"A Report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy" - March 9, 1954
EDWARD R. MURROW: Because a report on Senator McCarthy is by definition controversial, we want to say exactly what we mean to say, and I request your permission to read from script whatever remarks Murrow and Friendly may make.If the Senator feels that we have done violence to his words or pictures and desires, so to speak, to answer himself, an opportunity will be afforded him on this program. Our working thesis tonight is this quotation: "If this fight against communism is made a fight between America's two great political parties, the American people know that one of these parties will be destroyed, and the Republic cannot endure very long as a one-party system."We applaud that statement, and we think Senator McCarthy ought to. He said it seventeen months ago in Milwaukee.SENATOR JOSEPH MCCARTHY: The American people realize that this cannot be made a fight between America's two great political parties. If this fight against communism is made a fight between America's two great political parties, the American people know that one of those parties will be destroyed, and the Republic can't endure very long as a one-party system.MURROW: But on February 4, 1954, Senator McCarthy spoke of one party's treason. This was Charleston, West Virginia, where there were no cameras running. It was recorded on tape.MCCARTHY: The issue between Republicans and Democrats is clearly drawn. It has been deliberately drawn by those who have been in charge of twenty years of treason. Now the hard fact is—the hard fact is that those who wear the label—those who wear the label "Democrat" wear it with the stain of a historic betrayal.MURROW: Seventeen months ago, candidate Eisenhower met Senator McCarthy in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and he laid down some ground rules on how he would fight communism if elected.DWIGHT EISENHOWER: Now, this is the pledge that I make. If I am charged by you people to be the responsible head of the executive department, it will be my initial responsibility to see that subversion, disloyalty, is kept out of the executive department.We will always appreciate and welcome congressional investigation, but the responsibility will rest squarely on the shoulders of the executive, and I hold that there are already ample powers in the government to get rid of these people if the executive department is really concerned in doing it. We can do it with absolute assurance that American principles—of a trial by jury, of the innocent until proved guilty—are all observed, and I expect to do it.MURROW: That same night in Milwaukee, Senator McCarthy stated what he would do if the General was elected.MCCARTHY: I spent about half an hour with the General last night. While I can't report that we agreed entirely on everything—I can report that, when I left that meeting with the General, I had the same feeling as when I went in. And that is that he is a great American, will make a great president; an outstanding president. But I want to tell you tonight, tell the American people: as long as I represent you and the rest of the American people in the Senate, I shall continue to call them as I see them, regardless of who happens to be president.MURROW: November 24, 1953.MCCARTHY: A few days ago, I read that President Eisenhower expressed the hope that, by election time in 1954, the subject of communism would be a dead and forgotten issue. The raw, harsh, unpleasant fact is that communism is an issue and will be an issue in 1954.MURROW: On one thing the Senator has been consistent. Often operating as a one-man committee, he has traveled far; interviewed many; terrorized some; accused civilian and military leaders of the past administration of a great conspiracy to turn over the country to communism; investigated and substantially demoralized the present State Department; made varying charges of espionage at Fort Monmouth. The Army says it has been unable to find anything relating to espionage there. He has interrogated a varied assortment of what he calls "Fifth Amendment Communists."Republican Senator Flanders of Vermont said of McCarthy today, "He dons his war paint. He goes into his war dance. He emits his war whoops; he goes forth to battle and proudly returns with the scalp of a pink Army dentist."Other critics have accused the Senator of using the bullwhip and the smear. There was a time two years ago when the Senator and his friends said he had been smeared and bullwhipped.FRANK KEEFE: Well, you'd sometimes think to hear the quartet that call themselves "Operation Truth" damning Joe McCarthy and resorting to the vilest smears I have ever heard. Well, this is the answer. If I could express it in what's in my heart right now, I'd do it in terms of the poet who once said:Ah 'tis but a dainty flower I bring you,
Yes, 'tis but a violet, glistening with dew,
But still in its heart there lies beauties concealed
So in our heart our love for you lies unrevealed.MCCARTHY: You know, I used to pride myself on the idea that I was a bit tough, especially over the past eighteen or nineteen months when we've been kicked around and bullwhipped and damned. I didn't think that I could be touched very deeply. But tonight, frankly, my cup and my heart is so full I can't talk to you.MURROW: But in Philadelphia on Washington's Birthday, 1954, his heart was so full he could talk. He reviewed some of the General Zwicker testimony and proved he hadn't abused him.MCCARTHY: Nothing is more serious than being a traitor to the country as part of the communist conspiracy. Are you enjoying this abuse of the General?A question: "Do you think stealing fifty dollars is more serious than being a traitor to the country and part of the communist conspiracy?"Answer: "That, sir, was not my decision."Shall we go on to that for a while? I hate to impose on your time, but I've just got two pages. This is the abuse which is the real meat of abuse. This is the official reporter's record of the hearing. After he said he wouldn't remove that General from the Army who cleared a communist major I said to him, "Then, General, you should be removed from any command. Any man who has been given the honor of being promoted to general and who says, 'I will protect another general who protects communists,' is not fit to wear that uniform, General."I think it is a tremendous disgrace to the Army to have to bring these facts before the public, but I intend to give it to the public, General. I have a duty to do that. I intend to repeat to the press exactly what you said, so that you can know that and be back here to hear it, General.And wait till you hear the bleeding hearts scream and cry about our methods of trying to drag the truth from those who know, or should know, who covered up a Fifth Amendment Communist major. But they say, "Oh, it's all right to uncover them, but don't get rough doing it, McCarthy."MURROW: But two days later Secretary Stevens and the Senator had lunch, agreed on a memorandum of understanding—disagreed on what the small type said.ROBERT T. STEVENS: I shall never accede to the abuse of Army personnel under any circumstance, including committee hearings. I shall not accede to them being brow-beaten or humiliated. In the light of those assurances, although I did not propose the cancellation of the hearing, I acceded to it. If it had not been for these assurances, I would never have entered into any agreement whatsoever.MURROW: Then President Eisenhower issued a statement that his advisers thought censured the Senator. But the Senator saw it as another victory—called the entire Zwicker case "a tempest in a teapot."MCCARTHY: If a stupid, arrogant, or witless man in a position of power appears before our committee and is found aiding the Communist Party, he will be exposed. The fact that he might be a general places him in no special class as far as I am concerned. Apparently the president and I now agree on the necessity of getting rid of communists. We apparently disagree only on how we should handle those who protect communists.When the shouting and the tumult dies, the American people and the president will realize that this unprecedented mudslinging against the committee by the extreme left wing elements of press and radio was caused solely because another Fifth Amendment Communist was finally dug out of the dark recesses and exposed to public view.MURROW: Senator McCarthy claims that only the left wing press criticized him on the Zwicker case. Of the fifty large circulating newspapers in the country, these are the left wing papers that criticized him. These are the ones that supported him. The ratio is about three-to-one. Now let us look at some of these left wing papers that criticized the Senator.The Chicago Tribune: "McCarthy will better serve his cause if he learns to distinguish the role of investigator from the role of avenging angel."The New York Times: "The unwarranted interference of a demagogue…a domestic Munich."The Times Herald of Washington: "Senator McCarthy's behavior towards Zwicker not justified."The Herald Tribune of New York: "McCarthyism involves assaults on basic Republican concepts."The Milwaukee Journal: "The line must be drawn and defended or McCarthy will become the government."The Evening Star of Washington: "It was a bad day for everyone who resents and detests the bullyboy tactics which Senator McCarthy so often employees."The New York World Telegram: "Bamboozling, bludgeoning, distorting way."The St. Louis Post Dispatch: "Unscrupulous McCarthy bullying. What a tragic irony it is that the president's political advisers keep him from doing what every decent instinct must be commanding him to do."Well, that's the ratio—about three-to-one—so-called "left-wing" press.Another interesting thing was said about the Zwicker case, and it was said by Senator McCarthy.MCCARTHY: Well, may I say that I was extremely shocked when I heard that Secretary Stevens told two Army officers that they had to take part in the cover-up of those who promoted and coddled communists. As I read his statement, I thought of that quotation, "On what meat doth this, our Caesar, feed?"MURROW: And upon what meat does Senator McCarthy feed? Two of the staples of his diet are the investigations, protected by immunity, and the half-truth. We herewith submit samples of both.
First, the half-truth. This was an attack on Adlai Stevenson at the end of the '52 campaign. President Eisenhower, it must be said, had no prior knowledge of it.MCCARTHY: I perform this unpleasant task because the American people are entitled to have the coldly documented history of this man who says, "I want to be your President."Strangely, Alger—I mean, Adlai...but let's move on to another part of the jigsaw puzzle. Now, while you would think—while you may think there could be no connection between the debonair Democrat candidate and a dilapidated Massachusetts barn, I want to show you a picture of this barn and explain the connection.Here is the outside of the barn. Give me the pictures showing the inside, if you will. Here is the outside of a barn up at Lee, Massachusetts. It looks it couldn't house a farmer's cow or goat. Here's the inside: a beautifully paneled conference room with maps of the Soviet Union. Well, in what way does Stevenson tie up with this?My investigators went up and took pictures of this barn after we had been tipped off of what was in it, tipped off that there was in this barn all the missing documents from the communist front, IPR. The IPR which has been named by the McCarran Committee. Named before the McCarran Committee as a cover shop for communist espionage.Now, let's take a look at a photostat of a document taken from that Massachusetts barn. One of those documents was never supposed to have seen the light of day—rather interesting it is. This is a document that shows that Alger Hiss and Frank Coe recommended Adlai Stevenson to the Mont Tremblant Conference, which was called for the purpose of establishing foreign policy—postwar foreign policy—in Asia. Now, as you know, Alger Hiss is a convicted traitor. Frank Coe has been named under oath before congressional committees seven times as a member of the Communist Party. Why? Why do Hiss and Coe find that Adlai Stevenson is the man they want representing them at this conference? I don't know. Perhaps Adlai knows.MURROW: But Senator McCarthy didn't permit his audience to hear the entire paragraph. This is the official record of the McCarran hearings. Anyone can buy it for two dollars. Here's a quote: "Another possibility for the Mont Tremblant conferences on Asia is someone from Knox's office or Stimson's office. Frank Knox was our wartime Secretary of the Navy; Henry Stimson our Secretary of the Army. Both distinguished Republicans." And it goes on: "Coe and Hiss mentioned Adlai Stevenson, one of Knox's special assistants, and Harvey Bundy, former Assistant Secretary of State under Hoover and now assistant to Stimson, because of their jobs."
We read from this documented record not in defense of Mr. Stevenson, but in defense of truth. Specifically, Mr. Stevenson's identification with that red barn was no more, no less than that of Knox, Stimson, or Bundy. It should be stated that Mr. Stevenson was once a member of the Institute of Pacific Relations. But so were such other loyal Americans as Senator Ferguson, John Foster Dulles, Paul Hoffman, Harry Luce, and Herbert Hoover. Their association carries with it no guilt, and that barn has nothing to do with any of them.Now, a sample of an investigation. The witness was Reed Harris, for many years a civil servant in the State Department directing the Information Service. Harris was accused of helping the communistic cause by curtailing some broadcasts to Israel. Senator McCarthy summoned him and questioned him about a book he had written in 1932.MCCARTHY: May we come to order. Mr. Reed Harris? Your name is Reed Harris?REED HARRIS: That's correct.MCCARTHY: You wrote a book in '32, is that correct?HARRIS: Yes, I wrote a book. And as I testified in executive session—MCCARTHY: At the time you wrote the book—pardon me, go ahead. I'm sorry.HARRIS: At the time I wrote the book, the atmosphere in the universities of the United States was greatly affected by the Great Depression then in existence. The attitudes of students, the attitudes of the general public, were considerably different than they are at this moment, and for one thing there certainly was no awareness to the degree that there is today of the way the Communist Party works.MCCARTHY: You attended Columbia University in the early thirties. Is that right?HARRIS: I did, Mr. Chairman.MCCARTHY: Will you speak a little louder, sir?HARRIS: I did, Mr. Chairman.MCCARTHY: And were you expelled from Columbia?HARRIS: I was suspended from classes on April 1, 1932. I was later reinstated, and I resigned from the university.MCCARTHY: And you resigned from the university. Did the Civil Liberties Union provide you with an attorney at that time?HARRIS: I had many offers of attorneys, and one of those was from the American Civil Liberties Union, yes.MCCARTHY: The question is did the Civil Liberties Union supply you with an attorney?HARRIS: They did supply an attorney.MCCARTHY: The answer is yes?HARRIS: The answer is yes.MCCARTHY: You know the Civil Liberties Union has been listed as "a front for, and doing the work of," the Communist Party?HARRIS: Mr. Chairman, this was 1932.MCCARTHY: Yeah, I know this was 1932. Do you know that they since have been listed as a front for, and doing the work of, the Communist Party?HARRIS: I do not know that they have been listed so, sir.MCCARTHY: You don't know they have been listed?HARRIS: I have heard that mentioned, or read that mentioned.MCCARTHY: Now, you wrote a book in 1932. I'm going to ask you again. At the time you wrote this book, did you feel that professors should be given the right to teach sophomores that marriage, let me quote, "should be cast out of our civilization as antiquated and stupid religious phenomena?" Was that your feeling at that time?HARRIS: My feeling was that professors should have the right to express their considered opinions on any subject, whatever they were, sir.MCCARTHY: All right, I'm going to ask you this question again.HARRIS: That includes that quotation. They should have the right to teach anything that came to their minds as being a proper thing to teach.MCCARTHY: I'm going to make you answer this.HARRIS: All right, I'll answer yes, but you put an implication on it, and you feature this particular point out of the book which of course is quite out of context; does not give a proper impression of the book as a whole. The American public doesn't get an honest impression of even that book, bad as it is, from what you're quoting from it.MCCARTHY: Well, then, let's continue to read your own writing, and—HARRIS: Twenty-one years ago, again.MCCARTHY: Yes, but we'll try and bring you down to date, if we can.HARRIS: Mr. Chairman, two weeks ago, Senator Taft took the position that I took twenty-one years ago, that communists and socialists should be allowed to teach in the schools. It so happens that nowadays I don't agree with Senator Taft as far as communist teaching in the schools is concerned, because I think communists are in effect a plainclothes auxiliary of the Red Army—the Soviet Red Army—and I don't want to see them in any of our schools teaching.MCCARTHY: I don't recall Senator Taft ever having any of the background that you've got, sir.MCCARTHY: I resent the tone of this inquiry very much, Mr. Chairman. I resent it, not only because it is my neck, my public neck, that you are, I think, very skillfully trying to wring, but I say it because there are thousands of able and loyal employees in the federal government of the United States who have been properly cleared according to the laws and the security practices of their agencies, as I was—unless the new regime says no—I was before.SENATOR JOHN MCLELLAN: Do you think this book that you wrote then did considerable harm—its publication might have had adverse influence on the public by an expression of views contained in it?HARRIS: The sale of that book was so abysmally small, it was so unsuccessful that a question of its influence—really, you can go back to the publisher. You'll see it was one of the most unsuccessful books he ever put out. He's still sorry about it, just as I am.MCLELLAN: Well, I think that's a compliment to American intelligence. I will say that to him.MURROW: Senator McCarthy succeeded in proving that Reed Harris had once written a bad book, which the American people had proved twenty-two years ago by not buying it. Which is what they eventually do will all bad ideas. As for Reed Harris, his resignation was accepted a month later with a letter of commendation. McCarthy claimed it as a victory.The Reed Harris hearing demonstrates one of the Senator's techniques. Twice he said the American Civil Liberties Union was listed as a subversive front. The Attorney General's list does not and has never listed the ACLU as subversive, nor does the FBI or any other federal government agency. And the American Civil Liberties Union holds in its files letters of commendation from President Truman, President Eisenhower, and General MacArthur.Now let us try to bring the McCarthy story a little more up to date. Two years ago Senator Benton of Connecticut accused McCarthy of apparent perjury, unethical practice, and perpetrating a hoax on the Senate. McCarthy sued for two million dollars. Last week he dropped the case, saying no one could be found who believed Benton's story. Several volunteers have come forward saying they believe it in its entirety.Today, Senator McCarthy says he's going to get a lawyer and force the networks to give him time to reply to Adlai Stevenson's speech.Earlier the Senator asked, "Upon what meat does this, our Caesar, feed?" Had he looked three lines earlier in Shakespeare's Caesar, he would have found this line, which is not altogether inappropriate: "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves."No one familiar with the history of this country can deny that congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating, but the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one, and the junior senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly. His primary achievement has been in confusing the public mind as between the internal and the external threats of communism.We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men. Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.This is no time for men who oppose Senator McCarthy's methods to keep silent, or for those who approve. We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities.
As a nation we have come into our full inheritance at a tender age. We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.The actions of the junior senator from Wisconsin have caused alarm and dismay amongst our allies abroad, and given considerable comfort to our enemies. And whose fault is that? Not really his. He didn't create this situation of fear. He merely exploited it, and rather successfully. Cassius was right. "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves."
Good night, and good luck.
Senator McCarthy Responds on See It Now - April 6, 1954
EDWARD R. MURROW: One month ago tonight we presented a report on Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. We labeled it as controversial. Most of that report consisted of words and pictures of the Senator. At that time we said, "If the Senator believes we have done violence to his words or pictures, if he desires to speak to answer himself, an opportunity will be afforded him on this program."
The Senator sought the opportunity; asked for a delay of three weeks because he said he was very busy and he wished adequate time to prepare his reply. We agreed. We supplied the Senator with a kinescope of that program of March 9, and with such scripts and recordings as he requested. We placed no restrictions upon the manner or method of the presentation of his reply, and we suggested that we would not take time to comment on this particular program. The Senator chose to make his reply on film. Here now is Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, junior senator from Wisconsin.
SENATOR JOSEPH MCCARTHY: Good evening. Mr. Edward R. Murrow, Educational Director of the Columbia Broadcasting System, devoted his program to an attack on the work of the United States Senate Investigating Committee, and on me personally as its chairman. Now over the past four years he has made repeated attacks upon me and those fighting communists.
Now, of course, neither Joe McCarthy nor Edward R. Murrow is of any great importance as individuals. We are only important in our relation to the great struggle to preserve our American liberties. The Senate Investigating Committee has forced out of government, and out of important defense plants, communists engaged in the Soviet conspiracy. And you know, it's interesting to note that the viciousness of Murrow's attacks is in direct ratio to our success in digging out communists.
Now, ordinarily I would not take time out from the important work at hand to answer Murrow. However, in this case I feel justified in doing so because Murrow is a symbol, the leader, and the cleverest of the jackal pack which is always found at the throat of anyone who dares to expose individual communists and traitors.
I am compelled by the facts to say to you that Mr. Edward R. Murrow, as far back as twenty years ago, was engaged in propaganda for communist causes. For example, the Institute of International Education, of which he was the acting director, was chosen to act as a representative by a Soviet agency to do a job which would normally be done by the Russian secret police. Mr. Murrow sponsored a communist school in Moscow. In the selection of American students and teachers who were to attend, Mr. Murrow's organization acted for the Russian espionage and propaganda organization known as VOKS (V-O-K-S). And many of those selected were later exposed as communists. Murrow's organization selected such notorious communists as Isadore Begun, David Zablodowsky—incidentally, Zablodowsky was forced out of the United Nations, when my chief counsel presented his case to the grand jury and gave a picture of his communist activities.
Now, Mr. Murrow, by his own admission, was a member of the IWW—that's the Industrial Workers of the World—a terrorist organization cited as subversive by an attorney general of the United States, who stated that it was an organization which seeks, and I quote: "to alter the government of the United States by unconstitutional means." Now, other government committees have had before them actors, screenwriters, motion picture producers, and others, who admitted communist affiliations but pleaded youth or ignorance. Now, Mr. Murrow can hardly make the same plea.
On March 9 of this year, Mr. Murrow, a trained reporter who had traveled all over the world, who is the Educational Director of CBS, followed implicitly the communist line, as laid down in the last six months; laid down not only by the communist Daily Worker, but by the communist magazine Political Affairs and by the National Conference of the Communist Party of the United States of America.
Now the question: why is it important to you, the people of America, to know why the Educational Director and the Vice President of CBS so closely follow the Communist Party line? To answer that question we must turn back the pages of history.
A little over a hundred years ago, a little group of men in Europe conspired to deliver the world to a new system, to communism. Under their system, the individual was nothing, the family was nothing; God did not even exist. Their theory was that an all-powerful State should have the power of life or death over its citizens without even a trial; that everything and everybody belonged to the rulers of the states. They openly wrote—nothing's secret about it—that, in their efforts to gain power, they would be justified in doing anything. They would be justified in following the trail of deceit, lies, terror, murder, treason, blackmail. All these things were elevated to virtues in the communist rule book. If a convert to communism could be persuaded that he was a citizen of the world, it of course would be much easier to make him a traitor to his own country.
Now, for seventy years the communists made little progress. Let me show you a map of the world as it stood in the middle of the First World War in 1917, before the Russian Revolution. You will see there is not a single foot of ground on the face of the globe under the domination or control of the communists, and bear in mind that this was only thirty-six years ago.
In 1917 we were engaged in a great world war in defense of our way of life and in defense of American liberty. The Kaiser was obliged to divide his armies and fight in both the Eastern and the Western fronts. In the midst of the war, the Russian people overthrew their Czarist master and they set up a democratic form of government under the leadership of Alexander Kerensky. Now, Kerensky's government instantly pledged all-out support to the Allies. At this instant the Imperial German government secretly financed the return to Russia of seven communist exiles led by Nikolai Lenin, exiles who had been forced to flee the country. A rather important event in the history of the world.
Now once in Russia, by the same methods which the communists are employing in the United States today, they undermined the Army; they undermined the Navy; the civilian heads of the government. And in one hundred days those seven communists were literally the masters of Russia. Now, with all of the wealth of the nation at their command, they proceeded to finance communist parties in every country in the world. They sent to those countries trained propagandists and spies. In every country they of course had to find glib, clever men like Edward R. Murrow who would sponsor invitations to students and teachers to attend indoctrinational schools in Moscow, exactly as Murrow has done. They trained communists in every country in the world. Their sole purpose was to infiltrate the government, and once communists were in government they in turn brought others in.
Now let us look at the map of the world as it was twenty years ago. At that time there was one country with 180,000,000 people in communist chains.
Now let us look at a map of the world as of tonight, this sixth day of April, nineteen hundred and fifty-four. Over one-third of the earth's area under communist control and 800,000,000 people in communist chains, in addition to the 800,000,000 in communist chains in Europe and Asia. Finally, the communists have gained a foothold and a potential military base here in our half of the world, in Guatemala, with the communists seeping down into the Honduras.
My good friends, how much of this was achieved by military force and how much was achieved by traitors and communist-line propagandists in our own government and in other free governments?
Let's start in Europe, if we may. They took by military force a little piece of Finland. In the same way they took three small Baltic States: Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. They took half of Poland in the same way. They acquired the rest of Poland through Polish traitors and communists in our own government, who gave American dollars and American support to the communists in Poland. They took over Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary without firing a single shot. They did this by the infiltration of communists in the key spots in the governments.
The communists took over Czechoslovakia without firing a shot. This they did by the infiltration of communists into the Czechoslovakian government also. And listen to what a high official in the anticommunist government of Czechoslovakia had to say about the communist enslavement of Czechoslovakia. Here's what he said. He said:
"In my country, the pattern was identical to what it is in the United States. If anyone, before the communists took over, dared to attack those communists who were preparing and shaping the policy of my government—shaping the policy to betray my people—he was promptly attacked and destroyed by a combination of communists, fellow travelers, and those unthinking people who thought they were serving the cause of liberalism and progress, but who were actually serving the cause of the most reactionary credo of all times: communism."
Still quoting: "Because of those people, night has fallen upon my nation and slavery upon my people."
Now, shifting to another area of the world, to the East, how about this vast land area and the teeming masses of China? Let's just take a look at that map, if you please. Keep in mind that a few short years ago China was a free nation friendly to the United States. Now, were the—were—let's take a look at that map. Were those 400,000,000 Chinese captured by force of arms? Certainly not. They were delivered. Delivered to communist slave masters by the jackal pack of communist-line propagandists, including the friends of Mr. Edward R. Murrow, who day after day shouted to the world that the Chinese Communists were agrarian reformers, and that our ally, the Republic of China, represented everything that was evil and wicked.
Now, my good friends, if there were no communists in our government, would we have consented to and connived to turn over all of our Chinese friends to the Russians? Now, my good friends, if there had been no communists in our government, would we have rewarded them with all of Manchuria, half of the Kuril Islands, and one half of Korea? Now how many Americans—how many Americans have died and will die because of this sellout to Communist Russia? God only knows.
If there were no communists in our government, why did we delay—for eighteen months—delay our research on the hydrogen bomb, even though our intelligence agencies were reporting day after day that the Russians were feverishly pushing their development of the H-bomb? And may I say to America tonight that our nation may well die—our nation may well die—because of that eighteen-months deliberate delay. And I ask you, who caused it? Was it loyal Americans? Or was it traitors in our government?
It is often said by the left wing that it is sufficient to fight communism in Europe and Asia, but that communism is not a domestic American issue. But the record, my good friends, is that the damage has been done by cleverly calculated subversion at home, and not from abroad. It is this problem of subversion that our committee faces.
Now, let us very quickly glance at some of the work of our committee—some of the work it's done in slightly over a year's time. For example, 238 witnesses were examined in public session; 367 witnesses examined in executive session; 84 witnesses refused to testify as to communist activities on the ground that, if they told the truth, they might go to jail; 24 witnesses with communist backgrounds have been discharged from jobs in which they were handling secret, top secret, confidential material, individuals who were exposed before our committee.
Of course you can't measure the success of a committee by box score, based on the number of communist heads that have rolled from secret jobs. It is completely impossible to even estimate the effect on our government of the day-to-day plodding exposure of communists. And that is, of course, why the Murrows bleed.
For example, the exposure of only one Fifth Amendment communist in the Government Printing Office, an office having access to secret material from almost every government agency, resulted in an undisclosed number of suspensions. It resulted in the removal of the loyalty board, and the revamping of all the royal—of the loyalty rules, so that we do have apparently a good, tight loyalty set up in the Printing Office at this time. Also disclosure of communists in the military and the radar laboratories resulted in the abolition of the Pentagon board which had cleared and ordered reinstated communists who had for years been handling government secrets. Also, as a result of those hearings, Army orders have been issued to prevent a recurrence of the Major Peress scandal, which was exposed by the committee.
Now to attempt to evaluate the effect of the work of an investigating committee would be about as impossible as to attempt to evaluate the effect of well-trained watchdogs upon the activities of potential burglars.
We Americans live in a free world, a world where we can stand as individuals, where we can go to the church of our own choice and worship God as we please, each in his own fashion; where we can freely speak our opinions on any subject, or on any man. Now whether we shall continue to so live has come to issue now. We will soon know whether we are going to go on living that kind of life, or whether we are going to live the kind of life that 800,000,000 slaves live under communist domination. The issue is simple. It is the issue of life or death for our civilization.
Now, Mr. Murrow said on this program—and I quote—he said: "The actions of the junior senator from Wisconsin have given considerable comfort to the enemy." That is the language of our statute of treason—rather strong language.
If I am giving comfort to our enemies, I ought not to be in the Senate. If, on the other hand, Mr. Murrow is giving comfort to our enemies, he ought not to be brought into the homes of millions of Americans by the Columbia Broadcasting System.
Now, this is a question which can be resolved with very little difficulty. What do the communists think of me? And what do the communists think of Mr. Murrow? One of us is on the side of the communists; the other is against the communists, against communist slavery.
Now, the communists have three official publications in America, and these are not ordinary publications. They have been officially determined to be the transmission belts through which communists in America are instructed as to the party line, or the position which communist writers and playwrights must take—also, of course, telecasters, broadcasters.
The first of these is a booklet which I would like to show you, if I may. It's entitled "The Main Report," delivered at the National Conference of the Communist Party of the USA, published in New York in October 1953.
The report states, quote: "The struggle against McCarthyism is developing currently along the following main lines"—keep in mind this is the communist publication giving instructions to members of the party—"...along the following main lines: struggle against witch hunting, struggle against investigations of the McCarthy/McCarran type, and defense of the victims of McCarthyism such as Owen Lattimore, etc. In addition there is the direct attack on McCarthy." May I ask you, does that sound somewhat like the program of Edward R. Murrow of March 9 over this same station?
Now, in this report the communists do not hesitate to instruct the comrades that their fight on McCarthy is only a means to a larger end. Again, let me quote from the instructions from the Communist Party to its membership, from page thirty-three. I quote:
"Our main task is to mobilize the masses for the defeat of the foreign and domestic policy of the Eisenhower administration and for the defeat of the Eisenhower regime itself. The struggle against McCarthyism contributes to this general objective."
Just one more quotation, if I may, from page thirty-one of these instructions from the Communist Party to its members. I quote: "Since the elections, McCarthyism has emerged as a menace of major proportions." I think maybe we know what the Communist Party means by "a menace of major proportions." They mean a menace of major proportions to the Communist Party.
Now let's take thirty seconds or so, if we may, to look a little further to see who's giving comfort to our enemies. Here is a communist Daily Worker of March 9, containing seven articles and a principal editorial, all attacking McCarthy. And the same issue lists Mr. Murrow's program as—listen to this—"One of tonight's best bets on TV."
And then—just one more—here's the issue of March 17. Its principal front page article is an attack on McCarthy. It has three other articles attacking McCarthy. It has a special article by William Z. Foster, the head of the Communist Party in America—and now under indictment on charges of attempting to overthrow this government by force and violence—this article by Foster, praising Edward R. Murrow.
Just one more, if I may impose on your time: the issue of March 26. This issue has two articles attacking witch hunting, three articles attacking McCarthy, a cartoon of McCarthy, and an article in praise of Mr. Edward R. Murrow.
And now I would like to also show you the communist political organ, entitled Political Affairs. The lead article is a report dated November 21, 1953 of the National Committee of the Communist Party of the United States, attacking McCarthy and telling how the loyal members of the Communist Party can serve their cause by getting rid of this awful McCarthy.
Now, as you know, Owen Lattimore has been named as a conscious, articulate instrument of the communist conspiracy. He's been so named by the Senate Internal Security Committee. He is now under criminal indictment for perjury with respect to testimony in regard to his communist activities. In his book Ordeal by Slander he says, and I think I can quote him verbatim, he says: "I owe a very special debt to a man I have never met. I must mention at least Edward R. Murrow."
Then there's the book by Harold Laski, admittedly the greatest communist propagandist of our time in England. In his book Reflections on the Revolution of Our Times he dedicates the book to "my friends E.R. Murrow and Latham Tichener, with affection."
Now, I am perfectly willing to let the American people decide who's giving comfort to our enemies. Much of the documentation which we have here on the table tonight will not be available to the American people by way of television. However, this will all be made available to you within the next two weeks.
In conclusion, may I say that under the shadow of the most horrible and destructive weapons that man has ever devised, we fight to save our country, our homes, our churches, and our children. To this cause, ladies and gentlemen, I have dedicated and will continue to dedicate all that I have and all that I am. And I want to assure you that I will not be deterred by the attacks of the Murrows, the Lattimores, the Fosters, the Daily Worker, or the Communist Party itself.
Now, I make no claim to leadership. In complete humility, I do ask you and every American who loves this country to join with me.
MURROW: That was a film of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, presented at our invitation. It was in response to a program we presented on March 9th. This reporter undertook to make no comment at this time, but naturally reserved his right to do so subsequently.
Good night, and good luck.
Murrow Addresses McCarthy's Accusations - April 13, 1954
EDWARD R. MURROW: Last week, Senator McCarthy appeared on this program to correct any errors he might have thought we made in our report of March 9th. Since he made no reference to any statements of fact that we made, we must conclude that he found no errors of fact. He proved again that anyone who exposes him, anyone who does not share his hysterical disregard for decency and human dignity and the rights guaranteed by the Constitution, must be either a communist or a fellow traveler.
I fully expected this treatment. The Senator added this reporter's name to a long list of individuals and institutions he has accused of serving the communist cause. His proposition is very simple: anyone who criticizes or opposes McCarthy's methods must be a communist. And if that be true, there are an awful lot of communists in this country.
For the record, let's consider briefly some of the Senator's charges. He claimed, but offered no proof, that I had been a member of the Industrial Workers of the World. That is false. I was never a member of the IWW, never applied for membership. Men that I worked with in the Pacific Northwest in western Washington in logging camps will attest that I never had any affiliation or affinity with that organization.
The Senator charged that Professor Harold Laski, a British scholar and politician, dedicated a book to me. That's true. He is dead. He was a socialist, I am not. He was one of those civilized individuals who did not insist upon agreement with his political principles as a precondition for conversation or friendship. I do not agree with his political ideas. Laski, as he makes clear in the introduction, dedicated the book to me not because of political agreement, but because he held my wartime broadcasts from London in high regard—and the dedication so reads.
Senator McCarthy's principal attack on me was an attack on the Institute of International Education, of which I was Assistant Director and am now a trustee, together with such people as John Foster Dulles, Milton Eisenhower, Ralph J. Bunche, Virginia Gildersleeve, Philip Reed; to name just a few. That institute sponsored, acted as the registering agent for summer schools in foreign countries including England, France, and Germany, and one in the Soviet Union in 1934. It has arranged in all some 30,000 exchanges of students and professors between the United States and over fifty foreign countries.
The man primarily responsible for starting this institute was Nicholas Murray Butler in 1919. Its work has been praised as recently as 1948 by President Eisenhower. It has been denounced by the Soviet press and radio as a center of international propaganda for American reaction, and I have been labeled by them as a "reactionary radio commentator."
The Senator alleged that we were doing the work of the Russian secret police, training spies. We were in fact conducting normal cultural and educational relations with foreign nations. The Moscow summer session was cancelled in 1935 by the Russian authorities.
I believed twenty years ago and I believe today that mature Americans can engage in conversation and controversy, the clash of ideas, with communists anywhere in the world without becoming contaminated or converted. I believe that our faith, our conviction, our determination are stronger than theirs, and that we can compete and successfully, not only in the area of bombs but in the area of ideas.
Senator McCarthy couldn't even get my relationship with CBS straight. He repeatedly referred to me as the Educational Director, a position I have not held for seventeen years.
The Senator waved a copy of the Daily Worker, saying an article in it has praised me. Here is an example for what Senator McCarthy calls "praise" by William Z. Foster in the March 17 issue of The Daily Worker. Quote:
"During the past ten days, Senator McCarthy has received a number of resounding belts in the jaw. These came from Adlai Stevenson, E.R. Murrow, Senator Flanders, the Army leadership, broadcasting companies; even Eisenhower himself had to give McCarthy a slap on the wrist."
That was the sole reference to me in Mr. Foster's article.
Another charge by Senator McCarthy was that Owen Lattimore mentioned me in a book. What Lattimore said in substance was that he had never met me, but that I had done a fair job of reporting his testimony; in short, that I had not presumed his guilt. Everything I said on that case is a matter of record and can be examined by anyone who is interested.
I hope to continue to present evidence developed before Congressional committees as impartially as I am able. And that specifically includes the hearings before which Senator McCarthy is shortly scheduled to appear.
I have worked for CBS for more than nineteen years. The company has subscribed fully to my integrity and responsibility as a broadcaster and as a loyal American. I require no lectures from the junior senator from Wisconsin as to the dangers or terrors of communism. Having watched the aggressive forces at work in Western Europe; having had friends in Eastern Europe butchered and driven into exile; having broadcast from London in 1943 that the Russians were responsible for the Katyn massacre; having told the story of the Russian refusal to allow Allied aircraft to land on Russian fields after dropping supplies to those who rose in Warsaw and then were betrayed by the Russians; and having been denounced by the Russian radio for these reports, I cannot feel that I require instruction from the Senator on the evils of communism.
Having searched my conscience and my files, I cannot contend that I have always been right or wise. But I have attempted to pursue the truth with some diligence and to report it, even though, as in this case, I had been warned in advance that I would be subjected to the attentions of Senator McCarthy.
We shall hope to deal with matters of more vital interest for the country next week.
Good night, and good luck.
(Thanks to Noah C. Cline for helping locate the footage)