A/MS files, lot 54 D 291, “Loyalty Security Appeals Board”

Memorandum by the Chairman of the Department of State Loyalty Security Board (Snow) to the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Administration (Humelsine)


On June 13, 1950, just prior to my departure for Germany, the Chairman of the Loyalty Review Board1 addressed a letter to me requesting that certain case files which had been returned to the State Department by the Loyalty Review Board in connection with the review of those cases by the Tydings Subcommittee be considered by the State Department Loyalty Board and such action taken in each case as the Board might determine to be desirable and necessary. Subsequent to my departure the files in question were forwarded by the Administrative Office to the Loyalty Security Board with the request that the entire file be resubmitted to the Board “for the consideration of supplementary reports submitted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation”.

It has not been possible to resubmit these cases to the identical panel of the Board by which they were originally decided, owing to the fact that former members of the Board have left the Department or are on foreign service. Consequently, the question has [Page 1401] arisen as to the terms of reference under which anew panel should take up consideration of these cases. The new panel was concerned as to whether the cases were resubmitted to the Board for a consideration de novo and requested instructions. They were instructed that they were to consider the cases de novo.

It is my belief that these instructions misconstrued the intent of the Department, as well as of the Loyalty Review Board. Most of these cases involve present employees of the State Department who have had a favorable determination as to both loyalty and security risk by the Department’s Loyalty Security Board. This favorable determination has been approved by the Deputy Under Secretary for Administration, acting for the Secretary, the determination has been post-audited by the Loyalty Review Board, and in cases involving interrogatory or hearing the employee has been advised of the favorable outcome. In addition, the file has been reviewed favorably by the Tydings Subcommittee. The only occasion for a resubmission of the file to anew panel of the Loyalty Security Board lies in the fact that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has submitted supplemental reports after the favorable determination of the case. The letter from the Loyalty Review Board mentioned above directed that action be taken in accordance with procedures set forth in Loyalty Review Board Memo No. 52 of February 13, 1950. This memorandum states: “It is not the intention of the Loyalty Review Board that any such case is to be re-tried solely on the original record which has heretofore been considered under the loyalty program. However, the original record should be carefully examined in order to properly evaluate the relevance and materiality of the additional facts and reports submitted. In making its decision the particular Board should feel free to reach its own considered opinion in the matter after a careful examination of the augmented record. If further action is deemed necessary in view of information in the supplemental report, the case shall be adjudicated de novo.” It is my understanding that these are the terms of reference of the resubmission of any case by the Administrative Office to the Loyalty Security Board.

The construction referred to in the second paragraph above might conceivably result in anew panel coming to a different conclusion than the original panel in a given case on the same evidence. This would impose on the Administrative Office the necessity of choosing between contrary decisions of two different panels, one of which has had the stamp of prior approval, not only of the Administrative Office itself, but of the Loyalty Review Board and of the Tydings Subcommittee as well.

It is my intent to instruct the panel to take such action in each case as may be indicated by the new evidence, if any, contained in [Page 1402] the supplementary reports of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, when considered in the light of the complete file. May I have your approval of such instructions?2

  1. For information on the nature and functions of the Loyalty Review Board, see the memorandum from Humelsine to the Secretary of State, dated Feb. 8, 1951, infra.
  2. A typewritten notation at the bottom of the source text reads: “The above memorandum was returned to General Snow with the following written in pen: Gen. Snow: I agree with the above and you have my approval. Carl Humelsine.”