A/MS files, lot 54 D 291, “Chronological, 1953”

Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for Administration (Humelsine) to the Under Secretary of State for Administration (Lourie)1

  • Subject:
  • Senator McCarthy’s 81 Cases

As you may know, one of the most controversial items in the security-loyalty field has been Senator McCarthy’s charges regarding a list of 81 individuals.

The following is a run-down of the 81 cases and the facts in regard to them to the best of my understanding:

In March 1950, Senator McCarthy gave to the Senate investigating committee appointed to investigate his charges the names of 81 persons whom he (Senator McCarthy) said were then employed in the State Department. Senator McCarthy stated that an examination of the loyalty files of the 81 persons he named would prove that his charges against them were well founded.
Examination of the “81 names” Senator McCarthy furnished disclosed that there were only 80 names and, as to those 80 names, established the following information:
That only 42 of the “81” names Senator McCarthy submitted were employed by the State Department on February 9, 1950, when Senator McCarthy made his Wheeling, West Virginia radio speech.
That 5 of the persons named on Senator McCarthy’s list of “81” never were employed by the State Department.
That 33 of the persons named in Senator McCarthy’s list of “81” had left the State Department before Senator McCarthy made his Wheeling speech due to resignation or because of the reduction or elimination of employees.
That, during 1947 and 1948, all of the Department’s loyalty and security files were examined by or made available to four separate committees of the 80th Congress, and this applies to all of Senator McCarthy’s “names” who were in fact present, past, or prospective employees, with one exception. The exception was the case of one prospective employee (subsequently cleared by the Department and post-audited by the Loyalty Review Board of the Civil Service Commission) whose investigation was not commenced until the latter part of May 1948.
The first of these investigations was made by a subcommittee of one, appointed by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. It consisted of Representative Jonkman, Republican, of Michigan. At the conclusion of his examination of the files made available to him, Representative Jonkman stated in a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives the following:

“But before the 80th Congress adjourns, I want the members to know that there is one department in which the known or reasonably suspected subversives, Communists, fellow travelers, sympathizers, and persons whose services are not for the best interests of the United States, have been swept out. That is the Department of State.” [See page 9643, Congressional Record of August 2, 1948.]2

Two other committees of the House of Representatives examined the Department’s loyalty and security files in 1947–48. These were the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments.
These files were also made available to the Senate Appropriations Committee in the years 1947–48.
In addition to Congressman Jonkman’s remarks mentioned above, the three other committees, after examination of the loyalty program and having access to the files, failed to name any of the persons whose loyalty files were examined as “Communists”, “card-carrying Communists” or “disloyal”. In the case of these three [Page 1436] latter Congressional committees, their proceedings were printed as official public documents.
Attached are the names and pertinent data in regard to each of the 80 persons named in the “81” list.


For the protection of the Department in the future, in fairness to the individuals presently on the Department’s rolls, and for the new Administration’s assurance and protection, I strongly recommend that you have an independent review made of the 30 employees still in the employment of the Department, and also familiarize yourself with the complete history of the “81” cases. This should be no second-hand review, in my judgment, but a fresh new look.

I make this recommendation because I believe you will find after a period of time has gone by that the “McCarthy cases” will be the problem of the new Administration, not merely a legacy from the past one. I will hazard a guess that you will be asked at some future date what you have done about the matter.

Carlisle H. Humelsine
  1. Meade, Boykin, and Ford concurred in this memorandum.

    The change of Administration in January 1953 brought about certain changes in administrative function and nomenclature within the Department of State. The post of Deputy Under Secretary of State for Administration was abolished. The Bureau of Administration was provided an Assistant Secretary of State in conformity with other bureaus in the Department. At the same time, a Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs (SCA) was created under an Administrator, the first of whom was Scott McCleod. To exercise overall supervision of both the Bureaus of Administration (A) and SCA, the Eisenhower Administration established the Office of the Under Secretary of State for Administration (O); the first individual to fill this post was Donold B. Lourie. Lourie and his successors were charged with overall administration of the Department of State, the Foreign Service, and the personnel practices of both.

  2. Brackets in the source text.