J EH: Hi, Mr. Ford. Have a seat. Nice to see you. Heard a lot about you. Maybe you've heard of me?
HF: Can't say as I have.
JEH: As you can see by the sign on the door, I'm the head of the Bureau of Investigation. In a few years, it will be the Federal Bureau of Investigation but we're not there quite yet. And I'll be the boss.
HF: This Washington, D.C. is a swell place but I've got plenty going on back in Michigan, what can I do for you?
JEH: Let me explain some things first and then we'll get to what you can do for me, actually for the great and wonderful USA. This is the Bureau of Investigation. We investigate things, things that are bad for the country. Like bank robberies, postal fraud, pornography, and sedition and treason. When those kind of crimes are committed, it's our job to arrest the perpetrators and bring them to justice. But that's not all. We know that there are people that want to commit these crimes but just haven't got around to it yet. They might be planning to sell secrets to the Bolsheviks but haven't gotten the whole thing done. We investigate those types, too.
HF: I'm basically just trying to manufacture and sell automobiles. You might be driving one now, lots of folks are. Anyway, it's a big job and keeps me pretty busy, I don't think that I've got time to be helping you out with your investigations.
JEH: Well, let me say this about that. First of all, its the duty of every American citizen to help us, the legal authorities, in any way they can. Catching crooks isn't easy, they get more inventive all the time. And as technology advances, your cars are a good example, the bad guys put it to use and we have to keep up with them. We're getting big into fingerprints now, no two humans have the same fingerprints so if we can get a record of the fingerprint of every person, well, we'll have a very useful tool in fighting crime, see what I mean?
HF: I guess so. Does this mean that you want to fingerprint me or my employees?
JEH: It might come to that, eventually, but we're not set up for it now. There is another way that you can be of assistance, however. When a crime is committed, witnesses give descriptions of the criminal to the police. Lot's of times it's pretty generic. "It was a black guy." Or, "He looked like a Mexican". That's not a very useful description. There's lots of Negroes running around, we can't grab them all. So the officer will ask questions that narrow it down. Like"What color shirt was he wearing?" What we need you to do, and this might sound kind of demanding, but we need you to paint your cars other colors beside black. They're just not that easy to tell apart when one of them scrams from a bank robbery and blends into all the other black model Ts on the street. You think that you can do that for us?
HF: Nobody has ever asked for a model T in any other color and we hadn't planned on painting the model A anything but black, either. Sure, there's some car nuts that paint their cars goofy shades of red or green but if we starting offering that where would it all end?
JEH: I'd hoped that you'd understand our situation more quickly, Mr. Ford. This is very important, to the USA itself. It would be nice if we could work something out on an informal basis, rather than through legislation or regulation.
HF: OK, I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later. We'll begin painting them other colors as soon as we can set up for it.