De Toledano,









M. Wesley




INT: Right. Nowwhat did Senator McCarthy specifically accuse you of?

JS: Well, it's very difficult to pin it down. He accused me primarily of aiding and abetting the enemy, but he doesn't come out and say, you're a Communist, but in these charged times - don't forget there's this war psychosis - he was not just calling you a liar or a cheat or fraud as that - he was accusing you of being, in effect, a Communist, even if he didn't call you a Communist, you were helping Communists, you were bringing out Communist success, you were misrepresenting the news, you were a traitor, you were subversive and so on. So we were accused primarily of selling out China, in other words trying to bring about the downfall of Chiang Kai-shek to bring about the rise of the Communists.

INT: And did that amount to treachery in his terms? Did he actually accuse you of treachery?

JS: Oh yes, of course.

INT: Could you say, yes, he accused...?

JS: Well, the effect of it all was subversion, disloyalty.

INT: Could you say that to me again, that the effect of McCarthy's accusations were of subversion and... whatever...

JS: Yes, the effect of what McCarthy's charges...

INT: (interrupts) Right, OK.

JS: The effect of McCarthy's charges was to call you a traitor, a subversive, of bringing about Communist victory and so on.

INT: And when you were at the McCarthy hearings, I mentioned that we've got film of you when you were there, how did you feel at those hearings? I mean, how had you decided to sort of approach the hearings and how did you feel at the time?

JS: You're speaking of the hearings before the Tiding Sub-Committee, the Senate hearings, 'cos I had many other hearings too. My lawyers advised me to try to be calm. A more prominent case was that of Owen Latimore and Owen Latimore was a very feisty person, who went into the hearings fighting mad and he fiercely disputed and argued back and so on. And the feeling was that the effect on the senators was not necessarily very good. And so we tried to be a bit more calm and mild and I had been inror and violated some regulations in some places and so on and my handling of the press had not been quite according to the book, so we admitted someror. We thought that that was the best tactic to take and generally I tend to be not very excitable, so that perhaps it was more easy for me to follow that policy than it would have been for somebody like Owen Latimore.

INT: So what happened if you did fight back then?

JS: What happened? Well, we didn't fight back. You mean...

INT: Those people who did fight back...

JS: (interrupts) Oh well, in Latimore's case, they tried very hard to get him on perjury and finally, after years in the courts, the perjury charges were dropped, they couldn't make 'em stick. I think most people that argued vehemently were savaged by the Committee or by the Committee Council, shouted down. Of course, there were hearings on American activities' committees where they dragged the people out by the scruff of their neck and things like that and by their heels, you know. I mean, they were treated very badly in some of those hearings. But our hearings were considerably more civilised than that.

INT: Was there a sense in which you felt that you were part of machine then which was going its own way and there was nothing really that you could do about it? That actually, whatever you said...

JS: (interrupts) Oh...

INT: ...was going to make no difference, they'd made... they had a point to make and you...

JS: (interrupts) No, the Tydings Committee was quite friendly and they gave me a clean bill of health, etcetera, probably 'cos remember I had to say, sort of issue a tut-tut, but the Tydings Committee was on my side. I never had a feeling of any great conspiracy, it was Senator McCarthy and it was the Cold War atmosphere, but I didn't have this feeling of somebody out to get me particularly. And McCarthy himself was quite impersonal. I mean, he had no real grudge. I met him coming out of the Committee Room one of the hearings and 'Hello Jack' and so on. I mean, I had no feeling that he had any personal grudge or any sincerity in what he was saying about me. He was only talking in ways that would get him publicity and benefit.

INT: Right. Now can can I ask you a broader question in general, not particularly about China, but why do you think... why did the purge happen in America at that time? I mean, do you think it was a political issue which was between the Republicans and the Democrats fighting each other or what? Why did the purge happen then?

JS: You're talking about the State Department?

INT: I'm talking about the State Department...

JS: (interrupts) Yeah.

INT: ...and I'm also in general.

JS: Well, after the Cold War started and sort of became a fact that everybody had to acknowledge, both parties started to compete with each other to prove they were more anti-Communist than the other party. The argument, debate was not really over policy as such, 'cos they always agreed on policy, the only debate was trying to pass the buck on to the other party for having gotten us into this boat. And the Democrats had been on the watch... they'd been in charge, so naturally the Republicans used everything they could to pin the loss of China on the Democrats and it became a very difficult for the Democrats to handle. The Democrats reacted by setting up their loyalty programme and trying to prove that they were as anti-Communist as anybody else or more so. I mean labour unions, liberal organisations, socialist party were all engaged in this contest to be more anti-Communist than

everybody else.

INT: Can we stop a second. Could I just repeat that again. Could I ask the question again, because there was a bit of noise. Could you just say again that the parties were competing with each other...

JS: (interrupts) Oh...

INT: be anti-Communist.

JS: Yes. The political argument was over who was the most anti-Communist and both parties were competing to outdo the other in proving their being anti-Communist and the only real debate was over who got us into this situation, who got us into this boats. The Democrats had been in charge, therefore they were to blame, according to the Republicans. And of course, the Republicans had lost the election 1948, which they felt was rightly theirs. Truman had sort of pulled a trick on 'em and so they were all the more frantic over finding any issues that they could belabour the Democrats with and prove subversion in the Democratic Party. Even Atcheson, for instance, who nobody was a more stout cold water than Atcheson, but he could be attacked by Nixon and by McCarthy and those people as being the Communist-cuddling Atcheson, because he had people like me in the Department.

INT: So you were very much scapegoats of the atmosphere of the time, as well as for the particular loss of China?

JS: Oh, that's right. Yes.