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Q. Can you recall now just the conversation as to when the fight was on?
A. I don't know what Mr. Ekern meant. I can only say what I thought he meant.
Q. What do you think?
A. What I thought he meant at that time was that if there was a scrap between Senator La Follette and Governor Mc Govern he thought that thing was going to crop out in the speakership fight, so I would have to take one side or the other.
Q. That is, that there was no middle ground there?
A. There was no middle ground in the speakership contest in his opinion.
Q. It was a matter of common understanding before you came down here as to who the candidate was that was being • favored by the Governor, and who the candidate was that was being favored by the Senator ?
A. It was common newspaper talk. That is the reason I wanted to refer to Mr. Ekern, because the newspapers had Mr. Goff in a class he did not occupy at that time.
Q. I say you understood the line as drawn by thenewspaper talk?
A. Yes, oh, yes.
Q. And all you understood about it before you came into Ekern's office was newspaper talk ?
A. He told me he believed the fight was on so we could not keep it out of the speakership contest and that I should have to take either one side or the other. We did not mention the men's names. I think he assumed that I read the papers and that Mr. Goff and Mr. Johnson seemed to have been classed as against the Governor.
Q. What candidate did you understand was the La Follette candidate?
A. Why, I understood that the papers had lined Mr. Johnson and Mr. Goff up as La Follette candidates, as opposed to the Governor. That is what I wanted to say to you a while ago. I knew Mr. Goff did not occupy any such position as that, that he was friendly to both parties.
Q. And who was on the other side, favored by the Governor?
A. Well, it wasn't clear in my mind, and no names were mentioned either by Mr. Ekern or myself at that time.
Q. But you understood that there was, from the talk that you had with Ekern, lines drawn on the candidates for the speakership, as between the Governor and the Senator?
A. No, not that. That the lines—that is, that there was a fight on between the two men and that we could not keep that out of the speakership contest.
Q. And when he referred to it, that there was no middle ground, what did you understand by that?
A. Well. I understood by that that when we came to elect a speaker in the assembly that they would divide upon those lines, and that no person could be elected that was not either in one camp or the other, if I may use that expression. • Q. Do you know whether Mr. Ekern knew what your polities were?
A. Why, I have no way of knowing, no. I don't think I talked politics with Mr. Ekern for years.
Q. I mean as to what your politics were generally, as to being in favor of La Follette ?
A. 'Well, I told him there was just my position.
A. Why, I think Mr. Ekern has known for a long time that I have been an ardent La Follette man, and he has known also I think that I have supported the Governor.
Senator Kileen: That is all.
The Chairman: What is the further pleasure of the committee?
Mr. Aylward: That is all the testimony we have to offer, your honor, but we would like an opportunity to argue the matter before the committee, and will suit our time entirely to the committee's convenience.
Senator Randolph: Mr. Chairman, counsel seems to be now through with their side of it. I would like to have Mr. Wilbur take the stand.
The Chairman: Is Vr. Wilbur present?
HARRY WILBUR, being first duly sworn, on oath testified as follows:
Examined by Senator Randolph:
Q. Mr. Wilbur, you are the executive clerk of Governor McGovern?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Where did you get your information from regarding the renting of the rooms at the Avenue Hotel ?
A. I had no information of that except Mr. Ekern's statement.
Q. Well, can you recall who gave you that indirect statement?
A. I say Mr. Ekern's statement.
Examined by Senator Husting: ..
Q. Mr. Wilbur, did you make this complaint against Mr. Ekern upon your own initiative, or were you requested to make that?
A. I made it on my own initiative. .
Q. Had you ever spoken with the Governor before you made that complaint ?
A. Oh, yes.
Q. Did the Governor convey to you the suggestion that the complaint should be made?
A. I can almost detail that conversation if you wish it. Q. If you will.
A. After the interview between the Governor and Mr. Ekern concluded, that is, on Monday, January 6th, and Mr. Ekern left the office, I stated to the Governor: “That is an admission of the charges you made to him and I feel that if the headquarters which he stated he opened in the Avenue Hotel are not closed I should bring a complaint." Then at midnight that night-so far as I recall the Governor made no reply, turned to Mr. Wilcox, or some other person who was thereat midnight that night I called the Avenue Hotel and the night clerk answered. I did not get his name. I asked who it was speaking. He said: “This is the night clerk," and I asked if Mr. Ekern, or any representative of his, had made any move towards closing the headquarters that were in the rooms that Mr. Ekern had engaged, and he said: “Nothing has been done about that matter, Mr. Wilbur." I then went home and in the morning informed the Governor of this telephone message, and stated that I wished to make complaint.
Q. Was that the first conversation you had with the Governor in regard to Mr. Ekern's conduct ?
A. Oh, no.
Q. Well, when was the first conversation that you had with the Governor in regard to Mr. Ekern's conduct?
A. Oh, I couldn't place that definitely. Several days of maybe weeks before the Governor sent for Mr. Ekern.
Q. You think it may have been some weeks before ?
Q. Well, what was the substance of the first conversation that you had with the Governor in regard to Mr. Ekern's conduct?
A. I cannot place that definitely, Senator. I conveyed to the Governor the substance of the rumors which were reacliing my ears from different sources.
Q. That was, you say, some weeks before?
A. Right along from day to day. I am right in his one I talk to him every day. I cannot separate conversations! way.
Q. You talked with him from day to day on the same ject?
A. I should judge so. That I informed him of any riim that were—I am not able to answer that question.
Q. And did you take any pains to investigate whether was any substance to those rumors you had heard !
A. Not until they got in very definite shape.
A. The first information that came to me directly through Assemblyman Richards.
Q. When was that?
A. That was on January 6th.
Q. And did you investigate that or did that come to your ears without investigation, Mr. Richard's complaint or statement ?
A. Why, I was talking to Mr. Richards.
Q. And did the Governor instruct you to call up Mr. Ekere: and have him call at the office ?
A. Not in that connection, no, sir.
Q. Well, you did call up Mr. Ekern and asked him to call at the Governor's office.
A. Monday evening.
Q. And did the Governor request you to be present at the conference with Mr. Ekern?
A. I don't recall whether he requested me to be present, or whether I simply walked in there.
Q. Well, had you ever walked in before without express invitation on the part of the Governor, when he was conferring with someone else?
A. Oh, yes.
Q. Well, have you any recollection as to whether or not you were asked in with the Governor to witness the conversation between him and Ekern?
A. I can't answer that definitely.
Q. What conversation then was had between you and the Governor?
A. I have just detailed that, as we walked out into the main office.
Q. Well, who dictated the complaint and affidavit ?
A. I took it up with Senator Wilcox and asked that he get the complaint in proper form.
Q. Well, was that done at the direction of the Governor os upon your own initiative?