A published report that the late senator Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn.) and his family received gifts of stock through secret trusts established by millionaire businessman Dwayne O. Andreas was denied yesterday by the Humphrey family and by sources close to Andreas.
A rebuttal issued by the office of Sen. Muriel Humphrey described the story by the Scripps-Howard news service as "completely inaccurate."
A source close to Andreas described the story as a "total fabrication." He said that neither Humphrey nor any member of his family ever received "directly or indirectly, in any size, shape or form, gifts from Andreas, from Andreas' family or from any trust or partnership establish by him."
The denials came in response to a Scripps-Howard story quoting an unnamed source with a "thorough" knowledge of the Humphrey holdings as saying "in excess of $1 million" in gifts of stock in Andreas' Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., comprised most of the trusts of Humphrey, his children and grandchildren.
ADM, a huge grain and soybean processing company based in Decatur, Ill., is the principal company in the far-flung corporate and business interests of Andreas, who had long been a friend and supporter of Humphrey. Andreas was indicted, but later acquitted, of making an illegal $100,000 contribution to Humphrey's 1968 campaign for president.
Scripps-Howard quoted its source as saying that trusts for Hubert and Muriel Humphrey, each of their four children and at least nine of their 10 grandchildren have been held by the ADM-controlled National City Bank of Minneapolis.
According to that source, Scripps-Howard said "gifts of ADM stock provided the principal assets of most of the Humphrey trusts. The stock . . . is held through what is known as the Mutual Income Fund." Scripps-Howard said the Mutual Income Fund is and Andreas family partnership whose only assets are ADM stock.
Humphrey's son, Humber H. (Skip) Humphrey III, a Minnesota state senator, has disclosed in public filings the existence of a trust worth more than $2,500. The trust includes a Mutual Income Fund partnership, but young Humphrey's disclosure statement provides no other details.
At issue is whether the ADM stock that Humphrey family members possess in their various trusts were gifts. Sources close to the family acknowledge that the Humphreys own ADM stock, but strongly deny that it was given to them.
It has also been acknowledged by the Humphreys that Andreas was the trustee for a blind trust set up by Albert Humphrey in 1965 before he ran for president, and that ADM stock was purchased for this trust. However, the Humphreys insist that this stock was purchased with Humphrey money.
The Humphrey statement yesterday clarified the nature of a link between the tax-exempt Andreas Foundation and the late senator. It stated that Humphrey in 1974 purchased 14 acres of foundation land adjacent to his four-acre lakefront retreat at Waverly, Minn., "at the highest value established by independent appraisals."
Dwayne Andreas' brother Lowell, contacted in Mankato, Minn., said yesterday that the Scripps-Howard article quoted him "out of context." Lowell Andreas assisted his brother Dwayne in developing ADM.
The story maintained that the trusts were established and the gifts made because of "a long friendship." Beyond that, the story said, he would make no comment.
"All I did was admit to a long family friendship [with the Humphreys]." Lowell Andreas said. "I did not give any gifts and I don't know of any gifts" that might have gone to the Humphreys.
The Scripps-Howard story came at a time when controversy continues over another political matter involving Andreas and stock gifts and , indirectly, the late Minnesota senator.
The controversy hinges on the acceptance by David G. Gartner, a former aide to Humphrey, of a gift from Andreas of $72,000 in stock for the Gartner children in 1975.
The disclosure has led President Carter to call on Gartner to resign from his recent appointment as a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a federal agency that regulates the activities of ADM, among other companies.
Gartner has refused to step down, maintaining that the gifts to his children do not constitute a conflict with his role as a regulator of ADM.
The Andreas brothers parlayed a small soybean meal milling business in the 1930s into a multibillion-dollar agribusiness empire, whose tentacles reach from grain to banking to transportation and corn sweeteners.
The flagship of the family's estimated $1.5 billion holdings is ADM, which processes and sells raw agricultural commodities. Dwayne Andreas is chief executive officer and chairman of the board of ADM. Lowell, who is retired, lives in Mankato.
Dwayne Andreas, orchestrator of ADM's rapid growth, is a mystery man who shuns the press. He reportedly oversees his global business interests from a suite in New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and from a home in Boca Raton, Fla.
His political largess has made Andreas a subject of frequent news reports.
In 1972, a $25,000 contribution from him to President Nixon's reelection campaign was used - unknown to Andreas, according to Senate investigators - to finance the Watergate break-in.
ADM was fined $10,000 - the maximum - after pleading no contest in 1976 to charges of systematic thefts and misgrading of grain.
Outside of politics, however, Andreas is known for his philanthropies. His money has gone to regional writers and artists in Minnesota, to Catholic colleges and to the Anti-Defamation League, among others.