Page images
PDF
EPUB

such committee to determine whether or not it should initiate action with a view toward the expulsion from the United States Senate of the said Senator Joseph R. McCarthy."

On August 8, 1951, as Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Administration, you referred the said resolution to the Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections and on Friday, September 28, the Subcommittee received in open session an oral statement from Senator Benton in support of the resolution. An invitation was extended to Senator McCarthy to attend this public hearing and to appear before the Subcommittee to answer Senator Benton's charges. However, Senator McCarthy rejected this invitation by letter dated October 4, 1951, in which he stated:

"Frankly Guy, I have not and do not intend to even read, much less answer, Benton's smear attack. I am sure you realize that the Benton type of material can be found in the Daily Worker almost any day of the week and will continue to flow from the mouths and pens of the camp-followers as long as I continue my fight against Communists in government."

(A copy of Senator McCarthy's communication is attached hereto as enclosure "A"). (Exhibit 5.)

Thereafter, the staff of the Subcommittee was ordered to investigate the matters involved. On December 6, 1951, without prior inquiry either to me or to any other member of the Subcommittee, Senator McCarthy falsely and, it must be said, maliciously, accused the committee of "stealing from the pockets of the American taxpayer tens of thousands of dollars" in its handling of this investigation. The scandalous nature of his charges is apparent from the following quotation of them:

over the past months, it has been repeatedly brought to my attention that a horde of investigators hired by your committee at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer's money, has been engaged exclusively in trying to dig up on McCarthy material covering periods of time long before he was even old enough to be a candidate for the Senate-material which can have no conceivable connection with his election or any other election. This is being done in complete disregard of the limited power of your elections subcommittee. The obvious purpose is to dig up campaign material for the Democrat Party for the coming campaign against McCarthy.

"When your elections subcommittee, without Senate authorization, spends tens of thousands of taxpayers' dollars for the sole purpose of digging up campaign material against McCarthy, then the committee is guilty of stealing just as clearly as though the members engaged in picking the pockets of the taxpayers and turning the loot over to the Democrat National Committee.

"If one of the Administration lackies were chairman of this committee, I would not waste the time or energy to write and point out the committee's complete dishonesty, but from, you, Guy, the Senate and the country expect honest adherence to the rules of the Senate.

"While the actions of Benton and some of the committee members do not surprise me, I cannot understand your being willing to label Guy Gillette as a man who will head a committee which is stealing from the pockets of the American taxpayer tens of thousands of dollars and then using this money to protect the Democrat Party from the political effect of the exposure of Communists in government. To take it upon yourself to hire a horde of investigators and spend tens of thousands of dollars without any authorization to do so from the Senate is labeling your elections subcommittee as even more dishonest than was the Tydings Committee."

(A copy of this communication and of my reply, also dated December 6, 1951 are attached hereto as enclosure "B"). (Exhibits 6 and 7.)

The following day, December 7, 1951, Senator McCarthy addressed to me a further communication requesting information concerning the personnel of the staff of the Subcommittee, their salaries, and an explanation of the nature of instructions issued to them. Since Senator McCarthy was at that time a member of the Rules Committee, I felt that he was entitled to the information he had requested relative to the personnel employed by the Subcommittee and by letter dated December 11, 1951, related information to him concerning their salaries and the length of time they had been employed. (A copy of this communication and of my reply dated December 11, 1951, are attached hereto as enclosure "C"). (Exhibits 8 and 9.)

Again, Mr. Chairman, on December 19, 1951, after having received from me the complete details with respect to the personnel of the Subcommittee and the salaries at which they are employed, Senator McCarthy deliberately, knowing the

charge to be false, again vilified the Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections with the same extravagant and irresponsible charges, attributing dishonesty and improper motives to its members. In this letter Senator McCarthy stated:

66

.

The full Committee appointed you Chairman of an Elections Subcommittee, but gave you no power whatsoever to hire investigators and spend vast amounts of money to make investigations having nothing to do with elections. Again may I have an answer to my questions as to why you feel you are entitled to spend the taxpayers' money to do the work of the Democratic National Committee.

"As I have previously stated, you and every member of your Subcommittee who is responsible for spending vast amounts of money to hire investigators, pay their traveling expenses, etc., on matters not concerned with elections, is just as dishonest as though he or she picked the pockets of the taxpayers and turned the loot over to the Democrat National Committee.

[ocr errors]

All of the above intemperate and outrageous accusations were delivered to the public press prior to their submission to me, as I pointed out in a communication to Senator McCarthy dated December 21, 1951:

66

[ocr errors]

Unfortunately, our previous correspondence concerning these matters found its way into the public press and your letters to me were printed in full in the public press even before I received them. As a former judge you will appreciate, I am sure, the impropriety of discussing matters pertaining to pending litigation in the public press. The Senate Committee on Rules and Administration having referred the Benton Resolution to our Subcommittee, has placed us in a quasijudicial position relative to a matter of outstanding importance involving the expulsion from the Senate of a sitting member."

In this communication I also extended to Senator McCarthy an opportunity to confer with me in person rather than continue this exchange of correspondence. With respect to his unwarranted, undignified and wholy unjustifiable attack upon the integrity of the Subcommittee, I said:

66

may I again assure you that as far as I am personally concerned, neither the Democratic National Committee, nor any other person or group other than an agency of the United States Senate has had or will have any influence whatever as to my duties and actions as a member of the Subcommittee and I am just as confident that no other member of the Subcommittee has been or will be 80 influenced."

(A copy of Senator McCarthy's letter of December 19, 1951 and of my answer, which I transmitted to Senator McCarthy on December 21, 1951, are attached hereto as enclosure "D"). (Exhibits 10 and 11.)

The invitation contained in my letter of December 21, 1951 was, however, ignored by Senator McCarthy and again on January 4, 1952 he addressed to me a communication charging that the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee was restricted to matters having to do with elections and asking whether the investigators were ordered to restrict their investigations to such matters. (A copy of this communication and of my reply dated January 10, 1952 are attached hereto as enclosure "E".) (Exhibits 12 and 12A.)

No valid argument can be made that the Subcommittee does not possess jurisdiction to enter into a plenary investigation of Senator McCarthy's qualifications and conduct. The matter has been the subject of careful research by the legal staff of the Subcommittee and it is clear that Senator McCarthy's charge that our jurisdiction is limited to matters pertaining to elections is wholly untenable.

However, because of the fact that a question of jurisdiction has been raised by Senator McCarthy and because he has undertaken, in addition, to impugn the integrity of the members of the Subcommittee in communications which have been widely publicized by him, the Subcommittee, in an executive session held on March 5, 1952, adopted the following motion by Senator Monroney of Oklahoma: "That the Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Administration request Senator McCarthy of Wisconsin to raise the question of the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections and of the integrity of the members thereof in connection with its consideration of S. Res. 187 by making a formal motion on the floor of the Senate to discharge the Committee; and that Senator McCarthy be advised by the Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Administration that if he does not take the requested action in a period of time to be fixed by stipulation between Senator McCarthy and the Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Administration, that the Committee (acting through the Chairman of the Standing Committee or the Chairman of the Subcommittee) will itself present such motion to discharge for the purpose of affirming the juris

diction of the Subcommittee and the integrity of its members in its consideration of the aforesaid Resolution."

As Chairman of the Subcommittee, I transmit this report to you and request that you bring the matter before the Committee on Rules and Administration at its next meeting.

Respectfully,

GUY M. GILLETTE, Chairman.

This motion was adopted by the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration and Senator McCarthy was offered an opportunity to present such a resolution. He indicated his refusal by letter dated March 21, 1952, in which he stated that as the Subcommittee had spent "tens of thousands of dollars" and nearly a year, making an investigation of him, its task was not finished until it reported to the Senate the results of such investigation. He further stated that the preliminary report which the staff had written was scurrilous, cleverly twisted and distorted and then leaked to the left-wing element of the press in an effort to further smear "McCarthy". He stated that a vote of confidence in the Subcommittee would be a vote on whether or not it had the right, without authority from the Senate-but merely on the request of one Senator, to make a thorough and complete investigation of the entire life of another Senator, and that a vote against the Subcommittee could not undo the harm which had already been done "in regard to McCarthy" (Exhibit 13).

On April 8, 1952, Senator Hayden, Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Administration, introduced on the floor of the Senate, S. Res. 300 (Exhibit 14), which incorporated the Subcommittee's motion and pointed out the issue involved with respect to Senator McCarthy's charge that the Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections lacked jurisdiction to investigate such acts of a Senator as were not connected with an election campaign, and his attack upon the honesty and motives of the members of the Subcommittee. This resolution asked that the Committee on Rules and Administration be discharged from the further consideration of S. Res. 187. Senator Hayden also requested that there be printed in the Congressional Record certain precedents of the Senate relating to expulsion, exclusion and censure cases unconnected with elections from 1871 to 1951. These were ordered printed and are attached as Exhibit 15. There was also ordered to be printed in the Congressional Record of that date Senator Gillette's letter of March 6, 1952, to Senator Hayden, appearing above in this report, together with attachments, and Senator McCarthy's letter to Senator Hayden of March 21, 1952.

On April 10, 1952, the Senate voted on Resolution 300, and, by a unanimous vote of 60-0, upheld the jurisdiction of the Senate Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections to continue its investigation of Senator McCarthy and confirmed its confidence in the honesty and integrity of the members of the Subcommittee. Senator McCarthy did not oppose the resolution.

However, on April 10, 1952, Senator McCarthy introduced S. Res. 304 to investigate Senator Benton of Connecticut (Exhibit 16). This resolution enumerated certain alleged activities of Senator Benton, including acceptance of campaign funds which were collected by Walter Cosgriff for Benton's 1950 senatorial campaign and not reported by him in violation of Federal and State laws. The resolution. requested the Committee on Rules and Administration of the United States Senate to make such investigation of these and other activities

and associations of Senator Benton as the Committee deemed necessary in order to recommend appropriate action to the Senate.

As a result of a decision of the Privileges and Election Subcommittee, reached in executive session on May 7, 1952, Senator McCarthy was invited by letter of same date, to appear, at his convenience, at public hearings to be held in connection with S. Res. 187, particularly with respect to allegations made by Senator Benton that Senator McCarthy improperly received a $10,000 fee in 1948 from the Lustron Corporation (Exhibit 17).

By letter of May 8, 1952, Senator McCarthy replied, giving no indication as to whether he would accept the invitation, but setting forth a defense of his receipt of the Lustron fee. He again pointed out that this "year-long investigation by your Subcommittee would never have been commenced if I had not been exposing Communists in Government", and indicated that the Subcommittee was serving the Communist cause. Senator McCarthy also stated in this letter, "If you have evidence of wrong doing on McCarthy's part which would justify removal from the Senate or a vote of censure by the Senate, certainly you have the obligation to produce it" (Exhibit 18). In another letter from Senator McCarthy to Senator Gillette, dated May 8, 1952, Senator McCarthy charged that Benton's resolution to expel him from the Senate came about because of his fight to expose Communists in the Democratic Administration, and in charging that the Subcommittee was stalling on the Benton matter, stated: "Before I urged the Senate to vote to continue the life of your Subcommittee, we received your unqualified promise to proceed to investigate the Benton case just as expeditiously as the attempted expulsion of McCarthy" (Exhibit 19).

On May 10, 1952, Senator Gillette again wrote Senator McCarthy, acknowledging receipt of the letter of May 8th and inviting him to appear on May 12th before the Subcommittee to give such statements as he desired, to refute charges made by Senator Benton, etc. (Exhibit 20). On May 11, 1952, Senator McCarthy wrote Senator Gillette a sardonic letter expressing "deepest sympathy" that the "star witness" for the Subcommittee hearing of the 12th was in an institution for the criminally insane. He again drew a comparison between the activities of the Subcommittee in "exposing McCarthy” and the "Communist Party which is also doing an excellent job in exposing the evils of McCarthyism". He advised the Subcommittee members "not to be disturbed by those who point out that your Committee is trying to do what the Communist Party has officially proclaimed as its No. 1 task." (Exhibit 21.)

On May 13, 1952, Senator Gillette wrote Senator McCarthy pointing out that the McCarthy resolution directed at Senator Benton had not as yet been referred to the Subcommittee (Exhibit 22). By letter of May 28, 1952, this resolution was referred to the Subcommittee by the Rules and Administration Committee (Exhibit 23).

On June 9, 1952, Senator Gillette wrote Senator McCarthy pointing out that Senator McCarthy had advised that he was unable to present a statement before the Subcommittee during the previous week and fixed Thursday of the current week to present any additional testimony he desired in support of Senator McCarthy's resolution concerning Senator Benton. The letter stated that the same rules would apply as in the case of the Benton resolution (Exhibit 24). On June 11,

1952, Senator McCarthy wrote Senator Gillette that he would not be available Thursday, but would be available the following Wednesday. Senator McCarthy again urged that immediate investigation be conducted of Senator Benton, including the procurement of his Federal Income Tax Returns (Exhibit 25).

On June 12, 1952, Senator McCarthy wrote Senator Gillette that it would appear that he would be unable to attend on the date scheduled that week, and again urged the staff to immediately obtain Benton's tax returns, etc. (Exhibit 26).

On June 18, 1952, Senator Gillette wrote Senator McCarthy, setting another date, June 23, for Senator McCarthy's appearance before the Subcommittee (Exhibit 27). On June 19, 1952, Senator McCarthy wrote Senator Gillette that he had just been served with a Court Order in the case of McCarthy v. The Syracuse Post-Standard, and would not be able to appear on the 23rd (Exhibit 28).

On June 20, 1952, Senator Gillette wrote Senator McCarthy, acknowledging receipt of his letter of the 19th and advising that the Subcommittee would consult his convenience as to fixing another date for the hearing on McCarthy's resolution pertaining to Senator Benton (Exhibit 29). Under date of June 23, 1952, Senator Gillette received a letter from Senator Benton pointing out that he had again and again made himself available to be present when Senator McCarthy presented his evidence in further support of Resolution 304, and that on one date set for hearing, when Senator McCarthy said he would be attending a State convention in Wisconsin, he was actually on the floor of the Senate (Exhibit 30). On June 23, 1952, Senator Gillette wrote Senator McCarthy advising that the Subcommittee was awaiting Senator McCarthy's statement in support of his resolution concerning Senator Benton, which was the same procedure followed by the Subcommittee in its consideration of S. Res. 187 (Exhibit 31). On June 24, 1952, Mary B. Driscoll, secretary to Senator McCarthy, wrote Senator Gillette saying that Senator McCarthy had advised her that he had offered periodically to present further information to the Subcommittee relative to the resolution against Benton, but each time the date had been cancelled or postponed because Senator Benton could not appear, but if the Subcommittee was sincere, he proposed the date of July 3 (Exhibit 32).

On June 25, 1952, a wire was addressed to Senator McCarthy by Senator Gillette confirming July 3 as the date of hearing Senator McCarthy on his resolution against Senator Benton (Exhibit 33).

On July 1, 1952, Senator McCarthy wrote Senator Gillette, advising that he understood the Subcommittee wanted additional material to implement that contained in his resolution against Senator Benton and he would appear in accordance with the request, but that he wanted it understood that he had never requested and was not now requesting the opportunity. He said he felt that he had given ample leads in his resolution and that he was far too busy with more important matters to waste much time with "Benton" (Exhibit 34).

A public hearing was held on July 3, 1952, at which Senator McCarthy presented further allegations against Senator Benton, principally concerning Benton's harboring and employing communists in the State Department. Senator Benton also appeared at this public hearing and, after Senator McCarthy had testified, gave testimony

« PreviousContinue »