Record #417

Record Type:
Mr Will H. Hays, President, MPPDA
Reel 4
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Department of Justice
Additional text in Transcription. EDITORIAL COMMENT: A Hays speech about how he came to be doing the job - some material on King of Kings is also included in Transcription - Date is 04-21-1927 - filed under Department of Justice. The copy in the 1927 file is clearer.

General statement by Hays to a representative of the Department of Justice. He speaks at length about the industry, including the story of his own involvement in the MPPDA.


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Long Description:

Hays notes that "in 1920, I realized the significance of the motion picture news weekly, and at the inauguration of President Harding, I suggested that the news-weeklies be treated as are the great news agencies. I am not certain but perhaps that recognition was noticed by them. I do know that without any acquaintance of any consequence with any of the motion picture people a committee came to my apartment at Wardman Park Hotel ... There had been, I think, an association of some kind prior to that, headed by Mr. William A. Brady. Mr. Brady's association, I gathered from presentation of the situation, had more or less ceased to function. There had been scattered meetings, however, and some discussion of recasting the organization and making a new one with broader and more comprehensive purposes. ... I was interested in the proposal for two or three reasons. For some time, I had wanted to return to the practice of law. I had been giving a great deal of time to public affairs and to politics. Frankly, I had rather hesitated about going to Washington and into the Cabinet at all, because I thought that it was time to get back to work in my profession. I went to Washington, however, as you know though still with the idea that soon I must return to private life. ... Before going to Washington I had two offers - one Executive and one professional - in no sense political. They were worth as much to me as this position then but I could not reconcile them with my comfort. It had been the other things so long. But this position seemed to give me a triple opportunity. First, I would be getting back to earning and saving. Second, I would be getting back in a way to the practice of law and third I would be doing a type of public service. .... I had, obviously, to know two things: first, whether the proposition was in good faith, and second, whether there was a reasonable probability of accomplishment. I could not, I felt, be connected with a failure and I did not want to undertake too much without faith in the accomplishment of purpose." The Committee on Public Relations (CPR) was established and recruited Joy, who "had been in the war: he had helped in the reorganization of the Red Cross, and he was about to be employed by one of the Standard Oil Companies to organize a world-wide welfare organization among their employees." On Jan 1, 1927, when Joy moved to the Coast, the Department of Public Relations was taken over by Milliken.

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