A/MS files, lot 54 D 291, “McCarthy Report Materials, 1950–52”

Senator Joseph R. McCarthy to the Secretary of State

Thursday.1 Produced in the Senate and turned over to the F.B.I., photostats of checks totaling $3,500 representing Communist funds which were received by the organization which was largely controlled by Mr. Jessup—the same Mr. Jessup who is now your Ambassador-at-Large. The photostats show that the checks were cashed, which leaves no room for doubt as to whether those Communist funds were actually accepted.

As you know, the first check of $1,000 was given shortly before Mr. Jessup’s publication pioneered the program of smearing the Nationalist Government in China and lavishly praising the Chinese Communists.

The second batch of Communist money, in the amount of $2,500, was received at a time when Mr. Jessup’s publication was one of a three-horse team which rather effectively convinced the State Department and many Americans that everything about the Nationalist Government was corrupt and that the Communists actually were comparable to “conservative midwest farmers” and really represented “democracy” in China.

As you know, the other two members of this three-horse team were the Communist Daily Worker in this country and the Soviet publication Izvestia in Russia.

To date there has been no attempted explanation of the very shocking and disturbing fact that Mr. Jessup’s publication was being financed with Communist funds while selling the Communist Party line. In fact, not even the usual angry denial was made.

As you know, the photostatic proof of $3,500 being turned over to your Ambassador’s organization was gotten under extremely difficult [Page 1390] circumstances. This would seem to raise a serious question as to how much more Communist funds were used by this organization.

I think that as Secretary of State it is incumbent upon you to make Mr. Jessup immediately try to explain to the American people (1) why he accepted Communist funds; and (2) whether he thinks that he was being paid for the use of his publication to sell the Communist Party line or whether he was so naive as to believe that Communists are so charitable that they merely wanted to make him a gift?

In making your answer I would suggest that you not think the American people are so gullible as to believe that Mr. Jessup did not know the identity and background of Frederick Vanderbilt Field, who signed the checks. Mr. Jessup obviously knew that Mr. Field has proclaimed and bragged about the fact that he is a Communist, and he also knew that he is using the funds which he inherited from his mother to further the cause of Communism.

Mr. Jessup also knows that this is the same Mr. Field who led the organization which picketed the White House until June 22, 1941, using the foulest adjectives in the Communist language to villify President Roosevelt as a war monger because he was helping the Allies. Mr. Jessup knows that the above Field-led picket line continued until the morning of June 22, 1941, when Hitler attacked Russia, at which time the line melted away in confusion. Mr. Jessup must certainly know also that this same group then formed a new organization again headed by Field which heaped equal villification upon our armed forces for failing to establish a second front in Europe.

Both you and Mr. Jessup realise, of course, that Mr. Field is no shrinking violet when it comes to admitting he is a Communist. For example, in his writings he refers to “we American Communists”

Lest in typical State Department fashion you attempt to tell the American people that Jessup was no [not?] in control of the magazine at the time the Communist money was received, I call your attention to the fact that when loyal Chinese vigorously and bitterly objected to what this publication was doing, they were referred to Jessup by the Institute of Pacific Relations as the man responsible.2

Joe McCarthy
  1. Presumably this was Mar. 30, 1950. According to the Senate subcommittee report it was on this day that Senator McCarthy first made his charges against Ambassador at Large Philip Jessup; see State Department Employee Loyalty Investigations, p. 38.
  2. Ambassador Jessup answered these charges in a statement released to the press on Apr. 3, 1950. It is printed in the Department of State Bulletin, Apr. 17, 1950, p. 623, and reads in part: “Actually during the years in which these donations were made, 1942 and 1943, I had ceased to be chairman of the American Council of the Institute of Pacific Relations. I was still a member of the Board of Trustees which had about 50 members…. These contributions, according to Senator McCarthy’s own figures total only $3,500 as compared with total expenses for the two year period of approximately $200,000.”