De Toledano,









M. Wesley




INT: Can I just ask when you think McCarthy began to lose the support of the Republicans and how that happened?

RT: OK. You don't want me to talk about the speech?

INT: I think we have enough, yeah.

RT: OK. It's a great story, but OK., he began to lose support...

INT: (Interrupts) Could you start that with...

RT: Yeah, sure, yeah, yeah. McCarthy's popularity had sort of crested, but he really began losing support when he got involved in this fight with the army, the Army-McCarthy Hearings which followed and so on. And there again, he would never have gotten into that fight, except for Roy Cohn, who pulled a number of really horrible tricks and, you know, those business of Dave Schein being called out of the army to work with the committee, well called out of the army so that he and Roy could run around town and Schein was running around with Piper Laurie at the time and, you know, it was all a phoney. And also Roy, who was a very combative man, well we used to say we didn't know whether, whether Bobby Kennedy was an Irish Roy Cohn or Roy Cohn was a Jewish Bobby Kennedy, but anyway, in the Army-McCarthy Hearings, they got into this situation where McCarthy went a little too far, over a very minor issue of infiltration at the Army Signal Corp laboratory. And it led to the Army-McCarthy Hearings and at the Army-McCarthy Hearings, Joe put on a very bad show and the counsel opposing him, Joseph Welch, was very, very clever and he cut McCarthy to pieces. He made Joe look very, very bad. And it was made to look as if Joe McCarthy was attacking the army and so on and once somebody starts going down that way, he goes down, he's hurt. Also, he had talked about twenty years of treason under the Democrats. Eisenhower was in office. The Republicans were in office and Joe began talking about twenty one years of treason and attacking the Republicans and attacking the Eisenhower administration. And that didn't sit well with a lot of Republicans. Also, he was involved in battles within the Senate with other Republicans who wanted to slow him down a little bit and all these things worked. He started to drink very heavily. He was in very bad health and all these things sort of piled up and after the Army-McCarthy Hearings, it all came to pieces. And then there was this move to censure him and he fought that very badly. Now, a number of us were advising him on how to handle that and he agreed to everything we said and then he did just the opposite. And all he did was to make his major supporters in the Senate turn on him. But after the Army-McCarthy Hearings, he was finished, there was no doubt about it.he lost control of the government operations and the Permanent Investigations Committee, sub-committee of the Government Operations Committee, from which he operated when the Democrats took back the S. Everything piled up, but mostly all these things gave his opposition, particularly his press opposition, an opportunity to really cut him up and what had been building up before, just finished him off. And he didn't know... If he'd just shut up for a few months, he might have recovered, but he didn't and, as I said, he was very sick and he was drinking veheavily and then he died at his lowest point. ...


RT: McCarthy died at his lowest point. Now, this, as I said, had been building up. The Eisenhower administration had been fighting him and disavowing him and the Republicans, some Republicans, the attack among Republicans began with Senator Margaret J. Smith and her declaration of conscience and so on. And this was picked up by other Republicans, but the most damaging attack came from within the Eisenhower administration. As I said, Eisenhower didn't like McCarthy and he was mad at him over the Marshall business. There were a good many other people in the administration who wanted no part of him. There were some who felt that he was undermining the Republican Party. But it was pressure from the administration and from the White House and pressure from a growing group of Republicans as I said, Margaret J. Smith of Maine and others, who had begun fighting him openly, so he didn't have the support of his own party, which he had had. In the early days, he had the overwhelming support of his party, even people like Senator Taft who was a different caste completely from McCarthy stood by him, even when he felt that McCarthy had been extreme and McCarthy was extreme in his rhetoric, but if you go over the facts, the people he named and so on, he made maybe a few minor mistakes, but what he said was true, but his rhetoric was extreme. And this is what built him up and this is what destroyed him in the end.

INT: Great, OK. Can you tell me how important do you think J. Edgar Hoover was in the anti-Communist crusade?

RT: Over the years, one of the repositories, you might say, of anti-Communist information and one of the strong forces was the FBI, which was J. Edgar Hoover. You know, there'd been a lot of talk about Hoover and this and that and the transvestite stuff and so on. Nonsense. Hoover had one wife, and that was his Federal Bureau of Investigation, that was his whole life. And the Bureau had begun - now I don't say the Bureau didn't make mistakes - but the Bureau had begun investigating and infiltrating the Communist Party way back and it had done so on orders from a man called Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The FBI had not been involved in this and the story of how this happened is a fascinating story, because Roosevelt had begun to worry and he called Hoover in and he said, I want you to infiltrate the Communist Party, I want you to devote your... and Hoover said I can't do it, it's not part of my authority, my mandate. And Roosevelt said, well I'm ordering you to do it. He said, you can't. There's only one person who can order me to do it and that's the Secretary of State. Roosevelt called in Cordell Hull and he said, tell Edgar he should do this and they wrote up an agreement which Roosevelt put in his personal safe. Now the job that the FBI did was fabulous, given all the difficulties it had. But, its role in digging up witnesses in the Hiss case was fantastic, but it had been doing this all along and it had been doing it against opposition from within the executive branch. But when it came to having a solid core of information, it came from the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover was dedicated in this field. The work of the FBI in going after access Communist espionage and so on was also very great, but this was one of the major threats, because Hoover felt that this was striking at the core of the whole American system. And given its ties with the Soviet Union, which was financing all this stuff, he was right. But, you know, Hoover was no extremist on the whole business of the enemies of the country. People forget that when the Japanese Americans were all thrown into what they [unintelligible] concentration camps after Pearl Harbour, the one person in the Federal government who opposed this and who said there was no threat, was J. Edgar Hoover. And he was overruled. You know, they said there were submarines, you know, Japanese submarines off the coast of California and so on and he said, nonsense, this wasn't true. And it was opposed by him and by one man and it was supported by the man who became Chief Justice of the United States, Earl Warren and it was done for very scrimey reasons. These people had a lot of money and businesses and they just yanked them out and other people took 'em over.