Commentator: Is this Mr. Wood?
Wood: Yes, it is.
Commentator: Patrick Wood, we have Antony Sutton on the other line. You
two are there now, right?
Commentator: Are you there too, Mr. Sutton?
Commentator: All right. Before we get Mr. Franklin on the phone, tell
us, what is your concise opinion of the Trilateral Commission?
Sutton: It would seem that this is David Rockefeller's concept, his
creation, he financed it. The Trilateral Commission has only 77 or so
American members. It's a closed elitist group. I do not believe that
they in any way represent general thinking in the United States. For
example, they want to restrict the rights of the media in violation of
[Ed: Compare this initial statement to Franklin's admissions during the
Commentator: They want to restrict the rights of the media?
Commentator: All right, we have Mr. George Franklin on the phone right
now, okay? Hang on, gentlemen. Hello, am I talking to Mr. George S.
Franklin: That is right.
Commentator: You are coordinator of the Trilateral Commission?
Franklin: That is right.
Commentator: Mr. Franklin, my name is Joe Martin. I have two other
gentlemen on the line and I have listeners on the line too, who would
like to ask a few questions regarding the Trilateral Commission. Are you
prepared to answer some questions, sir?
Franklin: I hope so.
Commentator: Is the Trilateral commission presently involved in any
effort to make a one-world?
Franklin: Definitely not. We have not. We have no one-world doctrine.
Our only belief that is shared by most of the members of the Commission
itself, is that this world will somehow do better, if the advanced
industrial democracy that serves Japan and the United States can
cooperate and talk things out together and try to work on programs
rather than at cross purposes, but definitely not any idea of a world
government or a government of these areas.
[Ed: "Definitely not," says Franklin. Numerous statements in Trilateral
writings show Franklin is in error. For example: "The economic officials
of at least the largest countries must begin to think in terms of
managing a single world economy in addition to managing international
economic relations among countries," (Emphasis in original.) Trilateral
Commission Task Force Reports: 9-14, page 268.]
Commentator: Why is it, in the Trilateral Commission that the name David
Rockefeller shows up so persistently or [the name of] one of his
Franklin: Well, this is very reasonable. David Rockefeller is the
Chairman of the North American group. There are three chairmen: one is
[with] the North American group, one is [with]the Japanese group, and
one is [with] the European group. Also, the Commission was really David
Rockefeller's original idea.
[Ed: Note that Franklin does not say (at this point) that the Trilateral
Commission was financed and established by David Rockefeller.]
Commentator: On President Carter's staff, how many Trilateral Commission
members do you have?
Commentator: Don't you think that is rather heavy?
Franklin: It is quite a lot, yes.
Commentator: Don't you think it is rather unusual? How many members are
there actually in the Trilateral Commission?
Franklin: We have 77 in the United States.
Commentator: Don't you think it is rather unusual to have 18 members on
the Carter staff?
Franklin: Yes, I think we chose some very able people when we started
the Commission. The President happens to think well of quite a number of
Commentator: All right, we would like to bring in our two other guests -
men who have written a book on the Trilateral Commission. You may be
familiar with Mr. Antony Sutton and Mr. Patrick Wood?
Franklin: I have not met them, but I do know their names, yes.
Commentator: Mr. Sutton and Mr. Wood, would you care to ask Mr. Franklin
Sutton: Well, I certainly would. This is Tony Sutton. You have 77
members of which 18 are in the Carter Administration. Do you believe
that the only able people in the United States are Trilateralists?
Franklin: Of course not, and incidentally, the 18 are no longer members
of the Commission because this is supposed to be a private organization
and as soon as anybody joins the government they no longer are members
of the Commission.
Sutton: Yes, but they are members of the Commission when they join.
Franklin: That is correct.
Sutton: Do you believe that the only able people in the United States
Franklin: Of course not.
Sutton: Well, how come the heavy percentage?
Franklin: Well, when we started to choose members, we did try to pick
out the ablest people we could and I think many of those that are in the
Carter Administration would have been chosen by any group that was
interested in the foreign policy question.
Sutton: Would you say that you have an undue influence on policy in the
Franklin: I would not, no.
Sutton: I think any reasonable man would say that if you have 18
Trilateralists out of 77 in the Carter Administration you have a
Franklin: These men are not responsive to anything that the Trilateral
Commission might advocate. We do have about two reports we put out each
year and we do hope they have some influence or we would not put them
[Ed: The Trilateral Commission puts out considerably more than two
reports each year. In 1974 and 1976, it was four in each year plus four
issues of "Trialogue"]
Sutton: May I ask another question?
Sutton: Who financed the Trilateral Commission originally?
Franklin: Uhh. . .The first supporter of all was a foundation called the
Kettering Foundation. I can tell you who is financing it at the present
time, which might be of more interest to you.
[Ed: This is what Franklin said in another interview: "In the meantime,
David Rockefeller and the Kettering Foundation had provided transitional
Sutton: Is it not the Rockefeller Brothers' Fund?
Franklin: The Rockefeller Brothers' Fund? The North American end of the
Commission needs $1.5 million over the next 3 years. Of this amount,
$180,000 will be contributed by the Rockefeller Brother's fund and
$150,000 by David Rockefeller.
Commentator: Does that mean that most of it is being financed by the
Franklin: No, it means that about one fifth of the North American end is
being financed by the Rockefellers and none of the European and Japanese
Commentator: Do you have any further questions, Mr. Sutton?
Sutton: No, I do not.
Commentator: Do you have a question, Mr. Wood?
Wood: Yes, I have one question. In reading your literature and reports,
there is a great deal of mention of the term "Interdependence".
Wood: While we can see that there is some need for the world to
cooperate in many areas, this system of interdependence seems to have
some very profound effect on the United States structure as it is today.
For instance, our national structure versus the interdependent structure
in the world. Now, do you feel that this interdependent structure has
been properly presented to the American public for approval or
Franklin: Well, I don't think that it is a question of approval or
disapproval altogether. For example, we get a great deal of our natural
resources from abroad. Everybody knows that we get a great deal of oil
from abroad. So, whether we like it or not, we are much more dependent
on other nations that we used to be. Now, this does not mean that they
make our decisions for us on what our policies are going to be and our
energy policies are made here by the President and Congress. Now, they
do consult others about them because they have to, because unfortunately
we are forced to become interdependent.
[Ed: The term "interdependent" is a key word in Trilateralism. Think for
a moment: The known world has always been more or less interdependent.
Trilateralists use "interdependence" in a manner analogous to the
propaganda methods of Goebbels: if you repeat a phrase often enough
people will begin to accept it automatically in the required context.
The required context for Trilaterals is to get across the idea that
"one-world" is inevitable."]
Commentator: Does that answer your question, Mr. Wood?
Wood: Well, perhaps not completely, let me phrase that another way. Do
you feel that your policy - that is, those who represent the Trilateral
policy as well as interdependence - do you feel that that philosophy is
in accord with the typical American philosophy of nationalism and
democracy and so on?
Franklin: Well, I think I would answer that this way. First, we are in
fact interdependent. I say, unfortunately, we depend on much more that
we used to. Therefore, we have to cooperate far more than we used to.
But, that does not mean that we are giving other people the right to
determine our policy and we do not advocate that. You will not find that
in any of our reports.
[Ed: Notice how Franklin ducks around the key issue presented by Wood,
i.e., whether the concept as used by Trilaterals is inconsistent with
generally accepted American ideals. Wood said nothing about "...giving
other people the right to determine our policy." This is a straw man
erected by Franklin to duck the issue.]
Wood: Do you feel that the Trilateral Commission position has been
publicized really at all around the country?
Franklin: We try to publicize it, we do not altogether succeed because
there are so many other people who also want publicity, but we do try.
Anything we do is open to public scrutiny.
[Ed: The August Corporation had recently commissioned a thorough search
of the massive New York Times computerized data base. We came up with a
very meager list of references to Trilateralism. Only 71 references in
the past six years in all major U.S. and foreign publications. Many of
these were no more than short paragraphs. We know that the Trilateral
Commission mailing list has only 4,000 names including all its 250
members, 600 or so Congressmen and elitists. In brief, media coverage
has been - and is - extremely small. The 71 citations by the way include
mostly critical articles from independent authors. It also includes such
efforts as the Time front-page promotion of Jimmy Carter for President -
probably the key effort on Carter's behalf. Hedley Donovan was then
Editor-in-Chief of Time.]
Commentator: Mr. Sutton?
Sutton: Paul Volcker was a member of the Trilateral Commission and has
just been appointed Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Does Paul
Volcker have any connection with Chase Manhattan which is dominated by
Franklin: He was, quite a long time ago, on the staff of [Chase]
[Ed: Paul Volcker has twice worked for Chase Manhattan Bank. In the
1950's as an economist and again in the 1960's as Vice President for
Planning. We cannot deny that Volcker "knows about (Trilateral)
financial policies" as stated by Franklin.]
Sutton: Don't you think that this is quite an unhealthy situation, where
you have a man connected with Chase who is now Chairman of the Federal
Reserve Board? Doesn't this give some credence to the criticism of
Franklin: Conflict of interest?
Franklin: It does give some credence to it. On the other hand, it is
very important that the Chairman of the
Federal Reserve Bank know about
our financial policies and, therefore, will certainly have been
connected to some financial institution. This has not always been the
case. I think that anyone who knows Paul Volcker, knows that he is an
extraordinarily objective person. I think if you would notice, that the
editorial comments on his appointments were almost uniformly favorable,
there must have been some that were unfavorable, but I have not seen
Sutton: May I ask another question?
Commentator: Go Ahead.
Sutton: Mr. Donovan, of Time-Life, has just been appointed Special
Assistant to President Carter. Mr. Donovan is a member of your
Franklin: That is correct.
Sutton: Does this not emphasize the fact that the Carter Administration
is choosing its administration from an extremely a narrow range. In
other words, the Trilateral Commission?
Franklin: I do not think that that needs any confirmation. That is a
matter of fact that he has chosen most of his main foreign policy
people, I would have to say, from the people he got to know while he was
on the Trilateral Commission.
[Ed: Franklin admits that the "Carter Administration is choosing its
administration from an extremely narrow range."]
Sutton: Well, I can only make the statement that this leaves any
reasonable man with the impression that the Carter Administration is
dominated by the Trilateral Commission with your specific ideas which
many people do not agree with.
Franklin: Well, I would certainly agree that people who were members of
the Commission have predominant places in the foreign policy aspects of
the Carter Administration. They are not, because they are members of the
Commission, controlled in any sense by us. I do think that they do share
a common belief that is very important that we work particularly with
Europe and Japan or we are all going to be in trouble.
Sutton: But this common belief may not reflect the beliefs of the
American people. How do you know that it does?
Franklin: I do not know that it does. I am no man to interpret what the
people think about.
Sutton: In other words, you are quite willing to go ahead [and]
establish a Commission which you say does not necessarily reflect the
views of the people in the United States? It appears to me that you have
taken over political power.
Franklin: I do not think this is true at all. Anybody who forms a group
for certain purposes obviously tries to achieve these purposes. We do
believe that it is important that Europe, Japan, and the United States
get along together. That much we do believe. We also chose the best
people we could get as members of the Commission. Fortunately, nearly
all accepted. The President was one of them and he happened to have
thought that these were very able people indeed, and he asked them to be
in his government, it is as simple as that. If you are going to ask me
if I am very unhappy about that, the answer is no. I think that these
are good people.
Wood: May I ask a little bit more pointedly, if Carter got his education
from the Trilateral Commission, was not his dean of students, so to
speak, Mr. Brzezinski?
Franklin: I cannot tell you exactly what role Brzezinski had, but
certainly he did have considerable effect on the education Carter
received on foreign policy.
Wood: Mr. Brzezinski is on record in more than one of his books as being
a proponent of rejuvenating or redesigning the U.S. Constitution, is
Franklin: I have not read all his books, I have not seen that statement,
and I have worked with him very closely for three years and he has not
said anything of that sort to me.
Wood: As a matter of fact, he is on record and in one of his books as
indicating that the U.S. Constitution as it is today is not able to lead
us into an interdependent world and that it should be redesigned to
reflect the interdependence that we must move ahead towards.
Franklin: As I say, if you tell me that, I must believe it, and I have
not read that book and I have never got any inkling of that between 1973
[Ed: Here is what Brzezinski writes in one of his books "Between Two
Ages: America's Role in the Technetronic Era":
"Tension is unavoidable as man strives to assimilate the new into the
framework of the old. For a time the established framework resiliently
integrates the new by adapting it in a more familiar shape. But at some
point the old framework becomes overloaded. The new input can no longer
be redefined into traditional forms, and eventually it asserts itself
with compelling force. Today, though, the old framework of international
politics - with their spheres of influence, military alliances between
nation-states, the fiction of Sovereignty, doctrinal conflicts arising
from nineteenth century crises - is clearly no longer compatible with
reality." (Emphasis added)
and specifically on changing the U.S. Constitution:
"The approaching two-hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of
Independence could justify the call for a national constitutional
convention to re-examine the nation's formal institutional framework.
Either 1976 or 1989 - the two-hundredth anniversary of the Constitution
– could serve as a suitable target date culminating a national dialogue
on the relevance of existing arrangements... Realism, however, forces us
to recognize that the necessary political innovation will not come from
direct constitutional reform, desirable as that would be. The needed
change is more likely to develop incrementally and less overtly ... in
keeping with the American tradition of blurring distinctions between
public and private institution." (Emphasis added)
Obviously Franklin is either unaware of the writing of his "close"
associate Brzezinski or is evading the question.
Commentator: I would like to interject a question if I could. Mr.
Franklin, within the Trilateral Commission, are there any Trilateralists
who have control of the energy resources in this world?
Franklin: No. We have no major oil companies represented on the
Commentator: I mean stockholders in oil companies.
Franklin: I am sure that
David Rockefeller must have some stock in an
oil company. I do not know.
Commentator: Doesn’t David Rockefeller have stock in Chase National
Commentator: Doesn't Chase National Bank have stock in Exxon?
Franklin: Honestly, I do not know.
Commentator: Standard Oil? Mobil?
Sutton: Well, I do.
Franklin: I would be certain that some of their pension trusts and some
of the trusts that they hold for individuals, undoubtedly do.
Commentator: So, the Trilateral Commission has no effect at all in the
energy field at all?
Franklin: Yes, the Trilateral Commission has written a report on energy.
There were three authors, there were always three authors. The American
author was John Sawhill, who was formerly head of the Energy
Administration and is now presently of New York University.
Commentator: I have read where the oil and gas world is dominated by
seven major firms, do you agree with that?
Franklin: I do not have expertise in this field, but I think it sounds
Commentator: Well, a listing of controlling ownership in these major oil
and gas companies by banks - by Trilateral Commissioners - is listed as
Manufacturer's Hanover, Chase Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, First National
Bank of Chicago, and First Continental of Illinois. And these all
supposedly are of Trilateral representation. Is that true, sir?
Franklin: No, sir, it is not true. Give me the list again. I think I can
tell you which are and which are not.
Commentator: Manufacturer's Hanover.
Franklin: No, sir, it is not.
Commentator: There are no stockholders in that, who are members of the
Franklin: Wait a minute. I cannot tell you whether there are no
stockholders in Manufacturer's Hanover. I might even be a stockholder in
Manufacturer's Hanover. I am not.
Commentator: Chase Manhattan figures prominently.
Franklin: Chase Manhattan certainly.
Commentator: ...which is David Rockefeller's Bank!
Franklin: There is no question about that.
Commentator: So there is some connection with the energy field.
Franklin: Well, yes.
Commentator: So, if Chase Manhattan has stock in Exxon, Mobil, and
Standard Oil, then there is a direct connection there?
Franklin: Well, yes.
Commentator: So, if Chase Manhattan has stock in Exxon, Mobil, and
Standard Oil, then there is a direct connection there?
Franklin: I am sure that is true. Every bank runs pension trusts, so it
must have some of its trust money in some of those companies.
Commentator: I have read, and I do not know if it is true, you may
answer this, that Chase Manhattan is a number one stockholder in Exxon,
number three in Mobil, and number two in Standard Oil.
Franklin: I just would not know.
Commentator: Do you have any questions, Mr. Sutton?
Sutton: Yes, the figures you have just quoted about Chase Manhattan
stock ownership in the oil companies: these were published by the U.S.
Senate some years ago. There is a series of these volumes. One, for
example, is entitled "Disclosure of Corporate Ownership."
[Ed: Any reader investigating further should note that the ownership is
heavily disguised by use of nominee companies. For example "Cudd & Co."
is a fictitious nominee name for Chase Manhattan Bank.
A partial list of nominees which have been used by Chase Manhattan Bank
includes the following:
Andrews & Co.
Elzay & Co.
Reeves & Co.
Bedle & Co
Gansel & Co.
Ring & Co.
Bender & Co.
Gooss & Co.
Ryan & Co.
Chase Nominees Ltd.
Gunn & Co.
Settle & Co
Clint & Co.
Kane & Co.
Taylor & Witt
Cudd & Co.
McKenna & Co.
Timm & Co.
Dell & Co.
Padom & Co.
Titus & Co.
Egger & Co.
Pickering Ltd. & Co.
White & Co.
Ehren & Co.
Franklin: I am sure that these banks could run billions of dollars
through trusts and some of the trusts must be invested in some of these
major oil companies.
Commentator: Then the Trilateral Commission member who has stock in the
bank and who is also a high-ranking Trilateral Commission member, would
have some jurisdiction over energy?
Franklin: No, not really. I know some of the management of these
companies. They are not controlled by the stockholders the way they used
Wood: Let's put that question another way if we might. It perhaps would
be erroneous to say Chase Manhattan Bank controlled Exxon, because in
fact, they do not. However, Chase Manhattan Bank is the largest single
shareholder that Exxon has. Considering the discussion going on about
the major oil companies, and their part in this energy crisis, don't you
think that it would be possible to exercise control from Chase Manhattan
Bank to put pressure on Exxon to help alleviate the energy crisis?
Franklin: Well, I think you could answer that kind of question just as
well, as I can. Everybody has their own views on these things.
Commentator: You must be familiar with the members of your Commission,
especially with Mr. Rockefeller and his various holdings?
Franklin: I am extremely familiar with Mr. Rockefeller, I have known him
for nearly 50 years.
Commentator: ... and his holdings?
Franklin: I am not at all familiar with his holdings.
Commentator: I think everybody is familiar with his holdings. I thought
everybody was familiar with his holdings, I know he owns Chase Manhattan
Franklin: No, that is not true.
Commentator: I mean, he is the largest stockholder.
Franklin: That, I would agree to. I would say that he has about five
percent, I am not sure.
Commentator: Five percent? Would you agree with that, Mr. Sutton?
Sutton: Yes, plus he is chairman of the board.
Franklin: Yes, that is correct. I have no doubt that he does control
Chase Manhattan Bank.
Commentator: You have no doubt about that?
Franklin: No, basically, no. Directors are important.
Commentator: Do you have any doubt that as chairman, he controls the
bank and Chase Manhattan also controls or at least partly controls the
American Electric Power [the utility company]?
Franklin: I do not know anything about it.
Commentator: You are not sure about that?
Franklin: I just don't know. These things do not ever really enter into
consideration. If you look at our energy report that will tell you
whether you think this is an objective or effective document or not.
[Ed: Chase Manhattan Bank owns 1,646,706 shares of American Electric
Power Company through two nominees, <Kane & Co. (1,059,967 shares) and
Cudd & Co. (586,739 shares)>. This gives it a direct 2.8 percent of the
total. However numerous other holding in American Electric Power are
maintained by banks and firms where Chase has some degree of control.
For example, Morgan Guaranty has almost 500,000 shares and is dominated
by J.P. Morgan; the second largest stockholder in J.P. Morgan is Chase
Commentator: Mr. Sutton?
Sutton: Can we go off energy for a while?
Sutton: I have a question for Mr. Franklin. Who chooses the members of
the Trilateral commission?
Franklin: The Trilateral Commission's Executive Committee.
Sutton: Who comprises the committee?
Franklin: Who is on that committee?
Franklin: Okay. William Coleman, former Secretary of Transportation, who
is a lawyer; Lane Kirkland, who is Secretary-General of the American
Federation of Labor; Henry Kissinger, who does not need too much
identification; Bruce McLaury, who is president of the Brookings
Institution; David Rockefeller; Robert Ingersoll, who was formerly
Deputy Secretary of State and Ambassador to Japan; I. W. Able, who was
formerly head of United Steelworkers; and William Roth, who is a San
Francisco businessman and was chief trade negotiator in the previous
Kennedy trade round.
Sutton: May I ask a question? How many of these have a rather intimate
business relationship with Mr. Rockefeller?
Franklin: Henry Kissinger is chairman of Mr. Rockefeller's Chase
Franklin: Coleman, I don't think has any business relationship with him,
he is a lawyer.
[Ed: In fact William Coleman is a Director of Chase Manhattan Bank which
Franklin has already admitted to be controlled by David Rockefeller.]
Sutton: Mr. Ingersoll?
Franklin: Mr. Ingersoll, I don't think has any business relationship.
Sutton: Isn't he connected with First Chicago?
Franklin: He is vice chairman of the University of Chicago.
Sutton: No, what about the First Bank of Chicago? [First Chicago Corp.]
Franklin: I don't believe that Ingersoll has any relationship with banks
in Chicago, but I don't know for certain on that.
[Ed: Robert Stephen Ingersoll before joining the Washington "revolving
door" was a director of the First National Bank of Chicago, a subsidiary
of First Chicago Corp. The largest single shareholder in First Chicago
is David Rockefeller's Chase Manhattan Bank. Ingersoll has also been a
director of Atlantic Richfield and Burlington Northern. Chase Manhattan
is also the largest single stockholder in these two companies. Thus,
Ingersoll has a long standing relationship with Rockefeller interests.]
Commentator: We are adding another man to the interview, his name is Mr.
John Rees, a very fine writer from the Review of the News, Washington,
D.C., who is in the area right at this time to make some speeches.
Sutton: Mr. Franklin, do you believe in freedom of the press in the
Franklin: Definitely, of course.
Sutton: Let me quote you from a book "Crisis In Democracy," written by
Michel Crozier, who is a Trilateral member.
Sutton: I am quoting from page 35 of his book: "The media has thus
become an autonomous power. We are now witnessing a crucial change with
the profession. That is, media tends to regulate itself in such a way as
to resist the pressure from financial or government interests." Does
that not mean that you want to restrict the press in some way?
Franklin: I can't quite hear you.
Sutton: Let me paraphrase this for you. I think I will be clear in my
paraphrasing. The Trilateral Commission is unhappy with the press
because it resists the pressure from financial or government interests.
That is one of your statements.
Franklin: Now, let me say something about our book. The book that we put
out, the report, is the responsibility of the authors and not of the
Commission itself. You will find that in the back of a number of them,
and that book is one of them, that other members of the Commission will
hear dissenting views, and you will find dissenting views in the back of
that book on the press question.
Sutton: I would like to quote a further statement from the same book and
leave the questions at that point: "The media deprives government and to
some extent other responsible authorities of the time lag and tolerance
that make it possible to innovate and to experiment responsibly." What
the book recommends is something like the Interstate Commerce Commission
to control the press. This seems to me to be a violation of the
Franklin: I would agree with you that we do not want something like the
Interstate Commerce Commission to control the press.
[Ed: Michel Crozier, et al, in Crisis In Democracy make the following
statements with reference to the "Interstate Commerce Act and the
Sherman Anti-trust Act":
"Something comparable appears to be now needed with respect to the
media.... there is also the need to assure to the government the right
and the ability to withhold information at the source" (page 182).
The authors go on to argue that if journalists do not conform to these
new restrictive standards then "The alternative could well be regulation
by the government."]
Sutton: I fail to understand why the Trilateral Commission would
associate itself with such a viewpoint.
Franklin: As I just mentioned to you. We hired three authors for each
report. The authors are allowed to say what they think is correct. What
the Trilateral Commission does is this: It says we think this report is
worthwhile for the public to see. This does not mean that all the
members of the Commission agree with all the statements in the report
and, in fact, a majority of them might disagree with certain things.
Now, where a statement is one that many Commissioners seem to disagree
with we then do put in the back a summary of the discussion. That book
does have a summary of the discussion of our meeting which questions
various things in the book, in the back of it.
Sutton: Would you say Mr. Franklin that the members of the Commission do
have a common philosophy?
Franklin: Yes. I think a common philosophy. I think that all of them
believe that this world will work better if the principal industrial
powers consult each other on their policies and try to work them out
together. This does not mean that they will agree on everything. Of
course, they won't. But, at least they will know what the other
countries feel, and why they feel it.
Sutton: The Financial Times in London - the editor is Ferdy Fisher, a Trilateralist. He fired a long time editorial writer, Gordon Tether,
because Tether wanted to write articles criticizing the Trilateral
Commission. Do you have any comments?
Franklin: I didn't know that at all. It sounds terribly unlikely, but if
you say that it is so, probably it is.
[Ed: See Chapter Seven "Trilateral Censorship: the case of C. Gordon
Trilaterals Over Washington. Trilaterals see the media as the
"gatekeeper" and comment as follows:
"Their main impact is visibility. The only real event is the event that
is reported and seen. Thus, journalists possess a crucial role as
gatekeepers of one of the central dimensions of public life."]
Rees: Frankly, Mr. Martin, with Antony Sutton on the line, I feel
absolutely a novice, because Antony is a real expert on the Trilateral.
Sutton: Well, I am looking for information.
Commentator: Are you getting information?
Sutton: Yes, I am very definitely getting information.
Commentator: Do you have any other questions?
Sutton: Not at the moment. I'd rather hear someone else.
Wood: I do have one question, if I might. You mentioned earlier that as
you decided to issue a report, whether it reflected Trilateral policy or
not, you felt that it was worthy to be shared with the public. Is that
Franklin: We do not have a Trilateral policy, except for the very broad
policy [which] is that each of these major areas ought to know what the
other countries are doing and why and try to work things out as much as
possible. That is our only Trilateral policy, I would say. We don't have
a policy on energy and a policy on monetary reform and a policy on, etc.
[Ed: The latest issue of Trialogue (Summer 1979) has an opening
paragraph as follows:
"The draft report presented in Tokyo by the Trilateral Task Force on
Payments Imbalances analyzes the extreme payments imbalances which have
marked the world economy throughout the 1970's and offers a series of
broad policy recommendations...”
Part II of the same issue has the following opening paragraph:
"The draft report presented in Tokyo by the Trilateral Task Force on
Industrial Policy... reviews the desirable aims and criteria of
trilateral industrial policies and their international implications."
Yet Franklin asserts "We don't have a policy on energy and a policy on
monetary reform, etc."]
Wood: Okay, let me ask a question. Based on that then, what efforts have
you made, if any, to publish these articles or these studies so they
might be reviewed by the general American public? For instance, I have
never seen one study published in any major popular magazine, whether it
be Time Magazine, a newspaper -- in fact, there have been very few
references. Over a period of six years now, there have been few mentions
of the name "Trilateral Commission" in the nations press. This is backed
up by the New York Times data base, which is one of the most extensive
in the world. Now if these are made public, can you tell me how these
are made public?
Franklin: Yes. What we do is, that we have a list of about 4,000 people,
some of whom request them and some of whom we thought would be
interested if we sent them -- and we send them free -- and we would be
glad to send them to you, for example, if you would like to have them.
Now we also, when we publish, when we send them out to a considerable
list of press correspondents. We also have press lunches and things.
Because of the nature of this thing, it can't be printed in full,
because they are just too long. No newspaper wants to print a 40- or
50-page study. But, there have been mentions of one or two of the
studies in Newsweek.
We would like to get more published, frankly, very
much more than we have been getting. Now in Japan, for example, we have
done much better. At our last plenary session in Tokyo, members of the
Commission who were there, gave over 90 separate interviews to members
of the Japanese press who were present. In fact, there were many more
requests than that which we could not honor because there was not time.
We have not done anything like as well in this country.
Wood: Allow me to ask you this. This takes specifically one case, the
case of Time Magazine. Hedley Donovan is the former editor-in-chief of
that magazine. I understand he is recently retired, and also you have as
a member of your Commission, Sol Linowitz, also a director of Time.
Time-Life books, of course, you have Time Magazine, Fortune, Money and
People. Now I would ask you -- considering the special advantage you
have by having such a giant as Hedley Donovan and Sol Linowitz as well,
both connected to Time -- don't you feel that if you really wanted to
publicize these "position papers" that it would only take a scratch of
the pen by Mr. Donovan?
Franklin: No, I don't, and I will tell you why. Hedley Donovan is not
only a member of the Commission, but he is one of my close personal
friends. Hedley Donovan is also a person of great integrity. He will not
publish anything we do because he is connected with it. He looks out for
the interest of Time, and he does not feel we were worth Time publicity,
and I am sure he will be exactly the same way in the White House. He is
going to be loyal to his President and to his job.
Wood: But Time Magazine is the largest news magazine in the country?
Franklin: Right. We only had a little publicity, but we had only what
Hedley would have given, whether or not he was a member of the
Wood: So, he basically thinks that the Commission really does not
Franklin: No. He does not, or he would not be a member of the Commission
at all. Time Magazine does give us some money, not very much, but $2,500
a year to be exact. But, his editorial judgment is not biased by the
fact that he is a member of the Commission.
Commentator: Mr. Rees, would you like to ask a question?
Rees: Yes, Mr. Franklin, I noticed that you were saying that the
Trilateral Commission takes no responsibility for the use of the
publisher's imprimatur, but I would be interested to know about how you
go about selecting your writers to put out the various positions.
Franklin: Well that is a very interesting question. We have a meeting
with the chairmen. The way the situation is organized is this. There are
three chairmen, one from each of the three areas. Three secretaries, one
from each of the three areas, and I, have got an intermediate staff job
called "coordinator." Now, the chairmen and secretaries meet with what
they have jointly, will discuss not only topics they think will be
useful to have, but also authors for these topics. The topics are then
discussed by the whole Commission and approved or changed slightly. The
authors are chosen by members of the staff and consultation with the
Rees: So, although you do not take responsibility for the finished
product you are responsible for the selection of the writers.
Franklin: Very much. No question about that.
Rees: So it does have your imprimatur stamp of approval each time?
Franklin: In that sense. We certainly choose the writers, and we choose
them because we think they are very good, obviously. So far, every
single report that has been written by the authors has, in fact, been
accepted for publication by the Commission.
Rees: Then the report on the news media was accepted?
Franklin: It was accepted, but there was a lot of disagreement with
that. It was felt that it was an important statement, with quite a lot
of interesting new ideas in it. It was also a very strong opposition
which was reflected in the back of the report in a section, I think it
is entitled, "Summary of Discussion."
Commentator: Mr. Sutton, do you have any other questions?
Sutton: I have one more question, that goes to a new field entirely:
taxation. We have established that David Rockefeller is chairman and
single most powerful influence in Chase Manhattan Bank. Now, do you
happen to know the tax rate that Chase Manhattan pays in the United
Franklin: I don't know . . . happen to know - it is about 50% [fifty
Sutton: I will give you some figures. In 1976, Chase Manhattan Bank's
tax rate was precisely zero. I am wondering why, if you are so
influential politically, why at least you cannot pay a tax rate more
equivalent to that of the average American Taxpayer, which is 15% or 20%
Franklin: I have nothing to do with Chase Manhattan Bank. But if the tax
rate was zero, it must have been because it had very large real estate
losses in that year, I think.
Sutton: In 1975, it was 3.4%. It is always way under 10%.
Franklin: Well, that is extremely interesting. It is a new fact for me.
Sutton: Well, my point is this, that you are willing to guide the United
States into the future, but apparently you are not willing to pay your
fair share of the costs.
Commentator: You are talking about the Commission members as a whole?
Franklin: I think you will find that the Commission members pay whatever
the laws says they are supposed to pay under the circumstances. I do not
know what the particular reason was on Chase. They did have heavy
losses, I am not familiar enough with their situation to be able to tell
it to you.
Wood: May I ask another question along that same line, please?
Commentator: Go ahead.
Wood: In that same year, 1976, it is recorded that some 78% of Chase
Manhattan's earnings came from International operations. That leaves 22%
from the U.S... Don't you think perhaps this might be a conflict of
interest, between choosing their international policy versus their
domestic policy in the United States?
Franklin: Well, I think that is true of most of the major banks. Now,
that does not answer your question, I recognize.
Wood: Where would their loyalty lie? If on one hand they are trying to
look out for America, yet on the other hand they are trying to look out
for their bread and butter, which is not America.
Franklin: First, in the long run, I think any of our major corporations
must recognize, that unless the United States does well, they are going
to be in the soup. Secondly, some of these people, you may or may not
believe it, have enough integrity, they can divorce their interest, like
Hedley Donovan could, on the question of publicity on the Trilateral
Commentator: Gentlemen, I think we are running out of time here. I think
we have reached the end of the interview. We would like to thank you,
Mr. Franklin, Mr. Wood, and Mr. Sutton.
Thank you for being guests on