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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. Victor Riesel, labor columnist for the New York Daily Mirror, and Mr. William Bradford Huie, editor of the American Mercury. Our distinguished guest for this evening is Mr. Arthur Garfield Hays, famed constitutional lawyer and general counsel for the Civil Liberties Union. The opinions expressed are necessarily those of the speakers.
William Bradford Huie: Mr. Hays, our Chronoscope audience knows you sir, as a long-time crusader for human freedom. And I’m sure they’ll be very much interested in your views tonight. Now sir, we had Senator McCarthy on this show a few days ago. And our audience had his views. Now, what is your general appraisal of Senator McCarthy and his work, sir?
Arthur Garfield Hays: I think he’s the most dangerous man in the United States. I think Senator McCarthy is more dangerous to freedom in the United States than all the communists we have in this country.
Victor Riesel: Well Mister Hays, do you think that because he’s attacking communism—and I disagree with the Senator. Do you that he’s dangerous because he’s attacking communism, or do you think—
Hays: No, I think he’s dangerous because without sufficient evidence he’s smearing a lot of respected and highly decent people.
Riesel: Well do you think, Mr. Hays, that there are communists in the State Department. have they infiltrated our government?
Hays: I don’t think for a moment they’ve begun to infiltrate the government. I think there may be a few communists in the State Department, but they don’t do nearly as much harm as suspicion stirred up against the whole State Department by [?] like McCarthy, and his ilk, and his followers.
Riesel: Well, what specific harm do you think Senator McCarthy has done?
Hays: Well, I think when you smear men like Owen Lattimore and Philip Jessup—Jessup who’s done a great job for the United Nations, and when you throw suspicion on men who’ve been in government service for years and make people doubt their own State Department, you do a great deal of harm because you stir up hate and suspicion and fear all over the United States. I think the most dangerous thing the communists can do in the United States is stir up hate, suspicion, and fear. And I think anybody who aids them to do it is doing as bad a job as they are.
Huie: Do you think that there is any ground for suspicion and fear among the people of the United States, sir?
Hays: No reasonable ground. And I think that no man should be deprived of his reputation’s standing without a fair trial and a judgment according to Anglo-Saxon methods. And not by the ravings of McCarthy, even though he has congressional immunity.
Huie: But don’t you think that the American people, sir, have some reason to suspect there’s a State Department that harbors a Hiss, or that harbors people that are known to be subversive and to be agents of foreign powers?
Hays: I don’t think American people have any sound reason to suspect our State Department at present.
Riesel: Well Mr Hays, sound reason would want to separate this from Senator McCarthy immediately. We agree, we dismiss him—
Hays: If you separate sound reasoning from Senator McCarthy, you and I are on the same side [inaudible]
Riesel: Alright, well taken. We agree and we dismiss him. Now, Owen Lattimore. Don’t you think he’s a danger as a friend of Mao Tse-tung, the commander of the army that’s fighting our own United Nations? For fifteen years, Owen Lattimore’s been Mao Tse-tung’s friend. Now, do you think that doesn’t constitute a danger to the thinking of our State Department?
Hays: No, I don’t, because I’ve seen nothing or heard of nothing that he has done, that Owen Lattimore has done, that seems to me to suggest for a moment that he isn’t a loyal American.
Huie: Well, let’s come…let’s do this, sir. Personality are very interesting. But let’s come to McCarthy’s methods, which are the things that you most oppose. Now, it’s your position that his methods have not been justified.
Hays: It is.
Huie: Now, a great many Americans, however, believe that the one reality of our time is the Soviet power, and that that Soviet power is aided in the United States by people who are willing to lend their aid to that Soviet power.
Hays: Soviet power in Russia’s one thing. Soviet power in the United States I don’t think exists.
Huie: But you do admit that there are Americans who want to make Russia more powerful, and that there have been such Americans inside our own government.
Hays: Yes, but very few in number and exercising, in my judgment, no influence.
Riesel: Mr. Hays, don’t you think that 500,000 Americans led by Stalinists, labor leaders, are a menace? Especially when in the heart of our defense industry and I could name—
Hays: Where do you get 500,000 Stalinists?
Riesel: The 500,000 Americans are members of trade unions led in the heart of our defense industry by communist labor leaders. Don’t you think that constitutes a menace to our civil liberties?
Hays: I don’t, because I think it’ll work itself out the same as it has in the CIO. At one time the communists were very strong in the CIO. Then the communists began playing politics instead of attending the labor union duties, and they were thrown out of practically all the CIO unions. Every time I read of a strike, I don’t attribute it to communists. They don’t deserve the credit.
Riesel: No, no. We’re going to dismiss that one, too. We’re not going to—
Hays: Alright, I’m glad you’re giving me [inaudible].
Riesel: Don’t you think though that the organized conspiracy of American Stalinism, with 43,000 fanatics, represents a threat to American civil liberty?
Hays: No, I don’t. I think all those people are under surveillance by the FBI. I think they might be fifth columnists in case of war. I don’t think they’re potential spies because spies aren’t used who are under suspicion. And I trust the FBI, and I trust the laws. If what you’re trying to tell me is that we have a right to violate laws of decency as well laws in the statute books in order to get communists, what you’re really saying is that a totalitarian government over here would be safer than a democratic government, and I don’t believe it.
Riesel: Let me say, Mr. Hays, I’m for decency. I wanted to make that clear.
Hays: Well, I thought you were. That’s why thought your argument wasn’t sound.
Huie: Well, I’m delighted that both you gentlemen are for decency. But let’s come back to the State Department. Don’t you think, sir, that Senator McCarthy’s methods might be justified, and that the House Un-American Activities Committee’s methods might be justified, because of a failure on the part of the Department of Justice? After all, the FBI knew of the existence of Alger Hiss for four or five years before he was prosecuted.
Hays: Oh well I’ll grant you Hiss. But for heaven sakes, you’re not going to found all your policy on the fact that one man was found guilty of having done something improper in 1938 and lied about it in 1948. Certainly you’re not going to take that position.
Riesel: Mr. Hays, don’t you think that the State Department having worked us into this Holocaust in the East has failed because of the policies—which I think pro-communist policies—of Owen Lattimore, Alger Hiss—
Hays: Well, I don’t think the State Department led us into to the Holocaust in the East.
Riesel: What did, Mr. Hays?
Hays: The invasion from North Korea of the communists.
Riesel: Who is responsible for that?
Hays: I think the communists were responsible.
Riesel: And behind them?
Hays: Russia, of course.
Riesel: And therefore you don’t think that the same extension of the same conspiracy in the United States represents a threat to us?
Hays: Yes, but I don’t see the same conspiracy in the United States. I’m not afraid of the communists in the United States. There never has been a more futile political movement in the United States than that of communism. After twenty-five years they can’t get enough votes to keep their name on the ballot. This idea of finding a communist [?] under the bed seems to me all nonsense. And the result of the whole thing is that Americans now are so timid about expressing themselves that we’ve practically given up democratic methods and free speech. Nobody in this country dares to say anything that might suggest to anybody that he’s an appeaser or pro-Russian or anything else. The result is that we act as one and even on controversial subjects we don’t find any debate in public life. And don’t dare.
Huie: As a liberal, sir, and a believer in human freedom, you deplore the fact that Americans do not have that or utilize that liberty as they once did.
Hays: Why, surely as soon as you get to a position where you have a timid public as you have today, that is the end of free speech. It’s just as serious as for Congress to pass laws. I think we’re a whole lot safer and healthier if every man says exactly what he believes.
Huie: Now, to relate your views to the political issues of 1952, sir, where do you stand? Do you expect to support Truman in ’52?
Hays: I do unless Eisenhower’s nominated. If Eisenhower’s nominated I’d probably support him.
Hays: Because as president of Columbia I heard Eisenhower speak on democracy, and he thrilled me. And I think his views are what I regard as democratic views.
Riesel: Would you make those specific, sir? We’ve been trying to get some of those views from him and he has refused.
Hays: Well, I think if you read the past prints and read his speeches you’ll find that he’s opposed to the present hysteria. He is opposed to things that make us all fearful of communists. He believes in people audaciously expressing themselves. And he believes that the atmosphere today is very bad.
Riesel: Do you think the general is a liberal or a conservative by your standards, Mr. Hays?
Hays: That’s hard to tell. I don’t use terms, liberal or conservative.
Riesel: Would you vote for him on the Republican ticket, sir?
Riesel: The party of McCarthy?
Hays: Well, I regard it as the party of Eisenhower. Or I would so regard.
Huie: How do you regard Senator Taft? He’s a man who is supposed to have considerable respect for the law. And as a lawyer yourself I should think that would attract you to senator Taft.
Hays: I have respect for Senator Taft as the man. I think he’s able, and honest, and I like the way he handles himself in general. Senator Taft to me is more or less of a metal machine. And I haven’t the same liking or admiration for him personally that I would have for either Eisenhower or Truman.
Huie: I’m sure that our audience would like to hear one last expression from you, sir. As a fighter for human liberty for many many years in this country, are you hopeful about the prospects for liberalism as you define it in America in 1952?
Hays: Yes I am, because I’ve seen the same hysteria exist—I saw it exist in the twenties when the socialists were the target. The party to the left is always the target. Someday we’ll have a party more radical than the communists, and then the communists will be respectable. I think this idea of becoming fearful because of names is all absurd. I have the same hope that we’ll reach a sane atmosphere in the future, as turned out after the 1920s.
Huie: Well, I’m sure that our audience very much appreciates these views, sir, and thank you for being with us, sir.
Knight: The editorial board for this edition of the Longines Chronoscope was Mr. Victor Riesel, and Mr William Bradford Huie. Our distinguished guest was Mr. Arthur Garfield Hays, famed constitutional lawyer and general counsel for the Civil Liberties Union.
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This is Frank Knight again, inviting you to join us every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evening at this same time for the Longines Chronoscope. The television journal of the important issues of the hour. Broadcast on behalf of Longines, the world’s most honored watch. And Wittnauer, distinguished companion to the world-honored Longines. Sold and serviced from coast to coast by more than 4,000 leading jewelers who proudly display this emblem, “Agency for Longines-Wittnauer watches.”