NOVEMBER 30, 1953
NEW YORK, Sunday—Last Tuesday night Senator Joseph McCarthy demanded and received time on the air. I was unable to listen to him, but I have had very careful reports on the speech and from what I hear he did his usual spectacular job.
If it is good for this country to believe that most of its public officials have been disloyal in the past administration because they were Democrats and not Republicans, then the Senator is doing the country a favor. But he is perhaps forgetting that there may come a day, after the present hysteria is over, when the country will again be under Democratic control. What are our neighbors in other countries then to believe—that suddenly the United States is to be governed by people whose objectives are treason?
I have always felt that each of the great parties could legitimately attack each other on the methods which they proposed to use and on their general philosophy of internal government. One party might believe in states rights, one might not. One might believe that prosperity was possible only when special privilege was given to big business, the other might not. But that either party should accuse the other of deliberately trying to betray the country, by developing a great number of Communists and keeping them in office after they were found to be guilty of treason, is something I have never thought would occur. That, essentially, is what these Republican accusations against the Democrats is leading a large number of people in this country to believe.
We have now reached the point where an accusation by certain ex-Communists is considered by our Senate committees to be unquestionably true. I realize that if you are hunting for Communists, ex-Communists are good sources of information. But it seems to me that the accused should have every opportunity for clearance before this kind of testimony is considered valid.
I read with great interest the minority opinion in the recent U.S. Court of Appeals decision upholding, two to one, the perjury conviction of William W. Remington. Judge Learned Hand, who delivered the dissenting opinion, is a great justice and a man of integrity. The judges in the majority were also men of high standing and integrity; but the nature of the minority opinion was such that I feel there should be careful reconsideration of this case in our American courts of justice. The minority opinion said there were indications that the witnesses against Remington had conspired. If there is any question of such action, Remington deserves a very careful investigation to make sure that this minority opinion is incorrect.
We should not give the appearance of wanting to find people guilty. Our courts should be impartial, neither prejudiced in favor of or against the accused, nor in favor of or against the witnesses.