Maurice Stans

Maurice Stans

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Maurice Stans was was born in Shakopee, Minnesota, in 1908. He was an executive partner with the Alexander Grant & Co. accounting firm in Chicago from 1940 until 1955.

A member of the Republican Party he served as U.S. deputy postmaster general from 1955-1957; deputy director Bureau of the Budget 1957–1958, director of the Bureau of the Budget 1958–1961.

A supporter of Richard Nixon, Stans was appointed as Secretary of Commerce in 1969. Stans held the post until 1972 when he resigned in order to chair the finance committee of Richard Nixon's re-election campaign.

On 17th June, 1972, Frank Sturgis, Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez, Bernard L. Barker and James W. McCord were arrested while in the Democratic Party headquarters in Watergate.

The day after the break-in, Richard Kleindienst was told by G. Gordon Liddy that the operation had originated in the White House and that he should arrange the release of the burglars. Kleindienst refused to free the men, but failed to report Liddy's confession.

The phone number of E. Howard Hunt was found in address books of the burglars. Reporters were now able to link the break-in to the White House. Bob Woodward, a reporter working for the Washington Post was told by a friend who was employed by the government, that senior aides of President Richard Nixon, had paid the burglars to obtain information about its political opponents.

In 1972 Richard Nixon was once again selected as the Republican presidential candidate. On 7th November, Nixon easily won the the election with 61 per cent of the popular vote. Soon after the election reports by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post, began to claim that some of Nixon's top officials were involved in organizing the Watergate break-in. This included the claim that money that Stans raised for the campaign was used to finanace some of the illegal Watergate activities. They were able to show that a $25,000 cheque from this fund had gone into the account of Bernard L. Barker, one of the burglars.

Frederick LaRue now decided that it would be necessary to pay the large sums of money to secure their silence. LaRue raised $300,000 in hush money. Anthony Ulasewicz, a former New York policeman, was given the task of arranging the payments. This money went to E. Howard Hunt and distributed by his wife Dorothy Hunt.

On 8th December, 1972, Michele Clark and Dorothy Hunt took Flight 533 from Washington to Chicago. The aircraft hit the branches of trees close to Midway Airport: "It then hit the roofs of a number of neighborhood bungalows before plowing into the home of Mrs. Veronica Kuculich at 3722 70th Place, demolishing the home and killing her and a daughter, Theresa. The plane burst into flames killing a total of 45 persons, 43 of them on the plane, including the pilot and first and second officers. Eighteen passengers survived." Clark and Hunt were both killed in the accident.

The airplane crash was blamed on equipment malfunctions. Carl Oglesby (The Yankee and Cowboy War) has pointed out that the day after the crash, Egil Krogh was appointed Undersecretary of Transportation, supervising the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Association - the two agencies charged with investigating the airline crash. A week later, Nixon's deputy assistant Alexander P. Butterfield was made the new head of the FAA, and five weeks later Dwight L. Chapin, the president's appointment secretary, become a top executive with United Airlines.

Hugh Sloan later testified that Frederick LaRue told him that he would have to commit perjury in order to protect the conspirators. LaRue was arrested and eventually found guilty of conspiring to obstruct justice. He was sentenced to three years in jail but only served four months before being released.

In January, 1973, Frank Sturgis, E. Howard Hunt, Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez, Bernard L. Barker, Gordon Liddy and James W. McCord were convicted of conspiracy, burglary and wiretapping.

Richard Nixon continued to insist that he knew nothing about the case or the payment of "hush-money" to the burglars. However, in April 1973, Nixon forced two of his principal advisers H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, to resign. Richard Kleindienst also resigned on the same day. A third adviser, John Dean, refused to go and was sacked. On 20th April, Dean issued a statement making it clear that he was unwilling to be a "scapegoat in the Watergate case".

On 7th February, 1973, the Senate voted to create a Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities. Sam Ervin was appointed chairman of this committee. Inouyre, along with Howard Baker, Herman Talmadge, Edward Gurney, Joseph Montoya and Lowell Weicker. Hearings took place between 17th May to 7th August and 24th September to 15th November.

On 18th May, 1973, Attorney General Elliot Richardson appointed Archibald Cox as special prosecutor, with unprecedented authority and independence to investigate the alleged Watergate cover-up and illegal activity in the 1972 presidential campaign.

The following month John Dean testified that at a meeting with Richard Nixon on 15th April, the president had remarked that he had probably been foolish to have discussed his attempts to get clemency for E. Howard Hunt with Charles Colson. Dean concluded from this that Nixon's office might be bugged. On Friday, 13th July, Alexander P. Butterfield appeared before the committee and was asked about if he knew whether Nixon was recording meetings he was having in the White House. Butterfield reluctantly admitted details of the tape system which monitored Nixon's conversations.

Alexander P. Butterfield also said that he knew "it was probably the one thing that the President would not want revealed". This information did indeed interest Archibald Cox and he demanded that Richard Nixon hand over the White House tapes. Nixon refused and so Cox appealed to the Supreme Court.

On 20th October, 1973, Nixon ordered his Attorney-General, Elliot Richardson, to fire Archibald Cox. Richardson refused and resigned in protest. Nixon then ordered the deputy Attorney-General, William Ruckelshaus, to fire Cox. Ruckelshaus also refused and he was sacked. Eventually, Robert Bork, the Solicitor-General, fired Cox.

An estimated 450,000 telegrams went sent to Richard Nixon protesting against his decision to remove Cox. The heads of 17 law colleges now called for Nixon's impeachment. Nixon was unable to resist the pressure and on 23rd October he agreed to comply with the subpoena and began releasing some of the tapes. The following month a gap of over 18 minutes was discovered on the tape of the conversation between Nixon and H. Haldemanon June 20, 1972. Nixon's secretary, Rose Mary Woods, denied deliberately erasing the tape. It was now clear that Nixon had been involved in the cover-up and members of the Senate began to call for his impeachment.

Stane was indicted in 1973 for perjury and obstruction of justice, but was acquitted the following year. However, several other people who worked for Richard Nixon, including H. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, Charles Colson, John Dean, John N. Mitchell, Jeb Magruder, Herbert W. Kalmbach, Egil Krogh, Frederick LaRue, Robert Mardian and Dwight L. Chapinwere found guilty of similar crimes.

Peter Rodino, who was chairman of the Judiciary Committee, presided over the impeachment proceedings against Nixon. The hearings opened in May 1974. The committee had to vote on five articles of impeachment and it was thought that members would split on party lines. However, on the three main charges - obstructing justice, abuse of power and withholding evidence, the majority of Republicans voted with the Democrats.

Two weeks later three senior Republican congressmen, Barry Goldwater, Hugh Scott, John Rhodes visited Richard Nixon to tell him that they were going to vote for his impeachment. Nixon, convinced that he will lose the vote, decided to resign as president of the United States.

Maurice Stans and John N. Mitchell were accused of obstructing an investigation of Robert Vesco after he made a $200,000 contribution to the Nixon campaign. In April 1974 both men were acquitted in a New York federal court.

Maurice Stans died on 14th April, 1998, following a heart attack at the Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, California.

Namebase: Maurice H. Stans

Two former officials of President Nixon's re-election committee, G. Gordon Liddy and James W. McCord, Jr. were convicted yesterday of conspiracy, burglary and bugging the Democratic Party's Watergate headquarters.

After 16 days of trial spanning 60 witnesses and more than 100 pieces of evidence, the jury found them guilty of all charges against them in just under 90 minutes.

Chief US District Judge John J. Sirica ordered Liddy, who was also a former White House aide, FBI agent and prosecutor, and McCord, a veteran of the CIA and FBI, jailed without bond. Sirica said he would hold a hearing on bail after defense lawyers file formal written motions.

Lawyers for both Liddy and McCord, said they would appeal the convictions, with McCords's layer attacking the conduct of Judge Sirica during the trial.

Five other men who were indicted with Liddy and McCord, including former White House aide and CIA Agent E. Howard Hunt, Jr. pleaded guilty early in the trial to all charges against them.

Liddy, 42, had maintained a calm, generally smiling exterior throughout the trial. He stood impassive, with is arms folded as deputy court clerk LeCount Patterson read the jury's verdict, repeating six times "guilty" for all eight counts against him.

McCord, 53, also showed no emotion as Patterson read the word "guilty" for all eight counts against him.

Liddy, former finance counsel for the Committee for the Reelection of the President, could receive a maximum sentence of 35 years. McCord, former security director for the committee, could receive a maximum sentence of 45 years. Sirica set no day for sentencing.

Before being jailed by deputy US marshals, Liddy embraced his lawyer, Peter L. Maroulis, patted him on the back, and in a gesture that became his trademark in the trail, gave one final wave to the spectators and press before he was led away.

Principal Assistant US Attorney Earl J. Silbert said, after the verdict was returned, that it was "fair and just."

In his final statement to the jury, Silbert told the eight women and four men that "when people cannot get together for political purposes without fear that their premises will be burglarized, their conversations bugged, their phones breed distrust, you breed suspicion, you lost confidence, faith and credibility."

Silbert asked the jury to "bring in a verdict that will help restore the faith in the democratic system that has been so damaged by the conduct of these two defendants and their coconspirators."

Despite repeated attempts by Judge Sirica to find out if anyone else besides the seven defendants was involved in the conspiracy, testimony in the trial was largely confined by the prosecution to proving its case against Liddy and McCord, with occasional mention made of the five who had pleaded guilty. The jury, which was sequestered throughout the trial, was never told of the guilty pleas.

When Hunt pleaded guilty Jan 11, Sirica questioned him in an attempt to find out if anyone besides the persons indicted was involved in the conspiracy.

Hunt's lawyer, William O. Bittman, blocked Sirica's questions, saying the prosecution had told him it intended to call Hunt and any other defendant who was convicted to testify before the grand jury.

An apparent purpose of renewed grand jury testimony would be to probed the involvement of others in the bugging. Asked yesterday what steps he now intended to take, Silbert said, "I don't think I'll comment on anything further."

According to testimony in the trial, Liddy was given about $332,000 in campaign funds purportedly to carry out a number of intelligence-gathering assignments given him by deputy campaign direction Jeb Stuart Magruder.

The prosecution said it could account for only about $50,000 of this money, and that it was used to finance the spying operation against the Democratic Party.

In his argument to the jury, Silbert called Liddy the "mastermind, the boss, the money-man" of the operation.

Maroulis, defending Liddy, attempted to put the blame on Hunt, who Maroulis said was Liddy's trusted friend. "From the evidence here, it can well be inferred that Mr. Liddy got hut by that trust," Maroulis said.

McCord's lawyer, Gerald Alch, told the jury that McCord "is the type of man who is loyal to his country and who does what he thinks is right." At one point, Judge Sirica interrupted and told Alch he was only giving his "personal opinion."

Alch criticized Sirica during a recess, saying the Judge "did not limit himself to acting as a judge-he has become in addition, a prosecutor and an investigator ... Not only does he indicate that the defendants are guilty, but that a lot of other people are guilty. The whole courtroom is permeated with a prejudicial atmosphere."

Alch said that "in 15 years of practicing law" he had not been previously interrupted by a judge while giving his final argument.

McCord and Liddy were each convicted of the following counts:

Conspiring to burglarize, wiretap and electronically eavesdrop on the Democratic Party's Watergate headquarters. (Maximum penalty-five years' Imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.)

Burglarizing the Democratic headquarters with the intent to steal the property of another. (Maximum penalty-15 years imprisonment.)

Buglarizing the Democratic headquarters with the intent to unlawfully wiretap and eavesdrop. (Maximum penalty-15 years.)

Endeavoring to eavesdrop illegally. (Maximum penalty-five years' imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.)

In addition, McCord was convicted of two additional counts:

Possession of a device primarily useful for the surreptitious interception or oral communications. (Maximum penalty-five years' imprisonment and a $10,000 fine).

Possession of a device primarily useful for the surreptitious interception of wire communications. (Maximum penalty-five years' imprisonment and a $10,000 fine).

Although the total number of years Liddy could be sentenced to adds up to 50 and McCord's total sentence adds up to 60 years, neither, according to legal sources, can receive consecutive sentences for both burglary counts.

As a result, Liddy's maximum sentence could be 35 years and a $40,.000 fine and McCord's maximum could be 45 years and $60,000 fine.

In addition to Liddy, McCord and Hunt, four men from Miami were named in the indictment - Bernard L. Barker, Frank Sturgis, Virgilio R. Gonzalez and Eugenio R. Martinez.

All four pleaded guilty Jan. 15 to the seven counts with which they were charged.

They face maximum sentences of 40 years in jail and fines of $50,000. The four men were arrested, with McCord, by Washington police in the Democratic Party headquarters at 2:30 a.m. on June 17. The arrests marked the beginning of the Watergate affair.

These five men, dressed in business suits and wearing rubber surgical gloves, had electronic bugging equipment and sophisticated cameras in film. In their possession or their rooms they had $5,300 in $100 bills.

The story unfolded slowly. The day after the arrests, it was learned that one of the five men was the security coordinator for the President's reelection committee. That was McCord, one of the two defendants left in the Watergate trial yesterday.

Two days after the break-in White House consultant Hunt was linked to the five suspects. Hunt pleaded guilty to all counts in the opening days of the trial.

Near the end of July, it was learned that the finance counsel to the Nixon Reelection Committee was fired because he refused to answer FBI questions about the Watergate bugging and break-in. The counsel was Liddy, a former Treasury and White House aide who was the other defendant to remain in the trial.

On Aug. 1, The Washington Post reported that a $25,000 cashier's check intended as a contribution tot he Nixon reelection effort has been deposited in the Miami bank account of one of the Watergate suspects. The General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, ordered an immediate audit of the Nixon campaign finances.

The audit report concluded that former Commerce Secretary Maurice H. Stans, the chief Nixon fund-raiser, has a possible illegal cash fund of $350,000 in his office safe.

The $25,000 from the cashier's check and another $89,000 from four Mexican checks passed through that fund, the GAO concluded.

Last Friday, the Finance Committee to Re-elect the President pleaded no contest in US District Court to eight violations of the campaign finances law. The complaint charged, among other things, that finance committee officials filed to keep adequate records of payments to Liddy. The committee was fined $8,000.

In September, reports surfaced that a former FBI agent and self-described participant in the bugging had become a government witness in the case. He was Alfred C. Baldwin III, who later was to testify that he monitored wire-tapped conversations for three weeks from a listening post in the Howard Johnson Motor Lodge across the street from the Watergate.

On Sept. 15, the federal indictment against the seven original defendants was returned.

The next day, The Post reported that the $350,000 cash fund kept in the Stans safe was used, in part, as an intelligent - gathering fund. On Sept. 29, The Post reported that sources close to the Watergate investigation said that former Attorney General John N. Mitchell controlled disbursements from the intelligence found or so-called "secret fund."

On Oct. 10, The Post reported that the FBI had concluded that the Watergate bugging was just one incident in a campaign of political sabotage directed by the White House and the Nixon committee.

The story identified Donald H. Segretti, a young California lawyer, as a paid political spy who traveled around the country recruiting others and disrupting the campaigns of Democratic presidential contenders.

Five days later, the President's appointments secretary, Dwight L. Chapin, was identified as a person who hire Segretti and received reports from him. Segretti's other contact was Watergate defendant Hunt. Segretti received about $35,000 in pay for the disruptive activities from Herbert W. Kalmbach, the President's personal attorney, according to federal investigators.

This Monday it was announced that Chapin was resigning his White House job. Segretti was not called as a witness in the trial.

On May 15, less than two weeks after Hoover's death, a lone gunman shot Alabama Governor George C Wallace, then campaigning for president, at a shopping centre. The wounds were serious, but Wallace survived. Wallace had a strong following in the deep South, an increasing source of Nixon's support. Wallace's spoiler candidacy four years earlier in 1968 could have cost Nixon the election that year, and Nixon monitored Wallace's every move closely as the 1972 presidential contest continued.

That evening, Nixon called Felt - not Gray, who was out of town - at home for an update. It was the first time Felt had spoken directly with Nixon. Felt reported that Arthur H Bremer, the would-be assassin, was in custody but in the hospital because he had been roughed up and given a few bruises by those who subdued and captured him after he shot Wallace.

"Well, it's too bad they didn't really rough up the son of a bitch!" Nixon told Felt.

Felt was offended that the president would make such a remark. Nixon was so agitated, attaching such urgency to the shooting, that he said he wanted full updates every 30 minutes from Felt on any new information that was being discovered in the investigation of Bremer.

In the following days I called Felt several times and he very carefully gave me leads as we tried to find out more about Bremer. It turned out that he had stalked some of the other candidates, and I went to New York to pick up the trail. This led to several front-page stories about Bremer's travels, completing a portrait of a madman not singling out Wallace but rather looking for any presidential candidate to shoot. On May 18, I did a page-one article that said, "High federal officials who have reviewed investigative reports on the Wallace shooting said yesterday that there is no evidence whatsoever to indicate that Bremer was a hired killer."

It was rather brazen of me. Though I was technically protecting my source and talked to others besides Felt, I did not do a good job of concealing where the information was coming from. Felt chastised me mildly. But the story that Bremer acted alone was a story that both the White House and the FBI wanted out.

A month later, on Saturday June 17, the FBI night supervisor called Felt at home. Five men in business suits, pockets stuffed with $100 bills, and carrying eavesdropping and photographic equipment, had been arrested inside the Democrats' national headquarters at the Watergate office building at about 2.30am.

By 8.30am, Felt was in his office at the FBI, seeking more details. About the same time, the Post's city editor woke me at home and asked me to come in to cover an unusual burglary.

The first paragraph of the front-page story that ran the next day in the Post read: "Five men, one of whom said he is a former employee of the Central Intelligence Agency, were arrested at 2.30am yesterday in what authorities described as an elaborate plot to bug the offices of the Democratic National Committee here." The next day, Carl Bernstein and I wrote our first article together, identifying one of the burglars, James W McCord Jr, as the salaried security coordinator for Nixon's reelection committee. On Monday, I went to work on E Howard Hunt, whose phone number had been found in the address books of two of the burglars with the small notations "W House" and "WH" by his name.

This was the moment when a source or friend in the investigative agencies of government is invaluable. I called Felt at the FBI, reaching him through his secretary. It would be our first talk about Watergate. He reminded me how he disliked phone calls at the office but said the Watergate burglary case was going to "heat up" for reasons he could not explain. He then hung up abruptly.

I was tentatively assigned to write the next day's Watergate bugging story, but I was not sure I had anything. Carl had the day off. I picked up the phone and dialled 456-1414 - the White House - and asked for Howard Hunt. There was no answer, but the operator helpfully said he might be in the office of Charles W Colson, Nixon's special counsel. Colson's secretary said Hunt was not there but might be at a PR firm where he worked as a writer. I called and reached Hunt and asked why his name was in the address book of two of the Watergate burglars.

"Good God!" Hunt shouted before slamming down the phone. I called the president of the PR firm, Robert F Bennett, who is now a Republican US senator from Utah. "I guess it's no secret that Howard was with the CIA," Bennett said blandly.

It had been a secret to me, and a CIA spokesman confirmed that Hunt had been with the agency from 1949 to 1970. I called Felt again at the FBI. Colson, White House, CIA, I said. What did I have? Anyone could have someone's name in an address book. Felt sounded nervous. He said - off the record, meaning I could not use the information - that Hunt was a prime suspect in the burglary at the Watergate for many reasons beyond the address books. So reporting the connections forcefully would not be unfair.

In July, Carl went to Miami, home of four of the burglars, on the money trail, and he ingeniously tracked down a local prosecutor and his chief investigator, who had copies of $89,000 in Mexican cheques and a $25,000 cheque that had gone into the account of Bernard L Barker, one of the burglars. We were able to establish that the $25,000 cheque had been campaign money that had been given to Maurice H Stans, Nixon's chief fundraiser, on a Florida golf course. The August 1 story on this was the first to tie Nixon campaign money directly to Watergate.

Maurice Stans

He grew up in Shakopee, Minnesota. He has not shared about He’s parent’s name. We will update Family, Sibling, Spouse and Children’s information. Right now, we don’t have much information about Education Life.

First Name Maurice
Last Name Stans
Profession Politician
Died Apr 14, 1998 ( age 90)
Birthday & Zodiac
Birth Sign Aries
Birth Date March 22, 1908
Birthday March 22
Birth Place Kansas
Country Kansas
Height & Weight
Height (Approx.) Not Available
Weight (Approx.) Not Available

He raised nearly $60 million for Nixon’s re-election but maintain he had no knowledge of the Watergate burglaries, and was ultimately acquitted of all charges.


John N. Mitchell and Maurice H. Stans were acquitted yesterday of all charges in their criminal conspiracy case, thus ending the first trial of former Cabinet officials since the Teapot Dome scandal.

A jury of nine men and three women deliberated 26 hours over four days to reach a verdiet, which came on the 48th day of the trial.

Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Stars, former leaders of President Nixon“s re‐election campaign, were charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice and per jury.

The Government had alleged that the defendants attempted to impede a Securities and Exchange Commission investiga. tion of Robert L. Vesco, a financier, in return for a secret $200,000 cash contribution that Mr. Vesco made to Mr. Nixon“s re‐election campaign.

Embraces Lawyer

After the 18th “Not guilty” was solemnly pronounced by Sybil Kucharski, a Westchester bank teller who served as the jury“s foreman, Mr. Stans embraced one of his lawyers, then fell forward on the defense table and cradled his head in his arms. He appeared to be near tears.

“My heart stopped for 30 seconds, I feel reborn,” the former Secretary of Commerce said moments later, amid pandemonium in the dark rather old Federal courtroom that had been the scene of many historic moments.

Mr. Mitchell wits all smiles and appeared to take the verdiet somewhat more calmly. The former Attorney General said he had been confident of acquittal from the begining, adding:

“The truth will out. We got to the jury system, and that all ways works. Our fate was resting with a very fine jury—a cross section of Americans.”

Jurors' Explanation

The jurors said in interviews later that they had not found the key government witnesses credible. But they did forward a note to Judge Lee P. Gagliardi praising the chief prosecutor John R. Wing, for “performing brilliantly.”

In a waste basket in the deserted jury room, a piece of paper from a yellow legal table was found with these words written by a juror, “Nixon and Vesco is needed for proof.”

Presumably this referred to President Nixon, since both of his brothers, F. Donald Nixon and Edward C. Nixon, were witnesses at this trial. A third Nixon in the case was Donald A. Nixon, the President“s nephew, who is now with Mr. Vesco. The financier, also indicted in this case, has fled the country.

Judge ls Notified

The end came at 12:57 P.M., seven minutes after the jury foreman, Miss Kucharski, notified the judge by note that ai verdict had been reached. Word swept through the Federal Court House at Foley Square, empty on a Sunday afternoon except for guards, the defendand, their lawyers, the press and the courthouse buffs who spent the hot, sunny morning inside waiting for a possible verdict.

When the jury filed in, the courtroom was jammed. The defendants and their lawyers were seated at their tables. So, too, was the prosecuting team. The jurors looked stony.

Not one looked toward the defendants. Not one smiled.

James E. Matarese, the court clerk, seated just in front of the judge first called the roll of the jurors, each of whom answered “Here.”

Then he turned toward Miss Kucharski, who had postponed her wedding date because of this trial, and asked her, on each count, first those against Mr. Mitchell, and then those against Mr. Stans, “How do you find?”

Fifteen times he asked the question and 15 times Miss Kucharski replied clearly, “Not guilty.”

Mr. Stans froze for a moment, as if suspended in air, and then, still seated embraced the lawyer seated nearest him, Robert Barker, before collapsing on the table. His chief lawyer, Walter. C. Bonner, started to cry, and his third defense lawyer, Edward C. Oɼonnell, appeared ready to join him.

Peter Fleming Jr., Mr. Mitchell's lawyer, stood up, at 6 feet 6 inches towering over everyone, and started to cry. Then he embraced Mr. Bonner and was told by Mr. Mitchell, seemingly the coolest man in the courtroom, to “take it easy, you worked hard.” John E. Sprizzo, Mr. Mitchell's other lawyer, said over and over “Thank God for the jury system.”

The prosecutors, a four‐man team, impassively pushed carts filled with legal papers through the crowd milling about the defendants, apparently stunned, saying nothing.

The conspiracy that had been outlined in a 46‐page Government indictment on May 10, 1973, was over, as far as the legal system was concerned indeed, it had not existed, the jurors said.

It was the first time in the nation's history that two former Cabinet officials had been tried together. The trial that started on Feb. 19 had ended, and by a few minutes, after 1 P.M. Courtroom 110 was empty of all but ghosts, the ghosts of the Mitchell‐Stans trial and the ghosts of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who had been convicted there, among others.

Never Lost Faith

Mr. Mitchell, seated in a room adjacent to the jury room, a room that had been assigned to the defense for this trial, said while puffing on his pipe, “I don't think Mr. Stans ever lost faith and I didn't.”

“If there is one place I'm fairly convinced you can get justice, that is from the American people. That's why I had great faith in Americas, and why I love this country.”

At this point someone in the back of the small room shouted, “the fascist ruling class” and was quickly ejected.

Mr. Stans Saidthat when he was first indicted, “I said I had confidence in God and the American judicial system. I said I was innocent and was certain to be found innocent when it was all over. What's happened is that I've been vindicated by this jury.”

The verdict prompted immediate speculation about the effect it would have on public opinion, for in a way the trial, despite the disclaimers by Mr. Mitchell, was the most dramatic of the recent series of referendums on the Nixon Administration, many persons felt. It was, for instance, the first major trial growing out of the aftermath of the Watergate scandal.

The defendants, and many witnesses at the trial, had been high officials in the Administration, including Mr. Nixon's former counsel. John W. Dean 3d, perhaps the chief Government witness. Others had been close associates of the President.

The Government Allegations

The thrust of the Government case was what it perceived as a subtle abuse of power by “sophisticated men” doing “sophisticated things, according to Mr. Wing.

This involved, he said, a call from Mr. Mitchell at campaign headquarters to Mr. Dean at the White House, who in turn called William J. Casey, then chairman of the S.E.C., asking Mr. Casey the “status” of the S.E.C.‐Vesco case. These allegedly were attempts to impede the S.E.C. investigation.

It showed “the White House. was interested,” the prosecutors said, contending there had been no need for anyone to be so “gauche” as to say “Help Vesco.” Just the knowledge that Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Dean were interested was enough, Mr. Wing argued.

To prove this contention was difficult. Of the 45 witnesses who testified for the government, the great majority were hostile to the Government, putting into their first moments of testimony the fact that they still considered the defendants their friends, men to be greatly admired.

It became, in the end, a classic defense. As Mr. Fleming had put it to the jurors, “The question is whom do you believe? John Mitchell or John Dean?”

Clearly, the jury believed the 60‐year‐old former Cabinet officer.

Rebuffs Watergate Query

Mr. Mitchell, when asked if the verdict would affect Watergate, said he had no opinion. “You are off bounds with your question,” he added.

Asked if the Nixon Administration had been exonerated by the verdict, Mr. Mitchell said “I don't believe the Nixon administration was involved.”

Still, many observers thought that it was an exoneration of sorts, for the jurors were a cross section of Americans, a banker and a Western Union messenger, a telephone company installer and a retired life insurance company employe.

Those who thought it was an exoneration asked how different was this group, as a cross section of Americans, from the voters who had flocked to special elections recently in Michigan and Ohio and in California to cast their votes for or against the Republicans, and by extension the President?

The 66‐year‐old Mr. Stans was asked if he had any anxious moments during the trial. He replied, to laughter, “If we said that, it would be perjury.”

“Have you talked with Martha yet?” Mr. Mitchell was asked.

Deadpan, the smoke from his pipe rising before him, he said, “Who?”

Mr. Stans, on the other hand, said that he had called his wife to tell her the verdict. “I'm anxious to get uptown to my wife, who was unable to attend the trial because of her physical condition,” he said.

Faces Another Trial

Mr. Mitchell still faces another trial. On March 1, 1974, he was one of seven men indicted in Washington on charges of covering up the Watergate break‐in.

In the trial that ended yesterday, he and Mr. Stans were charged jointly with one count of conspiracy and two counts of obstruction of justice, and each was charged with six, counts of perjury. A third obstruction of justice count was, dismissed by the judge early in the trial.

On the courthouse steps, where a crowd of about 150 attracted by the television cameras had gathered, the defendants were greeted with cries of “fascist pig” by some of the crowd and “God bless America” others.

Asked then if he had been surprised by the verdict, Mr. Mitchell, standing sun‐drenched on the grimy steps, replied, “No way, baby, no way.”

Mr. Stans said, “We had great faith in a man, the President, to do everything we could to get him elected. Everything in that cause was proper and just.”

Wing Feels ‘Rotten’

Mr. Wing said he felt “rotten” about the verdict, and that he thought it might have been different had Mr. Vesco been here to stand trial along with Mr. Mitchell and Mr. Stans. This possibility was apparently supported by the jurors, who seemed to feel that Mr. Vesco was the missing link in the Government's case.

Room 123, a small narrow room, is called the “gold room” in the Federal Court House. It has in it an old wooden conference table, wooden chairs, two rest rooms and several shelves.

It was the room in which the verdict was reached. In it, along with the note about Nixon and Vesco, a copy was also found of a note that the jurors had addressed to the judge, asking him to pass it along to the prosecutors at his “exclusive discretion.”

“The verdict speaks for itself,” the note said in part. “Mr. Wing and his colleagues have performed brilliantly, with great skill and dignity. We thank them. We express to them our respect and out esteem.”

The table was littered with tiny scraps of yellow paper, on which the jurors had made notes while deliberating. They had mostly been shredded.

Several moldering sandwiches were scattered about. The prongs on a standing coat rack were decorated like a Christmas tree, with multicolored paper coffee cups. The room had three sets of windows, but very little sun managed to get into it because they were blocked out by the rear of St. Andrews Roman Catholic Church, which at that point presses very close to the courthouse building.

Today custodians will clean up the room and prepare it for the next jury.

A Guide to the “Stans” of Central Asia

One of the most interesting parts the former Soviet space is Central Asia. It is a region of diverse geography and beautiful people, with a lot of fascinating history behind it. In the West, the five countries of the area have become colloquially known as the “stans” because all of them bear the Persian suffix “-stan” meaning “land of.” The majority of the ethnic groups who live in this region are Sunni Muslims, with the exception of the Orthodox Christian Russians, the Ismaili Pamiris, and other smaller groups. The majority of the titular nationalities also speak Turkic languages, the only exception being Farsi-speaking Tajikistan.

In the Russian language, the term “Средняя Азия” (Srednyaya Aziya), literally “Middle Asia,” is used to denote the former Soviet Central Asian republics. By contrast, the term “Центральная Азия” (Tsentralnaya Aziya), or “Central Asia,” denotes a much broader geographic region, encompassing not only the former Soviet Central Asian states, but also Mongolia, Tibet, Xinjiang, Afghanistan, portions of southern Siberia, and other areas.

Post-Soviet Central Asia was gradually absorbed into the Russian Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries. Russia’s expansion into the area prompted concern from the British, who governed India further south. The result was what Rudyard Kipling called the “Great Game,” as the two great powers vied for influence in the region. The sporting geopolitical competition ended in 1907 with the Anglo-Russian Entente. In the end, much of the region went to Russia and later its successor, the Soviet Union. The Soviet government set to work on establishing ethno-national entities in the region, which eventually became full-fledged union republics. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, these countries became fully independent states. Below are concise overviews of each:

Location of Kazakhstan in post-Soviet Central Asia

Capital: Astana
Official language(s): Kazakh, Russian
President: Nursultan Nazarbayev
Area: 2,724,900 км²
Population: 17,948,816 (CIA 2014 est.)
GDP per capita: $14,100 (CIA 2013 est.)
Geography: Steppe, grassland, arid desert, mountains
Ethnic groups (2009 census): Kazakhs (63%), Russians (23%), Uzbeks (3%), Ukrainians (2%), Uygurs (1%), Tatars (1%), Germans (1%), Others (6%)

Eagle hunters in Kazakhstan (Getty)

Kazakhstan is the largest of all the ex-Soviet Central Asian countries. It is the homeland of the Kazakhs (not to be confused with the similar-sounding Slavic Cossacks) who are a nomadic Turkic-speaking people with strong Mongol cultural influences. Falconry, especially eagle falconry, and horsemanship are very popular among the Kazakhs. The Kazakhs are divided among three historical hordes: the Great Horde in the Southeast, the Middle Horde in the Center and North, and the Lesser Horde in the West.

The “Gagarin’s Start” Soyuz launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. It was from here where the famous cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (after whom the launch pad is named) launched into space on Vostok 1 in 1961. (NASA / Bill Ingalls)

In addition to the Kazakhs, there are also many ethnic minorities in Kazakhstan, including a very large ethnic Russian minority concentrated in the North. The sizable Russian community has a historic presence in Kazakhstan, dating back to the Tsarist era. The community grew in the Soviet era, especially in the 1960s during Nikita Khrushchev’s Virgin Lands Campaign. Ethnic relations have been peaceful between the Kazakhs and the large Russian minority. Likewise, relations between the governments of Kazakhstan and Russia are also very amicable. The great Baikonur Cosmodrome from which the famous Sputnik and Vostok operations were launched, is located on the territory of Kazakhstan. However, it is still controlled by Russia per a treaty between Moscow and Astana.

Kazakhstan’s ethnic mosaic also consists of a variety of other minorities such as Uzbeks, Uygurs, Ukrainians, Poles, Germans, Chechens, Ingush, Koreans, Crimean Tatars, and others. Many of these have a long history in Kazakhstan. Others arrived during the Stalin era as part of a series of forced population transfers.

Notably, the late glasnost-era Soviet rock musician, Viktor Tsoi, was partially descended from Kazakhstan’s significant Korean community. The film, The Needle (Игла), which starred Tsoi, was produced in Kazakhstan and directed by the New Wave Kazakh filmmaker, Rashid Nugmanov.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 1997 (Robert D. Ward)

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has been in power since Mikhail Gorbachev appointed him to lead then-Soviet Kazakhstan in 1989. Though he essentially runs the country as a one-man dictatorship where corruption remains a major problem, he nonetheless enjoys popular support for keeping stability, a balanced relationship with Moscow, and for tirelessly promoting Kazakhstan on the international stage. Nazarbayev has also been a vocal proponent for integration among the ex-Soviet states. He has likewise succeeded in attracting foreign investment to Kazakhstan for its vast natural resources, including oil, natural gas, uranium, manganese, copper, and more. In 1997, he moved Kazakhstan’s capital from Alma-Ata (Almaty) to Astana in a more north-central location of the country.

Location of Kyrgyzstan in post-Soviet Central Asia

Capital: Bishkek
Official language(s): Kyrgyz, Russian
President: Almazbek Atambayev
Area: 199,951 км²
Population: 5,604,212 (2014 CIA est.)
GDP per capita: $2,500 (2013 CIA est.)
Geography: Mountains, fertile valleys
Ethnic groups (2014 census): Kyrgyz (73%), Uzbeks (14%), Russians (6%), Others (7%)

Kyrgyz writer Chinghiz Aitmatov

Kyrgyzstan (also known as Kirghizia) is a small and mountainous country located south of Kazakhstan and just west of China. The Kyrgyz are a Turkic-speaking people who, like the Kazakhs, have a nomadic tradition and share many cultural influences from the Mongols. The Tian Shan mountain range runs through much of the country’s west near the much-celebrated Issyk Kul lake. Issyk Kul was a famous resort in Soviet times and also the setting for the Issyk Kul Forum. Founded by the Soviet Kyrgyz writer Chinghiz Aitmatov during glasnost, the Forum was a way of bringing intellectuals from the East and West together. Aitmatov, who passed away in 2008, was a friend and advisor of Mikhail Gorbachev. The Kyrgyz author is still widely respected throughout the former Soviet Union and his stories are still cherished by many in the region to this day.

Kyrgyz yurt (nomadic dwelling) near Issyk Kul

Though not as rich as its northern neighbor Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan has distinguished itself as the most democratic country in post-Soviet Central Asia. The current President Almazbek Atambayev claims that this derives from a democratic tradition among the Kyrgyz nomads and thus has labeled his country a “nomadic democracy.” Despite this, Kyrgyzstan is no stranger to unrest. Since the end of the Soviet era, this small country has experienced two political revolutions, one in 2005 and another in 2010. It has also seen ethnic unrest between the dominant Kyrgyz and the significant Uzbek minority in the southern city of Osh in the Fergana Valley. Clashes occurred in both 1990 and most recently in 2010. Kyrgyzstan is still recovering from the more recent ethnic riots.

Kyrgyz women in traditional costume (AFP)

After September 11, the US opened the Manas Air Base in Kyrgyzstan. Russia’s Vladimir Putin initially approved of this move and allowed the US to operate this base in former Soviet territory as part of its war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. However, as US-Russian relations became strained, Putin decided to pull the plug on the Manas base and sought to have Bishkek close it. After his election in 2011, Kyrgyz President Atambayev announced that he would seek the closure of the base when its lease expires. In June 2014, the US vacated the base.

Location of Tajikistan in post-Soviet Central Asia

Capital: Dushanbe
Official language(s): Tajik
President: Emomali Rahmon
Area: 143,100 км²
Population: 8,051,512 (2014 CIA est.)
GDP per capita: $2,300 (2013 CIA est.)
Geography: Mountains, fertile valleys
Ethnic groups (2010 census): Tajiks (84% including Pamiris), Uzbeks (14%), Others (2%)

Tajik woman in national dress

Geographically, Tajikistan is the smallest of the ex-Soviet Central Asian states. It is also the most mountainous. The Pamir Mountains cover most of the eastern part of the country in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast. The Tajiks are basically a subgroup of ethnic Persians. Their native language, Tajik, is a dialect of Farsi, distinguishing them from their Turkic-speaking neighbors.

The Tajiks live not only in Tajikistan but also in significant numbers in neighboring Uzbekistan and to the south in northern Afghanistan. Ahmad Shah Massoud, the famed leader of Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance was an ethnic Tajik. In addition, Tajikistan is also home to the Pamiri people who are natives of Gorno-Badakhshan.

Spetsnaz troops in the Tajikistan Civil War (Ussuriysk Military School /
Dmitry Ivlyov)

Tajikistan is the poorest ex-Soviet state in Central Asia and it has a history of instability going back to the time of the Soviet collapse. After independence, the country plunged into a violent civil war. The civil war had its origins in the unequal power distribution among the country’s regions. The government was dominated by people from the Leninabad (today Khujand) region in the north and the republic’s security forces were dominated by people from Kulyab in the south. The people from the central Garm region and the eastern Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast, inspired by Gorbachev’s glasnost, demanded more of a say in the government. Their political coalition was an ideological hodge-podge mix of liberal democrats, nationalists, and Islamists. Ultimately, the government refused to share power and it was this that led to the civil war between the sides.

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon (Getty / Majid Saeedi)

The conflict in Tajikistan lasted until 1997 when a power-sharing peace deal was finally agreed upon with the help of negotiation by Moscow. Since then, the country has been relatively stable. Emomali Rahmon, the country’s longtime strongman, has remained in power since the 1990s. The drug trade, which runs from neighboring Afghanistan, seeks to use Tajikistan as a major transit route to the former Soviet states and Europe, posing a serious challenge for the government.

Recently, Tajikistan has sought to enrich itself by capitalizing on its major glacier and water resources. Water resources are highly valued in a region like Central Asia which includes large arid desert areas. Tajik interest in using their water resources for hydroelectric energy has created tension with drier neighbor Uzbekistan. Tashkent is fearful that such projects could adversely affect its water supply and, by extension, its cotton production.

Location of Uzbekistan in post-Soviet Central Asia

Capital: Tashkent
Official language(s): Uzbek
President: Islam Karimov
Area: 447,400 км²
Population: 28,929,716 (2014 CIA est.)
GDP per capita: $3,800 (2013 CIA est.)
Geography: Arid desert, fertile valleys, mountains
Ethnic groups (2000 estimate): Uzbeks (78%), Russians (5%), Tajiks (5%), Kazakhs (4%), Karakalpaks (2%), Others (6%)

Uzbekistan is the most populous country in Central Asia. Uzbeks, a Turkic-speaking people, are the dominant population of Uzbekistan. Their ethnonym “uzbek” literally translates as “his own lord,” meaning a “free” or “independent” person. The country also includes many ethnic minorities including Russians, Tajiks, Kazakhs, and Karakalpaks. The capital Tashkent was founded in the 8th century as an oasis on the Silk Road. Uzbekistan is also home to great Islamic cultural centers such as Bukhara, Samarkand, and the historic Khwarezm capital of Khiva, all boasting visually stunning art and architecture. Many Tajiks live in Samarakand and Bukhara and some Tajik nationalists have even claimed these cities for Tajikistan. However, the beauty of these great centers go beyond any ethnic or national divisions and are treasured by all Central Asians as part of their collective cultural heritage.

The Kyzyl Kum (VisitUzbekistan)

Uzbekistan’s landscape is diverse. Much of the country’s west is covered by the hot Kyzyl Kum (“Red Sands”) desert. The large Aral Sea used to be a major feature of western Uzbekistan. However, due to Soviet-era irrigation schemes involving the Amu Darya and Syr Darya rivers and the Karimov government’s inaction, the once-great sea has now shrunk to near-nonexistence. The eastern part of Uzbekistan, centered on the Fergana Valley is more fertile, though this part of Central Asia has also been known for ethnic tension, disputed borders, and Islamic extremism. The country also has a wealth of natural resources including natural gas, oil, and gold and is renown for its cotton growth.

Uzbek Leader Islam Karimov (RIA Novosti / Sergey Guneev)

Of all the post-Soviet Central Asian states, Uzbekistan is the most repressive. The president, Islam Karimov, was elected to lead the country in 1990 and has remained in this position, establishing himself as an authoritarian despot. Rampantly corrupt, Karimov’s regime is particularly notorious for its use of medieval-style torture. Though potential Islamic extremism is a serious concern for Uzbekistan, the government has used this liberally as an excuse to crackdown on any dissent in the country. As a police state, it keeps a watchful eye on all of its citizens. In 2005, a popular uprising against the regime in the eastern city of Andijan was put down brutally, with the Uzbek government forces cruelly firing into a crowd of men, women, and children. Estimates of those killed range from 400 to more than 1,000.

In recent years, Karimov’s daughter, Gulnara, has also been in the news. An oligarch with a taste for fashion and pop-singing, she is regarded as a very controversial figure. She lost her influence in Uzbekistan after she criticized her father’s repressive regime. Since then, her father has attempted to silence her, but she has continued her criticism of his policies regardless. She was recently arrested.

After the 9/11 attacks, Russian President Vladimir Putin allowed the US to use Uzbekistan’s Karshi-Khanabad Air Base for its operations in Afghanistan. However, after the US criticized Karimov’s crackdown at Andijan, Tashkent told Washington to vacate the base. Russia, whose relations were already souring with the US at this time, approved of the evacuation of the base. However, relations between Moscow and Tashkent have also been uneasy. In 2012, Uzbekistan withdrew from the Moscow-backed CSTO military alliance.

Location of Turkmenistan in post-Soviet Central Asia

Capital: Ashgabat
Official language(s): Turkmen
President: Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov
Area: 491,210 км²
Population: 5,171,943 (2014 CIA est.)
GDP per capita: $9,700 (2013 CIA est.)
Geography: Arid desert
Ethnic groups (2010 estimate): Turkmen (79%), Uzbeks (9%), Russians (3%), Kazakhs (3%), Others (6%)

Turkmen man with camel, early 20th century (Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky)

Turkmenistan (also known as Turkmenia) is the homeland of the Turkmen, a traditionally nomadic Turkic-speaking people. The country borders Iran to the southwest and Afghanistan to the southeast. About 70% of its territory is covered by the inhospitable Karakum (“Black Sands”) Desert and its population is consequently sparse and spread out. Camel herding is a major occupation for many Turkmen and it is not uncommon to see dromedaries lazily walking alongside Turkmenistan’s vast desert highways. Many great powers have passed through far-flung Turkmenistan’s desert landscape over the centuries, particularly the Persians who left behind historical ruined cities like Merv and Nisa.

Darvaza Natural Gas Crater, Turkmenistan (National Geographic / Nick Hannes and Hollandse Hoogte)

On the surface, Turkmenistan appears to be a desolate country with little to offer. Yet appearances can be deceiving. Underneath Turkmenistan’s barren land are rich deposits of oil and especially natural gas. In fact, Turkmenistan has the fourth largest reserves of natural gas in the world. This has attracted a lot of interest, from the traditional power of Russia to new players in the region, such as the US and China. Perhaps the best illustration of the scale of Turkmenistan’s reserves is the fiery Darvaza natural gas crater (also known as the “Doorway to Hell”) located in the middle of the Karakum. In 1971, Soviet engineers began to drill for natural gas in this area. However, the ground beneath the drilling rig sank below grade, creating a large pit. The Soviets decided to burn the pit, fearful of the release of poisonous gases. It was initially believed that the gas would burn out in a matter of weeks. However, it has persisted for nearly 43 years. The first human expedition of the fiery pit was made by explorer George Kourounis in November 2013.

Saparmurat Niyazov gold statue in Ashgabat (Robert Preston)

One of the more unusual phenomena to emerge from Turkmenistan since the Soviet collapse has been its late President Saparmurat Niyazov. Niyazov was an authoritarian leader who was just as eccentric as he was autocratic. Channeling Turkey’s Atatürk, he Latinized the previously Cyrillic-based Turkmen alphabet and styled himself “Turkmenbashi,” meaning “Leader of the Turkmen.” He established an all-pervasive personality cult and even erected a gold statue to himself in the capital Ashgabat. Niyazov also issued bizarre decrees such as banning ballet, opera, makeup, and lip-syncing, and named months after his own family members. In addition, he authored a book known as the Ruhnama, a text comparable to Mao’s Little Red Book or Muammar Gaddafi’s Green Book, containing a mix of spiritual guidance, pseudo-history, autobiography, and poetic verse. The book was made mandatory in all Turkmen schools and a monument to it was even built in Ashgabat. Following Niyazov’s death in 2006, his successor Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov reversed many of his absurd decrees and removed his personality cult. However, Berdymuhamedov too appears to prefer ruling as an all-powerful authoritarian leader as opposed to introducing any sort of competitive democracy to Turkmenistan.

Anatoly Kuznetsov as Comrade Sukhov in White Sun of the Desert (1970).

In the post-Soviet world Turkmenistan is also widely renown as the setting for the much celebrated 1970 Soviet film White Sun of the Desert (Белое солнце пустыни). This film, which featured the famous song Your Honor Lady Luck (Ваше благородие, госпожа Удача) by the bard Bulat Okudzhava, was one of many in the Soviet “Ostern” genre. These “Osterns” (or “Easterns”) very much resembled American Westerners, except they were set in the deserts of Soviet Central Asia as opposed to the American southwest. Directed by Vladimir Motyl, White Sun of the Desert also introduced many common phrases into the Russian language including “Восток — дело тонкое” (“The East — a delicate matter”), “Вопросы есть? Вопросов нет!” (“Are there any questions? Of course not!”), “Таможня дает добро!” (“Customs gives the green light!”), and “Гюльчатай, открой личико!” (“Gyulchatai, show your face!”).

Autonomous regions:

Location of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast within Tajikistan in post-Soviet Central Asia

Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast, Tajikistan
Capital: Khorog
Official language(s): Tajik (Pamiri languages widely spoken)
Governor: Shodikhon Jamshedov
Area: 64,200 км²
Population: 218,000 (2008 est.)
Geography: Mountainous
Ethnic groups: Pamiris, Kyrgyz

The Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast is perhaps the highest region in the former Soviet Union. It is almost completely covered by the Pamir mountains which, along with the nearby Himalayas, have been dubbed the “Roof of the World.” The tallest mountain peak of the former Russian Empire and the former USSR, Peak Kommunism (now Ismoil Somoni Peak) is located in Gorno-Badakhshan.

Pamiri children in Barchadev, Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast, Tajikistan (Robert Middleton)

The population of the oblast is primarily comprised of ethnic Pamiris, an Iranic people distinct from the Tajiks who speak the Pamiri languages, not Farsi. Unlike the mostly Sunni Tajiks, the Pamiris are Ismaili Muslims (an off-shoot of Shiism). In addition to their homeland in Gorno-Badakhshan, the Pamiris also live in Afghanistan’s northernmost province of Badakhshan and in the westernmost portions of China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (particularly in the Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County). They are closely related to the Wakhi speakers of Afghanistan’s Wakhan corridor and Pakistan’s far-northern Gilgit-Baltistan territory (part of disputed Kashmir).

Khorog, capital of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (Bakhriddin Isamutdinov)

The region was the last part of post-Soviet Central Asia to become part of the Russian Empire in 1895. It was also the last territory acquired by the Russian Empire before the Revolution of 1917. [CORRECTION (11 Sept. 2016): The last territory acquired by the Russian Empire was actually the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago in the high Arctic in 1913. Other northern islands were also claimed by the Russian Empire prior to 1917, including Franz Josef Land, Victoria Island, and Wrangel Island. However, all of these islands would only be formally annexed to Russia in 1926 by the Soviet government.]

The boundary was drawn dividing the historic Badakhshan region between the Russian and British Empires (the latter of which controlled the foreign affairs of Afghanistan). The Chinese Qing dynasty also had claim over the region. It was not until 2002 that the People’s Republic of China finalized its frontiers with then post-Soviet Tajikistan. However, the Republic of China, exiled in Taiwan, refuses to recognize this and continues to claim Gorno-Badakhshan as part of mainland China.

During the 1990s civil war in Tajikistan, the Pamiris of Gorno-Badakhshan sided with the Garmis in demanding more equal power from the government. Many people from Garm and Gorno-Badakhshan had been relocated to the country’s south and western cotton-growing areas during the Soviet era. During the early part of the war, many of the Garmis and Pamiris in this part of the country faced attacks and expulsions from government forces in what Human Rights Watch dubbed an “ethnic cleansing campaign.” Many fled back to their traditional native regions in Tajikistan, while others fled across the border into Afghanistan. The result was a radicalization of the sides and an intensification of the conflict.

Clashes in Gorno-Badakhshan, 2012 (Reuters)

The civil war continued in Tajikistan until a power-sharing a agreement was brokered with Russian assistance in 1997. Since then, Gorno-Badakhshan has remained relatively peaceful. However, in 2012, clashes erupted in the region between loyalists of the warlord Tolib Ayombekov and the Tajik military. Moscow observed the situation with concern. After intense fighting on July 24, Tajik leader Emomali Rahmon called for a ceasefire. Peace and stability have since been restored to the area.

Location of the Karakalpakstan within Uzbekistan in post-Soviet Central Asia

Karakalpakstan Autonomous Republic, Uzbekistan
Capital: Nukus
Official language(s): Karakalpak, Uzbek
Governor: Musa Erniyazov
Area: 164,900 км²
Population: 1,711,800 (2013 est.)
Geography: Arid desert
Ethnic groups (2007 estimate): Karakalpaks (33%), Uzbeks (33%), Kazakhs (25%), Others (9%)

Karakalpakstan is an autonomous region that encompasses much of western Uzbekistan. Linguistically and culturally, the Karakalpaks closely resemble the Kazakhs more than the Uzbeks. It is noteworthy that the area was once an autonomous region within Soviet Kazakhstan during the NEP era of the 1920s, before its jurisdiction was transferred to the Russian SFSR in 1930 and eventually to Soviet Uzbekistan in 1936. The name “Karakalpak” roughly translates as “black hat,” but the origin of this name is obscure. There are theories linking the Karakalpaks to the Chorni Klobuky (“black hat”) mercenaries of the Kievan Rus’ from the 11th and 12th centuries, though aside from the common meaning of their names, there is no evidence linking these two groups. The Karakalpak homeland is arid and almost completely covered by desert.

Photographs illustrating the diminution of the Aral Sea. From left to right: (top row) 1973, 1989, 1999, (bottom row) 2001, 2003, 2009 (US Geological Survey and NASA)

Karakalpakstan was once a prosperous region in Soviet times. However, in the post-Soviet era, the region has fared badly within independent Uzbekistan. It has become the country’s poorest region and has suffered the greatest from the rapidly diminishing and now disappearing Aral Sea, which used to be a major feature of the region. The area is now experiencing a severe drought. Temperatures have increased. Sea salt and other chemicals from the dried bed of the salient sea have become wind-borne, poisoning the local environment and creating serious respiratory problems for the people living in the area. Meanwhile, the sea continues to shrink and Tashkent has done nothing to prevent what many regard as an environmental catastrophe. There are rumblings by some Karakalpak activists about possible independence from Uzbekistan, though Tashkent has been quick to deny this.

Nukus Art Museum (Panoramio)

The ancient oasis region of Khwarezm encompassed a significant portion of modern Karakalpakstan, particularly in the Amu Darya river delta. As such, the area has inherited many historic ruins and archeological sites of interest. Additionally, the capital Nukus is also the home of the famed Nukus Art Museum, or more formally the State Art Museum of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, after I. V. Savitsky. The museum houses the second largest collection of Russian avant-garde art in the world after the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. Igor Savitsky, the museum’s founder, collected them at great risk of his own life, especially during Stalin’s era. In 2010, the museum was prominently featured in the documentary, The Desert of Forbidden Art with narration by Ben Kingsley and others.

In mid-February 1972, Stans resigned as the US Secretary of Commerce, to chair the Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CRP), Richard Nixon's re-election campaign. Money that he raised for the campaign was clearly used to finance some or all of the illegal Watergate activities. Stans denied any knowledge of what the money was used for, only that it was authorized to be spent.

On 12 March 1975, Stans pleaded guilty to three counts of violating the reporting sections of the Federal Election Campaign Act and two counts of accepting illegal campaign contributions. He was fined $5,000. Β] The convictions were related to improperly giving campaign funds to G. Gordon Liddy, though Stans insisted that his guilt ended there and that he was not aware of Liddy's plan to use the money for what became the Watergate break in. Γ]

He later authored a book, The Terrors of Justice: The Untold Side of Watergate, in which he detailed his side of the Watergate story.

Professional career and public offices

Maurice Stans attended evening classes at Northwestern University and Columbia University between 1925 and 1930 , but remained there without a degree. In 1931 he was approved as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for the states of New York and Ohio . From 1940 he was a member of the management of an accounting firm in Chicago .

1955 Stans took over a government office for the first time when he under President Dwight D. Eisenhower Deputy US Postmaster General ( Deputy Postmaster General ) was what he remained until 1957th He moved to the Bureau of the Budget , a sub-agency of the Treasury Department , as deputy head In 1958 he took over its management. After the Republicans were defeated in the 1960 presidential election , Stans left the government the following year.

A period in banking followed. Stans became president and director of Western Bank Corporation in Los Angeles , vice chairman and director of United California Bank, and eventually president of an investment bank .


Bio / Wiki
Full Name Maurice Stans
Occupation Politician
Age Death Date – Apr 14, 1998 (age 90)
Date of Birth March 22, 1908
Place of Birth Kansas
Star Sign Aries
Country United States
Gender Male

Embattled Banner: The True History of the Confederate Flag

If you are a regular reader of Civil War Times, the Confederate battle flag is a familiar part of your world. The symbolism of the flag is simple and straightforward: It represents the Confederate side in the war that you enjoy studying. More than likely, your knowledge of the flag has expanded and become more sophisticated over the years. At some point, you learned that the Confederate battle flag was not, in fact, “the Confederate flag” and was not known as the “Stars and Bars.” That name properly belongs to the first national flag of the Confederacy. If you studied the war in the Western and Trans-Mississippi theaters, you learned that “Confederate battle flag” is a misnomer. Many Confederate units served under battle flags that looked nothing like the red flag with the star-studded blue cross. You may have grown up with more than just an idle knowledge of the flag’s association with the Confederacy and its armies, but also with a reverence for the flag because of its association with Confederate ancestors. If you didn’t, your interest in the war likely brought you into contact with people who have a strong emotional connection with the flag. And, at some point in your life, you became aware that not everyone shared your perception of the Confederate flag. If you weren’t aware of this before, the unprecedented flurry of events and of public reaction to them that occurred in June 2015 have raised obvious questions that all students of Civil War history must confront: Why do people have such different and often conflicting perceptions of what the Confederate flag means, and how did those different meanings evolve?

(Larry Sherer/High Impact Photography)

The flag as we know it was born not as a symbol, but as a very practical banner. The commanders of the Confederate army in Virginia (then known at the Army of the Potomac) sought a distinctive emblem as an alternative to the Confederacy’s first national flag—the Stars and Bars—to serve as a battle flag. The Stars and Bars, which the Confederate Congress had adopted in March 1861 because it resembled the once-beloved Stars and Stripes, proved impractical and even dangerous on the battlefield because of that resemblance. (That problem was what compelled Confederate commanders to design and employ the vast array of other battle flags used among Confederate forces throughout the war.)Battle flags become totems for the men who serve under them, for their esprit de corps, for their sacrifices. They assume emotional significance for soldiers’ families and their descendants. Anyone today hoping to understand why so many Americans consider the flag an object of veneration must understand its status as a memorial to the Confederate soldier.

It is, however, impossible to carve out a kind of symbolic safe zone for the Confederate battle flag as the flag of the soldier because it did not remain exclusively the flag of the soldier. By the act of the Confederate government, the battle flag’s meaning is inextricably intertwined with the Confederacy itself and, thus, with the issues of slavery and states’ rights—over which readers of Civil War Times and the American public as a whole engage in spirited and endless debate. By 1862, many Southern leaders scorned the Stars and Bars for the same reason that had prompted the flag’s adoption the year before: it too closely resembled the Stars and Stripes. As the war intensified and Southerners became Confederates, they weaned themselves from symbols of the old Union and sought a new symbol that spoke to the Confederacy’s “confirmed independence.” That symbol was the Confederate battle flag. Historian Gary Gallagher has written persuasively that it was Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, not the Confederate government, that best embodied Confederate nationalism. Lee’s stunning victories in 1862–63 made his army’s battle flag the popular choice as the new national flag. On May 1, 1863, the Confederacy adopted a flag—known colloquially as the Stainless Banner—featuring the ANV battle flag emblazoned on a white field. For the remainder of the Confederacy’s life, the soldiers’ flag was also, in effect, the national flag.

If all Confederate flags had been furled once and for all in 1865, they would still be contentious symbols as long as people still argue about the Civil War, its causes and its conduct. But the Confederate flag did not pass once and for all into the realm of history in 1865. And for that reason, we must examine how it has been used and perceived since then if we wish to understand the reactions that it evokes today. The flag never ceased being the flag of the Confederate soldier and still today commands wide respect as a memorial to the Confederate soldier. The history of the flag since 1865 is marked by the accumulation of additional meanings based on additional uses. Within a decade of the end of the war (even before the end of Reconstruction in 1877), white Southerners began using the Confederate flag as a memorial symbol for fallen heroes. By the turn of the 20th century, during the so-called “Lost Cause” movement in which white Southerners formed organizations, erected and dedicated monuments, and propagated a Confederate history of the “War Between the States,” Confederate flags proliferated in the South’s public life.

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Far from being suppressed, the Confederate version of history and Confederate symbols became mainstream in the postwar South. The Confederate national flags were part of that mainstream, but the battle flag was clearly preeminent. The United Confederate Veterans (UCV) issued a report in 1904 defining the square ANV pattern flag as the Confederate battle flag, effectively writing out of the historical record the wide variety of battle flags under which Confederate soldiers had served. The efforts of the UCV and the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) to promote that “correct” battle flag pattern over the “incorrect” rectangular pattern (the Army of Tennessee’s or the naval jack) were frustrated by the public’s demand for rectangular versions that could serve as the Confederate equivalent of the Stars and Stripes. What is remarkable looking back from the 21st century is that, from the 1870s and into the 1940s, Confederate heritage organizations used the flag widely in their rituals memorializing and celebrating the Confederacy and its heroes, yet managed to maintain effective ownership of the flag and its meaning. The flag was a familiar part of the South’s symbolic landscape, but how and where it was used was controlled. Hints of change were evident by the early 20th century. The battle flag had emerged not only as the most popular symbol of the Confederacy, but also of the South more generally. By the 1940s, as Southern men mingled more frequently with non-Southerners in the U.S. Armed Forces and met them on the gridiron, they expressed their identity as Southerners with Confederate battle flags.

The flag’s appearance in conjunction with Southern collegiate football was auspicious. College campuses are often incubators of cultural change, and they apparently were for the battle flag. This probably is owed to the Kappa Alpha Order, a Southern fraternity founded at Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in 1865, when R.E. Lee was its president. A Confederate memorial organization in its own right, Kappa Alpha was also a fraternity and introduced Confederate symbols into collegiate life. It was in the hands of students that the flag burst onto the political scene in 1948. Student delegates from Southern colleges and universities waved battle flags on the floor of the Southern States Rights Party convention in July 1948.

The so-called “Dixiecrat” Party formed in protest to the Democratic Party convention’s adoption of a civil rights plank. The Confederate flag became a symbol of protest against civil rights and in support of Jim Crow

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segregation. It also became the object of a high-profile, youth-driven nationwide phenomenon that the media dubbed the “flag fad.” Many pundits suspected that underlying the fad was a lingering “Dixiecrat” sentiment. African-American news-papers decried the flag’s unprecedented popularity within the Armed Forces as a source of dangerous division at a time when America needed to be united against Communism. But most observers concluded that the flag fad was another manifestation of youth-driven material culture. Confederate heritage organizations correctly perceived the Dixiecrat movement and the flag fad as a profound threat to their ownership of the Confederate flag. The UDC in November 1948 condemned use of the flag “in certain demonstrations of college groups and some political groups” and launched a formal effort to protect the flag from “misuse.” Several Southern states subsequently passed laws to punish “desecration” of the Confederate flag. All those efforts proved futile. In the decades after the flag fad, the Confederate flag became, as one Southern editor wrote, “confetti in careless hands.” Instead of being used almost exclusively for memorializing the Confederacy and its soldiers, the flag became fodder for beach towels, t-shirts, bikinis, diapers and baubles of every description. While the UDC continued to condemn the proliferation of such kitsch, it became so commonplace that, over time, others subtly changed their definition of “protecting” the flag to defending the right to wear and display the very items that they once defined as desecration. As the dam burst on Confederate flag material culture and heritage groups lost control of the flag, it acquired a new identity as a symbol of “rebellion” divorced from the historical context of the Confederacy. Truckers, motorcycle riders and “good ol’ boys” (most famously depicted in the popular television show The Dukes of Hazzard) gave the flag a new meaning that transcends the South and even the United States.

Meanwhile, as the civil rights movement gathered force, especially in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, defenders of segregation increasingly employed the use of the battle flag as a symbol of their cause. Most damaging to the flag’s reputation was its use in the hands of the Ku Klux Klan. Although founded by Confederate veterans almost immediately after the Civil War, the KKK did not use the Confederate flag widely or at all in its ritual in the 1860s and 1870s or during its rebirth and nationwide popularity from 1915 to the late 1920s. Only with a second rebirth in the late 1930s and 1940s did the battle flag take hold in the Klan.

Anyone today hoping to understand why so many African Americans and others perceive the Confederate flag as a symbol of hate must recognize the impact of the flag’s historical use by white supremacists. The Civil

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Rights Era has profoundly affected the history of the Confederate flag in several ways. The flag’s use as a symbol of white supremacy has framed the debate over the flag ever since. Just as important, the triumph of civil rights restored African Americans to full citizenship and restored their role in the ongoing process of deciding what does and does not belong on America’s public symbolic landscape. Americans 50 or older came of age when a symbolic landscape dotted with Confederate flags, monuments and street names was the status quo. That status quo was of course the result of a prolonged period in which African Americans were effectively excluded from the process of shaping the symbolic landscape. As African Americans gained political power, they challenged—and disrupted— that status quo. The history of the flag over the last half-century has involved a seemingly endless series of controversies at the local, state and national levels. Over time, the trend has been to reduce the flag’s profile on the symbolic landscape, especially on anyplace that could be construed as public property. As students of history, we tend to think of it as something that happens in the past and forget that history is happening now and that we are actors on the historical stage. Because the Confederate battle flag did not fade into history in 1865, it was kept alive to take on new uses and new meanings and to continue to be part of an ever-changing history. As much as students of Civil War history may wish that we could freeze the battle flag in its Civil War context, we know that we must study the flag’s entire history if we wish to understand the history that is happening around us today. Studying the flag’s full history also allows us to engage in a more constructive dialogue about its proper place in the present and in the future.

My own ancestry is a combination of people of African and European descent. My mother and her parents attended segregated schools in Southside Virginia. My great-great-great-grandmother and her children were free blacks before the war, but they lived in constant fear of slave patrollers—and were unable to obtain a legal education or vote.

My great-great-great-grand-father, however, was a white slaveholder and the father of my third great-grandmother’s children. Through that branch of my family I am also connected with many Confederate soldiers and two members of Virginia’s 1861 Secession Convention.

It is true that many Confederate troops did not own black people. But the Confederate leaders did not stutter when it came to their support of slavery and white supremacy.

The battle flag represents a gamble by 11 states (and another two states with representation in the Confederate Congress) to create a separate slaveholding republic. It symbolizes the struggles of men on well-known battlefields like Manassas, Shiloh, Chickamauga and Gettysburg. But there is no denying the role the battle flag played during the war’s bitter aftermath and Reconstruction and its use by 20th-century white supremacist groups. That same banner, in addition to images of Robert E. Lee and the American flag, was hoisted high during the 1948 “Dixiecrats” convention in Birmingham, Ala., held be-cause of opposition to Harry Truman’s advocacy of a civil rights plank in the Democratic Party platform.
Then there’s the viewpoint of all those people who marched for access to the ballot. Some of those same individuals were spit on for trying to order a sandwich at a lunch counter, or were called “Niggers” because they sought access to a truly equal education. They view the flag, and variations thereof, with understandable contempt.

We cannot ignore America’s long history of prejudice. Because the Confederate battle flag is seen as a symbol of that prejudice, the call to remove it from public display is warranted in government spaces such as the grounds of the South Carolina Capitol. Original flags should be preserved and exhibited in museums.

Yet removing the flag from public display in South Carolina or Mississippi does not resolve issues such as equal access to the ballot box. It does not change the fact that this nation still jails disproportionate numbers of minorities, or mitigate the unfairness of the justice system for those people, or improve the way they are treated after they have served their time.

Confederate flag that was displayed with other Civil War memorabilia. I now feel as though I’ve hidden away my lineage in a dresser drawer. It’s a battle I can’t win. I’m sorry, all you Prillaman boys in the 57th Virginia Infantry, who laid it all on the line so many times, captured at the Angle at Gettysburg with your proud colors and returned to service because you had conviction. I believe you were wrong in your cause. But I believe you fought for that cause with your every fiber, because at heart you were Americans. Rest in peace. You will not be forgotten, and I won’t allow anyone to tarnish you or shove shame down my throat. I will lay this flag at your graves, alongside an American flag. You were both. You can claim both.

As William Faulkner famously wrote in Intruder in the Dust, “For every Southern boy fourteen years old, not once but whenever he wants it, there is the instant when it’s still not yet two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863,the brigades are in position behind the rail fence, the guns are laid and ready in the woods and the furled flags are already loosened to break out and Pickett himself with his long oiled ringlets and his hat in one hand probably and his sword in the other looking up the hill waiting for Long-street to give the word and it’s all in the balance, it hasn’t happened yet, it hasn’t even begun yet…”

There is an internalized and inherited sense of loss in us Southerners. Shelby Foote spoke of this in several inter-views. Some things, perhaps, we shouldn’t have held on to, but I think even those of us who wish to be sensitive to others’ feelings on those symbols just get tired of the sense of losing. Even in our own living rooms.

My ancestors in the 57th Virginia Infantry served under the battle flag. Prillamans were captured, killed and wounded following that banner. I hate the cause that they stood for, but I am fiercely proud that they stood.

John M. Coski is the author of The Confederate Battle Flag: America’s Most Embattled Emblem (Harvard University Press, 2005).

Maurice Stans’ Views on Social Responsibility in the Accounting Profession

Abstract: maurice Stans (1908-1998) is remembered for his role in the Watergate scandal of the 1970s, but he was also an early contributor to the literature on the accounting profession’s obligations to the general public. his writings and speeches in this area have a place in the history of social responsibility accounting. the paper discusses his writings as well as his comments collected in an audio-taped interview about his role in the accounting profession as president of the american institute of accountants, senior partner in alexander Grant (now Grant Thornton), and one of the first well-known practitioners to discuss broadly the importance of the accounting profession’s social responsibilities. today when accounting scandals have created questions about the credibility and integrity of financial reporting, it is reflective to see how concerns about financial reporting were once articulated.

maurice Stans (1908-1998) is largely remembered for his political association with richard Nixon and his role with the republican National Finance Committee and the Watergate scandal of the 1970s. yet, before his entry into the politics of the 1950s, he had distinguished himself in the accounting profession as one of the first senior partners in the firm of alexander Grant & Company, president of the american institute of accountants (aia) (1954-1955), gold medal recipient for distinguished service to the profession (1954), a member of the Committee on accounting Procedure (CaP), an early member in the accounting hall of Fame (1960), and a writer and advocate for articulating the accounting profession’s social responsibilities to the public as denned within the accounting framework of the late 1940s through the 1950s.

acknowledgments: the author would like to thank the two anonymous re-viewers for their invaluable suggestions for improving the paper, mr. Stans for allowing the interview to take place, and the editor for his patience.

it is valuable to look at his writings and consider his per-sonal views on social responsibility as expressed in an audio-taped interview conducted in 1994.1 Stans’ description of social responsibility was based on a call for fairness in financial reporting through a greater standardization of accounting practices. he perceived that this approach would help reduce potential social class conflicts and labor strife in the u.S. economy arising from an underlying suspicion that the accounting profession endorsed practices supporting corporate interests over accurate reporting responsibilities to the general public.

today the accounting profession has been beset by a num-ber of scandals. accordingly, it is worthwhile to record the historical insights of an accountant who faced his own integ-rity challenges and still strongly maintained his views on the accounting profession’s obligations to society. this article reviews Stans’ writings and the 1994 oral history interview in which mr. Stans identified the role he played in developing practitioner-based arguments for expanding the accounting profession’s public responsibilities. Prior to beginning this analysis, the advantages and pitfalls of an oral history methodology will be briefly considered.


the primary resource for this paper was the 1994 oral his-tory interview with maurice Stans. Such an oral history can be considered a record of “personal reminiscences that are of his-torical significance focusing on impressions, attitudes, feelings, and descriptions, rather than facts” [lamour, 1994, p. 2]. as with any research model, there are advantages and pitfalls to be considered when using oral history.

academic support for oral history has evolved as it supple-ments written records with a rich verbal account of an event or events [Zeff, 1980 Collins and Bloom, 1991]. others have argued

1the oral history interview was conducted over a two-day period by the author at mr. Stan’s home in Pasadena, California on July 20-21, 1994. the questions covered a number of topics related to mr. Stans’ work as a practicing accountant. the only restriction on the questions was that they would not deal with Watergate. the questions were not submitted to mr. Stans in advance of the interview, and the direction of the discussion was open-ended. the audio-taped interview was transcribed into a 79-page oral history. after the interview, a copy of the transcription was sent to mr. Stans. that copy now resides in the minnesota historical Society in St. Paul. the oral history is available from the minnesota historical Society in St. Paul, minnesota or from the author.

that the purpose of oral histories is to “problematize and contradict the traditional stories of accounting” [hammond and Sikka, 1996, p. 81]. the latter view considers oral history as a means to show how the official written record of events can cause more extensive societal effects than might initially appear. this oral history collection corresponds more to the Collins and Bloom model.

the problems that can arise from an oral history interview occur when the interviewer injects his/her preconceived ideas into the interview, creating a bias in the questioning that can skew responses toward the interviewer’s point of view. another difficulty arises if there is no rapport between the interviewee and interviewer, thus decreasing the candidness of the responses [Collins and Bloom, 1991]. therefore, the interaction before, during, and after the interview are as important as securing consent for the interview. None of these issues arose in the Stans interview.2 thus, the current paper combines the candid recollections of maurice Stans about his work in the accounting profession with an analysis of his published work on social responsibility.


maurice Stans was raised in the small town of Shakopee, minnesota before beginning his accounting career at age 20 with alexander Grant & Company in Chicago. eventually, he worked his way up to become senior partner. in 1953, his firm was working on a consulting assignment with the u.S. Postal Service. as a result of that job, Stans left his position in 1955 to begin his career in government service in the u.S. Post Office as deputy postmaster general during the eisenhower administration.

During richard Nixon’s run for governor of California, Stans served as his finance chairman. in 1968, he chaired Nixon’s election Campaign Committee, and later during the campaign became chair of Nixon’s Finance Committee. after the election, Stans was named commerce secretary in Nixon’s cabinet, but he resigned in 1972 to become chairman of the Finance

2Prior to conducting the interview, the author attended an oral history seminar conducted by Charles t. morrissey, a nationally renowned oral historian. morrissey’ s oral history workshops, conducted throughout the u.S., deal with the methodology of oral history interviewing. the morrissey method was used in the Stans interview.

Committee to re-elect President Nixon and chairman of the republican National Finance Committee. in 1973, he was in-dicted in the Watergate scandal but was subsequently acquitted of those charges.

Before beginning his government service, Stans spent 27 years directly involved in the accounting profession. his concept of professional responsibility as reflected in his writings was strongly influenced by the social and political issues of the era.


From the early 1930s to the mid-1950s, a social and politi-cal upheaval occurred in the u.S. this time period began with an economy in virtual collapse as almost every bank closed in 1933, and americans beginning to question the principles of democracy, capitalism, free enterprise, and individualism upon which the nation was built. Growing out of the economic tur-moil, american business found its place in the country’s social fabric as overseers of commerce undergoing enormous change. Businessmen witnessed new political threats to the american system of government, labor strife increased as unions grew in size and powerful labor leaders were elected to represent their members, and new social legislation was enacted to protect the public from abuses of the past.
the U.S. reacted to the financial turmoil of the 1930s with new legislation to help solve the economic problems of the period. Such legislation provided stronger federal oversight of economic activities. in 1933-1934, the Securities acts were passed, and the Securities and exchange Commission (SeC) was established with regulatory powers over Wall Street and the accounting profession.

Workers were given substantial collective bargaining power in 1935 with the Wagner act. in 1938, the Fair labor Standards act set a minimum wage of 25 cents per hour and a maximum work week of 40 hours. During World War ii, labor-management disputes were controlled through no-strike pledges in support of the war effort. after the war, labor-management relationships became bitter again. During 1945 and 1946, there were numerous crippling strikes in the automobile, coal, and railroad industries. During 1946, 5,000 strikes involved 4.6 million workers.4 the united mine Workers under John l. lewis instituted one such strike in 1946 that had the potential to shut down businesses, stall World War ii recovery in europe, and deny warmth to american homes heated with coal. With this new political power, labor unions began demanding that corporate financial records be opened for scrutiny during contract negotiations.

these changes in the corporate regulatory and political environment began having an effect on the role of the accountant. With the passage of new financial market and reporting legislation, it became important for businesses to demonstrate that they were complying with the new rules. Consequently, the obligations of the accountant began to extend beyond the traditional role of responsibility only to corporations. Since the terms “independent public or certified accountant” had found their way into the Securities act of 1933, accounting responsibilities had now expanded with obligations to the public sector.5
New practice guidelines were also developed for the ac-counting profession. Statement on auditing Procedures (SaP) #1, Extensions of Auditing Procedures, was passed in 1939 by the AIA largely in response to the audit failure at mckesson & rob-bins Company featuring fraudulent inventory and accounts receivable.6 SaP #1 required auditors to be present when inventories were counted and to conduct a confirmation of receivables.

the standardization process in auditing and accounting practices did expand with a number of new accounting research Bulletins (arB), accounting terminology Bulletins, and SaPs. however, standardization moved ahead only slowly.7 Within this political and economic environment, Stans began to write about social responsibility.

4″For example, in November 1945, the 180,000 members of the auto Workers at General motors struck for 113 days. in 1946, national strikes crippled the soft coal industry and the nation’s railroads. that year there were a staggering 5,000 strikes, involving 4.6 million workers” [american Bar association, 1995, p. 19].

5the Securities Act of 1933 deals with the certification of financial statements. yet, the meaning of independence, as mentioned in the act, would not be more fully addressed until the 1960s and 1970s.


an underlying argument about societal responsibilities is that no group can survive if it simply pursues its own interests without considering the consequences of its actions on society [linowes, 1974 Committee on Social measurement, 1977]. For the accountant, early definitions of social responsibility were viewed as professionals doing good work for clients. this per-spective did not include measures of general human well-being, such as environmental effects, social accounting, or the impacts of business on local health and housing. awareness of these issues began to develop in the late 1960s through the 1970s [Colantoni et al., 1973 epstein et al., 1977].

early views were more professionally introverted, linked to the avoidance of questionable practices that would reflect badly upon the profession in regard to tax preparation, for example, as noted by accounting practitioners in the Journal of Accountancy [Joplin, 1919 richardson, 1919]. other accounting authors wrote about the accounting profession’s public role. rose [1923, p. 337] observed that “the accountant must be prepared to fulfill his duties and obligations, not only to his clients, but also to the public,” but this role was not fully denned. another view on public responsibility was voiced by Clark [1923], a well-known economist. he believed labor’s miseries during economic downturns could be mitigated if factory accounting methods were revised. he argued that charges for the social costs of labor needed to be forecasted and added to factory overhead as a new fixed cost.

auditors’ public responsibilities were perceived as tran-scending the mathematical accuracy of the financial numbers to determine the true state of affairs of the organization under audit, but there was little call for standardization of accounting practices. the institutionalist writings of Dr Scott during this period described accounting changes as part of a continuing and fluid cultural evolution or social process based on objective rather than subjective thinking [Scott, 1931]. limperg [1932, p. 19] also viewed the audit in an evolutionary context. he wrote

9Clark was concerned with labor’s suffering during downturns in the business cycle. he thought revisions in accounting practices were needed to allow labor costs to become part of factory overhead charges to be used subsequently by managers to moderate the effects of idle capacity and unemployment during economic downturns. Current employer payments to unemployment compensation funds are an implementation of Clark’s ideas.

about the obligation of the accountant to “carry out his work in such a way that he does not betray the expectations which he evokes in the sensible layman.” littleton [1933, pp. 267, 271] mentioned the “social interest” and, within that context, discussed the evolutionary rather than the revolutionary nature of change in the accounting profession.

in a 1930 injunction, issued by the Court of Common Pleas against the merger of Bethlehem Steel Corporation and youngstown Sheet and tube Company, the obligations of the accounting profession to the general public were identified as a central issue [editorial, 1931, p. 86]. after commenting in the decision on the need for uniform standards of accounting to allow stockholders to accurately determine whether the offer from Bethlehem Steel was fair, Judge Jenkins went on to state:

i am further of the opinion that directors, shareholders …should have a clear, explicit explanation of the ac-counting facts…which…will enable the ordinary reader, without hiring a technical interpreter, to determine the actual state of the company’s business….Corporate statements and reports are for the information of the laymen.

in the same editorial section, a.P. richardson, the editor of the Journal of Accountancy, described this statement as the “depth of the morass” and called uniform rules of reporting impractical.

later writers wrote about a general public interest the ac-counting profession represented within the economy, but they did not correlate this public interest with accurate financial reporting based on generally prescribed methods [Wilcox, 1939]. Scott [1940, p. 508, 1941] wrote of “a vision of social responsibility” and expressed his concern that accounting practices needed to provide fair representation to all interests. Paton and littleton [1940] wrote about the social importance of accounting to the flow of capital, but did not mention social class issues. all these views predated Stans’ writings. Although significant in other ways, these observations did not combine the concepts of social responsibilities, more uniform accounting standards, and societal class conflict as characterized Stans’ writings a few years later.

Citations in Stans’ writing help identify supporting sources for his ideas on social responsibility. Beginning in the late 1940s, an underlying reference in Stans’ arguments regarding social responsibility came from arB #1 [aia, 1949, p. 1] and its reference to the social purpose of accounting.

the committee regards corporation accounting as one phase of the working of the corporate organization of business, which in turn it views as a machinery created by the people in the belief that, broadly speaking, it will serve a useful social purpose. the test of the corporate system and of the special phase of it represented by corporate accounting ultimately lies in the results which are produced. these results must be judged from the standpoint of society as a whole – not from that of any one group of interested parties.

although not generally called “social responsibility” by the practitioners of this time period, there were two general views of the profession’s responsibilities. one view held that the accountant’s role was to serve the client professionally. in such cases, the accountant acted as the client’s advocate in financial matters. a second view considered the accountant’s obligation to the client to be mitigated by a duty to act in good faith to and to serve the greater good of the general public. Stans’ ar-guments supported the latter view. the belief that accounting practices should not support any one group of interested par-ties was repeated in Stans’ writings and speeches throughout his accounting career. he believed that expanding prescribed accounting practices served as the means for implementing accounting’s social responsibility to the public, not just the client or investors.


as noted, the period immediately after World War ii was characterized by high levels of labor unrest in the u.S. labor leaders and their advisors began using corporate financial re-ports to determine the share of a company’s resources that could reasonably be expected to support wage increases for union members. as they reviewed the methods used by the accounting practitioners in preparing these financial reports, they became suspicious of the accounting practices being followed.
Barkin’s [1951] views can be considered representative of the labor movement’s perspective toward financial reporting during this period.11 He wrote that financial statements which do not clearly disclose total income and benefits transferred to owners and managerial interests cannot be trusted by workers and unions.12 From his perspective, it was important to have financial statements that accurately showed the amount of in-come available for distribution to the factors of production. For collective bargaining purposes, he believed the influence of the separate entity and the conservatism principles biased financial reporting towards owner/managerial interests over those of labor. these underlying principles were seen as resulting in overly cautious reporting that unnecessarily reduced owner profits and put labor at a disadvantage in collective bargaining. Barkin [1951, p. 1196] believed that the accountant needed to “define the biases and distortions introduced into the recording by the power which management has hitherto exercised over accounting.” Stockholders, creditors, directors, and executive managers were identified by Barkin as the four distinct entrepreneurial groups within the corporation who act as providers of either capital or managerial talent. after making this point, he described accounting practices related to these four groups that distort financial reporting. For stockholders, many of the recognized costs of stockholder operations (e.g., meetings, legal fees, etc.) are withdrawals from residual earnings and not reductions in current earnings. For creditors, their interest payments should be recognized as a reduction of the company’s net worth, not an expense on the income statement. Payments to directors should also not be recognized as charges against income. executive managers act as replacements for the single proprietor thus, any payments to them, such as bonuses or expense accounts, should not be deducted from income but should be recognized as deductions from retained earnings. he believed that the current method of preparing financial statements allowed companies to siphon off profits to their affiliated companies or to burden one enterprise with the expenses incurred by an affiliate. Barkin called for additional reporting to the SEC to allow for the disclosure of such information. he argued against any accounting methods which would tend to build reserves for future losses.

12Barkin developed support for his arguments against conservatism by citing Paton [1948] and Gilman [1939]. it should be noted that Gilman’s arguments on conservatism in turn drew support from a Dohr [1938] article. as will be seen, Dohr was also a source cited by Stans as well as someone who opposed Stans’ call for stronger standards to control accounting procedures.

13he cites any inventory valuation method not based on cost as recognizing inventory losses before the inventory is sold. FiFo, liFo, normal stock, market,

John Carey [1951, p. 165], executive director of the aia, commented on Barkin’s article in a Journal of Accountancy editorial, describing Barkin’s ideas as another example of spe-cial interest arguments that would neither help stockholders or potential investors nor be useful to taxation or regulatory authorities. rather, Carey believed accounting should focus on a “fair presentation of income from all points of view.”

Barkin was not the only labor activist calling for changes in accounting practices. Pillsbury [1954] reports on a national study of union research directors, citing their suspicions re-garding the establishment of contingency reserves, inflated depreciation reserves, the liFo inventory method, and inventory reserves.14 these union research directors believed corporate profits should show the amount of resources available for distribution to land, capital, and management.


Stans began to express his own concerns about ongoing labor-management conflicts.15 Stans drew support for his opinions about these clashes from ruttenberg [1950], Slichter [1951], and Dohr [1952]. Dohr’s arguments in his 1952 article were used by Stans to reinforce his own ideas on the importance of avoiding class conflicts.16 Dohr articulated a conservative vision for the american economy that focused on a utilitarian philosophy for

and standard cost are all considered inventory cost-flow assumptions that distort company profits. these methods are used to protect current property rights and are based on assumptions of future business expansion. Such assumptions about future changes are not likely to be shared by all the factors of production in the same manner as they are being currently distributed.

14these concerns were also found in the accounting literature. in the Nature and Purpose of the Income Statement, the Subcommittee on the income Statement of the CaP reported that accounting procedures could as easily cause the understatement of net income as its overstatement. thus, any proposed solutions to accounting issues need to consider how they create both effects [aia, 1945].

15Stans acted as president and director of moore Corporation, a Joliet, illinois stove manufacturing company, from 1938-1945. the company’s workers were represented by the iron molders and Foundry Workers (imFW) union. Stans de-scribes being inducted into the imFW as an honorary union member in 1943 and retaining his union card from that date onward [Stans, 1995].

16See Stans [1952, 1953a, b]. Dohr was an accounting professor, practitioner, and director of research at the aia. his publications included books and numerous articles in the Journal of Accountancy. it is interesting to note that Dohr coau-thored an article with George o. may challenging the previously published Stans-Goedert s article calling for stronger rules of accounting practice [may and Dohr, 1955]. this debate is discussed later in the paper.

societal good. as suggested in arB #1, there exists a need for cooperation among all economic groups. it is disadvantageous when a labor force adopts monopolistic practices in an attempt to raise wages.

as noted previously, labor unions were not hesitant to express their opinions about factors affecting their economic well-being, such as the reliability of corporate financial state-ments used in labor negotiations. Stans’ [1947a] paper on in-dustrial peace uses sources from the united mine Workers, The Truth about Fake Company Financial Statements, and the united electrical radio & machine Workers of america, How Corporations Conceal Profits, to illustrate labor’s distrust and doubts about financial reporting. to support his perspective on the need for accurate financial reporting, Stans also built upon rutten-burg’s [1950, p. 14] paper, Labor Views of Financial Statements.17 ruttenburg, a labor activist, argued that the current format being used to prepare financial statements is designed “to fool the public.” he believed such accounting reports contributed to the climate of labor unrest. he considered the accounting practice of setting up reserves for price increases and decreases simultaneously was only used to deceive labor unions about the true level of corporate profits. With better financial reporting, ruttenburg hoped strikes could be diminished.

Stans’ articles drew inspiration from Sumner Slichter’s [1951] book, What’s Ahead for American Business.18 Slichter, who favored entrepreneurship, was a conservative labor economist who wrote about labor issues such as employee turnover, unions, and unionization. Stans synthesized Slichter’s arguments in supporting the american economy against economic systems that had a propensity toward communism or socialism. Slichter believed he was witnessing a fundamental change in American business as labor’s increasing influence diminished management’s power in the workplace.

Stans [1947b, d] wrote and spoke about the need for “industrial peace” and the importance of the accounting profession’s role in serving the public interest. he believed that responsibility to the public mandated unbiased financial reports, ones for all groups, not just stockholders or potential investors. Such reports would allow others, such as labor’s representatives, to view financial reporting as a fair process. Stans [1947b, p. 28] mentions the “proportionate distribution of the excess of venture income over a measured return to each economic part-ner.

Stans [1953b] went further in outlining a method for a more equitable distribution to labor, capital, and management with social-accounting financial statements. he describes an income statement in which “business expenses” are initially deducted and then distributions are made to labor, capital, and management as a means of recognizing the cooperative nature of these groups. in expanding on this approach, he suggests developing a pre-negotiated social budget for the division of profits. the budget would be based on a formula for the “social division” of income to all groups involved in the generation of company profits. again, he stressed the accounting profession’s role in making financial reporting understandable, trustworthy, honest, consistent, complete, and respected.

Stans [ 1994 interview] felt financial reports could contribute to industrial peace by helping to prevent general public suffering arising from devastating and violent labor strikes and political threats to the government:

Those figures were important in a great many ways besides security holders too, for example, labor de-pended on their earnings reports of companies. and, when they found out what was going on, they became very critical of earnings reports. less and less dependent on the results of those reports in labor negotiations. the company said we had a bad year, last year we lost 50 million dollars. yeah, how much did you take out for future reserves, future contingencies, or how much did you bring in to pad it by improving the earnings, by that process. Well, that was my conception that – and i made one particular speech on it at a meeting in minneapolis for the institute, yeah, on carrying that social responsibility business still further by seeing that financial statements in all respects were as accurate and as comparable as possible for the interest in labor that had to deal with negotiations on wages.

as later stated in his book One of the Presidents’ Men [Stans, 1995, p. 38], he believed that accounting practices at the time were “inadequate for a real public understanding of the facts of business.” his perspective for more standardization was based on his worry over fairness and conflicting economic interests.19 Stans believed that without clear reporting, accounting served as a tool for those who wanted to distort the general public’s view of the american economic system. Stans [1947b, p. 26] describes the job of the accountant as:

…the development of independent, truthful, and understandable reports of the facts of business operation for labor and the public, and in giving authenticity to such reports.

Stans’ [1947, p. 26] speeches and writings represent the views of a recognized accounting practitioner calling on the profession to improve its reporting practices in order to encourage industrial peace: “the honest, independent representations of the public accountant, applied to information fully and clearly presented, can eliminate much of labor’s distrust of management and management’s distrust of labor.” Stans [1947a, p. 25] felt that “the public accountant has thus far failed to establish his independence in their eyes.

he was one of the early practitioners calling for the reform of accounting standards as a necessary part of the need to avoid social class conflicts as typified in labor-management disputes. in the interview, he stated:

Furthermore, i took the front steps, pretty largely, in criticizing the quality of standards and workmanship of the profession in a series of articles in the Journal of accountancy that you may have seen – even to the point of drawing fire on me, from some of the old timers in the profession, who thought that accounting would be better served…operated and would better serve the public if given a lot more freedom of choice on the ways to make entries. i felt very strongly that that was not right and i denned it as a social responsibility and wrote several articles on it.

in 1947, he first used the term “social responsibility” in his writings.20 at that time, Stans [1947b, p. 35] noted:

19after World War ii, Storey [1964] identified accountants’ focus on social responsibility arising from three concerns. they were: (1) meeting the reporting needs of others beyond the traditional groups i.e., investors, management, and creditors (2) a growing third-party emphasis on accounting independence and (3) improving the financial reporting by decreasing the discretionary differences in reporting practices.

20Writing in 1943, Stans [1943, p. 239] used the term “social responsibility” in his first published paper on small businesses’ war obligations, but he had not

…the art of accounting is today a social force and those who practice the art must assume social responsibilities. to the accountant, therefore, this implies not only the performance of all activities in a manner consistent with the public interest, but also a continuing aim to expand the field of service in all ways in which the well being of the economy can be advanced.

he believed the accounting profession’s role was to help minimize social problems by preparing public financial reports that clearly showed how the wealth of the production process was fairly allocated among the factors of production. he worried that the general public was suspicious of an accounting profession that appeared to be working with corporations to hide corporate wealth.

Stans derived many of his arguments from the american political context of the times. in a 1948 paper, Stans [1948, p. 100] referenced the social changes that have occurred in american society over the period from 1928 to 1948:

…of the responsiveness of accounting to social forces. each of these development [changes in accounting practices] came as an acknowledgment that the previous practices were not wholly truthful or adequate in reports of stewardship.

he believed accountants were “to be employed in the full recognition of a primary responsibility to the broad public” [Stans, 1948, p. 99].
During this period, it was a common accounting practice to smooth company earnings with a variety of techniques. these included directly crediting or charging earned surplus (retained earnings), recording stock discounts, recognizing depreciation when “justified” by revenues, using reserves for possible price increases or decreases, reporting net income before depreciation deductions, inadequately reporting stock options resulting in the dilution of stockholder’s earnings, and making asset revaluations without strict adherence to cost principles. income appropriations and charges from questionable future event income were recorded. there were large inconsistencies in calculating net income among similar companies. tellingly, Stans’ writing emphasizes the need for unqualified public confidence in the accounting profession’s reporting practices through the curtail-ment of these practices. he considered accounting to be an art where judgment should not be circumscribed by rules, but where such judgment should not be used “in the narrow interest of [one] social structure to the detriment of others” [Stans, 1948, p. 106]. Stans [1948, p. 105] argued that accounting practices should be used in a manner to improve the general public’s understanding about the distribution of corporate resources and rewards.

accounting presentations must be tailored to the pub-lic interest by means of codified standards of adequate disclosure which recognize the invalidity of any type of statement which fails to tell a full and clear story.

Stans argued that the public’s conceptions of financial re-ports as confusing and untruthful only poses additional threats to american free enterprise. During this period, american society was facing some of the biggest threats of the Cold War in eastern europe and China. it was a time when the house un-american activities Committee and mcCarthyism heightened concerns about Communists in the u.S. Beginning in 1947, Stans [1947a, p. 28] saw growing political threats and worried about the need for industrial peace:

except for those who would substitute a marxist form of government, americans believe that labor should have a fair share of the productive output, which means with due respect also to a fair share to capital and management. unless labor seeks the disillusionments of Communism or Fascism, it must accept that as a premise.

Stans’ [1949b, p. 3] concerns about both socialism and communism continued to be expressed in his writings:

in the search for social and economic adjustment, the world’s once most powerful empire (united kingdom) has turned to socialism. today’s most challenging world power (Soviet union) is sponsoring an uncertain human equation called communism…even in our own country there is a lacking of sureness, a positive confi-dence of the outcome of the future.

He argued that accounting must help to instill confidence in the capitalistic system that had been under stress and change since the days of the Great Depression. Stans called for the accounting profession to view its link and responsibility to the general public as strongly as its link to corporate clients. the underlying clashes between the policies of Communism and the free-enterprise system framed the perspective taken in many of his articles [Stans, 1953a, p. 19]:

….the major uncertainty about the course of account-ing development springs from the threats of change in the political system. So long as a democratic form of government prevails, and retains with it a climate that encourages free enterprise and the profit motive, accounting will retain its full potential. on the other hand, a nationalization of a large segment of industry or finance could lead to the paralysis of accounting.
he went on to write: an even greater political change to some form of Statism or Communism in govern-ment would…further centralize decisions and reduce accounting to a matter of classification and summarization according to rule books and regulations.

Stans [1949d, pp. 466-467] continued his social responsi-bility arguments in a 1949 Journal of Accountancy article. Stans felt that if accounting’s social responsibility obligations were recognized and acted upon, a means would be provided for correcting class-based economic disagreements, especially those arising from suspect financial reporting. he states that accounting “is the only common denominator available to solve the conflicting interests of capital, labor, management, and the public, within an economy.” He describes financial reports as “social documents” [Stans, 1949c, p. 50], and accounting practices as being “developed from a type of free-hand drawing” [Stans, 1949b, p. 5].

Stans became a member of the CaP in 1943. His qualifica-tions to several arBs demonstrate his support for stronger rules in accounting practice. Stans’ qualification regarding the potential for practice abuses in implementing arB #27, Emergency Facilities [aia, 1949, p. 226], is worth noting21:

21Stans served on the CaP from 1943 to 1948 and again from 1953 to 1954. he served on the Committee on accounting and terminology from 1953 to 1954. Stans registered dissents or qualifications on arB #27, Emergency Facilities #28, Accounting Treatment of General Purpose Contingency Reserves #32, Income and Earned Surplus #35, Presentation of Income and Earned Surplus and #44, Declin-ing-Balance Depreciation. he did not dissent on arB #20, Renegotiation of War Contracts #23, Accounting for Income Taxes #24, Accounting for Intangible Assets #25, Accounting for Terminated War Contracts #26, Accounting for the Use of Special War Reserves #29, Inventory Pricing #30, Current Assets and Current Liabilities: Working Capital #31, Inventory Reserves #33, Depreciation and High Costs #36, Pension Plans: Accounting for Annuity Costs Based on Past Services and #37, Accounting for Compensation in the Form of Stock Options.

Stans feels that the application of individual judgment as to what is a ‘special situation’ [accumulated amortization or depreciation] could lead to abuses in practice.

The qualification shows his concern for the standardization of accounting practices. it is a strong dissent.
as a member of the CaP, Stans’ dissent on arB #32, Income and Earned Surplus, along with two other members, was based on reducing confusion for public users of financial statements [aia, 1949, p. 265]:

…the so-called ‘all-inclusive’ concept…best serves the public interest because it is least subject to reader mis-interpretation… surplus charges and credits…tend to hinder public understandability of financial statements.

ARB #32 is considered a first step in restricting credits and charges from being recorded in earned surplus. in dissenting with the ARB’s conclusions, Stans felt this first step did not go far enough. of Stans’ four dissents or qualifications to arBs, three dealt with what he considered to be the improper recording of income.

the argument for an all-inclusive income statement was also addressed in arB #35, Presentation of Income and Earned Surplus. Stans’ dissent, along with two other members, was focused on using the surplus (retained earnings) to record expenses and revenues directly. the dissenters argued that such expenses and revenues would be better represented on the income statement. they believed arB #35 was inconsistent with previous arBs and needed to be revised. Finally, in arB #44, Declining-Balance Depreciation, Stans argued that all significant deferred income taxes should be recognized. he did not agree with the CaP’s view that the time period to depreciation reversal was the key to recognition or non-recognition.

his activities on the CaP showed his support for the ac-counting profession’s ability to police itself rather than in the government setting practice rules [Stans, 1995, p. 37]. he be-lieved that the introduction of more standardized and specific accounting practices was a required sacrifice for the common good of all society. Writing in 1955, Stans [1955, p. 216] stated:

22it is interesting to note that the 1958 revision of arB #44 stated that, “recog-nition should be given to deferred income taxes if the amounts thereof are material” [aiCPa, 1961, p. 2-a]. thus, the time period rule was eliminated. at this time, Stans was no longer on the CaP.

i believe we will soon see a more comprehensive code of professionally developed accounting principles, further refinement of auditing standards, and greater uniformity in terminology and method of presentation of financial data.

Stans adopted a pragmatic argument linking the pro-fession’s future success with the profession’s ability to make financial statements more understandable to the general public. Stans’ pragmatic views correspond with the view of developing justice for all societal groups as a means of survival. his views encompass moral justice for “investors, bankers, the general public, labor unions, legislators, and government agencies” [Stans, 1995, p. 38]. he stated his concerns about the accounting profession’s financial reporting in these interview comments:

and if you distort any one period by stealing and transferring into a reserve, some of the results of that period, you’re not serving properly the public, stockholders, and those who have an interest in that earning power…

…labor depended on their [corporate] earnings re-ports…when they found out what was going on, they became very critical of earnings reports and less and less dependent on the results of those reports in labor negotiations.

Stans wrote to convince other accounting practitioners to adopt a broader societal view as part of their professional responsibilities, specifically to eliminate accounting practices that were misleading. in Volume 1 of the CPA Handbook [Stans, 1952, p. 14], he wrote:
in the hands of its experts, accounting can become an even more important means of creating understanding, confidence and rationality in economic affairs. in this prospect lies the real hope of eliminating the recurring dangers to the permanence of the american system.

after 1955, Stans turned his writing toward federal budget issues given his activities in Washington. yet, in his 1962 keynote address before the american institute of Certified Public accountants’ (aiCPa) 75th anniversary meeting, he again made a call for social responsibility. this speech, published in The Australian Accountant, was titled Accounting and Human Progress [Stans, 1963]. the address highlights how the accounting profession can meet its social responsibilities to better the conditions of the people of the world. again, Stans stressed the need of the accounting profession to look beyond the techniques of accounting and commit to a larger role in strengthening accountability through involvement in public policy issues.

During the 1994 interview, Stans continued to associate professional accounting practice with social responsibilities. here, he provides a definition of professionalism:

i think it’s a situation when an organized group of people with professional type responsibilities and workloads actually organize themselves in such a manner as to standardize codes of ethics, principles, and methods of developing quality in order to better serve the public best. it’s basically the development of a social consciousness and social responsibility within the work denned by the boundaries of the profession.
Similar aND oPPoSiNG VieWS
Stans’ writings on social responsibility were not greeted with acceptance from everyone in the profession. his calls for better financial reporting were viewed by many as a direct criticism of accounting professionalism, and his call for the “development and use of a comprehensive code of accounting principles” [Stans, 1949b, p. 5] was considered a threat against the professional judgment of the CPa. Stans averred in his interview:
There were some of the firms-thought i should not in anyway talk to the public or write in a way which the public got a hold of it in a manner that was critical [to the accounting profession].

looking back, i can see i was absolutely right in writ-ing despite the fact that George may, one of the retired partners of Price Waterhouse, took issue with me…very strongly.

[the profession] did respond to all the things that i urged in those days…most of them were carried out under threat rather than by professional decision.
George o. may, a leading accounting practitioner, was a former chairman of the CaP and served with Stans from 1943 to 1945.23 may had been with Price Waterhouse since 1897 and

23George o. may was a senior partner at Price Waterhouse and a well-respected accounting practitioner. He was the first chairman of the CAP, and his influence was instrumental in formulating many of the early arBs. he served on the CaP from 1939 to 1945.

a senior partner from 1911 to 1940. in 1934, he chaired the aia’s Special Committee on Co-operation with the Stock exchanges. the Special Committee determined that a variety of accounting methods were inevitable in practice and suggested that only generalized principles should be used by the accounting profession. may believed in the subjective nature of accounting and that the judgment of the accountant in recording transactions was better than a strong set of standards. he believed that the accountant’s primary obligation was to investors [may, 1933a]. may [1937, p. 425] subscribed to the belief that the “substance of the accounts may and often should vary according to the purpose for which the accounts are required.” in this regard, the accountant had no obligation to disclose the nature of reserves in the accounts if there was no material distortion of earnings. may [1950b, p. 387] stated that ”

…no amount of standardization will either (a) make an understanding of the nature of accounting process less necessary to a proper interpretation of such determinations, or (b) convert those determinations into find-ings of fact.” may’s accounting background was British-based where questions of asset valuation and accounting procedure are largely in the hands of the auditors [Zeff, 1984].

may, a strong advocate for more voluntary accounting reforms and a supporter of individualized decisions based on practitioner’s judgments, criticized Stans’ 1948 and 1949 Jour-nal of Accountancy articles. in particular, Stans’ support for a set of authoritative standards did not find favor with may who preferred “intelligent variation” rather than the “wooden conformity” he saw in Stans’ suggestions [may, 1950a, pp. 208, 210]. Further, may believed that it was unnecessary for the reader of financial statements to understand exactly “what was in the mind of the accountant on deciding…content and structure” of the income statement. may criticized Stans for suggesting that authoritative rules should be based on an external authority

24may was not alone in objecting to the institution of controls over accounting procedures followed by the accounting profession. a number of leading accounting practitioners were opposed to the development of authoritative accounting procedures that would impede judgment in selecting the accounting methods to follow. For example, littleton [1934, p. 72] wrote:

Double entry is flexible enough to record and organize any data, and our present knowledge of uniform accounting systems is ample to permit the design of a variety of suitable mechanism. But accountants, better perhaps than anyone else, are aware of the dangers of over-rigid prescriptions all business cannot be poured into a few uniform molds. even different enterprises in the same industry cannot with equal economy follow identical accounting procedures.

i.e., “power” rather than the knowledge, experience, and reputation of the accountant. in a letter, published at the end of may’s article, Stans identified the primary difference of opinion as the ability of financial statement readers to understand “what goes on” [Stans, 1950a].25 again, Stans stressed a “social aspect” and a “social revolution” as reasons for adopting more standardized financial reports. Stans [1950a, p. 211] wrote:
…i plead for greater standardization, clarity, and com-parability (in form and expression), that all may understand. to me, this is ‘usefulness’ in terms of society and at no cost to anyone.

even before his debate with Stans, may [1943] had objected to authoritative standard setting based on a new social order or some sort of abstract justice. he felt these reasons were unjustified.lining their definition for the term “book value,” wrote about the importance of having an “authoritative and comprehensive definition” for book value within the profession. in response to Stans’ proposals, viewed by may as another call for standard setting by a higher authority, may and Dohr [1955, p. 47] wrote:

that concept is that in business accounting there is neither absolute rule nor anarchy but a system that has elements of stability and adaptability, and that stresses disclosure and significance – not strict uniformity.

Both may and Dohr had correspondingly strong opinions regarding the standardization of authoritative accounting prin-ciples. For example, Dohr [1942] had written that there are no “immutable principles” or system of accounting, but rather practice consists of determining the specific facts of the situa-tion and then selecting the principles that apply.

Stans refers to Carey’s Professional Ethics of Public Accounting [1946, p. 7] as support for his views on unbiased reporting.26 Carey, who served as executive director of the aia, wrote that accountants must not “arouse a suspicion of lack of inde-pendence” or act in a manner that make the accountant appear
25it is worth noting that Carey as editor of the Journal of Accountancy published nine letters in the Correspondence, Letters to the Editor section under the title “many accountants approve maurice Stans ideas on accounting and Free enterprise.” Carey was a supporter of calls for more standardization in accounting practices.

to represent conflicting interests. During the interview, Stans mentioned the support for his arguments that he had received from Carey:

… (Carey stated to me) “i think this is exactly what the profession needs. We need to push ourselves as a pro-fession into doing things in a much better way…a more uniform way. i, as executive Director of the institute, i can’t say that but you certainly can. i hope you will.” he encouraged me several times along the way to do something more in that field. the fact that happened that way, with him, leads me to believe that there weren’t very many others geared up to write about it at that time.

Stans [interview, 1994] believed that his position regarding standardization and the social responsibilities of the profession came to be generally accepted:
and i must say i made some enemies in the profession by picking on that [reserve accounting] as an example of an unfulfilled social responsibility and that took awhile for me to live it down. if the situation hadn’t caught up with my ideas, i think that i would never have gotten elected President of the institute.
Stan’s position on the need for more accounting standardization did not alienate members of the aia as can be can be seen in 1954 when he was awarded the gold medal for distinguished service to the profession and contributions to accounting literature. Stans continued to work for a stronger standardization of accounting principles by serving as one of seven members on the aiCPa’s Special Committee formed in 1964 to study how departures from the accounting Principles Board (aPB) opinions should be handled.27 the Special Committee’s recommendations and subsequent aiCPa membership vote substantially strengthened the aPB’s role in setting authoritative standards and helped to eliminate “unnecessary obstacles to comparability” [Carey, 1970, p. 144].

Issuing untrustworthy financial statements does have a significant economic and social effect on public perceptions of
27Prior to the formation of the Special Committee, aPB opinions had been considered important, but not important enough to override an auditor’s best judgment as to how an accounting event should be reported.

the business environment. Stans’ concern for better accounting standards was framed within arguments of social responsibility to the public based on preventing class conflicts as well as serving the self-interest of the accounting profession by curtailing further governmental interventions.28 Both these concerns combined under his definition of social responsibility.

Although there were others who called for uniform finan-cial reporting, Stans was the first practitioner to associate fair reporting with social responsibility founded within a context of class conflict. Stans believed it was a mistake for the accounting profession to continue preparing financial reports without clearly prescribed practice rules since this approach created public suspicion that accounting methods favored corporate interests. underlying his concerns was labor’s growing political power as a threat that could justify the enactment of congressional legislation to control accounting practice. he saw social responsibility as the profession’s obligation to itself as well as to the country in a broader sense.

in the 1994 interview, Stans summarized his contributions to the accounting profession:

i think the major contribution that i made to the pro-fession…was the fact that i singled out this issue of accuracy of financial statements. if we were a profes-sional organization we had to have standards of performance, standards of ethics, standards of…many other qualifications. and we weren’t providing that. the fact that i stuck with that for several years and pointed out the risk of government intervention…i think that was, as least as i saw it, the most valuable thing that i could have done for the profession.

american Bar association (1995), The First Sixty Years: The Story of the National Labor Relations Board 1935-1995 (Chicago: american Bar association). . accessed February 12, 2007. .

american institute of accountants (1949), Committee on accounting Procedures, Accounting Research Bulletins, Numbers 1-37 (New york: aia).
28Stans [1955, p. 219] believed in the need for authoritative accounting standards. his 1994 interview statement about his contribution to the accounting profession is remarkably similar to his writings from almost 40 years earlier: New methods of reporting and improved techniques, accompanied by a high standard of ethics and responsibility, will generate confidence in the use of accounting data in resolving class differences.

Offentlig tjenestemand under Eisenhower og Nixon

Ekstern video
1973 Watergate Hearings 1973-06-13 Del 1 af 3 , 1:36:09, Library of Congress , American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH og Library of Congress), Boston, MA og Washington, DC

Han tjente senere som amerikansk vicepostmester general fra 1955 til 1957 i Dwight Eisenhower administrationen. Han fungerede som vicedirektør for Præsidiet for Budget fra 1957 til 1958 og direktør for Præsidiet for Budget fra 1958 til 1961, stadig under Eisenhower. Han sluttede sig til Nixon-administrationen som handelsminister fra 1969 til 1972. I 1961 var Stans en af ​​grundlæggerne af African Wildlife Foundation .

Watch the video: Dan Byrd - Boulevard (May 2022).


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