World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Tydings Committee

Article Id: WHEBN0002070812
Reproduction Date:

Title: Tydings Committee  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Stephen Brunauer, Esther Brunauer, Amerasia, Louis F. Budenz, Cold War (TV series)
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Tydings Committee

The Subcommittee on the Investigation of Loyalty of State Department Employees, more commonly referred to as the Tydings Committee, was a subcommittee authorized by S.Res. 231 in February 1950 to look into charges by Joseph R. McCarthy that he had a list of individuals who were known by the Secretary of State to be members of the Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) yet who were still working in the State Department.[1]

The mandate of the committee was to conduct "a full and complete study and investigation as to whether persons who are disloyal to the United States are, or have been, employed by the Department of State."[2] The chairman of the subcommittee was Senator Millard Tydings, a Democrat from Maryland.

Senator Millard Tydings

On February 20, 1950, McCarthy had delivered a 5-hour speech to the Senate in which he presented the cases of 81 "loyalty risks" who he claimed were working for the State Department. McCarthy declined requests to disclose the actual names of the people on his list, and instead referred to them by "case numbers". It is widely accepted that most of McCarthy's cases were taken from the so-called "Lee list"—a report that had been compiled three years earlier for the House Appropriations Committee. Led by former FBI agent Robert E. Lee, the House investigators had been allowed to review the security clearance documents on State Department employees, and had determined that there were "incidents of inefficiencies"[3] in the security reviews of 108 past and present employees.[4][5]

The Lee list was also the source of McCarthy's famous list of 57 "cardcarrying Communists" in the State Department.[6] In 1948, the State Department had informed the House that of the 108 cases flagged by Lee, 57 were still working for the department. This list included persons whom Lee had deemed security risks for a variety of reasons, such as marital infidelity or drunkenness, and all of them had been cleared by the State Department's review process.

In response to these allegations, the Tydings Committee hearings were held, opening on March 8, 1950 and lasting until July 17. At the hearings, McCarthy expanded on his original list of unnamed individuals and made charges against nine others whose names he made public: Dorothy Kenyon, Esther Brunauer, Haldore Hanson, Gustavo Duran, Owen Lattimore, Harlow Shapley, Frederick L. Schuman, John S. Service and Philip Jessup. Some of these people no longer, or never had, worked for the State Department, and all had previously been the subject of various charges of varying worth and validity. Owen Lattimore became a particular focus of McCarthy's, who at one point described him as a "top Russian spy."[5]

Throughout the hearings, McCarthy employed colorful rhetoric. He was able to produce no objective proof of any kind to support his accusations but instead relied on testimonies from Communists and ex-Communists in presenting his case to the public.

From its beginning, the Tydings Committee was marked by partisan infighting. Its final report, written by the Democratic majority, concluded that the individuals on McCarthy's list were neither Communists nor pro-communist, and said the State Department had an effective security program. Tydings labeled McCarthy's charges a "fraud and a hoax," and said that the result of McCarthy's actions was to "confuse and divide the American people[...] to a degree far beyond the hopes of the Communists themselves." Republicans responded in kind, with William Jenner stating that Tydings was guilty of "the most brazen whitewash of treasonable conspiracy in our history." The full Senate voted three times on whether to accept the report, and each time the voting was precisely divided along party lines.[5]

Notes

  1. ^ Government papers about this hearing
  2. ^ Congressional Record, 81st Congress, 2nd session, pp 2062-2068; quoted in:
    Reeves, Thomas C. (1982). The Life and Times of Joe McCarthy: A Biography. Madison Books. p. 243.  
  3. ^ Reeves, Thomas C. (1982). The Life and Times of Joe McCarthy: A Biography. Madison Books. p. 227.  
  4. ^ Oshinsky, David M. (2005). A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy. Oxford University Press. pp. 110–113.  
  5. ^ a b c Fried, Richard M. (1990). Nightmare in Red: The McCarthy Era in Perspective. Oxford University Press. pp. 124–125.  
  6. ^ Griffith, Robert (1970). The Politics of Fear: Joseph R. McCarthy and the Senate.  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.