Frank Knight: It’s time for the Longines Chronoscope, a television journal of the important issues of the hour. Brought to you every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. A presentation of the Longines-Wittnauer Watch Company, maker of Longines, the world’s most honored watch. And Wittnauer, distinguished companion to the world honored Longines.
Good evening. This is Frank Knight. May I introduce our coeditors for this edition of the Longines Chronoscope, Mr. William Bradford Huie, editor of the American Mercury, and Mr. Donald I. Rogers, an editor of the New York Herald Tribune. Our distinguished guest for this evening is the honorable Joseph R. McCarthy, United States Senator from Wisconsin. The opinions expressed are necessarily those of the speakers.
Donald I. RogersRogers: Senator McCarthy, you’re probably the most controversial figure on the American political scene. McCarthy and McCarthyism are well-known words. I’m sure our audience is very much interested in your political career, so suppose we start right out, Sir. Tell us about the campaign in Wisconsin. You’re running for reelection, I believe.
Joseph R. McCarthy: I can’t tell you too much about it, Mr. Rogers, except I heard that a new man announced today it will be a tough, close contest I think in the primary.
Rogers: In the primary.
Rogers: A Republican opponent.
McCarthy: I’ve got three or four Republican opponents, and I heard now— I hope that I’m correct in this. I heard that a new man, Len Schmitt, announced today.
Rogers: This is the man who ran for governor, is it not?
McCarthy: He ran for governor two years, ago and ran up a sizable vote.
William Bradford Huie: If Mr. Schmitt—
McCarthy: An effective campaigner, yes.
Huie: He is an effective campaigner, and you regard Mr. Schmitt, if he’s running, as your perhaps most dangerous opponent.
McCarthy: I wouldn’t want to insult the other young men who are running by saying they were not dangerous.
Huie: I see. And you say that the primary fight will be serious. What kind of primary do you have? It is an open primary? Do both Democrats and Republicans vote in the Republican primary?
McCarthy: Yes. We have an unusual situation in Wisconsin, Mr. Huie. The Democrats can all vote in the Republican primary if they care to, and the Republicans of course could vote in the Democratic primary if they cared to. That means that if the Democrats could induce enough of their Democrats to go over to the Republican primary and vote against me, it could make it very rough.
Rogers: Could be dangerous for McCarthyism, could it?
McCarthy: I should say that I think that I’ll get about as many Democratic votes out there as any other candidate. We get some awfully good Democrats in Wisconsin.
Huie: Is this going to be one of those that campaigns that considerable amounts of money will be spent from outside the state? Do you expect that money will be spent there, sent into Wisconsin to try to help defeat you?
McCarthy: There is a fortune being sent into Wisconsin already. In fact I think there’s been more campaign literature put up by my opposition up to this time than there normally has been doing during an entire campaign. On top of that— In addition to that, I should say, there’s a book coming out, it’s being written by one Drew Pearson’s men, a man from the New York Post. Originally they were going to call it “The Hairy Ape” or “The Missing Link.” I guess the new name they have for it is “The Senator and the Ism” or something like that. It’ll be all the usual smear by innuendo. It’s going to be an unpleasant campaign.
Rogers: Well, speaking of support from out of the state, you have banned supported or endorsed by such gentleman as Gerald L. K. Smith and Upton Close. Do you accept their support, or do you welcome?
McCarthy: I don’t think I have been endorsed or supported by Gerald Smith or Upton Close. Not that I know of.
McCarthy: Let me say this. I am not going to pass upon any man, no matter what his reputation is. I know certain men have reputations of being anti-Semitic. I am sure that no one can point to anything in my background to show that I am anti any particular group.
Rogers: I have here—
McCarthy: None of my votes, nothing else.
Rogers: I have here, Senator McCarthy, a publication called “Headlines and What’s Behind Them.” Another publication called “Conspiracy: the Philip Dru Case.” Are you familiar with these?
McCarthy: Not with the publication, Mr. Rogers.
Rogers: They mention your name in here, endorsing you. And they also mention that General Eisenhower is that part of a Semitic plot to overthrow the world. It’s part of the literature that circulating about. Do you know about these publications?
McCarthy: No, I don’t. May I say that whether Eisenhower or Taft is nominated, in either event I think we’ll have a good nominee. By saying Eisenhower or Taft, I don’t want to exclude the possibility of another great American, like General MacArthur or some other good candidates. But I’m not at all disturbed about the Americanism, the loyalty, of any of the frontrunning candidates we have.
Huie: Well, on the—
McCarthy: I think they’re good Americans. I think they’re good Republicans, too.
Huie: On the national scene—
McCarthy: May I say that any publication which intimates that there’s anything un-American about any of our frontrunning candidates is mistaken, putting it mildly.
Rogers: All of our candidates in your opinion are solid American gentleman.
McCarthy: All of those frontrunning candidates. All those that have been mentioned in connection with the—
Rogers: These publications which endorse you and oppose General Eisenhower you do not believe should be circulated, do you?
McCarthy: I don’t know what’s in that publication, Mr. Rogers. But all I can say is that I’ve been taking no part in the Presidential race. I’ve been fully satisfied that regardless of which one of the men are nominated, he would be a good candidate. We’ve got a bunch of good delegates at Chicago, good Americans. And I won’t be afraid to support him to the hilt, and I intend to do that regardless of who’s nominated—on the Republican ticket, that is.
Huie: Well Senator, speaking of campaigns, do you expect a campaign outside of Wisconsin between now and November?
McCarthy: Mr. Huie, I have some heavy obligations to other senators, men who have come to my aid when things looked blackest in this fight against communists in government. Some of them are in the so-called marginal states. If they think they’re having difficulty in their Senate race, if they think that I can help them, I will come into their states. I may say this, that if the Republicans should take over the Senate, I happen to be the ranking member on the investigating committee. That means that McCarthy would become Chairman of the Senate Investigating Committee. And if he does, I’ll make you one promise. That Leavenworth won’t hold them, Mr. Huie.
Huie: You’re going going to use the same tactics that you have used right along, sir.
McCarthy: Well now, you said the same tactics. You see, if you have a committee with the power to subpoena investigators, you don’t use the same tactics you use when you have no committee, no power to subpoena. We’ve got to dig and root out the communists and the crooks, and those who are bad for America. Where you have a committee, so you have the power of subpoena, you can get their records. And if we have a Republican president, we’ll be able to get those records, I’m sure. It will be a less spectacular fight, but much more effective. You see, it’s difficult when you’re all alone with the entire power of this federal bureaucracy against you… Difficult to dig them— Even [?], you see, we have exposed—gotten in the government—eleven of those I originally named. Some of them have been convicted, others before the grand jury. But all out of the government under the Loyalty Program.
Rogers: and I know you do, too, that Mr. Lattimore has been requested not to leave the country.
McCarthy: Mr. Lattimore was not one of the eleven because he was no longer in the government. He had been used as an advisor, but I didn’t count him amongst the eleven.
Huie: Senator, now you—
McCarthy: He’s not being used any longer.
Huie: —you spoke of—
McCarthy: May I say something further in answer to Mr. Rogers’ comment? The State Department has been taking credit for the ban upon Lattimore’s leaving the country. That is just improper, because the State Department did not initiate that ban—
Huie: Who did?
McCarthy: It was the Justice Department. The Justice Department either phoned or wrote Mrs. Shipley’s division, the visa division, and said close the Canadian borders, close the Mexican borders, close the Atlantic, close the Pacific, on Lattimore. Don’t let him leave the country.
Huie: Is this the result of our new Attorney General?
McCarthy: I don’t know. The previous Attorney General, McGrath, was a good friend of mine. I am very happy to see the new Attorney General apparently going about his job in a good, serious fashion.
Rogers: Uh, Sena—
McCarthy: May I make a…just another ten seconds? If I were making predictions I would make this prediction tonight. That is this. The State Department will use every bit of power at their disposal to try and get Owen Lattimore out of this country within the next two or three months.
Huie: You must have reasons for saying that, sir.
McCarthy: Very good reasons, and may I suggest that you just watch what happens over the next few weeks and few months and you’ll understand why.
Huie: Now let me understand these two predictions that you’ve made, Senator. They sound very important to me. You are predicting for our viewers that within the next few weeks, the State Department will use its influence to get Professor Lattimore outside the country.
McCarthy: That’s correct.
Rogers: Can you say why, sir?
McCarthy: Frankly, I can’t.
McCarthy: I mean I could but I… For reasons which I’ll explain to you after we get off the air, I just couldn’t do it here tonight.
Huie: Now, the other—
McCarthy: You’ll understand why within a matter of weeks or months—
Huie: Alright, I’ll call our viewers attention to your prediction—
McCarthy: Will you do that?
Huie: And now the other thing that I’d like to get very clear because it sounds important. If you are elected—reelected—Senator, and if there’s a Republican victory this fall, then you will be Chairman of the present—what’s known as the McCarran Committee, will you not?
McCarthy: No, not the McCarran Committee. It’s now known as the Senator Hoey Committee, formerly the the Truman Committee. It’s the special Senate investigating committee.
Huie: I see. And you also made the prediction that if you can get control of that committee, that you expect to fill up Leavenworth and a few more of the federal prisons. Is that correct?
McCarthy: Yes. I think, Mr. Huie, that any good American in charge of that investigating committee—
Huie: Senator, there’s one other— You mentioned a book, and there’s one book here that we should call our viewers’ attention to. It’s your book that is published today, I believe.
Huie: Now, in effect, what’s the message of this book to the people of America, sir?
McCarthy: Well, Mr. Huie, we call the book McCarthyism: The Fight for America. It is a carefully documented history of the fight to expose communists, bad security risks, and the dupes and stooges of the Kremlin who have been and still are in our federal government.
Huie: Well, Senator—
McCarthy: May I say this also, if we’ve got—
Huie: I’m sorry that our time is up. But I’m sure that our viewers have appreciated your very forthright views, and thank you for being with us, sir.
McCarthy: Thank you.
Frank Knight: The editorial board for this edition of the Longines Chronoscope was Mr. William Bradford Huie and Mr. Donald I. Rogers. Our distinguished guest was the honorable Joseph R. McCarthyism, United States senator from Wisconsin.
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