Bronson M. Cutting
|United States Senator|
from New Mexico
December 29, 1927 – December 6, 1928
|Preceded by||Andrieus A. Jones|
|Succeeded by||Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo|
March 4, 1929 – May 6, 1935
|Preceded by||Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo|
|Succeeded by||Dennis Chavez|
Bronson Murray Cutting
June 23, 1888
Great River, New York
|Died||May 6, 1935 (aged 46)|
near Atlanta, Missouri
|Relations||W. Bayard Cutting Jr. (brother)|
|Alma mater||Harvard University|
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Years of service||1917–1918|
|Unit||Assistant Military Attaché of the American Embassy in London, England|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
Bronson Cutting was born in Great River, Long Island, New York, on June 23, 1888 at his family's country seat of Westbrook. He was the third of four children born to William Bayard Cutting (1850–1912) and Olivia Peyton Murray (1855–1949).
He attended the common schools and Groton School and graduated from Harvard University in 1910 where he was a member of the Delphic Club. Shortly after graduation, he became an invalid due to recurrent tuberculosis and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico at the advice of his doctors to restore his health. He became a newspaper publisher in 1912 and published the Santa Fe New Mexican and El Nuevo Mexicano. From 1912 to 1918 he served as president of the New Mexican Printing Company, and of the Santa Fe New Mexican Publishing Corporation from 1920 until his death.
During World War I, Cutting was commissioned a captain and served as an assistant Military Attaché of the American Embassy in London, England 1917–18. He was regent of the New Mexico Military Institute in 1920 and served as chairman of the board of commissioners of the New Mexican State Penitentiary in 1925.
On December 29, 1927, Cutting was appointed as a Republican to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Andrieus A. Jones. He served until December 6, 1928, when a duly elected successor, Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo, qualified to serve the remainder of the term, which expired March 3, 1929. Cutting was not a candidate in the special election to fill this vacancy, which took place on November 6, 1928, the same day as the general election in which the seat was up for a full six-year term, beginning March 4, 1929. Larrazolo was not a candidate for election to the full term, and Cutting was elected to it, returning to the Senate after only three months away. Cutting was re-elected in 1934, winning a very close race (with 76,226 votes to Democrat Dennis Chavez's 74,944) in a failed year for Republicans.
He was a co-sponsor of the Hare–Hawes–Cutting Independence Act which aimed to grant the Philippine Islands a ten-year commonwealth status with virtually full autonomy, to be followed by the recognition of Filipino independence. The bill was enacted over President Herbert Hoover's veto. However, the law was rejected by the Philippines legislature, and the Tydings–McDuffie Act (authored by Millard Tydings, a Maryland Democrat), was instead passed by Congress and accepted by the Philippines legislature.
Freedom of the press
Cutting raised the debate on the national level about the government's censorship powers. Via tariff bills dating back to the nineteenth century, the U.S. government, through the Customs Service, had to power to confiscate "obscene" materials arriving to the country. A tariff bill introduced in 1929 sought to expand this power by modifying Section 305 to prohibit printed materials suggesting treason or threatening the life of the President. Senator Cutting, inspired by the complaints of a constituent, opposed the change and attacked Section 305 in its entirety as "irrational, unsound, and un-American." Through several impassioned speeches, Cutting suggested eliminating Section 305. Ultimately, he was forced to compromise and introduced an amendment removing the references to treason. The amendment passed by only two votes and Cutting received widespread public praise from publishers, librarians, booksellers, authors and civil liberties organizations.
As the tariff bill moved toward final confirmation, various Senators, notably Reed Smoot of Utah, attempted to restore Section 305 to its original state, while others proposed further draconian measures. Ultimately, portions of Smoot's amendments were combined with those of other Senators to create a compromise. Cutting's efforts to create a national debate about censorship were successful, but are now forgotten because the 1929 tariff bill became known as the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act.
Roosevelt's New Deal and the Chicago Plan
Crossing party lines and supporting Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 presidential election, Cutting played a key role in the political struggles over the reform of banking which Roosevelt undertook while dealing with the Great Depression, and which resulted in the Banking Reform Acts of 1933 and 1935. As a supporter of the Chicago Plan proposed by economist Irving Fisher and others at the University of Chicago, Cutting was among a handful of influential Senators who might have been able to remove from the private banks their ability to manipulate the money supply by enforcing a 100 percent reserve requirement for all credit creation, as stipulated in the Chicago Plan. His death in an airliner crash cut short what may have been his most enduring legacy to the nation.
Death and legacy
Dennis Chavez, who had been Cutting's Democratic opponent in 1934, was appointed by the governor to fill Cutting's seat in the Senate.
- N.Y. Times, July 29, 1929. p. 23
- Boyer, Paul, S. (2002) Purity in Print: Book Censorship in America from the Gilded Age to the Computer Age. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press.
- Phillips, Ronnie J. The 'Chicago Plan' and New Deal Banking Reform
- "Transport: Ceiling Zero". Time Magazine. May 13, 1935. Retrieved September 27, 2009.
- Nolan, 1999
- United States Congress. "Bronson M. Cutting (id: C001028)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- Nolan, M.S. (1999). Fundamentals of air traffic control. Pacific Grove, California: Brooks Cole Publishing Company.
- Bronson Cutting, politician by G. L. Seligman in Ellis, Richard N., (1971) New Mexico, past and present: a historical reader. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico. ISBN 0-8263-0215-7
- Keleher, William Aloysius, (1969) Memoirs, 1892–1969 : a New Mexico item. Rydal Press: Santa Fe, N.M.
- Lowitt, Richard (1992) Bronson M. Cutting: Progressive politician University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico. ISBN 0-8263-1347-7
- Walkiewicz, E. P. and Witemeyer, Hugh (eds.) (1995) Ezra Pound and Senator Bronson Cutting: A political correspondence, 1930-1935 University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, New Mexico. ISBN 0-585-20281-8
- Biography of U.S. Congress - CUTTING, Bronson Murray, (1888 - 1935)
Andrieus A. Jones
| U.S. Senator (Class 1) from New Mexico
Served alongside: Sam G. Bratton
Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo
Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo
| U.S. Senator (Class 1) from New Mexico
Served alongside: Sam G. Bratton, Carl Hatch