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

The Deputy Under Secretary of State for Administration (Humelsine) to Senator Joseph R. McCarthy 1

My Dear Senator McCarthy: I refer to your most recent letter to the Secretary2 in regard to certain aspects of the President’s Loyalty Program, the loyalty program of the Department of State, and my letter to you of July 25.

In spite of the obvious bias with which your questions are phrased, the following information will give you facts upon which to correct your misinformation and a proper understanding of the matters to which you refer.

1. It is clear that you have chosen to predicate your latest letter on the statement contained in my July 25 letter to you that “In the more than four years of operation under this procedure (procedures of the President’s Loyalty Program), the Loyalty Review Board has never reversed the Department’s adjudication of a case”. I call your attention to Regulation 14 of the Loyalty Review Board Regulations and Directives (adopted December 17, 1947 and revised March 1, 1950) which provides as follows: [Page 1411]

“The Board, or an Executive Committee of the Board, shall, as deemed necessary from time to time, cause post-audits to be made of the files on loyalty cases decided by the employing Department or Agency, or by a Regional Loyalty Board.

“The Board, or an Executive Committee of the Board, or a duly constituted panel of the Board, shall have the right, in its discretion, to call up for review any determination or decision made by any Department or Agency Loyalty Board or Regional Loyalty Board, or by any head of an employing Department or Agency, even though no appeal has been taken. Any such review shall be made by a panel of the Board, and the panel, whether or not a hearing has been held in the case, may affirm the determination or decision, or remand the case with appropriate instructions to the Agency or Regional Loyalty Board concerned for hearing or for such further action or procedure as the panel may determine. In exceptional cases, if in the judgment of the panel public interest requires it, the panel may hold a new hearing in the case and after such hearing, affirm or reverse the determination or decision. (underscoring supplied)3.

Regulation 14, as you must be able to see, explicitly confirms my statement, and I say categorically that it is not true that the Loyalty Review Board has no power to reverse cases which the Department of State’s Loyalty Security Board has cleared. It is true—and the Department has never contended otherwise—that the Loyalty Review Board can and has remanded cases to the Department for rehearing. This is perfectly proper and is completely apart from the question of the Loyalty Review Board’s authority to reverse the State Department’s Board’s decisions.

2. As I pointed out to you in my letter of July 25, the Department of State is operating under a loyalty program laid down by Executive Order 9835, as amended by Executive Order 10241. These executive orders, which anyone interested in our national security safeguards should feel duty-bound to study, describes a loyalty system which even the most critical should endorse. This system assures (1) maximum protection for the Government and (2) due regard for the rights of the individual. Furthermore, the Department of State operating under the authority of the so-called McCarran Security Rider and Public Law 733 carries out a total security program. As I have told you before, in conducting its loyalty and security program, the Department has uncovered some employees who did not meet its high standards and these employees have been separated.

I again call your attention to the fact that the Department of State’s Loyalty Security Board is comprised of men of exceptionally high qualifications and unquestioned loyalty.

[Page 1412]

3. As I also pointed out to you in my letter of July 25, I am precluded from furnishing certain loyalty and security information which you seem determined to have me supply regardless of the President’s Directive of March 13, 1948 to the contrary. Let me state once more that the President’s Directive of March 13, 1948 precludes me from furnishing any reports, records, or files relative to the loyalty of employees. Disclosure of such information would be prejudicial both to these people as individuals and to the Government’s ability to conduct a sound, just and honorable loyalty security program.

While I have sought to provide this information as clearly and unequivocally as possible, I realize that any statement made by me or any other official of the Department can be intentionally misconstrued. Yet it is far better in my judgement to state the truth and risk its distortion than to permit the instigation or perpetuation of groundless suspicion and distrust.

We do not defend by lies, as you claim, nor do we so accuse. Either course stands in contradiction to the fundamental principles of American morals and ethics.

Carlisle H. Humelsine
  1. Released to the press and printed, along with complementary statements by Humelsine, in the Department of State Bulletin, Aug. 20, 1951, pp. 314–316.
  2. Not further identified.
  3. Printed as italics