decided to seek the office of U.S. Senator representing Tennessee. He defeated A. L. Todd in the Democratic Party primary. "Political parties, it seemed to me, had become weary and debilitated. They no longer functioned as united national entities behind definite programs that really meant something to the American people." He won the primary then easily beat a Republican. [138-139]

Cordell Hull became a U.S. Senator in 1931.

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