INT: So could you describe Senator McCarthy for me?
HB: My impression of Senator McCarthy, although it's not a first hand one, because I didn't know him that well, is that he was a friendly politician, that he met people easily, had a broad smile and he wasn't very serious, didn't have a programme so to speak or a mission in life. He just enjoyed the trappings of office, without having a very serious purpose of being a Senator. He was like many people in that he was a pleasant character until he got too much power, but he was given this power by the Senate and it went to his head and he became, I won't say a different person, but a very objectionable person, in that he had the authority of course over the people who he brought before him and he dealt with... tried to frighten them and dominate them and bully them. So that became...
INT: So just to finish off this thumbnail sketch of McCarthy finally, can you just tell me about his treatment of people.
HB: Well, I think that when he obtained the power of the chairmanship of this investigating committee, that it changed his character and he became domineering and he loved to badger people and more or less insult them and make them feel embarrassed and he gloated at being able to do that. And he turned into a most objectionable character that way and so that at the end of his life, I think he was more or less detested by everybody that had anything to do with him.
INT: Fine. Now another question is, how important can you tell me... Could you tell me how important J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI were in the campaign against Communist subversion in America?
HB: The FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover was a very important factor in the anti-Communist domestic scene. They had come to public attention when they caught the German spies, not German, yes I guess it was German spies on Long Island and they were probably the most popular government agency at the time. School children came by the thousands from all over the country to Washington and the first thing they wanted to see was the FBI and Hoover was a hero to all the young people in the country. It's hard to remember that. And so when he spoke out against Communist spies people listened to him and he was an articulate fellow and he was also a very good physical operator and so that he knew how to get money from Congress and he was a great favourite up there [unintelligible]. The rest of the Justice Department, for example, while I was Attorney General, would be having a hard time getting appropriations from Congress, he would go up there and charm them so with his stories about Russian spies, that they would increase the amount of the money that he received for the FBI and ask if he didn't want more. So it gives you an insight into his character. And he had a very efficient group in the FBI at that time, they were all college graduates, either lawyers or accountants and it was run without scandal for years and years. It was almost a military organisation. And he always maintained a very close relationship with the President, whoever the President might be, so he knew the ABC's of politics and so what I'm describing is a fellow who in his way dominated the Washington scene for many years. And he, I think he was not blind to the fact that this subject of Communist subversion in the United States was one that intrigued the American public, but even so, in spite of all that, he and his agents did a good job in infiltrating the meetings of the American Communist Party and finding out what was going on and giving that information to the government officials that needed to know and so he at that time was not only at the peak of his career, but he was the leader, I would say, perhaps more than any other single individual, of the drive to catch any agents of the USSR that were operating in the United States.
INT: Fine, thank you. Now, because we got interrupted many times last time, I want you to just give me a very brief summary of Milwaukee, in the sense that Eisenhower went to Milwaukee as part of his campaign and dropped out a defence of General Marshall and, for the most important part, just very briefly, tell me how Eisenhower felt about that.
HB: I was not in the campaign when the incident occurred of Eisenhower going to Milwaukee and making a campaign speech in Senator McCarthy's home state, which was notable in the public press, because he dropped out of his manuscript a laudatory reference to General Marshall. McCarthy had just been attacking the General Marshall, I think he said he's a traitor or some words to that effect. So, to the public, that raised the question as to whether Eisenhower wasn't supporting McCarthy as against Marshall. While I was not in the campaign, I did hear a lot about it later and Eisenhower thought it was the biggest mistake he ever made in politics was doing that and while there were plenty of explanations as to how it happened to be done, none of them blinked the fact that he did in fact allow to be dropped out of the speech and so he had to take the responsibility and he did take the responsibility for having done it. Much as he regretted it later.
INT: Fine, thank you very much. Now three questions, which are very broad, about the Cold War in general. What do you think for you was the worst moment or event in the Cold War?
HB: I find it very hard to select any incident that occurred I'd say would be the worst incident in the Cold War. Cold War is, of course, an amorphous concept and I suppose that it covers the relationship of the USSR to the United States during a whole period of time. I'm at a loss to give an answer to that.
INT: Nothing strikes you immediately?
INT: OK. Did you think the Cold War was necessary?
HB: I think it was, I think that...
HB: Well, very often the question is asked as whether the Cold War was necessary or whether it was trumped up by somebody for political purposes. I believe it was necessary because I think that the even the recent events, when a lot of files and records of the USSR have been opened to public view since the fall of the USSR, it's become quite evident that there was a calculated move on the part of the USSR to subvert all democratic countries throughout the world, including the United States. As I say, they did subsidise the American Communist Party by monthly cash payments and that it was something that we couldn't tolerate. So that I think it hto be dealt with.
INT: Fine. Last question. What do you think was the effect for good or bad of the Cold War?
HB: The Cold War did quite a bit to shape our, our views as to the importance of our form of government, the importance of freedom and of education, to the well-being of our people. I think that are inclined to drift along taking it for granted all the good things that we have going for us in this country and that the Cold War sort of dramatised for us the contrast between our system and the Communist system. And that, of course, has been reinforced by the fall of Communism throughout the world. But the Cold War was really the defining moment, you might say, when we organised ourselves to combat the spread of Communism.
INT: Very good, thank you. So Eisenhower was quite clearly aware of a dangerous spies coming into America from abroad. Did he think the fears of internal subversion in America were exaggerated?
HB: I think Eisenhower was, well he was aware of the activities of the USSR in trying to overthrow democratic regimes throughout the world. And realised that they were trying to do that in the United States also. He felt that our system was strong enough to withstand it so that it never was a major problem in the United States. He felt that it gave him an opportunity, which he stressed at every point to educate our people to the advantages of our form of government, so that he took it from the constructive side and he was a good teacher along that line and I think people respected his views, because he started out, you know, by being very friendly with the Russians, Marshall Zukov was one of his real comrades during the World War and he, Eisenhower, expected that friendship to continue after the War and then he found out that the Russians would not continue it and that they really unfriendly. He was also influenced by Churchill, to realise that they were aggressive, and that they wanted to dominate the world and they would use subversion to accomplish their goal. So, but in spite of all of that, I don't think he ever trembled in fear of the fact that the Russians would ever conquer this country or be able to succeed in their efforts. But he thought they could, if we didn't build our own institutions and strengthen them and make democracy work.
INT: So it wasn't just a sense that it was the Communist Party he was worried about in America, there was a sense that it was spread its tentacles, would you be able to say that quite succinctly for me?
HB: Yeah. Eisenhower, because of his background not only in the War, but in NATO, which was a very eye-opening experience for him, I think for everybody to a certain extent, had a better view of the significance of the activities of the USSR than almost anybody in this country and he realised that they were trying to spread their tentacles, if you want to put it that way, to all the soft spots of the world, including Africa, the Middle East and so forth and that it was a world-wide danger and even though they tried in the United States, this was not a fertile ground for them and while we had to keep on the alert and see to it that they didn't succeed in capturing the minds of some of our liberal thinkers, so to speak, he always felt that we were able to do that, if we showed the advantages of our way of life as contrasted with theirs.
INT: Thank you very much indeed, that worked very well.
(End of tape)