The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on April 5, 1954 · Page 5
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 5

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Monday, April 5, 1954
Page 5
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(ARK.) COURIER NEWS PAGE FIVE T/ieMcCarf/iyStory-7 'McCarthyism' Had Its Start at Wheeling, W. V v in 1950 Wisconsin Senator Claims Newsman Misquoted Him EDITOR'S NOTE: If you »re old enough to read this, you »r« •tther for or against Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy and what he standi for. Just about every American is. Yet tae rour-yiar-old McCarthy •iory has unfolded in such a rushing and often confusing way that few newspaper readers have been able to keep it really straight. This is first of 10 broad-picture articles on the who, what, when and where of McCarthy and McCarthy ism. By BEM PRICE WHEELING, W. Va. (AP) — McCarthyism was born here sometime between 8 and 9 p.m., Feb. 9, 1950. It was christened in 110 words. In that hour Joseph R. McCar-, thy, junior Republican senator from Wisconsin, delivered a Lincoln Day speech before the Ohio Women's Republican Club of Wheeling. At the end there was a burst of applause, and McCarthy shook bands all around. It was too late for the morning .paper wires when Charles R. Lew"is, night editor in the Associated Press Bureau at Charleston, W. Va., received-a telephone call from Norman L. Yost, managing editor of the Wheeling Intelligencer. Yost, part-time AP correspondent at Wheeling, dictated a paragraph or two from McCarthy's speech. » As Lewis began writing the brief story, he came to a figure he questioned—205 Communists in the State Department? He called Yost back and asked him to verify it. * * » Yost told him to hold on and he would have Ms reporter recheck with McCarthy. In a moment he came back on the wire and said the figure was accurate. Shortly after 2 a.m. the 110-word story clattered over the teletypes. It began: "Sen. McCarthy charged in an address here tonight that 205 Communist party members are 'working and shaping the .policy in the State Department'." The story continued, quoting McCarthy: "I have here in my hand a list of 205 that were knewn to- the secretary of state (then Dean Acheson) as being members of the Communist party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping the policy in the State Department." As soon as the State Department was advised of the story it said it knew of no Communists within its ranks, that it would fire any it could identify, and invited McCarthy to produce his list. McCarthy, meanwhile, was flying to Salt Lake City.. There, in a recorded radio interview Feb. 10 he commented on his Wheeling speech: "Last night I discussed the Communists in the State Department. I stated I had the names of 57 card - carrying members of the State Department." * * * Fifty-seven or 205? A stirred nation fastened its eyes on the fast- moving senator and awaited his return to Washington. Until Feb. 10, 1950, McCarthy had been known on Capitol Hill as a man who fought in 1947 to end rationing on sugar for industrial purposes, as a vigorous opponent of the" Truman administration's public housing and as the man who denounced American investigators in the war crimes trial of the German storm troopers ac- cued of shooting down 150 American prisoners and 1M) Belgians at Malmedy crossroads in 1944. Now McCarthy was in the banner headlines. Soon he was to deny on the Senate floor, and later in a book and before a Senate committee, that he used the figure 205 at Wheeling. Two radio men, James K. Whitaker and Paul A. Myers, both of station WWVA at Wheeling, were to swear that he did. Whitaker and Myers signed affidavits that on Feb. 10, after reading a newspaper account of McCarthy's speech, they compared a recording used in a delayed broadcast with the script of the speech McCarthy had delivered to the 1 station. They attested that McCarthy used the 205 figure and neither could recall any mention of the figure 57, They said McCarthy read the script, but McCarthy later said in a Senate speech that he did not. Soon after, the tape was erased for re-use. • * • Frank Desmond, reporter for the Intelligencer, at first said he covered the McCarthy, speech and would stick by what he had written—205. Later, in a deposition taken in a law suit brought by McCarthy against Sen. William Benton, Desmond testified that since he had an advance copy of the speech he hadn't followed the words closely and couldn't be sure what McCarthy actually said. McCarthy has written in his book, "McCarthyism, the fight for America", that before he began his attack on what he called the "Communist conspiracy," he went off into the Arizona hills to do some soul searching and thinking. He wrote that he concluded it did no good to attack communism in general; that the attacks had to be specific. He related that he thought of his buddies in the Marines and thought their efforts in World War n were being scuttled. After communing with himself, he wrote, he decided that it did little good to argue about changing what he called "our suicidal foreign policy so long as the men in charge of shaping that policy were in the camp of the enemy." It was after this deliberation, he said, that he decided to launch his public fight at Wheeling. Former Republican Congressman Francis J. Love and Tom Sweeney, now a candidate for the Republican nomination to the Senate, were at the Wheeling airport to greet McCarthy. So was reporter Desmond. In an interview this March 19 Love recalled the event. "McCarthy talked on the way to town about whether to make a typical Lincoln Day speech or to talk- on Communists in government," Love said. "We advised him to talk on Communists in government," Love said. * » • Then Love, a member of Congress in 1947-'48, added: "He Sen. Joe McCarthy WE BUY USED FURNITURE PHONE 3122 Wade Furn. Co. tune in! BASEBALL PLAY BY PLAY KLCN-FM with HARRY CARAY BROUGHT TO YOU BY ANHEUSER-BUSCH, INC ST. lOWS • MWA*K . LOS ANOtUS Budweisee I A•! R III! ROBERTSON DISTRIBUTING CO. didn't know what speech he was going to make when he arrived and when he left he didn't realize the impact of his speech—at least that is my impression." But the speech, whatever the figures, had been made. People cocked an ear in McCarthy's direction. The nation had grounds for concern about the issue. Sinc^ the end of World War n, the threat of communism from without and within seemingly had grown almost daily. Relations with Russia, a war ally, had deteriorated steadily. To save Berlin from A Communist blockade the United States had resorted to a tremendously expensive air lift. The United States had poured out billions of dollars in foreign aid to prevent the economic chaos on which communism thrives. It had sent one of its best generals to Greece to prevent Communist seizure of that country. The Communist had succeeded in taking over China, One result was bitter attacks on U.S. foreign policy in the Far East. At home, three Americans who said they had joined, then abandoned, the Communist party— Whittaker Chambers, Louis Budenz and Elizabeth Bentley—testified in public that they knew of subversion and espionage in high places. • * , • Miss Bentley had testified a spy ring lea right into the White House to Lauchlin Currie who had been administrative assistant to President Roosevelt. Currie denied all under oath. Eleven Communists had been put on trial in New York. The nation For Health And Convenience Kohlcr quality in your bathroom assures the comforts and protection that good sanitation can give. You pay no more when you specify "Kohler". The distinctive Cosmopolitan Bench Bath and Gramercy lavatory illustrated have a pleasing harmony of design and lustrous, easy-to-clean surfaces. Fittings are of chromium-plated brass— durable, and built especially for the fixtures they serve. Call on us today for helpful advice on matched sets or individual pieces for bathroom, washroom, kitchen and laundry. We'll show you the practical advantages that go with Kohler quality — a confirmed tradition. Call Your Plumbing Contractor or Dealer in Blytheville Distributed in this Area By Midsouth Plumbing Supply Co. (WHOLESALE EXCLUSIVELY) Rear 213-215 Walnut Phone 8353 had been shocked by the cases of Klaus Fuchs. Judith Coplon, William Remington. Gerhart Eisler. McCarthy had had nothing to do with any of these domestic cases, nor with the case of Alger Hiss, which climaxed the stories of highly placed Communist links before McCarthy moved, into the Bed- hunting scene. Hiss had held Important positions in the State Department, and just 19 days before McCarthy made his Wheeling speech Hiss had been convicted on two counts of perjury. He had been sentenced to live years' imprisonment but, maintaining: that he was innocent, had appealed. A few hours later Secretary of State Acheson said of Hiss, a longtime friend: "I do not intend to turn my back on Alger Hiss." He told a news conference he was not commenting- on the legal aspects of the case. He referred questioners to a biblical passage urging compassion. Nonetheless Acheson's statement created an immediate sensation. The Hiss story began Aug. 3, 1948, when Chambers, then a $30,000-a-year magazine editor, appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Chambers testified—and Hiss denied—that the . brilliant young lawyer had been a member of the Communist party and in 1937 and 1938 had given him secret documents for relay to Russia. Two Supreme Court Justices. Felix Frankfurter and Stanley Reed, testified for Hiss as character witnesses some time later. • • • Hiss, a Harvard law graduate, went to work in Washington in 1933 and in the State Department m 1936. He rose steadily and served as executive secretary of th Dumbarton Oaks Conference, whk-h laid Uie foundation for the "United Nations. He was secretary- genera! of the 1945 San FraiU-'isio conference nt which the United Nations Charter was drafted, a member of the small group of advisers and aides who accompanied President Roosevelt to the Yalta Conference. Hiss was convicted of lying when he said he had never given documents to Chambers and of lying when he said he had had no contacts with Chambers after Jan. 1, 1937. It \vas during the Hiss trials that Chambers produced his famous "Pumpkin Papers". These were microfilms he had concealed in pumpkins on his Maryland farm. They involved State Department documents, some of which were identified as being in Hiss* hand- writ mp. But if the Hiss trial and conviction shocked the nation, the arrest of Klaus Fuchs in England Feb. 3. 1950—six days before McCarthy spoke—rocked it, Fuchs, an atomic scientist, was charged (and later convicted) of passing atomic se cret-s to the Russians, He hud worked in American atomic plants and hnd access to top secrets. At the time McCarthy spoke, in Wheeling, William Remington, a Department of Commerce economist, also named by Miss Bentley, had been tried and convicted of perjury in denying Communist affiliations. A second trial for Remington, won on appeal, wns pending. He later was convicted again. « • • Judith Coplon. a young woman employe of the Justice Department, had been arrested in March, 1949. on charges of passing docu- ments to a Russian friend. She us convicted, but a new trial was nuited and she was freed on the grounds that some of the govern- unit's wire-tap evidence was inadmissible. Eisler, identified fey Budenz as one of the top international Communist officials in the United States, had refused to be sworn before the House Un-American Activities Committee. He was cited for contempt of Congress, but before he could be tried he smuggled himself out of the country. He showed up in East Germany ns a top Communist official. In the background along with all this, too, were the activities of the loyalty review boards set up by President Truman to weed out Communists and fellow travelers. Look under the Hood the difference quality makes 1 Carrier Stop in and let us show you under the hood of the air conditioner that's built by the people who know air conditioning best. CITY ELECTRIC CO. Serving Northeast Arkansas & Southeast Missouri 109 South Fifth St. Phone 8181 It was into these winds of public opinion, stirred by events In which he hixd played no part, that Mc- Carthy cast his figures. Were there 205 Communists in the State Department, or 57 or even one? Could McCarthy produce evidence to convict any? From these seeds of doubt came the politico 1 force now known aa "McCarthyism". What is the definition of this new "Ism"? It has a different meaning to almost everyone. But McCarthy himself has said "McCarthyism means Americanism that Is ready to stand up and fight communism." He has called It, too. "The Fight for America." Former President Truman defined McCnrthyLsm as the "corruption of truth, the abandonment of our historical devotion to fair play . . . the abandonment of the due process of law." Adlai Steven.son. former Gover- nro of Illinois and Democratic presidential candidate in 1952, described McCarthyism in 1951 as "a hysterical form of putrid slander." •mau MAMUMTfftS COUWMG COtfttST 'Backward' Car Damages House GRACEMONT. Okla. (/Pi—A 52- year-old student driver mistook his reverse gear for his low gear yesterday, backed up 190 feet, and landed in the bedroom of a nearby home. Investigating officers said the car of Earl Lee Carter of Ponca City zoomed backwards perfectly between two telephone poles, climbed up the porch of a residence, smashed through a door and window, and was stopped by two beds. Damage to the house was estimated at $500, to the car $25. , No one was injured. First newspaper advertising: in the American colonie.5 appeared in the Boston Newsletter in 1704. ATTENTION GARDENERS We Have Fresh Plants—Bulk and Package Garden Seed. Dealer For Funk's G-Hybrid Seed Corn BYRUM'S IMPLEMENT, HARDWARE 111 E. Main AND SEED CO. US E. Main Plenty of Free Parking in Rear of Store NOTICE My Office Has Moved to 527 N. 6th Street Complete Photo Supplies • FILM • MOVIE FILM • FLASH BULBS • COLOR FILM • POLAROID FILM BARNEY'S DRUG STORE This Pony Will Be Shown In Blytheville Thursday & Firday INLAID LINOLEUM New Lower Prices Armstrong Standard inlaid .... $2.75 Cementing and * laying .... ? .75 Total (Sq. Yd.) .... $3.50 Hubbard & Son Furn. 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