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Newspaper Page Text
FORGAN HAS EASY TIME FINE
James B. Forgan, First National
bank head, was passed to the Lori
mer defense today forcross-examin-ation.
It was predicted "the Lorimer
lawyers would pound and grill For
gan. But there was nothing doing
along this line. Forgan had an easy
and happy time of it as a witness.
A Journal photographer took flash
light picture of Chicago's foremost
banker. Judge Dever ordered the ar
rest of the photographer, Charles
Reed, and gave him till tomorrow
morning to pay a $25 fine for con
tempt of court. Arthur James Peg
ler of the Journal staff addressed the
court with the argumentthat it's the
first time he's ever heard of a news
paper photographer being interfered
with for taking pictures in a court
room. It's a "universal custom" to
let the photographers take anything
they want, Pegler argued.
"Newspapers do not have special
privileges to take flashlight photo
graphs in a court," said Judge Dever.
Gunmen, pickpockets and bank
robbers have been photographed in
criminal court this year.
Only once did Forgan hesitate on
the stand. That was when Att'y Fink
asked if he would order brought
into court the minutes of the clear
ing house committee for sessions
when the Lorimer bank matter was
up. Forgan's face, sunny and ruddy
from golfing in Florida, turned a deep
shade of brick dust color. Then he
thought a minute, rubbing his chin,
ending with "Yes, I'll order them sent
Banks are like dairies, in Forgan's
view. They have a business in
cream, sweet milk, skim milk, sour
milk and sediment The Lorimer
bank had too much skim milk busi
ness, he stated.
"It was stated in newspapers in
January that your own bank, the
First National, was caught with some
Root Irrigation JjomiSi on wJuchjKm
could not realize was that correct?"
Forgan explained they were
caught But the bank has a surplus
and an "undivided profits" account
to which such losses are charged off.
Att'y Fink's manner toward the
great banker was more than respect
ful. It was deferential to an extreme.
Nobody would have guessed that For
gan is named by Lorimer as the one
man Lorimer considers most respon
sible for the La Salle bank crash.
Forgan shook hands warmly and
smiled looking into Lorimer's face
yesterday just before testifying. The
jury and everybody else looked at it
like a scene in a movie. When the
trial opened Lorimer's lawyer. Al
bert Fink, said when Lorimer got
smashed in the banking game, more,
than anybody else Forgan was to"
As one of the five men who run the
clearing house and control Chicago
banks, Forgan was in position to
spread dangerous stories in the busi
ness world and give out stories to
newspapers, all this helping to bust
the bank, Fink alleged.
Forgan testified his feeling for Lor
imer "always was friendly." He re
fused to let the Lorimer bank into
the celaring house because examina
tion showed it "unsound," he stated.
"Mr. Lorimer came to me for ad
vice,ft said Forgan. "I told him he
had better wind up his bank while he
could pay the depositors, that his
capital was impaired and the public
ought to know it He said he could
not afford to have it known.
"He asked me how he could liqui
date and I told him we could prob
ably get five members of the clear
ing house to put up the money to pay
the depositors and attend to the
liquidation. He seemed impressed
with the idea. He came to me later
and said he never had failed in any
thing he had undertaken and would
not fail in the banking business. He
said he would run without clearing