cording to diplomatic historians, the Spanish envov DonrnDiego de Gardoqui even loaned money to members of Congressrnand gave breeding mules to General George Washington.rnBut frontier opposition finally prevailed, and Congress narrowlyrnrejected the shortsighted treaty.rnTo Hamilton and other Founders the episode demonstratedrnthe need for legal checks and balances to restrain humanrngreed and protect the nation from foreign machinations.rnThey anticipated the most blatant form of public prostitutionrn—the use of bribes and favors to influence the public activitiesrnof an official. But the founding generation never envisionedrnthe revolving-door situation prominent today—inrnwhich public officials gain knowledge and experience at publicrnexpense and then seek to convert that knowledge for privaterngain in post-government employment serving the nation’srnadversaries.rnOne of the first prominent government officials to leavernpublic service and work for foreign interests was General JamesrnWilkinson, an unscrupulous adventurer who took an oath ofrnallegiance to the King of Spain. During the Revolution hernserved as an aide to the most renowned traitor in Americanrnhistory—Benedict Arnold. Afterward Wilkinson moved tornthe Kentucky frontier in search of fortune and fame. WhenrnSpain closed the Mississippi River, he approached Spanishrnauthorities seeking an exclusive trading monopoly. To advancernthis petition, he swore allegiance to the Spanish crownrnin 1787 and agreed to foment secession in Kentucky. For hisrnefforts Wilkinson gained a Spanish pension, which he retainedrnwhen he reentered the United States Army as an officerrnin 1791. Although on the Spanish payroll, Wilkinson rose tornbecome the Army’s ranking officer.rnMoney and personal advancement drove Wilkinson, as theyrndid other entrepreneurs on the frontier. But foreign money alsorninfluenced public officials in Washington. Secretary ofrnState Daniel Webster apparently permitted foreign money tornsway his public performance. According to Philip Ziegler inrnhis book The Sixth Great Power, a history of the House of Baring,rnWebster, who was constantly in need of money, receivedrngifts and payments from the Barings. As Secretary of State inrnthe Tyler administration, he repaid this largess with interest.rnWebster shifted federal bank accounts from the French Rothschildsrnto the Barings, a banking house with close ties to thernBritish government. He also negotiated a generous settlementrnof the ticklish Maine boundary dispute with an oldrnfriend, Lord Ashburton (Alexander Baring). In and out ofrngovernment Webster served the Barings well and proved himselfrna true Anglophile. He was “by far the greatest man wernhave,” wrote the Barings’ agent in America.rnDuring the 19th century domestic, not foreign, money fueledrnthe lobbies in Washington. Both the greedy and thernneedy among former government officials could make bigrnmoney representing a variety of homegrown special interests.rnIn his famous study The American CommonweaUh, publishedrnin 1888, Lord James Bryce listed some of these powerbrokers.rnThere were pension lobbyists, railway lobbyists, tariffrnlobbyists, Indian lobbyists, back-pay lobbyists. Isthmian canalrnlobbyists, and many others. Bryce even found French spoliationrnlobbyists and British trade and shipping lobbyists.rnOne celebrated scandal concerned the purchase of Alaskarnfrom Imperial Russia. Having decided to dispense with thisrnpiece of Arctic real estate after the American Civil War, thernRussian govermnent retained Washington lobbyists—rnincluding former Treasury Secretary Robert Walker—tornpersuade Congress to pay the agreed price of $7.2 million.rnHistorians have discovered that the Russian Minister BaronrnFduard de Stoeckl also bought favorable press and supportrnon Capitol Hill. The editor of one Washington newspaperrnreceived $30,000 to propagandize the purchase, and otherrnpayments went to influential congressmen, including thernchairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. A congressionalrninvestigation also revealed that Washington reportersrnfor more than a dozen major papers received at leastrn$2,500 each for their support.rnAs late as I9’50, when Congress devoted 18 long months tornwriting the Smoot-IIawley Tariff Act, foreign lobbyists stillrnhad only sporadic impact on the Washington process. Foreignrninterests relied on the State Department to communicaterntheir concerns to the appropriate congressional committees.rnMeanwhile, many former government officials—includingrnemployees of the Customs Service and the Tariff Commissionrn—appeared before Congress to testify and lobby for domesticrninterests. In 1929 and 1930 domestic interests benefitingrnfrom high tariffs paid handsome sums to Washingtonrnpower-brokers to safeguard those privileges.rnThis pattern changed during the New Deal. PresidentrnFranklin Roosevelt turned the State Department over tornan enthusiastic trade deregulator, Cordell Hull, who proceededrnto open the domestic market to import competition.rnIn transferring tariff-making from Congress to the State Department,rnthe reciprocal-trade-agreements program createdrnopportunities for trade specialists and lawyers familiar withrnthe bureaucratic landscape.rnOne beneficiary was William Smith Culbertson, a Kansasrnprogressive and the first vice-chairman of the federal TariffrnCommission. After President Hoover’s defeat in 1932, Culbertsonrnreturned to Washington from his diplomatic post inrnChile to start another career as a Washington lawyer. Lackingrnclients, he found some work representing Japanese textile interestsrnbefore the Tariff Commission and Congress. He thereforernwas one of the first former trade officials ever to servernJapanese clients, like Mitsui and Mitsubishi. Yet, in fairness,rnCulbertson did not rush through the revolving door. A longrninterval—some eight years—elapsed between his departurernfrom the Tariff Commission and his subsequent appearancesrnrepresenting textile importers.rnThe success of Cordell Hull’s tariff-reduction programrngradually altered the balance of lobbying power in Washingtonrnafter World War II. As domestic tariffs declined, protectionistrnlobbies weakened and lost their capacity to retain largernnumbers of lobbyists. Conversely, as foreign producers andrnimporters gained access and market share, they acquired valuablernprivileges worth protecting. Increasingly importers neededrnlarge numbers of professionals familiar with the ways ofrngovernment to protect their interests.rnDuring the Marshall Plan era the State Departmentrnemerged as a principal training school for future foreignrnagents. In the rarefied air of Foggy Bottom, young lawyersrnand diplomats from this country’s best universities learnedrnto think correctly about international economics. Protectionismrnand Smoot-Hawley, they heard, were evils that producedrntrade wars and complicated bilateral relationships. Free trade,rnthey learned, nurtured friendly political and military tics,rneven when trading partners chose not to reciprocate fully.rn30/CHRONlCLESrnrnrn