When Congressman Jacob Thorkelson, 63, a doctor from Butte, Mont., took his seat in the House last January, he was hailed heartily. Reason : he took the place of unpopular, left-wing Jerry J. O'Connell.
Last week Jacob Thorkelson could count his Congressional chums on his thumbs. The decline and fall of Jacob Thorkelson in his colleagues' esteem began with his comradeship with Fascist-minded Major General Van Horn Moseley. It continued when he stuffed the Record with weird anti-Roosevelt statements, when he pointed out how many Jews head House committees. Fortnight ago the Thorkelson decline thumped bottom when he packed the Record with an eleven-column letter supposedly written by Colonel Edward M. House. Woodrow Wilson's brain trust, to David Lloyd George, on June 10, 1919. The letter, instantly spotted as a fake by scholars, proposed a fantastically detailed program for making the U. S. once again a British colony. The letter had been traced in 1920 by Congressional investigators to one Dr. William J. Maloney.
Last week Thorkelson, who seldom speaks from the floor, but likes to insert his ideas in the Record, was threatened with the loss of a member's last, least privilege: the right to make such insertions. Under such threats from Colorado's Martin, Connecticut's Miller, he "withdrew" the letter, which had been in the hands of the 50,000 Record readers for eight days. The Butte doctor said he had had the "Col. House" letter printed to find out whether it was true, then reverted to his regular theme, told reporters:
"It is known that the Communist element has taken over this country, we don't have to investigate the damn thing, we know it. The animal we must get is the one that keeps them alive the International Bankers."
Bluff Mr. Thorkelson hedged at explaining how Communists and International Bankers get together, snorted: "Jews got Huey Long and Bronson Cutting." Everywhere Mr. Thorkelson looks, it looks bad. Looking back, he sees Woodrow Wilson ordering a passport given to Leon Trotsky in 1917, so that the Russian Revolution could be started. Looking forward, he sees Revolution in the U. S. in a few months. Looking at Montana, he sees his constituents counting the days until Nov. 5, 1940.